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Sunday, September 7, 2014

New Beginnings

My first class at uni starts tomorrow. Yes! I got an offer from uni and I still cannot believe it- the fact that I'm on my way to experiencing the uni life where almost everything's going to be completely, unpredictably different perhaps from high school. New people, new environment, new facilities, new lessons and such... all that I'll be going through in the Hong Kong Institute of Education!

As cheesy as this sounds, it's been a wild ride like a roller-coaster- from working my butt off for the DSEs to nervously and intensely receiving the results in my hands, leading to the Main Offer results and then finishing up to now, where I'll be starting a new chapter of my life and I've never felt so grateful. I just wish my dad was here to witness everything and see how excited I am to push through.

It's going to be a bit weird though, getting used to how uni/college is like. I mean, like I said, it's fully, 101% percent nothing like high school where you literally have no option over which classes you want to take or which of the school's facilities you want to use at anytime you want. In university/college, you have full control over which courses you want to take and learn (especially since you get to pick from a list of different timeslots of each courses and basically make your own schedule) and where you want to be (you get to go anywhere inbetween breaks. Want to go to the caferteria and eat? Then go. Want to grab a coffee on the way to class? Hell YEAH). What else? You get to skip classes whenever you want to (which I am NOT doing, ain't risking it! haha). Basically, everything won't feel forced because you'll get to do whatever YOU want. It all depends on you and what you want to do to achieve the best uni life and your learning experiences and your goals and your dreams. Simply put, INDEPENDENCE. 

The best part? I'm going to experience all these with two people whom I've known for quite a long time, one of whom has been one of my best friends since we exited the womb (okay not really, S2 to be precise). I've also met a few great people from the orientation camp that I participated in, and all the tiring but worthwhile briefing seminars, that I think I'm going to enjoy being in classes with.

I'm excited to learn, to grow, to blossom (physically impossible).

With love,
Ella

September Playlist:
Eh, I'm literally, believe it or not, listening to the classic The Four Seasons by Vivaldi right now..

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"The Three" Reunion!


After for what seemed like years (two weeks, in fact) of not seeing each other, I finally got to see two of my best-est friends' lovely faces today. We had to attend this mini training workshop held for this year's iCity NetY competition winners (an internet-related competition) at the DotAsia office, as we are now the alumni, we had to share some of our pleasant experiences of being last year's winners and getting to participate in the internet governance forum in Bali last year, giving them tips and advice of what to expect and what to prepare. And guess where they'll be heading to? TURKEY (the IGF will be held there this time)! Oh how I wish we had the chance to get an air ticket...haha! BUT I'm still grateful.

Today has also made me feel so nostalgic. Seeing the new three winners in their seats, I clearly remember being in their position- excited but nervous, hyped but unsure of what to expect in such an international multi-stakeholder event held OUTSIDE of Hong Kong. Reminiscing our victory last year, I realized how far we've come and to this which I'm very thankful for. Hard work DOES pay off. I can now say we've all grown mentally and learnt a lot throughout the process of being at the IGF. For instance, experiencing what the real world really is like, meeting different types of people (the majority are literally of high-ranking positions in the business field), doing public speaking in a room full of adults with high expectations... everything felt overwhelming but definitely and without doubt, meaningful and rewarding...and I can't wait for the three newbies to ride this journey that we had gone through!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

GA Summer 2014 Blog Party


So on Saturday (the 12th), I attended a summer blog party.

Now you may think, a blog party? Where people who own a Tumblr blog get together and just blog like how they usually do at home except now it's in public? Pfft. Wrong!

The event was hosted by General Assembly (an NYC-based educational institution, click here for more) and in partnership with Tumblr where people and bloggers chill together and just, well, do coding, learn and design their own Tumblr theme after going through GA's Dash Platform (filled with online courses and steps) and completing the steps needed to know how to actually start doing basic HTML/CSS coding and designing, which was the sole purpose of the whole event. There were also GA Teaching assistants around whom we could ask help from whenever we would have a problem with the coding or have a question about what a particular HTML code meant. Personally, I didn't really have a hard time finishing some of the steps as I had taken ICT during my secondary school years, gaining basic HTML knowledge and not to mention that I first experienced web designing/development (well, using Freewebs) when I was a primary school-er. But that's not to say I didn't learn anything because I did, especially things about CSS because I was never comfortable with it considering its slight complication with all the specific properties/attributes and the position of the parenthesis and stuff which is pretty much a bit different to HTML.

There was also a panel of some of the most talented, influential bloggers of Hong Kong! They were JJ Acuna (thewanderlister), Jasmine Smith (dressmeblogme) and Elle Lee (elleiconlee) who were all so lovely and inspiring. I guess this has to be my favorite part of the event, seeing well-known bloggers who are now living my dream and hearing what they have to say especially in terms of achieving your goals, knowing how to be a good blogger and such. Their stories definitely brought me motivation.

Not gonna lie, I expected the majority of attendees to be people of my age since well, you know, Tumblr! Most of them were adults so my friends and I somewhat felt a little intimated as we thought they were so experienced with advanced web designing nd stuff and weren't new like us, 'till there was this middle-age man who mentioned that he's never really used the website or designed one and had just created a new one haha.

I'm glad I chose to attend this event, I learnt so much and it was nice seeing everyone who were, to an extent, like me who likes to blog and enjoys doing HTML coding and other aspects of web designing and development. Maybe, I may just try some of their courses in the future.

Melchie, I and Nicole
Elle Lee, Jasmine Smith and JJ Acuna (panel)

Till next time,

Ella

Sunday, July 6, 2014

June and Early July Happenings 2014

Hi! It's been a while since I've last posted. I've been so occupied with other stuff over the past month and weeks. With having an internship and another part-time voluntary job in the way, I never had the time to post something, and when I do, it's when I have writer's block (hah).

Ah yes, I'm no longer a student anymore. I've graduated. It's the month of July. Uni/College doesn't start until September (unless I choose to take a gap year, which I doubt I will). I haven't gotten my DSE results yet (DSEs are the public exams that determine whether you'll be able to get in to university or not). I'm still waiting. So what am I? A 17 YEAR OLD UNEMPLOYED YOUNG ADULT. (exclude the part-time job that I have. I'm trying to be funny here)

It feels oddly weird, knowing I am no longer a high school student. That chapter in my life is competely over and I can't believe I'm saying this but I truly miss it (sorry, I'm still not over it. *cue tears*). I'm practically an "adult". I'm turning 18 in, what, 5 months?! And I just recently got my own ATM bank card for work. I know it may not that be a big much of a deal but that's something that adds up to my upcoming "adult life". I consider myself like a baby taking their first step to learning how to walk, except for me it's learning how to adjust to the life where I'd have to start becoming independent and responsible.

Speaking of work, that's what I basically have been doing the whole of June and will continue until mid-July. I have (or had) two jobs which is the internship at DotAsia that I successfully completed in June, and another that is being an instructor/volunteer for Chinese YMCA, taking children to field trips and outdoor activities. The job of being an instructor for children has been such a hassle, in a good way. Sure it is extremely exhausting especially since it involves taking care and disciplining children (and secondary 1-2 students) and telling them what to do and what not to do during an activity, but I enjoy it nevertheless. It makes me feel productive and not to mention I get to participate in an activity with them. For instance, having to take them to an outdoor war military game where I was able to shoot BB bullets using a gun and get shot (most of the time...) back by children younger (and smaller) than me, or the Ocean Park trip where I was able to go without having to pay any fee and see the lovely, adorable pandas and penguins with them. The most memorable and worthwhile part of working for Chinese YMCA so far was being able to teach in my old primary school, Li Cheng Uk, where Ham and Jianne (my best friends who are working with me too, and came from the same school) had the privilege to hold a seminar on the issue of cyberbullying for kids. We did this also as part of being NetY Ambassadors after winning a competition on internet governance. It was very meaningful to say the least and seeing all the children who we once were in their shoes being so active and engaged in what we had to say felt so great. Apart from that, we also were able to reunite and catch up with our old teachers especially my favorite Mr. Lee who used to be our teacher from primary 5 to 6 :-)

The instructors of the Ocean Park field trip (lol)
On the way to the military game.
With Miss Kwan, our supervisor and Pat, from the NetY 2012 team
Li Cheng Uk's Activity Room (where we taught)
NetY 2012 & NetY 2013 Ambassadors working and teaching together :-)

Fish and Chips dish treat by our supervisor on the last day of our internship! At Ottoman Palace.

Anyway, putting work-related things aside, I was able to see the incredible Imagine Dragons at the Transformers 4: Age of Extinction premiere with some of my good friends Harris, Nicole and Sagar. I had always listened to the band especially their Night Visions album so it was all felt pretty surreal listening to them not on my phone, but rather live. I treasured this day so much not only because of that, but because Harris was about to leave Hong Kong permanently the next time for university. We've never really been tight but he was definitely someone who always was able to make I and everyone laugh harder than they could, like a ray of sunshine :-)

With the "transformers" (inside joke)...


The band was set to perform at 9pm but of course we decide to arrive just earlier...at 5pm. We basically stood waiting in line for about 5 hours (including the band's one hour late arrival on stage). The wait was WORTH it though, considering we stood near the stage being in the front, and laughing hysterically because of our lame inside jokes with each other was already enough to have ourselves entertained during the wait.

If someone were to ask me what my favorite performance was, it would definitely be It's Time which is one of my all-time favorite songs. This might sound corny but I can relate to it a lot, being about not forgetting where you come from and just staying true to yourself despite hardships. Seeing everyone jamming, jumping and singing along to the band was amazing, you could tell everyone was having loads of fun and connected with the band. The atmosphere was heating up!





By the way, coolest thing about being there?! The whole event was live and shown around the world, I mean it IS a global premiere anyway. I guess you could say...we were part of history! Mehahaha