Posts

Showing posts from 2013

Thoughtful Gifts

Image
I have to say, that although I've received plenty of bad gifts, I've never received a gift that has delighted me or impressed me as much as the ones I opened this year. With the trend today of gift cards, cash, and vouchers, people don't think before getting someone a present, these gifts are "safe" but not memorable. I don't remember who got me the chapters gift card...

This year, someone gave me truly special gifts. Ones that took thought, and time, and energy, and affection to create. It makes me think that giving is not about the amount of $ on a gift card. It's about the heart that went into a gift.

I wish everyone Happy Holidays! I'll be in Miami, Mexico, Mahogany Bay and the Cayman Islands for the next little while on a well deserved break. I wish you all the best in the New Year! :)



Procrastination Poem- (Inspired by Mulan)

Image
Let's get down to studying, to defeat exams
Why are there 13 chapters, I don't know any of them?
It's the longest course I've ever took, and I can bet before I'm done,
I will have wasted hours having fun.

There are 2 days left now, and I'm getting scared
First I'll have to facebook, cruise the net, eat pears
Before I review I'll doodle make art, and I'll even watch a show
now there's 30 hours, let's go!

I'm never gonna be done on time
say goodbye to all those good marks
if I don't do well I'd better not tell my parents
These organism names are so long
Better start intensely cramming
Now I really wish that I had photographic memory

procrastinate,
I really just wanna take a break
Procrastinate
now I only have one more day
procrastinate
I hope that I'll be okay
But I'm sure with a will, there's a way!

Time is racing toward me till exams arrive
Once I find my confidence, I just may survive
The gym is filled with a thousan…

Winter Quotes

Image
“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” 
---- John Steinbeck
“Winter is not a season, it's an occupation.”  -----Sinclair Lewis
“Of course I’ll hurt you. Of course you’ll hurt me. Of course we will hurt each other. But this is the very condition of existence. To become spring, means accepting the risk of winter. To become presence, means accepting the risk of absence.”  ----Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince

“Winter changes into stone the water of heaven and the heart of man.”  ----Victor Hugo
Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.
----Pietro Aretino

Final Season Approaches

Image
This week is the last week of the term for me. I can't believe that I'll be done exams in less than 3 weeks! It's a bittersweet moment, I feel as if I'm on the cusp of great changes. Things will be so different once I start working next term. Growing up and becoming a real adult isn't an easy thing to accept all at once.

Not surprisingly, my ability to pay attention in class has been deteriorating... yet, a part of me doesn't want all of this to end. I feel torn, as if I'm trying to stay put and run far away all at once. One thing is for certain, I need a break! Hopefully after travelling to Mexico in December, I'll feel more refreshed and invigorated. Maybe seeing new places and new cultures will boost my energy and optimism as I rocket towards my future.

As I grow and develop as a person, I'm starting to look hard at my future and plan for where I want to be in 5 years, 10 years. Setting goals for my future, thinking of steps to take so I can get …

Snowflakes

Image
As I walked through the flurries, worries whirling in my head, like the weather all around me thoughts in turmoil conflicting emotions
A snowflake landed on my eyelash. I looked up and saw all of the white crystals dancing in the wind and remembered, that no two snowflakes are alike ever. Just as no two humans will ever be truly alike ever.
We're like the snowflakes, I thought. Flying through life, dancing in the wind. Sometimes we're happy, and fly up high, sometimes we're down and drift towards the earth sometimes we're indecisive, spinning out of control, confused, scared sometimes we're calm, peaceful, letting the wind take us away, away
Everything happens for a reason, I thought,  it's comforting to know we're all unique, no one will ever be like me, I'm the only one of my kind, and that's a comforting thought.
Sometimes, I just need to think of those snowflakes and I smile. Those snowflakes, they know what's really important, to let themse…

Winter's Arrival

Image
I exhale
and the fog rises up
into the mysterious darkness
that is the night sky

Snowflakes flash
twinkle for an instant
crystals swirling in the wind
As I hold your hand under the streetlights


Employed at Long Last

Image
Yesterday was one of the most exciting days and suspenseful in my life! I am finally, thankfully, joyously employed!!! So the ranks came out on Friday, and I did not get any job offers. I did get a rank for Ernst and Young which was my first choice. This means that I wasn't their first choice, but I may be their second or third choice. However, I knew the girl who got the offer, she had 5 offers in total and told me that she wouldn't be accepting the job. So, crossing my fingers, I ranked the job I wanted as number one and hoped for the best.

The final match came out yesterday at 4 pm. I had been excited and worried all day. Time passed, 4:10, then 4:20 rolled around, and nothing. I checked on Jobmine, it said the position had already been filled. Dreading the worst, I contacted a friend who had gotten an offer. She told me that she got her confirmation e-mail for her job at 3:50. I knew it. I didn't get an offer. The disappointment washed over me like a tidal wave. My fri…

Go out there and do what you do best :)

Image
Remember how I was sad in my last post because I didn't get an interview at the place I worked really hard for? Well it turns out they had a different position and gave me an interview! That's the good news. 
After the past weekend of intense studying, I started to get really nervous for interviews this week. At Waterloo, when signing up for an interview slot, you can see the who the other interviewees are. I know many of my fellow peers who are also being interviewed for my position, and I started getting really nervous as self doubt began to plague me. The other interviewees are all so talented, bright and friendly, what if I'm not good enough?
I was talking to a good friend of mine today who has the same pre-interview event and really wants to go to the same company but in a different position. She genuinely loved the firm and really wants the job, and I think the job would be perfect for her. But her competition is really tough. When I questioned her on how she felt at…

Disappointment

Image
As I've mentioned in previous posts, Co-op season is here for me, and I knew that I'd get rejections. After all, finding a job is hard. But so far, I've been pretty lucky in my endeavours. Most of my rejections I've taken well, it didn't bother me that I got rejected from 8 places before finally getting my first interview. However, today, I got rejected to the one job that I really wanted, the one job I put so much effort into. Despite knowing that things may not always work out, this particular rejection still hurts. 
Disappointment is something we all have to deal with in our lives. As they say, "Life's not fair", "you win some and you lose some". Even knowing that, I guess some disappointments hit harder than others.    But I have to admit that in the co-op hunt, everyone is working hard, everyone is putting their best effort in. Just because I tried really hard, it doesn't mean that I'm guaranteed an interview. Also, I should be …

Always be Prepared :)

Image
As the school year is progressing, things are really starting to pile up. I'm balancing my enormous amount of school work with friends, a relationship, clubs I'm involved in and co-op. Despite the seemingly overwhelming commitments right now, I am having the time of my life!

As I was going in to a restaurant to eat yesterday, I ran into one of my good friends and his mom. He was telling her how I was doing so well in school, and he told me how I seemed to do so well with such little effort. When I heard him, I laughed. There aren't many things I can say with high certainty, but one thing life has taught me is that the amount of work put into something is usually proportional to the result of that effort. From first hand experience in first year, I know that when I studied hard for something, I almost always did better than when I slacked off.

This applies to real life too! Everyone in university is intelligent, but some people do better because they work harder! It may see…

FLYING!!!!

Image
Today was an extraordinary day for me! I had the pleasure of flying to the CN tower by plane today, and it was like nothing I'd ever seen before! Sure, I've flown to other countries by plane before, but I'd never actually FLOWN one. Also, the purpose of the trip was to sight see, and I never realized that Canada was so beautiful!

Our plane was a 4 seater; I'm not exactly sure what the model and type is. But I got to wear earphones and talk over the radio. There are a lot of checks and procedures that must be followed before a flight, and the weather is really important to fly a plane. We had to stay under the clouds so we waited until the skies cleared up. But the wait was definitely worth it!



It was really fascinating to see how the pilot and dispatchers communicated with each other over the course of the flight! Since Toronto is so popular and has a busy airport, we often had to change altitude to accommodate the other aircrafts. For the most part, we stayed between …

Organic Chemistry...

Image
My own experiences struggling to understand organic chemistry can be compared to the Duke of Wellington was struggling to defeat Napoleon (notice how both theses events happened in Waterloo). Since I am in the biotechnology chartered accountancy program here at Waterloo, I am required to take the dreaded CHE 266, organic chemistry.

Now, according to most news items and student feedback, organic chemistry is consistently ranked as the Top 10 Hardest Courses in University, and usually #1. That does not help my confidence level, nor does it help that on the first day my professor told us less than 20% of students pass the course with an 80% and 15% of students fail.

First class was overwhelming, I had enormous chemical names thrown in my face left and right. The professor practically danced over all of the points, saying "just review this on your own". Yeah right.

But now that second class has passed, I've studied a lot, and the prof talks more slowly, I'm not so terrif…

Biotechnology Chartered Accounting???

Image
Hello friends!

Many people have been asking me to write about my university program, biotechnology chartered accountancy. Now, the normal reaction when I tell others what I'm studying is "huh?". I know it seems strange to combine science with accounting, but this field of science and business has been becoming more and more popular and sought after.

The reason I chose to go into the field of study is because I wanted to leave my options open. I really wanted to do my chartered accounting designation but was also considering medical school when going into university, so this seemed like a good option.

Currently there are only 11 students in my year and getting into the program was not easy. The requirements for my program was "individual selection from the mid nineties" in terms of average, which is the highest requirement to get into Waterloo University. I'm very passionate about both science and accounting, and I love all my courses. However, my program is…

The Alaska Experience

Image
As the famous John Muir once said, "To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the word." And he is absolutely correct. My experiences in Alaska is almost too great for words, and now I understand why people who have trekked the pristine lands before me have never forgotten the experience.



My trip was first by cruise then by land tour. On our sea days, we visited many ports of call in Alaska. The first was Keitchikan, and we saw lots of wildlife there including eagles, black bears, salmon, and seals. We also visited the largest collection of authentic totem poles in the world!


Next we hit Juneau, the capital of Keitchikan. My favourite part of the region was the Mendenhall Glaciers and Nugget Falls. Of course, I also enjoyed watching the spawning sockeye salmon swimming in the glacial waters. It's amazing how fast the glaciers are retreating, since the falls were covered by the glaciers only 15 years ago!


Skagway was the third and final …

Exploring Vancouver

Image
Vancouver is one of those places that I've heard about so many times but never visited... until now. The city has always held so much fascination for me, and just over 3 weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting the beautiful seaside city.


I have to say that Stanley park is one of my favourite attractions in the city. With a beautiful oceanside view of the city skyline, the park is full of people jogging, walking, or biking. I really get a feel of what Vancouver is like just by walking along the gorgeous seawall. Of course, at low tides, you can meet some interesting creatures :)

Another very fun place to explore is the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Offering a magnificent view of the leafy rain forests, the park has many interesting trails, bridges, cliff walks and even tree top trails to walk through! 

Capilano Park was quite educational too! I learned so much about birds of prey and the types of plant life present by listening to speakers and reading the interesting tidbits on…

Bedazzled by the Butchart Gardens

Image
About 3 weeks ago, I travelled to Vancouver and Victoria before heading up north to Alaska. On my trip, I encountered many interesting people and visited some stunning places. One of my favourite places in BC was the Butchart Gardens in Victoria.


Now I've seen some pretty beautiful gardens in my life: Versailles, the botanical gardens in Niagara Falls, and very pretty neighbourhood ones, but man, this place was definitely the most unforgettable.



The whole estate is a feast for the senses. Annuals and perennials alike burst with colour and life, competing for attention. There are also many different styles of gardens too, including Japanese, Rose, Italian, etc.


What's also really great about the park are the Umbrellas! It was raining lightly when we arrived and we could look great and stay dry!


Looking at the beautiful plant life in the place, I'm astounded by the work that clever gardeners and landscapers have done, it's definitely not easy to keep such a large propert…

BACK TO HOME SOIL FOR O-WEEK

Image
Hey!

Long time no write! So I am finally back on home soil, and I know it's been a while since I've last written but there was no internet at sea. My trip to Alaska was FANTASTIC, and I'll be writing some future blogs about my adventures there! But I have to say, I am glad to be back. My summer has flown by so quickly. Now I'm into my second year of Biotechnology Chartered Accountancy.

I thought I'd be able to have some down time to relax before school, but unfortunately, all of the orientation events here have kept me busy! I haven't had a single free day since moving in 3 days ago. But being a science orientation leader here at Waterloo has been so much fun and very rewarding. It's always great to see the bright young faces of the new students, and I really enjoy helping them settle into the school. Of course, problems always pop up. Lunch was hectic; I had to multitask and help communicate the problems with serving the food the organizers. Thank goodness…

Heading off to where those Glaciers Are...

Image
Hey!

Tomorrow, my family is heading off to catch our plane for Vancouver :) Then after five days in the beautiful city, we'll be boarding our cruise ship to ALASKA. Yes, I'm not kidding... For the past 3 days, I've been researching, google mapping, and imputing GPS addresses like crazy! Now that I know so much about my trip, I'm super pumped! Hope exciting adventures await me :D


How to Rock the Job

Image
Today was my last day working at Storybook Gardens, in a few days I'll be heading to Alaska to watch ice and stuff. After working in the amusement park for so long, I've become very fond of my job and all the people I work with. I think after being so dedicated to my work these past weeks, I've really come to realize what makes a good employee, and what makes someone good at their job (well for me personally anyways).

First, working in a customer oriented industry, I think that truly seeing the customers as individuals is so important. Getting a little personal with them, and trying to consider things from their perspective are imperative. It's great to hear back from parents who love the work I do, and it makes me realize how much of an impact I make on my kids :D

Also, it's really not about the money when it comes to a job. It's about the experience and enjoying the work despite it's pros and cons. I could be making more at another job, but I know the tim…

Freaking out never helps... but it sure does make me feel better =.=

Image
So I had a very large shock today when I came home. It started on last Friday, when my driving school called to tell me that my instructor would not be available to go with me on my G2 road test this Friday. A message that my sister received but didn't bother to tell me.

That message would have been useful to me yesterday as well, when the new instructor called my house and asked to arrange lesson and test times. BUT since I didn't know my instructor had changed, I  thought her call was a mistake told her I didn't need her to book me in.

Now, today. I came home to the driving school's secretary asking if I had booked my lessons with my new instructor, since my old one wouldn't be available. And that my friends, is when the panic started. I quickly tried to call the instructor that had called yesterday, but after 2 hours of waiting, she informed me that she was booked full now, since I said I didn't need her help yesterday. Also, to my dismay, I found out from t…

It's never too late to fix things...

Image
Today, I was feeling crafty. So with a bunch of old t-shirts, I made three circle scarves, various headbands, and a 30 foot rope that would be an excellent escape from a tall building. While rummaging through my closet, I came across a pair of saucony running shoes. They were a light mint green colour with silver stripes. I must have bought them at least 3 years ago. But due to a small tear in the netting on the left corner of the left shoe, I haven't worn them since.

So, I decided to get even more crafty and fabulous by fixing my shoes! I don't know why I never thought of it before... I guess I never had much time or thought I couldn't fix them and would just throw them out. So, here I am, 3 years later, taking my sewing kit out and fixing up my shoes... and ta da! It worked!

I guess that fixing my shoes after all these years made me a bit sentimental. It made me think, why not other things as well? Things that we should have fixed years before but left broken and untende…

DIY T-Shirt Awesomeness

Image
Being the procrastinator that I am, I opted to watch youtube videos instead of studying for accounting and LSAT's yesterday. (Refer to previous blog). So I decided to make some DIY t-shirts with my Waterloo Residence long sleeved tee. It turned out pretty nicely and was quite simple to make :D

I shared my brilliant success with my little sister, who also proceeded to make one in black. They're really quite simple. Just cut the neckline off, fold the back in half, and cut vertical 3/4 inch slits in an inverse triangle. Next, pull on the strings of fabric until they curl, and simply weave them.

Personally, I find crafts fun and relaxing. Plus, they're a good way to encourage creative thinking. With all my T-shirts, I proceeded to make a circle scarf with my purple tee today, more procrastination of course haha.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nh2uwl1QRf4





Feeling adultish and sophisticated after my first vote :D

Image
My parents reminded me after dinner today that it's the election day for the Ontario voting. So we got our nice "passes" as I like to call them, and headed to our election station. Of course, my dad got lazy and didn't bother to look up the address of the church we were supposed to vote at, so we drove in the wrong direction...

When we finally did turn around and parked at the correct election station, I walked out, feeling amazing and important. Obviously, I hadn't done any research at all into the parties and people =.= But hey!

When I finally did go in, and chatted with some of the election officials, I found them to be very nice! One older man was there with his son, and he told me he had been doing this for over 20 years! Finally, I stepped up to that white box (which was a lot smaller than I had imagined...), and made my "x" inside the big white circle.

Two things surprised me, one was the number of parties and some I had never heard of... The oth…

Test perceptions yourself!

Image
A very interesting thing happened to me at camp that kinda blew my world today. Earlier this week on Monday, I was told that I had a child in my group that bit people until they bled. So, of course, I expected difficulties and pain this week. Imagining a rabid, crazy, violent, child in my group, I resigned myself to my fate. However, the group of kids I have this week is probably the best I've ever had so far. No one cried at all for 3 days, and that's definitely a first.

My camp group has been excellent listeners, they are enthusiastic, energetic, smart, and maybe a little mischievous. I quickly forgot all about the biting thing as I laughed and played with my kids. Several of my boys were quite cheeky and tended to wander with the excessive energy that is natural in the young. I was forever telling them to stay in line or not to go somewhere unsafe. "Boys will be boys", I often thought. One of my campers, Ethan, was super adorable. He's almost four and talked w…

NEVER LEAVE THINGS TILL THE LAST MINUTE.... you will regret it big time

Image
Course Selections... the hellish process of trying to get into all of the courses I need has been sucking the energy and happiness from me all of yesterday and today. I am not being melodramatic either, my stress level over the past 72 hours has been 300% higher than usual.

Because of a glitch in my student account, I wasn't automatically registered for all the courses I needed. So I had to enrol the 7 courses and 2 labs required myself. Trying to fit everything into such a limited time frame was horrendous...

So basically, the lesson is to not leave things till the end , THEN try to fix them. All you'll end up with is hair pulling and frantic pacing, trust me, I know...

But after hours of stalking and trying, as well as multiple e-mails and phone calls, I finally settled most of my schedule for next year. All that's left is the dreaded organic chemistry laboratory which conflicts with my macroeconomics course...

Oh well, I'll just have to keep trying and learn from my…

Saying Goodbye to my Cousins

Image
My cousins have been staying with us for over a week now, and they just left today to go travel around the Toronto Area. This is only the second time that I've been with my youngest cousin Alex. It really is a shame that so many of my relatives are in China, and I don't get to see them as often as I would like. Alex, at 5, still remembers me from when I visited him at his house last year.

It's been wonderful to spend so much time with my family this week. I feel like sometimes we get so caught up in work and our daily lives that we don't get to spend much time with those who matter most.  Family is something that's irreplaceable. Friends can come and go, but family stays forever.

For the past week, Alex and I have been making a great deal of crafts together. He loves superheroes, so we've made a Captain America shield, Batman gun, and Iron Man gloves. My aunt says that he's always excited to see me come home since he loves making crafts with me. I really lo…

Blueberry Picking... and learning some life lessons.

Image
I had a nice day at work today, but was still suffering from a cold on the way home. It was the first time in 5 weeks of camp that no kid in my group cried, yay! However, oh. my. goodness., it does NOT feel like summer right now. I mean, not only is the weather bipolar here in Canada, it's also freezing cold in the end of July!

That aside, I was tired and sick when I got back, but I still decided to go blueberry picking with relatives that had come to visit. When we reached the blueberry farm, we were told to go on one row. The girl who was in charge kept her beady eyes on us and was very strict when we wandered off to pick our berries. Also, admissions made us each pick 2lbs of berries when we went in. Since we had 7 people, that equated to 14 pounds of blueberries we had to pick in total!

So we set off to work, and we'd wander off to pick blueberries from the bushes on the other side when the girl wasn't looking. When she came back, we'd scramble back to where we wer…
Image
Feeling Restless...

It's so sad to think about, but there's only a month of summer left! Sigh* And I'm stuck in that plateau where I want to do work, but I just can't bring myself to move. When it comes to going on the internet I can be quite speedy, but when I'm trying to study for accounting or LSAT's... my body refuses to budge. It's like I'm the little mermaid or something, each attempt to get actual work done seems to cause me pain...

I feel like I've been way too relaxed and lazy in the summer. The constant pressure of work and projects are over, and I've deflated so to speak, academically anyway. So here I am, at my computer, procrastinating work yet again. The whole situation is scaring me just a bit actually, since I'm usually so on top of things. But I think I'm the type of person who needs pressure to get things done, if there's no pressure then nothing gets done.

There's this story in Chinese culture, where a famous s…

Enlightening my 3-5 year olds with Greek Mythology

Image
Enlightening my 3-5 year olds with Greek Mythology. I am an awesome camp counsellor...

So I've worked at my Storybook Gardens for 2 weeks now. (The place has excellent perks by the way, including getting into various attractions for free. Toronto Zoo here I come!) But the main highlight of my work so far has to be teaching my 3-5 year old campers about greek mythology.

It started on Wednesday when I was taking a group of 6 mini camp kids to the washroom in the park by the wade pool where we were spending the day. They were a bit difficult to manage, with some kids miles ahead and others scared to walk by the puddles. So as you can imagine, I had to use all my creative powers to keep my "children" safe and together.

As I was waiting with the kids by the bathroom, I started telling them a story to keep them from wandering. I guess since I really like history and mythology, I started to tell them the story of Daedalus, the labyrinth, the Minotaur, and Theseus's great es…

First Post! Summer so Far ...

Image
It's the 9th of July, meaning that the suffocation of summer heat is at a high. As a mini camp counsellor at London's Storybook Gardens, not only did I suffer due to the temperature, I also had to chase excited 5 year olds around the park while suffering. All in all, it was another stressful yet fulfilling day at work for me :D

This camp counsellor job is what I would count as my first REAL job. I've worked and earned money in the summer before, but not with strict regularity and a responsibility to show up every day. I have to say, now I finally treasure every measly cent I am making. It's only been a week and a day for me so far, but I find that I'm learning so many things at work. Not only do I wake up 3 hours earlier than I would usually do on holiday, I'm also learning to go above and beyond at work. I realized that I'm not at the park sweating away to make money and leave; I truly want the bright kids in my camp to have a good time and thrive on the h…