Tag Archives: IB

Limbo

29 Jul

I have a feeling that this is going to be a post that I have already written before. 

What is becoming increasingly obvious to me is the fact that I no longer feel comfortable about my abilities (or rather, self-perceived abilities). Before grades were all that important, I got above-average results and got along with most of the people I had to get along with. When grades became important, I aced everything and skipped a grade. And all this time I had my best buddy with me, so social life was not of any concern. When she left, I still got more-than-decent grades in my IGCSEs, but needed friends I could really ‘click’ with. In some ways this is still an issue.

Anyway. I hate writing really personal stuff because it makes me feel all insecure and vulnerable and shit, so yeah. I went into bouts of depression and started thinking a lot about lots of things. I couldn’t really find someone to debate with me, so I started to debate with myself. This is healthy (well the debating and introspection at least), but only to a certain extent. Together with the depression and whatnot I created some sort of cynical, disembodied voice in my head that would offer me a “third person perspective” and lots of discouragement.

Yes I failed to cut the crap, I just write a lot mmkay just deal with it!

So. Remember when I said that I feel like I’m failing at everything? Everything being 1) academics, 2) social comfort.

1. I have the reputation of “best student”, or some shit like that because of my IGCSE grades, and one thing I have to say about the IB is that IT IS ON A WHOLE ‘NOTHER LEVEL. My grades are shitty and average. In comparison to my past achievements, they are a failure. I can just sense the disappointment from my teachers (and it is there, also, from myself). I no longer think that I can write well (why did I ever think that anyway) and for the first time, I’m beginning to wonder if even my best efforts wouldn’t be sufficient (yes weird sentence I know, shush). And that is scary as hell, because the only confidence in myself that I used to have was that if I really, really wanted to do something and managed to put TRUE EFFORT into it, I would succeed no problem. Am rethinking that. 

2. The voice in my head is interfering with my relationships. With anyone, really. Because I unconsciously try to think about all the different ‘sides’ to situations, I also identify how I could appear really out of place or interruptive…which does no good at all to my ego and makes me want to just leave and stay in my room. In some conversations I would just notice that the group of people seemed pretty happy without my input, so why should I stay and possibly intrude? As a result of that I come off as sort of passive-aggressive to friends and family :/ At the same time I am painfully self-conscious of what I do and say. Anything I say that could be / is stupid or incorrect in any way? I jump to point it out and to correct it. The correction isn’t usually much better and usually I just end up in a cringe-worthy cycle.

…Also that may be why I try to explain my thoughts and downplay them and insult my own ideas and all that shit. Just in case I say anything wrong or stupid or biased or ignorant or anything like that. Even on this blog, I do this.

Yeah and now to prove the point, why the hell did I name this Limbo anyway? Is this any kind of limbo? Between two failures, maybe. 

All I can really say for now is that this definitely isn’t one of them good phases of life. I think I made many wrong choices along the way and I’m in a really bad place (mentally too). I see the same problems coming up in different situations and places and it only means that the problem is within me and not a product of the environment! Now all I have to do is change it.

Easier said than done.

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Panicky

27 Jul

Called friend in Shanghai today and the subject of homework was inevitable. Am thinking about all the things I should have done and should be doing right now and I am sort of panicking. As a matter of fact I failed to sleep on the bus because I was thinking about my essays that are due by September and that I have not yet even started. This is bad.

Frankly I am very tempted to continue ignoring their existence for the rest of my stay in America. This however is obviously one of the worst solutions I could ever decide to implement. 

I am going to make my third redraft of my Personal Statement now and hopefully think up one or two topics to use for my World Literature essays (2x), and maybe even write the structure.

Bleak. Bleak. I have still a 4000 word draft of a research essay on top of that.

I should not have ignored it so far. I have been enjoying myself too much these weeks. America is everything and more than I had ever thought it would be. I am having one of my best holidays in my life.

Good things don’t last forever. Bit by bit, I shall have to make my way back into the world of reality, competition, college applications and IB.

Summertime.

6 Jul

The title totally reminds myself of the song “In the Summertime”, of which artist’s name I forgot.

What can I say? This is the summer between two years of IB and seriously, there’s not much in terms of major rest and relaxation. Lots of essays, preparation for college–that sounds more like it! Which is sort of a shame, because I’ve only grown fond of holidays during recent years. The exciting thing about this summer, though, is the fact that I’ll be going to America for the first time in many years! 

Nevermind the fact that it’s partially for touring colleges and attending classes. It’s going to be fun anyway. Or at least I hope! Because I’m going to be with a group, like as in a summer program, it would totally suck if I couldn’t get along with the people there. Which I hope won’t happen. If it does, I guess I’ll just call people all the time and write/blog a lot.

(That sounds inviting.) But you get my gist!

So I guess this is turning into a “My Summer Plans” type of post. Oh well, I never seem to know what I want to write beforehand anyway. 

Summer program and touring aside, hopefully I’ll also get to meet an old friend! Who is sort of a sister-from-another-mother. So that should be a major highlight.  

( And all that aside I have a 4000 word draft, two English essays, an Art project and lots of late Bus.Man assignments that I have to hand in by the end of August. Am not happy about this: I leave in less than 10 days and have another 10 days after I get back from America to do this. More or less! )

IB aside, I really need to get my plans straight. I don’t really know which colleges I want to go to or what I want to study, and this is among the many things that I would like to find out this summer. I can’t prepare myself for what I don’t know will happen, so here’s hoping to getting that sorted out. Oh, and my personal statement. I need to get over my aversion to writing personal, emotional things in order to get that done. I find myself trying to hold back as much information as possible and seriously, I think I would feel a lot more comfortable writing someone else’s personal statement. I don’t like the feeling of having my thoughts and emotions on paper for anyone to see and laugh at.

Or having my emotions anywhere, really. 

But that’s growing up for you? Suck it up, that’s what I’ll have to do, just like all the people before me did and like all the people after me will have to do. 

Crossing my fingers and hoping for the best. Hope y’all have a great summer too. 

B is for Biology.

7 Jun

Biology Revision

In this pdf document is most of the material I learned this academic year in IB HL Biology, arranged into a revision sheet. Why did I do this? I had my Biology final exam today (IB first year) so I had to do some revising. 

The only topics I didn’t cover were ecology, some of genetics and evolution. 

And all in all the revision was pretty effective.

…I think. 😛

September; School; …sigh.

8 Sep

Okay, am conforming to the trend. After all, it’s September–no better time to rant and bitch about the beginning of school.

Actually, I don’t really think school’s that bad. But I’m a teenager, and teenagers gotta do what they gotta do–complain, that is. I want to start off by complaining that our school year started two days early; 30th August, but I guess I also have to admit that there are other schools who started even earlier–by a week.

But that aside, I don’t really mind going to school that much. The social clusterfucks and the shortass lunch breaks piss me off sometimes (I hardly eat lunch now as a result, plus the lunch sort of sucks), but I find most of my classes genuinely interesting. Wow. What? Classes, interesting? You must be from outer space! …Yes, I find the math interesting, and the English, and the Theory Of Knowledge, and especially Business Studies–something that I had never studied before. Unlike last year, we only have 6 subjects , and I have yet to find any of them exceptionally tedious.

Did I mention that I’m doing the IB? That’s the reason for the 6 subjects. Most people choose to take 3 Standard Level courses and 3 Higher Level ones, but you’re allowed to take 4 HLs.

Oh yeah, and uniforms. I have to admit that my school actually has okay uniforms compared to what I’ve seen. It isn’t the best, but I guess it’ll suffice. It’s a white buttoned shirt, a tie/bow tie that matches with the skirt, dark red checkeredish skirt/dark blue pants, and whatever shoes you can get away with wearing.

To my teachers’ credit and my own surprise, there hasn’t been much homework lately. I’ve been able to stay ahead of the homework, which means that I even have some free time on my hands. Somehow, I can never concentrate well at home–so I usually head for the coffee/donut place right beside my house after school to get the work done. When I’m not procrastinating, wasting time or doing homework, I’m either reading, going on the Internet, writing or drawing. Yes, I finally picked up drawing again. Three months is too long a break from a hobby. Although they sort of suck, I’m crediting it to my atrocious lack of practice, and that excuse can stand for a little while longer I suppose.

Nothing interesting has happened lately (contrary to those of you living your lives in college). Everything’s pretty cool, we have the same people for most of the classes here (mix-n-match within the year group), and all the new teachers are pretty chill. Soon I’ll have to start with my magazine again and also join the yearbook team–not to mention begin the CAS hours community service stuff, so maybe I’ll find something to write about then.

I’m sorry that this post is such a bore. I wanted to write something interesting and witty about the start of school, but I don’t feel as strongly about it as I feel I should and I just can’t think of anything interesting. Nothing’s interesting when you’re in a routine and used to it. I just learned about “stream-of-consciousness” writing lately and maybe this counts as it.

Maybe feeling so laid-backish isn’t such a great thing after all.

Meh.

Respect? What’s that

7 Sep

This is actually a speech I had to make on the first Flagraising Ceremony. So bear with me, please.

******

The last day of school is still fresh in our minds, and yet here we are again embracing another brand new school year. Hopefully, the summer has been as productive as it had been relaxing, and everyone is refreshed and ready for another year of diligence!

Perhaps some of us may find ourselves unused to campus life after so long. Back in school surrounded by peers and teachers, we need to respect and understand each other in spite of our differences. This is where we must learn to co-operate with people different from ourselves—people who are from different parts of the world, people who speak different languages, people who hold different beliefs and also people who have different opinions. This is what sets us International schools apart from the localized ones: we are surrounded by all sorts of people who have all sorts of backgrounds. What we can learn from this opportunity is how to be with people who may not always share our views.

We must strive to understand each other by putting ourselves in their shoes and appreciating the way and the reason for which they think and behave. The word “understand” is made of the terms “under” and “stand”, and in this context it refers to the inner values that they stand by. But before we can do this, we must first appreciate and acknowledge one another’s differences by respecting them.

As some of you may have already guessed, my topic today is about respect. This subject does come up very often indeed, but perhaps we don’t really understand it as much as we think we do. Respect, unfortunately, is nowadays easily confused with deference because of its context, and although they are similar in a way, they are entirely different things. For the majority of us, the word “respect” is most often associated with guardians, teachers, and the like. While its meaning may overlap some with that of the word ‘deference’, it is much simpler and easier done. In short, being respectful does not necessarily mean being deferential. To be respectful is to be attentive, to allow dignity, or to hold a positive feeling of esteem for someone or something. It means being appreciative of other people’s differences and being civil. And this is the very least that we should do to one another. As we all know, basic signs of respecting someone include listening when they speak, taking their opinions seriously, not insulting them or their beliefs, and not being violent.

We also need to be aware of the fact that showing respect is more of a statement about ourselves rather than about those whom we show it to. By keeping in mind the rather overused yet undoubtedly wise statement, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, we can together create and uphold a harmonious, friendly environment to study and grow up in.

Thank you for your attention.

******

I was asked to give a speech on the first Flagraising Ceremony of the semester, about Respect and Understanding. This is such an overdone topic that I’m pretty sure that only 1-2% actually listened to my speech, but to my credit I did try to make it less tedious and less…traditional, I guess. I dislike the kind of motivational speech that is made up of little more than empty words.

So instead, I tried to explore what “respect” really meant, literally, as well as our misinterpretations of it. Perhaps I am wrong. And it’s more than likely that my arguments are horrifyingly underdeveloped, but this is a start-of-term speech, after all. I risked turning it into an argumentative essay already.

Anyway. I’ve been sleeping for little more than (perhaps even less than) 6 hours each night for three days now, and now I sort of can’t think properly. Thank god there hasn’t been much homework lately. 

Every time I try to type “homework”, I end up tying “Homestuck” instead. Bluh bluh bluh.

Alright, Imma retire to bed. Hey look, it’s only midnight. Guess I’m early today.

Another Beginning, albeit a rather depressing one

29 Aug

Today was Orientation Day, in which we went back to school, hung around for a bit, listened (spaced out) to the headmaster’s speech, and then retreated to our form groups to do basically nothing. Okay, this is the deal: I experienced none of the following emotions: nervousness, excitement, happiness, and nor was I relieved. Of course, there are far more emotions that I did not experience today, but I digress.

I’m wondering if I’m the only one who felt sort of cynical about this. I don’t if cynical is even the right word. So, another school year. So what? Admittedly, I’m looking forward to some of my new teachers and classes (and of course dreading others), but in general I’m pretty “meh” about it. Either it’s because my think pan (Homestuck reference) is completely bursting with Homestuck and therefore has no more space for anything else, or it’s simply because I had a rad time (week?) with my Friend (yes, capital letter F) last week and can’t really deal with the fact that I’m going to be drowning in non-rad times once more. So that means no more hysterical laughter, no more Homestuck shipping debates, etc, etc. And no more 4-a.m. sneaking out of the house.

Yeah, jeez, I hate being on opposite sides of the fucking globe.

The new kids don’t look as if they’re my kind of person. No webcomic-reading, no reading in general, bluh bluh. As a matter of fact, hardly anyone is, really. I guess I’ll just deal with the Homestuck love on my own for now and hope that something awesome happens later.

Whatever it was that I had been expecting, it was not this generally laid-back feeling. I’d imagined that I would be at least a little more excited, a little more upbeat. Instead I snarked at everyone and then took a nap while listening to Homestuck tracks. Because, really, school’s nothing much anymore. I have no idea why I think this, but maybe it’s because of the office job. Or maybe it’s just my ego. Maybe I caught sight of what was at the end of the tunnel and decided that I was unimpressed, and so decided that the journey wasn’t that worth it either.

It doesn’t change the fact that I bought those awesome new notebooks, though. I’m psyched about finally putting them to use.

Starting tomorrow, it’s schooldays. No more Homestuck-reading or whatever. Not even people to talk about it with. No more deciding what I want to do and when, because everything’s planned out already. And I’ll have to deal with the pointless outings that generally leave me even more depressed than I had been before, but go on with my classmates anyway. I have no idea (actually, a pretty good idea) why I’m so pessimistic about this, but all of it’s true. Maybe I’ll stick to hanging around in the library during lunchtimes this year, where I can do what I want.

I wish there were more people in my class that I could genuinely call my friends. “Friends”, by my definition, not theirs. Sadly though there are incredibly few, and we don’t really hang with each other much.

This is probably why people should always have good friends handy. Jeez.

This sounds all so depressing, I’ll just go and read more Homestuck.

I also have a feeling that if anyone at all can go through with reading Homestuck like I tell them to–and find it as enjoyable as I (we) do, I will have found a friend in them.

I doubt anyone will. Perhaps this is just the way of life.

In the end, you’re always alone.

Why did Orientation make me write this. Jeez.

Also, if you’re in my class and feel offended, then don’t be. This is my blog and I’m entitled to writing whatever I want to. I’m sorry if I implied anything. But not really sorry. So sorry for that.

Word Salad.

24 Aug

BECAUSE IT IS AWESOME, yo.

I never thought I’d say this about the Shanghainese weather, which is typically warm and humid and generally terrible, but it’s been awesome lately. It actually is cooler outside than it is inside–a feat I had previously imagined impossible. Last summer pretty much rendered Shanghai this huge cooker, with the sun beating down on us every single day and also not to mention no cool breeze. Uh, you get the point. Last year = lameass fiery weather, and This year = nice cool breezy weather. And yes, it deserves this paragraph. I walk out of my apartment every day and literally smile because it’s so awesome. See? Low expectations, high levels of satisfaction. Anyway, am hoping that it will last. IT HAS TO.

That aside, I’m preparing for the upcoming school year (IB) by buying a shitload of awesome notebooks and other stationery I don’t even need. Shush, it’s like, my “thing”. Stationery-buying should be a viable pastime. I’ll give away what I don’t need later if I have to, but god knows that I’ll probably keep them in a drawer somewhere and forget. While other people collect clothes and the like, I collect stationery. And mugs and bags, but–

Another cause for celebration (actually, pretty much the only one) is the fact that the editor of the magazine I volunteered to write for emailed me back after a two-month break. It’s a magazine (English, of course) that gives information and advice about international schools in Shanghai, so I suppose it takes summer breaks, too. I have my first writing assignment–to write about my plans/goal for the upcoming school year and how I’m going to go through with them, which means that I’ll have to brainstorm and then bullshit it (sorry if you’re reading this…please, don’t be reading this). According to Harry Frankfurt, bullshit is something that is completely disregards the truth but may not necessarily be false…so that would be it. To be honest, though, I sort of look forward to the whole job. Bullshitting is simply part of it. 

I just realized that I’ve been really unproductive lately. I haven’t been blogging properly, haven’t been playing much piano, haven’t been doing much SAT, haven’t been–yes. But that’s the entire point of the summer holidays, so I might as well enjoy this preposterous time-wasting while I have the luxury to. Bluh.

…And there’s this sort-of-cute dude in this donut shop near my house who may or may not know my name but uh greets me upon meeting so I guess that’s a good thing and this is a disgusting run-on sentence so I shall terminate it immediately.

I envy you folks who are in college, yo. And y’all who actually manage to post coherently.

Unlike, well, me.