27 Jan

People often think of cheerleading as some cute girly sport. Truth is, it’s not.

It’s like football, a sport that deals with collision and requires physical and mental strength. This year is my first year on the varsity squad, which means that I will be competing against much more skilled cheerleaders from other KAIAC schools. Our competition is coming up in about 17 days, and people are getting seriously injured. The problem is, our strongest tumblers and bases and backspots have either broken their arm, nose, ankle, or have a really bad cold (I myself missed school because I was sick). We really can’t afford to lose any more people; we’ve already been changing the routines and canceling away games in order to practice until six o’clock.

Last year, our varsity squad placed third out of ten schools – a record for the history of cheerleading in our school. Our varsity squad was synchronized, determined, and was definitely a winsome team. We have even stronger people in our squad this year who are capable of letting that happen again. But how are we to accomplish that if everyone is getting hurt? The coach seems to expect a lot this year, but I can’t help myself from thinking that other coaches are just as hungry and the some squads are doing better than we thought they would.

I’m dead tired..went to bed at 3:30 in the morning, and yet another 3-hour-long practice awaits me. Still, I can’t lose motivation – after all, we are cheerleaders.


Opening the Gates to THIMUN Singapore

30 Dec

I wrote these blog posts when I was in Singapore, but for some reason they didn’t get published on November 22nd. I’ll be uploading part 2 shortly – enjoy!

As you may have guessed from the title, yes, I am currently writing this post on my hotel room bed in Singapore! Most of my friends are here as delegates of the annual THIMUN-Singapore conference, but I came as a reporter of the daily MUNITY-East newspaper that the press team publishes. I am the only sophomore from my school, and there is only one other sophomore reporter I met. I’m excited because this is my first time going on an overseas trip in high school! I’ve had a lot of fun – maybe too much – over the past few days that I’m getting a little worried about the make-up work waiting for me. Below is an overview of what we have been doing here.


When you’re waiting to go to Singapore, time can’t go any slower in school. Each minute feels like an hour. When lunch time finally came, we received our black hoodies and grabbed our suitcases (Note to self: Don’t pack your suitcase the day before a trip – never helps.) and gladly departed school for the Incheon International Airport.

After going through the boarding procedures, my friends and I grabbed a quick snack from Dunkin’ Donuts and anxiously chattered about the trip. The plane ride was indeed a long 6-hour ride, throughout which I didn’t get a single minute of sleep. The first thing I noticed about Singapore was the humidity – there was a somewhat familiar scent to it, perhaps because I had been accustomed to the heat in Hong Kong. Another thing I noticed was the amazing night view. When we got on the bus to go to Link Hotel, we passed by the world’s largest Ferris wheel and some of the tallest buildings in the country.

Jenny and I had the largest hotel room, but ours was at the very end of the hall, located on the exact opposite side of the elevator. Although it was a pain to walk all the way back and forth, it was bearable – after all, the room was much larger than other rooms.


I don’t know how she does it, but Jenny always manages to get up before seven o’clock. I can go on sleeping until eleven; the only reason I was never late was all because of her. We got dressed in our formal clothes and prepared ourselves for the first day at the Hwa Chong Institution. The Hwa Chong Institution is an enormous high school; in fact, one of the administrators later told me that it is the largest school in Singapore (which explains why it took me 20 minutes to go to the cafeteria), and proudly added that the first elected president was a graduate from Hwa Chong. We received our name tags and went to our designated rooms, which, in my case, was the press room located on the second floor.

Mr. Longbotham briefly introduced himself and gave us a quick pep talk. We then quickly started on our first assignments. My topic was about the cultural mix in this conference. It wasn’t hard to notice the diversity in this conference. Everyone could see at a glance that the numerous delegates were from many different backgrounds. However, I wasn’t sure of how to start writing. In yearbook class, I use interviews as my main source of information and a little bit of personal insights on observations. How was I supposed to just take some strangers out of this gigantic conference and start interviewing them? The deadline was eleven o’clock, so it gave me a solid two hours to write. Thankfully, the editors were kind enough to understand and teach me how to pass a note to the chair requesting to excuse some delegates. Jessica and I bumped into each other and both headed to General Assembly 2, where I interviewed an Indian girl named Britika from Beijing. I was amazed to see how intelligent these delegates were, and I could feel the intensity in the air for the first time. Jessica and I interviewed two more people and headed back to the press room to start writing.

The press team ensures that quality articles get published; every article went through two editors and an advisor. Thus, I had to edit the same piece of writing three times. I also had to work with a layout designer and photographer for the article. My photographer could get the pictures of the people on his own, but my layout designer had to be informed of the format, the word count, and the style that I wanted. I was impressed at how everyone in the small press room was motivated to work and stay on task, with not a single person fooling around. At the end of the first long day in the press room, the perfect article was finally published.

Catching Up

26 Dec

Okay, I know that I promised to upload entries regularly …and yes, I failed.

So much has been going on since I updated this blog – THIMUN Singapore (I swear I remember uploading the entry for this…gotta dig through my drafts), Halloween Social, winter season, finals, Christmas…. I’ve been struggling to keep my blog up-to-date amid my preparations for finals and endless basketball games. An addition to my new year resolutions list: Blog consistently!

With that said, the holiday season is finally here! This week seems like the longest week since finals week: I went on a vacation to Japan (pictures will be uploaded shortly!) from Monday to Wednesday, shopped for gifts and read books for the Battle of the Books on Thursday, went over to a relative’s house for a Christmas family dinner, and spent the whole day yesterday meeting up with all my friends.

One of the reasons I also love the holiday season is because it’s the time of the year when everybody starts coming back home. Currently, I’m waiting in my living room for some of my mom’s friends to arrive for another crazy night – I’ll be hanging out (again) with a friend from Canada and maybe show her around Gangnam station and Coex Mall. I still have a list of people to meet up with from abroad – friends from Hong Kong, relatives from Canada, last year’s seniors attending college in the States, and more.

Hopefully, starting tomorrow, I’ll start whittling down my to-do list more efficiently and get prepared for school. After all, time does fly by quickly. But at least for now, I’ll have some fun to conclude this week.

How have you been spending your Christmas?

Image via flickr

Back to Blogging

18 Oct

Dear blog,

I know I haven’t written on you for a very long time…I’ve been feeling guilty about you lately because I basically abandoned you over the summer (but I got over 400 more hits since I last checked –  interesting). Please remember that I haven’t forgotten about you and will make sure I keep up from this year on, blogging with enthusiasm rather than out of obligation because I really do enjoy blogging. I hope you understand!

With that said, blogging season is back! I’m determined to fill you in with updates of what I’ve been doing and share pieces of my day-to-day life (constantly expressing my passionate love for coffee, of course!).

Cheerleading Tryouts

28 May

I’m currently writing this blog post at my friend Christine‘s kitchen counter with her dog, Winkie, lying on my feet and chewing on the MacBook charger. Despite the fact that today is Friday (the day we all live for all week), we’re both very nervous right now because the cheerleading tryouts are tomorrow! Christine and I were in the Junior Varsity squad this year, so this year’s tryout will be the deciding factor between JV and Varsity. AHH I’m so stressed out right now – what if all of my friends get into Varsity and I get left behind in JV? (Ew. Winkie’s licking on my ankle now.) I have so many concerns at the moment, but I decided that practicing with a friend would be less freakier than having nightmares about it.

We ran through the tryout dance and cheer at least 10 times, and our individual cheer about 5 times. I’ll upload pictures and videos soon – unfortunately, WordPress has some errors occurring at the moment. In the meantime, check out Christine’s blog for pictures and details and wish us luck everyone! 🙂

Thank you Christine, for calming me down!

Coffee Bean at Starbucks?

22 May

Since it was a public holiday yesterday, I was determined to use my time efficiently to get started on the piles and piles of school work. This was how my morning went:

1. 8:13 am: Wake up and go back to sleep.
2. 9:00 am: Wake up and stagger to the bathroom and wash face.
3. 9:11 am: Grab some cereal and milk.
4. 9:23 am: Eat breakfast and reply to wall posts on Facebook.
5. 9:37 am: Go back to sleep.
6. 10:13 am: Irene wakes me up and asks if we can go to Bel La Beans Coffee (uh oh, I’ve made my sister addicted to coffee!). Coldly refuse and continue sleeping.
7. 11:02 am: Wake up and stagger to the bathroom and wash face.
8. 11:10 am: Eat Chinese food for lunch.
9. 11:46 am: Brush my teeth and take a shower.
10. 12:06 pm: Work on English project.
11. 1:20 pm: Take a nap.
12. 2:30 pm: Dad wakes me up and asks if we can play Scrabble. Coldly refuse and continue sleeping.

At this point, I started feeling guilty about taking all this time for granted, so I decided to go to Starbucks with my dad since I haven’t been there for a long time and I needed to go someplace where I wouldn’t fall asleep. For the fifth time.

Around 4 o’clock, we each grabbed our backpacks full of work and a pair of sunglasses to walk to Starbucks. Unfortunately, all the seats were taken, but since Gangnam has a lot of cafes, we started walking to another nearby Starbucks. Apparently, the nearby Starbucks was replaced by Tully’s coffee. We decided to try it out and went into the place. For one thing, nobody was in there, and I could see why: it was hot in there, despite the heat outside. We immediately left and thought of going to Paris Baguette, but I spotted another Starbucks across the street and decided to go in there first. The sofa seats were all taken, so we went out again and went to the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

Finally! Coffee Bean wasn’t crowded and had comfortable seats, so I ordered a vanilla latte in a mug and took out my Mac to get to work. Wait a sec – what’s this? Server not found? Dad, can you ask what their wireless internet server is? What? They don’t have wireless internet connection here?
For about a minute, my dad and I panicked because a wireless internet service was absolutely necessary to do my work for hours and hours. My dad suggested taking the coffee from Coffee Bean to Starbucks – it’d be a little mean, but if the Starbucks staff gave us “the look”, we could buy a slice of cake or something. Besides, there were so many people at Starbucks; they wouldn’t notice because we’d be hiding in the corner. 🙂 Phew. Problem solved.

WAIT. I ordered my vanilla latte in a mug! My heroic dad once again rushed up to the lady and asked her for a regular paper coffee cup. Phew. Problem really solved. Hiding our coffee cups from Coffee Bean, we carefully entered Starbucks and settled in a corner near the sofa seats, so we’d be able to grab it as soon as somebody stood up to leave. Perfect!

We managed to not get caught, and did eventually occupy a sofa seat. Yes, we were drinking Coffee Bean coffee at Starbucks – rebellious! 😀 I felt so bad when the staff greeted, “Thank you, come again!” as we left – my dad and I agreed not to do that again. Unless it was absolutely necessary. But hey, I have to admit: it was fun.

I hadn’t been able to spend much time with my dad because we were both busy – my dad recently came back from a business trip from Hong Kong, and I was kept busy with schoolwork this week. I’m so thankful I finally had some time to hang out with my dad. It was indeed a crazy, fun day!

↑ Haha I’m such a poser.
↓ Who do you think I got those genes from?

Thanks Dad, you’re awesome!

Writer’s Block

19 May

Hello there.

How awkward. I never start my blog entries with formal greetings. I’m always eager to start typing away; my only worry is that I’ll forget what I wanted to say as millions of thoughts zoom by my mind, but I end up writing more than I planned to in the first place.

This is so weird. I have absolutely nothing to write about. I tried writing about the yearbook, which I am definitely excited about because it’ll finally be in my hands next week after a whole year’s work put into it, but apparently, I’m not excited enough to write on and on about it. I also tried writing about being under pressure; lately, I’ve been under quite a lot of pressure, but I suppose I wasn’t too annoyed by it, seeing that I don’t have much to write about it either. I clicked the “New Post” button and ended up clicking the “Save Draft” button after 15 minutes about 6 times this morning – in geometry class, Chinese class, reading block, and right now during lunch.

I’m running desperate by the day.
Yesterday, I made a brief list of possible blog topics:
– Yearbook
– China Town
– DMZ trip
– Pressure
– Facebook
– Parents
– Stream of consciousness
– Cheerleading

But no, none of these actually make me want to write. Instead, this list rushes me; I feel like I have to write because I will be getting graded on it. I need a source of excitement. And it’s not like there’s not much happening in my life. In fact, I have so many things going on; I spent last weekend volunteering at an animal shelter (where Yeayoung got bitten by a dog!), my parents both are in Hong Kong right now (my mom will be coming home tonight!), our school had an award ceremony yesterday (two of my best friends received the Founder’s Scholarship!), I have two field trips scheduled this week and next week, three tests on Monday, three projects due in less than a week, and…so much more.

At least I’ll be publishing something. At least this blog entry will prevent a wide gap between my posts. I’m sorry this post is so long and boring. As corny as it sounds, I just want to write about something that comes from the heart.

Just one of those days, huh?