Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year in Review

Well, its January 1st, 2012.  A New Year.  I think it is appropriate for me to blog about this year, as it was a very important and satisfying year for me.  Also, because I just started with Facebook Timeline, it will be easy for me to see what happened 365 days ago.

January was pretty hectic as I had just received my first camera, the Fujifilm Hs10, and was taking pictures of everything.  If I remember, I had a steady group of friends that I sorta clung onto, which sadly as somewhat drifted away.  In January, I began to follow specific tennis tournaments with my favorite player Novak Djokovic.  I listened to the Australian Open on their online radio whilst follow the scores online.  He won the Australian Open on January 29th 2011 (according to my Facebook Statuses). During school,   I met with a Japanese WWII veteran who was part of the ill-fated kamakazi squadron.  January was also the month when TAS facebookers got hooked onto Family Feud, a game that everyone was addicted on during that time.  Finally at the end of the month, my family and I traveled to our old home in Singapore for Chinese New Year.  There we saw old friends, and ate old foods.

Like I said earlier, we traveled to Singapore where I hung out with old friends.  Mainly Sibonay, one of my oldest friends from Pre-K.  We ate tons of good food in various places in Singapore, including the best buffet in the world, The Equinox at the old Stamford Hotel.  During CNY, we also went to Maxine's house for dinner and some harmless dice gambling.  (Tasha won tons!)  February was also the time when I learned about the Arab Spring.  Articles about Mubarak and tiny debates flooded my Facebook during this time. Mubarak finally steps down in February 11th 2011.  Later in the month, news of Qaddafi also took over my Facebook.  My friends and I once again had mini-debates while sharing links of news articles about the matter.   I also attended, Kendra, Iris, and Emma's birthday party at the ACC.  It was crazy.  Later in February, we had Spirit Week.  That was crazy.  I took tons and tons and tons of pictures of all 5 days of Spirit Week.

March was a scary month for me, and maybe everyone.  March was the month of the huge earthquake in Japan that led to numerous deaths and the nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daichii nuclear power plants. During this time, I became a crazy Facebook poster, giving updates on the things that occurred.  I spammed Facebook with my news updates daily.  Many said it was helpful, many said it was annoying.  On March 11th, 2011, a 8.9 earthquake struck the coast of Japan.  My immediate concern was for my friends at ASIJ.  Once I knew they were fine, I began to truly realize what occurred.  I began to create my updates through CNN, BBC and NHK.  My first Update was about how one of the power plants' cooling system failed.  On that day, I posted about potential tsunami waves in Hawaii, Taiwan and Philippines. I also attempted to insert other news such as the one about the Qaddafi attack on Ras Lanuf, a major oil pipeline.  However, my main concern was that of the earthquake. On Day 1, I reported on the initial death toll figures, the power plant situations, as well as other general information. By Day 2, rescue efforts began, while the status of the Fukushima Daichii Reactors were very volatile. The death toll increased as well as the news about the leak of radioactive gas.  On Day 3, the status of the reactors were still very shaky, while authorities in Japan began testing people for radioactive poisoning.  Supplies from various countries around the world were also being airlifted at the time. By Day 4, a cold front had moved in, so victims and rescuers began to suffer the effects of the cold.  Also the reactors were still very volatile. By Day 5, the death toll rose up to 3,000+, while the Japanese economy began to plummet.  By Day 6, the reactor situation had not been resolved and the death toll rose up to 4000+.  On Day 7, news of exposed fuel rods in one of the reactors was released and the death toll rose up to 5000+. Finally on Day 8, the reactor situation had not been resolved and the death toll rose up to 6000+.  By that time, I grew tired, and officially stopped updating about Japan.  Though by that time, news of Qaddafi began creeping onto Facebook.

In April, I went to my 2nd Cambodia Mission Trip with my Church.  It was a very good trip as many of my classmates went along as well as the fact that we stayed in a hotel this time.  We stayed in 1 place for the whole week, which allowed me to bond with many of the children.  To this day I miss the kids from Battambang, and especially Yong Yort.  During the trip, I ate crickets, frogs, and field mice. Awesome!  In April, I went to my second Taimun Conference as a Human Rights delegate.  This time, I main-submitted a resolution (that barely anyone did), which sadly did not pass.  Though, the experience was quite rewarding in the end. Finally, I was also MSTAIMUN Environmental Chair and Head of Tech once again.

May began with excitement as news of Osama Bin Laden's death flooded Facebook as well.  In May, I went to two birthday parties, one after another.  First Celine's, then Laureen's. May was also the time when our first schedules came out.  They were tentative of course.  Then, towards the end of May, I began to follow the French Open, Roland Garros, with much gusto.  I kept track of the games during my classes, while posting messages on the Roland Garros online radio.  I repeatedly asked radio broadcasters to do shoutouts for the tennis fans in Taiwan.  Towards the end of May, Mr. Bishop's old office in the tech booth, was cleaned out.  Jenn and I went in and tried to take some stuff for our friend Charles, while also visiting the catwalk for the last time before she graduates. Finally, I went into Finals mode and began studying for all my various courses.

School ended on June 1st, and summer officially begin.  On June 3rd, I celebrated my birthday with my friends in Taiwan.  We went to the Waterpark for the 3rd time in a row, and then to ACC. It was a great birthday. Two days later, I went with some of my friends to Miramar Da Zhi to watch a movie and hangout at the arcade also.  That was pretty fun too. We left for the States a couple of days later for the summer.  In the beginning of summer, my family and I went to the East Coast for a college tour.  We started in Boston and drove all the way down to Washington DC. Along the way, we ate tons of good food and tons of good restaurants.  Later we went down to Florida, where we went to 4 different Disney parks and 2 different Universal Studios parks.  It was awesome.  It was a very good experience as we had a book that gave us all the different strategies in going to the parks, such as how to beat lines, when we should go and where we should go and eat.  We also went to the Wonderful Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a mini Harry Potter land within one of the parks.  It was pretty cool as there were shops to buy wands and other various paraphernalia.  On June 28th, I officially turned 16, and celebrated my birthday again, in the States.  Once we came back from Florida, I was enrolled in a 6-week SAT Cram class.  It was terrible. However, I did learn alot in those classes.  In the afternoons, I coached Tennis at our local Country Club.

July was a very calming month as I went into a routine, where I would wake up, go to class, come back and coach, go home do homework. The cycle would go on and on.  However, I did find time to do other things such as go Indoor Skydiving with my friends and my brother, as well as go White Water Rafting with my family.  That was scary, because during the ride, our boat flipped over in the middle of a rapid.  Towards the end of the month, Pottermore went Beta.

Because of MCC's renovations, there was no Moraga Open this year which was very disheartening.  In August, I went back a day early to go to the Peer Support Orientation, as well as hanging out with my friends.  We went to the beach which was pretty fun.  Junior year began on August 10th.  In August, I also joined our Youth Group's worship team.  That was pretty nice, as I felt that I had gotten closer to God with the worship team.   August, felt like a very chill month, even the school began.

September was a pretty fun month, as everything soon fell into routine once again.  I went to Emily's birthday party in September, while I continued to survive in school.  On September 11th, I pulled an all-nighter watching the US Open Semi-Finals match between Federer and Djokovic.  The match was very good, one of the best I've watched.  Then on the 13th, I pulled another all-nighter watching the US Open Finals match between Djokovic and Nadal.  This match was not as good as the Federer/Djokovic match, but it was still pretty good.  On September 24th, Field Day happened, which meant more pictures.  I took 2802 pictures in one day.  It was pretty crazy.

In the beginning of October, my brother and I went to watch the Nadal and Ferrer Exhibition Match. It wasn't very exciting because the game was rigged and such.  In October, Mawi Asgedom came to visit our school.  He was a very inspiring speaker and was one of the best people I have heard.  Later, I became part of the Much Ado About Nothing tech team, working with the new tech teacher Mr. Held.  I was once again, backstage manager.  On October 20th, I learned that Qaddafi was killed in Libya.  I also learned, on October 21st, that I would be part of an MUN team going to Singapore.  My application for Head Chair was accepted.  That was awesome. On October 23rd, I was at our cast party, when someone knocked my camera into the pool.  It died.  But was resurrected later. On October 29th, the worship team performed at the PTA International Food Fair, which was pretty cool.  I also volunteered to help with one of the clubs getting creamed in the face with shaving cream.

November was a month of anticipation.  Our Youth Group finally had our first Youth Retreat in two years.  It was so much fun!  The Dance Production was also in this month, as well as the release of the 4th Inheritance Book by Christopher Paolini.  It was a very good read, though the ending was very disappointing.

In the beginning of December, the main concern was exams.  In December, Serena and I also DJ'd the middle school Candlelight, the middle school winter formal.  On December 8th, I found out that my application for a leadership position in MS TAIMUN was accepted and I was the Deputy Secretary General.  After exams, on December 15th, I attended our winter formal, Frolic.  It wasn't very exciting, but still quite fun.  Afterwards, winter break began, and most of our family came back and spent a couple of days in Taiwan.  The cousins did stuff like, eat at Momo's, go ice skating, bowling, lazer tag, and a lot of other stuff.  Finally the month ended on New Year's Eve.

This year, was a very good year, as there was a balance of both hardship and accomplishment.  I would definitely say that this year was very very fun, and I am eager to see what 2012 has for me.  

Swan Lake

Wow, I've been meaning to do this post for a long time....

Anyhow, this year's dance production was pretty awesome.  I was one of the lead techies doing Swan Lake.  I ran the board along side TC Tasha Ing and FX Jake Cooper.  I had an awesome time being in the booth after 2 years and I'm glad to say that I haven't lost my touch.  My favorite scene in the dance production would definitely be when Odelle is captured by the Rothbarts.  I really loved doing that scene because it just looked really epic when it was done perfect.

Sigh...Next Year's tech will be awesome!