2013 in review

2013 was a good year.

I got to spend more time with my classmates. I did pretty well in my academics. I did something a little extra with my time by helping out with Project Esperenza, which allows me to tutor younger kids. I watched more movies and television shows. I managed my time much better. 2013 was also a year of many firsts. In 2013, it was my first time acting, albeit a rather weak one in drama class (or should I call it “not-acting-but-more-like-reciting-lines”). In 2013, it was my first time directing a play, though I had lots of help with all my classmates. It was definitely a class effort. In 2013, it was my first time riding a horse. It was my first time playing golf. It was my first time riding a jet boat.

To end off this year, I decided to do a little summary of one of my happiest moments this year: my vacation in New Zealand. Here are Instagram-inspired collages of my iPhone shot.

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Top (from left to right): my airplane stopping at Melbourne for a transition; Fernhill, Queenstown, NZ; outside the supermarket at Remarkables, Queenstown, NZ
Middle: the lake in Queenstown, NZ, from my balcony’s view; first sunset in NZ; first jetboating experience at Shotover Bridge
Bottom: a lovely quaint café at Arrowtown, NZ; an old storefront; an old, deserted town

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Top (from left to right): simply love the never ending roads I see as we travel from town to town; a shed selling honey that is based on honesty; inside a fruit store
Middle: by the road outside the fruit store (finally got to take a picture like this that I always see on tumblr!); rainbow that I was fortunate to see on my first few days in Queenstown; paragliders with Queenstown as the background
Bottom: the Salvation Army’s store in Queenstown where I got two books really cheap; in the maze at Puzzling World; puzzles in Puzzling World

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Top (from left to right): Fox Glacier, NZ; light ray at Fox Glacier; double rainbows at Fox Glaciers
Middle: Kea (which we illegally fed); feeding this really cute and greedy goat; trees at Uncle’s farm
Bottom: pulling out radishes at Uncle’s farm; lots and lots of flowers at the farm; sheep and lambs (mehh)

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Top (from left to right): by the sea picking rocks; picture of my sneakers and rocks by the rapids; cheeky little parade that likes to show off
Middle: one of the many mountains; at the beautiful golf course; at the pier at Queenstown, NZ
Top: at town, Queenstown, NZ; one-legged seabird that posed for us; at town, Queenstown, NZ

Of course, not forgetting all the food photographs I took:

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Top (from left to right): coffee at the airport at Melbourne, Australia; pasta at Arrowtown, NZ; the famous Fergburger at Queenstown, NZ
2nd row: soup, salad and ribs at this lovely vintage restaurant at Fox Glacier, NZ; hokey pokey ice cream while on the road; a cappuccino at a café during one of our breaks
3rd row: breakfast at the farm; hokey pokey ice cream again at this cute store; salmon at a pub in Queenstown, NZ
4th row: cappuccino at the salmon farm; Asian food to our relief (and it was really good because of the Indonesian/Asian chefs!); my birthday cake (celebrated my birthday overseas for the 3rd time!)

I still have many regrets: not paragliding, not taking a picture of the gorgeous sunset on the plane, not being daring and asking the ballet dancers their name, not bringing my camera and taking photographs of the dancers, not taking pictures with LY. But I also had many good memories: performing with my CCA for Chinese New Year, BSE, DramaFest, participating in IvP, performing with my CCA with the dance school, helping out with LeAP, just to name a few.

I hope that 2014 will be as brilliant as this year, and that I may make more friends, do well in school, improve on my photography, try to do as many thing as I can and strive to do the best that I can. And I hope that whoever who’s reading this, may 2014 be an amazing year for you as well.

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write an interesting one.”

— unknown

2013 in review

Thoughts on Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

Happy 2013!
So if you paid attention to my blog, you’ll realize that I have updated my Books To Read list. My book genre preferences have expanded, and now I’m no longer solely interested in fiction, but also in nonfiction books such as memoirs and self-enrichment books. I have managed to surprise myself, but I’m pleased with the new selection of books.

On my list is this must-read book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua, who writes about her parents disciplining her and how she disciplines her daughters. I must admit some of her methods are a little extreme (from what I’ve heard of; I’m still on Chapter Four) but her methods and her daughters’ successes make me feel lazy and unaccomplished. Which is why, I’m going to change for the better! (Hai-yah!)
Here are some of the rules I’m setting myself to improve and discipline myself (and probably will keep adding some more throughout the days).

1) Drink at least 8 glasses of water. (This is something I lack of but is important to my well-being. Assuming that I sleep for 7 hours each day, I have 17 waking hours, which mean that I have to drink a glass every 2 hours.)

2) Follow a timetable.

3) Study everyday. (This excludes homework, and includes reading textbooks, notes and doing sums or practices.)

4) Eat healthily.

5) Exercise!

6) DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. (Uhuh, this is very important. Refer to point 2.)

7) Read for at least half an hour everyday. (Excluding newspapers)

8) Work hard and smart.

9) Play piano everyday for 30 minutes. (Scales, exam pieces before some random pieces)

10) Keep my room clutter-free and do not accumulate. For every new possession, get rid of something you don’t need. (Excludes books.)

11) LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST.

The list will go on, but for now I’m going to stop here.

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A/N on 27th April 2013: This did not happen. But I’m working on it.

Thoughts on Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother