Treasure

Remember the post about my intense obsession with DSLRs?
Well, it’s back again :D.

Ever since the release of the new Canon EOS 550d (aka Rebel T2i and Kiss x4), I’ve been looking over cnet.com reviews, YouTube test videos, and Naver blogs over and over and over and over and over and over and over.
In addition, I’ve visited the Canon shop in Gangnam around 5 times now.
How very stalker-ish.

I would peer at my wallet and wonder where all my money had disappeared to (no kidding).
Though it may be far from enough, I’ve managed to save up some nevertheless.

In fact, my obsession managed to creep my parents out so much that they are seriously considering the whole DSLR issue.
Who wouldn’t if everything your child talked about was about cameras and camera prices and camera designs and etc?

But within my room, I fought against my inner self: the main issue being the Canon EOS 500d vs 550d.
550d is the rage currently.
But despite its $100 difference, I always thought that the updates just weren’t worth it, despite the convincing reviews online.
Yes, it’s definitely a step up from the 500d with video quality and the LCD screen (the two biggest factors in my view).

If your going to spend a thousand dollar on a camera, they why not get the recent, expensive one?
The previous generation is over. Why not join the crowd?

But in the end, I decided that $100 was just too much (since I plan to buy a cellphone in college anyways).
So after tons of mind battles, I decided on the Canon EOS 500d.

Today, my father suggested me to get the Nikon camera from his company.
However, I bluntly refused.

Why?
Truthfully, the short-cut seemed to mock my efforts (seriously no offense, papa).
All the time spent obsessing, looking through hundreds of pages, and pondering, even dreaming seemed like a waste.
Yet in addition to pride, it probably had to deal with my beliefs.
Anything that costs $50 and over, I usually spend my own money (unless I’m dirt poor).
From my Gameboy Color, Canon Powershot, Tablet, etc.
I just didn’t want to be the spoiled little girl who got everything she wanted from her parents.
Even now, I hesitate on asking my parents for money (transportation, food, etc during summer).

But overall, the major reason is because
if it’s something that I didn’t spend time thinking about, worrying about, and eventually buying with my own money, things tend to usually lose their value.
I confess. My last cellphone, mp3, calculator, and many other things were bought by my parents.
Logic applies here since I usually have a tendency to desire new electronics within this category.
But my tablet and my camera have served me well and I didn’t desire to change them (well, except for the camera perhaps).

I guess, I just treasure the moment.
The more heart, passion, and effort I put in, the more valuable the object becomes.
And the only way that I can truly maintain this feeling is if I finish the task by buying with my own money.

Big Mouths

The period of senior essays have finally arrived–along with a multitude of different advices.
They say your essay is the chance for you to outshine others. Not just GPAs, not SAT or TOEFL scores, but your inner self.
Yet the cliche thing is, most outstanding and emotional essays that leave the college admission people sobbing are those, to be simply put, with amazing plots.

In order to be brilliant, one must find something new in their usual environment.
But most teens can rarely accomplish such a feat.
If I could write a tear-jerking story about my pencil, then I’d be done with HS English.

Then I thought to myself. What makes me special?
And the answer I came up with? Uh…

I’m grateful to not have lost a close family member yet.
I have not broken any limbs (though injured my fingers couple of times).
I have not experienced some miraculous event that changed the course of my life (optimism just came one day).

Then I realized that I forgot the most basic one.
The fact that I’m international (if that’s even the right word to use).

I’m Korean.
But I speak better English than my 2nd grade level Korean.
I’ll probably score better on my SAT Japanese than my SAT Korean in addition.

Most international students did not chose to go to a different country and learn their language.
In most cases, it’s because of jobs, educations, and parent’s beliefs.
I prefer to chat in English more than Korean. And I have no problems whatsoever.

But my friends and other students probably experienced a time when they were criticized for speaking in their preferred language.
In the streets, in cafes, in lines of amusement parks, people have stared and whispered and probably even said some bad things about us.
At first, many of us were extremely apprehensive.
We were cautious of the people around us and immediately switched to speaking in the native language.
The whole problem lies with cultures clashing and us, students, being stuck in the middle.
Truth be told, we get criticized for something we didn’t have a choice in.

But as years passed and our patience reached the limit, we simply decided that enough was enough.
Some have tried to word-battle against drunk people.
Most chose to stay quiet and simply ignore.

We would talk about how if we were complete foreigners, people would stare but keep their mouths silent.
But because of our appearances, we ended up suffering.

In the beginning, we were really irritated.
But now, we joke around and tell each other subway stories.
In fact, before we leave to college, we might even pretend to be a native of some other country.

Yes, our big mouths are to be blamed.
But as teenagers with lots to say, let us be heard.

2009-2010 Junior

When we see yearbooks being signed and hugs being exchanged, we finally realize, “This year is over.”

Junior year has definitely been one hell of a roller coaster.
I’ve probably experienced more ups and downs than ever throughout my high school year so far.

But then, it’s the end. El fin.

We see seniors graduate, even the people who we point and whisper, “That person was in that grade?”
We see our friends move on.
It is a disheartening, bitter, and hopeful type of feeling.

We’ll just be like them next year, we tell ourselves.
Just one more year and it’ll be over.
But amongst our hopes and expectations for the future lies a feeling of disbelief and sadness.

We say it’s disgusting that we’re going to be Seniors next year.
Maybe it’s the fact that we’re the oldest among our peers.
Or it could be the fact that our high school year is over.

Personally, I have never thought of time being slow.
I always feel as if I’m being chased by time, whether it be during finals or summer breaks.
Time never rests and chases us without the slightest hint of mercy.

This year has definitely taught me perhaps the greatest lesson of my life.
The list goes on from optimism, responsibility, accepting defeat, being cautious of words and actions, keeping the balance between relationships, organization, real teamwork, having the courage to speak up and on.

But the last lesson that I learned was to live without regrets.
For example, we see that senior whom we never really talked to during school days but  we feel like it’d be a waste to simply let them go. In those situations, just go and give them a good-bye hug.
You’re never going to see them again, and they’ll be happy that you recognized him/her.
So have the courage to speak up.

Greet people. Wave good-byes. Exchange thank yous.
And the year will have officially ended.

daydreaming.

I was watching an educational video on pre-calculus today.
Like always, my mind suddenly drifted off somewhere, thinking about other random things.
My eyes were glued on the screen but my mind was gone partying off somewhere else.
The second I realized what I was doing, I had no idea what the video was talking about.

It’s interesting that I can still remember the images change on the screen but have no idea what they were saying.
:/ Seemed like traveling between the unconscious and conscious mind. Freaky.

Even now as I do the homework, I will turn my chair away from the computer and realize that it’s been such a long time since I did the last problem.

This is precisely how I lose concentration and time every single night.
Better stop soon.

P.S. Also, I’m still fighting my id oh so hard on the decision to buy a DSLR or not.
Should I just go for it? Nah. Bleh, curse these desires.

I always wonder if my skills can match up with the camera.
A thousand dollars is not something one can simply use a toy.
I do have a passion for taking photography. My hands just itch when I think about the different places I would visit in the future to take pictures of.
I don’t have a profitable purpose nor a specific reason to own a DSLR.
My mom asked me if I wanted a DSLR just because my friends had them.
My automatic answer was, ‘No, of course not.’ But I have to admit that I was quite jealous of people who had them.
So is it this jealousy? Or is it mere passion?

Who knows.

But what I know for sure is that I’m probably going to buy the camera with my own money.
There goes my savings.

indie♬

How long has it been since I uploaded a blog post?

It’s spring break and a perfect chance to sleep + eat+listen to music.
After stuffing myself at Todai, I went to the CD store and bought two new CDs.

Right now, my interests are on indie music.
Mmm…I guess indie music has the perfect type of songs to sleep or do math homework to :).
Sometimes, k-pop or j-rock really isn’t the right song to listen to when your concentrating haha.
The peaceful and calm beat accompanied by some really beautiful voices is what I love about indie.

P.S. for some reason, the picture uploading doesn’t work :'(.

Continue reading

Optimism

Each and every homework assignments seem “meh, it’s not that bad” by themselves.
Solving 30 problems of math, answering some questions for English, writing a rough draft for Spanish.

But combine them together and they make one delectable plate of hell.

But it shouldn’t be, “I can’t do all of this. It’s impossible.”
Rather, it should be, “All right! Just tackle each of these beasts and I’ll get through one-by-one!”

Optimism sure helps when studying when coupled with a strong mind concentration.

But these days, it seems that with the 3 hours usual math homework, never-ending sites to flip through for research, and the sheer mass of pages of the textbook to study for every class simply chains us down to reality.

Sure, tackle them one-by-one. Only if they didn’t take 5 hours to kill.
And don’t try to use a shortcut, only “effort” will produce the impossible “A” nah, cross that–a “B”.
(since even with the ridiculous amount of effort, some assignments push for quality over effort).

Of course it make sense if you look at each assignment one by one. Teachers usually focus on THEIR class, their ONE class.
But I’m not solely putting the blame upon teachers. Oh no.
Whining students who take 3 hours to correct a single essay do have their hand prints left in the case.

But coming from a student’s POV, I conclude that the reason why each assignment takes us so long, why we always whine to teachers about their classes, why we always return to school like zombies is because:

We strive for an “A”. But to get that “A”, the line between effort and quality is so vague, so obscure that students end up thinking, “Oh, but what if this isn’t enough? I don’t feel like I poured my soul into the project. My gosh, BLAH spent 10 hours on the presentation and I only spent 5 hours! Shoot, I better work more. And more. And more.”

In the end, we learn (only if one didn’t resort to short-cuts).
In the end, we ended up staying up yet another night.
In the end, there’s another project due tomorrow waiting for us.

My usual complaint is that, some teachers simply don’t see and understand the sheer amount of effort and time we put into projects and assignments. We sacrifice other classes, other grades, other time in order to spit out the epitome of all projects. Because each and every student strives for the best, we are pushed by competition and by fear of being compared.

But as that slippery fence, I have to put the blame upon the blind teachers and the procrastinating students.
These two forces combined is what breaks our “optimism” apart.

kusuridama&wreath

Finally uploading the kusuridama and wreath projects.
Set up a christmas tree in my house today 😀 but tree and cake picture will have to wait.

明日、北海道に 行きます~!
朝9:00A.M. クリスマスイーブから 来週の月曜日まで!
いろんな写真を取って、本当に冬休みを楽しめる!
(いろんな食べ物も食べて♥)

kusuridama 1

kusuridama 2

wreath 2

wreath 1