Tuesday, October 25, 2011

pigtails are back

Yay! I have finally finished my Spanish project. It is a music video to "Me Vale," a song by a Spanish group called Mana. I know, I know, quite exciting.

The theme of the song is that you should not care what others think of you. The rough translation of the first line is, "
I do not care what people think of me. Even if you wear your hair another way, I still like to wear my hair like this." So in our video, we put pigtails in our hair to represent rebelling against the norm.

My group and I chose the song because it is reasonably catchy and upbeat, but what we didn't realize was that it is extremely wordy. Then, it came back to haunt us when our teacher said she wanted us to mouth all the words. So, we had to memorize the whole song for filming, and then edit all of the clips super accurately (to the 0.1 second). I have spent so long on this project that the song is probably permanently embedded in my mind. Why couldn't we have chosen a song like "Egoista," which has one word of lyrics repeated over and over again?

Now, I can look forward to the best part: presenting it in front of the class. Nah, that was sarcasm. Last year, I had to present two Spanish (non-music) video projects, and I seriously wanted to run and hide. Trust me, it is that embarrassing.

Friday, October 21, 2011

on tour

Just went on my first college tour! My mom, sister, and I took an hour long road trip to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. My mom says she went there 100 years ago, but I'm not sure I believe her. Anyway, I have always wanted to visit. My mom also mentioned that colleges may read my blog, so in deference to this, I have decided to use proper capitalization in this post.

First, we went on a guided tour of the campus. It started off wonderfully, with my mom subtly informing our tour guide that his fly was down. Wow, what a truly awkward beginning to my first college tour. He looked so embarrassed, the poor guy. I don't think that I could tell a complete stranger that his fly was down, especially if I had to spend the next hour with said stranger. This just shows that my mom is an extremely nice person. In fact, she has also told two strangers that their shirts were inside out and two that their sweatshirts were backwards.

As you would expect, the tour only showed us the nicest buildings on campus. I was especially impressed by Gilman Hall. The guide said that they recently renovated the hall for $73 million. *Jaw drops*. The hall was really dark and old when my mom was at Hopkins, but I guess that the huge chunk of money transformed it into an amazingly beautiful place to hang out and study. The rooms are surrounded with stained glass windows that let light in. There is a little coffee shop with large white lanterns hanging from the high ceiling.

I also really loved the Hutzler Reading Room, nicknamed the "Hut," which is a study area. It looks so quiet and comfy. According to my mom, people pull all-nighters studying at the Hut.

The rec center is also really nice. It was created in 2005, so it is fairly new. Apparently, there are separate workout spaces for athletes and students so that students don't have to exercise next to athletes and feel insecure about themselves. Really, that is actually what the tour guide said. So, since there is a lot of equipment, the rec center isn't too crowded during non-class hours. My mom told me that that was a problem at Berkeley, where she went to graduate school. In addition, my little sister and I got pretty excited when we saw that there was a rock climbing wall.

We walked past the freshmen dorms, but didn't get to go inside. Then, we walked to the library, which apparently has six floors. According to the tour guide, the library gets quieter as you go down, so you can customize your study experience. Before we actually went inside the library, my mom, sister, and I left the tour early to catch another tour of the engineering school.

We visited three labs. One was a structural engineering lab where they tested cold form steel with a Multi-axis Structural Testing Rig. It was quite huge and painted blue, thus given the nickname, the Big Blue Baby. The next lab worked mostly on medical devices to assist surgeons. I found it really cool, since I am interested in the biomedical engineering field. One device they designed helps surgeons avoid tremor when doing surgery on the retina of the eye. My mom pointed out to me that the lab, which was programming-related, was located in Hackerman Hall, haha. The last lab was a material sciences lab where they tested how stress, heat, and electrostatics affect various materials.

I don't really have any other colleges to compare to, but I love Hopkins. It is close to home, the facilities are nice, and there are great research opportunities for engineers. I bought some Hopkins clothing at the bookstore, too. :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

feels like san francisco

both my parents are at work right now. as my little sister and i were sitting on the couch, browsing etsy for crochet robots, our house began to shake. i figured that it was just our washing machine going on overtime, until everything in the house started rattling and some car alarm went off outside. yup-- i just experienced my first earthquake!

according to the radio, it was a 5.9 quake. and even though its center was in virginia, it was felt all the way from north carolina to toronto!
immediately after the earthquake, i called my parents and then logged onto facebook. i thought that i was quick to grab my computer, but i guess that others were quicker! my news feed was already flooded with people screaming "EARTHQUAKEEE"! i can just imagine people posting frantic facebook statuses during the earthquake.

when i went upstairs, i found my poor cat hiding under the bed. apparently, she is smarter than ella and me. while she instinctively ran for cover, we just sat on the couch in shock, gripping each other's hands for dear life.

at least everyone is okay!
my mom heard on the radio that people were running out of buildings screaming... oh my... the only negative result of the earthquake, for me, was that two of my mom's hats fell out of the closet and i had to pick them up.

Friday, August 12, 2011

my life as the paparazzi

my mom, ella, and i went to the university of maryland gym yesterday. there was a sign that said the indoor pool was closed on thursday and friday. as we walked up the stairs, we looked through the huge window to the indoor pool. there were lots of cameras and lights set up. my mom thought that they might be taking photos of the umd swimmers. we found it really strange that the athletes had to be hosed off in speedos before being photographed in front of a tile background... we guessed that they were probably going for the "just-out-of-the-pool" effect.

but, after running on the track and swimming in the outdoor pool, we took a closer look at the photo shoot. my mom and i were telling each other, "wow, he looks a lot like michael phelps! you know, with the long face and the broad shoulders." then, a man came up to us and said, "that's because it is michael phelps. he's shooting a head-and-shoulders commercial!"

of course, i went crazy with my mom's camera phone until it ran out of battery. today, when i went running again, i brought the real camera with me! here are some of the many photos that i took. with all of them in series, it's like a storyboard:

so, now you all know what michael phelps looks like when he takes a shower! this was my first "celebrity" sighting, and luckily i managed to get tons of pictures to commemorate it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

retain your excitement

yesterday, I GOT MY BRACES OFF!! the two years of pain went by so slowly that i thought the day would never come!

to my horror, ella literally can't wait to get braces. apparently she did not hear me constantly complaining about the sore gums and sharp wires.

i went to the appointment anticipating a lot of pain. a while ago, they replaced a single bracket and it felt like they were attempting to pry my tooth out. so, to my surprise, it didn't hurt at all when they pulled all of my brackets off in series. perhaps it helped that i took a dose of tylenol beforehand.

once all the brackets were out, i ran my tongue over my teeth. bad choice. it was extremely slimy! after seeing the disgusted expression on my face, my orthodontist assured me that it was just glue. eek, i hope he was right.

then came the worse part: the drill. my teeth are sensitive! i had to clench my hands together the entire time to keep myself distracted. even worse, my gums got really sore and bloody because they practically drilled right into them. i hated having to inhale the drill fumes; even my orthodontist was wearing a mask to block it!

maybe it was worth it, though, because i was then rewarded with a water bottle full of candy. score! they probably thought i had refrained from eating candy (and countless other "banned" foods) for the past two years... *looks from side to side with shifty eyes*

after my appointment, we went to california tortilla for dinner. the restaurant is filled with big mirrors, so i took this picture of my braceless teeth.

now that my braces are finally off, i am just dreading the next stage of orthodontics: the retainer. dun dun dun.

Monday, August 8, 2011

summer of music

last week, i went to the orchestra camp at the university of maryland, called SYMC. i have loyally attended the camp for five consecutive summers now!

this was the first year that ella could do the camp, and it was also my last year. so, sadly, this was our only chance to go together. we got to have orchestra rehearsals and world drumming class together! plus, ella got me to carry her cello around...

as always, they had spirit days every day of the week. i will never be able to top the crazy hair day from my third summer at SYMC! it attracted so much staring and pointing... i have a picture of it in this post! i was only 12 years old!

after the auditions on monday, i found out that i was the concertmaster! it was an amazing way to end my time at the camp. i was a little nervous for the concert, since i had a solo in one piece, but it went really well and i was relieved!

here are some pictures of me and ella at the concert.

and here is a recording of one of the songs we played, which has my solo. it is called celtic roots by soon hee newbold.

Friday, June 3, 2011

freshie no longer

long time no blog! it has been six whole months, and i have been feeling pretty guilty. i'll try to blog more regularly once school ends...

... and that is in just six days! just six more days, which will be stuffed with more projects and exams than we have had for the entire semester. plus a ton of yearbook signing. eeks!

on the bright side, i'll be out of school three days earlier than ella! teehee. one day for senior graduation, one day for my lunch and gym exams (which are nonexistent, as you can probably imagine), and one day for make-up exams.

so, last weekend was memorial day weekend and future shock DC danced at world of dance in brooklyn! here is our performance from saturday. i am to the far left for the first piece. :)

WOD 2011 was definitely one of my favorite shows. all the acts were awesome! on the youtube channel, you can watch videos of other groups that performed.

i got a red, retro-looking, t-shirt that says "5, 6, 7, 8." i guess it is sort of an inside joke for dancers... maybe? my family got dinner at an african festival near the venue, like last year.

sunday was our NYC tourist day. we took a ferry to liberty island and ellis island. it was packed on the liberty island ferry, but on the ellis island ferry, not so much. for some reason, tourists seem much more interested in a green 151-foot-tall statue than an immigration museum... strange people...

we also saw the off-broadway show, jump! the show was set in the home a family of martial arts experts. the cast was mainly professional korean gymnasts, so the stunts were awesome.

my favorite character was the son-in-law. not only did he have awesome abs... every time he took off his glasses, he would spasm strangely and become a crazy martial arts ninja!


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