a bird’s-eye view

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Am I crossing a line with posting this image? Not sure, but I’m going to say it’s okay since you can’t make out faces. And they’re so cute! From where I live, I can see the playgrounds (play yards? play courts?) of two nearby schools. The main disadvantage of living so near to schools is that they have REALLY LOUD announcements at 8 AM. It wasn’t so bad during the winter, but now that the weather’s warming and they’re doing their morning exercise drills outside, oh heaven have mercy! If their outdoor PA system is waking me up in the morning, I fear for those kids’ eardrums!

Last week the elementary school was holding some kind of event for the students. Maybe because it’s nearing the end of the school year? They were playing lots of REALLY LOUD Chinese pop music and it looked like there were groups of kids putting on routines for the other students. There was even a row of kids with yellow pom-poms. Looked like a hoot. Makes me miss childhood! Back when I was in elementary school, we’d always have a field day near the end of the school year … although our field days were more like mini carnivals. And we had real grass to play on.

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happy pi day

Happy Pi Day! I have discovered that it is impossible to find pie in Shanghai, so instead I had to settle on choco pies. I bought them to give to my classmates, and most of them were completely oblivious as to the day’s significance. It also took a bit of explaining as to why today was Pi Day. Apparently it’s not as widely celebrated as I thought. Sad. I miss apple pie. The end.

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sunday monday

This fine Sunday morning I went to class. I had class on a Sunday. Sunday, I woke up early and went to class. It’s still blowing my mind. This Wednesday is the Mid-Autumn Festival aka Moon Festival, so I don’t have school Wednesday through Friday. And in China, when there’s a holiday, you make up for it on the weekend. THE WEEKEND. So, I went to class today, which is a Sunday. I woke up at 6:30 AM on a Sunday. I can’t remember the last time I woke up that early on a Sunday. Therefore, it feels like a Monday because it’s essentially the beginning of the school week. It’s weird. And if you’re a bit confused, this is a national thing. People go to school or work today – it’s considered an actual business day. Now that’s just confusing. It’s technically the weekend, but what’s the weekend if business days occur during the weekend?

making the effort

I have always been a procrastinator. It’s always been one of my biggest failings. I manage to get everything done and I’m generally rather punctual. It’s the process of actually working that usually gets me. Once I get into something, then I can work steadily and just knock it out. It’s that getting started part that gets me.

Normally what I end up doing is writing little promises to myself. For some reason, if I see it written out clearly in red cursive, I tend to be a little more diligent. It’s more of a psychological thing, seeing it written out makes it more unavoidable. Anyway, let this be my promise. Every single darned day I will review my Chinese lessons and I will do all the homework. And I am hereby limiting myself to two hours maximum on tudou.

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remembering mrs. reinhart

Today is September 11th. I was planning on helping with an event this morning, but at the last minute decided against it. This evening I was planning on attending a memorial event, but I’m not going to go. In previous years when I was still active in my organization, I participated in their 9/11 events, but it just makes me too mad and too sad.

It’s been eight years since, but I still remember that day so clearly. Today while getting ready to go plant flags in the south mall of the campus, I remembered Mrs. Reinhart, my language arts teacher. I remember exactly where I was sitting in her class when the announcement came over the PA system, instructing the teachers to check their e-mail. It was in her class that the television was turned on, and we watched the towers fall. Mrs. Reinhart was never my favorite teacher and it took me a while to think of her name, but I will probably always remember her simply because of that day.

So even though I was awake at 4:30 this morning, I decided not to go. I don’t think I would have been able to take it. I was still planning to go to the event tonight, but due to rain, they’ve moved it inside to an auditorium. Indoors, I’d feel suffocated and would probably end up running out crying like I did a few years ago. Then they’d all look at me with their sad eyes. And then I’d get mad that they didn’t seem sad. September 11, 2001, changed everyone and everything, but you would never guess it walking around campus – is that hopeful or depressing? As I passed by the display of flags that I was supposed to help with, I heard someone ask about their significance.

In short: I’m better left alone today, because otherwise I might either cry or yell at you.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

lucky me (part 2)

In a previous post I mentioned that I had won two giveaways, and this is the second one! It actually arrived in the mail about a week ago … but it’s been hectic over here! Anyway, it’s this beautiful Green Garden Wallet from Maggie Whitley. She has a lovely collection of wallets and pouches at her etsy shop and the giveaway was hosted by Everything Etsy.

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Generally the yellow, green, orange color scheme isn’t really my cup of tea, but the print is very fun and her signature ruffle gives it character. Now I just have to decide what I’m going to keep in it. I think it’ll probably turn into my catchall for coupons and receipts. Hm … I’ll probably have to leave it on my desk and stare at it until I can find a use deserving of it. It also has a magnetic closure, which in my disaster of a purse is a necessary thing.

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On a side note, I’m not sure if I like the black background for photographing things. I have two desks in my room, one black and one white. The white one is my designated crafting desk (on top of which my sewing machine sits proudly!) and the black is generally my laptop/schoolwork desk. I like the classiness of black, but I think in general I’ll stick to the white … or the carpet (’cause that’s the classiest of all).

School starts in two days. AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t feel prepared to start classes again. And those eight o’clock classes are going to be the death of me. I haven’t really had the chance to get into the back-to-school mindset since I’m waiting until the first week of class to buy books in case my professors change their minds, which happens way too often.

The other day a bunch of us rented a boat out on Lake Austin to celebrate a friend’s birthday. It was great fun except for when we had to get rescued by a patrol boat … yeah, that wasn’t so much fun. But otherwise I’ve pretty much been hanging out at the apartment and sleeping. With my new roommate N, I watched the first three Harry Potter movies and now we’re working on the fourth episode of Pride and Prejudice (the six-part BBC series, of course) … we are really cool like that. This summer has been ridiculously hot, so I prefer staying indoors with air conditioning and Mr. Darcy to melting onto the sidewalk any day.

I also haven’t had the chance yet to give X her birthday pillows since she’s in the process of moving into her new place right now and I figured I’d wait a bit until her unpacking craziness calmed down a bit. And then I need to make plans to meet up with former roommates K and S.

I don’t wanna go back to school!

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]