Mar 28, 2011

Our parents take our HSC with us

Writing about HSC before reminded me of something else my English teacher said about HSC. She said that your parents are taking the HSC with you. When they're stressed, talk to them about it, tell them to take a break. When they're worrying, reassure them. If they get a less than ideal mark, tell them it's not the end of the world. Talk to them, guide them through it, manage up.

Isn't that very true. I think sometimes that in being so focused on our our stress, we sometimes forget that our parents, especially the Asian parents, can be just as if not more stressed. We have our teachers and friends to help us through it and tell us to relax, but our parents have to keep everything to themselves. For an Asian family such a mine, I think it can be that the children absorbs the less stressed attitudes of Australian society but the parents feel that this is the most important thing in their children's lives up to that point so they stress and stress and stress. They are taking the HSC with us, but they have much less control than we do over it.


I think most times Sydney Girls' mufti days (they call it Civi Day) the have a theme. But it seems that most people don't bother (or are too embarrased) to dress up. On a Harry Potter themed Civi Day, guess what everyone came as? Muggles.

A girls raised a good point though, because we're not at our local schools any more, most of us have to take public transport to get to school. It would be pretty embarrassing to be dressed up and be stared at on the train or on the bus.

Mar 24, 2011


A girl in my grade died yesterday night. The teachers gathered us into the hall and told us the news in 4th period. When the principal broke the news half the grade started crying. Looking around I could see stricken, sobbing faces all around the hall. I felt really sad even though I didn't know her. It was when a teacher is talking to us and his voice was breaking that I really did cry. It's always shocking to hear about death, and even more shocking to hear about the death of someone you knew. It was so unexpected, who would have thought someone so young could have just gone?

Mar 23, 2011

The importance of sleep

My English teacher is prone to going off on a tangent, and that's what she did yesterday. She told us that according to statistics, adolescents require 7 point something to 8 point something hours of sleep per day. But on average, teenagers are only getting 6-7 hours of sleep. I'll admit here that I'm guilty of that. For one reason or another, I seem to sleep late and I'm sure the story is the same for most people my age. Going around the class, 6 or 7 hours of sleep is the most common answer.

She says that students are always operating on sleep-derived mode and that we only manage that because:
1. Most of us are fit and healthy (there's no obesity problem at school)
2. Most of us have good diets, especially those with Asian backgrounds eat lots of vegetables.
3. We're all water conscious (we drink enough water) and we exercise etc.

She said that if they had the choice, they would have school from 10 to 4, because that's when teenagers will work best. Adolescents naturally want to sleep in later in the mornings, that's how our body works. She taught us a trick to help us sleep better (that I knew already, but anyway): heat a small cup of milk in the microwave oven for 1 minute and 27 seconds, and that produces chemicals that help you sleep. Today a lot of girls said that they tried it, they slept more and they felt a lot better for it. I know it'll help, and I probably make it one of my goals to try and sleep earlier.

Adolescents also save up their sleep and sleep in til noon or something on weekends (that's not something I do, for one, Grandma won't let me). She said that's actually not good for you. It takes 3 days to make habit and 3 days to break it. So on Monday you're forced to wake up early and your body goes into shock. You're not used to it, that's why we feel especially tired on Monday (so there is a reason!)

She also said that when the HSC comes, being healthy and well rested gets you half the marks. Memorising facts doesn't matter because you don't know what would happen on the day (that's what she said). I think that is something that will be a very big part of getting a good HSC mark. I've had it happen so many times that I slept late the night before an exam and got a really bad mark because my eyelids were drooping the whole time. I made so many silly mistakes because I was just feeling so groggy.

She also mentioned an experiment involving the use (or not) of Facebook. All the HSC students in a girls school (not Sydney Girls) agreed, as a grade, to not use Facebook for 6 months before the HSC. They all said they felt a lot more relaxed, they all felt better about their work load. And their HSC mark was actually better than their class mark. They said that the lack of the pressure to keep checking, keep updated and the pressure to respond is a big stress buster. That's something for you to chew on, so you think I should get a Facebook and stop using it 6 months before HSC to get this effect?

Mar 21, 2011

Pooling Resources on the School Network

I haven't gone exploring before today, and it's a shame because there's a hidden treasure trove on my school's network. Every year has their own folder and inside there's things like shared notes, past paper, there's photos and videos of school events, and, there's also an abundance of games, movies, anime, songs, even wallpapers. I wish I knew about this before, I filled my 4G USB today (but the past papers would have taken up a lot of space).

I wondered why I sometimes see girls playing Plants vs Zombies on the library computers in the morning, and this is where everything are! There's tetris, Plants vs Zombies, Sim City 4, Stepmania, Insaniquarium, lots of other big games I've never even heard of and lots of small flash games. There's movies with real actors like Black Swan, My Sister's Keeper, there's Gossip Girl, Glee, Dance Academy. There's Bleach, Naruto, there's anime movies like Howl's Moving Castle, Grave of the Firefly, and I took three Ghibli studio movies that I haven't seen before. There's English songs like those by Rhiana, there's Korean songs like those by Beast, DBSK and Epik High. There's Japanese songs by Utada Hikaru (the artist that sang First Love), there's songs from animes, it's crazy.

We used to pass USBs around, here there's a drive where students pool all their resources (for studying or otherwise) together and everyone can take what they want. I saw that people could request what they want by creating a new folder asking for whatever movie/series/anime/song they wanted. Someone had to wrote on a folder "Request for anime are now banned", I wonder what happened for that ban to come into place.

Apparently there had been a crack down in year 9 where files were tracked back to whoever put them there and those people were told off, but gradually they started not caring again and this whole operation grew again.

This is a huge collection of all the popular electronic files students could want. But I think this collection is still not as large as Maryanne's (and doesn't that tell you how amazing she is). I don't think the teachers at Hurlstoen would allow something like this.

Mar 20, 2011

Switch to Chrome

I switched browsers from Internet Explorer to google's Chrome yesterday because I couldn't log into blogspot and I can't work out why. So far, Chrome is a lot, and I mean a whole lot faster. Everything is so much cleaner, there's no fiddly bits I never use. The font is a bit strange though, well, I guess it's just different. The themes are really pretty though. Chrome can't doesn't let me save pdf directly off the internet, but that's what I keep Internet Explorer for. For the far superior speed, I think I'll stick with Chrome.

Again in Economics, the teacher was giving an example of the influence consumers' choices have on the producers' behaviour. So he says: Pearl here is selling Vegemite sandwiches for $2. Jenny here is selling meat pies for, say, $5. All these people (gesturing to the whole class) is lining up to buy meat pies. Only one person (teacher goes to stand beside Pearl) comes up to your stand, and he asks, "Where can I get some meat pies?"

He's wonderful.When he explains things he does it really well and he uses a lot of humour so I remember it well. Economics is my favourite class hands down.

I have to write an essay and a creative for English,1500 words each. Luckily it's due at the end of the month. They were originally exam questions so they're not meant to be so long. I have a problem where I use a superfluous words and I find it hard to be concise and to the point, and these long essays will not help me break that habit.

Mar 17, 2011

Argument on the train

Funny thing happened on the train today. A guy, white, and horizontally challenged, sat a few seats in front of me. He had my back to me and was talking with the person next to him, and I saw later that it was a Chinese university student. I couldn't see who he was talking to, so I assumed it was to he's friend. He was saying something about "I love China and Chinese" which is what got my attention in the first place.

Mar 13, 2011

The Japanese people in the earthquake

The Japan earthquake and tsunami are still all over the news. I was watching a news footage from yesterday and the Japanese news readers were wearing safety helmets and they're still staying there and broadcasting the news. There was a video of the inside of the NHK (Japanese Broadcasting Corporation) building, things were falling to the floor and a computer was hanging over the side of the stairs. They really are dedicated to their jobs.

Mar 11, 2011

Japan 8.9 Earthquake

I turned on the TV for dinner and there's an live report on the Chinese (Hong Kong) news on the earthquake in Japan. It measures 8.9 and triggered a tsunami with waves more than 10 metres high, the strongest aftershock is 7.1. I think Sendai was the first to be hit and the sea water covered the fields and ruined houses. From what's being reported, three people have been confirmed dead and many more are injured and missing.

Because the earthquake is so strong, it's thought that it'll affect many countries. Tsunami warnings have been sent out to countries including Hawaii, the Philippines, Taiwan, I just heard that the tsunami will hit Australia at 11:20 tonight, but I think that's the warning issued by the US. According to this article, the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre, operated by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, says there's no threat to the Australian mainland.

Mar 10, 2011

Excuse me for a minute while I pick my jaw up from the ground. The amount of traffic for yesterday's post about the train delay caused by the person at Petersham scared me. This is a private blog and I have an average of about two readers for each post. I'm grateful that:
1) I have no embarrasing things on here, and
2) No one cares to read it

I went on the internet and tried to find out what happened because I was curious. It's a collection of what people are saying from the internet, I can't know what was true and what wasn't. The only information that I can back with absolute certainty is that there was someone attempting self harm at Petersham yesterday and it did cause delays.

Apparently, Petersham was trending on twitter last night too. But I wouldn't know, I don't have a twitter.

I'm glad that people are using this as a place to express their opinions, whether that's frustration or otherwise. It's  true that he's inconvenienced a lot of people by doing what he did, and it's reasonable to feel frustration towards him, but surely they couldn't have just let him die.

Mar 9, 2011

Train delay caused by suicide attempt at Petersham

My train was delayed today because of a passenger attempting self harm at Petersham. The power lines had to be shut down for safety reasons and the announcer said there will be no trains arriving or departing from Central until further notice with the exception of platform 24 and 25 (which is the Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra line). The train to Sydenham still ran, but if I took the train there I would be stuck in Sydenham.

Mar 8, 2011

Book rec: For the Win

Machinery of the Stars by alexiuss
The title is what first made me pick this book up. "For the win". That's something so pop culture and so internet culture that it surprised me to see it on a book, even in teh fiction section. I picked it up, I read the blub, and it was about gaming, it was about gold farming, it was about China and it was about underdogs all over the world banding together to overthrow their oppressors. In other words, right up my ally.

Mar 7, 2011

Physics Homework almost killed me

Black Dress
I typed up 8 pages of summary notes in one sitting, and that's, what, 5 hours straight. My shoulders feel weak, my wrists feel weak, my fingers feel weak, my brain feels like much. I did another 6 pages on Friday. The sad thing is I feel like that's this homework has been the thing that's made me learn the most in physics, the teacher is that bad.

Mar 4, 2011

Power Shift: Australia's future between Washington and Beijing

On 8th March is the centenary of international women's day. There was a morning tea earlier today for VIPs and as per tradition, Sydney Girls prefects were invited. Next Tuesday, women in 18 countries around the world will participate in bridge climbs and crossing, in Australia, it'll be on the Harbour Bridge. The teacher needs 60 girls to participate in the event.

Mar 3, 2011

Coffee in Australia

The clouds reflects a beautiful red colour when the sun's setting. The clouds are a darkish purple that makes a pretty contrast with the red. I can only see that if I look above my backyard fence at sunset, no wonder I've rarely seen it from my house before.

Mar 2, 2011

Dopamine + Uni attendance in Australia and Iran

Golden Queen
I read the science magazine Cosmos (not Cosmopolitan) and there's an article about a study on people that got "chills", which is a "marker of extreme pleasure" when they listened to music. I don't know if you've ever gotten goosebumps or chills when you read a really good piece of writing or listen to music you really like, but I have.

Mar 1, 2011

Start of autumn + Psychohistory

Pinch and a punch for the first day of the month no returns. No one has done that to me at all today, I'm frankly surprised. It's the technically the beginning of autumn and so we should be saying goodbye to sweltering weather. Though to be truthful, excepting the really really hot week or so in the middle of February, it really wasn't that bad this summer. There was a period of about two weeks where it seemed like autumn came early.