Friday, September 14, 2012

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EYAs are drawing near, to be exact, in two weeks time so I will be going on a blogging hiatus!
Not that you guys will be missing out on anything since nothing interesting's going to happen during this time period since I'd probably be cooped somewhere studying (or slacking off).

To end off the last post before I disappear for around 4 weeks, here's a photo of a polaroid that Phion, Wang, Pri, Swan and I took today during Hit the Hay Day. To be honest, I really appreciate initiatives that PSB plans - they are always done with the heart. Whether or not it was fully successful, the thought put into the concept is really good.

Here goes nothing.
Let's do this.
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Thursday, September 6, 2012

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It's that time of the year again. 

With EYAs drawing near, there's nothing more important to me now than studying even though there's so many other things on my mind as well. I'm sacrificing a few other commitments just for the sake of studying. I know this sounds extremely mugger/ stereotypical-RGS-like, but I truly can't afford screwing up my end-of-years considering how badly I did for my mid-years (trust me, I did terribly for it) and I don't think I did particularly well for all the projects we've recently submitted. I can't stand seeing my parents disappointed and more importantly I can't stand regretting my own's actions (or inaction) after all that's been done.

September holidays is really just a week for hardcore studying, and I'm quite happy to say that I think I did pretty well so far in terms of sticking to my schedule and just feeling productive and good about myself. Except for Math, I really despise that subject but I'm starting to welcome it. Starting. So yes, from Monday-Wednesday, I was just stuck at home, alone, with my books and worksheets and academic material. Not just that, I had my refrigerator, my bed, and worse, my Internet connection! Yes, I did manage to be rather productive but I think I could have done much much much better without all those horrible distractions - putting on a few extra kilos, getting unnecessary snooze time and watching excessive Youtube videos. To add to that, I was feeling extremely bored starring at the white walls of my house. I needed to go out but I needed to study too. 

The perfect plan? To go out to study! I have never done this before but have always wanted to. I always feared that my productivity level will be really low and it would be a wasted trip out of the house. Also, although I absolutely loved walking around and going places alone, I constantly feel judged whenever I do that and that might possibly prove to be a large distraction if I were to study alone outside. But, if you never try, you'll never know! Studying outside might just be the perfect option for me. Before embarking on my study journey outside today, I did some research on the best places to study in Singapore and the popular choices were caf├ęs, fast food restaurants, libraries and Changi Airport. 

Today, I decided to go to three out of the four places listed above (although I very much would like to go to Changi Airport - in fact, I've been raving about wanting to go there for the past month or so - it's a bit out of the way and extremely inconvenient) to find out which is actually the best place to study in Singapore. For those people who are facing the same dilemma as I did recently (not knowing whether to go out to study/ not knowing where exactly is a good place to study outside), here's my review of the three places I visited - a Starbucks Coffee shop, a Mcdonald's restaurant and a library - all located at the Bugis area so that it'd be convenient for myself. Bugis is about 8 MRT stations from my place, which isn't that bad considering the range of amenities it offers. 

Study Journey! 

Study Place #1 - Cafe! (Starbucks)  
(spent 2 hours 10 minutes there; 11.30AM - 1.40PM) 
Started the study journey with the Starbucks outlet located at Bugis Junction. I took special care to make sure that there weren't many people there so that I could get a nice table and seat to study and won't be a hated table hogger. I personally confess that I'm not a huge fan of Starbucks - the products are overpriced and overrated but it's supposedly one of the best places to study so I had to try it. Got a Grande Chocolate Chip Creme Frauppuccino and headed to study. The place wasn't very crowded, but all the seats inside the outlet were taken, so I sat outside, which was surprisingly good! 

Managed to get a table and chair which gave me a good amount of space to do my work as it could fit my notebook, my pencilcase and my drink with excess space. There were many seats left so I didn't feel particularly conscious about being inconsiderate. The ambience was actually really good - the famous Bugis water fountain made sounds that were calming to my ears and there was a nice cooling breeze. It was a bit awkward being sandwiched between two working men but that's a pretty minor problem. 

Cost: My drink was an overpriced $7 
Noise Level: Not a major problem, fairly peaceful with occasional phone-calling by other customers
Lighting: Light came from the sun outdoors so it was conducive but the interior is pretty dark, if you ask me.
Productivity Level: Wrote 7 pages of notes on French Revolution, started and covered all of the French Revolution topics that I needed to study. 
Overall: Very conducive and productive, would have stayed for a longer time if I didn't need to use the washroom so desperately!

Study Place #2 - Fast Food Restaurant (McDonald's)  
(spent 1 hour 52 minutes there; 1.51PM - 3.43PM) 
After my washroom break from Starbucks, I headed to McDonald's for lunch (and to study of course) - it's the Bugis Junction branch, directly opposite the Starbucks outlet. It was kind of crowded, but there were quite a few seats and tables outside vacant, so I got my Fillet-O-Fish meal and headed outside again (I was getting used to the ambience of Bugis, especially the water sounds from the fountain) 

The space wasn't too bad, the table was about the same size as the Starbucks' one, so it was huge enough to fit the tray and all my studying materials. My only qualm was that the seat was a tad too short, so it was a bit uncomfortable to eat in the weird position with my hands having to stretch higher to reach for stuff on the table, not to mention write and study. The location of McDonald's made it less breezy than the Starbucks area, but that can easily be overlooked since the weather today was good. Due to the nature of the food they serve, the area attracted a fair number of flies which was a bit irritating but they are quite harmless so I didn't bother about them after a while. 

Cost: My fillet-o-fish meal was $5
Noise Level: Well, it's a fast food restaurant after all, what do you expect? (: Fair bit of screaming, laughter and loud chattering. I'm the type who is able to ignore such noises so it didn't really affect me although I'd very much prefer a quieter environment. 
Lighting: Was sitting outside again, so the light came from the sun. 
Productivity Level: Wrote 5 pages of notes on Russian Revolution, was having lunch at the same time and getting a bit lethargic.
Overall: Not as conducive and productive in comparison to Starbucks, although in the same amount of time at home, I'd won't be able to cover this much because I'd be walking around the house or sleeping at this hour. Oh, and a plus point was that this place offered eye candy - hot ang moh sitting across eating a McFlurry! 8) 

Study Place #3 - Library (The National Library)
(spent 2 hour 10 minutes there; 3.58PM - 6.08PM) 
After leaving McDonald's because it was getting a bit too crowded for my liking and people were looking for seats so I didn't want to hog a table when I had already finished my food, I took a leisurely walk down the street to the National Library (yes that majestic building), the last and final study place I was going to explore today. By then, I was already feeling quite productive yet extremely tired. 

Headed to Basement 1 where the Central Lending Library was located. I expected myself to roam around without a table for a while but I was lucky enough to get one. It was a shared rectangle table with other library users - mainly studying teenagers and newspaper-reading elderly. The table was the best out of the ones I used today. It was spacious and very clean. To be honest, I should have just went to the library in the morning and studied there the entire day but it's okay, my experimenting was worthwhile! The ambience there was the most conducive, with air-con and everyone there had the same purpose as myself - to gain knowledge through some way or another. One thing I loved was that the library had an outdoor area with trees and other green stuff where there were stone benches so if people were getting too stressed out studying with work-centered white walls and white tables, they could take a breather conveniently. 

Cost: No cost, but no food too!
Noise Level: Pin drop silence, literally. 
Lighting: Brightly and purposefully lit, perfect for people to read, study etc. 
Productivity Level: Wrote 3 pages of notes on Russian Revolution, covered all of the Russian Revolution topics I needed to study, and completed a Physics Past Year Paper. 
Overall: Super conducive and probably would be extremely productive if it was earlier in the day cos I was feeling really tired by then! 

Overall, my studying trip went really really well, I managed to complete all that I've set out to do which was to start and finish revising all of History! The notes I made today totalled up to 15. Compare this to the 12 pages of Physics notes I made over two whole days and you can tell that studying outside suits me. However, History's my favourite subject, so maybe it goes to show something. If I were to do this again (which I probably will), I will head to the library in the morning first, followed by lunch and then lazing lounging in a cafe. Oh yes, and it also helps that I never ever remember my Wireless@SG password nor have 3G. 

To end off, here's a picture that Ragini made and posted on our batch's Facebook group:
Thank you Ragini, and to everyone out there having a hard time, you're not alone, and you will survive. 

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

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1st September 2012, a day to remember (': 

Ryan Higa (or nigahiga on Youtube) is a pretty mainstream guy - he's videos are so easily accessible, so many people around the world watch him, and his humour's based largely around nonsensical brainless everyday happenings. I usually pride myself as being someone who swerves away from mainstream artistes (for appropriate reasons, not because I want to be a hippie because I think that's cool) but why do I love Ryan Higa so much? 

Because no girl can ever resist a good looking guy, 
Because the videos he make are genuinely funny, 
Because he constantly improves himself, 
Among others. 
Most importantly, because he is where he is by his own merit and hard work (': 
Honestly, kudos to this guy who carved out his own career (probably by accident) single-handedly. 

My obsession with him started in sec one (or earlier) when Emily showed me the first ever Nigahiga video I'd watch and that was "The Snuggo". I remember being addicted to all his videos and I can safely say I've watched all of his videos including those removed from his channel at least thrice and countless times for the all time favourites.  I remember staying up extremely late with Matthew, Ian and Emily (who fell asleep) waiting for the release of his first short film, "Agents of Secret Stuff" because the time zone in US was different from that of Singapore. To be honest, I hardly have time to watch his videos very regularly now, but his videos will be the first one I click on my subscription box if any. He's my second favourite Youtuber, second to Watsky, but definitely first in humour. 

When I saw the first tweet that Ryan Higa mentioned of Singapore, simply asking whether he had any Singapore fans, I knew that if he really came, I would do anything to catch him live. Watching him on Youtube was a great experience but having to meet the person behind the screen all these years would be even more amazing. After intense following on his Twitter page, he finally released the details of his Q&A session and I asked Emily to go with me since she was the first one to introduce him to me and we needed a JUJU outing anyway (: So, the event happened yesterday, and boy was it an event to remember. 

Met Emily at Hougang for dinner before heading to Habourfront to take the Sentosa Express to Beach Station where Siloso beach was located. It was a not-so-pleasant surprise when we realized that it was Sentosa's 40th birthday that day and there was to be a birthday bash - because that'd mean lots of partygoers partying by the beach and that's not something we would want to get ourselves into, especially at night after Ryan's event was over. That aside, we headed to Wavehouse (where Ryan's event was to be held) immediately upon reaching Sentosa, not before taking a few photos. 

We reached Wavehouse at around 7.45pm when the Q&A segment was to start only at 9pm. It was good that the Meet & Greet was done on stage so yes, we could get to see him for a long while, as he met those people who bought Meet & Greet tickets! You could tell that he was so incredibly sweet with the way he handled situations and obliged when people threw him items from off-stage to sign even without them buying the additional ticket. 

When the Q&A segment finally started, Emily and I had secured a spot that was pretty close to the stage so the view we got was really good - it was free standing so it wasn't the most comfortable place to be in, but it was still enjoyable all the same. Really, the way he answered questions reflected his personality so much - genuine yet injected with a little bit of humour and you can tell that he wasn't putting on a show for us but rather a heart to heart talk. I initially thought the entire 1 hour would be Q&A but fortunately it wasn't - I mean, I'd love to hear him answer questions all night, but what came after was even better.

Our own Singaporean Youtubers, Noah Yap and another guy, came on and taught Ryan some Singlish. Basically they explained the meaning of four commonly used terms - chiobu ("pretty girl"), shiok (a sign of pleasure), sian (expression to describe boredom) & bojio ("why didn't you invite me?"). Afterwards, he had to role-play a certain scenario and use the four words he had just learnt into his dialogue. He was so cute and sporting about it, and having him say such words in such an awkward manner made me die a little inside every time. They also played Charades which was very entertaining. 

Afterwards, Ryan left to change into another outfit while his producer friend talked to the audience. He was going to film a section of his new video in Singapore and we would be the first ones to get an exclusive sneak peak of what it was all about which made me feel so special since Singapore's his first stop of his Southeast Asia Tour. Come to think about it, Singapore is the first stop of any tour he has ever had if I'm not wrong. I don't think he has toured within America or anywhere else before. I don't think they are going to film in Malaysia or Hong Kong because he mentioned that he chose Singapore because of our "high-energy level". They requested that none of us video-recorded the entire filming process because if it were to be released before the actual video was out on his channel, the effect wouldn't be as strong. For the sake of such a request, I shall not blog about the contents of what the video was about as well. To put it simply, it felt so surreal to be part of the entire exclusive process and I honestly can't wait for the video to be out. It's feels absolutely crazy coming to terms that I know the contents of a Nigahiga video before it is officially released. On Instagram and Facebook, he posted a photo as a sneak peak to the video and I feel so special seeing people guess what the video is about when it isn't about that. We were allowed to take photographs though, so here's to the curious souls out there:

Doesn't he look like a genuine pop star? (;

The night truly ended on a high and I left Wavehouse with a warm fuzzy feeling, knowing that Ryan Higa isn't someone with a badboy attitude as I initially thought but really a friendly fun guy-next-door, full of heart and passion for what he does. It felt so amazing and I don't regret spending all that time I did watching his videos because he truly deserves all the views he has garnered. 

Left Wavehouse a happy and safe kid! (x 

Soulmanna, the organizer of this event, actually chartered buses to bring Ryan Higa's fans to Habourfront directly to avoid all the crazy crowds, especially with the Sentosa birthday bash that night. It was such a nice act on their part, showering so much concern to his fans. 

And thank you, JUJU, for spending the amazing night with me! (':

Honestly, I can't describe how excited I am for the video to be out!

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