Monday, 28 November 2011

My Bucket List

I mentioned my bucket list in my last post and, after a request from one of my readers, I've decided to post it up here today! (Bear in mind that this isn't my entire bucket list since I want to visit a lot of different countries and I thought you mind find it a little bit repetitive if I listed them all here).

In no particular order:
  • Run a marathon
  • Write and publish a novel
  • Visit Italy (and ride a gondola in Venice!)
  • Visit France
  • Visit the Galapagos Islands
  • Learn how to scuba dive and dive at the Great Barrier Reef
  • Discover a new element (here's to the geek in me!)
  • Win the nobel prize (I can dream, can't I?)
  • Become a billionaire (money isn't everything but it certainly doesn't hurt!)
  • Horseride bareback on the beach 
  • Learn to sew
  • Be on TV
  • See the Northern Lights
  • Learn computer programming
  • Learn to sing
  • Grow a vegetable garden
  • Make a scrapbook
  • Learn to fly
  • Learn lots of different languages (Hindi, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin)
  • Perform as a soloist in an orchestra 
  • Go busking
  • Stay up for an entire night (I know, I really should have done this one by now)
So, these are the most interesting items on my list. What's on yours

Saturday, 26 November 2011


So I woke up this morning (my first day of freedom) to a beautiful blue sky and sunshine!

I immediately took advantage of the weather and went for a run. It was nice to do something physical after the long period of inactivity that was exam leave!

In the afternoon my friend (I'll call her ElPe to keep things anonymous) came around to do some work on our upcoming year-long science investigation (I know, I know, what do I get myself into?!). We ended up getting rather distracted and spent a lot of time discussing our bucket lists. I might post mine up on this blog soon (just be warned that it's very long!) and sometimes I wonder whether I'll have enough time to do everything I want to in life. (Sometimes I almost think I have too much time and trying to come up with ways to keep myself occupied seems impossible!)

One thing I really want to do in the future though is go to Italy - possibly for my honeymoon. It just seems like such a romantic city - great food, amazing culture - and I definitely fell in love with it a hundred times over when I watched 'Letters to Juliet'. Perhaps I can go there with my own Charlie someday in the future? I mean, the scenery was just breathtaking and, I don't know if it was just the crafty filming, but the light was literally golden! *sighs*

Thursday, 24 November 2011

One more left...!

I wish I had more exciting things to talk about than exams but that is seriously my life at the moment. Just scholarship calculus left though!

The French exam today was so-so. The listening component was quite challenging (but I THINK I got most of it), the reading comprehension was easy (as always) and the writing was fine (although you never can tell with writing in another language). I was freaking out in the last five minutes since I just realised that I'd been using the conditional ending instead of the future endings with 'ils' as a subject. I went through and changed the ones I picked up in my panic but I think I might have missed some. Hopefully there isn't too much difference between 'they will' and 'they would' in the context I used them in...

I should probably mention here that I'm a bit of a nerd and take school quite seriously. I mean, doing well in school isn't too hard if you really put your mind to it and it pretty much guarantees you a good, financially stable future. I'm also planning on being a doctor (yup, maths and sciences are my thing) so I definitely need good grades for that!

Despite that, I do get that school isn't the only 'education' in life. So I'm not just a geek - I do play sports, learn musical instruments and, most importantly, have friends. I guess education is just one of my main values - I mean, after all, 'knowledge is power'!

That said, I'd better practise what I preach and go and do some study for scholarship calculus!

PS. I now have four followers! :D

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Five down, two to go!

Well, I just had my calculus exam and it actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be! Then again, you never can tell with calculus... I just hope I didn't do anything stupid!

Anyway, now there's only French and scholarship calculus to go (laughs) and then I'll be free! You know, the first thing I'm going to do once exams are over is clean my room. It's a mess at the moment with papers from my revision strewn everywhere. Then I'm going to post a joyful status on facebook. So excited for that moment!

Today is a rather special day because I can officially celebrate three followers for my blog! Best wishes to you all and hopefully there's more where you came from (*hint, hint*).

I'd better go and study for French soon. The only study I've really done in the recent past is read the first Harry Potter book in French. That was certainly an interesting experience... I found it rather strange how the translator changed the names of some characters but left others be. Harry, Ron and Hermione thankfully stayed the same but Hogwarts was renamed Poudlard, Neville Longbottom was changed to Neville Londubas and the four houses because Gryffondor (similar), Serpentard (can definitely see where they were coming from with that one), Poufsouffle (love it!) and Serdaigle (what?!).

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Exams... and an upcoming holiday!

I am in the midst of school exams at the moment - four down, three to go! I've got calculus tomorrow and the Excellence questions are near impossible to do. I'm officially doomed...

On the plus side, once exams are over, there are only 12 days before we leave for India! I think now would be a good time to mention that, even though I live in New Zealand, I was actually born in India and lived there till I was two. This will be our first visit there in four years and I'm feeling excited and apprehensive at the same time. Excited because, well, it's a trip overseas! There's shopping to look forward to, as well as visiting cousins and seeing the sights (we're actually going to see the Taj Mahal this time!). 

But apprehensive because it's always nerve-racking being judged by your relatives, especially if you haven't seen them in a while. Also, I'm not looking forward to facing the poverty that is so evident on the streets and side-alleys. The last time we visited I was twelve and, somehow, I was able to deal with it. This time around, I'm not so sure.

Anyway, the scent of the holidays is growing stronger (yes, in my mind holidays do have a scent) and, even though I still have three exams to go, I'm already feeling excited! 

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Reasons why I love Enchanted

Enchanted is actually one of my very favourite movies. Last night it was on TV and I got to relive the sweetness all over again!   

Anyway, for those of you who haven't seen it, here are some reasons why I love it so much:

1. The flash mob in Central Park! If I had to pick one reason Enchanted is on my list of favourite movies, this would be it. It is just the coolest thing I have ever seen! The setting is beautiful, the props are magical (balloons, flowers, a maypole) and the people are so... vibrant! Bonus points for being ethnically diverse too. You know, I think I'm going to add this to my Bucket List - to be part of a flash mob at least half as cool as this!

2. Amy Adams. Her acting (and singing!) as Giselle comes in a very close second. She doesn't drop character even once and, personally, I think she might actually be a princess! I love the bubbly vibrancy she brought to the role and I think she carried the movie extremely well!
3. Patrick Dempsey. Quite a good looking guy... Enough said. 

4. The songs. In one word - adorable. I'm not a huge fan of people randomly bursting into song but I had to make an exception for Enchanted. 'That's How You Know' is just the sweetest!

5. The animals. Awwww! 

Thought of the day: Nothing

Now, I don't mean nothing as in literally nothing. I'm more talking about the idea of nothing. You see, ‘nothing’ is a rather strange concept – one which  I think the human mind will truly never be able to understand. Think of it this way, when we think of nothing, we see blackness. Perhaps that blackness stretches on and on and on but somewhere, perhaps only deep within our subconscious, we see the blackness as having a beginning and an end. It’s not nothing, it’s something.

In a way, I think this relates to our understanding of time. People say time is eternal, that it never had a beginning and it will never have an end. This seems fine written on paper but I doubt many of us can actually see time in this way - I mean, how can something not have had a beginning?! I guess that's just how the human mind is conditioned.

In saying this, the notion of nothingness is completely opposite to how we view our own lives and how we look at our own existence on earth. Think of it this way, despite the concrete evidence that our lives have a definite beginning and a definite end, I don’t think anyone can truly understand a world without them in it. What happens to the soul within us when we die? Where was it before we were born? Did the world truly exist before we came into being? Will it continue to exist without us when we die? 

Just something to think about. :)

What to blog about?

Ever since I got my first comment on this blog (ok, so it was only day before yesterday) I've been wondering what I should blog about. Should I blog about just one thing? Many things? Should I write for myself? For a potential audience? Thinking about this over the last couple of days, I've come up with this: 
  • A 'thought of the day' blog. I have a lot of thoughts in one day. About life. About the universe. About other people. It could potentially keep me going for a while...
  • A diary-type blog. I could write about what happened during my day. Just in case, you know, someone's curious about life in New Zealand.
  • A personal blog. I could copy entries from my microsoft word diary, change people's names and VOILA! Scandal, drama, intrigue (I wish!)...
  • A book review blog. I read a lot of books and I often give (unwelcome) reviews of them to my friends and family. But, hey, someone in the blogsphere could be interested!
  • A mixture of the above. 
  • All of the above.
If anyone's reading this, a little help would be much appreciated! In the meantime, I'll stew over these ideas and pick one... soon...

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Feeling Excited

When was the last time you felt excited? I mean, really and truly felt excited?

Most people have to think hard about his question, casting their minds back days, weeks, months - even years - to a time when they felt genuinely excited about something. Many feel that the pressures of school, work and life in general often leave us with no option but to live life in a mindless routine, with only dreams of the future to keep us going. But, ask yourself, does life really have to be this way?

What I'm trying to say is that why are we waiting for the future to bring us excitement when we can create our own excitement here and now? Admittedly, this took me a while to figure out too. Like a typical teenager, I've been complaining incessantly about how boring life is over the last few months. People would ask me 'What's up?' and I would have nothing to say because, in my opinion, nothing was happening. However, the other day I thought back to what used to make me excited when I was younger, why I used to enjoy school and life so much. And then I realised:

The truth is, the only way you can start to feel excited about life is by appreciating the things you already have. Instead of wasting your time dreaming about what you would do if you, say, won the lotto, think about things you can do today to make life more exciting. Think of school not as a place you are obliged to go to every day but as a place where you can meet people, take opportunities and get an education. Think about how life would be like without school and realise just how lucky you are. Wake up in the morning feeling excited about the day ahead and make sure you do at least one thing special every day (no matter how small it is) to remind you that life really is worth living after all. (For example, this morning, instead of my usual boring breakfast of cereal with milk, I had a muffin and some fruit which I really enjoyed).

From now on, I've decided to appreciate and feel excited about the little things in life first - from sunny days to nice food to time with my friends. So that, if one day I really do win the lotto or go to Italy, I can recall that sense of true euphoria from my childhood days.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

3 Tips to Study for Exams

And, once again, we arrive at that dreaded time in the school year where absolutely anything (even cleaning your room!) looks more appealing than studying...

Sad as it is, exams are an inevitable part of school life. Not to mention the fact that (as much as we all hate them) they play an incredibly important part in deciding our future careers. Now, I have no doubt you have all heard plenty of information on 'how to study' from your teachers at school but here are three simple tips that I think are the most important to keep in mind:

1. Avoid distractions. If there is one thing I would say to anyone studying for an exam, THIS IS IT. Distractions, especially electronic ones like facebook, emails and television can really eat away at your time and, at the end of the day, leave you wondering where it all disappeared to. I'm sure you've all been in the situation where you've sat down at your computer to download a past exam paper or type up some notes and thought *I'll just quickly check my facebook*... Next thing you know, you've just spent an hour chatting to your friend online. 
I know the urge to 'just go on for five minutes' is strong but, trust me, it's best not to indulge it at all. The easiest way to do this is to avoid the computer altogether. Try doing as much study as you can without it (print off those past papers beforehand, handwrite your notes) and, if you absolutely must use it, make sure you avoid clicking on those distracting sites.

2. Take breaks. This may seem counter-intuitive but I think it's actually a key aspect to studying efficiently. Why? Because it's unrealistic to expect yourself to study all day long and, besides, the thought of spending an entire day slogging away at your studies can be incredibly demotivating (and you may feel more inclined to waste your time). Instead, try and intersperse your study sessions with things you enjoy doing. Watch some TV, read a book, call a friend - but make sure you keep an eye on the time! 

A really good way to take a break is a go for a run or walk. I did that this morning and it left me feeling refreshed and revitalised for the day ahead.  It's also a good way to give your mind a break and work on your body instead!

3. Make it fun! I know, I know, 'study' and 'fun' seem to be two words that just don't go hand in hand but, if you don't believe me, think back to primary school when you used to actually be excited to go to school each day. Learning was such an exciting prospect back then and, because of all the fun you had, it didn't even feel as though you were doing any! Although recreating that feeling is more difficult now, with the pressures of exams and the material you have to cover, it isn't entirely unrealistic. Make posters, write with nice pens on coloured paper, draw pictures, organise a study session with your friends, create quizzes - there are lots of ways to spice up your study to make it more motivating. And, if that doesn't excite you, think about why you're studying in the first place. Is to do well in school so you can get a good job and earn lots of money? Is it to have a great lifestyle in future? Is it for a sheer love of learning? Whatever you reason may be, think about that as you tackle your next English essay or maths problem. I don't know about you, but future holidays in exotic locations are certainly a good motivator!

Friday, 5 August 2011


I've just signed up on the Pottermore website and am feeling that familiar thrill of excitement to do with all things Harry Potter related. I watched the last movie a week after the premier and the feeling of sad finality was almost overwhelming.
There were, however, I few things in the final film that I had problems with:

1) The casting choices for all the young characters: Lily, Snape, James, Harry's kids and Ron's kids. They made a brilliant job of casting Harry, Ron and Hermione in the first film (amazingly true to the pictures I already had in my head) and I was a little disappointed at the decisions for these characters.

2) Harry tells Ron and Hermione that he's going to die! And what do they do? Well, Hermione cries a little and touches his shoulder comfortingly while Ron looks at him with this strange, intense expression. Um, hello? Your best friend is about to die!

3) Snape's memories were shortened! Although the ones they did portray were absolutely heartbreaking.

4) Harry snaps the Elder Wand. Ok, so the most powerful wand in existence can be broken in two by a seventeen-year-old? Cool.

5) They don't use the Invisibility Cloak. I love that cloak!

6) Bellatrix Lestrange explodes? Really?

That's all I can think of for the time being. As for the things I liked: far too many to list! It was a terribly sad film.

So, now, I have Pottermore to comfort me on a rainy day as well as the seven books and eight films (the first one's my favourite - they're so cute!) which I am sure to read and watch over and over again. To be honest, I envy J. K. Rowling so much. Her plots are so tightly constructed, her writing flows beautifully and her characters are all so loveable. Maybe someday I'll be lucky enough to publish a book that achieves even a tenth of the success and love of Harry Potter...

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Weather or Not

Today was an absolutely gorgeous day (very unusual for midwinter in New Zealand!). The sun was shining, the sky was a cloudless blue and, from the moment I woke up and saw the golden light streaming in through my bedroom window, I felt strangely uplifted and... happy.

It's odd, isn't it, how the weather affects our mood? Christopher from 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time' by Mark Haddon thinks it's a highly illogical aspect of human nature and that it's equivalent to deciding how you're going to feel by how many red cars you see on your way to school. I, however, disagree. Despite only going outside for a brief time today, there was something curiously comforting about just knowing that the sun was shining outside the classroom window as I listened to our biology teacher drone on and on (and on!) about mitosis and meiosis.

At least, that's my opinion on the matter, feel free to comment and share yours!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Crossing a Milestone - The First Post

Call me silly, but I feel like I'm crossing a milestone of sorts in publishing my first blog post. Admittedly, this has been a while in coming as, although I created this blog a while back, I never quite got around to posting anything. Lately though, I changed my mind (as I read some truly amazing blogs) and realised that nothing was going to happen until I took the leap and posted something for the entire world to see.

So, that said, welcome to my blog and please feel free to comment on any of my posts!