Friday, December 21, 2012

An Excerpt from my Article on Student Council

I mention many names in the article when referring to executive members in the council, because it is meant for the school newspaper, so I won't post the whole thing. Below are some snippets I picked out that don't give away any personal information. They are in order, but not connected. 

            When I joined the student council in grade 8 I was graced with the experience of being the only grade 8 there. Shyness ensued. Much has changed since then through three years of being grade representative and one as a secretary. I dedicate this article to the club to which I happily offer all my Wednesday lunch times.

            In grade eight, as part of my duties of a grade representative, I held a survey in each of my classes for theme day ideas. Suggestions like “instead of having school end earlier, have it start later” were tempting, but alas, beyond our reach. Our student council, though hard working and influential, has no control over the school schedule. The student council is run by students and for the students. 

The biggest part our success is teamwork. Without the dedication of the entire group and our joint effort, we would not be able to pull off all the events our school knows and loves. I won’t go as far as calling us a great big family because that is the epitome of clichés, but we are a great group of friends. We bond over so many different experiences, and friendship makes what we do all the more fun. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Left Behind - Project: a re-imagining of a term one entry (New Shoots Submission)

Original Entry:
A translation of lyrics from the Chinese song "我是一只小小鸟" , reworded and rearranged to rhyme and fit in with the music in English.

Sometimes I feel like a bird, struggling in the sky.
Fighting against the wind, but I just can't seem to fly.
Searching through the world, looking for a warm embrace.
Is it too much to ask for just one friendly face?

Left Behind

            “A late bloomer. Leave it!” Marco squawked harshly, before moving forward to lead the flock.
            Carmen looked sadly at the small round shape she so diligently guarded for a week. Time was running out for the little one. Time was running out its mother, her friend, as well. Where was she? She liked to fly alone and far, but she always came back. Carmen warned her of the dangers, but she never listened. Yet, until now, she always came back…
            “Carmen, we must leave soon,” her mate urged, “there is nothing we can do. You have your own children to take care of.”
            Carmen looked up at Thomas, then at the excited faces of her younglings, then back down at the egg, “I made a promise-”
            “There are more important things than that promise right now, Carmen,” Thomas reasoned, “we have our own to take care of. We have a long journey ahead of us. Even if it did hatch, we cannot look after it.”
            “How long do we have to fly, ma?” Beck chirped, “I don’t wanna get tired.”
            “Wimp,” Cherry squeaked.
            Carmen bent down and gently tapped the tip of the egg with her beak, “I’m sorry, little one,” she whispered, then straightened and led her family away.
            Behind them, the egg stirred. The little one heard noises, so many noises. It was never this loud before, and even in his egg he felt it was colder than before. Things are changing. It is time to come out. He scrabbled about, trying to find purchase. He thrust his beak out, knocking against the hard round walls closing him in. It is time to emerge. He pecked and pecked, making slow progress, blinking at the light he sees for the first time, unfiltered by the translucent shell. Small white pieces fell around into the nest.
            Thomas turned, eyes widening, “It-“
            “Take off!” Marco screeched from the front of the flock, and was joined by a chorus of cheering chirps and squawks as the flock began to rise from the jagged rocky cliff side.
            Amidst the flurry of flapping wings, loud cries, and scraping claws, the youngling struggled to emerge. The world is so loud. It was never this loud before. There is so much movement. Is this what the world is like?
            Thomas hesitated, then turned back to face the sea, “Alright guys, come on! We practiced for this!”
            The chicks squealed happily and flapped their wings to follow their father. Carmen fell into place behind them, never seeing the new chick emerge from his egg.
            It’s so quiet now, he thought. Why is the world so quiet? Where did the movement go? He spotted the flock getting smaller and smaller in the sky, confused. Where are they?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Finding a View

From a crosshatch network of stiff olive strands rises the unfurling fronds of sharp green bursts, outshining the fading darkness of the background. Fighting for attention, big, bold, and blanched, a veined visage hovers. A lost cousin of the flat beast cowers to the side, darker, shyer, and smaller. The spotlight almost misses it. The unnatural light gives love conditionally, and graces the round shards of glimmer with its beaming ray. 

The light glances off the dirt below, giving us a patch of the earth sustaining the vegetation crowding the rest of the plane. The weeds are brighter. They glisten wetly in the night rain, nestled among sift strands of grass. They belong here, a patch of green garden, sharing the soft dirt home. 

Even the cluster of stars in the corner is no match for the tropical tree. It is the center of attention, bursting out its confines. It boasts its one lone fruit to the skies. It is bright, though the night behind shrouds all other greenery. It leaps out, even as the rest of the world is pushed behind. 

Cuba - Postcard

The road to the resort is long and twisting, going from asphalt to gravel to dirt and back. Our path takes us through the slums, and I peer outside at the blackness.
“Why is everything so broken?” I ask.
“They are poor. The tsunami was happened quite recently.” my mother replies.
I look back outside, wondering why there aren’t any main roads to the resort, and why we had to rumble through the pitted roads of this small village.
And why they all stared.
The villagers stood at the sides of the street and looked at us expressionlessly as we drove through in the tour bus, their eyes shining in the dark of the night. I look away, unnerved, and lean back to stare at the plush seat in front of me for the remainder of the ride.
We arrive at our resort in total darkness, shuffling our way to the correct suite by the light of windows.
“Do you hear the sea?” my mother asks, “It’s so quiet, but so loud.”
“I hear it,” I reply, “I wonder how far it is.”
In the morning I walk outside and realise we are right by the ocean. It is much nearer than I thought it was. It’s an endless plane of azure mirrors, with the early sunlight refracting off every edge and wave. The sounds of the ocean were near now, beckoning and beautiful. The morning light splashes summer magic on everything it touches, making the beach glint and glitter. Back home it would be winter, but here, it is tropical paradise.
I am overwhelmed by the things I want to do. It’s the picture perfect paradise that a photo can never seem to capture. It’s the samba music floating through the air, chasing out the gloom from last night. It’s the omnipresent warmth that seeps into my skin, coaxing the tension out my body.
It’s the bubble of tropical utopia. In the middle of the slums of the city, we live in luxury. Away from the blank stares of the unfortunate citizens, we bathe in paradise. 

Eternal - Inspired by A Humument


Found Poem - Remain


Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Sentence for the City

When it rains, suddenly everyone takes transit; they rock and sway with the heavy bus's momentum as the wet grey world zips by outside.    

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Where My World Began

            I dropped my popsicle stick into my soup with a plop. Why did I do that? I don’t know. Just like I don’t know why I stuck my finger on the electric fly zapper on purpose, or why I poured cold water on my baby cousin while he was taking a bath. I’ve tried to remember, with no prevail, what I was thinking while I did these bizarre things that no doubt caused my family much concern. I grew up with an air of cluelessness that I suspect still lingers in my head today like a numb fog.
The random, jumbled memories of my childhood home are disjointed. The apartment with the green leather couch, the white stray cat with an affinity for leaving droppings everywhere, the rusted metal bars on balconies sealing us in like we were prisoners, the pots of aloe plants, the small scurrying mice, and the white tile floors was where I grew up. My home was like an eclectic Oriental antique gallery. Chinese knots hung bright red and festive in every corner, and walls were decorated with calligraphy pieces. There was the omnipresent and unwavering heat infused in the China air that we chased out with air conditioners and fans. There was the problem of cockroaches hiding in cupboards and shoes, and the pesky ghosts of white ants that left the bedroom floorboards chewed without mercy but the floor polish intact.
I remember standing by the large wooden front door early in the morning to see my mom off to work; not quite comprehending that she would be back. I would spend the rest of the day mostly in the care of my grandmother. My mother’s absence emphasized the rest of my family’s presence, and a vacant part of me decided that this was because no one else in the family had to work. I was like an infant who did not quite understand object permanence. I knew nothing, and I did not ask. It was a blissful ignorance.
In my childhood home, I had a bucket of sand that I would dump out onto the cement floor outside and play with. I remember the sand, but I don’t remember what I built with it. I had a bag of smooth pebbles that my family used to help teach me simple math. I remember the beautiful rocks and their cream coloured marble smooth texture, but I don’t remember my difficulties with arithmetic. I had a red plastic toddler-sized motorbike I rode around the park. I don’t remember the bike at all; I’ve only seen it in pictures of myself – a little girl in a red checkered dress with a sunhat, sitting proudly on her plastic bike.
My beginning was made up of family, quirks, and memories. Every bit of home made me who I am. Even the food I ate was as much of a home as the structure I lived in. My grandparents’ cooking was not to be rivaled. I grew up with freshly steamed rice and delicious savoury stir-fry every day. One of my favourites back then, and even now, was tomato and egg soup. I remember staring at my bowl happily, knowing it held my favourite. I had just finished eating a popsicle, and was absent-mindedly holding the wooden stick in my hand. I reached forward, and dropped it deliberately into the bowl with a plop. I will never know why. There is an air of cluelessness that efficiently muffles all reasoning in my brain, and I think it has followed me all my life.