Emily Lam

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Last Lecture

Yesterday, I tried to come up with a creative idea to post on this blog. I failed. I guess I'm not at the level of creativity where I can just say accio idea (Kudos for Harry Potter reference?) and a brilliant idea will come flying toward me. Oh well. Today is a new day to try.

After getting nowhere idea-wise, I decided to read Randy Pausch's The Last Lecture. I had recently, during finals week actualy, watched Randy Pausch's The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. I don't know why I waited so long to watch it since my high school latin teacher had recommended I watch it early senior year. If you've yet to see it, I definitely recommend watching it.



Anyway, after watching it, I decided I needed to read his book, an expansion of his last lecture. A floor-mate was actually gonna let me borrow it but I wanted my own copy. So, during my prolonged departure from BU, I bought it – I was staying an extra week so I could volunteer at commencement. Randy Pausch really led a wonderful life and he reminds us to appreciate life and time, to live life as Tiggers and not as an Eeyores, and to strive to achieve our childhood dreams. His last lecture was in a way about how he achieved his his childhood dreams, how he became a Disney Imagineer.

Childhood Dreams. I have a couple, but that's for a different post.

It's weird. I'm nineteen but I'm old for my age (Rent reference) I find myself desperately trying to hold onto my childhood. I don't behave my age and at this exact moment, I'm using a Power Rangers pillow case from my childhood. I also walk around my yard nostalgically. The rundown swing set and rusted scooter really remind me that, whether I like it or not, I'm growing up. Here's to my final year as a teen!

And since I'm obsessed with my birthday, something I noticed about my blog archives:

LoL! =] It's now "May (5)", cinco de mayo.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Layout

Update May 28th, 2011: I've decided to revert back to the old layout – I couldn't take myself seriously with the Penciling layout – except I kept the new background. This background was designed by Rahul Anand/Eternal Thinker and I really like the watercolor feel. There will be minor tweaks to the layout along the way as I learn html but for a long while, this will be the layout. =]

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I like this layout: Penciling. It's very colorful.

But, too much?

It makes my blog look very polished. And I don't know if I quite like it. Hmm. I'm very tempted to change it back. But, I'll leave it for a couple of days. See if it grows on me. If not . . . back to the old layout.

Light in the Colors! (Chihuly Ceiling Exhibit at Boston mfa)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fate Got Me Into College

Now that I reflect, a lot of what got me into college was fate, luck, or whatever else you may call it.

I was not conscious that you had to "do extracurricular activities," "participate in community service," and "take AP courses" to be competitive college applicant until the end of my junior year in high school. Up until then, everything I did was purely for personal interest and curiosity. And well, look how fortunate I ended up. I'm at BU and having the time of my life!

It was fate that my elementary school music teacher was so nice and played the piano so well that I was inspired to take piano lessons, resulting in six or seven years of piano lessons.

It was fate that my parents wanted me to learn chinese, resulting in eight years of chinese school, and a certificate of completion.

It was fate that my middle school science teacher notice my interest in the sciences and recommend me to attend Design Lab/Camp, resulting in multiple high school internships and my current summer job.

It was fate that one of my good friends in middle school recommended me to join Air Force Junior ROTC in high school, resulting in arguably the defining experience of my high school career. I gained valuable leadership skills, committed to numerous hours of community service, and learned to become a better citizen. I remember being roped into the majority of the community service events by my good conscious and the ROTC requirement to do community service.

It was fate that I didn't run for an e-board position in middle school, resulting in regret and eventually in me running in high school for an e-board position for NHS.

It was fate that I was out of shape and decided to join cross country team to get back into shape, resulting in co-captainship but I didn't really do anything as a co-captain, so that doesn't really count.

It was fate that I watched the Beijing 2008 olympics, particularly the gymnastics portion, and was inspired to join the gymnastic team.

It was fate that I took AP History and AP Physics. I don't recall who convinced me to take AP History but I remember not caring whether or not I took it or not. I remember I took AP Physics because it fitted into my schedule. What I really wanted to take at the time was UML Biology, and that was only so I could feel good about myself that I was taking a university course in high school.

It was ALL fate! Everything.

Fate got me into college. I am really grateful. But, you know, it's time I give fate a rest and take control of my life! Thank You!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Spare Time

I had written a nice post on Spare Time. But evidently during the recent Blogger outage, I lost it. Blogger had claimed they would restore the post but I guess not. So here's an attempt to recreate the post . . .

But in ten colorful bullets. =]
  • Spare time exists. Really.
  • No one works all the time. It's not expected. And I think it's impossible to work all the time.
  • Spare time is any time spent not being productive: Interweb browsing, facebooking, youtubing, relaxing at a park, watching a movie, other forms of procrastination,  etc. (If you can't see the yellow, highlight it.)
  • I sometimes get mad at people's excuse of not having time to have hang out. But I shouldn't be mad at them. What I find fun may not be fun to them and vice versa.
  • People spend their spare time differently.
  • It is only a problem when people are unintentionally wasting their spare time. I'm guilty of spending my spare time unintentionally – I'm on youtube all the time . . .
  • Think back to all the things you did today. Was what you did all productive? See, spare time exist. You can't deny it.
  • Imagine you could harvest that spare time into one time block. And then, intentionally spend it. You'd be a master of time!
  • So next time you think you don't have time for something, ask yourself: do you really not have time?
  • What I'm trying to say is that spare time exist. Take advantage of it and spend it intentionally. (This last bullet is in white . . . =])

Sunday, May 08, 2011

The U-Universe

[This is that story idea I came up with a while ago, mid-March. I should have just posted it then since I didn't really add much. Oh well. So without further ado, here is my idea of the U-Universe.]

Everyone has their own U-Universe. It's a place not ambiguous at all. Everything goes exactly the way you want it to in the U-Universe. You want to fly, then you fly. You want your mother to fold your clothes, then so be it. Even time bows before you. But not everyone is allow into their U-Universe. In fact, the Universe is very picky on who is allowed into their U-Universe. I believe in the past five hundred years, only a handful of beings have been allowed into their U-Universe. (I'll let it slip that the being I will be discussing is a human, a scientist.)

Everything goes exactly the way you want it to in the U-Universe. I emphasize this fact because that's how humans have used the U-Universe for the benefit of mankind. They come into the U-Universe and ask for answers to supposedly unsolvable questions. And any question they want answered will be answered, regardless of how difficult or bizarre it is. But since the rules of the U-Universe are so different from the real world, experiments conducted in the U-Universe do not transfer over into the real world. For example, if your U-Universe doesn't take into account gravity and you figure out how to fly, that method of flying will not work in the real world, where gravity is continually present. BUT, you're smart. There are many ways of getting around that. For one, you could just ask for your U-Universe to behave similiar to the real world. (Don't ask it to behave exactly the same as the real world, because then you'll be stuck in the U-Universe and living the same life twice and at the same time!)

The U-Universe at times may seem like an alternate reality but it's not, unless you want it to. But why would you want to change the U-Universe into a reality where you have don't have control of everything, like you do in the U-Universe. The U-Universe is not a reality. See, from the moment you enter the universe, no time in any world has passed. It's like time stood still. I have heard some who went into the U-Universe purely to escape death. This is all a bit confusing – I know. The best way I can describe it is that the U-Universe is like a daydream, except it's not. Imagine you are daydreaming right now. And then time freezes but your daydream continues. That's essentially what the U-Universe is, except real. As in, if you injure your body in the U-Universe, your body in the real world will reflect that – kind of like the random bruises you get at night except you do know where these are from, the U-Universe. I promise you, the U-Universe sounds ambiguous but it's not, really.

How, you ask, do I know so much about the U-Universe? Well Ethan told me. Who is Ethan? I'll explain in a second. You don't believe in the U-Unverse? Well, it's expected. I believed it instantaneously but I'm a gullible person. I've never been there though.  Ethan tells me, if I daydream enough, I'll get in. That's how he did it, but as of now, it hasn't worked for me. You're just gonna have to believe a gullible secondary source.

Well, Ethan is my friend, charming, witty, and all And he entered his U-Universe. And there, he learned so much about himself and helped society greatly. He says it was so nice to have the doubts about himself answered so truthfully. Some of the world's perilous diseases are no longer present because of the answers Ethan's received from the U-Universe – he has multiple prizes to his name, including a couple Noble Prizes, one to himself, a MacArthur Fellowship and honorary degrees from Stanford and Harvard, to name a couple. Before he told me of the U-Universe, I thought he was just so unnaturally poised and smart. Turns out, he's just naturally smart; the unnaturally poised part is the U-Universe's doing. Did I mention he's only 28?!

But I tell you all this because I'm worried about Ethan. I think he has stumbled upon something momentous about the U-Universe. Something he's not suppose to know; he won't tell me about it though; he just shrugs it off. But I think it will change the world . . . and at the very least kill him. And that scares me very much.