Day #1 in Taipei!

Hello World!

Greetings from Taipei! This is Sophia and this is the first entry of my blogging about Taiwan. I am staying in Taipei for 25 days to study Mandarin, learn about the culture, and try a lot of delicious foods. After taking a 14 hour flight, I arrived in the beautiful island of Taiwan. The time was 6am and the temperature had already reached 80 degrees. Here, the weather is hot, humid, and sticky. The city seems a bit dirty from the constant rain and heat, but it is still a great metropolitan city. Like every great city, there are multiple neighborhoods within Taipei. My uncle’s apartment is located in ZhongXiaoFenXing or more commonly referred to as “SOGO.” SOGO is the “Times Square” of Taipei, and it is home to countless numbers of big name designers and expensive boutiques. On the smaller streets you have local entrepreneurs and chefs selling their goods for a cheaper price, while on the main streets there are malls with designer brands who charge a heftier amount. One thing that is especially neat about Taipei is the ability for one to grab a quick snack on the street and then continue on running errands. Today for breakfast I grabbed a pork bun (or 3), and then continued on to Taipei 101. We went up to the 89th floor and looked out from each side (North, South, East, and West) of the indoor observatory, which is basically a 360 panorama of clear glass. Afterwards, we took the incredibly handy subway to National Taiwan University where I checked in for my summer program. The program is for college students so there is a lot of free time. Later, I strolled around the NTU area exploring the smaller food and fruit stands. The day ended with a dinner of fresh watermelon and guava. Luckily my dorm room has nice AC, so I slept nice and sound!

Signing off now- ’till tomorrow my friends! 🙂 Beef_Noodle_SoupTropical_Popsicle Happy_Lemon_Boba Taipei101_Designers Taipei101Top Taipei101View Taipei101View2 Taipei1013 Taipei1014 TaipeiMetro BreakfastPorkDumplings

Untitled #1

A thousand orgastic experiences only lead to a lacking unfulfilled self.

Instant gratification plagues the minds of young souls

Wandering aimlessly about the incessant web.

The ceaseless calls of others tempt the mind,

While I am only yours for the time you remain entertained.

But a single waning moment passes,

And all intimacy vanishes- I am lost forever.

Left disposable at the spindly fingers of the terse,

I am what you want me to be- nothing more, nothing less.

An Original Spanish Poem based on José Martí’s Poem

Yo soy la soñadora de soñadores

De donde se convierten los sueños en la realidad

Y antes de morirme quiero

Nadar en todos los océanos

 

Yo bailo de todas las ciudades

Y nado adonde ninguna nadadora ha llegado

La esperanza soy, entre los desesperados

En las nubes, creyente soy.

Por Sophia

The English translation of the poem is as follows.

I am the dreamer of dreams.

From where dreams turn into reality.

And before I die I want to

Swim in all the oceans.

Dance in all the cities

And swim where no other swimmer has gone.

I am the hope among the hopeless

In the clouds, believer I am.

The Piano by Sophia

Hello Everyone,

Here is the story of a Children’s book I wrote for English class. The name of the picture book is The Piano. I wrote it based on true events.

I hope you enjoy it!

Sophia

 

April 2013

Once upon a time there was a girl. The girl’s name was Ruby May. Ruby May was a special girl who liked normal things like eating chocolate and swimming. She had dark brown hair that changed to a honey-brown in the summer. Her family adored her plump, round face, and brown eyes. She had what her parents would call: “the all-american look.” Her brother was different than her, exotic. One could call him mysterious, with his jet-black, straight hair, long eyelashes that curled downwards, and a defined jaw, like a block of iron. He was tall, yet skinny. But, the best part of him was not his appearance, but his abilities. His ability to play the piano and compose like a true artist. He was a magician who created magical music that lulled anyone who listened into a relaxed, and peaceful state of mind. Her brother didn’t just play the piano, he also loved to do other things. He loved to play soccer, eat food, and play Yu-Gi-Oh. Their mom made him practice the piano every day, because she said that practice made success. After school, for half an hour each day, Ruby May would lay underneath the piano, and listen to him rehearse songs by Chopin and Mozart. She loved the piano like a home; it was so big it could pass as a small house. It was a Steinway & Son grand piano. Her favorite part of laying underneath the piano was looking at the guts of the piano, at the black polynomial pieces of wood, supporting the piano. Although she never admitted it, she loved stickers. Her desk was filled with a variety of stickers, from hearts, to cats, to stickers with jokes about brushing your teeth. She even had stickers that were letters. One day, as she was lying underneath the piano. She placed 11 letters onto the piano: RUBY MAY AND JONA. These 11 letters not only showed her lack of vocabulary, but it also represented her loyalty to the piano. By placing the 11 harmless looking stickers onto the piano, she was really engraving her brother and her spirit into the piano. Now, whenever someone played their piano, they would feel Ruby May’s soul with every touch of a piano key. She also loved looking at her brother’s feet. Her brother’s feet and legs were fascinating for they represented his life. Every year, his appearance changed. When he was a toddler, he wore tiny shoes that his mom bought from GAP, and his chubby legs didn’t even reach the ground. Gradually, as the years past, his legs became more harry, longer, and skinnier. His legs could now reach the piano pedal. The piano pieces he played now involved sharps, flats, and minor tunes. Jona’s scheduled piano practices were now extended to 90 minutes per day. He ploughed through 8 minute songs by Beethoven and Bach. Ruby May could tell by the sighs of frustration that he did not enjoy deciphering the complex chords of Burgmuller. One day, Jona threw his music onto the ground and shouted, “I’M TIRED OF PLAYING THIS SAME BORING STUFF.” He slammed the cover down, and turned around to face the window in one quick motion. He stared out into the backyard. He envied the bees buzzing round the cherry blossom trees, collecting sweet pollen. He intensely watched the squirrels scamper up and down the giant redwoods, collecting nuts with purpose. He gazed at a plethora of multi-colored plants, green palm trees, purple flowers, white Narcissus, pink peonies, voluptuous cherry blossom trees, and towering redwoods. Without warning, Jona abruptly swiveled around the piano bench, grab bed a notebook and pencil, and started scribbling down words with such passion, Ruby May thought the pencil would snap in half. Simultaneously, he played random notes and chords with his left hand, while jogging down quick notes with his swift right hand. Ruby May watched in awe at this moment of musical discovery. “Whatcha doin’?” Ruby asked curiously, coming out from underneath the piano. “None of your business. And will you quit spying on me all the time? You are so annoying when you lie underneath the piano. Gosh.” Responded Jona matter of factly. She left immediately, not wanting to irritate her brother any more than she had already.

        For the next couple of weeks, her brother banished her from the Piano Room, he would refuse to let her even enter the room, let alone lay underneath the piano. Jona would work late hours into the night, usually going to bed at 12 or 1 in the morning. That night, the strangest sound woke little Ruby May from her much needed sleep. The sound of a rustic, post-pubescent, voice that was a bit pitchy, penetrated the thin walls of her room. Her sleepy mind then registered the voice to the soul singing, Jona? Singing? JONA IS SINGING? She thought surprised. She was too tired to pester him about this new song, so she decided she would ask him tomorrow. The next day she woke up to her parents frantically running around the house and shouting. She got up and asked them, “What’s going on?” “You’re brother is missing, that’s what’s going on.” Responded her mother annoyed. “WHERE IS HE? DID HE TELL YOU HE WAS GOING TO HIS FRIEND’S HOUSE? DID HE GIVE YOU A NOTE? DID HE TEXT YOU?” she shouted at terrified Ruby May. She shook her dumbstruck face, in slow motion, back and forth. Ruby May sprinted to her only safe spot, underneath the piano. She lay facedown, so that the Persian rug would dry her tears. The Persian rug was soft, plush, comfy, and felt like a deep hug from a desperately needed-to-be-shaved llama. After several minutes of crying, Ruby May flipped onto her back, eyes closed. She thought to herself, It’s okay. Don’t worry, he will come back. He is just kidding. There is no way he could have left. He can’t handle it. Once she finished reassuring herself, she opened her eyes. Something caught her eye. A white piece of paper, a note, was taped to the inside of the piano.

It read:

I seek the Place of Opportunity. I am not getting what I need here. Don’t look for me, I will return to your life when fate deems optimal. I am not leaving you forever, my body is just leaving, my soul will always be with you when the rhythm is right, and the meaning is felt. I am off to discover who I am going to become,  the me I was born to be. I am looking for my Firefighter.

-Jona

Firefighter? What is that supposed to mean? Was he stuck in a fire? What the heck?

She stayed up the rest of the day, brainstorming ideas for what Firefighter could be. She fell asleep that night, with a list of unhelpful thoughts.

        Years past, and still Jona did not come back. Ruby May grew up to be a normal teenage girl, selfish, self-conscience, and hungry. After years of hoping he would return, or at least return her phone calls, Ruby May gave up on her brother. One afternoon, when Ruby May was at her friend’s house, her friend introduced her to a new and super “cool” music video. It was titled “Firefighter.” Why did that name seem familiar? Thought Ruby May. Before she could put much thought into the word, the video started. The music video opened with a burning building with piano music playing in the background. Ruby May didn’t focus much on the video, for the music was what caught her attention. A trained, masculine, low, unique voice sang the “new and super cool” song. The lyrics were so deep in meaning, “Firefighter bring the night away, something I rely on to regain, I need you to feel my love and pain, and to get me out.” When the song ended, Ruby May was sad for the song brought back a powerful memory. The memory she couldn’t see in her mind, but could clearly feel. Before the video ended, a man appeared on the screen. Ruby May stared at the young man in the screen. “Hey Ruby, doesn’t that look like an older version of Jo-” “SHH.” responded Ruby. The young man said, “I wrote this song many years ago. Many years ago, I was a lost kid, I thought my life was boring and dull. I felt confined, and didn’t know how to express myself. So I went on a journey to “find myself” and a happier life. I was looking for something, one thing that would turn my life into a rock star’s life. This “quest” you could call it, hurt many people I was close to. I left great things that I had in order to find something better. I turned my cheek to the ones that cared about me most. I am happy to say that now, 10 years later, I have found or realized what I was looking for. I realized the importance of family. My family has always been there with me, even calling for me during my journey of disappearance. Fans have asked you, “who is your Firefighter?” For a long time, the answer was “I don’t know. Or, it’s nobody, I’m not that deep.” But, I have now found the meaning to a song I wrote 10 years ago. The firefighter you all have adored in my song, is my family. My family is my Firefighter. So, 10 years later, I am speaking in this video, to tell my family that I have finally found my Firefighter.

Student Challenge Blog #6

http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/2013/04/14/challenge-6-digital-footprints/

Activity#1.

When I Googled my first and last name, about 172,000 results came up. About 15 of those results were actually about  me. The rest were about other Sophia’s in the world. The main topics of the results were volleyball, chess, piano, and the school I go to. The first two results were links to my volleyball club’s website and roster of my team. The next several results were links to articles about chess tournaments I have placed in. The next couple are links to my chess rating. The last couple of results take you to my school website, and posts that have my name in them. For example, one link took me to an article about the Science fair I went to.

Overall, when one Googles my name, one can not find out any personal information about me. Also, none of my social media accounts pop up which is great. By Googling my name, I learned that I have to be careful about what information I share online, because I have an unusual name and anyone can find me online.

Blogging Challenge #4

Using images in posts 

 

This week’s challenge was to insert copyright free images into a post. Here are ten copyright free images of my favorite animals.

Mei Lan

Photo Credit: Valerie via Compfight
Flamingos PartyingCreative Commons License

Photo Credit: Pedro Szekely via Compfight

Humpback whale breaching
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: jdegenhardt via Compfight


African elephant
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Valerie via Compfight

dj sugar
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: John Maffei via Compfight

mama eet
Photo Credit: belgianchocolate via Compfight
Amur Leopard Portrait
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Art G. via Compfight


Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Valerie via Compfight

Two rabbits in the snow
Photo Credit: Tambako The Jaguar via Compfight

My little dog

Photo Credit: -=RoBeE=- via Compfight

 

Blogging Challenge #1

Who Am I? Student Blogging Challenge #1

If I could meet ten people, dead or alive, I would meet these ten people:

1. Barack Obama

What was the biggest reason why you ran for President?

2. Chris Martin

Where/how did you write so many songs, each of them having such a deep meaning?

3.  Adolf Hitler

What would the world look like/ how would it operate if you accomplished your goal?

4. Misty May Treanor

What advice would you give to a 14 year old girl, who plays club volleyball?

5. Dr. Seuss

What was your inspiration for coming up with each of the picture books you wrote?

6. Walt Disney

Who is your favorite character that you created, and why?

7. Ben and Jerry

Where did you all come up with all these crazy ice cream flavor ideas, and which one is your favorite?

8. Gandhi

What was the happiest moment in your life, and the saddest moment in your life?

9. Albert Einstein

What was the process at which you created the equation E=mc^2?

10. John Lennon

How long did it take, on average, for you to write one song?