Archives for posts with tag: ukulele

In the midst of all this school-related frenzy, I’ve been allotting more and more of my time to doing things not school-related.  We all need to de-stress, right?

First and foremost, the things that have been stressing me out lately: school’s started again, the robotics season started, and the college application process isn’t over yet.  The winter break was nice, but I was so focused on finishing up my apps that I didn’t have nearly as much time to relax as I would have liked.  Now that I’m back in school, the work is piling up again, and robotics means a 17-hour-per-week time commitment.  Crazy stuff.

It’s not like I don’t have time, though.  I have enough time between getting home and going to sleep that I’ve been spending a good portion of it drawing.  I don’t think I’ve drawn anything seriously in years, but it’s been wonderful to get back into it again.  I’m really rusty, but that’s alright; what matters is that I’m rediscovering what a great outlet art is.

I’ve also been spending obscene amounts of time teaching myself how to play the ukulele!  I’m a total noob righ now, but I think I’ll continue to improve if I keep practicing.  The uke is so different from, say, a cello (which I also play) in that it’s tiny and pretty easy to learn.  Being able to play and sing like an idiot is honestly one of the most relaxing things I’ve ever done.

Lastly, I’ve been working on a visual novel with my little sister (boffinart.tumblr.com).  For those who don’t know what a visual novel is, it’s basically a cross between a choose-your-own-adventure book (do those still exist?) and a video game: it tells a story in a format similar to that of a novel, and the players get to make decisions that influence the direction and ending of the story.  To get an idea of what they’re like, try out the demo for Dragon Essence or Area-X by Zeiva Inc., or play the free visual novel, RE: Alistair ++, by Sakevisual.  These examples are mostly for girls, but google “visual novel” and you’re bound to find options to suit everyone.

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Here’s a screenshot from one of my favorite Visual Novels, Area-X.

I should probably get back to doing homework now! 😀

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In my last post, I mentioned that I’m currently taking a writing class.  To be more specific, this writing class is sponsored by CalArts as part of the Community Arts Partnership Summer Arts program (CAPSA), which is an intensive arts program for high school students like myself.  It’s a three-week program that goes from 10 to 5, four days a week.  Aside from creative writing, the program offers workshops in animation, dance, music, photography, theater, and visual arts.  Because it’s tuition-free, the program is selective and applicants have to submit samples of their work in the discipline they’re applying to.

Honestly, I’ve never really looked forward to attending any of my past summer classes—sometimes, I even dreaded going.  But CAPSA has been different: as intimidating as it may seem to write for 6 hours a day, it’s actually a lot of fun to get my imagination running.  I absolutely love my classmates and my teachers.  Perhaps there’s just something about being writers that makes us such a close-knit group.

Maybe the whole idea of summer “school” isn’t appealing, but to give you an idea of what we do in class: today, we went to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in downtown Los Angeles to eavesdrop on people’s conversations.  The reason?  Our assignment was to write a poem based entirely on observations and snippets of conversations we overheard.  We all had a great time gathering information and writing the poems.

After class today, a bunch of my classmates and I went out for a lovely ramen dinner in Little Tokyo.  Naturally, as I was one of the only two Asians in the group, they relied on me to give them food recommendations and to show them around Little Tokyo (which I don’t even know that well, but it was pretty fun pretending I did.  At least I can pretend to meet some Asian standards, right?).  I brought my ukulele and one of my classmates brought his guitar, so we all kind of sang and had fun and probably annoyed the heck out of the people around us.  It’s funny to think that I didn’t even know these people before last week; I already know i’m going to miss them so much after the class ends.  

Here’s a photo of the restaurant we ate at.  I nabbed it from the internet because I forgot to take a picture 😦

If anyone has any questions about the program, feel free to ask!