2017 Reflection

Things that went well

• Graduated from high school
• Landed scholarships
• Spent time with friends during summer
• Survived my first semester in college
• Tried out a lot of new things (cooking, dancing, coding)
• Learned so much (both life and academic lessons)
• Joined a dance team (and got placed in a very good one)
• Enjoyed my dance team’s set
• Performed on stage for the first time
• Met and befriended new people
• Roommates are respectful

Things that didn’t go so well

• Got rejected from colleges and summer opportunities
• Learned a lot of harsh lessons
• Grew distant from high school friends
• Got heartbroken twice
• Still single
• Struggled a lot academically
• Didn’t do as well academically as I wanted to
• Got rejected from college organizations
• Met some bad people
•Blocked in the back for most of the dance pieces

Things that I hope will go better in 2018

• Academics – I hope spring semester classes will be kinder to me. I hope that I can pick up concepts faster and become more independent in my studies.
• Romance – I hope that something will finally go right in this area.
• Extracurricular – I hope that I can explore computer science outside of classes with a group of people.
• Dance – I hope that I can get into a dance team with a positive environment like my previous team.
• Social – I hope that my friends with people last and that I meet good people.
• Opportunities – I hope that I can something for computer science.

Things that I will improve on

• Physical health – I will continue to eat healthier foods and exercise.
• Academics – I will improve my study habits and discover how I learn best.
• Dance – I will practice more and learn how to pick up choreo faster.
• Experience – I will continue to go out of my comfort zone to try new things and figure out what I like and don’t like.
• Personal – I will continue to learn more about myself.
• Social – I will keep up with friends better and learn how to discern good friendships from bad friendships quicker.
• Computer science – I will improve my critical thinking abilities and learn new languages.

Here’s to 2018. Happy New Year’s!

Image source: http://www.pakchainint.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Happy-New-Year-2018-Images-1.jpg

Until next post!


My freshman orientation

Just 2 days ago, I finished my week long orientation at Cal. It’s been an eventful week and it’s hard to believe that classes have already begun. Overall, I’ve had fun during my orientation. I was really tired during it, but mostly tired in a good way. Walking across campus a bunch of times and hiking up a mountain really does help me get a good night’s rest.

What made my orientation so fun were the people that were in my group. My two orientation leaders really defined my orientation experience. We sang songs, screamed at random intervals, and bonded over random things. I also befriended a handful of people in my group, and it was nice to spend time with them. Having people to walk with and talk to definitely made the experience much more enjoyable.

Our orientation group was composed of about 30 people. However, the majority of the people stopped showing up to orientation activities by the second day. This actually helped make the experience more fun for me. (Besides, the people who didn’t show up were people whom I didn’t synergize well with anyways.) I prefer smaller, more intimate group settings. Large groups are really hard to manage. My favorite activities from orientation were playing an escape room, getting free stuff from Caltopia, and trolling with my orientation leaders.

I was really unhappy about how the university handled the orientation fees though. We were charged $475 for GBO fees initially and I thought that was it. However, mid-way through orientation, we were charged $360 for housing fees. It was completely left field and wasn’t even posted on the orientation website! $360 is a lot of money. I don’t understand why they just didn’t insert that $360 into our housing contracts or began our housing contracts a week earlier.

Here are some things I’ve learned from orientation:

• Everyone is eager to make friends. Once I realized this, it became easier to talk to and approach people.
• I’ve gotten better at introducing myself and talking to strangers.
• I’m not that great at remembering names and faces.
• Some people are incredibly welcoming. Some people go out of their ways to talk to you and befriend you. I appreciate these kinds of people.
• Cliques form fast. People band together and tend to stick together. It’s hard to join a group once it’s been already formed.
• Orientation forces you to be with the same group of people. This allows us to befriend people easier. It’s kinda like high school, where you make friends by association. However, some friendships formed this way aren’t too strong.

tl;dr: Orientation was fun, but not worth $835.

Image credit: https://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~cs194-26/fa14/upload/files/proj3/cs194-di/proj3_sutardja_anthony/imgs/cal_surf/cal_original.jpg

Until next post!

Things I did over Summer 2017

It’s that time of year again. Summer vacation has run its course and I’ll be starting school again in a couple of days. For me, it’s been quite the eventful summer and it’ll probably be one of the last summers that I do properly rest.

Here’s a look back on what I did over summer:

• Hung out with friends
• Played League of Legends with friends until 3 am
• Screwed up my sleep schedule
• Tried Hollow Knight (Though, I couldn’t finish the game because my computer’s CPU got slightly damaged and can’t run the game smoothly anymore.)
• Rested, relaxed, and recovered from senior year
• Packed for college
• Worked out periodically
• Practiced basic Python
• Set up monthly playlists
• Gardened a little bit
• Started a new blog
• Bid farewell to my hometown
• Moved houses
• Explored some cities that were new to me
• Visited a national park
• Spent time with family
• Watched Doctor Crush, my first Korean drama
• Learned basic cooking skills and recipes
• Set up Ubuntu on computers
• Learned about Linux distros
• Fixed my sleep schedule
• Enjoyed my last summer before college

Goodbye, Summer 2017. You will be missed.

Image credit: http://culturahipster.com/wp-content/uploads/maxresdefault-1.jpg

Until next post!

Drama Review: Doctor Crush (2016)

So, I just finished watching my first Korean drama, Doctor Crush (2016). I picked up the drama on a whim because I saw a clip of the first episode, showcasing Yoo Hye-Jung’s fighting prowess and beauty. Park Shin-Hye and Kim Rae-Won’s performances instantly got me hooked on the series. The 20 episode saga put me through a roller coaster of emotions and now, I’m here to share my take on the drama.


The lead actors, Rae-Won (who played Hong Ji-Hong) and Shin-Hye (who played Yoo Hye-Jung), were excellent. Ji-Hong’s character flourished with charisma and strength as he protected Hye-Jung from the background. Hye-Jung’s character showcased a headstrong individual who has endured many pains. (She was really really pretty too.) Not only were they strong individual actors, but also, when paired together, they truly were a dynamic duo that demanded your full attention. The two synergized both in the surgery room and out. They grew together and learned from one another. They taught each other the importance of being able to rely on each other; this was a milestone lesson as both characters went through life on their own. The chemistry between them was truly magical.

To put it simply, the relationship between Hye-Jung and Ji-Hong was really cute. I had many fangirl moments as the pair developed feelings for one another. From the time they first held hands to their last kiss, I felt giddy every time I saw them doing romantic gestures on screen. It was endearing how they snuck around the hospital to spend time with one another. I especially love the little montages of them hanging out together as they did in the arcade and the football field. Their relationship is truly one to cherish and wish for.

I really enjoyed the touch of realism the show put in with the arc of Dae and Hal. Up until that point, most characters came into the neurosurgery department for surgeries without a care in the world for money. Surgeries are expensive! (Or maybe I’m just conditioned to believe that because the US has terrible health care systems.) I know that South Korea has some sort of universal health care system, but I’d still imagine that people would still struggle to pay hospital bills for complex surgeries. When the father of Dae and Hal struggled with finances, I felt that the show became more realistic and relatable. To me, it was probably the most touching, realistic arc. The father just wanted the best for his kids; he didn’t have much, but he wanted to give the world to them. He struggled with financial pressures from all angles every day and every night until one day where he just cracked. He was forced into a corner and nearly committed suicide, so that his kids could get the surgeries paid for. This arc contrasted nicely with the arcs where surgeries were performed on the rich and powerful.

The soundtrack for the show was excellent. The same themes were repeated again and again in key moments, so emotional responses were intensified. When something wrong happened in a surgery, a certain track would play. When relief was found, a certain track would play. The music guided me through the intense moments of the episodes.

I liked watching Jung Yoon-Do’s character growth and change as he fell in love with Hye-Jung. To be quite frank, he was initially an asshole. As he fell in love with Hye-Jung, he started going out of his comfort zone in hopes of winning her over. He became more human and learned to treat his colleagues better. I respected how he made sacrifices, such as the time when he became a board member, to help Hye-Jung out. Ultimately, he’s no match for Ji-Hong, but he became a more likable character by the end of the show. He’s still hilariously awkward and the way his “aunt” and uncle treat him was amusing.

Though Seo-Woo’s character sucked for the most the show, her redeeming point was when she stood up to her father and told him off. That was a very powerful moment as Jhin Myung-Hoon never really listens to anyone aside from his precious family members. Hye-Jung and Seo-Woo certainly aren’t best friends again, but their relationship at the end of the show definitely improved; this helped provide closure for their feud.

Myung-Hoon’s illness really showed what was important in life – living. No matter how much wealth you accumulate, you’re still human and are still subject to the limitations of the human body. In this sense, the human body is the ultimate equalizer of the world. Everyone is subject to death and no amount of money can bring back a life. The rich and powerful still can get sick. Myung-Hoon was facing the potential of disability and death and it was only natural for him to be scared. Everything faded away at that point. His ambitions, wealth, and personal feuds with people all diminished in importance as he faced life’s harsh realities. This theme left viewers with a hopeful vibe – that all people are equal in some way, despite their backgrounds.

Everything, as in all the major and minor plotlines, wrapped up in fairly okay ways. I’ll be delving into some of the negatives in how they were resolved. Jin Myung-Hoon and Jhin Sung-Jong got what they deserved. Hye-Jung somewhat made up with her father, learned to let go of her grandmother’s death, and somewhat fixed her relationship with Seo-Woo. Ji-Hong and Hye-Jung got engaged. All’s well that ends well, right?


Disclaimer: Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect going into this drama. Again, I watched it because I thought Hye-Jung was cute and badass. I didn’t really look into the plotline before diving in. This was also my first “medical” drama too.

I didn’t really enjoy seeing the politics behind the hospital. Things didn’t really feel very well-developed or multidimensional. I can enjoy political dramas when they have well-developed plots. For example, I really enjoyed watching House of Cards for this reason. I understand why the politics of the hospital were important, but I’d rather watch Hye-Jung and Ji-Hong flirt with each other than watch old men poorly conspire to get wealthy.

All the episodes felt about the same in terms of pacing. Episodes picked up from previous episodes and ended with dramatic climaxes at the end. I guess, most dramas and TV shows are designed this way to ensure that viewers keep watching.

While some surgeries didn’t go as planned, nearly all of them had a positive result. I wanted to see Hye-Jung deal with a failed surgery and grow from that experience. In this scenario, I could totally see her seeking comfort from Ji-Hong and slowly regaining confidence as a doctor.

Up until the last couple of episodes, Seo-Woo’s character annoyed me to no end. She kept hurting Hye-Jung out of jealousy. I mean, she reported her fellow felllow (Heh. See what  I did there?) for getting a car from the gang boss. That was so petty. If Seo-Woo wasn’t so insecure in the beginning, then the story could’ve gone a lot differently.

I didn’t like the whole grandma mystery death thing. It was brought up at random times and really brought out a bad side of Hye-Jung. The whole “revenge” part was weird. I didn’t like the part were Hye-Jung threatened to kill Myung-Hoon. That wasn’t classy at all and felt so out of character.

Sometimes, the conflicts were awkwardly placed. One second, Hye-Jung and Ji-Hong are dealing with the mystery of the grandmother’s death. The next second, they’re in a cute date montage. There needed to be better transitions in between scenes.

I still disliked the 13 year time skip and think that the plot should have been different. I wanted to see Hye-Jung work through medical school and slowly fall for Ji-Hong. The time skip wasn’t as bad as I initially thought of it, however. I wished that I could’ve seen more of the relationship between Hye-Jung and Ji-Hong. I wanted to see them on more dates, getting married, and starting a family. The two are just so cute together!


I enjoyed watching Doctor Crush and I can now better understand why so many people are into Korean dramas.

tl;dr: Doctor Crush was pretty good.

Image credit: Doctor Crush (2016)

Until next post!

My August Playlist

Here’s my August playlist:
1. Bad Things – Michael Constantino, Emma Heesters
2. Little Brother – Ella Vos
3. Fake Love – William Singe
4. Bad and Boujee – William Singe
5. Truthfully – DNCE
6. Dynasty – Elephante, MIIA
7. Congratulations – Post Malone, Quavo
8. I’m the One – DJ Khaled, Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper, Lil Wayne
9. Sidelines – e-dubble

Image credit: http://www.computer-blog.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/aug-13-estonian-summer-sun-preview.png

Until next post!

Thoughts on Doctor Crush (2016) so far

Today, I finally picked up Doctor Crush, my first Korean drama. Why? I saw this awesome clip on Facebook. Essentially, a hot female doctor fights off a bunch of goons before performing surgery on the boss goon. I thought to myself: Hot female doctor who can kick ass? Hell yeah. Sign me up for that. And thus, I started watching the drama. At the time of this post, I’ve finished watching episode 3 of Doctor Crush.

(Warning: Spoilers ahead.)

I really did not like Yoo Hye-jung, the main character, at the very beginning. She was very bratty, but understandably so. Yoo Hye-jung grew up in unfortunate circumstances and it really sets up the narrative for her redemption. Hong Ji-hong is the charismatic teacher whom everyone knows and loves. He’s very cunning and the methods he uses to teach his students are very clever. Most times, he “tricks” students into learning or figuring out lessons for themselves. I liked his character a lot.

One thing I don’t like about this drama so far is how unrealistic everything feels. All the plot devices felt like they were forced in to advance the plot further. For example, having a guy with a motorcycle suddenly come and pick you up whenever it’s convenient for you (and even when you don’t contact the guy. Like the guy just shows up magically.) is not something that would happen in real life. The plot felt quite rushed too. Within 3 episodes of the plot, the main character has fought off random cliques of girls, been to jail, and loses her family. I would have liked to see more development of the relationship between the Hye-jung and Ji-hong. It felt like they got along too well too quickly.

The biggest gripe I have with this series so far is: the random 13 year time skip. The story was setting up the stage for a large confrontation between Yoo Hye-jung and Jin Seo-woo’s entire family. Jin Seo-woo was jealous of the relationship that Hye-jung and Ji-hong had and of Hye-jung’s intelligence. Working out of jealousy, she essentially ruined that relationship, got the teacher fired, and got Hye-jung expelled. Seo-woo’s mom is shown badmouthing and belittling everyone. And worst of all, See-woo’s dad carelessly rushed Hye-jung’s grandma’s surgery, leading to the death of the grandma. (At this point, I’m not sure whether See-woo’s dad intended to kill her or not.)

The entire first 3 hours of the drama seems to be pitting Hye-jung against Seo-woo’s family. As a viewer, I wanted to follow Hye-jung in her journey of turning her life around. I wanted to see how she dealt with the aftermath of losing her grandmother. And most importantly, I wanted to see her achieve a satisfying victory – beating Seo-woo in academics, getting into medical school with a full scholarship, becoming a doctor, taking over the hospital, and giving the Seo-woo family the revenge they deserve. (Oh, and I would have liked to see Hye-jung get together with Ji-hong too, but I’m sure that’s coming up anyways.) That’s the kind of story that I anticipated and looked forward to. The 13 year time skipped really disappointed me, but I will keep watching the drama to see where it goes.

tl;dr:  Park Shin-hye is really pretty.

Image credit: https://www.dramafever.com/st/news/images/3263c28a-88e5-4485-9ed1-3f1c754bf67c.jpg

Until next post!

Lessons I Learned From Moving

Here are some lessons I learned from my recent moving experience:

• The entire process is very physically demanding.

• You get sweaty very quickly from loading a couple of heavy boxes onto the truck.

• Productivity declines sharply (or even halts) when you’re hungry and tired.

• Boxes don’t stay still in a truck.

• Things get damaged.

• Unloading is a lot quicker than loading.

• After you unload all your belongings, you don’t really have energy to do much else – no matter how much you want to set up everything.

• Your body will ache a lot.

tl;dr: Moving houses is painful.

Image credit: https://rdcnewscdn.realtor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/moving-truck-boxes-1024×576.jpg

Until next post!

Moving Houses

Currently, I am in the draining process of moving houses. Ironically enough, my family is moving farther away from my college. (That car ride won’t be fun…) I’ve only ever experienced moving houses once, and that was when I was very little. To me, this feels like the first time that I’ve ever actually moved houses. It feels like I am moving away from the home that I’ve grown up in to some place foreign and unfamiliar.

Moving houses is very bittersweet to me. On one hand, I totally understand why my family is moving. On another hand, it’ll be difficult for me to return to my hometown. I’ve always imagined coming back home during winter or summer vacation, reconnecting with old friends, and sharing all sorts of crazy stories from our college experiences. It’s a little saddening to know that I won’t be able to hang out with people as often during breaks or that I won’t be able to attend events, such as graduations, for my underclassmen. Thankfully, at the very least, social media and the Internet keep me connected with people across long distances.

The process of relocating is a lot more tiring than I imagined. You never really realize how much stuff you have until you have to move it all. I’ve thrown away so many things – little trinkets from my childhood to gigantic piles of papers from high school. Yet, I still end up needing more boxes to put my stuff in. Taking down furniture and packing up belongings is very physically demanding. It doesn’t help that the summer heat is up and kicking too.

One good thing about digging through your old stuff is: rediscovering your forgotten belongings. I’ve found my old GameCube and even a brand new pair of speakers as I cleaned up my stuff. It’s moments like these that brings a smile to my face as I toil over stuffing objects into boxes.

One day, I wish to buy properties for their land, demolish the buildings, and build my dream house from the bottom up. I wish to build something permanent in a nice area, so that I don’t have to deal with the pains of relocating again. I want to have a say in every design aspect of the house. No more shitty piping jobs or lack of restrooms. Everything will be modern and tech-infused. I’d love to use an AI to be able to control various aspects of the home – kinda like what Jarvis does in Iron Man. This is a costly ambition, but one can dream, right?

tl;dr: Relocating is exhausting.

Image credit: http://cdn.freshome.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Gorgeous-evening-view-of-Russet-Residence–1025×450.jpg

Until next post!

Thoughts on Kayn – Patch 7.14

Kayn’s IP cost dropped from 7800 to 6300 recently, so I picked him up to understand his kit better. My first thoughts were “Oh my god. This champion is terrible.” And to some degree, that thought still stands. As I played him more, I became more familiar with his mechanics and even began to enjoy playing the champion.

General Gameplay

On terms of map pressure, Kayn is absolutely garbage early. His jungle clear is fine, but once you finish clearing the jungle, you’re often left with nothing to do. Prior to transforming, Kayn doesn’t bring too much to a gank. He can walk through walls and smack the laners…? With good warding, it’s very hard for Kayn to pull off a successful gank, since he doesn’t have very good gap closers. His Q needs to be used for damage and not for gap closing. His E isn’t too good early. Unlike the Elise or Lee Sin, he doesn’t have too much kill pressure early on; his damage could use some number tweaking.

Riot basically prevents you from transforming super early on. The average transformation time is around 10 minutes. You can smack all the opponents you want early on, but it won’t build up enough of his passive to transform. By then, the game might have already been decided. The opposing Elise could have dove your laners multiple times by now.

Furthermore, I really dislike the mini-game Riot put on his passive. He has to hit melee champions to transform into his Darkin form or hit ranged champions to transform into his Shadow Assassin form. More often than not, it’s not worth to wait 4 extra minutes to transform into the form that you did not earn; you just lose too much map pressure. I want the passive to be tweaked so that hitting any champion charges up his passive and once his passive is fully charged up, he has the choice to transform into either form.

While we’re on the topic of his transformations, why does he have to go back to base to transform? Kha’Zix can evolve on the spot. In high elo and competitive matches, recalling immediately to transform can lose you map pressure. At the same time, not transforming means that Kayn still will have lower map pressure than the opposing jungler. It’s a lose-lose scenario. A quality of life change would allow Kayn to transform on the spot.

I feel as though all abilities should be augmented as soon as you transform. Why does Shadow Assassin get a buff on his E and not on his Q? Why does Darkin get a buff on his Q and not his E? They should each get different buffs on their abilities. Perhaps, Shadow Assassin can get a longer Q range or more damage on his Q and maybe, Rhaast can get extra resistances for using his E.

In an ideal world, both forms would be balanced and each form would be used in different scenarios. Need to someone to assassinate squishy hypercarrries? Shadow Assassin’s your man. Need someone to soak up some damage? Rhaast’s your man. As of now, Kayn’s Darkin form completely outperforms his Shadow Assassin form even on what the Shadow Assassin’s form is meant to do best – assassinaing squishies.

Shadow Assassin Form

Between the two forms, I actually prefer playing this form. Even though objectively speaking the Darkin form is much stronger, the Shadow Assassin Form is more fun and smoother to play. Being able to move while casting W makes gameplay very smooth as you can combo your Q immediately.

His passive is currently bugged and it isn’t amplifying damage from certain sources. A bugfix on his passive will definitely help him out. He may need some number tweaking on his passive. If opponents build some resistances, then his passive can be rendered useless. His ulti is kind of underwhelming right now (and it’s being addressed on PBE). Even to squishies, Darkin ult does more damage and heals him for a percentage of the damage dealt. Perhaps, Shadow Assassin Kayn’s ulti should get some type of % armor pen.

Shadow Assassin Kayn is definitely a “win more” type of playstyle. If you fall behind, then you most likely won’t be doing very much in the game. If you get ahead, you can hardcarry. Shadow Assassin Kayn’s passive does bonus damage based on post-mitigation damage dealt.

On this form, I prefer a Lethality-centric build. As for situational items, I really like out of combat movespeed on Kayn, so most of the times, I enjoy getting a Deadman’s Plate on Kayn (regardless of which form I’m playing). The movement speed, combined with your E, allows you to traverse the map so quickly.

My build on Shadow Assassin Kayn: Warrior >>> Duskblade >>> Ghostblade >>> Boots (Tabis or Merc Treads somewhere in this build) >>> Situational (Deadman’s Plate, Guardian’s Angel, Maw of Malmortius, etc)

(Optional point: Shadow Assassin Kayn is edgier too. LOL.)

Darkin Form

The Darkin form is definitely more consistent and is objectively stronger. He does just about as much damage as Shadow Assassin and gets a hard CC on his W and heals for a percentage of his damage dealt. Essentially, he’s Shadow Assassin, but he doesn’t blow up in 2 seconds.

I haven’t played too much of Darkin form yet, since I’ve been (unwillingly) transforming into Shadow Assassin more often lately; even when I want to transform into Rhaast, I usually get the Shadow Assassin form passive charged first. I’ll need to play test this form some more, but from what I’ve experienced and read about, this form is objectively stronger than Shadow Assassin.

I prefer a tankier build on Darkin form. Spirit Visage is really good on him since it synergizes with his passive.

My build on Darkin Kayn: Warrior >>> Black Cleaver >>> Titanic Hydra >>> Boots (Tabis or Merc Treads somewhere in this build) >>> Situational (Deadman’s Plate, Spirit Visage, etc.)

tl;dr: Kayn could use some buffs to his early game and Shadow Assassin Form.

Image credit: https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zj6v0mQnHxE/WVMM0NbpriI/AAAAAAAAn-0/cRBXRrPxfTY2EFhaN2r6KZejcUvOcwQYwCLcBGAs/s640/bd49366fb42c8ad1.jpg

Until next post!

My July Playlist

I’ve found out that listening to a good playlist can improve my mood a ton. Ever since April, I’ve been creating new playlists each month. Songs are kept on the monthly playlists until I get tired of them. It’s been about 3 months and I’m still obsessed with “Stay” by Alessia Cara. Creating new playlists each month refreshes what I listen to, so I don’t get bored of listening to music.

I use Spotify because it’s easy to listen to my playlists across multiple devices. When a song isn’t on Spotify, I upload it as a local file. Unfortunately, I cannot listen to local files on devices that do not already have them on file. Spotify has the songs I listen to about 90% of the time, so it’s pretty good.

Here’s my July Playlist:
1. Break Me – Trivecta, Karra
2. Stay – Zedd, Alessia Cara
3. I’m the One – DJ Khaled, Justin Bieber
4. Love Yourself – Justin Bieber
5. 2U – David Guetta, Justin Bieber
6. Something Just Like This (Piano Cover) – Romy Wave
7. Closer – The Chainsmokers
8. Be A King – E-Dubble
9. Let Me Oh – E-Dubble
10. Ballin – Logic

Image source: http://blog.redstamp.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/01_JULY_HEADER-1024×683.jpg

Until next post!