why do i feel like my parents are stricter with me now than they were before i turned 18/went to college. i am tempted to assert my legal adulthood and do what i want anyway but that is the way of this world and not the way of God's kingdom.

WAHHH TIM I MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO COME OVER AT ALL TONIGHTTTTT. tim doesnt read this blog. i think.


other new years resolution suggestion: go running at least once a week. i really want to go running these days. too much sitting around does that to me. but its too cold. i will take advantage of la jolla weather when i get back. another reason for this sudden resolution suggestion is because i finished reading my psych textbook (ok, skimmed, because i was under time pressure to ship it after i'd sold it) and i read about all the physical developments aka physical deterioration that happen in middle/late adulthood. so it would do me well to heed its warnings and beginning exercising as compensation for loss of walking opportunities in my new schedule. most of my classes this coming quarter are nearby for some reason. i have like 2 a day in york. and other than my waitlisted class which is in warren and only meets like twice a week, my farthest class, i think, is in muir. or marshall? not more than 10 min away anyway. anyway. i would rather not fall apart when i'm 70.

also, reading about middle/late adulthood has made me more aware of the dynamics of being older... and has made me realize my own mortality and even though i may seem to have a lot of time left at this point, 80 years really is not very much at all. and who knows if i will even live out my spot in the family life cycle? i might very well crash and die on my way back in the middle of the night from tim's after a long new years eve of friends and fun. death is a curious thing and i think we would all do very well to think about it long and hard. i feel less prepared to die today than i did a couple years ago, the reason being that i have not given much thought to death since those days of daily meditation about death during my quiet times. but what a sweet moment it will be, if only i could have the luxury of a gradual and expected death. to be with jesus at long last. i'm going to cry when i die. from joy. but until then, i will busy myself with everything that doesnt matter in this life and maybe once in a while shift my focus to things beyond that do matter. or if God helps me, vice versa. hm i wonder if it feels like falling asleep. i wonder if you can keep yourself awake a little longer or choose to drift off a little earlier? once i had a dream that i was about to die for some reason, and i knew it. i went around telling everyone that i was going to die and saying goodbye... but i wouldnt die. i tried to, like i try to fall asleep, but i wouldnt go. and in that dream, it was a lot like falling asleep. but as much as i would like to be able to savor that one moment that comes once in a normal  lifetime (haha), dying slowly in a hospital bed seems so meaningless. but i dunno. i will not risk requesting anything from God because he might listen to me.

is there fear in death? i fear other people's deaths very much. i fear dead bodies (except in a lab environment) and i fear the loss. well, one good thing about dying young is that you won't have to see anyone die. and i fear being jerked out of my body in a way that i can't control. i almost fear not being able to die, but that really doesn't make any sense. and sometimes i fear that when i die, i'll find out that everything i believed about the afterlife was false.

oh, hey, when i die my human nature will have completely been destroyed. in that perspective, death is liberation in the most primal sense. hm interesing...

reading about all stages of a lifespan also make me realize this fourth dimension of time, and helps me to think above it. the present is such a narrow point in time. the past is so long and the future is so long. the "present" is effectively nothing, yet to us who live in it, it's virtually everything. strangely distorted. strangely narrow. my past is already beginning to seem long, but it's only been 18 years. i have no idea what having 60 more years to live means. it seems so short when seen from beyond time, but so long when seen from our own magnifying glass view. far too long for me to comprehend already.

my textbook also apparently says that women gain more other-sex friends as they progress into young adulthood, but men have less other-sex friends. how does that even make sense. after 20 hours of pondering, i have concluded that either the population of young men far outnumbers that of young women, or most of the other-sex friends of the young adult women are men who are not young adults.

ok, enough philosophical thinking sharing for one day.

mental playlist: the words i would say (sidewalk prophets)


lol i just realized that this blog is titled hello, real world because i thought i'd be meeting the real world once i was out of cupertino. lol. just kidding.... ucsd is no more the real world than mv. i dunno if theyre actually both the real world or its just another bubble. but its pretty similar. i need to change the name of this blog. maybe they're both the real world. why did i even think in the first place that college would be realer than high school? maybe i thought cupertino was a bubble because its pretty upper income and safe and abnormal in the sense that its overacademically driven and superazn. but if there's anything i learned in "the real world," its that upper income people really arent so different from lower income people, that cupertino is def not the only safe suburban town in california, and mv is far from unique in being overacademically driven and azn. you want a bigger scale of mv? go to berkeley. and to a lesser degree, ucsd. and every other high school in california that sends more than 50 students to ucsd a year (and probably berkeley and davis too) is probably very similar to mv in culture. OH MAYBE THE WHOLE WORLD IS A BUBBLE. or maybe california. or maybe the entire usa. or maybe the entire student population? ... maybe its our socioeconomic class?

anyway the point is that i shall change the name of this blog.

mental playlist: before the throne of God above (selah)


oh AND i got to the chapter in mere christianity where cs lewis talks about the phenomenon of time and how it doesnt apply to God and seriously, he used pretty much exactly all the same analogies that i came up with 3 years ago while pondering the same matter in china. seriously. if i wrote what i thought were my own original thoughts in a paper, i would have seriously gotten busted for plagarism. what the heck. but i love cs lewis's analogies. he makes so much sense. like seriously, he explained the relationship of the 3-1 God by comparing the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to six 2d squares making one 3d cube. whoaaaa... theyre three in one dimension, but they're one in a higher dimension! dude. cool.
so i just realized that my first quarter of college is over. i must do a reflection.

- overall rating: 10/10 :] very happy at ucsd.

- best thing: living next door to friends. or in the same room as. superconvenient for when you need help during studying, need a study break, want to go grab food, are out of milk etc, or are bored.

- worst thing: lack of real chinese food.

- thing i miss most: real chinese food. friends from home. cocoa.

- academic difficulty: less busy work, but more brainpower. big improvement from high school, including noticeable acne decrease from less stress lol. class content goes deeper and moves faster, but not overwhelmingly so. effort required when trying to retain massive amounts of info the night before the midterm. i have learned that seriously studying and then mentally preparing yourself to fail is the best safeguard against getting stressed about grades while still keeping them up.

- social scene: so my suite is actually rather partyish but i am grateful for my roommate, nancy, one suitemate, lylan, and a floormate, neilson. i still get along with the rest of them, tho. they're really nice people and i dont judge them. hm i hang out with iv people a lot even tho i'm not in iv. made some good friends there, but i only wish revelle sophomores didnt live on the other side of campus. i pretty much don't know any of the other girl suites on my floor. i sort of know the 505-510 guy suite, but they scare me a bit because ... basically i learned from them that (many) guys are gross. gosh, they had porn on their suite wall. the last week of school i began getting to know the other guy suite, and they're so much cooler than the other one, sorry. my ra is def very cool, tho sometimes i admit i run and hide when she comes cuz she tries so hard to get us to go to events. also made many random acquaintainces while fellowship/church hopping. also got reconnected with several childhood friends, who would have guessed?

- living conditions: not as bad as expected. two shower stalls, two toilets, and three sinks is enough for 13 girls. i wish the wall between the showers was something more opaque than fuzzy glass, but it's not too bad cuz most people don't go in while there's someone else inside. living on the fifth floor with a slow elevator helps keep off the freshman 15. our double room is actually quite large and i feel like it's larger than many triples on campus. i wish the vacuum cleaners in reslife worked. love my awesome view of revelle plaza. love the sun on my blinds in the morning and how well lit it is most of the day in the room.

- fellowship/church hopping: chaotic and tiring the first two weeks. saw et everywhere i visited. loved iv small groups, but found large group a little too mainstream. but still, large group is also pretty cool. also liked aacf people cuz theyre awesomely crazy but found their large group meetings somewhat lacking in focus. was about to settle on iv, but neilson told me how cool little spark was so i figured i'd check it out and LOVED their mission statement. so i stuck to it and its affliated church, harbor. secret fear: that it's full of cliques and unserious people where the mission statement remains simply a statement. also wish it was a little less conservative. love my small group leaders.

- most life-changing moment: ".................are you SERIOUS, God???" you know. i went in with an eye on secondary education and am now premed.

- changes in me: musical tastes changed a bit. more mainstream than before. developed a taste for a stronger beat and louder music in my ears that blocks out everything. sounds so good. i'm gonna go deaf soon if i don't try to control the volume in my headphones. luckily i do because i would rather not be the next beethoven. as bryan likes to point out, my tastes more feminine, sure. i pay a little more attention to what a wear. well, half the time. i also feel about 20 times more proud and judgmental than i thought i was when i flew down to sd, but internal states are hard to accurately evaluate from inside so i will not attempt here. also less shy/insecure about singing in front of people. but somehow that confidence goes away at home, haha. also basically relearned guitar (thank you neilson).

- food: food at plaza sure looks good, but it tastes somewhat less than it should. all the more incentive to walk farther to ovt and keep off the freshman 15 some more. actually plaza is pretty decent sometimes.

- homesickness: far less than expected, but not absent either.

- weather: awesome. mild, rare rain, a little chilly at night in december. marine layer fog sometimes. not hot either, except the first week.

- spirituality: much more stimulating than in high school. much more serious. less people going to fellowship just to hang out. better organized in general, less burnout feeling in general. better focus. for me personally, devos got a little off due to lack of daily structure, which affected my closeness to God. first weeks on fire for God. the feeling went away later but the commitment that everything is for him didn't, at least not as much. a little distracted from my purpose as classes picked up, so i made a postit note on my mirror to remind myself to do something meaningful everyday, to not just pass the days one by one only in fun and studying. the flu during week 10 was not good for me as i couldnt go to church or fellowship or anything and i lacked motivation to get up and do my devos and i was too tired and sleepy to really pray much. but going to church the week after was so refreshing.

- living habits: VERY DISCIPLINED. i am relatively a morning person. wake up soon after 7 on weekdays, 9 or earlier on weekends. bed by 11:30-12 most days. i still have yet to go to a dining hall for my breakfast, but i do eat it... whatever i have in my room. lunch between 11 and 2 typically, depending on the day. dinner anywhere from 5 to 8, depending on when we get hungry. i try not to eat snacks to make sure i eat at mealtimes. apparently my ultradisciplinedness transfers to nancy just because we live in the same room lol.

- resolutions for next quarter: take studying a little more seriously. i am, after all, trying to get into med school. do something meaningful each day. do my devos every day.

- favorite class: it would have to be math. ethnic studies was like writing with my left hand, chem was tons of new stuff really fast, but somehow i feel like i wont retain much from that class. i still dont get lennard-jones potential. psych was disappointing because we only covered half the interesting stuff we were supposed to. math now, was easy sometimes because i've learned a lot (most?) of the stuff from mr stark (thank you), but challenging sometimes as i tried to figure out 3d stuff and the significance of doing what i was doing. i went to 55% of my math sections.

- least favorite class: ethnic studies.

- biggest regret: allowing too many days to pass emptily and purposelessly.

- music: i am not in revelle by accident. God knew that revelle is the only college with private piano rooms, the site of many worship/prayer sessions for me this past quarter and, i promise, the next two quarters. 1. i can literally pray through my music. play my feelings out to God. 2. i can use my music like incense, to carry my prayers up to God as i pray out loud. 3. i can worship the conventional way, singing songs and letting the lyrics be my prayers. i have finally come to the point where i dont care what i sound like anymore when i worship. sometimes at least. AND next year when i move to matthews, God knew that i would have the conrad music center with superawesome real legit pianos in private rooms down the street. sweet.

- the beach: SUPERsoft sand compared to in santa cruz. feels so good to mash your toes around in it. touching the ocean makes me so happy, i dont know why i didnt go to the beach more. the cliffs are pretty cool for watching the sunset, which is usually beautiful. you dont really get a legit sunset in cupertino because of the foothills in the west.

- the city: ok, admittedly i dont really like downtown, but the suburbs are very similar to cupertino. theres this one street that looks just like mcclellan, past mv. anyway. lacking in good chinese food/grocery places (except ranch 99 which i havent gone to yet). taking the bus still scares me so i rarely go offcampus except with friends who drive. which is often enough.

ok that was long and took me about two hours. haha. good night. and have a very merry CHRISTmas.

itunes: you raise me up (josh groban)


haha i am done with my detailed four year plan on this handy dandy program that microsoft has come out with called excel. it involved extensive research on upper div bio classes and will probably change, but oh well it was fun using the functions and colorcoding and everything haha. it predicts my probable graduation in 11 quarters and almost maxing out the number of units i'm allowed to take. am i driving myself hard, yeah maybe, but my brain needs the exercise. i slacked enough in high school. i would like to take a screenshot and show everyone, but it doesnt all fit in the window at the same time. so too bad. so many interesting classes, i'm excited. is it weird for one of a human bio major's most looked forward to classes to be phys 2d, quantum physics and relativity? hehehe. maybe ill decide to change my major after i take it. it wont be too late lol jk. no way am i giving up my much coveted spot in the bio department.

today was a good day. hanging with yuji was cool. hanging with dean was cool. hanging with kevin was cool. i'm so happy to be in cupertino but at the same time i miss ucsd.


my cat has cancer. who would have guessed? but she seems to feel fine, so i dunno. we have no idea how far advanced it is. did you even know that animals could get cancer? anyway. what i would seriously like to know is why the hell did the vet not do anything about it when we showed it to him 7 months ago. he gave her medicine for her poor teeth and hairball medicine. talk about putting a bandaid on a broken arm. cs lewis said that satan would love to cure us of our chilblains to give us cancer, to rid us of our vain pride to give us the deadly kind of pride that makes us think we're too good to care what others think.

anyway. i also apparently threw away my japanese workbook from junior year that i still need for japn 20b. darn.

i also decided 70% that i will discontinue japanese after this quarter and do linguistics for my area of focus instead. mix it up a bit and lessen the pressure next year.

mental playlist: he is (mark schultz)


lol dang it i cant stop myself from doing christmas presents. just something small for a few people, hm? sorry i dont usually break resolutions like this but i cant help it this time. it already makes me feel better to know that i'm voiding it haha. christmas isnt christmas without generously stimulating the economy for each other. :] my bank account needs some exercise anyway.

also, today at church was much better. sweet fellowship. :] break is starting to look up.

itunes: salvation is here (hillsong)


something is horribly wrong if you go to youth group looking for meaningful fellowship and find only prank calls, talk about academics, and discussions about how worship team works.

something is also wrong if i worship best when i'm playing piano outside of church, next best when i'm at church and not playing on worship team, and least when i'm playing on worship team.

afc is desperate for prayer and change.
my cat has a tumor which is possibly cancerous so we are spending hundreds of dollars to get it removed. but then theres a billion other optional things you can do to reduce risk and find out what it is and possibly save money and its like auughhh and it becomes a very stressful experience for everyone, my cat esp cuz she hates car rides. we are getting a second opinion today. my dads like sadface its too late forget it the surgery it might make her die faster. my moms like psh its not cancer. what i would like to know is why the doctor didnt do anything about it last time we took her to the doctor about the exact same thing in may.

break is improving due to more people being back and out of school. yay.

mental playlist: break me down (tenth avenue north)


somehow i feel like i would be happier if i did do christmas presents this year. so i have a proposed compromise for next year. be stingy on myself but not on others. there's my new years resolution. i will spend max $40 a month on myself including groceries, laundry, and all that jazz, but not including school or plane tickets to/from school. starting january cuz i already maxed that out this month. OH WAIT NO I DIDNT. i'm only at $34.96. amazing. but we'll make it so unused money carries over in case i need to save up for something. okay. and then ill give the best presents ever next year jk maybe not but i'll try.


on the other hand, i am glad to be back in cupertino. good old friends. good old mv concerts. good old car. good old hoc5. maybe i was grumpy the other day because its break and like i said, its hard for me to create structure for myself and break requires me to create structure for myself.

so there you have it. i did not mean to bash on cupertino. the beginning part at least really was meant in a neutral manner.

mental playlist: all i want for christmas is you (mariah carey)


after some reflection i have concluded that i am glad to be out of cupertino. as cool as cupertino is, i'm glad to be away from academic stress and pressure and busyness and fake/lukewarm christians at church and burnt-out-ness from the same group of 10 people at yg doing everything to run things. i'm glad to be out of this place where you can't get anywhere conveniently without a car and its so easy to waste time either cramming something for school or vegetating afterwards. nothing meaningful gets done. theres nothing to do here because everyone's like gahhh omgggg finalssss and you cant do anything without a car and license anyway and everyones too busy going gahhhh omggg finalssss to get their licenses. anyway. its a diff feel. that was exaggerated. but you get the point. sorry to all cupertino fans. its a nice place to live but i have tasted better. and sorry but the winter weather is so dank and gloomy here that i cant even wake up in the morning and i feel like doing nothing all day and its so cold all the time. and its lonely. my nearest friends live too far away to just drop by and say hi for 15 min cuz i'm bored. ive been spoiled. AND theres no food to just grab anytime i'm hungry. AND there's no cleaning done by custodians.

anyway. i have figured out the mystery why people graduate from afc and go to college and dont come back to hoc5 afterwards. its because there's no college ministry at hoc5. theres no college students. you're stuck between the youth and young adults and its awkward cuz you're not sure where to go for sunday school or fellowship or anything for that matter. so there you have it.

mental playlist: here in your presence (new life worship)


no christmas presents this year. dont get me anything. as much as i love to be generous and give tons of gifts, i feel really wrong spending tons of my dads money when college is already costing him tons of money. so. lets make this year a less commercial christmas and more jesus christ-mas. tho i will not stop writing cards or mass baking and being the free cookie vending machine this year. according to some study, generous people apparently have lower rates of heart disease and better immune systems. lol. that makes total sense. on the one hand my dad has trained me to be stingy. on the other hand, giving presents is so happyful. i dont understand myself.

proverbs 13:7. "One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth." this verse takes on new meaning. at least the second part. rich people are stingy. thats what its saying. i think. "baba can i go on this trip?" "you think we're rich???" yeah. ok. funny. we're not extravagantly rich but we have plenty.

stuck in my head: canadian please (julia bentley and andrew gunadie)


this is the meaning of christmas: that i was so hopeless and lost in my sin and helpless on my own, broken, unworthy of anything but death, and that God so holy and perfect decided to love me enough to pick me up and make me his own through the suffering and death of himself. christmas is God stepping down onto earth, the prelude to his death and resurrection and my salvation.

my doubts about the reality of salvation has made me come to realize how worthless i am and how much i still need jesus. i need him. God, let me never forget that i'm nothing. let me never think that i'm worth anything on my own.

what peace to know that the God of the universe loves me despite everything wrong with me. my worth is not dependent on me but on God. beauty.

but it's so easy to forget, why?

itunes: tidal wave (owl city)


home at last but i realized that the disorder at home scatters and confuses my brain by feeding me too many stimuli simultaneously, and so i feel lazy and time-wasteful at home. and so nothing gets done because i cant clean cuz im overwhelmed by how much there is to clean. stuck. plus this moody weather makes me lazy too. everythings dark so i should be sleeping.

rawr i need structure. i need to throw away and donate some junk but my dad is such a packrat and wont let me get rid of anything useless.

i rather like living at school more now just cuz theres more order there. somehow, i crave structure, but i have a hard time generating it myself.

mental playlist: satisfy (tenth avenue north)


to do over break:
- clean up the house. make everyone happy.
- finish mere christianity. and boundaries i forgot about that book.
- read my psych textbook for the heck of it?
- review japanese
- devos every day from wes' church's thingymabobber
- eat real azn food
- bake a million cookies and share the love
- cook and share the love for a waterwalkers reunion
- possibly visit relatives in vancouver and share the love
- cheerios reunion and update them on everything
- of course, meet and catch up with friends. hang out, play, eat, have a good long-awaited talk.
- catch up with church people. encouragement
- visit afc.
- visit mv.
- advertise ucsd
- do some hard thinking and ponder the balance between working hard in school and doing more meaningful things, between being comfortable with failure and trying to get into med school, between hanging out to have fun and hanging out to build meaningful relationships.
- do some more hard thinking and ponder my own disgusting pride. i want to be humble.
- enjoy my own piano. worship at my own piano. continue to overcome my insecurity about my voice in favor of worshipping w/o restraint.
- write background music for wes' songs

itunes: shackles (praise you)/more love more power (coast vineyard worship)


it feels like summer break.

in other news, i commit to doing something meaningful everyday. its so easy to lose sight of what matters in the routine of studying and fun.
meaningful: having eternal value.

mental playlist: the words i would say (sidewalk prophets)
12 am. chaotic yelling and cheering outside. get up and pull open the blinds to find what looks like the mv guys water polo team's annual speedo run, on crack. half naked people everywhere like ants, flooding clics and jumping in the fountain which appeared to be filled with soap suds. oh my. crazy college kids. go back to bed to listen to their noisy chaos. was it a dream? no the fountain's still full of suds or whatever it was. -_-

mental playlist: the words i would say (sidewalk prophets)


hm but i must say, getting most of your finals done before the second day of finals is half over is pretty nice.

chem did not own me. it was a pretty balanced struggle. thats a good sign.

i have an ear infection???

jesus, my lover and savior, <3<3<3

mental playlist: the words i would day (sidewalk prophets)
btw if you havent noticed, i put the song i currently have stuck in my head or, if i have music playing, the song currently playing from my itunes or whatever, here. 95% of the time, i have a song stuck in my head. and it just plays over and over and its almost like i can really hear it, even if i dont know the song that well. my brain apparently remembers audio things very well. music at least. not names, haha. anyway. one day it will be interesting to go back and see what songs i had in my head and what music i listened to.


rawr i'm going to fail my chem final tomorrow. i dont know what these equations mean. and i cant focus after 6 hours of testing.

real playlist: love is here (tenth avenue north)
i recently realized what a bad idea it was to save most of my chem for monday.
i also recently realized i should have shipped my textbooks to school instead of home. but oh well.
math final was ok. completely missed two problems, but thats only 10% of my final grade.
ethn final was bad. essay was completely disorganized.
it was raining. first time ive seriously encountered rain here. not fun. wet socks for 6 hours.
didnt have time for lunch before ethn final cuz i took longer than expected on math.
stuffy nose during 3 hour final and no kleenex = bad.
i still have a ton of chem to cram for tomorrow 8 am.

in summary, its a bad day.

i feel like vegetating, not cramming.

real playlist: what faith can do (kutless)


stupid 24 hour quiet hours during finals week. what if i wanna play taboo or guitar or whatever to destress, huh? that plus the next door library open 24 hours a day during finals week just makes finals week too intense. lamoface.

real playlist is currently playing: passing by (yiruma)


studying is bad studying is bad studying is bad studying is bad studying is bad studying is bad studying is bad studying is bad studying is bad studying is bad studying is bad studying is bad studying is bad

i'm going crazy here.

the mental playlist: poker face (lady gaga) -_-
a productive morning of debating whether spoons are feminine or masculine as opposed to forks. feel free to leave your opinion. please also leave your opinion on the femininity and masculinity of black people, white people, and azn people. rank them. thank you.

(it actually is relevant)

elena's mental playlist is currently playing: lift us up to fall (tenth avenue north)


sometimes i'm afraid that i'm like a pharisee, thinking i know everything about God, but completely missing the point. sometimes i'm afraid i'm just faking it, spewing lies when i say i love jesus, and fooling myself. because i still sin and according to john, righteous people can't sin. the bible confuses me sometimes. i'm missing something here.

in other news, i have tons of cramming to do before monday. good luck to me. also, i realized that i study for finals. since when did that happen, cuz that totally went under my radar. FINALS WEEK IS SUPPOSED TO BE RELAXING, HELLO. ok. done.

the radio in elena's head is currently playing: times (tenth avenue north)


been sick... not been going to class... been getting behind everywhere. today was finally able to get up for more than 1 hour at a time and get some work done, but not really. week 10 is not a good week to get sick. i dont have buffer time between now and finals to catch up. fever went away earlier today but is back now. but we'll be ok. i have awesome friends who do very sweet things to help a sick person. like take notes and get medicine and tea and make me medicine and tea and leave me notes and offer to get me anything and everything. i'm very grateful.

the plan is to catch up on math and chem this week and cram math studying and ethnic studies inclass essay prep this weekend and then catch up and cram psych after my first three finals finish on tue. we're good. assuming i get better by saturday.

also, studying and stressing apparently pays off very well, so i discovered after seeing my second chem midterm score. still trying to decide if its worth it tho.

ok. hopefully i get better soon because this is beginning to get bothersome and a little worrying with finals so near.