It feels as if DP1 has come and gone so quickly.
The Japanese slang word ‘hyunta’ seems to be the only idiom that fully encapsulates my emotions at this moment. It directly translates to ‘wiseman’s time’ but more accurately means the unfulfilling wave of satisfaction that arrises after you’ve worked so hard for something. All the blood, sweat and tears I’ve shed seem to have suddenly become meaningless.
I believe this feeling of emptiness is a repercussion of the pandemic. Finishing the first year unceremoniously via zoom calls and emails just doesn’t have the same enthralling sentiment as being in-person. However, I do believe that there are other more personal causes too…
Although I worked- I mean, its impossible to complete DP1 without working- I do not believe I worked ‘hard’. I merely just got by. I don’t think that will run in university and working life. I hope to fix this problem this year and finally flourish. I want there to be a paradigm shift in my work ethic, not just scholastically, but holistically.
As for CAS, there are few moderated activities that will be possible during a pandemic. However, I did find hobbies during quarantine that do incorporate creativity, activity and service.
I have been watching elaborate k-pop dance videos since I was young. The energy, technique and coordination of these dances are not skills that just happen to come naturally, but are honed by years of practice and 15 hour work days. Perfectionism is intrinsic in Asian culture, and to achieve it through as much work as needed.
During quarantine, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands, and I tried to recreate many of the dances I had grown up watching. It was quite fulfilling to throw myself into an activity so passionately, trying to imitate the nature of the K-Pop industry, as described earlier.
Before high school, I was a gymnast, also tampering in dance here and there, therefore this activity was not completely foreign to me. Although I am not as flexible as I once was, it was not hard to redevelop my old skills. My muscle memory was also still in tact, shocked that I was still able to remember old gymnastic techniques. As well as dancing being this fun new hobby, that I use as a stress relief tool, it also brought a warm sense of nostalgia.
I hope to continue dancing this year, and even after graduation. I am glad quarantine allowed me to reconcile an old passion of mine.
I’ve spent all my high school years as an avid debater and MUNer, but this had to be halted due to COVID-19. It seems quite depressing to let go of something I have been so consumed by for the last five years.
MUN forces you to step in the role of someone else, and become so engrossed in it, you almost lose your sense of self. For the few days of conference, I am no longer Muneera, but the Delegate of X. I’ve enjoyed taking on these alter egos, and the experience of a mock reality.
It also led me to possible career options since I loved debating so much- perhaps law? However, I am not sure if I could fight so avidly in a real life setting, where there are tangible consequences. I was once told by my father’s lawyer-friend that lawyers are not allowed to have personal opinions, only acting in the persona of a lawyer. This concept, which I was enthralled by in MUN, suddenly seemed quite daunting. I am not sure I could defend something I didn’t necessarily believe in, without the comfort of a false reality.
Also during quarantine, I developed new interests in music, art and film. I never thought I’d find the intellectual side of culture so exhilarating…
My new procrastination habits include lyrical analysis. Either Illmatic by Nas or even Beethoven’s symphonies, I really enjoy discovering new music and applying my IB English literature skills to them.
A continuation from last year is my language acquisition of Chinese. My listening and speaking skills have improved greatly and I was wondering whether I should introduce a new challenge by adding reading in to the mix? I am afraid it will be too time consuming, but I am also afraid that there will never be a point in my life where I will have ‘time’, therefore I start now or never. I will decide later, and keep my blog updated on that!
Lastly service. With the pandemic, it is quite hard to have human community service, even though it is ironically where human welfare is needed the most.
I will continue with seldom beach clean ups on weekends and play the rest by ear.
Overall, I hope I can finish my last year of high school well. I hope this sense of ‘hyunta’ will not resurface when graduation time comes, and I will work hard to make sure it doesn’t!