Monday, May 1, 2017

MAYDAY MONDAY: You Only Got One Shot

Well, I've done it- missed a deadline and shortly after, wanting to punch a wall. But, this past weekend, some triumphs prevailed...

Short days are easy to be trapped in with static activity. 3pm deadlines are inconvenient and I missed two of these- one for a plagiarism check for an essay and voting as a member of the student body. 

Saturday. Woke up at 3:30am (somehow fell asleep at 8:30 the night before). Two hours reading assorted WWII poetry and skimmed history timelines of the Pacific theater. It was a chilly morning, but alas, I watched the sunrise at 6:30 before heading out to competition headquarters on my home campus (which has established distinct vibes between extracurrics and textbook curricula; a bit aggravating, I must say).
A summary of the events of the mini version of AcDec: a 50 minute essay and eight 30 minute multiple-choice tests. Lunch and a few study breaks are scheduled. The order of events that day: Essay-Literature-Math-Music Lunch  Economics-Science-Art-Social Science Super Quiz Relay
During study breaks, viewed PDF notes, notes from select sites, paper guides. This material was annotated, studied, and (partially) learned for half a year. I did attend an AcDec meet after three months in and modified how I studied the materials. The questions varied from trivial, applicable, to must-know facts; an emphasis on years and the opening conceptual sections?! My scores ranged from 300-800 out of 1000 max, which does not cut it for someone aiming to be well-rounded. 
   Back to the day of. The test questions were conveniently vague, covering all sections of every guide (a little sad that there wasn't any trig, though). Two medals for top team score (with tremendous team efforts, this was how it felt to rule your school) and a tied-for-first Super Quiz score, plus my own individual top-3 scores in my class for 1st in Music and Math (a moment of redemption, I swear; though, I would've liked to break 900) and 2nd in Art. To see your name on the screen, that was enough to be proud of. But three times? Walking up to the stage after the first time, tears began to swell in my eyes. I cursed and kept thinking, How is this possible?! This was my one shot and I made it. But, I wished I could have this again; well, I got somebody under my wing who will be there both times. And when our team went up to retrieve our medals, at the very end of the ceremony, before those ten or so other teams, I loudly shouted, "EAT IT!"
  Afterward, I did resent those who had more medals than me. That day, I did not steal enough. I didn't even medal in economics; I spent considerably most of my time with that subject.
  I patiently waited outside of the small crowd around the scores. And then I found out: I wrote a poor essay, but my tests averaged 680. Out of three prompts, I chose (in summation):

|Write about three of the goals of the Office of War Information. Pick a musical composition that you think is the most iconic... Use examples from the Music Resource Guide.| 
I didn't provide too many correct answers, but I bombarded the two-and-a-half pages with examples and little or no explanation. How did I go off on a tangent with economics?

Since September, I told myself to find joy studying my ass off. This year would be the only chance I had to score (flaked out last year because I was a little intimidated to ever see the AcDec coach; I didn't even take his recommended class till of late). As for my studying plan, I made sure to actively attend afternoon lectures, used resourceful practice sites, and wrote notes electronically and manually. Basically, I knew I had to make time to be dedicated. Within that time, you gotta practice and read a ton.

In Time With You
13eps x1 hr 
2011 GTV
"Possession is the beginning of losing it all."

Two best friends (after having been high school class rivals) reach their 30s and are both single. After teasing her about the problems of women in their 30s, Cheng You Qing (Ariel Lin) bets with Li Da Ren (Bolin Chen) that she will get married first before their 35th. For 15 years, Li Da Ren waited to confess his feelings to her.

Preferred Watching Sequence: 1-6, first half of 7, 8, 10, 12
Before watching this series, do consider the heavy emphasis of marriage before 30 in many Asian countries. Even though You Qing's parents do not constantly push the idea onto their daughter who's living with them, shamelessly, they believe that she and her best friend are perfect for each other. Throughout the series, Da Ren really has always been there for You Qing, listening to her late night problems, henceforth, both have a mutual respect for each other. With high school and university flashbacks in two early episodes, it's relatable. You think you won't ever see these people again.
You think you know what you want, what you're going to do in the future. Da Ren, in those years, did tell You Qing that he can never love someone like her. Flash forward years later and, still keeping in touch, it's no surprise that You Qing wouldn't think about everything they've talked about since.

Da Ren should consider himself lucky. His timing was always off and You Qing did get entangled with a few men and bumped into a former boyfriend, who may or may not have changed. Da Ren's 'ultimate' confession in Episode 8 was ... too wimpy for someone waiting 15 years, yet he is well-aware of what makes and breaks relationships; such advice can also be picked up from his sister, You Qing's ex, Henry, and You Qing's brother.
"In Time With You" is character-driven, being supplied by an excellent cast, and there is as much drama as reality would actually allow (e.g. deleting a stupidly-important text and being caught red-handed creeping). These characters are not fluffy nor shallow. Thankfully, these characters don't want to impress anybody else and are trying to figure out what they want. The conversations between Da Ren and You Qing are open discussions on human relationships-- love over friendship? Hmm. The script presents all sorts of emotional matters from being swayed by partners to submissively change image and dispelling your own beliefs (or yourself), as the cost of being in a relationship- "One has to sacrifice."

Cheng You Qing (Ariel Lin) and Ding Li Wei (Sunny Wang--please get ripped, much appreciated)

Taiwanese dramas love animated openings, chic wardrobes (haven't seen one with characters not in business attire), landscape shots, and video editing is a plus. The series uses video layering, as if talking to a conscience.
As for displaying when a character is dreaming, there are no vignettes like several American shows of the 90s and 2000s. This asks for some viewer participation because deep down, you know that your best friend can't turn you down, right? Besides a slightly awkward honeymoon, the romance portrayed in "In Time With You" is playful and almost intimate (just laying on the bed, gazing into each other's eyes). Taiwanese shows tend to imply bed scenes (that's right, kdramas) and "In Time With You" employs like so. Also, with the exception of American-born Taiwanese Sunny Wang (with his sexy English), some basic English is thrown in like "sorry" and "double mocha." It's pleasant to hear a Taiwanese person speak English, at least on screen; I'd like to go to Taiwan or Thailand in the future.

Rating: 7.7+/10