Hello! How have you all been? I know, I’ve totally been MIA as of late, and I confess that this absence has mostly been due to the fact that I started school! The fall semester actually began mid-August, but I had to go to a weeklong orientation prior to school officially starting since I’m technically a first year again. My classes are definitely a lot more rigorous and challenging in pharmacy school compared to undergrad, but I’m also really enjoying it; I can’t complain despite the stress.
In addition to school, I’ve also been away because, well, I haven’t read anything. I’m still in a major reading slump (yes, it’s still from my The Wrath and the Dawn duology book hangover). And my Goodreads widget indicates that I am about 50 pages into Six of Crows and reading several engrossing manga (ReLife and Blue Spring Ride), which is a little outdated now seeing as I picked them up earlier in the month. They did help battle the slump then… However, I haven’t had time since returning to school to actually continuing these titles. In short, I’m not reading anything.
I’m finally facing a dilemma that I feared would happen: I can’t easily fit in reading and blogging into my schedule. I tried to compromise and only do it on the weekends… but with work and catching up with things I put off during the week (academic reading, lab work, volunteering, additional extracurriculars, etc), it was pretty impossible to designate as much of my time to reading and blogging as I used to when I was an undergrad student. In June’s Summing It Up post (and actually back in 2015 with the Secret Life of a Book Blogger Tag), I anticipated that this would eventually occur during my entry of graduate/professional school… but it still feels quite sad that I’ve actually reached this point and realization.
But it’s not a goodbye really. Because knowing me, I don’t like to take true blogging hiatuses and I definitely can’t see myself completely giving up Xingsings just yet.
I’m not sure what direction Xingsings will be taking in the future, but I want to convey my appreciation to everyone that has been along this amazing blogging journey thus far. All of you have always showed great warmth and support for me and my blog, and I’m so grateful for those moments and the friendships I have gained. Like mentioned, this isn’t a permanent departure from blogging, but I know I won’t be able to keep up with everyone as I’d like to. However, I hope that we will keep in touch in the future even if I’m not as active in the blogosphere. 😀
August Blog Posts*
*in publication order, not by favoritism
- Summing It Up: July 2016 [Wrap Up/Favorites]
- Book Haul: July 2016 [Book Haul]
- Wolf Children [Manga Review] 4 Stars
Ugh, I’m sort of disappointed by how August turned out in regards to blogging… Yeah, school started and I became a busybody… but I had-still have-so many book review drafts (it’s insane, I actually have some from books I completed in March) but I haven’t found the will to actually make them good enough to be published yet. Maybe someday in the future, I guess!
I really feel like I’ve been living the dream these past few weeks. School and academics has always been an important part of my life, and becoming a pharmacist has been my ultimate, immediate goal for some time now. (I realized I wanted to pursue pharmacy since I was in fourth grade after my dad’s suggestion. Surprisingly, I never changed career aspirations, haha.) Anyway, it feels so surreal to finally be in pharmacy school. I do truly believe I’m in the right place. It’s tough and we definitely hit the ground running day one, but a good majority of lectures are intriguing and it’s nice to know that every class is beneficial to building the knowledge I’ll need to use for the rest of my life.
Also, I’m reminded everyday why pharmacists are needed health care providers in our community. It’s a given that they may sometimes “save lives,” but I really don’t like that phrase since it sounds way too pretentious. And we definitely do a lot more than only dispensing medicine. Personally, I see the profession as a lifelong service to others. Pharmacists are well trained individuals that try to assist people in bettering or maintaining their quality of life. We’re the most accessible and approachable among medical professionals. In fact, we’re ranked as one of the top 3 most trusted and honest health professionals by patients/customers, according to the NABP and other sources. So I guess seeing evidence of this daily when I get to interact with the upperclassmen and faculty is what I really find inspiring; it motivates me in school and makes everything feel so worthwhile.
Haha, sorry, I totally digressed there, but I guess I wanted to explain what I meant by “living the dream” via school since it may not make a lot of sense.
Anyway, to commemorate this new phase of my life, here’s a photo of me and some of my friends at the White Coat Ceremony, which took place the day before classes began. (I did edit the photo so that any indication of my school isn’t openly visible though.)
And then… quite a big but not so important event: I cut my hair! Sixteen inches of it! The last time it was trimmed (this is greatly exaggerated because I tend to chop off a lot usually, lol) was December 2015. Though I’m not used to short hair, I’m relieved for the change. Also, it makes showering so much quicker in the mornings now, which is great since I have to wake up early.
I don’t have any material or book favorites for August… but here are some video favorites!
There are very few female K-pop groups that I enjoy listening to (I can only come up with F(X) and Spica at the top of my head) but I found a new favorite girl group to stan, Black Pink (I did talk about them last month). I’m part of the majority that likes Whistle better than Boombayah, and I’ve been playing it nonstop. Also the entire group is around my age, which doesn’t make me feel too weird to like them (there are way too many young K-pop groups nowadays), and they’re all so gorgeous. T_T Rosé (the first one to appear sitting on the world with orange-y hair) is probably my favorite though!
My favorite Hit the Stage performance was actually of Taemin’s Sayonara Hitori (Taemin and Koharu did a phenomenal job with portraying the emotions of the song), but since I already shared the actual MV for the Japanese single last month I thought I’d forgo the stage performance and choose other videos from the competition I liked throughout the month. Also, you guys already know how much I love 1 Million Dance Studio… So how cool is it that a lot of 1Million’s choreographers were able to guest appear as dance crew participants on the show? I know I went full fangirl mode… As for my comment on this particular video… Can we all appreciate how much chemistry there is between Hoya and Hyo Jin?? Omg.
Ten is my favorite member in NCT. Before the group debuted, I actually noticed Ten for his dancing. His facial expressions often matches with the story of the dance; and he’s seems like an all around talented dancer in my eyes. I’m glad he was granted the opportunity to showcase his skills with Hit the Stage and brought home the win for this week seeing as it was his last chance (each idol gets three performances before the show brings on a new idol to compete).
I wanted to recognize this song because I have been replaying it so much. Bigstar is an incredibly underrated group. I discovered them a while back but their leader, Feeldog, has been participating Hit the Stage as well so I’ve been revisiting the band’s songs.
This song totally reminds me of old school hip hop… which isn’t a bad thing at all. The vocals mix so well together; DΞΔN and Heize make such perfect collaborations. The MV concept is really cute and humorous as well.
I somehow discovered this song and fell in love with it.
I don’t care what anyone says about Exo and their release with Louder (or Lotto)… I admit that when I first saw the MV I was surprised by the autotune and pimp/ganster-y concept. Personally, I think the song grows on people after they see the stage performance. This video was my favorite live stage of theirs because they’re actually singing live and Yixing is getting a lot of recognition. And whoever wrote the English subtitles for MBC in this clip is genius. The subs at 2:22 had me grinning so wide.
2016 is the year that I started getting into more Korean R&B and Hip Hop. If you’re a fan of BTS, a pretty popular Korean boy band, then it’s likely you’ve already heard Suga’s mixtape. Of the tracks, this one really moved me to tears. I think it’s really rare for Korean pop companies to allow their artists to release darker but honest self-produced music. And I really respect Big Hit for allowing Suga the opportunity to release such personal music to his fans and the rest of the world.
WHAT I’VE BEEN WATCHING*
*I thought I’d add this category this month because after studying my brain couldn’t take much aside from passively watching Asian dramas, to be honest. Watching all these shows probably contributed to why I’m still in a reading slump, but whatever. It was fun even though I didn’t enjoy that many; I’m quite picky with my Asian dramas, lol. Also, a small disclaimer: for most of these I just skipped around the episode for the juicy, interesting parts. My attention span is quite short so I rarely watch something completely through when it comes to shows. Of course, there are always exceptions (like really good ones or favorites).I didn’t get really far with this one because it was so cliche and the romantic attraction between the two main leads is really random. Insta-attraction happens in drama-land but this one was ridiculously out of the blue. Also, there are so many repetitive/similar encounters between the characters. This drama takes place in college, and college life was accurately represented to an extent. The part with course registration in one of the early episodes had me cracking up. But, overall, I didn’t really like it because the main male lead was ultra creepy and too enigmatic to be validly justified. I finished it for the second lead guy though because he was great. So #secondleadsyndrome was strong for this one. And the soundtrack is wonderful if you love indie music or acoustic sounding bands. I really liked My Time with You by Vanilla Acoustic and Go by Saltnpaper. Overhyped is all I can say. I actually watched the first two episodes with Cherry at Read Forevermore earlier in the summer. The first few (episodes 1-4) were pretty okay, enough for viewers to continue to return and see what will happen next. They don’t romanticize what medical professionals encounter in the hospital, but it also got incredibly boring after episode 8. I think I just skipped around to get the gist of the plot in the last five episodes. This really felt like a City Hunter 2.0 but with a better finale. It was a thrilling and fun ride because of the action scenes, but not original enough to be recognized as a great drama. I mainly watched it for Chang Ji Wook since he’s one of my favorite Korean actors, haha. And I fangirled every time I heard Eternal Love by Michael Learns to Rock playing in the background. I couldn’t get into this one at all. It was hard connecting to the characters because I didn’t like their personalities (though I do love the actors), and the plot was nonexistent from the little I did see. It wasn’t my cup of tea. I’m only four episodes in, but I’m already really liking it. I’m a huge sucker for historical dramas. Plus, I love the crossdressing ones, where the girl is mistaken as a guy at first (even though they’re often way too cute and feminine to actually truly pass as a guy). But this the first time I’ve seen a girl disguise herself as a eunuch, so things should get really interesting. LOL. The castration verification scene is hilarious. Also, this is child actress, Kim Yoo Jung’s first adult character role. The storyline is compelling, because it’s about a manhwa (or Korean manga) that comes to life, it reminded me of Disney’s Enchanted actually. The cast is amazing (Han Hyo Joo is such a timeless beauty and probably the prettiest Korean actress in my opinion). And the cliffhangers does leave viewers hooked. But I strongly disliked that the female lead character is a medical resident but we rarely see her performing any work as a doctor aside from the first episode. And there are so many plot twists, which can be a good or bad element depending on the viewer.
So that sums up my August! I’ve really missed reading, blogging, and chatting with you guys. I hope you all are doing well! As always, thank you for tuning in and until next time. 🙂