Summing It Up: April – July 2018

Hi there! It’s been a while since one of these posts, hasn’t it? I’ve been tied up with school and work, and on my days off I mainly spend them hanging out with friends or visiting bookstores. It doesn’t help that lately I’ve been more into manga than actual novels so I also haven’t had much content to write on for this blog. Perhaps, I’ll make another manga review when one of them is finished (a lot of the ones I’m reading are ongoing). Anyway, I’ll try to briefly recap each month under this paragraph! I imagine that this post will be pretty long… but skim/skip around as you wish!

April was probably the least eventful and most stressful with wrapping up the end of the spring semester. Like I expressed in previous months’ Summing It Up posts, I did have some classes I was concerned about but, ultimately, I did well after factoring final exam grades and bonus points.

In May I didn’t have any academic worries since it was my “chill” month. However, I still didn’t have much free time as I was working a lot to save up for my rotation in this month in June. (Yes, unfortunately, students pay tuition/housing while they’re on rotation.)

June went by real quick. This year’s rotation was my IPPE (Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience) at an institution; I was placed at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Prior to going, everything about the experience was daunting to me because I had never left home-let alone drive for 10 hours to somewhere I was not familiar with and didn’t know anyone. Plus, aside from the didactic curriculum of my school, I had little exposure to hospital pharmacy. Needless to say, my time here has been inspiring and will probably help my future studies/career. (Although, I did do more observing than hands-on work, which is understandable with St. Jude being a place that is highly specialized, working with pediatrics and oncology.)

While on rotation, I learned a lot more about myself and my learning style than I ever did before. I was given an opportunity to do a presentation, and I was extremely nervous. Since taking speech class in undergrad, I think my stage fright has worsened drastically. Anyway, I was given great constructive feedback, and I hope to make some steps to improve by becoming more involved with my school in ways that will push me to be more verbal or present in front of an audience more. Talking in front of a group of strangers is almost an irrational fear because in theory there’s no reason to be afraid but it’s still a very real one for me. And I think it’s about time for me to address it before I continue on in my studies and commit to a profession that does require one to do some form of leadership and presentation.

Anyway, with that mini spiel about fear and self-awareness, I had a good time while I was away at home in Tennessee in June.

Mid-July I was in Winder, Georgia, which is about an hour away from Atlanta, for Camp Breathe Easy, a camp for kids that have asthma. I was there assisting with the medication side of things but I had a ton of fun and memorable moments while I was there. I love kids so it was wonderful (although my 11 to 12 year old girls were so boy crazy, lol). I even got to ride a horse and paddle a canoe for the first time. The latter was intense since it was about a 2 mile journey but it was a great workout. I also participated in other activities with the kids including capture the flag, which totally reminded me of The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, haha.

But that’s been my summer so far! A lot of traveling, which is cool since I don’t do it often!

– What I Read –

Thanks to my friend Amy, who is very much into anime and manga, I’ve been reading more manga (and even some comics!) again.

ReLife | OrangeEmergency Contact | Queen of Shadows | The Wicked King |  QQ Sweeper

– April/May/June/July Blog Posts –

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Summing It Up: January 2018

I just posted my wrap up for December a couple of days ago so it feels sort of funny posting this one today, but if I don’t do it now who knows when I’ll do it. (I’ve been a very bad blogger, sigh.)

– January Events –

January was a wonderful month for me. I was ready to start the new year since 2017 seemed kind of rotten. January 2 marked my three year blogiversary with this blog; although, I’m not the blogger I used to be that would post 7-10 times a month… I feel very fulfilled and proud that I was able to post at least once a month for those three years. That month, I also came to decision that I would be continuing this blog and accepting the fact that my blogging may be more sparse and sporadic; the frequency dwindles down to if I feel inspired or motivated to post when I do.

I also celebrated my 22nd birthday, which is crazy. This has been the year where I have had the most correspondence with bloggers outside of the blogosphere. I use Instagram a lot and I feel like I’ve really gotten to know people personally more that way. In fact, there are more than a handful of bloggers that I talk to almost every day or at least several times a week through that platform or Goodreads. I even write letters and text some of those friends. I don’t know. It really blows my mind how close I have become to some of you all.

As for school, I’m back for the spring semester. The students have already hit the ground running and we have lots of work. I’m already nervous for my summer rotation in June because there’s already so much material that I feel like I need to retain. I’m not complaining though but I know that this semester is going to be tough, for sure.

And that’s January in a nutshell. Overall, I’d classify it as one of the better months and already a bright start to the new year.

– What I Read –

Tsubaki-chou Lonely Planet (full manga series) | Hatsu*Haru (full manga series)

Tsubaki-chou Lonely Planet’s lovely art. ❤

I was reading a bunch of books in January (Shadowsong, Tempests and Slaughter, The Bear and the Nightingale, and The Emperor of Maladies) but, ultimately, put a lot of them hold and finished only two manga series, Tsubaki-chou Lonely Planet and HatsuHaru. (The only one I’m still continuing to read into February is Maladies, if you’re curious.)  Both of them are still ongoing but I read up to the most updated chapters that were available online. The mangaka, or author/illustrator, of TLP is the same one that wrote Daytime Shooting Star, a series I read and greatly enjoyed last year. Mika Yanamori’s art style is so pretty; it’s definitely one of my favorites. The story of this one is extremely similar to Daytime Shooting Star but I didn’t mind since it still had some originality. Plus, I like the sensei in this one way more, actually. (How can a 2D character be this hot, omg?) For HatsuHaru, it doesn’t have many chapters released yet, just a mere 5 chapters. However, it’s proven to be a good start so far.

– January Blog Posts –

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Summing It Up: December 2017

Looks like I’m squeezing this in in the last hour of January. XD I really have to do better with these wrap ups. (Although, it does reassure me a little bit that I’ve already started drafting January’s recap, so hopefully I won’t publish that one as late as I did with this.)

Anyways, for December, I’m going to have to admit I was extremely burned out, stressed, and bummed. It may not seem like it because I try to conceal it with my internet persona, but I’m honestly a natural worrier and quite a pessimist. This semester has been challenging. Overall, I did well academically but I had to work really hard, and, subsequently, I started having really bad bouts of insomnia. But I am glad that I managed to survive, and it does feel nice to say that I’m (now a little over) halfway through the didactic curriculum of pharmacy school. There is only three semesters left of classes and an additional year after that for P4 rotations. Somehow time feels as if it’s moving both slow and fast. Slow because I’m looking forward to graduating (even though it still a long two years away) and fast because… well time is moving fast. (Like, how is it already February?)

However, I did also have a restful second half of December when I was on my winter break. (We had three weeks off this year, which is one week shorter than in the past. The undergrad students at my university still had a full month, and I might feel slighted by this even now actually, haha.) But, unfortunately, during the holiday season I also learned of devastating news. If you follow me on my Instagram, you probably already know that I was really affected by SHINee‘s Jonghyun‘s passing last month. Though not formally diagnosed, I feel like I have been depressed at some points in my life. And if not depression, they were moments where I’ve felt lost, sad, unhappy, or all of the above. Music has always been an important, integral part of my everyday life (whether it be playing the piano or listening to music), and both Linkin Park and SHINee were bands that have helped heal me during times when I was insecure and/or dark. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it was hard losing both Chester and Jonghyun, both wonderful artists, to a silent killer in 2017. It’s difficult to accept the reality that they’re gone forever.

Anyway, I don’t want to start this recap too somber from me being stressed with school and then Jonghyun, etc, so I also want to mention that I’ve definitely have been feeling a lot better and I don’t want anyone to worry about me.

– What I Read – 

The Water Dragon’s Bride (full manga series) | The Cruel Prince | Horimiya (full manga series)

 

 

December was a rather good reading month, I think. I started the month with beginning a new manga series called The Water Dragon’s Bride. I’ve only read up to the most recent chapter, which is 17, and I think it’s a bit cliché but still okay so far. I’ve set it as 3 or 3.5 stars on Goodreads, but I’m going to reserve my full thoughts for now. Then I read The Cruel Prince, which I loved and raved about a ton on my Instagram the end of last month and early this month in January. And, lastly, Horimiya was the one I picked up at whim and I was so glad that I did since it’s utterly fantastic. There’s a perfect balance between comedy and romance. I may have belly laughed out loud so many times while reading it. It is also currently an ongoing series and I’ve read up to chapter 85. Without a doubt, it’s become a new all time favorite manga that I’ll be following closely with each chapter/volume release.

– December Blog Posts – 

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Summing It Up: July 2017 (Thank You for 1K Followers!)

Hello, friends! As promised, I definitely became a casual blogger last month where I posted quite spontaneously. Though I missed the times I was away from this corner of the internet, it was also very liberating to just not have a schedule.

Because I’ve been rather inactive, I’ll be replying to comments (including finishing up the ones from my last discussion post months ago-I’m truly so sorry it’s taking me ages!) and blog hopping very soon.  (I’ve already bookmarked a list of your blogs. So expect to see me around!) I’ll probably be doing this early to mid next week since I have to work today and tomorrow at the salon.

Anyway, onto the recap of July.

There were a lot of highs and lows last month. Exo came back with a new album, but, unfortunately, without my favorite member, Yixing. Then I saw the tragic news about Chester Bennington. (More on this later.) And then, again, happy news… I recently learned that I’ve been hired as a permanent, paid year-round intern at the local independent pharmacy I was on rotation (which is basically an externship where I’m not getting paid but rather graded on my performance) at in June. (However, I’ll share more about that as well in next month’s wrap up since it really happened a few days ago, at the beginning of August.) I just wanted to share the great news with you guys, early, since you’ve been along this journey with me since I was an undergrad. 🙂

Oh and I also reached 1,000 followers on this blog! I never imagined I’d reach this milestone, because my blog started off as a really small space. Anyway, THANK YOU SO MUCH for sticking with me and being such a great support! I really appreciate and value each and every one of you.  ❤ 

And I actually already have a giveaway that was (kind of) planned for this occasion; it’s open until the end of August on my Instagram. (Sorry, I chose that social media platform because I want to grow my bookstagram account!) I encourage you to enter if you’re interested though! It’s international and pretty nice, in my opinion. So, friends, please share or give it a shot!

– What I Read –

I finished my 2017 Goodreads challenge (and I always only count reading an entire manga series as one book, which makes this more impressive if I do say so myself). Honestly, it wasn’t that ambitious (only 25!) because I was unsure what my schedule would be like with school. For now, I have no plans of increasing it because I need to soon factor in juggling school with two jobs. :’) (I’m really more excited than anything though!)

– July Blog Post –

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Summing It Up: June 2017

Sigh. Again, June was not that impressive in the reading and blogging departments for me.

But instead of labeling this inactivity as a unpremeditated hiatus or a slump as I have been doing this past year… I think I should confess that I’m slowly facing the reality that I’ve outgrown my enthusiastic blogger phase from 2015. I, honestly, no longer have the inspiration to post twice (or even once) a week as I did back then. I’ve come to accept that I’m more of a casual blogger now. I don’t see myself posting regularly or being super interactive like I used to anymore. But I also believe that this change isn’t a bad thing per se because even if it means that I’ll post less, perhaps, taking these breathers in between each post will give me more motivation to release more quality content. Besides, it’s a natural course for people to evolve and their interests to alter with time.

I didn’t intend for this to sound like a farewell or anything (because I’m definitely not quitting this blog completely yet), but I’ve just been meaning to get this admission off my chest for a while now.

Anyhow, with that disclosure aside, onto the real recap of this month. As I hinted in my last monthly wrap up/favorites post, I started my summer externship. And, gosh, it was an absolutely amazing experience. I highly encourage you all that are fellow students to apply for internships/externships if opportunities arise. I only participated in this one because it’s mandatory in the US for pharmacy students to have rotations, but I’m now so grateful that this is built in our curricula. Learning in didactic classes is nice but getting hands on experience (outside of lab) is so vital.

Also, quick warning before I move on. This post is going to be quite lengthy! I know that these monthly wrap up/favorites are probably my least viewed posts since they’re not strictly bookish, but I enjoy putting a lot of effort in them since they’re for my own benefit really. I view the compilation of Summing It Up posts as a diary of sorts, haha. The idea of being able to look back and see what I was into in the past appeals to me. XD

– What I Read –

Dengeki Daisy (full manga series) (Myanimelist)

I didn’t really have much leisure time this month so I only finished up the Dengeki Daisy series. (There are 16 volumes total.) Admittedly, I did read the chapters online with fan translations because I generally make it a rule to not buy manga unless I want to commit to collecting the entire series. And I don’t come to that decision until I know that the manga is super good because manga can get ridiculously expensive since they’re rarely on sale. I digress… This particular one was pretty marvelous. Immediately after finishing, I ordered 8 volumes from Amazon. It’s obviously another romance manga, but the plot and romance is quite unconventional and less cliché than most shoujo I’ve read in the past. The romance was so swoonworthy and the comedy was consistently fab. Anyway, I’m going to save the rest of my thoughts though and reveal them later in my review, which I hope to start composing soon as my impressions are still fresh.

– June Blog Posts –

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Summing It Up: May 2017

May was a marvelously restful month for me. On the 1st I took the last exam of my P1 year and started my summer soon after that. The rest of the month I (re)read a lot of Dessen (my favorite YA realistic fiction/contemporary author if you haven’t caught on by now), met up with some longtime friends, and relaxed. This is my last week of freedom, however, since I’ll be starting my summer community pharmacy rotation this approaching Monday, June 5th. I’m both nervous and excited but mostly thrilled since I was very lucky to get the site I wanted with this cycle. I won’t be working long hours as I thought I would so this may mean I’ll be around the blogosphere in June.

Anyway, I have lots of (different and kind of strange) favorites this month so let’s move on!

– What I Read –

I’m quite impressed with this reading month despite there being only 4 titles read. I’ve been meaning to have a true Dessen summer (where I reread some of Dessen’s old releases and review them) for years now. Also, in case you missed my review or only read the bold parts of that one, I mentioned that I was extremely thankful and happy that I was granted access to an eARC of Once and for All. I consider this a pivotal milestone in my blogging career. :’)

– May Blog Posts –

I daresay May wasn’t that shabby of a blogging month for me since I posted several reviews (mostly for blog tours but still) and even released a discussion post. Speaking of that Summer Says post… I just wanted to quickly thank you guys for the response towards it! I have to admit that my corner of the blogosphere has been a little dead since I’ve stopped interacting like I used to and a lot of my original friends are no longer blogging, but I am so grateful for those that read that post. You all are awesome! T_T

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Summing It Up: April 2017

Hello! You guys thought I was gone for good, huh?

It’s been a little over a month since I’ve last posted anything, which is quite an abnormally long hiatus for me. Anyhow, it’s nice to be back and I hope to get into the groove of things since I’m out for summer now. (YAY!)

Speaking of summer vacation… yes, that’s right! Exams are over. I took my last one early morning Monday so I’m officially a P2 now. (I took a celebratory photo. It isn’t a great picture… but I kind of like how candid it looks. Plus, you can tell I was genuinely relieved that I was done with the semester because of my huge, gummy smile, lol.)

Since April was a crazy month in that school consumed my life (more than usual), let me just warn you all that very little of this post is bookish related. When I had free time, I rarely did any real reading. Instead, I indulged in mostly manga and shows, which you’ll see soon.

– What I Read –

A Silent Voice (full manga series) | Anonymous Noise (full manga series) | The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

It may not seem like a lot but I actually read the entire series for both A Silent Voice, which had seven volumes alone, and Anonymous Noise. But I’m kind of particular with how I include manga/graphic novels towards my annual Goodreads reading challenge. I only count them if I finish the entire series (or however many volumes that are available in English if its ongoing). And I only count 1 volume regardless of how many I read to complete the series. It just feels like cheating otherwise? I don’t know. I’m weird with this sort of thing, I guess.

– April Blog Posts –

I had planned to make an effort on working on some book reviews and scheduling them but, alas, the only post I ended up publishing was previous month’s recap.

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Summing It Up: November 2016

summing-it-up_-november-2016-2

Hi friends! Yet another month has passed and it looks like we’re nearing the end of 2016. Gosh, where did this year go?

A few of the things I compounded in lab this semester. >.<

Overall, I’d say November was a pretty chill month since I had only three exams total. Compounding lab also reached an end. (Goodbye, long Tuesdays!) And the semester is fast approaching its final stretch. (Woot! Woot!) With that being said, I know I won’t be scheduling/posting anything on here (or my other social media accounts) after this post goes live. Finals will certainly be tough and I’m really going to have to study hard. I’ll also be occupied with submitting end-of-term assignments/papers (not really a big deal) and placing my preferences for summer rotations (kind of a huge deal) very soon.

Looks like a hectic schedule ahead. But look at all that washi tape representing winter break! :D

Looks like a hectic schedule ahead. But look at all that washi tape representing winter break. Ah, I seriously cannot wait! 😀

Sigh. The beginning half of December is going to look mighty busy and stressful, not going to lie. However, I’m looking forward to it! Because on the flip-side, winter break begins the second I’m finished taking the last exam. (Well, really, the moment when I know my grades. I don’t think I’ll rest at ease until then, haha.) Then I’ll get to enjoy my holiday! And finally be able to catch up on the comments and visit all the blogs I’ve missed in the last few months. (I already have a number of them bookmarked. This big blog hopping spree can’t come soon enough. I’ve missed interacting and chatting with everyone and meeting new bloggers, omg.) In addition, I look forward to indulging in all the things I love aside from blogging (e.g. Exo, frappuccinos, and Asian dramas).

November Blog Posts*

*in publication order

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Summing It Up: February 2016

february summing it up

Even with it being a leap year and having that extra day, February still flew by super quick for me. I, honestly, didn’t really do much since the majority of my month comprised of studying for exams, taking them, and doing other academic related stuff. So this month’s Summing It Up will be pretty boring, just a simple recap on the blog posts I posted on Xingsings and my monthly favorites! 🙂

February Blog Posts*

*in publication order, not by favoritism

*I’ve decided to not cross post all of my reviews from my Goodreads anymore. Just because some of them are more school related and probably not as relevant to share on here.

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