April 18, 2010 - 10:51 PM
Tonight I attended International Night, hosted by the International Student Association. If I were to compare this culture show to Hong Kong Night, I-night was more diverse in their food and performance since ISA represented a variety of groups from around the world. From India, Africa, Spain and many more, tonight's show shone a spotlight onto a diverse group of performances.
The food for I-night was plentiful and was served before the show. A buffet style dinner was set in the EMU Fish Bowl where a dozen or so dishes from around the world were served. I had so much piled onto my plate that I forgot what was what. I remembered eating Japanese curry, African Peanut Sauce...with beef (?), Hawaiian coconut pudding and a bunch of other random stuff. Random in a good way since everything was delicious. A small pamphlet was handed out while we waited in line for food. Each dish included the name, country and recipe. I kept it folded in my pocket the whole night, but sadly I misplaced it! I really like the coconut pudding and had plans to make a batch of my own. It reminded me of a childhood dessert I had a long time ago. It was very light and yummy dessert!
After two hours at the Fish Bowl, everyone was escorted up to the ballroom where we were welcomed with a giant mural of hand drawn characters, people and scenes from around the world. Stepping inside, I took a seat with some of my friends near the back row. Instead of round tables like we had at Hong Kong Night, chairs were placed in rows facing the front. There were three mc's hosting the show, starting with the UO Jam squad. In regards to what culture they represented, it was American style hip hop! Following the hip hop performance, there were many more traditional performances provided by different organizations in the Eugene community. I watched several dances performed by the Eugene Chinese School. Little kids pranced around in bright costumes holding decorative firecracker props and red Chinese knots. After that there was a Tai chi performance performed along side the Guzheng. The Guzheng is a Chinese instrument that is played by plucking the strings. Following that there was Taiko Drumming, and a variety of different dances.
Unfortunately I left before the event ended. I had too much work to do and it was already 9 o'clock. ISA is a really large student group, a home for all the international students and anyone interested in learning about different cultures. They also host coffee hour every Friday with free food and drinks for the student body. I am fortunate to have gotten to know a few ISA members this year and I must say they've done a great job putting the night together. I really can't wait to go to next year's performance!
April 15, 2010 - 10:30 PM
Today was such a gorgeous day. Many students can be seen lying in the sun, throwing frisbees and reading under the shade. Karen and I both thought it would be great to hold a meeting today, just to recap and thank the committee team for all their hard work for Hong Kong Night and what better place to relax and talk than outside! I planned the meeting at 6 on the EMU lawn. Laying the ground with two giant towels, we prepared a platter full of strawberries, apple, cookies and lemon bars.
It was a very casual meeting. Karen and I both said our words, and addressed a few important notes regarding the culture show. We couldn't have been more proud of this years committee. Everyone did a spectacular job and we really wanted to show our appreciation. Karen introduced us to warm fuzzies, a little game where you turn to your neighbor and say something nice or thank them for something they've done. After that, I hosted a little charades game where two teams tried to act and answer the name on a piece of paper. I wrote out all the committee members names, including volunteers who I thought should be known for their contributions to HKSA.
We all had a few laughs, and shivered as the sun set. I hoped everyone walked a way feeling better about themselves and their position in HKSA. We definitely had some stressful moments during the past few weeks and today was just a good day to thank everyone for their hard work.
April 14, 2010 - 6:00 PM
As we finished the last chorus of the committee song. I couldn't help but smile. Two terms of planning and hard work finally came to an end. We had nearly 300+ guests, family members, friends and the public all there to witness our accomplishment.
As we finished our song, a committee member called all the performers and volunteers on stage, and we all gave our last farewell and bowed. It was both a huge relief and sadness for a lot of us. There were a lot of ups and downs during the planning process, but we definitely had a lot of fun overall.
I was really stressed Sunday morning. We had so much decorations and setup to do and not enough volunteers to help. While I was picking up on all the volunteer work, I had an 30 minute slide show that still needed to be completed. I ended up getting the slide show done 15 minutes before the doors opened followed by a few technical difficulties in hooking up my computer to the projector. I Incorporated all the photos I took of all the volunteer and performers, and together I produced a 400 photo slide show to play before the show started.
Everything before the culture show was all a blur. People kept calling my name, asking me if this balloon arch should go here, or how should the table setup look like, etc. I was running up and down from the office to the ballroom, non stop until I had to change into my formal wear for the show. I took 5 minutes to clear my mind and breathed before heading back to the ballroom to spot check the tables and touch base with all the performers and food people.
I really couldn't have done it without the help of everyone. Karen the other CO-President did so much for me. Without her, I cannot dream how the night would've turn out. She took care of all the meetings and paper work to host the event, stuff that I would have no idea where to start. Together we made the night a success and with the help of our committee members and the support of our volunteers. Our attendance was more than last year. All the tables were filled except for a few in the very back. We had people that came last year who were not even part of the U of O campus which was really great! A father who brought his kids even sported a Hk Night 2009 T-shirt which made me really happy! I would never had thought people would be so interested in our culture show. We always give it our 110% and this just proves how much of an impact we make to our audience.
This years culture show was by far the best I've seen, at least during my years at the University of Oregon. We spent a lot of time in planning a live skit, inviting performers such as LDT, the UO Wushu team, and a Shaolin Martial artist who chopped cabbage on his chest. A lot of our improvement where based on what we have learned last year. Such as the shortage of food, organization, practice, etc. Such difference can be seen in the HKSA member dance, ( it was put together much earlier), and the transitions in between each show were much smoother and interesting. I must say there were a few mistakes that we will address for next year. We had a few technical difficulties with the mikes, and props and equipment were misplaced. By looking at these flaws we can plan ahead and prevent them from occurring next year.
Apart from the minor flaws, this year was a huge success. Many people that I had talked to said it was a lot of fun, and their was plenty of food. Last year we started out with a few committee members with no experience in running the show. This year we had the help of our dedicated members as well as an experienced team. I can't wait for next year's culture show, April 10th 2011. HKSA is growing and I am so thankful to be apart of this family.
*Special thanks to the ASUO and the UO Chinese Department for helping us fund the night.
April 5, 2010 - 4:00 AM
I did it again... I'm up really late working on stuff. What kind of stuff? Lots of stuff. Hong Kong Night is coming, and it is taking up my schedule. We have exactly 7 more days to prepare/advertise, and we have only finished half of what needs to be accomplished for the night. The main thing on my mind right now is that I really need to get the outdoor banner printed so that we can hang it outside of the EMU. I just finished one of the slide shows for the committee song, and that is all I need to motivate me to keep going. You can say that besides being CO-President of the Hong Kong Student Association, I am also the historian. I love taking pictures and tonight I have gone through 500+ photos. I have gathered a few tonight to represent who is the HKSA committee, and what we're all about. It makes me sad to think that it will soon be all over, but seeing all the things we've accomplished and the time we've spent together, I really love the committee this years.
Hong Kong Night is the biggest culture show for us. We are expecting about 300 people to attend, and we have been trying to promote our group like crazy. Facebook group, posters, coffee hour, and fliers. This week we will be chalking the side walk and post even more fliers. I won't be posting the slideshow here so please come and see it! There will be a full course dinner, live skit and guest performers. The event takes place at the EMU ballroom, Sunday, April 11th. If your free, check it out!
April 3, 2010 - 6:00 PM
I am taking drawing 233 again for a variety of reasons. The main reason is that I am required to take 2 drawing courses as a digital arts major. Another reason is that I need another course refresher to fine tune my illustration skills and the only drawing class available is 233. I find that there are many similarities in digital and fine arts and they can often become intertwined. Painting skills, color, composition, and the exploration of all aesthetics in the world of fine arts can definitely be applied to digital.
The first week of drawing class was rather interesting. I was recommended by my digital illustration professor to take Ronald Graff's class and boy was I glad to listen to him. Professor Graff teaches the course at 3pm. Somewhat of a grandpa image himself, Graff speaks softly and often jokes and gestures his arms over his head as he lectures. He is very funny and passionate about art. Through his experience over the years, I can tell from his ideology, that he has much wisdom to share. Apparently he doesn't grade. All students start off with an A in the class, and the only way to lower it is by not doing the work. Professor Graff told us that it is almost impossible to put a letter grade on art, since there really is no correct way to draw. Graff's belief is that a drawing that looks bad could in fact be very creative and when a well drawn piece is compared to it, the well drawn piece could lack the same creativity. I grew up learning that there is no one set definition to "good art." Graff is one of the first drawing teachers I know to acknowledge that.
The professor definitely stressed getting our creative juices flowing on Wednesday. Without telling us his lesson plan, Graff told us to draw two things. The first one is to color a large piece of paper black with charcoal. The second piece he asked to be filled with a pattern. I powered through 2 pieces of charcoal and I was done. My hands were dirty from rubbing the charcoal into the paper, and my finger nails are still stained with black dust. I made a nice swirly pattern, and thought that this might be a sort of warm up the professor wanted us to do. Apparently after everyone was done with their image, Professor Graff explained that we were then supposed to combine both pieces to make a new work of art that would be unrecognizable from the first.
Students tore their art work into pieces. We folded, layered and struggled to figure out what professor Graff meant. Many times he walked by me exclaiming that something was good. Other times he would become annoyed and wonder why the 3rd drawing looked similar to the first. I thought that I had changed something when I started ripping the edges of the pattern, but Graff came by and pointed out that I need to be more creative. He told me that I needed a couple, because I'm doing the same thing over over again. To truly be a a successful artist one has to be creative. This challenge helped me realized what I have done as well as helping me discover what I can accomplish. I look forward to learning from him. I have a hard time creating and developing outside of my comfort zone, and I believe that Professor Graff can definitely help me open up to new ideas.