January 30, 2010 - 10:00 PM
I ranted a bit in my blog for this week about running HKSA. In no way am I directing, or hinting anything negative towards anyone specifically. Just some bumps and realizations along the way. I love HKSA and the committee and I hope that this year's "Night" will be the best!
The leader does not reflect the success of the entire club, it takes the entire team to run it. As the CO-President of the Hong Kong Student Association, I work with some brilliant people who bring a lot of diverse backgrounds and ideas to the team. Without the committee, and especially without our members, HKSA would be nothing. I lead because I have a passion to bring people together, to create a place to socialize for fellow students, and to share and increase the awareness of the Hong Kong culture at the university. Being the president is difficult. Sometimes it's frustrating, especially working with such a large committee this year, but I know in the end everything will work out.
It's kind of like a puzzle. In the beginning everything is scrambled and chaotic. Some pieces seem to match, but don't. Others fit quite perfectly. I feel like I'm solving a puzzle sometimes... trying to pull everything and everyone together. Our committee this year consists of 16 students, ranging from freshmen to seniors. Some are from Hong Kong, others are not. Many of them are involved in other student groups, and others have part time jobs. Three of the girls, are active members of their sorority house, including Karen, the CO-President. Another three are in the Wushu Club, and two are in the Chinese Flagship program. Everyone is studying something different, from digital arts, business, to bio-chemistry. As you can see, many of our members are very involved with campus and have busy schedules. It's hard to accommodate everyone's schedules, especially with 16 committee members. Studies and classes are by far the top priority, so I understand when someone needs to study and is unable to attend our weekly meetings....
There were some obstacles in the beginning that needed to be fixed as a committee. Karen, and I had talked about these issues and I am glad that we usually are on the same page. Side conversations during meetings are the number one issue we agreed on. When one person is addressing something, there tends to be another conversation going on. Most of the time they relate towards to the topic, others times not so much. It's annoying when you're trying to address things and a few people keep chatting. The meetings are one hour long and I rarely go over this time. If I do, I excuse those who have to leave.
Tardiness was also another issue in the committee meetings. Waiting for people in order to start is unfair to those who arrive on time. Again, this also cuts into our 1 hour meeting so I feel terrible when people complain, "Can we start yet? Or, I need to leave by 7pm... etc." I shouldn't constantly remind everyone, two hours before the meeting, where and at what time the next meeting is. It's their responsibility to check their message or to let us know if they are unable to make it. I usually send a reminder about when our next meeting is, several days before. The committee meetings are always every other week, (except during finals or breaks) so forgetting is not an excuse!
Right now, I feel like the issues have been resolved. Near the end of fall term, the 2 Presidents and 2 vice presidents sat down to address the issues concerning how the group ran. We then met with the rest of the committee to reform the group. We came up with a list of solutions and policies to combat the problems. For example, we decided that meetings will start on time and those who are late can catch up by reviewing the secretary's notes, (sent the day after). We also reminded each of the members what their duties are and clarified who is responsible for which task.
Currently the group is running much smoother and the last meeting was by far the best one far. I held the discussion in the meeting room at our office. Everyone was required to sit around the long table facing the whiteboard, while I scribbled down key points and ideas. Before, we had the meetings outside in the office. Everyone was more spread out and it just didn't feel like we were in a group. There were side conversations here and there and people were doing their own little thing. I don't want to be a strict or anything, but I can tell when people are focused or not and it is apparent in how the club performs. I want the meetings to be professional and laid-back at the same time. I was really glad last week when someone reminded a few people to quiet down during the meeting. I usually try to wait until the conversation is over to continue, so I was really glad when the group started to become more focused.
This is especially important since Hong Kong Night is only 2 months away. There is so much to do and plan. There are decorations, props, skit, food, performers, fundraisers, volunteer shirts, promotional posters and much more to plan. I need all the members to be on top of things, and so far I think we're on the right track. The committee is under control, and I feel like we are more focused than ever. Our ideas and plans are solid. We just need to initiate them, and hope that we have enough funding and time.
My goal is to make this year better than all the rest. *Fingers crossed*
HKSA Committee 2009-2010
1. CO-President - Leah Chan
2. CO-President - Karen Fan
3. Vice President - Ashley Chan
4. Vice President Cindy Huang
5. Treasurer - Andy Zhu
6. Multimedia Coordinator - David Mellor
7. Advertising Director - Sarah Chan
8. Greek/Public Relations - Holly Marie
9. Outreach Chairman-Michelle Lei
10. Activities Coordinator-Tiffani Liang/Candace Chin
11. Fund raising Director Melissa Cohen/Kimberly Young
12. Secretary-William Yee
13. Chinese Flagship outreach-Alex Chu
14. Human Relations-Lifeng Li
January 25, 2010 - 7:00 PM
I just woke up from a 2 hour nap, and I just want to say 8am classes are awful. Especially since my Digital Illustration class is 3 hour long. I will begin my "part 2" of "Am Eventful Day" after wushu practice. Tired and nervous about my deadline, I spent the entire afternoon and evening adding finishing touches to my illustration project. I am still relatively new to the Illustrator software. My strongest skills are in Photoshop. I am unfamiliar with the short cut, and the settings in Illustrator which is why I've always avoided it. I am really grateful for my professor, Mike Bray, who had started this term with basic software tutorials. This was something I really something I needed to learn.
Illustrator is commonly used in vector drawings and tracing photographs. The professor instead teaches us to use these tools as a sketching and drawing tool. We focused on working with strokes, and was encouraged develop our creative skills. We had to turn in 4 examples of our exercises. I chose turn in a texture example, which I had done with overlapping lines. I also created a gradient in this sketch by making more lines overlap each other where I wanted the illusion of a change in value. The second assignment was the deconstruction of the rubiks cube. This exercise helped us build our knowledge of all the basic tools in illustrator, such as the pen, scissor, gradient and paint bucket. This project was a step by step process, and it was interesting to see all the variations that students had choose to approach this simple piece. There were 4 steps total in the cube sketch:
1. Make a rubiks cube
2. Take out 5 blocks from the cube
4. Add geometric shapes onto the cube.
Mine was fairly simple compared to other students. One person had put a miniature stairway in their image, and another covered their cube with a floral texture. The 3rd submission was a still life of a plant. I found a branch from a tree that grew tiny yellow flowers. I just fell in love with the gnarled branch, complimented by the delicate petals. This was a line practice drawing. In order to show depth I filled the figure with lines of different distances to create depth and texture.
The last piece was a larger drawing. We were supposed to create a vanitas illustration. Vanitas images are still life's consisting of 3 important elements. Usually it is of a skull (representing human), flower (short lived), and time (a watch). Instead of a skull, I choose to do a helmet. What inspired me to use a kendo helmet was that I had a friend who had just joined the kendo club and had talked about the different equipment that they used. The butterflies was a representation for a short lived object as well as the grace and movement of a person who does kendo. The hour glass is a representation of time and I was also told by my friend that timing is very important in the art of kendo.
So... I had mentioned about being frustrated so here it goes. The vanitas image was 11'‘x11, a size that could not be printed with a house hold printer. I also had a 2 blogs due at 8am, the same time as my Illustrator class. I had finished my illustration a little after midnight and found that none of the art printing services were open. Even if they were open they only accept campus cash which I, at that time, did not know where and when I would be able to deposit money into my student ID card. I needed my images to be printed and trimmed before the class so my last bet was Kinkos. Kinkos, or shall I say Fed-Ex is open 24 hours on weekdays, I was so happy when I found out that they were open. There was no bus service during that time so my friend and I walked there in the rain, just to get the assignment printed.
As far my blog submission, I had to ask for an extension on the blogging deadline since I could only finish one. Tiah reassured me that school came first. So I thank you for extending my deadline!!! I always underestimate the time it would take for me to complete an art project. There is always something that is missing, or can be changed. I must have said this a thousand times, but I don't think I have ever considered any of my works to be complete. This is the reason why many art student tend to finish at the last minute, and in my case, tired, stressed, and in the rain.
January 24, 2010 - 1:00 PM
Today, or shall I say yesterday, was exhausting. I was happy during wushu practice, frustrated when I was trying to finish my illustration project, and worried where I would be able to print a large image at midnight. Lets start off by talking about wushu. For those who are unfamiliar with wushu, it is a Chinese martial art that consists of fluid motions and jumps. The University of Oregon has an amazing Wushu club and team, and I am very proud to be apart of it. Anyone is able to join, and during the 3 practices a week, its as if all the members have become one big family. Not only did we see each other during training, but also for weekend gatherings as well.
This weekend was the first weapons training, which is something I've looked forward to since I was a little kid. Oki maybe not exactly, but its something I've always been interested in learning. Taught by 3 very skilled students, we were all given the choice to learn staff, broad sword, or straight sword. I chose to learn straight sword because the movements are known to be very swift and elegant. I have also been tempted to purchase a sword of my own, and what better time to buy it than now. For the past two days the group divided according to what they were interested in learning. Ray, one of the coaches for wushu, and a fellow digital art student taught us the basics. How to properly thrust, spin, flower, and hold a sword. We also practiced the 1st beginner's form which consisted of at least 13 sword stances. Today we learned up to the 13th stance, and there was still more to learn. My arms are sore from holding the sword, but I loved every minute of the lesson.
What also made my day during practice was Puddles! I spotted the Oregon duck mascot roaming down the hall at the student recreation center. At first, someone pointed him to me and I chased him. As I turned at the corner, I was somewhat disappointed to see that he was busy with a swarm of children. There must have been an event going on, because there were many kids running around. We saw many little faces in their parent's arms as they watched us practice thru the windows. I had really wanted to take a picture with the duck, so when I saw him pass by our window I bolted out the door and asked him to pose with us. BEST DAY OF MY LIFE! I finally accomplished two of my personal goals. Learning to use a sword (properly) and finally getting a picture with the school mascot!
January 18, 2010 - 2:00 AM
This year I decided that the Hong Kong Student Association needed to host a Valentine's Day fundraiser. Besides selling Krispy Kreme Donuts over and over again, I thought that it would be a great opportunity to do a fundraiser relating to an upcoming holiday. With Valentine's Day, chocolates and flowers were the first thing that came to my mind. I was inspired to make chocolate roses when Karen, the other Co-President, suggested we do something artsy. I've seen Hershey Kisses roses before, but had never made them.
The committee got together last week with some of our club members to hold a rose making workshop. Through online tutorials, I picked it up fairly quickly and was able to instruct everyone. We had a good number of people show up. With almost half of the volunteers being fellow Wushu members of mine. It was really sweet that they came to help out, and I cannot express how grateful I am for everyone who showed up. We made about 200 roses in one hour before we ran out of wood skewers. We currently are in the process of purchasing more material to hold another work session sometime in the next two week.
As far as when and where we will sell them, we've decided to hold the fundraiser on Friday, the 12th of February, right outside of the duck store. We will be selling single roses for $1, and 4 roses for $3. Come check us out! We are planning to take pre-orders as well. A few of the committee members who are sorority girls, are also planning to go house to house asking fellow sister if they wish to participate in a "Secret Valentines" event. They will personally hand deliver the roses free of charge in hopes that the girls will purchase them. All proceeds will help fund the biggest event for our club, "Hong Kong Night." This event is a banquet and show that introduces students and the public all about Hong Kong food and culture.
January 17, 2010 - 10:00 PM
I was very productive yesterday. I finished my OSAC scholarship application! OSAC, the Oregon Student Assistant Commission is a really great scholarship system. With one application, an Oregon student can apply to over 400 scholarships. Some scholarships require additional essays or documents. I applied the year I graduated from high school and received 2. Last year, I missed the deadline. The deadline for the scholarship is March 1st. If a student wishes to submit before the February 16th deadline, they have a chance to correct their application if errors were found, as well a chance to win $500. Most of the scholarships are directed to graduating high school students. I only found 4 that fitted my situation. The only essays I was required to submit were the four short statements. I thought I would share them to you since they tell a little bit about myself.
1.Explain your career aspirations and your educational plan to meet these goals.
My passion for the arts has influenced my interest in the field of design. I am currently studying digital arts at the University of Oregon which has not only taught me the technical skills in how to design, such as logos or poster, but to expand my skills and see my works as a form of fine art. Not only does my education enhance my creativity but I am currently working with several student organizations in designing their posters, logos, and T-shirts. The community of the campus has given me the opportunity to work with different student organizations. An opportunity to challenge myself to work with diverse ideas and background. I wish to be a graphic designer with a focus in advertising. I want to move, and convey messages to the public through my works of art.
2.Describe a challenge or obstacle you faced in the last ten years. What did you learn about yourself from this experience?
I have had conflicting opinions in regard to a dragon sculpture in Portland's Chinatown. There were many criticisms over the piece in regard to how the artist portrayed the dragon, an important symbol to the Chinese people. This has caused me to feel torn between two sides, myself as a devoted artist and a person of Chinese descent. It was difficult for me to choose between the two sides that make up who I am. I was confused on whether I should feel sympathy for the artist or anger for the misinterpretation of my culture. I interviewed family members, teachers, and peers, but found that this furthered the division. Fortunately, when I went to the city's meeting, it helped me set aside the differences and see the situations as a whole. Instead of independent statements, I realized that in order to resolve these arguments, resolutions need to be made together.
3.Describe a personal accomplishment and the strengths and skills you used to achieve it.
Art has been a tool for me to express my feelings and ideas. During the the last two years of high school, I was in Art Studio. This self-disciplinary class has helped motivate me to push outside my comfort level. In the beginning, I only drew with pencil because I found it easier to control. This course taught me to take risks, using other media such as oil, watercolors, and acrylics. I also begun to take up Chinese paper cutting and finished a crane sculpture made of window blinds and spray paint. Through demonstrations, practice, and research, the class has helped me develop my creativity and technical skills as well. Now I can apply the same techniques and ideas into graphic design. Using the different tools in the software as well as incorporating photos, and handmade pieces, I can still express my ideas in any media I choose.
4.Explain how you have helped your family or made your community a better place to live. Please provide specific examples.
For the past 3 years, I volunteered for the Multnomah Library's Summer Reading Program. Every morning, I would find myself behind a line of kids eagerly waiting for the library doors to open. Unfortunately, they were not waiting to pick books off the shelf but to use the library computers to play games. My job was to signup participants and award prizes to those who complete their reading logs, and as I sat at the Summer Reading desk, I would encourage these children to join. When they came back to claim their incentives, we would discuss the books they have read, their favorite part, and anything new they may have come across through their reading. I hope that my job has helped motivate them to become better readers, and to open up another form of entertainment that will help them through out their lives.