My First Microblog Post; FINALS.

Yes. Final exams are coming up at my school, and I really should be studying for my finals right now. But I’m not, which makes me a bad student, like most other students. Boo hoo. I must admit, I am lucky this year; I only have three final exams to study for out of seven classes, which is pretty impressive. ♡

Tomorrow, which is Monday the 8th June, I have my Econ final. On Tuesday, I have my Algebra 2 final, and on Wednesday, I have my Chemistry final. Not too bad, right? Compared to most of my friends, my final schedule is not tiring at all. But how come it still is tiring for me?

To be honest, I have my Econ textbook out right next to me, open at the page I should be reading. However, I have not even turned my eyes to that very page. Oh dear. I think I need to go study for the exam which will strike me in roughly 13 hours. Wish me luck! ♡

P.S. Summer is coming! YAY!! ♡

Bye Bye Jisoo the SOPHOMORE.

Wow… It has already been one year since I became a sophomore. I want to use this blog post to look over this year, and see what I’ve done well, and what I could have done better, so that I can do better in my Junior year. This sophomore year (2008~2009) has been quite a long year, and I have had some good times as well as bad times; regardless of the times I’ve had, it has been a valuable year.

This year has been a year riddled with many unwanted and wanted things, such as homework, parties, birthdays, special events, family gatherings, deaths, celebrations, projects, tests, quizzes… You can imagine the rest for yourself. I’ve been the average sophomore with a little twist. Now that I think about it, I think that I had a great year. Although I didn’t acknowledge that I was having a great year, now that it’s nearing the end of my sophomore year, I realize that I’ve had a good year in many aspects.

Firstly, I’ve made more friends. I’m not that much of a loud person to people I don’t know well, so I didn’t have too many friends in my first year of high school. This year, I’ve become closer with more people, and I’ve become best friends with some people I never imagined I would become best friends with. I’ve had some fantastic times with friends; I remember studying all night at a friend’s place. I remember studying at a cafe with two friends for the AP Biology exam and procrastinating like crazy. I think these memories will be precious to me, since even though it was hard studying, the fact that we were together made it all the more valuable.

Secondly, I’ve become wiser. I made one too many mistakes in my freshman year; I wasn’t careful with words, I didn’t know how to make important decisions, I didn’t know how to make friends properly… Now that my sophomore year is over, I’ve realized just how much wiser I have become. I now know to think before speaking; I used to be a person who would say everything on their mind. Now, I think about what I’m going to say before saying it; this has helped my social life greatly. I guess I’ve become better at making decisions too; I’ve had to make some pretty hard decisions this year, and I have to say, I’ve become a deeper thinker; I think more about the short-term and long-term effects before making a decision.

Thirdly, I’ve become smarter. This year, I took an AP course for the first time; AP Biology. I reallt did try hard in this class; I took notes, I read endlessly, I drew diagrams, I discussed with friends, I spent lunchtimes in the AP Bio classroom, I did labs, I… that’s about it. I think I did get smarter, and I know for a fact that my memorization skills have improved; I now know how to study effectively. I gained a lot of useful knowledge from AP Biology, and I hope I don’t forget those facts. Also, from taking Asian Studies, Economics, Chemistry, Algebra2, English, and all my other subjects, I get the feeling that I’ve gained an asset; knowledge. People say that knowledge is a valuable asset or money, in the modern world. I get the feeling that I’ve become much richer, and that my brain is carrying a lot more information that it used to one year ago!

Fourthly, I have become better at managing time. People say that managing time well is one of the shortcuts to success; I think that through this year, I have become one step closer to achieving this practical skill. Thanks to the ridiculous amount of homework that I have had to deal with this year, I have learned how to divide up my time so that I can save time, giving me time to do all the things that I need to do or want to do. I think that I’m very to have learned this skill early on, because I know that it’s a skill that is going to be important all my life. Someone once said that everyone has the same 24 hours, but it depends on how you use those 24 hours what kind of person you become in the future. I want to be able to use my 24 hours doing all the things I want to do.

Lastly, I have set my goal for the future. Up until now, my primary goal was to become a professional in an area of work in which I could be happy. It still is one of my goals for my life, but I have become more specific in my goal now that I have discovered my true strengths. This year, I have discovered that my strengths are the sciences and music. This year, I have thoroughly enjoyed AP Biology and Chemistry, and so I have decided that I want to go to medical school. Even though I want to go to medical school, I don’t want to let go of my passion for music, so my ultimate goal is to do a double major between performing arts (violin) and biology (medical school). I think achieving this goal would mean so much to me; it would mean that I can do everything I want, and that I can pursue my dream of becoming a doctor as well as carrying on with my passion, which is playing the violin and making good music.

Well…. I’ve gained so much this year.

My only hope is that I continue to gain, and never lose hope. Junior year, here I come! 🙂

(Picture From: LINK)

When the World Seems Blue.

Recently, I’ve been feeling blue. No, this does not mean that I have a medical condition in which my skin turns blue or my vision is made blueish. To feel blue is an expression to say that you’re feeling depressed, and not as happy as you’d usually be. I don’t know if it has anything to do with the finals that are coming up, but I think not; I only have like, three written final exams to study for, so finals aren’t really a valid reason for me to feel blue. I think I’m feeling blue for quite a number of reasons. These days, I think I could just cry. For no reason whatsoever. I swear I could cry for hours. So… just to get my jumbled mind cleared up, I decided to make a small but large list of the things that I think are making me sad.

1. I don’t think I did so good on the AP Biology test. Boo hoo.

Biology’s one of the subjects I’m really into, as well as English and Music. I really really really really studied hard; in my last blog post, I showed you guys my desperate efforts to get a 5 on the AP Bio exam. (In case you didn’t read my blog post – please go read now 🙂 – it was about notetaking and I posted pictures of my AP Bio notebook) I think I will be disappointed big time if I don’t get a 5 🙁

2. People are treating me like I’m a nobody. I am somebody.

I don’t know if they’re intentionally doing this to me, but I feel like some people are ignoring me; whenever I say something, whenever I ask them something, whenever I comment on something, people pretend not to have heard what I just said. It’s like I never said anything in the first place. I know that most of the time, it’s not intentional, but it hurts nonetheless to know that someone isn’t willing to take the time to hear what you have to say. It’s like you want to be noticed, but no one’s noticing you.

3. I haven’t touched my violing in ages. I need to practice.

Since one year ago, I haven’t been practicing my violin on a regular basis because I have needed to focus on my studies. I am seriously considering sleeping one less hour to find the time to practice violin. I mean, it’s something that makes me happy, and I don’t see why my studies should prevent me from doing what I want to do and love doing. I swear the world is against me. LOL.

4. I feel like people are talking behind my back. Uh-oh.

I don’t know many people at my school; I know some people very well, but I’m not a person who has a large social circle. I would like to, but I don’t. So, I end up talking to the same people every day. Since I don’t speak to that many people in return, I hear a lot of things. And I’ve been hearing a lot of untrue things about me. That really isn’t that nice; just the feeling that someone thinks you’re one person, when you’re really not.

5. I feel that people are thinking of me as the odd one out.

I admit that I’m not the most typical person you can meet out there in the world. And no, I am not a goth, nerd, geek, druggie etc. I just have different views of the world. Sometimes, in English class discussions, I’ve said my opinions about a certain dialogue or scene, and everyone has different opinions and voice their opinions in return. I’m fine with that, but the thing is, they all seem to direct it at me, instead of the whole class… -_- And I’m kind of weird in the fact that I get cold really easily; all my closest friends are used to this, but some people, when I ask them to turn off the AC because I am turning into an ice sculpture, look at me in disgust as if I’m not a normal person. Not nice.

Well… I think that’s pretty much it. I know I should brighten up, and I’m trying. I don’t show that I’m depressed at school, but inside, I know what state I’m in. I’m slowly but surely brightening up! I’m smiling more, I’m wearing brighter colours… Time will heal me, I hope.

Studying is the hardest thing. EVER.

Most students aspire to get “all As.” Or something like that. We (I’m a student too!) all study in one way or another, hoping that we won’t flunk the next exam that comes in our way. The outcomes are all different; some naturally do well on tests without much studying, but for the rest of us, we need to study 24/7 in order to get good grades. Yes, life is unfair. Boo hoo.
When I first came to Korea on the 23rd March 2007 after living 7 years in England, I was very unfamiliar with the American GPA system that was employed at my current school. Everything of the American schooling system was so alien to me, since I was so used to the British system. In England we had terms, teacher comments, maths, tutor period, and fountain pens, whereas in my International School in Korea, we had semesters, report cards, geometry and algebra2, homeroom, and Macbooks.
I could not adjust to the system for the entire first “semester” that I was at my current school; at my previous school, we had never received As or Bs or Cs, but we had simply received our percentile scores. I had never heard of such a thing as GPA. At first, I thought it was some kind of textbook-printing publishers or something. As time went on, I became more and more used to the American system, and now, I am happy to say, that I am now completely adjusted! ☺
However, there is still one thing that I can never get used to; using Macbooks to take notes. I recently took my AP Biology test and my SAT2 Biology test. All my friends were using prep books from Barrons, Princeton Review, and Kaplan, whereas I was just relying on my good buddy, the more-than-1000-pages-long AP Biology textbook, to earn me a 5 on the AP Bio exam. Everyone was taking notes with their Macbooks, but I have always preferred writing by hand…
I started my studying by taking notes in two notebooks that I call “my cats.” I am allergic to cats, but I think they look very cute, so I bought myself two notebooks with cats on the cover to take notes on bio. When I had finished, I found myself with 116 pages of Biology notes, diagrams included. I really enjoyed doing this ☺


Anyways, my point is, even though everyone has different ways of studying, don’t go along with the methods that everyone else use, just because it’s popular. Find the right method for you, as taking notes was for me. Even though taking notes and drawing diagrams can be really time-consuming, I guarantee you, it is worth taking time to do. Good luck! ☺

My Bio Notes + Diagrams:

Individuality.

Each and every person is different; we all have different facial features, personalities, likings, hobbies, … whatever you can think of. Some say that each person has a doppelganger, but the chances of a person being able to find their doppelganger (who may not even exist) in their lifetime are pretty slim. Therefore, we need to accept that everybody is different in their own special way, and we have no right to judge them because they are a little different from us.

In some cultures, there is an established rule that there are people in communities, schools, work etc. that are isolated, picked on, and have no friends. In Korea, they are called “wangtta” (왕따). The “wangttas” tend to be so isolated and bullied for various  reasons, such as not coming from a good family background, for not fitting into the norm, for being too shy, for being too cowardly etc. In Japan, the system of bullying a designated “freak” is called “ijimae.” In Korean and Japanese cultures, this is a growing issue, and many individuals are being tortured by bullying or other methods every day.

Being bullied can make every day seem like a living hell; the victims have no friends, are ignored, expected to say yes to everything that the “normal” people say… I have seen many people who have been victims of such cases of social alienation, and through meeting some people who have had similar experiences as these, I have been able to truly sympathize with these victims.

I have been backstabbed (in British English, b****ed about) many times, and each time that I have been backstabbed, I have felt over and over again that it is indeed an extremely unpleasant experience for anyone to go through. I have learned that as I don’t like being talked about behind my back, I should not talk about others behind their backs. However, the strange thing is, even though you don’t talk about others behind their backs, some people always accuse you of backstabbing other people.

In conclusion, isolation, or alienation, is a growing issue in some countries among the young populations. People are discriminating one another for reasons of appearances, skin colour, age, nationality, and so much more. This needs to stop; social alienation can lead to the death of victims, as we can see from the cases of Korean celebrities who committed suicide due to nasty comments about them on the web.

The lesson to be learned here is: don’t talk about others badly if you don’t want to be talked about badly.

(Image from http://myselfdevelopment.net/images/Isolation.jpg)

What can YOU do for the world?

The world seems to be large place. It is the largest planet that is terrestrial in our solar system, having a circumference of 40,041.47 kilometres and a surface area of 510,072,000km2. It is the dwelling of many different species including homo sapiens, otherwise known as humans. Most people have the tendency to think that they are only one out of the billions of people out there on this planet, and that the world and its people should be nice to you because you are one of them. Well, if you are one of the people who think this, I am afraid you are very, very mistaken.
Yes, a person, as a habitant of Earth, is entitled to living space, food, heat and other necessities on this planet. The thing that most people realize is that plenty of people suffered at least a little to provide you with an education, a decent childhood, food, living necessities, jobs, houses, clothing, and much, much more. We all need to apprehend that we, as responsible citizens of the global community, need to give something back to the community that helped raise us into who we are today.

So how do we give back?
There are various ways to give back to the community, and there are many options to choose from, depending on your interests and specialities. You can find out the many options available to you through searching on the Internet, visiting nearby elderly care homes, handicapped people’s care homes, or rehabilitation centres.
As for me, I’m trying my best to contribute as well as I can to the community. So far, I have taught handicapped people how to play the violin, I have played with children at various daycare centres for disadvantaged children, and I have made monthly donations to various disabled people care homes. I am in no way listing these things to prove that I’m a good person; I am listing to show you that even though I’m just a normal student, there are a lot of things I can do. You can do much more than you expect! A little effort goes a long way.
You might wonder, why take the time and effort to do community service when you could be in bed with a cup of hot chocolate, working on that report you have to turn in to the professor by tomorrow? Yes, your English/Biology/Maths/whatever paper is important and does mean a lot to your grade, I’m sure. But just one hour of your time means that a disabled child/old person/ill person/etc. has an opportunity to do communicate with you, which could mean a lot to them. It’s not just about being played with for an hour to them, but it means the whole world. For example, I played with a disabled child who was new to a disabled children’s school for an hour. At first, the child seemed to be shy and reluctant to speak, and as time went on, and as she started to see that I was actually listening to her, she began to open up to me. I heard from her that she really liked me being there because the other kids don’t talk to her because she stutters. From this, I could see that everyday things that we are able to do could mean an awful lot to the disadvantaged people out there.
As members of the global community, we have the responsibility to contribute to our society, and I have suggested community service as a way to contribute. There are many other ways, of course, but I feel that community service is a great way to do something good, not just for the community, but to yourself, since you are improving yourself as a person while willingly giving time to care for others.
I want to finish with a quote that I think is very meaningful:
“Ask not what the world can do for you, but what you can do for the world.”

My Top 5 Favourite Songs

As I mentioned in many of my previous posts, I listen to music 24/7. I listen to all genres, but I noticed that all my previous posts about music were about classical music. So… just to prove that I am not some kind of classical music-obsessed person who doesn’t know a thing about any other music genre, I am going to write a blog post about the top 5 songs that I like. I just made a list of 5 songs that I like listening to, and thought that maybe you would like them too. Some of these songs aren’t really that popular, but… everyone is different! 🙂 So… here we go!

P.S. Click on the links to go to the videos 🙂

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Top 5 English Songs

1. Lucky – Jason Mraz (featuring Colbie Caillat)

I absolutely love Jason Mraz’s songs; I listen to all the songs on his latest album, “We Sing, We Dance. We Steal Things.” I had a really really really really hard time choosing my favourite song out of that album. I find this album to be absolutely amazing. I really like his voice; it has the power to make people listen and be moved. Colbie Caillat features in this song, and her voice is beautiful! Listen to this song!!

Lucky – Live by Colbie Caillat and Jason Mraz

2. Welcome To My Life – Simple Plan

Some people consider this song depressing, or emo, but it the lyrics seem to describe my life exceptionally well in some situations. Sometimes, when I’m listening to this song, I find myself agreeing with the lyrics. When I first came to Korea after my 7 years in England, I cried when I listened to this song because it described my feelings so accurately. Even though it’s not exactly the happy song that some people look for, it’s a song that I really like because it has often made me think, “this really fits into my life right now.”

Welcome To My Life – Live by Simple Plan

3. You Found Me – The Fray

It’s a song that can also be seen as a little depressing, but I think it’s a song that expresses emotions that many people can relate to as familiar. This is what Isaac Slate said about the lyrics:

“You Found Me” is a tough song for me. It’s about the disappointment, the heart ache, the let down that comes with life. Sometimes you’re let down, sometimes you’re the one who lets someone else down. It gets hard to know who you can trust, who you can count on. This song came out of a tough time, and I’m still right in the thick of it. There’s some difficult circumstances my family and friends have been going through over the past year or so and can be overwhelming. It wears on me. It demands so much of my faith to keep believing, keep hoping in the unseen. Sometimes the tunnel has a light at the end, but usually they just look black as night. This song is about that feeling, and the hope that I still have, buried deep in my chest.

You Found Me – The Fray

4. The Greatest Love of All – Whitney Houston

This is a song that I really love. It’s more of a happy song, you will be glad to hear 🙂 The song teaches you to love yourself, because the greatest love of all is lerning to love yourself; it convinces that this is easy to achieve, and this will greatly benefit your life, and make you a much happier person in general. Even though this song is incredibly old, I think that this song is still a legend.

The Greatest Love of All – live by Whitney Houston

5. Crazy – Simple Plan

Another song by Simple Plan 🙂 I like this band a lot! (as you can probably guess) I was really happy and surprised when a couple of people from grade sang this song at our school festival. It’s a really profound song because it accurately describes the blasphemies that are going on around us today. It talks about how people in today’s society are becoming more and more selfish, and are caring less and less by the day. Well, I’m afraid it’s one of those depressing songs again, but anyway!

Crazy – live by Simple Plan

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Well… I just shared some of the songs that I think are awesome. What are YOUR favourite songs??

Orchestras on TV

Unlike a decade ago, classical music has become the topic of interest in the general population in today’s society. 10 years ago, classical music was considered to be an extremely formal genre of music, which only posh/old/freaks listened to. However, recently, classical music has been at the centre of attention by being the main theme of many television series. Although music was an unexpected theme for a television series, the viewers took it well, and classical music became familiarized to the general Asian population. Today, in my blog post, I want to talk about the different orchestras depicted in two of the television series about classical music.

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Firstly, let’s talk about the famous Korean television series that played in 2008, Beethoven Virus. This television series was a sensation that hit the entire country, not to mention Japan and China. Beethoven Virus featured the actors and actresses of Korea who were renowned for their expert acting skills, such as Kim Myung Min (김명민), who played the role of Maestro Kang, who is depicted as an unsociable, harsh, yet genius conductor who comes to Korea to conduct an orchestra.

In Beethoven Virus, the orchestra was composed of “unprofessional and crap” people, as declared by Maestro Kang on the first day of practice. He even goes to the extent that he calls a cello player a “heap of feces.” This phrase became famous all over the country, and became used widely as a funny phrase for something that lacks in quality. Maestro Kang is a world-famous conductor who is renowned for his accurate conducting and perfectionism. He considers the town orchestra that he is asked to conduct to poor for his standards.


As the plot progresses, different characters come in, one by one, along with love lines. For example, the main violinist, Durumi (이지아), falls in love with Maestro Kang, and another main character, Kunwoo Kang (장근석), falls in love with Durumi. The end shows the orchestra, now progressed to a fully professional orchestra, having incredible success.
Another television series that focuses on classical music (orchestras to be specific) is Nodame Cantabile, a popular Japanese television series that was even popular in Korea, and was the number one most downloaded television series on download sites when it was first played on TV. The series features many famous Japanese celebrities, such as Tamaki Hiroshi and Ueno Juri. Nodame Cantabile is set at a prestigious music school located in Japan, where Chiaki (Tamaki Hiroshi) and Noda Megumi (Ueno Juri) attend. Chiaki is depicted as a piano and music genius, who is excellent at all instruments. Ueno Juri is depicted as a food-loving piano player, who has the capacity to play great music.


Nodame Cantabile is about what happens when Chiaki transfers from the piano department to the conducting department, and starts to follow his real, innate dream, which is to become a famous conductor. He starts to conduct his own orchestra, called Rising Star Orchestra, which turns out to be tremendously successful. It shows the love between the members of the orchestra, and the television series is successful in getting across the feeling of satisfaction and pride when a musical performance is completed productively.

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Both the television series get across the indescribable feeling of having completed a music performance successfully. I have felt the feeling, and it is so incredible that it brings tears to your eyes, and begins a fire in your heart.
Musicians have to endure hours and hours of practice, and as we are people too, we find it hard sometimes to endure the temptation to not practice and do something else. Since the road to becoming a great musician is so rocky and clogged with obstacles, it is so easy to just give up. I felt like this as well, and it was so very hard to keep on going. It was especially hard for since, since I am mentally weak. However, I was able to keep going by remembering that feeling; the feeling of pride, self-satisfaction, glory, happiness, love, and every positive emotion that a human can possibly feel all fused together to create the feeling felt after completing a concert. This feeing makes a musicians feel as though they are flying, and it is this very feeling that enables musicians to never give up and keep on going. This is the feeling that makes us think that all the practice and all those hours are really worth it.

Image 1: http://image.search.naver.com/search.naver?where=image&sm=tab_jum&query=%uBCA0%uD1A0%uBCA4%uBC14%uC774%uB7EC%uC2A4

Image 2: http://www.hancutgallery.com/TwoBox/PageSearchPhoto.aspx?photoID=2160089&searchValue=%EB%85%B8%EB%8B%A4%EB%A9%94+%EC%B9%B8%ED%83%80%EB%B9%8C%EB%A0%88+%EC%98%A4%EC%BC%80

My Top 10 Favourite Things

I am an only child, so my parents do buy me most things that I ask for, but only if I have a valid reason. I tend to have a valid reasons for everything, so I have a lot of objects. I have a far-from-messy room; I am a perfectionist, like I mentioned before, so I really have to (imperative) tidy up, otherwise I feel the mess that I made creep up on me while I am working or reading or whatever.

So, for my new blog post, I decided two write about the 10 things that I value the most out of all the stuff that I actually own. As I was writing this list, I realized that half the stuff I own, I don’t use that often. I really should consider donating some to charity.

1. My Violin.

I’ve been with my full-size (4/4) violin for around 3 years and a half now, and it’s been wonderful. She’s (yes, my violin is a girl) helped me to win some music concours (competitions), and it’s been a great time playing her. I’ve played some fantastic pieces with this violin that I intend to revisit once I have finished my current piece, such as “Chaconne” by Vitali, which was voted the saddest music of the year in 2007.

2. My Diary.

I really like taking notes in class, so guess what? I like to take notes about my daily life in my diary. It’s just a plain annual diary from a design company called “Monopoly.” It’s really helped me to stay on top of my exploding schedule, and it’s really kept me organized so far, which is great by my standards!

3. My MacBook.

I simply love my Macbook. At first, I thought that Macbooks were inconvenient, but now, I find that it’s a more fun system to use than the regular windows computer. I really like the programs on the laptop, and I use each and every one of them regularly except for a very few. I especially like garageband! It’s helped me to take better notes in classes, and also, it’s helped me to work anywhere, anytime.

4. My Digital Camera.

My digital camera is hot pink. Yes, it is brilliant. I bought it with my own money around 1 year ago, and I have been in love with it ever since. I really really really really like taking pictures, even though I hate being taken a picture of. Maybe it’s because I’m not that skinny or pretty. That is the sad truth. Lol. (Lol, for my English teacher, Mr. S, who does not know what it stands for, stands for laugh out loud.)

5. My Converse Shoes.

They are so comfortable! And they come in a different range of colours! I own a pair of pink converses, and I wear them every day. Literally. I really like the colour, and they’re really comfortable, so I am just in love with them. I also own a white pair, a blue pair, and a brown pair.

6. My Piano.

I was going to put my piano somewhere in the beginning, but I forgot, thanks to my amnesia. Please do understand; I swear I have had amnesia since I was 2 years old. (and no, I am not mentally retarded, thank you very much.) I really like playing on my piano; I’ve never actually learnt how to play the piano. I simply taught myself how to play, as well as how to read music. I was born to play music. (just joking!)

7. My Scribble Book.

I am really into drawing, so if someone gave me 100 sheets of paper, I promise you that I could fill them up with doodles and drawings, not to mention scribbles, in less than one hour. I doodle everywhere, anytime; I draw on napkins, on walls, on hands, on notebooks, on post-its… Yes it’s my innate unstoppable instinct to draw acting if you see me doodling during class.

8. My iPod Touch.

As I mentioned before in one of my previous posts, I am addicted to music. I listen to music 24/7. Simply put, I love listening to music, ergo, I listen to it all the time. My parents tell me to not listen to music while I study, but whenever they are looking, the bad me inside me tells me to pick up the earphones and listen to the music playing. Oops. I am a very, very bad girl.

9. My Earphones.

I go through so many earphones during the year that my parents have given up on telling me to be careful with my earphones. The truth is, I am really careful with them, but they break anyway because I use them way too much. (Although I do admit… I have broken a few pairs by accidentally dropping some into cups of water or juice. Silly moi.

10. My Bed.

When I am tired and worn out, I simply cannot resist the temptation to fall into a long, deep sleep on my welcoming bed. It just feels sooooooo soft. It is simply irresistable. I mean, can anyone keep themselves from trudging to their beds when they are tired? 😛

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There was a list of my top 10 favourite things. What are YOUR favourite things?

An orchestra; the beauty of unity.

Orchestras. Well, they can usually be thought of as musical ensembles with a larger number of musicians. Even though they do require you to practice a fair amount, especially if you are the principal violinist, I assure you, playing in an orchestra can be a lot of fun. Even though the orchestra practice time is long and individual practice can be tedious, the end result is a magnificent performance most of the time, so playing your best in an orchestra gives you the right to pat yourself on the back at the end of a concert or performance and tell yourself, “well done; you worked hard to make such good music.”
Since there are usually quite a large number of people in an orchestra, they need to be arranged by a seating plan, according to the instrument they play. Not many people are familiar with the standard orchestra seating plan, but one does exist!

The picture above illustrates the orchestra seating plan for a standard symphony orchestra. The entire orchestra is seated as a semicircle around the conductor on the stage, facing the audience. The first violins and the cellos are seated nearest to the conductor, and the principal violinist, who can also be considered as the leader of the orchestra, sits on the right side of the music stand. Two musicians share one music stand, but there can be exceptions for larger instruments, such as double basses, pianos, harp, and percussion. The peculiar thing about an orchestra is that everyone is seated, except for the percussion, the timpani, and the double basses. You may ask, “Why is this strange?” but this is considered abnormal for some instruments that are traditionally played standing up, such as the violin and viola.
Let’s start with the string instruments. Firstly, the violins are situated to the left of the conductor. They are divided into two sections, the first violins and the second violins. Being in the second violin sector does not mean that you lack in skill compared to the first violins; there needs to be a balance of good people between the two sections, since the overall sound needs to be balanced and stable. Secondly, the violas are situated next to the second violins. Since they have a deeper sound and lower pitch than the violins, they are situated next to the cellos. Since there tend to be very few viola players in the world, there are usually not enough viola players to divide the viola section into two parts. Thirdly, the cellos are seated to the right of the conductor. Even though cellos are very large in size, they still share music stands; two cello players share one music stand. Fourthly, the double bass players are behind the violas. Since the double basses are so large that they cannot be played sitting down, they can either be played standing up or sitting on higher stools. Lastly, the harp players (usually only one to five people) are situated behind the second violins.

Next, let’s move on to the wind and brass instruments. The piccolo and flutes are situated next to the second violins, next to the oboes. The piccolos, flutes, and oboes all share music stands, one per pair. Piccolos and flutes play the higher notes, while the oboes tend to play at a lower pitch. Behind them are the clarinets and bassoons. The clarinets play at an essentially middle pitch. They can play both high and low notes. The bassoons have a very unique sound, unlike any of the other wind instruments. They are notorious for being hard to play, and requiring a large amount of energy to blow. The French horns are situated left of the clarinets. They produce a very loud sound, so there are usually few players. The trumpets, like the French horns, also produce very loud music, so there are few players as well. Behind the trumpets are the trombones and tubas. Trombones require a larger amount of space to play, since they involve moving the slide up and down to produce different notes. The tuba is also an unpopular instrument; since there are very few people who actually play the instrument, there tends to be few players.
Lastly, the percussion and piano are situated at the back left corner of the orchestra. The percussion instruments are varied according to the piece being played by the orchestra at the time, but there can be different types of drums, tambourines, triangles etc. There usually tends to only be one piano player in an orchestra, but again, the number of piano players depends on the piece being played.

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Well, there was my analysis of the positions in the orchestra. As you can see, there is a wide range of instruments being played in an orchestra. The sounds of all these instruments unite to make one whole symphony that has the potential to move the audience to tears.

Image: http://www.dsokids.com/art/instruments/seatingchart.gif

Quote: http://www.yehudimenuhinschool.co.uk/index.php?dept=11