the passenger seat

photographs and memories
September 24, 2009, 10:50 pm
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I’m not sure if you noticed, but I’ve used this blog title before; a while back. But I just have to use it again since it’s so appropriate.

These past few days have been very interesting. So many people have been bringing cameras to school and it’s awesome. People like Marcus have come out of their shells and succumbed to the photo-taking craze, allowing people like me to capture precious memories of our grade just before it’s all over. So, here’s a quick recap of what’s been happening these past three days.

Tuesday: Tuesday was a pretty ordinary day compared to the other days this week, with the exception of the Awards Day Assembly that seemed to last for an eternity. There were a few photographs taken, but not even close to the amount on the two preceding days of school.

Flickr Set: 22-09-09: An Ordinary Tuesday

Wednesday: On this day we experienced the weirdest weather that we have ever seen in Sydney as everything became covered in dust and the skies turned red and yellow. As a result, I was afraid to take my camera out of my bag outdoors; and no-one really wanted to be outdoors for extended periods of time anyway. I did, however, capture a few shots of common room clean up that afternoon.

Flickr Set: 23-09-09: SCR

Thursday: Today was a mufti day for “Crazy Hair Day”, even though I saw maybe a tenth of the school embracing the real purpose of the day. Still, it was a nice day, dust-free, and everyone was out of uniform for a change. The library was unusually packed with the entire grade attempting to get their Scholarship and Medicine application forms signed by Mr. Deigan, and I am still yet to get mine done. At the end of the day we had a party in Physics where Kelly prepared a delicious pancake mix and everyone took turns cooking and eating them, including a few visitors to our class.

Flickr Set: 24-09-09: Mufti Day

I’ve made a collection on my Flickr with all of these sets and the ones from Friday and Monday in it, so that’s where they’ll continue to be added until school ends. Find it here:

Flickr Collection: Ruse 09: The Last Days

Oh, and one more thing. Be sure to check out the photographs that Janet took when she borrowed my camera over the weekend. I think some of them are better than any photos I’ve ever taken, so I’m sure you’ll like them.

Flickr Set: 18/19-09-09: Janet’s Photography

And that’s all from me today. I will definitely post a full blog next week when our celebrations go under way and school is finally over.

But until then, enjoy it while you can.


September 21, 2009, 9:40 pm
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Today we discarded our white shirts that are a symbol of our maturity and responsibility as seniors in the school. In its place, we donned grey shirts and green tunics as a throwback to our junior years. Find the photos on my Flickr:

Flickr Set: 21-09-09: Junior Uniform Day

Some people looked hilarious in their junior uniform while others looked normal, somehow. It was fun to wear, too.

Sorry for the lack of discussion, but this is just a short, quick blog to plug the set. I would usually put things like this on my Tumblr, but I know that many randoms view/read that one. At least here I know only you guys read and there aren’t too many randoms.

More to come tomorrow.

where did my baby go
September 18, 2009, 7:14 pm
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The other day I went digging for old baby photos for the presentation for the final year 12 assembly. I got Janet to scan them for me, and so I figured I may as well upload them also.




And speaking of photos, I brought my camera to school today to give to Janet to borrow over the weekend. But during the day I got a tonne of shots, with a lot taken by Thashan, Bryan, James and Ambert. Some great memories were captured, so I’ll be bringing my camera to school everyday from now on. Check out the set!

Flickr Set: 18-09-09: At School

That’s all for today. Stay tuned for more photos next week.

everything’ll be alright

It seems that my blogging has become increasingly sporadic. Even after the last post, in which I addressed the issues preventing me from blogging more often, I still have not found a resolve for any of them. I’m still sleeping late; in fact, I am actually waking earlier nowadays to play in the mornings. I’ve only done a bit of photography lately, not daily or two-daily as I used to. I think I’ve shot basically everything photographically-viable around my house and street, so there’s not much more I can do until I go out somewhere interesting. So, the point is, I can’t use the excuse that my creative energies have been spent elsewhere.

But regardless, here I am, just to get a few things off my chest.

There is no need to reiterate that there has been a huge increase in sentimental thoughts and blogs in the weeks leading up to the end of our schooling lives. I find myself constantly conversing about the past, the future, the short amount of time we have left at school.

And what a great school it has been. I can very confidently say that James Ruse Agricultural High School has been very good to me. I’ve loved the six years that we’ve been here, and I’ve loved all the people who I see day-in, day-out. Nowadays, I am quick to shoot down any stereotypical comments about our school. Sure, we do have certain groups that do fit the stereotype, but for the most part, people around here are very sociable. I am so thankful for the pride that we have as a grade and as a school, and I cannot say how much I love that our grade is so tight. Literally every other school has distinct segregated groups within each grade, and although we do have certain distinct groups, the barriers between each are very, very thin. It is because of this that I am able to say “Hi” to people I see out of school that I barely talk to at school. Excuse me for being very sentimental and border-line homosexual here, but I just cannot express how much I’ll miss our grade and school.

Shit, I said the word “love” too many times in that paragraph. Oh well; there they shall stay.

The other day James posted a very interesting excerpt on his blog, entitled “Security”, by Hunter S. Thompson. It discussed the differences between opposing values in society: do I choose security or risk? With security comes boredom and lack of purpose, but with risk comes both success and failure. This may be a tad tangential, but it got me thinking about school and the daily routine of timetables and bell times.

For six years we have lived each weekday by the sound of a siren, ringing eleven times each day and controlling the structure of our days. Never-failing. Constant. Routine. Routine. We say that we are looking forward to life after highschool; to freedom and university and a more open life, but I think secretly we all crave the routine. We need the routine. Through it, we feel safe; secure.

For me, the daily routine has been (on weekdays, with exceptions):

7:30/8:00: Awake, shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth- there is virtually never a day where this routine is broken.
8:00/8:30/8:50 (depending on the day): Depart for school- I walk into my garage, through the automatic roller door and out onto the street. I turn left out of my house, then a right, another left and straight ahead to school. If school goes for 40 weeks a year, 5 days a week and I walk the route twice a day (to and from school), this means that I have walked the exact same path over 2300 times over six years. I could walk it with my eyes closed- and I’m not even kidding about this. Most days I am busy thinking about other things in my life or about the upcoming day, and sometimes I don’t even notice where I am until I am on the school grounds.
9:00 onwards: The day goes by; the bells ringing for each period. For the most part of my high school life, recesses and lunchtimes have been spent at the basketball courts- this is one part of the routine that I will miss. The way that everyone gradually arrives at the courts. The muck-around time that occurs every time before teams are arranged and a game is finally started.

What will we do without this routine? Some days we will awake early to travel to university; some days not at all. It is both a daunting and exciting prospect, although more so the latter.

So what’s the count? Nine official days of school (albeit with some not spent on the school grounds). I could never have imagined what it would be like to be at this point. At the beginning of the year it felt so far away. Even more so last year. And it was just a pipe dream when I first arrived in year 7. But here we are; nearing the end. Wow. Before we know it, the HSC will be over and we will arrive, finally, at that point that we’ve all been dreaming about- freedom.

So I say suck it up for the next few weeks. There’s not long to go, so we might as well make the most of it- both academically and in terms of spending time with friends.

It’ll all be over faster than we think.

And with that, I will end. Please do take care; I really mean this, and I wish the best to all of you.

the heart of life
September 9, 2009, 8:56 pm
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Long time no blog, aye?

The reason for my absence is, to put it frankly, that I just haven’t had the inspiration to write up a post. Sure, a lot of things have been going on post-trials, but another reason for not blogging is that I’ve been really tired lately. I’ve been sleeping at (on average) 1am every night, which I have done consistently in the past and been fine, but for some odd reason I find myself burning out so much earlier in the day. Maybe it’s due to my large weight gain during holidays and trials, or maybe doing jack all in the break after trials has slowed my brain down. Or maybe I just need more sleep. Heck, I’m pretty damn tired now. I know a lot of people nap in the afternoons, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. My reasoning is that I could be doing so much more in the time that I am sleeping, but in actual fact I do nothing in the afternoon. I will definitely try to sleep earlier tonight.

Another reason is that for the past few weeks, all my creative energy has been spent on photography rather than writing blogs. I’ve brought my camera to almost every recent outing, and so I’ve kind of documented those days through photos rather than words. And anyway, a picture’s worth… yeah, you all know the saying. So how does this affect my blogging? Well, after an outing I will have many, many photos to process, tag and upload, and so that takes up quite a bit of my night. By that time, my energy supplies for the day have been depleted. Hence, my Tumblr blog and Flickr stream have been updated much more regularly than this blog.

But enough with the excuses already!

I decided to blog today after a very fun afternoon at school. The past week or so has been full of memorable moments; some of the last as a high school student, and despite the many recounts of each, I feel like I want to put down my own experiences also. So, here goes…

USYD Open Day (since my previous blog did not recount the day sufficiently)

Wow, it feels like so long ago that I went to the University of Sydney Open Day, since so much has happened since then. The lectures I went to that day were: International & Global Studies, Psychology and Socio-Legal Studies. To be honest, these were not very helpful to me. When I walked in (late) to the International & Global Studies one, I got a chance to see the course overview and the majors available. The fact that a language study and a year overseas were not compulsory were quite attractive to me, although it may not have been for most others. The majors looked interesting (Anthropology, Sociology), and it kind of swayed me towards it a bit. However, upon hearing about the dodginess of the faculty and stories of people switching out of the course and such, I was turned off it. The Psychology lecture was for Janet’s benefit, but I must say that it sounded very interesting. And lastly, the Socio-Legal Studies lecture sounded like it might apply to us, but we soon realised that it was pointless and that it was just a dumbed-down version of Law for people who don’t want to or can’t do actual Law.

That night I had dinner with everyone at Wagaya, a Japanese restaurant. I was quite impressed with the ambience of the interior coupled with the cheap prices and cool ordering system. I love Japanese food (it’s my favourite), and so I was more than satisfied with the meal.

Photos: 29-08-09: USYD Open Day

UNSW Open Day

This one was a bit more helpful for me. The day started with meeting everyone at Epping Station and training it to Central before finding the free bus to the university. Upon arrival, Leeanne, Douglas and I rushed to the Law building to catch the faculty lecture there. Straight up, the UNSW lectures were a lot better than the USYD ones. Sure, they had the mandatory “our university is better than everyone else” parts of the talk, but the talks by the teacher and student of the subject gave a bit more insight into the course itself. Some facets of the course sounded very boring and menial; things like property law which the teacher sounded so passionate about, but other parts, like social and criminal law, did interest me a lot.

The next lecture was Criminology, but upon arrival at the venue, we found the entire lecture theatre literally packed to the brim, so much so that the last guy standing at the back had his backpack keeping the door open. So, we decided to skip out on this one and went to find the others hanging around outside, and while there we nabbed some of the free fairy floss and popcorn. It was awesome. After a while I headed to the Arts lecture on my own. This talk, like the Law one, did help me a lot. I stayed there until the end of the bit about the Media course, and while sitting there I had a think about the things I would enjoy doing in university, and I realised that my initial idea of doing Media still interested me a lot. This talk only strengthened my resolve to do this course, albeit at USYD rather than UNSW.

After that lecture, I left to find the others and we hung around outside a bit until I found Thashan and followed him to the Actuarial Studies lecture to meet Annie. The lecturer, however, did not turn up, and a while later a guy arrived panting and sweating and gave an impromptu talk about the course (he was a teacher of the subject). We stayed in there for a while until it was time to go to the Medicine lecture. That lecture was very, very boring for me. The guy talking was the biggest cynic I’ve seen in a while (are all doctors like this?). I figured I would just sit in on the lecture to check it out since everyone else was there, but I soon realised  that there was no escape from the huge lecture theatre, ruled by the scary presenter. I am not considering Medicine at all, and so I proceeded to finish a game of solitaire and did a few doodles. Throughout the lecture, Michael and I were repeatedly facepalming ourselves in embarrassment at the presenter’s jokes. At one point a girl got up and started to walk out of the lecture theatre, and the man just stopped talking and watched her all the way for the twenty seconds it took to get out of the lecture theatre. I had considered leaving earlier in the lecture, and it seemed that my decision not to was a good one.

Upon escaping the prison of a lecture, Thashan, Simon and I were thoroughly starved, and so we rushed to the food court/arcade nearby to grab something to eat. The place was terribly maintained; we struggled to find a clean table to sit at, and eventually settled for one after wiping it down with tissues.

After that, we met up with the others and hung around a bit before heading to the buses.

The highlight of the day? Seeing James. No, not James Tang (who did not attend the Open Day although intending to, but that’s a different story), but an exact replica of him. The backpack, the beanie, the jeans- everything was exactly the same. After Deva pointed him out to me, I managed to get some shots of the guy:


See what I mean?

Photos: 05-09-09: UNSW Open Day

Post-UNSW & Deva’s Place

After boarding the buses to the city from UNSW, we finally met up with James after his beach adventure and all went to Hungry Jacks to get a bite to eat. We thought we had lost Deva at the buses, but unfortunately he was still with us at Central. The reason for this is because we wanted to go shopping to get him a birthday present, but this was not possible with him around. Luckily, a phone call was arranged and Deva was told to get home early, and we soon found ourselves in Paddy’s Markets without Deva and with the agenda of birthday present searching. We ended up getting him two sketches of Michael Jackson (one current, one young Michael) from one of the Asian guys at the market that does caricatures (these were proper sketches, not caricatures). These were only part of the gift, however, as Michael Li had gone shopping by himself instead of attending the Open Day and picked up a Nike backpack and a gridiron ball, which we would all later chip in for.

At sometime before 6pm, we went back to the station to catch a train to West Ryde and to Deva’s house for his surprise birthday party. I stayed on until Epping to fetch my car with my stuff in it and met the others outside Deva’s place. Unknown to Deva, we quietly creeped down his driveway to his front door, where Kris and Ameya knocked while we all hid to the side. As Deva opened to door, the group of us (there were about 15 in the pack) rushed into his house… and then out again to remove our shoes.

What followed was a great night of good food cooked by Deva’s mum, Halo, Fifa, Street Fighter and NBA Live as well as some fun with MSN. Ameya and I managed to win an epic round of Halo 2 very convincingly. It was first to 250 kills, and we won by more than 70 kills.

Because of our adventures during the day, I was pooped, so I think I slept the most out of everyone there. The party ended when we all left at around 10-11am the next morning.

Photos: 05/06-09-09: Deva’s Place

Since Then…

Since those two fun weekends, there has still been fun at school.

Deva has been bringing his new gridiron ball to school, and so it’s been a lot of fun playing with that with everyone. It’s kind of nice to have a break from basketball once in a while, especially with everyone’s passion for the sport dying down as of late.

Yesterday’s free period was the height of the day (c wut i did thar?). Bryan, Marcus, Leeanne and I and later Belle played a few fun-filled games of Jenga. I haven’t really had a chance to sit with friends and have fun like this in a while, so it was great to just chill out and have a laugh. Psyching eachother out, trying to pull off dangerous moves and cracking up when someone lost was really, really fun (how many times have I said “fun”?) and it made me realise just how much I love all my friends.

Belle’s Recount | Sandy’s Recount | Video Part 1 | Video Part 2

Today I stayed back at school during sport time for Deva’s maths study group. During lunch, Deva, Ben, Richard, Danny, Campbell and I had a bit of a throwaround with the gridiron ball and later a vortex. This is something I haven’t done for a while, having spent all my recesses and lunches at the basketball courts. It reminded me of those times we would mess around on the oval after sport on Wednesdays.

Afterwards, the study group consisted of Deva, Douglas, Marcus, SY, Alison, Sharon and I and we were later joined by Don, Michael and Joseph (did I miss anyone?). We spent a while trying to work out some of Deva’s super-hard geometry and integration questions, and I finished a past paper that I had started in class. But later, things went a bit off track, but in the best possible way.

Deva asked Sharon to buy him a drink from the canteen, and she came back with a bottle of Multi-V and many straws. So Douglas and Deva proceeded to add a bit of fun to the boring task of simply drinking the juice, and joined all the straws together end-to-end to make one long straw, with Douglas holding the bottle and Deva standing on a chair to drink. Later, more straws were obtained and the bottle was placed on the floor with Deva drinking from it. It was very funny to watch. Later, we ended up playing waste-paper basketball, trying trickshots and the likes. Needless to say, I went home quite happy due to the fun I had had during the day,

And now…

So now we are reaching the end of our high school lives, with 17 days of school to go (correct me if I’m wrong). It’s pretty daunting to know that the end is so close, and yet there is so much out there for all of us after we leave. As it has been said many times before, this is a beginning, not an end, and I do look forward to it, providing I still have a chance to see all my friends later on. So here’s to hoping that we all, or at least most of us, manage to stay in touch as we go into university and careers and the likes. To be honest, as much as we joke about it and at the risk of sounding clichéd/corny/whatever, I really will miss all of you.

Take care everyone.