2017 summary

Hey guys;

So, it’s that time of the year again…late December, a time where the media begins to summarize the whole year in terms of major events and news. Since there’s just over a week left in 2017, I think it’s time I publish the anual end of year summary…

2017 has been a year of…tensions and geopolitics. Yep, geopolitical events resulting in tensions pretty much dominated the year. Specifically, the tension in the Korean Peninsula. Why is this so? Well there’s a very simple equation: Periodic missile tests + a nuclear test + war of words = very high tension. It seems that Mr Kim and his North Korea has succeeded in dominating the world’s headlines this year…

However, this year is also another year of terrorist attacks. The UK has seen a particularly bad year, with a string of terrorist attacks in the first half of the year that killed dozens.

Narrowing the focus down to my life…2017 had been a pretty mixed year. There were bad things, but the year isn’t short of good things as well.

Perhaps the major good news for this year is that throughout the year, my academic performance has improved, peaking around the third semester of the 2016-2017 academic year. At the start of the second semester of that academic year, my term GPA was only 2.50. By the end of the semester this has risen to around 3.13, and by the end of that academic year my term GPA jumped to 3.38, before dropping to 3.00 this past semester of the 2017-2018 academic year. Overall my term GPA saw a net increase of 0.50 between December 2016 and December 2017.

Outside the academic arena…this year isn’t really short on fun events, beginning with the first and only residential trip in early January (I’ll cover that soon). There were also two mega events which is made up of smaller events, the one in June and most recently, the one stretching from mid November to 1 December (I’ll cover them right after the January residential trip). The month of October is also not short on events, having around four events that are literally right after one another (I’ll cover that after the two mega events). Sadly however, there are no Songkran celebration at STA and the annual STA XPO XVII this year, because, in the case of Songkran celebration, it’s taking place on a day that I have one of my final exams, and for the STA expo, it’s taking place on a Wednesday, which is not a convenient day for me.

As with previous years, I’ll cover the best events of the year, and, if I can think of any, the worst events of the year…so let’s begin.

Best event of 2017: Hua Hin residential trip (7-8 January)

A residential trip right towards the first week of the year…that’s really amazing. To be honest, this trip had been in planning for a while already. This trip also saw the smallest number of participants I’ve seen in any residential trips I’ve been to, with only around six to eight participants (including staff). In comparison, the Mae Sot residential trip in November 2014 probably included more than ten participants (staff included).

The trip itself was very short, having lasted for just a single night, but it’s still fun nonetheless. The weather is the main downside; throughout the trip I never really get to see blue skies and the last day it even rained in the morning. The main highlight of the trip is the BBQ, which consisted mainly of sea foods. Yep, that was the second week in a row that I had BBQ for dinner (the first being the New Years party at my best friend’s house). After the dinner we went for a walk at a night market, but I didn’t buy anything.

On the way back, we went to visit a park, and went for some shopping at a few more markets, before heading back. Overall, the trip was really enjoyable, just that there was a bit too few participants and that the trip is a bit too short.

Second best event of 2017: Post midterm exams events (10-28 June)

June is perhaps the most enjoyable month of all, because of this mega event. There were a total of like five events that make up this mega event, two of them were big events.

Let’s start off on 10 June, the annual STA Senior Prom. This was probably my last STA senior Prom ever, given that I don’t have any real connection with the next generation of year 12 students organizing the prom in 2018 and beyond.

The prom itself was pretty much like the ones I went to in previous years. Amazing food and lots of dancing. What a great way to celebrate the end of my midterm exams…as my last midterm exam was just the day before, on 9 June.

The next event was uh…I can’t really think of a name; so let’s just call it ‘unnamed event’. This event took place on 16 June. Wait, since 16 June is so special, let’s just call this event ’16 June’ instead…I can’t really think of any more creative name for the event…sorry.

So why is June 16 so special? Well…I finally get to visit my best friend’s house again! Yep, that six months wait was worth-it…especially the fact that I get to spend a good few hours with my best friend.

The time spent there was not overly exciting, me and my best friend just spend time chatting while her brother and one of her friends play games on the game console (can’t remember exactly which console it is). The room we stayed in was the exact same big living room that we spent time on 30 December of last year…

For that day, I had lunch at my best friend’s house. The food was nothing special; just some home-prepared foods (maybe with some stuff being bought from a market). We ate at the very same dining room/kitchen combo that we ate on 30 December last year.

The last big event was…the Kanchanaburi trip on 24 June. The trip lasted the whole day, and it’s actually quite good. The main activity was…building water retention systems at the Kanchanaburi campus of Mahidol University.

There were lots of participants on this trip, and I met a number of students from other faculties. Before we leave, we also explore the Kanchanaburi campus somewhat. This was also the first time that I get to see how the water retention system is like…

And…the two remaining events are pretty small events; they’re basically food fairs. The first one was on June 19, and the second one was on June 27-28. These food fairs were pretty much just like what I’ve been to in previous semesters…stalls selling different kinds of foods, pretty tasty still.

Third best event of 2017: Post midterm exams events (10 November-1 December)

Yep, another mega event, this time however, consisting of four events, and they’re pretty small compared to last year.

The first was on November 10. On this day me and one of my friend who is also a graduate from the STA class of 2015, along with his friend who is on an exchange program, went to visit the new STA high school campus at Ekamai. First we planned to meet up at Ekamai Gateway, but we ended up meeting at the school instead.

My first impression of the campus is…it’s big, and very modern. It’s pretty much as modern as MUIC’s Aditayathorn Building…only that the new high school campus is made up of three separate buildings, though they’re so close to each other (possibly even next to each other) that it seems that they’re combined into a single building. In contrast, MUIC’s new Aditayathorn Building is one massive building.

Unlike the old high school campus, all buildings in the new high school campus have elevators. Only the elevators in one of the three buildings, however, have audio indicators and braille labels.

We spent most of our time there meeting with teachers. I get to meet my former IB Math Studies teacher, my former IB French AB Initio teacher, and my former class tutor who also teaches ESS, in addition to meeting the head of high school and also my former learning support/teacher assistantt.

Other than that, we just spent time talking and…just chilling out…

The next event in this mega event was…dinner with some friends from the Pre College program on November 13. Let’s be honest, this event was somewhat unexpected, but as this is 2017, unexpected things tend to happen out of the blue…

The event was not too special; me and one of my friends along with a couple students from the Pre College program went out for dinner at a restaurant not too far from the university and my dorm. I ordered some noodles, fried chicken and fried pork. The highlight is when a waitress asked me to help order food for a group of foreign customers. Guess what? One of the foreign customers was actually one of my team member from the Management and Organizational Behavior class! The job wasn’t difficult at all; I just translated between Thai and English, and…everything went smoothly.

Other than that, for the rest of the time there we just eat and talk…nothing too special…

The next event was nothing special…food fairs once again, between 21 and 22 November. Stalls selling foods, and very tasty foods as always. But this time, there was actually a stall selling cookies so I bought some of them for my breakfast the following week.

And…the last event was…visiting the old STA campus, just a few weeks ago on December 1. Once again, I went with my friend from the graduating STA class of 2015 along with his friend. My first impression when we arrived at the school is…nothing much has changed since I last visited it in December last year during the Christmas fair.

The main change is that, in the area wthatuse to be the quad, there seems to be a roof cover, and on the far end, where the benches use to be, there was now an elevator, complete with braille labels, although it’s unknown whether it has audio indicators. Seems that STA has been secretly taking inspirations from my speech on universal design last year…

We also visited the original primary school buildings. As it turns out, nothing seems to have changed at all for the other buildings on the campus, although one building seems to have gotten an extention, mainly there’s a new canteen.

The blue area also changed since when I last saw it way back in like 2015 or earlier. There’s now a roof cover and the area covered by the roof seems to have been fenced in.

Other than that, there’s really nothing else special about that day…just that being at that campus brought back memories of my STA days.

Fourth best event of 2017: Unnamed event (7-12 October)

Yep, I can’t really think of a better name for this series of events so that’s why I’m calling it ‘unnamed event’. There are three events, however they’re pretty much right after one another.

The first was the MUIC Volunteers Club fundraising activity around the Siam area on the 7th of October. Nothing too special, just like what I participated in last year, just with the addition of rain to annoy everyone in the afternoon…

The next event is…dinner, but this time with my exchange buddy. Yep, this was the first and only time I get to have dinner with my exchange buddy.

We went to eat at a pizza place called Mama Mia!. Since my exchange buddy scheduled to meet up at like 7:30PM, I decided to grab something to eat close to my dorm before meeting her.

I ordered Italian sausage along with some spaghetti and coke (literally without looking at the price tags). Yeah, that night while ordering food I didn’t look at the price tags at all. And…when the bill came, the total for the things I ordered was…479 baht. Yeah, 479 baht for dinner! That Italian sausage alone was like 240 baht already!

During the rest of the time we spent there we just eat and talk…nothing too special.

The last event in this series/mega event is the MUIC Volunteers Club bag making activity between 11 and 12 October. The activity was pretty much like last year, although this time I have to do some cloth cutting before actually painting them, which is a bit painful to work with. Due to the cloth that’s being used, it’s also harder to paint the bag. At the end, for the cutting part, I have to ask someone to help me do it as I can’t really d that on my own…

There was also one more event in October, but since it’s just a food fair, I decided not to include it in this mega event. Basically the food fair is the same as previous terms, just that the foods being sold are slightly different.

Now, let’s move on to the worst events of 2017…

Second worst event of 2017: Heavy rain (mostly in October, but also occurred in late May/early June)

Yep, this is the second time since like 2010 that bad weather became one of the worst events of the year, and also the first time that there are more than worst events of the year since like…2013 or 2014. Rain has proven to be extremely annoying this year, particularly in October. There were multiple times that I have to walk in the water! Also there were other times that I got stuck in the rain! Yeah, it’s just outright annoying to the extreme. Oh, there was another period of very intense rain in late May/early June, to the point that there were flooding inside of the university campus! And…on that day since I have a meeting at the EC building, I have to walk in flood water in my leather shoes with socks on! Yeah, just…extremely annoying.

Worst event of 2017: My moment in hot waters (mid/late September-early December)

Yep, this event which I decided to make it an event is actually something related to one of my classes, and it’s not good at all. Throughout this past semester, there were numerous times that I found myself in hot waters, the majority was down to one class. Yep, just one class. Management and Organizational Behavior. Why? Wel I’d say it’s the combination of how the course is structured and bad luck. If you want to read in more details, I’ve written a post dedicated to this, so do check it out; I’m not going to repeat everything here. As of this writing, that post should be around two posts after this post.

Looking forward into 2018…given that 2017 is a pretty mixed year, I hope that 2018 will finally be a good year; I don’t want another 2016.

So…yeah, I guess that’s it for now…

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