Wrapping up one of the most amazing semesters yet

Hey guys;

So, the twelfth week of the semester has just ended, meaning that, with the exception of the final exams this upcoming week, the first semester of the 2019-2020 academic year has come to an end. Overall, this semester has been pretty amazing, with at least one event every single week, with the exception of the sixth week. This past week alone saw two events (I’ll get into those later). In addition, this semester also saw three trips (two of them residential trips), which was pretty amazing.

Now, since I’ve covered all the events up to and including the orientation camp already in various posts throughout this semester, I’m not going to cover them again. But I’ll mainly cover the events I’ve not yet cover, namely the Loy Krathong festival on November 11th, the DIY aromatherapy candle activity on November 20th, and the two events this past week.

Let’s first start with the Loy Krathong festival…

The annual Loy Krathong festival took place on November 11th. This was actually the second time I attended the festival at Mahidol University, the first one being the one held way back in I think November 2015. There may have been a festival in 2017, but I think I was probably not aware of that one, and…of course, last year I was in the UK for my exchange program. I believe the 2016 festival was not being held because the country was still in the state of mourning, or just like in 2017, I was not aware of it, if it did take place at all.

The festival is being held outside of Prince Mahidol Hall, on the edge of the campus. It actually runs from around 5PM to like 10PM or 11PM, but I only stayed until like 8PM or so. From my first impression, and indeed from my experience throughout, it was pretty much one very big food fair, with plenty of choices. Just like in 2015, instead of floating a proper krathong, everyone floated some flower/leaf thing instead. Since it is not an overly big event, I’m not going to go into too much detail. But I did at least made a couple of new friends.

Next up on the list, is the DIY aromatherapy candle activity, organized by the science club. This event was a bit special because one of my close friends who is an exchange student from Australia joined me.

As the name suggests, this activity involves making aromatherapy candles. What are they used for? Well I haven’t really got much of a clue, but perhaps to give some nice smell when lit. There were two options for the jar, a small one costing 35 Thai baht and a large one costing 40 Thai baht. I decided to go for the small one.

Throughout the activity, me and the Australian exchange student pretty much worked together as a pair. Originally I thought of doing another one, but the first one already took so long so I decided to forget about doing a second candle.

Now, let’s move on to the events this past week…

As I mentioned, there were two events this past week. The first one was a show organized by the musical club, called ‘Love and Loss’. This show took place at an auditorium-like room in the new MUIC building, on Tuesday. I’ve pre-booked my seat in advance. The show was quite good, and I especially enjoy listening to the opening band. Basically, this show is a shortened version of a musical, lasting like 25-30 minutes. In the end I took photos with the actors of course, using one of my inflatable rings as a prop (on a second thought I could’ve inflate my Elsa and use her as a prop as well, but somehow I didn’t think about it during that time).

The next event is a musical, organized by the drama class. This musical took place on Thursday, at the auditorium of the old MUIC building as usual. Knowing that this could be my very last musical at MUIC, I wanted it to be a bit special, and thought of inviting a few of my close friends (including my Hua Hin trip companion and the Australian girl whom I made aromatherapy candles with). I also reached out to one of the organizers of the orientation camp whom I left my inflatable unicorn with, and also one of my friends whom I worked with for the international logistics management and international business negotiations group projects. In the end, however, only my Hua Hin trip companion was able to make it to the performance (I actually gave everyone whom I’ve informed about the musical until the 16th of November to give me a definite ‘yes’ or ‘no’). Given that the orientation camp organizer in question already told me that she can’t come, my international logistics management teammate did not really give me a definite ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and the Australian girl did not also confirm her intention, I decided to go ahead and book just two seats, one for me and the other one for my Hua Hin trip companion since she was the only one who was able to give a definite answer by the deadline. Since the organizers designed the booking terms in such a way that, by implication, the number of seats reserved must match the number of people actually present, I decided to just book only the number of seats I can definitely confirm.

Since doors open at 5:30PM, I decided to go back to my dorm, mainly to put away my laptop and then head back to campus. Originally my Hua Hin trip companion was going to meet me at 5PM, but turns out she was late, and for some reason she went straight to the auditorium, even though I told her to meet by the elevator on the second floor. By that time it was like 5:40PM so I pretty much ran upstairs to find her.

The registration went very smoothly, no more messing up of seats unlike the Cinderella one in July. The show started not long after we went inside, with the royal anthem being played as usual.

This musical is called ‘Into the Woods’, which is probably an adaptation of a movie of the same name or something. To my surprise, Cinderella was featured in this musical as well, even though this musical is not explicitly about Cinderella. Like past musicals organized by the drama class, the use of light and sound was very good and seems to have been done very professionally. There was one scene featuring a little girl trying to get to her grandma and a wolf. This scene feels familiar to me. I think you know which fairytale I’m referring to…

Now, unlike past musicals organized by this class, there were some flaws that can be seen very clearly, namely, the whispering/talking through the microphone. Not based on the practiced dialogs, but more on like trying to tell instructions/the cast what to do/etc. This made me think of the Mean Girls musical organized by the musical club back in July 2018, whereby cast members also talked/whispered through the microphone.

The performance lasted about two hours or so. Before the performance properly finishes, my Hua Hin trip companion left because she had a group meeting or something. After the musical finishes, I took photos with some of the cast members as usual, this time, with both one of my inflatable ring and my inflatable Elsa as props.

So that pretty much wraps up the events since I’ve last posted here. Overall, this semester has been amazing. On the academic side things weren’t all that bad either, with alright to good performance on both my midterm exams and my group projects. The non-academic side probably dominated the semester, as there were at least one event every week.

If I can name one best event this semester, it has to be the Hua Hin trip of course. It was perfect in every possible way, and this trip was were my dream of going on a trip with exchange students has become a reality. The orientation camp was almost as good, but the setbacks I mentioned in one of my earlier posts and in my diary kept it from being as good as the Hua Hin trip. But the camp was still great nonetheless.

So, what is coming up for the next semester? Well sadly, next semester is really going to be my last semester at MUIC. I will of course continue to try and organize trips with exchange students. Even though my dream has come true already, I want to see if I could organize more trips with exchange students. Why stop with just one trip, when there are still time to organize more trips?

In addition, there could also be a trip or trips organized by students studying tour package management. I did check on the class schedule, and yes this subject is going to be offered next semester. Whether this supposed trip or trips is/are going to be a day trip or a residential trip is anyone’s guesses. A residential trip is of course the better option, but it would also be more expensive.

So…yeah, I guess that’s it for now…

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