Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Degree Girl, Sonya

First, of course I have to start off this post with an oh my god regarding how long it's been since I last posted (gg resolution to blog once a week D:) and another oh my god regarding how much has happened in that time.  To sum it up quickly, my senior spring semester has come and gone, and I am officially an MIT alum. How crazy is that? Thanks to my amazing friends and supportive department, I was able to successfully finish my thesis project and graduate (the Department Head ended up bumping up my thesis from 12 to 15 units at the last minute because I was 3 units short of graduating...I can't believe I let that happen.) Anyway, here's a quick list of stuff that happened just so I can have the pleasure of taking a stroll down memory lane without a word-count worthy of another thesis.

  • Finished choreographing my first piece for Mocha, practiced a lot more than studied and had a blast at Mocha Show. This was actually a huge month of growth for me as a dancer, not just physically, but also mentally finding my style and trying to choreograph in that style
  • Attended some pretty inspirational talks given by a Pixar technical artist and one by a Disney Animation artist
  • Drew a lot! Started sketching with brush pens and markers, and started attempting to digitally paint
  • Turned 22 :o my friends surprised me with a yummy cake and my family sent me a wonderful care-package full of delicious Cara oranges :3 
  • Finally turned in my thesis proposal that was due in December... 
  • This month was the month that had a lot of the application deadlines for all the big-name animation studios... so I spent most of my time researching, drawing, putting together portfolios, and filling out the different applications! Although I knew from the start that my chances were really low (gg no art school and not enough time spent on art in the past four years), I'm still really glad I spent the time to work on it. It was pretty frustrating grasping at straws, but I actually had so much fun doing it. Starting to find what I really want!
  • Ran into a lot of snags with my thesis - felt kind of directionless and drained :\ 
  • Went on a trip with Eric to L.A for spring break! Spending time in sunny California and going to Disneyland was a wonderful way to recharge and get away from stress. Aka I let myself run away for a week, but zero remorse for that one :P
  • Caught up in my video class since I had all but forgotten about that class
  • Re-did my main portfolio and started compiling lists of companies to reach out to
  • Banged out my design for my thesis installation (shoutout to James for last minute structural consulting), bought all $200 worth of materials from home depot and moved it to my studio (an endeavor that took over 4 hours - shoutout to Hong, Eric, Matt, and Rick), and built the whole damn thing (shoutout to Dabin, James, Eric, Minerva, and Weiwei) in less than 4 days. When I say that I wouldn't have graduated without my amazing friends, I was not lying *___*
  • Exhibited my thesis installation in Lobby 10! The support from the community was absolutely incredible and moving @__@ 
  • Went to Senior Ball! Which was tbh a little overrated for all the effort that went into it... but I enjoyed dressing up and walking around the beautiful Boston Public Library nevertheless
  • Had my final prod week for ADT and performed at my final two shows! The final showcase was very exciting! I choreographed Mansae, co-choreographed a boiz dance with Weilian, and was in Minerva's dance. I even went out on a limb and did a traditional couples dance with Eric and was in my friend's Heelies dance. Yes, I just said Heelies dance (and I was terrified for my life the whole time). All in all... I HAD A BLAST. I think one of the most exciting things though, was just seeing how far ADT has come in the last 4 years. It makes me feel all warm inside to know that I played a role in helping to shape part of this great group huehue :3  
  • Pulled a wonderful all-nighter right after the last ADT show in preparation for my thesis defense/presentation that was the following morning, got through the defense, had a minor post-presentation breakdown, took a nap, and woke up feeling fucking fantastic >:D
  • Wrote my thesis, printed the damn thing out, slapped a cover page on it, and TURNED IT IN. 
  • Started a fun dance project with Minerva titled Project #ADTfeels where we did quick covers (learn, stage, and film all in one go!) with several people in ADT [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]
  • Went on a 3 day trip to NYC with senior friends! Did a lot of walking, ate some great food (and lots of boba :o) visited places I've never been to before, and did some cool stuff!
  • Experienced Senior Week! Went F1 Racing WHICH WAS AWESOME o___o. Like Need for Speed (but in real life!) Also went to Six Flags where I changed my opinion of rollercoasters from metal-death-traps to terrifying-but-fun-rides. We also dressed up and went to the Top of the Hub and I even went to a club in the States for the first time :o It was actually a lot of fun until I got a drink spilled all over me lol. 
JUNE (so far)
  • Minerva and I finished our ADT dance project which culminated in a final video of us dancing all the songs we've ever choreographed :') It was a lot of fun and a great way to wrap up our college dance lives with each other. I am going to miss dancing with her and everyone else so much @__@ It's also kind of crazy how much of my life I've invested in dance during college. I wonder if I'm going to keep up with it where ever I end up?
  • I GRADUATED. This is definitely the biggest bullet point in this whole damn post or maybe in any post I've ever written on this blog. The feeling is kind of complex- there's relief, pride, disbelief, fear, nostalgia, freedom, optimism, and who knows what else, but I think the ultimate culmination of everything is joy. It's hard to describe. I'm just pleasantly amazed that I got through it all! That, I believe, is an accomplishment in itself. 

Oops I ended up writing more than I wanted for recap. I actually wanted to also talk about other things in this post, but I think that would make it way too long. Instead I'm gonna dump some photos and captions to wrap up this post. :) I'll blog very very soon about more current things!

Winter snow and ice. Boston winters are harsh but beautiful *__*
Cannot believe I am 22! Thank you friends :3
Sunset at Venice Beach
Owner and dog playing fetch in the Charles River - taken on a photowalk with Eunice :)
Cool art installations at the LACMA
Best tsukemen I've had in the States at Tsujita in LA @__@ Yes it deserved to be included among these photos.
A painting from Monet's Rouen Cathedral series on the left and a painting of the Disney castle on the right. Similar no?
Had a wonderful time at Disney / LA with this one <3
Photo of my installation taken by Sarah at 7am for good lighting conditions haha
A close up :)
Friends lounging on my grass triangles in Lobby 10!
My very handsome Senior Ball date and I in what I call the Color Room! I brought him here after our first date over a year and a half ago - time sure does pass quickly *__*
To commemorate our many exciting home-cooked meals, smoothies, and mealtime photos with our wobbly table. Also as homage to wonderful, comfortable apartment life <3
Meta photo of a photo taken last semester for my final photo class next to our lightbulb
My cute dance wearing our cute costumes :3 I'm really gonna miss these people, many of which have been by my side ever since I became a choreographer in ADT. *__*
Heh heh Me and Weilian's suave boiz. Gonna miss the troll practices :\ They're all grown up now *__*
Stripes day on our New York senior trip!
My cap and DIPLOMA. Pulled my last all-nighter at MIT to paint that damn thing haha (featuring my girl/spirit animal(?) Mim), but it was worth it! Also, I was the second person to graduate out of my class of over 1000 people (not including the class President and Vice President) Perks of being in the Architecture department :) 
My beautiful supporters who came up to Boston to watch me graduate :D
My dad graduated too! Thanks to this guy for pushing me academically throughout my younger years. We fought a lot (I got my short temper from him I swear) but looking back, he really sacrificed a lot of his time to sit down with me and explain physics/math to me over and over, even when I told him he definitely could not be right LOL stupid Sonya.
This one came up to Boston just to annoy me as usual <3
Yay family :) The reason I could attend MIT in the first place. Already gave a shout out to my dad, but props to my mom for being extra strict and terrifying during my high school years lol. It must've been hard to deal with rebellious Sonya, but somehow she managed ^^; 
Celebratory dinner with friends and family and friends' families at one of my favorite places to eat! Shabu for daysssss
My wall that carries the visual memories I've accumulated over the past 4 years! Gonna miss this thing and our wonderfully messy, quirky apartment <3


  1. Sad that your other images didn't show up! Loved getting the quick scoop on how your spring semester has been :) . Would you be mad that I'm bittersweet you got bumped up 3 units to graduate, cause now you won't be in Boston? Hahahaha, miss you! I also found like 3 coupons to play free pool at some halls--we'll just have to take it back to NJ.

    Also, I wish you told me you had applied to some major animation studios. My very close family friend's brother is an interactive design manager at Disney! Also, Alexis' married-in cousin works at Pixar.

    Really happy that you're doing well and I'll see you very, very soon in NJ! Gotta take you to Six Flags!

  2. Also, reading others' writing makes me want to write too! Argh, work procrastination >:o


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