This thing saved my day

This thing saved my day

Just an update on what have been happening since my last blog post. There are lots of things going on during the holiday. Firstly, I participated in a summer programme called Product Design organised by Stanford Pre-Collegiate Studies (SPCS). It was a really fun and meaningful experience. I met and worked with lots of people from different areas in the US, and I designed a product called the Protecables, which I will introduce in more detail probably in another post.

Secondly, badminton training. It has been a long time since I last met my teammates and it was so great to do exercises and drills with them again. The sport halls looked exactly the same as when I had my last training before the circuit breaker, we were in our usual training shirts and with our usual racquets. (everything felt the same except that everyone had longer hair and that I got fats around my waist…)

Image from Alpha Academy

Another important thing I have been doing is revising for all the subjects. Due to corona, all internal exams for the grade 9s were cancelled, meaning that we will be doing the mocks at the start of the next school year without any practice at school before it. It feels like being pushed onto the battlefield with a sword and a shield but no prior experiences. At the same time, I realised a horrible fact…

Cambridge International Examinations

I don’t feel that IGCSE was hard before, since I was getting everything my teachers were talking about and I passed most of my subjects with a 7, but there was this one day when I was checking through my email, I found that the school had sent us materials (mostly internal papers from the past years) from all of our subjects’ teachers for us to revise for IGCSE.

As I attempted a few papers, I was stuck on a few questions that I had no idea of how to answer them. For instance, the Chemistry internals paper include questions that were about cations, which was in the Electrolysis chapter which we haven’t even learnt about. It doesn’t seemed to be a problem since the chapter will probably be taught in Grade 10. However, when I thought about this carefully, I realised that these papers were for Grade 9 students in the past few years. This means that at the same time in the previous years, students have already learnt about these chapters.

We are behind schedule 😱

Myself 2020 July

So what I did in the following weeks were mostly revising for all the subjects, working on all the past papers as well as learning those contents that our teachers haven’t taught us but were included in the internals. There was this friend of mine who complained that I was doing too much that she couldn’t play games with me anymore (we were playing the same game named “Sky: Children of the Light” developed by ThatGameCompany. It is a social game that allows you to interact with online friends and to take flights with them. It really helped me to be positive during the time when I wasn’t able to stay connected with most of my friends). I don’t think I was doing too much. In fact, I am worrying that what I am doing isn’t enough. I believe that all those people who could pass the internals were autodidacts during the holiday, even though most of them never speak of how hard they were working. There was a Chinese saying that metaphorically describes hard-working people as ducks — they seemed to be relaxed above the water surface, but their feet were moving really quickly beneath the water surface where no one could see, and this is the reason why they swim fast. No pain, no gain.

The thing that saved my day was an apple function. I would really love to thank the person who came up with the idea. So what happened today was that I was listening to music on my laptop while reading a digital book. And then I heard my mum, her footsteps coming towards my room. I was terrified as she did not allow me to listen to music on my laptop at all. I understood that that was for my good and listening to music could reduce my productivity, but I still thought that reading a book is a relaxing process and listening to music without lyrics could help me concentrate. Anyways, so I was scared that my AirPods will be confiscated and I decided to hide it somewhere (I guess no one does that anymore when he is a fifteen-year-old but that was what I did  ̄□ ̄||). I don’t really remember what was in my mind at the moment but I opened my wardrobe doors and chucked both of my AirPods inside the the bunch of clothes, leaving the charging case on my table.

Mum came in, found nothing and got out. Time to get the AirPods back. I sneaked back to the wardrobe and then… Facing the messy bunch of clothes, I had no idea where the two tiny AirPods were. My fingers quickly went through the corners of the wardrobe but there were nothing excepts T-shirts, hoodies and leggings.

Then I remembered that there was a function on phones and updated macs called “Find my…”. When I dropped my phone somewhere I didn’t remember, I used this app to find it by locating it on a map and to make it make sound. I was still worried — even if an AirPod could be located, the location of it should be of the case, right? How much technology could the tiny AirPods fit?

I started researching desperately and then I found this article. I was completely wrong, and I was glad that I was wrong.

In fact, AirPod could be located, and the left and right thingy that goes into your ears could make their own sounds separately. I was on the edge of bursting into tears due to thankfulness when I read through the article. The moment was amazing when I heard sounds from my wardrobe. After taking all my clothes out from the wardrobe, I found one of the AirPods, then the other. I quickly got them back into the charging case and didn’t put them on for the rest of the day.

Overall, I was pretty amazed by the design of the function. I realized how cool it is to design something that people actually need. Perhaps it was just a simple choice of the designer — to put the sounding device on the charging case or the AirPods, but to the consumers, the simple choice could save their day.

Regarding useful designs, I had this amazing idea came up by one of my Product Design classmates that I would really love to share. Basically, his design was an app that comes with a set of stickers (these look exactly like the stickers my sister plays with). So when the user had something that they think they might lose, they “Add an object” in the app and connect it with one of the stickers. After this they stick the sticker on the object. These steps enable them to track the location of the objects on their phones with the app, anytime, anywhere. Cool, right?

P.S. I would love to have one of the stickers on my Kindle. I lost my Kindle in New Zealand on my school trip once and got it back (thanks to my teacher who has a home in New Zealand) in Singapore after 6 months.

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