lol…nostalgia. I stopped this blog like last year due to simply forgetting the password//login *smirk . Yea yea I have no motivation. But I don’t know if anyone even reads this orz. SO, before I left it was 400~ ppl. Now I see the 945 (probably from random clicks lol) Maybe if it reaches 1000 I’ll start from scratch and transform this blog to something more useful. 😛

EDIT: wow lol its been one year since the last post.


This was actually pretty new info to me until about a year ago, that tea contained caffeine just as coffee does, and more per dry weight than coffee, but significantly less when infused (after adding hot water). If you’re the average American then coffee is a large part of daily life (I mean just look at the easily available cup from the Starbucks around the corner). Disputably, around the world, after water of course, either tea, coffee, or beer are the most consumed beverages in the world. I for one, believe its tea as its served in most restaurants on the Asian continent not to mention the bubble tea boom in many countries. But, because caffeine is such a big thing required for people to have the energy to get through the day, most people would forget that its still a psychoactive drug (drugs that change the personality of the user). Caffeine is the main constituent in coffee and tea, along some other lesser compounds but its main job is as a stimulant for the CNS (central nervous system). Shortly after consuming caffeine, it gets your blood level to peak in less than an  hour.

The chemical makeup of it is similar to adenosine to the right, as you can probably infer. Caffeine acts as a competitive substrate, it tricks the body into thinking that its adenosine instead, and adenosine’s job is to slow down neural activity and cause drowsiness. Caffeine stops the sleepiness thats usually caused by adenosine by binding to the receptor sites that adenosine was supposed to bind to. So instead of neuron activity decreasing and blood vessels dilating due to natural adenosine, the opposite will occur and there is increased activity. Feedback of this is given to the pituitary gland, which mistakes the body’s reaction for being in danger, thus it release hormones that produce epinephrine (adrenaline) causing a heightened state of alertness. Caffeine also inhibits some enzyme actions, and this extends the effects of the epinephrine. Hence we get the boost we need throughout the day from consuming either coffee or tea, although coffee is much more effective containing more caffeine per cup.

Caffeine has a half life of ~6hours varying with the individual’s metabolism (rate that the body performs chemical reactions) and other factors. For example, say you drink a few cups in the morning as part of your routine, ~270 mg of caffeine, after the day 12 hours, you still have ~67.5mg of caffeine in you, before you go to bed hence its good to think about when you drink your tea/coffee, depending also, on how fast your body processes it and if you’ve gotten used to its effects.


How much caffeine in your cup also varies by cultivation and infusion, etc… but roughly this is how it goes:

keep in mind that caffeine’s 1/2 life is ~6hours.

The more oxidized the tea is, the more caffeine the brewed tea has.

Approx caffeine content for common beverages:

brewed coffee                      135mg/8oz.

decaffeinated coffee          5mg/80z.

espresso                                 125mg/1.25oz. (1 shot)

white tea                                15mg/8oz.

green tea                                20mg/8oz.

oolong tea                              45mg/8oz.

black tea                                 70mg/8oz.

decaffeinated tea                 2mg/8oz.

soda                                           35-55mg/12oz.


Finally after two years of hardship…many many repeated nights of staying up late, the ordeal is over. IB is over and I’m looking forward to graduation. Looking back, there’s a lot that I guess I regret or things that I could have don better, but now there’s only forwards. Until I officially graduate, I guess I’m not in much of a mood to celebrate that much instead I’m focusing on spending these days of free time in a productive way. I have always been thinking for a long time about my near future and I’m planning first, to convert this blog to other purposes, as this has always been the blog about CAS, its probably going to change now. I’ve also been thinking about starting a business, small at first but I’m hoping that it can expand and I’m currently looking for a business partner too ;P

So, part two, the finals again, the previous week I attempted to get more people to come, but it didn’t work out very well. I guess the biggest issue is that people don’t really want to watch something that they don’t really understand, or know much about. The singing contest is still building tradition, but it pales in comparison to the one I remember attending when I was approximately in grade 9, and I think that was what really inspired me to do something like run Japan Club.

Well, the process for the finals went by slightly easier since, there is now only 11 contestants with an additional two special performances, but most of the work come in discussion and purchasing material. In the preliminaries we knew there was a lack of atmosphere due to lack of decor and also lack of audience members. There was the usual materials that we needed to purchase, such as decorations (balloons, banners, and trophies or some kind of award for the finalists. I even wrote a template for a sponsorship letter to be used most likely for next year, since it was not really used this year. Other than those, it was confirming needed material, such as music equipment. Everything went well during the finals except the lack of atmosphere.

So, Japan Club’s second main event, the Japanese singing Contest happened on April 5th this year. Our club of executives (3 people, and various volunteers) organized the whole event with the help of various others such as the sound techs and lighting personnel. There was really a lot to do, but we pulled off the preliminaries smoothly besides the smaller than expected audience. There was a large amount of stuff to get done, with just a simple school singing contest. Due to the small number of people that we predicted would be joining and also watching, we also invited two other schools to our event to increase our viewers/contestants, and also to establish some tradition and build up a reputation for our school’s Japanese Singing Contest.

This year, due to the Richter 9 earthquake in Japan that struck the Sendai region we decided to make all the proceeds that the Japanese Singing Contest usually earns to be donated to the Japanese Red Cross. This was a significant thing us as a club to do. In addition to making all the ticket money go towards the earthquake fund, we also sold pocky during lunchtimes, and had an additional event going on, which involved folding paper cranes, or origami, which we would sell for donations.

This year we were lucky to have much more contestants willing to participate (25 people) although two dropped out before the preliminary round 23 was still a good number. The finals we designated to cut the finalists in half. Between the three of us exec members we spent many long hours during the weekends actually meeting and talking online about how the event was going to go. Of the duties that I did most of them were quite time consuming but I learned quite a lot. Its not everyday that you can personally organize a singing contest. We made surpassing the Mandarin Singing Contest our goal. Of course, in the end, with more man power and a longer standing tradition (12 years vs. 5years) we did not really match up, however, we surpassed the singing contest of last year, which is a small achievement.

Many of the tasks I had to handle were the following

-writing and planning how the actual event it going to run (scheduling, with further discussion from the other two execs) I also wrote the entire english script myself and attempted as much of the Japanese script as I could although pretty much 90% of it required the assistance of a really really nice Japanese TOC that took the time out of her personal life to help us. We presented her with a small gift and I made her a card to go along with it, we really needed her help since we’re limited with the Japanese we know. I was one of the MC’s for the event during the preliminaries.

There wasn’t as much of discussion as there was in actually doing the event itself, and preliminaries had less to worry about, including prizes, decorations, and contacting the people whom passed the preliminaries. There was a lot of work involved in organizing song information, finding some lyrics, and double check with contestants about their song, lyrics, and to make sure each of them had edited their songs to the designated 1:30min.

There were also many small administrative stuff such as getting ticket money sorted out, and promoting the event itself. I was taking care of the marketing aspect of it, by posting event pages on facebook, and making and posting up flyers and posters with the help of some friends. I myself, sold some tickets.

With the real event itself, it went through okay, although there were some technical difficulties, and the very evident lack of audience, which I really wanted to tackle, but had so little resources.

Late Post*

Apologies for the lack of pictures, my camera issue mentioned in the previous post has not been fixed and I don’t think I have the time (although I wish to0) get a new camera so its time to use the imagination !

Spring Break: some of us volunteers went to the Minoru Ice Arena in order to help out with our fellow youth team on environmental sustainability: Green Friends. We simply volunteered throughout the night handling tickets, concession, and helped out on the ice for this youth skating event.

Forgive the lack of pictures, but recently my camera had some technical issues, and I think I will have to get a new one sometime in the near future >.<|||.

Today the Social Responsibility Team, C-Change helped out with a family dinner. We’ve had a lot of experience with dinners, especially after the winter community one, that was held in December a few months back with more than 100 people. We simply were volunteers in this case, and helped out with entertaining and taking care of the youth present at the event with some games that we made ourselves. It was quite tiring especially when it was after dinner and the kids had “recharged” after eating and went at the games with 10x more vigor than they did previously. During the whole dinner, I would say the one thing that was most worth mentioning in terms of  learning was when a small accident happened with a little.

One of the small games that we had was a mini hockey shootout. Kids have a lot of energy and don’t always think about the dangers involved in games, so these two girls were shooting a puck into a hockey net. One of our volunteers, was the goalie, he was really busy and was not really paying attention, but it is was not fault either as accidents do happen. So, one girl decided to do a slapshot but was not paying attention to her sister (most likely) behind her and high-sticked her in the face. It knocked onto one of her teeth and caused her teeth to become slightly loose. Although, there was no responsibility on our side since it was unexpected, we carried out a proper procedure. Our volunteer coordinator was with us and handled the first-aid and accident report. We quickly informed the girl’s parents and sorted this issue out. Other than this small incident the rest of the night went smoothly. After reflection, even when accidents happen all the time, I do think that the volunteer probably should have had someone else helping him out and if there ever is another event like this, I would put at least two people on any activity at a time.

Japan club had their first sushi day we had approximately 12 people make sushi.

Each person paid $3 and got 3  rolls.

Everyone enjoyed it! There was positive  response from all the students who came to make their sushi. It was a new experience for most people because its not everyday that you get to make traditional sushi. Everybody including me, learned about the methods and ingredients that go into traditional sushi. It was such a popular event that our club got more people to sign up for sushi day and we decided to host another one.

Community Dinner and Preteen Cooking Session

There was excellent Promotion with 16/18 preteens signed up for the event

Our team (C-Change) cooked a full meal completely for free to the community and on our team’s budget. There was a co-op with Greenfriends. The event was successful, in fact,  preteens were asking if it is possible for the future cooking programs to teach more and more variety in the activities.

Over 85 individuals signed up for the dinner and the team fed 110 people.

Purchases were well established as only salads were short and one of the team members (Nicky) recovered the shortage by making an extra trip.

Sponsorships for our event was from Terra Bread and Safeway. The Youth Council had approved $100.00 deficit earlier and C-Change was able to stay within the budget limit. (deficit $93.29)

The kitchen was chaotic and lacked in order during the preparation, but this was due to some lack of experience with cooking and how the recipe’s all were different from the ingredients bought e.g. fruit platter was one of the dishes, but we ended up purchasing only oranges so we had to combine it with the salad.

Food delivery to the people was a bit more inconsistent and Greenfriends had to step up and took on a lot of public complaints. Thanks to Greenfriend’s professionalism and dedication the event was held together.

The event had a good overall review by the public. Took care of and got preteens and younger to help us cook and prepare a meal. Had some setbacks: forgot to cook ham and miscounted the food.
The cooking Instructor complained that the room was a mess after we left. Youth Development had agreed to have future Cooking room orientation for volunteers so we can make sure the room is returned back to original state. Clean up by our team and Greenfriends was efficient enough however because we were required to clean up the entire kitchen before 9pm.

This year’s Japan Fair was a success in many ways. First, there were a variety of performances available and activities too mentioned in the previous post about Japan Fair. The executive team, meaning the president, secretary, and I discussed the activities for Japan club members first, and coordinated the ticket selling. Punch-a-bunch the pieing game was added the week before Japan Fair but that was quickly arranged with enough volunteers. There was an estimated 100+ people that came to watch or participate at the Fair. This number  was way better than I hoped because last school year’s attendance. The Grade 12’s admittedly had a lot of trouble with the play. It was just the level of commitment people put into the play itself. A lot of people did not show up after school to practice. But, on the day of, we all managed to memorize our lines and pull off the play without major hitch backs.

There was good marketing as the number of people that were present at the Fair double or triple last year’s. The Soran Bushi event was great everyone went and we were synchronized. This would be expected as the president and I put in a lot of effort and stayed after school at least twice a week for a whole month to practice and teach people the moves over and over. It was one of the highlights of the Fair and I’m quite proud of that.

This is not to say that Japan Fair as  successful as it was, is perfect. For one, we had problems with J-club members for certain booths actually e.g. Origami table
in the beginning of the event was undermanned, plus some booths did not know what they were doing. Next year, although I won’t be here I would make sure that there are at least two appointed leaders for each booth who have their research down, and have made sure each person knows what they’re doing
such as Punch-a-bunch, which worked out well because of the two people responsible.

For the main events: fashion demo (involved in), traditional Soran Bushi, Rock version of Soran Bushi (involved in), Gr. 12 play (involved in), martial arts demo cancelled due to lack of preparation, and taiko performance group. I was supervising whatever I could doing the Fair and running around getting materials and assisting people and preparing for the fashion demo, play myself.

Hopefully the president, which I will leave in charge can handle more of the responsibility next year. For me, I would admit its a difficult and stressful position, which is also why I opted for Vice president position instead of president even when the choice was offered to me.

All in all, I wish for Japan Fair next year to be as great as this one, if not better! It was nice seeing grad come back to watch the fair, I aim to be like them and come back to the event next year.


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