Friends who make friends smile

June 4, 2010 — by Evelyn Lee

On a Friday afternoon, junior Chris Chung returns home from a rough day at school and decides to relax on his computer. As he logs onto Facebook, he sees a notification, and expects it to be a wall post from one of his friends. But to his surprise, it says, “Michelle Chan posted a video on your Wall.” In the video, freshmen Michelle Chan and Lynne Okada strum their ukuleles and belt out lyrics personalized just for him. As the one minute-long video comes to an end, Chris can’t help but smile at the two girls’ “spunky and energetic personalities.”

Although making a friend smile may seem like a simple task, it is the unique ways to do it that are interesting. Luckily, there are optimistic people out there that, despite all of the stress from school, are always determined to put a smile on their friends’ faces. Going by the name of “The Ukuladies”, Michelle and Lynne walk around the quad during lunch and serenade their friends. Y

Similarly, Rachel Le makes sure to do something special for every single one of her friends’ birthdays.

“I began making presents in the first place because I just thought it would be fun to celebrate birthdays in different ways.” Rachel said.

As for “The Ukuladies”, they started off when Michelle and Lynne both shared an interest for the ukulele, and as they began singing for friends, they realized how much they enjoyed seeing their friends’ reactions.

“We started just because we liked playing the ukulele,” Michelle said. “And we loved watching people smile as we sang for them.”

Michelle and Lynne have live performances every Friday during lunch, and they also meet up after school once a week for a video session, which can last up to four hours. Throughout these sessions, they have made over 30 videos in the span of just two months.

“Anyone who asks for a video will get one eventually,” Michelle said. “For live performances, we usually just start singing to whoever we know or who we’d think would like a song.”

To be victorious in earning smiles from friends, they say it’s important to be unique. It shows the thoughtfulness of the present and engraves a deeper impression on each individual.

“There are always the usual balloons, cake and cards,” Rachel said. “But I try to be creative by thinking of different ways to surprise them, and it usually relates to an inside joke or something thoughtful.”

Whether “The Ukuladies” record a video or sing live, they improvise the lyrics as they are playing.

“I’d say most people like the songs a lot,” Michelle said. “They always smile at the funny lyrics.”

All three agree that the best part of their hard work is seeing their friends’ reactions.

“The best part is knowing you made a friend feel special on their birthday,” Rachel said. “Everything becomes worth it in the end because my friends have also done so much for me, and this is my way of showing that I appreciate them.”

One of Rachel’s most memorable presents was when she and three other friends dressed up as ninjas and dropped off a plate of cookies at their friend sophomore Lillian Chen’s front door. They then hid behind bushes while she had to follow a trail of Snickers to find them.

“Their idea was really creative; I felt really happy and special,” Lillian said. “Rachel’s personality always makes me smile.”

As for “The Ukuladies” fans, they enjoy Michelle and Lynne’s goofy and outgoing personalities.

“I’m always smiling throughout the whole song, but I end up bursting out laughing at some point because they’re hilarious,” sophomore Kellie Chiou said. “It makes me feel special that they take the extra time to serenade me.”

For Chris, he admires Michelle and Lynne because “they’re two perfect examples of freshmen that aren’t necessarily scared of what people think of them.” He knows that they are both optimistic people, and he loves that they share their happiness with their friends.

“I really did appreciate the video,” Chris said. “It made me realize even the tiniest things sometimes can make a person smile.”

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