Friday, October 31, 2008

Network Society?

Worry not, this post isn't about Manuel Castell's (impossible to understand) Network Society, although credit must be given to the man for popularising the term. ^^;;

In this post, I'm more interested in the idea of "destined networks". Not very academic la.. it's really more to do with the idea that there are no coincidences in life, just hitsuzen (必然). The concept of hitsuzen can be loosely interpreted as inevitability, destiny, or fate.

My point? Mmm.. that everything happens for a reason. The people that you meet, the good and bad news.. especially the people that you meet.

I think, opportunities do come knocking, and they knock pretty often too. What you do with the "visitor" however, is wholly up to you. Let them in and invite them for tea.. or keep the door shut.. well.. who knows what change today will bring to tomorrow? ^^;;

And while it might seem like I'm leaving my life in the hands of an Unknown Power (The Ring.. the Ring... give me the bloody Ring.. lolz), matter of fact is, what you do with these meetings is what shapes your future.

So despite the occasional 'down-time'.... and the 'argh' moments I face with tutoring or thesis-writing, I think on the whole life is pretty good. =)

Things may be destined, but it doesn't mean your future is.

Reminder to Self pt2

Some "dedicated" Phd student I am.. I neglected to add
  • Prepare for fieldwork - letterheads, questions etc
  • Backup my work

And should I get a haircut too?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Reminder to Self

Before leaving Melbourne.. I hope to have accomplished the following:

  • Listen to Jay Chow's 2004 Incomparable Concert ^^;;
  • Watch Blueberry Nights
  • Return all the DVDs I borrowed
  • Clean up my closet
  • Bake - else my butter will get moldy
  • Tidy up my desk + floor - otherwise my brother will throw a fit (and other things too~!)
  • Catch up with people I hadn't seen for awhile
  • Finish marking 60 essays
  • Pack my suitcase
  • Return loaned books to library
  • Ensure all 'side-projects' are ready to go (or at least delegated into the hands of others. =p)

I think that's about it for now. Aren't you glad I've got my priorities straight?

All Done~!

And the teaching period is finaaaaaally over~ wooohoo~! Time to celebrate~ ^^;;

Oh wait.. there's still 60 essays to mark. Demmit~!

Friday, October 24, 2008

And Then...?

With the days now getting longer... well, we are approaching summer here in Melbourne.. one is easily tricked into slacking off and being complacent. Thanks to the (occasional) burst of sunshine, of late I've been awfully tempted to run away from the stuffy halls of university (and my apartment!) and throw myself at the mercy of Melbourne's biting wind.

Heh. So I failed miserably at being poetic. But at least I tried.. =P

Anyhow, flippancy aside (really, hunger is making me write nonsense)... I'm happy to announce I've finally submitted that awful piece of writing to both supervisors.. you know, the one that I've been struggling to complete for weeks now.

With that essay out of the way, I'm taking the weekend off to work on several much-neglected stuff.. like cleaning up my room.. my blog templates.. and whatever else that needs to be cleaned.. lolz~

And they say Arts student have it easy... Tsk.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Funnies...

Because we all need a laugh to clear the air.. to get the endorphins running.. and well.. because happiness is contagious~ ^^;;;

So here we go~~~!

~sings~ How much is that doggy.. on the roadside?!!

Yes, that is an actual dog.. well.. not quite a 'real' breathing living dog, but a giant-sized stuffed toy dog indeed. Not sure what it was doing sitting there.. maybe it wanna 'kao' some hot chicks pups?

No thanks to the economy downturn.. even Melbourne Uni needs to start looking for other sources for revenue. Mint anyone?


See cookie.... Monster?


Hehehe.. I love my Cookie Monster.. =D

Ok, so maybe the above pics aren't really thaaat funny.. but I'm tired.. I promise to try harder next time k.. =)

On a separate note.. recently discovered this really, reaaaally funny (imho) website called Photofunia where you can upload your face.. er.. profile photos I mean.. and become an instant celebrity.. of sorts.. ^^;; Here's what I mean... and do click for a larger view.. because it is soooo worth it~

Guess who~~! ^^;;


A (lousy?!) Idol is born.. hehehe.. Don't kill me!


The *ahem* previously censored pic. =p


It was too perfect a pose not to use... =p And for some weird reasons.. I'm reminded of Lillian Too... lolz.. Must be the way you hold the mic~ ^^;;


Poster girl.. and 1/5 poster boy.. lolz..


Cheeky model.. Though probably your best pose yet.. =p


I really, reaaaally heart this picture a lot~ Doesn't it look like it beloooongs? ^^;;


'Nuff said. =p


As expected of an (demented) Arts student with Permanent Head Damage.. so naturally I envision the day when the people will come to worship me.. lolz..


Now wasn't that heaps of fun? ^^;;

If you've got time to spare.. or just need to unwind like me.. the site is really worth checking out.. Though be warned: some of the backdrops are kinda duh.. and others a bit more Zzzz.. but nevertheless, there are still some really good ones to choose from..

And I do apologise for the unauthorised use of pictures.. I hope we are.. despite my (mis)conduct... still good friends~!! ^^;;;

Monday, October 20, 2008

Dumb Things

Yes, yes, pictures next post.. sorry if I've been repeating myself.. I spent the whole weekend writing my essay and had no time to sort out my pictures.. the chapter's not done yet.. but at least I'm just that wee-bit closer to completion.

Anyways.. a really, reaaaaaaaaally dumb finding.. you guys probably don't know this but since this year.. or was it last year? my uni library has started lending out laptops for 3hrs period at a time.. which is a good thing cause there aren't enough desktops to go around.. and it works for lazy people like me who should be bringing her laptop to uni.. cos that's what a laptop is for.. but when I don't bring my baby.. at least there's still backups..

But back to the dumb thing part of the story...

Since Vista was launched.. I've ditched my Wins and converted to Mac.. it's been almost a year now since the switch.. and I'm happy to report that I'm a happy, happy and very content Mac user.. so I was plenty pleased to learn that all laptops for loan are MacBooks.. =)

Now... imagine having all that please-ness turn into utter horror upon discovering that the stupid stupid thing runs on Windows....

Zzzzzzzzzz....

Friday, October 17, 2008

Good News.. Finally!

Upon receiving word from the ethnics committee that there was trouble in the air with my amendments... I experienced massive panic at noon (cause I woke up later than usual...)

Indeed, for that brief moment I blanked out and wonder sh*t la.. what to do.. what to do?

And just to digress for a mo.. for all the good email can do - the words are there on the page for you to read and reflect and respond - nothing beats good ol' fashion oral conversation. Better still if the conversation is in person.

But since it wasn't physically possible for me to see the Head, I rang her up as suggested and clarified everything that needs to be sorted out.. I think the phone call took no more than 10mins and 5bucks off my mobile plan.. =p but it was a small price to pay in exchange for some amazingly good news!

If you've already been to my personal site, you'd know that my human ethnics application.. which has been ongoing since six months ago in April.. has finally been approved~!

So now I can (subject to principals' approval) formally go and harass interview my participants. =D

And life would be even more sweeter if someone would volunteer to complete my mini 2000words essay... But I guess I shouldn't be so greedy.. after kena bad karma.. lolz..

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Another Week of Randomness

I guess it's time for an update.. since I'm so uninspired towards writing for my thesis.. I might as well do some blogging to keep my brain and fingers active.. plus this way I won't look so out of place in the library. =p

I wanna go home and sleep and sleep.. there's no such thing as 'sleep is for the weak'.. my motto is 'sleep is for the privileged'.. lolz

Miss baking.. miss pounding the dough into a flat piece of eeerh.. dough then turning the flour+sugar into something eatable.

Miss my TV.
Wanna play Wii.
Don't know how I'd survive without modern technology.

The world is an ugly, ugly place.. and some of the people in it are pretty ugly too.
At least that what Dr House says.
But thankfully my parents aren't that bad.
And one can always make the world prettier by getting high on sugar.

The next time I blog I shall post pictures.

Should I chop off 6 inches and go back to having short hair?

This template has lasted a year and few days. Amazing!

So much emo-ing... it must be the sh*tty weather.

Almost There...

Nothing has changed since Saturday's update.. maybe cause it's only Thursday... but the fact that I'm already exhausted is I suppose.. extremely bad news.

My reading list is awfully random.. probably tomorrow I'll hole up at the library and read and read and read.. then spend my weekend writing up the chapter.

Fingers crossed la that I'll get some inspiration going~~~

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Currently...

Stressing over a 2000-word section detailing the Politics of Identity, Ethnicity and Nationhood. This needs to be completed in the next two weeks or else... =(

Waiting for the green light from the ethics committee. As previously stated, I'm in the final, final stage, so fingers crossed good news is on the way.

Trying to plan my fieldwork. 2 yes-es, 1 maybe, 1 no news. More fingers crossings. And toes too!

Feeling impatient for semester to end. Only 3 more weeks to go!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Students Maketh the Teacher?

I know I'm the type to be easily influenced by the mood of the people around me - so if people are sad or angry that can bring me down.

In this regard, tutoring is probably a risky job to take given that unresponsive students becomes a major concern - it worries me no end! Are they listening or have they zoned out? Am I making sense or have I confused the lot?

My first tute is arguably the most tedious of all; if only they would talk more! And the second one sours my mood. *.* If not for the final tute, which for some odd reason, has some of the best students, I think I'd have long thrown in the towel and forgo tutoring for good!

Do the students maketh the teacher? Or the teacher makes the students? If it's that latter, shouldn't all my tutes be as bad... or as good?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

What If?

Today I came close to losing my temper in class.

I think it's true that when you're in a bad mood, mundane and everyday stuff that don't normally irate, can become super, super annoying.

Feel like biting someone's head off, but not sure if it'll actually brighten up my mood or not. Might end up having to wipe off all the blood. And as you can imagine, cleaning up after your own mess can be very tedious work.

I'm already running out of time... so can't afford to waste anymore energy on stupid annoying people!!

Biasity

Yes, I know the word doesn't exist.. but it does sum up my current feelings at the moment.

A harsher word perhaps would be prejudices.. or even outright racism, but hopefully this is not the case, because the institution I'm working in is supposed to take things like this seriously.

It's inevitable I suppose, that students will always judge their teachers, and oftentimes the young (and old!) experience life with predetermined values and judgments. But to what extent do the cultural values that we are brought up on impact how we assess the world?

Are Asian students more likely to revere their teachers and accept what the teachers say as truth? Does this generalisation arise because there is the assumption that Westerners are more out-spoken, and hence more likely to question the integrity of the teacher?

Unlike last year, this year I was judged. Questioned. Perhaps it is due to the fact that I am non-White, or that my performance is not up to standard. Or perhaps, it is simply because of biasity.

I concede that it is impossible for everyone to like me. So at the same time, I cannot be expected to like everyone. I can only do my best to be impartial and fair and non-bias.

I hate it most when people are stubborn and thick-skinned, and despite being informed that they are wrong, still try to put the blame on you.

Respect must be earned, and you don't win points by texting during class!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Looking Forward To...

the end of sem..
only 4 more weeks to go!

going home..
only 8 more weeks to go!

drinking mummy's wholesome yummilicious soup
hanging out with my best buds
sushi.groove... mmmm~ ^^;;;

blogging more often
expanding my thesis
conducting my fieldwork

a holiday
a new dress
playing wii

ganache
ganache
ganache. ^^;;;

p/s my phd blog is up and running again~ click here to visit!

Update.. Finally!

This blog... er.. the blog about my PhD journey has been on hiatus for the longest time.. actually it's been less than a month but it kinda feels like forever... and the many, many reasons are as follow:

1. I've been busy moving this blog from one address to another. A bit of a what-the but I was getting tired of being political and angry and upset at the situation back home. So no more being the Malaysian Diaspora - I'm sticking to blogging about my experiences as a PhD student (and part-time tutor/lecturer).

2. I had been suffering from the winter blues - too little sun.. too much rain.. too many papers to mark (59 and counting!) and not enough time for my thesis!

3. My ethic application suffered multiple setback and I was called upon to make a bunch of revisions which took up quite a fair bit of my energy and time. Thankfully, I'm now at the absolute final stage - once my participants revert with (good) news (hopefully in the next week!), the ethics committee will give me the green light to commence my fieldwork.

4. I've been cracking my brain trying to come up with an original presentation for the ICA Regional Conference. After researching and burning the midnight oil three days in a row, I've come up with a pretty interesting (if I do say so myself!) abstract titled "Asian Youths On the Information Superhighway: But Is Anyone Paying Attention?" Will post further details in the event I get accepted. =)

And that pretty much sums up what's kept me from blogging here for the past couple of weeks. Now that the site's been revamped - new layout, new URL.. fingers crossed that I'll be back to posting more regularly in the days to come.

Don't forget to update your bookmarks~! ^^;;