Soliloki

Prosaic soliloquies performed by a quixotic person

Archive for the ‘School’ Category

Switch Colours, Someday?

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I’ve definitely been missing school during this term break; although not enough to miss the assignment rushes, the endless presentations, being called out in class especially when I didn’t come prepared, and pulling an all-nighter the day before an exam. It’s the little things that I’ve been missing: walking in the hallways, having a good laugh in the class, seeing the faces of fellow classmates, spending a whole day book-browsing in the library, and all that.

Ofttimes, I wonder why I decided to return to school and relive my life as a student. Mayhap, I wanted to have a wider career options. Or maybe, I just wanted to gain knowledge, and subsequently, prove myself that I could excel intellectually. Or perhaps, I’d succumbed to peer pressure, and chose to further study, like what most of my former school mates did. Or it could be, I just wanted to make my parents proud, as simple as that. I think, most likely, it’s all of the above. I guess. I’m not sure. Oh, I haven’t a clue, really. However, I really hope that along the way of being a student, I’ll be less clueless find the path that will lead me to a better point of my destiny.

At the same time though, I don’t consider having a degree as an advantage over anyone who’s obtained the knowledge another way in any areas. Folks gain knowledge through a plenty of experiences, and college for sure ain’t the only one. It just doesn’t feel right to go around dissing the other team, because it takes all kinds to make the world go round, and we complement each other. It doesn’t matter, book-smart or street-smart (even white-collar job or blue-collar job), I hold a very high respect for any individuals who are truly passionate in what they do and excel in it, and working hard to do an honest work despite what the society thinks. Especially those who are brave enough to break free from the social norms that hold book-smarts/white-collar jobs more respectable than street-smarts/blue-collar jobs, and choose go for what they are believe in, and eventually be happy and successful in their lives. Those folks are whom I wish to be, someday, God willing.

And I don’t mind trading my white collar for blue, if that’s what it takes.

Written by SZA

17 April 2012 at 7:40 AM

Bad Poster Girl?

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Egad! I’d a mini heart attack after class last night. And got a wee bit taste of fame, for like, two seconds--didn’t like it one bit.

Campus Security Guard: Hey, I know you! Your photos are plastered all over the boys’ hostel, you know.  I’ve seen the photos.

Me: WHAT? WHAT PHOTOS?

Campus Security Guard: Photos on some promotional posters about the Uni.

Me: Oh.

And there I thought that I, unbeknownst to me, had pulled a Weiner at the campus. I swear, I almost aged a hundred years in that moment.

Ah, life as a small-time (albeit reluctant) celeb.

Written by SZA

9 March 2012 at 7:49 AM

Posted in LOL, School

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A Doubting Thomas, I Am

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‘Can I do this? Should I change direction midstream? Can it work? Will it work? What should I do?’

That’s my thought on school and work.

Doubts can be lethal. They start as an insignificant idea that passes through your mind like the wind. This is when a tiny seed of doubt is planted in your head. Then, it starts to grow. Rapidly. Dangerously. Next thing we know, it evolves into a gigantic stalk of doubts that keeps on growing within your brain and heart until you give in to it. A white flag is raised. You lost. Game over.

I’m doubting myself and I’ve a bad feeling that this is what will happen to me. Naʿūḏubillāh.

Stepping into the second year as a student, I’m starting to wonder if I made the right decision to get a higher academic degree. I even wonder if I should continue going into this direction, career-wise.

You see, being a person who is at high risk for dyslexia (that’s another story to tell) and has a short attention span (I suspect ADD, but for all I know, it may only be--oh, look, a squirrel!), learning and working within an orthodox atmosphere doesn’t come easy. And what more to say of doing them both simultaneously. If it weren’t for the love of knowledge, I’d probably not be here in one piece, intellectually and psychologically. It’s a good thing, too, that I’m a very curious person, by nature. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it’s been a great help to me. However, having a full-time demanding job and being a student at the same time is tough. Oh, I’m a good multi-tasker, believe you me. Still, juggling work and school gives a whole new perspective to multi-tasking--it’s akin to juggling two humongous boulders whilst walking along on a very thin rope. Imagine that. It ain’t easy. Sure, handling work and school at the same time isn’t impossible, but it sure ain’t no walk in the park (for me, at least).

It does seem easy to say, ‘I should stop doubting, and start doing and striving.’ Too bad, talking is more convenient than actually doing. That’s why giving out advices and critics to someone who’s in a predicament feels effortless. And what if the situation were reversed? We’d feel completely clueless and helpless. Theories are easier than practical applications.

Having said that, I’m eternally grateful for my life. Šukrān lillāhi taʾāla.

In case you’re wondering, no, I still don’t have the answers.

Written by SZA

26 February 2012 at 10:11 PM

Greener Pastures

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‘The time is up! Please stop writing and hand your exam papers in.’

Ah, nothing sounded quite like those lovely words uttered by the invigilator. Why? Because they could only mean one thing: the term has now officially come to an end. And soon after I heard that announcement, a great sense of relief washed over me. My walk even felt lighter with each step as I got out of the room. The psychological weight that I’d been carrying on my shoulders for the past six weeks disappeared miraculously. Don’t get me wrong, though. I love every bit of my time being a student, but it’s so hard being one when you’re working full-time at the same time. However, now that the term’s over, it feels sort of strange to have time on my hand, albeit having to work off the clock almost every weekday. And I sort of miss being with my group members--Kelly, Tanima, Diyas and Vildan.

Having said that, the term has ended and so has my time working at this office. Well, not now but soon, anyway. After exactly one year and fifteen days of working as an audit junior, I’ll be starting a new job at a new office. I’ve truly enjoyed my time working at this audit firm (I really have) but the long commute has taken a toll on me since I’ve started going to school again.

I’m not sure how it’ll go–migrating from audit line to a commercial line--but hopefully, the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, God willing.

Written by SZA

13 May 2011 at 10:25 PM

Posted in Family and Friends, School, Work

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Une Enveloppe

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There’s a mom-and-pop grocery shop that I used to go to all the time back when I was in primary school. The school kids didn’t know what the name of the shop was so we simply called it Kedei Luar (which literally means ‘Outside Shop’ because it is outside of the primary school). Recently, I got to go there again after so many years, just to purchase an envelope since it was the only shop I could think of to go to at Green Road. Ah, what a reminiscent trip to the shop it was. Everything is pretty much the same like before, as well as the smell. Even Uncle (the shop owner) still owns the same royal blue Bermuda shorts and frayed singlet. Imagine that.

Me: LaoBan, you mei you mai envelope?
(Boss, do you sell envelopes?)

LaoBan: Ha? ‘Enwilop’? Shen me dong xi?
(Huh? ‘Enwilop’? What’s that?)

Me: Envelope. Sampul surat.

LaoBan: Oh, na ge ha? *points to a table laden with overripe/rotten mangoes and bananas*
(Oh, is one of those it?)

Me: Er…bu shi, wo jiang sampul surat. Sam-pul su-rat.
(Er…no, I said envelope. En-ve-lope.)

LaoBan: Oh. Tee hee.

And you, Uncle, are still the funny geezer I knew you were.

Written by SZA

24 March 2011 at 9:49 PM

Posted in Convo, LOL, School

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More Than I Can Chew

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For a while now, I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a screenplay. Just for fun. But I never really got around to doing it until recently, when I was browsing through the latest announcements posted on my student portal and saw a recruitment advertisement for a scriptwriter for the Uni’s musical production. I was definitely intrigued since this was the kind of boost I needed to get started on my new interest. On the other hand, I wasn’t sure if I should grab the opportunity. I mean, how could I manage to fit in an extra activity since there’s a lot on my plate right now. An eight-to-five work, weekly nighttime classes, and house chores that I need to attend to. Alright, so it doesn’t look like there’s a lot on my plate, but for someone who isn’t an expert in time management, well, it does seem to be a lot.

After a few days of thinking, I told Mother about it, thinking maybe she could give me her two cents on my predicament.

Me: You know, the Uni is going to hold another musical this year and now the Drama Club is looking for a writer. And I’m thinking of joining the production team. Only that I’m not sure if I could give my one-hundred percent effort and commitment to the club and work at the same time. But I really do want to try something new…blah blah…experiencing college life to the fullest…yadda yadda…I don’t know. So, what say you?

Mother: Why? Will you get paid for that?

Ah, typical Asian parents. Putting more emphasis on education and professional career above all else. As much as Mother being open to most things and generally an easy-going diplomatic person, sometimes she doesn’t seem to grasp the concept of doing things for the sake of just doing them without good solid purposes. Soon after that though, I decided to just grab the bull by the horns and join the production team. Mother seemed to be alright with that. Yay.

So two days after that, I met Hew, a Drama Club ExCo, to talk about the script and the play. I got even more excited about the whole thing after the meeting. And even more nervous, too. I mean, will my script be as good as the ones used in the previous plays? What if I get a writer’s block during script-writing, or worse, a worker’s block? Questions about what will happen are on loop and making me feel mighty worried (and somewhat regret with my compulsive decision to join an extra activity).

Hm. *thinking*

OK, you know what, let’s just sleep on it and cross the bridge when we get there, shall we?

Written by SZA

19 March 2011 at 1:41 AM

Posted in Convo, School, Work

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A Clownish Model

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I’ve had a taste of doing a glamorous job four days back. Living in the fast lane and all that. Sort of. Alright, here’s how it all started.

Right after Chinese New Year, I got an unexpected text from the Uni asking me to attend a photo-shoot for which I’d model with the other two students for our programme brochure. Right after reading the text, immediately an image of me doing all sorts of dynamic poses and showing sultry facial expressions when a photographer captures my shots popped inside my mind. Snap! Fierce. Snap! Fabulous. Snap! Ferosh. And there would be a makeup team to doll us up for the shoot. Just like what I’ve seen on America’s Next Top Model. And the other two fellow models would just be props in the shoot and Yours Truly (ahem) would be the focal point. Naturally. Of course. Duh.

Pfft. Ha. Like that would ever happen. Dream on.

In actuality, it was just a simple photo-shoot. The Uni actually told us what to wear for the shooting session beforehand--asual business attire. So for that reason, I chose to wear my animal-print scarf, ruffled-front black top and grey cardi and pair them up with my blue jeans and dark wedges (which were Mother’s so they were pretty tight to put on; but hey, when it comes to fashion, you gotta suffer some). Anywho, being the nerd that I am, I turned up for the photo-shoot unfashionably early. Once I arrived at the campus, I finally found out who the other two models were. Julian and Diyas. Duh, of course. No surprise there. Julian being the brainiac good-looking Chinese boy-next-door; Diyas being the tall and charismatic Kazakhstani. A Chinese student and an international one. I guess I was chosen as the third model because I’m the only Malay in the programme and they needed a girl and someone of a different ethnic as a model to complete the picture. Off we went to the photo-shoot scene, which was the Student Lounge. Our photographer for the session was Ian and before the shooting started, he showed us what the concept of the photos would be like: Three models sitting on the floor having a lively discussion about a random subject and acting professional yet casual at the same time. Apparently, Julian and Diyas seemed very natural at photo-shooting. No uneasy pauses in between. I was impressed. Luckily, I was being natural too. Naturally awkward, that is. I made odd expressions and gave weird poses that I made the worst model look like an über-model (please do not blame me for the weird poses, I was trying hard to cover up my belly rolls and thunder legs during the shoot which I should have known made me look even worse than showing and embracing my physical flaws). Anyway, even though the uneasiness on my part lasted for only the first few minutes, it’d been really awkward.

Me: Oh, God. I’m so not good in this. Acting is not my thing. Doing poses and all that.

Diyas: HA HA HA!

Ian: You’re doing OK. Just act natural.

Diyas was laughing so hard at what I said like it was the funniest thing ever that came out of a human being’s mouth. I was like, ‘Huh? I wasn’t even being funny.’ Soon after that though, I got more comfortable and it felt more natural to me. Modelling started to become fun. And it was fairly easy since we had been given a guideline in advance, so we knew what we needed to do. Throughout the photo session, us three just talked about arbitrary things; from our assignments to the Uni’s prom night to where Diyas should go in and around Kuching. Casual stuff. Just to keep the talk lively so our photos would reflect the photographer’s idea. Finally when Ian said, OK, this going to be your final shots! We’re gonna wrap it up,’ I didn’t want it to end oh-so-badly. It’d been so much fun! Even if our photo-shoot was pretty tame and not wild like the ones on ANTM, it was great still. I loved it. And I said so to Ian.

Me: Hey, it wasn’t that hard. I kinda liked it. Maybe I should start a new career. Be a model.

Ian: HA HA HA!

Wha--? Where was the punch line? Apparently, I missed the joke again. I was beginning to feel like a royal jester entertaining the royal family instead of a supermodel in the making. Oh, well, at least I could provide some sort of entertainment to them. I guess the thought of my being a model was simply ridicule. Seriously though folks, maybe I should really consider the change of my profession path. From being an audit junior to being a model (albeit only a catalogue one). Ha, how about that?

Oui? Non? Oui? Non?

Alright, so it is a massive ‘NO’. Working in a circus and being a clown might be more suitable for me considering what had happened during the photo session. Sigh. How depressing. For what it’s worth though, I’ve had a blast during the photo-shoot. For that, I’m grateful.

Written by SZA

12 February 2011 at 7:49 PM