Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wish List 2

My first wish list was in January 2009. So far, I only got The Book Thief. The other two I have yet to see it anywhere.

Okay, if I were going out for a movie, I haven't watched these (I know I'm so outdated):

1. How To Train Your Dragon
2. Percy Jackson
3. Clash Of The Titans
4. Kick Ass
 5. It's Complicated (I have the DVD. I haven't the 'right' time to watch it yet)
6. Sherlock Holmes ( ditto)
7. The Bounty Hunter (Gerard Butler's hot)
8. Diary Of A Wimpy Kid
9. Valentine's Day
10.Iron Man 2
11. IP Man


coming out, that I'd also like to watch:

1. Prince of Persia
2. The Runaways (Dakota getting snogged by Kirsten Stewart, haha. I am a fan of their music also, I guess, I mean The Runaways)
3. Furry Vengeance

um, apa lagi ye?

but soon the list will be growing.

Wangsa Walk Mall's TGV has opened, I think. If only I could drive properly, I could easily drive myself there and catch a movie everyday. *daydreams*


I have been posting essays and reviews lately. Stuff to keep my mind off things, I guess. I know I still want to complete my Percy series and have that Life Of Pi book. It has been too long.

oh well.

Tough Love

"I promise I won't hurt you, " you said.

"How do I know you're not lying?"

"You'll have to trust me, I guess. You're with me now, so you kind of have to."



Sounds vaguely familiar, like I've heard it before in real life. haha.

You know what people say about niat tak menghalalkan cara? It rings true in Lucy Christopher's Stolen: A Letter To My Captor. The ending proved it! No, I'm not going to spoil it for you.

First of all, it was weird, dry like the desert and tiring. It seemed endless, yet all the same, the permise was interesting. I know, I just finished reading a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast with a modern twist, this book, makes the other book very romanticized. This is more of a real deal, if people actually went for the Beauty and the Beast formula. Hold someone captive to make the person learn to love you.

Yeah, and I used to believe that you can't force someone to love you, but what if it was done under the right circumstances? Would you have succeeded?

Just imagine to be kidnapped and to be spirited away thousands of kilometers from your home, into uncharted territory, far away from anything you were used to, from any human contact to the outside world. Like you've been blasted off to space to Mars, without a way back home. No podcasts, no phones, no Facebooks, no IMs. Yeah, I think you get my meaning.

Worse still, worse than being totally alone is that you're stuck with the person you hate the most, the person who brought you there, the person who could potentially kill you, or leave you for dead in the most undignified manner. What makes it more complicated is that the so-called kidnapper expects your tender loving company in return.

He says he wouldn't hurt you. First thought, lies. A trap to draw you in to your end. Yet, he indeed didn't hurt you.

You actually believed in him, until after you're rescued, people want to convince you that the way you feel was all part of Stockholm Syndrome. Confused much?

All the thoughts and emotions and dilemmas were effectively described. There were lots of descriptions, and the writing was more adult. Expect four-letter words, but no sex. Which was weird. Under normal circumstances, if I were a run-of-the-mill modern-day psycho abducter, I would have already did what I wanted to do right there and then. It was perfect! Completely out of nowhere, even if I killed my victim, who would ever think of looking for a body in the middle of nowhere? It's like fiding a certain grain of sand miles away from where you actually came. Who would actually think of looking for you there? No one can here you scream and come for you. It's like you've disappeared from the face of the Earth.

Again it's the abstinence thing. I love you so much, just to prove it to you, I won't rape you. Would it have happened in reality? Especially if you spent months and months in the middle of the desert and there's only one female company there..okay, enough of that. I think you get it.

At first, it seemed farfetched, because of its large scale of execution. The years it took of stalking, and setting the place up, the planning, the logistics. It made the kidnapper seemed really mad, obsessed, but as the book progresses, it made you feel sorry for him. It gave him a really softer side, and you started feeling guilty that you were the one who had murderous thoughts of him.

It was okay, I guess. I like the escape attempts parts. You're so desperate to get away, yet, you know, it's hopeless. I can't imagine being in such extreme conditions like that. It took a lot of guts and will to survive. I was also amazed (okay, 'amazed' is too much, I think. I couldn't think of another word) by the elaborate planning to get the kidnapping show on the road.

One thing still remained a pet peeve for me, the cheesiness of looking at stars and talking about them and snuggling up close.yuck.

The climax was okay. Nice build up and nice ending.
The book was also written without chapters, another reason why it felt long and endless. It was also written like a letter. A second-person point of view, is that what it's called?  haven't being paying attention in Literature.

It reminded me that I did write one essay as such, and yes, it's still with my teacher. It was something about the last day of school and I got in a fight with a certain 'you', and I was reminicscing about the times we had together.

There were two more essays. One was for my Trial Exam. I wrote about the assassination of a president and a panic room, based on my nightmare. Another one was for the open-ended essay entitled 'She'. It was about a world without women, and there's this scientist trying to bring women back to life, only to find that his creation was seeking out reveng on men. I emphasised on how less human they became when they went against the laws of nature. Yeah, I guess, I was dead sexist when I wrote it too. All of these essays, which I was sort of proud of, are with my teacher, I hope she still has them.


The harshness of the outback described in the book, reminded me a lot about The Drover's Wife story. How lonely and helpless it felt. Now they changed the syllabus, so probably, the kids learn about something else.

And no, my romantic fantasies does not include being kidnapped by a hot-looking guy to live with him in a desert or stranded on an island with him (who goes Crocodile Hunter at a sight of a snake) , far away from everybody else so you can have him all to yourself, and have him to protect you.

This is my second some-what romantic book in a row. No, I will not go for any true-blue romantic books (with the sex and swooning)  like Nora Roberts or Sidney Sheldon, or Cecilia Ahern. Nope. No more Chick Lits or romance for me. Definitely none of those Malay romance novels with the cardboard cutout characters who fall for the guy who happens to be a anak datuk, with the syarikat of yaddyadda Holdings. It's so unreal. I did read a few when I was in boarding school, because people had a lot of it, and there was nothing else to read, especially during the H1N1 quarantine during my Trials last year. Thank God Syakir buys English books, so I borrowed his occasionally. Sadly, I have not heard from him recently.
That's it for now. Still waiting for Percy Jackson and Pi, and of course JPA.

Okay.Out.

Friday, May 14, 2010

mushy stuff

I still have Stolen to read. I'm done with Alex Flinn's Beastly.

Oh, It's coming out as a movie, by the way. You can read about it here: http://hollywoodcrush.mtv.com/2009/07/09/beastly-puts-gossip-girl-twist-on-old-fairy-tale-the-book-report/

Vanessa Hudgens is playing the heroine, by the way, (raises eyebrows).

Overall, it's still considered a kid's book, although I think there was one mention of 'b****', and all that 'sensitive hormone-overriding scenes' are figuratively and vaguely described. (like what I'm doing now). A few mention of groping, but nothing else than that, it's pretty mild.

Some parts were damn funny, while some parts don't really come across as brilliant for me, and it seems just like a change of name and place for the characters. You know, like a Malaysianised spy or actione hero movie or something. (you know, what movies I'm referring to, and local movies are not that original, save for Yasmin Ahmad's and very few others). It was still entertaining, and easy to read, though. No Information overload, no hard words, not much use for the brain to picture intricate details. Oh, and I learnt a new word that might come up in SAT, comeuppance. It means 'punishment' and the spelling looks suspiciously...French?

One point to ponder though: I wished boys thought themselves more like beasts.

ABSTINENCE. A wonderful word I learnt from 17 Again.

In the story, Adrian a.k.a. Kyle a.k.a. The Beast a.k.a. The Hero (oh, you get me) didn't even dare to sit less than a-foot close to Linda a.k.a. Lindy a.k.a. The Heroine, because he was scared of potentially hurting her and freaking her out. ALthough he really really really wanted to touch her so much, he held back. I can't describe it, but you should read it, I REALLY like the descriptions of his longing and pining for her. His wanting to tell her so much that he loves her, but he just can't. They were the most 'effective' parts in the novel, I think.

Of course, that all changed at the end of the story after he was human again, then, it was non-stop snogging, watcha expect? Getting together parts are like such a turn-off for me. Forgive me, I'm not that *ahhh...swoon* types that always-want-the-lovers-to-be-together-kinda-romantic.

I think guys need to find that inner beast in them to finally learn ABSTINENCE. In short, they need to feel 'beastly' to behave themselves around a girl.

and girls must play along as well, I guess.


For those who love fairy tales, do indulge yourselves. It is not a bad read. It was okay. Not dragging, not brilliant, but okay. Expect typical stereotypes. The heroic moment. Although, to me, the heroic moment didn't actually hit a climax I was hoping for, it seemed very typical. Theres tons of cliche's, well, it's a retelling of a fairy tale, you know what to expect in the ending and the set-up, but it has been given a fresh twist(okay, not really fresh), the same way in Percy Jackson (I'm comparing it with Percy Jackson?? Damn! I must still be obsessing over the final installment that I have yet to get my paws, I mean, hands on) Greek Mythology is revived in modern day US.

The hero and heroine's characters, although, okay lovable, but to me, not enough spunk and originality. Again, maybe it's because it's a retelling of a famous fairy tale.

Personally, my sick idea of romance is basically sad endings, star-crossed lovers who never end up together, constantly thinking of what-if's. Or stories of torture and heartache because your love wasn't meant to be. I love this girl, but she doesn't love me, she loves someone else. I want to touch her, but I can't. Man, I sound pathetic!

Then, in the book, there's the question of the selfish, unloving dad. Well, he never turned a new leaf, and that's sad. I was hoping for a little, eensy wincy change at least.

All in all, I like this book better than Twilight. The Beast-Lindy romance is more convincing than the Bella-Edward thing.

Edward's like, "I can't love her because she's my food, but I love her all the same."

Beast is like," I can't come on too strong, or she'll freak out because I'm a beast, I want her to love me the way I love her."

Okay, which sounds less cheesy?

Sue me, I find this line romantic. "Stay. You aren't my prisoner. You can leave at any time, but stay because you love me." Of course he didn't say it, although he wanted to.

Between a Beast and a 'god-like' vamp, I'd pick the Beast any day.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

ini bukan exam essay, but it could have been.

The smell of fresh lavender woke me to my senses. Where the heck am I? was my first thought. I was completely unaware of who I was at that time, and where or how did I get to that place. It was too captivating that I simply forgot about my pathetic existance.

I was lying in a field of lavender under azure skies amidst a background of verduent pastures. This was too good to be true. A lean figure was bent over me, temporarily obscuring the brilliant sunlight bathing over me. The figure smelt of intoxicating cologne, and the warmth of his skin brushed against the coldness of mine. I wore nothing but a white lace dress. I closed my eyes as he carressed my face, and suddenly, the touch of his hand felt rough. He held my face in both his hands and started shaking my head from side to side, abruptly and violently.

I woke up with a start. My eyes were bleary, and a faint sound of an animal's cry was heard. The surrounding was dark.

"HEY!!" A voice bellowed.

Instantly, my bubble of sleepiness popped. What a pleasant awakening.

So much for lavender fields.

"It's your turn! The baby's awake again!"

"uhh?" was the only response I could manage.

"I have an early day tomorrow! I have to get some sleep. Come on! we've been doing this for years already! Don't tell me you're still getting the hang of it?"

Is that husband of mine nagging at me?

Sluggishly and feverishly, I slid out of bed from the comfort of the duvet, shoulders aching. The tiredness from the morning cleaning was still felt. My bare feet touched the cold floor. My hair was all over the place, so were my nightclothes. I was far from sexy, nor presentable that night. I made my way to the baby's cot.

"Will ya hurry up already??"

yak, yak, yak, I thought to myself. So much for "I'll go through hell for you" Mr. Romeo talk  while we were dating. and I get this nag-monster of a husband who is slowly putting up weight and losing the six-packs, and hair. sigh.

"Ohh, great. Just when  was actually getting some sleep and dreaming of something good." I muttered silently under my breath.

I picked up the baby, who's cries that I confused with a howling animal's at first when I was snapping out of my drowsiness.

Okay, it's not that  don't love my kids, but sometimes, you can't help but want more in life? Who knows, if I hadn't married so early, I could have been making a speech worth a Phd scholarship by now at some university. Not that I am complaining, okay, maybe I am, but for the love of my kids, I sacrificed a lot, and I tell you, a lot. Pessimistic moms like me would proudly declare that we don't have a life, because our kids, and our husbands are the only life we have.

I changed the baby's diaper, and only then, would the baby finally piped it down. Yeah, poop and puke clean up, always call the mom. Quick breastfeeding, and okay, back to bed, back to lavender fields, I thought to myself.

Snoring was heard from the queen-sized bed.

"At least you have it easier than I," I said through gritted teeth.

Sometimes, I wished I were the man of the house. At least, I still had my freedom at my work place. I could pursue any degree that I wanted to. I wouldn't be tied down by my kids, because my full-time housewife will take care of everything.

In my dreams.

This is the life made for me, and I have to embrace it. Complaining wouldn't make life any easier, or enjoyable, said My-Best-Friend-cum-Counsellor.

"Mommy," came a soft voice.

My blood shot eyes darted to the source. My little girl had awaken and was standing at the doorway. Nightmare?

"I'm scared of the boogey man. he's coming to get me tonight."

Yes. I told her the boogey man story last week to get her to sleep early. (If not, the boogey man will get her). Unfortunately, my brilliant plan miserably backfired.

"aww...sweetie, there's no such thing as a boogey man.."

"but you said so last week-"

"mommy lied."

"it's bad to lie-"

"just go to bed, will you?!" I snapped.

"i can't."

and just then, the little girl started crying. ohh...drat!

"what's that NOISE?? I'm trying to sleep!"

The dragon has awaken.

"Yeah, I'm trying to sleep too! Don't make this harder on me!"

At the sound of my yell, the baby started crying as well.

"Damn!" I cursed under my breath. What an exemplary parent I am, huh?

If this were a cartoon, I'd stuff a pillow in my kid's mouth and I'd flung my shouting husband out the window, but this is sadly not a cartoon.

I bundled both my chilfdren in my arms, and I headed to the little girl's room. Of course, she refused to listen to anything I say. I kept shouting out of exasperation, and annoyance. My sleep deprivation prevented me from unleashing my full-blown wrath on both of them. I was extremely tired. Occasionally, there would be shouting heard from down the hall, yes, my ever-so-caring husband.

Inside the room, I nearly lost my balance because I accidentally stepped on one of my daughter's barbie dolls lying on the floor. Seriously? don't these kids ever learn to put away their things after they're done?? They must have got it from their dad. He does the same thing too.

In the end, I gave up, and just let the little girl cry until she was tired and fell asleep, which I think was around four in the morning. I tucked her in bed. Soon after, the baby also fell asleep, thank God.

I sound like a terrible parent, as if I'm not making any good efforts, and this is not a good example of a a happy family, but it is just my life. Probably other people approach it differently, but hey, people have a different way of doing things.

Tomorrow, I'd have to wake up early to wake my husband, iron his clothes, and get breakfast ready. Then, send the little girl to school. I made a mental checklist.

I was sitting down with my back against the wall and a baby in my arms in the little girl's room. I slowly closed my eyes and return to the lavender fields, and the sun. Even just for a little while.

Exam Essay Lagi

I liked this one, and the same title came up for SPM:


Mid-Year exam 2009




Beauty



I felt the light fingers gingerly unwrap the bandage around my eyes. “Why is it taking so long?” I thought to myself.



“If you don’t mind me asking, how old are you exactly?” The nurse asked. What a way to strike a conversation with a woman, huh? Okay, I was just seventeen, but I hope she didn’t notice that.



I was too ashamed to answer. People judge others by their looks, so, many speculations and preconceived perceptions arouse regarding their age. Some might regard me too old for my age, while others find me too young. Despite the contrast, it can still be concluded that I don’t act my age, based on how I looked.



The nurse sighed with my lack of response, but continued her effort to carry a conversation. “How did you get into this mess? Was it an accident?”



Was it an accident? It was a long story. Should I tell her? What business does she have to know my so-called private life? She wouldn’t believe me if I told her anyway.



I didn’t listen to the other questions that she asked. I was drown out by the thoughts floating in my mind. Some of the memories caused anguish and I tugged at the bed sheets hard, recalling the moments. I was almost in a trance-like state when the flashback started, the sequence of horrifying events.



Fragments of the past experiences were still fresh and vivid in my imagination. I was born in a family of power and wealth. My father was a congressman and my mother was a former beauty pageant and a movie star. I was born with crossed eyes.



Throughout my childhood and teenage years, I was a chubby teenager and was regarded as an ugly girl by both my parents, the epitome of perfection. I was shut out from the outside world and imprisoned in the mansion, surrounded by walls of luxury and perfection. I was home-schooled. My mother told me that I was intelligent and I was too good for any school, but I had a suspicion that she actually wanted to shun me from the outside world. I have never left the house since. So, the only human contact I had was from my parents, my tutor and the servants. I was bored out of my mind and resorted to watching TV. My father was always elsewhere and my mother was always busy with her films, although I had a sneaky suspicion that they were too disgusted and revolted to look at me.



One fine, sunny Sunday, which was on my seventeenth birthday, I decided to sneak out of the house for an ‘adventure’. I was marveled by the beautiful surroundings. Actually, it was the simple beauty of freshly-mowed verdant grass, azure skies with tufts of white clouds that caught my eye.

It was then that I spotted a boy, leaning against the bars f the metal gate of my house. He was staring at me, and he was one of the most beautiful people I have ever set eyes upon.



He had strawberry blond hair, twinkling blue eyes and broad shoulders. He was like one of the actors that I saw on TV.



Without thinking, I called out to him, “hi there!”



The beautiful creature laughed, such a beautiful laugh. It was not long before I realized that he was laughing at me.



He called out to his friends, and they came, jeering at me, teasing my crossed eyes and full figure, and perhaps, my lack of dress sense. One of the boys shouted, “What is this ‘monster’ doing in the compound f the congressman’s house?”



Tears started brimming in my eyes, and I retreated to the back of the house, where my neighbor was trimming the flowers. One look at me and she screamed, “A burglar! A burglar at the Benson’s! Son, call the police!”



People don’t recognize me as the congressman’s daughter? Or they don’t even know of my existence?



Terrified, I rushed back inside. I got into trouble that night. The neighbor did call the police, and the police were outraged that it was a false alarm. My father got angry and he hit me so hard in the face that I had a broken nose. My mother said that I was a changeling and a humiliation to the family.



Hurt, I took the decision to run away from home. I took my father’s credit card and a handful of banknotes and headed out. As I ran, I thought to myself, who in the world would accept an ugly girl like me? Right there and then, I decided that I needed a change of face. First of all, I needed to get rid of my crossed eyes and all my fat, and fix my broken nose.



I headed to the Sacred Heart Hospital. I knew that that was the place where they offered cosmetic surgery because that was where my mother went for her ‘Angelina Jolie Lips.’ I was determined that I had my face changed, so I wouldn’t have to suffer like this anymore.



As I went under the knife, I kept thinking to myself. Was I such a freak? Why couldn’t my parents love me for what I was? Why didn’t I deserve their love and care? I didn’t feel like I was treated like a human being all these years. I felt like a caged animal, lame and pathetic. I’ve had enough of this torcher.



After the operation, my eyes were bandaged for a few days, and I was plunged into darkness. Within that time frame, I kept wishing that ny parents would look for me here, but they didn’t.

“They must have been so relieved that they got rid of me,” I thought to myself.



“Excuse me, miss. I’m done with your bandages,” the nurse repeated for the umpteenth time. I was startled from my daydream. I opened my eyes. It hurt at first, as I expected the first rays of light to enter my brand new eyes.



I blinked. “Are you sure you’re done with all the layers. Why is it still dark?”



The tiles felt cold beneath my bare feet, all of a sudden.



“I am done,” she assured.



My hands flew to my face as a wave of panic struck me. Hot tears came streaming down my cold cheeks.



“I’m blind! Why?”



The nurse didn’t say a word and I heard her footsteps walking out the door, the sound of her high heels clicking against the tiled floor.



My head felt heavy and I slumped into the pillow rested against the headrest of the bed. The tears came flowing down like the Niagara Falls and nobody came to see me at all. Why had this happened to me?



No longer could I be able to see the blue skies, nor the green grass. I wanted to see more of that, but now I couldn’t see at all.



I couldn’t see any of those beautiful things anymore. It was all because of the obsession with beauty.

 

more exam essays

I wasn't very proud of this one. It was long and dragging and without purpose, and I ended it abruptly because I ran out of time:


Mid Year Exam 2008
Secrets


Cassandra Von Tempest looked up into the ashen sky, blanketed with sheets of grey cumulonimbus clouds. Thunder rolled. It was beginning to rain in Hazelnut Avenue.

The tall, raven haired girl picked up her bags in a rush and scrambled to the doorstep of the dilapidated house.

“Hello?” Cassandra called out, hoping to hear a response.

“Hello?” She looked around.

“Hello? Is anybody home?”

“Yes, dear!”

An elderly woman with snow white hair greeted her with a wrinkled smile. “Cassandra, is that you?”

“Yes…uh..grandma?"

The old lady chuckled. “Grandaunt, actually. Grandma’s dead. Now, it’s just you and me.”

Cassandra was a little disheartened. Was she totally alone with no other relatives other than this old woman?

“Come, I’ll show you to your room.” The old woman stretched out a beckoning hand to Cassandra. She took it cautiously."

The two of them made their way up the creaking stairs. Creak, creak. Cassandra noticed that for an old woman, Grand Aunt was still strong as her iron grip clasped firmly around Cassandra’s wrist like a handcuff.

“Here we are. You can unpack your things. I’ll be making tea in the dining room. We can have lemon meringue pie today.”

Cassandra dropped her bags to the floor. She looked around the dusty, cobweb-covered room. There was a four-poster bed in the center and a wardrobe in the corner. The drapes were discolored, but Cassandra guessed that it must have once been red in color.

Cassandra sat down on the bed. As she sat, the bed also creaked. The room felt cold and uninviting. She wondered how she could possibly get used to all of this.

Ever since her father died due to a suicide bombing in Bali, Cassandra became an orphan. When she was little, her mother was involved in a car crash. At that time, Cassandra was there as well, but luckily, she survived.

Whenever Cassandra looked at her own reflection, she would see her mother’s eyes looking right back at her. The icy blue eyes that could sometimes, send a chill down the spine.

Cassandra got up and made her way down the creaking stairs. She noticed that the old house must have been a mansion once as it was so huge and had many rooms. The Victorian wallpaper convinced her even more of the house’s old age. Grand Aunt cannot be that old, could she?

Cassandra was greeted by her Grand Aunt’s beaming smile. She sat down on a chair.

“Earl Grey, my dear.” Grand Aunt said as she poured some tea into a dainty porcelain cup.

“Thank you, Grand Aunt.” Cassandra took a sip. “Do you live here all by yourself all this while?”

“Well, yes and no.” Grand Aunt said. “I had children. Lots of them, but they all had mysteriously…disappeared.”

The puzzled Cassandra fixed the old woman a curious look.

“One moment they were there, playing in the living room, and the next, they were gone.”

“Don’t you feel scared?”

“Of course, I do. I have made police reports, but nothing can be done. People don’t just vanish into thin air. However, I still can’t get myself to leave this house.”

A queer, uncanny silence clenched the atmosphere. Cassandra shivered, but it was not because of the cold.

“This house has been passed down from the generations of the Von Tempest family. Although I was not of the Von Tempest blood, a mere outsider who married Victor Von Tempest, your grand uncle, I am the only one who has stayed. I am the only one faithfully taking care of the family heirloom. Cassandra, have you not known that you are of noble blood? One of the surviving Romanian aristocrat family members?”

This was a shocking revelation to Cassandra. Her brain digested the new information, but she still remained skeptical.

For the following weeks, Cassandra tried to adapt to her new surroundings. She was enrolled in a new school and she had made many new friends. Everything seemed to be back to normal, except for one thing. The old house still bothered her in an inexplicable way. The eccentricity of her Grand Aunt was also disturbing.

At night, as Cassandra lay in her bed, snuggled in her mothball-scented duvet, she would hear footsteps walking past her closed door. The troubling sound kept her awake. The footsteps never stop, even until four in the morning. In the end, Cassandra would simply fall asleep after being tired from keeping awake. The darkness terrified her, but there was no electricity in her room.

Every morning she woke up lethargic. Her friends would ask, but she never answered. Sometimes, if they asked about the place she lives in, she would point to the dilapidated house at the corner of the road.

“I thought that house is supposed to be deserted. Nobody lives there,” Serene said.

“I do, and my Grand Aunt does.”

“Well, nobody has seen her."

It was true that nobody in the neighbourhood had ever seen Cassandra’s Grand Aunt. It was strange, and she began to wonder if her Grand Aunt was actually a hermit or a deranged person or something. She was simply too … secretive.

When she asked her Grand Aunt about why she has never been out in the neighbourhood, her Grand Aunt simply answered, “I don’t see any reason why I should go out.”

“Don’t you feel lonely?”

“Why should I? I have everything I need here, and I have you and the house to care after.”

Cassandra thought that her Grand Aunt’s behaviour was very strange indeed. Looking around the house, there was barely anything left. No tapestries, no pictures, no portraits, no decorative ornaments. On the shelves, there were no books. In certain areas, the walls looked blackened as if it had been badly burnt.
One day, as Cassandra was exploring the house, she came across a small notebook. Its pages were yellowed, torn and frayed and there were scribbles in it.

Cassandra flipped through the pages gingerly and read the brief entry written on the 27th of July, summer 1978. It was a little girl’s handwriting, and it read:

Lucille died today. We saw the people take her out. Poor, miserable old lady. Serves her right for shooting Viktor dead in the head.

It was a sordid entry. Dark and magnanimous. Lucille? Wasn’t it her Grand Aunt’s name? Could this be a mere coincidence?

Cassandra decided to keep quiet of her finding. On another day, Cassandra found an old album in the wardrobe of her room.

There were many pictures, depicting a little girl in ponytails playing in that very room. The next few pages contained family pictures. Cassandra spotted her father who had not yet married her mother. Then, she saw Viktor, her granduncle. At his side was Lucille, her Grand Aunt.

Cassandra kept on flipping until she found a piece of paper. It was a will written in Viktor’s handwriting. However, it was badly torn and the ink had faded, so the writing was no longer legible. She felt frustrated. She was so close in uncovering Grand Aunt’s secret, the skeleton in her closet.

That night, instead of just lying down in her bed, Cassandra made her way downstairs after hearing the footsteps. Strangely, there was nobody there. Could she be hearing things?

Suddenly, she caught sight of her Grand Aunt in her white night gown. The old woman was in the kitchen. Cassandra peeped. The old woman had not noticed her.

Grand Aunt then opened the back door and stepped outside. Cassandra followed behind her, careful not to be seen by the old woman.

The old woman made her way to the backyard of the house, where the vegetable patch grew, but not a single vegetable was to be seen. The patch looked neglected. Beyond there were some bushes. The woman kept on walking and disappeared through the bushes.

Cassandra followed. Despite being badly scratched by thorns, she forced her way through. Her mouth dropped at the sight of a mausoleum. The family mausoleum.

Grand Aunt had entered the mausoleum. Cassandra entered as well. Inside, there were crypts. Each engraved with the deceased’s names upon it.

Cassandra read each of it, one by one. Camille Von Tempest, Lucinda Von Tempest, Mikeal Von Tempest, Vlad Von Tempest, Victoria Von Tempest, Matheu Von Tempest … Viktor Von Tempest and lastly, Lucille Von Tempest.

A bead of cold sweat ran down the side of her temple. She was utterly shocked. It can’t be true. Lucille was dead. Her Grand Aunt was supposed to be dead? How could it be? It must be a mistake!

Cassandra heard the sound of a woman weeping, but in the dark, she didn’t know where the sound actually came from.

Cassandra sank to her knees. She had never felt so alone in her life like this.


this one is okay,  guess, but not brilliant:

Ujian Pengesanan 1 2009



His mother smiled when she heard the news. Her son, the sole breadwinner of the family will be going to space.

Shen Yao hugged his mother tightly, almost suffocating her in his embrace.

“Our hardship will be over, mum. We can have a decent home to live in, decent food to eat,” Shen Yao said.

“Joining the aerospace programme was wort every cent I’ve saved.”

“Indeed it was, son. I’m so proud of you that you have been chosen. It’s too bad your father isn’t here to witness this historical moment.”

Since then, their lives changed drastically. Shen Yao was shipped to Russia for his official training. His mother stayed back in the village and lived off the money Shen Yao sends to her every now and then.

Shen Yao expected the government to give support to his family, but unfortunately, the government had only promised to finance his training and excursion to space alone.

The moment of happiness was brief, and was followed by a sudden loneliness; loneliness in a foreign country, and loneliness without the company of a family member.

Shen Yao’s mother sighed as she worked on the laundry. Her back ached from hours of bending down, scrubbing the clothes. On a normal day, after she had finished with the day’s work, she would head to the market with the little money she had to buy some fish and then return home to cook dinner while waiting for Shen Yao to return from the city after working in the factory.

Now, she would return home and sit on her rocking chair, sewing. Despite her loneliness, she had to be strong. “When Shen Yao comes back from space, he will have some money, and we can live together again,” she thought to herself.

With that thought in mind, she kept her hopes up for her only son.

Shen Yao could now speak in Russian. Apparently, he was popular among the trainees, and he even had a Russian girlfriend named Lena.

While he laughed and joked around with his new friends, he still thought of his aging mother. How he longed to return home to taste the sweet and sour fish that his mother cooks for him everytime he gets home.

However, he was not allowed to return until he has returned from his space voyage.

“Have some beef stroganoff,” Vladimir offered.

“No, thanks,” Shen Yao declined politely.

His blond friend noticed the melancholy in his friend’s eyes. “Missing your homeland?”

“No, I’m just missing my mum.”

Vladimir placed a hand on Shen Yao’s shoulder. “Be strong, my friend. Our journey is only three months away. You have a special cushioned seat in the Sputnik VII and a nice view of planet Earth to look forward to. Look, I have something that will certainly cheer you up.”

Shen Yao’s eyes widened in excitement as Vladimir handed him a parcel. Shen Yao quickly tore the package open and produced a knitted sweater from it. There was a letter that came with it. It was from his mother. She had asked him to wear the sweater, just in case it gets cold.

Shen Yao blinked back a tear; he was ashamed to cry in front of his friends.

Months crept on. Shen Yao’s mother waited ever so patiently in their shambled home. She prayed each day to the god of prosperity, grateful for their unexpected luck. She also prayed that her son would return sooner.

“When his voyage is broadcasted on television, I will go to the city to see it myself. My son in an astronaut suit!” she thought, joyfully.

Suddenly, she felt an ache in her chest. She clutched at it, hoping that it would ease the pain

“Hush, my restless heart.”

She experienced spasms in her upper abdomen every now and then, but within these few months, it was getting a lot more frequent. She got up from the linoleum mat she was sitting on and prayed to the gods for her prolonged health and Shen Yao’s success.

Finally, the historical day has arrived. Shen Yao puts on his suit with much enthusiasm. “No more simulated zero-gravity for me.. It’s the real deal now.”

Lena kissed him for luck. “Pride for your nation.” He smiled at her, but at the back of his mind he pictured his mother, smiling proudly at him when he first told her that he was going to space.

On the day of the voyage, all the local channels were broadcasting the same thing. All the local newspapers had almost the same headlines: Local Boy off to Space.

Shen Yao’s mother had excitedly headed for the city on an old bicycle, which was once Shen Yao’s. She had to see her son on television, waving back at her on television.

As she drew closer to a restaurant, she saw many people were starting to crowd the restaurant. They were gathered at a table, listening attentively to the programme. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Shen Yao’s face on the screen of the television. She rushed to get closer.

All of a sudden, the pain struck her like the lightning striking a wrinkled tree in the middle of the field. As people were pushing and shoving in the crowd, she was knocked down to the ground.

The spasms wouldn’t stop and she was too weak to fight it off. She took one last look at her surroundings, listened to the shouts and chatter of the people, and finally, the news announcement that Sputnik VII has taken off. She drew one last breath before closing her eyes.

Shen Yao returned home as a hero, but he was not happy. The one person he was longing to come home to was no longer here. How his heart shattered when he knew that his mother has passed away when he went to space. He mourned for her death for quite a long time.

One day, when he took Lena to his old house, Lena had found a yellowed envelope in the folds of the linoleum mat. It was a will that his mother wrote for him.

“She knew. She knew it all along,” he said.

In the years to come, Shen Yao had married Lena and has lived a wealthy life. His country now built their own rockets and will be making space voyages soon.

Shen Yao would be one of the pioneer astronauts among the other younger men, for he would be carrying out one last mission.

He clutched the urn that contained his mother’s cremated remains in his arms endearingly.

“This is for you, mum.”

Soon, after take off, on the way to the ISS, Shen Yao suited up and got out of the space shuttle, carefully balancing himself on the side of the shuttle.

With one hand on the urn and one hand on the lid, he opened the urn and his mother’s ashes floated in the vacuum of space. This was what his mother had wanted in the will. She had wanted her ashes to be dispersed in space, and Shen Yao had honored her death wish.

“Rest in peace, mum. I love you always.”

Shen Yao stared into space, and was admiring the lovely view of planet Earth. The greens and blues and whites swirled around like pastel colors on a canvas. It was the most beautiful scenery he had ever seen. He had seen the most beautiful things in Russia, but nothing could compare to this. He was lucky to be able to see it for a second time

Shen Yao didn’t realize that his tears were streaming down his face. This time, he did not blink them back. He pictured his mother smiling to him like she did the first time he told her that he was going to space.

My Exam Essays (I should get it copyrighted)

I'm posting my exam essays that I typed. well, there are some still with my teachers that I haven't typed, and yes, I were proud of those. I hope they don't lose it. They always lose things. :(


Ujian Prestasi Ogos

Classmates


Ever wondered why fishes go to school? Well, I do, and until now, I still do not know the answer to that question.

Hello there, I’m Kitty the pomfret. I know, it’s a funny name, but being a pomfret is a funny thing too.

All fishes, in general, live and travel in schools, usually, of course, with the same kind of fish. For me, I like to mix around. It is a lot more fun to mingle with other fishes from different walks of life.

I have a little circle of friends. We call each other ‘classmates’, since we cannot really classify ourselves as a school of fish because we are all not the same type of fish!

The only male in the gang is Ben the Barracuda. He just moved here recently from the Indian oceans. He is very exotic, you see. He has one of the most beautiful scale colorations that I’ve ever seen….and he’s really cute. Despite being a carnivore, Ben doesn’t seem to take interest in any of us in the group-yet.

My best friend is Tina the Tuna. I recalled when I first got to know her; she liked to go around boasting that if fishermen could catch her, she’d be sold for a high price.

“Even the tuna’s salted roe can be sold as expensive caviar, one of the most luxurious delicacies a human could afford,” she said. “My aunt, for example, had her roe made into caviar, and she was cooked and served as a smoked artichoke at a famous restaurant in London.”

Ha! Ha! Don’t ask me how she came to know of her aunt’s fate. I don’t know, and I don’t think I ever want to know. However, despite her vanity, Tina has a big heart. She would always be there whenever I needed a shoulder, or a fin, for that matter, to cry on.

Next, there is Cindy the clownfish, and she is aptly named ‘the court jester’. It is not that she likes to crack jokes or anything; it is just that she is so clumsy that she always hits something by accident when she’s swimming

Okay, maybe slapstick isn’t her forte, but I have to admit that it is actually mean for us to laugh at her when she is swimming in circles, for instance, but Cindy never took that matter to the heart.

Just recently, when Walt Disney popularized the clownfish in the animated flick, Finding Nemo, Cindy is shedding some of her shyness and comes out of her anemone a bit more often.

Last, but certainly not least, is Diedre the pufferfish. She’s really dangerous because her liver is loaded with tetradoxin that can paralyse and kill you within a day. For us fishes, the venom can kill us in a matter of seconds. However, Diedre’s really nice and tame.

She has that totally complacent look that you can never tell what she has in her mind. Diedre is also the brain in the group, and she helps us a lot when navigating to new places. She seems well-traveled and knowledgable of the oceans.

Somehow, Diedre once confessed to me of how much she was crushing on Jared the hammerhead shark.
“I can’t help myself. Being a bad boy, he’s so … excitingly dangerous! What a hunk …,” she said before swooning and melting in a pool of infatuation. “The unique physique.”

Ah well, you can never expect the unexpected. Neither of us saw it coming.

Do you know why you call a spade a spade? In Diedre’s case, pufferfish actually puff up their bodies in self-defense. They can puff up until fifty times larger than their original size!

Sadly, in Japan, people catch pufferfish and serve them as a dish called ‘fugu’, whereas in Africa, people catch the pufferfish to make a ‘zombie potion’. That’s what Diedre always tells me anyway.

So, as for me, I am the ‘tomboy’ of the group. Don’t laugh. People say that Tina and I are an odd couple. I am not girly at all like her. Sometimes, I do enjoy being one of the guys, but at the end of the day, I stick to my ‘classmates’.

I bet you’re wondering what the classmates do together. Usually, we just play around and explore the oceans. Within this small circle of friends, everybody has their own story to share, with diverse identities of their own, like actors from different genres of theater. Personally, I always consider myself an action hero!
The ocean is a beautiful place to explore. It is a completely different world from the Land of Man.

Sometimes, we get to know what is going on on the surface because things from the land get thrown in the oceans all the time, and some things can kill the marine inhabitants.

Last week, one of my close friends, Julia the turtle, choked on a plastic bag and died. Many of us have moved from oceans which were polluted with oil to new places. I cannot anticipate the moment when we will have to move again.

So, anyway, that is about all I can say about my ‘classmates’. In short, we enjoy each other’s company and we cherish every passing moment like a sweet memory, especiallt the rib-tickling ones like Diedre gasping for air everytime she sees Jared passing by or Cindy going red in the face in embarrassment when she suddenly knocks something over or Tina who routinely and obsessively checks her appearance on any reflective surface every five minutes. Ben, on the other hand, is just so cute to look at.

Lastly, I do hope that people can change for the better. Be a force of nature, and make a difference.

Does anyone here believe in mermaids?




Peperiksaan Penggal 1 2008



My mother’s eyes were red with welled up tears. She was on the verge of crying. Once again, her good as gold daughter shocked her to her senses to how bad as bone her daughter really was. I stared at her defiant
“I’m scared for you,” she mumbled. “I feel like we’re drifting more apart day by day. I don’t want to lose you.”

“You’ve kept me under your nail for fifteen whole years,” I said to her, matter-of-factly. “I’m through with it.

I want you to let me be. I live in a free country, don’t I? Aren’t you violating my individual rights?”

“Don’t talk to me in that tone, young lady!” she said warningly.

The tension crept up in the atmosphere. I wasn’t sure if she would let me off to go to the concert this Saturday.

I bit my lip. The argument was not getting us anywhere. In the end, I decided to retreat. I headed for my room. Even Genghis Khan pulled back his troops to fight for another day. I reached out for my phone and dialed one of my close friends’ numbers. I vented my frustration to Bianca, and she listened for two whole hours. I fell asleep not too long after that without having dinner.

That Saturday, my mother and father talked to me at the breakfast table while two of my sisters were running around the dining area, screaming at the top of their lungs.

“Shut up!” I barked.

“Don’t be rude to your sisters!” my father warned.

I kept quiet.

“All right, we’ve decided to let you off.” He said.

I perked up as my ears caught his every word. Is he serious?

“I’m worried about you, though,” he said. “You seem so far away, I don’t feel like we know each other any more."

I got up from my chair and trudged towards him. I kissed him on the cheek. “Thank you so much. You know how much this means to me.”

My father sighed and exchanged glances with my mother. He looked at me and said, “What time do I send you to the stadium?”

“Eight would be fine,” I said briskly, but I secretly felt ashamed that I was still being carted around by my parents.

My mother looked at me in the eyes and said, “Be careful. It’s dangerous out there.”

“I can take care of myself,” I told her, assuringly.

“Yes, please be safe. Remember what we always tell you, okay? Don’t talk to strangers,” my father added.

I simply nodded in response to my over-protective parents. That night, I was ready to party. It was the first time that I had been to a concert and I bought the ticket with the money that I had saved. I could probably say that it cost me an arm and a leg as my moth’s allowance was gone just to get it.

In the car, I kissed my father goodbye and he repeated the advice. I just said “yes” for the umpteenth time. He promised to pick me up after I call him.

As I got to the stadium, I changed into a more provocative outfit and met my friends, Bianca, Chen, Nadia and Sue. The band, MCR, was playing superbly and we danced until our knees wobbled and we could barely walk anymore.

“Oh my God! I dropped my phone somewhere!” I cried out, suddenly, as I ravaged my handbag. It wasn’t there!

“Don’t worry, we’ll help you find it,” Chen said.

So, we looked, but it was futile as it was like finding a needle in a haystack. Finally, I gave up altogether. I’ve had enough pushing and shoving in the crowd for one night. I looked at my watch. It was already past eleven. It was so late already. They say, time passes by when we’re having fun.

“Okay, I’m dead now.” I said.

“Let me give you a lift home,” said Chen.

“You’re too young to drive!” I screeched. I was beginning to panic.

“Don’t be silly! Of course I’m not driving. My cousin will.”

Despite my parents’ advice, I followed him. Bianca and the others were going back with their boyfriends. I didn’t have one, so I followed Chen, trustingly, like a sheep being led to a slaughter house.

I was introduced to his cousin, Jien, who eyed me in interest. I was uncomfortable. My instincts told me to run, but I couldn’t.

There I was, seated on the back seat of a red Porsche with Chen and Jien at the front. I felt uneasy. It was then that I finally thought of my father and mother. Why hadn’t I listened to them? Why was I such a brat?
I didn’t know where we were heading. Chen didn’t even talk to me. He was chattering with his cousin in Mandarin, so I couldn’t understand what they were saying.

Without warning, the car swerved to the side of the road. Jien was driving in the wrong lane!

My heart was beating fast. All of a sudden, the car jerked and came to a sudden halt. I fell to the bottom of the seat, bumping my nose on the driver’s seat.

A chill went down my spine as I saw a pile of beer cans beneath the seat. Has Jien been drinking? Was he drunk? Fear gripped my senses

That revelation made me feel numb. I made a big mistake. Will I ever make it home? No. Will I ever make it home in one piece?

The car moved again. Chen looked as if he was drunk too as he was out cold. Jien was probably half-conscious.

“Hey! You can’t drive! You’re drunk!” I squeaked in protest, and in vain.

The car was running at 40 km/h in a 100 km/h zone. I was starting to get scared. I wanted to get out, but the doors were locked. Sweat rolled down my temple. I was in the belly of the beast. There was no escape.

I clambered back onto the seat after a long moment of being mortified down there. My eyes widened. Jien was on the wrong lane again. The headlights of some vehicle blinded me. The horn screeched. The red Porsche was heading for a collision with a lorry!

I screamed, unable to do anything. While I prayed, a hounding thought was running through my mind. I should have listened to my parents’ advice earlier.

I know dah lepas, but..

saja. for academic purposes.

I remembered my task for Khazanah's second stage assessment. We had to promote health tourism in Malaysia. Today, I found in the KPJ Ampang Puteri booklet on Health Tourism.

10 Reasons To Make Malaysia A Preferred Medical Travel Destination:

1. AFFORDABLE PROCEDURES
Malaysia's favourable exchange rate and the cost of healthcare services is at an extensively lower cost than that of other countries.

2. MODERN FACILITIES
Extensive investments have been made to ensure that all medical centres are equipped with modern facilities, and internationally accredited hospitals of Malaysia are capable of handling the latest techniques and procedures. These state-of-the-art facilities focus on what matters: more effective, efficient and pleasant solutions for patients.

3. PROFESSIONALS WITH INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED CREDENTIALS
Doctors in Malaysia are highly experienced. Having been involved in numerous groundbreaking procedures and revolutionary researches which have garnered several international recognitions, Malaysia boasts a high number of specialists with decades of experiences in their relevant fields.

4. SHORT WAITING TIME
With all medical centres equipped with modern facilities, medical centres in Malaysia are able to provide shorter waiting time. Patients may be hospitalised upo arrival, and examinations and work-up tests are usually addressed promptly. Organized and efficient patient registration systems eliminate or reduce patient queues to ensure treatment and medication are quickly dispensed so patients can choose to either return home or recuperate amidst some of Malaysia's lush rainforests and pristine beaches.

5. SOCIAL & POLITICAL STABILITY
Since its independence, Maaysia has boasted one of Southeast Asia's most vibrant economies, the fruit of decades of industrial growth and political stability. Its multi-ethnic society encompasses Malays, Chinese and Indians who co-exist in harmony. Malaysians are peace-loving and friendly people. Visitors can be ensured of respect and greeted with sincere smiles throughout his or her stay.

6. EASE OF ENTRY
The Malaysian government has made it easier for visitors seeking health treatments to enter the country. With the relevant letter from the medical centre at which you will be receiving your medical treatment, you may enjoy up to six months of visa extension.

7. LOW COST OF LIVING
Prices in Malaysia are reasonable, and affordable, be it accomodation food, or even shopping.

8. ACCOMMODATION
From comfortable and affordable hotels to five-star accommodations, Malaysia provides you wth a choice to budget or splurge. Rates start from as low as USD43 to USD143.20 per night depending on its star rating. Alternatively, if your family is accompanying you for treatment, there is also an option to rent a serviced apartment. Prices range around USD115 to USD172 per month depending on the size of the apartment. service apartments in Malaysia operate similar services to a hotel.

9. EXCELLENT INFRASTRUCTURE
Public and private transportations are readily available throughout Malaysia. Monorails, taxis, trains and buses are available at regular interval, while cars can be easily rented for those who desire extra control over their travellin. Besides coachesand trains, low cost flights are also available to hundreds of locations outside of Kuala Lumpur. In essence, all the cities in Malaysia are very well connected.

10. LOTS TO SEE AND DO
The multi-cultural society that makes up Malaysia has contributed to the culinary legacy of Malaysian food. Tourists can look forward to affordable Malay, Chinese, Indian and Portiguese dishes that offer an exotic experience unique to the country.

Malaysia offers a variety of dining experiences that cater to specific needs. There are also many restaurants that serve choices of international cuisines such as Italian, Middle Eastern and American.

GEographically, with Malaysia surrounded by the South China Sea, visitors here will find a weather pattern that is best described as tropical. During most times, Malaysia's climate boasts year-round temperatures of around 30 degrees celcius. You will find much cooler temperatures in the more mountainous regions. The ebautiful weather, incredible mountains and seaside views all combine to make Malaysia a favorite health tourism destination.

-adapted from myhealthcare.gov.my, Ministry of Health Malaysia 2009-


yeah, it sounds brown-nosy and all that, it's suppose to promote health tourism in Malaysia. I haven't any statistics as evidence for the justifications.


among services offered in Malaysia that was highlighted in the article:

  1. heart bypass
  2. heart valve replacement with bypass
  3. hip replacement
  4. knee replacement
  5. facelift
  6. gastric bypass
  7. prostate surgery (TURP)
our points came quite close.

okaylah, benda dah lepas. but it gives me a reason to blog about something academic. for your BM essay, if asked to write about health tourism in Malaysia, there ya go, complete ten points.

I feel like losing my cool

seriously, I get it, five years of enslavery to homework and tutorial classes in boarding school, that sometimes seems to be violating our holidays, but to endure six months of lepak???????

my whole life is wasting away.

God, why does it take such a loooooooooooooooooonnnnnnnngggg time to process the scholar list?

shouldn't they just make it snappy so that we can further our studies right away?

and the government blames us youths for all those immoral activities and social ills. hellllllooooooooooooooo.................you're leaving us to die of boredom here! You think that everybody has the money to register as a private student for a SAM at Taylor's or what??

I'm going to graduate old.

:-(


I know, I'm complaining and people will surely say, "chill, you'll be missing this."

I get it, once I start studying again, I'll complain of endless assignments, but it's way better complaining about that than complaining about my life being wasted away.




JPA.............

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

more from Facebook

My friend, Fikri secured a scholarship from YTN for power engineering course in UK, and will be going to KYUEM for two years of A-levels. (Good job, lad!)


I am posting his comment on my dad's wall, just to share about what power engineering is about (my blog is suddenly taking on a more educational approach now).




Fikri: i better drop off my comment here, btw, uncle pasal programming tu. what kind of programing? & bout the class, so i have to take the class on my own or isit included in my a level programme? then, so u also been studying at cardiff uni, wales ?
sorry for asking so many questions. :)
 

my dad: It depends, microcontrollers (assembly language), high-level programming langguage sucxh as C/C++. You need to have a more broader knowledge and skills. I am not familiar with UK system but in Malaysia, normally Power Engineering graduates are not strong in programming compared to graduates from American universities.


Fikri: oh, i see. so, this mean i've to take some extra classes at the uni. & this is all about my later on working prospect. If i'm better in programming, so i'll get myself a better job,right?
but my father said that UK is among the best place to do engineering. okay, I'll take ur advice & take the programming classes as well.thanks btw for the advice :)



my dad: (UK) Imperial College program in Control &Power Engineering:
http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/pgprospectus/facultiesanddepartments/electricalengineering/research/controlpower
specialization can be in Power System, Power Electronics, Control Theory, Applied Control Engineering.

(USA) RPI Electrical Engineering Degree:

http://catalog.rpi.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=8&poid=1678&returnto=185
Not many USA universities offering Power Engineering.



Fikri: thanks for the link, to be frank I'm actually kinda blurr bout what is power engineering all about, tried to wiki but nothing so informative can be found.thanks uncle. :)


my dad: Traditionally, power engineering deals with the power generation, power transmission. But now with the advancement of the computer, the control engineering is now part and parcel of the power engineering. I used to work on the control side of the power engineering where uncle developed SCADA (Supervisory, Control and Data Acquisition) system to supervise, and control the power transmission. I wrote Man-Machine Interface program for SCADA system in 1990s.
The good features of American system is that it is flexible. JPA sent me for electrical engineering degree but I structured the program in such a way that I graduated with a double major and a minor. Major in Electrical Engineering and a second Major in Mathematics, and a Minor in Economics. Instead of graduating with 132 credits I graduated with 150 credits over 4-year period.


Fikri: wow, so in USA u can do that? awesome, but majoring in Elecrical Engineering & also mathematics, then also to minor in Economics. u surely had struggled a lot kan uncle in your study. only 4 years & u already have two majors. btw, now u're working as an Electrical Engineer?


my dad: No, i do not work as electrical engineer. I worked as hardware R&D engineer, software R&D engineer, and then i moved to management, managing R&D, innovation and product development.
not only I studied for double major and minor, I also work 20 hours a week as student assistant for 3 yeas and as master tutor for 2 yeas during my masters degree just to make extra money.



Fikri: oh, so u aren't working with the government la kan?
OMG OMG, while studying & after that managed to get all the majors & a minor. U also worked? okay, thats totally awesome. how can u cope with your study & at the same time working? i guess, u surely have a very brilliant brain.no wonder la Kam is so good . :)


my dad: I am not working with the government.
Kamilah took it from her mother....
I did not study hard, if I did I would have double degree instead of double major. I just attend the lecture and understand the concept. That is why I prefer American program since it is a continuous assessment method instead of one big exam at the end of the year. Some of the exam were open book notes exam, some can be take home exams. but those exams were the toughest because you need to understand the fundamentals instead of memorizing things



Fikri: isit? kam's mother? but, of course she got something from u :)
i've heard of that before, the most important is to understand instead of memorizing. but some of my seniors( u r also my senior laa.haha) told me that open book test is kinda so much like impossible to pass. they told me ,its much more difficult than the regular test. okay, u said u've worked with power engineering before this.can u share a little bit with me about the prospect of work. like the place of working, the challenges. etcetera.



my dad: Job prospect for power engineering:


1. if you continue up to PhD, then you can be lecturer and finally as professor in university

2. you can work in r&d organization which requires power electronics o hardware engineering skills.

3. if you just happy with bachelor degree then you can work in tenaga nasional, or Independent Power Producers as power engineer, either in design, installation, maintenance, transmission.

4. if you have programming skills then you can even work with companies which develop, install and maintain scada system


5. you can work as sales engineer, or technical support engineer for equipment suppliers


Engineering graduates in general are actually trained to be problem solvers therefore they can work in many other areas. The only thing is that you need to make sure that you have other skills and not just what is required for an engineer.



ignore the parts about me, haha. hey, how come i never bother to ask? this is a lot of info.

well. I'm going to post more info on engineering fields in times to come. those also wishing to share info, do leave a comment. I'd really appreciate it if anyone could share more info on engineering, biomedical engineering, especially.

I feel lke my brain has been left vacant for too long. I need to get it to start working again.this is a good start.

why BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING?

I know, many people ask me that.

Usual reactions always include, "you're damn good in writing and English, why not be a lawyer? It suits your rebellious streak."

"why not medicine? you look like the studious type, your results are capable for applying a course in medicine. your Biology's (grade) quite strong".

"why not an Economist? engineering sounds too 'lasak' for you."

and..(shock)

"why not be a politician? you seem to be talking like one."


hell no. I will never ever be a politician.


okay, here are a few things I considered when making my career choice:

1. I LOVE money, but I love earning it, not calculating it, nor producing it. So, accountancy and business is out of my league.
2. I LOVE Biology, but the thought of cutting open a human being, it freaks me out.
3. I LOVE Debating, but only as a past time, not as a lifelong job.


so, why exactly Biomedical Engineering?

one thing, I can't let my passion for Biology go to waste. I like the part of Biology where we learn about the human systems instead of the plants, so that is why it's Biomedical and not Biotechnology.

I see myself working in hospitals, probably developing artificial limbs or in medical imaging for MRI's. Cancer treating devices are also damn cool. tissue engineering? not my thang. occasionally being in labs is okay, but being cooped up in one for years? no wayyy...I still want a social life.

I once joked with someone that I'd be selling off artificial limbs for paralympic athletes. You know, it's actually quite interesting if you watch shows on discovery channels that involve designing sports equipments to better an athlete's performance.


I know, it's a new field, and it can be quite challenging to find a job, and yes, it'll take a lot of effort for me to study since Physics and Add Maths is not my forte compared to writing. But I'm going to do what I feel like doing. I'm not going to live an unhappy life.

I know the road is long and it's a lonely one. Not many people choose this road, but I will pull through.


Yeah, I know sometimes people say what a big fat ego I have. I just choose this field because I can't stand doing the common things people do. Well, they could be half right, but it's not actually due to ego. Rather, when I was little, before I even knew how the cruel world works. You know, the one with insane competitions and demands, I used to watch all these discovery shows about dinosaurs and planets and such. I though to myself, how nice of it to do something unconventional. I mean, if every person did different interesting things, and they could share about the weird jobs they do. You can just do whatever you like, for example, you can be the bubblegum flavour inventor, and stuff like that. and you go around the neighborhood, and you go, "hey! that's neil the space probe guy!" or "hey! that's salmah from the mummy CSI". wouldn't life be more colorful? (do take note, I will now start to use American spelling)

but of course, in today's world, people would just scoff and say, "you're too idealistic and illogical. that's not what the world needs. the world needs machines. engineers that build megastructures, scientists who develop the solution for human immortality" okay, now I'm exaggerating.


am I being too ambitious? am I taking a bite more than I could chew? am I putting a lot on my plate? why can't I just settle for anything run of the mill?



I recalled when I was in Standard One. The Teacher was filling out this form, and everyone had to pick three career choices. I didn't really know what to pick, but my first choice was a doctor, second, a writer, and third, a fireman, becuase the teacher said, too many people already put down cops as their career choice.

The earliest ambition I had was in Kindergarten, where I proclaimed to the whole classroom that I wanted to be Sailormoon (I was so into that anime at that time), and everybody laughed at me, and I think I cried.

I stuck on with doctor for a long time, then I moved on to wanting to be a writer, but I knew at that time, both my parents didn't approve. Now, I don't think I want to be a writer because my writing is not as good as before.

I once wanted to be an astronomer, but when I think about it now, how many astronomers do we have in Malaysia? and do we really need one? and being cooped up in the observatory all day long is now not my cup of tea.

Then, I also wanted to be a geologist or an archeaologist, because I loved watching those shows about mummies and volcanoes. (those were the days when my television-watching and internet-surfing was a lot more academic than it is now). when I think about it now, archeologists are not exactly Indiana Jones. At the most, their adventure would just be about making a new discovery by finding a single prehistoric human tooth after hours and hours of playing with dirt. and yes, I am scared of worms.


I also joked that if all else fails, I'd be a comic artist, or a singer or a director, maybe. Haha, highly unlikely, if you ask me.

Sometimes, I imagine myself as a big-shot executive, walking about the office cubicles with my personal assistant trailing behind me with me files. haha. woof.


My career choice is not exactly driven by my strengths, or by my interest, because frankly, as I age, I don't know what I am actually into, and from my explanation in this post, I actually cancel out otehr career choices to rationalise the reason why I chose this field.
It may seem so, but just so you know, up till now, I am certain that I will not compromise my decision to study biomedical engineering for anything else. I do hope it is the right decision.



okay, if sometimes I talk about technology transfer, making things better, it is not my main goal, maybe it's just a bonus. the real deal for my career choice is simply because I feel like doing it. it caught my interest. come on, I am not a human savior, if I ever talked about that, that is bullshit.

well, in my more confident, arrogant days, I used to think that yeah, I'm the one who will develop the country, rah rah rah me.


okay, I notice that my ideas in my latest post seems incoherrent with unclear train of thoughts, rather a 'choppy' way of presenting my ideas. Truth be told, I feel that I haven't got my life into order yet, and it feels depressing that other people have been getting offers and I'm not getting any yet.

I wanted to write something, but I seem to have forgotten.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

from Facebook

Aiman Naim posted on my wall: Allowances - Petronas gives Rm 500-550 a month but when you go overseas, it's lesser compared to Bank. JPA allowances are never enough, you need to standby cash....The BNM gives just sufficient for you to survive, very little for extra spending, it depends on which part of a country you go, let's say if you are studyin...g in a city like Taylors bound/ London scholars, Bank scholars get more allowances. But if you are KTJ student - RM 120 a month only (because you do not need to spend any money at all, everything is provided from laundry to food, no worries/temptations.


Laptop allowancesBank and petronas scholars get laptop allowances - RM 3500 for your whole course from pre-u to uni. JPA - nah..RM0

SportsBank and Petronas give RM 200 per year for buying sports equipmentJPA - nah..RM 0

Breaching BondsJPA- easiestBNM and Petronas - Haha! you wait la... very few people get to do so.(copy pasted dari zhi ming.credits to zhi ming!)nak share knowledge kam..hehe
 
 
 
then, my dad commented: Talking about scholarship whether it is enough or not. Ini uncle punya experience (1984 - 1990). Biasiswa JPA untuk Bachelor degree was USD450.00/month (1984-1988) dan untuk Master degree was USD520.00/month (1988-1990). One apartment kongsi 3-4 orang, sewa kongsi USD100-USD150.00 sorang. Makan kongsi beli barang dapur USD200.00 sebulan. lebihnya ... See MoreUSD150.00 sebulan untuk tambang, makan di universiti. jadi kalau nak hidup senang sikit maka kena kerja di dalam kampus (sebab F1 Visa tak boleh kerja luar kampus. Visa J1 boleh kerja luar kampus). Uncle kerja jadi student assistant (grader) 20 jam satu minggu dapat lah USD400.00 sebulan during my bachelor degree program. Jadi Master Tutor dapat lah USD600.00 sebulan during my Master program. boleh lah pegi tengok wayang, bawak girlfriend jalan2. boleh hantar duit balik ke Malaysia untuk mak bapak buat belanja dapur USD50.00 sebulan.




Bila dah balik kerja Malaysia 1990 dapat gaji RM1800.00 sebulan (with Master degree). zaman tu USD1.00 = RM2.50. Betapa siksanya nak hidup dgn RM1800.00 sebulan sebab zaman jadi student, duit masuk lagi banyak. makanan di USA murah kalau dibandingkan dgn di Malaysia.



amacam??

Monday, May 10, 2010

IF I WERE A BOY

*gambar hiasan semata-mata.sorry, abang dayat, I borrow your pic*


not to say that I'm not thankful for being a girl, I like being one. it's just that. In terms of career, it's much easier to be a guy because:

1. you have to provide for the family.people expect you to work.whereas for women, even people nowadays still expect them to stay at home.
2. your plus points is in your extra physical strength. you can take all that physical stress.
3. engineering is so a 'guy thing' (yeah, I know I'm gender stereotyping)
4. you can get married and still not get tied down. you can still easily do your masters and phd, if you're a girl, once you have a husband and kids, it's bye-bye freedom.
5. when you're a girl, it's always career versus family. for a guy, they can have both at the same time. it's hard to balance it out because women need to spend time at home with the kids, the kids shouldn't be brought up by their maids.



aiiiihhhh...tak  nak kahwinlah aku....









but then again, you'll never know what will happen along the way..





fate is in God's will.


anyway, my Facebook status reads: Biomedical Engineering [18+12(2 years pre-U+4 years bachelor+2 years masters+4 years Phd)=30 tahun baru habis belajar]

that is, if everything is smooth-sailing with no bumps. I haven't thought about where exactly to work.






anyway, today I went for INTEC interview for placement as private student. It was so so easy. Just roughly 10 minutes of "introduce yourself." "did you aply jpa?" "what do you want to further your studies in?" "where would you work?" flipping through my sijil folder, and that's about it. It was a panel of three nice ladies, and I think they kept going on about me being petite but I was a golf club president.







ini pun dah wasted 1 semester (6 months) of not studying. time is ticking away. JPA bagilah scholarship tu....

Friday, May 07, 2010

Trip to Kolantam

2 May to 5 May. My solo trip to Kelantan.

Started off with landing at Sultan Ismail Petra Airport, PC. Azrizal, Syafirie, Rusydan, Syahiran, Amin, Omar, Jaji, Nizar and Yeen greeted me with birthday wishes. Really, I didn't expect a 'welcoming committee' from you guys!

So, Nizar sent abang to school, and I followed him up to his dorm. I nagged at him as I 'cleaned' his locker.

Then, Nizar, Amin and I headed for Alia's house. I remembered the lorong, but I didn't remember which house. After calling Alia for directions, only then did we find the house which was directly in front of the masjid, and Alia's mum went out to greet us. We went inside and chatted with her parents while waiting for her. Later on, after maghrib, it was off to KB Mall, the four of us. So, I walked around with Alia. Catching up on old times.

little did I know, they surprised me with a cake at McDonald's! Oh My God! That was all I could say, I mean, I havent had a birthday cake for years! and it was the sweetest thing for them to do!


the four of us at McDonald's KB Mall


nizar cute


my cake!


nizar and amin

alia and me with bubble tea
more pics in my Facebook, haha.

Oh, but I have problems uploading the video Alia shot with my camera. sorry.

Then, later that night, kept on chatting with Alia till the wee hours. On the next day, we didn't do much in the morning. Then, at around 2 pm. Nizar picked me up to go to PUTIK. Along with Omar, Au and Cipop.
As we reached PUTIK, it was so so crowded. Luckily, I eventually found Nad, so, I sat with her. I had to do Abang's Arabic book translation, so I did just that.


me and nad

It was so hot and crowded at PUTIK. I just can't seem to chat properly with any familiar faces, and they just quickly left. Afterwards, I went off with Nizar and the others for a drink at a roadside gerai. Watered down laksa pinang and air nyiur. I met Hajar Nabilah, only briefly.

That night, despite my attempts to ask people out, we only met up Aiman Naim at KB Mall. He bought me cake. Later that night, I watched the Malay movie, I'm Not Single on Alia's sister's laptop. We kind of kutuk-kutuk and laughed at it. Then we continued with Syurga Cinta, but I fell asleep. The next morning, I had to say good bye to Alia, and head for school for rehearsal.

posing with alia in her room:






muja at the koperasi. they've got ice cream now!

syahiran, muja and me

Rehersal was very boring and agitating. The show was not on the road until about 12, and finished about 2 pm plus plus. Nobody seemed to get us sorted and everybody was busy doing their own thing in haste. So, I kinda hated it. Yeah, I went in my jeans. So did Muja, and Faiqah was in pants too.


KFC KB Mall with Yeen, Yuni, Muja and Faiqah
After rehearsal, we headed for KB Mall in Payeh's car. There was me, Jaja, Muja and Faiqah with Payeh at the wheel. So, Muja, Faiqah and I met up with Yeen and Yuni and had chow at KFC, whereas Jaja went off with Payeh. I then had a 30-minute stroll with Aman.

Later on, we walked around, until Jaja decided to go back home. So, at around 5.30 pm, it was off to Tanah Merah. Payeh dropped us off at Tanah Merah bus station. That night, we went to the pasar malam and Jaja shopped for kain and food.

me and Jaja posing:





So, as we reached her house, we kind of chatted until the wee hours as well, although I was fully aware that we had to wake up early the next day. Boy, it was the good times.

The next morning was graduation. More pictures in my Facebook. I'm actually irritated whenever I rotate a picture, a temporary file appears. What's up with that? Does anybody know??

me, Jannah, Dilah, Nora, Echoh.


I sat beside Qis and Afiq Aziz. ks for those bluetoothed songs. haha

me, hajar and jaja

me and farah nur

me and zaleha.



with qissuu..at this time, I turned up late.I was huffing and puffing and sweat beads rolled down my face, completely destroying the infinitesimal layer of make-up I had on.haha. I feel so grown up in those robes!
 

jajaaaaa


fatin amalyn and hajar


mustaqim


yeen



anis



faiqah


The funny thing was. I arrived late at school. Then I realized that my kain actually has a split right down the middle, and I didn't bring any stockings, or pantyhose, or petticoats or leggings, so, I was frantically searching for pin to cover it up. Of course, I had a hard time walking and sitting. I was even late for lining up. They started looking for me. I had six missed calls. Boy, it was hectic. other people had time for pics. I bet they were slightly pissed at me. haha I lost my brooch as well.

Worse still, I had my period at that time, when we were all waiting for the acting sultan, and I didn't prepare for it, so I had to sit through it until everything was over. My, it was damn uncomfortable, and it sure beats the time I had a terrible stomach ache, but I couldn't find any toilet with water during my SPM English paper.

Tengku Faris looks really stressed out and bored. He kept looking at the ceiling, and he looked uneasy. That's what I saw, anyway. I was surprised he actually said tahniah. During my PMR graduation, he didn't say anything. I think I did a half-step bow.


my nenek's kebaya

hairul azman

Oh well, no wonder everything feels rushed!

Then, I had to go to the airport. Zulfikar drove with Pijo and Aman as well. Then, I met Nafis, Afiq and Mat Nor at the airport, and I was back in KL again.

sorry to those yang ada janji nak jumpa masa grad tapi tak jumpa. there are also many of you I didn't get to sit down and spend time with. I was very kalut. I had many things on my hands, even though I still didn't get much of it done. my testimonial it turned out belum emboss. four days still felt short eh?
So, I guess, that officially marks the end of my school days, haha. and everybody will go their own way after this. Best of luck to all.


Faris Petra Graduates 05(08)09