Monday, January 24, 2011

Let's Be Feminists!

1. A Doll's House

It's about marital roles of men and women! It's a play written by a man. Kind of interesting. Easy to follow plot. Also about family institutions. Would be fun to analyze marriage. I've been doing that quite a lot lately anyway.


2. Mrs. Dalloway

Possible lesbo?


3. Infidel
 
An autobiography and a muslim woman's thoughts as she goes through her life. Not sure of what issues, not much info.


4. The Edible Woman.

Interesting concept of using food as metaphors. Gender stereotypes.


5. The Handmaid's Tale

Social dystopia. A darker sort of Feminist literature. Lesbo. Social Criticism.


6. The French Lieutenant's Woman

About a woman who was left by this French dude and has a rebound romance with another dude named Charles. She is depicted with an ambiguous character in terms of motive.

I Go Back Late Nowadays

I don't know what is it with me that I always have to do things different from everybody else. Obviously, I'm torn between two VERY HEAVY topics as I've found out today. Mr. Wise says Naipul's is hard, but he'd prefer me doing something of an Asian flavor than a Western one, and Ian says Existentialism takes up a lot of time to research. Why can't I just settle with something tried and tested like Feminism? I don't know.

Last year, I did something on Communism which not many people did. I bored myself and I didn't get a good grade. Maybe I was being too ambitious?

I confuse myself sometimes. I say that I don't like philosophy, then, the next moment, philosophy seems to have a "lovely, dark and deep" pull on me like the woods in Frost's poem Stopping By Woods.

And too often nowadays I catch myself in a state of INDECISION. Looks like I'm going to have to look back at my game plans and arrange a new strategy, and I don't have enough time. I haven't even decided on the poetic song. Argh. So many things to do.

I'm doing a search on Feminism titles now.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Help Me Choose!

Philosophical and psychological and "Religious" stuff:

1. Notes From Underground, Fyodor Dostoevsky

Pretty short, but pretty heavy. It's a bout a man who criticizes himself and the society. Setting in Russia.


2. The Plague, Albert Camus.

Absurdism. An allegorical novel about the society.




(Simplified) Relationship between existentialism, absurdism and nihilism
Atheistic existentialismTheistic existentialismAbsurdismNihilism
1. There is such a thing as meaning orvalueYesYesYesNo
2. There is inherent meaning in the universe (either intrinsic or from God)NoMaybe, but humans must have faith to believe there isMaybe, but humans can never know itNo
3. Individuals can create meaning in life themselvesYes, it is essential that they doYes, but that meaning must incorporate GodYes, but it must face the absurd and it must be individual by the "absurd creation" in order to have meaning and senseNo, because there is no such meaning to create
4. The pursuit of gaining intrinsic or extrinsic meaning in the universe is possibleNo, and the pursuit itself is meaninglessYes, and the pursuit itself may have meaningNo, but the pursuit itself may have meaningNo, and the pursuit itself is meaningless
5. The pursuit of constructed meaning is possibleYes, thus the goal of existentialismYes, thus the goal of existentialismNoNo
6. There is a solution to the individual's desire to seek meaningYes, the creation of one's own meaningYes, the creation of one's own meaning before GodYes, but it is based on the individual's personal meaning since it's impossible to know the inherent meaning in the universe (if one exists)No


sourced from: wikipedia.


3. The Stranger, Albert Camus.

This sounds more interesting. The synopsis is more easier to follow chronologically and it's about murder. Also something about Absurdism.


4. The Fall, Albert Camus.

Pretty short. Something about self-conflict and hipocrisy.


5. The Unbearable Lightness Of Being, Milan Kundera.

Something about existentialism and sex.


6. The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Thornton Wilder.

Pretty short. Kind of interesting. It's about a priest who witnesses five people perishing due to a collapsed bridge in Peru. He compiles a book about those five people to answer his own question of why God let that happen. It's about direction and meaning in life beyond one's own will.


7. Nausea, Jean-Paul Sarte

Existentialism. About solitude, reality and commitment. Wait, why are the profiles described in these existentialism novels seem to match my personality in some parts?? uh-oh..


8. Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky

Right to murder? Moral dilemmas. Pretty short. Something like Tell-Tale Heart. Something about nihilism.


9. Children of Gebelawi, Naguib Mahfouz.

Islam, Christianity, Judaism versus Science. Not much info.


About India:

A House For Mr. Biswas

about independence and meritocracy somewhat somewhere along the lines as The White Tiger, aside from India's political and socio-economic issues.

The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy

Synopsis hard to follow on wiki, but it's basically Indian literature all right.

Oh, how about Q&A by Vikas Swarup?



Imma check out the literature styles now. See if it's tolerable or not. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

hmm

Biomedical Issues: Islamic Perspective, Abul Fadl Mohsin Ebrahim


I read that book, and what I got from it:

1. It discusses issues pertaining use of contraceptives, overcoming infertility and abortion from an Islamic point of view. Some methods are permitted while some aren't. Abortion is a sin, unless if it's conducted due to reasons that the pregnancy will risk the mother's life. And in some schools of thought, abortion is permissible as long as the foetus has not been ensouled. Even so, abortion should not be casually allowed as it will lead to misuse. It should only be considered as a last resort when there is no other treatment. In terms of overcoming infertility, in vitro and artificial insemination is permissible as long as the sperm involved is from the husband and not from some random man from the sperm bank. That would be considered adultery. Masturbating is wrong (obviously Islam prohibits from letting all those good stuff go to waste eh?) , unless if it's to get sperms for your wife. (okay, now this sentence sounds weird?) As for contraceptives, methods that do not involve permanent damage to one's reproductive system is allowed. Contraceptives is also not considered a sin, but it is makruh, unless if one resorts to contraceptives due legitimate reasons. Infertility is also regarded as a "disease" that needs to be cured, so, in a way, it does not interfere with God's doing.

2. Sanctity of life overrules everything else. i.e. abortion is haram, but if abortion is not conducted, and the patient will die, then in that case, abortion is not haram, but is permissible to maintain the sanctity of life.

You know what? I used to not want to get married, because well, I don't like kids and I don't like married life. Then, later on, I thought to myself, wouldn't my genetics be a waste if I didn't marry and have kids? But then again, I don't want to be married, so I thought about having an ovum bank. So, at least some other woman out there who is incapable of producing ovums can have them and my genetics are being made use of. But now that I know of this ruling, well, that idea would be far-fetched. Hey, I was a kid!

Another thing I got out of this is the question of female slaves in Islam, but I'm not going to elaborate on that. Maybe some other time. Work to do.

But I put it up as a status in FB, here are some responses:

Nawwar: sbb dulu, hamba tu di kira mcm isteri. hamba perempuan ni mcm milik laki gak laa and bawah tanggungan the man. And benda ni byk org kapiaq pertikaikan. Dia only merdeka kalau u merdekakan je. Tp dia kena ikut ckp the laki mcm bini gak. Btw, u can google it.






farhana: mane leh toksah jwb.. harith xpe la.. die bkn pompuan..nnt kte yg pompuan ni kene tanye nnt.. da bad impression da plak kat diorg x leh nk jwb.. kam, i've heard about dat before, but can u provide the ayat too.. is it from the quran... try looking at this link http://www.answering-chris
tianity.com/karim/no_rape_of_female_slaves.htm
it clears my mind a bit..


Papa: The answer is simple. We have to look at the historical context of slavery to understand. YES, during Prophet's time the master can have sex with his slave. We have to look at the history. Before Prophet's time, for thousands of years slavery was rampant and masters can do whatever they like to the slaves. Therefore, it was impossible for the prophet to outright outlaw slavery. Prophet Muhammad actually instituted an incremental change by puting various laws such as to treat the slaves (in arabic "sarriyah", sariyyah came from the root word 'sirr' means marriage) more humanely and to take responsiblities for the outcome of that intercourse. The child born out of that intercourse was considered as the master's child and had the same rights as the child born out of the legally married wife. Furhtermore, Allah and Prophet said that the best solution was to grant freedom for the slaves. 

Now let us compare with the slaves treatment in Judaism and Christianity. Let us take an example of Prophet Ibrahim. Prophet Ibrahim married Sarah but he also has a slave called Hagar (Siti Hajar). In Islam, Ismael (son of Hagar) is considered as the legitimate sone of Ibrahim whereas in Judaism and Christianity, Ismael was not considered as son to Ibrahim since Ismael from a slave mother. 

So Islam actually given certain rights to the slave during Prophet's time. Ultimately, the command of Allah to free the slaves are the best solution.


just to add additional information:

In the Quran, you can see the progression where the permission to have sex with slaves changed. Surah 70 was revealed in Mecca before Hijrah and in this surah, where the master did not have to marry the slaves to have sex. But in surah 4 which was revealed in Madinah after the Hijrah, Allah has put condition that you have to marry the slaves.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Another Tiger

My favorite book was The White Tiger. This is also another book about a symbolic tiger.



There's not a specific word that I could use to describe how I feel after reading Life of Pi. The first thought I had when I first started reading it was another dull, boring story of survival with a National Geographic-like intro. Any form of academic reading now only involves textbooks ever since I was fated to go to SBP.

It started off quite slowly and in a very disconnected manner, merely like a string of short stories or a collection of thoughts which were not in any particular coherent chronological order. Well, he started off talking about three-toed sloths, then about zookeeping and swimming pools, which neither of the information deluge was retained by my flitty mind.

The story about how he came about being a man of many religions caught my interest, but only for a while. It was fascinating. Outside my school life, I've never met any other person with a religion other than Islam, Buddhism, Christianity or Hinduism. I don't even have as many non-muslim friends. When I returned to the "real world", released from the sheltered nature of boarding school, I've met many other people who fascinate me, even atheists, yet, I have never met any other person with multiple religions. It made this Pi character fascinating in that sense, and the question in mind was, what was the purpose of having a character have so many religions? What was the author trying to prove? Was Pi an embodiment of something?

Later on, the story progressed to the shipwreck. From there, the story had more chronological sense to it. Less philosophy-laden observations of the animal world and comparing it to the society. Despite my dislike for details, I did notice a lot of foreshadowing of his being marooned. For example, his mother asking him to read Robinson Crusoe. There was another one, I forgot what it was.

It came across as an absurd account to actually have animals on board a life boat, I had a suspicion that the animals represented something else. The way the zebra was killed was described in such detail that I felt the zebra's pain and I swear, I'd almost felt like I was going to go vegan, but, pfftt!!! Like, that'll ever happen!

There's lots of scary parts that I can conjure up vividly in my brain, as if it was a movie. I can see the colors, the blood gushing out, and the horror of it all in mind. Beheading animals, dismembering of body parts.

There were also disgusting details involving poop and all that. Especially the part when you're so hungry, you'd even desired tiger shit.

Then, the part about the island. That was boring, but when it was revealed it was something else..that took on a bit of a horror movie feel which was a bit out of place, and too absurd to comprehend. Perhaps, it symbolized something else too, which was not explained by the end of the book.

After being saved, my suspicions were somewhat confirmed, and it came to my senses that as human beings like to ascribe violence to animals. Yet, what we do not realize is, we are the most dangerous, the most violent animal to have ever walked the earth. It was hinted at the beginning of the story. clever, clever. So, those boring details do have a meaning.

Some of us are aware of this brutality that exists deep inside of us. Put under dire circumstances, we come to realize its presence. At first, it seemed alien, like a monster, like a tiger ready to pounce on its prey, yet, eventually we realize that we have to "tame" that brute. There's an animal in us. As Pi puts it, human beings can get used to anything. Even killing.

And yes, we do surprise ourselves at the violence that we are actually capable of, and prefer to retell the stories with the perpetrators as animals instead of human beings because we believe that it is more plausible that an animal would act in a violent, inhumane manner rather than a human being himself.

Well, folks. Think again.

p/s: This writer is so damn smart. Put me through 3/4 of boringness and on the verge of flinging the book through my open window, only to deliver one of the strongest endings ever.

oh, and I didn't know tigers meow.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I Got My Vibe Back

Bring it on!

Calculus Group Project. Due: end of March.

Rube Goldberg.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Semester!

Semester/Term: 2 (Jan-2011 - Jun-2011)
Printer friendly version

 MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
08:00 - 09:15LAN 1004 [Lecture]
K-Theater (TBS Building)
En. Khairy
LAN 1004 [Lecture]
K-Theater (TBS Building)
En. Khairy
LAN 1004 [Lecture]
K-Theater (TBS Building)
En. Khairy
LAN 1004 [Lecture]
K-Theater (TBS Building)
En. Khairy
LAN 1004 [Lecture]
K-Theater (TBS Building)
En. Khairy
-
-
09:15 - 10:30SPH4U [Lecture]
K-Studio 4.12
Mr. Tan Swee Chuan
SPH4U [Lecture]
K-Studio 4.12
Mr. Tan Swee Chuan
SPH4U [Lecture]
K-Studio 4.12
Mr. Tan Swee Chuan
SPH4U [Lecture]
K-Studio 4.12
Mr. Tan Swee Chuan
SPH4U [Lecture]
K-Studio 4.12
Mr. Tan Swee Chuan
-
-
10:30 - 11:45ENG4U [Lecture]
K-Studio 5.14
Stephen Wise
ENG4U [Lecture]
K-Studio 5.14
Stephen Wise
ENG4U [Lecture]
K-Studio 5.14
Stephen Wise
ENG4U [Lecture]
K-Studio 5.14
Stephen Wise
ENG4U [Lecture]
K-Studio 5.14
Stephen Wise
-
-
11:45 - 13:00MCV4U [Lecture]
K-Studio 3.5
Ms. Joanne Ho
MCV4U [Lecture]
K-Studio 3.5
Ms. Joanne Ho
MCV4U [Lecture]
K-Studio 3.5
Ms. Joanne Ho
MCV4U [Lecture]
K-Studio 3.5
Ms. Joanne Ho
MCV4U [Lecture]
K-Studio 3.5
Ms. Joanne Ho
-
-


Legend:
ENG4U - English 4U
LAN 1004 - Pengajian Islam/Islamic Studies
MCV4U - Calculus and Vectors
SPH4U - Physics

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This Is Where It Gets Boring

Actually, my blog has been quite boring for quite a while.

Oh well, after this Imma be a nerd, so it gets more boring from here. Anyway, these are my uni choices for application:

OUAC (Submit this Jan 16th):

1. McMaster for Electrical & Biomed Engineering
2. Toronto for Electrical Engineering Biomed Option.
3. Ottawa for Biomed and Mech Engineering.

Application Fee Waivered & Faris Petra-related Documents Submission done:

Carleton for Biomed and Electrical Engineering

Outside Ontario:

1. McGill for Electrical/Computer Engineering or Mech Engineering (Submitted)
2. British Columbia for Electrical Engineering (not submitted. tunggu bulk application instructions from Taylor's. Deadline Feb 28th)
3. Alberta for Electrical Engineering with Biomed Option (not submitted. deadline May 1, I think)


Most of their IELTS requirement is band 6.5 and above except for McGill which is 7.5, and for engineering programs, minimum average is 80% and above, except for Ottawa which is 70%.

McGill, UBC, and Alberta all offer Biomed Engineering Masters program, but not for Bachelor.

I'm betting UBC, Toronto will be very competitive. Many are also applying Carleton and McMaster. McGill definitely has high standards. Many are applying UBC for the Vancouver lifestyle.

There are also those who apply New Brunswick and Dallhousie. Those definitely has smaller student population and lower requirements and would be nice places to live.

Queens and Windsor are also popular choices as well as Ryerson and Western Ontario. Ryerson definitely has a lowww average requirement, but my senior advised me against going there or to Simon Fraser because they're not as good.

I don't know what are my chances, but for sure, I have to WORK MY ASS OFF this second Sem and graduate with an above 90/92 average.

Gosh, and I owe Miss Chin 6 essays, and I don't know what the questions were. =.="

Physics, dear God. Calculus and 4U too. IELTS.


I don't care much about the lifestyle at any of the unis, I don't care whether the uni is in the countryside or in the city, because, what's for sure, it will be different from Malaysian lifestyle, regardless of wherever it is in Canada and it's not like I can't travel around Canada during my hols right? So, put me anywhere and I think I can survive. I have to survive.

I care more about the course structure and quality. Whether it's interesting and flexible and I can get around it to do stuff that I'm interested in. And of course, if possible, whether or not I can find ways to finish my degree early.

Future post would be deadline reminders for applications and document submission as well as what documents to submit.

2nd Sem. Bring it on.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Day 30

Last day of the challenge. Who are you?

I am a girl.
I am a daughter.
I am a sister.
I am a muslim.
I am a student.
I am a Farisian.
I am a debater.
I am a golfer.
I am a singer.
I am a poet.
I am an engineer-to-be, insyaAllah.
I am a blogger.




The end.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

REMINDERS

1. Submit OUAC application on 16th Jan and print out reinbursement form

2. Submission of documents is after 2nd Midsem results are released.

3. Make 10 copies of my SPM

4. Print out 10 copies of my SPM translation

5. Buy 10 envelops

6. Get school certification on SPM and seal both SPM and translation in envelops and seal with school chop.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Day 29

Yay! This challenge thing is almost over. Hopefully so will the void in my soul pass with it. hahaha

What have I learned in the past month?

Well, I would type a lot of things, but the most current thing I've learnt is,

IF I LET MY GUARDS DOWN, AND FEEL COMFORTABLE, I'M BOUND TO REPEAT THE SAME MISTAKE AGAIN.




:(

Sunday, January 02, 2011

DAY 28

Last year:


This year:



The difference?

Last year I was a golfer. This year, I was a singer.

Enough said for now.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Day 27

Why am I doing this 30-day challenge?

1. I'm bored.
2. I don't know what else to post on this blog.
3. keep me occupied during the school holidays.
4. I thought I'd get something out of this. I'm not quite sure what.
5. for fun.