Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Summer, Salam Raya and Start of The Term

Hey

I know Syawal is wayyy past due. I've been pretty busy doing stuff during the summer, with school and going off to Ottawa and all.

So, here's some photos of my Raya.



MyMac Raya (Sept 23rd at Second Year Boys' house. Images credited to Amirul Hakim, Final year Engineering McMaster).





Abang Zam made laksa sarawak. Barang rare ni yo. 






And yeah, that's my lil' junior Dojay. (Little lah sangat, I yang little). 

We made currypuff too. Dojay yang ajar. 



Ottawa Raya



Ezzah


Aisha with le Beaver tail



Mosaika light show!


Iman


Salam Satu Farisian. haha




Byward Market






Parliament hill


Random wedding




Carleton uni river yo.


Canal cruise with le Missisauga peeps yo.

















Aisha's Adventure - Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara














And lastly to complete my Aug-Sept highlights, my first ever football game in Canada. Mac vs Queens. 33-20 (penting ni kena highlight. bwahahaha)












That's not all of it though. More photos on Facebook, of course.


My first day of Raya I basically just sat at home while "supervising" some people my landlord hired to paint the basement. I made some "rendang" daging with one leftover Maggie rendang paste from my seniors. Didn't even taste like rendang, but oh well. So I sat down and ate it alone with M. Nasir's Suatu Hari Di Hari Raya playing on youtube, which is, of course my most favorite Raya tune.

The next day, I basically did nothing. I just sat around, did a little bit of cleaning, I guess ? A few days before Raya I made Cornflakes Madu and Choc Chip cookies, but the cookies were a failure because instead of half a teaspoon of salt, I put in one whole teaspoon which caused it to be salty. The cornflakes turned out sticky because I put too much honey in and I think I baked it a lil' bit too long. I also made chocolate cake which came straight out of a premix. I'm a lazy bum when it comes to these flour-related things, see.

My second attempt at "baking" was bread pudding, which turned out really yummy, actually.

Alright, looks like I went off on a tangent, back to the raya story, a few days later I left for Ottawa. As soon as I got there, there was already some makan-makan the next day at Syaza's. So I met all my Ottawa buddies and Naim from New Brunswick! The next day was basically the Embassy Raya celebration. Food galore! And I was acquainted with my fellow Faris schoolmate, Shafiq, and made a new friend, Iman, who happens to be the elder sister of another acquaintance of mine, Aziz, who's dad is responsible for the Yayasan Tenaga Nasional scholars, En. Azman, whom I've met before in Taylor's during McGill's admission briefing. What a small world eh ? Food was simply marvelous!

Then on the same day, I went touring Carleton Uni. The buildings honestly didn't look as beautiful as Mac, but I loved the fact that they have a river flowing right behind their campus. Ottawa really has a lot of these relaxing places, suitable for chilling in the afternoons. They have Mooney's Bay, Dow's Lake. I actually get to dip my legs into water and feel sand beneath my feet. How I miss those sensations I used to have when I was in high school. Well, I was in a boarding school in Kelantan where beaches are so easily accessible. I really enjoyed my time in Ottawa and I loved the tranquility. It kind of reminds me of home because even though it is a city, with flyovers and all (unlike Hamilton), it's not as crowded as Toronto and it has a suburban feel to it like Wangsa Maju. I guess it is a better version of Hamilton (although I'm sure people would argue of course there are many other cities a whole lot better than Hamilton, and don't even start with mentioning Vancouver -.-").

So after going around Ottawa on my brief visit, I head back to Hamilton with my darling, Aisha. I'd really go back to Ottawa again to perhaps go shooting or go to a farm or canoe or even just chill. So, when in Hamilton, we actually got sick which led to a lot of plans being cancelled. We went to Niagara! Niagara is a beauty, some people would say it's overrated, and honestly, I'd like to go to some other majestic fall rather than Niagara for a change, but being close to that body of water can never cease to amaze me. The power and the volume of water that gushes down forming a heavy dynamic curtain of water. She's a beauty, I tell you. And I have to admit, the area is a little too commercialized to my liking. Yeah, there's lots of attractions up Cliffton Hill and I'm sure my siblings would have loved to go to all of them, but I'd rather see a waterfall in its natural surroundings. (Not in Malaysia though, that would mean wading through a living landmine of pacats. yuck). Then me and Aisha went to the factory outlets which was quite far out and there was nothing really that impressed me, despite being a shopaholic.

So yeah, that was basically my summer, and I actually took time to go around places in Hamilton, and I think I've actually seen most, if not all of it that needs to be seen. Probably the next time I go around Hamilton, it'll be to the waterfalls. I have Tiffany Falls, Sherman Falls and Chedoke Falls on my list, and all of those are actually accessible by bus. I'd also like to try hiking some of the trails in RBG some day.

And now, the term has officially started ! I was really excited to start the term, and I'm actually enjoying all my Elec Eng and Comp Eng courses, maybe I liked my Comp Eng courses more, with digital logic and programming. I was imagining if I had not brought forward some courses from third year into second year, this term I'd actually only have three subjects and it'd be an easy term for me, and the fact that I enjoyed all the courses makes it even better. So, other than the second year elec and comp eng courses I'm doing, I'm also doing a third year course, Intro to Biomedical Engineering/Biomaterials and a Religious Studies course, but it's actually a Philosophy course on Biomedical Ethics. I thought I'd enjoy them, but it turned out I didn't enjoy them as much as my other courses. Discussing ethics from a philosophical framework is actually a lot more difficult than I thought it was. Yes, it's interesting, but at times frustrating when some arguments don't make sense and when someone renders your argument invalid. It seemed pointless at one point. Again, I had to change my perspective on things to see how it actually works out, and I kind of have an appreciation for people who are actually pursuing Philosophy as a major, and with some talk with some of my friends who are taking Philosophy it so appears that I may have not really known what Philosophy is about all this while. It's not about winning arguments, it's about how you argue them and how people come up with different arguments. So, you don't really choose sides (like one would in a formal school debating competition) and argue to get your points across. It's more about considering several perspectives all at once. And if you don't have any justification for your argument, then there's really nothing much you can argue for. So yeah, I kind of have to get used to rewiring my brain to think that way. I think I've been quite passive in my philosophy class, I'll have to work at it. Intro to Biomaterials, is interesting, but it's a mish mash of a LOT of random stuff. First two lectures were on Biomedical Ethics (which were discussed in a completely different manner compared to my Philosophy course, by the way), and then it moved on to materials science basics like stress and strain. Good God, I thought I'd never see those again after finishing first year Materials 1M03. Luckily I still remembered what I learnt in first year, so it wasn't much of a big deal for me, but the assignment was a little tricky, but it turned out to actually be a simple solution to a differential equation. Thank God I took math in the summer and still recalled some of the basics. The next lectures that followed were more like "survey courses" where you get thrown a lot of general info about biomaterials. It seemed like a lot of stuff and you don't even know where to start. Currently we're in biomechanics and the prof is teaching us classical mechanics. Oh hello, Physics 1D03. And yeah, luckily I still remember what I did in that course for this class.   And for biomaterials, the class is really small, of about less than 40 people, basically that's all the people in Biomed. After getting used to a large lecture hall of 100-700 odd people, being in a small classroom is really weird and intimidating, you have no where to hide.

Labs are pretty much still okay for now, and they're fun. I get to wire circuits and stuff, which I really like to do, and programming. Currently I'm busy with Biomaterials presentation which is really intimidating because it's 20-minutes long and worth 20% of my final marks. I'll probably update about that later.

So, yeah, overall, I love what I'm learning now, I just have to get over my timidness in Biomaterials and Philosophy (Biomaterials due to the fact that everybody else is in Third Year, and I placed on myself some pressure to keep up with everybody else and proving myself to the prof because I came to him to ask for permission to take the course and I told him that I could do it despite the fact of being at a disadvantage to everyone else because I'm not taking anatomy and as for Philosophy in rewiring my brain to think differently like a Philosophical student would and teaching myself how to articulate arguments and organize my thought processes properly).

I used to complain that even though taking off 4 subjects from second year and doing it in the summer didn't really change my schedule much, like, I'm still busy, but I'm actually a lot more relaxed than most people who are doing math and bio this term. And I kind of have my hands full with something else. A whole different challenge altogether, but all in all, I'm really glad I did summer school.

So, I guess that's it for now, after a long while of not updating. Wish me luck for Second Year Electrical and Biomedical Engineering.

Later.