Monthly Archives: August 2010

The “Auntie” Factor

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Don’t laugh. I know it sounds like a weird title. And no, I’m not talking about the ‘blur’ girls in my class, nor the overly slow drivers that cause me to be late for morning duty, or a particular sense of fashion that is, well, not very fashionable.

I’m actually referring to the Malaysian culture of calling our friends’ moms “auntie”, and their dads, “uncle”. Especially among us kids, we have to call everybody we see who are old enough to be our own parents “auntie” or “uncle”, as a sign of respect or something.

I’ve drawn many a curious glance from adults and I’ve freaked out their kids when I go into calling everybody “ma’am” or “sir”. I don’t know, it’s just something I grew up with. To me, “auntie” is reserved for my mom’s sister, thanks. These “auntie/uncle” titles to me mean a more intimate thing, not for parents of my teenage friends who I barely know. It’s still a huge struggle for me to call my best friend’s mom “auntie”. I feel so awkward saying it.

So next time I call your mom “ma’am”, please excuse me. I’m just being very polite and formal, and being comfortable with myself. Or something like that.

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No Excuse for Running Red Light

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Recently, I read an article in the newspaper about not allowing colour blind motorists to drive on the road because they won’t be able to see the changing colour of the traffic light. I find this very wrong. And I know what I’m talking about; I’m colour deficient. So I speak for all of us offended ones who see the world in dull shades.

When you’re born with a condition, you learn to deal with it, really. Simple as that. We grow up, somebody along the way is going to tell us that red is the light on top, and green the one at the bottom. Really. If no one tells us, we find out on our own. It’s just a way of learning to adapt, till it becomes so natural. Like, if you’re born with one leg, you’ve lived all your life like that, so even if it isn’t easy all the time, you can cope better than others. You adapt.

And yes, we can tell when the light changes colour, thanks very much. The light shines, and we can’t help but notice that. Not many people, even ophthalmologists, know much about colour blindness. Fact is, those Ishihara tests (the one where they make you tell them what number is in the circle) don’t work too well because even if we can’t see the colours properly, there is a difference in brightness and we detect that.

So, guys, next time you see anyone run a red light, don’t put it as colour blindness. That person is either just a reckless rule-breaker… or just plain ignorant.  😉

Inspired

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In my previous entry, I mentioned the book I’m writing… I’ve actually been working on it since I was 11, then I gave it up because I lacked inspiration. The next year, I found it again, covered in dust, and worked hard on it. It was inspired by real life, by things happening to me and other people. The main character was inspired by me (of course) and the second main character (going by the nickname of Dom) was more of a figment of my imagination.

However, the next year (last year) an incident happened, causing me to lose my focus and abandon the book once more. When I did return to it during the year-end school holidays, I realized that my writing style had changed so much, my experience level had altered, causing the chapters of my story to ring untrue. Once more I was stuck, writing a story I could no longer believe in. So I re-read every chapter, changed info here and there, and when I finally had that settled, the next year had loomed in.

The book went well for the first half of the year, then my character Dom lost his direction in June. And I was stuck…  Again! Have you any idea how frustrating this whole thing was? I knew it the entire time, to write a character based on no one, uninspired and just simply made up out of thin air wasn’t going to get anywhere. I didn’t want to give up, but every day I stared blankly at the computer screen, my feeble attempts turned to dust with every word I forced myself to type.

I met a few people since then, tried desperately to find my inspiration. In vain. I decided to leave it be and let the inspiration come to me. So I did.

And this month, as I hung with my best friend, and a couple of guys, it hit me. Suddenly. As soon as I reached home I ran to my computer, and the entire chapter came tumbling out of me. Finally. Inspired. Dom wasn’t an empty character anymore. No, Dom’s not based entirely on anybody, nor is he an imprint of anybody I know. But at least now, I have an idea of Dom – he has a more fixed character now.

I don’t think I’m gonna get stuck again, not anytime soon. Thanks, guys, for being my inspiration. =D

Confusing Ambitions

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Recently, a friend of mine came up to me and started shaking me hysterically, telling me that she had been assigned an essay on her ambitions but she was torn between two choices, one being the more practical, the other involving being in the limelight. After trying (and failing miserably) to calm her down, I decided to try to figure out my own tangled ambitions.

One thing was sure, though, and that thing is MUSIC, the downright most important thing in my entire life. Definitely through piano, singing, guitar and song composition, I would get in to a Uni of Music. No doubt on that part of my dream. Although I enjoy performing and being the centre of attention at times, I would rather have a behind-the-scenes job than being the frontman, so I’d probably go into music production.

Aside from that, I have open options in a tangled up web. Like, I enjoy working with special kids. Strange as it may seem, while I am fitted with an atrociously short fuse, I seem to have infinite patience when it comes to these extraordinary children.

And I am forever working on a book of mine which I hope to publish after PMR too, since writing was my “first love”.

I think I’ll leave it at that for now, and wait till I’m older, then go wherever the wind take me. =)

Projects Galore…

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Well, it’s that time of year again when high school students are forced into unmistakably loathed assignments… Also known as projects, folios, scrapbooks, etc. But no matter what name these detested things hide behind, one thing is clear: No student enjoys doing them. Period.

Given under the excuse of “They contribute to your PMR marks!” (which they do, not saying they don’t), projects are given most during the second half of the year, around the time of our 2nd monthly test, leading up to the finals. Some projects contribute marks to our finals, yes, and I don’t mind the extra credit. But finding the time to do these things under compulsory co-curricular activities and piles of homework is near impossible. Some even have to fit in extra classes!!! I mean, cut us some slack, will ya?

They come in masses: History (all 100 over pages handwritten, mind you), Art (just some paper bag designing thingy… I mean, is it even a PMR subject?), Geography (which involves annoying people as you probe into their lives under the clever disguise of “interviewing”), IT (presentation AND folio), Living Skills and Home Economics (cooking, woodwork, sewing… it’s pure torture, I tell you!), Civic (which involves stalking our neighbours), Moral, the list goes on and on. I could go on forever complaining about teachers who give a truckload of assignments with the single remark “That’s all” (to which we respond. “That’s all???”).

But honestly, if we didn’t have all these stuff to occupy us and keep us off the deadly addiction to Facebook, what would we do during our free time? I hear everyone complaining that they’re bored, what if we has absolutely no assignments to do? What would the devil choose to do with our idle hands? Where would we be?

After all, projects do contribute to our PMR and final exam scores, which is a very good thing. If I had to earn 100% by answering questions alone, I probably would flunk!

So on the whole, I guess projects aren’t that bad after all.

Wait, don’t I have a Civic project due tomorrow??? Shoot…!!!