Tag Archives: frustrations

Adjusting to Change

Standard

I’ve been back at school for three days now. It’s a different ball game altogether this year – new subjects to learn and officially being one of the older students in the school. I’m in a completely different class from last year and most of the familiar faces of last year’s classmates aren’t in my class – luckily I still have two of my closest friends in class with me. Not to mention that a lot of my dear friends have moved school this year – one is even migrating to another country! And I’m definitely not used to the freshmen looking up at my friends and I with a kind of awe – did I do that when I was new here? Even my chess teacher is different this year.

I’m not a stranger to change – over the past few years things have altered so fast and so much that when I look back on my past self in maybe 2007, I find that I don’t even recognize that girl anymore! I seem to have become a different person every single year since then, different people who don’t even ring a bell to my mind any longer. They seem like strangers – ghosts of a past life or something like that. Sometimes it sort of unsettles me, to look at myself in the mirror and not recognize the person staring right back at me.

I’m not gonna lie, I hate change. Not because change itself isn’t good, but because it loves to say “I told you so!” When something changes, it’s almost never positive, but then a little later, maybe a week, a couple years or even a decade later, you realize that it was for the best. And change shoves it in your face, like, “See?”

Anyhow, back to the original subject – getting used to this new, alien year at school. It’ll take some time to adjust to this new routine and everything in it. I don’t usually find it so difficult to adjust, but this – this is something else altogether.

I remember watching an episode of my favourite crime show, Bones. In it, the main character, Temperance Brennan finds herself dealing with a case she finds personal. A body of a rich woman is found in a bad part of town and she goes to investigate, and she finds several similarities between her and the victim – height, weight, favourite animal, etc. When she sees the victim’s ID photo, she finds that it looks exactly like her. When she asks her partner FBI Special Agent Seely Booth if he recognizes the victim, he says no. When she hears a recording of the victim’s voice, Brennan hears her own voice. Her colleagues begin to worry about her when she has difficulty being objective on the case as she relates very much to the victim, even in terms of love life.

She can’t sleep, so she returns to her lab late at night to continue working on the case, and Micah, a security guard, finds her there. He tells her about a lecture he attended – an experiment was set up where a group of people were made to wear glasses that made them see the world upside down.  For three days, the world was upside down for them (literally, mind you). But after three days, they were made take off the glasses and instead of seeing things right side up, everything was upside down. The conclusion of the experiment was that it takes the brain three days to adjust.

It took three days for Brennan and Booth to solve the case, and after those three days, Brennan looked at the ID picture of the victim and no longer saw her face staring back at her, but the real face of the victim.

I guess what I’m trying to say is – I’ve been at school three days. Maybe when I go back on Monday, everything will seem normal. Maybe my brain would have adjusted…or maybe it would still be stubbornly unadjusted. My brain’s a little weird.

Whatever the case, change is inevitable in life and we just have to adapt to it. Unfortunately. 🙂

The key to change…is to let go of fear ~ Rosanne Cash

Advertisements

The Confounded Writer’s Block

Standard

And… this has got to be a record. No new blog posts for nearly a month… Wow.

An old childhood favourite... Calvin and Hobbes

You see, I’d love to blog about something. Anything. Unfortunately my mind fails to allow me to think of an interesting topic that hasn’t been done before. It’s too busy focusing on my sinking History marks. And I haven’t written much in my book either. Gotta keep working on that one.

A sad scene that would likely take place at my desk.

I can’t stand writer’s block, honestly. But I honestly don’t consider it until I open my book to write in.

Oh dear me, I can’t seem to think of how this plot could go. Maybe if he kills the evil assistant… No, it’s too soon. Maybe he should make a new friend?

Then I realize that I have been having trouble with other things too, namely my blog.

Oh, it’s been a week since I’ve updated my blog! I must start a new post. Let’s see…

I then have to come to terms with the fact that I have no idea what to blog about, so I spend ages wracking my brain for a suitable topic.

Environmental issues? No, I’ve done that one before… Singing? Did that too. Oh what about this awesome book… Oh wait that’s been done on Freshly Pressed.

And in the end I’m just like:

A typical reaction of mine upon discovering that I have yet again been infected by writer's block.

Soon, a couple of hours pass and I have to get off the computer. I decide that if I stop thinking about it, I’ll come up with a good idea.

I’ll just take a break and see if something pops up. Sooner or later, it always does.

And before I know it, nearly an entire month has flown by and I’ve forgotten about the fact that I am suffering from the dreaded and highly fatal writer’s block. Until…

What’s *insert random name of friend here* doing over there on that computer? Oh, she’s blogging. Oh no I haven’t blogged in ages! How long has it been? AH!

So I go and check my blog for the first time in ages.

I’ve been subscribed to…! Oh. By someone who’s already deleted their account. Oh, look at all these comments. Well… 34 spam comments actually. I really must get a blog post going.

And that is how I came to be sitting here today, typing away.

It never fails, you know, no matter how often I follow online writer’s block solving tips. I got this list off the internet.

1. Implement a Writing Schedule.

Yes, I have gone back to the same place at the same time every day and still nothing springs to my head. Sometimes I just let my hand free-write on the paper and all that comes out is… garbage.

2. Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself.

How can I not be? I’ve been trying for three weeks and still nothing comes out of my pen.

3. Think of Writing as a Regular Job, and Less as an Art.

4. Take Time Off If You’ve Just Finished a Project.

5. Set Deadlines and Keep Them.

(This is the only thing that really works for me… Except for the fact that the finished product is a little on the… well… awful side.)

6. Examine Deep-Seated Issues Behind Your Writer’s Block.

7. Work on More Than One Project at a Time.

(Three projects going on and I’m still getting nowhere…)

8. Try Writing Exercises.

(I do this in English class in school everyday.)

9. Re-Consider Your Writing Space.

(It’s actually a cosy little nook.)

10. Remember Why You Started to Write in the First Place.

(I need a LOT of help with this one.)

I do this... A lot.

Actually, I’ve discovered a really awesome way to beat writer’s block when it comes to blogging: If you can’t think about anything to blog about… Blog about the fact that you can’t think of anything to blog about.

Anyhow, I’ll just head off now… I just found a good plot for my book… I think.

At The 11th Hour (and 59 mintues)

Standard

So, honestly, really, what is it with everyone and being late? It’s either they’re racing through the hallway looking like a wild ocelot because they’re late for a super important awesome-ly awesome seminar, or burning the midnight oil, straining to finish a report due the very next day that they knew about ages ago (wow, that was a long sentence). If neither, they’re calmly walking, slow as possible, dragging their feet, up to someone and saying, “Hey, by the way, I forgot to tell you the last billion times I saw you, for the last fortnight or so, but you have a meeting in 5 minutes.” I mean, come on, people.

Yesterday I nearly had a panic attack when I was told that selections for nationals was that day! In half an hour! Oh, and yeah, get your own transport, please. Oh, and it’s compulsory, by the way.

In the end, my teacher tells us that the thing is today and not yesterday, and it isn’t the playoffs, it’s the training. And they had me running around frantically fumbling in my bag for coins to call my mom using the pay phone that constantly says “Updating”.

Ok, ok, so I’ll admit to doing many things last-minute. Like, umm… studying for my Geography test or finishing up my Art project (due next Tuesday, just so you know) or something not-so-panic-insuing like that. Not some sort of thing that will get other people killed (or at least have them dying of heart attack).

I used to be the most professional procrastinator you’d ever meet, but I learned a few things and now I’m a bit more chill. First off, I stopped being a yes-man (or, more accurately, yes-girl). Used to be, I’d juggle marching, performances and library responsibilities all in one go. More often than not, something would fall to the floor and shatter, then I’d lose focus and everything else would come tumbling down to. Now, it’s one at a time, please.

Next, I started writing everything I had to do down. I used to cram everything into my head. Then it’d all overflow and I’d lose half my important memories (needless to say, the useless ones never spill out). This year, I watched my best friend list everything neatly down in a notebook she got for her birthday and decorate the pages with hearts and doodles, then it hit me. I brought out an old notepad that had been gathering dust in a filing cabinet and started jotting down homework, assignments and projects.

And one more thing. I set reminders in my phone for everything, from bringing my glasses when my contacts have expired to exams and meetings. It doesn’t always work, because usually I’m too groggy to read my reminders when they alarm at 5 in the morning and I just hit random buttons to silence it. More often than not, I miss the “postpone” button on the left and hit the “stop” button on the right instead. =.=

Anyways, that’s all I’ve come up with. And I still do things late! Sigh…

Today, I headed off to the training, sat down across a future opponent and asked, “This is the training, right?” And what did she say?

“No. This is the playoff.”

You… have… got… to… be… kidding… me…

Game. Set. Match.

Standard
This Year's MSSMWP Chess Tourney

mssmkl.blogspot.com

I’ve been raving about my hobbies lately… So… Here’s another one for you!

I love playing chess (read: g-e-e-k). I never actually got the game when I was little – my father spoonfed me moves and let me win all the time, causing me to think I was real good… Until I joined a mini-chess tournament at school and lost in the first round.

I’ve been competing in chess since standard 5. It was funny, how I started out. Playing chess properly for one week, trying out for the team, going for it and… WHAM! First game, I checkmated my opponent in 4 moves, and not intentionally. I took a pawn with my queen and said “Check”… and the arbiter declared “Checkmate”. I walked away from the table thinking, Now, how did that happen? Our team proceeded to win first place in the Under-12 team event. And then I won the individual event by beating the defending champion. Not by checkmate, though… she ran out of time. =.=

I thought state level that year when I was 11 would be easy…

I got thrashed that year

Why? Simple. Beginner’s luck wore off.

Anyway, from then on it was practice, practice, practice. I worked hard and we got two golds again the next year.

Check... check... checkmate!

Now, I’ll have you know that in primary school, chess competitions were very straight forward. We hop into our teacher’s car or van, we’d go, play the games, go home.

Then I entered high school.

I was the youngest member on the team when I got in, and I found out that they didn’t use teachers’ cars. Our teacher hired a rackety, rickety, rockety bus, with a driver who is constantly late, anywhere from half an hour to 120 minutes. No kidding. Back in my freshman year, we waited for two full hours in front of a military school, craning our necks the whole time, on the lookout, just hoping for a glimpse of a broken-down yellow-coloured bus that looks more like a junkyard. Yeah. Sucks. In fact, last year, the boys would always joke as they got down or up the bus, “Thank you for being so early!”

A chess tournament is pretty straight forward once you arrive… You are told to arrive by 8:00 because the games will start at 8:30, but they start at least a half hour late. The worst was a full 2 hours off schedule.

This year, the bus was so late we nearly got disqualified before our first round! That sucked. What’s worse, we had been registered for the wrong category. That took some time to sort out before we could get some breakfast at the grubby canteen. Now, for the past few years, the chess tournament has been housed by a school full of weird guys. The girls and I keep looking over our shoulders and muttering to each other, “Faster, walk faster…” We rejoiced to the high heavens when the principal of the school gave a looooooong speech (that made those who won feel bad and those who lost feel worse) and announced that the tourney would not be housed there next year. The cheer for that was crazy loud.

I won good and got to State level. This year was my last year in the category, so I wanted to make it to Nationals. It was only three of us girls making it to the individual event this time around. No guys from our school made it this far. I was continually put up against the hard opponents. It gave me headaches and had mini-fevers, but on the plus side, when I won my sokoff (rating) went ZOOM.

The bus lady abandoned us this year, by the way, so we rode with an old bus driver with the meanest temper you have ever seen. His wrinkled hand was almost never off the horn! Chinese expletives were yelled over and over again at innocent passing cars. Not to mention that the van is stifling hot! I’ll have you know that it has perfectly functioning air conditioning that is never used. Then one day he abandoned us too (apparently the van needed repairing) and the three of us (plus one teacher) had to get a cab home.

On the plus side, I’m number 5 in State this year. Last year, they took the top 6 to Nationals.  And guess what? Now they decide that we have to go for selection because they have decided to only take two people. Bother! I really want to go!

My interest in chess has somewhat wavered over the years, and only came back stronger last year, which is also the year I got the most practise. Call me a nerd if you like… And a dork too. But I enjoy chess, even though it gives me splitting headaches.

So… Shall I give you a dose of corniness?

Why did the chemist combine aspirin and glue? He thought it could be a cure for splitting headaches!!! 😀

Cheers!

Bug Adventures

Standard

So there I was, minding my own business in my room, when some annoying insect decided to take a break on my shoulder. I barely noticed it… Until it left me with a little red bump of irritated skin. I constantly attract the attention of bugs everywhere I go, so I thought nothing of it.

That evening, I ended up with three more bumps from insect bites and got mildly annoyed. I tried to look for the meddling creature but failed and had to be content with wearing a long-sleeved shirt (during the dry season!) all night to prevent more bites.

This scenario continued all week so I began a tireless pursuit of the single tiny creature that haunted me each time I set foot in my room. My efforts bore no fruit as I became increasingly frustrated with the insect that perpetually raised exasperating red bumps on my skin that I scratched in my sleep, causing ugly little things all over my arms.

Two days ago, I was trying to ignore the new bite forming over my skin, I caught a glimpse of the bug that had been incessantly, well, bugging me since forever (exaggeration?). I got up and stalked over to where it was on the wall. I smacked my hand into the hard brown-painted cement (ouch). Ignoring the smarting in my hand, I checked if I had finally caught the thing.

No! It had just whizzed around my head tauntingly and flown off!

For a quarter-hour I chased after that annoying insect. I leaped and jumped; I grabbed and grasped; I stumbled and tripped. After 15 short minutes I gave up. That thing would elude me forever.

In my exhaustion I leaned against the wall. After a few seconds I got off to resume my homework and noticed a black stain on my left sleeve and a matching one on the wall.

I went nuts. After a whole week and 15 annoying minutes of chasing, it had come to this? In the end it took no effort. And I ended up with a stain on my favourite orange shirt. And I had to clean the stubborn goop of the wall.

And of course, I accidentally squashed the insect.

Grammar Woes

Standard

Seriously, I’ve been born and raised in this country and everyone has used the phrase at least once.

Let me illustrate a situation…

An English teacher has just given the class a lecture about bad English. She then gives the class assignments, saying to them, “Please pass them up by tomorrow!”

Eeek!!!

Let me provide a translation.

Pass Up

vb (tr, adverb)

  1. Informal to let go by; ignore; decline: I won’t pass up this opportunity
  2. to take no notice of (someone)

Now how is it possible that you can ignore your homework by tomorrow?

Another not-as-common (but still as tragic) mistake is saying “pass on”:

Pass On
vb (tr, adverb)
  1. Place into the hands or custody of
    – pass, hand, reach, turn over, give
  2. Transmit (knowledge or skills)
    “pass on a new skill to the students”;
    – impart, leave, give
  3. Move forward, also in the metaphorical sense
    “Time passes on”;
    – advance, progress, move on, march on, go on
  4. Give to or transfer possession of
  5. Refer to another person for decision or judgment
    “She likes to pass on difficult questions to her colleagues”;
    – relegate, submit
  6. Cause to be distributed
    – circulate, pass around, distribute
  7. Transmit information
    “Please pass on this message to all employees”;
    – communicate, pass, pass along, put across

It can also refer to someone dying… so, can homework die by tomorrow?

The correct term is submit or simply pass.

Just Tell The Truth

Standard

awesomejakeman.blogspot.com

I love to sing. I love to dance. I love to write. Consequently, I’ve joined many groups that cater to all those passionate about music and the arts. It’s always been a fun experience for me.

Once, I was watching some performances by one of the clubs I decided to become a part of. The performances done were no-strings-attached shows – if you want to get up on the stage, you can, and it isn’t a competition, so you can just have fun! A particular girl stepped up to the stage and sang one of my favourite songs – completely off-key! It was no big deal, though. None of us were pros anyway. We were just there to have a good time.

When she got off the podium, I watched her rush to her friend’s side, fretting about her singing and asking whether she did alright. To my horror, her friend replied with a smile, “Don’t worry! You did great!”

Over the years, I’ve discovered that instances like that happen frequently – in fact, on a daily basis! Everyone is praising their friend’s singing, dancing, painting… and it’s all a lie. Some people would quote Bambi, “If you can’t say something nice… Don’t say nothing at all.”

But you see, that’s the point! Thumper didn’t say “If you can’t say something nice, tell a lie instead”. He said not to say anything! Of course, if you barely know a person, really, you shouldn’t say anything at all. But what if it’s your friend, asking you for your opinion? How can you not answer? Well, being a friend, you have to be honest with them and tell them what you really think, in a gentle way. Because in the end, if you tell them they did good when they didn’t, you’re just making them believe that they can do something when they really can’t. And if they get mad at you for not praising them, they obviously don’t care what you think, and are just fishing for approval and praises.

Putting it simply… Just tell the truth.

Past the Superficial

Standard

I am sick of it. Just sick of it.

We’ve been taught since a young age, our head filled with that all-too-familiar clichĂ©: Don’t judge a book by its cover(Which is strange, because I tend to judge real books by their covers… I mean, if I don’t wan a chic lit, I wouldn’t pick up the book with the picture of lipstick and a flower down the front, would I?). Many people quote it. Students study it. It’s the most common proverb ever mentioned.

Yet, I find that everyone makes the hurtful and mainly unconscious mistake of judging people by how they look. I don’t like people thinking me to be dumb or weak just because of how I appear. Most of these people don’t even know my name yet… So why are they judging me as if they’ve been acquainted with me all my life? It’s like (pardon the clichĂ© again) the pot calling the kettle black!

It doesn’t do a lot to one’s self-esteem and… in short… it hurts. I just wish, just wish, that everyone could see past the superficial. And just to end this thing in such a way that you’ll roll you eyes, here’s another clichĂ©:

Every caterpillar is a butterfly on the inside.