Friday, 31 July 2009
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So this is my first week of my third and final semester at college.

The subjects are definitely tougher, but more interesting. Media Appreciation and Social Psychology, particularly, sounded really interesting to me.

Even Moral Education didn't sound too bad. I mean, compared with SPM Moral, it's definitely more interesting.

I need to get at least a B for my whole course, in order to enter UniSA.

Did you know that the cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender will be made into a movie? I believe it's going to be released next year.

Speaking of movies,

That scene, from The Proposal just made me laugh my lungs out yesterday! You can't really hear what's being said, but when you do watch it either on DVD or in the cinema, I guarantee that you'll find that scene awfully hilarious too!

We originally had Moral from 8 to 12, but our lecturer let us out by 9! And worse, we have a class at 2. So a few of us went for breakfast, then headed to Pyramid.

It was 11.30 at the time, so there weren't many movie choices. The only one was The Proposal, about a boss who fakes being engaged to her assistant in an attempt to prevent herself being deported.

And an interesting fact? We watched the first screening of the movie, at 11.45. And the best part? That was the first day of screening! So we actually watched the very first screening of The Proposal in Pyramid.

Seems like I'm becoming a movie buff after all.
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Thursday, 30 July 2009
East Coast

So after returning home from Harry Potter, I got a few hours' sleep, then headed to the east coast with my family.

Our first stop was Cherating, Kuantan. The beach wasn't as clean as the one in Damai, but if I'm not mistaken the water's slightly clearer.

We stayed at one of those budget chalets for the night. I admit that I've been used to being in my comfort zone for far too long; I'm too used to having what I consider luxuries- Clean room and toilets whenever I'm out holidaying.

The room was probably an ant nest, for any food brought into the room would attract them. The toilet didn't have a sink and there weren't any cold water. Nonetheless I was so tired as I just came back from Kuching and had a late night, and the whole day of traveling also contributed. I slept well despite the inconveniences.

The next day, we went to the beach for awhile before beginning our journey again, this time to Kota Bharu, Kelantan. At first I was hesitant about entering this state, as I've heard that there are laws that don't exist at home. But it turned out all right. The budget accommodation we stayed in was really clean. They even had housekeeping, and all those for 75 ringgit (I think!) a night!

Kelantan, although being ruled by an Islamic party, practice religious tolerance. There are actually 4 giant statues of the Buddha around the state, but we only visited 3. However, there is hardly any night life there; most shops close by 10 latest. Even before that streets are awfully quiet, and this is the capital of Kelantan (Again, I'm assuming, which according to my Social Psychology lecturer, is the mother of all mistakes)!

After that, we moved to the south of Kelantan, to the tiny town of Gua Musang. Here I finally understood to some degree why Kota Bharu is the capital. Gua Musang is even smaller, and even less developed.

I saw that sign and found it really odd. What if I parked my car after the box? Then it wouldn't be 'Zon Kunci Tayar' anymore, would it?

From Gua Musang, we used the new highway to make our way to Cameron Highlands. I love going to Cameron Highlands, and have been going there regularly, since I was a toddler. It's just so peaceful and cooling, though now it's very much developed and traffic congestion is becoming more of a problem.

My grandaunt, who works at Cameron, has a friend who's a caretaker of a quaint English home. She brought us there for afternoon tea. We were allowed to roam and explore the house as the owner's not expected to be back for a few more days. The interior of the house is made entirely of wood, and there's a really homey feeling about it all.

What I liked most about it, however, is the toilet the owner uses. It was so small, yet looked really nice. But it was still big enough that my camera couldn't take a whole picture of it. But I noticed that the bathtub had a really unique feature: a mirror.

Weird, eh?

Anyway we stayed at Cameron for a further 2 nights, then on the last day we visited the Sungai Palas Tea Plantation, or more popularly known as the Boh Tea Plantation.

The place was really peaceful and quiet, and the cool weather just adds to the holiday mood. But this year I noticed something: Couples taking pictures for their wedding album.

It's part of the modern day Chinese culture, and the background is rather nice, after all!

After a cup of tea, we headed down to Ipoh, where my grandfather lives, and stayed for a few hours before heading home after dinner.

So that was it. Two weeks of holiday, well spent.
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Sunday, 26 July 2009
Kuching And Everything Else

Two weeks ago I flew to Kuching, Sarawak, where Phil's hometown is.

And what can I say about the place? It looks very much like KL in some ways, yet so different in other aspects.

So Phil became our tour guide by bringing us around Kuching, introducing us to the different types of food throughout the week. Not once did I complain of hunger. In fact, we were brought out for a meal within 10-15 minutes of us arriving at Phil's house.

Sarawakian food is definitely very different from food in the Peninsula. There's just so many different variety of food from the different ethnicities in Sarawak.

But it wasn't just food all the time. We went visiting too. We visited the Kuching Waterfront, Fort Margherita, Sarawak Cultural Village and Damai Beach.

The culture there also different from ours. I've never noticed till now that Sarawakians use 'ba' when they talk. From my understanding it's something of an equivalent of the 'ma' that KL people use, but I'm told that it's slightly different as 'ma' is used in Sarawak too. And let's not forget the indigenous people. There really are so many different tribes that I don't think I can remember all of them.

We had decided to visit Damai Beach and so we booked a room for 2 nights. Only during our stay there did we know that there was a tsunami warning. Actually, I had received an email from a friend long time ago that some guy had predicted so many tragedies accurately and had predicted a tsunami to occur at July 22.

Anyway nothing happened and we went back to Phil's house safely.

But for those of you who think Sarawakians are really rural people, this might convince you otherwise.

That was displayed, of all places, in a shopping mall.

Need a better look?

Throughout the trip, however, 2 songs were stuck in my head.

Yeah. Proves that maybe Mariah Carey does suck at pronouncing words.

When I came back to KL, I went to Pyramid to meet up with a couple of friends to watch Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

I really like this movie! I think that it is one of the more faithful movies, and the director managed to stick to the main plot of the book, read between the lines and provide additional scenes.

Here's one random thought. Have you noticed how many authors are riding on the Twilight craze? Today in the bookstore I noticed Vampire Beach, Vampire Kisses, The Coffin Club, Night World, Full Moon and The Vampire Diaries. Maybe I just didn't notice them before but I just doubt that there were so many vampire-related novels before Twilight came about. Somehow every time I see a book about vampires the first thought that comes to my mind is 'Just another Twilight'.

Harry Potter's still better for me!
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Saturday, 25 July 2009
Back. Finally.

I just came back an hour ago.

I have been out of touch from the entire world, really. In my first week in Kuching I surfed the net only once or twice and read the newspaper even less. Then when I was in the East Coast I read the newspapers but did not manage to use the net; now even when I'm using the mouse it feels alien to me.

But the trips were fun, nonetheless.

Right now I just found out my second semester's final exam results along with my timetable for the 3rd semester.

I feel like I've been out of touch with the whole world although I pretty much know what's happening around me. I think it's just because I wasn't using my own computer. Funny, isn't it?

I'm not looking forward to the final semester because it's the semester where I've to work the hardest, and classes took up more time than I thought it would.

I know only one thing: It's good to be home.
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Friday, 10 July 2009
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I just completed my second semester in college today. To those of you curious souls, I have 3 semesters in 1 year, hence every semester lasts for around 3 months.

Our finals ended today and we are given a 2 week break before we return for our final semester. Originally, I had wanted to lazy at home like I did the last semester break, just staying up late and waking up as late as I want and not having to wake up early for college, but it seems that I won't be able to do so.

On Monday I'll be going to Kuching with my college friends. Don't really know why I agreed to go in the first place, when I had already planned to stay at home. Must be the peer pressure.

I'll be back on Saturday night, then on Sunday I'm leaving again. To the east coast. With the family. For one week.

So I won't be home for about two weeks.

Exciting, isn't it? I don't think I've had any back to back holidays before.

Anyway, just to let whoever's reading this know that that's why I'll be neglecting this blog for some time.
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Wednesday, 8 July 2009
Maths & Science in BM- The Right Move?

So the government has reversed its decision. Maths and science will be taught in the national language from 2012 onwards.

Yixian is very passionate about it and thinks that it is a huge mistake.

What do I think?

Yes, English is the global language and mastering it is an advantage. But you have to admit, many Malaysians learn a few other languages and dialects, and are therefore good at none. I do believe that students should learn Maths and Science in English as when they further their studies, it will be very helpful. I was fortunate enough to be taught both subjects in English, and I think as a result, it is easier to understand technical terms when I so happen to read about a health issue, or when I'm watching a documentary.

But our DPM has a point: Our teachers are not proficient in English. And I think it is a good move to improve English proficiency among students. He said that English lessons will be increased, and English literature, grammar and composition subjects will be introduced. Even the number of English teachers will be increased. Now I'm looking forward to see whether he makes English a compulsory subject. Doing so would definitely place an emphasis on English. Right now English is a neglected subject in school. Students and even teachers place more importance on other subjects like Maths and Science. How do you expect a student to be good in English if you suggest that English is of no importance? At the very least, hopefully English will be more important now with the new moves made.

The DPM also said that students fared poorly in Science and Maths in their UPSR examinations when it was taught in English. Here I have to point out that although it did decrease, I don't think that is the only cause. Besides, in urban schools the percentage dropped from 85.1 to 82.5 percent, and in rural schools 83.2 to 79.7 percent. That's not an alarming rate yet, is it? It's still well above 70%! (I didn't make those figures up okay, I got them from Malaysiakini) That's majority of the nation's kids already! You can't just expect everyone to be a genius. And it would help them later on when they're in their secondary and tertiary studies. It also does not help that after the implementation, vernacular schools had found ways around it. I heard that in my primary school, the subjects were taught in Chinese as well as English. So the kids are actually learning everything twice, but in different languages. I think the students would have done better if they learned it in only one language. 2 is just confusing. But then again, incompetent teachers might just use their mother tongue.

So what do I think about it?

I think that first, the Government should make sure that English, Maths and Science teachers are fully competent in English and would not impart false knowledge. Send them to courses, anything that will make the teachers good in English. Then slowly, increase emphasis on English and one day make English a must pass subject for SPM when teachers are good enough. Then teach Maths and Science in English.

Damn. I think I just wrote a discursive essay on my blog.
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Tuesday, 7 July 2009
What Have I Been Doing?

Guess what? I have exams over the next 3 days. Finals, no less.

And what did I do to prepare?

I went and watched Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen a second time today.

I'm blogging this at 8.45pm and my exam's tomorrow. And I plan to go offline to watch the TV.

I was introduced to a new game, Diplomacy.

Last week I was actually motivated to study. But somehow I've lost some of that spirit. I know that I do want to do well, but I just can't seem to make myself work for it.

I'm waiting for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince to come out so that I can watch it with my friends. Yes, we even planned when to watch it when it isn't even shown in cinemas yet. Or rather, only 2 of us are eager to watch it and pulled a few more to join us.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: 16 July 2009.
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Friday, 3 July 2009
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Maria Sharapova may look very fierce and calm during her matches, but sometimes she does lose it. That's when you see her putting her swearing skills to good use.

No joke! She really does curse during matches. Her opponents might think she's distracted and is losing her focus as she normally looks calm. Here's a few examples I've found on the Net.

In the first video, after her opponent's spare tennis ball drops out of her skirt the umpire said it was a let; but if I'm not mistaken normally a point ids awarded to the opponent. Being under the hot sun for so long and to be told you lost a point that you felt was yours isn't a good feeling at all. So she says "Are you f#*@ing kidding me?"

I can't really make out what she said in the second video, but from reader comments I believe it goes along the lines of "I'll beat your f*@$ing ass!" Apparently in one of the previous points the French crowd had boo-ed her or something like that, and she felt that they needed to be taught a lesson.

Swearing is considered as an indecent act. But sometimes you find yourself in a position of intense emotion that no other words can describe how you felt. I don't think one should use it all the time but at times of extreme emotion I think it's justified. And if you watch the related videos, they do show how rude the French crowd can be. One particular video showed two players in tears after being given a huge dose of the French crowd's rudeness.

But it's still amusing to see a player cursing in the middle of a match, no matter what the circumstances are!
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