Saturday, 29 May 2010
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 As I'm typing this, I'm watching Toy Story 2 on TV.

Toy Story 3 will be released soon here, and so today there was a marathon of Toy Story and Toy Story 2. I was pretty happy to be able to watch Toy Story again, I think I've only watched it once, whereas I've seen Toy Story 2 many, many times. Toy Story definitely struck a cord with me, it was such an interesting concept that toys have lives.

Disney definitely used to be really good. I'm not saying that they're not good now, because I don't watch Disney shows anymore. But remember Aladdin, Mulan, Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas?

Disney do still produce good kids' movies, but I think that in terms of the soundtracks, and the storylines, isn't what it used to be. No doubt, they are still very meaningful, but somehow I do not like it as much as the movies of old. Blame it on conglomeration, or the fact that I've grown up now.

Which is why I'm looking forward to Toy Story 3. Disney definitely made a smart decision to feature Andy as a grown up now who is heading to college. Like me! Oh I shudder to think what my toys would think if they had lives, I've kept them shelved for years! And I also think it's smart that they are catering to people like me, who grew up watching Toy Story. Kids these days won't understand the movie because they never saw the previous 2 installments. So by targeting grown ups who might want to reconnect with their youth, it's definitely a good move.

I'll definitely be waiting to watch it when it is released. I'll end this post with the trailer for Toy Story 3:

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Thursday, 27 May 2010
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This week is the end of week 11 of my semester. Another 2 weeks, and I shall complete my first semester at uni! And it would also mean that I'll have been in Adelaide for... approximately 4 months!

Amazing how fast time passes by, isn't it?

I know that I haven't been updating my blog as often as I used to. There are many reasons for this.

The first and foremost reason, is that I seem to have more things to do now! I seem to have less time to actually sit down and blog; there always seem to be something more important that needs to be done.

Then when I finally sit down in front of my computer, I'll be preoccupied with other things as well. Assignments, MSN,.. it's like there isn't enough days for me to do everything.

The worst thing that can happen, of course, is when I don't know what to blog about. My life here seems to be so plain that I cannot even find things to write down here. It's true. My life has settled into a routine. Today I woke up, went out to get some stuffs I need, cooked lunch, went for class, came home, heated up dinner, and am now here. That's basically what I do everyday, go to classes then come home.

Maybe one day this blog might even change directions. Maybe I'll even stop updating about my life, and start writing about topics I find interesting, which is what I originally opened this blog for anyway.

Like now. I have run out of things to write! So I'll just stop here, and see you soon!
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Sunday, 23 May 2010
You Have Good English!

One of the most amusing things that happens here is when I see the surprised look on the Australians' faces when I tell them where I'm from.

They seem to be very surprised at my English proficiency. Apparently, Malaysia seems to be a place where nobody speaks English in their minds.

I find it really stereotypical of them, especially since I doubt any of them have ever been to Malaysia.

Bean sprouts with capsicum, onions, tofu and egg that I cooked. Just a simple stir fry, really.

One of my assignments is writing a journal every week based on questions prepared by the lecturer. One particular question was why some countries are called the Middle East or the Far East, and why military chiefs is the US is called the Chief of Staff, whereas warlord is used in other countries. I answered that it's Western dominance that caused this, to make everyone see things from their perspective.

I believe the same thing's happening here. To many people, if a European speaks no English, it would be because they're proud of their own language. When they do speak a phrase or two, their accent would be a turn-on. But when someone from a developing country doesn't speak English, they're dumb and uneducated. Similarly, their accents would be a 'sign' that their English isn't good.

Oh right. Now I know why we're always stereotyped.
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Wednesday, 19 May 2010

What is patriotism to you? Love for your country? How can you measure patriotism? What counts as a patriotic act?

Few days ago, an Australian teenager by the name of Jessica Watson completed her solo sail around the world.

Yes, you saw it right. She sailed around the world, alone. An admirable feat, I admit. But you should see the news coverage about her here. It's expected that she will be a millionaire soon.

Not that I don't think she doesn't deserve it. After all, sailing alone around the world at the age of 16 (or 17, I'm not sure) isn't easy. Plus, she had to go through a lot of hardships. I mean, you know how Mother Nature's been the last few years.

Some war memorial in Adelaide.

The Prime Minister has called her a hero, although she insists she isn't one; she's just a normal girl who had followed her dreams. You can read more about it here and here.

Anyway, today in class I had defended Malaysia.

It was a debate as part of an assignment for a subject called Media, Writing and Rhetoric. The team today debated on 'there is no such thing as freedom of the press'. And they had used Malaysia as an example. I had felt awfully embarrassed by what they said, the way they portrayed Malaysia. Not that it wasn't true. What they said was completely true, just that it's so... weird that our dirty laundry was aired so openly.

Parliament House.

Then later on, the tutor asked the class whether anyone has followed the news from Malaysia. Obviously, none of them did, because our country's barely mentioned anyway. Then he continued by asking who knows Anwar Ibrahim. I was the only one whose hand was raised. He asked me to tell the class about the sodomy charges against Anwar. So I said that many people think that Mahathir had instigated the charges against his deputy last time, and now many think the same thing's happening again.

Then he asked me another question I can't remember, and that's when I defended our country. I said that yes, all the conspiracy and his side of the story are not mentioned in the mainstream media, but that was 10 years ago and now, we have the internet, which is unrestricted by laws and with news portals, to provide an alternative view to the issue.

State Library of South Australia.

I felt that I had to say something because the alternative media was not mentioned in their debate, and it had seemed as if there were no reports of another point of view to an issue. It seemed as if only the mainstream media existed.

How patriotic of me, eh?

And what about those people who leaves their country in search of better opportunities? Does that make them any less patriotic? Although they are contributing to another country's economy, can we really say that they do not love their country? Just because they've decided to relocate for a better life?

Here's a video of a song that is sang by an Irish (I think) musician:

Recognise him? Does he look familiar?

It's Brian McFadden who used to be in Westlife. You might not have heard from him in a long time, but that's because he's been in Australia, furthering his solo singing career. Oh, and he's also the judge for this year's Australia's Got Talent.
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Saturday, 15 May 2010
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Do you still remember when I said that I will be talking about my accommodation?

I've decided against it. The main reason? They've been getting better, and I don't want to jinx it! But I will write about it one day, for sure.

It may sound very superstitious, but superstitions are part of our traditions; they're what made us who we are today. And I'm superstitious when it comes to certain things.

Anyway, the weather here's been getting colder. I have determined that I'm more of a summer person, I would prefer the heat than the cold now. Because it's not just cold, more often than not it's also cloudy and really gloomy. Unlike the summer when you have hot, sunny and dry days, which I think really makes you more cheerful in general.

Anyway, I've lost my mood for blogging now, so I'll entertain you with another update soon!
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Thursday, 13 May 2010
Humanity Denied?

Last week, there was a book review that was in The Australian about the way international students are treated here in Australia.

"International Student Security" is a book written by Simon Marginson, Chris Nyland, Erlenawati Sawir and Helen Forbes-Mewett.

International students do not always enjoy full security and non-European students, especially, experience exclusions in the foreign land.

That's part of the excerpt from the book. Additionally, the review by Andrew Trounson also highlighted the key issues found in the book:

A preoccupation with revenue generation in the face of chronic government underfunding, the reflex denial of problems, and the lack of care and rights for students caught in the nowhere zone between states all contributed to last year's crisis in student welfare.

It culminated in protests and frenzied diplomacy with India after foreign students were targeted in a spate of sometimes deadly assaults.

At its root it has been a failure to see and value international students as people, Marginson says.

"We separate them from the circle of our humanism, the generosity we extend to ourselves and perhaps to short term visitors," the University of Melbourne's professor of higher education tells the HES on the eve of the publication of International Student Security.

While the book would make an interesting read, I find that in some ways, I do not agree with the authors. I actually feel that my university is treating me well. There are programs for international students to adapt to the Australian system and culture, and the staff are helpful and understanding too. Also, part of the excerpt described the international student as someone who came from a poor nation whose family's hopes lie on them, to get educated, go home and support the family. Isn't that a very traditional and outdated way of thinking?

Art Gallery of South Australia

Not that I'm taking anything away from the authors, I mean there have been cases of racial discrimination; I myself have experienced it once here.

In yesterday's Higher Education section of The Australian, it was reported that a student protest was held yesterday. Also, apparently international student applications have dropped 40 per cent because of the visa crackdowns on international students.

Now isn't it funny that it seems that we international students are becoming less accepted now? I mean, isn't Australia like another land of opportunity? Where people go to seek brighter futures? The coming months will definitely be interesting to see what happens.

Although I must say, at my uni I've not felt unwelcome; everyone's treated me very well. And right now, I should return to my assignments.
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Sunday, 9 May 2010
Tasting Australia

One week ago, I volunteered at the Tasting Australia event.

 It's a food and wine festival, so you basically had booths selling different kinds of food. I was chosen to work in the Miele Cooking Demonstrations, which was, as the title says, cooking demonstrations, but by celebrity chefs. Because of this, they had opened an online booking system. My job for the day, officially, was to register these people and allow them to enter the tent/marquee. Of course, seeing that this is an event, there were of course other tasks to do, like arranging chairs and placing the recipes by the different chefs for the audience to take home.

I must say, it was pretty hectic. Some people were just crazy over these celebrity chefs, whom I've not heard of before. Some of them probably even walked right past me without me noticing. It was that bad.

But it was really funny to see these people look so happy and excited to see these chefs! It looked downright embarrassing to me, but I guess it's because I'm not a fan. From the schedule above, you can see that only 2 shows were full, but in fact, all of them were.

That's the place! It's not very clear, but you can see the size of the place for the event.

The most annoying part, was that a lot of people simply booked the seats, but barely half turned up. The ones that came on that day had to be disappointed to find out that they couldn't enter. But later on we learned our mistake and told them to wait till we let those with registrations to enter and then we'll let those without to enter, if there are spaces.

It was a really rewarding experience for me, as I really learned a lot. And I enjoyed it! The people were so polite! Even those who were disappointed didn't scream their heads off. And one or two even said thank you for providing them with such an entertaining show as they were leaving.

And the superiors! They were so much nicer than Malaysian ones. I mean, you know how sometimes, these people who are in charge of something feel really stressed out and will bark orders every 5 minutes? Or perhaps they way they talk to you seem condescending? Anyway, the people at Tasting Australia weren't. They had this chilled out way of doing things, not stressing over anything, and are so helpful! I even got asked whether I want any drinks, several times! That's how nice it was working with them.

I came home exhausted of course, as I had to work for the whole day for 2 days, but it was all worth it.

Another thing that I realised, is that Aussies seem to emphasise a lot on work experience. Doesn't matter if you just scraped through your exams in uni, as long as you have the necessary experience and skills, you have an advantage.

Anyway, I'm in the midst of making a résumé as part of my assignment, then after that, I will start looking for a job. Wish me luck!
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Saturday, 8 May 2010
Week 9!

Hello readers!

I apologise for not updating my blog, I had been busy.

I'm surprised by how fast time is going by. On Monday I will begin week 9 out of 13 of my course! That's just.. 5 weeks till I end this semester! It really seems incredible that 11 weeks have passed since uni began (9 weeks of uni + 2 weeks' study break) and yet, I still feel like I just came here. Technically, I really did just came here, as in a few days it will be 3 months. I haven't even had time to look back on my 3 months.

Soon, my first semester will be over and my winter break will start.

The front of my uni, at night!

I definitely slacked off a little, for I am behind assignments, at least a little. This weekend I will be working to catch up with it, then hopefully I won't worry so much anymore. I understand how uni life can be so busy, the assignments aren't easy sometimes, especially the group ones. Lots of effort is required, and you need to meet. The thing is, back in college we were all in the same class anyway, so we see each other more often, and are closer to each other. So when we meet up to discuss an assignment, it can be after class. But in uni, we all have different subjects, are in different courses, so we basically only see each other in class. Setting a time to meet can be tough, because everyone's got different schedules.

Founders of Adelaide? Anyway this was taken at the beach.

But I've also had some good times. The TV is a wonderful escape, especially when it comes to shows I like to watch. But I was a little disappointed that one of my favourite contestants on Survivor got voted out, for the first time in 3 seasons!

Back to my classes. I'm finding that some lessons are interesting, especially when they involve humour. Here's one video my lecturer posted in her blog about the power of social media:

Pretty exciting isn't it! I bet you hadn't thought about social media in that way!

That was part of my PR course, where we learnt about the upcoming trends in PR. Obviously, social media is a trend!

But we also learnt about the different audiences we need to address and their opinions. To show us the potential that opinion polls can be rigged, this is what she showed us:

Pretty true and funny, isn't it? I do think I've used that technique before, like last year for my college research paper.

Well, that's it for now. I need to return to my assignments. But I promise, the next update won't take as long!
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