Sunday, 29 August 2010
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I guess most of you here would know that I'm studying public relations. But what I believe most people don't know is that public relations isn't about publicity alone; there are many other jobs a PR person would need to do like writing and liaising with the media. Last semester, as part of my assignment I had to create and update a blog, where I had to post what I learned.

But that's not all I learn in university. There are other core subjects that I need to study as well, like media studies. I've always been interested in what a journalist or a reporter does in their jobs, especially when they're not on TV. Below are some videos of bloopers and funny incidents that have been caught on camera. I've placed the longest two at the top which are compilations, the rest are individual events. I highly recommend you watch the LAST one. I saw it on TV here, and it made me laugh non stop!

To all future journalists, be careful what you say and do on TV! And never broadcast a report from the middle of a football field!
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Thursday, 26 August 2010
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Next week will be more hectic than usual considering I have a debate and an in class test coming up (which I'm actually quite worried about), so I have been pretty occupied these few days. It's a rather complicated subject that I think would make those who think that communication studies is easy think twice.

But I have trailers of movies that are not Oscar-worthy, or deserve to earn lots of money, but just that I want to watch them for the fun of it. The movies here are definitely not as anticipated as the ones I posted before, but nonetheless interests me.

The only reason I'm blogging is because when taking a break I started looking up on movie trailers to let go some steam, and found quite a number of interesting movies. And also because next week I'm expecting to have at least a day where the minimum temperature's above 10 degrees.

Enjoy the trailers and have a great weekend!
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Sunday, 22 August 2010
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First off, I apologise for the hiatus. I've been (gasp!) busy the past week, I've been spending time with my family who is on holiday in Australia.

And now that all that is behind me, I find myself facing a rather gruelling task of catching up with the work I had left behind. So I regret to say that I will not be able to update my blog quite as often, at least until I catch up with my work.

But here's a short update on my life:

1. I got drawn into a debate about the Iraq War. Don't know how it's gonna turn out, but at least it's not graded.
2. Winter is extremely hard to bear, and I'm just praying that the weather warms up soon.
3. This week would be the fifth week of my second semester in uni, and I only have 13 weeks in this semester, not including a two-week teaching break.
4. I'm finding this semester pretty interesting, though I'm not very confident about my assignments.
5. There's a Subway store opening near me soon!
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Wednesday, 11 August 2010
Easy Pickings

Today I had yet another interesting class. The subject Global Security and Sustainability, or GSS for short which really combines a lot of world history with world politics.

Today's lesson was on Japan's WWII strategy. The big question that the lecturer wanted us to think was 'why did Japan attack Pearl Harbour'? Because at that time, the Americans were not attacking the Japanese; but they believed that the Americans would attack them sooner or later, so they might as well weaken the air force first.

That's the first building on my campus, that I've not been in before. Picture taken by a friend. 

My lecturer had said that in the recommended readings he provided, there were many views as to whether or not that decision cost the Japanese the war and their pride. Some scholars believe that had they not angered the Americans they could've stayed out of it, but some reckon that they would have been attacked after Germany fell anyway. He (lecturer) kept stressing on why did they do this? He said they needn't have attacked Pearl Harbour if they were worried about the sanctions imposed on them, because they have taken over Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, 'which were easy pickings really' (he really said that!) and use the natural resources these countries have.

But anyway, I'm finding this subject more and more interesting! And the lecturer seems really lenient, so I hope he isn't too strict with marking the essays.

Rundle Mall, the main (and probably only) street for shopping. Also taken by a friend.

Other than that, uni's been more hectic this semester, with tougher coursework and more preparation needed for classes. Last semester I could simply have walked into class not knowing what the topic of the day was, but this semester, or at least for now, I'm reading whatever the lecturer gave. These few days it really seems like I have a lot to do. But then again it could just be because I've also been watching and downloading a lot of TV shows that in the end a lot of my time is used to watch these shows.

Also, I'll be taking a hiatus from blogging as I'll be away. In my absence, take care!
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Sunday, 8 August 2010
Eat to Live, Live to Eat?

What do you think of when you think about countries like Australia? Or America, China, Brazil? Mention Malaysia, and good food is probably the first thing that will come to your mind.

Penang char koay teow- one of my favourite! 

We Malaysians are a pampered lot indeed. Eating is a national hobby. How many times have you went out with a group of people, and the organiser suggests a place far away because 'the food is good'? Our multicultural background definitely benefited us, for we have a huge varieties of food from different cultures. So pampered by food we are that we find it hard to live in places without Malaysian food.

One question that often comes up is 'do you live to eat, or live to eat'. I've always considered myself to be in the 'live to eat' category, for I always like thinking about what food to eat for my meals. After moving to Adelaide, though, I realised that I actually belong somewhere in the middle. I find that while I do miss eating Malaysian food sometimes, I do not go into severe craving where I simply have to have a certain food. I found that I'm not fussy about what I eat, but I do prefer it to be tasty food!

Asam laksa... Yum! I actually had the wonderful chance to have it twice! 

Take for example my first return trip home. People do ask me 'so have you made a list of food you want teat when you go home'? My reply was always 'no'. Even until a week till my homecoming I did not think about food I miss, although few days later I did make a list which I took my time in completing. But the very first thing that I said I want to have when I landed was fish. Seriously, fish. Seafood is so expensive here that I have not bought any since I came here. When eating out, I find that I tend to choose seafood when I can, for I do not have much opportunity to eat them!

Perhaps another reason for my indifferent view about what I eat is due to the cold weather. The cold weather made me so hungry that I simply did not care what food was available. I just want something to fill my stomach. One time last week I even had to satisfy myself with an Uncle Toby's cereal bar while I was cooking. And due to the lack of skill, what I cook doesn't differ much, it's always the same.

But that doesn't make me any less Malaysian. I still enjoy having good food, but it's just that I won't suffer like a drug user without his drugs. I also enjoy reading food blogs, some with recipes and some introducing good places to eat.

Prawn noodles, otherwise known as har mee - Yummy! 

Then there's another Malaysian characteristic- 'Have you eaten?' is also a commonly asked question. I actually did not know that it wasn't a universal thing until I read about it in a book, that only Malaysians go around asking people whether they've eaten.

So what's it for you- eat to live, or live to eat?
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Wednesday, 4 August 2010
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At university now, I'm doing this subject called Global Security and Sustainability, which right now feels to me like a combination of world history and world politics. And I'm finding it extremely tough, because most of the time I'm clueless about what the lecturer is saying, and that makes me feel pressured, especially because assessment is just two essays worth 50% each.

The first lesson I don't even remember what was discussed in class. He talked a lot about World War I and World War II, which was very alien to me. While I admit that I never liked History and didn't enjoy learning about world history in school, a lot of what was taught was foreign to me, like today's lesson. It was about Germany and the Allied forces' strategies for World War II. He showed us a video, which talked about how Hitler had decided to attack Britain AND Russia, and won at the beginning, but due to poor judgement began losing, then Germany signed some agreement with Japan, and after Japan attacked Pearl Harbour, that gave the Americans the perfect reason to join the war; and apparently President Roosevelt had been preparing for war and just needed an excuse. And so the Axis powers lost.

Throughout the lesson while I was trying to absorb what I was learning, I couldn't stop thinking about how lame and comical it would be if I had commented 'I dunno about any of this, I just know that the Japanese rode bicycles into Malaysia'.

That made me realise just how little we learned back in school, especially about the world. It reminds me a little of the Australians, as in so many ways I think that they live in their own bubble.

My other classes are different, but also highly insightful. I find that I see the world very differently from a few years ago, but it also makes me question sometimes whether I've made the right decision. By that I mean I wonder sometimes whether public relations is the right course for me. I'm sure that social sciences or the humanities is what I would be interested in, but you know how public relations is supposed to be about people who love networking and talking and all that? I would sometimes say that PR is not just about that, but sometimes I do ask myself- Is this the right course for me? If not, what is?

The second question is particularly interesting. I find that studying world politics is pretty interesting. Sociology interests me, too. Things like nation states, citizenship, population and migration, identities and belonging. When I think about understanding politics, culture, languages, or even psychology, all these seem to make public relations paler in comparison. But then again, I find it so much more interesting when I'm only reading about it out of interest.

I seem to like so many things, yet don't like it, eh? Anyway that's all for now, and once again here's a funny spoof video I found:

I loved the last line!
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Sunday, 1 August 2010
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I read an interesting article in the New York Times about social media usage today.

Basically, the article talked about how our individual identity is now very much changed, thanks to sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc. It started off by introducing the words of sociologist Erving Goffman, who said that our life is in fact, nothing but a performance:

We act out a role in every interaction, adapting it based on the nature of the relationship or context at hand. Effectively, it makes the greasepaint permanent, blurring the lines not only between public and private but also between the authentic and contrived self. If all the world was once a stage, it has now become a reality TV show: we mere players are not just aware of the camera; we mug for it. 
 And through a research, it was found that his theory is indeed accurate.

“On Twitter or Facebook you’re trying to express something real about who you are. But because you’re also creating something for others’ consumption, you find yourself imagining and playing to your audience more and more. So those moments in which you’re supposed to be showing your true self become a performance. Your psychology becomes a performance.” 

I find that theory highly interesting. In fact I'm finding media studies fascinating. It's just that we have never been brought up to realise just how influential the media is. Just yesterday I was reading some material for one of my subjects this semester, and basically that chapter highlighted the fact that sometimes, the media is referred to as the fourth estate. The first three have been taught in history lessons- the executive, legislative and judicial powers.

When you think about it, we do indeed update our Facebook or Twitter statuses as a performance; it is not who we are.

I consider myself to be a rather private person. I do not see the need to advertise myself and all my activities online. So my updates show just a fragment of my true self, by giving out insignificant details of my life, or something that stirred my emotions. It thus becomes a performance- I blog for people to read, I post a joke on Facebook (this just happened yesterday) to make people laugh, I Tweet to make my presence known.

Now consider someone who says everything online. What they ate, what they did, who they met, etc. Are those updates really meant to inform other people of what happened in their lives, or is it because they feel obligated to their 'followers'?

But when every thought is externalised, what becomes of insight? When we reflexively post each feeling, what becomes of reflection? When friends become fans, what happens to intimacy? The risk of the performance culture, of the packaged self, is that it erodes the very relationships it purports to create, and alienates us from our own humanity.

The author of the article said that despite all that, she will still keep Tweeting. And I would still continue blogging, Facebook-ing and Tweeting. Social media isn't perfect, but it has its benefits and advantages! 

Lastly, here are some funny commercials on The Ellen DeGeneres show:

P.S. Yesterday, this blog turned three!
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