Semi-hiatus.

I really hate to do this cos I love blogging on here but I have to take a semi-hiatus, at least until all/most of my assignments are over. Which is 14th April 2016. So, roughly 2 weeks. Most of my assignments are due next week and I’ve barely written for any of them (I have come up with detailed outlines though). Plus this weekend is entirely burnt by the SG Forum – which I’m hoping would be a good experience! But it still means I’m losing precious writing time.

So, yes. A semi-hiatus.

I’ll probably still write on here whenever the academic work/job hunting is getting too much 🙂

Emotionally upset.

I told my dad about my plans to Tokyo. He said no. Not because of the money (I’m paying for it all myself anyway since it’s my grad trip), not because of the country but because of a very sexist reason which is: no other girls are going with me.

My original plan was to go with Val, literally the most harmless of the male species. He said that Dono and Leoson were interested in going too during the same period so I said sure why not. I can click with those guys – there shouldn’t be any problems personality-wise. Plus 3 guys would be better at “protecting” the girl right? If we’re going by my parents’ logic.

But nope. A well-resounding nope.

Honestly, I feel very upset by this. I’m not usually one that has or display emotions but when something triggers it, I just go on the extreme end. I’m actually trying to stop myself from tearing up as I write this post. Japan’s been my dream for so long – at least 3 years now – and to have the door to go shut in my face is just very hurting. I’m trying very hard to understand my parents’ POV – maybe it’s because I’m the firstborn that they feel more protective – but it’s not working. I can’t see the logic. I don’t know what to do.

To be fair, all is not lost. I am still very insistent that I go on a Grad Trip before I start my working life. I do deserve one. I’ve been studying essentially nonstop for 20 years now. I need a break. Sure, I do take holidays in between them but to have a Grad Trip means so much more than just a trip overseas. It’s commemorating my success as a student and how that phase of my life is over (for now).

I do have some options. Or rather, an option. Amanda has been talking about going to Korea in May and I am quite interested since I do like everything Korean now so it won’t be a complete waste of money. I’m just thinking how much happier I’d be in Japan though. Not to say that Amanda’s bad company. She’s become one of my closest friends in PS. But still. We’ll see how it goes. As they say, when there’s a will, there’s a way.

I just can’t stop thinking about how if my parents are this protective over a trip, how would they ever let me go whenever I start dating and then consequently marrying someone when I’m ready?

Maybe I’ll end up being an old spinster with multiple cats.

 

ReLIFE.

Ahh it’s finally a thing! I’m hooked on the manga ever since I came across it in Crunchyroll and I’m so excited that it’s finally being turned into an anime. Glad to see that they kept the original style of the manga through the animation, illustrations etc.

I usually go for those dark and gritty mangas (see: Tokyo Ghoul, Death Note) but ReLIFE is pretty great as a contemporary/sci-fi one. It follows the life of Arata, a 27 year old NEET who’s given the chance to relive his high school life in the hopes of making a better life for himself. He’s presented with this strange pill by a guy who somehow knows all about him and is part of some larger research corporation. That pill is able to make him look 10 years younger, suitable to enroll in the last year of high school. Other than his facial appearance, everything else about him is still 27 years old though. Which makes for some very funny situations especially when he thinks about all the legal younger girls that he’s surrounded with in school. I literally laughed out loud when I read those parts.

lol

Read from right to left cos it’s a Japanese manga 🙂

Can’t wait to see how the anime turns out. I’m still in the midst of reading the manga (I’m only on Chapter 50 I think) but since the anime is only coming out in July, I think I should have caught up by then.

In the zone.

I’m always happy whenever I managed to successfully be in the writing zone. Once I’m in it, words just flow out of me and onto the page as easily as one breathes.

It’s just the getting-to-that-zone part that is hard.

Ah, well. Loads to do today so better get on with it.

Today’s writing music is the lovely sounds from Ao Haru Ride (click here)

In high spirits.

Woot, today seems to be going really great for me.

Started the day back at my old secondary school (ah dear old West Spring) to see the band’s showcase to the rest of the school since I can’t come on the actual day of competition (sigh SG Forum). Met up with Syu too and we both agreed that the band sounds way more stronger and the dancers were really great. I really like the butterfly props. Reminds me of BTS’ Papillon concept~ If they tighten their marching more – recreate those beautiful straight lines from 2014 please – I think they stand a good chance of retaining their Distinction or going even further. Is there a higher grade now? The new grading system is a bit weird so I’m not so sure.

Then, I headed to school for a 30 minute consultation with Prof Kevin. He still gives me an intimidating vibe though I’m sure that’s only me. Maybe it’s because his eyes are too blue and piercing – like they’re seeing into the very essence of me. Disturbing, to say the least. Anyway, the consultation went really well! He said I can write a really compelling argument with the materials and tentative outline that I have set out. I’m determined to make this essay my second A/A- for the mod and that would have secured 50% of my grade already. This class is really quite interesting so I want to do well for it.

And barely 30 minutes ago, I got a really cool phone call! From the MFA people!! I wanted to take a little nap so I think I sounded a little bit sleepy at the start but I was totally awake when she said she’s calling from the MFA haha. I think it was just a standard follow-up-please-apply-to-us-soon phone call but I was so excited. I can still feel the adrenaline rush through my veins haha. Silly me. I’ve already set up a meeting with my mentor to go through my CV writing skills so I can quickly apply for it. Hoping that I do get an MFA spot! There’s multiple rounds so I’m just going to take it one step at a time but this is still exciting. Also, hopefully the other rounds won’t clash with my grad trip *prays really hard*

Oh wow this day gets better and better. I just got an email from the SG Forum people and I got assigned to Marty Natalegawa aka the former Foreign Minister for Indonesia! *nerd fangirling* I need to read up more before I actually meet him next Friday but based on the news I’ve seen I have quite a good impression of him. Hopefully he’ll have a good one about me too.

The next 2 weeks are going to be some of the fastest and whirlwind-y (correct word?) weeks of my life but I AM EXCITED. And ready. I just need to balance school and other stuff well and I’m set for the end of the semester.

Bring it on. *drops Cypher Pt 3*

This is the most dope track I know so I think it’s a suitable fit for the end of this post. Of course, I’m not intending to be arrogant – far from that – but a little self-confidence once in a while is good for the soul.

Media bias.

The Brussels attacks were yesterday. It was very scary to see as it all unfold. Ironically, I was in my EU Foreign Policy class as it happened. ISIS has claimed credit for the event, in retaliation for the arrest of Saleh Abdesalam a couple of days ago. 30 people have died and several hundreds are injured. It is a tragic event, no doubt about that.

But what I can’t wrap my head around is the media coverage over it all. How the media is so biased towards Western/white countries. It happened in the Paris attacks, it’s happening again now. Literally days before Brussels, Turkey was also rocked by a series of explosions in its biggest cities – Ankara and Istanbul. But mainstream media barely covered it. No Instagram/insert-your-social-media posts offering solidarity and support. I think out of all the celebrities I follow on IG, only Mesut Ozil (the Arsenal footballer) posted something about it. And that’s because he is of Turkish descent (I’m not sure if he’s actually Turkish but I don’t think so).

I’m not saying that Turkey bears a heavier woe than Brussels. Both events are very tragic and shouldn’t have happened. It’s just that it’s very saddening and disappointing to see that even in the age of globalised networks and social media where news spreads quickly, we still see very apparent media bias.

I’m not sure what I can do to remove or alleviate this. I am, after all, just a single individual. But I felt like I had to write about this. It’s not just Western countries that’s being attacked for being unIslamic. Going by that logic, Turkey shouldn’t have been attacked at all. These extremists are clearly not Muslims as they are not following Islam – a religion that literally means peace. Media coverage is thus very important to remove any stereotype anyone might have about Islam. It goes a long way. And I hope that by writing this post, it’ll at least be one step in doing so.

#sadlife

You know it’s the worst part of the semester when you skip a class just to catch up on work to do. Sigh.

Still, it’s the last few weeks I have left in school. Might as well make the best of it 🙂

On harassment and privacy.

So this happened last Thursday, March 10th.

 I don’t feel bad about not censoring the number because tbh he’s asking for it. 

I’m not sure how this dude got my number but I felt really scared of my safety when it happened. Mainly because it happened when I was in line for the Sarah J Maas signing at JP with Syu. So, I was out in public. And this random person who I don’t know suddenly messages me? Not even FB Messenger but my actual number. Yeah, I was scared. I’m very thankful to Syu though cos she calmed me down some and tried to come up with ideas to get this guy. One of which involved calling the number from a payphone, which was very smart since he can’t track the number, but failed cos he didn’t pick up.

Afterwards when I came home I told my mom about it but was very disappointed from her attitude. Sure, I’ve blocked the number and technically he can’t do anything to me (online) anymore but still. This is your daughter and you taking a very tak endah (couldn’t care less) attitude is very discouraging and sets a pretty dangerous precedent. She didn’t say in so many words but from her behaviour and attitude it seems like I should be happy that this happened? Like someone likes me this much to track me down? What the hell. She doesn’t seem to get that this can constitute as harassment. Or that my privacy has been breached. Very disappointing.

Anyway, after that I tried to get to know who this guy is and this is what happened:

Yes, death threats. I don’t think he actually meant them but the fact that it was stated is already something (I should get Llama on this to advice on the legality of it all haha). Seriously, this dude is so creepy and I do feel a bit insecure now whenever I’m alone in school. Usually I’m very okay with eating alone at the Deck or going to CLB in between lessons for a bit of studying but now I don’t know :/. I spent the past week with friends in between classes so that’s good but I sort of don’t want this guy’s words to impact me so much to change how I live my life? Know what I mean? Like if I were to “win” in this whole thing, I should just go on living my life how it is. Just that whenever I think so, there’s this little voice inside my head saying but what if something does happen.

Ugh this individual is seriously not worth the amount of stress I had the past week or so. He hasn’t contacted me (he can’t cos I blocked him again) and there has been no weird encounters in school so I am a bit relieved and just hoping this will all die down. Just let me graduate with no big fuss please.

But yes, I thought I should share it even though I’m pretty much over this cos it’s important to let other people know and what steps and mental preparation they can take if it were ever to happen.

Here’s a video from Rosianna (one of my favourite youtubers!) talking about sexual harassment and how it’s so internalised in our culture today that women feel it’s a minor thing and shouldn’t be brought up to the relevant authorities even though they should. Now, my experience wasn’t as severe as hers but I did have moments of doubt like am I making a big deal out of this maybe it’s not so bad and I was constantly asking my friends like This is weird isn’t it? This is creepy and harassment? It’s not just me that thinks so, right? even though deep inside I knew that it was.

Those moments of self-doubt is almost as scary as the actual act itself. Women shouldn’t self-doubt when these things happen. These things are real and should be talked about because it’s the only way that it will get better and won’t happen again in the long-term.

Zootopia. #recommendationwednesday/friday

Zootopia

2 days late but it’s worth it! I watched Zootopia yesterday with the sister and I’m glad to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Nothing less from a modern Disney movie.

Zootopia is set in a world where animals have evolved past their predatory/prey instincts and are pretty much as civilised as Man itself. Humans play no part in this movie though. It’s all about the animals. We follow the story of ambitious rabbit Judy Hopps whose lifelong dream has always been to be a police officer and protect the citizenry. Of course, this is pretty much unheard of since a bunny is still small in stature and in no physical capacity to capture the bad guys. Until she does. She’s seriously so kickass – kicking everyone’s butt eventually in the police academy and becoming top of ther class. Judy is then assigned to Precinct 1 in Zootopia, the capital of the animal kingdom, feeling all optimistic about life. But life isn’t always like that. Life can be dark and gritty and Judy learns that the hard way when she’s assigned to parking duties instead of solving a missing animal case (of which 14 has cropped up around town). Through a bizarre and whirling set of events, she’s paired with fox Nick Wilde and they embark on an adventure to try to solve the missing animals cases on their own.

What I really loved about the movie is the plot and the animation. It’s fast-paced and although the ending is a little expected, it’s still thrilling to watch. Also, keep in mind that the target audience for this movie is probably families with kids so maybe the ending is not so expected for them. And the animation is beautiful! When they first introduced the different aspects of Zootopia, I was amazed. The attention to detail is astounding.

The main characters, Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps were also definitely not one-dimensional characters. I find myself quite attracted to Nick even though he’s a fox and I entirely blame Jason Bateman who voices him haha. His voice is pretty rich and I love it.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend it! It might be a notch higher than Big Hero 6 for me but just a notch cos Baymax still has my heart hehe.

Fun fact: Zootopia is called Zootropolis in some parts of Europe. Are they so fearful of the communist ideology that they’re even renaming a Disney movie? I find this very interesting hmm.

Personality test.

personality

Succumbed to doing a personality test online after seeing them floating around Facebook. I have to say, this is pretty accurate. I guess I’m really not friendly (case in point: having a Friends Test haha) or emotional which I already suspect for quite some time, even though I cry quite easily at TV shows or movies. It’s real life that’s a bit of a problem for me.

I’m quite happy to see I’m pretty self-reliant though! And my emotional stability is pretty good. Glad to see that I’m a pretty warm person too despite the lack of emotions haha. One thing that surprises me is that my reserve section is pretty low. Although once I think about it, I’m really not reserved around my friends and am able to make small talk when I have to (just that I don’t enjoy it so much).

I know these tests aren’t actually 100% true and that people change throughout their lives but it’s nice seeing some parts of myself being validated by a third party, even if it’s a computer algorithm.