A Crack in the Wood & A Splash in the Sand

A couple of weeks ago, I submitted my last assignment. Just a few days ago, I sat for my final exam. The next semester? It’s all practicum. I’ll be going to SMK Seri Saujana (info, anyone?) with Hanin and Mira, but this post isn’t about practicum. Not yet. It’s not that I’m not ready to go into school for actual teaching. I’ll be lying if I say I’m not scared, because I am, but I’m not ready to let go just yet.

I may be quick to have a change of heart at certain things, but to let go of the last five years is something very hard. I know I’d still see my best buddies until the end of this semester and during practicum. Next year is still over 6 months away but I’m already thinking about separation. I know I’m not close to every one of my coursemates, but I acknowledge and applaud them for their unique personality that makes them… well, them. You can describe someone without mentions of names and we’d probably right away know whom you’re talking about. If I can sum up my coursemates in one word, I only know of one:

A W E S O M E

I probably won’t ever come across similar lot of people anymore – people with talents ranging from sewing to drawing to singing to playing multiple musical instruments to sports et cetera et cetera. It makes me a bit sad. When I return to my hometown, it’s probably going to be even harder to find people like them. Don’t try to correct me. I know this by experience. Even if you think your lot is 100 times more awesome, I can’t verify that since I don’t know them (duh!). Will there still be someone who’d listen to me when I speak or joke?

When I was in secondary school, I remember my teacher saying something like “The friends you make during the last 5-6 years of your life as students are likely to be the ones who’d stay in touch with you throughout your whole life our of pure friendship. They’re likely to be the ones you’d remember the most anyway, so cherish them always.” I seriously hope this is true.

Mira, Hanin, Khairiyyah, Nisrin, Hijrah, Lucille, Zu Lee, Rozi, Dyau, Fifi (I’m stuck calling you that, LOL, sorry!), Zaki, Fayadh, Atie and the name goes on. You guys know which ones of you lot changed bits and pieces of my previously monotonous life. You made me smile, smile, smile, laugh, cry, laugh, smile, cry, smile, and you let me feel all sorts of feelings and emotions – so much that sometimes I’m scared of how dependent I’ve become on my friends. Thank you for being my friends. Thank you for even listening to whatever I’ve crapped about.

I’ve been through changes, like the once smooth surface of wood now lavished with cracks here and there that let sunshine, wind and even rain through. Some parts, though, remain the same, but not so – just like a splash of water to the sand. Splashes after splashes, changes in texture are bound to happen, but they probably would not be so noticable, unlike those obvious cracks in the wood. Some changes made me happy, some not so. I want to leave IPBA so much because sometimes, it feels like I’m living in a military camp where some of the higher ups bark rudely and bitchy-ly most of the times. At the same time, I don’t want to leave my friends and the happy time we had.

And now I also have wonderful juniors as apartment mates and young friends, and special mention to Shap for being my cute and not so naive (anymore because there’s Mira and me , LOL) roommate. Our time of knowing each other is short, but at least I want you people to know how happy you made me feel when you acknowledged my existence.

I’m being emotional. Maybe it’s the time (4.18am). Maybe it’s just me.

And now I’ve lost the stream of words I was supposed to write down. Maybe I’ll continue later.

Ciao.

p.s/ Credit to Zaki for the photo.

The manifestation of Fear in Dreams. Or nightmares.

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I’ve always known that I have some kind of fear of failures, but I didn’t think it would haunt me in my dream. Despite my dislike of writing about dreams, I find myself compelled to write this one for memory’s sake. In most of the dreams that I could remember, I was always in school or academy – the kind of environment that’s only suitable for learning. Last night was different in a way that it deals specifically with assignments. For some reason, my dream self did not submit an assignment due in January and only realised about it when it was already October. I was not sure if I truly did not submit it, or it was just my fear taking over (in the dream, of course). There was arguing and begging and pleading with the lecturer in charge of that subject.

What woke me up was the lecturer’s words, “They are all looking to catch you off guard and fail you. You know you’re finished if you fail the next one.”

I never failed a single paper in life. Not ever. I guess this is what the last semester does to me. I’m not performing as good in two of my subjects now, so the fear of failure is taking over me. It’s funny to have myself flail and squeak and freak out, unlike my previous self who would study like mad by now.

I just can’t find it in me to study so diligently like when I was in secondary school, chasing after scores and grades. The enjoyment I could gain only from studying seems to be gone somewhere. I can’t feel it anymore. Now that I think about it, maybe it wasn’t what I should call ‘enjoyment’. It was not even ‘self-accomplishment’. It’s more like a ‘drive’ to please and fulfill the desires and meet the expectations of everyone around me. I failed to realise that all along, that was my fear of getting scorned by others, mainly my parents.  This particular fear is one that binds my dreamscape to school scenarios up until now.

It’s somewhat irritating, really. Hmph, and this entry is so pointless it hurts.

In Which I’ve Been Up to No Good Again

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My Good Ol’ Photoshop in Action (Painter tab is minimised there)
Again, it’s a Reborn! fanart. What else do I draw this past few months? Lol.

I’m finally updating this blog after a long while. My inconsistency astounds even myself, and that’s pure sarcasm right there. Hur. I’ve been updating my Livejournal, Dreamwidth and some other logs, but not my main blog. What a shame. Since I’m still lazy to construct proper paragraphs, I’ll just write in bullet points.

  • Rikaichan has been pampering me way too much and now I’m lazier than ever to browse through my dictionary for unfamiliar kanji characters.
  • I just realised that I can now understand 98% of fast Japanese speech in J-Dramas/Anime without looking at the dictionary. This helps when I’m watching (more like listening to, actually) Zetsubou-sensei’s random tales dripping with pure poisonous sarcasm. Who said self-teaching doesn’t pay off, huh?
  • Japanese writing skills have improved at least 50% more now that I have a bilingual Japanese/English fanwork site to maintain. Replying to visitor comments, e-mails and webclap comments helps a lot.
  • My drawing skills are improving steadily although they still suck like there’s no tomorrow.
  • I may need to buy a new tablet before going back to Malaysia. Problem? I’m broke. Broke. BROKE!! *sobs*
  • I think my Linguist 307 assignment was CRAP. Oh well, the subject IS crap anyway.
  • I should be doing my Langtchg 302 assignment, but I’m still procrastinating
  • I’ve been reclaiming all blog posts that I can retrieve from my old domains via Wayback Machine. It’s a great, great help. I’m feeling nostalgic just looking at those old sites. Greymatter, b2, Movable Type and Newspro days! How nostalgic indeed~
  • Services offered by FC2, Ninja Tools and a few other sites ROCK!! I’ll be perusing the web for more similar awesomeness.

Before I forget:

HAPPY RAMADHAN AND HAPPY FASTING TO MYSELF AND ALL MY MUSLIM FRIENDS!

Now I wonder how long it’s going to take until my next update.

In Which Hate is an Understatement

depressedI’m wishing for a clearer vision. Maybe I’m talking about my eyesight, of maybe I’m talking about my goals in life. I don’t know. I can’t be too sure. It has come to my attention lately that my habit of getting bored so easily is not very favourable. It’s not about getting bored in lessons. It’s about getting bored at things and people. I may love someone to bits today, and gets tired of hearing his voice tomorrow. I may treasure an expensive fountain pen so much today and forget all about it, maybe even misplace it the next day. I’m currently distressed and distraught over a new dispute with Wellesley Student Apartments.

My friends know how I openly hate the AUT managed student accommodations. The staff are unfriendly, and they charge money like there’s no tomorrow. You can’t even have a small speckle of dust in your room, or you’re going to have to chuck out $50. If it’s your housemate who’s at fault, you’re going to walk in shit as well. You can’t even do anything about your housemate next door who snores like a pig every night, runs and stomps her feet along the corridors at night, opens the light because she’s scared of the dark (and wastes the goddamn electricity), brings friends into the house and tells said friends “It’s okay, you don’t have to take off your shoes” when it’s a rule that we don’t tolerate people walking the corridors with their shoes on, throws a party that interrupts the peaceful evening, keeps her door open with a guy lying on her bed at the door where her Muslim housemates walk by, and many other things. If there’s one thing I hated as much as WSA last year, it’s June (who found my blog post last year and bitched about it to someone else, who then told me she complained about it. Lol.)

But hey, I’m hating WSA more than anything now. The statement says I owe them $458.56 of rent money. I remembered paying cash at the counter, so technically, what was paid by cash doesn’t show up in my bank statement (once, when I withdrew money my mom deposited and spared some for rent. I was alone, not with Mira at that time. She paid one or two days before me, if I remember correctly.). So now I’m expected to pay for it, maybe before September. I want to just go to O’Rorke Hall right now and smash down a $500 bill on the counter, ask them to call the management next door and settle the damn thing and then leave with a disgusted “Keep the change, bitches” remark. I can still control myself, though.

Until today, I’m still angry at the people who managed our accommodation for last year. Angry at the ones who arranged for us to stay there too. We were University of Auckland students living in the Auckland University of Technology accommodation because the Malaysian government didn’t give us enough money to stay in our own University’s hall of residence, which is ironically just next to AUT’s. How stupid is that? We didn’t have a choice. We were almost strangers there. WSA people don’t have to try to clear shits up by saying that they don’t treat us any differently. I know better because I’ve experienced it (what, you think I couldn’t see how trashy the next door apartment was on the day of inspection? Bluff.)

Even if  I do owe them money, why didn’t they inform me earlier last year? Why not before I go back for a long summer holiday in Malaysia? They could have told me on the day I checked out: “Oh by the way, you still owe us money.” No, no, no. What they told me was “Okay, that’s all there is to it! Have a safe trip, bye!”

I’m so tired of all this. I just want to go back to Malaysia. I suddenly want to hug my parents so badly.

Introduction to the Reading Process

Expressly written in today’s lecture. Lecturer: Marineke Goodwin. I had loads of fun in this lecture. She came prepared with lots of materials!

History of Language Learning in New Zealand

  • purpose of literacy before the age of decoding
  • literacy brought from England

Four discernible ages of reading theories = identified, and we´re entering the fifth. They´re the ages of reading (Turbill, 2002):

  1. ~ as decoding
  2. ~ of meaning making
  3. ~ of reading-writing connections
  4. ~ of reading for social purposes
  5. ~ of multiliteracies

Decoding

  1. fom late 19th century – 1940´s
  2. syllabus, reading material, workbooks, etc – highly prescriptive and structured
  3. focus on skills n drills: ABCs, sound/letter, rel, decoding word recog.
  4. theories =>reading process emp. the graphophonic cueing system
  5. techers beieved – decoding preceded comprehension – once know alphabet n how to syllabify you could read a sentence n then para. and then text
  6. reading, writing, sp. n handwriting taught separately – as separate subjects
  7. debates exist – history always full of change. New method appear in NZ – ´Look & Say´ method.
  8. Decoding type text example: Kit the cat, sat, kit sat in a bag of rags…. // B -> Br -> Bri -> Brick, etc <= Phonic type.(note to self: look it up. look at the rhyme). Is it still relevant to the way we do things now?
  9. if you look at the word long enough and say it long enough, you will remember the whole word. Method: introduce high freq, text
  10. the problem is – the new method overthrow all previous methods – many disagree while others agree = debates

Meaning Making

  1. from the 1960´s in NZ
  2. NZers keen to develop a national identity – reflected in the first real series of books for n about NZ children, places n exp.
  3. increased immi. = classes often very diverse n many children arrived at school with langs. other than English
  4. language acq. models – used to inform reading n writing processes
  5. teachers believed reading n writing should be child centered, lit. based n meaningful
  6. reading seen not only as grapho. but also syntactic n semntic = MAKE SENSE . always in the process to make meaning
  7. learning to read viewed as lifelong proces n reading to learn = goal
  8. debates focused on phonics vs ´whole language´ approach this theory became known as
  9. teachers prob. instructed to forget abt some decoding aspects – decoding = hinder ´whole meaning´ process.
  10. whole lang. era – very lit. based era

Word of the day

Proliferate

–verb (used without object), verb (used with object), -at⋅ed, -at⋅ing.

1. to grow or produce by multiplication of parts, as in budding or cell division, or by procreation.
2. to increase in number or spread rapidly and often excessively.
History of Language Learning in New Zealand

multiliteracy – text on the computer

Integrating the sources of info. in reading n writing

Knowledge n exp, lang. structure, shapes n sound, meaning – related

A reader has to…

  • use knowledge of lang. n know how it works
  • translate letters into sounds (children use alphabet books, soundcards, spelling patterns (e.g:´or´ sounds like for, port, four, pour, aw, etc.
  • recog. patterns in words
  • have some knowledge of the topic – imp. for older readers esp. ESOL learners
  • link/relate the text to own bg knowledge (schema)
  • predict what the text will be about using word and world knowledge

So, um, yeah… Sorghum Stenches translates to circumstances. Sweet as. Grain murder= grandmother. Ladle Rat Rotten Hut – Little Red Riding Hood. ROFL.

Looking forward to next week. Yes, I’m actually looking forward to lectures 😛