The Need for More Brain Space

The last and final paper tomorrow: World Religion. I still have a few hundred pages or so to cover and -someone save me- memorize. I, for one, absolutely loathe memorizing. This subject, however, is all about memorizing. Funny how I only realized that a day before the final paper. I am posting this on a whim because I have to get back to the massively annoying textbook and wonder for the billionth time why there are so many religions in the world today! Why can't we all just get along...? I am so very sad. (Not really. Just freaking out over the high possibility of the paper going awry for me!)

I will be posting tomorrow after liberation has been obtained...hopefully in a less nutty state. Facebook went from calling for my name to screeching it every five seconds now at a mind-blowingly high volume. Mind-blowing because my mind is about to explode. So I am also in mental agony! From two very separate issues. Just not cool.

So long and farewell. For now.



The Number Five

Five significant things happened today.

Thing One: I woke up to birds chirping and dogs barking and figured that today was going to be a glorious day. It was.

Thing Two: I was blessed by an incredible message in church! The message's focus was on mountains, bag packs and unnecessary stones (in said bag packs). If you genuinely want to know more, ask me and I will gladly share. My bag pack feels slightly lighter after today.

Thing Three: I ate three mamons -one for breakfast and two for dinner. I had also eaten one for dinner last night. There is one more left...possibly for breakfast tomorrow. Mamons are as delicious as they are fluffy.

Thing Four: I finished my revision for my Sociology finals a few hours behind schedule because I kept stalling before getting started on that one chapter which I loathe. The chapter turned out pretty alright after actually reading it. I am not surprised. This happens almost every time. My bad. As I type this, the Sociology facts are bursting to get out of my diminutive memory. I do not know what the combination of Microeconomics and Sociology facts will turn out to be like. (I have both papers on the same day.) But I am fearing the worst.

Thing Five: I replied my best friend's email with pictures of college events this time. It was a great way to relieve myself of the non-existent stress I claim to have.

Thing Five and a Half: This post initially had five parts but I found some pretty interesting facts about the number five which should warrant it's own half-part in this post.


Lessons Learned

After having read -via blogs- and talked about the end of college way too many times over the past five days, I have grown slightly annoyed with the bugging emotional thought that has hogged my brain on end. That thought is now, without a doubt, crushed. And is replaced with the thought that finals is approaching way too close for comfort and I would be dead meat if I don't get started on my revision...soon.

I am immensely thankful to numerous people who have made college less of a battlefield for me...but those thanks are conveyed and directed to the Man Upstairs everyday in my prayers. Thus, I shall spare this blog from any melancholy for now. Besides, I absolutely miss my kvetching self who loves to complain even when the going is easy. So allow me now to complain about... I got nothing. Yet. Oy.

On a completely (and abruptly) different note, this semester was, hands-down, the most stressful and gut-wrenching one. I was in great distress more so than I was sleeping. This means that apart from living the nightmare during the day, my dreams were constantly haunted by the Predicament o' the Day when I go to bed every night. But with harrowing college ordeals come indispensable life lessons -such as the following:

1. Tutoring Math, especially the kind that involves Business concepts, is more stressful than swimming in an ocean infested with sharks and trying to make it out alive.

2. When you think you are at your absolute worst, you may just amaze yourself by being even worse than your absolute worst. And then pass out -from sheer joy- when you unknowingly turn around and become your absolute best the next moment.

3. You can try to be upset over something all you want...but in the end, an equal amount of happiness over something else prevails. At least, in my case. [Happiness > Sadness]

4. Never underestimate the smart part of the brain, even though the stupid part convinces you that you cannot do it. The stupid part is, after all, stupid. And we all have both parts.

5. Good friends are like life-changing books you want to keep in your bookshelf for as long as you can; even though there may be reprinting of said books...or they have been dog-eared or have an addition of bookworms. (If you do not get the metaphor, do not fret -because neither do I. But I can go on and on about book personifications. Future Justine would get this though.)

6. The piano is a very beautiful object.

7. Apart from the thought of God and my very comfortable bed, the thought of family never fails to bring me comfort and peace.

8. Life does not surprise me in the most unexpected ways...nor does life show me how the worst circumstances are always blessings in disguise. God does.

9. Being proven wrong feels incredible.

10. Thai green curry chicken with rice is simply delicious.

Off to lunch with friends of all ages now!


The Lovely End

Today was a good last day of college. Spent a great amount of time with amazing people throughout the day. Feeling thankful on so many levels. Rest assured that a thank you post may be in the virtual pipeline. Unfortunately, I am now emotionally, mentally and physically drained. Tomorrow will be another good day spent with a special group of people. 'Special' because we all adore the same special artist.

And I hope you didn't roll your eyes when you read the last line because that is a fact I absolutely believe in. Ha-ha. No, really.

Until tomorrow.

P/S: To the friends who produced a lot of waterworks, there is always reason to rejoice. The end of something is tantamount to the start of something else -which will be equally good or even better. So don't be upset! Life is too amazing to be upset over anything for too long. At least, that's what I think. Heh.



Today was both a blissful and somber day. A friend and I went around giving out thank-you cards to the lecturers we owe our unending gratitude to and one lecturer in particular, our World Religion lecturer, completely made our day by giving us little books he had written; despite knowing us the least. I knew how amazing he had always been...but man, his awesomeness just increased ten-folds when we spoke to and thanked him. I had initially contemplated on whether I should give the card to him since he doesn't know me by name. And by the way he is during class lectures, I had thought that he would have pegged the thank-you card as being too cheesy. But boy was I wrong. And I am tripping with glee over the fact that I decided to give him the thank-you card in the end. He is amazing both in and out of class.

After that, I had the last tutoring session ever with the aforementioned friend and waves of relief came crashing down on me the minute we ended it. And after that, we went to the main campus to check out the ECA (Extra-curricular Activities) Day event and support friends who were part of the Science Society. Much to my chagrin, I discovered a little too late that there was a Reader's Club. As much as I wanted to join the club, it was pointless because tomorrow is my last day of college classes.

Evening came and I decided to stick around in college since I had nothing to do back home and my to-do list no longer has anything college-related -besides studying for finals next week but that's besides the point. Then I watched several friends play the piano and began to regret giving up on playing the piano eight years ago. The piece of furniture a.k.a. piano in the house is going to be put to use again...someday.

On a tragic note, today has been pretty emotional for a couple of people -me inclusive though I did not participate in the waterworks. It is going to be difficult leaving college now that it is the absolute end for me. But I forbid myself from getting (too) upset because the next chapter is about to be opened. And that is reason enough to rejoice.

I dread tomorrow. It will be overwhelming, as much as I don't want it to be. Oy.


Annihilation Underway

Today, I handed in two major group projects which marked the glorious end of college labor. I never realized how I was still having a steely grip on the stress over the two projects -Sociology and World Religion respectively- until this morning. I couldn't function until I had everything printed, compiled, bound and in the hands of the lecturers. Breakfast lasted all of ten minutes for me before I decided to rush off to get the documents printed at a printing shop instead of the library; where there is only one printer for fifteen students needing to print multiple documents simultaneously.

I now have thirteen thank-you cards to distribute to the lecturers and office ladies who have greatly assisted me throughout my stint in college. College has been a huge pain no thanks to the lecturers and the Beast of College, but college has also been an extraordinary journey all thanks to these people -and, of course, irreplaceable friends.

Speaking of the Beast of College, it is going to go down. The annihilation process is going pretty swell so far and is just about to end soon. Yeah man.


Cover Page Experiments

Today was a very pleasant day. My Chemistry lecturer finally handed me the recommendation letters she had written for me. I had asked her for it a month ago and sadly, the letters will be safely kept in my Danger: University Application Materials folder in the event that I need them. Since I had four of the same letters and had no use for them (at the moment), I decided to open one of them and read it. It was amusing on so many levels. Because those nice words describe the part of me that does not exist. Oy.

Coincidentally, I discovered today that my father is not only a funny man, but is a funny writer, too. His email about a postponed seafood lunch to his business associate was so hilarious that I was laughing out loud in front of him. And he hadn't the smallest clue what I was laughing over...which made me laugh more. Double oy.

After college, I bought a bunch of thank-you cards for my lecturers. Then I went home and began writing until night suddenly crept up on me. I never realized how time and energy consuming writing kind-of lengthy thank-you cards is...until today, that is. I am now mentally, emotionally and verbally drained. So I had to use what little left of energy I had to complete the three Calculus questions for homework today. And now I am typing this with energy below the blinking Empty level.

In the midst of penning out my thankful thoughts down, I worked on the World Religion documents which need to be printed tomorrow. I also burned the presentation slides and pictures from the presentation set onto a CD for the first time ever. It was a huge success considering my first three failed attempts -due to the scratched surface of the CDs, not my completely incapability...although that could have been it as well. Then, I worked on the part which I had intentionally delayed but couldn't anymore since the rest had been completed: the cover page. Given the amount of artistic talent I possess -which is none- I ended up whipping up something which, according to a friend, looks like the cover of a history textbook, and, according to me, looks like utter rubbish. It was tragically inspired by the encouragement cards people usually paste on the walls of their offices or rooms. (We cringe together.)

After feasting their eyes on the shameless cover page I had done, two friends decided to conjure something, or anything, which would knock mine away from the running of actually being used for the project. The first friend, who was semi-directly involved in this project, came up with two very cool cover pages which shoved mine out of the running the minute Microsoft Word opened the document. The second friend, who was completely uninvolved in this project, graciously (and stubbornly) whipped up a cover page using Photoshop which, of course, won by default. And by awesomeness.

The following is the transition of cover pages from nightmarishly bad to eye-tearingly stupendous:

My first, last and failed attempt: As boring as I am. Cue yawn.

First friend's first attempt.

First friend's second attempt.

Second friend's attempt which spared me from humiliation.

My all-time low energy level has caused the blinking light to not blink at all now. Time for a recharge.

Over and out.


The 'Last Week' Effect

Note: Pardon the melodramatic statements in the following post.

Since this is going to be my last week of college classes and I am getting annoyingly disturbed (Read: emotional) by this fact, I have decided to cut myself some slack and get off the blogging fast. This is, after all, the only way I can remember the final days of college.

Today, I had breakfast with all the right people in my college life; including friends who I hadn't been able to catch up with in a long time. The time spent together, though limited, was priceless. It was a great breakfast...especially after the long week all of us barely lived through.

Today, I got slices of cakes for the friends who greatly contributed to the meek success of my group's presentation on tribal religions last Friday. The dude who took my many orders eventually asked why I was getting so many slices of cakes. I told him why. He asked where I was working. I blinked and said that I was still in college -though not for long. He said, "Oh..." And that was that. Such a peculiar conversation.

Today, I decided to stay in college until evening to help a friend out with research work in the littlest way possible. It felt good -being in college for hours. I used to detest staying back in college and always wanted to rush back home. Home is where I would still rather be at any given time, but I don't despise hanging out in college as much now, or anymore.

The 'Last Week' Effect has definitely got everyone overwhelmed lately. Though not all of us would be leaving college, a handful of us are. And it is quite a sad prospect to have. Tomorrow, I would be handing in my clearance form and program completion application. This really is the end of my incredible college road and boy is there a googillian thoughts to ponder upon in the next four days! And also thank-you cards to fill in for the lecturers! And...uh, revision for finals.

P/S: My mother just killed a flying cockroach with her bare hands (and a tissue) the minute I told her, "It flies, you kn-" She rocks.


How To Ramble

Today, I replied my best friend's email after almost a whole month. Almost. It wasn't a whole month. It was 29 days. I am not proud for taking this long to reply someone so irreplaceable when I am an absolute advocate for keeping in touch with people who are physically far from you but emotionally close to you, especially through the World Wide Web. I hang my head in shame.

Throughout the days leading up to the end of this week (or the end of extreme college labor), I made many unnoticeable but unwise mistakes. In hindsight, I realize how greatly I am affected when I have academic priorities which automatically take precedence over all else -even the best interests of people I value. Despite missing my best friend so much and having her in my thoughts everyday without fail, I couldn't find the time to reply her until I had finished my homework, completed my presentation and made sure there was nothing left on my to-do list that I could cancel off for the time being. It was not fair. And I am very sorry. But I hope the 3923-word reply would make her happy in the smallest way. I cringe as I type this, but I really miss her. Insanely.

My new-found fear is staying in touch with precious gems in my life when I get to the States. Having the means to keep in touch would be one thing...and actually using those means to keep in contact would be another. And it is the latter that I suck at doing when academic obligations come in the way. I hope all that will change soon though. Because I am an utter fool to be placing academics on the very top of the list. Did I hear you say I suck? Why, yes, I do. I have much of my mental development to work on.

I have exactly two more weeks left to college including the week of finals. I had been looking forward to the end of this hellish semester for the longest time that I nearly forgot what was going to be missing in my life once this is all over. As happy as I am that freedom is nigh, I am certainly going to miss a truckload of things, especially the people...and the experiences that I would not be able to get otherwise. It is equal parts bitter and equal parts sweet. But the future cajoles...and I don't regret the decisions made -both good and bad.

If there is anything this semester has taught me, it is that God can always prove a professional pessimist wrong. I don't think I can count the number of times when I was sure that everything was going to be awry and hard work would yield no desirable results. There were also times when I thought the semester couldn't get any worse...and of course that was proven completely wrong. And then there were times when I thought that the tedium my life was turning out to be was going to break me before I could get to the end. But God took all of my negative thoughts, rolled them up into a killer orb and bludgeoned it to ashes. And boy did that feel good -like the loveliest punch in the gut.

I am hoping with every fiber of my being that in the months to come, I will be reminded everyday that being negative does nobody any good, except gives God more work to accumulate the thoughts into a soon-to-be crushed block. It is going to be a feat considering how negative I have been for the past 18 years. Old habits die hard, but they eventually die. So...positive thinking! I hope... OK, positive thinking!

End ramble.

P/S: I may be pessimistic in my next post. Pardon me. No wait, positive thinking! OK, I will try to tackle procrastination, laziness, impatience, insensitivity or selfishness in my next post. Try.

PP/S: I think the toothless Oreo-loving baby I held during the service learning trip has done something to the wires in my brain. Not that I am being negative about it.

PPP/S: Oy me!


To Be Blessed…

…is to be able to complain about the extreme heat during the weekend-stay at the village in Pahang when the villagers live through it each and every other day.

…is to see how the native children share and play with the one broken toy truck and realize that they may experience mirth I do not even know of.

…is to have the opportunity to ride on a 45-minute boat ride on a promising morning…and a 15-minute ride on the back of a speeding 4WD. The generated ear-splitting breeze brought me to the closest of my dreams: flying.

…is to think that everything is going to fall apart the night before an immensely huge and crucial group presentation only to perform the very best and get recognized for it as a group. No words can describe the euphoric joy we all shared.

…is to fear the absolute worst when man power, talent and great ideas are scarce but in turn get double the reward from the best of friends.

…is to come home to a glorious SpongeBob SquarePants weekly calendar my cousin sisters thoughtfully got for me during their holiday.

…is to nearly get into (minor) accidents on the road but never actually do.

…is to receive a text message from the best friend abroad asking me how I am doing in the midst of chaos. It made my entire week.

…is to mindlessly tell a friend that I like chocolate chip cookies only to receive a chocolate chip cookie from said friend an hour later.

…is to have friends who are optimistic for you and tell you that everything really is going to be okay…and friends who yell at you to surface the best of you.

…is to set up the props on a crunch-time and have the office lady stay back for us even though her work time was long over.

…is to walk to the room, the morning of the presentation, in trepidation and hoping with every fiber of my being that all the props are still securely hung up and in place…and see that the image in my head has become a reality.

…is to obtain the help of selfless friends who are uninvolved in the work that I have to get done.

…is to see friends who don’t know each other gladly assist and care for each other…and then become friends instead of strangers.

…is to have the seemingly worst week of the semester only to have the best Friday of the semester.

…is to have equally stressed-out friends telling me not to stress out.

…is to be on the verge of breaking down due to one trivial reason but having no option of giving up due to many grave reasons.

…is to know without a doubt that all ambitious plans are going to fail…but be blissfully proven wrong.

…is to have family who tolerates my mood swings and impatience after an exhaustingly long day in college.

…is to be relieved, recharged, proud, thankful, crazed and over the moon at the same time…and to be fearful and fearless at the same time.

…is to coincidentally have ice-cream in the fridge when I need ice-cream.

…is to grin until my jaws hurt…and to have to suppress the smiles threatening to form on my lips.

…is to be able to see God’s precious hands at work with every delicate strand of my life.

…is to lead the life I am living.

I am greatly and wonderfully blessed.


Life on the Busy Lane

If any extraterrestrial being out there is still reading this blog, I deeply apologize for assuming the role of a negligent -or dead- blogger. This semester, although my last, is tougher than all the previous semesters combined and I wish I were kidding but no, I am not. This semester has been so t-u-p-h that I had to resort to go on an Internet fast from Mondays through Thursdays with my Facebook account deactivated until further notice. The only exception saving my virtual sanity is that MSN, Hotmail and other necessary Google research which constitute college work are permitted during the fast.

Since I started to deprive myself of the pleasures of the World Wide Web, a galactically vast number of things have happened. Besides having a whole lot more sleeping time, the following mostly awesome and not-so-awesome events have happened:
1. Lost my pencil case in college. Fretted. Got the necessary new supply of stationery. It was found the next day. Fretted over the unnecessary new supply of stationery.
2. All three storybooks I ordered online from the United Kingdom arrived! Fascinating!
3. Microwaved a bag of popcorn.
4. Participated in the Microeconomics outdoor event -race and cook-off- with cool teammates and cooler high school students. Expected the day to be a bad one from the moment I woke up to the brilliantly shining sun right outside my room window. But it exceeded all of my expectations -in a good way.
5. Came home from college to discover that my admission status at both the universities I have yet to hear replies from has changed from the 'received' stage to the 'reviewing' stage. Got accepted to the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities shortly after that. Still waiting in unhealthy anticipation for the University of Wisconsin-Madison to reply.
6. Wrote a cheesy script for the Malaysian Studies project on the Malaysian culture. Horrifically directed it. Tragically compiled the scenes into one single video which was epic on so many awful levels. The little dignity that I had left was saved by a friend who tirelessly re-did the entire video for my group.
7. Had a couple of quizzes, tests, assignments, projects and nightmares here and there.
8. Two more tutoring sessions to go and I am rejoicing! Over the end of it, not so much over the pay.
9. Have been driving to college numerous times now. The novelty of driving has, sadly, worn off. I would rather give up driving for sleep, hands-down, now.
10. Church has been spectacular!
11. Received a text message from my best friend who is abroad and it made my week. I miss her a great deal.
12. Did a whole lot of shopping to get materials for the decoration of my group's World Religion presentation on Religions of the Americas. Feathers, head bands, glow-in-the-dark stars, potpourri and awesomely-made cave drawings (by talented friends) are among them. Face paint, a model teepee, a model bonfire and a chant are on the way.
13. Went for a pre-U.S. and visa briefing in college. I am more stoked for the U.S. of A. now!
14. Paid 24 bucks for a movie with a friend at the Signature cinema. The stress desperately needed to be destressed. No regrets!
15. Toned down my sarcasm. (Not really.) (Not at all, actually.) (Oops.)

And this brings me to today. I will be leaving for a settlement in an unheard of kampong in the state of Pahang tomorrow for the weekend. I would love to intentionally break my wrist to get out of it...but I need my hands to work. And then I thought of my legs...but I also need my legs to work. Especially during pressing college times such as these. I fear the worst. OK, maybe not since the night walk has been canceled off the itinerary and leeches in the dark will not be the death of me. So I fear the next worst thing: leeches in the day.

P/S: If you do not hear from me in the next few days, it may be because leeches have (literally) sucked the life out of me or I am undergoing leech-victims therapy. Or I may be on Internet fast then. Or just plain lazy. Yeah, one of the four.