Thursday, April 29, 2010
O Extreme Optimism, will you be my downfall?
In life, we make decisions that will make or break us. If a decision breaks us once, or twice or even thrice, do we stop listening to our hearts and minds? Do we lose faith in our ability to decide? I believe we should keep making these decisions and pray that one day, the decisions that we make slowly go our way. Faith? Or am I simply extremely optimistic?
Effort and Approach
These are two key areas that I need to work on. At the end of every semester, I reflect. I write about how I intend to mend my ways. And I also write about how my intentions always fail. Complacency at play? I think so.
Now I write about my intention to eradicate complacency and introduce consistency. I'd like to maintain the extreme optimism and add a little bit more purpose to my life in school.
I hate committing myself to remembering formulas. This mind of mine loves to think, understand, analyse and most importantly, remember. It hates memorizing. Time for a diet of raisins (and someone to sit infront of me with a rotan and force me to memorise).
I should be somewhere and writing something else right about now. Then again, I don't think there's much that I can write anyway. I'm unwell. And I'm giving myself another chance. I will not disappoint.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
I looked at him and asked a meaningless question. I asked what he thought could be the reason why the family of six suddenly cancelled their dinner booking.
His reply was: Death in the family.
Somehow, in my dream, I knew death was the reason why that family cancelled on dinner - one of the six had passed on. But Dad didn't. Out of curiosity, I asked him why death was the first reason that came to his mind. Of all the reasons that one can come up with to cancel a dinner booking, why did Dad mention death.
His simple reply: Guess why?
I gave it some thought. The phone rang, but I ignored. After several rings, I was told me to answer the phone up. He told me he'll wait for me. But the moment I opened my eyes, I realized I had fallen asleep too early - I was supposed to rest my eyes for 5 minutes. ONLY.
I killed the alarm on my phone. Prayed Fajr. Prepares for Structures 1 at 1PM.
... Guess why. Guess who.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Being too worked up often leads to depression. Being calm and positive sometimes lead to complacency.
That balance is oh so elusive. I'm midway through my University education but I've yet to find that balance. This semester, I think I've strayed a short distance into the Valley of Complacency.
In the name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful.
O Allah I seek forgiveness from those things which I have repeated after repenting for it and I repent to You for those things which was intended for You but while doing it the intention was changed which was not for You.
And I seek Your forgiveness from those bounties which was bestowed for Your obedience but I used for Your disobedience and I repent for it that there is no one other than Allah, He is the living, the self existing, Knower of the unseen and present everywhere, the Beneficent the Merciful. I seek forgiveness for all those sins which I have committed and of all those sins which I have initiated.
O Allah give me perfect intelligence and enlighten my wishes and intellect, clean heart, abundance knowledge, clear ethics, all these things which are beneficial to me and not harmful to me. O the one who is most Beneficial by Your mercy, "I seek refuge in Allah there is no lord except Him, the living, the self existent to Him do I repent.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
When I saw the above, it made me LOL. It reminded me of a convo with the bestie over a black and white picture quite some time back. *smiles*
Slow Saturday afternoon. I hate studying for exams that test your ability to memorize. I've got no time to write nonsense so I shall do what Tumblers usually do (ie. just post a picture)....
.. but i guess there's a reason why im on Blogger. I CAN'T just stop at pictures. Yes I know a picture paints a thousand words but if that's the case, then why cant we just draw a picture for say, a 1000 word Magical Realism essay? Am I right or am I right?
School is fun. How I wish this semester never ends. And fyi, you'll only catch me using the word bestie just this once. The afternoon's making me all restless. He slaps himself in the face. Less dreaming, more reading..
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
The last significant exam related entry was the one written 39 days ago. 38 have passed. I spent the whole of today at home feeding myself everything else that I need to understand and remember for tomorrow's paper. Less distractions for there's now one less reason to Facebook.
Funny I was able to sit at my table and just feed myself with information and understanding it. Heun's, midpoint and Runge Kutta's method never made sense until today. A little too late, I know, but life is about discovery and realizations.
Today I realize that when one manages to remain calm amidst the pressure, one becomes more focussed and determined. The mind stops rejecting information. The mind opens itself up and wants to understand. The voice that used to scream I CANT UNDERSTAND MATHS now whispers words of encouragement.
39 days ago, I wanted to study and catch up. I started. Procrastinated. Until there was pressure. It's all in the mind. I think I need to understand how the mind works. 3 weeks and we'll be through.
Here's a quick scribble.
I was most productive today despite having only 3 hours sleep. Wasnt sleepy since 8 am. I was motivated and focused. Not sure if it's due to the lack of sleep or simply the lack of time.
First two days of the week spent in school. Late nights. Helpful coursemates. Accommodating. I'm thankful.
Relationships though are ... *Sighs* Once broken, it's almost impossible to piece them back together to how they were at the start. Shall let time repair 3 broken ones. May I break no more. Meanwhile, it's all about the coming 3 weeks.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
The inevitable stress is finally creeping in. It's creeping in like the scary lady in white with long dark hair that slowly creeps out of the TV after that weird phone call. If stress had a name, she'll be called Samara.
Help, I'm scared. She's round the corner. (And I'm talking about stress.)
Saturday, April 17, 2010
The words of 30th March still lingers. This amidst major understanding of the method of superposition.
If you're reading this, the exams for the first semester of your third year is round the corner. Right now though, you're currently 5 days away from your Computational Methods paper which is on the 22nd. After this first hurdle, you'll be left with 3 days to prepare for your Civil Engineering Materials, Structures 1 and Material Science papers. This is then followed by 4 days (of preparation) before your last block of papers - Singapore Architecture and Geotechnical Engineering.
You're currently toying with the idea of taking a gap year. Pay a small fee to maintain your status in school so that you can slowly try to understand every single concepts that you barely understand now. Like I said, you're just toying with this idea in case this semester turns out to be a bad one.
Let me tell you the reason for my toying with this idea. I want to be an engineer. I know my analytical mind can understand and analyze structures and beam if given the right amount of time. I want to understand the mechanics of soil and materials rather than blindly memorize formulas and subbing in values into them. I've reached a point where I want to work towards my dream. The day of studying just to get a piece of paper stops today. I want to go to Australia and increase my probability of getting a job there. I want to grow as an engineer. I want to go to places and help people - the floodings in Kelantan, landslides in KL....
Only if this chase fails will I then use the paper to do some other unrelated things like being a teacher or something like that. Now, if only you can tell me if there's a happy ending to this semester.
You've been at it for Structures 1 simply because there's no way you can afford to flunk this one module as it's a pre-requisite to 3 other modules in the coming semester. Exams suck big time. I'm still the same old last minute guy. There wasnt much consistency this semester.
These few days though, you were able to understand more concepts than you ever did in the past few weeks. I think it's the pressure I'm feeling. We're running out of time. If you're reading and wondering how you should approach your third year, I'll suggest you to READ UP BEFORE LECTURES AND ASK FOR HELP RIGHT FROM THE START. And SLEEP LATE to mug! And ask help from your friends on a regular basis. You have wonderful friends who are more than willing to teach. These people are the ones who make life in Civil Engineering worth the while.
Back to work. That's all for now.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
I've been spending the past couple of days in school. Stayed over in a friend's hostel. I'm starting to like the idea of studying. The feeling of satisfaction when you FINALLY manage to understand concepts you've been trying to understand for the past many weeks is priceless.
It might be a little too late. But the feeling's wonderful.
I've also just found out that my friend's dad's a civil engineer. I'm hoping that he might be able to pull some strings for some sorta job during the summer holidays. How I'd love to shadow an engineer and learn a thing or two that might just make me all the more motivated to study! This and sunshine and the lingering dream of Australia....
Cmon guys! Let's stay motivated. Think of a dream right now and hold it close. Tell yourself that this is what you're studying for. You may stumble or fall along the way. Shit happens but we pick ourselves up and soldier on. Let's help one another. We're all in this together.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Sometimes, a step forward takes you twenty steps backwards. Is it worth it? Is all this change worth it? At the moment, life's one hell of a rollercoaster.
He retreats back into his cave. He figured it'll be much better there. He figured he'll be a much much better person when he's in his cave. Find me in my cave.
"O Allah, I seek refuge in Thee from incapacity, from sloth, from cowardice, from miserliness, decrepitude and from torment of the grave. O Allah, grant to my soul the sense of righteousness and purify it, for Thou art the Best Purifier thereof. Thou art the Protecting friend thereof, and Guardian thereof."
While taking long walks, moods may change.
I'm still up - doing my tutorials. I dozed off, while sitting down, for like a good 15 minutes. I've still got a few more questions to go and I've still got it in me to remain awake. I needed to write.
I've been keying in thoughts into my phone during my "break" from writing, all in the hopes of looking back and writing all of them down on the 5th of May. There's one that I keyed in around an hour ago and it's been bothering me.
Relations with people are hard to maintain. Today, I realize that people drift further apart the longer they remain apart. Feelings DO NOT remain the same. Absence DO NOT make the heart grow fonder. This, is contrary to what I've believed all this while. Maintaining relations with others is a skill - a skill that I'm still learning.
There's a stubborn unreasonable streak within me that I can't seem to get rid of. The special preferences, the double standards, the exceptions. And the selfish me that wonders why he always seem to be pleasing others and never the other way round, or why he has to always be understanding and accepting one. Why can't others try to understand him for a change? Unreasonable me, I know.
In rare moments when any of the above tendencies reveal itself, I'll always have some caring honest souls to slap me in the face and tell me that my behaviour was truly unacceptable. Sighs. This dark side of mine has been following me ever since my JC days. Will I ever be rid of it? I don't know. I really don't.
To err is human. But to err sucks big time. It's one of those nights when reflections simply go round and round in dizzying circles. I needed to write these down rather than let it loop in my mind.
The conclusion of this lengthy ramble?
I don't know.
Monday, April 5, 2010
This writer feels so happy and calm and driven tonight that he's decided to take a long long walk until the exams are over. He leaves behind some thoughts, stories and hidden messages to last the whole of April plus the first five days of May. And he also leaves behind the following reminder:
O Allah, I seek Your counsel by Your knowledge and by Your power I seek strength and I ask You from Your immense favour, for verily You are able while I am not and verily You know while I do not and You are the Knower of the unseen. O Allah, if You know this affair -"My being in the University with all its struggles and my being distracted with the sweet distraction (although I don't think I'm *that* distracted but my friend thinks I am)"
- to be good for me in relation to my religion, my life, and end, then decree and facilitate it for me, and bless me with it, and if You know this affair to be ill for me towards my religion, my life, and end, then remove it from me and remove me from it, and decree for me what is good wherever it be and make me satisfied with such..... Du'aa of Istikhaarah
NB: In orange is this writer's own affairs. Replace it with affairs of your own. There is, however, a proper way to make this prayer. But since this writer is new to this concept, he'll start with the du'aa. Insyaallah, in time he'll find out. This writer would also like to thank the individuals responsible for making Thursday's talk possible as well as the individual(s) responsible for moving him to attend the talk. May you have benefited from the session as much as I did.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
I wonder what's wrong with guys being nice to other guys.
Bromance? Man-love? Oh cmon! Are guys supposed to be all nice and lovely ONLY to girls while girls are always nice and lovely to their girl friends? Are we supposed to be manly and macho and whatever else that a guy must be? Are we supposed to be vulgar and angsty and spit on the floor and dig our noses and burp out loud and hate it when people "Become a fan of" something on Facebook? (Ok maybe not the "Become a fan of" part... haha. Main-main je.)
I think if a guy can do so much for his other guy friends, he'll do much much more for a girl. To quote from The Kite Runner, "For you, a thousand times over." And to quote a dreamer, "If the moon is what she wants, then the moon is what she'll get."
Cut me some slack. I've got exams to ace.
He tries. It's darn hard, he knows. He knows that to ace is asking for too much. But he tries.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
I was walking home from school this quiet dark night. And I tried to picture myself walking. I tried to imagine the person I would see. And I tried to imagine the person others see.
I had called to inform my mum that I was hungry and as expected, food was on the table as soon as I reached home. The first thing she asked was how my oral presentation went. As I sat at the dining table, she told me that my sister had something to tell me. Thank god it wasn't the "Someone proposed to me and I said yes" kind-of-something.
Mama then went on to talk about the brothers and how they were this and how they were that and what I think she should do to handle them. Having just got back from a talk, I gave a talk of my own. I knew I've definitely irritated my two brothers who were watching tv - while listening to me and Mama talk. Haha!
I then went over to them and asked, "Was I irritating?"
The answer was a resounding yes.
No kids love hearing parents go on and on about how they should behave and what they should do. This, is one aspect of parenting that I hate the most whenever she "forces" me to wear my dad's shoes. My approach, for now, is to let them hear my thoughts out loud whenever the opportunity arises. And I pray that one day, they'll grow up and see things the way I do.
As soon as I was done eating, all I said was, "Oh no, do I have to..." and Mama interrupted by saying, "Just leave them there. I'll wash it."
I smiled. I smiled not because I didn't have to wash the dishes (I'm not that lazy), but because of the love that lingers in the house. The kind of love that we show in our weird little ways.
Today was the last of three sessions but the first that I attended.
A question was asked on how an only son who's recently experienced the loss of his father balances his duty as the head of his family as well as his role as a student. I looked around the guys around me to guess who that guy might be, but to no avail. Guys hide feelings and emotions pretty well. I can only imagine how lost the guy must be feeling right now.
I'm assuming you're close to your mother. And if you are, then fret not. If you aren't perhaps it's about time you should.Your mother, of all people, knows that your priority lies in your school. So please do give your all in your studies. However, do remember that your mother lost her soulmate, her comforter, her listener. So if you come back home after a long day in school one day, and she begins to ask you about school, or talk to you about the attitude of your siblings, about the children of her friends and stuffs that mothers always talk about, listen and talk to her like you would with your girlfriend.
Talk to her enough and you'll see that she'll do whatever it takes to see the family through, at least until you graduate. And when you do graduate insyaallah, please remember to return the favour. Please do not get too caught up with the idea of starting a family of your own too soon. Mothers may say they understand your decision to marry but believe me when I say, they understand and accept that decision of yours - BUT with a very very heavy heart.
Make dua. Ask for guidance. Have patience. Insyaallah, things will fall in place nicely.