Graduation #2

And may it be the last…

I think my MMU graduation was a lot less stressful than this one. First, they lost my guest tickets. I was told in an e-mail that they wouldn’t be sending me the guest tickets for the ceremony since I gave a non-UK address and that I could collect my tickets when I checked in for graduation. But they couldn’t find my tickets. Thus I had to go get extra tickets on the day itself and give a whole long explanation for the situation at the ticket ballot booth.

And then on the day itself (yesterday) when I went to get my robes and hood… they couldn’t find those either! aaafdskhfjdslkfjgsghskdjfgskljhskjfaaaaadfhskdjfh

I was half-angry, half-panicky. SO not a fun state to be in, okay. First no tickets, then no robes and hood. It’s like they wanted to give me a heart attack or high blood pressure or something.

Fortunately everything managed to be resolved. But I was in a ‘wonderful’ state of nerves by the time I got into McEwan Hall anyhow.

In comparison, I had such an easy time at MMU’s convo. Checking in was a breeze, I got my tickets and everything in a flash, my robes and everything were where they should be… So headache-free. This one… @_@ So much for Western efficiency.

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Convo (Again) Soon.

Was looking through my photo folders in my external hard drive and found my convo pics from 2007. And I realised that in two weeks I’ll be graduating again. *gasp* (And at the moment I hope I never have to graduate anymore. A PhD and all that comes with it might send me to Tanjung Rambutan…)

And somehow, I actually looked passable in more than half the photos and good in more than one. That’s SO rare, okayyyy! I need to somehow repeat that amazing feat on the 25th…

In an amusing coincidence, the trim/stripe/whatchamacallit my robe back then was green (FCM’s colour), and I think the colour of the M.Sc. robe trim will be green as well. lol.

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Today and Yesterday

Today was the final deadline for the thesis submissions and some of my classmates organised a celebration of sorts, which basically meant drinking from about 4.30pm. Fortunately for me, since they intend to party all night (and I’ll bet they’re still somewhere out there getting more and more inebriated as I type this post right now at past 11pm), they moderated their drinking earlier so by the time I decided to head home at 10-ish, none of them were particularly tipsy yet.
*thanks God profusely for sparing me the drunken or half-drunk behaviour*

Also, my apologies for the blog downtime yesterday. I have no idea what happened, but I wrote to the host server people and had them check on it. Whatever was wrong is fixed now. They said something about doing maintenance on the server soon so there may be some downtime again in the near future.

Yesterday was such a “good” day.

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I don’t like thinking of blog post titles…

When I suddenly seem to stop posting, it’s generally for one of four reasons:

  1. Nothing to say.
  2. Gone into a “no-one-reads-this” slump.
  3. Work has become too consuming.
  4. No Internet access.

This time it was #3. Was told on Monday to draft Chapter 2 of my thesis… by Friday. Yep, I was reeeeeeeal happy about that. Had to speed-read from Monday evening to Thursday evening, and then basically coughed out 3000 words in 12 hours. So much fun.

Didn’t want to fall asleep on Friday afternoon and mess up my sleep cycle (which was already kinda off to begin with) so I went out in the evening – wandered in some of the shops on Princes St (Zara has some nice coats!) then went to see a screening of some Spanish stop-motion animations with Jemma, after which we had dinner at McD. I dropped by Tesco before going home and finally got home at I think about 11pm. Slept at midnight – which meant that I’d been awake for more than 24 hours. 8D

The screening was interesting though. Some of the shorts were quite funny. And there was a Q&A session after it with the animator of one of the shorts. I didn’t ask any questions, but other people did. So that was kinda interesting.

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Before I go on about some other random stuff, let me ask you: what’s wrong with this picture below?

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Oh, Sejarah.

It is harder than you might think to condense Malaysia’s history into 2,500 words when your readers are going to be people who know very little about Malaysia.

This darned chapter is supposed to be 2,500 words long but it’s already almost 1000 words over that. And I’m only 2/3 through the chapter. D: And this is:
– after rather substantial cuts; technically it’s the third draft of the first 2/3 of this chapter.
– when I’m not including anything much about Perak, Selangor, Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Perlis, Kedah and Johor.
– when I’m not bothering with all the sultans’ names except for one or two, nor am I going into detail about all the silly quarrels over who the real heir to the throne is. (I like how that can be summed up simply as “succession politics.”)

Who knew our boring sejarah from Melaka to Merdeka needed so many words?

I’m going to have to do some extreme editing when I’m finished with this last 1/3 of the chapter (which I might as well title “all the pesky problems that Malaysia has encountered in the last 10 years”). Gah.

… I WILL FINISH THIS (by tonight or tomorrow afternoon). I would like to enjoy Les Miserables and Britten’s War Requiem on Thursday and Friday with relative ease of mind, thank you very much.

(Those actually don’t sound like stuff one would normally choose to celebrate the completion of work, do they? I mean… Their titles are so… so dismal. lol.)

Update, 9.25PM (some six hours later 8D): Done with the chapter! I shall ignore the fact that I’m 1000 words over my intended word count. But hey, it was 2000 words over at first. I managed to rid myself of 1000. So there. .

Library Musings

“Malaysia”

It says something about the state of our academia when, searching my uni library’s database for “Malaysia,” I find 423 items listed – and most of it written by Westerners.

Guess that also says something about the sheer lack of interest Malaysians have in Malaysia.

I kind of have a niggling feeling that if I had tried the same thing in MMU’s library database, I wouldn’t have turned up that many items. USM’s library might have a more substantial collection, but probably not in English… Speaking of English, when I have time, I’m going to go look for these books: Problems of learning English as a second language : an investigation of factors affecting the learning of ESL in Malaysia and The English of Singapore and Malaysia. Interesting, right?? Shouldn’t be too hard to dig them out – I’ll bet no one is going to borrow them anytime soon.

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“Lord of the Rings”

I realised that it was incredibly silly of me to have worried about bringing the LOTR books along with me in case I wanted to read them. (FYI, I didn’t bring them – I only brought Pride & Prejudice with me.)

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Break from Bibliographical Exercise

Judging from my blog stats, if I don’t have photos up, people don’t read my blog. Is my writing that bad? :(

LOL.

Anyway, I’m taking Dr Budd’s advice to us to not panic and take time to relax, even though the bibliography exercise has a really short deadline. Also, I’m really tired of thinking, thinking, thinking and searching endlessly for scholarly books and articles that have to do with Asian American pop culture and Southeast Asian cinema.

I finally got some backlogged snapshots out of my phone and my camera.

During Fresher’s Week, I had a bunch of induction talks to attend, and the first one was a general induction for all the Master’s students in McEwan Hall, which is apparently the hall used for the graduation ceremony. Stupidly, I didn’t bring my camera with me and so had to resort to using my phone to take a few pictures. This was probably the best one:

It’s semicircular in shape, with I think two levels of seats above the ground floor? It was built in the late 19th century, which accounts for the “whoa” sensation I got when I went in. (I haven’t exactly spent a lot of time in grand old buildings…) Here, have a link about it.

I’d gone for the talk with one of my Chinese flatmates and two of her friends, and they all insisted that the induction talk was held in New College, not McEwan Hall. We walked halfway there, then ran into two other Chinese students who then told us that it was at McEwan Hall. By the time we got there, we were late and had to sit at this rather inconvenient spot where we couldn’t see any of the slides being projected. Sigh.

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