Monday, October 31, 2005

Willing Suspension of Disbelief

I love the weekdays cause it brings along with it a sense of "purpose" - go to school, sit through lectures, study, talk about classes, subjects - which drains me of all mental energy by the time i'm back in my room, yet renews me with happy content feeling knowing that i have achieved some kind of progress as a human being. :P

or regress, depending on your point of view.

Today we had a guest speaker on globalisation and nationalism who was (for once) really articulate about his views and made pretty convincing arguments about the collapse of globalisation and the rise of nationalism... even if he did call Mahatir a racist. Although I really can't see how or why Dr M should be labelled as such.

I also dropped by soas and registered at its library, and whoa but soas is one hell of a lepak school. The pace is visibly slower, security is friendly, kids there are more grungy-looking and probably more leftist-inclined compared to the future investment bankers and financial consultants in this part of zone 1.

yet as much as i hate the idea of making money being the end of all, it does help to have a rich school with great facilities where everything's automated and computerized and "on the system".. until the system breaks down and isn't working.. which, thank god, has yet to happen. My microwave cum oven cum grill broke down but that's beside the point.

so in conclusion, and i don't know if this point is worth making, but i am tired and i just want to sleep but i have yet one more article to read and so i will go after making this point, which is: I think I like my school after all, posh snobs and capitalists aside. :) And while the teaching-system itself leaves much to be desired, we do have some pretty interesting people coming our way to give talks and chit-chat with the students. And that is, wow.. pretty wow.

random fact: i'm finding that bach makes excellent study music. :)

Sunday, October 30, 2005

salvation is near

And as usual, it didn't take much (church, or god specifically) to slap me into alignment. :)

had an amazing speaker in church today, mal fletcher, who addressed some very important metaphysical issues that i've been dealing with: why am i here? what's my role? how am i to live my life?

So perhaps i still don't have definite answers to many of my questions, but at least now my heart and soul is set on a higher course. The Word today help clear away some cobwebs, and my mind is renewed.

And in that light, all my worries and obssessions about school (and S) begin to fade away. Negligeble, coz my redeemer lives and because of that, I am too cool. :D


Note to self: stay away from benjy's. 1 quid is too big a price to pay for bad food.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

saturday night blues

I’m just a kid and life is a nighmare
I’m just a kid and I know that it’s not fair
Nobody cares cause I’m alone and the world
Is havin’ more fun then me

- Simple Plan, "I'm just a kid"

I hate saturday nights, i really do. If anything, it just highlights the fact that:

a) I have no life out of school.
b) I have no friends. (ok slightly exeggerated here but that's how it feels like.. today at least)
c) S is an idiot.
d) I have no money (to watch a west end show or get entertained or something).
e) S is an idiot.

Ok so it's not all about S. Truth is, this saturday's extra boring cos V's boyfriend is here and she's spending time with him instead of entertaining me. Not that I need to be constantly entertained, although i do feel extremely childish, especially after S tells me he has read two books today plus everything on his list except one article, and is soon gonna take a break to do Chinese calligraphy or watch a Korean movie which he just downloaded.

Me, I woke up after noon, went to Chinatown, spent money buying teapot, teacups, seaweed (??) plus grocery shopping at tesco's till about 5, had dinner, and now i that I've just finished arranging my notes from weeks1-4, i'm having quite the shock realizing that i'm way way wayyy behind in ALL my reading lists and now wonder where all the time went to. :(

ok so maybe what i really want is for S to come over and watch the korean movie with me. Or for S to suggest doing something, or for S to... hehehe.. you see where this is going, don't ya? Which leads me to the conclusion that 1) S is an idiot; 2) I need a life outside S; 3) Saturday nights should be shot dead; 4) i need to grow up, and 5) Good thing S doesn't know about this blog. lol.

And now i'm gonna tabulate the number of pages i have to read for this week...


Weekend Happenings (NOT)

I'm not used to being a student just yet. Full-time student. gulp. Studying is what I do.. or am supposed to be doing at any rate. Only I live as though I've all the time in the world.. and all the money in the world too. Just went today and got myself a chinese teapot with four cups. :D Explored Chinatown and was tempted on many occassions to make unnecessary purchases, only to stop myself just in time when I think about my bank balance.

I'm inclined to think S an idiot for not asking me out for the weekend. Then I realize that he, way more than me, is taking his full-time student role really seriously, and the only consolation I have is that he's not asking anyone else out. :D But, we're going to the London Jazz Festival so that's something to look forward to. :D

Meanwhile, there's S2, my tutorial partner who's also american and who speaks Indonesian and Chinese and him, i sincerely like, even though again, he's american. Anyhow we're connecting over nerd-talk and as much as i wish I had more of a life out of school, it's not too bad.

ok, so, it's saturday night, and i'm gonna work on my reading list. blek.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Approaching the end of Week 4

Went to a hall party today. Felt just about right cause been working on essays and presentation since last week and had no time for "proper" fun time without feelings of guilt. Granted, I have another presentation next week and a few more essays but all in its time, kan? Party was not too boring and not too wild either, it being a postgrad hall and all. It was a general get-together for the hall more than anything else. Managed to connect with some pretty nice people from upstairs (i live on the ground floor) who were, incidentally, all americans. (what are the chances, really?)

V (my neighbour) and I are fast becoming really good friends. She's Russian, but grew up in Poland, went to college in Holland and studied abroad in New Zealand. She speaks five european languages fluently, has an economics background, super smart, widely travelled, and basically all-round cool chick. We get along well and me and her.. despite originating from opposite ends of the globe. I quite happy. I like. :)

So Grosvenor House has turned out to be more than what I expected. V and I are the more outgoing girls on ground floor "main street". The rest of the girls live right at the back, and our guy neighbours are really hilarious. Am so glad I chose to remain here instead of moving elsewhere or out. Nothing beats waking up half an hour before class, and finishing essays just before deadline knowing that it's only 3 minutes to school. Too spoilt I am. Also saving much on transport costs.. and having more time to procrastinate since I don't have to endure long bus rides and claustraphobic tube rides, should I had lived somewhere further. :)

Meanwhile, S. S accompanied me on long tube ride on weds to heathrow to send Jaime off, after which we went to Chinatown for dinner and then back to my place for a bit before he left so I could finish my essay. I think we're also fast becoming real good friends and more than anything else I want to keep it that way. So.. that's all about S. For now. :D (well that's all i'm telling anyway. *wink* hehe)

I've been building up a sleep deficit. Bad thing is that when I do try to get to bed, I can't fall asleep cos my mind is racing at a million light years an hour and there's no rest for this body. Soul's pretty happy though, so I guess when that's the case, the body will somehow catch up.

Ah well, weekend is in sight. There is hope. :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Therapy is..

1. Walking on the Waterloo bridge.

2. Meeting up with Aunty Wai for a cuppa.. even if the endless reading lists still exist, it's always worth seating with her to catch up. :D

3. Sleeping


My presentation went well, and I got my first indictively-graded essay back. Wasn't too bad, considering that it was written in one setting once. :D I guess I won't be repeating after all. Hehhe.

Aunty Wai so graciously printed out all my readings right up to Week 6, which took up about 500 pages in total and saved me a LOT of money. Nice to have own personal printing press, courtesy of King's College, London. Oh and she's into photocopying too. lol. :)

We're making plans for birthdays, Christmas and the theatre. I'm superly excited. :D


English names of places that never fail to make me laugh
1. Barking
2. Penge
3. Elephant and Castle

and my personal favourite,

4. Cockfosters.



Ok so, it's 3am and I can't sleep. My head's spinning with thoughts of what I'm gonna do tomorrow during my presentation. Also have another essay due on Thursday at noon but the good news is, I think i've gotten over my initial spell of procrastination and mental-block and now it doesn't seem too difficult. I think the trick is to stop obssessing about it, but to just do it... even if the reading lists are endless and you can study all day and night but still have loads to do. At least right now I'm not paralyzed by fear (or whatever it was that was stopping me from moving on earlier) anymore.

And i think i can now bluff my way through a conversation or essay with enough economics jargon to just about sound intellectual (to a non-economist). :D

Been having some metaphysical issues with classical theoriests who don't believe in the supernatural. The trouble is that we're forced to study what they say and to almost accept it for a fact, even if we don't necessarily subscribe to it. Doesn't help too that when someone tries to rationalize religion, it sounds almost incredible and it's hard to take them seriously. (maybe it's just my background) I still think I'd rather read sufi poetry than a dry dissertation on primitive religions. Am beginning to suspect that you won't make a very successful anthropologist unless you completely discount the existence of God. Yet I refuse to give up believing in magic.

The school is limiting in the sense that it just teaches you what is considered facts (or truth) to them, and we're hardly encouraged any other alternative. I was talking with two friends (whom i just met and whom will probably be featured more regularly in my life cos they're just great people) and they're both having the same problem subscribing to some of the things taught in this place. One thing we agreed upon, was that the profs here sure do not care about the education of the individual as a person. Seems like what is more important is that you learn enough (tricks and skills included) to get you into some high-flying-paying job in the future (no doubt the brand name will carry some weight there), oh, and to of course, pass your exams. But screw ethics and values and whatever else. It's a dog-eat-dog world lady so get your teeth in order. Growl..

yea whatever. The trick is to get my mind around understanding that I'm studying classical theorists within the context of their cosmology, not as a matter of my life and death. A mental detachment from my soul. Maybe I've always considered education a holistic thing, and that's why it's so difficult here cos it's just a lot of mental exercise (which to be fair, God knows I do need). :) It's especially disconcerting when the subject matter starts getting personal, and you are forced to look at it from a detached "intellectual" state and theorize about winners and losers in a capitalist society from an eurocentric position.. Sometimes I think I'm in the wrong school. Perhaps accounting would be a less disturbing subject to take up. Just crunch the numbers, table the results and go home.

But anyhow, everything's perking up, even if the weather is dreadful. I'm gonna learn french again. Am considering learning greek if i have the time. Am spending time between V (russian neighbour), M (jap coursemate), S (american soas), and a few others in between. Considering that the school has a rep for attracting snobs, I must say that the people I've met so far are pretty cool. I guess as long as i stay away from those from the land of Bush, i'll be fine. (kidding.) The sad fact of the matter is that i'm surrounded by them it's beginning to feel like a cosmic joke. Opposite neighbour, tutorial partner, two pretty good friends, seminar group.. full of A's. God help me. grr. :)

All that aside, I am enjoying school. :)

Saturday, October 22, 2005


i'm ready to sleep. :)
Till the next deadline.. on Thursday. Gulp.

Happier thoughts, tomorrow is Sunday! And tomorrow the weather's supposed to be good. And tomorrow, we're going for dinner, a, j, s and me, at chinatown for some claypot tofu and roast duck.


I'm almost four hours past my deadline. Good thing it's not graded.
This has got to get better.
I just wanna sleep.
And kill someone.


Am so looking forward to tomorrow. Can go out and play. :P

Friday, October 21, 2005

Friday Night Fun Facts

1. I'm not out on a Friday night, cos of homework. *gasp*

2. I don't understand guys.

3. My neighbour, V, is so cool. She's my new study partner.

4. Tomorrow will be spent.. studying.

5. Life is good, in spite of all of the above. :)


my hands and feet are icy cold. Time to cook some chicken soup.

What i like most about Fridays is that I have an optional one hour class in the morning at 10, and an optional 1.5 hour seminar in the evening. :)

What I look forward to most (ok actually just last.. since i've only met him two fridays ago) Friday nights lately is that I get to see him. But i don't think that's gonna happen tonight.

What i dislike about this weekend is that I have an essay due on Saturday at 6pm and I have to read another 100 pages before I can know enough to write it without sounding like a fool.

Another thing I dislike about this weekend is that I have to postpone my getaway to Cambridge.

What I crave most on Friday mornings at 2am is some nasi kandar, teh tarik and ayu or fais (or both, if they're kind to each other) for company.

And of course, lola. I miss lola.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

this present life

Enjoy some preliminary pictures, taken by my brand new nokia 6230i. :) More to follow!

bus on waterloo bridge. It's my favourite night-walking route. 10 minutes away from where i live. Love the water. Can't get away.

Room 1. When i first came here i thought the room was pretty small. And then i visited some other residences at lse and soas, and now i'm glad i have this little pad. Anyhow, it's clean and new and quiet (cos it's a graduate residence) and i can escape from the world into my own little space as and when i like, so it's great. :)

Room 2. My dining table, tulips and part of my bed. I like. Only sucky part is my window opens up to a view of the wall and the scaffolding of the next door building undergoing renovation.

Room 3. Double bed, attached bathroom, hallway double closets. Also like.

Squirrel at hyde park. I love hyde park. :)

Me with bangs. Heheh. Not had bangs since standard 6. This was taken on the eurostar on the way to paris. Had to wake up early to make mad dash to waterloo station. Paris is lovely. Will return soon, hopefully with wider french vocabulary. Parlez vous anglais? Je ne comprend pa. Merci.

shit shit shit shit shit Vantage point

So it's been a month and three days that i have been in this dreary country. To be fair, London is pretty in the fall, especially when the sun is out and the whole fall leaves bit is going on. And then the temperature drops come the evening and three layers of clothes is not enough to take away the chill, and my butt is freezes over. That's when i think of the sunny skies and sandy beaches of home and think happy thoughts to take away the cold.

i miss blogging. Thanks, a, for reminding me about this.

School sucks. really. does. I'm terrified.. half the problem is overcoming my fear of inadequecy and looking-stupid. I have endless merciless reading lists and at least 200 pages of crap which i have to digest for every class.. or risk looking stupid and having nothing intelligent to say. Well i've already gone through a few of such classes but NO MORE. next week, *ehhem*, I.shall. class. *gulp*

And then there's the added distraction of S, who's so cute and intelligent i don't know what to do with him. grrr.. i hate men.

Happy thoughts: my floor mates are pretty cool. Yesterday we had dinner where 7 different nationalities with 5 different religions sat down and discuss "world issues" - eg the war between Turks and Kurds, Jews and Muslims, etc etc.. Of course, me, being happily ignorant of such important matters of life-or-death, quietly sat in the corner and ate my lemon pie, smiled and nodded, and tried to look intelligent. Heheh.

i tried to register for this class but the tutor won't let me cause i've already missed three lectures. GULP. it's the THIRD week already and i'm still lost. shit shit shit shit shit. :)

Food is such a comfort. Especially when it's home-cooked.

I got picked on by one of my tutors on Tuesday and now have to submit 1500-word essay by Saturday and think at the rate i'm going, friday night will be spent with the books.


And there's another essay due next week which i haven't read for.

i'm drowning. Save me, someone. Anyone.

happier thoughts: the music on my network is greeeaattt..My sister is coming this weekend and we're all going out. (me, her, s, and jaime). And Christmas is two months away.. yay. :)

I wish i've something uplifting and inspiring to say but damnit, grad school is so not easy. It's fun no doubt.. but it's also tough and I'm still in the process of finding my groove.