WanderLust

I know, I know, I’ve been away far too long!

But I’m back (even if it’s just for awhile) to give my two cents about a book I started reading and didn’t put down until probably 3am; I didn’t want to look at the clock for fear that I’d scare myself about lack of sleep and panda eyes in the morning (thank you cosmetic companies, for the creation of concealer!).

What’s this book about and why did it make me stay up so late? It was Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua. Growing up in a notorious Asian family, I have to say that I relate to the author’s younger daughter, Lulu. The rebellious one who broke her mother into giving her the freedom to pick what she wanted to do instead of forcing it on her.

I was sent to piano classes when I was seven because my parents thought it would be good for me to learn something outside of school. So off I went to piano classes but I never practiced and was never good at it. I do practice when I had practical exams and understand that with practice, I will get better and eventually play a piece perfectly (as perfect as can be).

However, as I grew into my teenage years, I resented it more and more. To my parents’ horror I became a cheerleader (which I think is an attribute to being a confident person). They let me choose what I wanted to do though, even if they didn’t fully agree with it. I’d rather go to cheerleading practice than practice piano. In that way, I relate to how Lulu made the choice to play tennis and eventually won tournaments. I became a cheerleader, competed and had many opportunities in my cheerleading career that most people my age then wouldn’t have had.

My parents were not THAT strict enough to call my brother or I “garbage” but they were also not afraid to call us out, be super critical, and constantly correct us if we did or said something they deem is wrong. They also didn’t believe in spoiling a child. Spare the rod spoil the child – they definitely practiced this! However, looking at the big picture, I think they taught us how to be a good person in life and do right by ourselves and every single person in our lives.

And you know what, even with the worse of it where they become overbearing, I wouldn’t trade it in for anything else.

With some recent disappointing family dramas (extended family), I’ve concluded that my parents have taught us good values (which they still apply to us even to this day) and this lead to us being raised well through to adulthood. We can think and fend for ourselves, and although we are definitely not the book smart sort, I can tell you that we make up for it by being street smart and hold ourselves to a higher standard. We know when to do the right thing, and have respect for people who matter to us, and of course, ourselves.

Lastly, I guess I would have to say after reading the book, I felt better about my roots and where I come from. It doesn’t really matter if there was a strict type of parenting, or a loosely liberal one – what matters is that you know who you are as an adult, and you are happy with it.

Here’s one of the things I would totally do and blame on my other half if it ever snows in Sydney:

This is worth a major ROFL!

Til I see you next time – take care and be safeūüôā

Having been away for so long, I’m back and I can’t promise that this will remain short, but I will certainly try!

Let’s go back to way before Christmas. When Christmas is around the corner, a headache ensues on what to buy for others. I’ve always been one to be prepared to buy gifts that the person will like or appreciate so buying ahead of time is important to me. With that said, we only buy things for people we know. But what about¬†strangers who need our help? Do you spare a thought for them during the season of giving?

My friends and I encountered this dude on one of Sydney’s street malls, and I have to say, what he does is extraordinary and creative. I’ve attached a video below for your viewing pleasure:

This is the first I’ve seen of a person who has such deepset interest in such an art. How can one not feel the need to give him just $10 for such hard work? I believe that hard work pays off, and I want to not only give gifts to my friends, but commit a random act of kindness.

Yes, even purchasing something! Goes in line with what I was out to do anyway – shop and buy presents! The only difference is there is no present for anyone but myself and to give myself a warm fuzzy feeling inside for contributing to amazing artūüôā

See below for what I bought – perfect for Christmas!

How does this:

Become this?

Here’s how; see this cut side?

Place it on your hand like so:

Use your pointer finger and push the opposite un-cut side:

And VOILA!

That’s it! Hope you enjoyed that, and I’ll write again soon. Here’s his website if you’re interested to see more awesome stuff – click here . This can be made into furniture too… GO TAKE A LOOK!

‘Til then, take care and don’t rest on your laurels!

There’s no denying it – I have never liked school. The upside to school is I get to see my friends. That was in primary school. In secondary school, the upside was that I get to see my friends and cheerlead.

Let’s start from the beginning. I was inspired to write this after seeing this post¬†on Facebook. The Malaysian education system has once again failed to educate youths who are now entering university. And to be honest, I don’t blame these students because I’m a victim too. Yes, you might think: “Of course you don’t blame yourself for anything” but hear me out.

I was a weak student,¬†I won’t deny¬†that. But I know now that all I needed is a push. That push came from a dedicated and well-meaning teacher who I will meet later on in my final two years of school. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here!

When I was a child, no teacher pushed me. The only thing I got an A for is English because I speak English¬†at home,¬†and read a lot of English books. For all the other units at school, I¬†was very very bad at. Why? Because teachers only know how to be strict. Here’s an example of what happens when you ask a teacher to explain something again:

Student: Teacher, can you please explain again?

Teacher (exasperated): What don’t you understand?!

Student: *keeps quiet with red face because teacher made student sound stupid*

And how do teachers counter students who are talking? The age-old method I hear year in and year out:

Teacher: Excuse me, you¬†over there. Why are you still talking when I’m teaching!

Student: *keeps really quiet and snaps back to attention*

Teacher: The next time you talk, maybe you’d like to¬†share it¬†with¬†the class. *evil stare*

If you put someone down for merely talking in class, that is no way to garner respect from students. Yes, they didn’t respect you if they were talking to each other in class while you were teaching.¬†But is putting them down really the only way to get them to pay attention to you?¬†I find it normal for students to chit chat during a class. If a student isn’t naughty or talk in class, then there must be something wrong¬†with them.¬†The¬†only thing they know is that you were¬†a total b*tch to them by reprimanding while ambarrassing them.

How is that a good way to educate someone too? And you know what? That’s how I was in school. My parents have always encouraged me to ask questions. So I ask, got the aforementioned reaction from my teacher, and felt incredibly stupid for even asking and never asked another question again. By instiling that sort of feeling in your student, do you think they will respect you as a teacher? Certainly not. Instead of instiling inquisitive individuals in school, teachers act like disciplinarians.

On top of that, peer pressure is not always avoidable. Some children learn things faster than others.  But sometimes, even the fastest learner will have a question or two; although it may seem stupid, it is still a question. I find that teachers are quick to brush questions aside and make students feel stupid. How do you encourage students to ask and be inquisitive when you react to their questions as if it were stupid?

When other students understand something and a select few don’t, they will resort to keeping mum because they don’t want their friends to think they’re stupid.¬†If the teacher clearly shows and thinks that you’re stupid, I won’t be surprised if other students react the same way. As if it isn’t obvious enough, teachers are people who others learn from. What makes you think students don’t learn to shun those who are¬†‘not as¬†bright’ when the teacher does¬†so too?

Something else that¬†teachers fail to realise when it comes to teaching a student during those rebellious teenage years is¬†learning to¬†be a friend to them.¬†Of course, you’d have to maintain keeping a boundary between a student and a teacher, but I believe that if you tried to reach out to 30 of them, 10 will reciprocate. Which teenager doesn’t want someone to undersand them? This comes to teachers being disciplinarians again.

Teachers are more likely to punish bad behaviour (although parents nowadays will complain against it). How often can you punish a teenager for bad behaviour? Wouldn’t it be better to talk to them to find out why they did so? Teachers act not only as a medium for students to get knowledge, but I truly believe that teachers¬†are¬†people who we should (or could)¬†refer to as tolerant, patient beings that impart knowledge – someone we could look up to. They are people who we should be able to talk to, and have some form of understanding from.

It’s no wonder that between terrorising students¬†and disciplining them, the focus has been skewed from teaching. It’s no surprise why students don’t learn things properly. Teachers¬†should¬†let the discipline teachers do their job.¬†After all,¬†isn’t that what they are suppose to do? Says so in their title!¬†

Now we’ve come to that hard part – my story. I have¬†to admit that I learnt math properly in my final years in school, and here’s why:

Two years¬†before freedom (as I know it), I was¬†challenged, encouraged, and literally saved¬†by my math teacher. I’ve never been a big fan of math, but¬†boy did she push (when I say push, I meant nurturing nudge to the right direction).

If I skipped class, I’d still have to go to her, answer her questions about why I wasn’t in her class, and she’ll give me homework. She’d then request for one of my friends who’re awesome academically¬†(still good friends with¬†them til today which I’m grateful for!) to teach me the basics. The next day, she expects me to hand in my homework like everyone else¬†without any excuse.

If you think that that’s wrong, well I think her method worked with me. My theory is this:

  • She probably knows that I’m brave enough to face¬†her/face the music, so she requests to see me each time I skip her class so she could talk to me. And when she does, she speaks to me like an adult. She calmly asks why I skipped class, and if she were to appoint my friend to teach me, could I please hand in the homework tomorrow like everyone else.
  • Secondly, she throws the challenge at me to be better maybe¬†because she knows I love healthy competition (as witnessed through cheerleading competitions).

By wanting to speak to me, I feel as if she wasn’t going to give me a hard time, she just wants me to learn. By getting one of my friends to teach me, it means I’m peer-learning so I CAN ask stupid questions if I want to and there’s no stress. By asking me to hand in my homework like everyone else, she’s challenging me to get something done.

Of all the teachers I know, she’s the one who tolerates it when we ask her some seemingly stupid questions. She’ll laugh it off and answer the question anyway. I’ve noticed that by doing so, she banters well with the whole class and basically became friends with us! So, the question now is this: Why can’t all teachers teach like her?

It feels as if it’s been a long time (and it has!) since I’ve last written a word here and I feel it is time to indulge myself in a little bit of writing – one I’ve been depriving myself of¬†due to¬†a new-found love. Explanation (which I think I owe more than anything to anybody who reads this dry and crumbly place I call a blog) below:

I admit that I am sometimes prone to lazyness,¬†and am¬†afraid it has taken over¬†me¬†after I bought my iPad. Yes, I have become “one of those people” who own an iPad. If it’s any consolation, carrying it around while I’m outdoors is a no-no for me. Like most people, I carry it to bed with me every night. Which leads to my current obsession.

Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods!

Recommendations from friends made me source for it on YouTube (and a lack of television at home – I know, how can anybody live without one GASP) led me to utilise my iPad in bed while watching Andrew Zimmern stuff horrific things down his throat. I’m totally obsessed with where he goes and what he does. From rubbing guinea pigs on his body to eating potatoes that were previously crushed with his feet –¬†how is that not entertaining?!

Here’s something new:

Advise is a verb, advice is a noun!

So, I shall write by practicing this new knowledge.

” What you know now that you didn’t know then…”

This was what was plaguing my mind for the last few days. 

On top of that comes the punch. Would you still give the advice you gave someone all those years ago? Or would you have told them something completely¬†new now with what you currently know? Say, maybe you’ve mature over time and had some changes happening in your life¬†which in turn¬†changes the way you look¬†at things¬†(all over again or yet again – things change over time constantly no matter how much we dislike it!).

With that said, I have to admit that in an ideal world I would love to live without regret. Alas, every action has a consequence and sometimes, not everything I do has awesome consequences! Hey – we’re all only human right? I certainly don’t know how I feel about giving people advice now.

In fact, I am absolutely petrified that the advice I give might cause them a misfortune that I personally don’t want to be responsible for. Not that I want to shed responsibility and neither should they take my advice understantably so because everyone has a choice. But just the thought – what if?

Ah… “What if”… The two little words you ponder over at least a million¬†times in this life when making a decision. I thought about any advice I’ve ever given to someone and the latest would be advising some friends of recent relationship developments¬†or breakdowns. I believe that being able to do what you like without sacrificing your personal happiness is important. For example, if someone is constantly not happy in a relationship, they should break things off.

Harsh (and simple), I know, but look at it this way (Disclaimer: This is just my opinion! Not really any advice you should, but could probably¬†take…) :

  • Why should you be with someone who makes you unhappy? That’s unhealthy in the emotions file, and if you think you deserve to feel unhappy then you’re warped (unless you killed someone and haven’t been caught then you deserve it – 100x).
  • You can’t just HOPE for things to turn out awesome or just the way you want it to. That other person in the relationship? He/She still has their personal goals or ideals too! *shocker*¬†This also includes wanting to change someone –¬†I mean, what’s the point?¬†‘Nuff said!¬†
  • If you can talk about it, then talk about it. It’s your life and if the issue could be resolved simply by talking, why squander the feelings you’ve developed by keeping your mouth shut?

As an afterthought, what if someone breaks up with their other half because they followed the advice and feel a thousand times worse than they did before?

I have been told that when I advise someone, I usually advise them according to what their situation is and not what I think they should do. In my opinion, that’s the only way relevant to someones’ problems. Giving someone your own opinion as compared to giving it some extra thought and¬†advising them according to what their situation entails? Miles apart.¬†

I guess you can’t do it all the time, but if you can, then I guess you’ve struck a balance – good for you! At the end of the day, I think it’s all about balance in life. There’s no right or wrong way, thus no definition of what balance is! My definition of it is¬† this – if your thoughts and feelings sit right with you, then that’s balance enough for me.

Work has been a handful since one of colleagues left very suddenly, leaving two of us to split some work. This means one and a half persons work to be done each day! However as all deadlines for the weekend was yesterday (Thursday) I am happily taking the time out to blog because I haven’t updated for quite some time and I feel that it is my duty to do so just for the fun of doing some writing (which I haven’t done in awhile and miss terribly).

I usually take a break in between my duties so I always get started on something else with a clear head. For the past two weeks it hasn’t been this way. I would continue to do what I’ve been doing and a few new emails will pop up with more stuff! When I’m done with half of those, a few new ones will pop up yet again so this means no breaks in between, work all the way through. I even have lunch while doing work sometimes because I know that if I don’t, I’ll be swamped after lunch time is over.

What’s worse was my colleague left to go for a music festival that¬†she’s¬†already bought tickets for. For four days, I was doing the work of three people! It was daunting and stressful to the point where I forgot to eat lunch. BUT – I took it as a challenge and I got through it. It’s an awesome personal achievement (although there were moments where I want to break down and cry while pulling my hair out in frustration) which gives me great pride in knowing that I can take the pressure and I can probably work very well – if not better – under pressure.

With¬†my current predicament, it’s no surprise why I come home tired every evening. During the weekends, I¬†can be¬†seen vegetating at home. The call of the city and things to see just wasn’t even appealing anymore.

Unhealthy? Yes, I’d like to think so. My remedy is to visit the city to see the sights and enjoy myself as much as possible.

The only thing more unhealthy is having a day at work that’s not so busy. I feel as if I’m not productive enough and seek for things to do. And when that’s done, I don’t know what else I can do to make myself more useful.¬†

I realise that I am getting very¬†accustomed to the feeling of being busy – and liking it. This is a disastrous¬†recipe for a workaholic! Outcome would be awesome because I’ll have A LOT of things done.¬†Downside would be burning out from doing many many things without taking the time to relax and unwind. There’s got to be a balance and I need to find one!

Day by Day

August 2016
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