Monday, June 30, 2014

Life

1st of July - finally venturing into the big, scary working world.

Well, it isn't really scary, but really exciting for me. :P

Chose this job over all the other management trainee programmes for various reasons, but mostly because I'm pretty skeptical over management trainee positions (read that many don't consider the 1-3 years of management training as real work experience). Perchance there are authentic ones, like Nestle and Mondelez, but I'm not really into sales & marketing, and am definitely not interested in HR. That's all management trainee programmes seem to offer anyway - S&M, HR, finance, accounting.

I would type more, but I'm exhausted after the inter-church games today. More details later!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dear blog

I'm sorry for abandoning you for such a horribly long time.

I've been busy writing, learning how to use Photoshop and Indesign, and mulling over my future in general.

I feel like I've completed the full circle and now feel like approaching every lecturer I know personally again to find out if lecturing is what I like. Haha. The biggest problem with lecturers is that they all simply LOVEEE their jobs so much they cannot fathom me even questioning the cons of their line! Over and over I've been told that they get to read and get paid for it. -__-

Someone, some sense, please? It's nice to see people passionate about their jobs, but right now I'm not sure if I'll be passionate about such a line. Haha.

Good news is, I've finally graduated, with a final CGPA of 3.92. Haha. My CGPA has suffered a steady decline in tiny stages ever since my one and only 4.00 in my first sem, but thankfully it's still considered reasonably high. My CGPA has constantly dropped by a 0.01 or 0.02 over the past few semesters that I no longer bother telling my mum what I get each sem because it's all pretty much the same.

Then I was telling her about how my other friends did for their final CGPA and she asks why I'm telling her about others but not my own results! :P

Anyway, struggling with a steamboat review now, maybe you'll get to read it in the Star soon. ;-) The restaurant fed me geoduck! Haha on top of everything else, but I never dreamt I'll get to taste geoduck. :D For free!

Till my next update!
Joanne

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A sigh of goodbye

With that, I'm done... nearly done, anyway.

3.5 years of undergrad days just flew by me. I had a wonderful time, don't get me wrong. Indeed, the best years of my life. I never liked school, not with all the rules and more rules and strict teachers who cared if my hair covered my ears/eyes. But uni? Uni was really fantastic.

For one, I was actually allowed to study and chew on facts, I was allowed to research and find out things for myself. No more blind memorising and vomiting out during exams! (Fair enough, I mastered that art to survive schooling days. 12A1s in SPM/5As in STPM by that method alone. Except for English Lit, that has always been my favourite, yet most dreaded subject. haha)

And of course, I enjoyed the freedom of dressing, no rules etc that all uni students enjoy.

It's just... hitting me real hard, that I'm done with undergrad days.

All I've thought of since I was a tiny tot was to get a degree. Exam after exam, sem after sem, just tiny steps closer towards obtaining that elusive scroll.

And now it's nearly in my hands...

And I find myself lost. :(

Alarms, sirens going off in my head, screaming for me to pull on the emergency brakes, to stop taking another step forward...

I'm so, very confused about what I want to do after this.

I'm reconsidering lecturing... no doubt I'll enjoy immersing myself in the academic world, but do I really look forward to contributing towards the ivory tower of academia?

Do I?

:(

Completed my final two assignments today - can't say I wrote too well. Could have done a lot better, especially for Shakespeare but I just couldn't find the brainpower to do it anymore. 6 English courses this sem got me pretty jaded.

On another note, I got 91% for my Journalism course (100% assessment course). :) Early on in the course I was merely struggling for an A... that lecturer was really strict, so I would give my best effort and end up with 8/10, at best. (Didn't help that he gave 6am deadlines, and I had 8am Shakespeare classes the next day! Plus I really enjoy Shakespeare so I refused to skip them :P)

In the end somehow he started giving me full marks for everything, so I ended up with my 91% :D

He gave feedback too, I'll include it here because it'll be gone forever once I'm done with this semester (posted on our uni website):

You came to this course already equipped with pretty decent writing skills and I’m happy to say that you have made good use of the course to develop your skills further, specifically in the domain of journalistic writing. This will stand you in good stead irrespective of whether writing becomes a significant part of your career in the future. 10/10

I’m giving you full marks again for your writing not because it is perfect – there is still room for improvement – but because you’ve fulfilled most if not all of the learning outcomes of the course. You are quite capable of producing good copy and to conceptualise, chase and write stories in a variety of genres and on a fair range of subjects. You’ve also played a larger part than the other people in the team in the production of the newsletter, stepping in to take up a leadership role when a vacuum emerged. Well done.

Individual Performance: 10
Quality of Writing: 10

And phew, I'm suddenly glad I took this course. Haha. In the beginning of this sem I wasn't even sure if I would qualify for this course, he wanted only really capable writers. Now, I'm worried this may be my only A. Looked at my upcoming 5 exam subjects and realised I don't have a real solid chance of an A in any of them. :(

I'm gonna try for Shakespeare and Middle Ages though. (After my crappy Shakespeare assignment it'll be hard..) I dislike lit criticism, post-col... and stylistics is a killer! Notice how I dislike anything relatively modern? Haha dang I just noticed that myself.

Oh dear, not sure when my rambling started. Haha.

Sorry! I'll be back another time... Jan 9th is my final paper ;-)

Saturday, December 07, 2013

12 weeks, done!

Can't believe it, time really flew by this sem. I've been so, absolutely busy trying to chase all my assignments and deadlines it's craaazy.

On Tues/Wed I had a 6am deadline to chase (thanks to the internet...  5pm deadlines on working days are things of the past), a test at 12noon, and a deadline at 12am that Wed night.

I barely survived. -__-

While I was emo-ing over my rather poorly-done test, I perked up when I saw that I had gotten a 10/10 for my feature article on superbikes! Not only because it was a 10/10, but always because it's from a lecturer who has no hesitation about failing students and is pretty much stingy with marks. :D :D :D Guess I have no one but my sayang to thank, he gave me the points and interviewees needed for the essay and I merely did what all writers do - compile and write everything out with style. :)

It's been a tough week, with Joash suddenly having to rush back home due to the flood, and the blackout there means he's pretty uncontactable once his phone battery died. *sigh* But I'm so very proud of all he did in braving the flood waters for his parents... a 5 hour walk/15km walk to reach home! And with the drama of strong current nearly washing him over and him losing all his stuff... aye, I'm really proud of him :) So many others would have just made excuses and stayed put, but he brushed asides all thoughts of impossibilities and simply thought of his loved ones. 

If I ever need to learn about strength and determination, I've just got to look at the wonderful man I've somehow managed to catch. <3 :="" a="" accidents="" all="" always="" am="" and="" anything="" are="" assuring="" blessed="" bringing="" can="" car="" dangers.="" despite="" div="" do="" everything="" for="" friends="" from="" gotten="" guys="" haha.="" has="" have="" he="" heart.="" help.="" her="" him="" himself="" his="" how="" i="" in="" involved="" it="" knowing="" la="" loan="" m="" macho="" man="" me="" mine="" mum="" my="" need="" of="" one.="" others="" out="" reminded="" rescue="" rescuing="" s="" sensitive="" so="" some="" stalled="" strong="" such="" survivor="" that="" the="" to="" when="" who="" will="" wonderfully="">

Ok! Sorry, I digressed. Haha. Was supposed to post about my crazy life but I got carried away.

Anyway! Electricity in Kuantan is baaack. Just got a phone call from my one and only man :) Ah, so good to hear his voice. He saw a drowning incident.. the 2 people missing as reported in the papers. :( People tried to save them but the firemen present stopped them, saying it was too late. Just a reminder of how dangerous the entire trip was, walking 15km in floodwaters at night. Yet I had the assurance that my man would survive, he's so tough it's amazing. He had his brother along with him, and I'm so glad they were there for each other. If not...

As I was fretting over the Low parents to CP, she came up with this oh-so-amazing wise line! Hahaha I still smile thinking about it. "Aiya, don't worry lah. If they can produce something like Joash then they can survive a flood."

Haha! I have an amazing best friend la. :P As I grow older and older, and groups break apart - as age tends to do to friends, I'm really appreciative of the few friends that have continued to allow me into their lives as intruders, busybodies, and free riders. I'm a true introvert through and through - although some people doubt it! WHY?? - and just a handful of close friends is more than enough to make me remarkably happy and contented with life.

I've a simple rule for being my good friend: Never, ever betray me. To intentionally betray me would mean our relationship was never a friendship in the first place. I don't demand a lot from my friends - how an INTJ treats friends, that's pretty much what I do. I don't demand for emotional support (unless it's really really bad, and that's really rare for me), neither do I demand for plenty of hang out sessions (why, CP and I meet once in few months sometimes. And it's as if we just met the day before each time we meet!). I just require loyalty. Plain, simple loyalty. :)

Ok, I digressed again. Forgive my lecture, I'm off to bed! Still feeling the happy vibes from hearing Joash's voice :))

Goodnight folks!
Jo

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fail

Today I stoned in class, from 8-10am, looking forward to my 10am break.

At 9.32am, I was pretty excited di.

10am I excitedly packed everything and got up to leave with my friends to find good food.

Then my 10am lecturer walks in -__-

I completely forgot that I have a regular Wednesday 10am class! (It's week 10, and I really forgot!)

Dejected, I plonked back in my seat and waved farewell to my friends :(

The good thing is, they packed back really awesome char siew and siew yoke for me! :D

The bad thing is, it was sooo obvious I hadn't completed reading my text for the 10am class since I was mute the entire class (and that's basically the way you can tell I've no idea what's going on). I felt incredibly uncomfortable the entire class because it just felt so darn awkward to keep quiet!

But with all my work piling up, I've no time to complete anything lah. zzzz.

Another 4 weeks to go! :D :D :D

Monday, November 18, 2013

First Half Marathon Completed! And many more to come ;-)

Warning: Choppy thoughts and bad English ahead!

So about 6 months ago I had this crazy idea to run the Penang Bridge International Marathon although I've never, ever joined serious runs, apart from some fun runs like UM's and the Terry Fox run. And even that was only about 7, 8km.

I decided to sign up for the 21km event.. simply because I knew I wouldn't have bothered training for the 10km event, and why go all the way to Penang without proper preparations?

I wanted to sign up for last year's run but I was in Singapore. So after debating with Chow Ping, we decided on the 21km because we're both slightly impulsive and wanted the challenge :P (Although, at the time of signing up I could barely complete 3km on a treadmill at a pace of 7km/h.)

So I kept procrastinating about training... and about 2 months back I realised that I was totally slacking, but I didn't want to give up on my 21km! I joined a 10km kidney charity run to gauge my current level back then... and oh boy, what a dismal timing - about 1 hour 25 mins! I suppose 1 hour 25 mins would have been good if I still felt good at the end of the race, but my legs began giving way right at the beginning of the run and it was a horrible feeling all the way to the end.

Then I started training.. not too heavy, sem had started and I barely had the time to run long distance. Besides, my early runs were only about 3km, 5km, before my body just refused to cooperate any longer. Nevertheless, I persevered and ran every 2 days, slowly increasing my distance from 3km to 10km. It was tedious in terms of my uni schedule, I would rush my work and rush to the gym and work out and come back and do more assignments (20 credit hours this sem!).

Then I signed up for a World Diabetes Day run about a week before my half-marathon, just to see where I stood and also as my final warm up. The route was supposed to be 10km, but after running my GPS showed that it was 11km... and it was pretty hilly so I struggled towards the end. But my timing had improved to 1 hour 11 mins, and considering it was actually an 11km run I felt pretty happy with it.

I rested my body after that pretty taxing run, and headed to Penang with my Joash on Friday evening :) Broke all pre-marathon rules by feasting on everything good that Penang had to offer on Saturday! Hahaha. It was a good break for us :)

I was pretty excited but also anxious about my first half-marathon ever, my training had begun so late, and I felt very ill-prepared for it (considering the longest run I had prior to it was 11km, and that was just a week ago. Before that I had only ran 10km twice.)

As usual, Chow Ping and I were late, and we reached the starting line (at the very end) when people had already started running. Haha. We started jogging, and maintained a pretty steady pace all the way to the bridge. I realised that all my uphill training before this paid off! The terrain was pretty flat, so I didn't feel tired early on... a good sign, I thought. Maintained a pace of between 7-8km/h, reached the middle of Penang Bridge and camwhored with Chow Ping. Hahaha. :D

It was beautiful, and the weather (although a slight drizzle) was just perfect for running in. I've only joined runs that start at 7ish in the morning, never 3am. Perfect weather for running! I partly understand why the Penang Bridge Marathon attracts so many tens of thousands of runners every year (47 000 this year!), so many people were taking photos at the bridge.

Plus with so many water stations along the way, I had no worries about dehydration. The charity runs I've joined weren't as professional as this, so I was often dying of thirst halfway through. Lol.

Halfway through, Chow Ping asked me to go ahead, she wanted to walk. So I did, and by about 14km I was excited to discover that I wasn't panting yet! Haha. It was a new high for me, I've always wondered what it's like to run long-distances without panting. I suspect I kept too slow a pace, hardly ever going faster than 9km/h. I kept worrying that I would tire out if I went too fast, so I kept an extremely comfortable pace.

In my final km, I speeded up and ran at about 11km/h, and raced towards the finish line when it was in sight. (Had a false end, saw a brightly lit arch from far and ran towards it, then suddenly realised that all the runners were turning left! Haha then I saw the final km sign, and debated whether I should slow down since I was going a bit too fast for my comfort. But decided to maintain the speed, and push my body for a bit.)

It was complete satisfaction when I reached the finish line and the clock said 2:42:?? But my official timing was 2:40:14 as I had started at the very back of the line.

My long rambling is about to end - just wanted to capture my excitement of my first half-marathon ever! haha.

The moment I reached the finish line, I vowed that I would do this again, and again, and again. It was a remarkable experience, and I never knew I would enjoy running so much. I used to hate it, but I realised it's because I never got the runners high before :P And also it used to tire me out.

I've still got a lot to learn about my body and pacing for the half-marathon, and I'm looking forward to improving my timing for future runs. I believe I kept an overly comfortable pace for this run, because I was deeply worried about tiring out. I guess this is where experience comes in, knowing your body :) I was targeting to do it at about 3 hours, so accomplishing the run in 2 hours 40 mins was a really sweet victory.

The thing about running is that you are your only enemy. Not dependent on your opponent's skill, but entirely dependent on your mental and physical self.

Maybe, just maybe, I'll join a full marathon one day. ;-) Not in the near future, but one day.

As for now, I'll be taking a short break and only run on and off to de-stress. Final few weeks of my final semester, and due to all my training for the half-marathon, I'm now horribly behind in all my classes.

Have a wonderful week ahead! :)
Jo

Monday, November 11, 2013

:D

Was feeling jaded and down cause I was struggling with a 1000 feature article for my Journalism class (when I'm not being paid to write it's sooo exhausting).

Then my answers for my Facebook interviews came back! I changed from Ku Klux Klan to an article on Superbiking... and whoa! The joy and excitement behind these superbikers' answers rejuvenated me, and now I feel like I owe them a good article for taking their time to answer my weird questions. :))

Mmm probably can't put together an excellent article because I've got like 1001 things to settle, but I'll do what I can. Hehe.

God bless,
Jo