Berkeley: A Sneak Peek (not the story, no)

Today is September 30 – 46 days since I first got here. There’s so much to say and so little time to write, so I shall (temporarily) fall back into my old habit of writing about random* moments, and random things I want to say.

*remember my old definition of random? That applies here too.

1. A lot of what I remember from day 1 is being assaulted by the wind and shivering under three layers of tops. It was still SUMMER.

But then again, Oscar Wilde(?) said “the coldest winter I ever experienced was a San Francisco summer”

YA SF BAY AREA can you be just slightly less temperamental?! It’s not okay to burn and freeze my arms simultaneously just because they’re exposed to both the breeze and the sun

2. I have taken to writing dates in words because 6/10 confuses me – October 6 or June 10? When we first started lectures I wrote it the American way when I had to hand stuff in and the normal way (yes I am (now explicitly) insinuating the American way isn’t normal), but that quickly became a mess because I couldn’t remember which dates were written in which format.

3. It’s ZET not ZEE

4. I honestly don’t know how to feel when people express surprise at finding out I’m an international student. “Your English is so good!” “you’re not american?”

Do I feel better because I’m easily understood ie I adopted the “American” accent effectively enough, or do I feel terrible because I’m being fake and untrue in trying to “assimilate” and copy the accent?

Answer: mixture.

On the flip side, at the dining halls: “can I have (insert food) and (insert food) please?” “what?”

And “did you go to a party?” “did I go to a what?”

Like excuse me I’m not that hard to understand

5. My chemistry professor: when I first started teaching here I wore a bright Hawaiian shirt on the first day of lecture. My superior saw me and said “Ah, you’ve learned our ways very quickly! If you don’t have a bright mind, where a bright shirt!”

6. Voldemort went to Stanford.
Let’s ignore the fact that Voldemort is British and didn’t terrorize the US

7. I think I have more pictures of the sky than I do of anything/anyone else since I got here

(yes I realize this is a poor quality video, not a photo)

8. Dr Pepper tastes like cough syrup. Why do people even like this thing?
9. Three weeks into classes, we we had a formal lab report due and I was super confused and was going over it with a friend
Susan: how did your research contribute to our greater understanding of chemistry

Me: the latest understanding is: don’t drop a crucible filled with sample before measuring the mass. More importantly, don’t drop TWO crucibles

(yes. I did. Drop 2 crucibles out of 3 after heating the first for 1 hour and the second for 45 minutes, after a 4 hour procedure preparing those up to that point. So much for good data)

Also me: my ‘research’ found that you need to do research to contribute to greater understanding of chemistry

10. Susan: *spills orange coloured Thai milk tea on floor* oops

11. Jelli (I think): EECS people are so depressed they need a boba place within their building

12. Me at 2 am the night before a lab: how do you do this question in the pre-lab?

Media: of course I haven’t started

13. I don’t know what possessed me to pick a class about war, but the contents are kinda upsetting

I don’t want to watch grave of fireflies again ever

And/or read Borowski

14. So a few weeks ago Sachdave and I went for dinner at Crossroads and there were a few Chinese people sitting next to us speaking in Mandarin

He commented “macam kat msia je kan”

And then I started ranting about maths and how Hutchings tried to prove 0.0=0 and never did and isn’t 0.0=0 simply by definition a.0=0???!! No? Yes? I still don’t know, 2 days before midterm (PS I still don’t know, three days after the midterm)

And one of the Chinese guys overhears and starts talking to us bc “oMG ARE YOU IN HUTCHINGS 54 TOO?!”










We just used Malay as a code language in front of a SINGAPOREAN ded HAHAHAHAHAHHAHA

15. I underestimated the comfort of not being alert and on edge all the time when it comes to language. It’s so tiring to speak in English rather than Manglish

16. Ani: ummmm I didn’t like this character

Brian: *wonders how to insult in academic language*

Professor: yeah he’s an asshole

17. Two weeks after that crucible lab:

Me: this lab worries me

Susan: it’s pretty easy compared to the previous ones though what could go wrong


Ta-dah mixtures of solutions that weren’t knocked over!

18. Susan to me: we did it!!

*high five*

Ryan, lying on floor outside lab with his legs up 90 degrees to his body: did what

susan: the postlab and pre-lab

I’m positive that I take way longer than I should on these things

I don’t think they’re meant to take 10 hours

19. Also I think I might have found the Danica I need in maths: Nichole and Erin

Blank stares and giggles ftw

20. Erin: spends 2 hours making a carrot whistle, cracking it, pasting it with chewing gum and going around unit 1 showing it to people

And then narrates this whole thing to me the next day when I run into her at dinner

And then rants about maths

And then says oops maybe we shouldn’t rant here bc our GSI hangs around here sometimes

!!!!!!!! Never seen him there but!!!!!!

21. Cathy: my first friend in maths. I then discover she’s also in CBE.

then she drops both and her friend becomes my default neighbour in math

Side note: my latest CBE homework begins “a couple of chemical engineers had a baby named System” HAHAHAHAHA

22. There’s this one girl in chem who I sit next to often and who I see often in the academic center in the unit. I don’t remember her name and I don’t dare to ask anymore

23. THANK God for GSIs and teacher scholars and peer tutors I swear they’re much better at explaining stuff than professors (ok not ALWAYS but ya)

24. I wouldn’t know most of my GSIS are GSIs if they didn’t teach me; they look so young. They probably are really young. Maybe just 22 or 23, some of them.

25. Then there’s me. I feel so old. 20. Not that it matters. It’s just a thing.

26. The Indonesian society is called BISA (Berkeley Indonesian Students Association)

Their shirts say “kami BISA”

love the play on words

27. Equivalent to Kath/Erin/Nichole in math = Nicole in chem

Except she actually does the readings so she’s nowhere near as lost as I am

28. I think some part of me has always felt, rather arrogantly, that I’m pretty smart. Or at least good enough. That’s backfiring. Because I’m clearly not and I’ve picked a pretty hard major in a pretty hard school.

It would be nice to feel competent in at least something once in a while

But no, 14 years of formal musical training and I can barely sight-sing

I took pride in my ability to do that at some point

14 years of piano and I can’t play you a single piece of music that wasn’t written for 6 year old beginners

What was the point of all that time, energy, effort, money

But a part of me still stubbornly believes I’m not going to be one of those kids who does badly despite my not understanding what’s going on anywhere

29. I never really thought twice about admitting that I’m having a difficult time with something/ranting/asking for help, but 99% of people here are all like “oh yeah I’m doing great how about you?!” and “I love this and I’m going to this and I’m doing this today tomorrow this weekend next month” which is really intimidating because it makes me very seriously wonder if something is wrong with me

i. I cannot handle even half the stuff I should be able to on minimum school load

ii. Self pity

iii. I complain incessantly and far too intensely. (insert: my RA saw me last night with a textbook and I said I’m tired and she said she feels like every time she sees me I’m carrying a textbook and I’m tired)

I’m annoying.

30. Dr Went: I want you all to know that help is available if you ask for it

I don’t know. It’s pretty easy to feel like no one cares. It’s hard to ask for help when you don’t know what help you need.

All the same gotta love Dr Went for it she’s the only one who’s said that so far (well and her GSIs)

31. Wow @ my math GSI

At the same time the only thing stopping me from doing that is:

a. My parents don’t have a basement

b. I never lived in their basement

c. See a and b

Okay so a depressing tone is leaking into this post and I’m going to stop this and talk about it another time.

31. I came up with a less depressing thing to talk about

So this one time a fire alarm went off in my building

I did not know because I was taking a shower.

I showered through the alarm, evacuation, and return of people. My roommate got written up for skipping. I did not get caught. It was a very long shower. It’s much less funny written down hm

32. Did you know that it is possible to lose a huge bottle of detergent? Let me tell you, it is. How I misplaced it is a huge question.

33. Professor at 8 am class: passes around bowl of jellybeans

Professor: um maybe I should have picked something a little more nutritious

Brian: or a little more caffeinated

OK NOW I really hope that none of these people I’ve talked about stumble on this because I don’t know any of them nearly well enough to talk about them like I really know them

Wow this post has gotten far longer than I planned and I’ve stayed up much longer than I planned to. Sorry for rambles thanks for putting up with it


August 20, 2017

there is so much else to say, but overwhelmingly that for all the promises you made, you seem to remember none; try to keep none; fail at every one. 

for all the resolutions you made, you have an utter lack of resolve, a huge amount of self-pity, a reluctance to try at all. 

turn around


no one cares anyway. 
no one cares if you build a bubble. bubbles are invisible. 

a stab at haikus (with a faulty keris)



of the arguments that loom

makes me so weary


throwing knives, though blunt

a dangerous exercise

still maim, wound, hurt, slice


inspire annoyance

and they will drop the pretense

that they did like you


or, this misconstrued

‘pretense’ was an illusion

from paranoia


some things are borne of

questionable intentions

careful, examine




c. May 2017

Hi today is July 31. This is probably going to be a pretty short post because I’m just basically posting what I wrote a while back (a while = >2 months).

Ok, go:

(soz Ze-Xin I’m stealing your style because this probably won’t make sense by the time I publish it if I don’t)(also using Roman numerals seems kinda cool now lel)

3 something p.m., May 29 2017

I get annoyed when there are things in my peripheral vision

Like bottles on the table

Or tall food containers

I like to see the people I’m eating with.

And I like to see the world around me not my bottle

I never understood the long dining tables with one person on each end, a tall beautiful vase in the centre of the table. Decorative. Food arranged beautifully. (like in the movies)

But it’s annoying because of the vase.

It annoys me even when we’re eating at home and some of the dishes/bowls we’re serving food in are slightly too tall. I can’t. See. People. and don’t blame my height ok just don’t

I’m sitting in the lounge and the table is full and either my or zexin’s bottle keeps blocking my view

My view of what, you ask?

Good question.

But the view is much better without a barney-coloured cylindrical-ish object obscuring half of what I’d see without it there, you know

1:21 a.m., May 30 2017

i. that day Za came and sat with zexin and me at the next table in the rc. he said thank you

and that he was sorry we didn’t really get to know each other that well

i’m just. sad.

ii. the Saturday after the triple science students finished A2, I was supposed to have breakfast with Mei Yen before she went home.

surprise! we both overslept

she called me at 9+ and said its okay, we’ll meet up before we leave

and i just felt like

that’s so far away why u so like that


its not, though. that was two weeks ago and this week I’m finishing my papers then i’m coming back for less than a week. wow

[EDIT: wow its sort of weird to read ‘leave’ in the context of leaving KY rather than leaving Malaysia heh]

iii. I wonder why I was never friends with Leong before. He was always just one of those boys who sat at that table with the other Chinese people and who occasionally smiled and said hi in the corridors


meeting new people in the last few weeks of school

i only found out his name like

a week plus ago

iv. the last two weeks have been so much maths

just maths

yet i still haven’t gotten the hang of a lot of maths, especially mechanics

I’ve been going out to the RC or lounge every day (mostly the RC though) because I need to see other human beings or I’ll die of boredom.

I used to think I’d be fine being alone but turns out I really am not fine without company :’)

The first week when Ze-Xin wasn’t here I usually sat alone, or with Horng or MJ. Which is. Stressful. Because they’re both always so so focused. And Zong Hao is also usually close by. Wonder why it didn’t work as motivation instead of being stressful

v. When I get stuck at a question, my reflex is usually to look at my phone, which extends into a long break. Either that, or I look at the answer. Or text Iris 🙂 because her working always makes more sense than the mark scheme lolololol. That is, when I actually bother trying to understand instead of just glancing at it and saying o ok fine i’ll look at this later.

vi. Its nice to go for lunch in KY usually. Not because of the food. By the time lunch comes I’m usually pretty stressed out by how much maths I can’t do and have given up/am on the verge of giving up. But meeting people during lunch always makes me feel a lot better. (well, and dinner)(recently it’s been Siah, Ze-Xin (lol who would’ve guessed AHHAHHAHAHAHAH), Zong Hao, Danica, MJ, CJ(!!!! another person I have no idea how I didn’t really know before?), Eyan, Eunice and well other people that I haven’t mentioned)

vii. ze xin

I’m going to miss sitting with you every day

and walking back together at night

and ‘are you studying out today?’

‘yeah, are you?’


and uGH ALL THE VENDING MACHINES NOT WORKING (this wasn’t funny, ok. there are 4 vending machines in the acad block. zero were working the past three days)

buying random snacks



viii. the last 1.5 weeks have honestly been a blur. the passage of time is so difficult to keep track of when you’re doing the same thing every day, with only slight variations.

4:57 p.m., May 30 2017

i. I need people to keep me grounded when I lose track of things, to make me realize just how lucky I am, and to make me feel like I’m not alone in this.

It’s just slightly surprising who this came from today, because I don’t know him very well.

I don’t know him much, period. My conversations with him generally revolve around academics and hey just checking in.

Turns out we’re going to the same uni for the next four years.

ii. In the same conversation he told me that every time he thinks of Berkeley, he thinks of the scene in Varanam Aayiram and I was just like

Oh there’s such a thing? Never watched it

And he said

You’re not Indian enough

No kidding, yeah, but pls can people not say that pls

I know I’m a disgrace don’t need to rub it in my face please thank you

jkjk I’m not offended

iii. Lunch today was so much fun. I finished eating then I saw Vydhourie, Iris, Florence, Jing Si, Siah and Ze-Xin sitting together and I just joined them because I didn’t want to go back to the RC.

Conversations like these are the ones I’m going to miss – Harry Potter trivia,

(Vydhourie’s expression on finding out I’m a Hufflepuff was priceless)

[EDIT July 31: wait we talked about HP houses again last Tuesday and SHE WAS SURPRISED YET AGAIN!! HAAHAHAHAHAH]

talking (squealing) about random books, Big Bad Wolf, parents’ jobs, Siah standing on a chair, why on earth did you guys come back?!?!? (to Florence and Jing Si),


Agree with zexin. Florence has some pent up rage against you

She picked that one out of four

And did it continuously for almost half an hour

It seems like nothing, but it’s not. I love being here. I love this.

14 days

PSA. This post includes: no structure, far too many interjections and brackets, difficult-to-read language, immaturity, raw unedited writing.

there is so much I’ve been procrastinating writing about. Awards Day, Melaka, paperwork, my procrastinating packing, random* memories, a bunch of half-written entries on my laptop, many more two-sentence drafts entries posing as drafts (which they could never actually be because they’re in all honesty just prompts meant to trigger memories of whatever I wanted to write when I eventually decide to untangle the emotions – or lack of them, which is also confusing – and lay them out flat on a blank page that is ready to be distorted in any way I desire. Wow, such faith I have in myself that: a) I’d write before I forget what happened (yes ok I admit it I forget details in 2 seconds), b) I’d remember what the prompts even refer to (I’ve already forgotten what happened when I wrote a couple of emo posts), and c) that I’d be able to untangle a bunch of hopelessly knotted virtual strings, because clearly I manage very well with my hair.)

I guess this means I’m going to ignore all those bits and pieces and knick knacks and odds and bobs lurking in various places including the back of my head (dangerous place to be, at risk of being misplaced permanently) and just write something new.

For a few seconds there I scared myself because I couldn’t remember what I was going to write about

Thankfully it’s back now

Two-ish years ago, a JPA-MARA senior contacted one of my batch’s national scholars and explained about the Vanderbilt fast-track program for engineering majors, saying we could opt-in and save two years yada-yada blah blah blih blih.

I eventually said no. (aren’t you glad we skipped the process? It was strangely similar to all the other decision making processes I’ve written about – disorganized and messy)

The next time I went to my cousins’ house, my cousin casually said ‘I heard you don’t want to go to uni because you’re scared’

I vehemently insisted that that wasn’t true: that I was declining the opportunity because when I called JPA they said they wouldn’t transfer me to that program, and I didn’t want to risk it; that I wasn’t sure I wanted to do chemical engineering anyway; that the senior I spoke to was Malay, so he could very well have been transferred to the JPA-MARA program.

The truth is, sure, those were all valid concerns that I had. But they didn’t exist independently. I didn’t try as hard as I could to convince JPA. I didn’t talk to as many seniors as I could have, or even ask the questions I needed to know the answers to to make an actual informed decision. No, I made a decision in some corner of my mind, picked some excuses to make myself feel better and simply didn’t try. I was afraid of leaving home so fast, so suddenly, and having to adapt to a new country and new pace and new everything. (by the way my cousin could have phrased her sentence a little better don’t you think)

Some part of me also felt that I could do better.

Ah, the arrogance of a wide-eyed ingénue.

Did I do better? I’d greatly hesitate to say so. But did I undermine the abilities of a collective I’d never met and never understood? Yes. I did. Though I still question the fairness of getting in like that, neither was my judgment fair. Perhaps it was borne out of… I don’t know, I can’t think of a word less strong than envy or jealousy, but those are too – ya you guessed it you smart human – strong.

In retrospect, though unrelated to the point I’m trying to make: Yes, I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to study, but I’m not any wiser now. I guess it didn’t really matter, then, because there’s no changing my mind once I start my degree.

random* fact: I’m typing in the living room with everyone here and Sacchi sitting next to me and this is scary. and weird. mostly scary. why would it be scary

SO anyway, back to the point

(maybe this is a bad time to be writing this because I just felt this very intensely yesterday then I had to go out then its tonight and I’m just writing while watching a random* episode of Gilmore Girls and feeling absolutely nothing but oh well if I stop now I’ll never finish



lorelai left her chair in the shop??? again???

I am clearly very focused)

I just feel very reluctant to do actual work and stuff that relates to me leaving and clean up my room and plan the next two weeks or what I should do after I arrive or see people or anything

because planning, while it effectively breaks down the block of 14 days (14DAYS!!!!!!!!!) into manageable chunks of time and gets stuff done in an organized manner (clearly my parents favour this method and thank goodness for that or I’d never get anything done unlike most of my friends who are independent and responsible and plan their own stuff and think of everything themselves and that’s a lot of ands, isn’t it?), it also breaks down the 14 days into small things that will end really soon

Over the last few weeks, I’ve gone for walks on my street and the next twice with my father, just for fun – trying to capture details and store them, and failing, and realizing that it wasn’t a matter of remembering, because I haven’t done this in years. I can’t remember when I last did, actually. Trying to meet up with old friends, and only actually meeting a few and realizing all the people I will not be able to see anytime soon

14 days is so little time

and my mother is working for most of it

and I don’t even try to be nice

I’m a horrible child

for two years, I just allowed myself to forget those fleeting emotions of the Vanderbilt time because I didn’t think it was a big deal, even then. I thought it was stupid to not want to go far away and study just because it’s far away, especially if it’s a good place to study (ironically the person I was judging was my debate trainer) but yes I’m the stupid one I admit it fine ok yes. But I recently remembered the vandy thing

very similar reactions to now

I feel slightly guilty about how I feel too, because

  1. so many people would take my place in an instant. I’m really, really lucky, and I know that and I’m grateful and I wouldn’t give it up. I just feel unprepared to deal with everything on my own and be 30 hours from home by flight and be unable to rush home at a moment’s notice unlike when I was at KY. I never really appreciated being a 1.75 hour bus ride away, and
  2. I don’t 100% know I’m going in the first place right, till A2 results on August 10th so I don’t know

I mean how can you feel sad before you know if something is real

and I guess I’ve been operating on the assumption that it’ll be okay but I don’t actually know that and 11 days from results I don’t have a backup plan yay (nor do I have plans for a backup plan yet)

side note: the only thing I do have a plan for is cutting my hair :> I like getting my hair cut

But I guess its okay to feel like I’ll miss home

it’s okay to miss home

and I’ll just believe everything will turn out fine


[*not the dictionary definition. Random = could actually be something particular when I’m the one using the word. Used to mean ‘some not necessarily related things’ in place of a word that I’m scrounging around my head searching for but can’t find.]


everything will turn out fine

for me, and for everyone else.


Just another day, another night

Another math question that I can’t get right

Just another day, yes, but mundane as it might

Comforting has it been, this daily sight. 

I took this picture on Wednesday evening, when it really seemed to be just another night. But then I realized it was the last I would stand there, looking out at the sky, trying not to feel so worried about exams and the things I don’t know, or trying to convince myself to go back in and do work. When I first came to KY, my favourite place was Saad Square (the square in the picture). I studied at the RC a lot, and me being me, I had some (many) moments of ‘i can’t do this’ and sitting in Saad Square and looking at the sky and breathing usually made me feel better. 

Standing there on Wednesday made me remember how much I like watching the clouds. I wonder why I never do it anymore. It was just so nice to stand out there and watch the clouds move and change shape, and ‘fly’. Clouds are nice to watch. The sky is nice to see. I feel like the sky alternates between a calming, beautiful presence and a heavy, menacing one that threatens to swallow you whole. Some days as I walk in the evenings, I feel very calmed by my surroundings, yet some days the very same surroundings, same weather inspired a sinking feeling.

There’s a word to describe the sky that evening, but I can’t seem to find it. The clouds were moving, but a little too fast so it felt almost like a time-lapse. It felt like the sky was moving. Like the sky was trying to give me a hug. Beautiful, but that’s not the description I’m looking for.

For most people, this picture probably shows just another building, just another evening – but these justs have been mine – familiar, comforting, soothing. I don’t really feel much yet about finishing my last A Level paper today, but I can definitely say I’ll miss this. Not the studying in the lounge/RC, exactly, but being there. 

(if you’ve been reading my previous posts (which I suspect no one does apart from zexin and joanne) sorry for constantly talking about leaving and stuff although it hasn’t actually happened lol. Expect more to come.) 

two years on

Yesterday WordPress wished me Happy Anniversary!


Wow. it’s been two years since my impulsive decision to start a blog. What’s more surprising, though, is that it’s still alive (thanks to Joanne, obviously).

(PS WordPress, yesterday wasn’t my anniversary ok since I see I published my first post on May 12, 2015

apa ni

you’re like me, forgetting people’s birthdays and stuff

the only difference is that you wished me although it was late

I’d just not wish the person at all)


Looking through my old posts I realize that the nature of my posts have changed quite a lot – my first posts were very themed, in a sense, because I had a specific purpose in mind when I started out. And my posts were serious and just… how did I get to this point, where my blog is literally an online journal? Before I started blogging, I never really consistently kept a journal or wrote anywhere.

I tried, sure, (everyone does right?) and I was always as overdramatic in my reactions to minor occurrences as I am now

Hypothesis Test

H0: I have always been overdramatic.

H1: I have not always been overdramatic.

Exhibit A: 9-year-old me getting scolded during the holidays for something and then subsequently writing in her ‘diary’ that she refuses to have any fun at all during the break, since that’s what they all want, right? *cries*

Note the use of the third person, because clearly this kid is not me. This ‘diary’ died within a few days, by the way.

Exhibit B: 15-year-old me writing a journal (for my English class, no less, because my (young, first posting, still wide-eyed and not overworked by the bureaucracy yet) teacher thought that would help us with our writing) and making a huge deal out of stuff that I shall not mention here because it’s just too embarrassing

I did this because, ya kno, I had nothing to say so I just made it ‘more interesting’

This journal also died. Within a few months (ie after this teacher left for her permanent posting)

Exhibit C: 19-year-old me decided that maybe it’s not such a great idea to write everything I think on this blog. This new physical journal currently has two entries in it, both from February. It involves me being super worried about not (yet) being called for an interview by Princeton and Imperial. These two entries are followed by maths. Some chemistry and physics. More maths.

Conclusion: (meh no one needs test statistics and stuff) Accept H0. No evidence at any significance level of me not being overdramatic.

Side note: Conclusive evidence also found of subject being unable to keep a journal. This study was carried out over a period of 10 years.


Yeah. So. I feel like this blog is a reminder of how much I’ve changed in the last two years – for the better in some departments, for the worse in others (*cough* grammar, punctuation, content *cough*).

People change. Or you think they have changed. Sometimes they really have, but sometimes they haven’t. It’s confusing, change.

Maybe it’s a good thing that I decided to write a lot of things here, inconsequential as it seems to me now, because I have no record of most of the things I think and say and do on a daily basis. So someday I may look back at this and be grateful I kept it, or I might look back and want to die from embarrassment at the amount of cringe in here. But either way, it’s here. When I first started, I didn’t want to be discovered by people who knew me at all. I didn’t want the things I wrote to change the perceptions of people towards me. I mean, as long as my readers don’t know me its fine because I’m not going to know their opinion. I’ve kinda changed my mind on that, and I considered putting my name on this blog but I’m deciding not to still


it’s important to watch your online presence (and ya before this I low-key worried that admissions officers might see this and that phase might be over but ya)

and I don’t exactly like the idea of someone who doesn’t know me (and whose opinion of me matters, like, idk an employer or something (yeah thinking a bit far into the future but I’m paranoid about not being able to erase things)) stumbling upon this because it doesn’t exactly give a very good first impression of who I am. I don’t put my best foot forward here; I put a jumbled mix-up of information and unashamedly admit (and rant about, and do nothing about) flaws. I’m a little paranoid, I guess. Just slightly.

Speaking of flaws, I’m currently procrastinating on doing work, yet again. I barely studied over the past week. I’m living life dangerously, heh. Dangerous indeed, because missing an A/B in Further Maths could literally cost me everything. It’s very worrying how my entire grade depends solely on 6 hours in an exam hall. 6 hours. 2 papers. 1 grade. Raised thresholds. I have no AS marks to carry forward to save me, and I am very unprepared. I wonder why I ever thought it was a good idea to focus on the science papers until they were over and not do any maths for 5 weeks (and then do it half-heartedly for one week and now realize I have one more week to salvage this) (and then keep procrastinating because maths is hard)


Over the past week, I have

  • ranted about my abysmal performance in Chem 4, then regretted it because the person I was ranting to was my cousin who seemed to have a handle on a lot of the questions I didn’t know how to approach at all
  • slept, on average, for about 8.5 hours a night
  • ate lots of my chaletmate’s food
  • watched a ton of Facebook videos

I remember a time when I saw a (-n older) friend who was doing SPM, online during the exam season, and thinking ‘wow how can she do that shouldn’t she be studying I’d feel so guilty’

Where art thou, sweet innocent child who would have studied throughout the exam season? I need you. Come back.

  • done 1-2 maths papers a day for the last 3 days
  • watched two movies (do not ask why I watched two movies in the middle of A2)
  1. Baahubali 2 (a Tamil movie (that I had to read subtitles to keep up with pls don’t judge mi))

it was quite refreshing, honestly (and to my surprise). It’s not very often you find non-princessy, delicate, dependent women as main characters so it was nice to have three female characters as strong, independent, smart, confident (and loud, easily angered, impulsive) and exaggerated as the men for a change

I still think a lot of decisions were stupid and like WHY Y’ALL GO TO WAR FOR EVERY SINGLE THING why

and why on earth do you want to marry someone you have never met/only watched from a distance

and everything oH SO EXaggERaTED but eh, that’s a requirement for Tamil movies

Tbh I really wonder how they managed to make a three-hour movie with no actual storyline. By the end of it I was wondering when this was going to end and is it just me or has this taken forever and I looked at my phone and it was midnight (started at 9 something)

My brother can drive now. He’s a pretty good driver (lol confident enough to come pick me and my mother up from the cinema past midnight lol I still can’t drive alone). he also likes rubbing it in my face. (lol I don’t actually mind) on the other hand my parents have a good driver now

  1. Hidden Figures

I watched this today after being really bored with maths. Really, really loved it. If you haven’t watched it yet, WATCH IT PLS YOU WON’T REGRET IT ITS AMAZING!! It was equal parts inspiring and sad, because wow, people manage to do great things even with such limited resources and everyone around them not believing in them, but its very sad how people can be so unfair and it can just… be. Yes, status quo may be a certain way, but that doesn’t mean it is right. A phrase I picked up from debate, and a timely reminder.

I don’t know why I decided to clutter up this already cluttered post with a summary of my week and two movie reviews ‘i don’t know what to call them’s


Okeh bye for now ❤


When do you push?

Some people have it hard. I feel bad for being oblivious to people’s pain and trouble sometimes. It’s easier to pretend I didn’t notice something was wrong, especially when I’m not extremely close to the person and I’m not sure they want to talk about it. I don’t really have the right to ask, do I? It’s none of my business. I don’t want to bring up something they might be uncomfortable with or upset about, if I didn’t appear to care about it before (I say appear to because a lot of times I do, but I just don’t do anything or help if I don’t know the person super well. I know. Taking the easy way out). I’m making it easier for them, right? 

Or am I just making it easier for me?

This post was brought on by the discovery of a blog of someone I know. And I want so badly to say something, but I don’t know if it’d be appreciated as support or taken as being a busybody (which I guess maybe I am. Ok no not maybe. Which I am.). But being a busybody and caring about people aren’t mutually exclusive. This isn’t just about that person, though. It’s also about all the times I notice someone visibly upset and I frequently decide to pretend nothing is wrong so they won’t feel embarrassed. Or, if they’re a friend, I ask if they’re okay. And if they say they are I don’t push. Should I? How do you tell whether to push or not to? I can wait for friends to reach out, but am I really a friend if I do nothing knowing they need my help but are hesitant to ask for it? I’ve found it hard to draw the lines as to when to reach out and when to push when someone says they’re okay, partly because I wouldn’t know how to deal with a problem – do I give advice, or do I listen? I can listen, and give you a hug and let you know I care, but advice is difficult. I suck at noticing things and stuff. Partly because I want them to be comfortable reaching out and not feel pressured into saying something. Partly because if I say I’m okay I probably am trying to convince myself of that – and someone asking any more (or telling me it’s okay) will cause an onslaught of tears and rants, which I really don’t want in public; so I don’t want that for anyone else.

I want to say what I’d feel in such a situation, but 

i. I kind of rant all the time about every small thing to people. I don’t have to be pushed, I just spill. Honestly I don’t know why I have this constant need for affirmation and the need to tell people everything. 

ii. And I also don’t have any real issues. Never really had. I’ve almost always gotten what I wanted, even when I didn’t work as hard as I could have. I take things for granted. I’ve been very, very lucky.

I guess I can be inconsiderate in the things I say and do. (I’m thinking of specific instances with that friend whose blog I just read)

See how this entire post was about me and not my friends? This perfectly illustrates my point about self-absorption and lack of regard to everyone else.

After coming to KY, I’ve made different kinds of friends. Many of whom I may not have been friends with had we been in school together. And among them are people who are really extremely observant and put in so much effort into their relationships with people. And on the surface their friendliness seems so effortless, their openness and quirks just characteristic of their personalities and I can’t imagine them any other way. Spoiler: it isn’t effortless. The surface is just that – a surface. A lot lies hidden beneath it. And I took a very long time to realize that, because it took long for certain people to open up (and I suspect only partially) considering I didn’t notice, let alone push. Being friends with these people also made me realize just how little I know about people in general – how little I try to understand. How the things I say and do affect other people. How very unaccommodating I can be. How far I am from who I want to be. 

And hey, I guess it’s easy to say all this because at the end of the day they’re not my problems that I have to deal with. I feel bad, but I’m doing nothing about it. I’m just an extremely sheltered almost-20-year-old with trivial problems. And I know they’re trivial but I still want to be heard. Hypocritical. 

Berat mata memandang, berat lagi bahu memikul 

Units of measurement, Helmholtz coils and being an emotional wreck

Tldr last day of class, me viewing everything through nostalgic goggles that make things seem a lot better than they were, a bunch of pictures that actually include human beings, A2 is SO NEAR

‘Numbers don’t lie.’

That’s not really true. We can use numbers to tell the story we want. Statistics can be manipulated to weave a tale to take in the layperson (I’m not going to go so far as to say anyone, since obviously some people pay attention) – we just need to play around with levels of significance, how we control biases, randomness, other things that I don’t really know (because me and stats, uh, don’t exactly get along too well sometimes). Well. That surprised me when I started learning about sampling, estimation and hypothesis testing.

Today, though, I found myself taken aback by how my use of certain units fooled me.

2 years seems a long time because of our use of the unit ‘year’. When I was 17, a teacher told my class that we shouldn’t do our countdowns to exams in months because it makes the date seem further away. At the time, it didn’t make sense to me. After all, saying 1.5 months, if anything, made the 45 days seem shorter – 1.5 is a much smaller number than 45, right? I understand what she meant now, though. Saying 2 years has been comforting, because a year is a long time. What more 2? But 24 months seems shorter, and 700 days less still (it literally is, because that’s an underestimation

By 15.25×2

Lol I could have just said 730.5 days from the start couldn’t I

You just witnessed my entire thought process in doing 365.25×2 without a calculator).

A day is only 24 hours. And an hour is not very long.

When I woke up this morning it felt like just another Friday. The usual setting my alarm for 7.30 am, ignoring it for an hour, lazing in bed for another half hour, and then finally getting out and taking a bath. Usually, I have a class at 9.30, and my classes continue till 12.40. Today, though, two of my classes were cancelled so my first class was pure maths at 11.15. Which is usually the class that I never shut up in and torture Sarah with puns (with Ian’s, Iris’, Kenny’s, Muz’s, Danica’s and Afiqah’s help, of course). (sadly my puns tend to be rather pun-ishing. Alas, I am but a pun-y amateur.)

Before I went to class I was just at the RC doing stuff and then I saw Iris who told me kinda sadly that it’s the last day, how is it already here

And I said it doesn’t really feel like the last day

Should have known that wouldn’t last

From the moment I stepped into pure maths (late, as usual) I was just overcome with this overwhelming realization that it’s the last day. And we were taking pictures and just talking to Puan Ju the whole block

The entire time was an exercise in pretending the choking feeling in my throat didn’t exist

Looking away from the people I was talking to and trying to joke and come up with puns, and failing

Danica noticing and asking if I’m about to cry

Me vehemently denying it (lies, that she and Iris both saw through) and continuing to try to make more jokes to kacau Sarah

Thankfully no one else asked that because it makes it so much harder not to cry

Why do I even cry so easily

It’s not like I’m not going to see them again. I have two more months in KY, just not in class

The realization that this was the very last time I’d see all these people in this setting, I guess. I love my maths class(es) (both pure and applied. Pretty much the same people, anyway). Don’t get me wrong, I don’t understand what’s going on in class almost all the time, but my classmates are some of the most amazing people ever. This class is hilarious. I never felt so at home and like… able to talk so much nonsense (because let’s face it, I spew a lot of crap in maths) without being judged. The first time I’ve been in a class that I’ve been that kid – who’s loud and annoying all the time (ok no that’s not really a good thing but I don’t regret it)

It kind of pains me to realize I’m going to have to find someone else to give blank looks to (and get blank looks from) and laugh with when the amount of stuff I don’t get reaches new highs, because now Danica and I are going to two different continents for uni

And having to find a new friend who’ll be willing to teach me stuff all the time like Iris is (I don’t know if anyone else like Iris even exists) (she’s too good)

^Pi-shaped because maths requires that kind of pi-ous dedication. Further maths is no pi-cnic. Although it’d be better with some pi-zza and pie. (ok now you get why Sarah doesn’t like this)

The process of taking this picture was proof that even if a person can do further maths, that doesn’t necessarily mean they can count to two. We took forever to stand in two lines. We had more than two for so. Long.

^Applied maths block 3 ft. Afiqah, Piah and the boy whose name I don’t know minus Muz, Suren And Thor

After pure I had physics. Which was again another photo session. This time we called back our friends who’d dropped physics at some point in the last two years.

Ze-Xin said this felt like a reality show and we’re calling back guest artists who starred in previous seasons. (Loshene left at the end of season 1, and Aman in the middle of season 4 heh)

It totally felt like that HAHAHHA

^Physics, so clearly we needed to pose with Fleming’s Left Hand Rule and the Right Hand Grip Rule (and a couple misplaced peace signs) and Mr John, as always, preferred the Right Hand Slap Rule.

^’Advantages of having long arms’ – Mr John

^Fancy unrelated equipment

‘Don’t say that, no one will notice’ – Ze-Xin

Then we went back to our seats and Mr John gave us a sort of speech, through which I was also just drinking water and trying to swallow the choking feeling. My most important takeaway from it was the answer to his question ‘what’s the difference between knowledge and wisdom?’

Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, and wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.


I’m going to miss his jokes and just. Him. And this class. And some of the best friends I have now

(any excuse for another picture of us right)

Oh well.

I didn’t feel this sad during my last chem and stats classes because stats was on Tuesday and it didn’t feel like the end yet. And chem was also on Tuesday, and we didn’t know it was the last class but our teacher unexpectedly got sick so it ended up being the last class
And now I realize that chem and stats are really over over too.

I was slightly sed on the last day of mechanics (yesterday) cause Mr Mahadzir was giving us his ‘speech’, too

But I guess I still felt like I’d see the same people today in pure again

I’m going to miss my classes. My teachers. My classmates. They’re really, really, the best I could have asked for. I know people who can’t say the same, so I’m really grateful.

Okay then I went out for dinner with my villamates! We barely see each other nowadays 😦 but today was fun

We went to Sarang Art Hub, which usually has live busking, apparently, but we chose the wrong day cause they didn’t have that today. And had a really limited menu and mixed up our orders


The place was very artsy, exhibition ish, and the main idea in the room we were in (I felt) was some sort of Bangladeshi war theme kind of thing? Yeah. Not the soft flowers and cute stuff kind of art

Another part of the restaurant which had less dark themes 

Everyone likes to look at food

Then we came back and ate at one of the tables outside the villa area

And came to my chalet

And Dini came over

So we just went to Maryam’s room and talked and gossiped which we hadn’t done in really long (and I googled every other actor they talked about because I COULD NOT remember what a character looked like ._.)

So nice to catch up with my friends 🙂 ❤ hepi

Okay this post is extremely long so I’ll stop. I guess this is where (no I should have done it long ago but I can’t go back in time so) I stop doing all kinds of nonsense and really study. No second chances. 11 days.

Night 🙂 if any of my friends are reading this, good luck for A2 :’)