Friday, July 29, 2011

July: Sunshine & Dust.

July was really quick, a whirlwind of emotions and a truckload of work. Regretfully, I look back and see that I've forgotten. I suppose the absence of writing, and self-evaluation (muhasabah) really made this month macam tak dihayati langsung, padahal it was Syaaban, the month to prepare for Ramadhan. 

"Sesungguhnya orang-orang yang beriman, dan orang-orang yang berhijrah dan orang-orang yang berjihad di jalan Allah, mereka itu yang mengharapkan rahmat Allah. Allah Maha Pengampun, lagi Maha Penyayang" 2:218 - Kak Sikin's text, the 2nd.

We were kept guessing whether Mock Interview was really on, and when it was finalized, Leka called and told me that my turn was on the 4th. Coincidentally, I had an appointment at 9.00 am at UMMC and my interview was at 2.40 pm. Can't even begin to describe the jitters and the rush of things going on in my head. Alhamdulillah, met Dian who told me what to expect with Mr Neil Sutherland. 
Frantic Googling, calling and berkat doa Mummy, my interview that day went well. 

Charming Mr Neil, who encouraged me to go to Scotland just cause he's from there!

Alhamdulillah, came out of Mawar 2 really feeling like it was the 4th of July. Cue the fireworks! All I can say is that Mr Neil really spelled out what to expect for the real deal, and gaining his vote of confidence was something I needed. 

"Inshaallah, kita sama-sama mencari cintaNya, jemputlah datang petang ni" - Ekin, the 5th.
I took a leap of faith, literally. Dirinya dah lama sedar, just kesedaran untuk bergerak tu datang dengan keraguan. Alhamdulillah, dah settle dah semua :) Jazakallah, Hana Reza :)

Do you know how proud a sister can be? Madam Zakiah texted me on the 11th to tell me that my little brother won Inter-MRSM Public Speaking. Remembering his paranoia about an unfinished text and being ill-prepared made me laugh thinking how he can really exaggerate, like another member of his family. 

Went back to UMMC on the 13th. Memang betul, manusia will never be able to be truly grateful for everything that Allah has given to them for free. I feel that is the reason he tries us with sickness, so that I can really appreciate health and Him.

Went to Floria on the 16th with Nenek :) I tell you Nenek is one in a million and I love her, thick Kelantanese accent and all. 

Ok, IB Kitten, I know what you mean!

Ok Semester 3, I feel the pain already ok? 17th-20th July. Math Portfolio FEVER. I deeply apologize to all the trees that died to make Double A papers because I wasted a whole lot of 'em. Was partway done when I showed my Math teacher on Monday (the thing was due on Wednesday).

She took one look at my hard efforts experimenting with Geogebra (you have points for usage of technology) and said, " This is not technology, this is just a drawing.


You know the IB joke that says "You know you're in IB when you look at the clock and don't count how many hours to sleep, but how many hours to finish your homework" ? All the girls of M10A will testify that this is true. 

2 days of intense stressing, head banging, all nighters at the TV room and finally, at 5.07 am, 20/7/2011 my portfolio was complete. 2 laptops syahid after overuse of this 

They say that unity comes in times of adversity right? I saw people discussing GGB in the loo, the common room, TV room and the para was filled with people frantically doing their portfolios up until 7.30 am.  Who will forget the zombie looks from the SL students, the way our teachers scolded us for falling asleep, the mindless things you say when you're so terribly sleepy, the unnatural hush in the block on Wednesday when it was all over. The comfort of my bed was never apparent until that evening on the 20th.

And that was only Type I. Can't wait for Type II.

It really taught me to hold my temper. Sorry for those who kena sembur that week. SO SORRY! The people who are strong are not the ones who can fight other people, but the ones who can hold in their anger. I remember reading that ulamas want to get angry because they relish the chance to swallow their anger and the blessing that occurs in that act. Goes to show that masih jauh lagi perjalanan untuk baiki diri ni.... People get really cranky when they don't get sleep. Fights broke out, and true characters revealed. Can't say I've quite gotten over that realization. 

24th was the first time in a while that I adjudicated debate after lying dormant so long. Ridhuan and I were super stoked but thanks to a killer migraine, didn't quite get the buzz and high that usually accompanies the word "DEBATE!". I even slept through the "Rich, Ugly VS Poor, Handsome" motion. Perhaps I prefer being the debater rather than adju-ing. Can't wait to resurrect my debate alter ego for Tunku Naqiyuddin in September! Mike we so have to kick ass!

22-23rd of July was another whirlwind weekend! 

Ran off to KLIA after usrah to celebrate the homecoming of one of my PC darlings, Ummu 'Ammarah. Waiting 1.5 hours was nothing compared to the feeling that day when Wani, Hana, Kelly and I got to hug her. MRSM may have ended, but I pray that we never will.


23rd brought guilt and resolutions to finish my EE as English EEers had our workshop. The moment the clock struck 1 pm, I left the LT, got in a cab and went straight to KLIA (again!) to send my parents and sister off to umrah. Then at 2 got into the ERL to head for Seha's kenduri.

Seha and I have been friends since Day 1, 3 years ago. Nak cakap the things that we've been through would need a whole blog post but the thought of her jetting off to Purdue University without me kinda makes me sad. We all need to grow up kan? Bak kata Seha "Nasib baik aku masuk PC, kalau tak aku tak tahu camne nak hidup."  So true. Have a safe journey sayang, never forget your niat, Allah and please study!

26th-28th was the Banting Extended Experience (BEE) exposure for us KMBians. The Uni Fair was my highlight and God willing, if I were given the chance to fly to the UK or Eire, I think I've my choices made up. Many thanks seniors! 

I've no clue why this Sem I've become the next candidate for teenage rebellion. Skived Wed's BEE session to go to KLCC. Yes, on a weekday! To fix a laptop, Nana, Yana, Fasha and I went gallivanting and spent 7 hours there. I think stress really got the better of us and the need to escape was at an all time high! 2 meals, 3 desserts, window shopping and we were as good as new. Mind you Nana and I didn't even get started on our lab reports yet at the time. Juniors, don't do this ok? 

KLCC was epic (reverence intended). Got to bid farewell to my arch nemesis turned good friend Reza before he left for Berkeley (good luck, genius). Why is everyone flying off? Even stumbled upon Kak Safhan back from McGill. Boy, was she an inspiration *winks*

Studies wise:
1. I can't get vectors no matter how many times you explain. Oh help.
2. Bio is cool now as it's all about cells, and immunity, and no icky plant biology.
3. ORGANIC CHEMISTRY, I loike! Though I'm still unsure how to familiarize myself with the new faces of aldehydes, ketones, amines, amides. 
4. Protectionism, Trade Barriers & Economic Integration. Now I can finally talk to Mummy intelligently and comprehend articles in StarBiz. So glad I didn't opt for BMS. 
5. Blurb, strapline, wire copy. Can't believe I've been reading papers all this while without even knowing the existence of these things. 
6. "Akan kutenun awan gemawan menjadi selendang menudungi rambutmu..." Never been a fan of sajak but the enthusiasm Mr Azha has when he teaches makes me sure that I'm going to like it.

Now on the 30th, one day from Ramadhan, I'm documenting all this month has been in hopes that this coming Holy month will be so much better.

It may have been a month lacking in remembrance, but the only thing I can do is end it with Ramadhan resolutions and belief that regardless of everything,

Friday, July 8, 2011

When F becomes S.

 “To meet Triumph and Disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same” – Rudyard Kipling.

I always stumble on blogs advising me on how to handle disaster, impending doom and omg-it’s-the-end-of-the-world situations (being one of the people who contribute to blogs of this sort myself hehe) Reflecting on my own posts, when the success I’ve coveted finally arrives, the usual expressions would be THANK GOD I DID IT followed by a whole row of !!!!!!!!!!! and words like YES I AM SOOOOO HAPPY.

Semester 2 was tough to say the least. It was a sort of a now or never moment for me. Losing everyone’s respect when you don’t perform is not as bad as losing respect for yourself because you know you didn’t try as hard as they did.

The best thing about not making it in the beginning is the chance it gave me to really reflect on every single factor in my life and try to get it in tip top shape again. 

There were moments when I’d just choke, especially close to the exams when I had no definite bedtime and every single hour slept felt like a golden opportunity to study that I missed out upon. 

Getting paranoid, staying up till 7 am then wondering, should I go to sleep or continue with my usual morning routine? 

No matter how hard it got, knowing that Allah was there for me every second, with me every time I stumbled on Econs, knowing that He knows how bad I was at Kinetics and how I was always so careless in Math. Talking to Him became easy, searching for His love came naturally. When exams ended, I left it all in His hands. I had done my part, and He would definitely give me what’s best.

Praises to Him who holds dominion over all, when results came out, the most satisfying part was knowing that I had given it my best.

 I’m not this completely objective being. I didn’t view it as a test at all. In fact, I was down in the dumps for quite a while that I didn’t really know how to react. 

The heady mix of praises, shock and egoistical thoughts went straight to my head and I lost my grip. Who am I kidding when I think that I owe my success to myself?
“When harm touched man, he calls to Us (for help); then when We have (rescued from him that harm and) changed it into a favour from Us, he says: “Only because of knowledge (that I possess) I obtained it.” Nay, it is only a trial, but most of them know not!” 39:49
Yeah, I’ll say it to myself, “IN YOUR FACE!” This is why success is way more potentially harmful to anyone. You start to think that you’re the best, and belittle others in your eyes. 

The tendency to exude self-appraisal and carry round an inflated head between your shoulders is very high. In failure, when you’re all alone, and He’s the most comforting thought you have, you invest all your attention on Him. Success focuses attention on you, so you’d spend less attention focusing on Him.

It’s a sobering thought. Make no mistake, I am thankful for all Allah’s given me I gotta remember that it belongs to Him. He can take it away in an instant, and I’d be way better off without it if it leads me down the expressway to the dark side.

This week’s good news came unexpectedly and I can feel Him watching the way I’m going to go about it. 

I’m beginning to dread the moment when someone asks or telling people because I’m too susceptible to the Big Headed Syndrome. I feel like an idiot when people praise me because as the Prophet mentioned, it’s the worst thing you can do to a friend, equivalent to cutting off their neck. 

It’s such an awkward situation, and I know by experience that most of the people congratulating you won’t give a care once your down and won’t even lend a hand when they see you like that.

 Success is a double edged sword. Failure isn’t a lasting phase. 

Both are trials, bear them both well, for He’s observing you, that’s all I’m trying to say.

And Alhamdulillah, dear Allah, I’m really thankful for the results, the interview, the IELTS and the awareness to know that it was You who set it all up.