02 January 2018

"time flies but you keep cutting its wings"

To be honest it's been a really long time since i've signed in to my blog so even i surprised myself by finally deciding to write something here. I've actually composed lots of drafts over the past few months but somehow in the midst of writing my thoughts always trail off and obviously i never had enough conviction to return and finish them up. 😂

So...what's it gonna be? A very cliched (excuse my absence of macrons) new year's / general reflection??? 😹

I don't really have any specific focal points for this so i'll just weave my way through wherever my train of thought takes me.

It's been quite a long and arduous year for me. A good half of 2017 revolved largely around academics for me. Y3S1 was truly one of the darkest, most exhausting periods of my life and I was just really sad the whole time. It was my first time overloading modules so i'd had a total of 7 modules to juggle...and it probably doesn't come off as much of a big feat to some people LOL idk maybe the scholars or whatever but my plate was really full and i was just inundated with so much work every day! My daily schedules were perpetually filled and i'm not exaggerating when I tell people i just don't have time because I literally did not even have enough for myself!

Even on days where I had only 1 lesson (each lesson lasts 3 hours) in the day it'd still feel like the entire day was gone because first there's the 3 hour travel to and fro and then by the time i got home i was dead beat and through all that exhaustion i still had to sit down and get work done. My god, i really hated it!!!!!!! It was quite stupid of me to overload last semester because I was quite grossly misinformed about my balance AUs LOL. Basically I had no idea I needed to set aside a certain amount of AUs for my FYP so I was under the impression that I still had a lot of modules to clear LMAO so I was damn scared and just wanted to quickly clear most of them to graduate on time LOL!!!! But as it turns out...after taking all the modules i did, i had to go back to my admin girl and ask her to reclassify some of them for me because i ended up with insufficient AUs for my FYP LMAOOOOO fk me la so ya la the main gist is I unnecessarily bit off way more than I could chew.

Unnecessary overloading aside, I was also very unhappy with a few of my modules because they were mostly very technical and needless to say i had ZERO passion for them and I was basically just floating through every lecture (for those i'd even show ed up for) because wtf is going on man...??? Argh i just really hated everything so much!!!!!!!! So that was a major contributing factor to my severe unhappiness for the entire semester...

So as my days got busier, I eventually started to neglect even myself. Like, I didn't even feel alive. Every day i was simply going through the motion mindlessly and i just wasn't happy with my situation at all. I was too tired to even get in touch with myself and i started to lose sight of a lot of things. I gradually stopped talking to my friends on telegram and i basically shut myself off from the world...I stopped going on my social media platforms, stopped having fun, stopped doing lots of hobbies and i stopped being a great bulk of myself. I even experienced a bit of a personality lapse where i lost my mojo, sense of humor and general excitement for life. I was even quite worried i'd been a bit depressed and that actually really scared me...but the day's activities passed faster than i could attempt to snap out of things and pull myself together. I felt really wretched every day and i absolutely hated this personal downward spiral. I'm just glad somehow i managed to pull myself back out of that black hole and i'm slowly regaining every bit of the my self again! To everyone: the spirit, self and soul are so important and precious; take good care of yourself and don't lose them like i did.

The thing about school is i generally don't talk about it because not only do i not see the need to talk about things, i also do not really have anyone i can talk to about it. I'm sure this applies to everyone else as well, it's weird to just bring to the dinner table stuff you learn about at school like "oh today I managed to artificially synthesize a fricative consonant but i had trouble fiddling with the nasal component" like ???? it's just not something appropriate i like to talk about. I mean it really varies across the different majors i guess like for example when my nursing friend tells me about school it's really easy to listen and carry a conversation because we get to listen to attachment stories and talk about biological/medicinal stuff and it's all very real and human(e), you know what i mean? To be very honest i've not actually spoken to my family members about school at all, save for the few times my dad actually asks about my course and future plans LOL. Speaking of this!!!! I don't know if i'm just really bad at explaining but i usually find myself unable to explicitly explain what exactly do i learn in my course because there are just so many things! I try to water it down to the textbook definition of linguistics i.e. the science of language but most times that just doesn't cut it LOL. As for future plans, even i am quite lost myself because i honestly don't see myself doing a lot of things and i don't really know what the future has in store for me so que sera sera i guess!

I generally worry about a lot of things on a daily basis. Nowadays as i start to grow older, i find myself increasingly emotional every time i think of my parents. I try my best to drop them messages and talk to them every day (they're both not around) and just be there. It makes me really sad every day whenever i think of them growing old. Some days i'd just look at pictures of their younger selves and feel really sad when i see how much they've visibly aged. My mom's hairline is slowly receding and my dad's eye bags are getting a lot more sunken. I wish every day they wouldn't grow any older. It makes me really sad and scared. Every day i worry one day my dad will go and he'd be in a different continent and i'd never get to be by his side. Many nights these primordial fears haunt me and I still cry myself to sleep thinking about the both of them. At this point in my life i'm past wishing for circumstances to be different...but more than anything i always wonder. I always wonder if things would have been better for all of us if it hadn't been this way. Maybe if things were normal it'd slow down our ageing and i'd have the chance to be by both your sides and i wouldn't have had to lose your best years the way i did without a say.

I think i did myself a great favor in finding time off to think and talk about things like that because i don't think i've allowed myself such catharsis in a long time coming. Sometimes I believe i wouldn't think it too big a deal if i decide to just go. Things feel very ephemeral to me these days and i'd probably be okay losing my footing or just completely uprooting myself. I don't think there remains much i've yet to have, know or feel. Most of life has already come and gone hasn't it? Recently a particular conversation keeps looping in my head. On this particular day i'd met someone for the first time and we were talking about inspirations. I was young and rather impressionable so I was more than impressed by his lofty "Mother Teresa" reply. Then for the next few months (actually years) I felt extremely embarrassed and lousy at my answer when I told him "life". But increasingly as the years went by I kept thinking of my answer and the more I thought about it the harder it became for me to put myself down because that was exactly the truth, an affirmation in itself. Everything I do, i think, i write, i speak are inspired by everything that has transpired in this life. Everything I am is inspired by life, my life.

I am my life.

26 October 2016

Life as I have it!

So it's been quite a while since I last updated this space with anything regarding my personal life...but recently i've been extremely busy and exhausted from school and as i'm taking a break right now from all my projects and assignments, i thought when else would be a better time for me to reflect and pen my thoughts about school?

For quite some time now i've received quite a number of questions from lots of people about my course: what i do, what i learn, etc. If you're not a friend or don't already know, i'm currently pursuing a degree in Linguistics & Multilingual Studies in NTU and i'm currently in Y2S1 (which is ending in about 2 weeks' time!!!!!!!!!)! As you can see from my multiple exclamation marks i am BEYOND THRILLED at the thought of this semester coming to a close...because trust me when i say this semester has seen me work harder than ever before!!! Like ok maybe i've ever worked a lot harder back in JC but for the first time in a long time i'm actually really feeling the grind!!!! I'm currently juggling several assignments and projects and basically every day i'm just inundated by an endless heap of work and information...cognitive overload is an understatement right now tbh!!! But i guess this workload is pretty normal for year 2s and i'm just lucky (or am i? 🤔) i don't have any final exams so i guess that makes up for the heavier workload this semester...!!! Then again sometimes i'd really very much prefer exams to projects because it's just a one-time thing to get over with unlike projects which usually last through a few weeks!!!! It can be so draining, truly!!! But in the midst of all this hustle i've also been really lucky to have found a great group of friends which were a total blessing in disguise!!!!!!!!! Basically last semester my other friends and i were all allocated different tutorial groups (cause of stupid Star Wars which fucks everyone up tbh HAHAHAHA anyway our system is called STARS so Star Wars is basically us fighting for our time tables cause it works on a fastest-fingers-first basis so you can JUST IMAGINE the pressure like im not even kidding...my adrenaline always pumps so heart and my palms get really sweaty and i even need to turn on the World Clock app just to beat my competitors by the miliseconds the fuck??) and I was the only one who managed to get T1 for everything SO basically i was alone and i can't deny i was really bummed and lonely the first few weeks cause i had no friends!!!!! But thankfully...things eventually worked out and I made myself a few new incredible friends with whom i've hung out ever since and i'm super grateful because they're a bunch of incredibly intelligent and funny women and super empowering so we spend a lot of time working on our projects and assignments together and things really fell into a great place for me!!! Yay!!! So yes!!!! I guess that's one of my biggest plus points for this semester :-)!

Ok so!! One of the most common questions for me is: "What's Linguistics about?" If you've asked me this before you'd probably recall my hem and haw......because it's just so difficult to answer! I honestly think about my answer all the time LOL and very broadly speaking Linguistics is really the science of Language. Basically we examine the different facets of language like how language works, languages of the world, functions and usage of language, language acquisition, language features, semantics phonology grammar syntax ETC.!!!! That's why it's so difficult for me to answer because it's everything to do with language tbh!!!!! And Linguistics itself is such an open-ended field like probably in your very first lecture they'll tell you about how they have different beliefs and camps of Linguists and when you go deeper into your content you'll realize how there are so many things which still remain indefinite today! So it's really not an easy field because...there's kinda like so many different ways to look at all these different things.

But it is also this same open-endedness that has really taught me so much in the process! You'd probably expect a Language expert to become more critical and intolerant of so many things but it is just the opposite for me!!! If anything (and ironically) i've become a lot less critical and a lot more accepting of a lot of things around me like for example last time I used to be a total grammar nazi because correcting people seemed only the right thing to do, right? But ever since i've been introduced to the concepts of Descriptivism (which to me is an essential and imperative quality of all good linguists!!!!!) i realized how immature and narrow-minded i used to be...let me put it this way ok, in the words of one of my favorite profs and i quote: "as a descriptivist, you don't tell the planets how to work, you describe how they work." I've really lived by this ever since and i want to leave this to you to unravel so i won't explain it. You'll figure it out :-)!!

Oh wait, i just remembered i was still on the topic of take-aways LOL so yes!!!! It's definitely changed me as a person through perspectives and i've also been exposed to so many different lamguages in the world it's insane! Learning about all these languagespreviously unknown (to me) and unheard of is really mind/eye-opening! It always makes me think about all the different places and cultures and peoples of the world and it really helps preserve and fuel the flames of my passion for Language!!! As tough as the learning process goes, it somehow has this self-motivating factor in itself which only makes you want to find out more, you know? Like hey i've already read this much of this topic, how can i rob myself of learning even more? The content depth always seems so unending so every time you are step foot into a new module...the learning never ever ends......Oh and speaking of learning, i've yet to mention how my course has really stellar tutors and professors who are so talented and kind and helpful!!! They're just REALLY GOOD at what they do and even though i fall asleep sometimes i really appreciate their expertise!!!

So really this entire entry has been for my benefit as i really enjoyed sitting down penning (or typing) my thoughts and reflection on my linguistic journey thus far but if you have been reading i hope you enjoyed it too!! If you ever wish to find out more about Linguistics you can always google NTU LINGUISTICS and look through our course content to get a better idea of what we really do/learn!!