Archive | December 2014

2014 was horrible.

So today’s New Years’ Eve! And, like every year, I’m bound to dedicate a post on the 31st of Dec of each year, musing about the year and reflecting on the good events and the not-so-good events that took place during the course of the year.

So of course, this year’s main highlight, or main problem to be specific enough, was my A levels. I turned 18 this year, and like every other 18 year old who’s in junior college, I prepared for my As for about 8 to 9 months. Of course, all of you might already know how dreadful and tough and gruelling As was. It was a period which I so desperately want to forget, but I know that I can never, ever, forget my A level experience. Heck, it was my toughest and darkest academic journey of my life (so far), enough to overshadow the good things that actually took place in this year to be honest.

However, I do not want to be entirely negative because I ultimately conquered the big A in the end and my days now are happy, I do not have much to worry about other than finding a job, scholarships, awards etc etc haha (none of which are as severe as my As).

2014 was however, the best year of concerts for me. I attended the Mosaic Music Festival and it was special for me because it was the first concert I’ve ever been to – Washed Out was playing. Also, it was the last year of that festival so I felt lucky and blessed because at least I went for this last ever festival, after a successful running of a decade. And and and, the concert tix was super cheap. If I’m not wrong, it was 25 bucks. Hahaha super cheap indeed. Love my dream pop/synth pop Washed Out โค

But the best one yet was about 3-4 months later when I went to BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB’S GIG. Bombay Bicycle Club is one of my favourite bands of all time because they are so versatile and they are humble (and the fact that they produce such wonderful music is enough to love them entirely). So when I found out that they are coming to SG after 4 years to do their So Long, See You Tomorrow tour, I jumped at the opportunity and purchased their tix on my 18th birthday itself ๐Ÿ˜€ (present to myself – yes there is such a thing). And to hear one of your favourite bands play live, among a crowd who equally loves them as much as you do, and who would sing along as loud as they can to their songs such that they drowned out Jack Steadman’s voice on some occassions, that was an unforgettable memory, one that will stay with me for eternity. I’ll always remember the atmosphere, the feeling, the mood of concerts because they are just so amazing and lively. It makes you forget all your problems, and you’d feel like the luckiest girl alive. I love concerts.

So that was the highlight of my 2014.

Lastly, my 2014 journey was a very gruelling and tough one. But one thing’s for sure – I wasn’t alone in my journey. I had my friends with me – seven sexy sluts, A08, triple threat – by my side at all points in time. I had all my teachers with me – JC teachers and secondary school teachers and my math tutor. And most importantly, I had my family with me. These groups of people supported me, helped me, reassured me, calmed me (god knows how many times they told me to CALM MYSELF), advised me and pushed me forward to be the best version of myself. And without them, I never would have been able to survive the year. I agreed I wasn’t always the best version of myself at all times, because I did snapped, I did get pissed off and I got annoyed and impatient. But they stood by me through thick and thin and they still accepted me despite knowing my flaws and my ugly side, so I thank them for that and I appreciate them for that ๐Ÿ™‚

2014 was also a year filled with lots of embarrassments – especially in terms of crushes omg. I shan’t elaborate because my god, I just want to get past them HAHAHAA.

I hope 2015 will be good to me, I hope I will continue to grow and improve myself. I hope I will be able to maintain good relationships with my friends and I hope I will grow stronger in the face of adversities and I hope I won’t give up too fast, too easily. I want to be a happier person – a person who will learn how to calm down, a person who won’t have anxiety attacks, a person who will be able to shake off things and be carefree and more optimistic. I do not want my days to be filled with much worry all the time, but instead I want to live my days off to the fullest and focus on the things that really matter. And as for my family, I hope I’ll grow to be more patient so I can be a better daughter to my parents and a better sister to my siblings and a better aunt to my niece and nephew ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s to welcoming 2015. My advice: enjoy and make the most of it ๐Ÿ™‚

xoxo,

Shabz ๐Ÿ™‚

My god I hate this so much every word I type out for this damn application is so fake and artificial. It’s like it came out of a textbook or something. Who knew typing out a 150 word description of your personal aspirations and key qualities could be so difficult. Ugh, hate this. I hate having to write for professors and lecturers because they’ll be the ones looking and reading my damn essay and description and judging my personality, my style based on 150 and 600 words. I feel so stiff and rigid and I feel like I can’t say what I really want to say because it would be so unprofessional and informal. So so frustrated and irked by the difficulty and hassle.

Natural Beauty

Back from my Turkey Trip ’14! Granted I went there 6 years ago – when I was 12 – but to be honest, I couldn’t remember every detail from my first trip there. I didn’t know about the rich history and culture that existed in Turkey when I was 12. I wasn’t able to appreciate all that rich culture back when I was 12 and I wasn’t interested in what happened centuries ago at that place. I was only amazed at the beautiful scenery that greeted my eyes every single day.
But now, when I went there again, this time during winter, I was able to understand and appreciate the history behind the sights and museums that we visited and I wanted to know more about what happened to them. I was captivated and finally interested. And of coz, I was still mesmerized by the kaleidoscope of colours and natural architecture that greeted me when I went back. And the weather was simply amazing (from -2 degrees to 12 degrees, the weather was such a dear ๐Ÿ˜)
Overall, I don’t think it was a wasted trip even though I’ve been there twice now. Because truthfully speaking, the places I visited in this 2nd trip of mine were different from the 1st trip. Also, I couldn’t remember most of the sights/history/details of the places we visited.
Here are some pictures!

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The sunrise at the beach by the hotel was just so beautiful and captivating.

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Conflicted

Ya know I thought that when I finished my A levels, I wouldn’t be in a constant sense of worry or paranoia or nervousness or experiencing any headaches regarding my academics. But nope, guess I was wrong. Blatantly wrong alright. I guess when you’re doing your As, everything else seems to be put on hold first, like stasis. Family matters, minor errands, the list of non-academic things to do,ย your future. You have to overcome that hurdle first before you can move on, and for you to overcome that, you need to devote one hundred percent of your energy into it.

Now, when that hurdle is finally being removed or you’ve jumped over it, life goes on. You start thinking,ย what comes next?ย And then you’ll have to start to think about your future, ya know, have a plan of what you wanna do in your next phase of life, where you wanna go, what you plan to do, what scholarships you can take. And to be honest, I just do not have the mood nor the energy to do all that thinking yet.

I have spent 8-9 months, studying my butt off and worrying about my results and not living up to my expectations and now, I have to think of what I want for my next stage of life? Where do I want to go? NUS/NTU? Which course do I want to take? What do I plan to do with my degree? Whether I should apply for University Scholars Programme? What do I really want??????? Honestly speaking, all these frustrates me, it irks me so bad because come on, Iย just finished my As (it’s not even one month since the end of my As) and I’m just beginning to get used to this life of doing nothing, watching tv shows all day (The Mentalist is such a good show!!!) I feel like finally, I am rewarding myself for all that damn hard work I’ve put in in this year. I am treating myself well, and I could get used to this sloth-like lifestyle.

Yesterday I went to the USP Information Session and I have no idea why but when they brought us around their campus and they shared with us more information regarding the programme, I felt so overwhelmed by the info provided – all the academic jargon, all the modules, the compulsory 2 year stay in the hostel, the financial matters, the perks (your very own writing room and library and printing room and canteen). Of coz, I’m supposed to be awed and impressed by the exclusivity and the opportunities as well as the benefits this programme would bring me. But honestly speaking, the more they talked about this, the more I do not want to be in this programme.

And then, when I reached home, I did some more thinking and maybe, this USP thing may not be such a bad thing after all because ultimately it enriches your learning experience in university and you would have a small community of close-knitted and like-minded individuals around you, so I guess that will provide some emotional support and solace to one’s blur and alone soul in university. I guess the community thing was what attracted me to like this programme the most, because I’m not really a friendly and extrovert person. It’ll take some time before I can find friends,ย good friendsย who will be able to understand and accept me into their lives.

Then again, this programme is supposed to fit into that 30% elective/minor modules every university student has to do in order to graduate, and if the modules here are more challenging then would this affect my major modules? Especially since I plan to do 2 majors (which will ultimately be considered as one degree).

So it all boils down to this; passion. Do I really want this? Am I determined to be in this programme at all? Because if I truly want to be part of this ‘intellectual’ group, then I would do everything I can to make it work.

So we’re back to square one I guess.

But I finally made a decision (WOOHOO) (But seriously, you should feel happy for me I am a very indecisive person). Since USP extended their offer to apply for their conditional admission based on my prelim results, even before the release of my A level result, I would just try my luck because I am sitting on the fence. Even though I have my misgivings, this is an extremely brilliant opportunity and opportunities like these do not come knocking at my door everyday. So if I pass this up, I am afraid that I would pass up something that might just be the best thing that has ever happened in my university life. I will apply for this USP and see if they’ll accept me for round 2 of selection and possibly more rounds of selection. I’m not keeping my hopes up, I’m not expecting anything. Because if I dont get it, I will be perfectly ohkay with it. (because really, if I can get into NUS FASS without being in USP, I would be very very happy and contented already)

I just need my CCA records first.

xoxo,

ShabiraBasheer ๐Ÿ™‚

Prom Night 2014

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Prom Night 2014 itself was kind of boring (Not to mention, not topping up the food when it ran out & asking us to play games while we’re eating???) but at least these guys made it bearable ๐Ÿ™‚ not to mention, they provided the company for me to boycott the event and chill in Coffee Bean at Marina Bay Sands, which was totally ohkies because for the first time ever, we were actually all dressed up and wearing fancy clothes to be aptly there, at MBS, enjoying a late night drink at Coffee Bean.

Leaving Time

Anyone who has ever seen elephants come across the bones of another individual would recognize the calling card of grief: the intense silence, the droop of the trunk and ears, the hesitant caresses, the sadness that seems to wrap the herd like a shroud when they encounter the remains of one of their own. But there’s been some question as to whether elephants distinguish between the bones of elephants they knew well and those of elephants they did not.ย 

Some of the research that has been coming out from my colleagues at Amboseli up in Kenya, where they have more than twenty-two hundred elephants that are recognized individually, has been intriguing. Taking one herd at a time, the researches revealed several key items: a small bit of ivory, an elephant skull, and a block of wood. They did this experiment as one would have in a lab, carefully maintaining the presentation of the objects and recording the responses of the elephants to see how long they lingered at each item. Without a doubt, the tiny piece of ivory was the most intriguing to the elephants, followed by the skull and then the wood. They stroked the ivory, picked it up, carried it, rolled it beneath their hind fee.t

Then the researches presented the families with the skull of an elephant, the skull of a rhino, and the skull of a water buffalo. In this set of objects, the elephant skull was the item that interested the herd the most.ย 

Finally, the researches focused on three herds that had, in the past few years, suffered the death of their leader. The families were presented with the skulls of those three matriarchs.

You’d think that the elephants would have been most interested in the skull that belonged to the matriarch who had led their own herd. After all, the other parts of the controlled experiment clearly show that the elephants were capable of showing preference, instead of randomly examining the items out of general curiosity.ย 

You’d think that, given the examples I had personally witnessed in Botswana of elephants who seemed deeply moved by the death of one of their own, and capable of remembering that death years later, they would have paid tribute to their own leader.ย 

But that’s not what happened. Instead, the Amboseli elephants were equally attracted to the three skulls. They may have known and lived with and even deeply mourned an individual elephant, but that behaviour was not reflected in these results.ย 

Although the study proves that elephants are fascinated by the bones of other elephants, some might say it also proves that an elephant experiencing grief for an individual must be a fiction. Some might say if the elephants did not distinguish between the skulls, the fact that one of those skulls was their own mother wasn’t important.ย 

But maybe it means all mothers are.ย 

This is an extract from the latest book I finished – Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult. It’s Picoult’s latest book, one that was published quite early this year if I’m not wrong, yet I’ve been itching to read it and I finally have!! It’s such a great book (wow I need to expand on my vocabulary) and I learnt so many things while reading it, like how I learnt about Nazi Germany and forgiveness in The Storyteller, Salem witch trials in Salem Falls, autistic teenagers who were wrongly accused of a crime they didn’t commit in House Rules, wolves in The Lone Wolf and mass shootings in Nineteen Minutes. This time I learnt about elephants.

Alice’s journals were so enriching and so insightful, I learned so much about elephant grief, elephant behaviour and the capacity these creatures have for emotions while reading her journals. Moreover, this book just simply relays, very beautifully, the ideas of acceptance, compassion and affection. Serenity and Virgil are polar opposites – the spirits vs cold, hard truths and they were just hilarious, and Jenna was beautifully crafted, such that I admired her for her courage and determination to find out answers for her mother’s disappearance.

This book’s unlike any Jodi Picoult has actually written before, because it contains some supernatural and paranormal explanations (and that’s because there’s a psychic, Serenity, as well). And although it is something different from what I’m normally used to when I read her books, I like this change, I like this story because it is refreshing to read something new, something different other than court trials and cross-examinations and defence attorneys.

Oh and the ending….. the ending was just WOW WOW WOW. My mind was blown away by the special twist at the end. I did not see it coming, at all.

Ya’ll should definitely read this book ๐Ÿ™‚

xoxo,

ShabiraBasheer ๐Ÿ™‚

Well, I need help

I need help with this essay zomg and by help I mean professional help – one who is able to guide me, proofread this essay for me, give me additional insights and help me improve further so that I’ll be able to write an outstanding essay for NUS University Scholars Programme and actually stand a chance to even be considered for the next phase of application.

But now, I feel like I can’t even write this essay properly because my brain’s all rusty and frankly, I have no mood to actually research and write a scholarly essay. I do have some ideas in mind but they are all so sketchy and rough along the edges and I can’t even define them properly.

And this distraction, it ain’t helping omgosh.

I don’t even know if I should actually put in this much effort with this USP application coz the chances of me getting into this programme is probably next to nil. And everything’s so uncertain because I dont even know if I can get into NUS since my A level results aren’t even out yet and frankly, I dont even know why my school shared my prelim results with NUS because my results weren’t so outstanding to begin with; there were others who scored higher rank points than me for prelims and across Singapore, I’m sure my prelim grades were nothing in comparison. And my CCA? I don’t even think it was that spectacular to begin with, so I don’t even know why I’m trying.

Yet, if I don’t try, I’m going to look back and I’m just going to be filled with the utmost regrets because I gave up too fast, gave up too soon, became lazy enough to not want to research properly and atleast attempt it on my own.

I’m going to give this another shot, and hope that a wave of inspiration hits me like a rock.