Monday, 17 March 2008

Being Who I Am

Being who I am is definitely nothing to be proud of. I'm a TESL student and as a TESLian there are some expectations we are supposed to meet. This process of meeting expectations is really depressing me since I'm not an all-rounder.

I'm from an english educated school. People expect me to speak good english. I feel challenged and I really feel the pressure. When you can't handle your pressure, chances are your self-esteem will go down and you find yourself losing aim.

Unfortunately I am like that now. I'm losing the confidence I used to have in my school days. I'm trying to speak good english but I can't because I'm worried that I will look foolish if I make any mistakes. I can't hold a good conversation ... I'm nobody now ... I don't even know who I am anymore.

Being judged by someone who's more superior is not a stroll in the park. I hate it when people who are obviously good in their English throw their weight around by joking at my stupid mistakes. I really hate this situation but is a realistic world, things like that happen all the the time.

I am getting so mixed up to the point that I don't feel like doing my assignments anymore. I am feeling so stressed out. I can't sleep well. At this rate, I might as well declare I have early signs of depression.

However, I'm so good at masking my feelings and no one knows what's going on inside of me.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

1st year in university

I'm in my 2nd semester in one of the most prestigious university in Malaysia. I've never thought of entering University of Malaya with my bad STPM result :( Is it totally different from school?
Well, yes and no. No because you will still have many subjects to revise on. There are still subjects you like and you don't really like but you must force yourself to like it. There are still some teachers you'll need to polishing....whatever! Yes because you can toss out your school uniform and donate it to somebody and say hello to the clothes u would like to wear everyday.

University does sound to me like a very nice place to be because you'll finally have the freedom you've always dreamt of. Just remember that you've gone through lots of hassle to be here to study and not only to celebrate your new-found freedom. You ought to take charge of your life. No one is going to be there to ground you or punish you. Your parents are there to hear your heart-cries but most of the time you'll need to solve your own problems. From friends to exam, everything is going to change.

Another new chapter of your life is about to begin and most your former classmates will head to a different direction - y'all chose different things to study and y'all have diff universities to attend. You will meet lots and lots of new people and former classmates will remain distant friends. You might feel that you do not have any best friends anymore but you've got to stay positive and go along the flow for a while. Mix with different groups of friends and you'll eventually find someone you can click with. 1st year in university is about experimenting and experiencing. University is about one big, exciting joyfride. So, just embrace the feeling of becoming a first-year student :)

Now, you finally are far away from home and you can have all those KFC, McDonalds and pizza as much as you want to. You'll probably be a very loyal customer of a particular fast-food restaurant and chances are you'll even make friends with some of the workers there. No wonder fast-food restaurant are popping out like mushrooms after the rain. 1st month KFC, 2nd month McD, 3rd month pizza and 4th month everything in between...those food will taste like Yeaskssss!!!! That will be the time you'll always call up your mom and tell her that you miss her home-cooked food so much. With 3 years or more to go, you will really need to take care of your diet. If you don't, you'll be in danger of picking up several bad habits that are snacking, sleeping and your body will be like a balloon in no time. You are what you eat and proper diet is important for your health.

Then there is this love thing in university. There's a pretty good chance university will be a place where you will have your 1st experience of getting into a serious relationship. Unfortunately, not all boys are as nice as we want them to be. The trouble with boys are they are not much fun if they are smarter than us. Try not to rush yourself into a relationship.

You are 20 and suddenly clubbing might seem like a fun way to entertain yourself. You can have fun but try not to make yourself sipping on espresso in lecture hall. Moderation is the key. Clubbing once in a blue moon is okay, everyday it will make you broke. Budget yourself. A movie on the weekend and shopping are good enough to relax and rejuvenate yourself.

In case you've forgotten, let me remind you again that you getting into university is to study. Your task is to pass all your exams and get that degree. You'll need to put of the things that will get in your way. Failure isn't an option. As much as I hated to be in some class myself and as much as I hated to admit that some lecturers do not know what they themselves are talking about, my advice for you is do not skip too many lectures or else you'll be really really sorry. You'll need to make a good impression and that will go a long way. Believe me.

In another 1 hour, I will need to head back to Kuala Lumpur again. It is going to me one of the days I am missing my family again. It's one of the moments you will appreciate them even more. You'll never missed them water until it's not there...very true...very true...

Thursday, 6 March 2008

My Father, My Hero!

This Chinese New Year, I chanced upon the last red packet I received from my father. It has the colour of dusk – glowing red and orange. Although it is now an empty red packet, it is one of the things I treasure most in life. To me, it is simply beyond an empty red packet. It contains unconditional love, uncountable blessings, hopes and expectations from my father. This empty red packet is like a father-figure to me for it drives me to excel every time I feel myself losing control over something. It is nevertheless like a mentor to me.

Today is one of the days I am missing my father again. He used to be the pillar of strength for my family until he had to battle with his end-stage renal failure. It was a series of unfortunate events when my father was first diagnosed with cataract in both of his eyes. Undoubtedly, diabetes and hypertension were the cause for his deteriorating eyesight. There were a number of times where his operation to remove the cataract and internal haemorrhage in his left eye were delayed due to uncontrollable high blood pressure. The anaesthetist was afraid that my father’s high blood pressure would cause him to be in coma during his surgery. It was a surgery to be performed under general anaesthesia.

I was sitting in the waiting room and it was unusually cold around the hospital. It was like death itself is waiting in every corner of the room, claiming its victim. The result of my father’s blood test was finally out. The doctor pronounced that my father was unfortunately suffering from the end-stage of renal failure. The nerve-wrecking news shattered my mom’s heart into a million pieces. It took a lot of courage for her to accept the reality but my mom was surprisingly tough enough to pull herself together. Throughout my life, it did not occur to me that my father would be diagnosed with this fatal disease. I went back home to search for every information I could obtain about end-stage renal failure.

My father could not believe that he was suffering from this fatal disease. When he was discharged from the hospital, he sought for every alternative medicine to declare that he was indeed not suffering from end-stage renal failure. He tried acupuncture to remove the excess water from his body, a condition where it is referred as oedema. The result was great at first but after a while the situation got worse. My father’s body retained more and more water and soon enough it made his feet and his stomach swell.

My father’s immobility due to his complications from renal illness and his deteriorating health depressed my mom. My mom loves my father too much to let him go. She was crying so much that it saddened me too. I was her pillar of strength, a shoulder for her to cry on. Even though, she and my father were used to quarrel quite often, there is this bond layered in their hearts that has never failed to connect them together regardless of their differences in view points.

There was this pastor who told me that God will certainly bless me because I carried greater responsibilities than any other kids at my age. That was true enough. God eventually sent me a companion who was willing to share my heart-cries. However, love is always a two-way-street and it takes two to work things out. I never had the time to care for him and I chose my father over him. Personally, I think a boyfriend is always replaceable but I have only one father in my whole life. I have no regrets on my decision to call it off.

As fated, my father was not recuperating from his illness. He was bed-ridden because of his immobility and this caused him to have a bedsore. When we came to realize there was a bedsore on his back, it was too late. The bedsore had spread itself. To rub the salt on our wounded souls, the doctor told us about my father’s muscle degeneration. It scared us nuts and we cooked lots and lots of meat to help him in his diet. It was a useless attempt. Renal patients tend to vomit whatever food they have consumed.

The doctor assigned a physiotherapist to help my father in his muscle regeneration by going through physiotherapy. It was bad enough that my father’s legs got all crammed up but there was no one there to help him out – not even a single nurse. All those housemen treated their patients not more than a guinea pig. They have never experienced what their patients are going through and hence are not sensitive enough towards their patient’s needs. Medical field is merely a surge of excitement among them.

As usual, I would be sitting outside the dialysis room waiting for my father to finish his haemodialysis. Looking in from the window, I saw how those clinical nurses treated my father. I could not help it and went in to help my father to get into the sofa near the dialysis machine. They would see and talk about how useless my father was but they did not move an inch to help him. Is this how professional people in the medical field should react? Do they smell too much of anesthetics till they are numb towards how others feel?

We discharged my father from the hospital. He passed away three days later and we were glad that we fulfilled his last wish. Till now I can still remember vividly in my mind how our father bid his last goodbye. We held his hand for a moment that seemed like eternity and bid what seemed to be the last farewell. It was a heart-breaking moment. As much as we hated the moment, we were happy for him that he finally found eternal peace within himself. He breathed his last breath and I have never seen my father looking so peaceful for quite a long time. It was the end of his suffering.

You are the music of my heart,
A window to my soul,
You used to be
Just a stone’s throw away.

Now and always,
Another day passes by,
Without your smile,
Your warmth.

Finally I know,
How much it means,
For you to stay
Right here with us.

Now, I finally came to realize that no matter how many pages of essay I write, dedicating my priceless piece of art to my father, it would never ever be enough to bring him back to live. It is recognition day after day that what is lost is irreplaceable. I will not blame him for leaving us. I believe he has tried his best in his battle and he will always be the hero I look up to.

So long men can breathe, eye can see
So long does this gives life to thee.
(Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18)
Like Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18, my essay will be a symbol of my father’s immortality.

Life is like a box of chocolates. If you have not experienced bitterness in life, you won’t appreciate the sweetness that comes along. Learn to cherish and love the one who is still there for you. My father once told me that we are lucky enough to be in a family. In our next life, chances are we might not even know each other.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008


There are times I wish I would be able to sit at a corner of a room alone and wonder what this semester is about. 21 credit hours really has taken a toll on me. I can't seem to get enough rest and I feel like I'm on auto-pilot mode everyday.

I can't seem to get any satisfaction from the work I've done. I mean I've finished and handed in a few assignments on time but I do not take my pride in it. I copied and pasted from other sources. I don't really have the time to sit down and think. At first, I was feeling so ashamed of myself but then everyone is doing it..... so, it's no biggie rite?

The best assignment I've done so far would be my Grammar assignment - the 1400+ of words I wrote in my essay. Gosh, I never thought I can write that much. I learnt something valuable from that assignment that is don't underestimate your own ability. Have faith in yourself :)

So, 3 assignments down and there's 3 more to go. Hopefully there's an end to it. I am really desperate for a good night sleep. I seem to be like a walking zombie more than a human nowadays...

I mean these days I am very used to have 3 to 4 hours sleep a day. When I wanted to sleep, my assignments will mock at me. The guilt and the pressure to finish my assignment are really disturbing. They are controlling my thoughts and my every moves....even my sleep. It's scary.... Just when will they stop haunting me???