Sunday, 31 March 2013 0 comments


Hi and Assalamualaikum to all, it’s been a while since I last updated my blog and the reasons for that are because (1) college life is so hectic and (2) I can’t really find a good thing to talk about :P Anyhow, school just ended about a week ago and it’s almost the end of spring break. I’m so glad and thankful that it all went well, the finals and the spring break. Winter quarter was much much better than the first quarter, and I’ve experienced and learnt a lot of things. Just so if you don’t know, my college is using the quarter system instead of the more known semester system, which basically means that it is as if there are 3 months instead of 5-6 months in a ‘semester’. So here are some highlights from the whole 3 months of winter quarter


So I didn’t get into the general chemistry class needed for my major as it was quickly filled up, and I did feel bad about myself because, how come I am not taking a Chemistry class when Chemistry is my major? So because of that, I’ve decided to take all the fun classes (my definition of classes that are not related/required for my major) for this quarter. Plus, since a Chemistry class would usually take up to 5 units, I have to find at most two other classes to compensate for that. Anyway, so I registered myself for Art History (Roman to Renaissance Art), Astronomy (Stars,Galaxies and Universe) and Geology (Oceanography) classes (aside from the Calculus class) and they were terrific! To begin with, all my lecturers especially for Art History and Calculus, were the best that I had so far. And secondly, I just felt for the first time in college, that I was learning something about how the world (the universe and ocean, for my case) works like. Not saying badly about the other subjects I learnt in school e.g. Biology and Chemistry, they are very significant indeed, but I have yet to see my knowledge to take place in the real world until I actually apply them on research. So here are some of the exciting things that I learnt from the three subjects:

Church of Saint Anne in Annaberg, Germany. This church from the Gothic art blows my mind by its complex and decorative vaulting

Garden of Earthly Delights by Bosch from Early Renaissance in Northern Europe.  This awes me so much through its creative rendition for every minute detail of the figures. It is so ambiguous that it can make you to look into the painting and ponder for so long

Study of tides from Geology class

This is only a small part of what I learned in Astronomy class.  This is considered as one of the approach for the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). In 1974, this short message was broadcast to the globular cluster M13 encoded in radio frequencies. We have yet to receive any replies (which is most probably going to be here very much later, if there is any civilizations out there)  


A good thing of getting engaged in club activities is that you’re going to meet new friends, and fortunately for me I got to meet these three friends all from different countries. It was definitely a good time, meeting up with them for dinner and snacks in between the stressful school weeks. Now I know whose place to hit when I go to these countries haha! Too bad, they are only exchange students and will be leaving this year :(

That's Grace, me, Joanne and Stephanie. Hanging out with them is always a good time


My friends especially Shark my former roommate, would definitely understand me (and probably be shaking their heads again and again) if I told them that I’d lost two bikes in two months. Okay, to begin with, I have to admit that it was my fault for leaving the bikes unlocked. Well, actually I didn’t mean to because on the first incident, I was catching up a bus and the second one, I had to go to a class when I realized that my keys were missing (this really depicted the Malay proverb, “sudah jatuh ditimpa tangga”). Sigh. Whatever it is, I could blame no one, because it was under my responsibility and I should have taken care of them better. It struck me a little because just went I left them unlocked (which I so rarely did) that the thieves found them. In memory of my bikes, Diamondback and Trek, I still hope I will find you both somewhere.

Bought as a secondhand

This one was brand new, lost about two weeks after purchase. Talk about how carelessness strikes you back.


I have recently developed a reasoning to avoid myself from being too occupied with studying (or being in the internet) and it is through baking! In the middle of the quarter, I‘ve been baking for almost every weeks that I felt I had gone out of control. I also found that it is a good way to avoid myself from buying snacks on the campus stores because I can just pack the cookies/pastries that I made from home to school.

Some of the baking that I did


As I have shared, one of my resolutions for this year is to be tested for black belt. However, I figured that since I have just started after not practicing for almost 2 years before, I still need to brush up my techniques (especially my sparring) and recall all the forgotten taeguek. I have to learn Korean too, how fun. Hence, this means that I should have to wait until next year to be fully prepared as the next grading will start on August this year. So here goes my mission that I shall name as BLACK BELT 2014.


Thankfully, after a very long search (well actually it was probably no more than three weeks), I have found the perfect place to stay for next year (or more accurately academic year) that is (1) nearest to campus, (2) with reasonable price, (3) organized and clean place and (4) friendly roommate. Now that I could take the bane off my shoulder, I could focus on some other things like maybe looking for a job or join in a research. But seriously, the whole experience made me feel like being an adult, WHICH I am not yet! (I’m still 17!)


As a college student, I have come to the realization of how significant it is of being organized with your schedule. The proof is; I can see them from my quizzes/exams results. When I was in high school, despite of the tight schedule, I had never even considered of making a timetable not even for my studies and I still could do very well in school. Well probably because I have friends who would always remind each other of what classes that we’re having tomorrow and when a particular assignment should be submitted and we all basically would have the same schedule. However, when you’re in college, you’re pretty much on your own and one could hardly have the same schedule as the other so it is very important for you to keep track of your own schedule. I recall during the first quarter, I took the college life so easily and underestimated it, that I found myself to always lose track of my readings and assignments. Alhamdulillah, I managed to change for the better this quarter.

Look at that, exam one after another, luckily I kept myself aware of them ahead of time through the weekly and monthly organizers


I have always thought that the lecturers and teaching assistants to be so generous and kind-hearted for spending their time to entertain the students and to solve their problems on the materials learnt. I didn’t go to most of the office hours, but I went more often than the last quarter. Personally, I like it a lot because you could talk to the lecturers more personally and sometimes they will give you explanations that they didn’t have the chance to do so in lectures. If you’re lucky, when no other students are using the office hour, your session will last longer and it will sometimes be more of a chatting session aside from just asking about the questions. Bottom line, this is a good resource that you should make use of if your college is offering the service.


Over the winter break, I was so surprised that I lost so much weight because I had the impression that it would be the opposite. My theory is probably because I didn’t go to the dining hall for meals where I would usually have a heavy meal accompanied with a fattening dessert. I also had a few sport practices every week like taekwondo, racquetball (for my physical education class) and table tennis that it is still alright if I miss going to the gym. I probably lost over 15 pounds, life’s good.


So this is the highlight of my winter quarter. No homeworks whatsoever and I got to visit my good friends at UCLA. Luckily that it was easy to get to places and we had so much fun hitting all kind of hot spots nearly every day when I was there. Plus, all the movie nights, Vishal and Stella were definitely excellent hosts! Since I went to a number of interesting places, I think I’ll blog about it next time.

I really had a wonderful time in LA. Thanks for hosting me guys!