Wednesday, August 24, 2011

UNDECIDED






These past few weeks i thought i was gonna take GRE and try to apply for grad school. i know...wth right? so random etc etc i totally made a mistake not thinking this through.

i just came back from my appointement with my advisor and i think my path of post-undergraduation totally took a 180 degree turn.

i see her like 2x a semester to guide me with my major and she has been such an amazing advisor.

when i mentioned that i wanted to do grad school, that surprised her because i guess i never mentioned this to her. i mean, to be honest i didnt plan to apply to grad school right after my undergrad. i didn't realize that time passed by so fast HAHA.

typical me. so blur. so dumb. sigh

anyway, when she heard that i wanted to apply to grad school, she asked me whether i knew i wanted to do and i said im not sure.

"you're not sure?" she frowned.

"uh-huh", i said.

"don't apply to grad school."

plain and simple.




she explained that grad school is totally different than undergrad. it doesn't open up doors, it closes doors. those were her exact words. she explained that if i didnt know what to do yet i should therefore consider waiting.

and i guess im not ready.

as usual.

she suggested that i could study for my GRE and take it in june next year. she also gave me tips or steps on things that i should be doing this year.

so this is how my academic year is going to look like:

1. GRE
2. Recommendation letters: i need 5. so i need to kiss my professors' a**es real well. the thing is, im not close to my professors. im only close to my arabic TAs since they are the ones teaching me, and maybe Dustin Cowell, who is the head of Arabic program. the other professor that I am close to is...no longer in this school-GREATTTTT.
3. Gotta keep good records of my papers. sigh.
4. Do independent study if possible.

Hmmm. i dont think my senior year is gonna look so erm...relaxed next year. AMAZING.

oh well, i guess i should be happy that i found out late than never.


She also suggested that I take a few years, (1 or 2) to explore what i wanna do. maybe i don;t need grad school after all. maybe i'll know what it is i really want by then.

my mom said that grad school is easier than undergrad. my advisor told me that it's actually the total opposite.

reallyyy???

jeez FREAKIN louiseeee

looks like i need to do a lot of research now....

good luck to me.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Peeling Off The Skin



i'm the kind of person who doesn't really like to hide who i am.

i try to let people know who i really am.

i'm a shy person at first, but as time passes by, i'm actually a little mental.

i want people to know who i am inside out-- despite where i may be.

it has been 2 years studying in the States now, and soon it will be three years.

i dont't have that many American friends, just because i guess i don't go to parties etc. but i do have American Muslim friends and i am thankful that i have met them.

being surrounded by people who are different, ethnicly and religiously can be a challenge. i guess it's the same anywhere-- whether i'd be at home in Malaysia or here.

but it's important to show them who you are, where you come from. slowly. it's a learning process-- for both parties.

my colleagues know that i am fasting. when we are behind the desk, some of them have asked me questions like what is the signifiace of fasting etc. i happily explain to them everything that i know, i everything i believe in.

some of them are really fascinated by it. i can also see that some of them can't really comprehend what i'm going through. well, i don't blame them. at least they respect my way of life and they understand that that is the main reason why i'm different.

there have been a few times where i had to excuse myself to pray. my supervisors have been very undertsanding. some probably don't know that Muslims need to pray 5 times a day, some probably were surprised that i randomly asked for a break to pray.i did have a supervisor who asked when do i pray 5 times a day and stuff, out of curiosity. and i enjoyed explaining that to him.

i guess in certain parts of the world religion isn't something they have faith in, that strongly...at least during this period of their lives.

but i'm fine with all that.

i want them to know what Islam is about--and how Muslims live.

maybe they haven't met a Muslim yet...or maybe they haven't met a practising Muslim.

they will know, insyaAllah.

at least, i hope they will...

...in time.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

From a Simple Question...




ok .

so remember how i thought that i'd never get a job here while studying, let alone getting this job as an information guide?

and of course going for an internship was totally not on my 'to-do list'. i wondered why my friends even tried getting an internship. i was always like 'ugh. gross. not for me. i'm just too lazy'.

i didn't even bother to apply to be a supervisor lately. that just didn't interest me.

but there was one particular field that sparked my interest.



there was one day where one of my upper colleagues approached me and asked whether i wanted to participate in a focus group of international students. she works with the parent program under visitor information programs (VIP) which is the division that i'm working for. so, in the focus group, they basically asked a number of questions about our concerns regarding student life which encompassed housing, tuition, safety, education etc. to me, it was fun.

it was fun because i remembered when i was so lost.

after having that discussion, i felt good. i felt that the discussion that we had was going somewhere. i also felt like i could help more.

so one day, i approached her. then i asked her whether they were going to hire another intern.

she said not til next year.

then i said i won't be here by then.

so she agreed that she'd talk to the higher people and that she'd get back to me on that.



amazingly, yesterday i got an email from her asking me to see her in her office.

as though i was on crack, my fingers started typing and i probably sounded like a maniac via e-mail.

so after a few minutes i went up to see her.

and she gave me the good news.

she told me that i'd be working as an intern in addition to an information guide.

and then not long after that, we were chatting for like ermmm...what seemed to be like 15 minutes that eventually actually turned to an hour.

as you can see, im so happy. thrilled. i cant even express my excitement.

from a simple question, there was a big fat opportunity. how awesome is that? i guess i didnt hurt my chances when i asked.

it doesn't hurt to ask ;)

let's not forget, im blessed too. Alhamdulillah. I have such a blessed life.

i never thought i'd do this well.

of course, i need to remind myself that this is because of Allah SWT and that this is just temporary.

in return, i need to do something for the society.

i really wanna contribute in my own way when i get back home. but i dont know how yet.

it's gonne be the bebmentoot way hahahahha.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Conversation With a Stranger



while i was sitting at the desk at union south, a guy with curly hair with glasses approached me.

"how can i help you?" i smiled.

"can you help me find where this place is?" he asked, while showing a piece of paper.

as i was looking it up on google map, he asked me another question.

"you're from....?"

"malaysia," i said.

"really? what made you come here?" he asked.

" oh i just like how it's a beautiful and safe place. plus, this school has an amaizng arabic program...and it has a lot of diversity," i replied.

"really?" he asked in partial amazement.

okay, so i dont really know how other universities are like, but according to what people say, this school has a lot of international students. well, you'll see mostly whites but there are a good amount of international students. plus, the fact that the school has so many diverse departments like south east asia departments, scandanavia dpts, i think kinda shows that they really want diversity to be implemented among the students in various ways.

"yeah, you just need to look in certain areas. if you join clubs liKE BRIDGE, you can be apart of the international community easily. you basically become an american host to international students", i added. by this point, he was writing all of this down.

"are you s prospective student?" i asked.

"yup, im a senior in highschool".

what the hell? he didnt look like it. he looked as old as me. 23 okay wth he's like 16 or 17? sheesh im tellin ya, kids here look like grown ups.

"well, i totally encourage you to apply to this school, you won't regret it".

"oh yeah, i totally will. i'm looking for diversity. i'm from northern minnesota, i go to a school where are there are mostly white arrogant narrow minded people. they say that college is the time that broadens your horizons and i need a different kind of school."

i laughed when he said that.

"well, i hope to see you when you get admitted (hopefully). if i'm still here, by then. hehe", i said.

"yeah i hope i see you too! i'm definitely gonna apply here!"

*********************

this is why i love my job so much. representing the university is just amazing although at time it can be stressful when we get difficult contacts. but having this conversation with this guy made my day. he wanted to be in a diverse environment and i really like that.

sometimes you can sense those who don't give a @#$ about you, eventhough you're trying to be friendly, trying to strike a conversation.

you need to know how to bring yourself about, who to approach and when not to care. making friends here is i guess, slightly different. sometimes you dont watch the same shows, and more fundamentally, you often have different values.

but it's okay.

being different is what makes you interesting, uniqe.

focus on the nice people around you, though it may not be a million people. i need to remind myself that totally fitting in isn't the most important part because i think that is just something difficult to achieve. for me, that is. because i am the way i am. im weird HAHHAHAA.

speaking of nice people, today i met one of my colleagues that previously interviewed me when i applied for this job. she is the sweetest girl (i swear!). she left for spain for a semester and now she's back. today she visited us and told us about her experience there. in just 10 minutes, i fell in love with her.

"i loved studying there, living in a totally different culture...i know what it's like to be..."

"different?" i finished her sentence for her.

"yeah," she smiled.

okay, but this may sound creepy but i think i really like this girl.

can't wait to work with her. i hope she becomes my supervisor hehehe.