stuff

My first two papers have just ended yesterday. I positively screwed them up so I should probably kiss Oxford goodbye but I’m not sure why I’m still editing my personal essay over and over again…and settling the written work that I’ll probably send to the college after I apply because they require you to submit extra written work. I do suppose I’m still clinging on to that bit of hope that the remaining 60% of my economics paper will be done well. /scoffs/ As if. I’m not sure if it’s just the cynical side of me speaking or if it’s because I’ve been watching videos of Cersei Lannister for the past two hours or so. Honestly, I think Cersei’s amazing. I get why everyone’s so hung up over Dany because she’s badass, and Margaery because she’s kind, but I don’t get why Cersei doesn’t get the same love that other female characters in GoT do. Sure she’s a horrible person and all but damn she’s cunning and rather smart and she knows how to get around and she’s certainly strong but very vulnerable as well. I’m not sure what the fact that I actually wanna be like her (except for the killing people and making them suffer a lot part) says about me but then again, I looked up to Anna Wintour when I was 10 not because of all the fashion (or maybe partially because of all the fashion) but because she practically stomped her way up the corporate ladder. Guess that’s why I’m a slytherin and not a ravenclaw after all. I’m not sure how wanting to get into Oxford so bad that I’ll probably sell my soul to get in (if I had one to start with) will play out but hopefully it’ll push me hard enough to stop procrastinating and may work harder to get my As for the rest of my exams. 

Anyway, today’s teachers’ day celebration but practically no one went to school (or no one I knew at least) because we’d very much rather coop ourselves up at home trying to get ourselves to study for the prelims. I’ve tried. Haven’t gotten past the chapter I was supposed to finish today, but there’s still about 5 hours left till my usual bedtime so…I might still be on task? Hopefully I’ll be on task. 

here’s one of the rare moments in which i get extremely sentimental

For the umpteenth time, I really shouldn’t be blogging because I know that every second spent working on this post can be otherwise used in trying to cram economics terminologies and concepts in my head but I feel compelled to do so…so yes. 

With teachers’ day coming up, or at least in Singapore, kids have been trying to buy gifts or make cards for their teachers but more often than not, this just seems more like a politically-correct, standard, outward display of gratitude. Or maybe I’m wrong and maybe kids are truly thankful for their teachers and I’m just being rather cynical in my over-generalisation, but I do remember not really buying into the whole teachers’ day thing when I was in primary school. Perhaps because I didn’t feel like the teachers in primary school taught me very much since I breezed through most of primary school, so the teachers didn’t pay as much attention to me because they were assured that I was guaranteed As for my exams (and I was, but that was in primary school when everything seemed much easier and I was so sure of everything.)

Things happened yesterday, though, to make me really really appreciate my teachers. Well my friends and I have been going rather off tangent when discussing teachers’ day plans lately, getting emotional about our secondary school teachers because they have been more than kind to us, but what happened yesterday made me truly grateful for having been lucky enough to have had such amazing teachers in the past. 

Basically, I had a mini meltdown yesterday because my exams start on Monday and I was (and still am) so nervous about everything because the exams are ultimately going to determine the next few years of my life. I’m not sure if it was the nerves or the anxiety but I could barely focus on anything and my usual remedy (listening to “I am the doctor” on repeat) didn’t really help, and I couldn’t talk to my friends about it because they were all so stressed out as well (which was probably triggered the slight panic attack) so I ended up texting my english tutor who taught me six years ago in primary six to talk to her. (She was honestly one of the best teachers I’ve ever had – she was funny and really kind.) Anyway, I didn’t really expect her to reply with anything significant because I haven’t seen her in about four years and I haven’t texted her for more than a year but we ended up having a really long conversation about handling exams and university applications and it sort of turned into the pep talk I needed to keep myself in check and to get everything back in order. Well she mostly repeated the stuff I knew I had to do but I needed someone to tell me to do all that (patiently, instead of guilt-tripping or pressurising me to do these stuff like my mom does) because my friends and I mostly (rather unhealthily) just mope around together and that doesn’t help very much. This might not seem like very much to other people but that push and validation she gave me was exactly what I needed. 

Afterwards, I mustered up some (not really courage but) shamelessness to approach my literature teacher who taught me in year two on facebook for help with literature because I’ve been pretty confused about the analysis skills and essay structure required for my literature essays for the past few years. Thing is, I approached her because I remembered that she taught us really effective close reading and analysis skills in year two and I did stupendously well for literature that year…and because she was one of the most approachable teachers I’ve had. But I have been apprehensive in asking her for help for the past year or so because one of my friends from secondary school has one of her books (Maya Angelou’s “I Know why the Caged Bird Sings) and she messaged me on facebook last year to ask if any of us has the book and I promised I’d help her retrieve it and return it to her……and I haven’t done so. Also, she left my secondary school a year after she stopped teaching my class and I wasn’t sure if she’s still teaching now so it would be pretty troublesome if she was no longer teaching and has to try to recall all she knows about the literature syllabus. As before, I didn’t expect her to reply especially since she didn’t seem very active on facebook but she responded in barely an hour and talked a little about school and she asked about what I had to clarify. The nicest thing was that because she wasn’t too sure about our current syllabus, she actually dug out her JC 2 notes from about a decade ago so she could answer my questions. She didn’t have to do any of that and she could simply have ignored my facebook message (as people sometimes do especially when it’s requests for them to do things) but she didn’t and even dug out her old notes at about 1am in the morning so she could help me out. I can’t even begin to express how grateful and touched (and emotional – it was 1am in the morning and I was delirious and I’m especially prone to getting emotional when I’m delirious) I was then. Of course, as far as technology and messages formed by pixels on a screen can go, all I could do was to thank her about three times and apologise a couple more times for inconveniencing her. 

I’m awfully lucky to have had such wonderful teachers throughout secondary school – my year one teacher allowed me to interview her for a project I had to do in year two (and in the midst of that taught me interviewing/journalism skills she learnt in university), my year two literature teacher (yes that one I wrote about above) would lend us her books and she was really really patient with us even though =things= happened that year in class, my year three and four social studies teacher made me much more politically aware (and got a whole bunch of us swooning over benedict cumberbatch in sherlock and chris evan’s butt but that’s another story), my year three literature teacher made me very much more socially aware and is responsible for making me realise the necessity of feminism (aaand after which I became a proud feminist). There are the teachers whom you look to as friends (or acquaintances) after they’ve taught you because they’re so approachable and that’s good because you’ll always have someone wiser and more knowledgable to turn to for advice when you can’t talk to your parents, to rant when all your other friends are stuck in the same plight as you, and of course, to bug for advice on schoolwork when you can’t figure things out on your own. Then there are the motherly teachers who’d always remind you to take care of yourselves amidst the stressful exam periods that many often overlook but they’re really important too in keeping your priorities in check and to make sure that you don’t burn out. 

Even now, in junior college where the teachers are much more exam oriented (so much so that they don’t often have time to be patient or be encouraging) I’ve still had some pretty inspiring teachers. My Southeast Asian history teacher is truly one of the best teachers I’ve had (in terms of teaching) because she knows so much about the subject (she went to LSE to do her masters in political science after all) and she is amazingly good at transferring all that knowledge to us – and there’s just something about the way she teaches that makes you genuinely interested in the subject and question and want to learn more. But there’s another thing as well – I haven’t told my friends about this but anyway, I did horribly for my Southeast Asian history paper at the start of the year because of poor time management during the paper (I flunked terribly) and my mom had to go to school to meet her, but rather than point out the flaws of my paper or anything like that she suggested ways that I could study to be better at time management. Subsequently, for the end of year paper last year, I did improve drastically (because you can’t really go any lower than getting a 7 out of 25 in an essay paper) and on top of the script she scribbled some nice comments on the improvement that motivated me to work harder. And need I mention that she’s so dedicated to her job (even though she’s the dean of academic studies and she doesn’t actually have to teach now – she still does anyway because she enjoys it) that despite being horribly stressed out (from marking all our extra essays and giving us additional revision lectures) as we are especially in this period when everyone’s preparing for the prelims and A Levels, she continues to allow for extra essay submissions from us so that we’re can get the practice and feedback we need. 

Good teachers are probably the best thing a student can ask for in school – I’m not sure why, this seems hypothetical but this might be because when a kid’s got a good teacher who puts in effort in teaching the student, the kid’s more likely to work harder so that he wouldn’t let his teacher down because he feels more accountable to the teacher. More than that, teachers that inspire, like my southeast asian history teacher and my social studies teacher as well as my feminist literature teacher, really do spark a genuine interest in the whatever they teach amongst their students, which would then translate to students seeking out even more information for themselves – this curiosity to learn and know more is really important especially since the exam-oriented education system nowadays seems to stomp out the child-like curiosity and thirst for knowledge. 

A blog post isn’t all that sufficient enough to describe all the gratitude I have for the teachers (most of the teachers) I’ve had. Chocolates and cards might seem more substantial but it still doesn’t make up for all the help they’ve given me in the past six years or so. Either way, as insignificant as words go, Happy Teachers Day to all the teachers I’ve had in the past and to the other similarly kind and wonderful teachers out there. 

/re: a certain thing i just read/

I know I shouldn’t be blogging right now because I’ve got loads more studying to do because prelims are in three days and I desperately need to salvage my grades. /coughs/ oxford game plan /coughs/ Geesus how is it that just a week before Oxford wasn’t part of my plan at all and now it’s the one thing that I desperately want now that I know that it might be within reach??! Then again, I need my straight As to get into the other russell group schools I’m applying for anyway. (yes i’ve only just realised that all my options happen to be russell group schools and I should probably be considering other backups, especially since the other two classmates of mine applying to oxbridge are both doing really well in school.) 

Backtracking to what I wanted to address. I’ve just read this blog post that was circulating around facebook earlier today and there was so much I disagreed with in the post that I decided that I should just blog about it. It’s someone’s criticism of the polytechnic system or the local education system in general, and to be honest it does seem like a rather trivial matter for me to get worked up (and blog) about simply because there are many other things that make me so mad that I haven’t actually blogged about – like the systemic racism that’s finally caught everyone’s attention with what’s been happening in Ferguson and the Gaza conflict that has just came to a close with a ceasefire agreement… Thing is, I don’t write about these things simply because I’d usually respond with too much anger to these situations that I can’t objectively write about it. I mean, being a history student and having both Israeli and Palestinian friends online, I just have too much feelings about the Gaza conflict so much so that it felt so uncomfortable having to sit in a revision lecture about the arab-israeli conflict because it feels so awful to be sitting down and STUDYING about the brutalities of the conflict when it is actually still happening on the other side of the world, and you just feel so horribly helpless sitting behind a laptop not being able to do anything to change things. /exasperated sigh/ 
Well now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, why I’m actually bothering to reply to that certain blog post is because some bits of it really irks me. 

First things first, I do see problems, LOTS of problems with the local education system. The fact that my friend’s on the verge of tears most days in school recently due to stress and the fact that I’m actually actively seeking out ways to cure my exam anxiety is a sign that the education system is highly flawed. But there are things in =that post= that I simply cannot agree with and feel the urge to rectify. (Do note, though, that I haven’t been through the polytechnic system and I will not pretend to know very much about it but I suppose there are commonalities between the poly and JC systems so I shall draw on my personal experiences, assuming that they are similar to those of poly students.) 

1. To address “Project groups competing against one another so as to appease our lecturers..”
Why should group projects be about competing against other groups when it’s supposed to be an assessment of what you (and your group) have learnt during the course? “To pacify the ones who are liable for our grades”? Yes the lecturers are liable for your grades, but those grades aren’t just ‘granted’ by the lecturers, they have to be earned. You’re supposed to earn the grades from your lecturers and to do so you’ll have to pull your weight (and sometimes your other groupmates’) in the group project. This, of course, would be a flawed argument if the lecturers are biased to some students because they, say, curry favour with the lecturers. However, in that same point, the OP mentions that those who get their “A”s (the “teachers’ pets” she calls them)  “are most committed in their work and getting their A”. If those who are getting their As are committed in their work and have been working towards their As and if you haven’t, you shouldn’t even have the right to complain about these people getting their rightful grades. If you have been working, yeah good for you. But people are probably working harder than you so you’re just going to have to work equally hard or settle for a lower grade. That, or you’ll just have to be born a genius because there are people who get perfect grades without having to do very much, but this doesn’t often happen.

2. This. “Forcing ourselves to attend lectures just to mark our attendance.”
This isn’t something that’s unfamiliar with me because I have found myself dragging myself to lectures that I don’t want to attend because the time can be better spent studying more pressing subjects than to listen to my vapid history teacher spend the first ten minutes of the lecture complaining about people arriving late. (Yes I did just call my history teacher vapid, don’t ask me why. I’ll save the story for after I’ve graduated.) My problem with this though, is that OP fails to see the entire point of a lecture. She mentions that “what we are taught can be self-studied a week before the paper” and that “there isn’t really a need for lectures” but the system of a lecture is so that information is conveyed consistently to everyone throughout the year without having to cram everything alone a week before the paper (although I still end up cramming everything a week before the papers…but at least I’m not confused in an endless maze trying to figure everything out from scratch.)  Another thing is that if everything OP is taught can be self-studied a week before the paper, she shouldn’t have much problems acing her exams and probably wouldn’t be complaining about the system tiring her out that much. What she’s saying in claiming that what she’s taught can be self-studied a week before the paper is that the syllabus is too simple and therefore the apt solution is to make the syllabus more challenging – a solution which the government, which orientates the education system around training new, skilled workers for the economy, probably wouldn’t mind implementing. /shrugs/ In the same point, she also mentions that “Forcing us not to “waste our time” by listening in lectures and stop using our phones or falling asleep isn’t going to work either.” For one, using your phones and sleeping in lectures is no more productive than sitting in a lecture listening to your lecturer drone on and on. (Oh but wait this is coming from someone who’s blogging instead of studying for her exams in three days – in my defense, I feel guilty for not studying.)
On a side note, I do disagree with strict rules against sleeping or using phones in classes or lectures, because if someone decides that sleeping or using their phones is better than to listen in lectures, then the person has the right to do so and bear the personal consequences. The only defense for this rule is that the usage of phones and people sleeping in lectures can be distracting…maybe not for the audience but for the lecturer, because it is pretty demoralising to be speaking to an uninterested crowd. 

3. Finally, “At the end of the day, everyone wants the best for themselves.”

I have heard of people stealing notes in school (yeah leave your laptops and phones and wallets filled with cash around school and no one touches them but leave your notes around and people might just swipe them) and those who might borrow past year papers from the library until after the exams so that others wouldn’t be able to gain access to the papers, but I haven’t actually witnessed any of this. Assuming all that is true, you can say that it is true that everywhere, everyone wants the best for themselves. Then again, do you not want the best for yourself? I know I do. As a proud potterhead and Slytherin, I do value ambition and I know that I’m the sort who would stop at nothing to get what I want (which probably explains my current sleep deprived state.) It is only natural for people to want the best for themselves, and OP probably does too so she should probably not condemn others for wanting the same.
Another thing is, wanting the best for yourself doesn’t mean that you can’t want the best for other people as well.
I must admit, a week ago when I was at the college admissions counsellors’ office putting my name down on The List (of applicants to Oxbridge) I did flip through the list to check out my competition (and then heaved a sigh of relief when I realised no one’s applying to the course I’m applying to.) My friend who’s applying to Cambridge had her college choice made partially based on the competition she’d have to face in the applications process as well. She’s not applying to the same schools that I’m applying to but the thing is, if we’re both applying to the same universities, I’d see her as a competitor. There are, after all, limited places at such coveted universities. But the thing is, this competition wouldn’t affect our friendship at all – if she gets into Cambridge and if I don’t get into Oxford, I’d be more than happy for her because she’s going to go to a really wonderful school. It’s friendly competition, the both of us text each other about our progress with our personal essays, we whine and wallow about the stress of getting in together…this whole university applications thing is a competition, but at least you’re not in the competition alone. 

Of course, OP is right to call out the education system or the entity of society actually, for being too fixated on the rat race. It is unhealthy to be this concerned about one’s grades. But the rat race IS inevitable in a society that functions on meritocratic principles and capitalism. We could, of course, adopt the Marxist system where everyone’s equal and no one’s better than another and everyone gets rewarded all the same but guess what, this ideal communist utopia isn’t happening as long as there is still a greedy human being left on earth. (Yes I have this much faith in humans – funny how I’m applying to study anthropology in university which basically requires me to study humans from the beginning of humankind…maybe I’ll find out what went wrong and why everyone’s like that)  Ultimately, the education system’s here to stay. Grades are going to get people where they want to go – I know that they’re going to get me where I want to so I’m just going to have to grit my teeth and go through this system willingly. And not complain about it except when I crack under my mom’s pressure but that’s already been discussed before. 

Not a really important post, but after scrolling through countless gifsets and posts on tumblr about Series 8 Episode 1 of DW, particularly in the whouffle tag, 

I

ghmzn

REALLY

Tumblr_lj3i0n1OBP1qzayo1o1_500

MISS

tumblr_n597mcT1Wm1s5vxplo3_500

MY

tumblr_n87klhxgr11tt38jto1_500

RAGGEDY

imthedoctor

DOCTOR. 

The raggedy man. The dumb adorable drunk baby giraffe.The TARDIS’s thief. The best man River’s ever known. The man who’s so young but so, so…..old. 

Thank you Matt for being MY doctor, my first doctor, my favourite doctor, my raggedy doctor. My doctor with the bow tie and that funny tweed jacket. My doctor who thinks fezzes are cool. My doctor who never EVER lets any kid down. Thank you for bringing such joy into a character with too much sorrow and loss in his life, thank you for making the Doctor ever so relatable, and thank you for helping me get through the most awful of times. You’ll be a story in our heads, but that’s okay, we’re all stories in the end. And you were the best. 

imlTpwS

Rachel liveblogs Doctor Who (spoiler alert)

I’ve finally managed to catch up with Doctor Who on BBC’s iPlayer. Instead of writing a full review about it, I’ve decided that I’ll just live blog it because I don’t think I’ve got time to write a proper review and I’ve already reviewed the script here along with the scripts of the other four episodes (so don’t click on the link unless you don’t mind spoilers for episode 2-5) 


 

Anyway, here goes. Doctor Who Series 8 Episode 1: 

00:40 JENNY AND VASTRA!! And Strax. I love how Strax is always the punchline. 

02:10 Wait, the doctor flew the TARDIS into a dinosaur?! Geesus. Well at least he remembered how to fly the TARDIS? 

03:25 aw strax you adorable potato thing. 

03:30 “SHUSH”?! The Doctor told Strax to shush? Gee doctor you’re just as rude to strax as ever. Also, is this a reference to episode 4, “Listen”? Guess we’ll have to wait and see. 

03.43 aw poor Clara… poor dear she has to deal with a grumpy old man after witnessing his rather traumatic transformation, AFTER watching him battle daleks and cybermen and all the monsters you can think of. 

06.10 i do actually like the timey wimey and spacey wacey things in the opening but what is the opening theme?! 

07:32 “you’ve all developed a fault”…throwback to “the hammock’s developed a fault”? /sigh/ i loved that episode. I miss Matt so much. The Doctor really doesn’t prance about very much right now and I miss that. I miss puppy bowtie Doctor. I miss the Doctor was so good with kids cause he’s just a big baby really. Except a really old big baby. 

08:31 “No dear, people are apes, men are monkeys.” I’m not sure why I find this so amusing because it sounds rather misandric. No moffat, making a misandric comment doesn’t make up for the misogyny in your writing thank you. 

12.14 Well that was pretty upsetting, I just wanna hug clara right now. She’s sad and confused and she has the right to be but Vastra’s being pretty mean to her. 

13.38 Call me a matt smith fangirl but yes i can totally understand what Clara’s going through right now. I do suppose this episode’s written for people like me who can’t let go of the previous Doctor just yet. 

15.56 Woah Clara’s getting mad. That’s for anyone who says that she’s placid and doesn’t have character. There’s character for you. 

16.04 He’s writing on the ground?! no wonder he needs chalkboards in the Tardis

16.14 “Door? Boring, not me.” Alright, fine I like this Doctor already. 

16.56 Clara just stood up to Madame Vastra. Is it possible to like her more? (I’m a little confused about Jenny and Vastra’s relationship though. It doesn’t seem all too healthy to me.) 

17.40 Yep Doctor I’m pretty darn sure you’re flirting with the dinosaur. 

18.15 Holy shiz the T-rex is on fire. You don’t just burn a T rex!! Geesus someone call PETA. 

21.26 “The question is, have there been any similar murders?” Hold on there Doctor since when did you turn into Sherlock? 

4-serial-suicides-and-now-a-note-ohitschristmas

22.45 Aw Clara’s back in her Victorian clothes. I love Victorian Clara. Also she sounds a little different in this scene. I like her voice. 

22.56 “And we will melt him with acid.” Yes Strax, of course you would. Gee Strax. 

23.22 Aw Clara’s theme! I thought we’d never hear it again. 

27.06 No Doctor that scarf’s not stupid, I liked that scarf. 

28.55 “Independent state of eyebrows”. I feel like this is something I’m going to say a lot soon. 

29.18 Doctor why are you so mean to that poor homeless man? Why are you so mean to everyone? You used to be nice! Alright fine popping into a little girl’s house and raiding her fridge and then telling her you were going to come back quickly but not coming back until 12 years later wasn’t very nice either. Neither was sleeping through a Christmas invasion. 

30.52 Okay I don’t like this thing between Jenny and Vastra. It’s so unnecessary, just stop it Moffat. If you’re incapable of writing a proper relationship, then don’t do it. 

31.44 “The game is afoot”? Moffat you’re writing Doctor Who, not Sherlock. Not that I’m complaining. 

34.12 Clara’s got sass. And the Doctor and Clara are arguing like a married couple right now. I love this. 

36.08 “Nothing’s more important than my egomania” ahahahahahahah. I do like that line, but please Moffat please don’t shelf that character into a box labelled “self-obsessed control freak” because Clara is much more than that THANK YOU VERY MUCH. 

41.20 “It’s times like this that I miss Amy” :< I miss Amy too. And RAWRy. Oh that doofus Rory, he’s the best. 

42.45 “Captain my captor”? Reference to “Captain, my captain”?

45.24 The Doctor ditched Clara?! Eleven would NEVER ditch Clara. He’d make sure that he’s got her before anything and everything else. 

48.20 This scene looks trippy. 

53.08 “If the Doctor is still the Doctor, he will have my back.” I am not tearing up. 

54.40 Kickass Vastra and Jenny. And Strax being the punchline, as always. 

59.38 Argh Doctor why can’t you remember?! SS Madame de Pompadour? Madame de Pompadour? Why don’t you remember?! Ugh this is so frustrating I’m doing the thing where I yell at the screen a lot again. 

62.09 “You probably can’t even remember where you got that face from.” No, the Doctor’s expression after he realised what he’s said. This hurts my poor little heart. 

64.13 Woah that scene was intense. Also, I just realised they rearranged Clara’s theme! 

65.30 Doctor, how many times do you have to leave Clara behind?! Stop leaving Clara behind. Actually, stop leaving all your companions behind. You left Amy for TWELVE YEARS and I’m still not over that. 

67.00 The Tardis! We’re finally going to get to see the Tardis interior!!! Ehehehehe they made a reference to the round things. Seriously, what are the round things? 

71.06 I don’t know anything anymore what are these tears what are feelings no Matt don’t go…no. That’s my doctor, right there and he’s gone. Tweet suit. Bow tie. Floppy hair. Puppyish grin. That voice. No. Matt’s no longer the Doctor? But he looked like the Doctor just now. He was the Doctor. Help, someone fill this void in my life Matt is no longer the Doctor I am lost and confused. Capaldi’s not the same Doctor. I like Capaldi a lot but he’s so different from Matt that I can’t see him filling Matt’s shoes, which is probably good since his character is independent of Matt’s but I really want Matt to come back. 

i am just going to type everything in lower caps to facilitate rambling

just popping by for an update because i’m really stressed out about everything right now and I need to vent without rambling to my friends because one of them’s freaking out about the same things that i’m freaking out about and the other might be getting a tad pissed at us because all we ever talk about right now are grades and university admissions…

so about three days ago i popped by my college admissions counsellor’s office again with a bunch of my friends so she can advice me on my university choices, and i thought she was going to lash at me for my uni choices like she did last term because my grades still aren’t good enough, but to my surprise she actually suggested that i should apply to oxford. well she wanted to suggest cambridge but cambridge’s applications close a month earlier and my current math grade wouldn’t make the cut for cambridge even though my other subjects’ grades aren’t so bad, whereas oxford’s applications are after my prelims so i’ll have to work hard enough to not screw up my prelims so i’ll satisfactory predicted grades that are sufficient for oxford…but the problem is, i’m juggling university applications while studying now and i’m freaking out about my personal essay, as is my friend who’s applying to cambridge. not to mention that i’m going to have to make up for being a less than responsible literature rep to my teacher because she’s writing my testimonial and to be honest i’d prefer to have my testimonial written by my history teacher because she’s been teaching for a while so i do suppose she’s more experienced with all that. so i guess i’m just going to cross my fingers and hope for the best for my testimonial. i do suppose all i’ve got to focus on right now is getting the grades i require and writing a personal statement that will convince the fellows at the magdalen college to take me. 

geez a few days ago oxford wasn’t even on my list because i didn’t think i would be good enough to even consider it but after reading about the course at oxford and about other students’ experience there, i wanna go there pretty badly now. welp. i have until 6th october to not screw up a single bit of my application, and about a week till my prelims (which my predicted grades will be based on) start. wish me luck, and off i go. 

weekend rambles

Today marks day two of the long weekend because I’ve declared a day off school for myself yesterday and monday’s a holiday in lieu of national day (or our independence day of sorts) today. I figured I wouldn’t actually ramble because I really have to start studying, so I’ll just put up a photo diary instead. (so yeah, I sort of lied in the title because coming up with appropriate titles is pretty hard y’know.) 

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Thursday: 
A sale at my favourite bookstore warrants an empty wallet. 
I managed to find paperback copies of Alexa Chung’s “It”, which I’ve wanted to buy for ages, and so there’s that. As for the Tolkien, I wanted to read the Silmarillion before I read the Unfinished Tales but I couldn’t find the Silmarillion at the bookstore so I ended up buying Unfinished Tales instead. Oh yes, something happened at the bookstore while I was there, so storytime: At the bookstore in question, there’s a specific fantasy section in which the Tolkien shelf is right opposite the Doctor Who Novelization shelf, and while I was lurking around the Tolkien shelf, scouring for the Silmarillion, there was this (presumably) British guy standing beside me looking through the Doctor Who shelf. After a while, he turned to look at the Tolkien shelf too and he picked up a compilation of all three volumes of Lord of the Rings and asked if I’ve read it. Being the awkward kid that I am, I nodded and breathed, “yes!!” And goodness knows why, he said, “mm I thought so”, put down the book, and walked off. I’m not sure what he meant by that, but afterwards, all that was going through my head was, “FRIEND!! DON’T LEAVE!”
(If you like both Doctor Who and Tolkien, you’re allowed to be my friend.) 

Friday:
I spent all of Sunday lazing around in bed reading “It” and going on Tumblr, and stalking the Doctor Who twitter accounts because the first episode of series 8 just premiered at a screening in Cardiff and then London. 

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Saturday:
In lieu of the national day holidays, entrance to the Annie Leibovitz exhibition at the Art Science Museum at Marina Bay Sands is free today and tomorrow. And since I’ve been meaning to go to the exhibition for months, I decided that I should just take advantage of the waived entrance fees to visit the exhibition. 

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Early morning selfie as I wait for the best friend before we head to the museum together because she got lost on the roundabout train/subway/mrt/whatever you call it because that doofus does things like that all the time. To put things in context:Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 4.48.30 PM

Dear lord I had to send her step by step instructions so that she could get to the museum. God knows how I survived being her roommate for two weeks while we were in Paris. 
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Dressing room OOTD because this is the first time I’ve worn this blazer out – I bought it at a fraction of its price from Esprit, but later realised that blazers are rather impractical here…still, I’ve finally managed to wear it somewhere anyway. 
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Look at that smoulder. He’s so beautiful.
The Annie Leibovitz exhibition itself was amazing, and I love how the curator’s arranged the photos in a way that you can track her entire career through both her commercial photography as well as her personal photos. There were some pieces that I really hoped to see, that weren’t at the exhibition though – stuff like the photo of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, which is one of my favourite works from Leibovitz, as well as her Rolling Stones tour photos weren’t at the exhibition. But I suppose being able to see her other lesser known photographs and her family pictures was just as good, since those aren’t easily searchable online. 
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Lunch: We found a burger place that I’ve eaten at about two years ago (and really enjoyed) and decided to eat there instead because everywhere else was *bang bang bang bang* and *kaching!* 

So yes, that’s my weekend until now. I should spend the next two days torturing myself by burying myself alive under piles of notes because I’ve enjoyed myself too much for the past few days and I shouldn’t be doing so 89 days before the A Levels. 

Guardians of the Galaxy (spoiler alert)

Disclaimer: 
I have never read the GOTG comics, except for the one I got on free comic books day (and the rocket racoon one I got on FCBD as well), so I might not know the full context of what went on in the movie.
Also this might not exactly be a review because I’ll just discuss what I want to talk about in the movie – but if you wanna know what’s my verdict for the movie…IT’S AN AMAZING MOVIE AND YOU SHOULD WATCH IT REGARDLESS OF WHETHER YOU’RE A MARVEL FAN OR NOT. Now that that’s out of the way…. Continue reading

stuff

Too many things have happened today , both good and bad stuff – the bad: school; the good: not school. Doubt you’d want to read a mad rant about the bad stuff that happened so I’ll just go through the good stuff first.

1. THE HOBBIT: BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES TEASER TRAILER

I’ve been waiting for this ever since the last movie ended, and for the past few months I’ve been groaning and whining about the lack of a trailer or any promotional material of sorts, but we’ve finally got this and I am beyond excited for it. I’ve even planned out what I’m going to wear and stuff to the midnight screening of the movie.
From the trailer, it’s safe to conclude that the movie’s going to be (I hope I’m not misusing this word…) Epic. Huge battle scenes reminiscent of those in Return of the King, elves in armour, dwarves in armour, dragon that is also in its armour of impenetrable scales. We get a scene of Thranduil kicking ass, we get to see Galadriel’s silent fury in her ‘walk’, and a moment in which Legolas flares up, and then there’s Tauriel looking melancholic (but we all know she’ll get to kick some ass in the movie and hopefully not die even though that isn’t likely – I’m already mourning.) Basically the movie should be renamed The Hobbit: who are we kidding the elves are going to steal the show again, and guess what, I don’t mind that at all. I’m going to unapologetically and unabashedly declare that I love the elves even though three of them aren’t even supposed to be there anyway. (I’m sorry, Tolkien.)

2. PETER CAPALDI: “THERE WILL BE NO FLIRTING BETWEEN CLARA AND THE DOCTOR”
If you’re a whovian who’s been active on tumblr/twitter, you’ll know that Peter Capaldi’s recently mentioned this in his Sunday Times interview. I didn’t want to post this on tumblr because there will be too many people reading it and there are too many contradicting opinions on there, but here’s my two cents worth:
For the whouffle shippers, it’s alright because he isn’t discounting the relationship The Doctor and Clara had before. In fact, their relationship will be recognised in the first episode, but from that point onwards we move on. The Doctor’s changed – not only has his physical appearances changed, his psychology has changed as well, and that’s alright. He’s the Doctor, he changes. There will be no flirting between Clara and the TWELFTH Doctor, and I know I’m going to sound rather superficial by saying this, but it’s rather obvious that this Doctor and Clara won’t have the same fluffy relationship Clara and Eleven had earlier because CAPALDI IS TWICE JENNA’S AGE FOR GOD’S SAKE! I know that in The Day of the Doctor, Clara has shown that she loves and understands the Doctor regardless of which incarnation he’s in, but that doesn’t mean she will get chummy with all of them.
Anyway, I’m actually quite glad they’re reducing the ‘romance’ bit in Doctor Who because Moffat doesn’t usually get it right and it makes people really mad. And I don’t like seeing people get mad at him because he’s actually a really good writer with pretty good ideas, it’s just that someone has to tell him that there are other better ways to write female characters.

3. PORTER ROBINSON’S “FLICKER” IS RELEASED
I can’t seem to embed the song on soundcloud here but anyway, here’s the link to the song.
It sounds really amazing and is probably my favourite track from his upcoming album, Worlds, so far. Go check it out if you’re a fan and you haven’t, and if you aren’t a fan, go check it out still. Even if you aren’t into electronic music, you should give it a listen because my friends (who don’t usually listen to electronic music) do really enjoy the new direction his music is going in.

4. DOCTOR WHO’S SUCCESSFULLY INVADED MY BEDROOM WALL.
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It’s only taken up the left corner but there isn’t much space left on my wall anyway. The rest of the stuff are my gaga stuff (and yes, the board which got me backstage at the Born This Way Ball, which was signed by Gaga, is on my wall even though it’s really cheesy) and Porter Robinson’s signature and little kaomoji doodle, the picture of Emma Stone that she signed and the handwritten lyrics to Another’s Arms that Chris Martin wrote.

(and this marks the end of all the cool things that happened today/these few days and you shouldn’t read on despite the ‘continue reading’ button saying ‘continue reading’.)

Continue reading

The Rise of Fangirls at Comic-Con

bubblegum:

Personally I’m really glad that women are gaining more prominence in geek culture especially with more and more women joining the ranks of their male counterparts as creators, because that is really what gets many other younger girls into such things. It lets them believe that comics and cartoons and video games and superheroes and all that aren’t just boy things because there are women – really cool women – making these things. The prominence of female characters in recent years is also a really important factor. Even though there’s still quite a lot more to be done for women in geek culture. Tor example we still aren’t seeing enough female creators…and as Evangeline Lilly mentioned at her Nerd HQ panel yesterday, in the past most of the female characters seem to be damsels in distress…MOST, not all, but today it seems to have taken a pendulum swing to the other side of the spectrum to become utterly kickass characters who would kill without another thought and all that…it’s a generalisation, of course, but she’s pretty damn right when she said that creating characters that “just want to be like men” isn’t gender equality at all. So, yes. A greater variety of female protagonists AND antagonists would be great. (I just found out the other day that Karen Gillan’s Nebula is the first ever female antagonist – like, an outright antagonist, not an anti-hero or something like that – in a Marvel film and that was pretty shocking, but I’m glad she gets to play the first ever female antagonist.)

Originally posted on TIME:

San Diego Comic-Con—an annual conference celebrating all things gloriously nerdy from TheAvengers to Star Trek—has had a reputation as a boys’ club, albeit a geeky one. Many unfamiliar with the event might assume it’s made up of nerdy boys in Star Wars costumes ogling “booth babes.” But attend this year’s Comic-Con, which began Thursday and runs throughout the weekend, and you can visit a panel on the women of Marvel comics, watch a geek couture fashion show and meet female writers of iconic shows like The Walking Dead.

This year’s Comic-Con will draw 130,000 fans, almost half of whom are female. It will feature 12 panels focused specifically on women—more than ever before. And that doesn’t even count panels that feature female writers without advertising it.

“When I was in high school I went to some local sci-fi cons, and the way I remember it, men vastly…

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