Saturday, May 17, 2008

NST interview

I never knew singing was going to be this exhausting. I never knew singing can make me cry. I never knew singing was this painful. It took me 2 months and a few thousand ringgit to find out the real world of singing. I had hours of vocal and turkish lessons again today. 7 hours of classes with minimum breaks in between. Ugghh I was practically slumped dead at the end of the day.

My flight is at 3am on an early Monday morning and I haven't even packed my bags yet!! Grreeaatttt.....
Oh btw, I got interviewed by NST today on the Turkish Language Olympics. Look out for me in the newspapers in the days to come and I might appear in there ;) Some of the questions asked were:

Reporter: So, which category are you joining?
Me : I'm joining the singing category where I will sing a song entitled 'Sahit Olsun'.
Reporter: Ooo.So you have a good voice like the people from Malaysian Idol?
Me : Uuumm.....ok-okla

Reporter: What do you hope to get from this competition?
Me : I hope from my experiences and knowledge I'll get from this competition, I can make
changes not only to myself but also the people around me. Since it is a competition
that promotes peace and multiculturalism, I hope that I can enhance my
understanding of others and learn how to accept other people's differences no matter
what skin colour or religion they are.

Find out more in NST sooner or later, ok? I'm really nervous about this trip. My 1st trip without my parents. A trip filled uncertainties and I have to have the attitude of 'expect the unexpected. 'Interesting, indeed. And scary too! But I will have to do this sooner or later because I can't expect to be with my parents all the time so I should take this as a practice kan?
Take care, peeps!

Signing off to Turkey! See ya!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

exams and birthday

Happy 16th Birthday Daryl!!!

Exams week is here!!! And surprisingly enough I don't feel nervous or stressed about it like I usually am when exams are on. Probably because I'm too excited about my Turkish trip which is this Sunday btw, and also probably because I'm not in the momentum of exams so I don't care if I screw my Add maths or Bio for this term. And I'm not even counted for class positions since I'm not sitting for all the exams. So....Bio what???

Some of friends and I celebrated Daryl's birthday today. Well, more of his belated birthday since it was actually yesterday. Bought him a chocolate walnut cake from Secret Recipe and sang him a birthday song in the canteen during reccess. It was Daryl's first surprise cake, I think and he seemed very happy about it. Good thing.

So HAPPY 16TH BIRTHDAY, DARYL!! This was the guy who taught me how to do Locus, Geometry and all the Maths nonsense prior to PMR until I understood. This was the guy who gave me a book on time management, a candle and a card as a way of him saying sorry. This was the guy who I spent tons of time together on debates be it the class or school debates. And thank you Daryl for the friendship that you offered and still offering me. May God bless!

And all the best to the rest of us who have to endure the pain of sitting on chairs for hours cracking our brains for answers.

Monday, May 12, 2008

sweet 16!

This looks so much like a class photo. LOL!

Oh no! Broken stools during the musical chair

All ready to paaarrttaayyy!!!

Beauties of Sweet 16 =)

The magician with a bird

People of all ages enjoying the magic show

It's singing time!

I'm finally 16! I had my sweet 16 garden party yesterday (11th May) at my grandma's house because she has a much bigger garden than mine. I only invited about 20 friends because I believe in a small but exclusive party. That way all my guests could have fun together and not be divided into cliques. The theme for the party was 'floral' so everyone had to dress up in a floral-like way. The party started with a magic show by a magician my mum found online.

Ok, I know a magic show in the middle of a sweet 16 party didn't sound sixteen. But because my party was attended by people of all ages, from a 67 year old woman (my grandma) to 16 year old girls and guys (my friends) to 3 year old kids (my cousins) I wanted to find something that appealed to everyone so my mum came up with the idea of 'magic show'. And, trust me EVERYONE had a fun time watching the show especially when the magician took out an underwear out of Syamir's pants!

After the show, we had something to eat and then all my friends sat in a circle in the middle of the garden and we sang along to Nunu's strums of guitar. Thanks Nunu for playing my current fave song, 'Stop & Stare'! Calvin also played his version of 'I Hate Physics' song. We walked the childhood lane by playing a game of musical chairs. Alia, Fadzil and Shiqin broke 2 of the stools! Oh my this what happened when big 16 year olds try to play a game of 6 year olds. O.0

Sophia asked me "So Zaf, what is it like being 16 years old today?'" And my reply at that time, "It feels pretty much the same like being 15 yesterday." Of course you would feel pretty much the same if you were to compare today and yesterday. But if I were to compare being 16 yesterday and being 10 six years ago then yea I'd grown up a lot in terms of maturity and umm... physicality.

A big THANK YOU to my friends who took time out to attend my party even though we had exams on the next day. Hope you all had as much fun as I did and thank you for making my Sweet 16 a memorable one :D

Monday, May 05, 2008

excitement and exhaustion

I had 6 hours of lessons yesterday. No, it wasn't the typical Add Maths, Bio etc. kind of lessons. I had 3 hours of vocal lessons with Aunty Sue and another 3 hours of Turkish lessons with my Turkish 'sisters' with minimal breaks between the 6 hours. From 11 am till 5pm and by the end of the lesson, I felt totally exhausted and nauseated. I could throw up all over the floor if I hear anymore Turkish words for the next few days. I mean, Turkish is a beautiful language and everything but after 6 freaking hours of learning, saying and singing the words, I'm sure you'll get sick of it too.

I'm actually going to Turkey in 2 weeks time! Yay!! And I still can't believe I'll be competing with people from 100 over countries around the world in a......singing competition! Haha well there's always a first time for everything so yea I might as well make the best out of this competition 'cause chances like this are hard to come by.

Now, I'm busy preparing for my mid term exams after skipping A LOT of classes but lucky me I'm not going to sit for all the exams 'cause I'll be somewhere else (you know where) so there's no need to study everything....for now.

Nunu made an interesting comment on the chatbox about the recent Wira debate 'one door closed, two doors opened'. We didn't get to represent Selangor in the Wira but like she said other doors opened up for us. WIRA debaters went through a lot of things, both sweet and bitter experiences were tasted together. At the end of the day, we went back with unique friendships and invaluable experiences that will stay with us for the rest of our days. What Nunu said was right. By getting 1st runner up, we didn't totally closed the doors but we get to enter different opened doors.

Ahh yes, another thing. My SWEET 16 is coming up soon. This Sunday actually. So that's another big event I'm looking forward to. Perhaps after my Turkey trip ends, I can get some rest 'cause right now I'm having a burnt out due to excessive work done during debates and also practices for the Turkish Language Olympics.

I can seriously drop dead anytime soon.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

so near yet so far

SMKDJ's debate team

In the quarantine room

After the finals

It all started about a month and a half ago. 7 young, hopeful debaters started a journey of continuing DJ's debating legacy with high hopes of bringing back the Wira cup. On 29th of April, 10 of us (me, Jay, Keefe, Daryl, Sophia, Rachel, Calvin, Kevin, Puan Koh and Puan Tan) went to Kuala Selangor for the battle of our lives for Wira debates at the state level, representing Petaling Utama along with 9 other districts in the whole of Selangor.

We went against a school from Gombak district with the motion 'The Heart is More Powerful Than the Brain and we were the Government. Keefe, Jay and I spoke and I would say it was a highly emotionally charged debate. My mind went blank at the opening of my speech. Keefe went berserk and lost his cool. Jay was probably the only one who stayed sane. But the most entertaining part was Keefe's performance. It was the first time ever he was speaking like a mad man, pacing furiously at the opponents like he was ready to bite their heads off. But hey WE WON!! And Jay was the best speaker (YAY!!)

The night of the semi finals and finals, the whole team was busy preparing and tightening up the caselines for the next debate. It was 11 pm and most of us were already sleepy and tired but we still had to discuss our 3rd motion so we decided to go for a walk around the apartment and at the pool. We sang and laughed and probably woke up the whole neighbourhood. Lol yea.

Anyway, the next day was one hell of a day. The day started with an hour of quarantine for the motion 'The Future of the World is in The Hands of the Technologists, Not Naturalists' and we were the opposition and went against a school from Hulu Selangor. The opposing team was good and DJ's debaters for the round (Sophia, Daryl and Keefe) had a tough battle to fight. While waiting for the results, I went out of the room and cried. I cried because I was worried about the team, I was worried that we wouldn't pass through that round. That was the first time ever I cried because of debates......and I wasn't even debating! But we all did our very best and WE WON. Daryl even got the Best Speaker for the tough round. He was so passionate and confident when delivering his speech and I would say that was his best performance. Great job, Daryl!

And with that, we were in the finals. Half a step to becoming the state champion and a step closer to the Wira cup. The motion was 'The Growing Sense of Individualism is the Root Cause of Disintegration of Today's Marriages' and we were the opposition, again and went against Petaling Perdana. Sophia, Daryl and Keefe spoke again. In terms of manner, we won hands down. DJ had the better, more eloquent speakers. We went with a sneakier approach and our opponents couldn't catch that and even the judges were a bit blur and because of that they decided to award the win to our opponent, leaving us as the 1st runner up and destroying our hopes of becoming Selangor state champion.

So near yet so far. We were just half a step away from being the state champion. The whole team worked extremely hard to reach this far. This was the furthest any DJ's debate team ever reached in the last 4 years. We dropped everything to give our best for this debate. Classes being missed, homework being put on hold and exams being forgotten for a moment. But each and everyone of us who were part of the debate team knew we did our best and at the end of the day it all went down to God, luck and fate.

And we didn't go back to PJ empty handed. We went back with dumb looking trophies and certificates. But the most important thing is that we went back with a long-lasting friendship that was forged during our discussions in the library or Bilik Tayangan or the debaters' houses; the invaluable debating experiences and with that we grew up as more mature debaters. This was one of the most exhausting, painful, interesting journeys I had ever been through.

But again the experience and the lessons I got from this journey would be something I'd treasure and remember for the years to come. 20 years down the road, I won't remember my Form 4 mid term exam marks but I would remember that I was part of a great debate team that stayed together through thick and thin and we were just a half step closer to being the state champion in 2008. Yes, we went through hell before we reached the finals.

In the process of preparing for the debates, we were all stressed up.Some of us felt like cutting our wrists. Some of us felt like slithering each other's throats. All of us had our fair amount of emotional outbursts but what doesn't kill you will only make you stronger. We were still a team and we will continue to be a team.

This ain't the end of our journey as debaters. This is just the beginning of our journey. There are more debate championships in the future, be it in DJ or elsewhere. Once a debater, always a debater.

Finally, a big heartfelt THANK YOU to our tireless coaches: Kevin, Puan Koh, John, Puan Mag, Marc and those who were with us through thick and thin. May God bless!