Friday, April 30, 2010

Hold on

Hello? Looking for who? Zaffy?

Ah, she's right here. Just a moment, please.

In between scholarships interviews and rejections, grandparents' sickness and dad's surgery, volunteer work and rotting at home, the muse for writing isn't quite here.

Hold on, ya? :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Crashing at Krash Pad

There's this new centre for at-risk youths in KL to hang out at after their school hours called Krash Pad. The aim is to ensure these kids do not loiter around aimlessly and to provide a safe environment for them to be in.

So, Wai Meng and I decided to check out the place yesterday and we were pleasantly surprised with the condition of the place. Very clean, organized and high-tech too. They have a gym, ICT lab, a common room with a flat screen Plasma TV, music room with guitars and drums, fully-equipped classroom and a library with a great selection of books from all sorts of genres. The books are even better than the ones in DJ's library! Sorry to say =p

We've decided to help tutor the kids there. Wai Meng will teach Bahasa Malaysia to Form 3-Form 5 kids while I opt to personally tutor stateless children who have not been schooled for as long as they could remember. Seeing as how these kids have no birth cert and official documents, they are not allowed to go to school.

Some of them, even at 17 years old, still can't read, write and count the simple things. One of the girls was so eager to learn and she told me, "Saya suka la ada orang lembut macam kakak ni nak ajar saya. Dulu saya punya kakak pernah nak ajar saya. Tapi kalau saya tak faham sikit, dia jirus muka saya dengan air la, buang pisang kat saya la. Saya pun takut nak belajar." (I like gentle people like you who wants to teach me. Last time, my sister tried to teach me. But if I can't understand a bit, she will splash my face with water, throws banana at me. I've become scared to learn, too).

It's saddening, really. These kids are not stupid, no way at all. It's just that, they're not given the opportunity to learn like how the more fortunate kids are. So, I'm helping out at the centre and do what I can and help where I can. And when you're there, you can't help but feel attached to the children and feel yourself at home, too.

I've always thought that charity doesn't only begin at home, it begins from the heart. <3

They have dance class every Monday morning. A volunteer who is also a medical student from India teaches the girls belly dancing. I couldn't help but join in as well. Hehe.

And we stretcheeddd to the left

The Gym at the centre

The library. I can't get over how cool the book selections are.

Played a Malay-version of Scrabble; Sahibba. It's a lot harder, you know!

Teaching one of the girls how to read. She told me she had always wanted to read a book on Pinocchio but she didn't know how to read and no one would read with her. And so, yesterday we managed to read about Gepetto and Pinocchio's lies :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sex and the City

This is our version of 'Sex and the City'. Shiqin is 'Carrie Bradshaw'. Though she is still looking for her Mr Big. I am 'Samantha Jones'. Though I am not sexually active the way Samantha is. God, no!

Mimi is 'Charlotte York'. She looks the part, in a way. Though she isn't as naive as the real Charlotte. I think ;p

Then we have Nunu as 'Miranda Hobbes'. She's our best friend, confidante and voice of reason. Just like the real Miranda, too.

And that's our little fantasy. Ahh well.

We've experienced our own chic lit drama, bitch fights, boy episodes, body weight/appearance issues but at the end of the day, we'll always be like the ones in the photo.

Especially when we have each other's hands to hold on to =)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

JPA Scholarship Interview

Alright, so I had my JPA Scholarship interview at Putrajaya International Convention Centre today. Let's just go straight to the details of the interview and skip the part where I had to wait 3 hours before my turn (heeh!).

Typically, there should be 5 to 6 people in a panel with three interviewers. But for some reason, my panel had like 8 applicants. They probably wanted to save time, so yeah. We started off with introductions which was in Bahasa Malaysia. Name, previous school, co-curricular activities, family background, yadda yadda.

One of the interviewers asked me a rather fascinating question during my introduction. I told them how I used to play netball for the school team and he asked me, "Jadi, bagaimana kemahiran bola jaring anda dapat dikaitkan dengan sistem undang-undang negara?" (So, how can your netball skills be related to the country's legal system?)

Ay yay yay! Say whaaatttt?!

So I drew them the similarities between netball and the legal system like how both of them had their own set of rules, structures and systems to adhere to. Mhhm, something like that. Then they asked the typical questions of why do you choose to study this and why this country? I applied for Law and United Kingdom as my choice of country.

Our topic of discussion was 'Vision 2020'. Heeshh ini topik zaman sekolah rendah. But okay, it was rather interesting when they asked how our various fields can contribute to the aspiration. One guy who applied for automotive engineering (if I wasn't mistaken) wanted to build cars that could fly by year 2020. And one of the interviewers retorted, "The roads are already congested and now you want to congest the air space too?"

Ohh, how snarky! Hehe.

One simple rule of the interview; answer in Bahasa when asked in Bahasa and answer in English when asked in English. Having the ability to switch between those two languages without a glitch would be a plus point. And also know perfectly well why you want to study what you applied for and know your field relatively well, too.

There was one of us who wasn't too sure which field she wanted and why and that was when she got lambasted by the interviewers. They were like, "The government is going to spend a lot of money on you if you do get this scholarship so you have to tell us exactly why you want to do this. We can't afford for you to study halfway and then wanting to change course or drop out of it."

So yes, do be careful with that.

For my interview panel, they were fond of asking who are the ministers of Malaysia. Like who is the minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, the Second Finance Minister etc. Most of us kantoi that part la. Like this one:

Interviewer: Siapa Menteri Pendidikan sekarang ini?(Who is the current Minister of Education?)

*I put up my hand*

Me: Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Interviewer: Betul ke? Bukan dia Timbalan Perdana Menteri? (Really? Isn't he the Deputy Prime Minister?)

Me: Ya itu betul juga. Dia memegang dua jawatan. (Yea that's true too. He holds two positions)

Interviewer: Pasti? Bukan Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussien? (Sure? Isn't it Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussien?)

Me: Itu Menteri Pendidikan yang lama (That's the old Minister of Education)

Interviewer: Dia sekarang jadi menteri apa? (Which minister is he now?)

Me: Umm...Menteri Keselamatan Dalam Negeri? (Umm...Minister of Internal Security?)

Interviewer: Untuk pengetahuan awak, Kementerian Keselamatan Dalam Negari sudah dimansuhkan dan digantikan dengan Kementerian Dalam Negeri.

And I was like okaaayyyy. Last time I checked, this particular ministry had its name changed with every new election or something like that. Kementerian Hal Ehwal Dalam Negeri to Kementerian Dalam Negeri dan Keadilan to Kementerian Keselamatan Dalam Negeri to Kementerian Dalam Negeri.

How to keep up like that?! =/

But I had fun during the interview. The interviewers were pleasant people. They just wanted to know whether do you really deserve the scholarship or not despite the interview being only 5% out of the whole thing.

You know what's the most important thing during the interview? Be in your own skin! That always works :)