Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Maths Anxiety

Maths and I never got along well. We're like peanut butter and tuna. Or Russell Brand and Katy Perry. I always made it known how I prefer to write 4 pages of essays then solve a page of mathematical questions. Mhhm, true fact.

My semester report by the teachers came in recently and Mr Alderson's comments summarized my relationship with Maths so poignantly. This was what he had to say:

" Zafirah seems to have a double battle facing her in this subject. One is the problem that all students face; understanding the mathematical ideas and applying them correctly to solve problems. The other battle is one of confidence and belief that she can indeed do this subject."

One of the other Maths teachers did say my real problem was not that I couldn't understand the theories of Maths but it's a psychological problem. A mental block that I have where I would try to block Maths in my mind and grow into despising it so greatly. Uh oh. If they had fears of heights, snakes and crowded areas, why not fear of Maths eyh?

That wouldn't be so much of a problem if I had stayed on to do Law. But an Economics degree particularly at university level requires a GREAT deal of Mathematics, it's not something that I can run from. So, the only thing left for me to do to survive my next 5 years would be to actually start 'loving' the subject.

To welcome it into my life, to embrace, to spend more quality-time with it and to love it so dearly in my heart. Basically, I would have to get rid of this mental block in me and see Maths as another fun, interesting subject like History and Economics.

I guess...

Ughh, I need to go to a shrink. And solve more Maths problems outside of class. 

Thursday, November 04, 2010

In Loving Memory of Syazwan Asyraf

My previous post was about Syazwan Asyraf who was fighting for his life in ICU after his sudden fall during the 7.5km marathon. That was close to 2 weeks ago.

Today, we found out Syazwan had passed away in Selayang Hospital at 4pm after a well-fought battle of his life. Which came as a big surprise to most of us since the doctors said he was doing better and will wake up from his coma soon. But I guess it was time for him to go. At least he did fight for his life. Two weeks of battling took a lot of guts and courage and he did it. Only that God decided enough was enough for him. Time to put him to rest.

I remember when we first started out with the whole petbrother/petsister thing. Allahyarham Syazwan would write me letters signed as 'Chronos' and I would have to guess who he was before the 'Revelation Night'. He told me he had 5 siblings with him as the eldest. He used to go to a boarding school and he loved the colour black. I asked him in the letter what was he planning to become. Later on he told me he's under JPA scholarship to do Geophysics and a UK-bound lad.

He had a long way ahead of him with all these big dreams planned out already. I would say he's one of the nicest guys in college. His face was an image of purity and kindness, it's hard not to love him. My biggest regret with him is the fact that I did not have the proper chance to get to know him better. There were times when I was in a rush, that when he passed by I just gave him a quick glance and quickly ran off to my classes or to where ever I had to go to. Not even a small 'Hello' or a smile. *Sigh*

The morning of the marathon, we were all running (well I was walking, most of the time) when he ran past me on my left. He looked so determined to reach the end of the race. My last view of him was the back of his sweaty 'Silat Cekak Hanafi' t-shirt as he left me behind. That was probably 15 minutes before he had his fall and that was the last time I saw him, alive.

My parents and I went to his family home in Shah Alam tonight to pay our last respects. The mood was sombre but his family and friends were spilling out from the house, reciting Yassin for him and wishing his family the best. You could tell how much Allahyarham was loved by everyone and his loss would be felt tremendously. I'm amazed at how strong and calm his parents are, particularly his dad.

We were talking to his dad briefly and he said, "Syazwan harapan keluarga. Tapi nak buat macam mana...." (Syazwan was the hope of the family. But what to do....). His younger siblings lost their eldest brother but most importantly, they lost their role model who they could look up to. I just hope the family will get through this ordeal smoothly.

But you know what they say, only the good ones die early. At least there's an end to his pain and agony. Even if he survived there's no guarantee he could lead his normal life again, with the organ failures and what not. So yes, Allah knows better and this was probably best for him.

Keep him in our prayers. Cherish the people around us. Because we'll never know who will be gone next.

Al-Fatihah for Allayarham Syazwan Asyraf. May Allah bless his soul.

His last Facebook profile photo with his dad