Morning Encounter

In one Sunday morning, I promised my friend to catch up with her in her house and she will cook me lunch and just hang out together talking about life, our current job, and career.

I woke up with all of my might, it was hard to be freshly awaken as I just had a long unique week. Things from work were bothering me, but In The END, It’s All Fine. I had a fantastic weekend to celebrate me getting off the work, went to an incredible seminar where young people were gathered and watched a Broadway show (yes! I love musicals!), and got home safely.

Okay so like per usual I was rushing to catch the public transport cos I don’t want to miss it, not on the weekends especially. Got to the station and it started to drizzle a little bit and the train was on-time. Tried to follow the map to go to my friend’s house, but unfortunately, the government is upgrading the public transport system. I could not find my way to get out of the station to take the tram. When I was wondering in between the platforms, a Taiwanese girl approached me. She asked for some direction for 2 grandpas and a grandma. Initially, her reason of asking was because she was lost and also the old peeps could not speak English.

I told her I am not familiar with the station where I got off the train but I need to find a way to my friend’s place. We ended up taking the same train going all the way to the CBD area just to find our way to catch the correct tram. We talked a little bit about life, she mentioned her working in a chocolate factory. She wanted to go to a secondhand marketplace. She also said it is hard to work in a factory to pack the chocolate as she was working in the operation in the office back when she was in Taiwan.

However, the pay is quite good. Well, the standard of living in Australia is well-known to be a good one. Earning a proper amount, and if you can then you could also have some leftover earnings for emergency purposes.

I asked her why she was not scared to talk to strangers, what if I took her somewhere or gave her a wrong direction? She then shared her story when she was an exchange student in China she got to survive too. It’s always hard to go overseas where they don’t speak your mother tongue language.

She was brave!

And she also mentioned how she always pity older people who cannot communicate and ask for help. What if her parents are lost and could not find their way back? What if no one can understand her parents.

I am reminded of my family too and our similarity is English is not our first language. I just don’t want anything to happen to them, especially when I am not around. Through this, I know people are still kind.

Advertisements

In The END, It’s All Fine

For privacy protection, I am not going to mention the university name.

The second semester has come to an end. I am so glad I applied for the job I currently have. To work at one of the universities in a group of eight was my dream job.

On the day when I was contacted by the unit coordinator of this uni, I was very delighted. Finally, my day on getting my foot on the dream job has come! Being accepted to work professionally along with great staffs is another level of experience. To this day, I am very grateful for the door that was opened to me.

Starting out was very exciting and put me on my nerve. What if I do something wrong? What if I don’t know how to explain it? What if I need to debate with my students? What if they don’t like my teaching style?

Lots of ideas came to my mind. I did not know how to handle it. I still remember the very first week joining the team, I was very scared. Attended the team meeting was a good idea for me to start off. Then came the day where I need to be the main actress for the show! I was nervous, I did my prep but it was not enough….

I read a lot from the cheat sheet, I could not express myself properly – not in the way I wanted. Having a young face people thought I was a student and some of them came to me asking if I would like to join their group for the semester.

Started talking some words, did my brief intro and I saw a strange look from some students. Who is this little girl talking? Plus I’m Asian. What is wrong being Asian? I am still a human being.

The first semester was crazy. I was constantly marking the internal assessment. The arrangement of the assessment was so intense. Almost every week we have to mark, and the number of students I needed to mark was about 160-180 students per assessment. I slept for 3-4 hours when it was due, also because I was doing another two different jobs to support my life.

Then comes marking the final exam. It was my first time seeing lots of unreadable handwriting. I gotta finish that in about 10 days or so. Some other staffs were even started off marking at 7 in the morning, go for lunch and break for say about 3 hours and come back just to mark the exam until 10 at night.

Tired and pressured to finish up asap, I did not have any good night sleep on the marking period. I looked tired and also ended up marking it slowly and was talking a lotttt of my time. I just wanted to finish it soon (who likes marking anyways).

I kept going and I cheered myself up by saying “hey you can meet your family soon! hurry up and then you deserve to get the holiday!”

It did not really work.

An older staff was there to the very end and kept on encouraging me. She was so helpful, she kept on saying that I will do well, I will go home and sleep soon, though I was tired I would get my well-deserved break.

We passed the finish line together! We shouted for joy and was very very happy to have finished all the marking for the semester. Sounds very cheesy and cliché but hey that’s what I felt at least!

I came back fresh for the second semester. This time I got to work with different people in the same unit. More prepared than the first semester, I came to the class with a happy heart just to be questioned if I actually could teach, or if what I said even make any sense. Again they were questioning my skills and ability.

I was hurt and a mental breakdown. Why are you doing this to me? What have I done wrong? Am I really not qualified to teach you? Or are you actually doing this because you are forced to take the unit by the faculty just because it is a fundamental subject?

More problems arrived entering the quarter of the semester. More and more until the very end of the semester. I had lots of trouble, had lots of feeling I had to hold as it won’t be professional if you’re letting everyone knows about what’s your problems are.

Applied for sponsorship and yet it was rejected. I guess it really is not my path to take on. The door has closed yet another is opened and will lead me to a different way I suppose.

I thought I had a good and fun class every Friday just to close off my week nicely. There is this one particular person really likes to mess around with me. We parted our ways on good terms, and hopefully, that would stay like this. A group draw an angel and said it was me, all people gave an applause for the work me and my colleague have done this semester, and some people even said a proper farewell.

Before ending this post, I would like to say thank you GOD for letting me in taking this path. Thank you for molding me into a stronger person. I learned a lot. For my supporters, the biggest ones are my family and for my friends and the students who really appreciate my effort – THANK YOU!

I know thank you is not enough to express how thankful I am for your support. Thank you for cheering me up, thank you for lifting me up when I fall, thank you for BELIEVING in me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I survive and at least am leaving on a good note. In the end, it’s all fine.

 

Storyline

Exactly one year ago, I started my writing journey at WordPress. Long before that, I was wanting to make my own blog. No purpose, no goals, did not know what to write but to give a bit of inspiration to other people. Choosing Speak Up My Opinion theme because I have been wanting to make a platform where I can really speak up about what I think.

Here’s a storyline. Puzzle pieces about what I think.

I have a student-turn-to-friend that I have been helping with in the past 1 year or so. She was struggling with her uni subjects. Sometimes she just need some deeper explanation, and sometimes a lesson to clarify some test questions. In my eyes, she is a very sassy girl. She will get what she wants. She will not stop until she gets the right answer or if she thinks the answer given to her makes sense.

She is the kind of girl who if you’re late, she will be annoyed a lot, but she does not want to pass her sickness so she canceled her lesson time to another day. One day, it was nearing her mid semester test, she texted me if I could give her another private tuition to clarify some of the materials. After the lesson she said she needed to rush to go to her work and I asked her what is she currently doing or where is she working at.

Surprisingly she said she is a nanny. She takes care of the children and pick them up after school and also in some other times, she will give assistance for disabled people too! I was so surprised and really did not expect that coming from her. She said she loves children and more than happy to help other people in need of her help.

That sassy girl turns out to have a very gentle heart. She was genuinely pissed off (because of the requirements) when I said I have problems with my visa extension and all, and asked me if I could go to find other ways to fight for my staying permit. Sometimes she does not agree with the regulations too.

If I’m reading a book about her, it really surprises me of how she can be very genuine and is doing good deeds even though she is super sassy.

Another story would be about my other friend. She used to study in Australia for one semester, just as an exchange student for one semester. She has a most loving smile, and always seems so happy in whatever situation. I used to see her as a small kid, and she went back. Time flies so fast and it’s now been 2 years since she left Australia and made a come back. She visited her friends and I can see how she is different now, to become an adult version.

She shared her part of the story. She studied biomed and after she graduated she was offered a lifetime position as a researcher. Just after a month working in the lab, she gave up the job. It was underpaid, but the most important thing is she did not even get the time to really have a proper break when she was a researcher. Thirty minutes were given to her for lunch break, and she could not even had a proper lunch. Life was so tiring, and she was not happy and satisfied at all.

Until one day she told her parents that she wanted to quit working in the lab. Her parents did ask why. She was not happy. So she decided to really quit. After quitting, she wanted to become a music teacher. I know she can play piano and she even took a masterclass before so I’m sure she is capable in being a music teacher.

She said the pay is not as great as becoming the researcher, but she actually enjoys it and really love her current job. Pay is not really something that she is focusing on but to help the kids and the students to really grow and play some beautiful music is what she is after.

In the end, she is happier this way. Maybe her biomed degree is not really contributing much now. Not really becoming the main focus of her life, but we’re still young anyways. I have my own anxiety. I don’t know what will happen to me once I’m back to my home country. What kind of role that I’m going to take, what kind of projects I would handle, what my schedule is going to be like.

Even with the uncertainties, when it’s the time for us to go through it,  we will pass different kind of situations. If there are opportunities and we dare to take the risk, we might stumble upon interesting experiences or roles that will be our main doing in upcoming years.

Everyone is operating in their own “time-zone”. Some people will be hired just after the graduation day,  but some will take a bit longer to get a job. Some others will become a CEO and managing a very successful business in a very young age and may not have time to try some silly stuffs in which some others might be rich of life experiences but become a CEO a little bit later in life. It is very unexpected but this is life. The purpose is just to have fun and to make yourself happy.

I found this comic and read it through after work. Truly the purpose of life is to have fun and to spend time with your loved ones – Point. So be happy today and enjoy your life!

 

It’s Not You! But …

We heard this a lot in a drama. Usually, it’s in a break-up stage. Actually, this can be applied everywhere don’t you think?

A month ago I attended an alumni event in my alma mater in which they offered several sessions there. I came in and was the only one who is not doing my honors, masters, or PhD there. They were talking about entrepreneurship, about how to take chances and develop something different, to be brave and offer your ideas to the market and to be a good consultant. Experiences are important for someone to work in a good company as it will be your asset. I have met some people who are super smart but they don’t have the required soft skills or they have great soft skills but they are not really experienced and not working in the related industry.

When you are assessing these, at times we hope everyone is balanced. The ideal situation would be those who are super smart should be experienced and are outstanding in using their skills. As for those who are not as bright, they should be able to work harder. I think it’s fair to have one aspect is stronger than the other and so you will be able to survive. If one has all the perfection then it’s not fair for those who are not doing so well.

Also on top of that, I realised how unique every individual is. Each person will have different knowledge, was exposed to different culture and even environment and norm as well as having different interest and also has different expertise. Everyone certainly has their own key skill. What I am interested in might be different from yours. You might think I am weird because our focus and interests are not aligned, and what I’m doing is different from yours. As for me, I might also think you are also different from me. That’s why I said every individual is unique. We are not supposed to label them and should embrace the differences.

Especially being at a quite young age and not fully developed, I think it is normal for us to not able to fully decide what do we want in our life. Do you still want to pursue the career you’ve always wanted or you came to realisation that it’s actually not the right path for you to take? It might not be something that you find your interest in. Even lots of people changed their major half way through. Some of them even are not doing in the industry. They prefer to do something else. Continue reading “It’s Not You! But …”

A Pair of Hand

Humans are given two hands to operate and live the life. However, not everyone is perfect. Some of them are only given one hand by God, and some lost their hands because of an accident or disease or other reasons, not given any.

Given the pair of hand given, it does make everything easier to handle compared to having only one hand or no hand at all. BUT, it is not a solid answer to say “those who are not ‘completed’ cannot do anything and are weaker than those who are completed”. Hey! I have seen a lot of people do even a lot better than normal humans! They created amazing artworks using their mouth or other parts of the body. Some of them even entered a Paralympic and won! They are great athletes, great artists, great human being. They inspired others through their disabilities and it is AMAZING!

These people even have a higher living spirit and strive to do even better and better and better. They keep on improving and keep on overcoming their challenges. I know everyone has their own story, has their own problems they have to encounter and solve. Unfortunately, most of the people take things for granted. We have two hands and a complete set of the human body but we are still complaining about life and give up easily.

Speaking of a pair of hand, I recently talked to my good friend that has been living together with me since 3-4 years ago. She has completed her bachelor degree, so CONGRATULATIONS to you girl! In the past, we argue a lot because both of us have a strong character. We had different opinions and when we look back to the first semester when we met, we are completely different persons now. We have changed, we grow together, we improve together, and we overcame our own problems too. We collided a lot and naturally, it just fell to its place and we became good friends.

We are both international students that came to Australia to study. Now both of us are graduated (she definitely passed the study requirements!), it feels different. We are having a different path that we have to take. We have to part our ways. It does not mean that in the future we cannot meet up or be involved in each other’s life. It’s just a bit hard because we are originally not from the same country and with a different environment, it will be hard to relate to one another and tell the stories.

I learned a lot from her and she also made me who I am today. Just recently we had a good late night talk and discuss where life would take us. I told her I wish we all could stay living near each other (and she is just living in a neighbouring country – not like she is living on the other side of the world LOL) and share stories and do what we’re currently doing. I know it’s unrealistic and I know it’s time for us to take a different route.

So here we are …

I asked her what it would be like in the next 5-10 years? Would our friendship still be the same? Would our current close friends in 2017 still be around in 2027? What our life would be by then? And she said, well it takes two hands to clap. If the other one is not making an effort to clap the other hand, then you are not able to make a clap. It’s the same as having a high-five.

You are there offering your hand to your friend to make a high-five but if you’re ignored then your hand will not be welcomed and your effort will be wasted down the drain. It’s the same as friendship. Good friends will stay no matter what. I can prove that. Another college friend went to the same uni but in a different country and up till now, we’re still friends and still share things. True it’s not as intense as before but both of us make the effort to keep the friendship and so we are still here.

No matter where life takes us if you are still making the effort to stay in touch with your mates, family members, and (ex) colleagues and the other party is also making the effort then clap together. Get that high-five! Pat each other on the back and say “hey friend, well done”.

*This post is dedicated to a good friend of mine. Thank you for the friendship. Lessons learned. Keep on improving. Keep on striving. Keep on smiling and enjoying the life like the way we are currently doing now. Goodbye is always hard and so here you go: Goodbye. Stay in touch and take care! 🙂

 

Do You Remember Me?

I went back home to visit my family when on one of the evenings I went to the nearest cafe and on the way home I met this childhood friend of mine. Our house is actually just 5 houses apart. We went to the same primary school and we were good friends until we completed our sixth grades. Starting from the year seven onwards until we finished our high school, we went to different school.

We also have different beliefs but it is not a barrier for us to be friends because diversity is great! Our parents also know each other as we’re neighbours. Once a year, we take turns to send a gift to respect each other especially during Hari Raya (the events celebrated by religious people such as Christmas, Eid Mubarak, Vesak, etc).

We grew apart because we never meet each other and because we did not attend the same school anymore, so we stop exchanging gifts. When I saw him, I was surprised at how he looks like. He looks the same as he did 10-15 years ago – it’s just his hair is now longer. I was wondering if he remembered me. True we were good friends but that happened when we were so young.

While I’m currently considered as someone from Generation Y, the situation is completely different from people from Generation X. Take my parents as an example, they are still close with their childhood friends though they are not living in the same area as they did when they were kids. They still hang out together just to have some meals together and catch up. Even the cohesiveness of the group is still very tight! Hundreds or even thousands notification appear from the group chat every day, I repeat, EVERY FREAKING DAY is just normal to happen.

To me now even it’s hard to talk to my childhood friends. We still share the same bond because we grew up together, but things changes as always. We are not living in the same neighbourhood, not attending the same uni, not working in the same corporation, and some of us are not even living in the same country. It’s just funny how things work (maybe) better back then during my parents time.

 

Sometimes I’m wondering what will happen to our friendship?

Would we be able to talk to one another and share what is happening in our life like today?

Or are we going to grow apart and will not work on our friendship?

 

It takes two hands to clap. If the one hand is not welcoming the other hand, then you’ll be hanging until the other one is ready. Well, it’s not really worth your effort if even after so many times trying your hand is not welcomed by the other one.

We may not remember what happened in 2017, but sure we will remember some of the good times!

How Hard Is It For You To Understand?

Been working as an academic is great. I am able to meet a lot of new people, have more opportunities to explore and to learn about human behavior and also to keep up with the current trend.

However, sometimes I still don’t get what’s on their head. How people actually function. Do they use their logic more or feelings more? Do they also put their ego over other people? Why are you so selfish?

It’s not me trying to complain but here I am to understand and to tell what I do think about it. As an academic, sometimes I do get an email from a student who needs clarification of a material which is normal and here what I’m for. Also, some others asked me to put them into a group for group assignments and all. They demand the reply straightaway as if they’re texting their mates. In the working life, if you are lucky and if the other person is able to make a reply, you can expect to get your answer within the next 24 hours or the next working days.

businessopeninghours-180x180

What I meant by working days is normal working days which is Monday-Friday up to 5/6pm. Don’t expect us to reply you within the next hour if you emailed us at 8pm on Friday night. Well, academics are human too. We have our own personal life. Yes, we are meant to take care of our students but do you actually realise that we also have other commitments and have other things that we need to look after too? Continue reading “How Hard Is It For You To Understand?”

Walk With Your Mind, Run With Your Heart – Benjamin Kheng

Just a couple of days ago before I went to bed I came across this video. I rarely watch TED Talks in the past few months and to me to really understand the content I gotta spend some time to really listen and must have the willingness to understand.

I can understand jokes or memes quite quickly but to understand and being engaged to serious stuff – especially those in which I don’t even retain the basic of knowledge of it but do have an interest in – will definitely take some time and a good amount of effort to grasp the idea.

So here we go…

I’m into song covers and one day I listened to The Sam Willows from Singapore and they are good and talented. Then not long after that, I searched about who they are actually as well as their current projects and one of the members really caught my attention. He is Benjamin Kheng, ¼ of The Sam Willows. He was featured in some of the videos made by popular YouTubers like Wong Fu Productions and LeendaDProduction and has a soothing voice and a good-looking face too (bonus)!

Then I watched two web series by Tree Potatoes and Ben was the main lead there too. Just because of these reasons, I decided to watch the TedXYouth to know more about Ben, also was curious what sort of experience he was about to share.


Walk With Your Mind; Run With Your Heart – Benjamin Kheng

Long story short, I went to YouTube again and remembered that I haven’t finished watching the video so re-watching it sounds like a good thing.

It really struck me hard especially those towards the end at around minute 19.00 point.

“I still hear the noise, I still fight the demons. But it gets better every day. Bob Marley has a quote: people will always hurt you. You just need to find the ones worth suffering for.”

“What about you? What do you wanna be? What kind of legacy do you wanna leave behind?”

I’m always reminded to leave a great and memorable legacy and here I am being asked such a question makes me think even harder of what am I capable of doing to do good deeds? To leave a great legacy?

Not long after that, he said “Work your butt off and LEARN WHAT YOU NEED TO LEARN! Get up on that stage with your heart and run. Walk with your mind and run with your heart”

Someday in the future when I look back, I know I will be able to find my way to get to my destination. We are the main lead of our own life story and we are also the writer. Make the most outta it.

Another quote from Ben Kheng: make peace with your heart, and you will always be rich.

Standing Still

Most of the time you will be exposed to different kind of things and people with a great variation of personalities. These people have their own thoughts and you cannot always guess and understand what they are thinking. As we move on to a different stage of our lives, we will meet more people and will adapt ourselves to different environments as well.

Some people around you may think that you are doing such a great job and some will look upon you and let yourself be the role model. Do great things and always give your a thousand percent no matter what.

By being exposed to a lot of challenges and these different opinions, you might find some will not agree with you and have a completely different perspective and idea. That’s life. Your proposal may not be the best one, but if you really put your mind and effort into making that come true then I believe it will be a great work because you have given your all.

Not everyone will be pleased with what you have done, even after you’ve been working on it nights and days, even maybe years. Again you will not be able to please everyone in the end. Do value those that respect you and adore your work. It will not hurt to listen to some comments and suggestion from those who don’t really find your work interesting. You can improve through their comments and do even better.

Capturing everyone’s heart would be perfect, but that will not be the situation especially if dealing with a lot of people. Even if you’re with your closest friend, sometimes you gotta let her/him win as well because you value that friendship, isn’t it?

Those who are trying to crush you down and are saying that you suck will not be able to bring you down forever. You might have felt down and lost your confidence but all of that are for what? You will find your true value that you are fighting for. If it is for good deeds then keep it up.

It is true that what does not kill will bring you to the next level of challenges. Consider this as if you’re playing a game. You will need to pass a certain level to be able to do better and acquire new items and become stronger right? Even after your game was over and you want to start again, you already know what you should do to conquer the level. It’s the same as life.

Those challenges you’re facing and even if people mock you, prove them you’re actually doing well and will perform better. Stand still and someday when you’re looking back to the day when you were having a hard time, you will be surprised by how far you’ve walked and you have grown to who you are today – a stronger and better you.

Why you never ask?

A friend of mine visited me and we catch up till super late. It started with her asking me why I did not ask for her help when I needed her?

Since I was young, my parents told me to not bother other people and try to not give burden to others and I gotta be independent. Of course when I’m really struggling then I can ask for help.

One day, I with some friends were planning to have a BBQ party and we wanted to buy all the ingredients. It was a massive BBQ party for approximately 20 people so we were about to buy quite a lot of meat. Unfortunately, neither I nor this other friend is driving therefore, we asked another friend to drive us to the nearest shopping centre. However, the driver was late and our schedule was messed up a bit.

Later on that day, I told what happened earlier to my friend. Let’s just call her Apple.

She then said like this to me…

Continue reading “Why you never ask?”