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Jan 11, 2017

New Term New Year New Resolution



Time flies so fast ! I felt like it was just yesterday when I finished my last paper for IB exam and here I am in London - going for a new term!

I guess this year will means a lot to me. So many new year resolutions to achieve, yet so little time I have( or I'm just good at procrastinating?).

One of the biggest thing that I will try to achieve this year is to perform Umrah during this year's winter break. There is such a silent calling asking me to perform umrah, and seeing some of the Malaysian students performing umrah last winter break makes the feeling to go to Mecca & Medina grows stronger.

Dear, I honestly don't know why would such whisper has been coming from the inner me from quite some time. I used to think I am not prepared for that. I thought I was full of sin and I would definitely go when my sin is lesser(quite weird, I know). Maybe I need to pray Solat Taubah everyday and make Allah provides a path for me to go since it is definitely hard to perform umrah for a woman without being accompanied by any of male family members.

Ah, I shall go there someday. I know I would. InsyaAllah.

Oh, and I am bouncing back to my studies after feeling tad demotivated due to low marks I've received for my formative essays. The struggle is real -  I don't have much support for my undergraduate studies, unlike those good old days when I did my IB where everyone cares for each other and wanted to fly abroad together. True, to have such a good support system would makes a lot of difference to your studies and definitely helpful to ace your studies. So, the new year resolution for my studies is merely to get a first for my first year, although it is nearly impossible for me to do so.

On a side note, I will ensure myself to update this blog frequently - at least once in a month. I know no one is reading my blog these days, and I too, have been spilling my thoughts more on facebook and instagram rather than this blog. This blog has been faithful to me for more than 10 years and I will not going to bid it farewell that easy.

I need to study, bye.


Dec 21, 2016

London : A City That Never Sleeps



I will never get bored of London. From watching theatres, studying in the British Library, highly caffeinated studying at King's Cross Starbucks, university hopping from Queen Mary - UCL - King's - LSE - Imperial to attend public lectures given by prominent speakers especially in legal field. I, definitely, never regret my decision on coming to London for three years( or more, for I am intending to study Bar and master's in human rights). That does not include my state of awe upon seeing plaques of Plato and Aristotle embedded in the Octagon building, which I realised only when taking exams for mid-sessional. And later at night, at some weeks, I attended Philosophy discussion at Bethnal Green with strangers, often led to a mind-blowing discussion and a room for myself to express my thoughts on Philosophy, a study that I fell in love although I did not manage to study further for my degree.

People may not know, and I did not even intend to tell everyone that I took Medieval History classes while studying Law. Crazy is it? But life is short, you gotta pursue what you like. I squeezed myself in between 9 am class for Contract Law and 11 am class for Public Law to attend Medieval History class at 10 am. I never knew how I did that, I just so happened to wake up in the morning finding that I need to study History and later, I met a lecturer who allowed me to attend his classes without any exams or assignments. Without any, trust me.


Sum up for first term? Interesting, tough, and yet has been very intellectually stimulating. 


"Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."
- Samuel Johnson



Dec 10, 2016

Belgium



Brussels.
Wet, soaked in rain, and overwhelming love for Faisal Tehrani : Perempuan Nan Bercinta.


Dec 2, 2016

Personal Reflection on UKEC-EM Strategic Meeting

[Revisiting Thoughts on Strategic Meeting EM-UKEC]



Last week was a two day full of meetings for me. For less than a week from being appointed as an executive in the UKECatalyst, a new job just came - that is to prepare for a strategic meeting between 22 organisations of Malaysian students in the UK-Eire. From shaking hands to listening their thoughts, all are worthwhile. The spirits were overwhelming, all attendees were pumped up and ready for this one whole day meeting.

As I was appointed to be a note taker during breakout session is Students Activism & Intellectual Discourses, I choose to write it here of my personal reflection after jotting down student leaders' disappointment and probably to revamp intellectual discourses that has been flourishing among Malaysian students in the UK.

1.Misunderstanding that politicians are scholars, where politicians are merely a tool.
This argument was proposed by a lad from Independent School of Thinkers, that argue for some organisations inviting Malaysian politicians to come to London as part of their intellectual discourses. This is true, intellectual discourses cannot narrowed down to merely politics.It is too superficial and undeniably of less benefit to students' themselves.This leads to the idea of 'pseudo-intellectualism', where we shall discuss later.

2. "I am from a partisan organisation, but my event is of no political agenda."
It is ad hominem, really, that people often misunderstood events handled by Kelab UMNO London is to attract people to join them and that's not the case. Students must understand that although they are sponsored by political organisation in Malaysia, that does not mean it has underlying agenda meant to spread the political doctrine among Malaysian students in the UK.

3.Ineffective Intellectual Discourses
Suah Jing Lian, from LSE, proposed that inviting scholarly intellectuals should immense discussions and academically rigorous with research done by postgrads prior to the event. A better quality and higher output will be produced.But what about a layman attending an event to simply learn Economics? What about those who are not interested at all? How to reach them? As Faizul(UKEC) proposed, the idea is to identify the audiences targeted in the event. Some suggests more to restructuring the intellectual discourse, some suggests to increase the bar and metric, but in the end if it meets the objectives and target audience, that will be sufficient.

4. Students seeking for justice
"Advocation of justice, equality, human rights and everything in between does not necessarily mean you are a politician"(Dr. Borhan). As true as it is, students questioned the retaliation over students and citizens for speaking of justice and truth. As this is proposed by KPUM(Kumpulan Pelajar Undang-Undang Malaysia/ Students Association of Malaysian Law Students in UK-Eire), probably I could relate with Steven Thiru, the chairman for Malaysian Bar Council and his speech when he was at UCL. The intervention made by some elitist in Malaysia have made the movement to be more subtle, in the sense that students are constraint to adhering only to what is being told by their sponsors, and further restraining political activism and political maturity that should be nurtured among students.

5. Pseudo-Intellectualism
Do not fall trap in the pseudo-intellectualism.Inviting politicians simply not an intellectual discourse. Understanding the idea of intellectual and intellectualism should enlighten students' objectives prior to planning for an event. Students have various opinions on using partisan, non-partisan, or bi-partisan platform to address on making changes to Malaysia, but in the end the common interest is to have a better Malaysia despite different path that we choose.

6. "We are here with business attires, why are we too elitist when we say we are student leaders?"
Dear, defining formal and business attire is one thing. Undeniably true, i have seen Indonesians proud wearing their Baju Batik when attending formal functions, and yet, we Malaysians( and I myself) hardly would wear baju kurung/baju melayu. Are we less or even uncultured, at all? I remember I went to Malaysian Hall canteen and a stranger reminded me to not lose the Malay values. I questioned myself, what are the Malay values? Decency, politeness, modesty, respect for elders, speaking with good words and using proper language with underlying meaning if you want say something without hurting other people's feelings are part of being a Malay. It is superficial, really, to say that we are elitist just because we came to a formal function with business attire when we all share the same nationalities and the cultural values as Malaysians.

In the end, Malaysian students abroad share the same interest, same love and same passion to create a better movement for Malaysia. it was thought provoking day, I was tired, but the satisfaction was beyond imagination. Students in Malaysia should know that students abroad do care about our country, that we are not just here for travelling and spending money to go shopping. We have various students' movements and activism and we are optimist to building a better nation.

Disclaimer : This is merely the writer's opinion and does not represent UKEC.

Nov 8, 2016

Late Post : My International Baccalaureate Graduation





Its totally a late post - indeed! But I can't help to force myself and hence, a blog update and wondering if I were ever gonna survive tomorrow. To do IB, is by far, the hardest thing in my life and as complicated as taking a driver's licence. It was not easy and full of emotional roller-coaster that even if your parents decided to come and send you some foods - you could cry a flood(that happened to me guys, really).

At the very beginning, I was simply applying scholarships to study abroad. Many of those I did not meet requirement because although I got eleven A's - it was not strong enough to apply to prestigious scholarships. I finally ended up with MARA that brought me to Kolej MARA Banting. It was one quick step - from psychometric test, to interview, and finally I was among the chosen 300 people to study in one of the best IB World School. 

Then, I started googling everything about IB & KMB(Kolej MARA Banting). I started reading seniors' blogs - tips & tricks for passing IB - and eventually realising that passing the cut-off point is the real deal in IB because you're a sponsored student and you need to comply to a certain amount of point required by MARA (in this case : 35 points).

Well, of course I was very optimistic since the very beginning of doing IB. But the results were always stagnant and I kept on worrying if I could ever survived with at least 35 points. The thoughts were so overwhelming that I always had difficulties to sleep back then in KMB. Sometimes, it took me more than 3 hours only to make myself fall asleep. Sometimes, I did not sleep at all simply because I was busy completing Internal Assessments and Extended Essays. Life was tough and that's it, I was trying to give my all.

To my surprise, yes I passed with flying colours and now - am in London! I'm simply becoming a woman who is moreeee career-typed and now alhamdulillah I've been accepted for two City firms to become a Pro Bono Assistant. I kinda like the vibes in London somehow, and that makes me simply feel grateful that Allah has allowed me to go through all this and the IB itself - was worth the horrendous journey!

If there's any of juniors reading this  : 

Dearest all,
Of course IB is tough, because it is meant for people who worth to give it a try. That it also means that its gonna make you grow stronger, and makes you unleash all the talents you and so does makes you become a different person as you graduate as an IB Survivor.

I remember I barely know nothing about writing academic research, what's more doing the footnotes, citation et cetera, and now its on your fingertips! Those skills that you've been trying so hard to acquire, will be the skills that you already have in your hearts as you pursue you degree - a one step further than A level students.

People say that we are crazy - for we divide our time between 6 subjects, 180 hours of co-curricular activities and learning sort-of-philosophical thing about Theory of Knowledge for 2 years. But yes, crazy people will eventually be among of those who is better than anyone else. So, what's the harm of enduring 2 years that will shape who you are in the future?

I'm also gonna tell you that IB can take you, spiritually, to a whole new level. You will start reminding yourself that no matter how hard you try, it is God's decision that will determine everything. So do good to others, be kind and not to be selfish. We might have encountered such people who is selfish for their own time, but, sometimes we forget that we might be one of those who are so selfish of doing kind 'cause we are too busy typing drafts and drafts of IA's and EE's.

If I were given a second chance to do IB, I'd tell myself to count every blessings and every people that you meet. They are gems and beautiful-hearted people that you'll find it hard to encounter in your university life.

Basically that's it.Haha.All such random words & nanny's advice from me.


Love,
Balqis