Debating is something I know I have the ability to do but refrain from doing so anyway due to several reasons. And when I say debating I mean the school debating competition scene or “parliamentary-style” debating.
To me, that sort of debating is not really practical. Granted, it does teach you about what debating is all about and its usefulness in life, but it also gives participants a watered-down version of the actual thing. This is because, as far as I’m concerned, no one would really limit themselves to three points-of-argument only and for a set amount of time. They would rather interrupt you with their thoughts at any given time and, if they have nothing else to do, bombard you with long-winded rants that may or may not be relevant to the original argument.
But, what I’m talking about today isn’t about what school debates teach you to do in life, it is about what school debates teach you not to do in life. More specifically, spewing out statements and arguments that are detrimental to your stance or credibility as a person.
To put it in layman terms: Shooting yourself in the footRead More
Being in a private international college has made me used to hearing English all around me. The teachers speak English, the students speak English, heck even I speak English. Race did not matter as everyone there speaks English.
The only time I would ever hear any language other than English is when they meet up with friends of similar race. The Chinese in particular(very talkative). But that’s not the point. The issue I have is with my fellow Malays. Specifically, the scholars.
I do not know why but they always speak English whenever they talk to me. Now don’t get me wrong; I am okay with people speaking English to me as I stated before. What I do have a problem with is when they insist on using English when I speak in Malay to them.
I don’t know about you but I find that to be rather rude especially considering that they only use Malay when with their fellow scholars. Now, I understand that the scholars treat most non-scholar Malays the same way as they, like the rest of the student community here, have little to no exposure in the local schooling system where English is mostly spoken during English classes only. Most of these scholars come from that local system so it is perfectly understandable for them to do so as they may want to practice their English skills or avoid the awkward situation where the person does not know even the simplest of colloquial Malay.
However, I come from that system as well. I should know: I was in the last batch of students taking PMR before it was replaced by the dreaded PT3. It might a be bit unfair to the scholars at this point as they couldn’t have possibly known how I feel but not speaking your native language for a long time can have that effect on a person.
Even if said person speaks and writes better in English instead.
Everyone in their school years, regardless of how much of a prodigy they are, have that one subject that they have struggled with. Some may conquer that subject and proceed to become the school valedictorian either through talent or sheer effort. Others, well, just remain dazed and confused wondering why they even bothered taking that subject in the first place.
This was the case for me during my IGCSE years. Back when I was in Form 4, I was told that I could take any 9 subjects for the IGCSE exam. This might sound familiar to most of you readers out there as this is the official Cambridge examination system for international students. To me, however, it was completely new to me as I have been in the local schooling system for almost my whole life. The concept of actually being able to pick subjects was alien.
Many people nowadays seem to be in a state of dilemma. I don’t blame them though. This is because the world today provides them with a paradoxical choice:
Be yourself and be free or conform to the current trend to avoid being labelled as “weird“
It is paradoxical in nature as the mantra that is constantly being preached everywhere is “Be Yourself” . Yet, if one acts even the slightest bit different from whatever is the rage these days will, without fail, receive at least few condescending glares. It can be anything like preferring to keep social media usage to a minimum as opposed to having eyes glued to smartphone screens constantly updating statuses. Actually doing work in a class group project instead of indulging in the latest fashion trends. These are just some of the things that might get you a few whispers here and there. Proclaiming that you have never seen a single episode of Game Of Thrones, Sherlock, etc is a surefire way of getting yourself into an intense rant on how you don’t have life just because you never found the time to watch their favorite show.
Now, don’t get me wrong. This isn’t me trying to justify ‘hipster’ lifestyles as I think that ‘hipsters’ are walking contradictions to their stance. While ‘hipsters’ go against the current trend to be ‘original’ or make a statement, if there is a large enough following then they become the very trend they resist.
Instead, what I have here are simply things that regular Joes, like you and me, choose to do. Why? It is because they can. Some people might not find such shows up to their taste or prefer a less social media-oriented life. They are doing it because it is part of who they are. After all, aren’t we supposed to be ourselves?
I personally believe that we should live life as it is. If life gives us something good, make the most out of it. Life decided to make you miserable instead? Rise up to the challenge and emerge stronger and better than before. That’s just how life rolls.
A fellow blogger pointed out how life could be so much better if we simply ignored what others might think and give ourselves room to be more carefree. Enjoy the simple pleasantries around us that we take for granted. Honestly, I couldn’t agree more.
In this day and age, the majority of people around the world possess the beautiful and practical ability to read and write. To be unable to accomplish this simple task would put one at a serious disadvantage especially with the advent of social media.
However, it is entirely possible for a person to be literate yet completely illiterate at the same time. As technology advances at a rapid pace some are lagging behind, barely able to keep up. I am one of them.
The numbers, Mason. What do they mean?
Now, before jumping to conclusions, I can assure you that I can use my computer just fine and I am still the family’s go-to guy for tech support. The type of illiteracy that I have to deal with is digital literacy. Specifically, coding. To be fair, it’s not like I have not tried. I went to attend some coding workshops at school with my classmates about a year ago and it was genuinely fun. We did a bit of Python and Java and then proceeded to mess around with the given virtual programmable cars we were given. It was just pure childish wonder tinkering with lines of code and watching my car blitz through the maze whilst spinning at speeds that would bring tornadoes to shame. Of course we were taught the basics of HTML as well along with the importance of learning code.
Incoming realization in 3…2..1.
However, it is shamefully evident that none of that knowledge ever stuck with me as I found myself scratching my head trying to figure out ways to customize my text widget for Day 7 of the Blogging 101 course today. I ended up referring to the link in the email that the fine people of WordPress provided me in order to personalize it.
It amazes me how I am able to craft prose with a lexicon of words yet constructing a simple functioning script is beyond my grasp. How I can master two out of three different alphabet systems in the Japanese language in a short amount of time yet HTML escapes me. Heck, I could probably write a sonnet in the time it took me to finally edit my text widget.
Well, at the end of the day all is good in the world. I have done what is needed and written what I wanted. As for my coding issues, who knows? Maybe someone out there would create a programming language simple enough for us simpletons to comprehend. No, not you.
When I went about my daily routine of early morning e-mail checking today, I was greeted with an assignment by the lovely people of WordPress. It was supposedly a simple one:
Follow 5 new tags and 5 new blogs
It sounded easy. It seemed easy. It was easy.
Until I realised later in the evening how it was easier said than done. I don’t know about you but I am rather picky when it comes to choosing certain things. The required items being in that category of certain things.
Tags were the easiest of the two. All I had to do was type out the first five things that popped into my head into the Reader.
Blogs, however, were a whole new level of difficult. Sure there were heaps upon heaps of freshly published blogs right in front of my face, begging to be read. It was almost like looking into a room full of sad adorable kittens. Almost. In an ideal world I would have loved to spend countless hours lurking in the densely populated jungle that is the Reader. Unfortunately, reality quickly sank in when my phone shook uncontrollably for a brief moment on my desk; I had a test due tomorrow and I needed to arrange an interview for the school yearbook. All energy I had reserved for this assignment was reallocated to completing the more major tasks at hand.
Which brings us here: The reason I’m making this post.
So far, there are three blogs that I am currently following. Remove the Commons for both Blogging 101 and Writing 101 then that list is down to one blog. And that blog is factsandcommentary by the wonderful Zahra.
I do not know if I am able to complete this task as the wide array of choices is overwhelming. Should you happen to know some lovely, interesting blogs that you so excitingly wish to let the world acknowledge their existence, I will gladly be your first listener.
Before I begin let me make myself clear: Yes, I messed up and I posted this a day late. Happy?
With that out of the way, I shall share with you the story of the origins of my title and tagline…..
The assignment today required me to come up with a title for my blog along with a tagline to compliment it. It seemed a bit too trivial to me so I decided against it. Until the e-mail brought up an interesting argument:
You don’t have to let your title share the same name as your crummy URL. Let it reflect you.
Of course, these were not the exact words but it might as well have said that. Anyways, I found myself in favour of this notion as indicated by my silent slow nodding in front of my phone. While my mind was oozing with creative names and phrases for my title, most of them would make me look immature or come off as trying too hard. Therefore, I headed off to the Reader for inspiration. Needless to say, inspiration was everywhere. Then, after a brief visit, I had finally pieced together the perfect title (for me, anyway).
I was thinking about how I could relate my love for writing together with my penchant for giving thoughts about the things in life and so I thought to myself, “A novel is simply a reflection of the author’s life constructed by sentences.” Thus, Life Sentenceswas born.