Friday, June 27, 2008

My Results...

I am sure most of you don't really care about this. I just can't see how this could possibly be interesting to anyone who does not know me personally. But I am proud of it and want to share it with you all. Today the Uni published the results but NOT the individual marks for each module. In other words, they just tell you whether you passed or failed each module, the actual marks for each module on the other hand, will be released in July.

My end of year results:

That's it. I am graduating in a couple of weeks. I am a law graduate... God, that sounds... wrong. It seems like only yesterday when I landed here in Cardiff and met Blue_Chi, who truly has been like a mentor to me (that makes him sound so much older than he actually is, he is in fact only 2 years older than me). Honestly, one of the most important things that I feel I was blessed and privileged to have been able to experience here in Cardiff University, was getting to know people like Blue Chi, who, impressively, has been able to put up with my peculiarities & quirks for a whole year (which is no easy feat!) and has taught me a lot about life in general, even though he might not know it. Thanks so much dude!

... I am, for the first time in many dark dark months, actually happy. I want to thank all of you bloggers out there (you know who you are) for making my year a more bearable one. I am not going to go all sentimental now and say something about how much I care about you all or how special you all are. No, you are not special people. You are special virtual entities & persona's that are absolutely great and entertaining. If you all (well, most of you) are like your alter virtual persona in real life, I think we all could look forward to a better future for us & our children.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I am working on a new video project...

Here is what you can expect from my new video project:

  • My picture
  • My friend's picture
  • My voice narrating what's going on (Plus weird accent).
  • Humour?
I've been working on it for some time now, it just took time to find a suitable video editing program ( do not use Windows Movie Maker!) and I also got a life... which takes some time away from my project too.

You can expect it published soon in this blog.


P.S. The digital version of the University Newspaper edition that has my short story published has just been put on their website. If you want to check it out, Click HERE (it's a 21.3MB PDF file). My short story is on page 34 of the PDF. In the real life version, it's in the back page of the seperate supplemant that is attached to the main newspaper.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tagged... again

Alright, lets just get right into it. Here are the rules of the tag:

1. Link the person(s) who tagged you (Grey)
2. Mention these rules on your blog.
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

Six Unspectacular quirks of mines are as follows:

1. I hate tags. I really do, I despise them with my very being & soul. I understand that they are good for page ranks etc. I also understand that they can be good fun. However, I don't like them. I feel like they are a new generation of chain mail, except with chain mail they kinda have a purpose (usually selling a stupid rumor or product). I am just too nice not to comply when someone tags me. So that's why I am doing this, Grey's blog is quite entertaining, so this is like my thank you to Grey for keeping it up!

2. I can sleep for a really long time. My friends back home called me King of Sleep. My all time record of sleeping was 17 hours- straight. My cousin slept for 17hrs 30min so I am hoping this summer when I get back home I can break his record and go for an 18 hr straight (there isn't much else you can do in Qatar).

3. I talk to myself sometimes. My brother thinks I am in the brink of becoming insane when he hears me do that... actually my family in general think I am becoming quite erratic... & they are right, I am becoming quite erratic... because of them! I love them and will do everything I can for them, but I think I need to get my own life now. I just need them to stop giving me lectures when really, all they want me to become is a carbon-copy of them... which, I simply am unable to do. I tried. I just got a different mentality. They are just going to have to accept the fact that I am not the brother/son that they want me to be... I am better than that. It will take them some time to appreciate that, as soon as they let go of there incessant lecturing.

4. I've got a temper. I believe I inherited it from my dad. No, I know I inherited it from my dad. It sucks, but I developed this amazing defence mechanism that kicks in whenever I feel like I am getting angry. It's called sarcasm... truly saved my life a number of times.

5. I am too nice. I would go out of my way not to hurt people's feelings, sometimes even on the expense of me sounding weird.

6. Almost everyone who knows me can be split into two groups. People who think I am 'quite slow' or 'not the sharpest tool in the shed' & people who think I am a genius. The former group has had more weight but the balance is slowly shifting now. I am hoping my parents perception of me will shift into the latter group sometime in the near future... I want that for the sake of my perception of them. I don't think I am a genius or anything like that, but I know for a fact I am not slow.



Here are the rules for my new mmk080-created tag game.

(i) List the person who tagged you.
(ii) Promise yourself that you will ignore every tag other than this one from now on. Reading these rules means you hereby accept them as a binding contract that can be enforced against you. In the case of breach of said rule, punishment will be imposed in the form of guilt caused by knowing that you have just made mmk080 cry. And lets face it, no one would like to see that.
Do it for mmk080. Do it for yourself.
(iii) I Tag everyone in the world right now and everyone that will exist in the future.

Monday, June 09, 2008

I got published...

Remember the short story I posted on this blog awhile ago? you know, this one? well I emailed it to the editor of the University newspaper about a month ago and she emailed back the next day telling me that she cant "just publish fiction on the newspaper" but that they do this creative writing supplement twice a year which the book editor is in charge of, adding that she forwarded my email to that book editor. That was the last I heard from the newspaper crew, until last week when the book editor asked me if I would like to provide my name to accompany my story or leave it anonymous. I emailed him back promptly giving him my real name and email. So my story is published in the last issue of the newspaper for this year and my real name is apparently Anonymous... Check it out:

Click on the pic to get a larger version.
(Digital Version - turn to p.34)

Actually I am glad my name wasn't attached to the story... I mean, can you imagine if it was? It would be pandemonium! Girls would go mental for me ... OK, that last sentence was self-deprecating sarcasm so please do not think for a second that I really meant that. Writing a short story that gets published is no match for a guy who can 'binge drink' or whatever the hell stereotypical students do here... Apparently that's what most girls in Uni go for (No they are not... at least, I hope not).

Anyway, this reminds me of an incident that happened in high school. I remember I was in Grade 9 (14-15 yrs old) at the time. There were two groups for English class, low group (i.e. English as a second language) and high group (English as a first language, which also included literature from Shakespeare etc.). I was in the latter group in Grade 9 and during high school I really didn't care about anything so I did the minimum of what I had to do when it comes to homework or any type of school work.
However, this one day I went back home from school and my dad, unusually, gave me this lecture about how important school is bla bla bla which, surprisingly worked! I was motivated and decided to do my English homework (it consisted of writing a short story or essay; can't quite remember about what exactly) as best as I possibly could. So I did a first draft, second draft, and a final draft, which I subsequently handed in to my English teacher, Mrs Wales. I can still remember her name and even, the way she looked; She was from Indian or Pakistani descent but was born and raised in Britain (had this thick British accent and everything).

The day after I handed in my homework, Mrs Wales went around the room, as she normally does, and gave out the corrected homeworks. When she came over to my table, she threw my homework on the desk in front of me and said, "tell whoever wrote this, it was good". I replied with a very deserved, "WHAT?"

"Clearly, you didn't write this" said Mrs Wales as she was continuing to hand in the other students homework
"I wrote this!" I said, in a shocked tone.
"No, I know your abilities and you are not capable of writing this"

So I kept arguing & arguing with her until she got angry, which made her shout really loudly. So I just stayed quiet. Went back home that day, told my parents what happened and they just shrugged it off (so to speak). A few weeks later she moved me to the low group English class. I just didn't give a shit about English after that.

Well, I hope Mrs Wales ends up reading this blog post somehow... if you are in fact reading this, Mrs Wales (who worked in Qatar International School in 1999 or 1998), I have something to tell you... You were wrong about me, you oppressive Bitch!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Double Tagged

Today must be my lucky day. I've been double tagged. And even though I am not really into this whole tagging scene, I feel like I owe the bloggers who tagged me to comply with their tag game as they have provided me with much needed stress relief (through their entertaining blogs) in the days before the exams and I am thus very grateful. Let's start with Suburban as she was the first one who tagged me.

Here are the rules for the new Suburban-made tag game:

  • Go to your refrigerator, and describe the contents in the style of a movie tag line
  • Locate the least popular condiment in and tell us what it is
  • Name the most embarrassing thing in your fridge / freezer and justify it's presence there.
  • Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.
Here are my answers:
  1. The half cut cucumber has endured immeasurable pain but it was nothing compared to what the year old cheese has been put through. Love (Camera zooms in at tomatoes). Romance (Camera moves and aims at the chili). Action (Camera stays at the chili). Betrayal (picture of slender canned olives flashes by). And forgiveness (picture of barbecue sauce that fades out into a black screen slowly).

    Coming to a cinema near you this July. Rated R 18+.

  2. Coca Cola... Apparently drinking this means I support Israel and the Saudi friends which I am hanging out with these days (who really are genuinely good people) literally refuse to drink it and instead demand Pepsi... I will blog about that later though.

  3. It's in my freezer. It's a competition between two items there. Either it is the 4 pieces of Beef Burgers that I bought a year ago which have an expiry date of 17 May (no year printed though... I assume it is 2007 since I bought it before last years exams in May). Or it is this mysterious box that is in the top shelf of the freezer that has been frozen shut, I am not sure but I think it is a box of chicken nuggets that my brother and I bought two years ago when we moved into this apartment (well, used to be a box of nuggets... I have no idea what it turned into now and no way of finding out what either since the ice has formed a barrier that acts like a lock that cannot be opened by no key).

  4. I acknowledged who tagged me above and I tag the first 5 people who comment on this blog post and who haven't been tagged by this game before (I am sorry but I just don't believe I can even think of this many bloggers at this early hour of the wee mornin to link to or name specifically).

Second tag came from my good friend Blue_Chi, and it's rules are as follows:

# Pick up the nearest book.
# Open to page 123.
# Locate the fifth sentence.
# Post the next three sentences on your blog and in so doing...
# Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

The book is called Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Complete Guide. I located the fifth sentence on page 123 and here are the next three sentences that proceeded it:

We did everything together: ate dinner as a family every night, rode our bikes, played tennis, watched TV (the few hours a week we were allowed), went to church and socialised with other families. We had very little time on our own and were not encouraged to join clubs that would take us away from our family activities.
So I had always expected that when I had a family, though it would be much smaller, it would be the same kind of close-knit family life with shared activities.

I tag the first 5 people who comment on this blog post and who have not been tagged. (I suck at this tagging game, I know).

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Exams...

Big Pearl & Grey have asked me about my exams & how they were which, I think, is a great question for me to address this nagging topic that I've been meaning to blog about for quite some time now. The topic is about how fundamentally flawed the law exams in UK universities generally are (NB. I have only experienced exams in Cardiff Law School but I am assuming most credible UK universities have a very similar exam system).

I have blogged about the pressures of exams a while back and some of you might think I was a bit over-dramatic with my mountain climbing analogy (I am so sorry about that by the way, its just that this is what law reduced me to; the use of mountain climbing analogies & feeling like 10 years have been shaved off of my life expectancy, is all I have now) but even though I am naturally a "worrier", the pressure you are faced with from these flawed exams is so immense that... well, lets just say if it wasn't for my family & friend's support, I don't know how I would've dealt with it.

Why are the exams flawed? because doing the law exams here is like gambling; Nay, it IS gambling. I will not go into the details because I don't want to bore you. What I will discuss, however, is the devastating effect it has on some students.

So I've been in Cardiff University for three years now (those exams I just done are hopefully my last exams & I will graduate this July since in the UK it only takes 3 years to graduate). In my freshman year of university doing the first year of the undergraduate law degree there was an incident which I think demonstrates the amount of pressure we get put through in the law degree (unnecessary pressure, if I may add, mostly caused by the inherent gambling quality of the exams). A final year law student from India who had been studying in Cardiff University for two years, committed suicide during the revision period before the exams (here is the University paper article about the incident). Now, I know it's an 'extreme' example of what the pressures of the exams can have on some students but I really think it highlights how impossible the law exams might seem even to a clever person like the aforementioned student from India (who was actually a graduate of Delhi University when he first embarked in his, unfortunately incomplete, law degree here in Cardiff Uni).
I really did not know that student, so I guess when I heard about this (from Blue_Chi in the library) I just thought he did not know how to handle the stress...

Fast forward to this year (ie 2 yrs later), I met this guy who is a Muslim (and thus against suicide in all its forms supposedly) and who is a really friendly dude and very socially active. He was one of those familiar faces you meet in the supermarket & have a little chat with though you don't know him that well but you've met him so many times that you end up thinking of him as a 'friend'...
He jumped off of his 5th floor apartment this January in an attempt to commit suicide. He was studying Law in Cardiff Uni doing a postgraduate course. Apparently he jumped off when he found out he failed one of his modules. Fortunately though, his stupid suicide attempt failed. He is alive & well with no lasting injuries. After being taken to the hospital and operated on, the doctors said it was a miracle he is still alive. I did not hear the doctors say that, my other friend told me, since I did not go visit him in the hospital after his suicide attempt. I am just very awkward in these situations. I can just imagine myself going up to him, while he was on his hospital bed with bandages all around his body, put my hands on his shoulders and say, "Better luck next time, man" or something equally inappropriate. So I just did not visit him. I am also pissed off that he would do such a stupid thing because he failed a module. But then again a part of me can understand the state of mind that a student is in when he is embarking on exams or just dealing with the pressures of this degree, especially if you are alone in a foreign land without your family.

I felt helpless in the revision period and I literally went through all the five stages of grief and relived them every 30 minutes (I kid you not). First there was Denial; "I have no exams". Then Anger; "Screw the exams!". Bargaining; "Can't I have one more day before the exams?". Depression; "I am going to die in the end so what's the point?". Acceptance; "I accept that I will fail in the exams".

But I digress, going back to the main topic, law exams are flawed because they have an inherent gambling quality to them and the pressure is very immense since most core modules are based on a 100% exam with no assessed essays (plenty of compulsory non assessed ones to waste your time though) therefore if you wake up on the "wrong side of the bed" on the day of the exam, all the work you've done all year equates to nothing.

However, I have finished all my exams now and overall I did better than I expected. I hope all the work that I put into my studies will pay off in the end. Looking back at my 3 years in Cardiff Law School I can honestly say it is an excellent university, except for the flawed exam system of course, and I had an amazing time here. I would highly recommend this Uni to anyone interested in studying law in the UK. Just keep in mind how the element of chance is going to play a bigger part in your degree mark than anything else and then you'll be good to go!

P.S. This is just my opinion and I am aware that some law students may not share my sentiments however, I just thought I would share it here with you guys because I have nothing else to do... I think I am going to go play xbox now.