Exam Eve, 2015

November 1, 2015

A certain amount of trepidation is to be expected on the eve of battle; nevertheless, the seasoned warrior well-schooled in the ways of war always lies in anticipation.

Have never felt more ready for any batch than this one; let the war begin:)


14 years on

September 11, 2015


Evil exists in the world, but how much more good. We will never forget.

Got a new toy

March 19, 2015

Finally bought a new laptop from the IT Show that started today. A no-frills Asus for work purposes basically:


My current Acer should be given a rest after being a workhorse all this while.

Can’t wait to set it up after I’m done with the essays.

My second A-level GP experience

November 3, 2014

Paper 1 was ok. Many of the questions could be seriously considered as options, so it was a matter of making the most strategic choice. I chose the film question because the question demands were most reasonable and I had lots of examples to offer as illustrative evidence. Ironically there was a question about arms expenditure which I did think for a fraction of a second of doing, but seriously the film question was too good to pass up. I think I knocked it out of the park. Hopefully.

As expected, Paper 2 was a real rush for time. It’s not that the topic or the questions were hard or anything, but if you really want quality answers, students need time to think, to plan, to structure. All this rushing for time is going to produce poor, unconsidered answers. And there’re too many Type 1 questions for the paper’s own good. This year the obsession was on parallels, contrasts, and inter-paragraph links. Probably to fit the larger thematic argument that the ICT and Gutenberg revolutions are comparative. Are they getting rid of literary devices, or is it that each year there’s going to be a theme? Oh boy.

Relaunching Saturday lunches

August 16, 2014

So the first of hopefully many more lunch gatherings took place today. Healthy turnout of nine, good food, enjoyable conversations all round that make grad student life meaningful beyond the classroom, as we get to know one another better. Topped off by coffee and ice cream sandwiches at a nearby cafe, and then I did some research work for my MarSec paper at the library.

Overall, I think it was a good day well spent:)

Trimester Three’s happy ending

June 13, 2014

Happily relieved. All As and I actually bettered my CGPA. Very pleasantly surprised at my 6019 grade; am chuffed my exam prep paid off. A greater portent for the new tri I could not ask for.

Trimester Three is over!

May 29, 2014

It’s been an exhausting tri. Maybe it’s my first time taking three modules (and audited one more throughout). Maybe it’s the obligatory midpoint blues that everyone feels in any journey of some length (even though for me it’s more accurately three quarters of the way). I’m just relieved it’s over. Now some much needed R&R before the new tri opens in August.

I should really leave this to its own dedicated post, but I’m going to do it here anyways in case I never get around to it and it’s still fresh now. This trimester has been all Terrorism Studies, which is basically the reason I signed up for the MSc programme. I should be over the moon, but I’m not really wide-eyed excited, which I had said before could have been because not all the stuff was terribly new. 6034 was amazing, although the contemporary stuff left me a little lost. Still I can’t deny it challenged me and really made me work. 6028 was fascinating for its comprehensiveness, and though I had a good grounding in the basics, it still required me to work for my exams.

I think I worked the hardest this trimester to get my exams right. I hope my grades pass muster. I must admit my assignments were less than stellar but I take responsibility for not having been able to pull myself out of the dumps to do an excellent job.

One thing that really struck me doing all the readings and doing the research and taking part in the discussions is how we seem to be learning about the history of Terrorism Studies rather than engaging IN terrorism studies. Anything early post 9/11 was already very familiar to me (which may have contributed a little to my flagging interest because I had already read or heard it all before), but the reading lists seem very light on work done post 2009 that I feel is really key because the threat has morphed and mid 2000s paradigms may no longer be directly relevant anymore. Maybe I should have worked harder to look for new stuff. I don’t know. But one thing I’m certainly grateful for is being introduced to actual terrorism scholarship. It’s a certainly bigger field than the journalistic offerings I used only to have access to on the shelves of Kino. At least now I know who to look out for and how to sort the wheat from the chaff when I’m there.

I’m also sad to see all my classmates graduating when I still have one more tri to go. But I’m happy for them, and I hope we keep in touch regularly on Facebook. One of the things which I really learned a lot taking this programme was navigating cultural diversities and enlarging my cultural quotient. This is not something you can learn from doing your readings or from taking exams, but from regular interactions in and outside the classroom. I hope I can attend their convocation in July as a fitting way to close this chapter.

There were plans to take off for Bangkok for a few days, but what with martial law and changed schedules, it’s probably not going to happen. I might do a solo if the sit gets better, right before the new tri starts. Or I might as well just go ahead and plan my Sydney trip for year end. 

For now, two pressing things await. Need to set up the meet for the Comms Cube, and do the enquiry on the D affair. Let’s see what progress can be made before June ends.

A minus is a plus

March 11, 2014

Contented. At least I improved my CGPA slightly. I feel I’m on the right path, regardless of whether I choose to write that dissertation or not.

Dissertation or desertion?

March 9, 2014

So I’m eligible to write one. And my proposal and assorted administration forms have to be submitted by this Friday. I have just emailed a faculty member as a possible supervisor for assistance and I hope he gets back to me ASAP.

I’m a bit annoyed by this development, to be honest. I’m chuffed to have made the cut to write one, and I should try my best to make the most of the opportunity, but the tight deadlines give me more stress I don’t need. I’m just going to give this a shot and if it comes to nought then so be it.  I’ll just enjoy coursework like I’d always planned.

And it was really good to receive my first A+ for my international law assignment. At least hard work does pay off.

Course shopping as Trimester Three begins

March 4, 2014

So Trimester Three just started yesterday, and I’m already thinking of reading three mods and auditing maybe two. That’s a shitload of work and reading and I hope I can sustain the effort. I hope coming to school four times a week incentivises me to make full use of the facilities and my time as a student.

The results were released yesterday;  pleased that PL and R filled me in on how they did; I was honestly not expecting any news from anyone. I believe we did great but am not crazy to find out the details, not when I’ve a heavy trimester to grapple with.

It nevertheless is disconcerting to see people posting screenshots of Thank yous on FB like it’s some kind of competition. Haven’t you heard of privacy, people. I guess that’s why I’m not really active on FB anymore,  not when it comes to the really important things.

Gotta stop here and sit in for War in the Global Village and see if I want to audit that as well.