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Yang Safia On Monday, October 31, 2011

Exams are over. It's time to head home.

Yang Safia On Wednesday, October 19, 2011
So today I decided to go to library REAL early (Is 10AM early? No? Maybe just me...) to meet up my friend, Josh for like a study discussion thing. My exams are in a week and I can safely say that I'm starting to freak out. Jie Ning said something funny like, "Uh oh. You know Yang's panicking when she's all quiet" during our study group today. But that's besides the point. And so Josh and I were discussing all the novels for our upcoming American Contemporary paper which is on the 29th. And THEN he said something which caused me to think quite a lot throughout the whole day. It frustrates me. It worries me.

"Did you know that Rochelle (our lecturer) said that she expects us to not use the lecture notes and just be creative with our answers? She wants to leave it up to interpretation."

And you might be thinking. "So? Just do it lah."

Again, that's not the point. What Rochelle expects from us is making me question my efforts in studying lately. Have I done enough? I know I've done a lot of work but what's the point of work when the product is not up to expectation? My constant explanation to my peers who are not an English major is that it's subjective. What I'm doing is different from what you're doing. 1+1 doesn't equal to 2 for me. Deep down I wish though. I wish it's as simple as 1+1 but it's not. In terms of my studies, I just don't know where I'm going. I'll be honest, I'm not going to settle with just a B or a B+. I know people back home won't accept it and what's more important is that I can't accept it.

I sometimes envy my friends and sisters who are doing Science/Law/Commerce. I'm not saying they've got it good but they know what the end product is going to be like. It's like "If I don't study this, I won't score this exam" mentality that I miss. I've studied so much and tried to immerse myself with all sorts of different disciplines but for me, it all boils down to what I think.

I don't know what I think.

Today I look at the books scattered across my table and thought, "What's the point of criticizing these books? The authors wrote them, they try to imply something but at the same time readers can interpret it in a different way so yeah, there's what? Why do you need to argue? Why make it so complicated? It's a good piece of work because it makes you think but why do you need to make it such a big deal? You have no life is it to bend over a book?" I admit these are just frustrated thoughts. I have bigger respect for literature than this.

In a typical Yang Safia manner; after having all of these thoughts running through my head, I started to rationalize. One thing I learned from studying literature is that a) now I know why authors these days make things overly dramatic to the point it is almost cliche. It'z because they want their books to sell and also to make their story memorable even if it's cliche. This is because I have actually read books in my course which tells about nothing. Nothing exciting happens. And I find it so difficult to remember what actually happens in the book because...nothing happens. b) No matter how much I bitch about literature, it does have some good points even if it doesn't produce money in the near future nor it cures cancer (actually it can. Can you think how? ;P) Literature helps you look at things from different perspectives. I guess that's why I'm good at putting things into perspective sometimes. But obviously this has to have a limit because what I'm dealing with my course right now is crazy! I'm just so sick of people arguing ALL THE TIME. I mean, make up your mind damnit!

What makes me feel frustrated with myself is that I feel that the effort I put into my work is spread out into different things which causes it not to have a focus. I look at my friends and sisters and they're trying very hard to get to their point B. And the effort and energy they put in are channelled towards one direction. If you compare that to my situation right now, I AM doing work but where is it heading? I know I want to get an A but how do I know I'm moving towards the right direction?

Mind you, this is not exam stress. I'm just frustrated. I feel like there's no definite answers to everything anymore.

This frustration is really messing up with my confidence right now. The worst feeling I know I could have is intimidation. I just hate that feeling. And for some odd reason right now, I'm losing my confidence for myself. I don't feel like I'm good enough for anything.

Again, what is the point?

I just hope I can have things figured out soon.


Yang Safia On Monday, October 17, 2011
This is not the main poster but I just love Rocky so much!! He's too adorable!!

When Boy first came out last year, I didn't give it much thought because my friends described it as "THE KIWI MOVIE". I mean, how could I relate to a Kiwi movie?

Today I had to sit for my Theatre paper and I had to watch this movie again and again, to sort of do a close analysis on it. The usual. Anyway, Boy is such an endearing movie and I assure you it will touch your heart. I'm a fan of Taika Waititi now. He is like the Yasmin Ahmad for New Zealand. He's able to make something so culturally New Zealand but is able to attract a non-Kiwi viewer at the same time. Besides, he writes, directs and acts in the movie!

This video is one of my favourite scenes in the movie. I'm pretty for most people who has seen it, it is theirs too. Psst! Waititi is the guy who's wearing the MJ costume.

How can I not love this dance number? It has Haka and Michael Jackson in it!

I suggest you go check this movie out!

Yang Safia On Monday, October 10, 2011
I know I'm about 3 years late of watching this movie but I'm glad I finally watched it. I was feeling really swamped with assignments so I sort of decided to chill and watch Yasmin Ahmad films the whole day. God knows how many times I've watched her movies but for some odd reason, I never wanted to watch Muallaf. I admit, when it first came out I was a bit...scared.

Also for the fact that Malaysia banned this film so it wasn't exactly accessible.

Muallaf is a beautiful movie. I don't understand why Malaysia banned it in the first place. Faith is a beautiful thing and I believe this is Yasmin's main message. Despite what religion you believe in, to acquire faith is a blessing. I can see why Muallaf can be seen as controversial but honestly, I don't see the point of people getting worked up over it. (Malaysian critics, you sure your judgements are not clouded from political influences ah?)

Yes, the film shows Islam and Christianity co-exists and things work out. What's so bad about it when it is the truth? I believe as long as each religion respects each other, things will be fine. Did not Islam teach you to respect other religions too?

One reason why I love Muallaf is that it shows the two sides of both religions. The good and bad "Muslims" and "Christians". I love the scene where the Muslim Datuk and Datin (who drink alcohol openly) demanded to have dogs away from them because they are haram. Ironic because alcohol is haram in Islam too. It is little details like this that I have respect for Yasmin because her social criticism is subtle and is done tastefully. It is not too provocative and instead of offending anyone, her works make you think.

Muallaf is not too idealistic in my opinion. This is for you sceptics out there. Co-existence can be done and I believe Malaysia has hope. We have been co-existing for so many years and the difference of our race and religion have never been a barrier. It is when we have perversion in racial and religion practices (+ politics), that's when the problem starts.

Yasmin delivers another message which I absolutely love. Help can come in the most unlikeliest places. There's the scene where the girls who ran away from home due to their abusive father, it is their principal and teacher (who are Christians btw) who helped them. Another scene is where a GRO helped to conceal the heroine's whereabouts and risked her life for this information. Muallaf shows that it does not matter who helped you because when we have love, faith and respect, your background does not matter.

Honestly there's so many things you can get from Muallaf. I believe this is Yasmin's best work. She manages to tackle such a sensitive topic (in Malaysia) and creates a beautiful story that's laden with messages of hope. For the Muslims, Yasmin encourages for us to learn more about Islam in the movie. This is what Muslims in Malaysia need. Nothing good comes out of believing what others say about your own religion.

Muallaf makes me want to be a better Muslim. Honestly. :)

Brian looking curiously as the girls pray at a mosque. Beautiful scene.

Sisterly love

If you haven't watched this movie, GO! Btw, I'm sorry if my writing is really shitty. I'm so juiced out. Just handed in my last essay of the year today so it's time to focus on finals. LEGGO!!

PS: 3 more weeks till HOME!! Malaysia~!!!!
Yang Safia On Sunday, October 9, 2011
Otago Uni has its new OMSA 2012 committee and what else to do but for us 2011 folks to CELEBRATE(!) and properly put an end to our responsibilities :( . Our private FB group had been buzzing for weeks, some of us kept asking when will we have our committee dinner. Proper goodbyes aside, we do deserve a treat after all the hard work we've done!

Location: The Reef
Time: 7pm

Pictures courtesy of Liling Cheah

First group shot

We had TONS of food it's not even funny. Let's just say it was a complete 3 course meal. The food you're about to see is like quarter of the food we ate that night!

Smoked Salmon Salad

Alia with Garlic Prawns

Chua with the Crayfish

Seafood Platter

We sat there till the restaurant is about to close. Good people, good food and good laughs. What more could you ask?

Thus concludes this period of my life. My time with OMSA is truly memorable. I learned the true meaning of teamwork and what it means to have shared goals with other people. My life here in Dunedin has been truly amazing and it is all thanks to OMSA. God bless. :)
Yang Safia On Monday, October 3, 2011
Just a short post showing you how weekends in Dunedin are like during the Rugby World Cup. I've never seen Dunedin so happening like this before!

This is a video when England played against Romania (?) two weeks ago. This was also the weekend when Zara Phillips came down to Dunedin to watch her husband play. And yes, the whole cheating scandal in Queenstown was the rage here.

This is during Ireland VS Italy yesterday. This game takes the cake because it was CRAZZZZY in Dunedin. But it was fun nevertheless! I took this video when I was on my way home from dinner. The environment was just electric.