Saturday, 30 March 2013

Goodbye Old Memories

I was always an ignorant person years before, never had I taken something so seriously and felt offended. I was a normal girl, who couldn't care less on how she folded her tudung, who burst out laughing when she found something was hilarious and who was quite a friendly person.

However, I was literally stabbed on the chest on this one fine day. It wasn't a good news and I was so clueless on how should I react to it. And I slowly changed to be more of an introvert rather than an extrovert.

I talked less to the extent where I felt like I had lost my voice when I opened my mouth to speak. The muscles near my mouth were so tight that I couldn't even force my lips to shape a warm smile. I began to excuse myself from others because it just felt so suffocating.

Family was (and still is) the group of people who I could rely on and pour my heart out to, easily. They helped a lot when I was going through that difficult phase of my life. They were always there supporting me and giving me encouragements, and in no ways should I forget them. 

But, you know what? Now that years have passed, I keep on wondering why I was so weak at that time. Why did I feel so down when I perfectly knew that I didn't do anything wrong? I was actually too stupid for being worried and sad, as I was indirectly admitting their wins and my loss. Wow.

I should move on now - no - I MUST move on. I believe that I have to stop these sickly memories from haunting me at days and nights. I should return to the old me and focus on the goals I have yet to achieve ahead of me. And prove to them that they have failed to make my life continuously miserable. To Allah I pray.


Saturday, 23 March 2013

American Degree Program (ADP)

I believe many of us know what A-level is, but not ADP.

They are generally the same, the preparatory programs for students who intend to study abroad.
The reason why we often in need of attending preparatory program before flying off is because our education level is quite low compared to other countries. In their freshman year (first year of university), they are already learning something much more advanced than us. Afraid that we are unable to catch up, pre-U is important for us. 

To give you an idea about differences between ADP and A-level, here's a simple analogy:

A-level is an SPM-like examination, where you learn and need to 'digest' all information and knowledge for two consecutive years (or 1.5 years), and only going to use it on that one big exam you have. In other words, you only have that one chance to nail it. There's no second chance.

Meanwhile, in ADP, you will always have rooms for improvement. Why is that so? Because everything that you do for that subject counts. Your presentations, your weekly quizzes, your tests, your notes, your homework, I iterate, everything counts! Isn't it exciting? You feel like all your efforts are appreciated from the beginning of the semester. If you didn't do well enough for the first test, you don't really have to worry much because the percentage for each test is only 10%. Thus, you can always work hard for the upcoming tests.

There are a few popular colleges which offer ADP: Taylor's Uni Lakeside Campus, INTI College Nilai and INTEC Shah Alam.

Because I'm studying at Taylor's Lakeside, so I'm gonna talk about what ADP is generally and how does it work in this university. If you're going to other colleges, and find out that it's not the same as what I've been explaining here, please don't come back here and blame me. Okay? :)

Let's just write them down in point forms (easier to refer, right?)

1. Different subjects, different classes, different classmates.
You are free to take any subjects that you want. So you might not have the same schedule as your friends. And you're not going to stay at one same classroom for the whole day. This is actually a good thing as you can mingle around more and don't just stick to the same people. Networking, brotherrr.

**Doesn't mean you study engineering, you can't take humanities subjects. In fact, you NEED to take at least one humanities subject.
Examples: Sociology, History, Theater (Ehhh? Humanities ke? haha lebih kurang lah. Tapi boleh ambik.)

2. Grades are as follow:
As obtained from ADP Taylor's Uni.
3. How are marks calculated? Here's the course evaluation for one of the subjects I am currently taking for this semester:

It's almost the same for other subjects too. Usually, final exam is 30%, standard. Let say, for my Calculus 2 subject. The class test each contributes 20% (higher percentage, higher marks). There are pros and cons for test that contributes a higher percentage. If you get high marks for that test, you're on the safe side as you don't have many marks deducted and you only need to do well consistently for the following tests. But, if you  get low marks for this 20% test, you are on the edge of the mountain, you step one feet forward you're gonna fall. So you need to struggle for the other tests to make up for the marks you have lost from this test.

But seriously, I am not trying to sound sombong okay, but it should be easier because every test (except the final exam) is going to test your understanding in three chapters only. That's how it works here. After we finish learning Chapter 1, 2 and 3, you're going to have your Test 1, which is 10%. Then, you continue learning Chapter 4,5 and 6, and then get ready for your Test 2. Just study consistently lah.
P/s: For your information, I didn't get 4-flat for my last semester. So I am not that good pun, tu sebab nak bagi nasihat ni =___="

3. You have so many free times that you can use to enjoy. Like me, my class starts at 12 until 3 everyday.

4. We are using American Syllabus.

5. Credits are transferable in the US later. Which means that if you take, let say, Calculus 1 here in Malaysia,  you can transfer your credits to the university you are going to enroll into. In simpler words, you don't have to retake that subject in US later. 

Drop some comments if you have anything to ask. Hihi. I don't know what else to say here. 

Sunday, 10 March 2013

A piece of advice

She was smiling widely at me, dimples appeared on both sides of her cheeks. She was so beautiful.

"Thank you, Sister", she said.

I nodded my head twice, acknowledging her feeling of gratitude towards me for helping her. "No problem, cutie pie. You gotta learn to be strong. Women ain't weak, honey".

"But, it is proven that men are stronger than women. They punch better," she replied, her eyes landed on my face.

I laughed. Before I cleared her doubts, I took a deep breath. "Yes, honey. Physically, women are weaker than men. Our physical strength is much weaker than them. But, have you forgotten that we have an extraordinary inner strength? But it is something that we need to polish, that we need to learn to control. Inner strength never comes to be perfect on its own. We ought to have a will and desire to develop it. So honey, you must learn from experience. After all, experience is the best teacher, right? Be forgiving, but never forget. Never let the same bad thing happens to you again. Never step into the 'hell' twice, dear."

She paused for a while, looking straight ahead of her. Her forehead folded into lines as she was trying to justify what I just said. I looked away too, to the bushes of colorful roses at the garden. Suddenly I felt her putting her small and tiny hand on mine, our fingers intertwined. "I am so glad that you are here with me, you have thought me many things about life of which I shall follow. Don't worry Sis, I will make sure I grow up remembering your golden advice."

"Sure thing, sweetheart. And remember, don't forget Allah (God)."

MizaFirzana Basir