Monday, May 26, 2014

College Woes

I am getting more and more restless as each day goes by. The thought that I still have to cope with this college choice I've made for one more year just drains all of the energy out of me.

Recently, when I was having a full-day lecture on accounting-related subjects, I thought to myself- " I am not happy in college". Of course, I know that all along but that day I was reminded about it. Once I'd survived my morning class that day, I couldn't or maybe, wouldn't even try to fake a smile. My peers just assumed that I'm super tired that day, which in actual fact, I am.  My peers, though facing the same pressure and workload as I am with our college programme, seem to be enjoying it. I just couldn't.
 Guess I'm the only one who regrets my college choice then?

Even though I'm not loving my college major, I still had a sliver of hope that maybe if I hang in there long enough, I could learn to like it as my parents suggested me to. And if I do, maybe after obtaining my diploma, I would stick around  to obtain a degree in the same major? That's one of the things that has got me preoccupied lately.

The thing is, I don't even know what I want to do in life. Before graduating from high school, I only think that going to college or university is just for personal development, to gain knowledge in whatever field you're interested in. But then, graduation day came and went and people started asking:

"What do you want to do in life?"
"What do you plan to major in?"

And if you said that you want to major in something that your society considers to be useless, like sociology, most would remark:

"What's sociology?" 
or
" What jobs can you get with that degree?"

Even when you mention that you have desire to major in something that your society considers to be more employable such as law, people who think that they know you well remarked:

"Are you sure that you're capable of becoming a lawyer?"
or
"You're so shy! You won't make it as one."
or
"Law is so boring. I thought you're into sociology?"

Wow. Just wow. 
There goes another one of my dilemma.

It seems that most of everyone I know feel that the whole purpose of getting tertiary education is more about getting a "useful" degree and get a good job out of it. 

Is that what I really want out of my tertiary education? Go to college just for the sake of getting a good job?

I'm afraid not. THAT is most definitely NOT what I want. I mean, sure, being able to get a "good job" sounds great, but I do want to grow as a scholar and to deepen my knowledge in fields that I actually care about.

I guess even though I try to go against all the hype and not follow the latest fad just because the society thinks that they're cool so everyone should follow it, I still want to be accepted by my society. What the society thinks about the majors will one way or the other affect my decision, eventually. We'll see about that.






Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Paper Towns by John Green


Image via Goodreads
Title: Paper Towns
Author: John Green
Release Date: September 22nd, 2009
Publisher: Speak            
Source: Bought
Genre: YA, Contemporary

Blurb:

Who is the real Margo?

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew...
 



My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paper Towns is written from the perspective of Quentin Jacobsen, a high school senior. He has always been in love with his next-door neighbour, Margo Roth Spiegelman. They used to be close friends when they were kids but soon grew apart. One night, Margo went to his bedroom window and asked Quentin to join her on a mission. The mission went well. However, Margo goes missing the next day, leaving clues behind for Quentin. Quentin decided to trace all the clues and search for Margo Roth Spiegelman.

Paper Towns reminds me so much of Looking For Alaska (check out my review here). Quentin reminds me of Miles Halter and Margo reminds me of Alaska Young. The characters from the 2 novels, both written by John Green, share similar personalities and both stories have a sense of mystery to it.

Halfway through the story, I started to wonder if Margo will end up with the same fate as Alaska Young had in Looking For Alaska. Thankfully, that's where the similarities between the two novels end. It is probably one of the more significant difference between the two novels.

I got bored of the story once Quentin started to understand what the clues Margo left him meant. Quentin kept going back and forth from clue to clue. There are numerous times when I just want to flip to the end to find out if they ever find Margo's whereabouts.

I gave Paper Towns 3 stars because of its interesting beginning and ending of the book. If not for the boring middle section of the book, which in my opinion is the most important part of a novel, I would have liked Paper Towns more.

Comparing Paper Towns and Looking For Alaska, I feel that Looking For Alaska is a more enjoyable read.



Friday, May 16, 2014

Wings by Danielle Steel


Image via Goodreads
Title: Wings
Author: Danielle Steel
Release Date: April 1st, 1996
Publisher: Corgi            
Source: Bought
Genre: Adult, Chick-lit, Romance

Blurb:

From small-town America to a world on the cusp of World War II, Wings is an uplifting story about one woman’s fight to fulfil her dreams.
From her family’s dusty farmland airstrip near Chicago, Cassie O’Malley would look at the planes shimmering in the moonlight and feel the pull of taking to the skies. Her First World War veteran father Pat wanted his son to be a pilot, not his reckless red-haired daughter. But her father’s partner Nick, fellow air ace, was willing to break all the rules and teach her to fly.
When Cassie is invited to California to become a test pilot, her record-breaking flights make her a media darling. Risking her life, in a world preparing for the Second World War, she decides to chart her own course and pursue her own destiny, whatever it might cost her . . .




My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book had been sitting on my bookshelf for months now and I just didn't feel like reading it until a few days ago. So why buy it then? Well, I saw it at a book sale and it costs only RM 8 (that's 77% off the original price!) and I thought to myself- why not? Even if it isn't the typical novel I would go for on an average day.

I managed to finish Wings by Danielle Steel in 2 sitting and wondered why I put off reading this book for so long. Oh right! I thought I would be bored stiff with a storyline that involves airplanes and machines.

The story took place in the 20's-50's era, focusing on the main character-Cassie O'Malley and her journey of becoming a successful female pilot of her time. Cassie wanted to become a pilot just like her father. However, Pat (Cassie's father) forbade her to do so as he felt that women will not fly as well as men. Pat's partner- Nick Galvin offered to give her lessons behind Pat's back so that they could change Pat's mind.

In the beginning of the story, Danielle Steel depicted the status of women and what is generally expected of them in the 20's / 30's through Cassie's 3 older sisters. They got married at around 19 and had a lot of children even in their early twenties. I can't remember how many times my mouth fell open when one of her sisters got pregnant, again. I lost count of how many nieces and nephews Cassie actually had by the end of the story.

The story did not include as many terms on machinery as I thought it would originally. I feel that Cassie's journey to become a pilot started and ended in the first half of the novel, i.e up to the point when she signed a contract with a company to test fly aircrafts.

After that, the story is more about her love life even though readers still get to read about her career as a public figure/ test pilot.

What I like most about this entire story is the romance between Cassie and Nick Galvin. Even though Nick is 18 years her senior and had basically been in her life since the day she was born, I enjoyed reading through the moments that they share.

Towards the end of the book, the story kinda lost connection with me. I think I would've like the story more if some scenes were cut.

Even though I enjoyed reading Wings, it isn't one of my favourites.

I would recommend this book to those who really enjoy a love story.




Monday, May 12, 2014

My observation on 'passion' (in my High school teachers)

Have you ever sat in class and wondered if your teacher likes what he/ she is doing for a living?

Have you ever observed your high school teachers and wondered why on earth would she teach history when she CLEARLY is bored of the subject and you could barely see her eyes with her half-closed eyelids?

Well, I did that. Maybe you'd think that I'm weird and silly but that's fine with me.

I remember that I started to really, really observe my teachers during the final 2 years in high school. Based on my observation on my teachers, I came up with 3 categories that my teachers could be placed in when it comes to their passion for their job:

NOTE: THESE ARE ALL JUST MY OBSERVATIONS AS A STUDENT. 

1. They are just as bored of a subject as we are.
2. They teach because they have a duty but are not really passionate about it.
3. They love what they're doing and also the subject that they're teaching.

From what I've observed, I think most of my teachers fell in Category #2. They do it because it's their job and yeah, maybe they're interested enough in teaching but I don't think that they are passionate about what they're doing.

There are only a few teachers of mine that fell in Category #1. With teachers that aren't even interested in the subject he/she is teaching, it is quite hard for me as a student to focus and listen to the teacher when he/she teaches ESPECIALLY when their voices are soft as if they're singing a lullaby. I decided one day to ask one of my teachers that fell in this category if teaching has always been her 'dream career' after class is over. It turns out that I was right about that teacher! Teaching wasn't her first choice. She'd originally wanted to do something else but because teaching seems more stable than her other choice at that time; she chose to become a teacher.

I could only think of one teacher that fits nicely into Category #3-My Biology Teacher.

All it takes for you is to sit through one of her classes and you’ll believe that she TRULY loves biology and enjoys teaching it. When she talks about biology, her face kinda glows (even when she’s not smiling, you know she enjoys teaching the subject) unless she’s angry at me and my classmates for being too loud.

You will also notice that even students who aren't interested in science would awake from their daydreams and listen when she talks about biology. I have come to a conclusion that PASSION IS INFECTIOUS.

There was one time during biology class when I told myself that I want to be like my Biology teacher. And no, I don't want to teach Biology in high school. But, I want to have passion in whatever career I choose to pursue just like the passion she has for her job. 





Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sometimes I wonder what college is all about...