Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Sense of Purpose

A few days more and the final stage of my first year... begins. My first paper would be Introduction to Politics on Wednesday, a theory-intensive paper requiring four essays done within a time limit of three hours. Then...

OK, you and I have heard enough of that. Waking, eating, breathing, drinking, sleeping exams is certainly no walk in the park, especially when my brain is in serious need of dusting, like dusting cobwebs off old china.

Although it is no easy work, truth be told (and to the horror of me, and probably you), I am enjoying all the work I have been reading on so far. Introduction to Politics, which I first started with, was quite a burden to begin with, dragging myself from one sentence to another, through words like liberalism, conservatism, ya da, ya da... But, after the initial warm-ups, things started to look up and things got really interesting (or is it because I over with liberalism? hmm..). I continued on with World Politics, which I only recently discovered, is very different from Introduction to Politics. Hmm.. Wow. That is how much I have been slacking XD And then on towards World Economy, then now... Mathematics (no one can ever run away from that!).

The stress surely is significant (as for anyone), but I feel positive about it. Admittedly, it has been a long time since I have felt such productivity flowing out of my efforts. And... I have regained back my sense of usefulness, achievement and desires. I gotten back my interest in subjects I came to university for.

I feel lucky that I took the opportunity to study something unique. It suddenly struck me that politics (and soon, philosophy) is not a subject many people (back home) would do or would have the opportunity to do. Another truth here: the initial reason why I took up EPAIS (Economics, Politics and International Studies) was because of a recommendation from my dad. I did not give much thought to it, just considered it to be an interesting addition to pure Economics and went for it. Although there is still a lot left to be desired for essays, I am beginning to feel the thrills and challenge, instead of burden and dread, on finishing them and hopefully writing (*ahem*bullshitting*ahem*) something worth-reading.

There are many things I wished I had done this year (who doesn't?). One of them being putting more effort into my reading and work. Now when I find something utterly captivating, which happens often, instead of delving deeper into it and researching for more information (wiki is everyone's best friend), I am forced to set it aside and move on to other topics that also require my attention. For example, Marxism. There is so much more to it than being the nemesis of liberalism, a communistic propaganda, the Soviet Union.. ya da ya da... And of course, the ever so precious and triumphant liberalism and capitalism, a wolf in sheep's clothing. If only I was not so ignorant before. Well, that will be for another time.

Part of the reason I am writing this is take it as a reminder if I ever fall of the path again.
Remember, remember *imagine scene from Lion King*

Before this ends, let me make it clear that this year have not been a total waste. I have found that there are some things I can live with, some things that I can live better off without, turned a minor interest into a major one and found it indispensable, unfortunately I had to temporarily suspend it due to its "side-effects" XD Last but not least, the friends (dare I say family?) that I have come to know in this short nine months. They deserve a whole other post, which will come soon.

Already am looking forward to next year even before this one ends. Remember, remember.. XD

Good luck everyone!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Running is guilt-free

As exams looms closer, I just cannot help but to be weighted by this feeling of..... guilt.

Guilt of not pacing my studies since the beginning of the year (in fact, beginning of my education).
Guilt of not fully utilising the resources my parents have bought for me using their hard-earned money.
Guilt of using that money instead to spend my time idly (and garner the most amazing friends!).

Especially now, the guilt is immense.

Guilt of "revising" the wrong book. *hint:almost everyone "reads" this book

And until recently, guilt of not training for my half-marathon (38 days away). My excuse would be due to the weather, it dipped last week and running outside was the last thing I wanted to do.

At last today I bucked up and ran out the door into the most wonderful weather so far. It's lovely that spring is back again. (In fact, I got to kick the blanket off me on the previous night, a second time!)

The run was surprisingly ache-free and it was absolutely indulging. It does not cease to amaze me that running, unlike books, does not punish me for neglecting it. Unlike books, I feel so at ease and thoroughly enjoying every single stride. Instead of time quickening as I am having fun (which it usually does, oh.. all those late nights in the kitchen talking!), time seem to cruise more slowly as I pace myself. Maybe it is because for that period of time, I really am focusing on the present. The bomb!

Run, and you will know what I mean.

See all of you soon, miss you guys lots!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

One week was running, next diet, now studies

A little more than two weeks to go and I am so not ready.

Although, love having people to study with. Sure beats studying alone (which doesn't even work!).

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Real politics vs. "Fake" politics

These past few days have been pretty historical to the British government. Ever since election day, where none of the parties won a majority, the government have been in a, what they love to call, "Hung Parliament".

In the first few days, it was highly assumed that there would be a Lib-Tory coalition, since Nick Clegg (party leader of Lib Dem) expressed, during his campaign, that he would join with David Cameron (leader of Tories) if Conservatives were to get a large proportion of votes, but insufficient to win a majority. Furthermore, Nick Clegg was officially in talks with the Conservatives exclusively after the election results.

Come today, it was exposed that Lib Dem were in secret talks with Labour over the weekend. Yesterday, Nick Clegg met with Gordon Brown. It looks like Conservatives have already laid down their cards (promising vote reforms, which is one of Lib Dem's priorities).

It doesn't take a national vote to know that everyone is restless and highly displeased with how Nick Clegg is handling this situation. On the other hand, they are after all, the LIBERAL Democrats. Nick Clegg deserves some applauds for putting up with all the pressure and talking with both sides of the parties. On the other hand, it clearly shows how he would handle major situations while in government.

Such an interesting time for politics students. The last hung parliament in British elections, if not mistake, was during 1970s. There is so much for us students of politics to observe and listen as history unfolds. Yet, we are suppose to be deep into our theoretical books, preparing for the imminent year-end exams.

I really should go back to the "fake" politics, i.e. political theories, ideologies, which are all in my "Introduction to Politics" module. Are these ideologies really relevant or are they really fake?

For now, it really does feel irrelevant.