Category Archives: Exams

Cold Turkey

My fingers keep redirecting to the Facebook log-in page dozens of time to no avail. I had a friend to change my password and only give it to me once my exams are done to lock me out from my black hole of procrastination. The friend is on the other side of the planet and the only mode of contact with the friend is Whatsapp (which is now working properly on my phone, thank God) and the friend doesn’t have my UK number :p

It’s been about 24 hours without access and I’m feeling the frustrations of not getting updates. On the bright side there’s an increase in productivity. Revision is not complete yet. Will get there soon provided the current productive trend continues.

I’m very tempted to ask the friend to give me the password for a peek into my account but I shall persevere!

Wish me luck.


Last Leg

I like that my food cooks more quickly in this warm weather compared to during the cold spells when the induction hob would take forever to heat up. The only downside is the kitchen can become really stuffy when the oven is turned on. Ever since the temperature went up the time I spent in the kitchen has been decreasing. Either an easy tuna mayo sandwich/pasta or a quick fry of an egg (or two) with toast.

The first three papers have been a horror. I just hope the last two (one which I had today) would do justice to the overall average. I hope I gave none of my lecturers palpitations with my extremely poor work in Process Control, Dynamics, and Modelling – it originally was two separate module; Math and Process Dynamics, combined into one – double horror. The best bit would be I finally understood all that shenanigans AFTER all the coursework have been submitted. I really want to master MATLAB, there’s so much application in the chemical engineering sector (which I recently found out :p ) and there’s a good demand for engineers who are really good at it.

My writing mojo is slowly coming back after a period of absence. I read Jon Morrow’s review on Stephen King’s  On Writing and realised that my writer’s block is probably due to the lack of reading. Yes, I do read on a daily basis but hey, miu, rho, pi, alpha, and the numbers and unknowns do not add to one’s vocabulary. Instead of procrastinating watching random short clips online or trawling across social networks, it would have been better for me to indulge in the Dickens I bought last summer and still untouched.

Having writer’s block was awful, and this time was the longest I have experienced. I love writing and it has always been one of the things I feel I am really good at, so when I was asked to write short stories for children for a couple of projects and my words wouldn’t flow – I wanted to bury myself six tweets under, crawl under my duvet, and never come out again until the storyteller in my head talks to me again (I’m still sane, writers simply have a quantum which ‘talks’ to them).

I really need to gather all available willpower to get through the last paper on Wednesday. People tend to make the assumption I’m really exam-smart as I usually appear very composed during, before, and after exams. Many people miss the manic expressions when I do my revision alone, or during the exams as I normally sit somewhere towards the back and the others would be so focused on filling up their answer sheets they forget the world. Many times over I want to FLIP THE DAMN TABLE, and fling that approximately 2.5kg reference book out of the window, and make a bonfire out of my stack of notes.

I probably should start playing DoTA, or better still Diablo III. It’ll be so much fun to unleash all that frustration on the demon/monsters/enemies in the virtual world. First, I’ll need a proper machine. Use the current one and it will melt in no time. Can’t wait to be back home. Then I can tweak the home PC for edutainment purposes.


The fire alarm at number 7, Marlborough Buildings rang loud and clear at 3a.m jolting me from my night’s rest. I got up immediately and was pacing around like a trapped Pacman to and fro my door to the kitchen, unsure of what I was supposed to do first. To grab my mobile phone, slip on my slippers and get out or to turn off whatever was triggering it.

A peep in the kitchen showed no indication of overcooked item, and I don’t know what or where the switch for the fire alarm was (is there supposed to be one?). My housemate came out and said we were supposed to get out so I went back into the room to put on my glasses, take the phone and keys. Just as I got to the first landing of the stairs the alarm was switched off so I returned to my room, to the bed, under the duvet.

Eyes shut, but not fully asleep, I thought what would happen if I was in a very, very tall building on the 62nd floor and a fire breaks out several floors beneath. The fire escape staircase is the standard exit route. Then I imagined if there were poles like the ones in fire brigades’ headquarters where the officers can conveniently slip down onto the brigade trucks when a situation arises.

To slip down a pole 62 floors high is an opportunity to slip to death, your bare hands would be blistered and you’ll need to organise some sort of human traffic if a single pole is to connect all the rest of the floors together.

Why not have lengths of fibre-glass or carbon steel ropes  and sets of harness so you can abseil down the side of the building? Maintenance would be a nightmare and total rope length for the capacity of the occupants of the building multiplied by the height of the building might extend from South China Sea to the Indian Ocean. And training would be required before handling the equipments to minimise casualty in the escape process.

The next dream was something related to HAZOP and safety mechanisms and procedures in the engineering industry. I vaguely remembered some step change, Laplace transform, rearranging to get the transfer function and process gain, inverse Laplace. I might have done some calculations in my dreams.

Exams begin on Monday afternoon and as composed I may appear to be, my confidence is a fraction of that of the particle size of a dust.

Time to crrrrraaaaaaaaaaammmmmmm!

God bless me, God bless us all.



Productivity of the Non-academic Kind

Today I took a stroll in the sun, did my groceries, renewed my library book loan, cooked lunch, and baked brownies.

Revision = nil.

A little writing assignment (non-academic related, this is an external project) = nil.

Giving room for a little positivity, perhaps the 24-hour break would do some good.

The recipe for the brownie is adapated from Chasing Delicious, instead of 4oz (approximately 113g) of dark chocolate I used 200g (a whole bar) of Sainsbury’s dark chocolate for cooking and decorating and tapped whatever remnants inside my package of Green and Black’s cocoa into a bowl of decadent chocolate concoction which is then poured into a cake tin and sprinkled with leftover chopped nuts. Mmmmmnnmmm. . . .

This was while it was still warm out of the oven. Shiny, gooey, chocolate indulgence. Mmmmnmmhhh.

A Modest Celebration

Nothing beats exam stress like chanting “First Class! First Class!” while tossing random vegetables in the air. Enter second week of exams and I took the kitchen to the room, shredding cucumbers, carrots, red cabbage, and red pepper for nearly an hour, and peeling quarter of a pomelo to make yee sang. There’s only so much design equations and formulas you can take in a day and I find cooking/assembling a dish a good break. It’s more productive than drooling over recipes for hours during revision break.

I took ideas from here. For my version I used half of a carrot, two leaves of a red cabbage (which is actually dark purple in colour), half a red pepper, half a cucumber, quarter of a pomelo, a heap of mee hoon (cooked as per pack instructions), Sainsbury’s Basics Smoked Salmon Trimmings, and a drizzle of chopped mixed nuts. For the sauce; Lee Kum Kee’s Plum Sauce and a generous dash of lime juice. You will be able to find all the ingredients in Sainbury’s, although I bought the mee hoon and plum sauce from an oriental store. Considering it was a first try, the result was good. Not as fancy as the ones you would get in hotels or restaurants back in Malaysian/Singapore, but I was happy with it. It was plum sauce overload too, making it “the Chinese version of Rojak” (Chong, 2012).

Happy Lunar New Year to all celebrating! Wishing everyone and their loved ones abundance of wealth and health for the year ahead 🙂



“Kanasai” isn’t even a word. I have no idea what it means, and yet I use it almost all the time. I caught it from a friend and it stuck with me ever since. Currently the exams are kanasai-ing me to the max! I felt happy the other day when I finally got my mind wrapped around the main concept of a topic I revised, after that my “happy factor” simply disappeared into thin air. It’s rather ironic for someone whom everyone describes as happy-go-lucky and seemingly effortlessly cheers up just about anybody to fail cheering herself up.

I’ve eaten. I’ve had coffee. I just did my prayers and I even had two Triple Chocolate Cookies to boot. I’m having feel good songs playing on my little Fujitsu right now. And I’m in the process of releasing tension by updating my blog.

Last paper due Friday, 1300 hours. Need to get this brain on Physical Chemistry mode, NOW!

Two Down, One More to Go

Three hours prior to the exam.

My housemate actually did a double take when he got down to the kitchen to have his breakfast while I was having brunch.

“You look nice! Exams?”

I thought I dressed ordinary. Maybe because the past couple of days I am always seen wearing the same pyjamas day in, day out, the nerdy specs and misdirected curls on the top of my head. Judging from my blissful expression of indulging into a thick slice of warm buttered toast, nobody would have thought I was in panic mode for my exams.

“Why are you eating?! You’re supposed to be panicking!”

HAHA. Guess what my friend, I have been up since 6.30am, and from 7am onwards I have been staring at my computer screen, going through lecture slides and squeezing in the past years papers with intense dedication for nearly 4 hours straight.

When desperation sets in, efficiency exponentially increases.

The exam wasn’t so bad after all. I even had time to grin at the kawaii cutie before the paper began and admire the back of his head intermittently afterwards. I was silently laughing at the invigilator who fell asleep in his chair during the last 20 minutes of the exams. After the paper was over, I went over to my friend’s place and had some sinful Chocolate Fudge cake session.

Up next.

Physical Chemystery.

* screams ala fan encounter with a superstar *

Of Privacy and Plugpoints

It’s about three hours to go before today’s paper begin and I can be found behind a pillar, hidden between the bookshelves somewhere on the fourth floor of the library. I’m not hiding from anyone or anything, it’s just that the library is almost full (but not crowded, yet) and I cannot seem to find a desk with a power point that is not occupied by hard working, studious students. I shall get back to some intense last minute revision now.

Wish me luck!


Twenty hours before my first paper is due and I’m beginning to stare into space. A past year paper I have just completed yielded very unsatisfactory results and my mind begin to wonder to evil voyages of something which starts with f.

That’s what happens when I turn off the music for two hours when I’m studying. I find that music helps lift my mood and suppresses the negativities at the back of the mind. Mind you, I’m not suicidal or anything, but normal people do have the constant nagging at the back of the head questioning all sorts of things you do in everyday life. Only that it varies from one individual to another how ‘tuned’ you are to the voice in your head. And at the times of high stress and pressure and desperation the devil seems to feed off this and starts to make itself heard a bit more.

    *Throws salt over shoulder *

Another option would be to build up the enthusiasm and spirit as if you’re heading to battle or war. This was a friend’s idea really. He will not be sleeping the night before a paper is due. Based on his story, I assume you could actually see fire in his eyes or if you are a big fan of Bleach, imagine reiatsu overflowing out of every pore of his skin (sorry Hel, but if you’re reading this, I’m ROFL-ing at you right now).

My version : I’ll wake up with some kind of lopsided grin and an evil glimmer in the eye. Sleepless the night before, not because of enthusiasm, but due to the mind on overdrive and funky little equations swimming in and out of consciousness. There would be extra pressure on the knife while slicing the butter and the toast would probably end up looking slightly charcoaled. Let’s not discuss what happens in the exam hall for now.

First paper due tomorrow 1630.



Currently feeding off this for my ‘feel good’ mojo. Addicted more like. FCuz – Jiggy, Chipmunk version.