So… the reason I haven’t really been blogging lately is because… I’ve been busy. And lazy, but let’s stick with busy for now. Basically, my one-week holiday was spent preparing for the UCL interview (which turned out to be nothing like I expected) while juggling an art project for school (which is still not complete, by the way), and add a few dying hard drives and other unfortunate events in between, and you get a tired, frustrated me.
Right now I’m home for the weekend, it’s only been a week of class since the end of said one-week holiday. Supposedly we’re having a field trip to Putrajaya tomorrow, so I didn’t think I’ll be able to go home, but the trip was postponed (along with last Friday’s Art class, hence the unfinished project).
I’m typing this on my laptop, because my desktop computer is still away for repairs (the main hard drive just had a heart attack and died, yep) and… everything’s just a little different. There probably won’t be many pictures and stuff in this entry anyway. Oh, and it has been raining non-stop lately, every day, every evening, both at my college and at home, so that tends to make people lazier (ie. sleepier) too. (Can you tell I’m searching for random excuses for not blogging? )
University College London was one of my top choices to go to, because I heard their course is very artsy (as opposed to theoretical or technical, which doesn’t sound like it would suit me), and they’re quite well-known and all that. (Only thing I disliked was that… it’s in London. ) Well, they had a task we were supposed to do and bring for the interview, which was something along the lines of, “your spontaneous response to six places or spaces you find stimulating”, minimum 2 hand-drawn pencil/pen drawings, and the others could be photographs and such. I only started thinking about what to do as the holiday began (the interview was on the last day of holidays, that Sunday), so needless to say, there were 4-am nights and very few hours of sleep involved.
I also had to bring along a portfolio, which meant printing mine out (the same pictures I sent digitally to the other universities), and also finding a clear A2-sized folder for my school drawings, which was such a challenge in itself. (“What? A2 holder ah? Holder or folder?” said the shop assistant.) The former was also a frustrating task, because of said death of hard drive (luckily my personal files were in the other — still alive — drive, so I just needed to find another computer to connect the drive to and copy the files through the network to my laptop. Easy, right? NOOOOPE.) and also running out of printer ink, wrong types of paper, many printing malfunctions, you get the idea.
Finding another computer to connect my E:/ drive to was hard, because, aside from things like waiting for my mum to bring it home from the office (where she had some of her friends check it) my brothers are freaking selfish people. Selfish, ungrateful, evil, not-a-speck-of-kindness-or-generosity-in-their-hearts kind of evil. At least at that time, when I really needed their help. The desktop upstairs, belonging to lil’ bro #1, was being used by lil’ bro #2, and after lots of waiting and begging, I was told he’d be done in 30 minutes. Well fine, I went off to take a shower and stuff. When I came back, over 30 minutes later, guess who I found stuck on the screen this time? Lil’ bro #1. Who was just as unkind and asked me to wait “until he’s done”. When I mentioned how important this was and that I had an interview on Sunday, the reply I heard was, “So what? Today’s only Thursday!”
Which made me feel like killing something. :shakefist: Or better yet, someone.
Fast-forward to however many minutes/hours later, got a hold of the hard drive and surrogate computer, connected everything, lalala, but turns out the stupid computer has this stupid screen right after the black Windows screen, and you have to “press any key to continue”, and the stupid keyboard decides to turn off right before that screen! If you don’t hit any key, the computer will just hang and remain useless. I tried again and again, but the light on the keyboard always turned off at a moment while the stuff is loading.
Tried my keyboard; nope. Tried taking out my hard drive in case that’s causing the problem; nope. After however many attempts, the stupid screen didn’t even appear and instead he computer started hanging during the Windows loading screen. At this point, lil’ bro #1 was basically over my shoulder, blaming me and my hard drive for ruining his (albeit already sick) computer, bla bla bla. I was just so frustrated, and so angry at his attitude (just the day before I had to drive alone to two shopping malls [the first one didn’t have it] to buy him the freaking calculator that he wanted so badly eventhough he really didn’t need it [’cause he just wanted the automatic “finding the roots of a quadratic equation” feature, when he’s not even good at doing it manually yet], and I’ve always spent so much time helping him with Maths and Physics and trying my best to explain things, even through Yahoo Messenger’s Doodle IMvironment if I’m not home, and this ONE time I needed help, he acts like I’m asking for the hugest favour in the world and ends up talking to me like I’m a piece of you-know-what), that I had to get away from it all.
Long story short, we used lil’ bro #2’s computer afterwards (actually, my mother did. I don’t want to have anything to do with their oh-so-precious computers anymore) and it worked (which proves that it is NOT because my drive has a virus or anything, you hear that, lil’ bro #1?!) and I managed to copy what files I needed. (Later I discovered, unsuccessfully, because that computer hanged/froze in the process and all the origami diagrams [for school art project] I saved from websites wasn’t copied and I had to re-Google them again. )
And now we have two broken computers. Lovely.
Back on track now, the interview was at a hotel in KL, and I was 30 minutes early (just because my classmate who went the day before said that some of the hotel staff were clueless about the venue or even the existence of the event, so my mother thought coming early would help with any of that problems), but the UCL desk in the room (which had representatives from 3 other universities as well, with all their brochures and stuff for random visitors and prospective students to come look at) seemed to be unoccupied, aside from who I guessed was the male interviewer, so I came and asked.
“Well, you’re a bit early,” he remarked in a British accent, but gestured for me to sit anyway. Right about when we were starting, another kid comes and says, “Sorry I’m late”, and turns out that his turn was before mine, so I had to leave and come back in half-an-hour after all.
Which would’ve been okay, if only there weren’t two other people still on the desk when I came back at my time slot, and if the Professor wasn’t babbling on and on way past my appointed time, despite him seeing me and my mother a few metres back, and knowing what my interview time was, and the fact that I’ve already come and talked to him so I’m pretty sure he knows I’m waiting. (I thought the British are very punctual people?) So I think I was interviewed at 1.20 pm, 20 minutes late, and there was also another guy whose appointment was at 1pm (same as me?!) so I guess he had to wait even longer.
(And yeah, mind you, we’ve all been appointed time slots, through e-mail, and had to confirm our attendance and all.)
The interview itself… well, let’s just say he went through the artworks very quickly, and totally made a face and went, “Oh, I wish you hadn’t shown me that” when he saw my more architecture-y school drawings (???), and scribbled on the piece of paper, whatever impressions he got as he flipped through. (Like, “a lot of perspectives”, ie. I did have a few perspective drawings from school, I don’t know why we keep getting perspective assignments, but yeah.)
One of the task drawings, a sill life of our messy living roomWhen he was done seeing the portfolio and task, his conclusion was, “Your artworks are very literal”. “Literal?” I repeated. “Yes, as in, you draw what you see.” ( “I know what literal means ” , I thought in my head.) “With every little detail.” And basically I sensed that he was looking for more abstract, conceptual stuff, which shows your thinking process and ideas and I-don’t-know-how-else-to-explain-it. Stuff that wasn’t my style at all, not still-life and pencil sketches and very literal photography. I mean, sure I had some of my crafts and old fan art and whatever else I thought of putting in my portfolio, but if anything, crafts are even more literal, real, practical. I guess he didn’t want to see technical stuff for the same reason.
A yarn store that I wish existed nearby So, in the end, he said “I’ll write you in 2 to 3 weeks” and proceeded to give a lecture on why I should take life drawing classes and read up on 19th century western artists. (I just nodded, “m-hmmm-ed” and “I-see-d” at this point.) I already sensed that it meant a “no”, because my classmate who was interviewed the day before, was given an on-the-spot offer! How awesome, right?
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the most aggravating of the Professor’s comments. It might’ve just been a way for him to see what we’ll reply, our way of thinking, but it was still annoying to me. To put it simply, he saw my (straight A) SPM results on the UCAS application, and remarked, “I’m worried that you will be lost when you come here, where there are no textbooks and no spoonfeeding“. I was astounded when he said that. Is he implying that Malaysian students who get good results, get them because we are being spoonfed? I mean, yes, we all know how exam-oriented the system here is, and how big an emphasis is being put on getting straight As and all that, but how dare he assume that we won’t be able to cope in a different system? Even without knowing us. Sheesh, would he rather see some bad academic results on the application or what? And if you’re against the whole “sole academic achievement” thing, how come UCL’s academic requirements are high anyway? I am not happy with how Malaysia’s system is, for one (heard about the 21 A kid recently?), but I worked hard to get through it, and if not for my results, I might’ve not even be sitting there for the interview that day. I was very disappointed with the interviewer’s opinion (or more like, generalisation), but I kinda just blabbed something about how I believe in myself and what I can do (instead of all these points that I only came up with after the interview ), so yeah.
I totally understand that he was looking for more abstract people and all that, and I know that I may not be the best-suited candidate for UCL’s Architecture course, but just that one comment about “being lost” turned me off. I just don’t see why he had to say that.
Anyway, I have an unconditional offer from BCU, and two other conditional offers from De Montfort and Kent so I’m still fine with the choices I have. I still haven’t heard back from AA (which is also in London, sigh), but it’ll be alright if I don’t get that either. I’m starting to think that a more balanced course might be better for me. Even though I don’t particularly enjoy Maths and Physics and theory stuff, at least if I’m not artsy enough I’ll still do half-well. (‘Cause theory stuff you can always study for, but Art; if you don’t have it, you don’t have it. )
And that is the story of my UCL interview.
So… trials results so far… uh, well, I’m improving at Core Maths. *smiles meekly* Seriously though, once you’ve been through the bundle of torture that is Further Maths, Core Maths is like… a walk in the park. Physics is bad, so far, and we’re not even done with the syllabus yet (the only unfinished subject, by the way), urgh. Statistics and Mechanics are okay. Further Maths, no papers gotten back yet.
Aside from Physics, we’ll be doing revision from now on. How fun. A-Levels will officially start in the middle of May, seven weeks from now. …That’s kind of scary. But on the other hand, I am so not in the mood for starting the whole studying phase again. It’s kind of neverending. And what with art projects, and field trips and this and that… Argh.
The pieces aren’t glued down yet, hence the ugly rolling edgesSpeaking of art, here’s a sneak peak at the project supposedly due yesterday. We’re doing last year’s AS Art question, which has the theme of “Freedom”. My initial inspiration was seeing the animals at A Famosa Resort last year, which spurred the idea of “freedom not necessarily being a good thing”, but Sir said that was kind of contradicting the theme, so I had to look for something new. It became “giving freedom to the viewer, ie. interactive art”, and hence board games, pop-ups, etc. And then I was stumped, no idea what board game to make, no more inspiration, until I went back to my initial inspiration. Of course, origami animals! Free them! From the zoo! (Would’ve done a safari, but zoos seem more “cage-y”, if you know what I mean.)
Origami elephantStill not done with the game, though. And to imagine that I’ll have to do a similarly big project for my real AS Art paper this year, probably in May too, within 8 hours! Eight, people! And Freedom so far has taken… days! Though I guess lots of it was waiting for inspiration and Googling and figuring things out. The 8 hours will be strictly for assembly though, so I’m hoping if I have everything planned out and prepared, it will be enough for the final exam, InshaAllah. Our theme this year is “Links and Connections”, by the way. And I’m supposed to have started research on it. Sigh.
It’s odd, really, how you can be surrounded by friends and people every day and yet still feel lonely. I think that was part of why I blogged, blogged long entries with rants and complaints and everything else I wanted to let out. Of course I’m still blogging long entries now but then again, it’s also great to have people you can tell anything to. So thanks, dear elF, whom I type insanely long e-mails to , and used to send letters and stuff. And also my old roommate Shura, whom I had such funny, long conversations about anything and everything with, almost every day… But now she’s in Australia so I’m all alone in the room again. My two housemates are nice people and all, but it’s like we’re in separate worlds and just happen to share a living room and bathroom and kitchen. Yeah.
And shoutout to the crazy Z & Z brothers, who “kept me company” throughout those 2am- or 4am-nights of doing art. Some conversations, however pointless and random, just cheer you up and take your mind away from the serious stuff. Which is good.
Take care peeps, hope everybody’s doing ok. I’ll be back as soon as I have more rants and stories to tell. Bye!