White shirts and black blazers.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

White shirts & black blazers.

Suits and ties on men with no hair,
Blazers and buns on women with flair,
Five yawns in the audience as witnesses are probed,
"No further questions, your honour," the proceedings then close.

The intern is introduced and sits at the bar table,
And tries to contain her excitement as much as she is able,
She now knows the difference between TV and real life,
But is even more certain that she's the "court" type.

She was attached at four sections
With a new supervisor for each one,
They would teach her about the division,
And tell her what to get done.

There was Contracts where she realized
That Malaysia codifies its rules,
And Monetary Services where she learned
What the Bank can and cannot do.

There was Financial Services where she saw
Legislation drafted by hand,
Then finally Prosecution,
Which is where this poem began.

The past six weeks at the office,
had its ups and downs,
Especially during Raya,
when her supervisor was out of town.

Whilst she had free time,
There was nothing to do,
Besides speak to the managers,
Who were amused she was still in school.

There's no point keeping this up,
For the intern "she", is in fact "I",
When they found out interning wasn't compulsory,
I was often asked a resounding "Why??"

Enjoy your summer, I was told,
Work will come when you're old,
Take a holiday, take a break,
Don't just intern for interning's sake.

Even still, I don't regret it,
Having had a glimpse of it all.
I am now more certain of what I want,
Which was the aim of the internship, after all.

--

I grew up on Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl (along with Enid Blyton, J.K Rowling, and of course, Peter & Jane) who have peppered their tales with the occasional made up word and ever-present rhymes. It’s no surprise then that I’ve always been fond of telling stories in poem form hence my attempt at summarizing my six week internship in 9 paragraphs of 4 lines.

photo (2)
Hi there, kijang.

photo (3)
My daily view every weekday for 3 weeks before I got moved to a different floor.

- pictures removed, juuust in case -

photo 3
My scribbled notes which were more poem and doodles than court proceedings. But hey, you do what you can to stay awake!

photo (4)

My favourite sofas at the Bank, taken on my last day. Open-mouthed smile 

---

ootdpage1
“Suited up” – the everyday court experience.

Court wear is pretty much black blazers and white tops but the room was so cold, more than half the time I was wishing for a trench coat instead.

My weekend’s starting out great and I wish the same for yours! Open-mouthed smile

Summer lovin’

Friday, August 15, 2014

I didn’t have many expectations for myself this summer. I wasn’t ambitious enough to set goals of good books nor foolish enough to set targets of weight loss. I knew that summer meant home and home meant food, and obviously food meant meals with family and friends, which to me, felt like a pretty amazing way to spend my days in Malaysia. I mean, as opposed to filling it up with, pssfft, self-development.

I could almost hear pre-summer me spitting out the word like poison on my tongue because wasn’t the school year development enough?

For crying out loud, I spent almost every day studying, surrounded by texts that didn’t make sense unless read more than once and okay, sure I cheated a fair bit by using Wikipedia in place of the roughly 40-page cases I was meant to read, but I argue that it was all a lesson in efficiency that undoubtedly will come in useful some day when I need information on the go. And I was living alone! I had to get my own meals done. Wasn’t that a fair feat?

Fine. To be honest, the hall I lived in was catered and the closest I got to cooking was boiling water in my rice cooker for instant noodles, which, I must confess, hardly ever happened on my own anyway thanks to a very kind hall mate. But then there was the first time I fell really ill and it isn’t quite the same booking your own appointment with the NHS when I used to be able to ask my dad for medicine, and it isn’t quite as nice when you’re resting in your room, feeling absolutely alone, wishing for nothing more than your mother’s hugs and some herbal soup. And then there were those decisions I had to make about who to live with and where, and there were questions on how to spend my time (Was I studying enough? Was I studying too much? Am I taking on too many things? Or am I being lazy?).

But ultimately, it was the combination of trying to be an effective university first year law student, balancing both my studies and the ‘international experience’, all whilst trying to do my laundry more than once a month, curb my London-bred online shopping habit, and figure out how many layers to wear on a spring day. How’s that for self-development?

It makes sense then that I tired of decision–making and learning for a fair bit and wanted nothing more than to laze about and do nothing but exist. It wasn’t too dull of an existence, I presumed. I wasn’t going to just be rotting for I had grand plans of travel to Sabah and Langkawi and inevitably Taiping, knew I had a 6 week long internship, and had a few LSE events pencilled in. But within days of being back, I got restless and was itching for more to do. I started making plans with friends to explore places back home and was very soon enjoying the hecticness I thought I wanted to avoid.

Thank God I realized the error of pre-summer Tiffany with her over-glorification of lazing and started a coding course on edx.org of which I’ve gotten hopelessly demotivated in (Learn some responsibility, you bum!!)((HAHA, and play the game I made for Week 0! – feel free to laugh at my overflowing levels of noob.)), became ridiculously fond of a certain British accent, am taking small steps towards writing poetry again, am going to learn how to take better pictures, took it upon myself to remember how to cycle because it is actually possible to forget, and surprisingly enough, started swimming at least once every fortnight!

DSC_0040
Celebrated C1’s belated birthday with the creepiest (pan)cake ever at The Daily Grind.

DSC_0037
Realized that my love for Portobello mushrooms will never falter.

DSC_0050
The three musketeers!

DSC_0026
Had to learn the hard way that you can’t undo a haircut with another haircut.

Hopped about Jump Street Trampoline Park like kindergarteners on the loose with some friends from college.


Learnt that jumping into a pit of foam is a lot of fun but you will not escape unscathed – my bruises lasted a week!

10559801_10204414130176373_4344696023929824865_n
Tried our hand at Escape Room yet again and took a deceptively victorious photo of our eventual defeat.

photo
Ate a copious amount of sushi rolls and came to the conclusion that Ichiban Boshi at Publika trumps everywhere else.

DSC_0037Also realized that ownership over a BBQ pit does not result in skills over the use of said BBQ pit.


On the same day, I learned that childhood friends don’t quite change and that one should always ensure that at least one person in the car knows where they’re headed.

photo (1)
I also became increasingly frustrated with dentists all around who cannot agree on whether my upper right wisdom tooth needs to be extracted. Any dentists in the room?


Scratched out one of three LSE events for the summer too!

I have all sorts of posts lined up for the blog (foodies, I’m looking at you!) and if I find the time and if I ever finish that coding course of mine, might give this ol’ layout a little kick.

The end of August marks the end of my internship and the beginning of the busy summer I was always going to have despite how much I swore against it. September means I’ll be heading back to Taiping for a bit, rush-meeting the rest of my relatives and friends, food hunting as much as I can, finally leaving teenagehood (*sobs* I don’t care – I’m making twenteen a thing) , and most definitely going to try and fill this space a little more.

---

ootd

DSC_0060DSC_0057

All because I left my hair unwashed and pulled it high in a bun.

May your weekend be filled with adorable things!

LLB in Laws @ LSE

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I’ve been wanting to write exclusively about my first year at LSE for a while now because I was once that curious, eager pre-fresher, half terrified by the tales of cold, competitive coursemates yet half excited at the prospect of the magical overflowing opportunities they said would come with LSE and all the while wondering if all of that, if any, were true.

So without further ado, how is life at LSE?

A Week In The Life

University is a stark contrast from being at school because when it used to be no big deal to have classes at 8am with barely a break till 4pm, upon entering university, any lecture or class in the morning feels awful.

We are very spoiled and it is probably going to be the most flexible time of your life. I had 8 hours of lectures a week and even fewer hours of classes (depending on the term). I once detailed a weekly schedule here but here’s a more timetable-centric one.

Monday

10am – 11am = Lecture
11am – 12pm = Class
12pm – 2pm = LSE100 Lecture (I often give this a miss and read the lecture slides instead)

4pm – 5pm = Lecture
5pm – 6pm = Class

Mondays are the busiest days for me because I have 3 lectures and 2 classes on the same day. Classes require preparation so I often try not to leave it to the weekend or I struggle a fair bit. If I get really desperate, I prepare for my first class at 11am the weekend before, and spend the time from 12pm – 4pm preparing for my 5pm class.

Tuesday

10am – 11am = Lecture

1am – 2pm = Lecture

3pm – 4pm = Lecture

Wednesday

Wednesdays are LSE’s half-days and most of my friends don’t have classes/lectures on this day. For me:

11am-12pm = Lecture

Thursday

9am – 10am = Class

11am – 1pm = Lecture

Friday

9am – 10am = Class
10am – 11am = Class

--

As you can see, there is a lot of ‘spare time’. I found myself busy with Debate Mate, Malaysian Society, and the preparation needed for class, but really, in university, the world is your oyster! Open-mouthed smile 

Lectures & Classes

Some lecturers are good whilst some aren't so much, but in my experience, they ended up in LSE as lecturers for a reason and they’re either famous, have been published somewhere, or are wonderful in their own way.

However, some of them, possibly due to their overwhelming levels of genius, are terrible at explaining things to students.. But on the plus side, they write a lot of the textbooks so you could always just read what they wanted to say. Also, they're really good with replying emails so if you're not too shy, then emailing them tends to clarify a lot of things.

This doesn’t matter too much though because you have classes after that which consolidate the lectures and are taught by wonderful teachers who are also extremely capable and qualified (although some are a bit strange and too busy to entertain students).

Unfortunately for Law students, most of our lectures aren’t recorded so you don’t quite have the option of staying home and watching them later on. The slides are uploaded beforehand though so in the event that you really cannot attend (read: cannot get out of bed), you could get a basic idea and go on from there. Most of our subjects don’t have one consistent lecturer for the whole year and you often get different speakers coming in to deliver lectures on the same course. I personally found this refreshing, but I know that some really don’t like the change so it’s worth noting!

As for classes, I enjoyed the classes in LSE tremendously. The classes aren’t very big (about 15 students a class) and because everyone has such different opinions and the teachers are really willing to challenge normal assumptions if you keep up to date and do your readings (which you MUST MUST MUST), you can stand to gain a lot from it. It is such a different experience - going to class and having the teachers tell you that they disagree with the textbook or with another teacher. But, I must emphasize that if you didn’t do your readings (which I will touch on a bit more later), you’ll be fairly lost.

DSC_0180
Where I find myself napping between classes

My experience in classes were great because I had mostly wonderful teachers who encouraged discussion in our learning, but I heard from my friends in more quantitative subjects (like Accounting, Maths, etc.) that some of their classes felt redundant because all the teacher did was discuss their homework. They chose not to attend these and LSE will alert your academic advisor if you don’t attend three in a row.

Study Time

The reason why our timetables are so flexible is probably because the bulk of the work is done on your own. A standard reading list for one class for a subject would be approximately 100 pages and even more if you read the entirety of a case. Some classes like Tort or Contract would have over 5 cases for you to read for one class and each case could be up to 30 pages long.

I used to struggle at the beginning in an attempt to read the whole case which I ultimately wouldn’t completely understand anyway, but towards the middle, I turned to casebooks and Wikipedia which made my life a lot easier. The teachers don’t recommend it though (of course they wouldn’t) because we do need training on how to skim through cases well, but because my classes were all grouped together and I’m a fantastic procrastinator, I had to resort to those means. I found it preferable to entering class with good knowledge of one case and hardly any on the other ones but each to their own!

I would say that to keep up with your classes and lectures, about a minimum of 3 hours of independent study a day is required.

The workload is a not a joke and there is a lot of reading involved in this course. Most Malaysians take up courses like Accounting, Economics, and Actuarial Science with minimal reading and more problem sets, meaning that whilst they have homework (and us LLB students don’t), I've had to say no to a lot of outings because I've had to stay inside reading.

But it's manageable. I mean, you have to plan it out. Make notes when you revise so exam time is less daunting and I was fortunate enough to find myself in an amazing group of friends who were willing to share their notes and essays. I can say that it seems almost impossible to read EVERYTHING you're supposed to and I probably didn’t by the time exams came about about but lectures and classes are helpful and reading just broadens your horizons a fair bit.

 
IMG_0017
A few of those amazing friends! Missing Michelle & Annie here!

Although I was busy with the work, I also had plenty of time to do other things. I coach debate to some kids once a week, join debate competitions, am a Malaysia Club committee member, and co-wrote and produced Malaysia Night this year. I managed to get an overall 2:1 for my exams, but it is also worth noting that at LSE, first year Law exams don’t count to your final degree so take this year to explore, enjoy yourself, yet still have an idea as to what’s going on.

IMG_2789
With the girls of the LSESU MC committee at LSE’s New Academic Building

Atmosphere/London

A lot of people talk about how competitive LSE is and I think that whilst that is true, because I found myself a good group of friends, I didn’t quite feel it. Also, in my experience it could be that Law didn’t seem as competitive as other courses because whilst everyone else were hunting for internships at banks and investment companies, Law students don’t often apply for vacation schemes (Law internships!) until 2nd year. Some students are more interested in the Bar and apply for mini-pupileges instead so competition is less saturated.

A concern that many have is about London as an environment. I personally love London for the same reasons that some would hate it. It is a city of tourists, who jostle by you on your way to class, snapping pictures of your school, and it is a city of work, where the tubes are silent as people have their phones plugged into their ears and where you find yourself walking by a group in onesies one moment, and a man in a suit the next.

But it is also a city with so much to see, filled with all kinds of people! The tourists are entertainment on their own and you could always join them (like I do!) in exploring the city that has so much to offer. I’ve spent my weekends at musicals, parks, restaurants, museums, shopping malls, and whilst it can be frustrating having to wait in lines for over half an hour to eat and whilst being on the tube at rush hour feels like borderline auto asphyxiation, there are a lot of ways to have fun!

LSE itself is a 10 minute walk away from Covent Garden, is right behind Lincoln's Inn which gives you such a lawyerly-barrister feel and is amazing to be around, and is also surrounded by the city without being too busy and noisy. I grew up in KL and love the city, so it could be a personal preference but because its so bustling, the only way you’d ever get bored if is you decided you wanted to be.

IMG_7876
Those famed red telephone boxes

DSC_0066Tulips at Brunswick Square Gardens

DSC_0338Touristing at the Natural History Museum

DSC_0242Then touristing again at Greenwich

Halls

In first year, I lived in International Hall which is an Intercollegiate Hall comprising of students from all across London. There were some days where the food was so bad that I gave up on it after a bite and cooked instant noodles for myself, but there were other days where I lined up and asked for seconds.

The best part about living in a catered hall has to be the people. You meet them everyday for dinner and is often just the right amount of company to chase the loneliness away.

DSC_0029
DSC_0025Some of the Malaysian IH boys and girls

The LSE Student Union Malaysia Club produced an accommodation guide which has been made available here.

Even though the location of my hall was relatively near (about 10 minutes via a shortcut if I’m walking really really quickly), there were some days where I wanted nothing more than to hop into a car and go. In London, this isn’t as likely a possibility as in other towns where students rent cars to get around. But the walking did me good and you could always move somewhere closer after your first year.

DSC_1033
My room in IH – not the neatest around!

I never had to deal directly with Student Services but they can be rather inefficient with fee payments and managed to mess up my accommodation forms  when I first applied. But it’s really just standard Malaysian inefficiency beneath the facade of "Sure, miss we'll definitely get it done by today,” which could be better or worse, depending how you look at it. 


Expenses

London is an expensive city with rent being almost ludicrously so, especially when you compare with your friends in Coventry or Manchester who can pay almost half of what you pay a week for a room twice as big. But it isn’t that difficult to budget if you’re careful and there are many opportunities to earn money along the way.

The Debate Mate programme I’m involved with pays £20/hour and there are various experiments that students can sign up for in return for monetary compensation. Some experiments from LSE Behavioural Studies Lab involve nothing more than a survey for £10, whilst some can pay up to £20 an hour if you play a game or go for an MRI scan.

I have a friend who participates almost every week and has earned a lot of money.

As for meals, most good food can be bought for under £10 and if strapped for cash, there’s a Hare Krishna man who comes to LSE and serves vegetarian food for free during lunch hours. There’s always a line though but hey, it’s free food! And it can taste pretty good too!

There are also a lot of discounts and offers for students as well so there’s plenty of ways to save money and be entertained for free (or for cheap, at least!).

----

I hope what I’ve written here will be useful to some and if there are any other questions, feel free to sound off in the comments below! Also, if you’re an LSE student and have had a different experience to share, you could email me or comment too! 

Signing off with love from LSE’s misunderstood mascot,



A beaver.

Auto Post Signature

Auto Post  Signature