Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Sick. Sore throat. Will update later.


Thursday, October 25, 2007


The day of the deadline of the first exercise. I managed to complete mine in good time, so no problem there. In my last post, I did mention that I can laugh at people who are still struggling to finish the exercise. Unfortunately, though, that didn’t happen. Why? Because they all skipped lectures to finish it! Cheeky buggers. There goes my chance to gloat evilly at people.

I read in the papers that there exist some people who spent up to £3500 for their kids to have a better chance of getting into Oxford or Cambridge. Seriously, are they crazy or what? Apparently, there are some agencies and organisations that offer services to train applicants to face the famous Oxbridge application process. Honestly, I know you have to make an extra effort to get into Oxford and Cambridge e.g. finishing UCAS application early, an extra personal statement, the dreaded interviews, getting good results etc. but still, £3500 seems way over the top. Unless you’re rich and couldn’t care less about that amount of money, of course.

Hmmm… seems like a long time ago that I first arrived here in Cambridge for my own interview. I guess some time later I’ll write a bit about it.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Resuming life as a student again

Hey ho! Finally, a breath of fresh air. For the past few days I’ve been busy working on this coursework (literature survey, to be exact) and I’ve just finished writing the main body some time ago. Granted, there are still the abstract, conclusion and reference that I need to write about, but let’s not worry about those too much. Of course I know that it’ll be kinda crappy since even though we were given three weeks to finish the darn thing, most of us only start in the last week. Me included. Well, the deadline’s on Thursday so I still have time to smooth out things and laugh at people who are panicking because they have their hands full with this.

On a different note, I’ve now accepted… no, make that fully embraced… the fact that there exist some people who are buff and sporty and are into rowing and other physically-exerting stuff… who are much more intellectually superior than me. I guess you CAN have everything.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Eventful Saturday

Yesterday was the Scholar’s Admission Ceremony in Trinity College, which resulted in me wearing a suit, white bow tie and gown for the event since I’m upgraded from a Junior Scholar to a Senior Scholar this year. To those who don’t know, in Trinity, if you get a first class in your first year, then you’ll be awarded the Junior Scholar, which gives you room ballot privilege, £150, food allowance, among other things. If you get a first again in subsequent years, or if you get really good result in the first year, say, top five in the university, then you’ll be a senior Scholar instead, which gives basically the same but better privileges. £250 prize money, for example.

The ceremony’s pretty much the same as last year. I got the same book (and I’ll just put last year’s pic here since it’s the same thing) but this year I managed to get it signed by Martin Rees, Royal Astronomer and Master of Trinity College. It’s basically about Trinity’s history, but since history’s not my thing I haven’t even gone past chapter one.

The Great Court Run (last year’s link here) happened again this year but there’ll be no pictures since I was not there. Instead, I went to London for the Petronas open house & Eid celebration. It was nice to meet the new faces of Atlantic College students. There are eight Malaysians this year instead of the usual five.

I didn’t stay long, however, since there’s a volleyball training session in Cambridge at four. This year’s UCCMixed team (essentially the 3rd team) looks promising, and I noticed a few people who are definitely the 2nd team’s level, but they are in our team for some reason. Probably because they didn’t make it in the 2nd team’s tryout or they just can’t be bothered with the time commitment or competitiveness of the 2nd team. I certainly hope that we’ll perform better instead of losing to a secondary school team like last year.

And finally, since I was at King’s Cross station, I thought I’ll take a picture of the famous platform 9 and ¾.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Some of you might be wondering, but the nick ‘Yaz’ was given to me by my room mates in Atlantic College. It was then picked up by my houseparent and after he called me Yaz in a house meeting, everybody else followed suit. Except the Malaysians, of course, since they have known me for longer and they’ve always called me Yazid. Not to mention that it feels weird if I hear them using the nick. So yeah, it’s basically a nickname for my non-Malaysian friends to use, mostly AC people though since not many called me by that name in Cambridge.

The thing is, there has been some rather weird traffic coming to the blog from rather dubious Google searches. I decided to check and I found out that Yaz is actually a type of oral hormonal contraceptive. In other words, it’s the thing that you take (via your mouth) if you don’t want to get pregnant. Ha ha, that was hilarious! Just thought to clarify that for people who stumbled here by mistake =)

Oh, and no matter what, I still love that nick. It sounds cool.



Saturday, October 13, 2007

It’s one day late but…

…I just want to wish everybody who’s celebrating it (me included) ‘Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri’ or Eid Mubarak. Take your pick. Eid was on Friday in the UK but in some other parts of the world it’s on the Saturday (today) so I’m not really that late after all.

There were classes throughout Friday morning so I wasn’t feeling very celebratory. But it's not that big of a deal, same as last year I suppose. And I totally forgot the expression ‘Eid Mubarak’ so on Thursday night I texted people saying Happy Eid, which sounds completely wrong. Oh well…

In any case, I’ll probably drop by London next Saturday for some free food. There’s also one tomorrow but I haven’t decided yet whether to go or not. We’ll see how it goes.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Alright, I’m angry.

I usually cook two portions of meal each day in Ramadan, one for iftar and the other for sahur. Yesterday, though, I went to the iftar organised by the Cambridge Islamic Society (ISOC) so I didn’t cook anything, thinking that for sahur, I can just eat some instant Uncle Ben’s two-minute microwaveable rice in my kitchen cupboard or something.

However, I woke up this morning, ready to eat, and the food is gone! I can’t believe it! If it’s a spoon or plate then it’s understandable (not to say it’s okay, and I left notes in my plate cupboard to warn people) but somebody actually had the audacity to steal some food items that you clearly have to microwave to eat. Since the other food item that I have are some frozen chickens that I definitely don’t have time to thaw and cook, it looks like I have to go hungry for the day. Bastards.


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Two Days…

… since the opening day of the most despised film in my entire life (and that’s not a hyperbole). Usually when I think a film is bad, I’ll just move on and forget, but I’ve never hated one with such passion, especially considering that it wasn’t released yet at the time I started hating it. My utmost regret is that it’s being made at all, but since I can’t do anything about it, I’ll just derive my pleasure on how it tanked in the US cinemas and received generally bad reviews. Really, that’s the best possible outcome for now, since if the film is a success, they might make sequels and because they’ve diverged so much from the book for this film, the future sequels will be unrecognisable as well. Except the only downside is that the film might turn people off from picking up the book, which is a shame really.

For those of you who have no idea of what I’m talking about, it’s a horrible adaptation (and I used the word loosely here, if you can call writing a new story altogether an adaptation) of The Dark Is Rising, a book which is part of the series that’s also called The Dark Is Rising. You can read my previous rant about it here. But really, it’s such a hatchet job at an adaptation that no self-respecting fans of the book or Susan Cooper (the author) will not be pissed off at it. You can even tell things aren’t going well since they changed the title of the film twice after they released the trailer. From initially ‘The Dark Is Rising’, they changed it to ‘The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising’ and finally, a few days before the film is released, it changed again to just ‘The Seeker’. My assumption is that after reading the book properly, as well as other books in the series (no, they haven’t read the other books in the series while filming it, so they had no idea of what's going on in the story), they figured that they have no similarities at all with the film that putting ‘The Dark Is Rising’ in the title is nothing less than fraudulence. Or maybe they just got so many hate mails from fans of the book to change the title.

For now, I really hope that they will stop making sequels, and that someday someone will buy the rights from them and make a truly proper adaptation of my favourite book from childhood, the way it’s meant to be.


Friday, October 05, 2007


I just had my first meeting with my DoS (Director of Studies) yesterday for chemical engineering and she gave me a piece of news that can both be considered good and disappointing. On one hand, I am in the top ten in the final exam ranking last year and the only Trinity student who got a first class (hence her star pupil, as she jokingly put it). On the other, being in the top ten is just a vaguer and grander way of saying you are ranked number ten and bearing in mind that there are fifteen students who got first class, that’s just two-thirds of the way down. That’s pretty disheartening, considering that even though I got ranked number 65 in my first year in Natural Sciences, that’s halfway in the middle of the hundred something people who got a first. Now, I know it doesn’t quite scale like that, but I can’t help feeling like I should have done better. In fact, seeing my disappointment, that’s what my DoS told me, “You’ll do better next time, won’t you?”

BP came to give a talk about their summer internship yesterday evening (which I’m giving serious thought to, considering this is my last summer here and I haven’t done any internships at all) and as I mentioned in this post one year ago, they gave free copies of Perry’s Chemical Engineers’ Handbook (which normally costs around £60) to everybody who got a first or two-one. One thing I found when lugging it around back to college: that stuff’s quite heavy.