It’s a really hot day today, 43°C to be precise, and I can’t seem to find the energy to get out of bed. It doesn’t help that I’m eleven days into my much-awaited, well-deserved summer break and instead of feeling creative and stimulated, I’m just getting steadily more depressed. Also I missed deadlines for summer volunteer programs so haha, bubye easy(relatively)-road-to-college!

It’s a perfect day to complain about something I’ve wanted to rant about this whole year.

Cambridge AS Level Psychology

I’ve been meaning to get this out for a while now. If any of you has studied this course, or known someone who’s taken it, you might be aware of just how badly it’s structured. It’s amazing, really. Cambridge also offers Sociology at the AS and A Levels, and I find it best to compare Psychology and Sociology since they’re widely considered to be sister disciplines. Now I’ve never studied Sociology, but I know that the students are taught about the wider context of Sociology before jumping into the nitty-gritty. Students are taught about perspectives, debates and personalities who helped conceptualise ideas and give shape to the subject before going through case studies and applications. For instance, I’d know what functionalism or the feminist perspective was about and then the syllabus would require for me to quote case studies or data to back my essay up.

In AS Level Psychology – which by the way was a gamble of a subject in the first place with people saying everything from “It’s useless and too specialised at this level!” to “Oh… That’s nice.” *coughs and walks away* – students have to rote-learn 20 case studies and then do you advance to being taught that these studies are grouped in categories like physiological psychology, cognitive psychology and so on. And then you’re taught about perspectives like behaviorism. And then you’re taught about debates like free will versus determinism, after which you attempt to sit down and start placing each study in a the greater context of psychology.

SHEEP
                                                                                                              Classy Sheep

Am I the only one who sees something wrong here? It’s such an ineffective way to teach a subject, especially since next to no one in my grade has studied Psychology before. It might just be that my school is teaching it in a very roundabout, horrible fashion but let me know? Have you been taught differently?

The part which is definitely universal though, is the way the exam is structured. The first exam is worth 80 marks, 60 of which are concentrated on about 15 short questions, merely testing our memory and rote-learning skills. The exam is not testing any application, rather focuses entirely on how good your memory is. And the funnily enough the second paper has a 20 mark question asking candidates to just come up with a study with a basic framework in mind.

Just make a study, bud. Either rote-learn the shit out of those studies, or just make a whole study. Yeah. Good talk.

There is no middle ground.

And it’s really sad because it’s not half a bad subject. In fact the parts they teach the least of, are the most interesting. For example the whole nature versus nurture debate, and how babies can actually spot people with symmetrical faces (read: hot people) when they’re just six months old! Also how far individuality and situations influence behaviors and thoughts. It’s so interesting, but no. I need to remember what the ratio of males to females in the subject pool was, in the third mini-study conducted by Langloise.

Apparently next year will be better.

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So I went to Prom..

It was a last minute decision. One of those decisions where I’ve managed to curl myself up on a one-seater, holding onto my tears and disproportionately blown up problems, refusing to respond to reason, so my mother takes the lead.

Funnily enough, none of this had to do with something as simple as a boy.

No, it was just me and my anxiety and my upcoming exams and how I felt making an effort for prom was overrated and a waste of time. This about sums it up. Of course there was the mild, underlying resentment also but I’m quite sure that wasn’t what was really bothering me.

Fast-forward, my mother insists and I do end up going. Heels and light pink embroidery and my signature flush.

It was useless though. I had no idea all they do at prom in this school is dance, conveniently the one thing I never got comfortable with. There had to have been at least 150 people on that dance floor, and can you imagine the heat? Sweat pouring down my back, those uncomfortable prickles that we’re all familiar with.

But I’ll admit it was fun. For once I truly appreciated the power of getting up, dressing up and going out for some proximity with peers. I’m usually quite blank on who’s going out with who, or who snagged who as a date just for prom so that sort of superficial observation was also amusing.

It’s easy to forget context when you’re in there, but I keep thinking about it now which is why I’m writing this.

I should be analysing Garibaldi’s contribution to the Italian unification, but instead my mind strays.

Its a lot of fun when you’re lip-syncing some trashy (in my opinion) Bollywood remix in the moment, but then you come home and you just feel a bit dazed and confused (Led Zepp pun unintended) because culture and religion and values and ideals and opinions all go out the window for that chunk of time. You are part of the crowd and you do as they do, unless you want to sit out and text your friend who doesn’t go here (Mean Girls reference, maybe a little intended) about how much you’re craving pepperonis. I would make some sort of a profound argument but honestly, how can one even pin the blame on any one specific guilty party.

Acculturation.

I guess the part about the night that stuck in my mind the longest was how cruel it was to see the one guy I had finally picked after years to have a small crush on, with a certain girl.

Irony at it’s finest, take my word for it.

As a final comment, when did prom become a rave with a pathetic playlist?

LOG ENTRY #53 – New Places

I guess I met him two years ago.

I sound unsure when I say this because we never really exchanged any words. He was one of the four or five of us in that red-walled room, where guitars hung around and our music player was an amp.

It was a good time in my life. Things that seemed complicated were so easy to ignore or run away from, and other things were excessively do-able.

It was strange seeing him walk around non-chalantly, tapping away at his phone, with a blue backpack, closely cropped hair, school uniform.

Natural habitat.

So different from the couldn’t-care-less guy with wild, surfer-boy hair that I remembered.

He was different and he was cleaner, less hazy; as if these two years had tweaked some invisible dials and fine-tuned his personality. Ironed out the wrinkles and given him the confidence to flaunt his anomalies.

It was a hot Friday afternoon. The adhan would be heard any minute now. I was sitting on a lone marble bench, twirling my phone in my hands and staring at the dusty football field.

My mother was late.

Readjusting my dupatta for the tenth time, as a cool gust of wind blew, I tore my eyes away from the unending dusty brown of the field and cast around a quick glance. There were few of us left.

I sighed.

I missed my old school, where the man who ran the canteen always loaned me money for ill-timed snacks. No such luck here, I though, glaring at the canteen on the other side of campus. It would take me four minutes to walk there and cost me what little original shade my skin had retained.

It had always been tough for me to adapt. My constitution seemed to be in the habit of rebelling, and nearing the end of my teenage years I was naive enough to wonder if I would ever change. If i would ever be the first to initiate conversation, the first to smile. If I would ever stop thinking so much about everything and just take it as a simple and inevitable changing of environments.

But the truth was, I was not old enough yet and I did rebel, and I did wonder and I did not like taking first steps. And I never stopped thinking so much.

It was then that I saw him, kicking up dust lazily, looking around, walking past to confer with the school security guard and then returning.

I wondered for a minute how it was possible that someone who was so sure, could ever be left behind. Of course I was talking in my head, in rhetoric and referring mostly to his class of friends in school and the kind of vibe he gave off.

There had been a feeling of unexpected familiarity when I saw him at school on the first day, and the jarring and unsettling realisation that this boy had always stuck out in her past, a marking-stone, and now he was part of her present . A present that I had never seen coming.

And his suddenly tall stature and short hair and sarcastic mouth were all reminders of how much had happened for me in these two years.

It was a sickening realisation, to be honest. Looking at him brought back memories of long car-rides, and expensive sandy-colored guitar, eccentric music tastes and my first taste of center-stage fame. All of that was well-behind me, yet clung on to me like the smell of cigarette smoke to a dead man’s trench coat.

He was looking around, an impatient beat playing out from beneath his running shoes.

My face was cupped lightly in my left-hand, resigned to the fact that I couldn’t do much.

He recognised me in school and I, him. And yet conversation was unnecessary and unwanted. It always had been.

Leave things be, I had said to myself on the first day. I needed to concentrate on the present.

It was then that he turned around and came and sat down next to me.

I blinked and realised I had also calmly moved over to give him more room.

My backpack dug into my arm but I couldn’t move. Not now. The initial movement seemed to have been all I was good for. My first reaction was probably reflected by my slightly dumbfounded expression, which slowly transformed into a casual, blank look.

I tried to stare at the field again.

My mind was in overdrive.

I didn’t understand. I couldn’t make sense of the gesture. Why was he sitting here? Had he even looked up long enough from his phone to recognise me? Did he want me to talk to him? Should I talk to him? What should I say?

“Umm… go away.”

No, that would sound bitchy. I had never spoken to this boy ever in my life.

So why was I over-thinking this. Maybe he just desperately wanted to sit. That was probably the right answer. It was a hot day, after all.

I frowned a little, shooting a surreptitious glance behind me. Another bench sat there, longer than my bench. It was occupied by just one junior, a timid little girl, her white hijab loosened. The rest of the bench was empty.

I looked down at my hands and questions bombarded the windshield of my mind. like raindrops or hail in a freak storm.

Would it be rude if I said nothing?

Not ruder than him plopping himself down here uninvited.

It might be a bit rude.

I don’t care.

But what was the worst that could happen.

Yes, I should talk. I should initiate conversation, smile, not think so much; be old enough.

I opened my mouth.

The security guard’s voice called his name. His mother was waiting.

He got up and left.

I decided I’d always sound unsure, and be unsure, because I had never really exchanged any words.

LOG ENTRY #50 – A Fresh Start..

I started this blog two years ago.

WordPress just reminded me that six days ago it was our two-year anniversary.

I missed our anniversary.

Its 5.53 am where I am, and this blog post is long overdue.

I’ve been meaning to get back to writing for fun for a long time. A lot of other things have been constantly prioritized over this. though. And regrettably so.

Its August, its nearly the end of my summer, and today is the day I get my O Level result.

I’ve been up since 3 am (ugh) and then saw that it had rained a little and then I thought “Oh hey, that’s a good sign,” and then I heard about Robin Williams.

The rain wasn’t a very good omen, now was it? And it sucks, because rain has always been my good luck charm. Or at least my ‘Don’t Worry No Turbulence Ahead’ charm.

But I was thinking yesterday – I started this blog two years ago, when I was just getting into my O Levels and picking subjects and stressing out over whether Additional Mathematics was a better option for me than Sociology, and worrying over how I would attempt a Math O level exam which would be the culmination of six years of math.

Its been a long time.

And so, I decided to stop hobo-tunneling (which is a term my friend came up for me and my infamous hiatuses) ((trust me, I take social hiatuses very frequently)) and finally get back to writing here, because there wouldn’t be a cooler date to do it.

Its the day I get my O Level result – for better or for worse – and it only seems fitting to come back here, where it all started two years ago.

I also think I owe a certain YouTuber a big thank you, for succeeding in making me MOVE. I know most YouTubers aim to do that and really get tumblr hipsters/YouTube-lovers off of their asses, but most of these guys have only temporarily affected me. Zoella, however, has me up at 5 am, redoing my entire blog and writing a blog post!

So yes, thank you for that video on anxiety and not letting it get in the way of life Zoe!

Moving on, I want to just. Write down here that I will be a lot less uptight about what I post on here. In the past, I think what got in the way of this blog going anywhere, was that I was always very touchy about what was good enough or acceptable enough or “looked cool enough” to go on here. And frankly – that is just not how I am any more. I know it sounds like a whole load of crap when people say motivational stuff, but this shit’s real. There is no point in caring what others think, especially since you are all avatars on my screen.

So, YAY FOR ME. I will write whatever I want, and sometimes it could also be just one word. (tumblr influences in the past two years, you see)

I feel like a different person for some reason when I’m writing this, and I feel really excited to share who I am, and who I’ve become and who I aspire to be.

I’ll be starting with my A-Levels in September, God willing. So far I’ve decided I want to study Economics, Literature in English, Math and World History. Although still a bit shifty about whether I want Physics more or World History.

((Father dear is frustrated because:

“DAUGHTER YOU WANT TO BE A JOURNALIST, WHY IN GOD’S NAME DO YOU WANT PHYSICS?”

“BECAUSE FATHER DEAR, QUANTUM!”

Idek.))

I think that should do it for this blog post.

I really really really really really hope I can keep up this drive and post regularly from here on out.

WISH ME LUCK FOR MY RESULT IN LESS THAN SIX HOURS ohmygod!!!!!

Zoella’s links:

youtube.com/zoella

 

twitter.com/Zozeebo

zoella.tumblr.com

 

 

 

LOG ENTRY #35 – I missed double Literature and I don’t care! Sort of..

Today – I ditched school.

Ditched in the sense that, I didn’t go – when I am usually the last person to ever let that thought cross my mind. And I get scolded for going to school when I have, let’s say, diarrhea or a 102 degree fever or something of the sort..

It’s not that my self-protective instinct is non existent. It’s just that I know that there is absolutely no point in ditching since I’ll just sit around like a bum, doing what I’m doing right now actually. Also, since I go to a missionary school, discipline is of paramount important and ditchers are frowned upon. Especially when it happens to be the crucial day of the year, when our Headmistress is on the look-out for ‘who’s not here?!”

Today was technically the last working day before our mid-term exams start i.e. on Monday. And even though not going today meant potentially degrading yourself in Sister’s (our headmistress) sight (she hates it when people skip school right before the exams as she believes staying at home and studying is irresponsible), missing a double (and very important) English Literature class, and a double Biology class, and a double History class, and P.E. (Yes, I actually enjoy playing throwball).

Continue reading “LOG ENTRY #35 – I missed double Literature and I don’t care! Sort of..”