"I miss my dog" post:
Kimchi the corgi- 5 months and 3 years old. This face always makes me laugh.
Lana in the library.
the first day of my laaaaaast course in grad school today!
P.S. do I look 24 years old?
Chocolate raspberry macarons!
Sooo yesterday was my birthday, and look, a present from the baking gods: feet on my macarons.
For mom and dad who didn’t get to attend the shows :D
Pictures from last year’s IDeFix theater shows are now on the website! Click “2013” on the top bar.
If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be very intelligent, read them more fairy tales.–
Not too much Indonesian folk stories, though— some of them are just downright bizarre. The fallen hero turns to stone practically in every other folk story.
Also, my brother had nightmares from a storybook that had Snow White turned into a tree trunk with a pair of eyes and lipstick.
Key is, don’t overdo it.Via Explore
Found out when reading cooking directions that the Dutch word for “quantity” is hoeveelheid— or in English “howmuchness”. HOWMUCHNESS. That’s darn cute.– I don’t know Dutch but a mix of German, English, and Indonesian skills gave me this strangely good sense to understand it, which only makes me lazier to learn it properly, I guess.
…sent an email to my advisor updating the scope of analysis and tools and asking if I’m doing it correctly and he said “yes”.
This only happened after I spent 5 hours on a desk in the library (because my group partner happened to do all her schoolwork there and it’s convenient to sit next to her and finish our presentations slides together) after that I was too lazy to move.
Ah grad school I’m not going to miss you after this year.
In the Sims, you can read a book and understand the content entirely (thereby enhancing your life skills) once the bar above your head is full.
In the Sims, you can finish your homework by spending enough time on it until the bar above your head is filled in the same way.
In real life, you can be working on a homework for hours, or read every chapter in a book until you depleted your energy and “fun” meter, but still don’t understand anything or getting anything close to done.
So is life. C’est horrible.
A man playing Chopin in front of Ukrainian Riot Police.
Caramelized Banana Cake with Vanilla Mascarpone Frosting!
(Recipe adapted from here. The adjustments I made are: I substituted mascarpone for cream cheese (milder taste!) and omitted butter from the frosting, used my phenomenal dark Basterdsuiker instead of white sugar, and added sliced ripe banana in between the layers for that extra banana punch. BANANA PUNCH!)
A professor asked me where I’m from. I answered “Indonesia”. He asked if I’m studying my master’s. I said yes. He concluded, based on those two words, ability to understand and answer his questions, and probably a sentence I said in class today, that
"Your English is very good."
My brow furrowed. “I… guess…”
"Did you study outside of Indonesia?"
"Uh, well yeah in the US."
"I knew it. You see, that makes a difference.” There is something about his smugness that I just cannot stand. What are you saying, Indonesians who do not study outside the country are somehow unable to learn English good enough to say two lines in public?
It would’ve been different if he had said it after reading a lengthy paper I wrote in English (although it would still be odd if he only said it to Asians and not all ESL students: everyone). But I said two, TWO sentences in class before he made that judgment.
This is not the first time this has happened, and I understand that more often than not it’s a well-meant, friendly attempt at starting a conversation and showing interest in other people and cultures. Still, people in this continent are not as aware of such microagressions as Americans and it annoys me… especially when most Europeans here are not native speakers of the English language themselves and make the same mistakes we make. It’s saying “oh you speak normally, but I know very well that your country sucks, and compared to your countrymen I can surely judge that you are much better— good for you!”
It’s mostly the students and professors, not the canteen lady or the cleaning service guy who ask me these things. What do they teach people here about “developing” countries I wonder?
I guess I just have to get used to it… part of me that is easily provoked want to perform so verbally well in this class that he has to change his outlook, but the more rational half told me I know nothing about the topic yet, so don’t speak faster than you think.
AAHHH! >:( #asianinpredominantlywhiteclassroomproblems
I’m so confused I have birds flying around my head. These birds look like they were bred by Twitter.
The hardest thing about being away from home for a long period of time is leaving your egg-shaped, bead-eyed, fluffy bright orange smiling dork of a corgi behind. People give me weird looks when I say this, but it’s a serious and honest answer.
Hello! Can you believe we’re 1/12 done with 2014? :D
I just went to see my thesis advisor (yes, I got one finally!) earlier today, he is a professor in the psychology department so I had to take the bus and go to the other side of the river to get to his office. Technically I can bike, but I don’t have the willpower. Willpower is hard to find these days. I often feel that each person only has a limited amount of willpower at any given time, and you have to allocate it to whatever is most important. Probably related to how much blood sugar you have flowing to your frontal brain. My willpower is very little for this thesis and it’s almost dying, so I’m shielding the little flame from the wind by spoiling myself for anything thesis-related (taking the bus to advisor meeting, rewarding self with caramel eclairs when typing literature research, etc.). I believe this mediates the relationship between writing thesis and getting fat.
Even though it is only January, I feel like I’ve grown so much older, mainly because of the work I am doing with my team for the extracurricular honours programme (holymoly british spelling) project. The past one week I attended a team competence coaching and a 6-hour (yes!) workshop on project-based working. I was confronted many times with how inefficient and disorganized my team was. My team consists of 3 equally hardworking, organized, and sharp-witted girls who get along really well, so for me it was a mystery how we could all get stuck in a mess of inaction, information overload, and no control on our client’s expectations. Our competence coach help us realize these little internal sources of problems that were hard to put a finger on, and make slight changes that will boost our team functioning. I was a bit skeptical of workshops and trainings and stuff, but now I know why people go to these things. I want to have that skill too, pointing out things that people don’t notice about themselves/their work and help them get out of the ditch. It’s a neat profession.
About the project itself, we met the CEO in his office last week. I still can’t believe we’re acting as “little consultants” for this person, because we knew nothing about this topic (tourism KPI?) when we started. How can he trust us?
(Anyway I am glad I had enough willpower to apply and get myself involved in this whole experience, but that’s probably a confirmation bias because I’ve been promoting the program as an ambassador in the past few days. Yeh.)
Another reflection is that, similarly, the little problems I have in my own productivity were hard to figure out because I’ve never failed anything SO badly that I felt like I needed professional help or intervention. Recently my grades came out, and mine were good but really just average compared to some of my mostly Dutch and German peers. This made me very confused whether I should be glad or disappointed in myself. My master’s program taught me that humans always compare themselves to others. Satisfaction is reference-dependent. Whether an 8 is satisfying or disappointing depends on whether one makes an upward or downward comparison. The upwards comparison, “I could’ve…” thoughts, linger in my head and make me unhappy about life sometimes. Then I do some downwards comparison and reprimand myself for being not thankful enough. Either way it makes me sad.
Would I have studied harder if I can start over? No, I did my best in preparing for and taking the exam! So probably I’m just not that smart. Small fish in a big pond, hitting the plateau of mediocrity. These realizations are a bit depressing, but hopefully they make me stay grounded. Related: the quote from Carol Dweck that I reblogged before this.
(Why am I so serious in this blog post I don’t even know. I sound like a self-help helping self.)
Unrelated (or is it?) note, lately I’ve realized how being deprived of music really “hardens” you as a person. Something that sounds so pretentious to say, but as someone who grew up with constant physical and mental involvement in music-related stuff, I realize that the presence of music really balances my mind. I still do not want to be a professional musician, but seeing musicians in clubs or TV shows who get to explore their sounds and are being paid for playing music makes me jealous sometimes. I keep a bucket list in the back of my head, which includes taking jazz lessons and brushing up some Chopin etudes once I settle somewhere for work. Starting a taiko group. Writing musicals. Or just playing what I already know. Who knows. Whatever they are, I look forward to it.
Gahhhh back to work.