November 30, 2010

To The Virgins, to Make Much of Time.

As dictated by Faranza Syns

Read through this post from ages ago. And since it would be such a waste to let it stay in my drafts folder... POSTED! A piece of memory preserved.


Today, in Poetry (which is awesomely taught by the extraordinarily dry-witted Mdm. Adibah), we were analysing the poem "To The Virgins, Make Much of Time" by Robert Herrick (amid lots of sniggers and double-entendres and meaningful glances at the brothers.

Madam: Alright, Syafiq, will you do the honours, and recite the poem to the virgins? *turns to look at us girls* Of course, I'm saying this on assumption.

Girls: Gahaha.

Syafiq: *stands up and faces Ata', another brother*

Madam Adibah: Is Ata' a virgin, then, Syafiq, because you seem to be facing him.

Girls: *sniggers*

Doubtlessly, it was a wondrously hilarious session (albeit very harrying for the brothers).

Madam: Alright. Now, "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may." What does the word "rosebud" signify here?

Someone: Virginity?


Madam: Gather virginity? Really? *mock-surprise*

That was epic.

Madam Adibah: "Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry."
Alright, what is the speaker telling the "virgins"?
Someone: To go get married! *excitedly*
Madam Adibah: *sighs, rolls eyes* Yes, but what's before that? That is just the add-on. What's the main message?
Everyone: ...*silence*... (in our heads: "...GET MARRIED. GET MARRIED..."
Madam Adibah: *cocks her head to the side with mild aggravation* In the 1st line...
Someone: Gather experiences!
Madam Adibah: *sighs* Finally.


November 28, 2010

Epiphany #23

As dictated by Faranza Syns

Will I ever get to leave Malaysia?

Or be bigger than I am now (not in size)?

I guess when I chose to study English (not TESL), I expected to be in an environment most conducive to internationalization. But I don't feel any bigger - I feel smaller. Like my life is ... dull.


Maybe it'll be better in Gombak.



As dictated by Faranza Syns

I admit, I've been a very bad girl.

I haven't been to debate practices. Gah.

My superficial reasons:

Excuse #1: To go to practice, Nilai campus debaters have to board the bus that leaves for the PJ campus at 5 o'clock every Thursday so that we could have the practice at PJ.

...which leads to the next superficial excuse...

Excuse #2: When we finish with our Thursday night practice, we'd have to find a friend in PJ so that we could sleep over in their room (which is needless hassle, I'd say, though it does tighten bonds)

...which irreverently brings the third reason to effect...

Excuse #3: We have to wake up bright and early to board the bus back to the Nilai campus.

...which in turn makes the following occur...

Excuse #4: We'd reach the campus late and as a result, we'd be late for our Friday morning classes.

...and ultimately...

Main excuse: Madam would be pissed and strike us off as tardy. And we get marks cut off for attendance.


What's more, it's Arab class I'll be missing. Despite the 8 contact hours that has been set per week (which is a lot of hours to meet your lecturer), I know I wouldn't be able to survive the term with two hours lost each week. I'd get an exam barring letter. GAH.

And so, I didn't go for practices. Haha.

But actually, if you scratch the surface, I guess the real reasons would be that I was petrified when I realised just how high the stakes were. To debate in the IIUM team, be it that it's just the CFS (Centre for Foundation Studies) team, it means a lot. It means guts and grit.

I once had it in me. But then, looking at the level of the debates, I got scared. Petrified. International debates at Macau and what-not - heck, the furthest I've ever been on a plane is Sabah!

But last Thursday, I got dragged to PJ to see the Dean (most people thought it was because I got the Dean's List last term, but it's WAY WORSE...).

Ata': Farhana, you HAVE to go to PJ! The Dean wants to see us (debaters). It's COMPULSORY.


And so, despite the fact that I had a presentation (that I had not prepared for) the next day, I got onto the bus with Nadia (and got bus sick from doing the work on the bus).

When we got there, I didn't recognise ANY of the debaters, except the Nilai debaters. I felt like a fish out of water, like Bambi on ice. Awkward. Guilty.

When we got into the meeting room to meet the Dean (OMGWTFBBQ), I panicked. Before the Dean came in, the Deputy Dean for the Leadership and Training Department (LEADTRAIN) told us to introduce ourselves and tell him our achievements so far in debating (OMGWTFBBQ again).

In my head: Um, sir? Yes, My name's Farhana. My achievement's AWESOME. You know why I say so? I'm the only debater here who has SUCCESSFULLY managed to skip trainings since day one. I mean, seriously, Sir, I am awesome. Everyone's been to at least ONE session. Me? NIL! Awesome, right? I knew you'd say so, sir!

Another senior debater from the Gombak campus who is also named Farhana told us to pretend it was a beauty pageant question. All I heard in my head was "OMG. WTF. BBQ." I was so distraught and strung up that I turned to Kak Mastura (our senior debater in Nilai) and grabbed her arm. "WHY THE HELL DID YOU DRAG ME HERE? I'VE NEVER BEEN TO ONE FRIGGIN TRAINING."

But it turned out that the Dean merely wanted to talk to the leaders of the team. All of us who sat at the outer circle heaved sighs of relief.

But still, my nerves were so shot that even when the Dean stepped out, I couldn't relax.

I told myself, "at least the worst is over."

Hell no. The trainer for the team then turned to us all and said that he wanted to see us all for a short meeting.


I thought of hiding in the small pond in front of the meeting room, but even that's denied me; I'm not good at holding my breath, and seeing as I'm HUGE, that's never gonna work out (the water would be overflowing. Duh.)

But as it turned out, it wasn't so bad - the meeting, not the idea of hiding in the pond. The trainer thought I was a new debater. Yay!

But I guess this time I'd have to be really dedicated to debating.

I just wanna adjudicate, but it would be fun, I guess, getting a new team. Of course, I still love my old team: Dharr, Sheng Rei, Jasmine, Amanda, Kim, Eugene, Pave and the others. But...maybe a new team's not so bad.

Besides, did I say how hot English debaters are? ;D

Not a Villanelle, nor a Riddle;
Just a Sestina, broken up in the middle.


A Petrarchan Sonnet of sorts.

As dictated by Faranza Syns

Except I'm no Italian and all I have is introductory info on it.

Did you guys know that there are stressed and unstressed syllables in the English words that you use daily? Like the word "republic". If you check an Advanced Learner's dictionary, you'd see the apostrophe-like sign either before or after the syllable "pub" (my old Collin's dictionary puts it after the syllable. My friend's latest edition Cambridge placed the sign before the syllable "pub". No idea why). This apostrophe sign that you is an indication that the the syllable is stressed. It's accented a lot more clearly within the word. Re-pub-lic. If you listen to a native-speaker with that thick-as-molasses accent, you'd hear it ten times clearer. Fascinating, yes?


There's a pattern of stressed and unstressed sounds in poetry. The pattern is called a metrical pattern. That's why poets take up to 10 years sometimes to finish a poem. Just to get the right word, the right tone, the right rhyme and sound. To choose the right word with the right stress pattern.

That's when I realized how awesome literature can be. The little thing we've learned in form 4? Pfft, nothing compared to this awesomeness that I've learned in Reading and Analysing: Poetry. Whoot!