Aside

Stumbled upon

I vaguely remember there used to be a social site called stumbled upon, yes? It was a long time ago. Back when MSN messenger was still a thing. But that is not the point. It’s not the site that I stumbled upon. It was my old Tumblr account that I stumbled upon.

An email from Tumblr came through just when I was studying for my last finals; 4 years anniversary of Tracing Memories. It was four years ago that I set up a Tumblr account. I don’t exactly remember why I stopped going on Tumblr, like so many other things that went away in my life, it just happened. Well, life happened. Frankly, I was shocked to find XiaXue’s (A famous Singaporean blogger, apparently) post flooded my feed when I finally managed to recall my Tumblr password.

I spent another 20 minutes navigating around trying to view my own blog page. The next 15 minutes or so scrolling through histories. It just so happened that I once linked my Instagram to Tumblr, so there were some earlier Instagram photos on my Tumblr. Then again, it is not the point because when I scrolled pass the Instagram era, I stumbled into my past. A small, forgotten piece. There was a split second when I stopped scrolling, I didn’t dare to continue scrolling. It wasn’t about how stupid I used to be, nor how naive. It was some reblogged posts that reminded me of what I once felt.

An answer to a question that has been haunting me.

I guess my friend was right. It doesn’t matter anymore. What matter was that at the point of decision making, I chose myself. This, by default, rendered what had been and what could have been meaningless.

Nevertheless, I thank Tumblr for that email that had transported me back to my past.

I have loved you, once upon a time.

We are two lines forming a sphere. Although we don’t meet often, but we will always get back to each other. And you are all that I have and I’m all that you’ve got.

Scribbled,

Mich

Gender equality: A stalled revolution.

DSC00429

Out of 195 countries in this entire world, women only led 19 of them. In parliaments globally, women hold just 21 percent seats. Only a mere twenty-three of all Fortune 500 CEOs are women. In the United States where they pride themselves on liberty and justice for all, the gender division of leadership roles is not any better. Since the suffragettes first marched in the street of Washington, D.C. back in 1913, revolution of gender equality started till this day where both men and women are given the same opportunity to pursue our education and career. This phenomenon had us believe that the revolution of gender equality has succeeded and the fight is over. However, the happy ending has not arrived just yet. The revolution of gender equality has stalled and the fight is far from over due to a few reasons.

It is true that women in many countries have been granted the rights to vote, for instance, Malaysia. And the accesses to health care facilities in many countries are readily available to women. However, the revolution of gender equality has yet to succeed because there are still places in this world where women are being denied their basic civil rights. This is unarguably true when about 4.4 million women and girls are still caught up and stuck in the sex trade. Countries such as Afghanistan, fifty percent of the women still suffer from all types of rights violations such as forced marriages, rape and sexual harassments. To make matters worse, teachers are threatened not to teach young girls and girls are constantly being abused. If the fight for gender equality were over, such disparity would not still exist.

According to an article published by Time.com, women are still earning significantly less money than men. The sweeping changes in the 1960s was indeed huge and revolutionary; women’s employment increased significantly; women caught up with and surpassed a lot of men in terms of college graduation rates and more women got doctorates as well as professional degrees. However, the existing wage gap between men and women tells us that the legendary revolution has in fact stalled. The U.N. Women report revealed that although there are more women in the workplace taking up leadership positions, the pay levels are anywhere but near the reaching of equality worldwide. This is particularly obvious in the South Asia where women are earning thirty three percent less than men. Thirty three percent is a significant gap in the generation that brags about gender equality. If gender revolution is still in rapid progress, such wage gap between male and female shall not exist in such significant statistics.

Far from being a victorious revolution, the fight for gender equality has stalled, as discrimination against women is still prominent. There may be laws made to protect women’s rights and to ensure that both gender receives equal respects in today’s society. However, the stereotypes and discrimination held against women are still strong. Just as the most current controversial reports of the Indonesia military that imposed “virginity tests” upon female recruits and even the fiancées of military officers. Not only is such test harmful and humiliating to women, it also sets back the civilization of mankind to the medieval age. Virginity testing is being recognized as a form of gender-based violence, which according to the guidelines issued by World Health Organization, has no scientific validity at all. In the globalization era that we live in, if it is true that gender revolution had succeeded, then why are the capabilities and the intention of a woman who wants to serve her own country be defined by the status of her virginity?

Reaping the fruits of what women so many generations before us had sowed with sweat and blood should have us feeling grateful. Not a single soul would stand out and disagree with the fact that in the current era that we are living in, the female gender is lucky to have equal, or almost equal, opportunities as our male counterpart when it comes to pursuing an education or applying for the highest of positions. However, this does not mean that the revolution has come to a victorious end. In this part of the world where women are being respected, on the other end of the exact same world, women are still being oppressed. Women might have been given a fair share of opportunity but a significant wage gap still exists and to top that off, discriminations and stereotypes against women are still a problem that needs to be solved. With all these being said, it is sufficient to win the argument that the revolution for gender equality has been stalled and the fight has yet to be over.

***

I know  I stopped updating my blog. I tend to just let thoughts dissipate into air. It’s either I feel too lazy or as I grow older, I became less expressive. Well, I do express a lot on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Microblogging, if that counts. I will be off to my exchange in a few weeks and we shall see if there is any improvement.

Meanwhile, I hope you enjoyed this piece I did for my Expository Writing class.

FYP submitted, like finally. It came to a point where I don’t care how he grades me anymore, as long as I have submitted it! 🙂

One leg out of university. Ops, there is still finals of course! Study mood, come on, work your magic!

Till then!

Scribbled,

Mich

Lucky day.

What happened today was as if to remind me to always count my blessings. Let’s shed some positivity to my otherwise negative life. I have friends complaining my Instagram is so gloomy as if I’ve been through a thousand break ups.

Here’s what happened.

I came home last weekend to celebrate my father’s birthday and I planned to stay back in my college for this and the coming weekend. There was suppose to be an election at Taylor’s University tomorrow, but probably the physic of this universe worked it’s magic; it got cancelled. Until yesterday, I thought I’d stay back anyways to support my course mate’s event and work on my Final Year Project.

And then I got the news that my mom’s aunt passed away. But thought I wouldn’t be able to make it because my mom was suppose to attend the funeral yesterday night. It so happened that she did not.

But the thought of going home still did not occur to me until while I was having brunch with my room mate at 12:00pm.

Here’s some background information. If I want to go home by the public transport, I’ll have to take a bus from my residential college area to campus. From campus, I’ll have to take the shuttle bus to the KTM station which comes every one hour. And I have to reach Kajang KTM station latest by 2:30pm or else no one would be able to pick me up from the station.

KTM shuttle bus do not enter residential college area unless it is weekends or public holidays. It’s Friday, which means the last bus from residential college area to campus is 12:30pm and last bus from campus to KTM station is 12:45pm. Bus operation only resumes around 2:00pm to 2:30 pm, after Friday prayer hours.

In such case, my biggest hope is that I could catch the last bus to campus area and grab a cab to KTM station.

By the time we were done with lunch and got back to our room, it was 12:15pm. I called my mom and told her I’d be going home and started packing, it was 12:18pm. I literally dumped everything into a plastic bag, packed my laptop and sprinted to the bus stop.

It was 12:22pm, it usually takes 5 minutes from my block to the bus station. 12:26pm when I reach the bus station and I was about to head for the waiting bus. But a bus with the indicator flashing the three alphabets; KTM stopped right in front of me. I was beyond thrilled and even confirmed it with the driver before I board it.

I asked the driver why did the shuttle bus to the KTM station enter our residential college area on a Friday. The driver told me his assigned route for the day was my residential college area but he received a call  from the control centre to change his route to the KTM station, which was probably a couple of minutes right before I reach the KTM station.

It was 12:56pm and there was only one counter opened with a very long queue, but before I got into line and begin queuing, another counter opened and I became to 3rd in line. My ticket was RM1.10. I gave the operator RM2.00 and he asked me if I had 10 cents. I said I have and started fumbling around but just couldn’t find any when I need it. The operator passed me my ticket and a one ringgit bill, telling me it was okay.

I looked at him gratefully, grab my stuff and got passed the ticket machine. The train arrived once I stepped onto the platform. It was 12:58pm.

A journey that usually takes about 1 hour to reach Kajang from my university took about 30 minutes.

I guess I was meant to come home after all this weekend. A secret force making everything smooth for me.

10818824_980907058591010_1515043762_n

And then coming home to this surprise token of appreciation from that  one book sale that could drive me insane. I knew there would be something arriving from the team but never thought it would include a preview pass.

I actually wanted to resist going this year, but oh well.

All in all, I feel so lucky today. And all these made it possible for me to pay my last respect to my mom’s aunt.

At this current age of mine, I realise, our elderlies are growing as we are growing and changing too. Though it felt as if we’ve changed a lot but they have always been the same, fact is, they’re growing older too. And suddenly they all seem so fragile to me.

I wish my biggest fear could give me more time.

Scribbled,

Mich.

Delayed post.

Local Leadership Development Seminar 2014, Broga Excel Training Centre, Semenyih. Photo by Jeney.

I remember that night, I think it was the first night in Langkawi. After a long day exploring like the excited kids like we were, I finally whipped out my phone to check it and saw miss calls from him. Being used to the adrenaline rush during the term, I literally screamed and said “Oh shit, oh shit. What happened this time, what happened?” I asked Jivitha if she got his call too.

Yes, that was how it felt towards the end of the term. When you receive calls from your President, you panic and you’d dive into that frantic debate whether should you or should you not answer the call. But then I figure it’s ridiculous, so I gave him a call back.

The first thing he asked me was what will you be doing in October? I thought to myself; what kind of stupid question is that, how would I know. But when he dropped the bomb, I literally shouted YESSSS. And regretted for 0.05 seconds because I remember I promised another friend beforehand. All in all, honestly it was sort of like a dream come true. I know I’m dramatic but I’ve been granted license for it cause I’m a girl. Yes, double standards, sue me.

It was my official first facilitating experience and there were a lot of places that I should have and could have done better. However, bygones be bygone. I’m just grateful that I have been granted this opportunity to facilitate the first conference of newly recruited members of my very own entity. Amazingly, through this short encounter with the role of a facilitator, again, I got to know myself better. I never thought of myself as a socially awkward person, but I was in fact very awkward with a group of excited newbies.

It was a lot of mixed feelings. Almost a year ago, I was a delegate among the senior track, on the other side of the hall together with my team trying to be better. And then just a couple of days ago, I was sitting across the hall, looking at the group of people wearing the same red shirt that we used to wear, trying to be better. It felt weird in the beginning. As if this organisation is a rotator. Your position changes every year. Even the way you see things changes every year. And then it hit you suddenly, that it’s the vicious cycle. Someone else will be sitting at your place thinking about the same thing, feeling the same way next year too.

Working with a team of crazy and funny facilitators, there were laughters that made you roll on the floor hugging your aching stomach, and there were thought provoking ideas thrown at each other. I love this. Behind every smile, everyone has a different story. It reminded me why I love this place. It’s the best platform to learn about different stories, different thoughts and different experiences.

Like what I’ve shared with my group of delegates, being in my final year of studies, I constantly try to do more things, meet up with as much people as possible, simply because I know all these that I’m doing right now is a kind of luxury. That upon graduation, all these; “Because I want to” might not come by as easy anymore.

I’ve been thinking, in the short time span of two years from now, where will I end up being?

Hopefully a place where I’m happy.

Scribbled,

Mich

Aside

For one more day.

All you hear is raindrops
Trickling down the white canopy
Footsteps coming close, passes by
As hands finding their ways
Patting your drained, fragile frame
They wouldn’t know and it doesn’t matter
One by one, as concerned eyes leave
Life goes on all the same
But what else remains the same?
When the only thing you wish is..
For one more day.
They wouldn’t know and it doesn’t matter
One day you’d learn to shed tears of sorrow
And you’ll know it’s fine to feel something
But what else remains to be felt?
When the one and only thing you want is..
For one more day.

Ducking out: The #IceBucketChallenge

To begin this post, I’d like to express my utmost gratitude to Mr. Pravin Nair, the tall and slender President of AIESEC in University Technology Petronas for granting me the honour by nominating me for the ALS awareness ice bucket challenge. Although I know I sendiri cari pasal. Lol, sorry Nicole.

That macho look!

 

Well, to continue this post, I have to express my deepest apologies to Pravin AND Nicole because the duck has to decline this ice bucket challenge. Yikes, sorry for ducking out!

Truth be told, I’m sort of keen to accept the ice bucket challenge because an ALS patient confessed that every single challenge accepted and performed moved him and it meant a lot to them. Also because having a bucket of water poured over your head already feels good, what else with an ice bucket head-pour? I asked my sister if she would help me record it, but then she reminded me of my condition.

With my heart condition alone I wouldn’t mind with a few steps of precaution. But freshly recovered from a mild injury and currently on antibiotics due to dental infection, I am more than just wary to take the risk this time. Oops. Sorry, guys! Pay back next time alright?

So, due to such a bummer I became of this meaningful challenge, I do what I do best; I blog it out loud.

ALS; acronym of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is one of the many kinds of neurodegenerative disease. As the name ‘neurodegenerative’ suggests; your brain, the main mechanism that controls you, slowly stops functioning. And slowly, step by step, it takes you away from your life.

You stop being able to dance, run, walk, sing, talk and finally, breathe.

The first time I got to know about this disease, or at least similar, was through One Litre of Tears. The girl was diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease too, but I’m not quite sure if it is ALS too. And I got to know it better through my favourite book, Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. It is said that Mitch Albom, in his own way, has educated the world about ALS.

Here is an excerpt from his book.

Source: Mitch Albom Official Facebook page.

This ALS Ice bucket challenge awareness campaign, I must say is the most successful awareness raising campaign I have ever seen. Starting from United States, it went viral around the world. Of course, credits to the power of social media and influence of celebrities. It set off a trend for a good cause.

However, it also saddens me that there are countless of people doing the challenge for the sake of fun and for the sake of; “Because I was nominated and I want to nominate someone else.”

You know what I mean.

It got me feeling so helpless too when you hear ridiculous people saying; “Accept this challenge OR donate 100USD.”

It is not a matter of OR, but a matter of truly understanding what ALS is, why your action matters, how to do your part. But for most people, this is not it.

Regardless, this campaign along with this challenge has gain success! This disease has yet to find any cure, but knowing that we do care, I hope it paints the days of ALS patients a little brighter ! 🙂

If by now you’re wondering; “Eh, woman, you talk so much, don’t want to accept then donate la.”

Well, meanwhile I am declining this ice bucket challenge, I’m taking this nomination as a calling to act. Taking one of my friend as example, I choose to not donate to alsa.org because like she said, it has gain much attention and donations are flooding in. Thus, I would donate to two causes that I’m passionate about and hope that it bring some light to this two cause and awareness within you about this two cause.

The first one is Teach for Malaysia. One that I am passionate about and want to work towards joining it.

Another one is a cause for congenital heart diseases in Malaysia as I am one who is going through such defect. However, I still couldn’t find the channel of such support community in Malaysia and never heard of one, I shall ask my doctor on my next appointment. If you know one, do let me know! Another chunk of information, as common as heart diseases are,  most people are not aware of Congenital Heart Disease are the most common defect among newborn babies.

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 11.44.44 PM

Source: Jump Start Your Heart

There is effort of raising awareness of CHDs in the states but not yet in Malaysia. At least, my family didn’t have any support group or community to turn to 22 years back when they needed one.

Yep.

Last but not least, instead of nominating(which I obviously won’t since I declined the challenge) three people, I’d like to express a token of personal appreciation to some people who I find amazing.

If you still remember Sarah that I blogged about her going bald for a cancer cause. Yes! She is the friend I was referring to above. She accepted the challenge and also donated. But she made a wise decision to donate to a cause that she feels more passionate about and a cause that also needs attention. Good job, Sarah!

Next is my sister, Mrs Er. An unsung heroin where she quietly donated to ALS even before it began going viral in Malaysia on her own accord and passion. Not only just ALS but also World Vision. So proud of you.

As youth, it is not only our responsibility to be aware of certain condition and issues, it is also our responsibility to take action and make things better.

Scribbled,

Mich