I have made a captive of myself and put me into a dungeon, and now I cannot find the key to let myself out. -Nathaniel Hawthorne-

something happened yesterday in one of my classes that somewhat jaded my impression of adult students. older adult students.

much earlier in the semester, the lecturer has assigned to us a total of three projects. the first two involved presentations and write ups. the third is a mega research paper. there are also exams and homework, but those are not important as far as this post in concerned.

towards the middle of the semester, finding the load of all the projects a bit too much to stomach, the class negotiated to cut down the first two projects by half. as a result, the first project was reduced to presentation only and the second project to write up only.

that was over a month ago.

this week is the second last week of lectures. i entered the class with a horrific discovery that everyone else has not even started the second nor the third project. not to say that i’m that geek that does thing the minute i get the instructions. i admit that i have not even begun to draft my papers either. but at least i found the journals i needed to get it started. before the lecturer entered, they discussed ways on how to convince the lecturer to drop altogether at least one of the projects because resources (i would admit to this) is rather difficult to find (but mind, not impossible).

most of them… oh, who are we kidding here? all of my classmates are older than i am. most of them are family people with kids and all. most of them are teachers. though evidently the loudest, but as the youngest and assumably the most immature of the class, i trusted them to handle negotiation with the lecturer in the most respectable of ways possible.

now, the lecturer for this subject is a genius. i real linguistic gem. i’m petrified of her and at the same time, i have tremendous respect for this woman. she’s strict and has high expectations. she drills you with the very best and in turn expects the very best. furthurmore, this is a final semester subject.

first, they asked her nicely. she said ‘no’. then they asked her again, and again, she refused. i guess i understand her position. in the last week of the semester baru nak negotiate the coursework requirements, that’s just not fair. the lecturer could extend datelines, but to cancel out a whole project? how the hell is she going to grade us then?

but they did not relent. i was completely dumbfounded and utterly taken aback. they begged and whined, and when that did not work, they got angry and kept pestering. if i was in the lecturer’s position, i would have completely lost my temper. the class simply would not take ‘no’ for an answer. i felt the lecturer was totally pushed into a corner. i thought the begging was just demeaning and the pestering was way overboard. sure the projects are difficult, but isn’t that what postgrad work is supposed to be about? it is not that i like difficult work. journal hunting took up a lot of my time too, and time that i could have spent engaged in things i’d actually enjoy doing. but postgrad is not about having things easy. if a postgrad status elevates one to a level higher than the average undergrad degree, then you really can’t expect postgrad to have the same leniency as undergrads now, can’t you? and come on lah! it’s the second last week of the semester and you all have not even started on at least one of the projects?

anyway, the lecturer broke. she cancelled the second project.

i felt really bad, but i did not say anything. after that day’s presentations, the lecturer quickly left. she did not even comment much on the presentations. i wanted to go to her office to apologise to her. but i found out that she did not even go back to the office. i saw her got into her car and drove off.

but my classmates felt a sense of victory. i bet they’re so fucking proud of what they did. from my personal point of view, i think we’ll be losing out big time. now she’s totally going to screw us up on our mega project because that’s where she’s going to dump the weight of the second project. you actually think she’s going to go easy on that last paper? i would rather have had several projects with less weightage to each so as to distribute my marks over a wider spectrum, than to have less than a handful of projects with a noose handing over each one.

so yea, i was upset yesterday. remnants of it followed me into today. venting things here does not really make me feel any better. but i suppose fessing up helps me reflect on things.

this is by far, one of the most beautiful set of lyrics i have ever read.

if you got a good internet connection, i highly recommend watching the video clip on yahoo launch. the video shows photographs of soldiers in uniform crying with their families before going to war. the ending of the clip is especially moving.

shed a tear.

I’m already there -lonestar-

He called her on the road
From a lonely cold hotel room
Just to hear her say I love you one more time
But when he heard the sound
Of the kids laughing in the background
He had to wipe away a tear from his eye
A little voice came on the phone
Said Daddy when you coming home
He said the first thing that came to his mind

I’m already there
Take a look around
I’m the sunshine in your hair
I’m the shadow on the ground
I’m the whisper in the wind
I’m your imaginary friend
And I know I’m in your prayers
I’m already there

She got back on the phone
Said I really miss you darling
Don’t worry about the kids they’ll be alright
Wish I was in your arms
Lying right there beside you
But I know that I’ll be in your dreams tonight
And I’ll gently kiss your lips
Touch you with my fingertips
So turn out the light and close your eyes

I’m already there
Don’t make a sound
I’m the beat in your heart
I’m the moonlight shining down
I’m the whisper in the wind
And I’ll be there until the end
Can you feel the love that we share
I’m already there

We may be a thousand miles apart
But I’ll be with you wherever you are


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