MAGIC MOUSE

Happy Saturday! I am currently blogging from the Blogger mobile app, granting it a second chance since the first time I used it, which was an utter disappointment.  Not only was the interface bland, the app kept lagging and force-closing on me. 

Fast forward two years, and there seems to be some improvement with the program!  The developers have taken a more minimalist approach to the interface and the app itself is more responsive.  Alas, there still exists a flaw with this second attempt (only this time, it arose from my phone and not the app) -- it is impossible to craft a sentence without making a typo with every other word.  (Note: Out of livid exasperation, I resigned to writing the rest of this post with my new computer, see details below).

For some reason, the keyboard (a Cantonese-English one) I am using on my phone is very touch-sensitive.  Specifically, when hovering a finger above a key -- without the intention of hitting it -- it will still process the "touch" (or lack thereof, really), promptly entering the letter.  It's been frustrating typing in English.  Not wanting to sound like an illiterate cretin, I always close my half-finished texts/memos/e-mails in abject fury.  I only conceded to keeping it upon my Mom's complaints about my abysmal Chinese.  

I have no objections with staying rooted to my culture, but besides using it conversationally (upon coercion), I've really no practical use for Chinese outside of my distant relatives.  You see, my household speaks predominantly English and I have maybe two Chinese friends at most.  [sigh].  These are the downfalls to conformity.

Anyway, I am supposed to be finishing up on one of my readings (a whopping 20 pages on the importance of understanding media).  Who knew studying English entailed reading up on the philosophy behind art?  Unfortunately, first year BA English students are required to take courses that encompass different branches of humanities (they don't want us to confine ourselves to just one discipline).  In the wake of these policies, I ended up with three electives and only two literature courses this semester.

To end this rather prosaic entry on an interesting note, I got a new computer!  For the new school year, I got to choose between a Macbook Pro and iMac.  I chose the latter upon being enticed by the shiny mouse.  There can't be a more pretentious name than Magic Mouse for a mouse, but once I saw its immaculate, sleek design, I was sold.  Ignoring the specs and features of each computer, I was adamant on getting the iMac.

In hindsight, a new, lighter laptop would have been more wise and pragmatic, because now I have to lug my boulder of an Acer to school.  Blasted Magic Mouse.  Looks like I'm an easy prey to the voracious Apple marketers.

P.S.: Regarding my phone, I understand that the logical solution would be to switch between the two keyboards for different purposes.  But, it's far too cumbersome and I can't be arsed to do it.

THE COLOUR OF SHAME

In the beginning of the summer (late June), I promised myself to produce at least one blog entry a week.  Since I bought a Canon 60D the month prior, it would be impossible to fabricate even one plausible reason to neglect posting photos.  Yet, week after fleeting week, I unearthed a threadbare excuse to exempt myself from reaching my goal:
"I need to practice my front-in parking!" [promptly dashes out to hide in backyard]   
"I am at a rather gripping chunk of my book!" [retreats to bedroom for an American Horror Story marathon]
 "I need to burn off my lunch!" [plops down on bed, subsequently curling into fetal position]
No matter how stark my agenda was, no matter how many creative bursts I'd experience, I'd find a way to forestall blogging.  The reason behind this is not as superficial as mere laziness.  For those of you who do not know, I've been dealing with some rough patches (to put it lightly) within my house and other relatives (to be as cryptic as possible).  And, I haven't been "myself" for the past year, or so.  Those who deigned to read my previous post would know what I'm alluding to.

It's not like I stopped translating my thoughts into words: I have several posts collecting dust in my "Drafts" folder, some of which dating back to early July.  The main deterrent to my clicking of the "Publish" button is my -- though I hate to admit it -- lack of self-confidence.  I've been so immersed in my pool of misery lately that I've lost the urges I once had to vocalize my thoughts (both in person and online).  Confidence was always something I seldom had and in the past few months, its elusiveness only worsened.

Apart from this blog, I'm living off-the-grid -- in the sense of technology and social media -- for the first time since the inception of my Twitter account (like, when I was 13 years old?).  I got the idea from an episode of Parks and Recreation, in which Ron Swanson sets out to eliminate all traces of his existence (not exaggerating) from the world.  I highly recommend the show, if you fancy a good laugh (not a "sophisticated" series, so all snobs should eschew watching).  But back to the point, distancing myself (particularly from the "kids" on the Inter-web, heh heh) has created a cleansing, almost zen effect (for a lack of a less pretentious word).  It's hard to describe, but it seems appropriate, what with embarking on a new epoch in my life, starting school, becoming an adult, etc.

*   *   *

Also, a week into university and I am slowly integrating myself into this new school system.  Like always, I keep to myself and get as much work done in school as I can.  With the ample free time I have now (e.g., on Tuesdays, there is a six hour gap wedged between two of my lectures), I am learning to make the most of it.  I am also attuning myself to a new schedule, as most of my classes start at the first crow of the rooster.  It's real taxing, getting up at 5.00 am everyday, but there's nothing a fix of caffeine cannot cure.

Lastly, I am sorry for my inactivity, as it reflects poor conduct both as a blogger and a person.  I am ashamed of my rashness in setting goals; I need to learn to make promises and keep them.  Whenever I have time, I will edit the photos I captured over the holiday and post them.  Now that I have a DSLR, my photos will be a lot less grainy and, more importantly, less eyeroll-inducing.  Good luck with school, everyone!

THE INCONCEIVABLE FUTURE

In about a week-and-a-half's time, I am expected to make the most monumental decision in my life to date.  I have to select a university program.  Wanting to stay in town, my choices have been narrowed down to the following three: Life Science at UTSG, English at Ryerson U and Life Science at UTSC.

Since receiving my offers in February, I have been vacillating between science and liberal arts; constantly embroiled in inner conflict.  Do I want to punch numbers in a calculator, yielding the Ksp of a chemical for the next four years? Or would the path of decomposing and analyzing literature be more suitable for me?  Also, there are other factors to consider, such as the amount of scholarship offered, the atmosphere of the school, and the overall calibre of education offered.  These aspects only exacerbated my confusion.

I've always prided myself in being someone with a good sense of direction.  Not to brag, but I've always maintained an uncluttered and organized school-life: keeping up with due dates and toiling for hours over tests.  However, once I was accosted with the daunting task of choosing a career path, I saw my steadfast nature crumble to my feet.  Consumed by confusion and, simply, fear of the unknown, I found it hard to enjoy studying (like I once did).  Do not get me wrong, I still relish in the elation that good marks endow (I guess some parts of you never leave), but I felt empty.  It was not the same as before.  Each time, the glory in excelling in school was promptly squandered by my constant paranoia.

This all may sound petty (and I may be casting myself as a moody, puberty-stricken teenager), but I can't find better a way to describe how I have been feeling.  That is why I have not been updating this blog lately; I wanted to distance myself from the outside world.  I did not want external factors to throw my thoughts even more askew and, effectively, sway my decision.  Thankfully, I find myself a lot more clear-headed now.  It also helps that I have very open-minded parents who are supportive of anything I choose (given that it is legal and moral).  I have not quite reached a solution yet, but I am slowly extricating myself from the turmoil in which I've been entangled.  I'll keep you posted on the situation.

Update: I have decided to study English. All smiles!