Ever since my second sister uses this word, I’m getting fond of it as well. I think it is such a good word for the students, especially when we are in the state of seeing our exams there on the verge of breaking down – right in front of our eyes. And who says getting to university is an easy task? I won’t say that, it is way harder than the high school, or maybe it’s because I did pull out the brake, make a 180 degree turn, and now I’m wondering what the definitions of ‘grades’ are.
I don’t think my writing makes sense, maybe sometimes it doesn’t have to. It’s just pouring down what you’re thinking inside your head right? and right now my head won’t think straight, so I’ll take a roundabout, a T-intersection, a U-turn, a hook turn, and all the possible turns whatsoever.
I graduated from senior high school with high hopes in mind. During my high school years I definitely was a science person. In year 11 I took Biology, Chem, and Phys, the triple science subjects which will definitely give you a high mark of the UAI or, now known as ATAR (the marks from the HSC – Higher School Certificate, using NSW standards). This ATAR mark will determine whether or not you’ll enter your desired university. My second sister is in Melbourne University, thus it is logical for me to aim for the same university as well. Out of its prestige, reputation, and of course, its fame. In year 11 I was determined to take Biomedicine in Melbourne University. Do you want to know why? The first reason went to its high entry requirements and prestige. The second reason went to my second sister because she is doing medicine. The third reason went to my parents. The fourth one went to my teachers. The fifth…. went to all the expectations (growing up in a ‘science’ family – my first sister is doing Bioscience in NTU, my second sister is doing Medicine in MelU…). The sixth… maybe it was because I wanted to prove that I could do such a difficult subject. None of the reasons went to my interest nor my love for the subjects.
Here is a revelation (since I’m not in high school anymore ;)): I never liked science subjects. I never did like Chemistry, nor Physics, or Biology. Well, to some extent I do like Biology, maybe because it’s interesting and it deals with living things. I remember studying how mitosis and meiosis happen, as well as remembering all the Australian fauna and tries to force my hippocampus to consolidate all sorts of information and store them in my poor amygdala. Chemistry never makes sense to me. I’ve studied about molecular Chemistry, about the Lewis structure of an atom and how to calculate how many grams of solvent needed to be put… or that hard water is the ones that have calcium and sodium in it… Or that when burnt, potassium will give you a lilac colour (hopefully all these information are still right,, hahah). I never liked Physics. Until now I still don’t understand the principle of inertia, nor about the gravity, the weight, the projectile motion, or all those stuffs. I studied about how a CT scan work, MRI, PET scan, endoscope, USG, and all those stuffs. It is a miracle that I still can remember all these studies until now, ’cause all my friends know that I have a ‘short-term memory lost’, just like Dori in the movie Finding Nemo.
I dropped Biology in year 12, and took Mathematics Extension 2 instead. Now, maybe I can say that I regret that decision a little bit (my Bio teacher was so angry at me at that time =p), but I also think that I made the best decision. Well, I did confess that I was a fool to drop Biology (so far my assignments are of high marks, and some of them even the best of the class, which I proudly held until now lol), but hey, who can resist the temptation of doing the hardest subject and succeed? =p. Mathematics Extension 2 is a subject that is normally taught in the university, I think I can still remember the subject outlines: complex numbers, polynomials, volume, …and I forgot. hahah, it has some integrations, harder this and that, implicit differentiation, combination of polynomials with complex numbers, the new definition of probability and many more. And why did I take Math Extension 2 again? Apart from the fact that my second sister also took the subject as well, maybe… I just wanted to prove that I can do the same. Marcella Purnama can do these subjects and survives. Not only survives, she can survive beautifully. That’s what I thought. That’s what I wanted to achieve.
In the middle of the road I began to think about my interest and I really put my interest in the hospitality area. I like hospitality since I was young, and I just love the idea to work with customers, to serve, to work in Disneyland, and all sorts of things. My teachers always say that my presentations and speeches are good. I think I want to do more in that area. But once more, reality stroke me back. I was a year 12 students, taking Chemistry, Physics, Math Extension 1, Math Extension 2, Indonesian, and English for my subjects, and none of this has any relation with hospitality area. People looked at me as a science student. My parents looked at me as a science student. My teachers. My friends. I never told them that I was taking these subjects because I wanted to, but because I had to, and… oh well – I can.
If I say that I was not a proud student – I would be lying. I was proud, and sometimes even too proud. I was not that ambitious, but I did want to be the best of the class. Well, who don’t? ;) I excelled in my Chemistry subject, Indonesian, English, and both Maths subjects. Physics – I just couldn’t get my head around it. The same went for Chemistry though, I excelled in Chemistry because out of the 5 assignments throughout the year, all five of them were reports based and practical based – which fortunately are the parts where I’m good at. I’m terrible with memories and paper-test based. This is proved in all my subjects, as each of my Chemistry and Physics tests was usually a let-down.
Until the very end of the year, even until I took my HSC, I still thought that I was going to take Biomedicine, or nutrition area – anything that was considered as science. I was proud – really really proud of myself when out of my 6 subjects, I was the best in 4 of them. I never thought that I would have these honours. My friends were ‘gods’ in Mathematics Extension 1 and 2, and my other friends were really brilliant in Chemistry and other subject. You know, at my Senior High graduation, hearing your name being called because you did some ‘justice’ towards your subjects – is really a great feeling. I will never forget that. At least, this one time, I can beat my sister (maybe ;p).
I received my ATAR score and was really thrilled with it. I was in the top 0.65% of all Australians, Internationals, whoever students who took HSC test. This meant I could get into Biomedicine Bachelor in MelU, as it had the entry requirement of score 95 at that time. But I don’t like science. I don’t think what I’ve learned so far is what I want to spend the rest of my life studying at. I don’t want to work in labs. I don’t want to know anything about the different colours and smells of each chemical substance, nor about the atom that I can never know its existence or not. My teacher pointed me to deliver the graduation speech, and my friends asked me to write for the yearly story for yearbook. I always love to write. I always love to read. I always love to talk. Why don’t I become a professional?
My passions thus grew higher and higher, as my teachers, friends, and even parents praise my graduation speech. Weeks later I found out that I got rank 8 for the English as Second Language (ESL) HSC exam. That means I was the eight best ESL student in the whole Australia! (or maybe just the ones who take the subjects). But I felt thrilled. Extremely thrilled. Two weeks before Melbourne University closed its registration, I shifted my course from Biomedicine into Bachelor of Arts, which I proudly am now, doing double majors in Psychology and Media Communication. I’m going to follow my heart. I’m going to pursue my dreams.
No one says it’s gonna be easy, in fact, it’s nowhere near one. I struggle a lot with my English, both in writing and in speaking. The English that I am proud of is shot into pieces. I need to compete with the locals, with their ‘heavenly’ English, and also you are not used to speak in English. It’s hard. The 4 subjects that I’m taking in the first semester are Creative Writing, from Homer to Hollywood, Psychology, and Critical Thinking as my breadth subject. Let me elaborate the subjects one by one, they are sooooo ‘interesting’. =)
Creative Writing is good. If I’m not enrolled in one, I won’t realise that I can write like that. There are three assignments for this subject, one poem, one creative nonfiction, and one short fiction. The poem that I made for this subject is the one titled “Porcelain Doll” which I published under the ‘justsimplyme’ category. The nonfiction piece is the one which I wrote the story of the accident of 5 teenagers, titled, “Period”. The fiction piece is still waiting on the line… I haven’t published it yet because I just handed them in last Monday and I don’t want my tutor to google it and find the piece under my blog. lol. It’s not good. But anyway, THIS SUBJECT IS HARD. They expect you to write in details, as in ‘one picture can say a thousand words’. The thing is, when I read novels or such, I DISCARD the details. I never read the setting, like in that great amount of details. The colours, the smells, the metaphors used, the imagination, everything. How can I write about something that I usually ignore in my reading? It is just an impossible task to do. But I did try my best. and I’m proud of it. Although I believe that getting a ‘pass’ is already a heaven to me (well one of my friends say that more than half of the students enrolled in this subject got ‘pass’. So…). And I did get some harsh feedback about using American or Australian spellings in my writings. and I did hate that ;p.
From Homer to Hollywood is one subject that is extremely hard and I can’t believe that I have finished that subject now. I’m hoping to pass (well, way better than pass, actually). This subject is about the representation of war that is depicted through the different genre, gender, and all sorts of things. The truth is, I always like history and I always love war movies. So there you go. I enjoyed part of this subject and some parts I don’t. I don’t understand a thing about “Henry V” play by Shakespeare, nor about the Bayeux Tapestry or about the “Guernica” painting by Picasso. They have the arts mind that I will never get even a peek at. My exam was finished 6 hours ago and it was a 2000 words essay. I didn’t think that I did enough to get an H1, or even just H2A or H2B. I may just get a ‘pass’, or an H3. But anyway, I’m happy with my writing. I don’t know if I can do any better given the 2 hours time and 2000 words limit. I’ve done my best and I’ll let God do the rest ;).
Psychology is my only connection left with science. Even though I do not like science, (and maths), and I can’t believe that I’m saying this but… I REALLY MISS STUDYING THEM. I miss studying Maths Extension 2 and get around the complex number questions and just playing it around until you get the answer. I miss studying chemistry and remembering that it was just a year ago that I knew everything about polymerization, about how to make a soap, how to make a reaction about the ozone degradation, about the sulfur batch, the industrial chemistry, and all such that. Psych is really a biology thing, we are supposed to learn about brain, the frontal, occipital, temporal, and parietal lobe, and the diseases such as akinetopsia, prosopagnosia, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, hemiachromatopsia, and all such things. I really studied for this subject, but let’s just hope the best for the exam results. I hope I’m getting H2B at least… But… oh well ;) let’s just see…
Critical Thinking is 50% okay and 50% not. Half of me saying that I need to be grateful because this subject really shifts my critical thinking brain from the off position to be on. I start to think about the news and begin to question the reliability and accuracy. I look at some billboards advertisements and if there are percentages figures, I begin to wonder about its validity. But yet, I really hate this subject for giving so many assignments, tests, quizzes, major assignments, and all sorts of things. It has 10 quizzes, 5 tests, 3 Short assignments, 1 major assignment, and 1 group project. and I really do hate the tests. I never got good results. Once, I did get 20% out of 100, which is pretty miserable… hahah… And actually what really demoralised me today is the fact that my major assignment mark is pretty bad. Just slightly above 50%. I really feel d.e.m.o.r.a.l.i.s.e.d because I do feel that I put enough effort to get better than that. Even though maybe I don’t deserve an H1 or so, but I guess I have done that project some justice! (if you guys are watching masterchef, you guys must now why I’m using the word ‘justice’,, lol). But I’m really not happy with my results, and I guess now it’s questioning me about my studies. Have I made the right decision? Well, I still got the exam on the 18th, and hopefully I can get it right somehow and put my marks out of its miserability. I’ve achieved around 43% so far, and because the exam is worth 40%, I still have the chance to get an H1 (NOT), hahah… it’s a miracle if I can get an H1. I’ll definitely treat someone to eat fine-dining in Crown Hotel if I get one. But hey, I won’t mind getting an H2B or H2A ;)
So here I am, demoralised.
My ‘noble’ plan for my life so far is: finish university in 3 years (and while in uni, do some part time jobs in Sbucks or such), take a break from school, do 2 years of traveling and just do some volunteers jobs and whatever jobs that you feel like it (and of course, working in DISNEYLAND!), taking further diploma or master in hospitality or such, and then get a proper job at the age 25. I always dream of opening my own cafe though. And now I really do want to learn how to cook because of Masterchef. Not good ;)
Phew, I guess writing all these stuffs in here de-demoralised me. Well, sometimes you have to be reminded by yourself about your plans and dreams and goals rite? Sometimes it’s good to do so ;). Now that I think of it, I think taking Bachelor of Arts is the right decision for me. Even though it’s hard and thus I will need to lower my grades goal (it’s not like science where you can study hard and memorise all things and you can get an H1), but I guess it needs more EQ than just IQ (wow, what am I talking about? hahah). I’ve got so much to learn, so many stars to look at. And I’ll land in my own stars. I believe so. I’ve got a dream. I’m going to protect it. Although sometimes I forgot, and I tend to enjoy my life more (well, this is what I believe anyway, enjoying you life counts! lol), I’ll try to find the place where I belong. I hope I can say to myself that grades only prove one part of my studies. It only portrays a fraction of my future. I know that it’s true. It’s the learning process that counts. But it’s hard to get your head around there. ;)
Anyways, this is my all-time’s hero for reaching my dreams. His name is Will Smith. ;)
(and now I doubt that any of you will get to the end of this writing… it’s like 2800 words… lol)