Being helpful hurts…sometimes…

It’s that time of the year when students over here at UTM are struggling to finish their assignments and final year projects. It’s also one of those times when I wish I had more in common with instant messaging software like Live Messenger; I really wish I can walk around carrying a ‘busy’ or ‘no entry’ sign around my neck to urge people to stop bugging me! Arghhh!!!

I believe in the power of ‘word-of-mouth’ marketing. I also believe that helping people would result in getting showered with blessings from high above. But I also believe that when people ‘promote your services’ (oh boy, and you do get the phone ringing that way…) and that your own final year project is starting to feel lonely, it’s time to put on that ‘busy’ sign, again. That is one of the main reasons why I appear offline pretty often on Live Messenger. Instead of blessings, I’m just starting to feel that the time spent helping people would have been better spent trying to untangle the mess and iron out all the kinks in my own final year project.


I have to admit, I’m starting to feel like a celebrity being hounded by hordes of paparazzi. So what can I do to ward off all these distractions?

I could:-

  1. Fake my death. (Ouch! I’d be missed by loved ones in the process…)
  2. Assume a new identity.
  3. Buy an island, then assume the tales and adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
  4. Becoming a secret agent, withholding my identity and current location.
  5. Wear a disguise. Change disguise as often as required.
  6. Speak in a foreign language and pretend that I’ve lost my ability to speak English and Malay.
  7. Wear a ‘busy’ sign, and look like a lunatic for the rest of the semester.
  8. Rendering myself incommunicado to the outside world.

Getting ‘lost’ in your own island paradise…hmm…

I’m seriously considering the 7th option, but I would risk getting stoned to death or burned at the stake. The 8th option is the preferred. So if you’re trying to call me and find a sweet female voice on the other end saying “I’m sorry, the….[I-can’t-remember-this-part]”,then you’ve caught me at the wrong time. It’s a moment of glory and courage. The sanctity of war, fighting for one’s survival in academia, is justified. It’s time to prepare for battle!



Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th was ‘supposed’ to be a bad day for everyone, at least that was what most people would have thought. I wouldn’t be surprised if the superstitious among us would have made sure they got up from the right side of the bed in the morning (or is it the left?) or even took care not to spill even a grain of salt on the breakfast table.

What the heck.

Bad luck for all? Don’t know about other people, but things went pretty well for me on that day. A little better for me on that day than on the average day.

The night before, a friend walked into my room and asked me if I knew anything about the myths and mysteries surrounding the much ‘feared’ Friday the 13th. A quick visit to Wikipedia revealed that while some people become magnets for ‘all doom and gloom’ for the day, some people attract the good stuff. Wow! I think that fits my case pretty well.


I had a presentation that morning, which I was not prepared for, and I scored with flying colours. During the afternoon, I had to present to my supervisor what I’ve done so far for my final year project, and he was quite pleased with my work. Lucky? Yeah, lucky.

So what’s the punch line here then? Friday the 13th is just like any other day. Days which brought about more bad luck then any other day in Malaysia are like the Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Aidilfitri and those big festivities. How come? Here’s how come:

1. Road accidents have been found to increase in numbers during these seasons.
2. ‘Over-indulgence’ at the dinner table.
3. Blood sugar level rising.
4. Tendency to overspend.
5. [Fill-In-The-Blank] (I’m not a pessimist)

So much for Friday the 13th…