I give up. I can’t keep myself away from blogging. I feel there’s just too much to share, and heck, it’s good practice anyway.

Classes have been really stimulating–even International Media Communications, my online directed learning course. Our tutor posts up news from different countries once every few days, and we are ordered to “play with it, toss it,and mash it up”. And it’s not that easy hey, because if you’re a jakun (=don’t know a lot) like me, you really need to do your background research in order to ask intelligent questions and contribute effectively to the online discussion. Well everyone needs to do that, and the beauty of the course is that how much we benefit depends entirely on how much effort we put in collectively, and how distinct each person’s thought process is.

Counselling Foundations is another course that I enjoy a lot, except for the MCQ exam part, where you get questions like what theory did so and so propose, what training did so and so psychologist receive. There are hundreds of these mystical people floating around and it has become obvious to me after doing the MCQ exercises that I will need to study. Study like the way I studied for my SPM. It’s become quite unnatural to me, making notes and all that. Counselling practicals are a ball, however, because we get to practice talking and listening to each other like counsellors, and because case studies discussions are adventures that head off in all sorts of new directions, unravelling the layers of the human heart and mind.

Next I have Principles of Broadcasting, and my word, every week we get to go into the mock radio studio and do a proper broadcast! It is excellent practice for me, and I don’t know a better avenue for me to improve on my intonation. You get to notice the individual lilts of different people, decide which ones you like, and observe how different people take different angles on the story of the week (because we have to read out our own copy). It makes me more aware of how I sound, and now when I listen to the radio I pay extra attention as well. All this is not very stressful or difficult (grading might tell a different story but who cares when you’re learning so much), it’s just that I don’t think my batchmates who did POB in Taylors had this opportunity.

Lastly, I have Advanced News Writing where I need to do a couple of different feature stories spread out over several weeks. The assignments are designed in such a way that you never have too much time to complete a story, just like the way the real news world works. My first assessment (hard news story: writing to a two-hour deadline) came back with a Credit: that’s quite normal, but never in my life have I received such a colourful paper. All those news conventions I was never aware of! My gosh! It’s shocking. I must’ve either slept through my first year, or they just weren’t taught or emphasized. I’m just so glad I am learning this now.

At this point of time, I am still actively seeking out internships for my nine-unit course, Journalism Professional Practice. I have learnt that persistence is key to securing a placement, and this is taking up a chunk of my time. Previously, I wrote to a few lecturers about my book but I have not gotten any replies. I am learning that this is actually the norm. People are busy, forgetful. You are lucky if 1 person out of 10 responds. But I must say whenever I email my lecturers bout anything academic, they are quick to respond. My tutors are responsible, strict, and generally accomodating and helpful, and I am enjoying the academic environment very much.