Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Improvement in Operation Check Up! =)

Remember that my personal trainer (Ms. Cheryl) did one operation check up with me, last week? Yes today finally I went to the gym after around a week of sleeping at home, or more on indulging myself at Lanai! =p I was quite determined today, and although my calf seemed to cramp anytime, that didn't stop me!

Check out this post, and you will know what I'm talking about! So today again I bumped into her and asked her to carry out the check up for me! Again it was the same series of tasks:

1) Running on the treadmill for 20 minutes (I ran 4km with average speed of 12 km/h and maximum speed of 16 km/h during the last 60m).
2) Rowing for 500m (I did it in 1 minutes 51 seconds, slightly slower but still okay!)
3) Chin up with reduction of 20kg from my current weight (I did it for 5 times consecutively but it was 5kg heavier than last week's!)
4) Push up as many times as I can (I did 40 times straight, a great improvement from 25 times last week!)
5) Sit up as many times as I can (I did 70 times straight!!!!!!!!!!!!! Again a great improvement from 35 times last week!)

See!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG! I just can't believe actually! Guess how much did I score? Last week I got 18/36 and it was a pass! This week? *drum rolls please* I've got 25/36 and it was so close to intermediate score of 28!!! So awesome!!! Looks like my diet somehow works! =p

Really? Maybe not. One of my ex-classmates once told me a way to diet, i.e. skip dinner. After talking to my housemate and personal trainer, I realised that it is so NOT TRUE and definitely not the right approach to reduce my body weight! Human body prefers to consume carbohydrate and protein to provide energy, and before the body fat actually being burnt off through normal metabolic activities, the muscles will be consumed first. The right way of reducing body weight is actually by reducing the food portion to around half, and definitely NOT by skipping meals! It will simply just not work! That's the reason why most bodybuilders (although I'm not intending to be one) build up muscles first before cutting off body fat.

Building muscles and reducing body fat CANNOT occur at the same time. When you're in the process of building muscles, you will definitely put up some weight since you have to eat a lot to bulk up! I talked to my personal trainer, and she said that I should eat at least something at night! Don't leave my stomach empty ever. To lose weight fast, I shouldn't consume any carbohydrate after 4pm, although some food which are rich in protein and vitamin, and high fibre (such as oat) are recommended! =)

So that's it! I will keep up my good work towards achieving my goal in err.. 3 months right? =p Ciao~

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Joining New Class for the First time in College! =)

So I bet everyone is wondering how was my first day in the new class thus far! If you read up my previous post then you will know that my holidays have officially ended (although it's going to start again after next week haha!) =p Quite a number of my friends were asking me about my new class, so I decided to blog about it! Just to let you guys know! =)

Well, in the morning I went to the CAL programme office to get the timetable for my new class from Ms. Hema. I thought I was late at school cause I reached college 10 minutes after 8am. But when I looked at the timetable, I was quite happy cause first two periods were LAN and Thinking Skills (free periods for now)! =p So my class was at 10am today! =p

First period was Physics lab class. I introduced myself to Mr. Subra (my new Physics lecturer) and I just entered the lab! He was quite helpful in the sense that he didn't leave me standing alone at one corner, awkwardly! He assigned me to a table with my new classmates and started to teach us about Physics paper 5. Not that bad I suppose, although my brain was completely rusted after 2 months of enjoying my sweet holidays! =p

One thing that I couldn't help but noticed is that my new class was a bit noisy, slightly noisier than my previous class, PE11. You might have guessed why are my new class PE1 people more noisy than PE11. I used to think that PE11 was super noisy although with merely 18 students. Now you can imagine the noise level to increase close to twice the intensity compared to my previous class, cause I have 30 new classmates!!! I'm sort of enjoying a class with larger size of students, cause it's more fun! I will explain more on this later.

After 2 hours of Physics lab class, most of my new classmates came over and greeted me! Most of them were quite friendly and I'm happy with it! =D At least finally I entered a class with the identity of being a normal student, rather than a class rep. To be frank, I don't really like to be a class rep. My life for the past 18 months in Taylor's was rather not enjoyable (too much of personal attacks). I don't actually mind if people tease me for a while, but if someone kept on picking on me, I will have no choice but to defend myself, or rather most of the time I will just keep everything to myself. Somehow I prefer to be a normal student rather than a class rep. Being a normal student, you can just keep quiet at one side and do your work without having to worry much on distractions caused by others (not noise level but personal attacks).

Alright back to the story! One of them asked me to join them for lunch and I agreed. Thank God that my new classmates are all quite friendly and nice! They were all trying to make me easier to integrate into their class and treat me like one of them! Although it's just the first day but I can actually feel that my experiences in this class would be very very much different (and of course more enjoyable) than my previous class's. I might not be able to remember every name now cause I only knew some of them. I will probably ask the same question repetitively 'Sorry, what's your name again? =)'. I will probably need at least one week to know everyone in the class. *Trying to add their Facebook profiles so that I could remember everyone faster* Haha! =p

Next class was the Economics class by Mr. Mohan. I've heard of his glamorous and famous name since long ago, and even my friends from other colleges know him! He's known to be very concise and knowledgeable, and his unique way of teaching students. He got his own tuition center and charges students quite a hefty amount of tuition fees, but still everyone goes. His tuition is sort of an inelastic good! =) and I'm actually quite happy to be so fortunate enough having him as my new Economics lecturer. Oh by the way, he's also my new class mentor! So I bet you're quite excited to know what I think about his way of teaching!

I've never seen Mr. Mohan before. When I was lingering outside the class while waiting for lecturer to enter, I saw a tall Indian guy with medium sized body walking up the stairs, checking his notes (or exam papers) at the same time. Out of sudden I could feel some aura emitted from this unknown lecturer, who seemingly has vast amount of knowledge, and definitely someone that I could learn a lot from! =) Yes he's Mr. Mohan! He  noticed me and asked about my sponsor. After that he started his class. Today he started to teach Marginal Revenue Productivity (MRP) theory of wages. He gave out his notes to everyone, and gave a brief outline on what students are expected to learn throughout this whole chapter. He even included some unfamiliar subtopics in the notes such as 'why there are more and more females participation in the labor market nowadays?'. This induces my interest even more to learn Economics in depth. Definitely looking forward to his class more! =)

Next, it's Mr. Peter again! yes my Further Maths 1 lecturer! He gave us two long questions on Second Order Differential Equation but after more than a month of didn't touch maths at all, I sort of forgot how to do! =( But fortunately after a while I get used to it and finally solved both questions. From this lesson also I found out that some of my classmates are really smart and they were able to help me to get familiarise with my study again. Thanks for the help people! =) After Mr. Peter's class, it was Mr. Lai's class! Oh yeah he's my new Maths lecturer! Quite sporting he is, and he realised that since most of my classmates are taking Further Maths, he doesn't have to teach everything from scratch. He just gave some explanations and gave us some questions to solve. Not bad I think. =)

So that's it! What you guys think? Oh yeah back to my statement of class with larger size of students being more fun. I think it's more fun, cause the happiness level is directly proportional to the number of students in the class, in my opinion. From what aspect that drew me to this relationship? It's like mathematical theorems, being derived from various axioms linking with one another to form complicated ideas. The higher the number of students, the greater diversity of personalities they are adopting. When the personalities of all students in a class are different, there is higher probability for them to develop inspirations and happiness from one another, learn to respect and learn from each other's disparity. That's my thought and of course you're free to challenge my idea. =)

That's all for now! Will keep you guys updated haha! Stay tuned. Ciao~

School Break is OVER! =O

Oh nooooooooooooo!!! I'm back to school now, err... college! =p After 3 days of orientation programme at Lanai, my mood has yet to be switched back to the nerd me! Wait, I think I AM a nerd? Ha! Just kidding! At least I have my life and... nerds don't? Most of the nerds will probably bury themselves in books for 24/7, but definitely NOT ME! I don't like to study! =p okay this might sound disappointed and harsh to certain people, but I will still continue my study to achieve my dreams! Don't worry haha! =p

I slept at 1.30am yesterday after finished watching TV drama. what the heck? I know my class starts today! But but, after more than 2 months of sleeping late (and waking up late of course), I still prone to sleep late (although slightly earlier yesterday). This is what they called as biological clock. You couldn't actually sleep if you tend to stay up late (or early in the morning). You will probably be having insomnia! I usually sleep at 3-4am, but yesterday night (or today morning) I slept at 1.30am. I think I rolled on my bed for quite some time before actually diving into my dreams. Not good.

Oh yeah you will probably ask what class am I joining and stuffs! =p You know I actually can't wait to meet my new classmates! I'd be joining 1101 PE1! Yes my junior's class! I have a few friends there before this actually... Brian, Teddy Kim and Roshan! Well I'm only close with Brian, anyway. He's one of the CF committee members, so yeah you could probably imagine I will have crazy lots of fun (I hope) in my new class! =p

What I most afraid of when I'm joining new class is not the quality of their lecturers, but rather my ability to adapt to the new class! New classmates, new friends, new classrooms (heck it's in D-floor, the highest floor ever zzz), new environment! Speaking of new classmates, all sorts of characters are expected to be met. I don't really like to judge people, and it's indeed a sin to do so! But to be frank, at some point in life, everyone will judge other people, and that is not excluding me! Alright, DON'T JUDGE! =p

What to do, then? Try to look at people's strengths rather than weaknesses, preferably none at all! Compliment your friends more (although not excessive cause that would sound creepy!), and talk to them more often! I know I will probably be shy when I enter the class (again I'm introvert) but that shouldn't deter me from making new friends! Friends are everywhere, and whether or not you're able to make one, it's entirely up to YOU! And whether or not you're able to find some best friends, again it's up to you!

Some people fit scarily and surprisingly well with others. Lots of common interests perhaps. What? I don't watch football or any other sport games except badminton. One point lost. Zzz... I don't play DOTA and most of the guys at some points of their lifes do (I never even tried playing it! =p). Reading perhaps? Anyone like reading economics, maths and physics oriented books? I LIKE! =p Any gym rats here? Anyone on diet? Let's diet together!

Crap, speaking of diet, I will officially start today!!! Weighing 89kg is NOT fun! It might be not apparent that I'm fat, but I AM! Haha.. okay no oily food! YOU can be witness to this! If you see me eating oily food or anything bad for body, you are allowed to hit me! =x I'm dead serious okay lol! =p No starving but eat LESS! =) I've tried that before and I have survived! Eat more meals but in smaller  proportion! okay I should head to class now! Wish me luck people! =p

Stay tuned! Ciao~

Monday, 28 November 2011

Orientation Programme at Lanai Kijang (Day 3)! =)

Continue from the previous post, I will write everything about the final day of the orientation programme at Lanai (which was yesterday)! The final day, in my opinion, was the most enjoyable yet challenging day! Although there was none of the bank staffs invited to share their experiences like the days before, but I've learnt quite a lot from the activities conducted yesterday. I woke up relatively late compared to the previous day in the morning (7.30am), so I sort of rushed through everything and went to dining hall to have had breakfast.

Again, the cakes were always there in every meal! =p 

After the breakfast, interesting things happened. We had discussed about a project on the day before yesterday (Saturday), and we were supposed to give presentation based on our own character given. The case scenario was this: In 30 minutes, a passing comet will destroy all human life on Earth and resulting in a period of cold and darkness for the next 3 months, or maybe even longer. Fortunately there is a small special bunker which can only fit in 5 people. There are 10 characters given and you are one of them, so to the best of your knowledge, please decide among yourselves of whom should go into the bunker and survive, and who should be marooned to perish.

So me and my group members had decided those who are going to enter the bunker or left outside to die. There were 7 groups in total, so 4 groups remain seated in the MPH hall to follow Dr. M.Santhiru, whilst the other 3 groups followed Omar to one of the meeting rooms. I was in one of the groups following Omar. I don't really think I had prepared enough for the presentation, since yesterday I was tired (the discussion was carried out at 5.45 - 6.15pm) and I had my soulless body seated in the hall. Yeah pretty much dreaming la! =p So I had to pay the price! My group was the first group to present, starting from those who failed to enter the bunker. 

I really think that the character given to me (Mau, an Irish female cook) don't really deserve a place in the bunker since she has nothing much to contribute to the reconstruction of human civilisation after the calamity. But everyone was supposed to defend him/her own character, insisting that he/she should be the one surviving. I had only one point in my mind, in such a way that since Mau is well liked by everyone, she would be able to please people and give happiness to people by cheering people up and supporting the optimistic mindset among the survivors. 

I didn't know why, when it was my turn to speak (in front of 3 groups of scholars), my heartbeat increased exponentially (maybe not? =p) and I got too nervous to the extent of saying too much 'ermmm'!!! Omar (the facilitator) even calculated the number of me saying 'errmmm' (or did he? Perhaps he just randomly picked a number more than 10) and criticised me in front of 3 group of scholars (including juniors)!!! What the fish??? I know la I was very very nervous! I just couldn't speak a proper sentence in front of so many people (just 30+). =( The psychological effect turned on automatically that I hardly could complete a sentence without a number times of 'errm'!!!! What's wrong? I don't know. Perhaps I was too shy. I know I'm an introvert. Perhaps the girl that I had a crush on during the first semester of college was there in the same meeting room! So embarrassing and frustrating! (keep reading, eventually I figured out the solution for this from other activity later!) =) 

Omar openly criticised me but it was okay! Without critics and challenges, I would have stayed in my comfort zone forever and refuse to improve myself, my confidence level during public speaking. For that I instead have to thank him! (but I didn't, so if you happened to read this, Omar, by whatever mean, thank you!) It was the embarrassment and frustration that ignited my determination to change this weakness! Not that I couldn't talk or communicate well with people around me, but when it comes to public speaking, I get nervous very fast. Adrenaline and blood rush through my veins (SPM essay phrase. -_-), and my face gets red! I will talk more about this later. 

After that presentation by all group members (heck most of them did quite well and I think I was the only one having that problem), we all went back to the MPH hall and proceed to the next activity. We were required to do a homework on our vision and everything related in future. Each member of a group should speak out and tell others on his/her own vision. From this activity that I finally found my solution to the public speaking problem. I don't know whether it works in that circumstances, but given that 9 other members were staring at me, I suppose it works too and I hope it does. So how to overcome the nervous feeling when speaking in front of people? Dharrnesha (my Economics classmate) was in my group, and when I was trying to speak out my vision and everything, I noticed that she was listening attentively to me too! So I fixed my eyes on her with occasional glance at random members while speaking out my vision and all. Surprisingly it worked! =))) I spoke quite eloquently conveying my vision to all other members. 

See how it works? I will write this again in a general circumstance. If you are an introvert or facing problem just like me, the one who couldn't speak well in front of the audiences, I will recommend you to fix your eyes on someone familiar to you, someone close to you! Your best friend, your classmate, your parent, soul mate, or whatever mate you have! Try to give your public speaking in the condition of fixing your eyes on someone you find comfortable speaking with! It worked miraculously well for me. Try it and let me know! =p 

Next, we had a few other topics like challenges faced in the process of achieving the vision, confident level, self confidence and time management. Speaking of self confidence, there are a few ways that you might find interesting. Firstly, you should make eye contact with the person speaking to you. I find this quite true cause without eye contact, you can't actually communicate well confidently. Secondly, you should always smile when you're speaking! Smile can build your self confidence, effectively in fact! Try it! Third one was quite interesting, you should walk 25% faster. Walking at a faster speed can build self confidence too! =p I think I fit all these 3 criterion pretty well, just that sometimes I get emotional and hardly can smile at all. =( For me, eyes contact can only be made if I feel comfortable talking to the person. Walking faster... I walk very fast usually, and that's my normal pace! =p 

At MPH hall, during the seminar! =) 

Activity for Time Management (Important vs. Urgent)! =) 

Then we had the last tea break! Here are a few pictures captured during the tea break (credit to Gracey, again! =p), enjoy! =) 

The last tea break! =) Awesome chocolate cakes and bun filled with chocolate cream! Yummy! =p  

View from outside MPH hall, where scholars were having tea break! =) 

After the last tea break session, we went back to the MPH hall to carry out the last group activity. One by one, each of us was given compliments (or anything good) by all other group members as well as challenges/weaknesses to improve. What most other group members thought of me, was surprisingly not bad although not very very accurate. These are what my group members thought of me: Determined, passionate, realistic, attentive, friendly, versatile, awesome and cool! Challenges given to me, were not surprising though and you could probably guess it by now: Let loose (relax), enjoy life (I know I'm lifeless. Zzz...), be more confident (less tense up) during public speaking and presentations, be more organised (what? I think I'm quite organised. =p) and lastly, minimise my time spent on Facebook (from someone who has been knowing me since last year but from KTJ). So that's it! Here is my group picture! *Credit to Charmaine =)

Group 1!!! Awesome people! =) 

Me with other group's members! =p 

Overall, I think the orientation programme was quite inspiring and fun! I met lots of new friends (be they seniors or juniors), new information, new thoughts and inspirations! Really hope to stay at Lanai Kijang again with all of them, and the next time probably would be pre-departure programme! =p Can't wait for that! =)

Awesome Taylor's bus! =) 

All the best people in your exams, future endeavours, and working life (for seniors who have joined the Bank)! I can't wait to be one of them now to be their colleague, who can make the Bank proud for having made the right investment on me! =)

That's all for now! =) Ciao~

The Final group photo of all BNM scholars! =)  All the best people! 

Orientation Programme at Lanai Kijang (Day 2)! =)

So I'm back after 3 days 2 nights staying at Lanai Kijang!!! Just in case you still don't know what is Lanai Kijang, it's a resort owned by the Central Bank of Malaysia (BNM) to accommodate visitors attending events organised by the bank, staffs coming from other states and delegates from abroad. It's located at Jalan Dato Onn, near the Headquarter of the Bank and of course the Bank Negara KTM Station.

Alright, so back to my second day's story! I hope you guys do enjoy the previous post and oh, it's updated with nice pictures grabbed from one of my close friends, Gracey aka Nemo! =p new nickname ha! xD Credit to Gracey! =) Lanai has been quite famous for its awesome sumptuous food menu and I bet you guys really can't wait to see a few pictures of it! =p Here you go~  *again credit to Grace! =)

The Residence Hall (Dining hall)! Awesome right? =D 

Nice diversity of cakes!!! It was one of the favourites where everyone tried to grab! =p
Oh a few bankies! Hi people! =) 
*More pictures on lunch + dinner will be posted up soon* 

After the breakfast, here comes the next slot! KTJ people came out with a game involving eggs!!! O.O Yes eggs! We were given one egg, 5 straws, a few pieces of newspapers and a 1 metre long masking tape. The game went like this. Each group was required to come out with a design (by using those materials given) in such a way that it could protect the egg from breaking, when the whole object was being thrown from the forth floor. Well, most of them came out with a design of round ball (and the egg inside) with the hope of the round object will protect the egg inside, but only two groups (6 and 10) came out with realistic design (parachute). 

None of the groups succeeded in protecting the eggs, but we (I was in Group 6) were so close to achieving that result! What a waste, but still nevertheless chosen as one of the best besides Group 10. You think parachute should work, logically? Yes. It did work actually and the terminal velocity was reached before the object reached the ground. When the object landed, the egg (which was in the basket) bounced out and hit the floor, and broken (a bit). =( We should have sealed off the top of the basket so that the egg wouldn't bounce out upon landing. Hmmm.. anyway next slot! =p 

It was about I-ACTED which spanned for around 4 hours! I know this is going to disappoint some of you guys, but to be frankly speaking, I found it REALLY BORING and I was like watching Chinese opera or some foreign shows throughout the whole time frame of the seminar! It was about Sociology and a bit of Philosophy! and that doesn't interest me at all! (if you know me well) =p There were a few points though, that I find interesting. We should allow occurrence of diversity among all employees so that people can get different ideas and inspirations easily. Malaysia is a great country (supposedly) with her people of different races, cultures and thoughts. We then played a game named '1.50' with girl being placed a value of RM1 and guy RM0.50. Interesting game for ice breaking session, I thought. =p 

During I-ACTED! From left: Hari (my housemate), Kai Wen, Joyce! Oh, and ME behind! =p 

Right so skip that part, the next slot was more interesting with a number of games and stuffs, with the main purpose of developing some essential skills within everyone of us. There were two facilitators named Dr. Santhiru and Omar coaching us throughout the program. They first asked every scholar to introduce him/herself in front of 75 other scholars, and how he/she can relate him/herself with some specific criteria like keyboard, element of nature, sea creatures, musical instruments, transport and even kitchen utensils! =) It was aimed to train scholars to think spontaneously and speak confidently. There were a few activities after that and I wouldn't go deep into it cause it would be quite boring! 

I actually planned to go gym yesterday, since it could probably be my last opportunity to go gym at Lanai? But eventually I didn't cause the last evening slot ended quite late (at 6.15pm). I was super tired and I literally couldn't really think much. So I decided to take some rest and surfed Internet instead! =p The last slot at night was quite interesting! There were 3 girls who just joined the Bank not long ago (a few years), and all of them were graduates from the UK. One of them was an Indian girl, crap I forgot her name! =(  She is a Law graduate from the University of Warwick!!! Nice. Another was a Chinese girl and she was graduated from University of Cambridge majoring in Economics! O.O Another Cambridge graduate. Last one was a Malay lady who is an Economics graduate from University of Manchester. 

They shared quite a lot of experience with us, but I was too tired to remember every single bit of it. But something really caught my interest when one of the scholars asked about how economic crisis in the US could affect Malaysia's economy. Hui Yi, the Cambridge Economics graduate who've been joining the Bank since year 2008, gave an answer that caught my interest and I can actually use it in the economics paper during exam! =)

Three main trading partners with Malaysia are China, Singapore and lastly US. Electronic and Electrical Engineering (E&E) comprises 40% of the manufacturing industry in Malaysia. But the main industry that is going to be affected during the economic downturn in the US is export industry. With the increasing debt crisis the US economy is facing now, the demand of the export (from Malaysia perspective) would drop as their GDP drops. As China is quite a big trading partner too with US, the decreasing demand from the US would indirectly reduce demand of export from China too. Second industry that is going to be affected is apparently service and transport industry. When export activity is being reduced, demand for services and transport will follow the trend, eventually.

Okay enough of economics facts! Here is one of the very inspiring principles by Hui Yi. One of the scholars asked her when should she give up. She answered brilliantly, 'When you keep on failing, don't give up but not just continue doing it without realising the fundamental problem causing the constant failure. Give up the way you're using and adopt other learning routes.' Brilliant, isn't it? =)

That's all for the second day! I will write post for the third day tomorrow! Stay tuned people! =) Ciao~ 

Friday, 25 November 2011

Orientation Programme at Lanai Kijang (Day 1)! =)

Finally!!!!!!!!!!!!!The day that I've been waiting since last year!!! yeah that's right the Orientation programme organised by the Bank! Since last year the Bank staffs didn't manage to organise one for my batch's scholars, they included us along with the juniors! No matter what, the first day was quite fun!!! But I left my camera at my laptop's bag (was at Lanai Kijang by then), and we were at Sasana Kijang (another Bank's building) for the whole day. So yeah, too bad no pictures, yet. But I will definitely post up later, if I managed to get some pictures from my friends. =p

Taylor's scholars in June 2010 intake! =) 

The itinerary today started off with ice breaking planned by my college's scholars, and it was quite fun. Well done people! Nothing much in this slot for me to talk about, otherwise would be quite boring. Next slot was the one that I'm going to talk a lot now. Apparently it's so much more interesting than the ice breaking session.

After the ice breaking activity involving Kodomo Lion toothpaste! =p 

We had a really rare opportunity to interact with seniors who were bank scholars but have already graduated from their respective fields and are currently working now in the central bank. I believe most of my loyal readers have already known that my interest lies within Actuarial Science, and that's what I'm going to pursue (most probably) for the next 3-4 years after my A-Levels. So me and a few of other Actuarial Science scholars were really lucky to have two seniors (Hwee Yin and Sopna) graduated from Cass Business School (City) to share with us insights about Actuarial Science and life that we are most probably be facing in the UK. 

I wouldn't go deep into everything that they have shared with us (I'm super tired now after long day of slots), but I would only tell what I have learnt from them, some were so impactful that it had changed my views about Actuarial Science since then. Firstly is about my plan upon graduation. My plan was, to get further exemptions in professional papers by pursuing MSc. Actuarial Management at Cass, straight after my undergraduate graduation. That was totally not recommended by them, surprisingly. 

They told me that, if I want to stand a better chance to get further exemptions in master degree, I should do a few years of working experience (3 years maybe?) before proceeding to master degree. By so doing, I would have worked on relevant real life applications involving actuarial skills, and therefore would have better understandings on actuarial materials at higher level i.e. Core Application (CA) papers, Specialist Technical (ST) papers and eventually, Specialist Application (SA) paper. Why? Most of the people who are taking master degree would have at least a few years of working experience. Hence, to be able to gain an upper hand in competing with them in gaining further exemptions, I should start working first before thinking too far ahead to pursue master degree. Hmm... good idea! =) 

What are we supposed to plan then, if not all these? Plan for vacations during all the school breaks!!! One thing that really surprised me was, undergraduates have only 5 months of lectures, minus all the Easter break, winter break, summer break, Christmas break and final exams. So technically speaking, we would have only 15 months of lectures throughout the whole undergraduate degree spanning 3 years! So, back to planning for vacations. They encouraged us to plan for vacations to various parts of Europe, and don't waste the rare opportunity of living in the UK.

Also, updated information for sitting of CT9 - Business Awareness Module. What? It's not exactly a 2-day course since we are living in Malaysia, but it's an online course and test. It will be the same for some CA papers involving 2-day course. So everything will be done via Internet. See what technology have prepared for us, lucky fellas! =p 

After the slot, we then had lunch and non-Muslim scholars were lucky enough to be brought around Sasana Kijang to have a tour, to Knowledge Assessment Center (library). Its library was quite awesome with lots of collections and since it's owned by the central bank, it contains all sorts of information regarding world issues, economics data, etc.

*EDIT: Finally I've got a few pictures from my friend, credit to Gracey! =p*

Transparent and elegant looked Sasana Kijang with transparent lifts 

Fountain inside Sasana Kijang 

Discovery Room 1 at Knowledge Assessment Centre


Me and Hari were watching Ziha when she was reading an original copy of trade report! =p 

Elegant multilevel library

Computer room with no computers or laptops? LMAO! xD

After that we had a conversation session with Assistant Governor (AG) Mr. Marzunisham Omar. He is an Economics graduate from the University of Cambridge! O.O He shared some really inspiring stories with us but I wouldn't share anything with you cause it was sort of too long. =p Along with him was another two guys, one of which was a qualified actuary. He did degree in Actuarial Science at LSE, and later on MSc. Actuarial Management at Cass after a few years of working experience. He shared quite a lot of stories too, but what really hit me was, I should join all sorts of activities when I get to the university later, and those are very much cheaper and accessible with a student card. There would be free talks around by famous people, performances by the students, and other relevant activities that would help you in improving your personality as a whole, in any way.

From left: AG Mr. Marzunisham Omar and the qualified actuary working in the Bank! =)  

We later had dinner and a last slot was prepared for us at night. I was dreaming throughout the whole slot (ops! I was too tired okay? =p), but something that I've learnt was, DON'T BE SO KIASU! One of the successful bank staffs who was sharing said that, he was probably the most kiasu person before entering Cambridge to read Economics. He used to think that he was the best until he entered Cambridge and he became an average student (ranked 88/176), even after he worked really hard.

Why is he competing with others to be among the best by working so freaking hard, while the others could still get brilliant results but studying less? He eventually realised this, and started to join everything that he wanted like some lectures that he was interested in (game theory etc), Taekwondo club etc. Whatever things he did, he never ever tried to chase after good grades anymore, and guess what was his rank eventually. He ranked 13/176!!! O_O

See... don't be too kiasu to the extent of neglecting other social activities and stuffs that you genuinely like to do. Just participate in anything good that interests you, and leave everything to God! Try your best and never chase after good grades (although it doesn't mean that you shouldn't allocate time for study). 

So that's it! I think I should stop here. To be continued... =p Ciao~

Stairway to Heaven (Lanai)? Hahaha!!! =p 
Bed with fluffy pillows at Lanai! =) 

Mirror mirror on the wall... Tell me who is the... most handsome guy on Earth? xD jk. =p  

Garden outside the rooms at Level 4! =) 

Depressing =( , yet Motivating Result! =)

Remember I told you on my previous post that I've made my vow to reduce my weight from 85kg to 75kg, yesterday? After 5 months of going to gym, surprisingly my weight is no longer 85kg!!! Bad news is, my weight increased from 85kg to 89kg!!! O.O FATTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What the... heck? I think I know why. I was in holiday mood, and I skipped gym from early October to early November! I usually go to gym 3 times per week, on alternate days (Monday, Wednesday and Friday)! Right, I was told not to go gym on consecutive days as my body would need rest before commencing the next session. 

Okay, increasing weight doesn't necessarily mean increasing body fat percentage. It could mean increase in muscle mass but decrease in body fat percentage. But my case is totally the opposite!!!!!!!!! What the!!! How could that happen? My body fat percentage increased and my muscle mass decreased back to square one (before joining the gym). How how howwwww??? That's absurd. 

Before joining the gym, I hardly could lift any heavy object. Now I can, so obviously my muscle mass should have increased by time. Before joining the gym, I could hardly push up for 10 times! Now I can push up for 25 times straight! Before joining the gym, I could hardly lift anything heavy during workout! Now I can! Hard to believe I know, but it happened. =( 

Never mind, my aim still remains the same! I will try very very hard and my best to reduce my weight to 75kg! That's my vow! Although it would be much harder for me to reduce 14kg than 10kg, I WILL TRY MY BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But I will make an amendment on my vow by changing the time period from 2 months to 3 months instead, shall we? okay DEAL! That's my promise to myself and I will try my best not to break it. 

How? Stop eating oily food!!! Not even a single oily food is permitted! Even if I really want to eat oily food, it should be good fat but not the bad fat. Good (unsaturated) fat can be obtained from egg yolks, low fat milk, olive oil, etc. The others, forget about it. I shall go to gym more frequent too. Weight training sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and only cardio exercise on Tuesday and Thursday. Deal! =p 

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Post-Workout! @_@

Told ya I'm going to gym today! And here I am, tired like crazy, yet feeling extremely satisfied of the workout just now. Oh by the way, here's a song from one of my favourite childhood cartoons 'Spirit - Stallion of the Cimarron' named 'Here I am', enjoy! =)))

Okay okay I know I'm random! =p I just feel like listening to this song, okay? Haha okay! Right so back to the post-workout! What I did today was considered quite intense for me. I saw my Personal Trainer, Miss Cheryl today and since she was quite free, she carried out a test on me. I was required to do a series of workouts in certain period of time, and here's the list: 

1) Running on the treadmill for 20 minutes (I ran 3.3km in 20 minutes with average speed of 9.5km/h) 
2) Rowing for 500m (I did it in like 1 minutes 48 seconds) 
3) Chin up with reduction of 25kg from my current weight (I did it for 5 times consecutively) 
4) Push up as many as I can (I did 25 push-ups straight) 
5) Sit up as many as I can (I did 35 times sit-ups straight) 

And, that's it! Oh-mai-gosh!!! See that! Try that yourself and you will know how tiring the whole process was! I've got 18/36 marks, and it's a PASS! Weeeeeeeee... well not that anything will happen if you failed. Passing mark is 18, so I just hit that right on the spot! Nice. =p 

Just after these workouts, I felt like vomiting! Seriously??? YES! When your body reached a new level of fitness, that is what you will feel, I was told. Hmmm.. so, did I reach a new fitness level? =p Maybe. Just wait and see. Right after that, I bumped into my friend and I continued my workout with him after taking a 5-minutes rest. I did exercises on shoulders today, not too bad I guess. Before going back, I did cardio exercise once again on treadmill and ran for another 5 minutes at 9.9km/h, and walked at maximum percentage inclination (15%) and 6km/h for another 9 minutes, after which I ended my work out with 1 minute sprint with inclination of 3% and 11.1km/h. Total final cardio of 15 minutes. Not bad. =p 

Right, now I'm at home and I'm going to pack my stuff for the Bank's orientation camp now! Going to stay at Casa tomorrow night! =p And final workout tomorrow before enjoying the so called 'heaven' at Lanai Kijang! =p Ciao~ 

Vow to Myself! =p

Hello readers! =p

I bet you've noticed that I'm quite active these days (is it? Just two posts consecutively on two different days!), cause I'm having holidays!!! I've practically nothing much to do at home, and guess where I am? I'm at Casa now! Some of my friends who know where Casa is would definitely say, "omg Casa suckkkkssss, what the heck are you doing there?". 

Remember that I said from my previous post, that I'm going to gym today? Yes, no? So I've made a vow to myself that I must go to gym today! Not so much on weight training, but rather emphasize more on doing cardio exercises. Just in case you don't know what is cardio exercise, it's more on fat burning activities like jogging, running, cycling, rowing and some other physically intense activities at the free style corner of the gym.

Rowing Machine 

Hang on, since when I've joined a gym? You know, I have had refrained myself from telling my parents that I've signed up for a gym membership, since like err... 5 months ago? Joining gym, SERIOUSLY? Yes, that's what most of my friends' reactions were when they initially knew about it. How did my parents actually get to know about it when I was trying so hard not to let them know? Kantoi ? (most of my Malay friends would say this when they screwed up by something)

I know my parents too well, I thought. I thought they would be so angry that I joined gym cause they are most of the time being realistic, and a gym membership would definitely cost a hefty sum of money. My parents were grew up from poor families, so their thoughts are quite fathomable. Unlike me, I'm such a lucky kid being able to grow up from a middle class family. Alright back to the story. During my vacation to Kuala Terengganu with my dad 2 weeks ago, I grabbed an opportunity to tell him about this. 

Surprisingly, he wasn't really angry or shocked about it. He just asked me how much I pay every month for the membership, and who the payer is. Since it's me all the while who've been paying the fee, he didn't care much. I know I know, he loves my mom so much! He just want to make sure that I don't waste my mom's money again for my own selfish purpose. Sorry but this time I'm using my own money! =p (or bank's money, ops!) 

Oh by the way, I almost forget to tell you which gym did I join? Fitness First (FF). Why FF? Oh come on, it's the nearest gym from Casa! Yes, it's at the Summit USJ, a small mall of walking distance from Casa. The gym membership costs me around RM143 each month with 1 year contract, but the amount would be auto-credited from my Maybank card so it's nothing to worry about.

So, a vow to myself? By telling you guys that I'm joining gym? Come on, it would definitely mean nothing if that's all! Well, I vowed to myself that I must tone down my body! I've been joining gym for 5 months, but the result? Nothing much, perhaps I've became a bit more... muscular? =p I've been doing weight training for months but I was quite lazy to do cardio exercises like jogging! So my body fat percentage is still quite high! *gasp* Fatty. =(

See? Jogging is the best exercise to reduce body fats! I know I know, it's quite boring, especially jogging on a treadmill! My friends suggested me to listen to musics or maybe watch TV shows while jogging on the treadmill. Perhaps, perhaps I should try that today! I will let you know! =p Listening to songs can actually stray your focus on lethargy to musics. A more relaxing mind, maybe? Whatever thing you do, try to focus on something else apart from lethargy you're experiencing! 

Doing all the cardio exercises alone will definitely NOT help in reducing body fats. You have to take care of your meal! You must be disciplined enough to keep away from all the unhealthy food like junk food, soft drink, any sorts of fast food, potato chips, etc! Eat more healthy food like nuts, oat, cereals, brown rice, eggs, milk, fruits and vegetables! Eat more protein and less fattening food! See, I know all these but how often do I actually follow? I just had MacDonald for lunch yesterday. Why is fast food so unhealthy? High calories in burgers and soft drinks; and high fat level in fries and meats. MUST. NOT. EAT. FAST FOOD.

Oats - The Secret Meal 

Eggs - Best Protein Source

Well, having said all these, you guys can be witnesses to my vow! If you see me eating fast food again, you're allowed to punish me! Serious? Yeah!!! Just do it! I'm a fatty now, I must self control and not to eat too much! Anorexia nervosa? Come on, that's still long way to go! Now I'm around 85kg? O.O Crazy. I must reduce at least 10 kg (from 85kg to 75kg), in 2 months time!!! Possible? Just wait. =)

Off to gym now! Ciao~ 

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Happy Holidays people! =)

I've been having holidays for the past... 2 months? And I'm going back to school pretty soon, cause most of the A-Levels students have finished their A2 or AS, and that juniors are starting their classes again, on 25th November, just to resume their A2 syllabus. Thank God that I've finished the whole A2 syllabus, but yet I almost forget everything since my brain has been shutting down for the past few months. The only subjects that remain slightly fresh in my mind are Maths and Further Maths, due to the preparation for Cambridge interview and test. But that was more than a month ago! I hope I still know how to prove all the Calculus formulae (chain rule, product rule etc), for fun! =p

What? Stop staring at me like I'm crazy or something for learning how to prove those! O.O

I had to, cause I couldn't prove anti-derivative of 1/x is ln x, during my mock interview. I've learnt most of the proving's since then, but none of them was being asked during the actual interview. -_- Right, learn it for knowledge sake haha! I've bought quite a lot of books during the KLCC Bookfair few months ago (and later on three more books for buy-2-free-1 promotion in Bookalicious), but I hardly finish even one book! Here is the list of the books that I bought:

1) Fooled by Randomness, by Nassim N. Taleb
2) The Black Swan, by Nassim N. Taleb
3) Predictably Irrational, by Dan Ariely
4) The Grand Design, by Stephen Hawking
5) Numbers Rule Your World, by Kaiser Fung
6) Adapt, by Tim Harford
7) The Logic of Life, by Tim Harford
8) The Undercover Economist, by Tim Harford
9) Superfreakonomics, by Stephen D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner
10) To Kill a Mockingbird? My friend told me that it's nice, I don't know. Just read.

See, I bought so many books but so far I've only started reading Predictably Irrational. It's quite a nice book reflecting many 'rational' decisions that we make in life turn out to be irrational, however predictable. Free goods are not actually 'free', the interaction between social norm and market norm and how both of them cannot co-exist at the same time, and so on. Dan Ariely supported his claims by conducting experiments on his students at MIT's Sloan School of Management. Here I found an interesting review of this book so I wouldn't write more on it. Check it out if you're interested! =)

On the side note, the Bank finally started to organise our orientation camp after so long like err... 18 months? yes orientation. Well, we (June intake scholars) are joining the juniors for orientation camp on 25th - 27th November, at Lanai Kijang!!! =))) Think of its sumptuous food menu. Surely I will post up pictures on that! But hang on, now it's time for me to diet! I'm quite self conscious these few days and I don't know why. I'm getting fatter and fatter just by sitting in front of computer whole day at home, and of course accumulating fats! Should head to gym tomorrow and on Thursday, just before the camp! =)

That's it for now! Ciao~

Monday, 21 November 2011

Updates and Surprises! =D

Helloooooo! =p 

It's been really long time but oh well, I hope you all won't blame me for such a long hiatus! What can I say, I will try to post everything recent happening to me here in a single post! But it's kinda illogical though for me to post everything since March this year, so here I would put everything in a list, just to update you all in case you don't know me well enough. Most of my friends especially those in Facebook would definitely know happening's in my life thus far. So here it goes: 

1) Finished my AS in May/June 2011, and attained reasonably good results (although not something to be proud of yet grateful for that!) Thank God that I've got 3A's (Economics, Maths, Physics) and a B. Guess what, Thinking Skills. It doesn't really matter since most universities in general won't even look at this in their consideration to give offers, anyway. Ms. Yoong (my TKS lecturer) will sometimes stare at me as if she's gonna kill me cause of getting B in her subject, yet smiled to me after each time she stared at me lol. Sorry for disappointing you, Ms. Yoong!

2) Participated Olympiad and Euclid Maths Competitions. Attained Certificate of Dinstinction in Euclid Maths Competition organised by the University of Waterloo, Canada, but oh well everyone got it. So yeah, again nothing to be proud of. Thank God! =) 

3) Applied to UK universities through UCAS. Here's my 5 choices: Cambridge (Maths), Warwick (MMORSE), City University London (Actuarial Science), Heriot-Watt (Actuarial Science), LSE (Actuarial Science). So far I've attended interview set by Cambridge for Maths, and of course the written test coming along with it. Interview was fine, but written test was ridiculously difficult. Right, not putting much hope in it. Good news is, I've got 3 offers from the University of Warwick, City University and Heriot-Watt University. Happy? Yeaayyyyyy, not too soon. Having said that, I'm still waiting for BNM to reply to my email of seeking approval to pursue 4-year MMORSE. Apparently they only allow scholars to pursue 3-year degree programme, not 4-year. Just hope for the best then! =) Still waiting for LSE offer.

4) University to go? This is a serious question we are talking about. This is where I will spend another 3-4 years after my A-Levels. This is where I will start another important chapter of my life. This is where I will meet my ahem... another half? LOL dreaming much. Right back to the stream. Apparently Warwick's MMORSE is favourable to me, as it covers various mathematical topics and offers wider job opportunities to me upon graduation. I've glanced through their modules here, just in case you're interested to take a glance too haha. Well, as you can see, that's a really interesting course with lots of optional modules and stuffs. Just in case I'm not interested in Actuarial Science anymore (*gasp*), I can go for other streams like Statistics and Maths.

If the Bank insisted not to allow me to pursue 4-year programme, what can I do? I would put City's Actuarial Science as my firm. As for insurance, I have Heriot-Watt and LSE to ponder upon now, and now I'm more inclined to putting Heriot-Watt as my insurance. Why? Having attended the UK Universities Fair in KLCC 2 days ago, I've thus far talked to 2 professors from Heriot-Watt University, and both of them are teaching CT3 (Probability and Mathematical Statistics) and CT6 (Statistical Methods) respectively. Comparing pros and cons of these two universities:

i) LSE,
 Pros: Located in the city of London, near to all financial companies and easy to get internship there, high reputation in the financial world, lots of Asians particularly Malaysians

 Cons: Busy city, no campus but only a building, prone to fall into nightlife trap (clubbing etc), too many Malaysians until you can literally form a small kampung, overrated by Malaysians, have relatively new actuarial programme of no longer than 20 years and only provide maximum number of 7 papers exemption out of 9 CT papers.

ii) Heriot-Watt University,
 Pros: The first university to offer Actuarial Science degree programme in the entire UK thus more established and provide maximum number of 8 CT papers exemption out of 9, near to Edinburgh (30 mins of bus travelling which is NOT exactly very near but still okay)(Edinburgh is a beautiful ancient city just like Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire), campus university with beautiful sceneries, Edinburgh being a very happening place with lots of festivals and stuffs.

 Cons: Located in Scotland and my dad doesn't really like it, least famous than LSE, might be too cold during winter time since it's located at the northern part of UK, thick Scottish accent? Hmm..

Having said that, I think I like Heriot-Watt more than LSE. So my list would be arranged as follow: Warwick, City, Heriot-Watt. Forget about Cambridge, Kelvin (my classmate) said that it's not entirely a bad thing for not getting Maths at Cambridge. It's so pure that it hardly has any practical applications in the real life, which I found it quite true. I still prefer learning maths related to finance after all.

5) Stock market? My FM2 lecturer is going to start an e-learning platform via Facebook, to teach about technical analysis (TA) as one of the methods to trade in the market. Should I join? It costs around RM300, and it will only involve basic such as moving averages (MA) and RSI, support and resistance, MACD and stochastic, risk reward and trading plan, fear and greed. I know I can read about all these in the Internet such as Investopedia, and I've learnt about MA, support and resistance on my own although without much trading experience. My dad said TA is quite subjective and might not be accurate all the time in predicting stock price movement. My dad is himself a part time trader but is a fundamental analyst. He prefers to read up companies' past track records, financial statements, income statements, cash-flow statement and so on, just to know how well is the company performs, before investing in it. Still having dilemma. =(

Guess that's all for now, ciao~ =)

Nicholas C.W. Ng

Favourite Music! =)