Did you know that you can draw a heart on matlab using the following;
If we really think about it, we tend to divide our time between four parallel worlds. First there’s the real world with all its glamor and ugliness. Then there’s the virtual world with all the social networking media from facebook to through MSN to twitter. Then there’s the dreamworld which we experience when we are asleep, and finally there’s the fantasy world which we experience when we are awake. Since we’re familiar with the first three, this discussion revolves around the last one.
So the other day I posted, what are the consequences of dreaming? The answers were as follows:
a) High expectations and severe disappointments
b) Waking up and discovering it was all a dream
c) Dreaming motivates us and makes us look forward. Dream, get prepared for the worst case scenario and learn the best way to fall down and then to stand up again.
d) Falling Hard
e) Sometimes we get through adversity only by imagining what the world might be like if our dreams should ever come true.
Yet some people admit to being huge dreamers. As stated by someone; In the extreme case, let’s say you have a problem/deadline that you need to work on but you are just in another world and no matter how bad your situation, your happy dreams are making you happy when you’re supposed to be angry.
So do you let your imaginary world destroy your real world? Or do you sink into your imaginary world because it’s better than your real world anyway. But then we might be lost in the twilight region between fantasy world and the real world, and a quote from Inception comes into mind; “Dreams feel real while we’re in them. It’s only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange.”
Another quote comes into mind, “All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.” – T. E. Lawrence
So what’s your insight on the topic? This is an open discussion
For those who are wondering why this topic is clingy this week, it’s because it’s the holidays people…and my statistics have gone down so I’m searching for a cheap way to give my stats some CPR to resuscitate them. So the other day I was thinking of classifying weddings, and here’s the classifications we got for Kemeni weddings:
1) The Let’s-Rent-A-Whole-Stadium Wedding: This is the type of wedding with an astronomical number of attendees. It’s one that gives the organizers a challenge to follow who has attended and who hasn’t. I don’t know if people who organize these weddings are actually popular or they just get a huge number of attendees because they send the invite to one friend by SMS and then request, “Please Forward.” These weddings make business for the caterers. So much so that a doctor decided to run a catering service along with his clinic in Mombasa. So if it’s a good business day, you might go to his clinic to find his secretary chopping onions.
2) The Everybody-Bring-Your-Own-Food-And-Chair Wedding: This lies on the opposite extreme of one. It’s normally a small party held at home for friends and family. Since there aren’t many people, the invitees contribute by bringing in plates of food so that the family does not carry the burden of the whole party.(Okay, the chair part is a bit exaggerated. Since these weddings are normally held at someone’s home, people normally sit on the floor – so there’s no chair in sight aslan except maybe for the older folks).
3) The A7santum Wedding. In this one, the men go to prayer in congregation as usual and discover that there’s 3agd (or nikah) being held after prayers. After the whole script is said, “Zawajtuka…”/”8abeltu”, the imam announces, “A7santum” to the audience, and everybody goes home. Total cost = 0 dirhams.
4) The Indian-Series Wedding. This is the one that has part 1- Girls Henna Party, part 2- 3agd and waleema, part 3- kesha (white dress and slow drive), part 4-sub7a. After such weddings, one needs to take note of the stock price of panadol since they might have gone up because of the high demand as a result of the head-pounding noise pollution from the stereo for four days.
Talking about the wedding dress why does it have to be a heavy baggage that makes walking in it enough exercise? And about the drive, what’s up with the slow drive of the newly-married couple after the wedding? What’s wrong if they decided to hit the highway instead? Oh yeah, and if they do that, and a radar camera goes off, they must not forget to say cheese. That way, they won’t need to get a “professional photographer” for the wedding. They can pay the government to do it.
Okay I can’t think of anything else. Please add to the list
PS 1: The doctor-cum-caterer story is NOT fabricated.
For those who’ve been following my blog since 2006, you probably know that I’m not a big fan of weddings. Sadly enough, sometimes you feel the whole point of our “cultural” weddings is showing off/music/food. For instance, what’s up with Yemeni events and Dana-ish songs? Who’s this Dana they keep on singing about anyway?
*Ya dana dana*
And the Kemenies got it even worse, because some of them can’t even decide whether they’re Kenyans or Yemenies, and that identity complex can be spotted even in their dances that appear as a weird mix of shar7 and chakacha.
Then of course, don’t forget the “Islamic” anasheed with all the “non-Islamic” instruments in the background that drown out the “Islamic” words…
For music-non-lovers, you sit and start a count-down to the food. Alternatively, you may switch on your phone, facebook/chat/write a note…Alternatively, you play the role of a shelf-cum-clothes-hanger as people who stand up to socialize throw their phones and sheilas/abayas at you.
Then you got the Shami weddings, where attendees’ first question to ask is, “Is it mixed?” Because apparently the answer to that will determine whether the attendee will attend or not.
And you know what’s sad and ironic at the same time? How even though weddings join two people, they may result in breaking other people up. The bride and groom can go and live happily ever after…
But how many relationships break down as a result of weddings? Let’s go back to the Yemeni/Kemeni way of doing things. We are supposed to invite all those people…some we know, others we don’t; the extended family, the neighbours, friends. Friends of neighbours…family of friends…you get the picture…Then one of them doesn’t show up, and there’s another reason to get angry at each other, and sever family ties, etc…etc…etc…
And once upon a time, I used to wonder, if you’re going to print out 1500 invitation cards, and invite all those people, how do people keep count of who came and who didn’t? But then I discovered that relatives disperse, and take different positions inside the hall and at the door, to keep an eye on who came and who didn’t. And then they can actually spend days – if not weeks – involved in the post-wedding discussions about who came and who didn’t. By the end of these discussions, I always wondered if they can actually model the wedding and simulate it as well, because their accuracy is quite impressive. Subhaan Allah, if only the time could be spent in something else.
Also, since so much emphasis and importance is put on weddings, we can’t deny that families break down because of these endless weddings; the mother is never home during wedding weekends, the parents argue because the mother always wants new clothes for the wedding, meanwhile, everybody ignores the children….And on it goes. People get angry, others sever relationships, generations get lost…and the more people you invite, the greater the probability of that happening. And the more parts you have in your wedding, again, the probabilities sky-rocket.
I remember just before my older brother’s wedding in Kenya, we were driving somewhere and this kid just leapt in front of the car. My brother hit the brakes suddenly and I literally screamed thinking that we had run the kid over. Suddenly we saw him on the other side of the road, alive and unharmed, alhamdullilah Allah satar. But we told SH to be careful otherwise, “tutacheza harusi yako central.” (we’ll hold your wedding at the police stations).
My aunt said something along the lines that knowing watu wa Mombasa, “Watatugeeza.” (They’ll think it’s the latest fashion and start copying that – i.e. holding weddings at police station).
That’s it for the day.
Likening success in life to climbing a mountain is not just a tired cliché. It’s so dead a cliché, it makes the skeleton of a dinosaur alive and dancing (not just kicking) in comparison. So I am not going to tell you that life is a journey up a mountain, and that you need to get your climbing gear in order. I am also not going to tell you to shoot for the stars lest you end up hitting a wall, and find stars behind your closed eye lids.
What I am going to tell you today, though is to focus on what you are doing right now. I know that this sounds very easy, and you are probably doing it, especially when you are sitting in front of a computer with one minimized word document for that WRI assignment, and another excel sheet for that CHE course, another powerpoint for that public speaking class, and last but not least, facebook and all those chats are just somewhere at the bottom of your screen (they’re minimized though, they’re minimized though *No Guilt Feelings there*).
But sometimes you tend to spread yourself too thin, when you are doing something, and your mind is on another thing. Most of us have been in AUS, and we know what it feels like to stay in during the weekend in order to study, just to find ourselves wandering to the TV room (and we can’t enjoy the TV cz the nagging idea that we should be studying is somewhere back in our mind). But the effects of spreading yourself too thin can be detrimental to your well being. So if you are working, work hard, and if you are playing, play hard, but build a control system complete with the entire priority system.
For those who are unfamiliar with control systems, the basic blocks of any control system:
So what you have when you are trying to juggle multiple tasks is more than one of these control systems, and you will have to decide whether to run them together (multi-task) or in sequence. As you know the more control systems you build, the more complicated (or challenging your life becomes).
When it comes to priorities, you set them up but focus on your ‘today’ roles. So if you are a student today, work on your next deadline, and next exam. You may include short-term roles so if you are graduating you might want to spend some time job hunting.
What happens in any control system is that the output must be kept constant regardless of what the input is. So you must be performing at a certain level, and here we are talking about tasks already placed on the to-do list. In order to be able to accurately measure your progress, you would need to keep a Key Performance Indicator, i.e. you would need to quantify it. For now, it might be ‘hours spent doing something’ or ‘tasks completed’. As your system becomes more complex, you might want to be more exact, like ‘exact number of blogs/stories written’.
Now is not the time to focus on the results. You measure the results with time to modify your control system (during the feedback stage), but you mustn’t obsess over them from day one.
Before you set a control system, it is only natural to build a prototype.
a) Record, and be aware of the number of hours spent where. The most important asset you have is time, if you don’t know where your time is going then….good luck in life
b) You can’t control without establishing the cause-effect relationship of your actions.Study all sort of distractions that pull you away from your goals and reduce your output. Wall number 1 that will send sparks behind your eye-lids…the distractions. In the words from the movie Phone Booth, “A ringing phone must be answered.”
c) Actively work on reducing those distractions. Put some ‘AWAY’ banner to let your friends know when not to disturb you. Without reducing the errors of the input (and that is the main thing that is causing you to stop or slow down, like continuously saying yes to friend outings, and feeling lazy all the time), then you won’t reach the set point.
d) Use feedback mechanisms to tune your control system.
e) Test your control system until it works
Talking about control systems, gotta go finish my fluid presentation!
The countdown begins to the end of the semester. This was one short semester. And to think that our AUS folks are finishing in January…why the rush, MI?
One thing I don’t understand is this; we have long holidays because of eid, National Day, Hijra New Year…a long holiday which we DON’T enjoy anyway because we have so many projects to finish, and then when we come back, they surprise us with make-up classes for the long holiday that we didn’t enjoy anyway (did I say that again?)….
Anyway, I just thought of reposting the following note for the newbies on how to survive finals’ week.
It’s funny how after 18+ years in academia you learn tricks of the trade that help you pass* exams with a smile. Some of the techniques I’ve come across;
1) When it comes to essay questions, mess up the handwriting, except for the ‘code’ words. That way, the professor thinks that you know what you’re talking about except for the scribbly-chicken handwriting, and might give you the benefit of the doubt. The only effort you’ll have to make is know the code word for each course, and sometimes you don’t have to look hard and long for them, because they’re right there in the title of the course. Like for corrosion course, ‘corrosion’ was the code word. What type of corrosion? Doesn’t matter…just mess up the handwriting of what comes before and after.
2) If the question is too tough, scribble it out, and change the question with one of your own and then answer that instead. Show the professor that you studied, and open their eyes to the possibility that maybe the question was wrong, not your answer…
3) If the whole exam was so tough, and you can’t leave the exam room until the first hour is over, entertain yourself. I used to write poetry at the back of the exam. Alternatively, write an emotional letter to the professor about how they’ve been the best professor you’ve ever encountered, and you can’t believe what sort of exam they’d come up with, that you feel betrayed, but you’re sure it’s their evil twin who put the exam, not him. Give him another chance to repeat the exam, or alternatively, tell them to give you an A, and you would forgive them.
4) If you are really angry at the professor for putting out an exam where the results of those who forsake a fun outing to study would be equal to those who went to have fun, then scribble out the ‘good luck and smiley face’ at the end of the exam, and tell them, “Next time, don’t even bother writing good luck.”
5) If you have to submit a lab report, get an SA&D** student to fix your cover page, put lots of pictures in the introduction from google, and print the whole report in color.
6) If you have a deadline to meet where you’ll be penalized for late submission, slip in your essay under the professor’s door before the deadline, no matter how bad it looks. Then once he leaves, stalk one of the cleanco guys working along that corridor, and when he opens this specific professor’s office to clean up, see if your essay is still around (sometimes it is, with a large foot print on it), take it back and resubmit again over the weekend or at night.
7) If you have a presentation, fill it with animation (the continuous ones that move even when you’re on the same slide), so they’d be so in awe with the animation that they won’t pay attention to what you have to say. When we told our advisor we’d do that for the design presentation (with the reason of course), he laughed. I guess he thought it was a joke. The results on how it worked with us were mixed though; Even though we used animation in both Design 1 & 2, in Design1 – we were not asked a single question. Design 2 – we were the group asked the most questions….so judge for yourself.
8) If the exam was really, really, really tough that your heart begins palpitating furiously, you begin sweating, and the walls seem to close in on you, what you can do is repeat each and every single question in the space provided for answers. Repeat each question 3 times, some backwards, do some translation if you want. also make sure your font is 7 so they’d have to get a magnifying glass to read. Make them suffer the way they made you suffer.
Alternatively, just work hard and study, or ignore…
*By pass, I’m not talking about an A or even C-, but pass as in get the exams over with
** for non-AUS’ers, SA&D is School of Architecture & Design students, where the artistic talents lie
I’ve personally tried 3, 4, 5 and 7, what about you?