Bad timing

Nov. 21st, 2014 10:57 pm
sivaroobini: (corridor monster)
 

 
So, I've been seeing a counsellor at UWA. UWA's Student Services offers free counselling, which is great, but since I go home for the holidays, I'm not going to have access to that when I'll likely need it most. But I had been doing great for the past few weeks and Sue, my counsellor, has been teaching me techniques to avoid or deal with panic attacks and anxiety, so we were pretty hopeful about my ability to cope over the next few months. Yesterday was my last session for the year.

  And earlier tonight I got an e-mail that nearly sent me into a stress- and anxiety-induced panic attack, which I've been doing my best to stave off. That's mostly related to uni and grades and assignments, so right now I'm trying not to think about it.

 Plus, several of my friends are dealing with depression or just generally very shitty situations, so I usually spend most of the day talking to them or just being a comforting, sympathetic listening ear. Though I'm planning to send [personal profile] eidolon_bird  a small package in the mail soon that should hopefully brighten up her day, so keep an eye on your mailbox, Bird! <3

And then I was on Facebook, happily looking forward to responding to comments and then reading fanfic. I have quite a few of my teachers on FB, and one of my primary school teachers had posted an old photo she'd found of one of her classes on an outing. I didn't think it was my class at first, since at a first, casual glance I hadn't seen myself in it and didn't recognise anyone else, so I Liked it and moved on. Anyway, it just popped up on my Newsfeed again and I saw the names of several of my old classmates in the comments. It was my Primary Three class! 3AA, 2001. It had been taken on our outing to Jurong Bird Park, and everyone was excitedly tagging themselves and each other and catching up in the comments. (Also, the first comment, presumably after I'd Liked it, was addressed to me, from my teacher, asking if that had been my class.)

So I looked closely at the photo and did recognise many of my classmates, but there was still no sign of me, even though I remembered being present at the outing. It was a very casual, informal group photo, and there is the barest sign of a girl right at the back and in a corner, behind someone else, and I suspect that may have been me. (Assuming I wasn't crying in the toilets or just behind a tree somewhere at being either left out or bullied, that is. <__< )

I started to type a comment, "Haha, yes, Mrs Chua, I was in this class. :) Unfortunately I think that's me at the corner in the back, hidden behind someone else," and then I hesitated. Because many of the earlier comments were from my classmates, the same people who ostracised and bullied and mocked me and started making school hell for me when I was nine. There was always the chance that they had matured and wouldn't respond to my comment with derision, but back in 2009, one of my classmates from Primary Five (2003, different class, with different classmates) had posted a class photo and tagged all of us, and eventually I had joined in the comment thread, and then many of the guys started the old mocking and deriding. I'd completely forgotten about that, but this had reminded me. I was afraid to reply to my teacher (whom I was fond of) for fear of my old classmates' reaction and the real chance that most of them hadn't grown up.

I mean, it's not the gripping fear from back when I was actually being bullied or anything, just an awareness that, hey, there is a very strong chance that this will happen, and then it will make you feel shitty. Don't do it. Don't expose yourself to them.

And on top of the vague fear and sadness, there's also frustration at myself because I had thought that I'd gotten over all the bullying and was coping a lot better with not letting fear of people's reactions control me. Apparently not. Or maybe it's just a bad night. In any case, it's also logical self-preservation, I hope?

Anyway. Cider, Tim Tams, and fanfiction! I can deal with problems tomorrow.


sivaroobini: (Dream)

Today I broke up with my boyfriend.

I was fine for most of the day, only shedding a couple of tears once or twice, and then I got home and my housemates hugged me and brought out this huge stack of chocolate and then I started crying. Partly because I'd been doing my best to keep myself together all day while at uni and in front of other people and had to let go at some point, and partly because, relationship drama aside, I was extremely touched by their gestures.

I do think I learnt something, though. He was the first person I'd ever dated. Back before I came to Perth, whenever I tried to envison my ideal partner (assuming it wasn't one of my bad days where I felt ugly and horrible and didn't think anyone would ever want me), I felt it was important that they share at least some of my interests. Tolkien, Harry Potter, Star Trek, Gaiman, Pratchett, sci fi/fantasy in general, ancient and medieval history/archaeology, fanfic, roleplay, costuming etc. So few people in Singapore did. Obviously, I also figured that they'd have to actually like me, which I thought would be rare. And then I came to Perth and made many geeky friends and joined the SCA and realised that actually, there were a lot of nerds and geeks around me who shared my interests. And SCA was now one of them. And there was the uni sci fi/fantasy club and the Queer Department and the Perth Discworld fan club... being surrounded by geeks was awesome, and by that point I wasn't thinking too hard about romance or particularly looking, aside from vague halfhearted fantasies about Richard Armitage lookalikes. XD

Sometimes I wonder if the reason I said yes (albeit warily) when he first expressed interest was that I was surprised by someone showing genuine interest in me. And as time wore on, I was won over by the fact that he shared my interests and would tell me fun little things about medieval culture that I hadn't known, that made me see a Tolkien scene in a new light, and stuff like that. I did have genuine affection for him.

Anyway. The thing I learnt is that you can meet and date someone who's nearly perfect for you in a lot of ways, who has gorgeous eyes and shares your passions for a lot of things (Tolkien, HP, Discworld, ancient and medieval history and languages and archaeology, Egypt, SCA, swordfighting, steampunk LARP, costuming, random trivia) and introduces you to new things that you fall in love with (Stargate; I'd seen and loved the original movie, but he introduced me to the TV series, which I was aware of but had never watched until now) and shares your ideals and values (honour, chivalry, knowledge, feminism), who cares deeply for you with almost frightening intensity, who makes you feel ridiculously happy... and things can still not work out, even if you think that logically they ought to. At least we're still friends.

I had to end things, but I also kind of hate myself for it.

On a very vaguely related note, I'm getting professional help for stress and anxiety issues. \o/


sivaroobini: (Dream)
Warning: strong language in gif captions.

[this entire conversation took place in Tamil]
I was helping my grandmother make muruku today and, when talking about something funny I'd done as a child, she said, "You had good brains and you knew how to use them when you were a kid." I teasingly responded, "When I was a kid? So I don't have good brains now?" and she replied, "Well, no, isn't that why you went to Australia to study? If you had good brains and done well you'd be studying here in Singapore."



I was speechless for a moment and then I said... )
So I don't know exactly where the future is going to take me, but I do hope that it will be away from Singapore. My family and closest friends are here and I will miss them, but we have the Internet and IM and Skype and Facebook and I can go back to visit them and load up on Singaporean food (one thing I do miss about Singapore; it has good food). I am so much happier in Australia, and I am thankful that I ended up there instead of going to NUS - it's a good uni and I have friends who enjoyed their time there, but I don't think I personally would have been as happy there as I am at UWA. If that means I'm being judged by gossiping old biddies in Singapore, fine, so be it. The joke's on them, because unlike them, I get to actually do what I love instead of something stolid and respectable and boring. I get to live my dreams instead of sacrificing them for the sake of money. I'm happy and growing as an actual human being, instead of being a GDP statistic. I had the brains to recognise what I wanted and how to get it, so if that's stupid by Singaporean standards: screw you, Singapore.




(Note: I do still love and respect my grandmother. The 'gossiping old biddies' was in reference to her friends whom she seems to think are apparently judging me?)

sivaroobini: (Hobbit-approved!)
Okay, so it's already a few days into 2014, but I saw this on a friend's Dreamwidth and it looked fun.

01. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?

So many things that I can't list them all here. I have been more outgoing and energetic though. Hmm, I wore a corset, I seriously planned to ask someone out, I started wearing tank tops in the Australian summer heat, I sledded down the Swiss Alps...

02. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?


I haven't made any in years. I never keep them. XD

03. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No, though my sister got married in July and I keep bugging her for a niece or nephew to spoil. XD

04. Did anyone close to you die?


No.

05. What countries did you visit?

Does Perth count if I spend most of the year there at uni? XD Well, we went on a Europe tour in December and I saw France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy.

06. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

More self-discipline, for studying, exercising and eating a bit healthier. And a laptop that doesn't give out on me during the worst part of term when I have a ton of assignments to write and exam prep to start researching.

07. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Um, my 21st birthday (14th July) and my sister's wedding (6th July). My sister's wedding was a complete circus, and a headache to prepare for, but it was a beautiful day and she was beautiful and I saw family members and family friends I hadn't seen in ages (some of them came down from India, Malaysia and even America just for the wedding ♥). And on my birthday I had an amazing costume party and was surrounded by my friends and family. ♥

08. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Where do I start? XD Well, I ran the SCA Newcomers' Feast at the beginning of the year. It was such a headache and so stressful and a disaester behind the scenes, but all the guests, who had no idea of the drama going on in the kitchen, said it was a lovely event and really enjoyed it.

I also pulled a Hermione in first semester, when I applied for dispensation for unit overload/taking an extra unit. The standard maximum unit load per semester is four, but I was taking five units: Greek 1, Latin 2, German 3, The Golden Age of Athens, and Religion, Gender and Society in Medieval/Early Modern Europe. I did so because I wanted to continue German and start Greek, so German was my extra unit. However, there were a lot of timetable clashes and classes I couldn't attend, so since German was the only class not related to either of my majors, I sacrificed it. I did the best I could and had been doing pretty well on assignments and class tests, but I never had time to go to the conversational German classes and the lectures clashed with my Greek tutorials so I could only attend one German tutorial a week, mostly a written German one. And I never finished/submitted my final German essay, since all my essays were due at the same time and I was freaking out. I really could have done with a Time-Turner.

However, at the same time I was also planning the aforementioned Feast and being very heavily involved in the medieval club in general, and I also ran the Queer Department for half the semester before stepping down because it was too much. So I consider the sheer amount I got done in first semester and how I was running around like the Energiser Bunny and did pretty well in my other units an achievement. XD

Also, in Europe I quickly picked up enough French and Italian to order food and drinks and that sort of thing, and I already knew German so I could order my own vegetarian food. :D

09. What was your biggest failure?


German, which I literally failed because see above. Also, there was this amazing friend I really liked and I was working up the nerve to ask them out (I use the pronoun 'they' because they're agendered, though when I first met them they were still identifying as female). Their last relationship hadn't ended so well and they'd said at the beginning of the year that they weren't really interested in dating at the moment so I was also waiting for a hint that that might have changed. And then JUST when I was going to ask them out, they said they were just starting to date someone else. So I was too late and I do kind of regret that, though I'm moving on.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Oh yes, I actually started 2013 with a spectacular bout of food poisoning or stomach flu. XD I've been ill at various points over the year; I actually ended 2013 with a cold/throat infection, too. And I got lots of small bruises from rapier practice/tournaments.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Um... the material to make my lovely Egyptian costume, the Egyptian snake arm-bangle, the ancient Egyptian senet gameboard The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, my Key to Erebor pendant, my Viking brooches, my corset, various souvenirs in Florence and Rome... lots of things. XD Also the ticket to the special premiere of Thor: The Dark World, which got me 3D glasses designed like Thor's armour, a poster and a Loki pop vinyl figure, and the chance to see it early with an amazingly geeky and enthusiastic energetic audience.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Uh... lots of people? My dad, my sister, my uncle, my friends and most especially Pope Francis. That man is amazing.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

My mother and brother. My mother has early-onset Alzheimer's and is still very aggressive and defensive, and also mentally regressing to a spoilt petulant child. My brother... lots of family drama there that I'd rather not go into. Also my cousin's fiancée.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Books, most likely, and fees for SCA events. Also rent and groceries/food.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?


My birthday, SCA stuff, the Europe trip (especially ROME *___* ), and food. XD And Latin poetry! And the recent Harry Potter marathon with friends. And a Lord of the Rings marathon with friends in Perth in May.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?

No idea, I haven't actually listened to many new songs. Though there are a few songs that will always remind me of the Europe trip because they were playing over and over and over again on European MTV in all the hotel rooms and on the radio. Also, I fell in love with this track from Thor: The Dark World, which I saw twice with amazing friends, so it might remind me of 2013? Maybe?

17. Compared to this time last year, you are:

Happier or sadder? Probably happier?
Thinner or fatter? Fatter.
Richer or poorer? I'm not sure.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?


Writing, studying, cleaning.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Procrastinating, daydreaming.

20. How will you be spending/did you spend Christmas?

My father's family grew up with this other family and they were very close and have remained very close, so every year they invite us over for Christmas dinner and we go and have a lovely time. That was what we did in 2013 as well.

22. Did you fall in love in 2013?

No. I might have, if I had asked out that friend like I wanted to, because I really liked them. Still, I'm moving on and a friend has expressed interest. We're taking things very slow, but it's looking good so far.

23. How many one-night stands?

None.

24. What was your favourite TV program?

SHERLOCK. Also BBC Robin Hood, because it's so bad it's hilarious and also Richard Armitage in leather and guyliner. And BBC's North & South.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?


My brother. And my cousin's fiancée.

26. What was the best book you read?


Hmm. New books, not rereads? The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. And The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin. And a lot of fantastic fanfiction.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Gone With The Sin, Ulv Raev Hare and Randy Dandy O.

28. What did you want and get?


The Ocean at the End of the Lane, a chance to see Rome and Florence and the Black Forest, some Marvel comics, a costume party, various food dishes, a boost in self-esteem... lots of things.

29. What did you want and not get?

The new Sandman comic, and Raising Steam. I will get them soon, I still have a book voucher from my birthday!

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. I also really liked Thor: The Dark World and Star Trek: Into Darkness.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I was 21. I had an amazing historical-themed costume party at a chalet, with friends and family, and there was a barbecue (with lots of vegetarian food for me; the whole thing was jointly organised/paid for by my dad and uncle) and a fantastic Harry Potter cake from my sister, and in general it was such a wonderful night.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

My brother moving out, my academic results being better, or getting a job.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Medieval. XD

34. What kept you sane?

My friends (especially Bird and Myst), the SCA and fanfiction.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Richard Armitage, oh my goodness. *sighs and fans self* Also Tom Hiddleston and Chris Evans.

35. What was your favorite video game of the year?

I don't play any.

36. Who has made the most cameos in your dreams this year?

Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, and the dwarves of Erebor (plus Bilbo and Gandalf). <_<

37. Who did you miss?

Various friends. Also, I miss my Singapore family and friends while in Perth and I miss my Perth friends while in Singapore.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

I met the Perth Discworld fan club, the Perth Drummers, and made some lovely friends there: notably Damien, Krystel and Danielle. And my classmate Chloe.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013:

Never bite off more than I can chew, and plan my time better.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

Can't think of any.


sivaroobini: (Default)
While explaining some stuff about Anubis to a friend, I dredged up an article I'd written in my first semester at uni (early 2012) for a Science Communications assignment, where you had to explain some sort of scientific process clearly and simply for a target audience who knew nothing of your subject. As the lone ancient history student in a class full of science majors (it was a broadening unit for me), I decided to write about the mummification process. And upon rereading it just now I decided I was actually pretty proud of it, so I'm posting it here.

Remember, it was a uni assignment (I had to deal with word limits and stuff) and written over a year ago, so if you think anything needs to be changed or dislike any part of it, or want more information, please let me know. XD

The Mummy: The Prequel

 

 

 

Dawson, W.R. (1927). Making a Mummy. The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, 13 (1), 40-49.

Hamlyn, P. (1965) Egyptian Mythology London: Westbrook House

University College London (2000) Digital Egypt for Universities

Retrieved from: http://www.digitalegypt.ucl.ac.uk/Welcome.html

Wallis Budge, E.A. (1895) ed. Baldock J. (2011) The Egyptian Book of the Dead London: Arcturus Publishing.

sivaroobini: (tea and books)
Well, it was weird for me. Random rambling about having come a long way since secondary school.


 

Mostly, I sort of wish I could reach out to my younger self and say, "Hey, it gets better. You'll have a few awesome friends and your dream of studying in London won't come true yet but Perth is going to be so much more awesome then you think, you'll make lots of friends and learn to swordfight and study everything you love and you're going to be confident and happy, if a little stressed from schoolwork. Don't let this get you too depressed. I promise it's going to get better."

But then I guess those experiences shaped me, and I've grown to like who I am, so as tough as they were I wouldn't trade them. And if anybody reading this is having a tough time: it gets better. And you are awesome. ♥

x__x

Nov. 24th, 2012 08:14 pm
sivaroobini: (Dream)

It's been such an exhausting couple of weeks. I should really be continuing my cleaning right now but I just can't bring myself to get up. I've had exams (Greco-Roman history, English Lit, German and Latin) and terrible insomnia this week, and the week before I was depressed about missing Deepavali (Hindu Festival of Lights, the biggest Hindu festival of the year) and then my grandfather died so the Deepavali party at home was cancelled anyway and I had to miss the funeral instead.

I should get some cheese to go with all this whine )

  And I've successfully procrastinated thus far but it's 9.55pm and my sister's flight is landing around 1am, so I really need to eat something and finish cleaning my room and move stuff around and move the spare mattress in so she'll have a place to sleep. I'm gonna show her around Perth and then we'll fly home together on the 30th of November. :D

sivaroobini: (corridor monster)

I'm the Herald of the College of St. Basil, the SCA chapter at my uni, and we have to do reports. So I was complaining chatting to Myst on AIM while typing up my report.

Me: Writing my Herald's Report.
Me: Reporting on the devices Z and I have designed. I'm trying to describe them in blazon, in heraldry terms, and it's bloody hard.
Myst: Good luck.
Me: Z - Gules, in fess an Armenian eagle close Or facing sinister, the Armenian letter 'z' Or, an Armenian eagle close Or facing dexter.
Sivaroobini - Gules, in pale a book Argent and an ankh Or.
Myst: in fess?
Me: in a row
Myst: Ah.
Me: though I just asked him if it was in fess or one and two
Myst: Gules is... red?
Me: http://heraldry.sca.org/primer/arrangements.html
Me: Yes.
Myst: silver book and gold ankh
Me: White, technically, but silver in heraldry terms, yes XD
Me: book above ankh
Me: so now I'm sitting here waiting for him to reply so I can change his as required and send it in.
Myst: *goes to check what her phoenix would have been in heraldry, out of curiosity XD
Me: ... augh, his eagles are twisted, looking over their shoulders
Me: so now it's Gules, an Armenian eagle close regardant Or facing sinister, the Armenian letter 'z' Or, an Armenian eagle close regardant Or facing dexter, one and two.
Myst: *wince
Myst: Complicated?
Myst: At least yours sounds nice and straightforward
Me: It is. XD His looks pretty, but blazoning it is a nightmare.
Me: He's the Marshall, and hence only has to report on trainings and injuries, whereas as the Herald I have to keep track of everyone's SCA names and devices - whether or not they've registered either/sent in paperwork, whether it's legal, etc - and be familiar with heraldry rules and blazoning. ><
Me: ... good god I sound a bit like Gabriel.
Myst: 'A bit'?
Me: oh shush you :P

sivaroobini: (Hobbit-approved!)

It's September 22nd! Aka Bilbo and Frodo Baggins' birthday, aka Hobbit Day. 8D

In past years I usually had a movie marathon at home with my sister; last year involved a disastrous attempt at lembas bread, or that might have been for the Gondorian New Year, I'm not sure. This year, though, I attended UniSFA's (the University Science Fiction Association) Hobbits' Picnic and it was amazing!

Photos and details! )

Happy Hobbit Day, everyone! *toasts you* *settles back with pipeweed*

sivaroobini: (THE GREAT CELESTIAL CHEERLEADER)

Okay, so back when I returned from Pencampwr at the beginning of June I meant to put up photos of my awesome medieval weekend and I never did. And then I had exams and flew home and there was a lot of crazy cleaning and organisation because my sister was getting engaged and when Indians get married or even engaged it is crazy. And I had a 12-hour Special Extended Edition movie marathon of The Lord of the Rings with friends.And I had to attend a wedding in Malaysia on my birthday and rather disliked it, but felt much better the next day when back in Singapore and cutting cake and eating durian with my family. And then WE WENT TO THE HARRY POTTER EXHIBITION AND IT WAS AMAZING AND I SPENT SO MUCH BUT IT WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT. And I went out with friends and was given more cake and had to pack in a huge hurry and now I'm back in Perth.

And basically I meant to put up photos of all of these things but everytime I switched on the laptop I was always distracted because ever since I saw the Avengers movie all those months ago my mind has been EATEN by Avengers fanfic, especially Steve/Tony. I've read hundreds of Steve/Tony and Avengers fanfics obsessively and have pretty much exhausted Archive Of Our Own and am trawling LJ and Tumblr for more. <_< And now I'm tentatively poking my head out again and peeking at all my other fandoms that I neglected and catching up on my f-list.



Hence the long absence, for which I apologise. Though it also had to do with the fact that half the time I was also exhausted from cleaning or spending all day out with my family/friends and had no energy to do much besides flop into bed and read smut.

I will be spamming you with overdue photo posts, fair warning, but first: my grades for the first semester were released on July 16th.



Ignore the three UPs, they were for compulsory online modules on academic conduct, Aboriginal culture and basic communication/research skills and I actually got more than 80 marks in each, but you just need to pass them and so they're listed as Ungraded Passes. But oh my god, the others.

I got Distinctions in Discoveries in Archaeology, German Studies 1 and Introduction to Scientific Practices (Science Communications), and a High Distinction in Myths of the Greeks and Romans. It was past 2am when I first saw this and it took me a few moments of squinting blearily at the screen to realise what I was looking at, and then I wanted to jump off the bed and go and tell everyone, but everyone was asleep. D:

I would have hated myself if I'd gotten anything less than a Distinction in Greek mythology, but hadn't been expecting a HD. And I honestly have no idea where the Distinction in Science Comm came from, since I did slack a bit in that class and got Bs for most of my assignments and hadn't thought my performance in the final assignment was spectacular. o_O

And now that the initial glow has worn off I'm panicking over whether I can maintain this sort of grade as everything gets harder. D: Semester 2 starts next Monday and I'm really looking forward to it - I'm continuing German and also taking Latin 1, a unit called Glory and Grandeur that's classical Greek and Roman history, and an English unit called Journeys: Texts Across Place and Time (which is for my Medieval and Early Modern Studies major; I'm double-majoring in that and Classics and Ancient History). I can't wait to start all these courses - god, I've wanted to learn Latin since I was a child - but am also worried.

Also, I landed in Perth after midnight on the 21st but still haven't really unpacked. <_< ... I should get on that. BUT FANFICTION.

I'm also considering signing up for this:


I haven't written much this year and haven't posted anything (role-play aside) and have zero ideas for a GO Big Bang, but hopefully that will change soon.


sivaroobini: (THE GREAT CELESTIAL CHEERLEADER)

So, I joined the local chapter of the SCA, basically like a medieval club. I've been having swordfighting lessons, which are freaking AWESOME, and am working on medieval garb of my own; sadly I could not get it ready in time for the Newcomers' Feast last night and had to wear loaner garb. But you get picspam anyway. (I swear I'll upload photos of my beautiful university soon! XD)




Photos and descriptions of the feasting and merrymaking! )
 
 


All in all, my first feast was AMAZING and I am so looking forward to more SCA events!

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