So plenty has happened ever since I thought about that thrill in my toes. It seems that the thrill is just about to begin.
My round of interviews for the World Bank Essay Competiton has started, and I've received some pretty good responses. I even managed to talk to Bob and DeeAnn over Skype (add me, I'm "divabat") and ask them questions. I suppose I could have done it better (DeeAnn was a last-minute addition so I was completely underprepared) but I did get what I wanted – or at least know who to ask from now – and it was 7:30 in the morning outside a McDonalds.
Why am I doing a Skype interview at 7:30 in the morning outside a McDonalds?
The move to Petaling Jaya was a bit frustrating – the apartment wa a bit dilapitated, but worse of all, there was no Internet. There was a LAN line, but it was disconnected. This frustrated me greatly because the only reason I even took this apartment (besides my dad vetoing all my other choices out) was because the previous tenant had said there was a connection. And now I have to pay RM60 a month for at least six months, when I probably won't live here that long. There is a Maxis WiFi connection, which I still have to pay for (RM33 monthly) but it's not very strong on the 15th floor, especially not at odd hours of the day. Hence the early morning interview outdoors, where the signal is clearer. (Even as I'm writing this, the signal is coming and going, and I'm theoritically in the area with the best reception – nearest to the balcony.)
I have indeed started my job with Channel [V] International at their Petaling Jaya office. My job title is "Production Assistant", and despite all the warnings from SoYouWanna.Com and other production websites about how menial the job is, I have yet to make anyone coffee or peel self-bought oranges or book manicures. Instead, in the past three days of work, I've been compiling Oscar trivia to be used by one of our VJs on the Red Carpet, writing scripts for the same VJ on a different TV show, standing in for another VJ for a light/camera test, making one of my colleagues (and new found friend) who sits diagonally across from me in awe of me as I keep coming up with quick and easy Internet solutions for everything he needs, and structuring & designing the first ever Channel [V] Oscars PreShow on the Red Carpet, featuring the trivia list I was working on, to be aired on [V] before the official Red Carpet Preshow.
I'm pretty surprised that they assigned me the Preshow-Preshow on only my third day, especially since I don't have any actual television experience. As it is, they've never had the chance to do this sort of show before (this is the first time they've had access to something like this) so there isn't a set sample structure, and I'm prety much working on this alone. I would have expected at least a team effort. I wonder if they have loads of confidence in me to trust me to such a major job (too much confidence, maybe?) or if this is really something really easy and I'm just too inexperienced to know better. In any case, I'd better work on pulling this off, because then it'll give me leverage to apply for leave come April.
Yes, I've been confirmed to perform in the Premire of Up With People's new Show and Program. I've been accepted into the PreStaging. The thing that would have given me my biggest thrill. And I've got it.
It's working out really well actually. Right about now Malaysia Airlines is holding a promotional Travel Fair, and I'm entitled to save up to RM400 on tickets (this is including taxes and fees and all – it would be a LOT cheaper if it wasn't for the USD320 add-on taxes). I've been in touch with my ex-host family and they've agreed to host me again. I already have a US visa, so that isn't a problem for me. All that's standing in the way is the application for leave, which I can do at the latest by mid-March – besides, the boss already knows of my plan. Obviously, though, they would be more supportive of giving me time off if I've worked hard enough to deserve it, rather than if I've just been slacking off so far.
Which, to be honest, I have been. I should be working on the essay or the show structure but instead I've spent the whole day going online, catching up on my Bloglines subscriptions, and stalking my friends on Friendster to see if there's anyone I know that I haven't added in yet.
Technically, that's a lie. I have been doing other things besides being glued to the computer. This morning I went to take the IELTS exam for use for entry into Malaysia (because claiming English as your first language, even if it really is your first language, doesn't really cut it if your native language is Malay and your mother tongue is Bengali. Long story.) It's not nearly as mindless as my sister made it out to be – for goodness sake, how am I to come up with off-the-cuff remarks about whether or not it's a good idea to restrict air travel due to pollution if I don't have time to do proper research?! – but it wasn't too bad. It was interesting that my topic for the Speaking section was adult education…it was too bad that there was a time limit, I could have gone on further.
Tomorrow there should be a meeting with some of the other people in the Brick In The Wall project, a project to promote alternative education in Malaysia. If you're reading this in Malaysia and you're interested, join the YahooGroup or come by on Sunday 19th February 2006 at 2:30 PM at McDonalds Sec 14, next to Jaya Shopping Centre. We'll be talking about how to simplify our plans and actually realize them – as well as drafting mini-proposals for projects like a youth group in Thailand that's giving grant money for this sort of thing. Maybe we'll get something worked out.
Tomorrow there was meant to be an article from me in The Star's Education section – originally a letter written in response to all the letters sent in the past couple of weeks about getting As in exams. I was basically fed up with people who wrote in saying "if I miss a single A I am a failure" and "the only people who don't care about As are underachievers or rich" and so on, so I wrote back detailing all the various experiences I had that had nothing to do with my exam results. The editor called me up the next day and asked if they could publish it as a feature, with accompanying photos. I agreed, and sent in some photos (and a slightly polished up version of the letter; I wrote the original close to midnight and was quite sleepy) – though unfortunately I heard soon after that my article would be postponed to the following Sunday due to space issues. Oh well! Keep an eye out on the Sunday Star and try to look for one of my articles. I'll post it here with comments when it's published.
When I was at the IDP Centre to take the IELTS test, I noticed a sign for their upcoming roadshows – "Aussie Fairs". Their KL roadshow would be held on Saurday the 4th of March, at Pan Pacific Hotel. One day after my IELTS test results are released, on a weekend, and hopefully I'll have time to get my certificates released from college too. Then I can show up at the roadshow with all my materials, and start applying – good thing the application fees are waived too. I could also probably see what sort of courses are out there that fit my new-found perspective and interests.
That, though, is a post for another day. For now, let's just mull over the different opportunities that have arisen, marvel at the gifts of the Universe, and feel that thrill in our toes again.
Links in Post:
- EducateDeviate: Thrill To Your Toes
- World Bank 2006 Essay Competition
- Channel [V] International
- Up With People
- Malaysia Airlines
- Brick In The Wall
- The Star: Education
- IDP Australia: Malaysia