#FeesMustFall – It is not a black and white fight

I’m sure everyone’s social media is littered with posts about the the recent #FeesMustFall protest. It is one of the largest protests that has affected us on a national scale to date in South Africa. And with any movement in South Africa, the racial argument comes hand in hand. That’s just the way it is – because the claws of apartheid sink that deep.

And we should acknowledge the role of apartheid that has played here. Continue reading

Nothing screams success like Noe Liu’s parents

This kid makes me so happy. He participated in season 3 of the Chinese reality TV show ‘Where Are We Going, Dad?’. I loved this season’s kids – they are the most wonderful combination of light in my dull days but none of them have stolen my heart like Noe Liu. He is not perfect – he cries, he gets upset, he gets angry like every other kid and sometimes more so but he is the most expressive kid I have ever seen.

He has so much love in him that you see exploding through his 5 year old body; he hugs and kisses everyone with so much enthusiasm and happiness.

He gets scared easily but is not afraid to tell you when he is so. You will often see him reference the Monkey King because that is his hero. When he sees someone crying, he will go and comfort them. He cries when he sees someone is hurt because he worries they might die. When he gets excited he will break into a dance within a second. Music is his passion and more often than not you see him singing all kinds of songs with his dad. He remembers more lyrics than I do. He will offer up what he likes to his friend so that they are not sad. Throughout the season you will see him say so many random things because his mind flies away easily.

You will also see him being very protective of his sister, Nina, when his parents are not around and takes care of her like the best big brother someone can ask for.

Noe Liu makes you want to find out about his parents because of how beautiful his personality is.


And watching his parents, you can see why he is such a delightful child. His father, Liu Ye, emanates positive energy. He isn’t very serious most of the time and likes to keep the mood light.

Yet, you can see his strong sense of responsibility and awareness when he teaches his son. Through his interaction with Noe, you will see most of the time he talks to Noe like he talks to an adult and yet still being playful, only being serious when he sees discipline is required.

His mother, Anais Martane, is beautiful with a smile that lights up your day. She prefers to expose her children to old school stories like the Monkey King rather than the currently popular cultures of Marvel superheroes and cartoons.

She will reason with them when they throw a tantrum. Anais makes sure that her children (Noe and Nina Liu) are in touch with nature by taking them to various outdoor activities. She is also adamant that her children do not grow up valuing something based on the name; when Noe called a car ‘BMW’ instead of a ‘car’, she asked Noe who taught him that and asked the person who did so to leave. Her children also go out to disadvantaged communities with her to give out food and daily materials.

Most importantly, you see love being expressed so well within this family. And that is probably why this little Noe is exploding with love for everyone. Children are like blank pieces of paper – what you draw on it is what you will see. And that’s what makes this family so successful. This family doesn’t make you envy them, they make you wish they can continue being enveloped in this bliss. To me, Liu Ye’s biggest success isn’t seen through his acting career but through his family. This family is my role model.

Procrastination? Really, we are just afraid of hard work

I’ve been meaning to publish a blog post for a while but just haven’t got around to doing it. I’ve realized that I will be extremely excited to write a blog post when I have to work on my thesis. I think I get this from my mom. Or it’s just a human condition to always put off what you are supposed to do.

If my mom has to clean the inside of the house, she will always be in the garden burning grass and branches that she cut off. If she has to cook dinner for us, she will run off to work at our restaurant. If she has to go to work, she will stay at home making dishwashing liquid out of lemons and something else. Which ended up in a small explosion in our garage, by the way. But I’m sure my mom’s not the only one who does this.

When I have to work on my thesis, I will run off to work or write a blog or create a website. Then comes a point when I give up on all of this and binge on tv series (obviously the most unhealthy habit of all).

I think the word I’m looking for is procrastination. There is something in our subconscious that absolutely forbids us to follow our daily work plan. It’s always the something we plan to do that we never end up doing. Or perhaps we are just afraid of hard work. If we plan something, we know how much work must go into it – so we try to delay it as much as we can. In contrast, when we don’t know how much work goes into it and plunge headfirst, we can accomplish more because we no longer sit there thinking and planning, we are just doing.

Maybe that is the condition that procrastinators suffer from – thinking. We think too much about the task instead of just doing the task. Obviously thinking is important – don’t jump off a bridge without thinking if it’s high enough (in no way promoting suicide!). But instead of always thinking about how much work or the kind of work that the task requires, just do what you are supposed to do instead. More action, less planning.

By the way, this post was supposed to be about my Europe trip.

Things I wish I knew before pursuing graduate studies

While most of the posts I have read are written by CEOs, entrepreneurs and pretty much anyone with a fancy title who have ‘made it’ in the world, I thought measly, young ignorant me would write one too. It’s nothing life-changing, in case you were thinking, so don’t get your hopes up.

Before I started my master’s degree, I was beyond excited at finally finishing undergrad and being able to pursue topics I was actually interested in. I thought for sure I would invent something that would revolutionize the world. I pictured myself tinkering in the corner on my home energy system, holding awards and making lots of money. Imagine your house with a completely independent supply of electricity and water – wouldn’t that be revolutionary? Little did I know what I was in for. If I had known these things, I would’ve reconsidered. Continue reading

“You aint gonna find them in your wardrobe, girl”

We are about to embark on a trip to Europe. I am already planning my outfits so that I can come home with awesome pictures and not pictures that compose many variants of the just-got-out-of-bed look or the does-she-have-a-home look. This raises some red flags for my boyfriend, who sadly isn’t going on the trip with me. He wonders why I’m putting so much effort in my wardrobe for this trip Continue reading

Don’t get too excited…but I met Daniel Radcliffe and Ellen Degeneres…

…..In my dreams. No, really!

I was an extra on Daniel Radcliffe’s movie. I didn’t know I was going to meet him. Out of the blue, he was just standing there, talking to someone. Somehow the extras (only 3 of us apparently) also needed to be consulted. After a conversation with the director of which I am blissfully unaware of, I found myself standing alone with him. I couldn’t stop staring at him. I noticed I was staring down at him. That means he was shorter than me. Which is odd because I’m 1.60 m and he is a quoted height of 1.65 m. I was so focused on his face that I noticed he had a bruised cheek below his eye. The more I stared, the blacker it got. I managed to ask, “How’d you get the black eye?” Continue reading

The first time acne made me cry

This is the title of one of the Youtube videos by Brian Turner. I watched it and it brought tears to my eyes too, not because of the fact that I also have to deal with acne but because it was one of the most honest and heartfelt videos I have ever watched.

Acne is one of the most powerful ways to beat down your self-confidence. I think only people who have gone through it will know the damage it can do to you, especially when you are in your teenage years surrounded by the stupidity of teenagers. If you have passed your teenage years, then you know what I mean.

I had to deal with acne since the beginning of high school, so you can imagine how self-conscious my high school years were. There is nothing worse than Continue reading

Why do we damage ourselves?

I don’t understand humans. I don’t understand us.

Lately I’ve been contemplating a lot about why do we do what we do. It’s really…mind-boggling. Why do we do something we know is not good for us? Why do we still do what we know is wrong? Are we that messed up in the head?

We procrastinate. We cheat. We lie. We bully. We lash out. We fight. We throw so much negative energy around. Why are we unable to exercise some self control? Continue reading

Good things happen when you put yourself out there

I feel one of the worst things about me is that I tend to be a passive person. Whenever I have a crush, he will never know. He won’t just not know; he won’t even know I exist, because I won’t talk to him. I’m that shy and reserved. And I’m that passive – never actively responding to my desires or passions. Passive, shy, reserved. I don’t think that’s a good combination.

I also tend to get very excited about all sorts of things, from dancing, to playing sports, to surfing, to working on a new project. But then I’d somehow convince myself to not do any of them. So I will always end up staying at home eating, sleeping or watching reruns.

Then something happened to me recently Continue reading