Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life

Whew, it seems like eternity has passed since I last did a Weekly Photo Challenge! I have no excuse other than the challenges didn’t really go with the things I did, and it’s such a shame that I’ve been so busy that I rarely have time to actually look… which kinda explains why my picture for this week is the way it is.

Behold, ladies and gentlemen, what I see every day — and by every day, I just mean Mondays to Fridays.

It’s not much. There’s nothing profound or awe-inspiring about this. What can I say? My life is caged by this thing called school -_-‘


The Big Bang Theory Effect

It all started with an innocent remark form my friend. I’m going to apply the Marxist theory to ‘The Big Bang Theory’, she says, as it was assigned for homework in my English Lit. class. Then there was a good, solid ten minute discussion about television shows and TBBT was mentioned, followed by a comment from my Psychology teacher the very same dayintelligence can be perceived as attractive. It’s not an exact quote because my memory sucks like a straw, but that’s not the point. My point is that WHY IS THIS SHOW FOLLOWING ME?!

I’m not complaining or anything — hell, I like this show. This is simply an observation that somehow overcame me during Psychology class. I mean, my teacher was right. Nowadays, intelligence equals attractiveness. With the onslaught of the superhero films like The Avengers (and various forms of the franchise) and TV shows like The Big Bang Theory, the whole nerd-esque look is gaining momentum.

It’s now ‘cool’ to like nerdy things. Brainy, as they say, is the new sexy.

Yeah, sorry. I just needed to plug this in. I think it’s perfectly relevant.

I’m not saying being a nerd automatically means you’re intelligent, or that being intelligent makes you a shoo-in to be a nerd. Frankly, I don’t know what I’m trying to say here other than TBBT is following me. (I’m caught up on the series, just to let everybody know.) Anyway, below is a lovely paper written by that friend I mentioned at the beginning. Her name is Lizzie and here’s a link to her blog.

Enjoy reading!

An aspect of Marxism says that‘Marxism is about how your social circumstances determine much, if not all of your life.’ This idea can be applied to the TV show The Big Bang Theory and the characters of Leonard Hofstadter, Sheldon Cooper, Raj Koothrapali, Howard Wolowitz and Penny. The show centres on these characters, which are scientists, except for Penny who is an aspiring actress and waitress at The Cheesecake Factory. This particular episode of TBBT is a Christmas episode in which Leonard’s mother, a psychiatrist, visits Leonard and Sheldon. Marxist theory can be applied to this episode as Sheldon and Beverley Hofstadter discuss previous events that have happened. Sheldon refers to Leonard as having ‘narcissistic personality disorder’ caused by ‘unresolved childhood issues’. Therefore, Leonard, according to Marxist theory, is the way he is because of the social circumstances in which he grew up. Sheldon refers to Leonard as ‘coming from a remarkably high-achieving family’. Leonard also explains how his Christmases went as a child, which was unusual to Penny’s Christmas traditions. This sort of childhood and experiences that Leonard had explain the reasons for his behaviour as an adult. Leonard now enjoys Christmas more, because he never got to enjoy traditional Christmases as a child. Contradictorily, Sheldon, who is more blunt and seemingly cleverer than Leonard, grew up in a family with more traditional values and celebrated Christmas as most Western families do. Combined with Sheldon’s personality, his social circumstantial experience of Christmas as a child determined his attitude toward Christmas as an adult. These are more specific examples of applying Marxist theory to this episode of TBBT.

The characters of Leonard, Howard, Sheldon and Raj can be explored through Marxist theory. Their ‘social circumstances’ are their jobs as scientist: Leonard as an experimental physicist, Sheldon as a theoretical physicist, Howard as an aerospace engineer, and Raj who works in the physics department as a specialist in particle astrophysics, and all of them at Caltech University. Their occupations, according to Marxist theory determine their consciousness. This is according to the Marxist statement: ‘It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness.’ The group of best friends and co-workers form a group of what is the epitome of all that is geeky and nerdy. They enjoy playing video games and are interested in comic books and sci-fi such as Star Trek. It could be said, due to Marxist theory that these men do not engage in their hobbies and enjoy it because they think they do, but they do these hobbies and enjoy it because of their position in society as clever scientific thinking men. Their social circumstances and positions in society determine what things they enjoy and the hobbies they prefer. They think that they personally choose their hobbies, but according to Marxist theory, ‘choice is [but] an illusion’.Their minds are not free, they only think they are.’ The way these men make a living set the conditions for their social, political and intellectual lives. Hence, the conversations and experiences that they share actually occur as a result of their occupation or social circumstances as scientists. Because they are scientists/clever people, they think and speak and act like scientists/clever people.

That Awkward Moment When Robots Are Better Than You At Drawing

I mentioned last week that over the summer holidays, I went to the Science Museum in London. Well, the museum had a cool section dedicated to the Internet and other wireless-related technologies called the Chrome Web Lab. Clearly, it’s powered by the big men in Google. I had fun trying out all the little activities, but what stood out was when the robotic arm drew my face. You can watch the little clip below:

Apparently, what happens is that the camera takes your picture and then some computer program locates the ‘main’ lines of your face. This becomes the set of instructions that the robotic arm follows, and hey presto! your face appears in the sand.

Isn’t it awesome what we can do with technology these days? I mean, the outline of your face into the sand seems completely pointless to me, but the face recognition software is definitely cool to watch. I felt like a little kid seeing a lava lamp for the first time…

Over and out.

Reflection on Psychology

I remember a couple of years ago, back when I still went to Bethel International, several teachers asked my class what course they wanted to take when they went to college — yes, it’s a given that we were all going to college for high school techinically ends around the age of sixteen. Anyway, some of my classmates answered the generic oh, I want to be a lawyer/doctor/nurse and so I have to take this specific course. Me, on the other hand, had no idea what I wanted to be when I grow up. All I knew was that I wanted to write: stories, newspaper articles, film and television scripts… you name it.

Back then, I had no interests in English Literature, seeing as I had no idea what that was exactly. I figured that I read a lot of books, so that must be enough (oh, how naive I was!!). So, when asked which course I wanted to take, the first thing that came to my mind was Psychology. I’ve always been interested in how people think, why they think the way they do, and what I could do to help. Still, I knew that I was only bluffing. I really didn’t think I was going to do Psychology for college, but it was something I was really interested in.

And I was right, I didn’t take up Psychology in college. In fact, I didn’t even finish high school at all!

I moved to England a year ago, and right now I’m in the middle of my A-levels. One of the classes I’m taking is Psychology and boy, is it fun! The first ever lesson, the teacher began explaining the different approaches to psychology: Cognitive, Behaviourist, Psychodynamic and Biological. I just sat there in the corner of the room, feeling out of place because I had no background in the subject whatsoever. I was near the door, so every time my mind felt overwhelmed, I had this urge to simply up and leave. I mean really… wow. I was finally taking the psychology class I wanted.

I was over the moon. I didn’t mind the work, I didn’t mind the fact that I had to sign out of school every day because the class was being taught in a different school.

So what do I enjoy the most about the class? Is it the experiments? The upper hand in social situations because you know a little bit more about why people behave in certain ways? You’d be surprised at what I like, which is in fact the teacher’s dress code. Yup! My teacher is a nerd and it’s all because of this:

He wear a different one every day, and just today he had Captain America’s shield which was, just to say, incredibly epic. What I found really funny was that he was wearing a Union Jack flag at the time… so there he was, talking about the different kinds of experiments (field, natural and laboratory), and my mind thinking He’s wearing a totally nerdy Captain America belt buckle and a hipster-y Union Jack tie. Talk about irony! It’s things like that that makes my days really wonderful.

Oh, you gotta love irony. And psychology. Psychology is a cool class to take.

Over and out.

Summer Lovin’ (Had Me A Blast)

Yes, it’s officially the end of summer. Let the mourning begin!

School starts in less than nine hour’s time and, once you subtract the time spent sleeping, it’s not that far away. Knowing me, I’d stick by my usual body schedule and sleep for ten hours. Yes, I know it’s physically impossible… and yes, I have timed myself over several occasions. (Ten hours is the average amount of hours I ought to sleep in order to feel happy and refreshed.)

Moving on… As school begins again (I dread to think of the workload I’m sure to have), the better half of my brain activity focuses on the summer just past. The summer of 2012 has just been absolutely, positively fantastic. The highlights have been, in chronological order:

  • my first job, which is epic in and of itself
  • a tour to see Stonehenge — yes, the Stonehenge
  • random museum hopping that one day in London
  • after five years, I finally saw my childhood best friend again, and
  • more castle visits!

This summer has definitely been action-packed. Continue reading