Posts Tagged With: musings

Decade Review Part I: What You’re Proud Of | A Review of my 2010s

Thanks to Marie Forleo for the Decade Review guide questions! One decade, gone! Can you believe it? We’re not only saying goodbye to 2019, we’re seeing 2010s off.

What You’re Proud Of : Over the past 10 years, what have you done that you’re proud of? 

  I am proud of myself for not giving up and for always being with God all these years. Some people say I focused too hard on my grades, but the more I look at it, the more I realized that it’s because God has revealed himself to me more in my education journey.  He used my education to bless people, to bless and provide for my parents and family. Yes, I was using my scholarship to feed my family. However, I hope that He will reveal himself in another field in the next decade. (Lablaif Lord, Lab laif, heeheh!)

Year Accomplishments with God
2010 I won the National Oration champion. I remember I failed a month before when I competed in another oration competition. I thought that ended my oration journey, but God had another plan. I was wrong for exactly after a month of defeat, a new competition opportunity came.

During another competition I even told God, I wouldn’t do much, if it’s for me it’s for me. But I won, I got motivated so I practiced again until I reached the regional contest then the nationals. During the nationals, I remember being so aloof. My skirt’s back zipper snapped out. Everything was not working for me that day. I remember telling myself, just go home without regrets. It was so quiet, deafening silence while I was speaking on stage in that UP Diliman auditorium (I forgot the name). That’s what I loved when I am orating, I’m in this bubble of deep silence where I could freely talk about the issues that matter to me.

While they’re announcing the winner, I was praying hard. And then I asked Jesus, who are you going to listen to as I saw most of us bowing our heads. All 16 of us were praying for the same title. And when they called six, my number. I cried so hard, cos it’s another revelation for me. I felt God’s eyes looking at me, smiling and telling me, “I listened to you; I chose you”.

And that ended my oration journey.

2011 2011 was when I was awarded summa cum laude and the Notre Dame award. I was also the graduation speaker. Having the award was everything to me cos I really envisioned myself getting it, speaking before the crowd and bagging the title. Before the Notre Dame Award, there was St. Marcellin Champagnat, but they changed the title that year. In other words, it’s not really the first cos it’s just a change in title. But I think they gave that award 10 years before… so I was hoping for Notre Dame award more than the summa cum laude. I remembered one of the strictest Marist brothers telling me  “they said they finally found the person after all these years”. God was again smiling at me 🙂 He chose me for that award again after 10-12 years?

Then came the end of 2011 when I was pushed to the ground again. I did not top the board. I threw tantrums (I’m sorry if I sound like a toff), my mom even pick me up from uni cos she knew how important the title was for me. But it didn’t work out. I failed betrayed, I felt God didn’t listen to me.

 

2012 But  in March 2012 I competed for Your Big Year. That year, I represented the Philippines abroad. I didn’t win, I was silent. I felt God abandoned me… But I also realized, it’s not the life I wanted. God showed me the world, so I understand myself better. I thought I wanted to be a politician after having served as a leader all my life since elementary. But that Your Big year completely changed my outlook. Well, hey I got to see UK for free and my lola Annie!!! And for me, that was the end of my political fantasy — sad to say it was also the start of not caring too much of changing the world (but the fact that I’m thinking about the pains of people while typing this may be a sign that I’ve not given up on it)

In the same year, I started my first teaching as an English teacher at the newly built San Pedro College-Basic Education in Davao. It’s my first teaching. God brought me to SPC. I thought I wouldn’t like it there, but I was so wrong… The transfer led me to Gemma, Sir Nap, Ma’am Julli and the friends I still communicate with from time to time.
I also started my MA. As usual, I was a silent kid… I got good grades all 1’s, but I wasn’t the smartest. I thought God forgot about me… but I was enjoying my time as an English teacher. Everything was silent…This year I also began my Zumba journey. I would walk around the Victoria plaza and then dance every day!!! These simple mundane activities are really memorable for me. I want to do it again.

I thought I was living a simple life, but during my early morning walks I would still imagine myself being somewhere else…to the university I’ve always dreamed of.

2013 2013 was a silent year. I cried a lot this year. I was still dreaming, hoping… I would, as I always did, write my goals and dreams and put it on the wall to remind me. But no matter how much I tried to console and empower myself, I still sobbed every evening. However, I enjoyed my first university teaching at SPC as a speech instructor.This year was also the start of my anger management therapy. Silence was so deadly I admit I scarred other people by my words. I regret it a lot! We couldn’t really run away from who we were. I was so immature, I wanted to lash out and say what I always think as I always did—but life’s no longer that for me. Of course a teacher cannot say “you’re so stupid” which came so easy for me while I was still studying–maybe that caused the pent up anger. As I look back at it now, I realized God was busy working on my character. Thank you God. However, no matter how much we change the people we hurt, the people in our past can only look at us with the same eyes.No smile, no assurance, no care can ever take away the pain we caused them. Maybe that’s the reason why I can relate so much with Kenshin Himura.

Admittedly, I started volunteering at Sta. Ana Parish as a reader to find my heart and peace again.

 

2014 Then 2014 came. I was busy with my thesis. From being a silent student, I instantly received good remarks from my ADDU professors. I left another impression.

While moving on, another pain thrust my me again: receiving the news that I got rejected from Fulbright MA scholarship, and was offered the Fulbright Foreign Language Teachign Assistantship instead. I admit that I was hurt, I felt I was disposable, that I’m not enough. But I still said yes…

Like everyone else trying their best at life, I continued to enjoy my time with my kids… I was not the perfect teacher, but I did my best. Eventually I left to start another journey in my teaching career at ADDU while preparing for my US journey.

 

2015 Then the Fulbright Journey began! Woop woop! I am thankful to God for giving me the opportunity to travel to New York, Chicago, Michigan, Maryland, Washington, California… It was a gift and a bit of a break from the hustle and bustle. I admit I started to feel small when I was there. I thought I was displaced, that I shouldn’t be there. However, I enjoyed my trips to Barnes and Nobles every day where I read all the books I wanted and lazed around at StarBucks while chugging my Salted Caramel latte and enjoying their cheesecake. I could stay there forever!!! It’s also the year when I started my Orator site. It didn’t work, but it gave me hope at the time.

All the books I read this year built my character, so I realized life is really like this — we need the silence to recuperate and build our character because God is more interested in our character than our dreams.

2016 While in the US, I got accolades from my professors cos of my work and my public speaking, but I still felt small. And eventually I went back to the Philippines. I was unemployed for a few months. I remember it to be the worst days of my life — I had no money that I couldn’t even eat my favorite G*** lasagna or go to the cinema. I only had 1500 to spend each week. I remember Danzelle and I were crying while we’re in that sad place in our life, in that stinky but comforting room on top of a run-down house.

Until I was finally hired by CHED, which I also left after a day (and reading and summarizing all the university’s budget proposals) I was questioning God why. Why I felt I don’t belong there. I thought I wanted to be a commissioner or an Education leader, but God know me more than I know myself. He sent me there so I become more aware of what I truly want. (The same with the UK experience). I looked at the supervisors ( the two highest officials know me and took care of me) but I was thinking, I do not want their life.

Then Appen came. It was an unknown company to me. To be honest at first I was ashamed of leaving my position for the industry… I couldn’t understand God! From being small in the US (despite of the travels), then it seemed like God wanted to slap me again. But soon I began to love my work: the regular expressions, the excitement whenever I get a new project with new conventions. I LEARNED A LOT FROM APPEN!

2017 I continue to build my skills on programming and project management while saving money and enjoying and being happy. Then I decided to apply to Australia Awards. The process was long, I thought I wouldn’t get in. I even thought I bombed the interview because I felt they were not satisfied especially Will, the hot Australian-Chinese DFAT representative. I really bawled my eyes out until I received the email from them the next day!!!!

 

2018 I began my journey to ANU. Before, I was told I might not have a chance at ANU. But God again told me, nope. Apply! I did and I made it! I was crying when I received the response from ANU! I couldn’t believe it. I am finally going to study in a top university. At the time, I was just contented. While working for Appen and submitting my papers, I realized how God did not give up on me. I was taking my PhD at ADDU that time, I even forgot about my previous dream. I just wanted to have a degree, but God had a different plan. God was looking at me, and he was faithful to His promise. God did not leave me. If I finished that PhD, it would have been over for me.

When I forgot who I was and what I really wanted, God did not. He opened the gates so I could freely walk through it. Aaah, I can’t narrate all the miracles He had done this year: from getting the highest score in the hardest exam (according to the professor), to getting invited by a professor to be his supervisee… I couldn’t believe everything.

If I hadn’t been at ANU, will I ever know I am not disposable? That I would make it there? Nope. But God DID NOT GIVE UP ON MY DREAMS EVEN WHEN I DID!!! God did not give up on my dreams. I was preparing for a different path, but he opened the gates!

Remember when I said I didn’t understand why God put me at Appen, the linguistic Australian company? At first, I really thought I brought it upon myself… for being too picky, for being not enough. But this year, I finally understood. God prepared me- Was preparing me for Australia when he placed me in Appen. I got to work with them remotely even after getting the scholarship, so I got paid a lot for an hour which helped me saved a lot for my mother and for our trip!!!

GOD knew I would need Appen. So now why should I worry right? God already knew what’s next. I may not see it now, but he’s up to something. I’m sure about it. I have faith in You, God.

2019 I finished my master’s degree this year, and I’m proud of getting the uinversity medal. To be honest, I wasn’t really expecting it. But I did dream about it. I remember when Flora mentioned this award for the first time, I suddenly felt some excitement and I couldn’t understand why cos I thought I was not even qualified.

If God did not guide me through, I wouldn’t have finished my degree this way. I almost did not apply for the advanced version because I was discouraged by my scholarship and some people. However, I felt this tagging again. I finally decided to take a leap of faith when my coordinator told me I can do it. During my thesis writing stage, I was crying a lot! I was so confused and my friend Lois was a witness to it all. I had to learn modelling for the first time, I had to understand concepts quickly. I was literally swimming in the ocean. But God assured me, “I am the Lord, your redeemer, I will teach you what’s for your good and lead you on the way you should go”.

That became my strength! But at times I still felt it wasn’t going well. But he kept on telling me, “I will help you!” there came a stage where I had to stand up independently for myself… My editor failed me, I had two days to edit my own work! Imagine, of course I would cry! Just look at how I write in my blog! I have bad grammar, I am not a good writer – I always just get away because of the content.

But then the Holy Spirit encouraged me. I told myself that night (after eating Dominos with Lois), I am not giving up. I still have that sheet of paper which I plastered on my wall. I wrote “Even when people gave up on you, I will not. With God, I can”. So I edited my thesis with God. And I did it! With God, indeed!

This year too, I am proud to say I achieved another dream of mine to tour my mom. With my Appen salary, I was able to bring my mom to Australia in January then to Korea in July. I spent a lot, but it’s all worth it! It’s a dream come true!

A week before my graduation, out of pride, I resigned from Appen. My manager accepted my resignation. I was crying because I really did love my work. It’s the kind of work I love, but they didn’t have a full-time job for me. At first, I thought I was to be blamed for being too emotional and for sending that resignation email right away.

But because of that, I was able to apply for Cambly. I was cashing in a lot!! LIke a lot! Every week is enough to sustain us. In fact, I could fulfill my remote life fantasy and become a Hikikomori. What’s also amazing is that I get to practice my profession again: helping people, becoming aware that this is my talent especially when people would book a lesson with me again after the call. It’s a rewarding job, but I want something fixed to be honest. While I can earn 18k a week (God, I can’t imagine how hard that’d be), I had to really force myself and motivate myself. There were times I only earned 3000 pesos a week because I was lazy.

Being someone who thrives in productivity, this relax environment is killing me so while teaching, I was also learning advanced stats and modelling and python programming and machine learning on the side. (So yes, I was not only watching Korean dramas).

And exactly in December, God opened a path I was not expecting-a path I was willing to take next year, but it’s been done. I’m excited for the next year… I can’t share it yet, but it’s definitely what I have been dreaming all my life.

By writing this decade summary, I have faith that God is preparing something again! The same God who brought me victories will be with me in the next decade. I just wish He will reveal himself to me in other areas of my life as I hopefully bid goodbye to my education (after this PhD).

Thank you God in advance for your gift of the decade! What a journey! Thank you for being with me all these years God!

Forever,

Your Kimkim

Next: Part 2: What I will leave behind!

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Photo Diary #347: June 14, 2019 Friday, Toad Hall

Oh my gawd. Finally done with my last Polish. I am officially done… After all the manual editing (but still a lot of errors 🤕😑😡😤), I have finally submitted my last Cosmos. You are a project so dear to my heart… Having coordinated you a couple of times (and organised you, and manually sanity checked each language in the past), I have grown to understand you (and accepted that you will never be satisfied hahahaha, and that’s okay). Maybe that is the reason I cannot hate you (!!!!) I will always love you no matter how hard you continue to become. You allowed me to grow in a lot of ways, and through you I learned a lo+ at Appen. Maybe that is the reason why I still cry to my mom whenever I talk about you (I am still tearing up now). You will always have a special place in my heart. I know I had a lot of shortcomings, I should have organised you better, but you know I did what I can with the little knowledge I had a year ago. Hope to see you again,but for now thank you, goodbye Cosmos. Charot ginamos. 😤😤😤

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Photo Diary #240: February 17, 2019 Sunday, Toad Hall

Building on my last post, I am glad I decided to watch ‘Doctor Stranger’. I don’+ know I just hate medical dramas and I kept on saying before in 2014 +hat it is not my type. After binging on this drama since evening of Saturday until ths evening, I couldn’t stop thinking of Dr. Park Hoon and the idea of loving someone like him. If I were Dr. Oh I would also feel the same way when Dr. Hun was terminated. I want someone like him so bad… Someone who’s brilliant and exceptional, but also kind-hearted, real and funny. I want someone to be my exact opposite. 😟😟😟

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Photo Diary #159: November 28, 2018 Wednesday, Show me the way God

The Wednesday session for CoEDL Summer School is optional, so I decided not to attend to rest… Although I felt I slept well, I still am weak. I guess, the weakness doesn’t really stem from being fatigued physically cos I had to walk from Toad Hall to Molonglo theater every day and still have to work 8 hours at night. Today, I feel the need to write it all out here…

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Since I only stayed at Toad Hall the whole day, attended the weekly meeting with Nic and Sinney for Apollo Mandarin, I didn’t have a picture. To represent what I feel, I got this wilt flower. To be honest, I do not know myself anymore. I feel like working nonstop without knowing the reason for all the efforts. I feel guilty for traveling to Europe as a birthday gift when I could use the money to pay my parents’ debt intsead which I intend to do. I haven’t started out with life yet, but I’m already tired… I’m tired of feeling stupid, inadequate, unworthy and useless. I’m tired of giving myself up, and not really feeling being appreciated- as if all those sacrifices are nothing cos they would repay me anyway.  I see myself as someone ready to die tomorrow, and the world will never even notice. I sometimes wonder what the efforts are for… I give, and give, I work hard and try to excel and I always end up being mediocre. I work hard for my grades for example… and only to realise once it comes down to really picking the candidate, professor will choose the other one over me… I think that’s the reason why I don’t care anymore. Sometimes I think all the accomplishments were just my imagination – the professor telling me how impressive my work is, how fellow student leaders praise me for my teaching and leadership (in the past)… I am constantly running after something I couldn’t even grasp. And I’m just FUCKING exhausted. Can I go to Europe without feeling guilty? Can I respond no without feeling bitchy? Can I speak out my mind without being bossy? Can I be me? Can I be me even for just today. Part of the problem is putting all my eggs in one basket – in grades in being excellent at one thing, when I put other areas of my life on hold- relationships, self, and even enjoyment. I feel so small! everything I thought I was is wrong! All of it – my being summa cum laude, my HD grades, all of it! I don’t even know where I stand anymore. My mind is so mslal, I can’t think beyond what I write for example in my to-do list… What is there for? What do I even fight for? Why do I even do this? Why does it even matter? Is my life worth it at all? Am I worthy to be loved too? Am I worthy to listen to? How I wish I am fluent! How I wish I don’t second guess myself everytime. How I wish I think more critically. How I wish I am more confident than the others… I am so tired! And I feel I need to love myself more! I have always put myself aside. My writing sucks, my speaking sucks, my teaching sucks, my body sucks, my ego sucks… Is there anything right about me God? Is there? Cos I don’t know anymore… No one has even asked me how I am… But I hold on to what you promised God… every single tear, every single sweat every single sacrifice never pass you by.  I guess, it’s time to live in integrity in everything no matter how small, in humility, in aiming after you… Then everything will fall into place. God teach me, and show me the way…

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Photo Diary #138: November 07, 2018 Wednesday, Appen Meeting

I always get anxious when it comes to my job… I feel so stupid and for the past days instead of focusing on my Syntactic Theory paper, I had been stressed over my Appen tasks. I feel like I could not breathe… Everything is overwhelming. Still discerning whether I should travel around Scandinavia. Hmmm

I also do not want to chase glory after glory… Look at what anxiet can do. I resort to coke whenever it kicks in. Why am I so afraid of committing mistakes? Why does it feel like death?

But thankfully, God intervened and the meeting with Nic and Sinney went smoothly. I also could not believe that Nic was impressed by my progress. Well, that is the Holy Spirit working. I will do my best in this project. That I promise God.

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Photo Diary #128: October 28, 2018 Sunday, Toad Hall/Shout to the Lord, Musings

I shout to the Lord and praise God for His mighty love!

God, thank you for not giving up on me! I was supposed to give my dream up and give up on myself.. but You told me straight up, “no, it’s going to happen!” And you brought me here! Surely, your promises are incomparable! No one can tell me not to believe because You already did say it’ll happen! I hold on to You! God! Thank you! The more I think about all the failures, I see your favours clearly! Jesus, thank you so much! I love you! I still remember that vividly. I still remember the time when I asked you, “am I really talking to You?” and you responded to an 11-year-old me, “ask whatever you want now”… and I said, “I want lechon manok?” And you laughed… and then lo,  mama came home with lechon manok. Hahahahaha. And kuya Jesus, I would often come to You whenever people bullied me or whenever I hurt people…And You would often hug me and told me, we’re always together, and that’s your promise. People might fail me, but You will never ever leave Your kim-kim. You’re my coach, my trainer, my wisdom, my guide! It has been a long journey for us. You haven’t given up God! And that’s the biggest gift you have given me. Our relationship is the best thing. Remember when I was just 15. I remember, no one could find our promise ring in the church, your half. And I still vividly remember, I told you after leaving it there that you should let me know if you got your ring through your rain. And when I stepped out of the church, it rained hard. And when I asked all the altar boys and convent boys, they couldn’t find the wrapped gift with my letter. Those were the fondest moments I had God! And I still remember when people bullied me, you told me whenever I see butterflies then I would know that You are near… I miss those simple miracles. Especially when our promise ring fell off into the sink, and then I prayed and I cried the whole night,  but the next morning I woke up with our engagement ring back in my hand. And when those stopped, you told me, “You don’t need those miracles, You are a big girl now”.  All my life… all my successes from failures built our relationship together. I will forever love you Kuya Jesus! People called me stupid, fat, and everything but You believed in me Kuya Jesus.  No sinful act can separate me from Your love. I also still remember when I didn’t win the NDEA oration at Kidapawan. I sighed but smiled and said, it’s sad cos I ended my oration career this way. And then a month after, I didn’t know You will bring me to UP Diliman to bag the National Oration title. You’ve always overturned all my negative expectations. I mean look at how I write.. but You bless all my papers. No one would understand… but I know cos I know how stupid I am sometimes and how ugly my writing is. WITH YOU NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE! So who am I to boast after all these experiences? You have the right to give and the right to take away. We’re always at your mercy, and like a wife who’s willing to submit, I submit my heart, my future to You because You are faithful, You are kind, generous and merciful and loving! I can handle everything as long as I know You are beside me. It’s been 27 years God. But my love for You gets stronger and stronger each day. I still remember the time while I was 15, when the rumours about You and Magdalene spread, I imagined holding your hand while telling you, even if it’s true Kuya Jesus, I am still here for you. It does not matter. And I remember you’re hugging me tight and telling me it’s not. I always heard your voice, and nothing compares to those moments. I am crying cos I know I am almost there, I am getting closer to home… and only you and I know where that is. I can’t even say it… that’s how I love that dream so much, so much it hurts. But I know You will be with me. I’m not afraid. Thank you for today!

I’m really sorry for being too focus on acquiring glory after glory! I was not satisfied because I always look for validation outside You, outside myself. True, the only legacy that will last is the number of souls we are able to save! Thank you for reminding me God! I worship You God! Power and Glory are Yours! The seas roar at the sound of your name! But even though You are God, thank you for loving me deeply, for watching me sleep at night, for wiping my tears, for holding my hands and telling me you’re holding me foreover. Jesus Christ, I surrender the next years, the remaining years to you. I know it’ll happen because you already declared it. I love you God! Thank you for the promises

 

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Categories: 365 Photos Journal, Kayla In Oz, Lessons, Musings, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Photo Diary #107: October 07, 2018 Sunday, Toad Hall

Live upward, inward and outward!

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Categories: 365 Photos Journal, God's Messages, Kayla In Oz, Lessons, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Photo Diary #102: September 30, 2018 Sunday, ANU/And Prayer

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Early in the morning, I submitted an abstract to ConSOLE. I guess, even if I failed… I’m proud of myself for trying this month. I applied to ANU summer research scholarship, ConSOLE, and ISFIT 2019.

Today, God simply acknowledged that and whispered I’m enough. What demotivated me is not being on top this semester. If that’s always my goal, then I would never feel enough.

I must always stick to my skills instead of being somebody I am not. But also God encourages me to not give up on my dreams. So far, I have three universities in mind. I won’t reveal them yet. I just feel safe at this stage of my life. Pastor Rick Warren also emphasized not being afraid.

What am I really afraid of? Not providing for my parents? Being too poor, being underestimated… I don’t feel secure, to be honest. But with God by my side, I’m sure I am enough. I’m no longer afraid. That Syntactic Theory problem set? I won’t figure it out! But that’s okay! That Structure of English paper? I won’t impress the professor, but that’s fine! That Quanti paper? Will it matter? Probably not, but it’s absolutely fine. That programming I’m putting off? Nah, will it matter in the end? What if I don’t learn how to program? What’s the worst that can happen? I would still be eating, praying, laughing, dancing, traveling. So it’s not a life or death situation. That summer scholarship? I may not be enough in their eyes, but hey, I am enough in God’s eyes. My extreme receptive skills but nil productive skills in terms of vocabulary, oral speaking and writing? That’s fine! I accept it.  This I hold on to: if it’s for me, it’s for me. I just have to be held because as long as I’m trying, I’m fighting and not giving up, I’ll get to where God intends me to be.

God, I want to take this moment to lift everything up to you. Keep my eyes on You and Your purpose and on the prize! Direct me to where you want me to be! Lead me God to where you want me to be! I am sure I’ll get to where you want me to be someday. I am tired of all the running, of all the trying to be someone else I’m not. I’m willing to try, but I’m not gonna force myself. Lead me God to where you want me to be… in the end, as long as You are with me, I’m in the right place.

I love you God.

Yours forever,

Your Kimkim

 

Categories: 365 Photos Journal, Development, God's Messages, Kayla In Oz, Lessons, Musings, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Photo Diary #94: September 21, 2018 Friday, ANU

This is even a longer day…

I received an expected email from Prof. jane Simpson, who asked to meet her amd Prof. Hannah up on Wednesday. I got so nervouse because their project is hard and when I looked at their profiles, they are actually huge. I also aytended today the info session with Susy and took photos with Ghina and Bes.

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Photo Diary #72: August 30, 2018 Thursday, ANU

Thursdays are always full. And I thank God for it. I may not always express this in this blog but I am really grateful to God for all these blessings. I am so fortunate to be sitting in the lectures of these published professors: Prof. Wayan, master of LFG syntactic theory; prof Manuel, editor of Australian Ling Society journal (no wonder I only got 74 last sem in one of his assignments); and prof Catherine, Director of Sydney Speaks and whose papers have been cited more than 1k+ times in the field of sociolinguistics. I am fortunate to just ask these people questions whenever. Makes me excited every day and motivated. And I got to listen to Dr. Catherine herself about the nuts and bolts of publication. God, I know you are preparing me. Let’s do this.

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