Finally TIme for a Breather and a Kitty

I have not been posting much because life in the last month or so has been very hectic.

[[image:bettycat-arrives05.jpg:Betty loves Google+:center:0]] 

First, I was commissioned to proofread a doctorate student’s thesis from a neighbouring university. The work has – to put it simply – given me the desire to take a Master’s Degree once I’m done with this Bachelor’s Degree in English Studies, and perhaps if the opportunity opens up even a Doctor of Philosophy Degree eventually. What in? I have no idea just yet, but I am looking into Applied Linguistics.

Perhaps I could integrate tabletop gaming into it somehow.

Secondly, I began writing the assignment papers for this semester, which should be my final semester in this Bachelor of English Studies programme. I spent all weekends reading and writing for these assignments. Although some of them are freeform writing requiring no reading, most of them required me to read full novels.

For the Postcolonial Studies course, I had to read The Mystic Masseur by V.S. Naipaul. I never thought that a fictional account of Asian Indian immigrants in postcolonial Trinidad could be so hilarious. Because Trinidad was a British colony much like Malaysia where Indians were brought over to work in plantations by the British, some elements gave a certain level of similarity between both Trinidad and Malaysia. Although the book needed more dhotis I thought.

What I had to do for Contemporary Film and Fiction is to both read the novel Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and watch its film adaptation. Then I had to discuss the differences between them and identify changes that was done for the adaptation, why the filmmakers changed them and whether the changes were effective for visual storytelling.

I am thankful for .srt files found in the wilds of the Internet to be able to search and refer to spoken lines in the film swiftly.

Thirdly, I was tasked by the Centre where I work at the University to produce an annual report. It started with waiting for a lot of data to be sent to me for compilation. Then, Inkscape was used to create the cover, Scribus was used to create the graphics-heavy pages of the report. The rest of the book was edited and formatted in LibreOffice. Then every section was output as a PDF file, then I used Ghostscript in Terminal to stitch all the PDF sections together.

The hardest part of the job was to identify the best methods and most efficient processes. Again, I worked over the weekend and at home at night because DEADLINE.

And after all of these were completed last week, I could almost physically feel the tension ease slowly out from my muscles. No, seriously. I should use the table instead of working on the floor at home.

[[image:bettycat-arrives01.jpg:Betty loves milk:center:0]] 

Finally, some time during my hectic weeks, we adopted a little black-furred kitten with white fur on her belly which extended up to her mouth. After an extended period of deciding on her name, Irfan named her Betty. The adorableness of the little kitty has also stole Ain’s heart.

[[image:bettycat-arrives02.jpg:Betty has a bed:center:0]]

Ain even helped make a pillow for Betty from kekabu seeds Irfan collected. The first time Betty tried out the pillow, she napped for a while.

[[image:bettycat-arrives03.jpg:Carcat!:center:0]]

She also aspires to drive the car.

[[image:bettycat-arrives04.jpg:Betty and Irfan:center:0]]

But for now, she appears happy to hang out on Irfan’s chest as we drive around Kangar.

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Khairul Hisham J. is a tabletop RPG artist, writer, proofreader, translator, teacher, grad student and learner-in-general.

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