Saturday, 18 October 2014

5 Misconceptions About Studying Media

Having spoken to many people from studying different disciplines, as a media student, and I was appalled by how ignorant and at the same time how most people have a HUGE misconception about what goes on in a media course. I HAVE TAKEN IT UPON MYSELF TO CLARIFY CETAIN THINGS FOR YOU. So, if you're confused, continue reading. Please.

1. You can only work at Mediacorp upon graduation right?

I don't blame anyone at all for thinking that, because that is the only 'Media' related thing people are most widely exposed to. But media encompasses so much more other things, such as Advertising, Public Relations, Radio, Marketing, blah blah. So no, we are not reduced to working in Mediacorp only, there is a growing numbers of famous overseas agencies that are opening quarters here, some famous ones are Ogilvy and Mathers, Grey Group, WYG, JWT, TBWA.(I'm just being annoying fuck listing things most people don't know or care)

2. 'I heard that you guys have minimal exams, so it must be super easy' 

Again, no. There's no such a thing called an easy course. Yes, we have little to no exams at all, and I have kind of explained why I hate that here. But just because we don't doesn't make anything easier. On the contrary, it is harder for us.

In a media course, creativity is key to your survival, anything that is typical and predictable, prepare for a C. And the stress is weeks and months long. Projects keep on coming, and you never know what is good and what's not because everyone's final product is very different.

Look at it this way, Media is like writing an English essay. The chances of you getting full marks are essentially 1 : Never. We are given briefs which we have to conceptualise what we want to find out or how we are going to demonstrate and prove a point. And different modules requires very different things.

From designing, production, to creating your own marketing campaign which covers advertising and PR as well . And it gets very technical as well, having to plan and film our own short film, so when you hear the word 'projects' from media student, it is not just your secondary school sit in one circle and get it done in a day. It is a long ass process which tests different aspects of you.

3. 'Ugh please, we have it harder, both projects & exams'

Wow, you have both to do, so it suddenly becomes my fault that YOUR course has more stuff to do?From what I know, courses with projects and exams, projects take a minute part of your overall grade, and too often of a time, it is just researching and crediting your sources, prepare a powerpoint and present. Finish.

The word project here is ambiguous, I think for the most parts, I think people assume that a project would mean, googling the topic, get credible sources, put it in a fancy presentation deck, and voila, you're done. IT IS NOT THE CASE. There's different modules and they want different things.

I'll give you an example. Advertising. Yes, we do have to google stuff, but that's just to understand the audience a little better. Then we need to think, of what is it we want to do in this campaign, what is the key message, big idea, blah blah, exactly how we want to have an ad look like, and actually designing it. And then finding out where we want to put the ads on, finding out the prices and try to accommodate it in the budget given.

If you think that is easy, here's example #2. (But if you think the former is tough, then please move right along)

Media Research. You start of reading the existing information off google, yes. Then you need to come up with your own question series and GO OUT IN PUBLIC TO ASK PEOPLE, getting rejected 80% of the time. And after that, deal with some complicated statistical analysis software that you probably never even heard of, SPSS. Of which you need to spend HOURS trying to interpret it and come out with a finding, which took me up till the last minute to come up with. All of that and also trying to link it with psychology theories.

4. 'If that's the case, all you have to do is bootlick the lecturers for a good grade'


This was actually said by this guy I was talking too. Now, I don't know how far up you've buried your brains in your ass, but it's time come back and join the world. What kind of sense does that make?
 Bootlicking? If anything, you have no idea how hard it is to get a decent grade. Because if bootlicking really did work as you have said, wouldn't everyone get a 4.0?  Trust me, if anything they are strict and will scrutinise every smallest detail to make sure we get the grade we deserved.

And just to point out the already obvious, they are industry professionals, and mind you, they are not obligated to be nice to us or whatever, to them, we are just yet another batch of students! 

And if you step into the shoes of a lecturer, let's just say you are scoring someone's work, would you be mindful of the content and mark accordingly or just get 100 to everyone? And for the record, there's something called the SCHOOL SYSTEM, which makes it impossible.

Now a lecturer can like/prefer certain students over others, but that doesn't mean they're going to give a better score, cause honey, that's nepotism.

5. All you guys do is learn how to write and speak, I don't see how it's hard

Once again, ignorance. People assume that our good oratorical skills and writing abilities are something we learned. NO. The truth is, we enter the course with these pre-requisites already. Or at least, most of us do. If anything, the last thing we learn is how to talk and write. We're taught how to create effective campaigns, how to manage a studio and #werk those cameras. Media research and use of ridiculously complex softwares to understand data. And on top of that, psychology and marketing modules that forces us to have a keen eye for EVERYTHING.


And above all that, we need to keep our outfits and styles on point, looking not just good, but also

CAN YOU DO IT?! NO RIGHT. So there you have it, all the major misconceptions that (most)people have. And for the record, dressing nice/appropriately isn't vain, it is respecting yourself and whoever that you are going to interact with. And if you still think studying media is totally mundane and useless,

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The Duty of a Friend

We all know how it goes.

 I, ____, take you, ____, to be my (husband/wife). I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life. 

Even though they call it a wedding vow,  I'd like to think that it is an unspoken understanding and a silent vow made when being a true friend. When you see someone in public, and you say hi to them, and say 'Oh, that's my friend'. 

What is a friend? Is there a difference between a friend and acquaintance?  To an extent, a friend is a friend, while true friends are people of another level. 

While I had dinner with Pukes, probably my closest and bestest friends that I have around me, I can't help but to think about the definition of what friendship meant, and that in reality, true friendship meant them. 

True friends are people who you can never see each other for months, but yet again, you can talk like you've never missed a beat in their lives, and likewise to yours. You stand up for each other, even if it meant you may offend people in the outside circle. It's a bond where it is almost unbelievable, as if it wouldn't and couldn't have worked any other way around. 

Apart from the fun and laughter, you open up to problems faced, and build each other up, with the best intentions and without judgement, being there even when you don't have to. True friends make you a better person and the best version of yourself, you live and breathe positivity, and you would wish the same for the rest. 

Looking at what I have, I do realise that you don't need a whole lot of friends, just the right ones. 

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Criticism VS Constructive Criticism - Learn The Difference

Now, there is a difference when people say something, criticism vs. constructive criticism. For starters, let's begin with the basic definition in english so we can all have a common ground and definition of what it means. 

Criticism; the act of passing severe judgement; censre; faultfinding

Notice the the word finding in italics? Precisely. 

Constructive criticism; criticism or advice that is useful and intended to help or improve something, often with an offer of possible solution.

It's interesting when some people get offended or feel peculiar when I react in a certain way to what they are saying. Believe me, as much as I am a egoistic, 'must-save-face' person, I do know how to take a backseat and listen and own up to things if I have done it wrongly, which don't happen very often. But you get the point. 

At the same time, I'm good at smelling sarcasm and negativity, being one good at giving it, that comes naturally. So when I get criticised, it is only a instinct for me to get defensive, or at the least explain to you why whatever happened, occurred. Even a stronger reason as to why I defend myself very strongly, is because it disgusts me how as a person, you painstakingly fish out flaws or shortcomings that I have, and fault it. 

You, with malevolence, want to make a comment, so you can bring someone down. 

And interestingly, when caught doing that, they pass it off, saying that they are given constructive criticisms/comments. Constructive they say. 

Frankly, it's pretty gross I could spit. How insecure, sad, angry are you with your own life, where you have to start pulling people down so that you can elevate yourself up a little bit, giving yourself a crown; that you are all mighty and superior, and you have a picture-perfect life. No one has that. 


Now a constructive criticism is different. As seen above, it has the intent to improve something. And how do you know that a constructive criticism is made? When you hear it, you don't feel angry, you feel gutted, definitely a hard pill to swallow, but deep down inside, you know that the person has true intentions for you to improve as a person. 

And these people usually take form of friends, true friends, who from time to time, serve as advisors. 

I defend myself when I'm get a criticism is because, I know for a fact that the comment given out was with contempt, and that there was nothing positive about it, and was designed to say it just for your own redemption and maybe pride. You see, when a criticism is passed off, humour may come along with it, and people laugh, and for a minute, the arse would feel a gleam, that attention is finally passed to them. 

Make better sense of what is said about and to you, and be thankful to those that say things for your benefit, and defend yourself when those with unruly thoughts start to come at you. 

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Working Title X Shaniqua Chantelle Fantasia Jr

We broke into October, and despite being fully aware of the fact that we're less than 2 months away from 2015, I still for some reason still feel like we're only halfway past the year. But then again, my concept of time is warped. Simultaneously, the start of a new month would only signify one thing, we're starting the official countdown of the last few days of the holidays.

 Of which honestly, where did all the time go? I remember still having those television moment where you know holidays just started, you throw down all your bags and jump on the bed and everything in the world is good and beautiful. And then BOOM, it's ending already. I am not prepared mentally and physically to go through a hell hole of the second semester - I feel like I have already used up a year's worth of energy on just the FIRST semester. I just pray that god will help me through the second semester. please. 

On to a happier topic, few days back, met ma GURL from the hood Shaniqua Chantelle Fantasia Jr for lunch and just chat and gossip a little bit. It's funny cause we knew each other from this digital marketing class we signed up and we got so close even though the class is just a 5 day thing! Amazing huh, I think friends like this are really hard to come by. (Oscar Speech ends)

Having seen a lot of people, or well, enough people go to this café named 'Working Title', finally jumped onto the bandwagon and got our butts to check out what's the buzz about this café. Trust me, I was on Instagram just browsing through and within a few days I see a number of people tagging Working Title and the food and ambience there looks good! So against my better judgement, I had to check it out myself. 

Met Nadirah at Bugis MRT, and we both were late, me being the later one as usual. But in my defense, my insomnia kicked in and I had only slept at 11am and only for 2 hours.

After trying to figure our way, thinking for damn sure that we were going to get lost, we finally saw a humble shop by a row of many other shops of Arab Street.

Photo Credit : Espressonite

Now don't expect for the workers to come serve you asking how many patrons, like we did standing there awkwardly for a good 3 minutes. Working title features a self-serving policy from the start to the end. So upon that realisation, we went in and grabbed a seat. First thing I observed is that Working Title sports a dark theme, with very little to almost no light overhead - so all the light you'll be getting is the sunlight so it's good if you go there on a brighter day. Sad thing is that the air-con there isn't very strong though, a super weak breeze going on. But what's one to do right?

It's kinda cool that they have a hostel just next door, and they are connected, so I guess if you're staying over at the hostel all you got to do when you're famished is come on down.

One thing I did realise is that the efficiency of the workers there weren't the best, as you can see in the picture above, there's still leftovers of customers who already left, and the table that we sat on had leftovers uncleared as well. But I'll be giving it the benefit of doubt that maybeeeee they have more workers on other days(?)

Looking at the menu, I like the way that it was designed, not having a standard book styled menu, but taking a standard flipchart kind of menu and making it cuter, although somebody ought to tell them it's about time to go for a reprint, the papers were pretty scrunched up. Looking through the menu, Other than the burgers and pizzas, the rest were just like drinks, and light snacks. 

 Got ourselves a round of drinks, and this time the drink is filled to the brim, unlike the one over at Assembly, which can be written here. I got Iced Chocolate, which seems to be a staple quite recently when I go cafes, and as for Nadirah, she got Iced Bandung Latte.

Probably the first time I took a proper photo of food, but here it is. 

Nadirah's got the Finger's O Fish, basically a fish fillet, cheese, tartar sauce, to put it more simply, a more fancy version of the fillet-O-fish you would always order over at McDonalds. Don't know if it was good cause Nad didn't really got to finish it.

 As for me, I got the 'Hawaii Five O', what a name though. Originally wanted the All American Cheeseburger, since it's the only burger with beef and who would say no to beef? But they ran out of it, so I just had to settle with this. So basically it's a piece of chicken ham, cheese, chicken patty, pineapple and veggies which I took out immediately. Probably should have sucked it up and eat it, but whatever. 

The burger overall I would say is a little bit too salty for me, but good thing they had the pineapple there. I don't even like pineapple, but whenever you put it in a savoury burger, Oh my got, it is the tastiest most perfect balance of flavour ever. 

As for the fries, they didn't salt it, or maybe they did, but it was super light. Nadirah was fine with it, but I can't stand it when fries are not salty. So I had to go get salt. And they have the salt grinders, and small plastic disk plates, so I looked like an idiot standing at the counter grinding salt that comes out in meagre amounts, trying to get it over with but at the same time not getting salt all over the place. 

When I came back Nadirah was like laughing cause she was like 'WHY DIDN'T YOU JUST BRING THE THING HERE GRIND IT ONTO THE FRIES AND PUT BACK?'. Well, 2 hours of sleep does that to you. 

As we were eating, we talked about like people in our course and how impression and reality is a big difference. Like most people, when we thought of Nad's class, we think of smart people, hardworking people, peaceful class, bbyboy(She know what I'm talking about). But guess not, truth is, no class will be happy and joyful all the time. And also some other things, and people, and coming to the conclusion and question of WHY CAN'T PEOPLE BE NORMAL. And as of recently, Nad and some of our course mates entered this advertising competition and got silver! So that's good. 

Once we were done eating, judging, laughing, we left for Arab Street's gorgeous graffiti walls and back drops to find ourselves a location to take some photos. And even though the sun has maintained a little bit, it was humid humid humid, I was sweating, and furthermore we WALKED like in and out of the area just to find a good area, felt so bad for Nadirah because she had to deal with the heat as well! 

So finding a back alley, we decided to snap some shots there.

Deciding there were better places somewhere, we left the alley and looked for murals. 

NOT BAD RIGHT?! TELL ME IT DOESNT LOOK GOOD. When I was looking thorugh the photos I was like, ughhh they're sooooo nice. Self praise = No praise. Even though it was super nice, we still walked around to see if there was nicer places to shoot.

And then, one of the best photos of my life were taken. 

 LIKE MODEL OR NOT. I felt so chic and high fashion, and creative, AHAHHAH all that just because I jumped and sat on a bin. Cause we were thinking of like how to make the picture more dynamic, opposed to just standing, I saw the bin, and then I looked over to Nad and I was like, 'Ok, I'm going to sit on it'. So I took out my tissue, undecided to clean it or use it to sit on, I just spread it there and thought for a second my entire ass would fit. AHAHAHAHAH

But I was so scared the think would just CRACK AND BREAK, whihch it didn't thank god. But the bin dented in! BUT THANKFULLY I MANAGED TO PUSH IT BACK. But seriously, love love loved the photos.  

The above 3 are probably my favourite photos, cause they're the only few photos we took together that day. Ahahaha, but seriously, Nad/Shaniqua was so patient with me and took it from so many angles and give like directions. UGHHHHH AMAZING.

Ahaha, see how we're sort of coordinated in our clothes, white top, black jeans, white shoes. Unplanned, but that's the thing about FABULOUSITY, it just happens.

 My face when people walk past in the middle of phototaking. AHAHH

When we were done, we had to quickly cool ourselves down, and luckily for us, Raffles Hospital was a quick walk away. Technically the Starbucks at Raffles Hospital. Now air-con never felt better, and at that point I was like thank goodness we dont have to walk any further more air-con because I would have given up and died.

Needing a little burst of refreshment, Nad got the Raspberry Blackcurrent frappe, and being zen and all, I went for the bottled Tazo Mango Black Tea that I've heard people talk about all the time and raving about how good it tastes. So I figured out, it was probably time I get it.

And it was really good, like I totally thought it was going to be like really sweet, but it was super refreshing, it is mildly sweet, a little tartness, like the drink to pick you up on hot summer days, which is every fucking day in Singapore.

Took the drinks and left for Bugis, and Nad got a pair of shoes that she has been wanting for a while, and since she's working there, STAFF GETS 50% OFF. WOULD BE BETTER IF IT WAS TOPSHOP. Hahah, but what's there to complain when you have a discount right?

Walked around the area and we talked about some other stuff, and she was like

N: 'Eh you want hamsters or not, I'm trying to sell them away' 

Me :*Wanting to Hao Lian(wanting to be cocky)* 'I had NINE hamsters at the same time before'

N: 'I have 85 and counting'

Me : *gurl say what now*

I was like stunned for a minute, like is my brain working right, or did you say 85. But for real though, she has 85 hamsters. Probably should go register for guinness world records, I mean there ought to be a record created for that, I don't think anyone in Singapore has so many hamsters in one household, not 85 that's for sure. 

Had a great great great time meeting up with Nadirah, seriously laughed my way through the day, can't wait for the next one.