05 November, 2012

Hello people. So I am writing this in English. Don't be offended. Jangan ambil hati. You know how it is much easier to write something in your own native language. Plus, I bet most of you reading this can totally understand everything that I am writing right now. You don't need to look things up in dictionaries. You already know English. It's more about perfecting your english that you already have. So, for most of my blog posts, I plan on writing them in English so I can make them a little longer and more detailed. Also, you can get an idea what it is like to write english in a non-formal setting. I may have spelled some things wrong(spell checker says no, but you never know really) and made a few grammatical mistakes, but hey, that is what you gotta accept. This isn't an essay on my life, just an update on what's currently going on in my life. So, as you read, if there is any phrase or word that is new to you, then don't forget it. Send me a message on facebook or an email and inquire about it. I will do my best to answer!
So things in my life have changed! two years ago, almost to the day, I posted my first video on youtube. It was basic. It was kind of entertaining. But the response was amazing! Tons of people were liking my fanpage, giving me suggestions and helping me learn malay. 

Two years later, here I am, still wishing I was more talented at Malay, wishing that I could somehow find a way to live in Malaysia for an extended period of time in order to just be there, but also so I could continue my quest at becoming an expert Malay speaker. I mean, as much as I love reading things by myself all the time, I would much rather be speaking to people in Malay, speaking to people who speak the language as their first language. People who can say "hold up, what you just said was wrong." and then correct me. Tell me to write it down so I don't forget it. If I really want to actually increase my abilities, I need to be in the country. I can't just really on far away social communications on facebook and twitter to advance my abilities as a language learner.

But, as much as I wish I could just be over in Southeast Asia at this very moments, I am determined to first finish my studies. I am currently a student in mechanical engineering at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT. This major is pretty dang long. I am to the point that I wish I was just done already. Extensive knowledge in fluid mechanics is something I don't care much for. I don't need to be extraordinary at robotic design. I don't need to understand how heat transfers from one system to the next. I don't care about how much energy is lost in this or that process. But, what I do care about is what kinds of things I am learning. I am learning how to learn. And at the same time, I am learning how to teach. Pretty much the way that I get by and pass these classes is through my math skills. I have always been pretty good at math and it has helped me stay in the engineering program. Really, all I have are story problems, equations, and then I have to use logic and math to solve.

Right now I am also a volunteer tutor at a local school district here in Salt Lake City. I tutor kids between the ages of 12-18. Mainly I help them with math. But it is nice to also encourage the kids to have an outlook for college and universities in the future. Many of them feel like college is so far away and in such a long time that they don't really need to prepare for it at all right now. I do my best to remind them otherwise. While they are in junior and senior high school, they need to start getting ready. 

As for work, I am now interning at a company called Schiff Nutrition International. I am a manufacturing engineer intern and provide support for standard work and standard operating procedures for the equipment there. I also lead projects to purchase and set up brand new machines and processes. I am having a pretty fun time there and am learning a lot about things like GMP, five-s, lean manufacturing, and so on. Manufacturing is an interesting setting. I know that there is such a wide range of manufacturing facilities in Malaysia that maybe I could end up with a career in Southeast Asia as a manufacturing engineer. Who knows. It would be cool to be able to use my language abilities at work. But at the same time, I don't know if I really want to turn out to be an engineer! I feel like just because I have math skills, doesn't mean I don't have other skills too! I like talking to people. I like dealing with languages. I enjoy teaching. Wouldn't it be awesome to be some sort of English professor at a University in Malaysia? I think it would be great. I think it is time to put in a minor like TESOL and so I at least have some credibility other than "English is my native language".
In terms of what's going on new for me in my life, I live with my two younger brothers and another friend in a small house close to the University. All four of us are students at the University of Utah studying different subjects. I am in mechanical engineering. My brother Tom is in Economics. My youngest brother James just started college this year and is in computer science and game design. Our friend/roommate John is in accounting. We love the seasons here in Utah. We have spring, summer, fall, and winter. It isn't like it is in Malaysia where it is just hot and hotter. Oh yeah, and rain. 

 Here is a pic I took on the way to the gym the other day. we got a small, unusual October snow storm and Mount Olympus looked so nice with the blue sky and clouds. I couldn't resist but take a picture of its greatness.

So there are some other big plans that I am working on right now also. I have some fairly big things currently in the works that are better kept quiet for now. When they are completed, I am sure you will all hear about it!

In terms of why I have been so quiet on the interwebs as of late, it is simply because I am sometimes overwhelmed with the amount of people that I get commenting, sending messages, and reacting to my posts and videos. I LOVE the positive response that I get. But it is hard because I like responding to people. I enjoy writing people back and giving them a personal response. So, if you have ever sent me an email, message, written a comment, asked a question, or anything like that, and I haven't gotten back to you, I am sorry. If you keep trying, I will eventually get back to you. I am getting back to people. I am writing people. But there are just too many for me to get back to and there are just simply other things in life that I need to focus on for the time being. 

So if you are wondering what I exactly do with my free time, I will tell you. First, I spend a lot of time doing homework, studying, reading, searching for answers for homework problems and such. When it was warmer, I would often go on hikes. Here is a pic from just about a month ago. It's called Granduer Peak. The mountain you can see in the distance is the same mountain as you saw above. This is just from a different angle. 

If you turn to the right, you will see this:

This is looking at downtown salt lake city and the campus of the U of U is just behind that ridge on the right. 

Also, I like to go to the gym when I have about an hour and a half of free time. I feel like I sit down too much. I am sitting at work. I am sitting at school. I am sitting in the car. I am sitting when I watch something on TV. I am sitting when I am browsing online. So, to make sure I get some good physical activity, I head to a local gym called Planet Fitness. I try to make it there at least 4 times per week. I have a routine(for those of you that care haha) of what I call push, pull, and abs. So one day I do my push muscles, chest, tricep, and shoulder. the push day i do back, bicep, and traps. the last day I do extra cardio and abs. then I start over. It is a little more detailed than this but I don't want to bore you.

So on the weekdays I am busy with school, work, gym, and then just some hang time. I will usually get something on from Netflix. Or see what is going on lately on youtube. Oh and also, I play a good amount of xbox 360. I know it isn't as big of a thing over in Malaysia and Singapore as  Playstation, but I would say that most people in the US use xbox over PS3. but I mean, there are definitely people who play ps3 also. My favorite game at the time being is mw3. if you don't know what that is, then that's probably a good thing. you will quickly get addicted haha.

On weekends, we usually start it out on friday evenings by having a few people over to our house. Then we will head out to get some food, and maybe do some sort of activity. and then do it again on saturday night.  Last weekend we went to a little french cafe for dinner and also swung by best buy and barnes and noble to check out some of the latest electronics and books. Then on saturday night we went bowling and to a pizza place. It's funny because our group of friends is always budget minded. We are always trying to find fun, cheap things to do. 

The weekend before that was halloween. So, we bought some pumpkins to carve. You may have seen my pumpkin already:

It is just a tradition and holiday thing that we all do in the US. kids go door to door looking for candy. For some reason (i don't know why) carving pumpkins into faces and shapes is a tradition. I think it comes originally from a Mexican tradition but I can't really remember. If you are interested in more on halloween, try using this website called Google. :)

So, where from here? well, as I said, I have more to come. There are some big things in the works. This does include videos. This does include some brand new things. It includes a bunch of cool things. I hope that it all goes well.

Will there be more videos, facebook updates, blogger posts, tweets, and pictures? YES! I am still alive and well! Things will always be going forward. I have a plan on how to consolidate all of my efforts into a central location. That is the only hint I will give you about what you can expect in 2013. It will be awesome.

Oh and just so you know, Ben Bradshaw ajar Bahasa Utara is not my page. I have tried multiple times to contact facebook to take the page down. They have taken it down before. But they haven't taken it down again. Oh well. haha. We will get it taken down soon enough.

Other than that, thanks for being interested in the things I do! It is fun having a connection between the US and Malaysia.  Peace!


PS. Jangan lupa memberus gigi dengan ubat gigi yg memutihkan gigi! nanti you boleh cakap "putih kan?" macam Ben... just playing around with you guys.   :)