Wednesday, 19 July 2017

What's up so far

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته and good day!

I know you want me to continue with my big apple stories, but before we get to that, let me tell you what has been going on so far. 

1) I have passed my Late Stage Review!!

This is by far the biggest news. If you don't know about PhD, or specifically PhD at Imperial College London (ICL), we need to go through two different assessment levels. The first one is after 9 months of registration, there's the Early Stage Assessment or some people might call it as PhD upgrade. That is when you need to defend your project, sometimes a proposal, presenting your initial data (if you have any). So the late stage review comes after 18-24 months for ICL students. Here, they will assess your progress, your future work, whether they think you will finish on time. Some people call this transfer. Meaning that if you pass, you'll continue as a PhD candidate. If not, they might either transfer you to MPhil or stop your registration completely. The harsh way of saying it is that you failed. So I passed it last Tuesday, thankfully. After a year and a half of banging my head on the walls, God knows how much hair I've lost, I finally did it!!

2) One of the people that helped me a lot since the day I've arrived has gone home. 

Another one from the many..many that have gone home before. It felt a bit more lonely in London nowadays. A lot more have finished their studies and gone home. No new postgraduates anymore. I guess the batch after me will be the last one if things don't change in Malaysia anytime soon. 

3) Eid Festival

Because my bestie and I spent our Eid in Lisbon, Portugal this year, we only get to feel the festivities during the Eid festival. This year the festival was sponsored by Lebara. You know how in Malaysia kids will get money packets when they visit, in London, they give you raffles!!! hahaha...I got a selfies stick (awesome!) and my bestie got a mug (boring...=P). But the best part of all, I get to have a selfie with the good Mayor of London, Mr. Sadiq Khan. #pleasebejealous

4) Canada 150th Celebration

The day before the Eid festival, there was another festival, which is the Canadian 150th Celebration. My bestie has been in Canada, so I'm a bit jealous of that. Even if I haven't been there, at least I get to taste a lot of their food, such as the maple syrup waffles, cookies and even drink! 

5) Royal Naval College Painted Hall

This was the most recent, but I've bought the ticket months before. The painted hall in the Royal Naval College in Greenwich is undergoing restoration (they prefer conservation) work from July to September this year. They haven't done this in 60 years. So while the people doing the work trying to conserve the paintings, they also open tours for people to go up and look at the paintings up close. If you have been to the painted hall before, you'd know that the paintings are from top to bottom. So with this tour, you get a chance to see it up close (if you're tall enough, you can even touch it; but not recommended since the oil from our hand may destroy the paint). They hope this conservation work will last for another 100 years. So if you miss this, just pray you'll live for another 100 years to see it. The Times magazine calls it as a once in a lifetime experience

The tour costs £11 per person. You need to wear hard hats and reflective vests for safety since it is a working site. You'll go up about 70 steps while the guide tells you stories about the paintings. The painted hall was painted by Sir James Thornhill. You'll be amazed by the accuracy and the detail of the painting. One particular example; there is a painting of a date of an event occurring a year ahead of its time. Meaning that their astronomy at the time was so accurate, they can paint it a year ahead. 

There are a lot more stories behind it, you should go and have a listen and look at the paintings yourselves.

It has been an eventful month. But the month has not ended just yet.

Until next time...

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