FIRST!

I’ve been wondering why I never started blogging during my PhD journey. I did occasionally upload photos and insta-stories (which disappear after 24 hours) with the hashtag I am proud of coining for myself : #SisTulisThesis. The hashtag, for those who are not familiar with Malay language and the Malaysian slangs, meant “I write a thesis”. Sis is the term commonly used by Malay Muslims to call other Malay Muslim women. Tulis means “write” in the Malay language.

And a thesis is a trigger for an existential crisis backed by mounting financial woes and crippling anxiety episodes which are turning into an academic norm.

I write a thesis #SisTulisThesis

To be honest, I haven’t really been convinced that my research project was exciting or interesting enough to blog about, not until I entered the 3-minute Thesis competition in 2016 and found myself clutching an oversized polystyrene cheque because I was the Runner-Up in The Australian National University Finals. Yes, lil-ole-me from lil-ole-Malaysia stood in front of a hall full of people and convincingly (well, almost) spoke about how my research can “make better cities”.

3MT F-40
I really can’t steer away from being cheeky while I present.

The biggest achievement I took away from the competition was really that “after-glow” that propelled me to believe in my arguments, my theories and my research. It IS important. It IS interesting. It IS exciting.

Perhaps blogging will help me keep this fire lit even after I am done with my thesis. Perhaps my journey, mostly retrospectively blogged now, will be helpful to those who decide to venture into PhD. Perhaps this will keep me sane as I aspire to juggle both academia and artistry.

Perhaps you will be entertained. Perhaps not. Stick around, anyway. I might drop a few posts about my cat every now and then.

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