Budget Cuts and Rambles

OK, All the Golden Bears and Pandas will know about the recent budget cuts being made at the U of A. One of the majors in danger of being scrapped is Bachelor of Design Comp Sci route.

Read about it here if you haven’t already.

I’ve always had mixed feelings about the Comp Sci Route but upon hearing this news, I have to share my 2 cents in the best way I know: by drawing this out.


The whole point of going to a university setting to pursue a degree in design versus going to a technical school is to gain exposure to fields that are not traditionally considered to be part of the field of design.


I don’t know about you, but anything that can broaden my horizons and give me that extra edge sounds like a good idea. All too often we are trapped in the bubbles of our fields of study, we don’t get many opportunities to explore outside of them.


However, I must say the CS route is not done in a way that allows design students to make full use of it. Most of the required courses in the CS route focus on technicality to the point where I feel like I’m switching brains whenever I am doing an assignment.


The reason why there aren’t many people in the CS route is simple: It’s bloody difficult. Coding, in all of it’s glamour, is not meant for everyone, just like sports, music or art.


To most of the kids actually in CS, it comes naturally to them. Understanding CS kids can be frustrating sometimes because of their completely linear ways of thinking versus the more roundabout way designers are familiar with.


But regardless of all the differences, the goals of design and CS are similar. Creating a useful piece of software is about improving people’s lives, and isn’t that what design is all about as well?


The most advanced countries in the world are what they are because of the arts. Why? Because the arts encourage innovation and creative thought. Ken Robinson said in his TED talk, creativity comes from the interaction of different disciplinary ways of seeing things. The arts and the sciences have to coexist in order for society to progress. Having one without the other is like having popcorn but no butter.


The reason people think that the arts are not worth investing in is because they are basing their opinions on what has worked in the past. During the Industrial Revolution, the most useful subjects such as maths and sciences were emphasized, and you had to be good at those to find work. This method of thinking is no longer relevant in the present, trying to make top 20 by 2020 is simply not going to happen if we continue on this path.


I think that as long as you are good at what you do, you can make money. Just because you took sciences in college doesn’t mean your future is set. A lousy scientist will still make less than a talented artist who is better at their job. Just as a good doctor will always make more than a terrible musician.


Off the top of my head, I can’t say I learned anything really of use to design in CS route while I was in it. If anything I learned to understand people who aren’t familiar with the design process better. Having said that, I have no regrets, I got to learn about computers at a level that most people wouldn’t have the chance to. Perhaps one day, all those nights spent in the CS lab will be of use.


The Best Flight Ever

Today I am going to be blogging about the best plane ride I have ever had.

When I was younger my parents told me about their trip to the US. They were flying from Tokyo to Hawaii, and then the flight was oversold and my parents were upgraded to Business Class.


I thought this was the stuff of urban legends because maybe back then technology was not that great and maybe there was a bug in the system idk.

That was until something similar happened to me.


I was flying from Taiwan to Vancouver after spending summer in Malaysia.

When it was boarding time, my ticket wouldn’t go through.


Obviously I panicked. School was going to start in less than a week and I was stuck in Taiwan.


And then suddenly.


WALAO EH. SURE BO. But I won’t complain, I will take this. I ACCEPT.


It was really cool having the stewardess address me by my name.


But I was too excited and I downed in all in one sitting. Not my proudest moment. And I ended up KO for 6 hours of my 12 hour flight.


Turns out, I got upgraded because my seat neighbour had requested earlier that the seat next to him be empty, but since they oversold the flight, they couldn’t save the seat next to him anymore, and they had to upgrade someone.

I ended up being taught how to fly businessby my seat neighbour, Bill.


I had my own flight slippers. And toiletries. It was kind of a big deal.


So I can personally vouch for it! Airlines do still oversell their seats and I suppose chances of you getting bumped up is higher when you travel alone…maybe. The point is that it still happens.

I must admit that ever since then whenever I fly I always secretly hope that I will be upgraded again hahahahaha

denpasar london

Unlikely to happen again though haha, I feel that the next time I get to fly business will either be because I collected enough miles or because I can afford the ticket. But I think economy class isn’t that bad, I’m not so tall that I cannot stretch out my legs at all so it’s still pretty good.

I’d love to hear feedback from all of you folks who read my blog. Do you like these comic strips that I make? Please leave a comment! Or Like! Or share! Or do all of them! 8)

Ning’s Canadian Firsts

This July has been hectic. I got my first freelance job EVER. Which was quite exciting for me… Earning some extra moolah. Thus the reason why I have seem to have disappeared from this blog lol. And also because I have been denied access to a regular scanner for almost a month now.

BUT FEAR NOT. I AM BACK. With the extra money I have purchased A SCANNER. Now I have a scanner I have greater flexibility in my working times yo.

Summer in Edmonton has been surprisingly rainy. Which is really great for me because I grew up in a country of perpetual summer and prefer cooler weather. I remember there was one day a few weeks back that was so humid and hot… it felt a little weird, and I had this moment where I went… how ever did I withstand this for 17 years.

For those of you who don’t know, I am originally from Penang, known across the world as Malaysia’s food capital… and we take our food really seriously. I have many foodie friends who instagram their lunches every day and love writing informal food reviews. #AsiansatWork hahahahahaha

I moved to Canada because of school, and it was really different to what I had experienced back in my hometown.

Prior to my moving here, I had never set foot out of Asia, and the first thing I noticed here was.

THE SKY IS SO BLUE AND SO WIDE. You don’t really get that in Penang. Or KL. Or Singapore. Or Jakarta. Or Bangkok… Basically the entire South East Asia.


My mother took me over the first time I got here, and my aunt picked us up from the airport.

And the land is so flat. I had no idea that land could be this flat. I grew on on a tropical island and so seeing the beach and hills was like second nature.

Also I was kind of disorientated because they drove on the other side of the road. Not to mention jet lagged.

I moved here in the dead of winter, and I stayed at my aunt’s place. I had seen snow before when I was on vacation, so it wasn’t really a huge shocker.


Perhaps my parents’ favourite photo of the first ever winter experience. LOOK AT THE BANK OF SNOW, MAN. Haha… my noob stage.

But then…


The -50 degrees was… beyond what my body could handle at the time.


But now I’m really hero and can walk around in -50 to buy milk like a pro.

I remember the first day of school was super weird because I knew no one besides my cousins at school. And I was jumping into the middle of the school year and everyone already had friends/cliques. I was the weird Asian transfer student whom everyone both noticed and didn’t notice at the same time because my school was quite small.


So I sat alone during lunch… on the first day of school.

The principal, Mr Jenkins, was nice enough to ask me how I was doing.


You know it’s kind of a big deal when the principal knows your name… but then again I was the weird transfer student from a foreign land… like. the 3rd Malaysian to ever go to this school besides my cousins because it was less than 5 years old at the time I believe.

I remember once a friend was like… THE PRINCIPAL KNOWS YOU. You must either be really brilliant or get into a lot of trouble. LOLOLOLOL

I remember  the first girl I talked to. It was the 2nd day of school, her name was Gaby. She was really nice to me as she could see I was clearly confused. I’m not sure if she remembers me.

She looks kinda like this


GABY. THE FIRST PERSON I TALKED TO. You may not remember me but I will remember youuuuuuu.

I’m one of those people who usually remembers the people I talk to. So chances are, if I have spoken to you at least once before, I will probably remember you.

Overall high school was a pretty fun experience. I got to know people who I still keep in touch with.

But college was where the real party started.

But that’s not till next time lololol.

I realized it takes me way less time to create a post like this compared to a full fledged WIP post. Blogging about my life here in Canada is kinda fun… and nostalgic.

I’ll probably be creating more blog posts about my adventures here. I might even do posts of the weird events that happened to me as a teenager.