📅 Monday 18th to Sunday 31st

Only 2 weeks left of university before stuvac break and exams! Managed to catch up with friends for fun card games (family feud is ultra competitive but creates hilarious results), city walks and feeds.

Sit back, grab a drink and have a read of all the things I've been up to this past two weeks - or bookmark this page and come back to it whenever you need a film recommendation or some new music to listen to.

Jump to sections below:
The Professional Stuff

👨‍💻 Website work

  • I've added comments on all articles! Share your thoughts below 😄
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♻️ Volunteering

Not a lot of time for volunteer activities this past fortnight! Too caught up with university assessments.

  • For Sikh Youth Australia (SYA):
    • Created the marketing on Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram for an exciting Family Picnic event. Was great to see the turnout at the beautiful Paramatta Lake location.
  • For 180 Degrees Consulting (180DC):
    • Had a short client meeting to run-through the overall presentation and ensure we cover all key points. Adding the outlines of Appendix slides into the presentation.
    • Now condensing my part of the presentation into 2-3 slides for a 10-minute deck to be presented to the 180DC team on Pitch Night in November.

✍️ University Studies

  • Managing the weekly Sprints as Product Owner has been hectic, but definitely more manageable now. I spent a bit more time actually developing which was a nice change of pace, looking at end-to-end adjustments and adding some error testing.
  • It's admittedly been difficult to learn how to use SQL within Python, especially with all the steps required of connecting to the USYD VPN, starting up pgAdmin 4 v6 and connecting to my database personalised by unikey. Looking to make progress on the group assignment over the next few days.
  • Finished off a lengthy BI group assignment report. Included a long call clarifying research questions, cleaning datasets and doing visualisation on Tableau. I also wrote the bio and scenario for a consultant persona.
  • Python, server-client relationships and bash is just... a grind.

🤵 Work

  • Secured a really exciting role!! Will update when I've met the team and begun the onboarding process.
  • Adjudicated the Schools Debating Network (SDN) Grand Finals on Friday 22nd October. Had some split decisions on the panel following interesting arguments and topical discussion on children on reality TV, replacing exams with at-home assessment tasks and making part-time jobs compulsory for senior students.
  • Adjudicated a few of the Association of Independent Schools (AIS) Knockout Rounds between schools from Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales! Fantastic to see the upbeat attitude of students as they virtually compete interstate.

The Self Stuff

📚 Books I've been reading

Start With Why

Read: 30th October 2021

Click here for a detailed book summary!

Stories of Your Life

Still reading!

Picked this up after my re-watch of Arrival (read the review here in my Dune Part 1 Article). Read here for my experience so far, should be completed a few days after this article is finished!

🎥 Movies I've recently seen

Completely unintentional, but two movies about the relationships between sons and fathers. The third was... for the culture.

Mere Baap Pehle Aap

Watched Oct 19, 2021

Continuing my (girlfriend's) agenda of Priyadarshan films, Mere Baap Pehle Aap was a bit of a mess, if not a fun one. In typical Bollywood fashion, it sets up a bunch of interesting stories - strained father-son relationship, college romance against working stresses, policewoman funnily beating an uncle who was just looking for a potential wife from the college staff - but unveils its true plot regarding separated flames from the past being reunited in the second hour of the movie.

So much potential squandered! Acting was a bit all over the place, but I blame it on the script which had some really annoying and also poorly-written characters. By the film's conclusion there was still a lot left hanging for me, and the poster does not match movie events at all haha.

Shang Chi

Watched Oct 30, 2021

This was a ride. When I walked into theatres for the latest Marvel film, I expected Asian-led storytelling and martial arts - but not freaking dragons man! We're introduced to Marvel's newest and first mainline Asian superhero, Shaun/ Shang-Chi, as we grapple with his past along with that of his sister, mother and father. As a result of all this jumping backwards and forwards in time, the storyline sometimes felt a bit jumbled or rushed in editing. Some plot threads needed the extra scenes, whilst others didn't.

However, the acting across the board was great. Awkwafina was funny and this was a fresh take on the two leads being best friends instead of romantically involved. Unfortunately for Simu Liu, I felt the script didn't really have him take agency as a character - it felt like an adventure film that bundled Shang-Chi from place to place, conflict to conflict without him being able to slow down and decide what to do with the exception of one sequence.

I really wish the film spent more time explaining the actual life philosophies of Shang-Chi's mother's ancient village versus Leung's conqueror Wenwu, and how they influence their respective martial arts styles. However, Tony Leung man. He absolutely KILLS this role, communicating rage or heartbreak with a single look and no dialogue, ultimately carrying what could have been a one-note part. He and Michelle Yeoh really lift the movie when it teeters back into average territory.

I'm hoping that Shang-Chi 2 focuses more on the brother-sister dynamic, and if it does lean into the craziness (which those GREAT post-credits scenes are implying), I'd love to see the story effectively set it up instead of throwing it all in at the end.

White Chicks

Watched Oct 31, 2021

Personally painful as some jokes land, the majority miss. Terry Crews was the best part of this, but the acting from the two leads was average and everyone else was annoying.

If you're down for brainless humour and a throwback to late 90s/ early 2000s TV quality buddy cop storytelling, you'd enjoy this - and I can see why there is a fanbase for this film.

🎵 Music I've been listening to

Surrender - RUFUS DU SOL

The latest album from an awesome electronic Australian group. Loved pretty much every track!

Theworstthing - Parcels

Another Australian group, Parcels successfully continue their one-word song title monikers and have a great collection of singles here.

In My Lifetime, Vol.1 - Jay-Z

I've really been enjoying listening to Kanye West's discography in order of release these past few months, against my judgements of him as an artist in the past. As I try to understand the references made and his relationship with other rappers, I decided to give Jay-Z a spin.

I didn't really enjoy his first album Reasonable Doubt, but found some of the more melodious tracks on In My Lifetime, Vol.1 much more enjoyable (not all though). Warning, this is explicit!

📺 TV Shows I've been watching


Second half of season 3 went off the rails, and not in a good way. The last episode managed to pick things up, but I'm apprehensively awaiting Season 4 and wondering what's left for the writers to explore in Joe's character or modern stalker-romance...

Squid Game

Two-thirds of the way through the first season. What a stress-inducing experience! Can definitely understand the hype, really enjoying the characterisations and loving the social messaging.

The Social Stuff

🍲 Food I've been enjoying

  • Burger Patch Chatswood: awesome portions of onion rings, cheesy fries and burger fillings. I tried to be inventive and tried the #JMT burger, which has toasted soybean powder and spiced brown sugar syrup. It wasn't bad but I would say stick to the main burgers, they're awesome.
  • Mac & Cheese Chimichanga: cooked this one at home, basically a burrito but with mac & cheese as a filling and then lightly fried on both sides. Purely delicious.
  • Mad Toppings Epping: great Indian-leaning pizza sauces and toppings (including paneer!). Large portions for decent prices as well.
  • Mad Mex Macquarie: chicken AND chorizo in one delicious tortilla only on Uber Eats. Loved their plant-based chicken nachos as well.
  • Mary's Circular Quay: grungy atmosphere, really decent burgers. Had the Mary's BurgerMcDonalds-like flavours in the Mary's burger and fries with larger portions, better ingredients and higher prices.

🦵 Exercise

Hitting the gym again, even for 25 minutes at 10pm at night, is such a cathartic feeling. I am by no means a gym-bro, but been enjoying exercise outside of running and home workouts now that lockdown is over.

😅 Phew! You've reached the end of this fortnight, thank you for reading.

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👍 Hope you have a fantastic fortnight ahead.