Always Darkest Before the Dawn (Internship Day Fifteen to Seventeen)


Internship Day Fifteen- 13/12, Tuesday

Monday was an off day for us from the first and second batch but the third batch, the Form 5 Starstruckers and Eibhlin still had to go to work (and they got to interview the author of Beautiful Creatures, Margaret Stohl! How is that fair!). The third batch consists of Amanda Ng, Ellora Chua, Ann-Marie Khor, Kyle Chan, Cheng Ju Mei, June Lee and Eibhlin Lim.

That morning, I saw Ann-Marie, Ju Mei, June and Eibhlin for the first time and that “OMG YOU GUYS ARE REAL PEOPLE AND NOT JUST FACEBOOK PROFILES” feeling returned. At around 11 AM, Anne made a sudden announcement that there would be a trip to Dewan Negara/Parliament that morning, but since me and most of the other interns weren’t in suitable attires for the Parliament, only Paik Suan, June and Eibhlin were granted permission to enter the building.

Minus the three of them, the 11 of us had lunch together at the cafeteria where we told them about our experiences so far and pretty much just laughed and joked around like old friends who hadn’t seen each other for years (well for some of them, it’s six months).

Then, we also found out astounding news about us from a very nice and professional senior journalist. Thank you, man, seriously.

Ellora, Kyle, June, Paik Suan and I were in Features that week, but since Kyle, June and Paik Suan made the first trip to the Parliament, Sharmilla (one of the editors at Features) gave Ellora and I an assignment to sort out entries for a book survey they did in The Star.

When June, Paik Suan and Eibhlin returned, Anne and Jeannette held a brief meeting at Level 3 and basic words simply cannot describe the laughfest and chaos that happened. Put 14 rambunctious teenagers with high sugar levels into one room and this is what you get:!/ss_kyle/status/146500305243209730

The day pretty much went on like that, as we crazy interns, previously power of four now boosted to power of fourteen, etched our marks at Level 3A of Menara Star by being the high-spirited and energetic kids we are.

Ann-Marie, Min Hui, Amanda, Amelia and a herpderp yours truly. Taken by Ju Mei.

Internship Day Sixteen- 14/12, Wednesday

On that day, the remaining 10 of us (Amelia couldn’t turn up) got the chance to enter Parliament. It was a 10-minute ride there, and when we reached the building, we found out we had to hand over all electronic devices to security and leave all bags in a lockers (seriously) then only were we allowed to enter.

Min Hui was a “model” doing “catwalks” that day because she’d borrowed stilettos from Jeannette and had difficulty walking in them (“My feet are in pain,” said 16-year-old Lee Min Hui who, at a point, even took off her heels to run across a corridor to catch up with the others).

In the Parliament room, the “debate” that was going on while we entered was concerning the usage of BM in Malaysia and how English is overriding our national language even on road signs, billboards etc when the irony of it all was right in front of their faces– the clock on both sides of the room walls showed “11.57 AM, Wed, Dec”.

After that, it was a no-go for our attention spans and we found ourselves starting to fidget and whisper and pass notes and occasionally when my conscience kicked in guiltily, I would stop to focus on the speaker but realised it was the same ol’ nonsense they’ve been spewing for years, so I proceeded to tune them out and resume my fidgeting and whispering and passing of notes.

We left early because it was getting unbearable in there. Amanda, Ann-Marie and Min Hui left in a cab to continue their next assignment whereas the rest of us returned to Menara Star by the same van. Nothing much happened that day, but I managed to finish Sharmilla’s assignment as well as half of my personal story before going home.

That night, Paik Suan just had to remind me of the time we have left (five days) by posting this picture on Facebook:

Photo (c) Paik Suan.

Internship Day Seventeen- 15/12, Thursday

Today officially marks the last day of my internship, along with Paik Suan, Min Hui, Claire and Vincent because for the next four days, we’ll be joining a Young News Network camp in Pahang. Tomorrow’s the first day but we’ll only be leaving for 8 Acres (a campsite somewhere in the forest where, according to Yee Lisan, one of the people in charge of YNN, cannot be found even on Google Maps) on Saturday morning.

The previous day, Jeannette told us that there would be a photoshoot for the cover of the first issue of Stuff@School next year so that was the first thing on our agenda for the day. Only Ellora, Paik Suan, June, Kyle, Amanda, Min Hui and I were involved in the photoshoot because Jeannette didn’t want the cover to be too crowded.

(Photo will posted here once it’s out.)

After that, we had lunch and since I still had RM 50+ worth of coupons and it’s already my last day of internship, I belanja-ed everyone a bottle of Minute Maid and it felt awesome. Being nice is awesome. (Lol.)

After that, we went back to Level 3A and both Ellora and I were given a new assignment by Ann Marie Chandy (another editor) to search for a new theme for the Silver Scream section. In the end, we decided on Nicholas Sparks’ book-to-movie adaptations and I reviewed The Last Song (it was okay) and Dear John (it was not okay) whereas Ellora reviewed The Notebook and A Walk To Remember.

The first day of YNN officially starts tomorrow!

EDIT: This post was supposed to be published yesterday but this went down: I was halfway through this post when I suddenly felt something pressed against my chest and I found it hard to breathe and I started to panic as I shut everything down. I wanted to just forget it and maybe just sleep it away so I thought maybe I’ll just play Temple Run to calm my nerves for a while until I’m relaxed enough to go to sleep but the paranoid parrot in me kept reminding me of my pain and the possible outcomes of my ignorance, eg. a full-force pneumonia which would lead to death. I really, really thought I was going to die last night. It was frightening. The fact that San Ku and Hoon Jie Jie were both unwell and already asleep made things worse. However, in the end, I had to wake Hoon Jie Jie up anyway even though she was sick with a cough and flu (I’m so, so sorry) and she had to drive me to the emergency area at Damansara Specialist Hospital where they did a check up for me and told me I was okay but after consultation, the doctor said it was probably a normal case of acid reflex. So apparently, it’s all fine and dandy but I still needed to get an injection (three full syringes) which would be the first one I’ve had all year long.

But I’m fine and all that now. Just my paranoia making life harder again.

Tomorrow me and 30 other teenagers will be heading for Bentong, Pahang and you know what that means! No Internet! So I will be AWOL from the Internet universe for three days until I return in the evening of Monday.

Today has been amazing. I’m drafting it.

I also can’t believe that I’m leaving soon. Halfway through dinner, this realisation really hit me on the head with such force that nausea overwhelmed me for a moment before I forced those thoughts out of my head. I’m not exactly prepared for a post-internship depression period when I get home.

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Michelle Teoh

26-year-old cynical Asian, book enthusiast and purveyor of fine sarcasm.

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