Thank you…

Blogging every year on my birthday has become a bit of a tradition (last year being the exception). I think it’s just about the only time I actually blog – something I have to change this over the coming year. This past year has been a bit of a whirlwind but I think the theme of the past year has been the support from all the amazing people around me. So this time I am going to do something a little different. Instead of a list of things I achieved, I am going to pay tribute to all the people who have supported me during the past year.

There were many bumps in the road during my last few months at Bristol. My late-grandfather fell really ill sometime in early 2012 and his health deteriorated steadily until his passing on 3 June 2012. Bristol were very supportive throughout and were kind enough to allow me to defer 2 papers so I could attend the funeral. Once again, a big thank you to Dr. Walterio Mayol-Cuevas and everyone at the Department of Computer Science, University of Bristol.

As I mentioned, my late-grandfather passed away in June 2012. At times like these you tend to regret living 10,000 miles away from home. Thankfully I have amazing friends who dropped everything that they were doing and travelled back to Kajang to support me and my family through that rough patch. Even though we see each less and less as the years go by, I think we are probably closer now than we ever were. So cheers guys, for all the support over the years.

In the midst of all this I somehow managed to gain admission to the MSc Machine Learning at UCL. The admissions process got very messy as I wanted to start in October 2012 but didn’t get my final transcript until late September 2012. It was literally touch-and-go but I definitely would not have been able to start my masters this year if not for the amazing staff at UCL who went out of their way to help me enrol in time.

Then there’s the masters itself. The past 8 months have been the longest of my life! Or it would have been if not for the amazing people doing the MSc alongside me at UCL. We somehow pulled each other through the seemingly endless stream of coursework (and then exams) to get through two semesters at UCL. Here’s to more of the same during final semester…perhaps without the all-nighters this time!

And finally, my family. The past year has been tough for all of us but you have never failed to be there for me throughout with moral support and lots of prayers. I think the greatest sacrifice on your part was putting up with my absence over the past few months, all the missed family dinners and other events. I haven’t yet reached the finish line but I wouldn’t have got this far without you.

I know I am extremely blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people. At every bump in the road, there has been someone amazing who has stepped in to support me, to lift me back up and help me carry on. For that, I am truly grateful.

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