hongking's Diaryland Diary

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

whenever i start looking at my project properly again, i just get SO FRUSTRATED with the AHT. what can i say.

9:42 p.m. - 2008-03-08

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

goodness me it's been so long since i've written here, that even the layout of this site has changed (what happened to the nolstagic pink and purple!!! - though nobody would really know what i'm talking about).

just read an article on BBC abt how emails reduce ppl's productivity. how very true indeed. and i shall try this - no usage of the computer at all on Mondays (to minimise disruptions). there will ALWAYS actually be things to do even without the computer...

9:06 a.m. - 2008-03-07

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

i've grown out of blogging it seems. *shrugs* prob cos i now have my personal diary and i prefer not to share my thoughts with the world i suppose.

8:09 p.m. - 2007-10-29

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

here comes a new year. - many many uncertainties. everyth is supposed to be done on our own. no more supervision (not as in the cambridge sense) or supervisions (as in the cambridge sense).

and i'm already getting tired.

it's v sad to see that the ppl who were once there are no longer around. what used to be 2nd years when we first came in - they're all gone. it's just all v sad.

but i seem to have the passion and discipline this year. good for me.

10:02 p.m. - 2007-10-05

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

seriously stressed man, paper to be submitted tomorrow. brain has limited capacity!! grrrr. despair not.

8:19 p.m. - 2007-08-29

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

it's interesting to realise tt i havent been a hong king for quite long now - doing all the weird things tt i do, observing the strange details, etc. ah, maybe when i travel. and also when i'm feeling melancholic.

i'm kinda glad to see tt many of my friendships kinda survive despite me not putting in too much effort to really keep in contact all the time - though to be fair every festive season i do call back. hope it'll stay tt way for some time to come.

mm, always work hard.

11:14 p.m. - 2007-08-19

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

afterdpps

i feel like my holiday is over heh. it was a good break after dpps, giving me some time to meet people and read / do whatever i want to. though i was ill and couldn't exercise. now i've to clear up all the stuff tt's bothering me (loose ends here and there), and i'll b back to work tml. and will be at work until 5? days before i leave sg...

9:36 p.m. - 2007-08-12

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

mia

i've been mia for quite a long while now - 3 weeks of internship and a bit of psc psmp (mid course programme), and quite a bit of piano and sports, and some more meeting up with friends. am pretty happy with most things, apart from the fact tt life can be so busy that u can nvr really finish doing anything.

internship has been fun with all the other interns from NUS - they've been fun companions.

what i need to do, yes, is to respond and not react, to think before i speak. to make myself more confident and less nervous. (e.g. when playing piano for recital / other situations)

9:25 p.m. - 2007-08-01

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

little india

a week of friend-meeting (regi/conrad, grace, RI/RJ teachers, eve/hon/bena/sang, clar, christelle/weili) food-tasting (chilli crab, drunken prawns, fish bee hoon, char kway teow, some indonesian and indian food, japanese food, durian, ice kacang) before starting work tml. i wish i had more time to do the things i wanted (piano, reading books, etc) but at least i definitely feel properly settled in.

had a v fun evening at little india / bugis with my parents and it's perhaps the first time tt i consciously think of them as being my friends? hmmm...

11:46 a.m. - 2007-07-08

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

sometimes i wonder if this is just a phase - liking things bcos they are different / special e.g. at the museum or while travelling, and that i'll actually move on to appreciate the "ordinary" in the future. or is this a common trait of all people, at all times?

hm i wish i had a bit more time to take in cambridge / london. it's my last year!!!

5:13 p.m. - 2007-06-26

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

lots has been happening, and i haven't been writing. but a quick summary:

trip was good, bcos of hostel locations and travel companions. for me anyway. and i would say it's as good as travelling alone. so yeah. says a lot if sth is as good as if i did it myself (for hongkings).

there was the may ball, which i thought was not value-for-money, but in any case i enjoyed myself more than i thought i would. what with a group pretending to be the beatles, and bouncy castles and bungee running and good dessert. enough to make me happy really, and i did allow myself to go slightly wild (not in the normal-ppl sense of say drinking and dancing and spouting nonsense - my wildness is in the form of doing shuttle runs in the bouncy castle or doing bungee running after heavy rain)

and then there was the come-to-hong-king's-room-to-seek-refuge (cos ppl have been kicked out of their rooms) and the come-on, the-storage-room-can-fit-my-boxes-too (it was fun trying to put the boxes in though). then today a big dinner with the college alumni (after singing just 3 songs - the perks we get as the college choir are unbelievable) and yes 3-consecutive-meals-of-italian-food.

will have one more service tml before i start enjoying cambridge as a tourist. and perhaps start packing. but quiet time is good.

i was lamenting abt the teaching in cambridge this time last year. To be exact: "i can say it's a mistake to come here to study the sciences", "i'm not happy, because the system isn't delivering what it is promising", "i dont believe that we (international students - it's true that we do get better results out of proportion to our population) are really tt much smarter, it's just that we simply have been prepared well by our edu system back home. (having said that if i don't do well in my exams, then shame on me bcos it's due to last-minute-as-usual revision) ".

what do i think now? i've been v interested in my subjects this year, and i've had a fair bit more of individualised attention this year, but i can say this of myself - i didnt put in enough effort to make full use of the almost one-to-one supervisions (though supervisors were sometimes quite confused as well, but that's alright)

basically i'm reasonably happy with cambridge bcos it's no longer the system that's at fault (which i believe was the case in the 1st year), but any dissatisfaction was due to my own lack of effort (apart from psychology which i did quite a bit of reading for). and i wasnt v dissatisfied anyway cos i loved my subjects. and if not for cambridge i'd never have touched psychology for sure.

but it seems that i'm not the only one who thinks tt teaching in cambridge is below expectations. many grad students from the states, whom i've spoken to, feel that they haven't learnt much here - it's all abt self-discipline and how much u want to read/research/findout for yourself - i quote a few of them "i could possibly have come up with the same thesis had i just gone to the new york city library every day".

*shrugs*

11:25 p.m. - 2007-06-23

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

just a short notice: the trip was good! :)

2:06 a.m. - 2007-06-18

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

i'm, hm, going off in an hour's time. portugal then spain. so wont be back till another week! and just finished exams this morning :S all quite rushed...

1:48 a.m. - 2007-06-10

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

i know what's changed, the more fight-for-my-own-future / actively-seeking-things-to-do that was unimaginable in the past.

i'm listening to dong dong ay si dong i lay and rutz ritz ka mikla maise abra (forgive my spelling) ... vel jeri gul, arzvaigzhem acis. illumine le rire et les pleurs...

cant decide if i want to go back to those times. why why why!

5:32 p.m. - 2007-06-04

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

strangeoverview

a bit early for a wrap-up of this year (with 3 exams still ahead of me), but i was inspired once again (by a friend who just completed a marathon - I was trying to figure out my OCS running times) to look at my old entries.

do i want to see changes in myself, is that it? have my views on ppl, things, events, decisions, my identity, my future changed?

in a sense i havent changed v much indeed: some of my quirky bits still survive from the past, and there're still some basic principles behind hk's behaviour - aiming to simplify and clear redundant stuff away so that his comfort (clean) zone can increase; while at the same time overdoing other stuff so that the bare basics become common sense, second nature. and trying to (force)fit things into systems/unified theories. fascination with maps and systems.

and then the inadequacies (non-exhaustive):
my social inadequacies at times, leading to a tendency to prefer non-human interactions --> alone time, with nature, with animals perhaps. heh. am i a high-functioning autistic? [was just reading abt autism this morning] and variations on the same theme

my lack of determination / self-discipline / my passiveness, leading to my mere ability to do certain things but not master them. [though i'm really trying to improve this]

and there you have it, 5 simple descriptions and u pretty much can reconstruct a hong king. while things are fine at the moment (i'm enjoying life as far as i can tell), i wonder how life would be if there were total reversals in one of those items.

another comment - perhaps a v strange one as well - i just have this nagging feeling tt once i get back to sg i will feel the peer pressure to conform to whatever norms there are. cf here - there's no need to conform at all because of a clear identity that is distinct from the majority (based on language, colour, culture) and i can be a totally different individual in this society if i so wish to be.

12:36 p.m. - 2007-06-03

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

this is really strange but i was for a short moment in the middle of this settlement in swaziland, thinking abt how rich/poor these ppl might be, and noticing how they dont have a single green patch nearby, with dirt paths leading everywhere. there was a rich man's house (i assume, cos he had a swimming pool) where there were trees lining a properly paved road. hmm. and i accidentally clicked away and that was it i would probably never see that place again. but it exists in this world...

and i just went to darfur as well. goodness have all the rivers dried up or sth? unless their roads are all winding like rivers hm.

9:05 p.m. - 2007-06-02

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

can i say that i'm a big fan of google?
it's just simply amazing. first it was google earth. and all other specialised searches (perhaps e.g. google scholar, though they could do better for that one). and then u have gmail (which i dont like but u know it's still a good idea i guess). and today i found out that on the maps they now have "street view" as well - even though it's only for new york city, san francisco, and a few other places. and i was literally on the golden gates bridge. and driving along it too. one day i want to drive one of those vans man.

11:23 a.m. - 2007-06-02

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

there are still so many gaps in my knowledge, so ashamed of myself! heh. i just hope that with whatever stuff i knew i managed to bluff the examiners. cos i think i deserve a 2:1 for the amount of knowledge that i actually have. *pray hard :D*

2:41 p.m. - 2007-06-01

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

i actually have a chance of sleeping by 3 o clock! amazing

2:18 a.m. - 2007-06-01

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

hope for the best, pray for the best

8:37 a.m. - 2007-05-31

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

i'm not going to give up. nor panic.

2:48 a.m. - 2007-05-29

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

sometimes i wonder, how much hidden intelligence there is in MS word, though it can be quite irritating at times when I can't undo what it tries to do. Word is good in that it allows formatting - bold,italic,underline. but more importantly for a science student like me, latin alphabets (with shortcuts, i literally can type them all just by pressing Alt and the alphabet), do superscript and subscript. but that's it. i dont use any other features. and i hate their bulleting and numbering and indentations i ALWAYS do it manually instead cos it gives me so much more flexibility. or have i just not learned to use it properly?

another thing. studying itself is not frustrating at all. BUT studying from bad notes, bad textbooks. ah. it's so stupid trying to learn from sth that's not right/clear and learn the wrong thing as a result. and i can say here heh cambridge isn't v good at teaching sometimes. there are lecturers whom i just love bcos they're really so good and letting me learn new stuff, and there are others who make me confused about an already-confusing subject...

9:57 p.m. - 2007-05-26

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

haiyah haha if there's any negative marking in your papers (whoever you might be), try not to guess unless u're feeling really lucky. i dont think i made the right move today heh :( though hopefully overall it wasn't too bad *Cross fingers*

11:58 a.m. - 2007-05-26

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

criticism

i find the word criticism extremely hard to type correctly. end up either missing an i or adding an i. haha. cos all the right hand does (apart from the "m") is to wait for keys on the left hand to be pressed before pressing "i" every alternate event.

10:49 a.m. - 2007-05-22

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

stress

stress! like really haha 5 days to exam. v different from last year cos last year i knew maybe half the stuff from A lvls and only needed to fill in the detail. this year it's almost fully new stuff. which is cool. i'm not complaining. and i'm working reasonably hard now :)

but all the same. lots of stress

12:12 a.m. - 2007-05-21

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

the problem with psychology is that at this level the lecturers present experiments and attempt to summarise them mostly within a few sentences. and perhaps 50% of the time they get the gist wrong / they quote them wrongly. frustrating frustrating.

11:16 p.m. - 2007-05-18

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

consciousness, learning, memory, attention, executive. allll inter-related and muddled up.

this made me laugh for 10 seconds.
"This adaptation is orientation specific... ... He and colleagues projected a single patch of grating ..."
so i was thinking, so who is he? and i tried backtracking, but couldn't find any name. so i flipped to the powerpoint slide printouts. "He et al Nature 383:334-337"

10:05 p.m. - 2007-05-18

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

allow me to ramble a bit on etymology of chinese/english words :D

jap --> chinese
keizai --> jing ji (economics)

jap --> english
jin riki sha (ren2 li4 che1) --> rickshaw

chinese --> eng
si1 --> silk
gong1 zuo4 he2 zuo4 she4 (work co-op) --> gungho (meaning changed?)

*bored*

and men2 and hu4 are actually the same word (just that there are two "hu4"s in a "men2")

and what exactly is written chinese - why can't i write cantonese for example? i'm not an expert so i'm probably not totally accurate in my description, but my current understanding is this:

Although there were occasionally books (e.g. hong2 lou2 meng4) written in bai2 hua4 zi4 (written versions of contemporary spoken dialects. incidentally, confusingly, bai2 hua4 without zi4 means cantonese), most writing was done in wen2 yan2 wen2 (which mainly derived from what was spoken during the Qin dynasty, but modified over the centuries). It was only after 1919 that bai2 hua4 zi4 became more popular (due to some political movement - yuan shi kai?), and in particular, the mandarin version of it due to its eventual dominance across the country as the national language.

examples of wen2 yan2 wen2: basically anything that u can find in e.g. kong2 zi3's lun4 yu3.
ren2 wu2 yuan3 lv4, bi4 you3 jin4 you1
dao4 bu4 tong2, bu4 xiang1 wei2 mou2
qiao3 yan2 luan4 de2. xiao3 bu4 ren3, ze2 luan4 da4 mou2

2:00 p.m. - 2007-05-18

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

revisionrevision

haha this time last year.
"Everyone around me is smarter than I think. I need to work extra-hard now."

it still holds true. the amount of work tt has to be put in this time - i will be happy if i get a good grade. for the first time since o lvls (i put in work for eng/hist/ss). and am pretty proud of it in a way :)

as i revise i realise that the first and last few lectures were processed equally well. for diff reasons though. at the beginning, enthusiastic, returning with a this-year-shant-be-so-last-minute-any-more attitude (that-lasts-for-2-weeks). near the end, desperate, behaviour driven by the attitude of if-i-am-not-at-full-efficiency-i-cannot-make-it. heh. why can't it just be sustained throughout :D

hm was thinking "i'm going to sleep" is a nice statement bcos it has double meaning - the action of going to sleep, and the intention of going to sleep (e.g. going to go to the supermarket)

12:07 a.m. - 2007-05-18

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

i have to say this. i feel OVERWHELMED by the amount of work that i'm supposed to be doing. this is one exam that i've no confidence in doing well in. it's so much work heh.

it's so frustrating - there are certain things which just are not taught - e.g. what happens in secondary tuberculosis (all we know is how it's stopped in the primary stage) and so many descriptions just stop at "so the patient becomes infectious and coughs up the bacteria". and what happens?!? maybe i need to learn to use search tools properly.

the problem with my essays is there i try so hard to fit things to a unitary theory that i twist facts (not good)

9:46 p.m. - 2007-05-16

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

the week passed so quickly and so slowly. how strange. haha. anyhow, work. (is that all i can say these days?)

9:56 p.m. - 2007-05-13

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

johannes

feeling not bad right now, must keep working quickly! grrrrrr.

herr! (johannes-passion, bach. haha i'm in love with it, only bcos of the fact tt i first heard it in dublin and the story was moving. esp with the main soloist's mum sitting next to me)

actually i happen to be feeling really stupid for not studying during the xmas hols - should have made my foundation in immunology much better. that way the rest of the year would have been much easier.

i find that i have much more self-discipline, perhaps because of the fact that i'm interested in the subjects. really LOVE the mix of subjects i'm doing. how many more times can i say this :D

10:59 p.m. - 2007-05-06

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

dopaminedecisiveness

cognitive dissonance haha. it really works. trying to convince myself that i'm indeed satisfied with my choice of room next year, by convincing myself tt i don't really want the other room (in the tower!!) when it comes to exams blah blah. and yet hoping that i will get that very same room during the holidays, for it's a nice place to be in for a short while. best of both worlds. if only life were so simple and perfect. muahahaha. indecisiveness - is there any drug that can cure it? which part of the brain - striatum? dopaminergic neurons? use dopamine agonists to make myself selectively satisfied with certain decisions thus increasing decisiveness? that might work :D

4:35 p.m. - 2007-05-01

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

die man. time management spiralling out of control. not panicking (bad sign). must realise that i have no more than 20 odd days to study :S heh

12:48 a.m. - 2007-04-30

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

newroomlayout

can't believe i'm still awake. haha. like my new room layout too much. i ought to go do interior design / engineering (both).

2:34 a.m. - 2007-04-27

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

studyin psy conditioning!

quite displeased with myself. why didnt i study more during the holidays! just needed to get started hmm. because i realised tt i am genuinely interested in all these things and could go on and on reading abt them. and yet i guess i dont have the luxury of doing so now.

let me see. each exam cycle is effectively an instrumental conditioning trial for me. positive reinforcement. probability of me being last minute increases with each trial since my being last minute leads to the consequence of non-lousy results. actually, it's just common sense haha. now i wonder if there's an asymptote (e.g. probability of 1). also, if there is an equivalent of the Rescorla-Wagner in instrumental conditioning, then perhaps the surprise element (lambda - v) = 0. no more learning for me. hahaha.

pardon my rubbish, i have been reading abt classical and instrumental conditioning, evidently.

10:31 p.m. - 2007-04-25

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

hahaha bedders using my corridor as a gossip place :D hmm

9:25 a.m. - 2007-04-24

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

some lecturers are really just so much better than others. pharmacokinetics man - he's the man! treats us as intellectually-able ppl, telling a very coherent story and importantly provides all the enrichment material while indicating that they are not required for exams. saves me so much so much trouble, bcos i usually do exactly that anyway - try to read up more myself, and try to figure out whether the lecturer has read his own notes / knows vaguely what he's trying to say and try to follow the logic.

thank god for pharmacokinetics man.

5:31 a.m. - 2007-04-23

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

i agree with grace on this "it's funny how pple overseas prob change less than ppl back home".

it's really like allopatric speciation. we have a small group here (founder's effect?), and then we just continue with what was the norm just b4 we left sg. and we don't grow up as much, there's no "peer pressure" or "cultural waves" to push you along.

but i guess we still do evolve, but very much more independently. and i'm always a foreign species wherever i am. hmm. what excites me perhaps, is tt i'm a citizen of the world, instead of just a citizen of any particular country.

7:07 p.m. - 2007-04-22

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

it's a nightmare. there are like one thousand birthdays in late april. rar. t'is the season to be giving, falalalala lalalala

7:27 p.m. - 2007-04-21

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

summer has come, and gone??

12:02 p.m. - 2007-04-21

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

pushing the limit, yes. playing hard, yes. working hard, soon (perhaps). basically just dont let this year be remembered as "the year in which i played so hard that i failed".

in a way it's good that "revision" remains interesting bcos (and it's quite amusing to realise that) much of it is new anyway. or, i have somehow gained some new insights and everything seems to make SO MUCH MORE sense. and it's so clear which supervisor forced me to work. clearly not pathology haha. without even knowing what a t helper cell does for example, how did i actually understand autoimmunity / hypersensitivities. so it was all ok-dont-ask-just-know-that-it-is-this-this-this. which, obviously, is not hk. so

have i mentioned? i'm prob doing immunology nxt year. back to systems :D + dynamics of infectious diseases obviously...

am discussing with eric about some stuff, and one of the conclusions i've actually come to, is that i've settled down here to sufficiently feel tt cambridge is home-like. and tt, perhaps is a good thing. i.e. i would actually maintain links with this place in the future, somehow. though haha there are really not many links to begin with hmmmmm.

12:23 a.m. - 2007-04-20

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

i recall suddenly tt i used to make some rather far-fetched analogies in the past. similar to the one i am going to say now haha. playing tetris! like life. sometimes u work really hard to clear away problems, and then suddenly a few small mistakes and the problems stack up again. and before u know it, it's fatal, bcos the problems nvr stop coming, and they come at a faster and faster pace. sometimes whatever comes won't fit but u just try ur best to put it in a place which causes least problems in the future. hmmm. hahahaha.

2:50 p.m. - 2007-04-18

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

biology is full of misnomers. interleukins (whose job goes beyond "between white blood cells"), prostaglandins (which are produced everywhere not just in the prostate gland), tumour necrosis factor (which might cause some tumours to proliferate), etc etc. confusing!!! (only cos i'm starting only now hahaha)

9:03 p.m. - 2007-04-17

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

goodness me i think i'm starving to death -_- had a look at myself in the mirror for the first time in a month maybe (there was no mirror in the room i was living in) and i can see my ribs again. bad bad news. pls donate to the feed-the-hk fund (and i'm serious).

9:37 p.m. - 2007-04-16

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

bring-your-own-bag day on first wednesday of each month in singapore. hoorah! waste reduction is seriously sth tt CAN be done.

watching tony blair debate is definitely sth i kinda enjoy. feel fortunate tt i've actually seen him in real life. better than an hour of say e.g. anime.

ely trip was good-er than expected. didnt "enjoy it very much" but it was definitely a pleasant experience.

12:02 a.m. - 2007-04-16

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

hm haha it just seems like the famous ppl i've seen all get into corruption scandals eventually. ma ying jiu, paul wolfowitz. esp ma ying jiu when i specifically thought at tt time when i met him tt hm somehow i just think he might not be the president.

(it's prob just cos i take notice of their stories cos i've met them before, but still...)

10:26 a.m. - 2007-04-13

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

i think the most tragic thing is when u once knew why / how to do something and now u've forgotten, mainly bcos u didnt put in enough effort at that time :( i want to do F-maths at some time.

11:17 p.m. - 2007-04-12

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lfy3LreTj1A
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kxs6qGVVyng
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kvdq8cRNBM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avFfX-U1giQ

these are all AMAZING (someone expand my vocab pls). but really i can spend a lifetime (ok maybe not, an entire holiday) working on sth like tt if necessary. such elegant designs. and such things as rube goldberg machines. they actually have competitions in the states! i'll make sure i have at least one of them at home, promise myself :)

9:21 p.m. - 2007-04-12

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

i would heartily recommend a nokia for your next handphone. swam in the river cam with it and it still works - amazingly.

11:37 p.m. - 2007-04-11

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

what a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful world.

haha tt's what i literally said when i came out of the shower. after a 2-hour+ punting trip. chasing chickens (if they were chickens - jungle redfowl possibly), views of grantchester in the gorgeous weather, rolling the punt down the rollers while staying inside (like a log flume), and finally, swimming. haha. not totally deliberately of course.

playing hard indeed, and it's just the simple pleasures of life. not anything more complex than deciding to go punting immediately after lunch (the spontaneity is what i like).

this time, playing hard is going to make me work hard. and the hoping to avoid another last-minute episode. even though i will survive it, i dont want it to happen. :)

and singing :D

5:35 p.m. - 2007-04-11

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

to allow the released marines/navy personnel to sell their stories. such a pathetic end to the entire episode, such tt ppl are discussing that decision rather than what had happened. and indeed, that any of them are willing to keep the money at all, seems to suggest something about their character to me. and makes me wonder how much of a hero he/she is - if he/she is succumbing to money now, would he/she have succumbed to torture/fear of death in iran??

there's just sth in Lt Carman's interview (watch it on bbc) that instantly tells you that he's an officer. as for those who sold their stories... *shrugs* grrrrrr

1:22 a.m. - 2007-04-09

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

(this all started when i read a junior's entry on ns) it's depressing to think abt having to get back into the army some time. it might be the way i coped with it. thinking of it as seeing how long more i can last before my comfort zone is encroached (and trying v hard not to cross that line by somehow expanding my comfort zone). As such i'm nvr actually sad, yet at the same time always feeling like sth's suppressed perhaps. *shrugs* not sure. if i do some rational thinking then yes NS benefits me in some ways, and i'm not unhappy so overall it's a good experience - and i tell that to everyone. but emotionally/psychologically perhaps my way of coping is/was not the best. i recall the kind of feelings i had when i reached pasir ris or boon lay. some sort of despair, heart sinking, another week of torture.

contrast that to now when i'm quite free to do anyth i want (including not studying haha. discipline and me just dont go together), and doing things i like. and the important thing is i feel like i have control (which might not be true).

what will happen when i return to singapore eventually, for good? it will not be another 2+ years before that happens. now, i'm a singaporean-in-the-uk, visiting singapore every year as though it's a holiday destination with familiar food and friends and family. and i'm not becoming any less singaporean yet i do not feel like i feel out of place here any more. that there are differences between me and ppl here, i accept. that fundamentally perhaps the whites view non-whites differently, i accept. (what happened to me!!!?)

o well *shrugs* it's just not going to be easy/fun going back in 2009 and plunging straight back into NS i guess. much harder than coming here and adjusting to life here, because there was nothing to give up - i knew i will go back to singapore in a few years.

meanwhile, enjoy life?

basically this entry is quite a big mess of random thoughts but hm yeah...

8:01 p.m. - 2007-04-07

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

hm my templates are nvr v exciting but i like the colour in this one. took this photo around this time last year. wanted to put up a lighthouse i saw in dublin and also wanted to put up one of river cam with punts. but. ended up with this.

the tagboard is functional, and the "useful" contains useful boxes for google/wiki/dictionary searches. check it out! :D

1:53 a.m. - 2007-04-07

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

enjoying myself a bit too much for my own good. stop it! dublin was great. learnt some stuff (museums), got my dose of nature/sea, fair balance of chionging and relaxing. http://hongking.blogspot.com

in short, it was a good experience to travel alone.

as long as i keep myself safe (i usu look out for ppl in groups anw, so in fact i have less of a "burden", only disadvantage is i'm alone and thus a more likely target in some ways).

i am free from ppls' expectations, and can act as i like (but still be a responsible person/citizen/ambassador of chinese/singaporeans of course), because there's absolutely nobody ard me who will really have any idea of what i am / see me again after meeting me once. very much easier to speak to strangers.

no danger of feeling left out (which i admit, is still a weak point for me)

eating as i like - meals are usually a source of disagreement/compromise in groups.

higher spontaneity and pushing myself to the limit [time, physical stamina], though these were alright in the previous trip w jh/yijin/chris i guess.

overall, the benefits definitely outweigh the disadvantages. the lack of fixed social interactions, does not seem to be a problem over a short period of 4 days, provided i am kept busy with things i want to do (including relaxing and not doing anything). perhaps if it were a month, it might be disorienting to keep changing place/ppl. but if i keep writing in my travel-log/diary, it should be fine.

but travelling in grps obviously has its advantages as well. main thing is seeing diff perspectives. and with more ppl, there can be more fun.

why am i most alone when i'm in a group? whoever i can travel with v well must necessarily be(come) a good friend of mine. if it's without compromise, then it's a v good friend!

randomly, what is the diurnal temp range/trend dependent on? in other words, what are the inputs/outputs to the system (and what is the system? the relatively immobile layer of air near the land? is the land itself included in the system? which would obviously then allow the calculation of a rate of transfer. but it's actually interesting to think abt this, we're directly feeling the effects of, or, put it another way at the mercy of outer space)

12:29 a.m. - 2007-04-06

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

there is -TOO- much to read on wikipedia, even if half of it is rubbish. it's still v interesting... what would happen if i didnt have the internet! (and electronic dictionaries - these are one of the best inventions ever, like calculators. hm perhaps one day children will be taught how to use calculators instead of doing arithmetic)

e.g. finally understood why jap kanji are halfway between simplified/traditional chinese. in fact, they did it first (first time in 1946). the chinese did it in 1956 / and later a second round in 1977 (which failed, officially stopped in 1986, the only things we see from it are e.g. the "can" in meal written as just the top left hand corner, or "dan" in egg written as the dan in yuan2 dan4. u will be glad however to know tt most of it was abandoned haha. the full list can be found scanned here: [http://www.pkucn.com/viewthread.php?tid=154573]

it makes me wonder, why we are the only place that followed china in the simplification process. talking abt singapore, here's a description of what is banned in singapore on a japanese site [http://hac.cside.com/manner/9shou/3setu.html], apart from spitting and littering: "men in this country are banned from having long hair. before entering the country you must cut your hair, otherwise upon arrival they will forcibly cut it for you". but haha apparently disneyland denied entry to men with long hair in the 1960s as well [http://www.snopes.com/disney/parks/longhair.htm]

and is it not equally interesting that, there are patron saints for many different things. for places, that's normal - st george for england for example. but, st dymphna, for sleepwalking!!!, st james e great, for rheumatism. hm. st honore for bakers (explaining the bakery in hong kong)

and so on. tired of writing time now 9.47

7:47 p.m. - 2007-03-29

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

pretty randomly - defensive, anticipatory, responsible cycling is what every cyclist in cambridge ought to practise for everybody's safety.

the college is almost uninhabitable. no dinner tonight cos there's compulsory formal, and then my staircase has kitchens tt have gas stoves (i have no lighter). went to another kitchen tt had an electric stove, but when it was turned on to the max, the thermostat switched it off before the water (which i had preheated in the kettle, mind you) even started boiling. rubbish bins (organic) that are not cleared. central heating that barely heats the radiator up. bikes that get stolen (not mine, yet, anyway). oh and drilling that starts at 8 in the morning cos they're trying to take the door knobs off our doors and also attempting to fire-proof the doors (even though there are huge visible gaps between the door and the frame which they're going to ignore - the contractor actually said, yeah i know, but...). n showers which are not warmer than 37 degrees.

save me! stop complaining!

mm. and free labour. grrr

6:46 p.m. - 2007-03-28

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

it was pretty interesting to go for the e x p p s y c h department seminar day, listening to the sharing of ideas and problems. but arrogant ppl, *shakes head*, not nice. some others, *shakes head*, possibly not smart enough - i would have expected ppl doing research to be smarter than that. and finally, politics, *shakes head*, not nice either - various groups in the university focussing on similar topics but not exactly collaborating/sharing resources - in particular, the panels of volunteers that each department has managed to accumulate. could it really be because of ethical issues?

4:59 p.m. - 2007-03-27

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

caving was GREAT. there will be photos, but the entire trip, caves, seaside resort town (paignton), mine, hut, driving thru the countryside (devon the beautiful!). oooh fantastic

i've had a pretty good time in london - going for westminster / st paul's services, parliament sitting (pm questions + gordon brown's final budget), going to canary wharf / tower bridge / etc. and had lots of pretty good food. but stupid lse students steal my food! hai.

museums coming up nxt.

i actually like london's city feel. maybe i'll come down for my masters. oooh the transport system. ooooh. haha but then again i'll be stuck in my room if i'm studying here. oh well.

9:27 p.m. - 2007-03-21

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

i've said this a million times now, but i love looking at computer viruses, how they work, how the antivirus software works, etc. (cos i'm doing immunology, virology, etc) i can't explain why i love looking at parallels in different systems, but it reallly really just makes me happy. and no i'm not abt to become a virus-writer.

call me weird if u want but i thought u already knew that

2:18 p.m. - 2007-03-20

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

making my life unnecessarily complicated. i've just cleared my room (overnight, yes) and things are heading off to so many different places. 1. with me to caving over the next 2 days, 2. waiting to go to the jcr office room, 3. waiting to go to my new room, 4. waiting to go to london. and with lots of things to remember in between. and coaches to miss haha.

don't i need sleep? i think the coffee's keeping me awake. zzzz

and i think the things i'm saying are hilarious cos i'm not making sense any more: (pointing to the sock on the radiator) tt sock doesnt need to go to caving (as a category), it only needs to go on my foot!

5:50 a.m. - 2007-03-16

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

i've realised my singaporeanity only when i'm not in singapore. question is, is anything actually heritable, or is it all environmental influence? is there any part of me (e.g. risk-taking) tt will remain hong konger always? or does it mean tt if i go live in hk for 2 to 3 years i will be fully hong konger again? does it really matter?

it does actually. it does. it's gonna affect my life hmm.

i think inevitably my mum is going to start pushing to go back to hong kong soon. and she should. and she definitely will be in hong kong in I predict, 10 years time? and oh god they'll be 60! years old by then. my dad doesnt have anyth really keeping him in sg apart from like maybe cpf money. it'll be easy to leave. so it's just up to me / or whether we'll be split.

i actually had to think abt this some 4? years ago after sec 4, and at that time i didnt think it would happen, though i did think tt i'd have a lot to lose if i left singapore. hmmm.

on a separate note, it was nice to meet ppl i havent met for a long time and just stop for a short chat. helen cordey, di neely, zhao lu, ben burnham. great stuff. mm and fitzwilliam museum person.

2:06 a.m. - 2007-03-15

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

it's actually amazing how they keep diaryland running for free, without any advertisements.

i had a good laugh during the "magic" show just now, not bcos of the magic, but bcos sb i know went on stage and was under hypnosis without being hypnotised? (don't ask me), and started scratching her nose whenever the hypnotist blew a horn. it was not funny, but my reaction was simply to laugh. bcos it's inexplicable (both her scratching and my laughter).

but now i'm grumpy. partially cos everyth's so rushed, and gone is the fixed schedule i've had for the past term - i.e. monday deadlines, tue/wed slack, thu start picking up perhaps, sunday start work proper. with all the choir in between. and sometimes acapella. and i dunno, lectures (extra ones).

n i've to move out of my room. i've to pack. and i've to start studying some time. and i know i will waste the holidays away because i will not have self-discipline, and there are no intermediate deadlines to force me into doing things. and i'm not even pretending to say i will manage my time well this time. or that i will read the i dunno, maybe 15 textbooks that i will borrow from the libraries. it's just such an overwhelming amt of information tt i've to go through, and process, and if i really want to shine, then special-processing. but in the end, is it really worth all that effort?

disillusioned. i realised i really do enjoy learning actually, and seeing improvements. in any aspect. not just academics, but sports/music as well. this term i worked hard for 1 thing - the kullervo (finnish) concert. i definitely did take pride in all the work i handed in, though that really wasn't a lot - a psychology essay each week and some practicals (psy/pharm). it's worrying that i've not had ANY work at all for path. *uh-oh*

what abt next year, what am i going to do? which subject should i do?

rahrah.

1:11 a.m. - 2007-03-15

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

it's ridiculous tt all clocks in cambridge LTs seem to be going faster (the simplest explanation could be that all clocks in fact follow a central time - data fed in through some cable). either that or some inexplicable electromagnetic interference effect remaining from the MRI i went for a few days back (not v pleasant at all, apart from 25 pounds i got from it). no i'm talking rubbish (i meant the 1st one though).

it's v interesting to think abt how many ppl actually know who i am, or perhaps everyone only knows what i present to them of myself. e.g. am i actually really a nice person [assuming ur impression of me is that], or perhaps, i might actually have ulterior motives for every single thing i do [consciously, or subconsciously]. etc.

i want to know what i want to do in the future. i've had the belief that i know what i want to do in the future in the past year or so but it's kinda under doubt again - what path should i choose, provided i really have a choice?

i want to be able to do sth well. or even better, do many things well.

oh and met some of my neighbours from last year (medics, now living out of college). "some things never change, hong king". abt my expertise in procrastination, and apparently when they see me i'm always running either bcos i'm handing in a soon-to-be-late essay or already-late-for-class/choir. haha *shrugs* i've given up already. tt is what hong kings are.

12:38 a.m. - 2007-03-11

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

hmm time is going v fast and i'm going to leave cambridge and i'm going to miss it. taking so many things for granted - e.g. being able to go to so many pretty places any time i want, go back to my room even if there's just a half-hour break between events/lessons, the weather, living with people and not having to cook myself, etc. hmm.

4:24 p.m. - 2007-03-02

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

went to addenbrookes (the hospital in cambridge) today and it was, as expected, nice. was a medic's lecture kinda thing where doctors bring in patients and ask them to describe their history/symptoms, show us results from imaging and cue us to make diagnoses. v v cool.

i do not deny tt i still do want to be a doctor... hee.

it's really late now!

3:15 a.m. - 2007-02-24

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

get my priorities right heh. if i'm already late for lecture, why do i still go check my pigeon hole in the porter's lodge even though it takes at least 15 seconds? or when work is due, why read the news (i mean the news is important, but...)?

eh, it's nvr too late to start getting into certain habits. e.g. looking forward to and listening in lectures.

my short-term memory is v bad. affects my absorption during lectures. probably at least 75% comes out unprocessed. and nowadays i sing the same things in choir so frequently (the words to magnificat and nunc dimitis dont ever change), that certain words automatically cue certain phrases from my memory. e.g. throughout --cues-- all generations

mm and path lecture is really good cos we (maybe 100 or less?) sit in a LT which has a capacity of maybe 400 or more? it feels as though the lecturer is talking to me personally cos his voice is no longer absorbed by the thousands of medics who used to come to the same lecture. i also feel less restrained and start sitting sideways on two seats, stretching my hamstring every now and then, basically doing things tt ppl (find/would have found) strange. Feels totally comfortable and while I seem distracted I'm actually listening to the lecturer intently.

ooh and also, it was great tt i was not happy with the courses last year [and really, i still believe tt if anybody looks at it objectively, he/she must agree with me], bcos then this year feels even better than it is. but looking back certain supervisors were quite good :)

12:10 a.m. - 2007-02-23

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

such a pleasant surprise to hear a punting group of singers! like hahaha so cool. pleasant pleasant even though they do screeech sometimes. so cool! oh dear i'm repeating myself.

5:03 p.m. - 2007-02-20

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

ha it's another one of those days when i call and call and call ppl back in singapore. almost as though it costs nothing to call home. actually it does cost money heh. but oh well keeping in touch is a lot more important than money, definitely. esp those ppl who just don't seem to appear on msn any more.

sleep.

2:54 a.m. - 2007-02-18

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

i'm procrastinating as usual, and it's true, i'm addicted. ha. i just don't understand how so many people can have so much self-discipline.

anyhow, i was reading abt overcoming procrastination, and realised tt ppl actually come up with reasons - and apparently the more common ones are: perfectionism, fear of failure/success, etc etc. haha, for me - it's really abt pushing the limits. knowing how little time i can do the work in (and get away with it), i've no incentive to work during the rest of the week. e.g. this week for pharm i finished my work within the 30min before the supervision, for psycho i simply said i'm ill and i was sleeping most of the time [and i was, and usu i have to stay up to do it on the night before, so i was not telling a lie!]

so, it's the deadline which makes me procrastinate. anybody feels the same? i'm consistently no more than 5 minutes late because i can usually get away with it / i lose nothing (e.g. lectures).

incidentally, i've been assigned the project "detection of deception", under ministry of home affairs, for my summer psc attachment. definitely exciting, definitely sth i can contribute to, but slightly worrying as to Why they gave that to me. *shrugs* not tt i'm suggesting tt they suspect i tell many many lies, i did put it as one of my choices after all.

1:24 a.m. - 2007-02-17

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

sometimes it's nice to just sit and listen to the choir and realise hmm it actually sounds quite good, and remember to listen when i'm singing my own part, and not block out the rest.

9:10 p.m. - 2007-02-14

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

my normal word document template has mysteriously reset itself. how v irritating, after i've made quite a number of modifications to make things simpler.

3:13 p.m. - 2007-02-11

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

oooh, much as bacteria and hearts and cancers and drugs and psychology are interesting, i miss physics. Lagrangian points - 5 points in space where a body can stay at a constant position with reference to 2 other massive bodies [just like satellites in geostationary orbits, just tt that is with reference to 1 body]. ooooh. and hohmann transfer orbit, and interplanetary transport network, which essentially allows travel with minimal energy (utilising the Lagrangian points) seee here. and ooooh. i want to be able to calculate them, not just understand.

haha, another one of these entries.

11:10 p.m. - 2007-02-09

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

e day when the most number of photos is taken by students in cambridge and posted on facebook immediately - snow day! hahaha. lots of funny snowmen/women/animals are still around outside, being maintained by the zero-degree temperature. hope to see them tml!

hm and maybe i should just sleep a little less.

9:59 p.m. - 2007-02-08

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

i guess i'm just in general quite happy abt the state of the acapella stuff hehe. liked the fact tt i could tell myself not to be nervous and disallow my legs from shaking towards the end of the performance. and yeah ppl are nice.

haha but u know, there's this thing called academic work!

2:36 a.m. - 2007-02-04

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

hm. it was quite nice today to just smile at a random person on the street today and have the person smile back. was at a junction, a double decker bus was turning in, 3 stupid ppl were trying to beat the bus (i wonder what got into them, even risk-taking hk wouldnt think of doing that), and i simply waited there, looked into the bus, saw a lady smiling at me. smiled back. ok sounds stupid when i actually write it out.

and after last night's acapella prac when we were forming chords nicely oooooh today i was listening in choir more carefully - though tt's only possible when the piece is as simple as today's. and wow it just felt quite good. it's seldom that i can say tt the choir forms chords really well, kinda. cos pieces are always so hard to sight-sing and u really dont sing it more than twice. but yeah cover quite a lot of repertoire which is also good. :)

12:48 a.m. - 2007-02-03

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

haha. i thought there was some time to spare tonight after handing in an essay (plan). and ended up reading abt allll sorts of things as usual on wikipedia which can be confusing at times. but oooh back to my favourites like skyscrapers and transport and world fairs! and so on. haha. oh well, at least i dont consider that a waste of time...

hm and it's quite interesting tt this year i dont take a lot of things for granted (as opposed to usually when i think of the normal state only when in the unpleasant state e.g. when i get ulcers in my mouth). i'm appreciating the heating in my room very much, the warm showers (both the water and the bathroom itself), my bed (sth as simple as the fact that the blanket does NOT fall off. haha u've got to see my sleep to understand why that IS a miracle). i'm also not really complaining abt lecturers/subjects, though perhaps sometimes i ought to be even more prepared for supervisions. at least i do try to be, to some extent this term.

11:42 p.m. - 2007-01-30

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

turn stress into something positive, there's no need to get rid of it. i really mean to say so much more about this but i simply cannot express myself well enough. language surely must (not? cant decide) determine our thoughts then hm heh. see "Whorf hypothesis"

somewhat related: i used to think tt my years in RI were kinda wasted [even though i know they might have been happy times. like i said before i tend to look back at things quite pessimistically] cos i didnt try to do many things, i pretty much just did things when they came along. holidays were spent at home doing nothing (literally haha), and it would be what i call a waste-of-time now. but hey, i was carefree, and there was no guilt to be felt. if i were to do nothing at all this easter, will i forgive myself? i dont think so.

whatever path has been chosen, take it looking forward, but do not ignore the side branches, or the possibility of a u-turn. just tt hm i think i have the tendency to keep an eye on the u-turn. uh-uh, not good.

9:50 p.m. - 2007-01-27

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

i dont want to malfunction so early in the term! but it hardly feels like 1 week. almost as though it's 2 weeks already! i'm tired, but only cos i procrastinate, and sleep little (and writing all these cos it's u know the unearthly hour of 6am). what's new. but something has to be new, something has to change. tachycardia while sleeping isnt v acceptable. could literally feeel it.

6:17 a.m. - 2007-01-23

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

i'm smelling bacteria/agar in my nose and that's not nice. just my imagination i think.

i will not forget how i pedalled so hard on my bike to get across parker's piece the other day. the winds were so strong i could have literally been blown backwards if i didnt pedal. whooosh. finally get to experience the force of nature even though i missed those torrential rains in sg. mm, the crane just outside better not topple though, otherwise... n frisbee in the wind was crazy.

what i should do is i should make use of my last-minute training and use the skills during normal-times. then wo ho i will be all-powerful.

anw, tonight's bach mass in b minor. quite liked it overall, only dozed off slightly during the gloria. can't blame me, i couldnt really tell what they were singing. when i had the programme and i could follow the lyrics i stayed awake throughout. and i liked it! (didnt i already say that) the sop and alto (male) duet *melts*

2:02 a.m. - 2007-01-20

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

if i were who i am now a few years ago, how different would things have been? what decisions would i have made? heh, i always reminisce too much - just watched videos of rj chorale in italy, ri gep sec 1-4. singing and singing. need to reserve slightly more of my time for the future.

once again, i'm sleepily sleepy. "obesely morbid" was what i typed, and i also kept wondering what was wrong with microsoft word when it refused to superscript "rd" in "13rd". took me 5? re-tries (i.e. either backspace, retype, or simply Ctrl-Z, space) before i realised what was happening.

and i wish i could investigate all these. psycholinguistics. have i been talking about it too much recently? it's amazing. hahaha. prob cos i see it in action all the time. :)

2:18 a.m. - 2007-01-13

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

it's rather ironic, as i am trying to read abt parsing sentences and garden path sentences, that i see sentences that don't make sense: e.g. "This result means that the derivational theory of complexity does not always obtain." so i backtrack and re-parse but it still doesn't make sense! grrr

psycholinguistics. v fun. :)

3:04 p.m. - 2007-01-11

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

global warming! el nino! whatever!

haha well i don't exactly know how they all work [actually i guess i do] but the whole point is, living here makes me realise hm maybe we ARE indeed screwing up the planet. yest the temp was 13 degreeees throughout the day! (average is expected to oscillate around 5/6 degrees or so for jan, for most years).

nvm, i'll enjoy the warmth and luxury of open windows while i can.

12:42 a.m. - 2007-01-10

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

must rmb tt i had a gd convo with sang today :)

1:25 a.m. - 2007-01-07

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

it's kinda sad how i read abt somalia in the news but i can't really be bothered to find out what exactly is happening yet i'm sure sth needs to be done. only reason why i think this way is bcos of "hotel rwanda" (which was ages ago).

haha i like this:
Corinthus or ??? says:
well i'm not gonna say anymore
Corinthus or ??? says:
u save urself

which was in response to: I sense it. I better buck up for academics, or else. I mean seriously la, itís getting a bit out-of-hand.

8:37 p.m. - 2007-01-03

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

random thoughts:

i wasnt affected by the torrential rain or internet disruption, so in the future when other peers say wah u rmb that time when blah blah blah. erm, no.

i'm quite surprised that i didnt hear about the indian dam project which i'm guessing is equal in scale at least in impact to the three gorge's dam. media influence?

i like trams.

i took a nice warm bath today and it was nice to smell my johnson's baby shampoo! it was to compensate for all the baths i missed in eastern europe / in bath.

10:50 a.m. - 2007-01-02

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

nice way to usher in the new year haha. just going about my normal routines (i.e. staring at the computer screen) and not noticing anyth special abt the day (despite having wished a few ppl happy new year earlier on - sg). lots of fireworks suddenly and then look at the clock, oops, happy new year.

actually new year's day has less significance now than before. it used to be the last day of holiday before reopening of school. makes sense to celebrate it when calendar year is the same as academic year. not any more now!

but it's 2007 all the same and i'm gonna have to get used to it. 2006 passed by quite quickly, i still rmb writing 2005 on things/documents. or probably just cos i havent had the need to write dates in 2006 very much.

12:02 a.m. - 2007-01-01

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

i do realise i have a sudden outburst of entries (and craziness last night) but i must continue to write.

just a final word abt the eastern-europe trip - my favourite place was eger in hungary, liked the not-too-big not-too-small feeling of the place. vienna was great too, definitely want to go back again. also realised that i was already indulging in sensual pleasures on my v first trip, to brussels (which is why i liked the place cos it was, as a put it, a "complete package" in terms of offering sth for all the senses kinda.), but not during italy, when i somehow felt lots of responsibility.

time to sum up this year. it's been a long long year [i've already forgotten how luang prabang and attachment at the vet was just last year, 2005], but i've already summed up once before going back to singapore, so tt makes my job easier :D

in a sentence, basically i was not happy with cambridge up till june, was determined to make it better when i came back, and i more-or-less achieved what i kinda wanted, even if during the actual process i was hesitant at times. things always work this way - when u're done with it, u are glad u did it.

i was basically kept v busy this term it seems, right from the moment i reached gatwick airport, till i came back 2 days ago. there were seriously no actual breaks in between. now tt i finally have nth to do, i hope i can believe in myself for once, to have the self discipline to manage my time. all i rmb of michaelmas is rowing, choir [+ acapella], sleeping, late nights, and late nights not because i really really didnt have the time, but because i just kept pushing the limit backwards, all the way until it was a case of telling the supervisor, sorry, i'm not handing in my work. obviously sth has gone wrong there.

i have actually interacted with brits + singaporeans in non-singaporean-only context more than with singaporeans in singaporeans-only context this entire term, the opposite of what more or less happened last year. i recall this is sth i wanted, but the thing i'm most glad abt the current situation is tt it's natural.

finally, think i might have gained a few friends, mostly girls, as usual.

sometimes when writing these "summaries" i ought to be careful because i tend to believe in what i say, if i've forgotten the actual thoughts/feelings in the past. it might well have been tt i was not happy during the term but now tt i say i was, i believe that i was even if i wasnt at tt moment. or the reverse, i told myself tt i didnt make use of my life sufficiently in RI and i now have an impression tt it's true tt i was not v happy in RI, yet surely when i was actually in RI i was not unhappy. hmm.

11:13 p.m. - 2006-12-29

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

had decent meals today, first time cooking for myself in donkey's years. tomato-egg (always nicer when i eat it the second time, the taste gets in better), and apple-beef. then cream cream of mushroom (added too much cream), but it was still decent (in my opinion). + pears and chocolates and tri-colour fussili and mashed potato. shouldnt lose weight this way :)

funny how i was just feeling happy abt having the entire college to myself yest, and now feeling a bit lonely. i miss the routine of having sth to do once i wake up every day, and the luxury of being allowed to sleep the moment i'm off shift. bcos now, there's no shift or off-shift. i'm on duty all the time, responsible to myself for my studies, i guess. hmmm. maybe i can give myself shifts, tt's it.

while i was working i was thinking abt when it'll end [only towards the end though], when i finished i was happy, yet a day later i want to be working again. cant i just treasure whatever i have at the moment haha.

time is fluid, and we must allot it to containers, else it will flow away too quickly.

i'm, hm, looking forward to the day when i can be at peace within myself, for extended periods of time. what i long for, is acceptance. will i ever get it?

i've been telling myself i'm living to maximise experiences in my life, and i want to record as much of it as possible - and i do, ppl will be surprised at how many things i have records of (apart from normal emails - i delete them the moment i finish reading them), yet sometimes i wonder if i'll ever re-visit those records, esp when they're going to pile up as the years go by [haha i've been digitalising things as well, to save space kinda. but if my hard-disk should crash...] if i were to plough through everyth it's going to take lots of determination.

i'm also looking forward to the next trip to Europe(?) when perhaps i'll figure out how exactly i want to travel. this trip, on the whole, was nice when i look back at it, but as jiahui once put it, i was pmsing at bits during the trip. i want to stop pmsing. it was interesting how i was trying to indulge in certain enjoyable moments like singing while looking at the red christmas tree which i liked v much in levoca [see http://hongking.blogspot.com]. rather strange, but tt's perhaps due to my lack of interactions with ppl - in some ways it was more a 3+1 (instead of a 4-ppl-in-a-grp trip). quite eventful as well of course e.g. loss of passport but then again these things just happen to me so it's not a v big thing.

8:18 p.m. - 2006-12-29

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

i couldnt resist the temptation to start building satay-stick (aka wooden-skewer) marble-tracks for marbles to roll down [v much like roller coaster tracks for roller coasters to run on] since i brought a marble back from the youth hostel.

been building (more like trying the tracks out and fine-tuning) for sth like 2 hours but have only done 2 tracks (each one = a pair of satay sticks), though it's much more creative than the ones i used to build when i was younger.

the first pair opens out slightly into a V such that the marble drops down to the next track (below) when the distance between the pair is equal to or larger than diameter of marble. the marble rolls towards the right on the first pair.

the second track is balanced on a fulcrum and thus allows the marble to go both ways. the marble actually lands slightly to the left of the fulcrum, but depending on initial horizontal velocity, it will eventually cause the track to tip either clockwise or anticlockwise, causing marble to roll right/left respectively.

made me wonder, how do u stabilise something that's not meant to be stable? cos the second track on the fulcrum must be able to move relatively freely [yet not too free cos if it's total free movement then the track will only ever tip anticlockwise], yet i want the movement to be predictable as described above. and considering tt i'm working with the materials i have, tough!

so fun! haha ignore me. i should sleeeep.

2:55 a.m. - 2006-12-29

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

aha. i'm gonna be famous. i'm going to pioneer a medium with which to store smells. probably some textile of some sort which is highly absorbent. muahaha i'm gonna be rich

8:34 p.m. - 2006-12-28

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

at this moment i'm v sad tt i cannot store smells for future reference. yes we can take photos, we can record videos/audio stuff for long-term storage, but can we ever store smells! or tastes! bcos smells can evoke v vivid memories for me - i'm smelling my trousers (bcos i was doing smell checks to determine if they need to be washed) and it instantly reminds me of the staff house i was at in st briavels. makes me feel sad abt all the smells that have come and gone in my life hmmm. and hm taste as well i only rmb i really really liked a pasta sauce at piazza navona but could nvr find it again. but smell is the hardest thing to reproduce.

and hmm what abt the blind ppl out there! poor them! they cant really go sightseeing can they? so sad for them...

i'm going to try to increase my perception of this world/my life through hearing.

8:27 p.m. - 2006-12-28

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

am still alive, just came back from st briavels (it was in england, not in wales after all). bath and st briavels were v different hostels but anw didnt have as much fun as i thought i would [what was i thinking then! haha] - sometimes i feel like a slave working for free, though i must admit i do like cleaning stuff *shrugs*. and yet it is compensated by guests who are appreciative of my efforts / guests whom i can speak to bcos of my language abilities (chinese or japanese), and staff who are nice to you, esp goood old sandy (she's 60 and she's the nicest lady ever ever).

btwn the hostels / on the way back, i also did v quick tours of bristol (a few hours) and cardiff (like literally 20 minutes, cos i was there for coach-transfer) but i'm hoping to return to these cities again. victoria & albert museum (london) is amazing btw.

am pleased with how my december has gone so far.

1:04 a.m. - 2006-12-28

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

previous - next

latest entry

about me

archives

notes

DiaryLand

contact

random entry

other diaries: