so 我们 get high~

It’s been a while since my last blog entry hasn’t it? Title of today’s post is the title of a song from super long ago. Just randomly popped up in my head while I read news about a possible programming module in SG secondary schools curriculum :O

Now that we are settled into uni life, I am starting to feel the transition from high school mode to uni mode. I mean, who wouldn’t realise the importance of independent learning when the lecturers start conducting lessons at twice the speed of what they had in last term? (52 powerpoint slides in 45 minutes is really no joke, for some scale of magnitude.)  I really like the modules for this term, though the sudden increase in new information to learn could get a bit overwhelming at times. And with increased commitments at choir and major event, I find myself sleeping at 1.30 or 2am almost everyday… tiring, though the rigour somewhat resembles my hectic JC life. Brings back memories really.

Thus I am starting to think about what it really means to be a university student. Good thing is I have the freedom of reflecting on this problem without fear of an identity/interest crisis because regardless of what I do for a degree, it would have no direct relation whatsoever to my career. This also means I had chosen my current course totally out of interest.  Sometimes I wonder how I had filtered myself down to my current choice. What would have happened if I chose, say, physics instead? Or psychology? Or law? Or maybe another field in engineering, like aerospace engineering? Now that I’m in an environment that demands more self-control on time management and self-learning, I am getting exposed to the fact that there’re just so many things you can study about; it is thus really up to us to decide what we want to learn and why.

And then the part that students dread the most – exams/assessments. The argument of whether exam marks are an accurate representation of a student’s subject mastery is still ongoing, and probably won’t stop any time in the short term… while I understand exams are by far the best way to ensure a fair and efficient way of assessing a class of students in the same course and exposed to the same class content/teaching styles, I do think formal assessments sometimes reduce education to a race – a far cry from its ideal state of allowing students to learn out of real interest, without fear. What I have been doing all these years is thus to 1) put in 100% effort in everything I do, and leave it as that state; and 2) try to see what enlightens me from everything I learn. My personal opinion is that intellectual rigor involves the knowledge that learning should never, ever be restricted to what is already given to you as course material, and it is up to you to determine how much you want to learn beyond your assignments.

Phew that was quite a bit o words 😛 I more or less lost my GP skills already so please don’t fault me for logical gaps in my arguments >< They are not arguments to begin with, just heartfelt words expressed in very limited vocabulary hahah 😛

Chinese new year will be here in 3 days time! And so began my series of CNY activities in what is my first time celebrating CNY overseas. Decided to take a leap of faith and organise a dinner for coursemates who celebrate CNY as well. (Unfortunately I was unable to invite everyone in time, and I am very sorry indeed to those whom I missed out for this outing 😦 ) Organisational wise it could probably have been better, but in terms of food and atmosphere it was good 🙂 So that was my first time initiating an activity in London! It was fun really 🙂 Totally looking forward to hall gathering and steamboat with old friends now!

1.58am haha I should sleep. Till the next time then! I will try to blog on CNY 🙂

Advertisements

matter | antimatter

One week into the new term and I’ve gotten the rhythm back, which is a good thing 🙂 Especially when putting my autumn and spring term timetables side by side can give me a shock because the spring one seems so much more crammed. This term will definitely be a busier and more tiring term, so I cross my fingers and hope that I can take everything in my own stride.

For many of my friends whom I met in BMT/CLM/AFST, yesterday was a special day for them… it was the moment they rounded up their cadet days and became true blue officers, ready to take on important leadership duties and fulfill their calling in the respective services. Around this time five months ago I was in uniform, clasping onto the very same sword my buddies and comrades proudly paraded with at their commissioning – except that I was standing on the stage, not on the parade square.  The surge of emotions from getting commissioned in a parade is something I will never experience, and for that I had a sense of emptiness deep inside me somewhere, while being happy for my friends who are now fellow officers.

Yet, I know that at the end of the day, it’s the duty we have picked up on our shoulders that matters the most, regardless of whether we were commissioned on the parade square, the stage or even in the air (as what my pilot friends will be). And for us regulars, it’s the duty we have chosen to pick up. It is what keeps me focused on what I am ultimately devoting myself to when I get lost and disenchanted as a student overseas, and one of the many factors that keep the link between me and my home country strong. (And I can’t help but respond to the ‘not proud to be Singaporean’ video that went viral on social media recently – I love Singapore and I am proud to be Singaporean, for reasons that can’t exactly be put into explicable words.)

The out-for-a-walk weekends in London are back! 😀 Today I was at Greenwich with a great friend of mine from JC, mainly to see the Prime Meridian. To be downright honest the slightly more rational side of me was wondering why I paid 5 pounds to see a line on the ground 😛 (According to a staff member it used to be free…) But then again, hey this is the line that divides east and west; the very line that gave rise to so many cultural differences across the eastern and western countries, caused so many problems yet created so many opportunities of collaboration. Being able to set foot across this line was indeed an experience worth the while. 🙂

IMG_2083the must-do pose at the Prime Meridian

The title for this post came from a random discussion I had with my friend. It’s nice to bring myself back to those days when we talked geeky and felt like it’s a perfectly normal part of life; and the topics always came about randomly. (Seriously who in conscious thought would talk about astrology -> memory spans of animals -> whether animals can suffer heart attacks -> matter vs antimatter -> what antiwater would look like?) The in-built curiosity and unabashed attitude in discussing topics of interest… I guess that’s one of my greatest takeaways from HCSMTP 🙂 Which also reminds me that we were wondering why humans are so curious in finding out if there are extraterrestrial life forms, intelligent beings like that live on a parallel universe some millions of light years aways…

Some questions are just unanswered as of now yeah? We are alone in this world… or are we? I do hope that one day, any day, someone would be able to find an answer to that, preferably while the Solar System is still existing HAHA.

IMG_2084on the other side of the world; you are not alone.

waking up to new daylight

Spring term starting tomorrow! So ironic that it’s called spring term and winter hasn’t even come yet LOL.

So these few days in London I was busy getting rid of jet lag, hosting my friends (guest from Edinburgh! :D) and nursing my flu. Right now I still feel light-headed and cold occasionally, and I get sleepy really easily; there were times when I suspected if my IQ went down cos my brain seems to be processing things slower >< Holiday homework is almost complete, now I’m trying to work on perfection. Above all that, I am still quite surprised how quickly the break has passed and how much had happened within it.

Hope I get well soon, and hope the next two terms will be good to me. This term seems tough so I hope I can maintain my standards throughout.

third last day in sg

Found this on facebook. If I want to become a better friend I have better start following the advice here.

Don’t use these 10 phrases in a conversation:

1. “If I were you…”

You might say:

  • “If I were you, I wouldn’t take that job.”
  • “If I were you, I wouldn’t go to that restaurant.”
  • “If I were you, I would be more careful about how I spend my money.”

Doesn’t it annoy you when people say things like that?

If you use this phrase, it makes it seem as if you’re so much smarter and wiser than the other person. No one likes to feel dumb.

2. “I understand how you feel…”

Even if you’ve gone through a similar misfortune or ordeal, you don’t know exactly how the other person feels.

You may have lost a loved one or you may be suffering from the same illness, but the circumstances that the other person is facing aren’t precisely the same as what you’ve experienced.

3. “This is a valuable life lesson…”

This might be true, but it still isn’t a good idea to say this.

When others are experiencing sadness, pain or frustration, they don’t want to be told about all the wonderful life lessons there are to be learned, especially not at the moment of their greatest distress.

4. “I told you so…”

In my opinion, this is one of the most irritating phrases anyone could use.

All of us make mistakes, so don’t let your sense of self-righteousness or pride tempt you into saying “I told you so”.

5. “Here’s how you can solve your problem…”

Like Anne, when we tell others about our problems, we’re not primarily looking for solutions.

Most of the time, we’re looking for someone to empathize with us, to cry with us, and to share our frustrations.

Unless someone specifically asks for your advice, don’t give him or her your two cents’ worth.

And even when people ask for your advice, they’re typically just seeking validation for what they’ve already decided to do. Many times, they’re not actually asking for advice.

6. “Relax…”

It’s natural to say this to someone who has lost his or her temper, but using this phrase makes it seem as though that person had no right to become upset in the first place, which is upsetting in itself.

After all, emotions aren’t right or wrong. Emotions need to be managed, but telling someone to relax almost denies the legitimacy of those emotions.

7. “Calm down…”

Same reasoning as #6.

8. “Can I pick your brain about… ?”

When you say this, it’s as if you just want to make use of the other person and extract as much information as possible from him or her.

This phrase indicates that you aren’t seeing the other person as a person. Instead, you’re seeing him or her merely as a path to take you to where you want to go.

No one likes to feel as if they’re being made use of.

9. “No offense, but…”

What usually follows this phrase is unsolicited negative feedback.

For example:

  • “No offense, but you’re naïve to think that.”
  • “No offense, but that’s a silly way to solve this problem.”
  • “No offense, but this business idea won’t work.”

When we say “No offense, but…” it’s typically because we feel a strong urge to express our opinion, and not so much because we genuinely care about the other person and his or her emotions.

Ironically, when we say “No offense, but…” it’s likely that we’re going to offend the other person.

10. “You don’t have to feel that way…”

Emotions can be deceptive.

You might feel unloved, even though there are plenty of people who care deeply about you.

You might feel fat, even though you’re in shape.

You might feel like a failure, even though you’ve achieved many successes.

Feelings don’t always represent the truth, but we can’t deny their existence. As such, when we tell others that they don’t have to feel a certain way, we invalidate their emotions.

In an indirect way, we’re telling them that their feelings don’t matter.

(Original website: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/blogs/singaporescene/don-t-10-phrases-conversation-030704662.html)

My winter break in Singapore is coming to an end soon. This time I’m returning to London and staying there for a good six months. Seriously too much has changed within these three weeks I spent here.

Now that it’s coming to an end, I know things are going to be different when I return to London. And on top of that, I’ll miss the food and weather.

abandoned forest

Last year, this was a song of sweetness and imaginations of a beautiful future;

This year, this is a song of unfinished promises, letting go and lot of isolation from emotions. Someone tell me why am I doing this?