Tuesday, April 8, 2008


tes test


testing 123

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A coincidence

...and what a coincidence. Ten years ago today The Boy Who Lived received his first owl mail.

My head is not exactly in this world as is apparent.

Magical towns

CORS bidding has begun and i sure miss participating in it. the delight of seeing modules you want to read allocated to you, the first lectures and the smell and feel of new books...classroom learning may later heighten to much intellectual challenge or dwindle to a bore, but one thing is sure, the excitement of starting a new semester never fails to meet those of 11-year-olds who receive owl mails, who trot through Diagon Alley wide-eyed carrying parchments with a list of classroom paraphernalia. A new semester is dawning and i will miss it all, though i am sure that in its place lies a journey still akin to walking down a magical town, albeit of a different kind.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Note: Deathly Hallows

Done at 11:55pm 24 july 2007. My thanks to Rowling for filling a good six years of my life with the warmth of Hogwarts, Hogsmeade (in particular The Three Broomsticks and butterbeer), and for keeping the child in me alive. And for doing this to all readers around the world! My words are an understatement.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

22 july

it's 8:30pm, it's raining heavily, picked up J after QMall. Deathly Hallows was out yesterday. Extraordinary price at Tesco. Muggle bookstores were enraged. Wizards must be amused.

Took last look at S'pore on Thurs night. Realised that I'll miss it. Realised that it's become my second home.

Simply happy.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Comments on AY06/07 Sem 2 papers

(this entry to be reflected and laughed upon 1 - INFINITY years down the road)

The paper is an impossibility. A lot of blanks left. The few answers you have, you are uncertain of them. You feel like retaking it. But you have got to fail to retake it. You worry.

The paper is do-able. You can do everything. You did your best. Very possibly, everyone did their best, and many find it easy. The bell curve will be distorted. Your effort will worth little. You worry.

The paper is your best bet. You know you can do it. But the clock keeps ticking. You have written a lot. There is plenty more to write. Your hand aches. You keep writing. You have the answers but not the time. You keep writing. The invigilator announces the time is up. Any person found writing will be deemed cheating. You watch helplessly as the paper you know you can do but is half done, collected and stacked and will be examined. You worry.


But as TYJ's counselor said (perhaps I should really get a counselor of my own too, since I'm already paying the fees, might as well), look forward. But just before I do that, here's a shot of the mock BTC paper I looked through this afternoon. Got me in stitches. What amused me is that it started off as a rather unsophisticated speech, but later evolved into something completely different. Just imagine the faces of the audience, who happen to be quite important people.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I am not a thing

I imagine if had graduated now and in search for a job, I would probably do terribly at it. Not because of my limited working experience, not even because of trailing bad luck that punctures the tyres of every bus that I travel in on the way to my interviews. No, I would do terribly very first and foremost because I find resume writing a stressful, rigid, cold, emotionless, insurmountable task.

Resume writing to me is as stressful as shopping is to men, as poisonous as peanut butter is to anaphylaxics. It kills me to have to write in self-applauding words that advertise myself, not unlike some Nokia commercial - "I have something in my pocket. It is not one thing. It is many." I am one person of countless skills and ability [cough, cough]. No one (other phone) matches me. I am special (incorporates the latest wireless entertainment technology). I, and only I, befits the position (the only phone you need). How bashful, how pretentious, how impassive! One thinks about this affair happening everyday (in the real, people world, for goodness sake) in such unfeeling manner and it shouldn't be too difficult to conjure up an image of commercial goods in stylish coats/dresses, leather shoes and briefcases, complete with perfume and makeup, strutting in and out of interviews, carrying nicely printed - and most certainly expensive - advertising brochures of themselves, perhaps even an ISO certified sticker. Excuse me while I rush over to the washbasin and puke.

I cannot for the life of me comprehend this need for crowing, albeit only on paper. Yes, it is a competitive world. Yes, to succeed we must have an edge over others. Yes, the first page of a resume must be impressive enough to entice the reader who probably has hundreds other resumes on her desk. But do we have to go over the top with this? Lately I have had to submit a CV. After two stressful days I finally came up with one, together with a personal statement, written in the only way I know how. A well-meaning friend*, having read through it, said "I think you are wasting words with your first paragraph" (I was talking about an influential person in my life) "Maybe you should mention all your IT skills instead."

Well, come on. I've only been introduced to programming two years ago, Mozart was a child prodigy at four years old, still it took 13 years before he produced world-class music. Two years of very small scale programming and I am entitled to holler about it? And well, perhaps, perhaps prospective employers would agree with my friend on the first paragraph, but it was after all a personal statement, and that was an introduction to who I am. And I am a person. Not a Sony Vaio TX Series notebook. Employers who seek to employ laptops should turn their heads to Sim Lim Square instead.

I see no need for excessive self-praise. Unless one has truly earned the boasting rights, exaggerated self description is not only pompous, but also bogus. Yet somehow, it seems that such grandeur is expected in a resume. And it is pretty sad, because each one of us is special and different in our own ways. Now, instead of expressing the person that he is, the individual is forcefully reduced to unfeeling, advertising words on paper - words akin to describing lifeless commercial goods.

Well luckily for me the cultural setting where I was sending my CV to favours modesty. I wonder if this is the case in a highly competitive place like Singapore. Probably I will find out after graduation...I would know that I've become a Samsung D900, if I ever start to puke all over my documents.

*no offense intended, this friend was very well-meaning and supportive. We were all "victims" to this employment hoo-hah.

Monday, April 16, 2007

By My Side

I am not one to share my innermost feelings with just about anyone. Simply put, I am not like others who can so comfortably publish their anger, sadness, frustrations, or even the highest of feelings - joy, excitement, extreme happiness. I am talking about heartfelt feelings, those implanted in the depths of one's soul, whose roots are deep. Those which linger long after the triggers wear off. Those, I am not very good at talking about. I attribute that to my shyness.

I suppose the reason I am typing this is because an online diary allows one to convey one's feelings without the need for physical expressions, expressions that sometimes are not precise representations of the emotions enclaved in the heart - especially when one is brought up in the typical Asian culture. How many times have you played down your fears, sorrows, grief when you talk about them? Someone says matter-of-factly "my father passed away" and you respond sympathetically with "i'm so sorry" but neither actions and words really convey the true sentiments of both persons - one who could be very devastated with the loss of a loved one, the other absolutely helpless and empathetic.

I went to bed at 8:50 last night. After only two hours of rest the night before (or rather, in the wee hours of the morning) and after a long day spent on OS assignment, I was ready for a good slumber. This night I had a bizarre dream, which would wake me up at 5:30 and in the still and darkness of a young day, fill me with agonizing sadness and yet, with overwhelming gratitude.

I dreamt of people I haven't seen in person for a while. It was a long saga, but as far as I can remember, the faces appeared after my zipper was stolen. Someone stole my zipper, and that zipper could stick to the celling. This somehow left me panicked, and I suppose for a very good reason, because someone began shooting at me from the celling through the opening of the zipper. Bizarre dreams can be.

I was afraid, but was even more frightened at the thought of my mom and grandma getting in the way of the bullets, so I stood right in front of the gunman, tried to shoot back, and called to my mom to get grandma and herself out of the room. After a while, I was out on the road. The backdrop throughout the dream was white and gray. Mom and grandma had safely left in a car. I was still being hunted. Then my aunt came by, adamantly wanted to stay with me, despite furious efforts of asking her to leave. My other aunt tried persuading her too, she wouldn't listen. I was exasperated by her stubbornness.

Suddenly I was in a cell, shielded with bulletproof glass. Something happened here which I don't remember. Someone defeated the gunman. Then my former classmates came to me, concerned. These were faces I haven't seen for a long time - people whom I rarely even talked to. I went to the glass door. As I opened it I saw, at the corner of the room, my yet other aunt in light green baju kurung, and sitting right behind her, his back against hers, was my grandfather. He was wearing a blue shirt. Tears flowed. I vividly remember thinking that it has been three years. I hastened towards grandpa, then wrapped my arms around him. Tightly. The tears were endless. Called out to him repeated. It has been three years since I saw you.

My arms on his back. The feel of his flesh. It was so real. I remember feeling so thankful. To be able to see him, to hold him. But it had to end there, and suddenly I find myself under the sheets looking out the window at the pitch black sky. It took about a second to realise what happened. Then slight happiness dawned at such a surreal experience. That immediately was followed by a deep pang of sadness, knowing that I could never again deliver the hug in this world that I live in.

I told my mother about the dream an hour ago. As usual, you down play your emotions when it comes to these things. You try not to choke in front of your mother, not even on webcam on Skype.

She told me it was the last night of Cheng Beng.

I am scientific, logical, realistic. But I do believe there are some things which are inexplicable, some things which happen when they mean to, for a reason. I believe he was telling me that he is here, by my side. And that is motivation enough for me to work hard for next week and beyond.

Thursday, April 5, 2007


Am happy. Finally satisfied with the effort I put in for a reaction paper. It wasn't that hard; now, why did it feel so in the past? Am so gay at three. Witching hour hohohoho...