Archive for November, 2007

And off of a sudden i’m damn bloody scared near to the point of tears (in the middle of preparations for exams, no less) that i’ll go to hell when i die.  Suddenly i don’t feel as secure as i did in the past, that i have my doubts about whether i’ll be one of those who think they made it to heaven but in the end get locked out at the gates.

I don’t live a perfectly pure life.  I dare say only One has.  But i’m still freaking scared, not because i know what lies in hell, but because i know what i’ll be missing in heaven.  And i would have failed to get there, not because i’m not good enough, but because i didn’t really believe.

And i don’t want that to happen to me.

As the last paper draws near for the 7th season of exams that i’m having in NUS i really really really begin to see the wisdom in spacing things out and not doing everything at one shot.

By this i refer to both the procrastinator’s act of pushing things till they finish just in time and the early bird’s attitude of starting early.

But the catch is quite a huge one: when you set an achievable target, you really have to meet it.  Which means, for me, if i say i want to finish this topic on wear and corrosion of materials under service conditions by 5pm, that means no PS2, no Facebook (or even flufffriends), no blogging or blogsurfing, no reading of techie websites or engadget.com or comics until i get it done.  Man.

But it is slightly past 5pm and i have finished my self-assigned quota, which goes to show that i can keep myself from being distracted if i have to.  And now for a well deserved break during which i will do anything i want before it is time to get back to work, and think about all the things that are flying in my mind.  And i will continue to update this post as the thoughts slowly pour into my mind in the course of the night, after a dinner and a shower.

*dinners and showers*

and it’s back to the books, feeling all fresh.  Sometimes i really wonder why i’m studying engineering, granted that i see it’s applicability and usefulness in a lot of industrial areas, but that’s only because i’m being taught to do so.  I could be studying something else that i’d enjoy more, perhaps.  But essentially, we are in school to learn how to learn, much as the Singaporean system is not for that motion.  We are mainly awarded in abilities to absorb and retain immense amounts of information, without having to actually process anything and understand what’s going on.  Regardless, i do intend to make full use of where i am to keep moving on.

I realized i have another pet peeve: the way people draw illogical and irrational relations on OTHER people.  Why does everyone seem to think that just because a professor lecturing one of my modules is my FYP supervisor, therefore i must be able to interpret every email he sends out (granted that his english isn’t perfect, though most can understand it), able to spot what questions he will set for the exam and so on and so forth.  I’m sorry people, the reason “because he your FYP prof mah” is not only grammatically incorrect, it’s illogical too.  Just because i work with him doesn’t mean i have a psychic link with him, and although it may seem funny to the person who cracks it, it wears this after an entire horde of people do it to me on a daily basis for their pure entertainment and for the duration of the entire semester.  Seriously people, grow up.  If i had a psychic link i wouldn’t need to study nor attend lectures or do assignments, would i?

It simply amazes me how people can go through army, through uni, and still be so damn childish.  Stupid or insane i can handle (and i might even surpass you in those areas) but though i’m not exactly the world’s most mature person, i don’t like childishness at another’s expense, be it my own or someone else’s.

Although i have to admit that it’s one of the worst times to fall sick, i can see why people tend to do so during exam season. It’s quite expected when you tax yourself to your limits and go without proper healthy food and exercise for an extended period of time.  Can one expect NOT to fall sick when you expose yourself to such conditions as most of us do, some even forgoing bathing?

And i’ve had thoughts again on a matter that i’ve blogged about before and you can read by clicking here, here and here, but my thoughts are pretty much the same and thus i’m not going to reiterate.

And so much for another long post – the second in two days.  Hope you guys aren’t bored to death with my rantings and thoughts already. Night all, and fyi, this post was done over a period of 8 hours with stops inbetween to study and to sort out thoughts and formulate them into coherent sentences, as random as this post may be 😀

Exam Timetable:
ME4251 28/11 1pm
ME4254 03/12 5pm

Yes that means that the first one is done already.  Actually i wanted to blog more before that but i refrained from doing so, thinking that in exercising restraint i would be disciplined enough to to study for it, but instead i spent time doing other things and playing games 😀 ah well, it’s over and no point brooding over it.  I just thought blogging everything out here would be nice because i haven’t had a chance to express myself in carefully selected words for a long time. 😀

I think what results in all my thinking is sometimes so logical that most people would have been able to think it out in the first place.  But yet it scares me that i sometimes take so long to come up with the same conclusion that other people have already come up with in a flash.  Maybe they’re just more experienced in those matters, as i hope to be eventually in the areas of my interest or other areas that i happen to pursue; yeah come on, let’s face, most of the stuff that we feel that it’s necessary to do we don’t really find interest in them: to most of us it’s more of a means to an end than anything else. 

I also think that’s how sometimes we treat people.  We’re only nice to them because we feel that it’s a necessary characteristic of what we deem to be the ideal condition.  But i realized that if i keep defying what i truly feel, something stirs up within me that begs for a primal form of release before i revert into a primal form.  Two solutions to this problem: number one, i avoid the person, creating a least damage caused situation and two, i tell the person off in the face, which sometimes i feel really would solve the problem (in which case i would do it) but sometimes it doesn’t and so i revert back to option number one.  Kindly note that i execute option number two gently,  and not as harsh as i made it sound above, but if you don’t believe me there’s nothing much i can do.

<rant>

To be honest, i’ve had my fill of emo people, whiners and spoit brats recently.  Don’t even talk about the next generation, my generation is bad enough.  Yes that’s this generation.  What’s with all the whining and demanding that people do what you want and emo-ing your life away.  If you want to solve a problem, then look for a solution.  Oh i dunno, pray, think, experiment, whatever.  I’m not saying you can do everything by your own strength, to which i actually believe the opposite (i.e. we can’t do anything by our own strength), but goodness, God gave us brains and muscles for a reason you know.  If you think, for a pure hypothetical example, you have to learn to be content with what you have, then please, learn to be content with what you have and stop telling people (over 3 years!) continuously that you have to learn to be content with what you have and do absolutely nothing else about the matter at hand.  Kindly note that here i’m referring to conversations with another person and not blogging.  You blog what you want to blog, it’s your personal space and if i don’t like it i’ll buzz off from your blog.  Any of you out there can do the same with mine and i won’t whine about you people not reading my blog.

I just don’t understand how such brains are wired.  And i know it’s not just me because other people are agreeing with me on many counts of many people.  For the record, i don’t hate such people; i just don’t want to be around them when it happens that they go all emo.  Yeah fine you’re my friend and all that, but that doesn’t mean i have to do what you tell me to, especially not when you demand it from me and it’s not in my capacity to do so.

</rant>

That being said, i’m happy about how the week has progressed and how everything’s been moving so far.  I picked up this quote from i can’t remember where and it said

I can summarize all that life has taught me in three words: It goes on.”

And doods and doodettes out there, this is so true.  Of course if you end your life it won’t go on, but then again that’s a lesson from death not from life, so it’s not applicable anyway.

I think life is great.  Life deals you troubles, woes, sadness, but it’s still great.  You wanna know why? Because after all that fades, what’s left?  I have something to look forward to at the end of each day, and it’s more than one thing.  I have met starving people, fat people, rich people, poor people, sick people, well people, and from each class of people i known at least a few who are happy.  Unfortunately i know a lot of people who also think that they are among the bottom and no one can convince them otherwise.  Heads up people, false modesty is not humility and it is disgusting.  Especially when you’re trying to elicit compliments from people.  So stop it.

And i was showering the other day and it kinda struck me.  (maybe one day i’ll think about why people always come up with thoughts in the shower.  Is it because there’s nothing that requires mental effort there and one is compelled to think about something to keep the brain active?  Or alternatively the brain digs up something for you to think about that you never really did?)  I’ll be leaving Raffles Hall in less than a year.  Yeah, how duh can that be.  But the full impact of it is…

1) I’ll be leaving people/person behind
2) I’ll be leaving handball behind
3) I’ll be leaving much of my performances behind
4) I’ll be leaving where i stayed and grew into behind

…and many many more.  Don’t get me wrong, i don’t belong to the hall, and i’m not so ingrained that i can’t live without such a life.  But it takes something like that to realize that a huge chunk of my life really is part of hall, if for no other reason that i live here and i would have lived here for a good three years by the time i leave.  I don’t think many people who leave hall realize this until they leave it and maybe one day they’ll come back from work and think hey i’ve got dance practice….oh wait i’m not in hall anymore, what should i do then? and then it’ll hit them.  Either that or they’re all too busy to realize what’s going on 😀

Busy-ness.  It’s well known that when you’re busy your priorities will start to show.  It’s like when you’re hard on money you only spend on things that really matter to you (be they necessary or not).  And when time is short you spend it with things or people that matter to you.  That being said, i’m sorry to many of my friends that i really haven’t had the time to talk or catch up with you in recent weeks/months.  In a way i guess i wish i hadn’t made myself so busy, but i only have myself to blame for choosing the path i do, and i’ll take it with no regrets 😀 well at least i know some of you guys still exist, all the way from sec school days and some of you have been the bestest friends out there all the way through army and even now when i’m the only one in Singapore. 😀  Others who don’t fall into that category, you also know who you are.

And just so that the record shows that i’m a normal guy, i’m also thankful that being busy has given me an excuse NOT to talk to a bunch of you. 😀  Let’s face it, there are people i’d rather not come into contact with, not only because you’re annoying, but also that you treat me in a way i really detest to be treated in.  I don’t understand how or why you treat me that way (maybe you treat everyone that way i don’t know and i don’t wish to hang around long enough to find out), but i’m glad i have yet another excuse to avoid such treatment.   Not that i used to need any, i’d just walk away at the first given opportunity.

And i’m thankful for the people that i’ve been able to keep in contact with even though i’m busy.  One who is usually always around me (of course), and the others who bother to msg me and ask me how i’m doing, like a bunch of brothers and sisters.  Four years of friendship really shows up now, and i know there are people i’d rather not have lost, but i’m quite sure there are people whom i’ve forgotten, as well as those who have forgotten me.  I guess friends fade (unintentionally and regrettably sometimes) but we all have to deal with people coming in and out of our lives at one point of time.  At least.

And as a final thought, i still think people should watch their words more than we care to.  So many times a hurtful thing has been said, even from me, and we don’t stop to consider that perhaps something we said really hurt and he/she might just be crying into his/her pillow at night at what we said for lack of a better outlet of sadness.

There is never a reason to be unkind”

And i still hold that there would never be.

Sorry for the long post folks.  I’d like to say a great deal more things here, but i think it’s long enough and it’s been a long day with formulating bits and pieces of this post over the course of almost 10 hours.  If not for the fact that my hand still aches from all the writing today, i’d go back to my work, but as it is i think i should get myself a break sometime soon, so that’s all for now folks.

Sleep well, drink more water, and don’t forget to tip the ushers!

Study Week.

And so i’m up in the morning, possibly one of the earliest i’ve woken up this entire semester, thanks to my timetable which doesn’t have any classes before 10.

It’s been four years in NUS (three and a half, to be exact) and i still think it’s scary that people would literally camp in school during the reading week, with their sleeping bags and boxes of instant food and a fortress constructed out of their textbooks and notes.  I also remember my first sem in hall where a particular final year and i went to macs for supper during the reading week and he ran past the whole stretch of benches at LT6 shouting “CHAO MUGGERRRSSSSSS!!!!” and subsequently caused me to run the rest of the way to macs with him lest we got beaten up by them.  Thinking back, i don’t think they would have; they would have probably been proud of that title 😀

Still, i think it’s freaky that people pull off stunts like 24-7 mugging sessions.  Although i can understand the usefulness of drilling and practicing, but what i never really understood was why people actually MUG instead of study.  It’s hard to explain the differences between the two, but a good estimate would be that “mugging” would be intense studying with the primary purpose of getting the exams over and done with, whereas studying is with the intention to simply learn and gain knowledge.  No doubt this isn’t a very comprehensive explanation, but i can’t really find the words for it.

Makes me wonder why NUS is considered a world-class university; is it simply based on results? If so, i can’t argue with that, but i dare say that the majority of the students here might have just entered the workforce with very little learning skills, and can mainly piah everything last minute and not manage to screw up.

I’m also a little sick of the talk that people make about “how your CAP is so high, no need to study already la”.  Go do the math: to maintain a 4.0 CAP, for example, you need an average in this semester of…that’s right, 4.0. Is that any easier than having a 3.5 currently and aiming for a 4.0 this sem? i’m afraid not.  Besides, as mentioned earlier, i don’t believe in studying for the grades – i study because i want to attain knowledge, and to learn how to learn.

That being said, the system here doesn’t really facilitate the “learn to learn” process.  As such, there are quite a few people i know whose grades aren’t fantastic, but i’m sure they will rise fast once they work, because under employment you have to learn, not just stagnate in your job.  I don’t deny that there are also people who learn to learn and they get good grades for it, but that’s not my point here.

“The only thing in the way of knowledge is education”
– Albert Einstein

Next

And today marks the end of one module.  I’ve made the final submission for the assignment, even though i feel that it could have been better, but i didn’t know how else to improve it and the details of what i wanted to do were too much of a headache for me to handle now, especially with the rest of the work that i need to get back on track with.

I’ve got two modules left, and FYP, the latter being very much more of a worry, and the former more of a pain in the ass.  I could very well be continuing my FYP into a Master’s Degree, provided i get it, and that’s a little freaky; as if seeing my own name put on a publication sent to a journal that will eventually put it up on its archives wasn’t scary enough.  It felt totally weird, trust me on that, and i don’t think i’ll ever get used to it.  There’s been many hiccups to the whole thing along the way but i’m really really really grateful that the PhD student i work with has the mindset that we’re all in this to learn how to learn, and so each step which is commonly misconstrued as a mistake/accident is interpreted by him (and subsequently by my professor) as a chance to learn something new.  This is the kind of education that i’ve always thought of as the ideal, to teach someone how to learn, but yet when i’m in it i still feel apprehensive; it’s as if a lot depends on the person, and knowing my own lazy self, i fear for my own future 😀 This especially so with the upcoming presentation and official progress report that will be done during the holidays and will take place/be due in the second week of the new semester.

But before that come two more exams.  I’m not too thrilled about them, as mentioned in my previous post and i don’t think it will get any better as the days go by.

I know things always sound very gloomy when i’m thinking, but it’s hard to be crazily happy and yet realistically logical at the same time (and if i’m not wrong, the functions for those are situated on different hemispheres of the brain, so technically it’s not very probable that i’m able to do it).  I’m grateful for the people and person around me, and for my family for understanding and giving support, to push me harder when i need to be pushed and to make me smile when i needed cheering up.  These are the people that i will remember, and for those of you who persistently get on my nerves and play your “i don’t give a shit about anything else but my own personal entertainment and well-being” attitude about me, i may not say anything to you in the face, but i think i will very much try to forget that bunch of you.

I want my memories to be happy ones, that i might live happily.

And so it’s back to notes and papers and pens…

…i told you you’d be hearing from me before the exam ends 😀

Yes, it’s the season of exams again.  Despite having only two exams this semester i’m actually more stressed than i have been any other semester, mainly because a lot of things hang on this semester’s results and i realized not too long ago that i was taking classes with people from the Dean’s List (i.e. the top 5% of my cohort).   Granted that in the end i still believe that i should just do my best and not worry about all these things, but still i can’t help but feel a little stressed when i look at that. 

No doubt this will be a tough time, as it is every semester.  I know i will face comments from people who are obnoxious, saying things like people like me don’t need to study.  I know there will be people who will bombard me with questions and demand an answer and then tell me i’m wrong and demand that i find the correct one.  I know there will also be people who will whine unreasonably and expect me to do something about their revision.  How do i know this?  Because it has been happening every semester.

Let me issue a request on behalf of everyone having exams.  Be nice to each other.  You may be stressed, but it’s likely you’re not the most stressed, and the next guy is just as stressed as you.  There is never a reason to be unkind.  Make things easier for everyone around you ya?  And the world will be a more pleasant place.

I was going to say you won’t be hearing from iThink till after my papers, but given my previous patterns i’m not too sure about that 😀  so i’ll see you all when i see you all again, and in case i don’t, good afternoon, good evening and good night.

One paper on the 28th, then one more on the 3rd.

And then it’s back to FYP

(P.S. Fudgie, if you’re reading this, i really liked the sunscreen post :D)

Updated!

And so, the day is effectively over and the night begins.  I had a good swim, and a good catching up.

That aside, for those of you who don’t really know, Windows Live Messenger has a newer version available and it appears to be more stable, especially in NUS networks.  At least compared to the older one which signs most of us out every few minutes, this one has actually been stable for the bulk of the day.  There’re also a host of new programs that come with it, so do have a look and see if you want to update your stuff. 😀

Measurement (+Update)

I just happened to notice that recently, whenever i ask someone “how’s your day” the answer will come back in terms of productivity, usually in academic terms. Although i’m not too surprised that this happens, considering that it’s nearing the exam period, but when i brought this up with NiHL, we both think it’s rather sad.

Whatever happened to seeing how the day was in terms of what we have learnt instead of what we had done? Or the people we met? Or the thoughts we had and issues or problems in our lives that we worked out? When did it become that the measure of a day’s worth turned to how much we had academically done, much of which would not matter in a few months’ time? (C’mon, honestly, how many of you actually remember what you studied beyond the exams? If you’re one of those who do then good on you, but i’d wager not many would claim that.) When did the yardstick turn to something so small in the big scheme of things? It’s just sad

It got me thinking of a whole lot of other things, which distracted me very much my school related work, and much of it is sadder still. All the common measures that the world use, which too often we try to conform to, as sad as they may be.
The measure of a child is how well he is in taking instructions, whether the instructions be morally right or wrong. Whatever happened to ethics?

The measure of a husband is how well he can provide for his family materially. Whatever happened to security?

The measure of a wife is how pretty she can dress up and how well she cleans the house, or in certain cases, how well she gets the maid to do it. Whatever happened to a loving home instead of a house?

The measure of a pastor is how entertaining his sermon is. Whatever happened to the Bible?

The measure of a church/ministry/CG is how big it is. Whatever happened to the Holy Spirit?

The measure of a student is how well he/she regugitates the information fed to him/her in school. Whatever happened to understanding?

The measure of a teacher (in any level) is how many students under him/her get As. Whatever happened to grooming lives for the world?

The measure of a man is how much he earns, how well he looks, how talented he is, how many cars he drives (or which car he drives), what he is well versed in, how much he has tanglibly accomplished to the world, how well known he is, how big is job is.

Whatever happened to real men who stood in the face of danger, unbudging from the truth (and there is absolute truth), prepared to lay down their lives for the true cause.

Without coincidence, this was in the devotional for yesterday.

“There is only one living model for being human. That model is Jesus.”

Measure that.

Ok with all the deep thoughts aside, things have been pretty hectic here, but aside from a erratic stomach, a piercing pain in the back of my head, the fact that i can’t get good sleep these days and the Theory of Negative Necessity working in full swing, i’m pretty much alive and kicking. 😀

And i couldn’t concentrate in lecture today because it was on biomaterials and my lecturer kept using terms like “host body” and “bonding” and “genetics”, making me feel like i was reviewing a symbiote and i kept thinking of Venom and Carnage and wishing i was Spider-Man.

I’m sure a lot of you have noticed that at times when there is an absolute need to do something, you have the sudden urge to do something else which is usually less critical and less important that the first one.  And often the more critical the first matter is, the stronger the urge the second one will be.  I hereby dub this the Theory of Negative Necessity, in which it states that under a range of conditions, there is a postive and proportional correlation between what needs to be done and how strong the urge to do something unnecessary is.  This theorem is limited primarily because out of a certain range of necessity, the urge does not apply significantly, and will follow an inverse correlation.  For example, if there is very little urgency in the necessity, the urge to do something else is not as strong, and similarly if the urgency exceeds a critical value, there is a decreasing amount of urge to do the other unnecessary activities with increasing urgency of the first.  However, within the limited range (which differs from person to person) when there is a mild urgency to do something, there will also be an urge to do something else, and as long as the urgency doesn’t exceed the critical value (also dependant on individual), the urge to do the unnecessary will increase proportionately with the urgency, untill the critical urgency value is reached.

Case Study: I have two tests and a submission next week and all i can think of is Final Fantasy X (which i have played, but wish to play again), handball, movies and other assorted means of entertainment.

Prime example no?

😀

I think one can tell when one truly loves when you stop loving in spite of something, but because of that same something.