Monthly Archives: November 2005

Día de las Madres

It’s been a long time coming, this letter of mine. It was mind-numbing work and some tears were shed, yet it’s been strangely cathartic and calming now that it’s all out in the open.

All that’s left to be done is getting it delivered and making sure my near-illegible handwriting is understood.


Protected: The sound of an angry kid

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Yesterday once more

Hi all,

Thanks to all who came, cooked and voted on Wednesday – we hope you had fun! Following our elections and (polite-and-constuctive) General Feedback Session, we are pleased to announce the new Singsoc Committee 05-06:

President – Ailin Chin
Vice-president – Louis Tan
Secretary – Pepper Lee
Treasurer – Wee Zi Tan
Welfare Rep – Lin Kuek
Web-mistress – Chen Cuifen

Congrats to the new team and may the year ahead be a good one!

Signing off,

Emily, Jason, Ailin & Jia Min

Singsoc Com 04-05

-anal comment- Why’s Cuifen’s surname the only one listed as a first name? It reeks of inconsistency!

Anyway. So I got the post I was aiming for. Not too difficult, actually, considering that nobody really contested. Still, well. I guess it’s back to vaguely-councillish work. Should be a lot lighter than council was (considering the size of the Singaporean community here), though at the same time I’m interested in actually finding out just what exactly can be done as a formal university club, and taking a more active role in the whole thing than I had in VJ council (admittedly, Locker IC wasn’t the most happening of jobs).

(Like I’m convinced that there are untapped ways of sponging off university funding for our own benefit. That is to say, to draw on the goodwill of the university to provide enriching experiences for our members. Ah, semantics.)

It’s kind of funny how I ended up running for Singsoc comm. After council I was so sure I wasn’t going to go for anything like this ever again. It can be fun, yeah, but it’s also really draining at the same time, and that slacker part of me had decided that enough was enough.

Besides, I wasn’t really planning on getting very involved in Singsoc, when coming to study in the UK was such a great opportunity to experience interesting new cultures, ditch the boring ol’ and all that jazz.

Then I ended up mixing with the boring (comfortable) ol’ anyway, and later figured that it’s not actually very taxing to do stuff for people you get along with, and it could actually be pretty fun.

So what do you know, here I am again. I’m having little flashes in my mind telling me it’s all a terrible mistake, but. Well.

Here goes, then.

The PowerBook rebels

White screen. I suspect an internal cable broke somewhere, or the grapics card fried somehow.

No more in-room computer access for a few days.


Unos, dos, tres

Having just finished my fourth Spanish class, I’m now wondering why on earth I’d decided to take up a third language.

It wasn’t really out of interest – I’ve never really been big on learning languages. It’s not really a practical skill for my line either, I think. I guess it’s just one of those ‘try something new!’ things. Sadly, it seems that not everything new is instantly enjoyable. I’m currently struggling with the language, especially in listening, and being really confused a lot of the time.

The main thing keeping me in is that I’ve already paid for the course, so the opportunity cost of continuing isn’t particularly high. I suppose that given time, I might actually grow to enjoy learning the language, or at least just get better at it.

And so the torture continues.

Cosmic coincidences

It’s the first night of proper rest I’ve had for awhile now, and the first morning I’m waking so incredibly refreshed. It’s been an amazingly eventful period here in York, despite it being a small boring city in the middle of nowhere… or perhaps because of that, the human drama here is so much more intense. These acts are absolutely fascinating to observe, but also absolutely nerve-wrecking at times when you’re playing one of the roles.

Pretty much like an actual drama production, don’t you think?

One of my main issues with my religion was how, well, I never seemed to see any sign of it in my own life. The devout Christians always seemed so sure of seeing the evidence of God’s hand in their lives, whereas what I saw consisted more of… coincidences.

Did something happen as you’d wanted? Praise the Lord! Did something happen which made you really, really sad? The Lord works in mysterious ways/He’s testing you/Praise the Lord! In this cosmic game of chance, God never loses.

Watching while a similarly confused friend went through a whole chain of seemingly random coincidences prodding her toward certain actions and resolutions, however, has made me stop to wonder. Surely the cosmic game of chance can’t be quite as coincidental as that, can it? I stopped and thought even harder after finding out that I was in fact one of the many prodding factors in the whole chain of events.

Well, I’ve encountered my own chain of random coincidences recently, with very happy results, but once more, I doubt. Is there any meaning to it all? While I’d very much like to believe that God’s will is in all this, isn’t it a bit pompous to assume that He’s actually bothering himself with small details like this?

I don’t know, and I wonder when I ever will.

Protected: The sound of drama in motion

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Another one bites the dust

I’d actually been stalking a couple of teachers’ blogs since, well, some time when I got more free during NS. It’s a nice way to vicariously experience some of the thrills/spills involved in teaching, as well as a good laugh in general.

Funnily enough, when I’d went back to relief in VJ, I actually had the chance to meet one of the Stalked Ones, one whom I quite respected actually, the owner of Tym Blogs Too!. Turns out that she’s a GP tutor there, so I’d originally had this cranky plan to just pop by her desk one day and unnerve her a little.

I later figured that going up to a stranger to say “Hi! I read your blog!” was a really weird thing to do, however, so I never did talk to her in person.

Fast-forward to today, when I’m 6755 miles away from home, and I find out that Tym is quitting. I wasn’t particularly surprised, but it does feel rather sobering. It just feels kind of depressing to see someone leave The Profession, particularly someone I feel to be so capable and dedicated. From what I’ve read, anyway.

It makes me wonder about myself, a decade down the road, where I’ll be headed in life, if I’ll have found my Purpose, if I’ll be disillusioned and burnt out, if I’ll be some faceless bureaucrat somewhere in the Big Machine, or something else altogether.

I’m still optimistic about things, but I recognise that so many people before me had started out the same and emerged drained and defeated. I’m not even the best of the lot in any way conceivable, so what makes me think I’ll emerge all victorious and happy from my crusade to Improve the System?

I suppose that’s another issue for another day, though.

So, to Ms B-C YM, the colleague I’d never met, here’s all the best to your future. I’ve no idea if you’ll ever read this, but I suppose it’s possible, thanks to the magic that is technorati.


There are some moments in life when you feel a certain sense of contentment, a certain sense of bliss, and you feel that you can just die, right there and then.

That’s until you get home and realise you’ve got an early lesson to wake up to the next day.


To keep themselves warm, the hedgehogs huddled together causing them to be pricked by each others’ spines, thus making them keep a distance from each other. As the night wore on, they huddled and separated until finally they found a common, bearable distance from both their spines and the cold.
-Arthur Schopenhauer, Parerga and Paralipomena

I was just musing about the hedgehog’s dilemma earlier and trying to procrastinate (as usual) so I did a little googling on the topic, and wow. It’s older than I’d thought, this analogy. Way older.

On a totally unrelated note, the blue ball machine is pretty amusing. It gets irritating quite quickly (especially with that music), but I found it quite fascinating for a little while.

As yet another aside, I found the issue of white elephant t-shirts to be really funny. Cute. I support these girls! (hmm they’re geppers aren’t they?) I’ll go email them and ask about ordering a t-shirt. It’ll be really funny to have one.