s w i r l * h e r e
before my head really hurts.
Friday, January 30, 2004
Outrage!

And here it is, your daily feed of bad news

This has left me speechless. Is there still hope in them?

posted at 6:22 PM by sze

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Tuesday, January 27, 2004
I am now dangerously tipping towards "Yes"

Yup, this is about the EHOC programme head thingy. Argh. Stupid Janus. The more I talk to him, the more I can see the possibility of me taking up the post with good people assisting me. The more I think about it, I realise that apart from giving up working for the one month, I can still go to Kuching and take our trip to KL/Genting/wherever that we were planning to go AND bum in Ipoh.

And *psst* the bonus thing is that if I do take it up, I wouldn't have to worry about moving out for 4th year. No doubt moving out was something I'd wanted to do because I dont' want to do any more activities next AY, but then moving out would involve a lot of additional costs. The thought that by sacrificing this 1.5 months or so, I'd be able to move back in for 4th year is the great drawing factor.

BUT - I feel bad about not being able to spend as much time at home as I want to. I miss driving Ernie to school ( ok so that would get boring after about 3 days ) and I miss my sofa back home. Never mind that I was ranting how I didn't like Ipoh - I love my home! I could gladly just be at home all day and only go out with my mom !

Plus I know that someone else who has very differing ideals wants the post as well. I could give it up but Janus doesn't want that to happen. Grar.

And ok, this may sound very 'dependant' but if Justin is not doing EHOC, it'd make my decision to take up the post harder as well. I know even if we both don't do EHOC, it's not like we'd be together for the entire 3 months - we'd probably be just spending like 2 weeks together and that's about it. But I'd much rather have him around during that period of time. And Justin's not that keen about doing EHOC. And he is not the kind of person who can be persuaded into doing things.

I've asked myself endlessly - HOW?!?!?!?!

And OSA wants the points entry to be done by 24th February - i.e. the entire EHOC has to be up before that, i.e. I'd have to make a decision by this month the latest. I am at a loss. Totally.

posted at 11:32 PM by sze

::::

And it's back to the daily grind again...

Yup. Reached hall at about 8am, grabbed 2 paus from dining hall for breakfast and sat down to finish Wide Sargasso Sea. Went for the absolutely boring Chinese lecture at 10am, had a nice solitary lunch of Indian rice at the Arts canteen with The Mill On the Floss before going off for the US Media lecture. At night, it was piecing again.

School. Work. Dance. That constitutes my life now.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Janus came to talk to Justin and I last night about joining EHOC 04/05. Having already decided that I'd want to work and travel with Justin this holidays, we turned him down immediately. But apparently Janus wanted me as programme head, saying that I was his first choice.

While it is extremely flattering to know that I was someone's first choice for a position like this, I knew there was no way out for me except to turn it down. My EHOC 03/04 experience was fabulous - I learnt a lot of things but as I've already decided within myself last semester that I'd not do EHOC again and instead have a nice leisurely 3 month holiday, the answer is inevitably a no. Family time cannot be equalled to the high I got during EHOC.

Of course, there are other factors making me say no to Janus - we all know of others who want the position and for me to take it up, it would cause quite a few awkward relationships for me from then on. That's not what I want from hall. PLUS, I am not a leader. Others may think that I am but I know myself too well - I am very much a worker. The reason why Janus and the rest of them thought I was the best person for the job was probably because they saw that I did a relatively good job as administrator, taking burden off their shoulders then. But being head is very very different from being an administrator. I hate making decisions which would affect 243 ( believe it or not, I still have that number imprinted in my head ) freshmen and 16 EHOC programmers.

To a certain extent, I WAS tempted to do it with Jerraine as a team. But not anymore. IF orientation really doesn't turn out that well, then, I'll just come back to hall a little later to prevent myself from thinking all those 'what-had-beens'.

And I can start planning out where we are going to move out to during 4th year :)

posted at 1:35 AM by sze

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Saturday, January 24, 2004
I'll never go clubbing in Ipoh again

Forgot to mention this in the last post. Let me recount what happened at Y2K last night that made me arrive to this conclusion. Prior to this outing, I've only been clubbing once at Discovery, a club that no longer exists.

#1 The deejay SUCKS. Okay I might be biased cos I don't like techno music. But which deejay puts on a slow sentimental Mandarin ballad when he needs to go to the loo right after he plays a fast techno number?

#2 When the Mandarin ballad is being played, the club becomes a karaoke session and it's like you are in the midst of a Kelly Chen concert.

#3 Everyone at every table is just shuffling his feet, swaying a little while munching on kuaci. And talking.

#4 Little girls who are probably only about 15 and are about my brother's height are dressed in skimpy barely-there tops while literally swinging their heads from side to side, probably pissed drunk.

#5 Horrible toilets with dirty puddles of water all over the place.

Plus I probably went on a wrong night - the deejay stopped halfway to ask us to watch the lion dance and 24 drum performance outside the club. Needless to say, he was boo-ed endlessly with chants of "Miu-sik, miu-sik!"

And the list goes on. Grar.

posted at 11:54 PM by sze

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It's official : I am sick of Ipoh-Jusco.

I went for dinner with 21 other people last night - food wasn't that great but it was fun! Wished Siew Yee and Jen-son were there as well! I didn't know everyone there but I was seated at the same table as Kevin and Alvin and Mun Yip and Joseph - so it wasn't too bad :) The after-session at Live! cafe was good - we played drinking games using those icebreaker games we used to play back in MYF - everyone had a good laugh :)

Then, I met up with Puy Jean and Ling and their other RPS friends who left after Form 5 at Y2K. It was kinda awkward but I had Teh and Ling with me and we had a good time dancing. Well, if it could be called dancing. There was no dance floor at the place and it was crowded with tables. Argh. And everyone was just shuffling their feet and TALKING.

I don't know- my theory is that if you want to talk in a club - forget about it. For me, going clubbing is a good time for you to just dance with your friends and have a few drinks. But it wasn't so that night. I was a little bored and wished that the D3 girls would appear instanteously! Reminded me that we should go dancing soon!

The situation became more awkward last night when they had a little tiff about getting cars and all that. But as usual - I had Ling with me :) Not the perfect outing ( Even Puy Jean apologised ) but at least I met up with quite a few of my RPS schoolmates. Ah well.

Why am I sick of Ipoh? I am sick of Jusco because it seems to be the only mall in the entire Ipoh and it's constantly crowded with inconsiderate drivers who probably bribed their way through their parking tests. I am sick of the people who elbow their way through the crowds.

Wait - maybe I am not sick of Ipoh- just Jusco? :) Pointless but argh oh well I will be boarding the bus back to Singapore tonight. Somehow, I am looking forward to it - looking forward to dance rehearsals, schoolwork *gasp* and the girls.

The weird thing is : I've only been away for a week but Singapore seems so far away. I know I've said this before but the feeling is just, well, weird. Singapore seems like a distant dream.

posted at 11:37 PM by sze

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Friday, January 23, 2004
Gambling kids etc.

I have just returned from a trip to KL for the 1st and 2nd day of CNY. The 1st day was spent entirely shuttling from one relative's house to the other. It was all right, just that I prefer spending time with my dad's side of the family who are relatively more quiet than my mom's side who constantly try to matchmake me with this 2nd cousin or the other.

Anyway, I was horrified yesterday when this bunch of kids started to say that they wanted to 'hoi toi' ( in Cantonese - it means literally to 'open table', i.e. start a gambling table). To make things worse, I saw my aunt dole out coins to her 2 young sons ( one is 12 and the other is 7 - the rest of the kids were about 5 years old onwards ) and shouting out to the elder one, "oi dou mou?" ( meaning "you want to gamble?").

I was utterly horrified! As a kid, my parents never let me nor my sister near the mahjong table nor the cards table - in fact when they did play, they would make sure that we were out of sight. Of course, there wasn't even any chance for us to even 'gamble' nor play any card games!

My dad was apparently quite disapproving of the whole situation and said so during our trip back. I am glad that I have discerning parents who have never exposed us to these 'vices' as a kid - I wouldn't want to have grown up like them - speaking coarse language and acting like a little adult.

My children will be brought up the same way I was.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Observation since I've come back to Ipoh this CNY week :

I've met quite a few of my ex-schoolmates ( be it RPS or AMC ) since I've been back, i.e. during my shopping trips in town and all that. I've noticed that most of the girls who were at AMC with me look very 'old' now. The RPS girls still look the way they were back in Form 6, if not better, fresher.

However, I met several ex-AMC girls today who had immaculate makeup, yuppie clothes and tightly curled hair. I was wearing a white graphic baby tee, maroon fisherman pants (oh don't let me go into the number of stares I've gotten by wearing that pants - my ass probably looked humongous in them or something. Either that or no one in Ipoh has actually been SEEN wearing them around yet. )

My sister commented :"Wah jeh, you look so young compared to them!"

Maybe I do. But I enjoy the way I dress. Why attempt to look about 25 when we are like only 21 /22?

posted at 3:12 AM by sze

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Wednesday, January 21, 2004
So what can you do with a Literature degree-ah?

Apparently, Dad is flabbergasted every single time someone asks him that question that concerns his once-an-overachiever elder daughter. He knows that I am not going to graduate with an Education degree and that I may not be 'teaching' in a school but I'd do something to do with 'teaching' anyway. Complicated.

So he asked me this question today. I didn't quite know how to answer, and I just replied that what I am doing is an Arts course and that we all study what interests us. And that we'll all graduate with the same general BA degree.

It apparently didn't satisfy him, because he went on with: But what do you do with a major in Literature anyway?

Seriously? I don't know. I see my degree merely as a stepping stone for me attain the heights which I'd not be able to reach otherwise.

Is this like another Asian mentality thingy again? That your career is inevitable dictated by 'what you study in university'? I've gotten plenty of weird looks from relatives when I answer that I am a Literature major, as opposed to the usual computer studies, medicine, law, business etc. I feel that I am looked upon as one of the 'less able' ones.

And CNY is tomorrow. Don't get me wrong. I am not one of those who profess to hate CNY, its niceties and the fake relatives. I actually look forward to CNY to meet up with my extended family.I really do.

Well, perhaps with the exception of that horrid cousin of mine, whom I'd never met for 20 years, told me that I'd regret if I majored in Literature because 'it is useless and even if you teach, teaching is a useless profession'.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Warning - rant ahead.

Speaking of teaching as a profession, I have gotten endless comments like "Wah, your results not bad-what, why you want to teach? Such a waste!"

I detest comments like that. It is probably because of mentalities like that that many good students are not opting for the teaching profession but are instead going for the more "prestigious" (read: lucrative) professions. It's sick.

These people who tell us not to go into teaching because it's 'a waste' are probably the same people who complain that the teachers in their kids' schools are 'useless' and that the tuition teachers that they send their kids to are 'good' and enables the kids to get good results.

The reason why these teachers are 'useless' is probably because the people with ok results were discouraged from the profession and the circle has been left with people with horrible results and were shoved to teaching as a last resort. Already armed with bad results, they are further made disgruntled by students whose parents do not respect schoolteachers and endless paperwork, they are then labelled 'useless' and therefore the vicious cycle that slams the teaching profession as the lowest of the low of all occupations begins again.

The next time someone comes to me and tells me that I shouldn't teach cos it's a waste, I'd risk sounding rude and ask them "Would you want your children to be taught by someone to got bad results in school?"

posted at 7:10 AM by sze

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Tuesday, January 20, 2004
www.bookcrossing.com

Check out Bookcrossing.com. I first heard about it from Justin and now I am pretty intrigued by the whole concept about 'turning the whole world into a library'. The people behind this idea believe that 'shelved books are wasted ammunition' and bookcrossing goes like this : Read a book, 'release' it in any public place ( like you've accidentally forgotten about it and 'left' it there), register it on the website ( while giving a review of the book and the place where it was released) and sit back to wait if anyone had picked up the book and register it on the website, telling you who has picked up your book.

Cool concept I must say. Free books. But being the selfish brat I am - I love my books too much to part with them. So there.

posted at 7:43 PM by sze

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Almost dramatic

Okay, so Justin and I reached Ipoh on Sunday 4:30am. My dad came to pick us up and very soon he was comfortably sprawled on the living room sofa watching soccer on Astro while I went online to erm,play online games. Yadayada....dimsum with dad, lunch with Jan and co.,....here's the near-dramatic thing:

I was grocery shopping with my mom, her friend and Justin at this crowded supermarket when stupid me left my small tote bag containing my wallet and my mom's handphone HANGING IN THE TROLLEY!And I only realised it 20 minutes after we left that place and *duh* the bag was nowhere to be found - not even in the trashcans in the building!

So I'd lost my mom's handphone, my IC, driving license, uni matriculation card, ez-link card, credit card, 2 ATM cards and the wallet which was Justin's gift last Christmas.

Seriously - I'd rather be robbed than to lose my things in such a stupid fashion. I tried to make up feeble and lame excuses such as "Oh I was feeling giddy cos of my claustrophobia" ( I really do have slight claustrophobia - I love window shopping but a MNG sale can give me headaches and giddy spells ) but later I decided that it happened out of sheer stupidity and carelessness.

Well, it did help that my parents didn't scream at me. Given about 3 or 4 years ago, I wouldn't have heard the end of it. They were really nice and even joked that I was just trying to get an opportunity to buy a new wallet and change my horrid picture in my matriculation card.

So I went to replace my driving license early this morning. At noon, a courier package came for me - it contained ALL the things in my wallet save the cash. I was quite surprised but being the spoilt brat I am, I was quite pissed that they didn't return me my wallet. My dad says I should be thankful. Oh well.

On a happier note - Justin and I had a nice supper marathon and a drive around Ipoh town on Sunday night!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today was lovely - met up with Ling for lunch at Kampai, window shopped ( fine, so it wasn't exactly window shopping for me I admit ) at Jusco before watching this brainless plotless HK film which was really funny :) It was great catching up with Ling after so long, talking about everything like we always did back in Form 6. Down to every single detail, cringing over the guys we met back then and the stupid things that we'd done; what is happening to us now and how everything that happened actually happened!

When I look back to secondary school days - I'd always say that my Form 6 days were the best. I'd gone to RPS alone but I had made good friends that I can still be ultra close too even after an absence from each others' lives for almost 2 years.

I love these girlfriends :) Looking forward to Saturday night for the RPS gathering :)

posted at 8:26 AM by sze

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Friday, January 16, 2004
And so I am going home tomorrow....

...But before that I'd have to have a dance rehearsal from 8am-10am, a film screening of "The Mill on the Floss" from 10am-12noon, pack my bags and have lunch between 12-2pm, and attend DP's 1st piecing from 2pm-6pm before rushing off to JB to catch my bus back home!

And it's 3:57am and I am still AWAKE! Still in my stinky clothes which I wore for Edwin's dance session just now that lasted till 1:20am.

Justin messaged me to go over to join the B4 guys' BBQ and apparently they had lots of barbecued salmon. Serene was hungry earlier so the 2 of us decided to go and join them. There were other girls there - Tian, XiaoXuan, Rachel, ShuPing and Hwei Ling. And they were having this drinking session - and the guys had obviously quite a bit to drink before Serene and I arrived.

But it was fun. Just eating chicken wings, having a drink, listening to the drunk people talking crap, talking about everything and anything, laughing about every single thing - I haven't had this kinda time for ages. Serene and I came back cos someone wasn't quite steady haha. The guys should be still continuing now.

Hall eh - funny how I'd contemplated moving out of hall by year 4 and yet there are little things here and there that always remind me what I like about living here. Grar- should grab a shower and sleep!

posted at 11:55 AM by sze

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Tuesday, January 13, 2004
Inspired. Awakened.

I attended service at COOS last Saturday when Joy was leading worship. She looked really good with a new haircut and yea her usual cheery self plus her devotion to God as she was worshipping.

I am inspired by that girl, I really am. Her father had just passed away about 2 or 3 weeks ago and she is still standing up there leading about 1000 people to worship God. Her strength, her FAITH - that inspired me.

There is now something new in my relationship with God.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

IHG (Inter Hall Games ) matches have been going on for the past 1.5 weeks or so. Having gone to support quite a few games last year, this year I've been rather indifferent. I'd rather be spending time in my room, lazing in Justin's room watching random programmes or I'd just simply have dance rehearsals.

Just came back from supporting our girls' handball semi-finals. As we were cheering for Eusoff - something in me seem to have awakened - In the midst of books, papers, certain feelings of disdain and indifference, I had forgotten how I had felt being in a crowd of Eusoffians. The feeling came back today - everyone may be different - there were the sports people, the comm people, the culture people etc - but we were all cheering for the same thing, we knew the same cheers.

Can't exactly say I love this place so much but yea I suppose I do. Cannot explain why-lah.

By the way - our girls lost by just one point. Saw the seniors crying as it was their last IHG handball game. Last year I couldn't quite understand why. This year I am closer to understanding the reason. I wonder whether I'd be like this in my final DP ( yes I hear the gasps - I still want to do DP for as long as I am in Eusoff )...

p/s DP = Dance Production - where I found out that although I am not the best dancer around, I have grown to love dance and what it stands for.

posted at 4:12 AM by sze

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Thursday, January 08, 2004
And so it's been a week

I am looking forward to my classes. Yup - I can truly say this this time! I have an insane number of books to read ( Think having to read 3 books at the same time ) but I am looking forward to reading them. Am especially excited about my Postmodernism and Postcoloniality module - the whole thing about getting to read a Rushdie novel which is on the Singapore's banned book list makes it more intriguing I suppose :)

This is the weird thing : Salman Rushdie's Shame is supposedly banned in Singapore but apparently it's available in major bookstores such as Borders and Kinokuniya. The NUS Co-op refused to sell them so we had to resort to looking for the book ourselves. Therefore, I made a trip to Orchard on my own this afternoon to look for the book plus Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea. I couldn't find both of them! Apparently they were out of stock. Oh well.

Then I thought : Might as well try out the used books store at Far East Plaza - worth a try though the books are quite expensive. However, as I was looking for the shop ( I have no sense of direction - forgot where it was ) I stumbled upon another used books store selling the same kind of books at a fraction of its original price! I immediately made up my mind to be more diligent in searching for tuition jobs to I could buy all those glorious books! Couldn't find the 2 books on my reading list but then I left a happy girl, armed with Antoine de Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince :) Wanted to get A.S. Byatt's Possession too - but I simply do not have that much time to read that much these days!

This semester has certainly rekindled my passion for reading. I am excited :)

More excited because Justin and I are going to JB tomorrow afternoon! Just to pick up our tickets but then it's another opportunity for us to eat good food and just get out of the island !

posted at 8:36 AM by sze

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Monday, January 05, 2004
Back to the daily grind

School kicked off today for me with an immensely boring Chinese lecture and a scary American media history lecture. For those of you are reminding me again about the horrors I went through with Chinese during my first semester - fret not. This module contains almost all that I had studied for Chinese grammar and its works back in lower secondary school. I didn't do too badly for Chinese back in secondary school - so keeping fingers crossed for this one!

American media history was scary in terms of its workload. Open book finals yea but there is quite a heavy workload anticipated for this module. And I haven't even had classes for my 3 lit modules yet!

MUG MUG MUG!

Had a walk with Justin just now - the first in a long long time - a walk just because we wanted to :) Walked the long way to Central Library ( because of the lousy construction going on at the ENTRANCE ) and stood for a while above the Engin bridge before walking back to hall. The whole walk took us about an hour? But it was good as we needed to exercise a bit and just enjoy the breeze.

I am happy. And ready to read Moll Flanders now.

posted at 4:48 AM by sze

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Thursday, January 01, 2004
Who said that baking was easier than 'regular cooking'?

ARgh. After my success with the chicken brocolli dish the other day

I became more confident and decided to venture into baking.

Not that it was my first time. But let's just say that I was a klutz ( and still is, according to Justin) back then. I attempted to make a chocolate cake with those ready made cake mix and it turned out to be something even the then 3 year old Ernie would go near to.

Anyway, what happened this time around? I really don't know. It remains a mystery. Mom is not that good in baking - she never bakes- so she can't figure it out anyway. I've followed all measurements, all instructions faithfully to make chocolate chip muffins.

The first batch of 6 muffins appeared to be rock hard on the top but moist and soft inside. So we concluded that we must then put the next batch on the lower rack instead. BTW - it was perfectly cooked - but I only baked it for 10 mins instead of the 25 mins that I was supposed to!

The next batch was disastrous. Within 10 minutes, I saw smoke inside the oven and immediately opened the oven door. 2 muffins burnt!!!!!! How is it possible I have no idea- instructions said to bake in 190 degree Celsius for 25 mins and I lowered the temperature to 170 and baked for the measly 10mins. Agh.

Okay - maybe this is something that should be directed to Chef Wan or something? Haha.......only consolation out of this whole incident was that Ernie helped me out in the process- he was an angel while doing that :)

posted at 8:26 AM by sze

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Last 10
And so it is.
Cos I am already sick of NIE canteen food
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