s w i r l * h e r e
before my head really hurts.
Friday, April 28, 2006
My dad and the traffic policeman

So today, my dad was talking on his handphone while driving on the way back to his home. Two traffic policemen stopped him. So he stopped.

They asked for his driving license. So he showed them his license.

They asked for some other documentation. So he showed them.

"Saya salah! (I am in the wrong!)", proclaimed my father.

What happened after that, you may wonder. Like, what's the big fuss?

The policeman then proceeded to tell my father to just drive away.

"Jalanlah! (Go off then!)"

Like yes, drive away mister! You've admitted that you were in the wrong and yay, you don't get a ticket for that!

Honesty pays ay?

Though we all know it's probably just because they couldn't get any form of b***e hee?

posted at 6:27 AM by sze


Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Last essay

Dear Sze-Lyn,

I was just thinking about you -- no coincidence, of course, I had meant to write ages ago hadn't I? Anyway, even as I really liked your first idea for a topic, I like this one even more. The California Fitness Gym in Orchard Road has so much potential for a reading, and reading it through Cixous would indeed be worthwhile. One thing that always strikes me about the gym is the sheer extent of its "significant" space: that is, the ways in which from both outside and--in a different way that is no doubt significant for you--inside the gym (its activities, lighting, organization etc.) "signify" things--not always that obviously in terms of content but there's never any doubt that it is "significant"! But you might work from the obvious up--and following Cixous, don't feel inhibited in extrapolating out until well beyond the point where you find the subversion of the bi-sexuality of the first kind. Also, remember that you can do this with a smile (or better, laughter) for the jouissance that Cixous mobilises will be activated no doubt on several levels. I believe that you can apply Cixous well beyond "Social Theory," which tends to be more constrained by disciplinary methodologies than her creative/critical procedures are. So the answer is a resounding yes, the CFG is an unmistakably textual (and intertextual) phenomenon so you should be able to provide a good reading. Any further questions, please let me know. Oh, and, by the way, you wouldn't be the first: a student in critical theory, a few years ago, read a similar space (a different gym) through the questions of sexuality, Singapore and semiotics. What you are doing is not the same, I should say (I think your idea is better), but I wanted you to be aware that your topic is not totally outside acceptable frameworks! But also don't forget that it would likely be a good thing anyway if a few "acceptable frameworks" were subverted in the critical process.

all best

[de lecturer]

From: Poh Sze-Lyn
Sent: Thu 4/20/2006 12:42 PM
To: [de lecturer]
Subject: Re: term paper

Dear [de lecturer],

I know this is rather late but as I am nearing completion of my essay, I am increasingly worried about the subject matter that I have chosen and I would appreciate it very much if you could comment a little about it.

Basically I have chosen to work on the California Fitness gym outlet and relating it to Cixous's theory of writing. I am looking at the Orchard Road California Fitness building as one text, the large ad on the building as one text, and also the services they offer as one text. With that material, I am utilizing Cixous’s notion of bisexuality: Firstly, I am looking at these three ‘texts’ as the patriarchal language which is based on oppositions, how it has reproduced a patriarchal order that has placed the feminine as subordinate to the masculine. Having established that, I will be applying the notion of bisexuality, as I refer to the women in these ‘texts’, how they are more able to accept different forms of subjectivities within the gym as compared to their male counterparts.

My main concern is that whether it is too ambitious of me to apply Cixous’s theory upon such ‘texts’ which are not literally spoken/written language. While I understand that Cixous’s works can be applied onto social theory, I was just wondering whether it can be extended to the material that I have chosen as well.

Thanks a lot!


I am now very very pressured to produce a very very very x10 good paper.

Thanks to Serene who inspired me (and from whom I stole the material from!)

Lecturers like this make me feel sad that this will be the last literature paper that I will ever possibly write for academic purposes.

Back to the grind :)

posted at 11:06 PM by sze


Monday, April 17, 2006

Within 24 hours, I have acquired...

1 x brown faux wrap dress
1 x light blue off shoulder cotton top
2 x basic cotton tube tops
1 x tweed-like pointy heels
2 x A-line print skirts

All for approximately RM300. Quite good deals la.

Somebody close all the boutiques at Ipoh Garden East and South or restrain my mom's wallet. My mom's rationale was that it is not every day that I get to buy stuff in my size and reminded me of the 'draughts' that I had haha.

Yes, I am aware that my parents spoil me and yes I will be very good to them especially when I start working.

And to think that I am back for a study break. Back to work!

posted at 11:25 PM by sze


Sunday, April 16, 2006
School meme from the Geekchic

How many schools did you go to?

1. some preschool in Puchong.
As a three year old in Kota Kinabalu, my mom was slightly taken aback by my frequent requests for my neighbours to come over to my house while I poured out the contents of my toy box for them to play. Did I play WITH them? Nope. Apparently I took up one of my books, sat at a corner, read while I watched them play. Hence, at the tender age of 4, my mom decided that I needed to socialise (the sister was still a wee thing then) so she chucked me into this school. Don't remember much about this school though. According to my mom, I insisted on walking down the road to school alone and made her go home. And I joined the big kids (the 5s) cos apparently I could catch up and they had no classes for 4-year-olds anyway.

2.Joy Pre School, somewhere in Subang
This was when I was 5 I think. And was chucked into the K2 class cos apparently I knew everything in K1 haha. Again, I used to insist that I be allowed to go to school on my own haha. The only thing I remember from this school were the Friday special classes, which included music, dance and Chinese lessons. It was the first time I learnt about racial segregation, for I was ultra chummy with an Indian girl (whose name is beyond me right now) and we were made to separate from each other for these "mother tongue" lessons. And yes, Mandarin was still a foreign language to me then.

3. Chung Hwa Kindergarten, Kota Kinabalu
I loved this school. As you can see in the link above, it was a very very well equipped school and I remember having a lot of fun haha. Being Mandarin-challenged, I was placed in an English-speaking class and my very first best friend was Catherine, with whom I still keep in touch with. We had a cool sailor uniform but a yucky yellow PE kit haha. Oh and I remember how Cat and I tried to play this prank on this annoying boy by pulling his chair away too. Oh and haha, there was one day when I left my schoolbag in the school bus and I completely didn't realise it. Yes Justin, my blurness began even then. And it was the beginning of many sleepovers and play dates at Cat's place :) I first tasted academic success then, however little it was, by coming in 2nd that year and getting full marks in nearly everything (yes, even with the little Mandarin that I knew).

4. SRJK(C)Chung Hwa Likas, Kota Kinabalu
Spent 3.5 years in this school and I still have fond memories of it. Quite a few of my kindy classmates were in my class (including Cat) and hence, I was quite comfy. Like geekchic, I didn't let my parents accompany me on my first day too :) My most vivid memory has to be sitting on the mat and parroting my class teacher (a Hong Konger) while she enunciated the alphabet. Gave my mom the shock of her life when her Sesame Street-raised daughter came home pronouncing "R" as "Arrrrol" and "L" as "Ellow" :) I think I came in first in the entire cohort that year (I think I was smart until I discovered boys and fashion) and was separated from Cat in P2 as the school practised streaming from P2 onwards. I then met my second best friend Anita (again, we still keep in touch and I am looking forward to her visit to Singapore this July!) and together with her and Cat, we formed the "All Girls Club" (Inspiration drawn from one of the books I read then) as we shunned the boys haha. I continued to perform well in studies and activities and loved every single minute of school.

My most vivid memories took place in P3. I had chicken pox but I insisted that I had to go to school that day. My mom couldn't stand my whining and let me go to school. Needless to say, my teacher sent me home. I later found out that Justin had the exact experience haha. Another was the prize giving ceremony where I came in first in the cohort that year. All parents were invited to the ceremony but my school was full of rich kids whose parents usually couldn't be bothered to come for school stuff. But my dad came. He was running a kopitiam then and was dressed in a t-shirt, bermuda shorts and slippers. He came in quietly and sat himself down with the P6 boys way at the back of the hall. In the middle of the ceremony, the emcee announced, "Will the parent sitting with the boys at the back of the hall please come to the front and sit at the guests area?" I turned and I saw my dad! I swear I couldn't have been prouder. Then he was invited on stage as Poh Sze-Lyn's father to give away the awards for the model student of each class. Yea, slippers and all haha. My dad still chuckles when he recounts this incident. And yup, I was a very happy lil girl that day.

5. SRJK(C) Sam Chai, Ipoh
We moved to Ipoh and I was chucked to this school. Popular opinions holds it as a village school where the kids are poorly brought up and generally not too bright. Nonetheless, one of my classmates is now an A*Star scholar at Cornell and another is in NUS architecture and a few other classmates scattered in Japan and Taiwan. I guess we were lucky to be in the so-called best class where the teachers generally piled more expectations on us, driving us to do well. Due to my height, when the principal sent me to class 4A, the teacher asked me whether I was supposed to report to the P6 class instead haha. And when she asked me questions about myself, one of them was, "Have you had a nose job?". No joke. I generally had a good time in that school, joining track, netball, basketball, drama, various competitions, elocution, that kinda thing la. Made good friends and still in contact with some of them :) Oh and I had my first crush at P6 too haha. On the only other student who was taller than me haha. A guy la.

6. SMK Jalan Pasir Putih, Ipoh
Spent 3 days in this infamous school haha. I was seriously traumatised by the swearing, cursing, the boisterous boys and more so the discipline master who could lift up the puny Malay boys to bark at them.

7. SMK Ave Maria Convent, Ipoh
I still proudly call myself an AMC girl. I loved this school cos of the opportunities that we were given and also the friends that I made. I guess to a certain extent, I was a little at the margins when it came to socialising cos I wasn't as Chinese as most students were expected to be in AMC. But nonetheless, it was fun with the angmoh activities we had too haha, the inter-school debates, choral speaking, AMCELS, elocution, stuff like that. Made the mistake of not listening to my dad, opted for the Pure Science stream when I was in Form 4, failed miserably in Add Math, Physics, Chem and Bio. But I guess it was a blessing for me that my teachers recognised that I just was not cut out for the sciences and they really cut me a lot a lot of slack. I was never reprimanded for not doing well in the sciences and thanks to Mr. Hin (add math tuition!) my Add math improved tremendously in Form 5.

Yuan Yuan was my deskmate throughout Form 4 and Form 5 and I loved this woman and I still do. We'd argue but we know we are still okay with each other. She'd belt out a song in class (OMG we did an impersonation of Aerosmith's I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing) and I'd join in. I'd copy homework from her. As my secretary in AMCELS and co-editor for yearbook, we were like inseparable then haha. Made good friends within the prefectorial exco then as well. Nothing like politics to bind people together. I don't remember what the politics were about but it made the exco so much more united and I still remember the leadership camp we conducted in UM, and that night when we huddled in one room to cry, even Wye Meng who was known to be the strongest of all.
There is so much to write about AMC. The teachers. The friends. The things we did. I could write a thesis on it.

8. SMK Raja Perempuan, Ipoh
While my AMC friends went on to Sam Tet, I went to RPS for Form 6. And it was a very very good two years there. Together with Puy Jean, Ling and Nisha, we were just BAD and of course, good for each other. Bad cos we'd be chor-tai-dee-ing while the Econs teacher was talking away. Bad cos we'd leave school early together. Good cos we did encourage each other to work hard and to study. Good cos we really did support each other. For once I was away from the prefectorial board and was free to break all rules haha. Worked very very hard for Interact Club and at the end of the day, I guess it was all worth it :) RPS teachers had a tendency to not show up for classes and that gave us all the freedom in the world, especially for Nisha and me who took Literature on our own and had at least 8 hours to ourselves every week while we ostensibly did Lit work in the library :) I still look upon my Form 6 years as the best 2 years I've had in school.

Man I went to 8 schools.

Was I the studious nerd, or the last minute hero?
Was never studious. I somehow sailed through primary school, coming in first in the cohort every year. But things took a turn in secondary school and I became just average or slightly above average. But I guess I was a studious nerd in secondary school and a last minute hero in Form 6, though the results suggest the reverse :)

Was I the class ‘taiko’ (big bully) or the teacher’s pet?

Never taiko. Biggest for sure but not taiko. English teacher's pet la, that was about it. Except for my P5 English teacher who hated me cos I corrected his spelling on the blackboard.

What was the biggest rule I broke in school?

Don't think I broke any rules in AMC apart from copying homework. But in RPS, ho ho ho....it ranges from skipping school, leaving school early, skipping classes, and I don't remember much apart from that. Not too bad, la.

Three subjects I enjoyed
1. English. Cos it didn't require studying.
2. Math. Curiously, though I didn't perform well in Form 6, I enjoyed solving math problems throughout Form 4-6.
3. Literature. Which was again, another Form 6 subject.

Three teachers that inspired me
Mrs. Goh. I love her gentle spirit, her ever encouraging words, just Mrs. Goh as a whole! She was my Form 4 Bio teacher but spent most of the time talking about moral values and stuff like that (while Yen Yee and I passed notes to each other right beneath her nose. oops). She retired earlier this year but I'd been back to AMC at least once every year since graduation to drop by for a chat with her. She is the kind of teacher I'd want to be when I am one.

Ms. Liew, my debate/elocution coach, English teacher. Actually I don't quite remember whether Ms. Liew has ever taught my class English but she was just one of the teachers who were always there. She was strict with us but at the same time, one of the chummiest teachers you could have around. And one of the few teachers who were actually supportive of my decision to enter the teaching profession. I make it a point to look for her when I go back to AMC :)

Ms. Leong, my P5 class teacher. She was extremely strict with us, pushing our class to do well in preparation of UPSR the following year. However, she was very very encouraging and I remember how we practically dragged her to take the official picture with us straight A scorers. Ivan and I were just talking about her when we were reminiscing our primary school the other day. I wonder if she is still in Sam Chai.

This is mighty long. I love school la.

And I tag...
Wye Meng
Sharon (if she has the time ho ho)
And whoever who wants to reminiscience the good ol' days la.

posted at 10:32 AM by sze


Wednesday, April 12, 2006
All good things come to an end

And so it is for our 4 years here in NUS.

In the midst of writing my final 2 essays. One for Cold War and the other one for Critical Theory. *fingers crossed*

I remember my first essay. EN2101 under Dr. Turner, with his entrance music, little jigs and pop quizzes that had nothing to do with the class. I remember I got a B for that first essay but I have no recollection whatsoever as to what it was about. Though I remember writing about music and A Streetcar Named Desire for the 2nd paper.

We attended our last lit class ever yesterday, Cold War with Dr. Bishop. Steph was being all trigger happy and I am glad that she was, for it has been a good year getting to know (finally!) my lit classmates :) And here's us!

And we (read: Serene, me and Yasi) are going for our final ladies nite before exams!

posted at 7:07 AM by sze


Friday, April 07, 2006

I can finally sit down and breathe normally.

The worst combination to ever fall upon an honours student in one week:
- too-long ISM
- nasty cough that refuses to go away
- nasty cough that brought along headaches and sore throat
- an incoherent group project
- and a panic attack upon opening the group project and realising that you and your friend would need to play bad guys and rewrite the whole damned thing.

And I can breathe again.

And the cough is no one's fault but my own. I wouldn't trust me to take care of me.

But the hurdle's not passed yet. Nowhere near it. But just let me take the night off, yea.

posted at 2:08 AM by sze


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Before I go out to run a gazillion errands for my MOE and employment pass and house stuff...

- we are moving into our new place by 1 May!!! Well technically for Justin and me it's 5th May cos we finish exams (final one ever!) on 4th May. But it's shoooo exciting!
- And living with 3 engineers has proven to be a good thing so far, as they have allowed me to kick back and be the bimbo while they figure out boring (but immensely important) things like how to wire up the place for broadband and stuff like that.
- And Harn Ni and I get our very own walk-in shoe closet hur hur hur.
- Just handed in the beast of an ISM which might just land me into the world of 3rd class honours.
- The weather sucks. Period.
- And housing agents can screw you upside down and over.
- Oh and I am going to invade Ipoh with my gigantic presence from 17th to 30th April ho ho ho :)

Man I sound so bimbotic. I guess it's merely a manifestation of my inner self crying to get out of literary jargon and snobbish critics.

posted at 9:59 PM by sze


Monday, April 03, 2006
I've never been one to post up MSN conversations but ....

:: sze :: maybe time's up says:
ok i better get back to my ism
:: sze :: maybe time's up says:
due wednesday ;(
hann says:
what kinda ism is it?
hann says:
hann says:
hann says:
hur. hur. hur.
:: sze :: maybe time's up says:
nope not working on the isms
:: sze :: maybe time's up says:
working on the ologies
:: sze :: maybe time's up says:
:: sze :: maybe time's up says:
actually more of isms also la
:: sze :: maybe time's up says:
oh hang on
:: sze :: maybe time's up says:
i just got it
:: sze :: maybe time's up says:
arrrggghhh !
:: sze :: maybe time's up says:
super lame

Glossary for the non-NUS people: ISM = Independent Study Module

Geddit geddit? Or was I just slow?

This came from the boyfriend's good friend. And speaking of the boyfriend, this should belong here too.

Scene: Cold Storage @ Takashimaya
Exact location: Freezer(?) section with the fruit juice and yoghurt

The boyfriend: Come let's see the fruits. We are at the orchard. Orchard. Orchard. Geddit geddit?


posted at 10:08 AM by sze


the girl

part time nerd
part time bimbotic shopaholic

Last 10
And so it is.
Cos I am already sick of NIE canteen food
Still learning, after all.
1 Tuesday night 2 weeks since we've met up 3 hours...
So, stuff have been happening
The only thing that kept me from bursting out in l...
Broken Bridges, anyone?
Weekend, good.
When shall we three meet again?


books actually-- great books at low, low prices!
church of our saviour, singapore
voice of malaysia?
mostly fiction
tv smith
fidler on the roof
first-year writing teacher
kenny sia
book blog
tinkerbelle shoppe
--Sharon's website with lots of pretty things!

Magazines/Newsy stuff

singapore news publications
the star
relevant magazine
arts and letters daily
infuse magazine
klue online


teck horng
wye meng

Random Hall Stuff 02-03
DnD 03
DnD 04
Black Russian
DnD 05
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