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Revival

Had it not been for my job application requiring me to acquire writing samples, I would probably have not chosen to come back to this blog. It’s been ages upon ages since even I visited this place, and I had not been in the mood for writing a blog entry for such a long time too. I would think my writing style has changed a whole lot, since I have gotten incredibly rusty since the last time I wrote, but the words seem to flow out pretty well, despite the lack of much flair in my writing; maybe it is all the proposal writing and competency questions that I have been drafting answers for shining through.

It is now in the fourth year of university, and I can pronounce myself happily satisfied with life now, and terrified about life in the future. Work life may be simpler than study life, as evidenced by all the happily working (read: slacking while off work) graduates out there, but I have no idea how well I would like the world outside the ivory towers of academia. Despite my numerous sojourns into the world of working outside, I have yet to be able to join the industries which I want to enter, which is why I am very apprehensive about all my applications right now.

If you had been reading my previous entries, you would realize by now that my thoughts jump all over the place while I am writing my blog entries. I came to a realization of one thing while I am writing though; that is I dont blog mostly because nothing truly interesting happens to me. Right now, sitting where I am on a chair that is not even mine, I realize that having nothing interesting happen to you is truly a sad thing.

On the flip side though, going out to do something just to get something blog-worthy is also a very sad thing to do. Is this just why I stopped blogging? My goal in life is to find something new in life everyday; perhaps I append an extra condition to that goal. Find something that is new and interesting enough to be blog-worthy, perhaps every week. even if you want to say that this is sad, it is still a goal that is reasonably good to achieve. Since, after all, it adds some flair to an otherwise monotonous life.

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Dreams

Everyone dreams; some people like them, some people hate them, some people interpret them, others couldn’t be bothered with them. Ancient people believed that dreams were premonitions or signs warning them of the future, coming up with a score and more interpretations for all kinds of dreams. Psychoanalysts thought that dreams were echoes of the repressed psyche, a sort of channel for humans to release their pent-up sexual perversions. Although this idea is now considered as a product of the demonization of sex back during the Victorian era, Freudian interpretations are still (pretty widely) used to interpret dreams today, together with the grimoires of old.

Whether dreams are merely ‘noise’ in our brains, or a message from some paranormal entity, it is indisputable that dreams form one of the weirdest aspects of our life. In our dreams, the orderly laws of reality and logic are not as binding; opening up an avenue for even the most amazing and outlandish things to happen. As a matter of fact, many writers, artists and sometimes, even scientists draw their inspiration and ideas from the land of dreams for their work.

As an aspiring writer myself, most of my earlier ideas also originated from the realm of Morpheus. However, as I grew up, I started dreaming less and less (or perhaps I started remembering my dreams less and less) until I realised that most of the time, I awoke to a memory of darkness, no dreams, nothing at all. Whether that is a good or bad thing remained to be seen, back then, but I guess I did not really mind the respite from life sleep provides. It is an efficient channel to forget, washing away all emotions; happiness, elation, fears and sorrow, in one fell swoop.

Lately, I have been dreaming a lot more. My friends have attributed it to tiredness, to stress, to food, to exercise, to everything under the sun, the moon and the stars. Why this happened, I may never know. But after many strange and bizarre dreams (of which not all were pleasant), I have come to enjoy this little vacation away from being me. After all, there isn’t much fun in being me; life in a Singaporean university is often stressful and unrewarding, and me being me, there are not much outlets for me to drain all these negative emotions into anyway.

My dream last night was the most bizarre yet. It was never fun to dream of being hunted, and this one proves to be no exception. The fear and anxiety was so thick in the atmosphere; it was almost palpable. It had all the hallmarks of some backwater sci-fi movie; a desolate world, little (if any) humans, super-predators out for your skin, blood, mutilation, death, destruction, the whole nine yards. I think I even recall some form of cannibalism being practiced, now my memory has been jogged. There was even this group of sickos who mutilated people to squeeze them (still alive) into small boxes, and them put them on display. Kind of reminds me of Vlad the Impaler, only this one group’s imaginary.

Ahh… Perhaps I really do need more rest. If my subconscious is tired enough to conjure sick images in my dreams, it probably is high time to do so anyway.

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The Pleasures of Growing Older?

I remember a time not too long ago, when I yearned to be older. Not much older, just old enough for my parents to take what I say seriously, and not just simple brush it off as innocence, naivete, or ramblings of youth. Now, at 20, I realise that parents never really stop viewing their children as children, and will always consider some things their children say that way. Things like ‘you’re not old enough’ or ‘wait until you have your own children’ are probably what one would come across being uttered by their parents while growing up.

Growing up do have its pleasures; increased freedom, being the most important (and probably the only worthwhile one) of them. On the flip side, we find ourselves piled with heavier responsibilities and expectations, as what happens when society begins to recognize you as an adult. Gone are the student fares, childhood friends, scholarships and youth camps, replaced with the hassle of adjusting to the workforce and the rigid constraints and rules of the adult world.

There is an aspect nested inside me who really does not want to grow up. This aspect enjoys the innocence of childhood, where everything is so mystical and interesting. Growing up replaces this magical feeling with the rigid walls of the adult mindset, who seeks to impose their order in this universe. A mindset where rigour, logic and profitability is heavily valued, where creativity and imagination is very much more of a second thought. How much of this is due the advent of science, and how much is not? We cannot be sure.

Science is a wonderful thing. It has given us many wonders; the fire, the engine, the telephone, the aeroplane, the computer, and the promise of many more wonderful inventions to come. But most importantly, it has given us the ability to predict, to impose order on this seemingly disorderly universe. It has opened the door for humans to harness and manipulate this disorder into a form which benefits us.

But of course, science is not the only tool man has used to shape the universe to his will. There are other forces at play; a force known as legal enforcement. The definition of a state differs according to who you ask. However, perhaps the one aspect they all agree upon, is that the state has to maintain a monopoly on legal violence. Oh, did I say violence? I meant legal enforcement.

In the history of legal enforcement, the law has always been upheld with the threat of violence, or what we prefer to call, punishment. The law is supposed to exist to protect the rights of the disadvantaged from being abused by others. However, the perception on who is ‘disadvantaged’ changes according to the times and tide. One second, it is the weak that is disadvantaged, the other, it is the strong.

Thus, law upon law is piled upon one another, never quite reaching perfection. We would like to believe that it is, that the laws are reaching perfection, that we would one day all be equal, that a system that have worked for millennia will continue to work and will one day be perfected. Very idealistic? But of course, all of us are, for we all wait in inaction for a miracle to happen.

So, our freedom to act is shackled by the institution we praise as the law; our freedom to think is chained by the knowledge that has come before us, the logic known as science. What more do we have left for ourselves? The delusion known as the ‘good old days’ and our escapist imagination, hoping that one day, perhaps in our lifetime, but more than likely (greater than a great many degrees of nine) not, this utopia of ours will arrive, and we will be in complete contention. Most people prefer to escape in another way though, through the promise of utopia known as religion.

Is this what growing older is about? Perhaps Peter Pan was right after all..

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Légère Mélancolie

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One Assignment Two Assignments Three Assignments Four..

First and foremost, I don’t really have four assignments waiting for me under my wings. The title is just a blatant plagiarisation of some nursery rhyme tune that I have playing over and over again in my head in the recent week. It doesn’t help that my stress is compounded by some other reasons (which perhaps is not such a good idea to reveal – as they are rather private) wreaking havoc on my mind. However, it is not up to me to dictate how the world goes. Rather, I can just merely hope that events would play out in a way that would alleviate the chaos that is my feelings right now.

As for assignments, this semester has had a lot of them; much more than last semester, anyway. Unfortunately, assignments are not the only challenge that you face in university; there are also the ever-present tutorials, the quizzes (which some professors saw apt to increase to 5 quizzes per module) and of course, the presentations which you have to do. I understand that the lecturers do this to inject life into the modules, but I can’t help but see the drawbacks of this particular arrangement.

We live in a boiling pot where everyone is trying to outdo each other. And this boiling pot’s name is Singapore (can’t help but be a bit dramatic there). Because of the sheer competitiveness here, grades are the father, the son and the holy spirit of your educational life in Singapore. Of course, when you apply for some tricky little thingys in the educational system like ‘scholarships’, they also say they look at your co-curricular achievements, but do not be fooled. The main yardstick you are still judged by is your academic score, grades and total number of As (which are exactly the same thing).

That being said, it should be painfully obvious to professors and students alike that throwing students down into the deep end with all these quizzes and assignments are a recipe for disaster. Again, that being said, disaster has already struck, but is still being treated with little or no importance, aside from a few emails from our esteemed president of the institution. And, true to our status as students with ‘too much time’ in our hands, myriads of ‘conspiracy theories’ have floated out into campus lore, colouring all parts of the visible spectrum, from feasible to extremely unlikely.

In my humble opinion, offering consultancy sessions to students who are stressed often do not help, if the source of the stress itself is not eliminated. It does not help that some people naturally have more stress than others, or are affected by stress from external sources as well. I have no idea when this has happened in university, but it feels as if the professors sees us as merely homework/assignment-churning machines, instead of the human beings we are.

You may object, even violently, to this. I know of professors who are not like that too, but who are really nice and likable people, just like you and me. Professors are just as human as you and me (yes – this is a major revelation in your life, i know). They would be nice to you if you know them well. Unfortunately for us, most of us are mere strangers to the professor, who they barely see or interact with. A wall would be more important than you, because a wall will at least block their way when they walk – you don’t. Thus, invoking the humanistic spirit that we all have, we couldn’t care less about other people, unless they’re dying, dead or suffering (of which we only fall into the latter – but hardly any human rights activist would consider studying too much a ‘suffering’) and even then, we might not care (refer to cases of social apathy? in psychology).

In the viewpoint of the professor : Will you be kind to a statistic who is not really suffering that much? You went through the same and survived. Why should you?

Perhaps it is time we introspect ourselves and see the flaws of the world as they are, like this for one. After all, what works is not necessarily what’s best or what’s right.

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Do you believe in Tarot Readings?

You are The Devil

Materiality. Material Force. Material temptation; sometimes obsession

The Devil is often a great card for business success; hard work and ambition.

Perhaps the most misunderstood of all the major arcana, the Devil is not really “Satan” at all, but Pan the half-goat nature god and/or Dionysius. These are gods of pleasure and abandon, of wild behavior and unbridled desires. This is a card about ambitions; it is also synonymous with temptation and addiction. On the flip side, however, the card can be a warning to someone who is too restrained, someone who never allows themselves to get passionate or messy or wild – or ambitious. This, too, is a form of enslavement. As a person, the Devil can stand for a man of money or erotic power, aggressive, controlling, or just persuasive. This is not to say a bad man, but certainly a powerful man who is hard to resist. The important thing is to remember that any chain is freely worn. In most cases, you are enslaved only because you allow it.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

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Several Month Old Tag

Took me half a year to find out I got tagged, you know. You really should inform me some other way, Jiayee.

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves a comment, letting them know they got tagged and to ask them to play and read your blog.

Starting time: 3.40am – Forgive me if I sound insane then (:
Name: Chew
Sisters: None
Brothers: 1 younger
Shoe Size: 13 – 12 if B cut shoes.
Height: 184 cm – about 6 ft.

Where do you live: NTU
Favourite drinks: Soya Bean Milk
Favourite breakfast: Simple toast and half-boiled eggs, with a drink (cofferr or milo would do)

Have you ever been on a plane?: Several times
Swam in the ocean: Does near the beach count?
Fallen asleep at school: You kidding?
Broken someone’s heart: Yes
Fell off your chair: While doing sitting on two legs
Sat by the phone all night waiting for someone to call: You feel better when you actually get the call
What is your room like: Ask my roommate
What’s right beside you: Instant noodle plate, textbooks, unfinished tutorials, plus a mess of my table
What is the last thing you ate: Chocolate spread (:

Ever had chicken pox: Once
Sore throat: Quite often
Stitches: Sometimes
Broken nose: No

Do you believe in love at first sight: With my bed, probably? I’m sleepy. Or my pillow.
Like picnics: Would be nice, been some time since I had one.

Who was, were the last person you danced with: My ex. Speaking of which, someone still owes me a dance. (:
Last made you smile: The sight of one of my friends trying to communicate with a stray cat.
You last yelled at: Accidentally yelled at my aunt when she kept nagging me

Today did you:
Talk to someone you like: Yes, my roommate, a couple of friends, etc.
Kissed anyone: Not today
Get sick: Not yet
Talk to an ex: Maybe?
Miss someone: My friends in Malaysia, din really get to visit them during CNY
Eat: Yes

Best feeling in the world:
The feeling of being able to sleep soundly tonight
Do you sleep with stuffed animals: Just one
What’s under your bed: Dust?
Who do you really hate: Politicians and bureaucrats, and don’t forget the arrogant idiots next-cubicle types.
What time is it now?: 3.53am

5 things I was doing 10 years ago
1. Sleeping
2. Reading astronomy
3. Playing ping-pong
4. Cycling
5. Watching TV

5 things on my to-do list today:
1. French and Economics tutorials
2. Updating my blog
3. Lunch with a friend
4. Unsent greeting cards
5. Sleeeeeepppppppp

5 snacks I enjoy:
1. Cookies
2. Chocolate
3. Watermelon
4. Banana
5. Bread

5 things I would do if I were a billionaire:

1. Make money work for me (i.e. invest)
2. Run off somewhere scenic and where I have no worries
3. Make the world a better place
4. Pass the money to the real me, who is sleepy and not very happy to be made thinking such wishful, but unfulfilling thoughts right now
5. Make myself a trillionaire (:
5 of my bad habits:
1. Some funny stuff I do when I’m thinking (Always get scolded for it)
2. Irritating people
3. Procrastination (This should be number 1)
4. Philosophical discussions out of the blue
5. Internet addiction

5 places I have lived/stayed a night in:
1. My bedroom at home
2. My hostel room
3. My friend’s room/house
4. Beside a fridge in a pantry (Don’t ask)
5. An escape stairway (Again, don’t ask)

5 things I will do after complete what im busy wif:
1. SLEEP
2. SLEEP
3. SLEEP
4. SLEEP
5. Wait.. I have free time?

5 people I tag:
1. Shu Heng (because you’ll be reading this)
2. Yingzi (and no – I’m a guy, and even if I’m a girl, I doubt I’ll think like that)
3. Eve (better than your constant sulking in China)
4. Kok Xian (because you tagged me somewhere else, I think)
5. Fei (you need to relax…)

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