Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Saturday, November 26, 2005

JAE Flashback

While slicing olives for the olive fried rice later, I flashed back on the moment when I chose my own JC. For once, I had the opportunity to choose my own path, without any perceived influence, pressures or restrictions from my mom. I wasn't bound by what they wanted, what they felt, or what they saw in me. I would go where I wanted to go, no strings attached.

But coming with this, I felt that I enjoyed my freedom that little bit too much. I know now the value of parental advice. But inside me is this struggle to balance the two - how far do I choose my own path, and how far do I consult my mom for advice? Nowadays, I realize how badly I made use of my time in JC, and as such, I know I should choose a path that I really want. But then I must stop and examine my choices, and ensure that what I'm doing is truly good for me. I can spend a long time mulling over it, but only a parent can instinctively tell you what's good and what's not. I have lots to learn.

Tak, thanks for telling me that statement. I have lots to learn.

Guilt. Stretch. My Mind.

Looking at those who still have Bio S papers on Monday... I suddenly have a surge of guilt. I didn't stretch my mind as much as I should have. I know, I know within me, that I have the potential to go further... it's just that I didn't capitalize on the opportunity to work harder at my academics and achieve more than what I had so far. Gee. I swear I'll stretch myself in future. No more regrets.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Random Musings


As I walked out of the classroom, I could feel the wave of depression overcoming me like a tidal wave. The Bio paper was tricky. I had lots of answers to which I didn't have confidence in.

Then, visions of the other subjects came in. I started to believe that I would get ABBB for my A levels. Oh no! How could that happen to me? I've always wanted AAAA! It seemed like my days for university would be miserable with this big blow behind me.

Suddenly, I wisened up. I thought, this is just a stage. It's nothing but a stage. It isn't what Kai Liang once mentioned, that the A levels is the mother of all exams. There is no mother of all exams. Maybe to Singaporeans, yes, the A levels is the mother of all exams, but not to me.

I'm going back to Canada. I won't need the A levels that much. Granted, they're gonna use it to determine my eligibility for admission into the Faculty of Science. But then again, it's just another cert in my life. Perhaps one blemish will spur me on.

MIT? Seems like a faraway goal.
Caltech? Seems like I'm never gonna get in there too.
UBC? Amanda tells me it's a cakewalk. But with ABBB? Seems tough...
UToronto? Ranked better than UBC. Seems like I ain't gonna go nowhere...


Gee. Depression? Perhaps. Maybe I shouldn't talk so much about it anymore. Perhaps if I work hard enough and get triple 800s for my subject tests, things may turn out better. Oh, I don't know. Right now, the future seems so distant, yet so near.

The future seems distant? Yeah, because there's tons of unknowns. I'm returning to a home that I've not seen clearly for 10 years now. I'm returning to a place outside of my comfort zone. (Yes, it sounds weird, but Singapore has effectively become my comfort zone. Then again, I'm a young adult know. I should be challenging myself.) I'm going to face Canada, a vast land of crossroads between prosperity and poverty, all on my own. Will I end up poor and desolate? Or will I end up leading a comfortable lifestyle?

But the future is, in reality, near. 5 December, I will be a free man. I will return home, permanently, to the ordinary lifestyle of an ordinary citizen living in an ordinary home in an ordinary city in the spectacular Canada. 5 December. That's less than two weeks away. How far, yet so near.

-----Random Musings-----

Just as I stepped out of the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority of Singapore today, I could feel a wave of relief. I'm gonna be a free man, in say, two hours. Yeah. No longer a Permanent Resident (PR = Peace Renounced), but a true and pure Canadian citizen.

The lady at the counter tried to "warn" me about the consequences of renouncing my PR status, such as difficulty in re-applying for a permit. For every warning she gave, I told her, "It's okay. I'm fine with that." Everything went surprisingly smooth. Two hours later, I'm gonna go back and I'm gonna get my social visit permit, and I'm gonna be a free man.


I am a Canadian citizen. I was a student of Hwa Chong Institution and The Chinese High School. I attended Catholic High School, and graduated from St. Andrew's Junior School. Before that, I was studying in St. Michael's University School, and Montessori Kindergarten.

I am fat. I am dense. I am athletic. I am smart.

I am a joker. I am a worrier. I am a thinker. I am a doer.

What am I? Who am I? I'm in the search of an identity. I have a family, which I'm going to leave behind in Singapore. I have a special friend, whom I may have to leave behind for another four years. I have a class, who will be dispersed for many decades to come.

-----Wants, Don't Wants-----

Yet, I have a future, I have dreams, I have things I want to do, but I also have major responsibilities.

  1. I want to make sure my brother can attend university too. Or at least, I want him to be able to have the chance to do so. If he wants to, he may go. If he doesn't want to, he may not go. But I'm gonna earn money to make sure I can relieve the strain on my mom, so I can help him pay for his university tuition if he wants to go there.

  2. I want to do something meaningful and significant. I want to go out there, and achieve a major accomplishment. I want to have a profession that will allow me to explore my interest in Physics and Astronomy fully. Yet again, I have this dying urge to do cell biology and, especially, genetics. Will I get to pursue both of my interests?

  3. I know what I probably won't want to do professionally. I probably won't want to be a lawyer. I probably won't want to be a doctor. I probably won't want to study psychology, music, arts, or social services. You get the point. I want to do sciences.

  4. Yet, there are two fields in the arts that can stir up my interest. I have a love for philosophy and literature. I love to think and think and think, and question my own assumptions about life, and I love to express them beautifully, succintly, and yet incisively in a language that can convey my ideas in an exact manner. I will want to do these in university.

  5. Ben Jones of the MIT Admissions Office told me something in an e-mail that I won't forget. "To me, university life represented the only 4 years in which my only responsibility was to learn - and that is a wonderful and powerful thing." I accept what he says, and I believe in that statement too. Imagine 4 years of learning, absorbing, and preparing yourself for the working life. Not bothering too much about crappy grades, pressures from parents and so on. Being carefree, to responsibly choose the path that I want to lead in life. That's college, Ben? If it is, thank you for letting me know.

Enough rattling. The ideas are all poured out; the container's dry.

Time to eat lunch.

"Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

I am a free man.

Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty, I am free at last.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


I can feel it inside me. A growing sense of urgency. A growing sense of discipline. All coming from within.

These are my early university resolutions, in no order of priority:
  1. In university, in my first year, I will join one sports activity and one academic activity. Likely ice hockey and debating. I will discipline and sharpen my brain through this.
  2. I will balance out my time by listing out in the morning every major thing and place that I have to do and go to for the rest of the day. Structure first. Spontaniety later.
  3. If we go to university together, I will spend time with her every week, to nurture the relationship between us. Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons will be kept sacred for this.
  4. I will take the most challenging courses that I can find in university. I will make sure that I go for the most rigorous, most challenging and most advanced courses or academic routes that I can find. I will develop my mind to its fullest.
  5. I will score tops on my examinations, big or small, and treat every test seriously. No slacking allowed.
  6. I will seek out job opportunities in laboratories or internships when I university. I will prepare myself for the working world by gaining work experience.
  7. I will make sure that I can connect with the rest of my peers, and not be isolated again. However, taboo topics would include computer games, fashion, and other mundane topics. I want to engage others intellectually.
  8. I will seek out every resource to help me with my academics. I will consult my professors, peers, interent, library (in this order) in order to help me get through my assignments. In doing so, I will strive to attain the best grade possible.
  9. I vow to top my class every year.

Biology No More?

A fleeting thought crossed my mind. Should I, or should I not drop Biology when I reach university? I can't avoid it; all 3 universities that I want to apply to require Biology in the first year...

I think I understand why I'm getting kind of sick and tired of Biology. It is because of the following:

1. Physiology
Physiology simply bores me. There's absolutely nothing worse than memorizing structure and function of body parts and plant parts. Given a choice, I'd rather be solving genetics or DNA problems, not labeling body and plant parts. I particularly love those questions that require me to decipher "what's going wrong", and that's particularly important in physiology. So I believe it's a love-hate relationship.

Still, I find that physiology is reserved for those who want to become doctors or researchers in human kinetics and health and disease. None of them interest me. I want to work with proteins (proteonomics), genes (genetics), and cells (cell biology).

2. Teaching methods and my grades
For two years in JC, I've always barely passed Biology. That's way much in contrast to my Biology grades in Sec 3 and 4, where I usually would be near the top of my class. And that was when my Biology teacher was something like the toughest one available. Here, in JC, I suddenly find that I'm unable to absorb the large amount of information that they give us... and as a result, I'm usually unable to answer the test questions adequately.

Large quantities of information that has to be memorized bores me out. Especially if it's about physiology, of which nearly half of our syllabus is about. Gee... I just hope university-level Biology is less about memorization than it is about understanding... Case-in-point: Bio essays, which are essentially regurgitations of our lecture notes. Gosh, might as well print Bio essays for us, rather than our lecture notes...

3. My teacher
And then there's my teachers. They're pretty much dogmatic about their content (except for those really good few like Ms. Ong and Ms. Wang, who try to instil some appreciation of thought processes that help link ideas). My own Biology tutor, Ms. Yang... well, I wouldn't say she's bad, because she's really nice to print out notes and study guides to help us, but then I would say that I can't follow the way she teaches very well. She's one of the dogmatic teachers around, almost like Mrs. Foo. Hmmm... then again, on second thought, perhaps it's the nature of the content that makes the Biology course in Hwa Chong so dogmatic. So is it my teachers or is it the A level syllabus? Sigh. I wish I knew better.


Frankly speaking, I'd rather be working in the lab, learning the content that I need as I go along. It's just like what Mr. Steven Su, my Sec 3 Physics teacher, told us: What I teach you, it'll always be JIT -- Just In Time. I think when things are "Just In Time", it'll enter your brain better. I swear, when I teach my students something in future, it'll always be JIT.

Experiential learning. That fits me better. I'll probably not be able to succeed now... but mark my words, I swear that once I reach university, I'll pawn everybody else around. I'll succeed, someday, no matter what I get for my A levels.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Support the SPMF and buy these teddy bears from them

The SPMF isn't able to secure publicity in the newspaper ads for these teddy bears. I am helping them out for now by sending out e-mails to everybody I know to help them garner publicity. Hopefully, you who reads my blog will download this photo and send out the following e-mail to everybody you know to support them:


Hello everybody!

Needy children need your support to help them get through school. The SPMF will help them by giving them by giving them a monthly pocket money allowance of $30 (for primary school children) or $50 (for secondary school teens) to help them buy a meal in school. Most of them go through recess without eating, and starve throughout the day. The allowance translates into $1.00/day for primary school kids, and $1.67/day for secondary school students.

Just think about your regular meal. Is it $3 per meal? Is it $7? Or is it a sumptuous $50 lunch with your friends at a posh restaurant? Now, think about those needy students' meals - can they afford a $3, $7 or $50 meal? Definitely a question to be pondered.

The SPMF is selling teddy bears year-round to help them raise funds for the School Pocket Money Fund . These teddy bears are perfect as gifts for your friends and family. Please support them by buying one or two of them. Buying one teddy bear will help one primary school child get through 3 days worth of recess meals , so the more you buy, the more children you support!

Additionally, please pass the message on to your friends, classmates, schoolmates, immediate family, extended family, anybody you know in Singapore...... you get the point! =D This way, the message can be spread out very quickly!

Thank you for taking the time to read this e-mail. Kindness will berepaid, and you will find gratification knowing that you've done a good deed. And please remember to spread the e-mail around!

Eric Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 18, 2005

Wacky Invigilator

We walk into the classroom. An old man, clearly nearing his fifties (or maybe even there already), waits for us at the table. He speaks.

"Have you all turned off your phones?" A wave of blood runs through me. I realize I haven't turned mine off. I stand up, walk to my bag under the whiteboard in front of the classroom, and turn my phone to silent. Relieved at doing the right thing, I walk back to my seat.

"Nobody is to have their handphones on. If you do... it'll be a bad thing when it rings. So nobody's phone is allowed to ring," and he emphasizes, "only mine."

We look on, stunned.

"Because when it rings, it'll be a good thing. Great compassion."

Huh? What in the world??

"大悲咒" (A Buddhist chant.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Will You Be There?

A poem, dedicated to my class 04S7B.

As time goes by, we share our woes and weals.
We ate together and shared our meals.
We shared our dreams and poured our hearts,
We enjoyed games of pool and darts.

Will you be there, in my memories?
Will you be there, in my future?
Will you be there, when I think of you?
Will you be there, when we get together?

As we step out, the world we have to face,
Will not care for those who fall from grace.
The sheltered school we've come to enjoy,
Will always be a memory, fading by.

Will you be there, in my future?
Will you be there, when I think of you?
Will you be there, when we get together?
Will you be there, in my memories?

Like you, I face the world alone.
Adolescence leaves sins for me to atone.
At times of helplessness, I recall,
The days gone by, the happiness once tall.

Will you be there, when I think of you?
Will you be there, when we get together?
Will you be there, in my memories?
Will you be there, in my future?

Years after years, score after score,
We will meet at the same old store.
A date for everyone, not to be missed,
Memories rekindled we kiss.

Will you be there, when we get together?
Will you be there, in my memories?
Will you be there, in my future?
Will you be there, when I think of you?

Monday, November 14, 2005

A New Wave of Killing

It's not physical anymore. It's not even spiritual. It's purely mental. Yeah, mental.

This year's A level papers are killers. I came out of them slashed, burned, scarred and scathed. I wonder how many tiger paws are going to be flying towards me till the end of the A levels.

Then again, it's only four more days, spread over one week and a few more days. Make it there!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Waves, Diffraction and Superposition

I have got you know. You're gonna be the pawn under my hands, you'll be the one I'll extract marks from for the A levels. I've mastered you. I'm your master. I will do it.

No More Maple

I solemnly swear now that I will abstain from MapleStory as a gamer, will uninstall every version of it (Global and SEA) from my hard disk, delete the installers from my MicroVault and hard disk, and block access to the website from my hard disk. May God, Allah, Buddah, Lord Vishnu, the Titans, Wang Mu Niang Niang (Queen Mother Goddess in Chinese mythology) and President Reagan bless me with the determination to do this.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Random Post

Nothing much to say. Just bored. Going to study physics soon, and chem too.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Last Lap

It's the last lap now. Go for it. You will get the results you want. Go for it.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Mugger King

All this mugging is really getting to my head. I'm getting stupefyingly muddle-headed. I stop doing housework. I start acting like a king. As if my studies are taking top priority. This is unacceptable. Wake up. It's not time for you to be king, for there are no such things as kings anymore. Wake up.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Friends 2

Now, I've met Zikai, in addition to Hong Kin and Meng Kit. I wonder how he gets the motivation to move all the way from Hougang (his home) to Potong Pasir (at McDonalds) to study alone. He's been alone since 6.00 pm, and he's going to stay until 11.00 pm. Gosh...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Today, I met with Meng Kit, my primary school classmate. And oh boy did I catch up with a hell lot more people than just him.

At McDonalds was also Hong Kin, who went to VS and VJC, and then there was Jonathan Kwong, who went to ACS(I) and ACJC. Then, I also heard of the rest of the gang... Ben Sim, Yeow Kheng, Jeffrey, Adriel, Alvin Chee and Tay, Kanthaan, Linesh, Sriram, Vignesh, Krishin, Jonathan Yeo, Michael Tay. Gosh, the lot of them. All of them. MK's well-updated, at least on where who went.

Cheers to him. And his physics too. =)