Saturday, 26 May 2007

Anything, Whatever
Check it out. This is like our random bridge bidding. So random. Very cool names, apt for Singapore.
I don't predict that it'll last long though.. People like to know what it is that they're having, the excitement will last for a while, but once people find a taste they don't like, they're likely to avoide the product completely. Since Singaporeans are not exactly very adventurous, unless they post some hints on what each can contains, I doubt this product will be popular for long.

If this is alcoholic, it might be a bigger hit.

Restaurants should have random menus. We should have a random restaurant generator, help us choose places to eat every friday. We should live stochastic lives.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Overly friendly (excessively social) personality
Individuals with Williams syndrome have a very endearing personality. They have a unique strength in their expressive language skills, and are extremely polite. They are typically unafraid of strangers and show a greater interest in contact with adults than with their peers.
~ Williams Syndrome Association

So it's possible to be "overly friendly", and that is a disease. Is sociability genetic? Do I have an AS gene?

Sunday, 20 May 2007

There are times where I feel that I need to write, but when I do sit in front of a manuscript paper or a keyboard, I go blank. Like now, I feel that there are stuff inside me rushing to get out, but I can't change them to something pleasurable. How does sublimation work? Composition class is out of the question, or maybe it's not.. but I wonder what they teach..

Monday, 14 May 2007

Philip Glass composed incidental music for two separate theater productions of the story of Metamorphosis by Kafka. These two themes, along with two themes from the Errol Morris film The Thin Blue Line, were incorporated into a five-part piece of music for solo piano entitled Metamorphosis. ~Wikipedia

The thing about hanging out with seniors who are graduating is that I play as much as them, and don't study as much as I need to. Like right now, I should be reading Hannah Arendt or at least sketching my Hum essay outline, but I can't bring myself to do work, so I'm doing something which my superego approves as being productive such as blogging (compared to watching Survivor or playing some old grandmother's game). Well, undergrad life is about playing, enjoying life.. I'm not so sure about the going through boys like snap part.. but I'm not complaining about the playing part.

Friday. Grad dinner. Little Italy is a happening place at night. It's very pretty, a very quaint feeling, a great place to hang out if I'm a tourist, nothing like quiet La Jolla at all. Food was ok, service wasn't bad. We wouldn't mind slowness anyway since all we're doing is sit and chit chat. So many people are graduating. It won't be the same next year.

Sat. Kayaking at La Jolla Shores. Wow it was fun. Kayaking in the Pacific Ocean, in a marine reserve, seeing orange fishies swimming around, going through caves like Disneyland rides, trying not to open mouth towards the sky to prevent birdies from pooping into undesirable places, laughing at the noisy sea lions, admiring the giant kelps, having a surfer dude guide, enjoying the sun, sea and company, and best of all, riding the wave back on land. It's like surfing on a kayak. =) Just try not to fall into the water, it's cold.

Sun. Ultimate unproductive day. Went La Scala and signed a lease. I think it's done in a moment of impulse, my impulse, but it's done. I don't want to spend too much energy on this. People ought to veto me when I do impulsive things, but since no one said anything. Well. Went home intending to read about antisemitism, and ended up playing Simpsons road rage trying to hit lampposts and radioactive wastes and logs and so on.. Did minimal reading, went out for dinner, and rented The Prestige to watch. Magicians are brilliant. Obsession is an understatement for these people. Tricks are their lives. So much sacrifice is made for the climax trick.

Some stats to see where you stand.
High school graduates, percent of persons age 25+, 2000: 80.4%
Bachelor's degree or higher, pct of persons age 25+, 2000: 24.4%
% of P1 cohort who
Sat for GCE ‘N’ or ‘O’ Level Examinations and had at least 5 ‘N’ level passes or 3 ‘O’ level passes, 2005: 86.9%
Admitted into university: 23.1% (I don't know if this figure considers those in universities outside the country)

So conclusion, if you're in university, you're among the lucky 1/5 of your batch that made it/ want to be there. Even if you scrape through college and barely graduate, you'll still have a higher qualifications than 80% of the population.

I don't know if I mentioned this, I liked John's philosophy of teaching because he believes that everyone has the capability to get an A. I don't feel like it's impossible to get As, even though my As are few. Looking at the stats, at how uni admissions/ process filters out so many people, is the assumption that everyone can make it present? Just finished grading/ scoring the midterm, some people got pathetically little points, I feel sad for them. Some of them really wrote a lot of stuff, nice and neat, but wrong. Do they not care about this class? Or some people just can't do it? I guess so far, I've been able to do reasonably well in classes, I wonder what it feels to be be stuck getting 50% all the time, unable to improve. Well actually I know.. After my long series of Bs, I just give up on that class and just go get Bs.. Can I do something? Anything?

Getting out of point. My point was that so far we've been able to surf through school, bobbing up and down near the top easily. Shouldn't I stop where I'm still good in before entering and sinking in the next phase of education? I'm most certain that grad sch isn't for everybody. If only a quarter of the pop makes it through college, I'm sure only a quarter of this, or even less, makes it through professional and grad sch. Am I among those?
Happiness is driven by hope and novelty. Once you achieved your target, the bubble of happiness that's been growing bigger all this while explodes, flooding you with happiness, for an instant, and then it evaporates, flows away, diffuse into the atmosphere.

I remembered that I wanted to blog, but I can't remember what I wanted to blog about. Maybe next time.

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Death Valley photos

Yup I went to Death Valley, 2 weeks back, over the weekend, no special occasion, except that Jason finished his Qs, grad sch's tough man.. Death Valley, quite a few different environments there, the cooler high altitudes, the freakingly hot lower altitudes near and below sea level, the sandy desert, the rocky mountains, the few oasis with salty rivers, the plains of salt.. Very interesting. We hiked, I slept somewhere on the slope of the mountain instead of going to the peak. We slept outside in the open air cos it was way too hot, we talked loads of crap. In short, it was a great trip, I finally saw a real sandy desert! And company was lots of fun. Check out the photos =)

People always tell me that sun yanzi's chinese is not good. The other day I was listening to a long interview with sun yanzi and I realise that I speak like her. In other words, my Chinese is going down the drain..

Hosted senior house last sat. I was lousy. I can't talk and make sense to so many people. I should just strike a deal with whoever i'm hosting with next time for me to be the planner and he the executer.

Honours banquet. I actually know quite a few people this time. People from my dorm last year, from classes, TAs, professors.. Too bad too bad too bad that there wasn't any professor at my table. Perrin was real fun last year. Think there are much more students this year. So speakers talked about the Renaissance man, the Revelle philosophy and reminded me what on earth I want to get out of college. I wanted to learn all sorts of things when I just got out JC, I wanted to have a basic knowledge (at least know that something exists) of many many things. And the doctor, I forgot his name, was right, if nothing else, Hum taught us how to read. I'm in the middle of my undergrad life now, I shall save the conclusion of Revelle life for graduation.

Honours banquets are always a wake up call, a jerk to alertness and a call for evaluation of where exactly am I in my life, where am I on the path to any goals, how far have I achieved wrt expections from others. It also shows what others have done, and what's possible to be done. Of course it's also a practice of socialising skills, half an hour of pre-dinner mingling and dinner table conversation need skills. It might be lucky that my table is purely undergrad, we talked about student life instead of about chemistry and nuclear energy like we did last year. And I know my Hum professor was talking about Kafka with his table and Caldwell was saying that he was tempted to ask us all abt categorical imperatives. Revelle profs. Haha. Interestingly, the only person that looked sincerely happy to see me was john. I should go talk to him some day. Probably after I'm done with this Hum series.

Monday, 7 May 2007

Ways to be sociable:
1. Act as if you've known the person forever. Crack jokes, make fun of them, talk crap.
2. Be well-versed in all topics, so that you have something substantial to say no matter what topics come up.
3. Be ultra-nice, find things to talk about, make small talk out of nothing
4. Let the other person talk and be a great listener
5. Be a riddlebag/ jokebag and throw out riddles and jokes continuously to entertain everyone =)
I find it useful to educate oneself on the weather. It makes good conversation for 1 minute. Great elevator topic.