Graduation

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Better late than never.
Be warned, I’m not as succinct as I like to pretend to be.

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I knew I wanted a poly education ever since I was in Primary Six. Not just any poly, but specifically, Singapore Polytechnic.

The primary reason was simple – because both my brothers studied there. They used to tell me how wonderful poly life was. Students were graded, not based on their academic abilities but rather, their technical, interpersonal and presentation skills. I now know that poly was not both my brothers’ first choice. They really wanted (but failed) to get into Junior College. And perhaps were only self-consoling when they were praising SP. Hm. But whatever, poly sounded like heaven to me. Especially so when I was sitting for PSLE then.

The secondary reason was… pretty ridiculous, now that I think about it. I didn’t want to follow the crowd. I wanted to break the norm. I just wanted to be the kid who could enter JC but chose poly instead (LOL, don’t punch me please). Guess I was once pretty hip.

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Secondary Four was the darkest period of my life. Every day, I hated myself for the amount of text I had to memorize and the mathematical functions I had to solve but just couldn’t. I wanted to escape. And what better way to do so than to die? I then started drawing up plans to get hit by cars. You see, I didn’t even have the balls to end my own pathetic life (Not that it isn’t a good thing after all, haha). Even when planning my own getting-hit-by-a-car death, I knew it cannot happen while I was breaking any traffic rule. I was convinced that if I were to die in a jaywalking accident, the insurance claims that my family were entitled to would become null and I would have died in vain. I’m a very considerate suicidal person, don’t you think?

Besides, what were the odds of dying in a car accident while not jaywalking in Singapore?
I survived.

On days when I’m feeling more positive, you can find me day-dreaming about starting poly. A whole new beginning! A fresh page! No more memorizing! New friends! Those were the pictures I painted in my head with the brush and ink my brothers gave me.

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O levels were over. I was so relieved that I managed to survive and even more surprised when my Primary Six vision came true. My grades could easily get me into a decent JC but I knew I would really die in the face of A levels (haha). So here were my 12 choices for the next phase of life.

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Design was actually my initial choice.

“That can’t get you anywhere unless you are the best”

That was what I was told. Coupled with the lack of self-confidence, I took that piece of advice and went for a ‘safer’ option, which was, as you might have realized, science.

(It is also pretty evident from the picture above that I REALLY wanted to get into SP, LOL)

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With great expectations come greater disappointments. Year one in poly wasn’t what I thought it would be. Whatever happened to practical skills? We were still swallowing lecture notes and regurgitating them out during exams. Studies aside, I also didn’t click with my classmates very much nor make as many friends as I thought I would (._.”) And I blame Dover MRT for that. Ha. Thankfully, I found a group of people in my class which I call Rojak – Jolene, Kow, Riju and Michelle. At least I had friends to sit with during lunch and lectures and practicals and group presentations. I felt grateful for their existence :’)

At the end of our first year, we were required to choose our specializations:

1. Cardiac Technology
2. Biomedical Research
3. Medical Technology

You had to be a people-person to enter the first so I knew I had zero chance (haha). Besides, I wasn’t mildly interested in the heart anyway. I ended up in the second option even though I knew I didn’t want to be a researcher. I chose it merely because I was promised case-based learning, journal clubs and presentations and I was lucky enough to be one of the eighteen students chosen for this option.

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Year two semester one was like a looooooonnnngggggggggggg tunnel where you couldn’t see the light at the end but was forced to walk through it because it was impossible to turn back. Instead of the promised case-based learning and stuff like that, we were greeted with seven modules which required hardcore memorizing. Help. I felt like I was back in secondary four all over again. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that I had a totally new class. I no longer have Rojak too :(

Semester two became the turning point. I made new friends in my new class – Daiqian, Gretel and Wenjin. We were finally presented with CASE-BASED LEARNING! (Yes, I’m obsessed). We even had our own fixed classroom and iPads! Working in groups set by the lecturers was a whole new experience as well. I learnt how to work with people whom I’ve never even spoken to before – Basil, HongZheng, Janna, Junfeng & Thamil. People skills, ya? I enjoyed myself immensely despite the endless presentations to prepare for.

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Year three came our eight-months long internship cum final year project. I got to experience the life of a true researcher. Although I further confirmed that it wasn’t the job for me, I still had a really good time there. Researchers’ San Francisco trip was up next! Having not seen one another for six months combined with an overseas experience, our class bonded like superglue (I think?) :D

After returning from the trip, we were left with a month to prepare for our final reports and presentation. It was indeed stressful having to churn out triplicates of all results (read: western blot, cell proliferation assays, etc.) but with the entertainment from the Buddy Chat and the companionship I received from Melanie during weekend OT sessions, the process of report-writing was made a trillion times more bearable.

For most, the preparation for FYP would be the most stressful part of their entire poly education but the final week of preparation for our presentations back in SP was the best time of mine :)

The last chapter of this journey was the final three modules. The library replaced The Exchange as our classroom and we were thrown into new groups for the last time. Working with Basil and Melvin was quite a breeze too (despite my initial fears, hehe). I believe we kicked ass for Dr. TTL’s journal assignment. Hohoho.

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Although I didn’t want to pursue a further education in science anymore, I don’t regret having entered this course. My lecturers, classmates and CCA mates that I’ve met, they all shaped me into who I am now. And I cannot thank them enough.

(1163 words. Told you I was never as quiet as you thought I was, hehe)

Delightful little things

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Managed to unearth a couple more interesting finds while cleaning today

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A tonne of both my brothers’ Primary Six worksheets. I realised today, that all three of us were once from the same class, 6B! Different schools though, haha.

I spent the entire morning sifting through their worksheets and laughing my ass off at some of their compositions, kekeke. The thing I found most hilarious of all, is that I came across a secondary one geography exam script belonging to Kang Wei (EGG’s friend). I showed it to EGG and told him it’s never too late to return something, certainly not twelve years. I’m so curious as to how Kang Wei will react upon getting his paper back. HAHA.

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DGG’s PSLE Practice Questions (1989 – 1993) I wasn’t even born! LOL!

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DGG’s beautiful handwriting

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EGG’s violins

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Seeing this made me feel like having just met a very old friend whom I haven’t met in a million years.

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Found my very own Super Yo-yo in one of the drawers, hehehe! I remember it had costed a bomb back then, and EGG still bought it for me :,)

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Lastly, a huge chart depicting the first 152 Pokemons (in Japanese!) Cool right!

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I feel like my house is as cluttered as Number Twelve Grimmauld Place.

Massive Operation

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Hi!

I’m blogging from my phone as a means of procrastination cause, I’m halfway through a spring cleaning session of my room. Seeing that spring has long gone, you can say that this cleaning is a severely overdue one.

Siqi’s typical cleaning process:

1. Identify target area
2. Strip said area of everything
3. Marvel at (almost) everything being stripped
4. Take pictures and blog about them

It’s not the most efficient workflow but… hahaha. Erm, anyway here are some interesting things I’ve unearthed 90 minutes into “cleaning”:

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SP Enrolment Package! Feels like I was a freshman just yesterday. Three years sure flew by.

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SP Freshman Orientation stuff, in contrast with my Graduation Package, which I haven’t even had time to open (-_-“)

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AMKSS Student Handbook, LOLOL! Habits of Mind, anyone?

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All my O Level papers. Now, don’t even ask why I even keep these……….

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Pretty accurate descriptions of my old pals in secondary school. Huimin is so gonna kill me.

After 90 minutes into spring cleaning, I have come to a few conclusions:

1. I used to be super childish and was even lamer than I was childish.
2. Maybe I still am childish and lame because I couldn’t stop laughing at those lame things I found.
3. Why do I have so many files??!?!!!
4. I’m a hoarder

I dunno what to do with all my bulky ring files. Too much man, too much!

Spring cleaning is a tiring operation. Time for lunch before I continue. Or not. Hehehehehe.

10 Bittersweet Reasons To Actually Miss Going Back To School

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Originally posted on Sass & Balderdash:

1. Even though it meant the end of beach days and sleeping in, school was the definitive start of something. Time in the “real world” has a way of running together, defined by weekends that go by too fast, holidays that are too few, and nights with too little hours of sleep. In a way, the start of school always felt oddly more legitimate than simply crossing days off of the calendar.

2. It was so much easier to justify buying a completely new wardrobe. Of course you need seven new pairs of jeans and a vast array of sweaters — you’re going back to school.When you go on a shopping spree as an adult, in addition to the financial horror of entirely using your own funds, you know the clothes you buy are going to be seen by the same set of fashion-immune coworkers you’ve encountered on a…

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Visual aids

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Poorly taken but better than nothing.

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Say hi to Mr. Caterpillar, a friend I made at the flower shop. He was rescued by June and Cheryl about a month ago.

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I did my best to keep him alive with eustoma leaves. And cleaning up his artificial habitat after his pooping all over the place.

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But when I went back to the shop two weeks later, he and his box were nowhere to be found. I think he died.

RIP, Mr. Caterpillar.

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In the lab a few weeks ago, Melanie and I thawed all three of the -20 degree Celsius freezers in our lab.

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The first day of our somewhat major operation, we happily left the freezer to thaw while we went for lunch.

“Arghhhhh”

A flood greeted us after our break and there was no time for photographs.

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The amount of ice left after four hours. Our freezers really needed a deep defrosting. I even built a snowman. Sort of.

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Of course, he was gone the day after.

RIP, Mr. Frosty.

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Whilst packing the freezers, I stumbled upon a box of my FYP proteins.

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Oh, the memories. How many months did it take for me to painstakingly grow up these cells, extract their proteins, quantitate and dilute them! And in just two minutes, they were being tossed into the biohazard bin and sent for autoclaving :'(

RIP, proteins.

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I took an online anxiety test the other day and…

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RIP, tranquility.

Perhaps you’ll come back to me at the end of next week.

Anyway, after being exposed to Jesse McCartney’s music, I’m now totally hooked and am fan-girling ten years late, hohoho!

In Technicolor

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Lately, I’ve resorted to shuffling songs on Spotify in an attempt to increase the excitement level in my otherwise mundane life. And it’s turned out to be pretty exciting after all.

I spotted “In Technicolor – Jesse McCartney” while scrolling through the New Releases last week. The name rang a bell in my head and brought me back in time to a CD shop where Toing was telling me about how she was reminiscing about her childhood days by listening to his songs. Back in the present, I then clicked on the Shuffle button as pop music filled my ears. I liked most of what I heard so I’ve been repeatedly shuffling the same playlist for the next few days.

Two days later, when daiqian and I were at Jurong Point, the song “Just So You Know” started playing. The voice and melody sounded familiar and I could recognise it as something I’ve just heard recently.

Me: Do you know Jesse McCartney? This is a song from his latest album!

Daiqian: Huh, no? This is a very old song. I’m sure of it, I’ve heard it since we’re in primary school!

Me: ???

Ok, let me explain. Basically what happened was that I’ve been shuffling ALL Jesse’s songs instead of only those in his latest album. And having never listened to him previously in my younger days, unlike what all my friends have been doing then because I was too busy listening to 80’s music, I didn’t even realise I’ve been listening to all his old tracks as well (._.”)

What I’ve gathered from this incident is that I’ve got a really HUGE generation gap with people from my own generation, and In Technicolor is an awesome album.

Here’s one of my favourites:

And Superbad’s so catchy I can’t get it out of my head, hehe.