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Archive for February, 2004

The weekend sigh of relief

Saturday, February 21st, 2004

Temporary relief, no doubt, and not even a sufficient dose.  I have four restaurants to review, a nature walk to write up and two quizzes to study for (biology and French!!).  And that’s not even considering the applied math problem set and piles of Reading (note the capital ‘R’) I have to do.  I know I’m not the only one with stuff to do, and I know I’m not even particularly busy yet – just wait till crew, HPIE and safety walk kick in! – but that still leaves me on the breathless side.

Also, I seem to be coming down with something.  Now this is clearly a random bug since I’ve been eating and sleeping fairly regularly and in suitable amounts.  I pray it blows over quickly.

See you next week!

A day in the life

Thursday, February 12th, 2004

So for those who may randomly wonder what I do everyday with my time…  here’s a day in my life (approximately 24 hours):

Last night I chatted with Doug about blocking, and many other things, until 4.30am, then forced myself awake at 8.30am to look at my Chem15 script, on which I found a grading error worth 4 weighted points, which won’t make a difference to my final grade, I don’t think.  

By 10am I had managed to get dressed properly, send out some emails, pack a quick breakfast and pick up my Annenberg bag lunch (which I will eat thrice weekly for the rest of the semester).    French at 10am, Applied Math at 11am, Biology at noon, ESPP10 at 1pm, a tiny break from 2,30 till 3pm, during which I turned in my study card and proctor evaulations (due today) and took a ten minute nap. 

At 3pm I woke up and went to Religion 1529.  Brian Palmer is amazing, he really is, and most people already know this.  His class is astounding, truly life-changing and undeniably fascinating, and I’ve only heard two of the superlative guest speakers – Cynthia Enloe and Swanee Hunt. 

Between 4 and 5pm I checked my mail, wrote some emails and then saw Wong Kar Wai’s lovely In the Mood for Love (yay Netflix!) till just past 6.30pm.  Dinner was Korean BBQ at Boylston Hall, compliments of the Asian American brotherhood, and dessert of apple crisp and soft-serve at Adams House dining hall. 

At 7.15pm I went to the Crimson for FM’s weekly writer’s meeting, although I don’t think I’ll be writing anything this week.  I do have something out in this week’s issue though, the first issue of the semester with the historic first colour-print cover too.  At 8.15pm I headed to buy dinner for Neil and ice cream for Emily, whose room I hung out at for half an hour (and where I picked up the biology section manual for Ryan and I from Xin Wei).  

By 9pm I was back in my room, where I sent out my application to volunteer at the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter, read various other emails and downloaded the theme to “In the Mood for Love” as well as SATC 617.  From 10pm till just past 12pm I very slowly read half of the Biology reading for Friday and chatted with Neil about blocking.  

Around midnight I snoozed briefly on the futon.  I roused and went to wash up at 12.30am, after which I sectioned online for Religion 1529, then started blogging and reading blogs at 1am.  I will be in bed soon, just past 2am.  I plan to wake up at 9.30am tomorrow.



Sunday, February 8th, 2004

As I told Devon, I can’t believe I’m feeling so happy to turn *twenty-old-two*.  But that’s what a whole lot of friends and a surprise birthday thing can do to you.  Thanks y’all – I’m truly touched :))

From left, 
front row: Matt, Yuping, Weylin, me
middle row: Russell, Shi Ming, Devon, Ryan, Michael
back row: Alex, Xin Wei, Emily, Dan, Doug

The Surprise Party (8 Feb 2004)


Thankyouthankyouthankyou! My first surprise birthday party, and it only took two decades a bit more to plan 😉  It’s the night of the Grammy’s, and the Black Eyed Peas are being nominated for Best Song with their plaintive hit “Where is the Love?”.  So where is the love?  For a couple of hours, it was in Wigg H-22.  *Beams*  It was beyond gratifying to unexpectedly find my roommates, so many of my friends and my fellow Singaporeans in one room.  From the bottom of my ageing heart, thank you.

And of course some people came late…  so we had take more pictures!  🙂

From left: Neil, Xin Wei, Alex, Emily, Mike, me, Ryan

The Surprise Party Reloaded (8 Feb 2004)



It’s almost absurd to think my 21st year has already ended, given how brief and event filled it has been.  In 365 days I was promoted to Lieutenant, left the army, came to Harvard and finished an eventful semester.

I made a wish.  I pray it gets realised.


It’s sad, but I have to go do some work, now.  Happy birthday, me :p

Shopping week continues

Saturday, February 7th, 2004

And all is well as shopping week continues.  I still love my classes.   (We saw the documentary Blue Vinyl in ESPP 10 today – I’m so lucky to *have* to take this class!)

I’m a bit too tired to ramble on having gone out to dinner tonight and spent the last couple of hours formatting pictures to put on this blog.  My favourite postcard style picture:

US Supreme Court, 31 Jan 2004“>

So go see the photos!  I cropped and tweaked and captioned them for hours, so make it worth my while by clicking here (or on the “Index of Photos” link on the left sidebar).  They’re mostly from the Intercession trip, although there’s also one from tonight and one from back in Singapore.  I’ll think about putting more online when I recover from the energy spent putting these ones up.

Happy Birthday Wojtek!  Legal Sea Foods has been named the best seafood restaurant in the US several times, so it’s no surprise the food was excellent.  Never mind that we had to trudge through ankle deep slush and puddles to get there 😉  We still love you Wojtek!

From left: Xin Wei, Ryan, Emily, me, Wojtek, Chrissy, Becca, Russell, Devon, Devri

Wojtek’s Birthday Dinner at Legal Sea Foods (6 Feb 2004)



Tonight was also Woitek’s birthday (Happy Birthday!), so we went out to dinner at the Legal Sea Foods near the Boston Aquarium.  Yummy food, good times.  Seems like we’re all getting older really fast 😉

A New Beginning

Friday, February 6th, 2004

What can I say?  The Liberty Bell is just behind the photographer – I just thought we made better subjects.  I can promise that I do have excellent pictures of the Bell itself which I couldn’t be bothered to caption and post, so ask me for them if you want them.  Random thought: Philadelphia is such a pretty, historic city.  Lucky Emily 🙂

From left: Ryan, Emily, Xin Wei, Shi Ming, me

The gang at the Liberty Bell (29 Jan 2004)



I’m back!  Intercession was great 🙂 Big Thank Yous to Emily, her parents and her Auntie for putting us up and putting up with us, for shuttling us about and providing scrumptious food.  And my appreciation goes to Ryan (Sim City 4! The midnight masseur!), Shiming (table tennis in bare feet – don’t try this in Emily’s home!), Xinwei (running through the snow in Times Square and *that* pin), Dan (Teresa’s and the Princeton walkabout!) and of course, Emily again (Devon’s beanie!!!  LOL  I’m sure we still love you *muah*!), for making my intercession so enjoyable and filled with laughter.

I *love* the bread at Cosi!  You *have* to try the  sandwiches sometime…  This is after our visit to the Holocaust Memorial Museum, before our walk past the White House (just around the corner).  We were _very_ hungry, and had a two hour lunch.  Mmmmmn

From left: Emily, me, Xin Wei, Becca & Jiayu

At Cosi (1 Feb 2004)




I’ll talk more about it at some point, and put some pictures up, but not right now (it’s bedtime). 


I just wanted to say that my classes for this semester are really exciting.  I’m taking:

– Environmental Science & Public Policy 10 (the wonderfully interdisciplinary introduction to my concentration – *this* is why I chose to do liberal arts)

– Biological Science 50: Genetics & Genomics (the introductory biology course required for my concentration and for pre-med.  It looks intense, but not frightening.)

– French 48b (it’s about contemporary French society, I’m not sure if I’m going to take this or a lower level French conversation class – we’ll see.  The prof comes highly recommended by Emily though.)

– Religion 1529: Personal Choice & Global Transformation (The largest elective class at Harvard – between 300 and 500 students – this is *the* reason I came to a place like Harvard.  Bascially every week we read some stuff about some amazing people, then these same amazing people come in and are interviewed by the class for an hour, after which we write a response paper.  Scheduled guests include Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, Robert Reich, Larry Summers, Ralph Nadar, Paul Farmer, Alfie Kohn, Howard Zinn…wow!!)

– Applied Math 21b (to which I’ve become sort of irrationally fond of.)

I’ve decided not to take Steven Pinker’s phenomenally popular class (Science B-62: The Human Mind), because it seems like too much work, the lectures appear to be a rehash of his bestselling books (which I can read on my own), and it’s just way too crowded.  I think I’m probably just going to forego a freshman seminar as well – my study card is already filled to capacity.

So far all my classes are on M, W, F, so I have empty Tuesdays and Thursdays again.  Joy.  Here’s praying that this semester will be fulfilling, balanced and manageable.