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Archive for December, 2004

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 31st, 2004

It’s just past 10am.  I’m going to lie down.  Pictures to come.  Happy New Year 🙂

You Are a Warrior Soul

You’re a strong person and sometimes seen as intimidating. You don’t give up. You’re committed and brave. Truly adventuresome, you are not afraid of going to battle. Extremely protective of loved ones, you root for the underdog. You are picky about details and rigorous in your methods. You also value honesty and fairness a great deal. You can be outspoken, intimidating, headstrong, and demanding. You’re a hardliner who demands the best from themselves and others. Souls you are most compatible with: Old Soul and Peacemaker Soul

What Kind of Soul Are You?


Thursday, December 30th, 2004

It almost surprises me, that this vacation is coming to an end, and that very soon I will be headed back to campus.  Which is really another world for me.  A different crowd in a different wardrobe, a different accent and a different outlook.

I’m glad I came back, not least because my luggage is returning at least three times heavier than when I arrived.  I’ve also managed a bit of a tan, sunscreen notwithstanding, and to feel less like I just constantly overate, the past 48 hours notwithstanding.  Very Ipanema, if you know what I mean.

I’ve had time to think about various things, and rest, and be very quiet.  I remembered a couple of things, and realised some other things, and it’s all good.  Right now I’m undecided between feeling that the finals coming up will be just fine, and feeling resignedly calm.

Happy New Year, everyone!  May 2004 be remembered fondly, and 2005 even more so 🙂

So few people were in Singapore this holiday season, what with the rare two-week break for NUS medical students and the equally brief Winter Recess.  Terence, Wanyi and myself still managed to meet for lunch and some rich dessert though.  I miss you guys lots!

A tropical winter break at NYDC (27 Dec 2004)


Boxing Day 2004

Sunday, December 26th, 2004

How awful.  An undersea earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale struck at about 7am this morning off the coast of Sumatra in Indonesia, triggering massive tsunamis that have killed thousands in Indonesia, Thailand, the Maldives, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and India.  Resorts in places I’ve visited like Phuket and Phi Phi Island have been completely swept away.  It’s reportedly the fifth largest tremor recorded since 1900, and the largest since 1964.

Tragic.  And just imagine when it’s Tokyo’s turn.

Christmas has come and gone again.  Which leaves me wondering – what will the new year bring?  *Apprehensive*

Countdown to finals

Sunday, December 19th, 2004

I just arrived home not ten minutes ago, adjusting to the different palette of colours here under the warmer, more intense yellow-white sunlight of the tropics, and the more luxuriant air and vegetation.  I had a good flight home, no problems (other than missing my bus and then nearly missing my plane, you know, the usual) and I think I’ve finally gotten the trick to not overeating on the plane – just don’t eat much that day.

I’m not sure I’ve had such a productive journey since the last December when I read a goodly chunk of Not in Front of the Children for expos ( and mostly on the bus).  I started and finished the very excellent Da Vinci Code I’ve been meaning to read for a while now (thanks Tomas for lending it to me), got through about a third of Six Names of Beauty and saw three movies (here I’ll only reveal that one of them was De-Lovely, which I’ve also been dying to see).

So my last day of classes…  I skipped two classes to finish a problem set which I turned in two hours late, and then at 9.30pm I realised that I’d *forgotten* to turn in the chemistry problem set due at 5pm that I’d completed the night before.  I’m an awful student, aren’t I.  And just to add to the unfortunate events of the day, while cycling back from my 9am meeting with Prof Clark I slipped on the icy street and fell very awkwardly, throwing my back out and leaving me with lower back pain that made even putting shoes on a painful experience. 

On the upside, I went to see Whose Wife is it Anyway, which Calum is in.  It was brilliantly done, and quite easily the best stage production I’ve seen at Harvard.  I didn’t get to speak to Calum because he disappeared and I’d lost his number, but he was great.  Go see this show if you get the chance!  So funny, so British, so well executed.

Productivity zero

Sunday, December 12th, 2004

Yet it’s not even a problem 🙂

This weekend I went to the Formal, watched netflix, went to the gym, read that philosophy/aesthetics book I took out of Lamont because it looked interesting, saw Harvard Idol, went to Jorian’s cocktail party, went to church, went shopping, took naps and sang at three Dins gigs.  And ate about 1 real meal (Friday dinner), but a lot of finger food, and snacks.

I really should try and get at least a little bit of work done tonight.

Oh, and scroll down and tackle my music meme!

One week till Winter Recess

Saturday, December 11th, 2004

And I can’t wait.  Only 3 problem sets and a lab stand between me and that 30 hour trek home.

In the last couple of days, I’ve had:
1) A one hour breakfast meeting with my house co-Master
2) A 20-minute chat with my BS 51 professor
3) A 20 minute chat with my seminar professor from last year
4) An hour and a half consultation with one of the program coordinators from last year
5) A half hour discussion with my Senior Tutor

And I’m in the midst of arranging a meeting with my academic advisor.  Let’s hope something comes out of all this.  If nothing else, I’m still totally loving this feeling of being free to think and relax.

PS: Guess who I ran into at the swish private Christmas party we sang at tonight?  My academic advisor and his wife!  Hah!
PPS: That was a *great* party.

The music meme

Friday, December 10th, 2004

It’s the night of the Winter Formal, and I have another two hours before I go, probably.  So let’s try this out (courtesy of Jol):

Step 1: Get your playlist together, put it on random, and play!
Step 2: Pick your favorite lines from the first 25 songs that play!
Step 3: Post and let everyone you know guess what song the lines come from!
Step 4: Cross out the songs when someone guesses correctly!

My taste in music is both quite eclectic and pretty pedestrian, so this should mostly be a shoo-in for people 🙂  I also suspect that many of these lines are going to contain the song titles, haha.  They’re all popular English songs I know most of the words to, and no acapella tracks.  It’s actually surprising how many non-English, instrumental or acappella tracks I had to skip over.  Here we go!

1) And even if it doesn’t sound like….  jazz
2) God only knows what I’d be without you…
3) So put your best dress on, and wrap yourself in the arms of someone…
4) And now Ella, Ella, and her fellers, are makin’ a wreck, oh what a wreck of Mack the Knife.
5) He made his home in that fish’s abdomen…
6) And every time I feel afraid, I hold tight onto my faith….
7) And they asked me if I would do a little number, and I sang with all my might…
8) There are corn fields and wheat fields enough to grow…

9) Tell me what it’s like to be a star on the rise, a breakfast-cereal prize.
10) You’re looking good in that Gucci bikini, thirty-eight carats, your ring lookin’ freezy
Four o’clock in the morning, my mind is filled with a thousand thoughts of you.
12) I see friends shaking hands, saying “how do you do?”…
13) …till He appeared, and the soul felt its worth.
14) Questions of science, science and progress…
15) Feel good, real good, I don’t got no brain
16) I’ve waited all my life to cross this line…
17) Do my foolish alibis bore you?
18) Someone to sing to me, some little summer song…
19) You’re beautiful, you are, and you know it.
20) We’re talking two-way monologues, with words that rhyme.
21) When I look into your eyes, I see something that money can’t buy.
22) If you wanna party, just grab somebody…
23) Close your eyes now and rest, may these hours be blessed.
24) In that time I went and said goodbye, now I’m back and not ashamed to cry
25) ‘Cos every kiss is a kiss you can never get back…

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve listened to my playlist in such a random fashion, ever since I started using real rhapsody.

Another monday morning

Monday, December 6th, 2004

And just like that, my glorious, fleeting weekend of relaxation is over.  In just two weeks I’ll probably be headed home though.  Now that’s a happy thought.

No more chem 17 midterms!

Saturday, December 4th, 2004

Creative black tie opening of The Pirates of Penzance at the Agassiz Theatre, co-produced by Xin Wei, programs by Adrian, performed by Wojtek and Matt.  A fun night out, and I got to sit in a swoon of orchids for two hours.  Sweet.  Hard to believe I had a chemistry midterm the next morning.

From left: Xin Wei, Adrian, Joanna, Wojtek, Christine, me

Opening Night of Pirates of Penzance (2 Dec 2004)


At just past noon today, my quality of life shot up by a ridiculous amount.  Yay end of Chem 17 midterms!  Whew.  Not that I did well or anything, but at least its over.  It was even gloriously sunny and everything 🙂

And then I had a biology lecture that made me realise (kind of sadly), that on some level I’m truly missing out on the intellectual challenge part of the college experience that I came here for.  Professor Holbrook was far too technical and lingo-y for this course (as compared to the first two thirds), but her lecture is the first time I’ve ever heard plant physiology convincingly portrayed as an exciting field with many fascinating questions being investigated that could impact our lives!  EPS is vaguely interesting but frustrates me with it’s maddeningly simple-impossible syllabus, Chem 17 is challenging (really shouldn’t be) and kind of invigorating but not that exciting intellectually (arrow-pushing??).  Ec 10 is useful, but very, very, very basic and sedately-paced.  French 170 is intruiging and has moments of brilliance, but is unlikely to leave a lasting impression (ask me again after I somehow write fifteen pages of French for my final paper).

Which leaves me wondering if I should be hunting out at least a couple of really challenging/exciting classes for next semester (which would involve a major study-plan overhaul), or for next year (ditto, but maybe a bit less so).  And just when I was getting comfortable with taking the easiest classes I could get away with, too.

We got back our midterms in biology today.  I think my final grade is pretty much stuck in purgatory now, which is better than it was before today.

At my very first tailgate during the Harvard-Yale game, and very first football game too.  The Din alums had their very own tailgate, complete with G&Ts and lime-green balloons.

From left: Jon, me, Gary, Jay, Evan, Adam

Dins tailgate at The Game (20 Nov 2004)



Thursday, December 2nd, 2004

Unbelievably blustery today, to the point where it almost got difficult to walk.

Thanksgiving was spent quietly, and quite productively on campus.  I got a fair amount of sleep, and saw The Incredibles (everyone has to see this!  So much better than Finding Nemo in terms of plot, emotional core, sountrack, special effects, style… and hilarious.  Go see it!), did laundry and made four trips to the gym over five days.  On Friday a small group of us Dins drove up to New Hampshire to sing at a lovely little wedding in Portsmouth, where I got my first shaky chance with Shanandoah.  It was a fun gig though.

So now its December.  H-Y weekend is over, Thanksgiving is over.  I have my last chemistry midterm on Wednesday, and then an Ec midtem on Monday (where’d that one come from??).  So. much. work.  Sigh.  But there’s the Pirates opening tomorrow, the Winter Formal on Dec 10, and then a week and a bit till Winter Recess.  The semester is coming to an end, before I feel like I’ve learnt enough to take final exams, before I feel completely moved into E-12, and before I’ve figured out what I’m going to do next summer.  I’m still happy though, even as I half-consider not taking Chem 27 next semester, dropping premed, and taking just four classes next semester.

In other news, my French paper got a good grade, no small thanks to Christine, who must have corrected well over a hundred errors a page.  Now if I only knew what I’m going to say on the longer (is that even possible?) final paper.

All right, must go work on getting a C on that midterm on Friday.  Ok, so maybe I exaggerate.  I’ll probably get a B-   :/