July 31, 2004

I'm disappointed. When I return to familiar shores in November, all that will be waiting for me is an unfamiliar home. Mom told me last night that the residents in my condominium have agreed rather unanimously to an en bloc sale. So is this it? 15 years of memories and childhood silliness all lost? It's sad really and to say that this has got me down would be an understatement. Somehow, someway, I'm going to have to call somewhere else my home. I'd have to pick up the broken pieces of my childhood which would all be crushed under the weight of an excavator. What then of Ben, Eugene, Terry? I'm sure we'll all keep in contact no doubt. But whether there'd be ease in us getting together would be another question totally. Many things are changing and it's at this point in my life that I realise life is ever-changing, constantly in motion. I'm going to have to learn to move on from this phase of my life to the another, higher echelon.

But enough of the sad stuff, this week has been better than the last and hopefully it can only get better. I've made many new friends in Hope Of God Church and my new Clayton CCM Cell. I've finally found a soccer team to play with! Suddenly, I don't quite feel so alone as I did 2 weeks ago. Tutorials and lectures have been going on pretty fine although I do feel that the hours spent in school are deceiving. People assume that my course is light because I only spend 13 hours a week in lessons but that's not the case. Although our contact ours are few, we are expected to do alot of reading, self-study and presentations which do take up alot of our time. So there. Those who say my course is light...Up your ass please.

Ok, enough of blogging. Back to biological essentialism and structural functionalism.

Traveller fell apart at 1:02 PM

July 24, 2004

It's strange. The entire week has come and gone. Days here seem to fly by in a twinkle of an eye and I'm not sure whether that's such a good thing to be. I don't really know where to begin and so I'll start with Monday. Of course. Monday.

We had a Sociology lecture and tutorial on Monday although I must say the lecturer reminds me of a particular teacher I had in secondary school. Neat, systematic and strict, Kirsten McLean takes no nonsense from us and expects none. Then there was my tutor, Jack Roberts. He's a really nice guy and from the onset, he made it clear to us that we had to speak up in order to have fun in the tutorial. Of course. Speaking up. Now that's been a challenge. I've done it of course but in doing so, find myself feeling really self-conscious. You see, in Singapore where English is not the main staple language, I consider my spoken and written English to be in the upper echelons. Over here, it's not quite so similar. English is a staple here and I sometimes find myself embarassed to speak with a Singaporean slang or am simply afraid that the Caucasians don't understand me. I'm trying and learning but it is going to take some time. Hopefully it will be sooner rather than later.

Tuesday and I had Psychology lectures and Linguistics tutorials and lectures.  Psychology is really beginning to interest me even more. We had a lesson in social psychology and the effect on humans that crowds have. Interesting and enlightening really. I am going to enjoy this so much! Linguistics was rather interesting as well. You see, for the first time in my life, I have encountered someone with a slang which I am unable to decipher. Usually, if a Caucasian came up to me and spoke with a German slang, I'd be able to tell. French slang, and I'd be able to tell. American, Australian, British etc. My lecturer, Anna Margetts, has no slang! Yes, it is really quite fascinating although that's not the most fascinating thing about this woman. Anna actually constructed an entire written language for a tribe in Papua New Guinea. That's like 'wow'. I was blown off my chair when I heard it and I'm sure you'd be too ; if you knew the complexities and intrinsic details that go into our everyday speech.

Wednesday and there was Communication Studies. Daniel Black reminds me of a particular character in 'Alias' known as Julian Sark(sp?). Nothing much to say about him although I did enjoy his last question in which he asked whether a urinal placed in a museum and signed off by a prominent artist could be considered Art. Go figure.

Thursday was hectic. There was a Communication Studies tutorial in the morning followed by Sociology and Linguistics lectures. I managed to use the time between these lectures to catch up on some readings indicated by Kirsten McLean, my Sociology lecturer. And I think I'm beginning to enjoy the Monash library. It's really quiet, comfortable and there's a cafe in the basement. How convenient can it get?

Friday was light because I only had a lecture in the morning although I did utilise the free afternoon to plan my essay which is due in a month. And through this week, something I've realised is that University is quite unlike what you get in JC or secondary school. In here, they expect you to show initiative, to get what you want out of the tutors and to plan your own studying times and schedules. It's an eye-opener but it will surely be something to hold onto in the future working world.

Weekend's finally here and I'm relaxing for abit. One thing good about this place? When they say it's the weekend, it certainly sounds like it.

Traveller fell apart at 5:48 PM

July 18, 2004

I've been silent mostly for the past week because nothing much has been happening. Everyday it has been the same, monotonous even. Weather's been getting colder and at times, it gets so cold that it bites you to the bone. I think I'm beginning to get used to life here... The shopping for groceries, the preparation of my own meals, taking care of my own bills etc. It's relieving in a way to be independent and I'm relishing the moment. Perhaps the only thing non-monotonous I did was when I went to the city and stayed overnight at Lin Bin's place because the buses here end service at 8:10pm on weekends. YES. You didn't see it wrong. 8:10PM. Bah. To top it off, the intervals here are 40 minutes and you'd be hard pressed to wait in the cold if you got a bus timing wrong or you left your house 5 minutes late. So as luck would have it, I decided to stay at Lin Bin's due to the cold and relative safety of myself. As I struggled in bed, I realised the house didn't have a heater! If you have no heater over here in winter, you'd be liable to freeze. LITERALLY. When I got up the next morning, my joints were stiff and I felt like I was 80 and suffering from arthiritis. Suddenly, Deakin Hall seems like a paradise where I have my own room, heater and internet connection coupled with peace and quiet.
School's starting tomorrow at long last. After waiting and pining, my school is starting. And no, I'm not crazy for hoping that school starts. It's just that having spent nearly 2 weeks here waiting for school to begin, the anticipation is slowly but surely killing me. So tomorrow I will finally meet my coursemates and begin my ensuing 4 year journey. Tomorrow is Day 1. I'm reeking with excitement and yet, the nerves are killing me. Think I should sleep right now so I'd be fresh for tomorrow. More about it later.

Traveller fell apart at 11:32 PM

July 09, 2004

So this is it. My Promised Land. Somehow, it doesn't quite fit the bill. Over the past two days, it has been incredibly rainy and overcast with the skies threatening to open up on the poor unfortunate soul caught in the midst of it. There has been a worrying lack of activity in the Halls where I am staying and I was told it was due to the holiday season where everyone packs up and goes home. Except me. Now I know how people living in temperate countries get their inspiration for songs and poems about melancholy and sadness because this is the crux of it all. The wilting trees, the cold unforgiving atmosphere, the chilling wind which sends a shiver down your spine and the pelting rain which complements that chilling wind. Temperatures go to as low as 7-8C at night and combined with the wind chill factor, it surely does require you to don 3 layers of clothing before you are comfortable.

I won't deny it. I'm missing home like hell now. For every time that I said I'd enjoy the weather in Australia, I take it back. I'm missing the warmth I receive from friends and loved ones back home. I'm missing the humid weather which thwaps at your face like a warm towel does. I'm missing all the delicacies of Singapore like the 'char kuey teow', 'oh chien' etc. I had lunch at the canteen here yesterday and discovered some of the noodles weren't well cooked at all. Oh, and in case you guys didn't know, food here is extremely expensive. A plate of rice with vegetables and beancurd plus a soup cost me $5.50. Which is comparatively cheap here. So you can see, life here is not exactly a bed of roses. Not as I thought anyway.

The silence is deafening in the Halls as well. For the past two days I have been here, I have not once met a single soul in my Hall. Which is pretty sad eh? Only until yesterday morning did I manage to speak to a Singaporean guy here who kindly invited me to a barbeque this Saturday evening. Hopefully, it'll be fun and I'll finally get to meet some friends. If not, I'm going to start resorting to talking to myself. Yes, it is THAT bad here. You did not see it wrongly. I am going to have to TALK TO MYSELF if things don't start improving around here.

Right then, I have to go. I'm going to a nearby shopping centre to have a look-see and get what I need. Till later then.

Traveller fell apart at 10:52 AM

July 06, 2004

And so here. It is time to leave. Into the unknown. See you on the other side.

Traveller fell apart at 6:11 PM

July 04, 2004

20 Questions To A Better Personality.

You are an SEDF--Sober Emotional Destructive Follower. This makes you an evil genius. You are extremely focused and difficult to distract from your tasks. With luck, you have learned to channel your energies into improving your intellect, rather than destroying the weak and unsuspecting.

Your friends may find you remote and a hard nut to crack. Few of your peers know you very well--even those you have known a long time--because you have expert control of the face you put forth to the world. You prefer to observe, calculate, discern and decide. Your decisions are final, and your desire to be right is impenetrable.

You are not to be messed with. You may explode.

Traveller fell apart at 4:28 AM

July 02, 2004

Bill Cosby's comments on African-Americans.

A very good article if you ask me. Challenges the norm and conventional thinking that the Caucasians are persecuting the African-Americans in America. Which reminds me of a certain situation which is inherently similar in Singapore. (If you catch my drift, that is.)

If you are poor and uneducated, ask yourself why. Don't go round blaming the government and the other races in the country for stifling you out. Don't expect to receive privileges just because your forefathers discovered this piece of land before everyone else. Don't even try to pin the blame for your state on poor social conditions. Simply put, you have not worked hard and it is your own mentality that has brought misfortune on yourself. It's dampening really to see that there are existing individuals who blame misfortune solely upon society and never upon themselves. Makes us wonder why the rest of us work to better ourselves if we can just sit by the side, rot and complain.

Take for example the biased policy in Malaysia. If you ask me, that entire thing is a farce. Why give a certain race more privileges and quotas into schools if it's obvious that they will not make it. It only pulls down the general standard of your country and efficiency, doesn't it? What is the rationale behind it? Truly logic-defying stuff. But of course, we have come to expect that of Malaysia haven't we? But on hindsight, perhaps that's the entire reason why Malaysia finds it hard to catch up with Singapore and only until recently where they started revision on their policies do we see a resurgence in Malaysia.

To all those who feel offended by the issue, simply put. Don't read it. To those who want to continue blaming society for your own laziness, go ahead. Just remember that the rest of us are moving along and you are just one frog in the big, fat shithole. Damn, I wish Fandi Ahmad was to come out and say something like Bill Cosby.

Traveller fell apart at 2:54 PM

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