RSAF Open House

To every engine, I give the breath of life.
To every control, I give my strength.
To every wing, I give the gift of flight.
I am (was) a senior technician.

I am here for a higher purpose.

I am (was) the wind.

Today my batch and I went to the RSAF Open House…because we miss the air force? lol. We went early for the aerial display, and then went to disturb our former colleagues, warrant officers, specs and NSF, in the crew room haha. Chat with some of them for quite some time, and then we went around the static display and poke around the aircraft and pretend that we don’t know anything. We took photos with the Black Knight pilots, the crew chiefs and of course ourselves with the planes. We were crew chiefs anyway. It was kind of sad that one of the pilots did not really recognise all of us. It shows how much that we are just men.

It was quite fun to talk with some of them again. It seems like we seem to appreciate our job more now that we are not doing it anymore, and we feel more pride. While many flocked to queue up to enter the cockpit, we thought that we entered until we don’t want to enter it already. While many took photos of the exhaust as if they never seen it before, we climbed into it day after day, after day. We feel that we have been there, done that.

Back To School: nus1101

First three weeks into university life, the ‘stress’ is starting to build up.

Initially, as there were no tutorials in the first two weeks, it was still quite slack. But now that tutorials have started, there’s peer pressure and stress from other people to work hard. Everyone’s like mugging somewhere or sometime. It’s quite scary, especially with all the foreign talent stealing our spaces and opportunities. It is very evident especially during tutorial classes when there are class participation marks involved. It seems like Singaporeans are less willing to answer questions and speak up.

So far, the most interesting lecture is the Marketing lecture. The lecturer is very interactive and engaging, and the advertisement videos show during the lecture are quite funny and interesting too. Second best is of course Film Art, in which finally I get to learn what I like to learn. Unfortunately, it’s slightly daunting because it is a literature-based module, and during tutorial class the artsy people will use bombastic literary words to describe. The interesting thing is, out of a class of 20+ people, there’s only 4 guys. lol. Discrete Structures are still fine, it’s maths and logic. My maths is pretty rusty, hope I can survive. Programming is not too bad, learning everything all over again in Java. Economics lecture is boring everyday. It’s not that I already know what’s it about, but the lecturer is really boring. Fortunately I can read my old JC notes. There are group projects coming up for Marketing, and need to continue doing tutorials!

Food is generally around arts and business, with the occassional stint at engin or elsewhere. The central forum is always abuzz, the library is always filled with people studying. Went to timbre musicfest last wednesday at UCC, it was not bad, although the music is very blues and a bit loud.

So far, I’ve attended two sessions of nuSTUDIOS film school, which was too crowded in my opinion. Too many people trying to learn with not much interest of staying for the long term. I also went for a Life Meeting of Campus Crusade, which was quite interesting.

University is like a mini-reunion, where you meet your old friends from secondary school and JC. Many hi-byes and with no fixed class, it’s quite difficult to make longer-lasting friends. Treasure your moments.

FOW: The Beginning of University Life

Finally, I started life as a freshman! Finally, I can study what I want to study! (Or most of it.)

Well university started with a bang with School of Computing’s (SoC) Freshmen Orientation Week (FOW) on Aug 1. It was a one night stayover. Although the games were not as exciting as the camp, except for the ones at night, it was still fun and I made some new friends in my OG, Star and Justice. I especially liked the one in LT15, in which we are supposed to walk through the LT in complete darkness, with 2 ‘wardens’ looking out for us. The next day, we had photohunt at Holland Village, and I left to go for FOP.

Monday, 4 Aug, was Freshmen Inauguration Ceremony, which marks the official start of our university life. They made us come at 7.30am when the thing actually starts at 9.45am. Stupid timings. Met some familiar faces there, such as matt lau, bing wen, hoosy, yh and a few other people. After that my OG ate at eng canteen, which as pretty good food. Afternoon was some talks and games.

Tuesday was Flag Day. However, as I had to attend the NIS ceremony, I could not make it for flag day. I met my OG for lunch at Dhoby Ghaut before going to The Arts House for the rehearsal. Ahhah, coincidentally, Terence, two years my junior, was sitting beside me! lol. he’s also under the same company as me. How interesting can it get? The world is so small. The person who succeeded me in VS IT Club now has the same thing as me. (I trained him one leh haha =p) The ceremony was held in the Old Parliament House and it was quite funny to sit on the seats of the Cabinet. The front row seats even had names of the previous ministers. After the ceremony, there was a cocktail reception and some live band playing.

Wednesday was more talks and banner painting. However, I left at 12pm to watch The X Files with zhan vic jr and kc, which didn’t turn out very good. In the evening, I went for a nuSTUDIOS gathering at The Mind Cafe at Boat Quay, and we played some games and interacted. It was not bad.

Thursday was more talks (again) and some games. In the evening, we had the finale dinner outside SR1. The food was pretty good, worth the extra $4 we paid for package A I guess. I think the package B people really lose out cos they paid $8 for nothing much. Quite wasted. After the dinner, some groups stayed behind to help out in the rag, while others like my group went back home.

Friday was Rag day! We were asked to come at 7.30am (again) but actually the programme only started at 10.30 or 11am! lol. Waste our time waiting. Anyway, we changed to our soc fow maroon tees and proceeded to the SRC, where there are already different groups of people cheering. we sat right next to pharmacy, which happens to be wearing maroon too. so the cheerleaders decided to create a combined impromptu cheer called maroon power lol. science in front of us were very rah-rah. they had a pretty big group, all dressed in bright blue, and even had cheerleaders on ladders. they cheered very well, comparable to some of the halls.

When we went into the ‘cheer box’, I realised that how small group we were. Nevertheless, we did our best in cheering. they distributed singapore flags due to the national day observance ceremony. SoC’s float was second, after business, and comparing our dance team to the rest, we are very small and simple. no fanciful gymnastics jumping stunts, no smoke, no special effects, no frills. But we try made our presence known still. It was an eye-opener to see the other floats and dances, and some were really very well done, very meticulously created and detailed. Some dances were quite impressive too. I liked pharmacy’s float best.

I think the best part was the ending when we went to our float and took a group photo. the SoC spirit can really be felt there as everyone started cheering spontaneously and continuously, even as the fop director gave his thank-you speech. It was a sense-of-satisfaction moment for many who spent days and nights preparing for this day, and for the rest of us, to appreciate what they have done and what it meant.

After rag, I ate lunch with Syl and Adit at Megabites. It was great western food and good price. I had creamy pasta with grilled chicken. After that, we went to meet some of the justice people at k-box and had dinner at Waraku at Central, with Cliff and some others joining us. We had a good time and during the chit chat, Syl and Wing started calling me 克林韦见 endlessly. lol. a combination of my chinese translation of my english name and my original chinese name. lol.

And that marks the end of Freshmen Orientation Week.

Amazing Races, Google, Festival Of Praise 2008, NDP 2008

I haven’t posted for a long while…before I talk about uni life, I shall rant a bit about other stuff which I did before uni started.

I attended 2 amazing races, actually participated in one, and helped out in another. Vic, Josh, Yh, yt and I participated in Flight of the Owl, part of National Heritage Board’s Night Festival, on 25 July. It was a race around Singapore museums, and we ran from NMS to SAM to Central Fire Station to SPM. We used WiFi to help us search for some of the clues, and one of the links led to our very own Journey to Singapore’s Yesteryears Cyberfair website! lol. At the SPM (the stamp museum) it was quite funny as most of my church friends were working there as race marshalls or tour guides. After that, our group got lost as the next clue was a photo of a location and we do not recognise that place at all. We went around asking for clues, walked the whole of Fort Canning but to no avail. We even walked to ACM (a later checkpoint, along Singapore River and to Clarke Quay where the place supposedly is. In the end we decided to give up and go home since there’s not point continuing. Later I asked Mylene, who was interning in the organising company, she said it’s the old National Theatre at River Valley Open Space…So near yet so far!

The Tuesday after that, on 29 Jul, after helping Hoz design some posters and clue cards for Asean Youth Festival Race, he asked me to help out in one of the checkpoints. I was asked to come down to ACM, which is the last location, and the teams are supposed to find clues inside. I camped at one location and the teams were supposed to look for an exhibit and point to me before I give them the clue. It was quite fun to be the mastermind this time round, and to see people trying to search for the correct clue lol. I also met sarah who was participating. It was a quick game which ended outside ACM where there was some awards ceremony.

The next day, on 30 Jul, I attended IDA’s Infocomm LIVE Speaker Series, in which they invited Jolly Good Fellow of Google, Tan Chade-Meng, who is the first Singaporean to work at Google. The event was at DXO, which is an unusual place for such an event. I was there and met some other NIS people. Meng shared about Google’s work practices, how they cultivate innovation by hiring smart people, allowing them freedom to explore and providing free food, how failures are part of success, and that we should never give up etc. He also shared about his vision of world peace, in which everyone would know about mediation as well as how they know about exercise, and by practicing mediation, there will be world peace. Sounds very new age? Coincidentally, I met my JC form tutor, Mrs Koh there! lol. so funny. She brought her son there, who’s only in primary 5, to listen and be inspired to be a player in the IT industry. We caught up with each other and I told her about who’s going where in 04S64. haha. the world’s pretty small..

It’s the time of the year again for Festival of Praise 2008 at Singapore Indoor Stadium. I went with my church friends on the second day on Aug 2, and even though we went quite late, we were able to get into the queue and not too bad seats. Now there’s Kallang Leisure Park for us to get our dinner, and we tah-pau and ate while queuing. I also went again on the last day, with a smaller group of people, trix, matt and josh pang. Both nights were awesome, with Reuben Morgan and the Hillsong team, as well as Parachute Band. The speaker, Mark Conner, was very funny and relevant too. A pretty good preacher I must say. Hillsong played a lot of familiar tunes, and it was more Hillsong/United than Reuben Morgan-only. Annie was playing acoustic guitar too, along with 2 other youth playing electric, so there was like 4 guitarists on stage. They sang quite a number of new songs from This Is Our God, such as Desert Song. And when they came in with Shout Unto God, it totally blew me off. Parachute Band was so-so, they had a totally change of band, and the new guy is not bad. Their songs are quite high tho. The best part was the last night when Hillsong invited Parachute Band on stage and both bands, with so many instruments, played together! They did 4 power praise songs: Tell The World, Take it all, Salvation is here and One Way. It was really a good show of unity, with the Parachute guy leading and the bands playing. On a side note, I even managed catch a glimpse of the Black Knights on saturday night outside the stadium!

And of course, NDP 2008. I managed to get tickets from JG again, and this time I went with Jere, as he never went before. (I forgot who I went with last year? lol) I wanted to go mainly cos of the Black Knights, just to see our jets fly again and feel the wind, the pride and the sound of freedom. The parade and stuff were pretty normal, and it started drizzling halfway, so we had to wear raincoats, and the stadium was filled with a sea of red. The giant greeting card thingy flopped, as everyone was busy putting on their raincoast. lol. When the Black Knights came, everyone was in awe, especially when Robo and Voodoo crossed each other a few times. Too bad the sky was slightly overcast and grey, hence it was not as fantastic as last week’s. The mass display and fireworks were so-so lah, boring in the middle. I still remember last year’s NDP I was trapped in base…Next up is RSAF open house!


God-like RSAF advert. lol.