- Eat at somewhere different than usual, e.g. Little India’s Tekka Market, Chinatown/Kreta Ayer Hawker Centre, Adam Road, Seah Im Hawker Centre…
- Wear something unusual which you don’t normally wear e.g. a long sleeved shirt?
- Take a different bus route to school/work and enjoy the ‘scenery’
- Explore a new place, e.g. some area of your school campus which you have not been to before
- Talk to someone new in tutorial whom you have not talked to
- Change your wallpaper/ringtone/theme/skin/playlist and change what you are listening to
- Give up your seat in the MRT to the old auntie for once!
- Try to notice something new in your daily commute, e.g. the sky, the trees around you etc.
- Say ‘Hi’ to the toilet cleaning auntie and hope that she smiles back?
- All is vanity. Praise God for each new day as this is the day the Lord has made.
I REFER to yesterday’s reports, ‘PM signals a slower intake of immigrants’ and ‘A tip to students: Be driven about causes’.
I am a student at the National University of Singapore. I agree with what Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that bringing in foreigners will help ‘raise our standards and create a stimulating environment’.
I enjoy working with people from various cultures, having been exposed to them since Secondary 3, which is when the Ministry of Education brings in scholars from China and Asean.
However, at university level, there are sometimes too many foreign students competing for Singaporeans’ space to grow.
For instance, in a mathematics lecture I attended, almost three-quarters of the class comprised foreigners. During in- lecture quizzes, it was obvious that the foreigners were better than the Singaporeans, and so ‘stimulated’ the learning environment.
However, it has come to a point where the competition has become stifling and stressful. This is because, in most cases, the foreign students have already learnt lower-level maths and science in their home country. Hence, Singaporeans are at a disadvantage in studying the same subject together with them.
Besides, universities here should give higher priority in offering places to Singaporean students from polytechnics and junior colleges. It is like giving your own children priority in education instead of those of a stranger.
Why should we give priority to foreign students at the expense of Singaporeans? I feel sorry for Singaporeans who have no university place because of this.
Singaporeans should be given more opportunities to learn and grow. Otherwise, many of those who cannot secure a place in a university here will go elsewhere.
[In the Straits Times today]
As I commute through everyday life, I often think to myself, is this the life that I really want? With the stress of school work and projects coming in, I sometimes question the existence and purposes of certain things. It does not help when you have lousy lecturers and you do not think you are learning anything from the lecture. It’s kind of related to ‘the box’ which I mentioned before. What if I am studying in some other place? What will it be like? Will I be changed from a geek to an artsy-fatsy person? Will I dress or look differently? Will my life be different?
Even joining CCAs now seem to be a burden than a joy to me. It used to be something fun which I enjoy doing, otherwise I would not have joined in the first place. However it seemed like things have changed over the months. The amount of planning and admin work is hindering my enjoyment. Maybe because I have done too much of these and they seemed so mundane. Or perhaps it I because the CCA(s) that I joined have a lack of sense of belonging. Not that they don’t have, just not enough I guess. Relationships and friendships are mostly subtle, except for a select few. By a sense of belonging I mean that we do things together – eating, celebrating, studying, relaxing. There are some components, but lack of others, which I have to look for in other groups of friends. (Or maybe some of us have different groups of friends for different purposes, that I’m not sure…) I would not say my social life is very satisfying, although it may seem happening.
I treasure it when good friends do things out of randomness and without much hesitation. Like how I went to play pool with a friend today. Like how a few of us decide to wear a common theme every Thursday (oops I forgot about it last week), how we decide to go for a movie within 5 minutes, how we play Left 4 Dead for 2-4 hours spontaneously, how we decide to go somewhere for a meal. These are the random moments which makes friendships special. While planned outings have their place in keeping in connect with people, the number of random outings shows the degree of spontaneousity and comfort level in your friendships. I think that is quite important. It is definitely more than a facebook wall or MSN message.
Sometimes, it is lonely when I have to do things alone, when I have to stay in school late alone, when I have to eat dinner alone, when I study alone. Although eating alone is a pretty common thing for me nowadays, I still prefer to do it with other people. I have many friends, but I feel lonely. I call it the “lonely crowd syndrome”. Is it because I have too many groups of friends? Or too few good friends who will be with me through thick and thin? Or is it because most people around my age have boy/girlfriends and they spend less time with their normal friends?
I still haven’t found what I am looking for.
The only thing I can look forward to now is going overseas and experience a different kind of life, and to look for what I’m looking for.
Two sundays ago (wow time flies), we went for a dragonboating trip with some SoC people. It started to pour as we walked from Kallang MRT to the sea sports club, and I prayed for no rain! We hid under the bridge for a while. Praise God! The rain subsided and we managed to reach the jetty.
It was very interesting, and it was not as difficult as I thought. The teamwork and sense of achievement is quite great and fun, and it was pretty cool to see the Flyer and the Singapore skyline from the sea, with the waves whoshing as your boat rocks left and right. Splashing water seems to be the norm, as everyone purposely went close to another’s boat (we had 3 boats of about 8-10 people each) and started splashing water at one another. Heck, the instructor even thought us how to splash water effectively using our oar!
Our instructor was darn good, one stroke of his oar is > 8 of us combined together. When he starts rowing, can really feel the boat going much much faster. haha. px and ed kept playing with water behind me, as they had to bail water out whenever people splashed water at us. After many strokes, your back will feel a bit strained, but somehow after the whole thing, I didn’t feel any strain in my arm or back at all. wonderful, can’t wait to try again next time if there’s chance, as we didn’t manage to get to Marina Barrage due to limited time.
On a side note, ST-Volkswagen lucky draw is hard to win, yet there are so many participants! Went down with JG on that day. And bus 985 actually allows me to reach home from Bukit Batok/Timah faster than from NUS. Amazing.
Last week was a week of fests. TimbreFest @ UCC was quite interesting, especially with this female rocker singer Shirley and the Unexpected. Free Tiger beer, which is the one of the lousier ones which I dislike. Over at NUSSU JamFest, it seemed pretty successful. After all, who doesn’t mind not 1, not 2 but 4 free drinks? The Japanese Asahi beer is pretty good, it is ‘super dry’, hence it doesn’t give you a gassy/bloated feeling after drinking. And it was the first time I tried Singapore Sling, in its cute red bottle which some said was alcoholic Rose Syrup lol. I would say it tastes like 7up/Sprite that kind. The Japanese Sake is a bit too thick to be drank by itself though. And the drinks ran out at about 11pm already. I left early due to Film School and due to the Butter Factory music being not very fantastic. The setup was pretty good, with the Goodfellas and Jack and Rai and a few other bands performing. There were chairs and tables to sit and chill, as well as stages for people to dance on. The funny thing was, I heard the stage collapsed at the end of the event! Darn funny, caused a dent in the MPSH apparently. The lights were good, although I wonder what are the rafia strings deco for. I would say it is one of the better NUSSU event that they ever organised.
Jazz Band concert was very very good, I would say much better than both fests! lol. They sing well and play well and the music is pretty soothing. The rap song experimental piece was quite interesting, and I liked some of the dance moves and choreography. Maybe next time I should join a band. Haha!
Film School on Saturday was a miracle. Praise God for everything went well although everything was in a rush. Moving from CFA to COM1 is not a good idea, especially when we got so much equipment with us! Luckily we took a cap instead of pushing the trolley in the hot sun. There was a minor accident while we were carrying the trolley as my hand slipped. Luckily no equipment was damaged. Also, the programme was pushed back due to people coming late etc. and also Danny’s voice was losing his voice. Fortunately there was a microphone in the seminar room. We managed to finish everything on time and rush back to UCC for the jazz concert.
Pray that all goes well at EMCC tomorrow!