Friday, September 14, 2012

Are you the next great mind?

Often, I read history and got amazed by how those great minds thought of such resolutions. Wait, never mind the solutions, how did they see those matters as a problem in the first place? It's almost like we are so complacent, comfortable with our daily life that we are blind towards the mysteries of nature. We are immune to what could have been better...

I've been taught to look at problems as golden opportunities to greater heights. I embrace that. The problem is, I rarely see anything much as a big deal that needs to be resolved. The issues (e.g. global food shortage, global warming, overpopulation) are either too big that I feel completely overwhelmed by them, needless to say to even think of the first step towards resolving the issue, it's out of my bounds; Or, they are simply too petty to be bothered, I've got better things to do (like Facebooking, blogging.)

I am halfway through, the last non-academic book I'd probably be holding for this year - A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. It's an amazing book, packed with facts and so much informations on science, from quantum physics, geology to the latest medical breakthroughs. Bryson showed me so much about the calamities of those great figures in the past (some unknown for their entire life even with their contributions) and those that claimed credits on others' relentless works. All I can say is that, it wasn't easy for each one of them. Even if it's pure luck, as some would put it (the incident of an apple falling on Isaac Newton's head which miraculously caused  him to ponder about gravity), each of these achievements still took blood, sweat, tears, social supports and whole lots of money to make them a reality. The sacrifices they made, literally, were their whole life.
However, how did they knew those issues that weren't even a problem to their society at that point of time as a MASSIVE mystery to be resolved? How did they view the world? How John Dalton even thought of the existence of "atom" when there is no obvious evidence that there is such thing? How geologist manage to fit each continent - so wide apart in this modern time- together based on their coastlines and came up with the existence of Pangeae through seabed parting, subduction, convection and plate tectonics, when you are physically too small to notice these massive changes right under your feet?

I've been searching around for problems (yes, I seek problems) but I couldn't find a proper one, one that burns with such passion in me to work on. This book explicitly showed many problems! There are so many "only God knows", "we don't know", "The greatest unanswered question until today"...littered every where in these sentences. Now, you can't see a problem? Just flip through this book, it covers so many fields that perhaps one of these "I don't know" would be the door to the scientific breakthrough of your lifetime. Of course this idea is more than that to be locked in the academic realm.

Every problem is a great opportunity to grow, in every way but the best outcome - To grow closer to God. :)

I shall end by sharing with you this sweet, happy song...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Second Blog

There. I've made my promise a reality earlier than expected.

http://the-whitecoat.blogspot.sg/

This new blog will be a record my new journey in Cambridge as a medical student. I have started it with posts on the preparations done but decided to leave the banners and background designs till I arrive in the UK. Go check it out!

I will not abandon this blog. This will remain, as a place to record bits and pieces of my random thoughts. Up-close expressions.

Or...when I'm overwhelmed by sanity.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Still-point

He is my Refuge,
He is my Comforter,
My Couselor, my Lord;
Through His daily miracles,
I see His enduring love and faithfulness;
But, my soul, my soul,
Let your faith be
not of the deeds of the Almighty,
But of who He is.
To His awesomeness,
I rendered speechless.
Truly, truly,
Jesus Christ is the still-point in this ever-changing world.

(Inspired by Four Quartets - T.S.Eliot)

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Thank you and Bye Miri!

Remember this plea? It feels like it's only yesterday and yet here I am, emerged gloriously from the other end of the this short tunnel. *plays 'Final Countdown' in mind* 1 month of holiday left. Actually, less than a month. When I first stepped into this hiatus, I thought without college, without work, without a fix group of companions, it will be one hell of a boring year bumming around, wasting the prime time of my life (or maybe something as predicted by a weird, random Feng Shui sifu who insisted to have a chat during my Taiwan trip when obviously, he's just a salesman trying to get me to buy a weird-looking stone) but I guess the past few months have proven the feng hui sifu very wrong indeed! 
Palace at Phnom Penh, Cambodia


It has been an extremely eventful year! Like I've said so many times this year, I'm just ever grateful to travel to the many places I've never thought I'd one day visit, and to meet the large diversities of people. Throughout the year, people has been calling me camp-addict for going for camp marathons! dNA, SUSOM, BTN, Camp Cam etc. (And trust me, the camp-marathon has yet to be ended at this point, one more to go! :D) I have travelled to Singapore, Taiwan, Cambodia, up north and down south of Peninsula Malaysia and into the deep rural areas of Rajang Basin, Sarawak. I have gone through a super fruitful, priceless experience of my 3rd attachment in hospital with surprisingly not-so-gruesome brain surgeries and watched blood spurting every where in another OR, worked as an accounts clerk and almost being plunged into this OCD madness, challenged myself to tutor an IB Singaporean Hwa Chong student in Physics despite Physics being my weakest subject and also tutoring a junior from Taylor's. This junior has been transferred back to Riam Institute in Miri but as all things happened for a good reason, she opened my eyes to the differences between the teaching style of Taylor's and Riam (an award-winning, full of straight A*s students college in Subang and a small-time, humble college here in Miri). Each has their own unique way of teaching, different group of staffs, and a very different group of students of different life outlook, so the competitions and learning environment are consequently, VERY DIFFERENT. In retrospect, Taylor's teaching style definitely suits me much better than the local institution, and I am ever grateful that God has chosen to place me there. Although the local institute may be lacking in facilities, but it's not all bad; it has its own very strong advantages too. Do not hesitate to email me at christinewsw [at] hotmail [dot] my if you need advices on comparing between these institutions. 
Kids at English for Fun, Tudan Methodist Church! The scene which everyone was confused which is left, and which is right...Bwahahaha 

But I guess the highlight is: God has, finally, opened my eyes to see the angelic side of children. Through the interactions with Khmer kids in Cambodia's slums and orphanage and the occasional helping-out at Tudan Methodist Church's 'English-for-fun' classes for the native children, kids are...not evil little monsters after all. Ok fine, may be some  of them still are. :p But I've learnt to talk to them and befriend these little souls. Oh, those cute little fellows who can't differentiate between left and right! *evil laughs* Yes, sometimes I do think the evil little monster resides in me instead. 
Marina Bay, Miri

My academic mind has, regretfully, been not as sharp as it has been due to the lack of practice. Don't talk to me about maths! I can't even do simply differentiation and integration now! Forget about the complex numbers, vectors, partial equations.... =.=" my goodness, faceplam is but a too-mild reaction. Please excuse me while I bang my forehead on the table.  On the other hand, this is the year which I am able to indulge in the opportunities to explore beyond the traditional syllabi, away from Medicine! (When in fact I have not step foot into it) I've read quite a few books on religions and philosophy that I wonder why am I not doing Philosophy/Theology, Law or Economics?! These were very unpopular courses back in my upper form days here in Miri. But then again, those may be just surges of hormones causing illusions. If you ask me why am I doing Medicine now, I can't tell you for sure, I can only tell you I can't imagine myself doing other stuffs. I'm not so certain of this whole PASSION thing, because there is no certain parameter to measure it, how can I have the knowledge of the level of my passion? 

Baked a cake for our good old friend's 20th birthday! <3 td="td">
Let's get back down to earth: I will start ranting, whining and crying over the pressure due to studies and exams once First Year officially commences. (Ah, remind me of the days when I almost chewed my fingers off while facing the calamitous Cambridge interview, Maths A2 P3, Bio A2 P4 and BMAT Test in a week!) This Uni, this Course is...gloriously certified CRAZY hardcore with the highest suicide rate in the tertiary education realm. People keep telling me, you don't have to be bright, you just have to be inhumanly hard working! I have been pressure free for so long, do need some time to acclimatise. But then again, this year's experience has assured me that I am not a paperwork/office-material and I absolutely savour the moments interacting with people. And I have this new-found fervency for reading, almost any type of materials. I can do some basic, logic/common-sense debates but I don't fancy having arguments at all. Medicine was once a route forced on me, but over time, over several encounters, I found myself strangely, gradually then obsessively attracted to this field today. Dearly hope, and pray that the stress will not thwart my intense interest in this course and...of course, Medicine, please be a darling. 

Esplanade Beach, Miri
In less than 48 hours, I am finally leaving this humble, small home town here by the coast, in this tropical region, where I grew up happily. It is a place which quietly preserved this naiveness in me that despite how far, how long I have been away from this city, I could always feel that pure joy even through simple daily events while back here. This is not the first time I am away from home but I will miss the warm breeze, the wide-open space, the sea, the blue sky, the ever-shinning Sun, the perennially summer weather, the group of childhood/adolescent-period friends, the church I've only started to settle in, the kids at Tudan Methodist Church's English class, the oh-so comfortable home, my bed, my pillows, my bedroom, the 9 white fur balls which always 'swim' around when I sit on the floor (and bark the symphony of Barkettey-Bark-Bark in extreme forte whenever there's a slight movement outside the house), the freedom to drive wherever I want and of course...my lovely family. Although in reality, my family are no longer staying here in Miri. Everyone's dispersed everywhere, from Singapore, Vietnam, Australia, Sarawak and finally, UK. It'll be long before the next grand reunion I guess! (All the more reasons I must successfully graduate.)

I have several stuffs more to settle, not forgetting the luggage to pack (my freaking sponsors only allowed us to bring luggage of max weight 20kg, how is that possible?!). I am also in this dire need of honing my language skills too before being drowned in that English land.


Due to my weak heart's ego inability to suffer from the embarrassment, owing to the childish posts for the past 6 years, (oh my, this blog is 6 years old?!?!?!?!?!) I am considering of starting a new blog, for the new journey, on the other side of the world. It will be a record of my personal discoveries, but more of the medical side. However, I can't promise you, my dear reader (although I doubt the scarcity of the actual readers that I don't even dare to check the statistics report haha!), that the new blog will materialise soon as it depends on the anticipated workload. Sad thing blogging always takes the backseat. :( Perhaps, this idea will spring soon...as a place to pen down my thoughts in that new, strange place. However, I will not cease writing on this blog on non-medical topics, nor will it be closed down as it has served as a great memoir, a warm little corner for rare reminiscences of my younger days.

Miri River on clear, fine day
I have estranged myself on Facebook recently and have receded to the land of TWITTER to satisfy my ever-threatening need to spit out rubbish, random sentences to express the philosophical self  Do follow me there if you can successfully drag me out of invisibility in that realm! :D

On a lighter note, I would like to wish all my friends who are, like yours truly, embarking on the next chapter of life, who are starting a new semester, who are graduating soon, who are starting to work or just somewhere out there enjoying your day, all the best and thank you for journeying with me thus far!


I will continue to write so stay tune! :)



Marina Bay, Miri

*zooms off to the other side of the world!* 

p/s: Thou shall not steal my photos!!! >< 

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Secret and Pray like you mean it

Less than a month till departure and here I am, still not revising. Haha...I'm just taking what all my seniors are telling me to do, "ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY TO THE MAX. WARNING: DO NOT STUDY." Not sure whether it's a good sign but since the all the advices corroborates, I'll just take it at the moment and not study. So I ended up reading 2 more books this week. I just finished "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne yesterday and now in the mid of reading "Be the Miracle" by Regina Brett. 
The Secret is no doubt, a very powerful book. It has been classified in the New Age religion genre. I have not watched the movie so when I first saw this book in the book store, I was like, what on earth is a New Age religion? How is that possible? Setting Scientology, Gnosticism, Atheism and other not-so-typical religions aside, how is it possible for modern human to create a religion out of the blue and have so many followers? I believe, the effect that this book has on me has shown that it does have the potential. This book has left me with very disturbing thoughts throughout these few days. It's not all bad, but there are some parts that may not be so suitable for some ' rather gullible' believers. Of course I believe that Christ have chosen you and will lead you closer to Him, but it is definitely not advisable to expose yourself to temptations. Why put your Lord to the test? Read without believing everything in this case.

I said that The Secret is a good book as it has taught me about
  • Law of Attraction, 
  • Thinking positively,
  • Be extra grateful to everything in Life and being aware of our thoughts and our responses in Life,
  • Be joyful despite the circumstances.
Part of the content is eerily similar to Christianity, but of course lack of the essence of Christianity - Christ died, Christ resurrected, Christ saves, Christ reigns forever. It lacks the unconditional, everlasting Love - the core of Christianity. And yet again, how can we ever compare something worldly to story of God? The Secret incorporates part of Bible in it, part of words of wisdom from giants of the past like Charles Haanel.  I believe that we should strive for our best in our calling. I believe that we should remain optimistic and love our life too. I believe everything is good on earth, for everything is the creation of God to bring glory to God thus we should love everything just as Christ loved us but regarding ourselves as God, as eternal energy, as source of all wisdoms, that bit completely puts me off. We are the image of God, His creation. He is omnipresent: in us, out of us, around us, but we are never God Himself. Just as water is in us, but are we water? We have been blessed with the mind to think so creatively and make almost everything possible. Almost everything but we are never God. Besides, in this short book, many parts actually conflicts and contradicts itself if you read cautiously and digest with a critical mind. This has again shown me, no one is perfect, despite how badly the authors in this book wanted us to believe that. We can follow what the authors said in this book THINK we are perfect now, but can we guard ourselves against all imperfection every second of our life? What happens when that evil thought creep inside our mind, are we still that perfect? Of course I believe that we will be made perfect when we are with Christ but being perfect on our own, I doubt the most powerful thinkers on world has the power to guard himself against all evil thoughts, even if it's just milliseconds in their mind, deeply hidden away from the perceptions of others. The author also quoted from a famous religious figure we are what we think and creations are from the mind so we can create anything through total control of our thought alone, but whose mind thought of HUMANS in the first place? Who thought of putting those thoughts in our mind at the beginning? Are we still 'God Almighty' after all? 

At the end of the day, I do not base my faith on a gallimaufry of 'essence' from all religions and histories.

However, this book has brought a Bible verse to my attention: 

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24

This verse is again repeated just the next day when I am reading Chapter 19 of 'Be the Miracle'. I was reflecting on the way I pray. Too often I do not pray like I believe it will happen, more of like a nag/complain/concession. Of course I know God has the power to do anything, but I keep repeating the same prayer every day, I keep on chanting the same sentences and right after prayer, very often I return to the state of anxiety as before, like nothing happened, like God's deaf. 
I would like to share an example from this book with you:

Let's say I call my friend Beth and ask her to have lunch with me on Thursday, and she says yes. Then I call her every 15 minutes to double-check if she wants to have lunch with me on Thursday. She'd start to wonder, Why doesn't Regina believe me? Doesn't she trust me to show up? That's how I've been with God. 
I'm an asker and a doubter.

Of course, everyone is free to pray in whatever way he/she likes. There's no rule that says, YOU ARE FORBID FROM REPEATING YOUR PRAYERS. You pray standing, sitting, kneeling, lying, before eating, while eating, while conversing, flying and every moment of you're awake. It lies with the intention, the faith, are we praying like we mean it? Are we graceful enough to receive whatever we've prayed for, or are we still taking things into our own hands? 

Pray like you received it. Thank you, Lord. :) 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Of removing birthday reminders on FB

I admit, I am no where near the description of being thoughtful. I can't remember dates well. I can't remember my friends' birthdays well. Remembering each of my immediate family members' birth dates by heart is a great recent achievement! I remember certain details of past events, but never the dates. It'll be no surprise that one day I'll forget my own birthday. Oh wait, that's quite unlikely. I would be celebrating Christmas anyway, if I ever forget about my own birthday. Not quite sure what will happen for my future anniversaries though so I'm hoping my better half would complement me in this sense. :p

I could still recall the great sense of relief that I have when Friendster and Facebook came with the birthday reminders. People just put up their birth dates without having their long-time friends to ask the awkward question: When is your birthday again? (Yes, this author agrees with the unspoken rule of close friends are obligated to know each others' birthday)

But here's my point: It's not that I do not want to remember these important dates, it's just that why can't we just enjoy these 'services' available? Good for you, if you are a thoughtful person, gifted with the ability to remember dates accurately. However, why not put in more effort in celebrating and remembering the moments with the person instead of plainly memorising the dates then give half-hearted, last minute birthday wishes? I do not know about you, but there's this situation on Facebook trending nowadays: People removing their birthdays from FB. It's ok if you want to keep your birthday a secret, it's your privacy, I have no problem with that. :) The problem arises when you deliberately remove your birthday with the intention of testing  who 'your true friends are', and 'those insincere people' like yours truly, who has horrible memory on numbers and dates forgets to send you a birthday wish, and subsequently the victim starts blaming all those friends that didn't send a birthday wish at the strike of 12 midnight, and finally resolves to declare a cold war against all those morons friends.

I'm just upset and extremely confused. Why opt for the difficult way that will hurt a friendship when there's obviously free, easy reminders around.That's what reminders are for right? It is so that we can remember important dates, prepare and celebrate together! In all past circumstances which I was reminded of a loved one's  birthday ahead of time, it was all happy memories shared and to be reminisce together one day. There you have it, you're happy, I'm happy, we're both happy - win-win situation, happy ending, why not?! I know, some people say, if you are concern enough for a person, you will remember every single thing of that person. I understand, of the gazillions wishes you get on the wall on past birthdays, you wish to segregate the genuine wishes from the half-hearted ones on this special day of yours so you took this radical step, this risk to lose many friendships at one blow. If you wish to know the truth and a birthday wish is, in your terms, the parameter for measuring the sincerity of friendships, from this day onwards, my dear friends, let me warn you of this:

This friend here, wholeheartedly apologise if I ever forget about your big day. By this point, you ought to realise that you have a friend with super lousy memory on dates and may be the most unthoughtful person on earth and (insert whatever adjectives you like). Yes, she has been relying on Facebook or mobile's reminder to look out for people's birthdays and most important dates because whenever she jots the birthday down on a piece of paper/journal, that hard copy will be lost very soon. She has been trying hard to remember birthdays by heart but to her dismay, it doesn't seem to work very well until today. I am truly sorry. Am I a sincere friend to you? We are adults, I believe you have been blessed with a sound mind, matured enough to consider carefully. Judge yourself and take whatever actions that comforts you but please pardon me in this case for I could only ask for your forgiveness on behalf of this memory of mine. I will definitely try my best, to my knowledge and ability, to wish you a great great Happy Birthday.  :)

With or without the birthday wishes, it's still 'one year older, one year wiser' so do enjoy your day, mate!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Humility

"Hey, you should come and help me with this," my mom said holding up a half fresh chicken with bloody looking internal organs, "so you'll know how to cut people's next time."

Now I know why did she protested so strongly when I first told her about my ambition.

About setting an ambition, I've been talking quite a bit recently about my past experiences of finally settling with medicine and whenever this happens, this whole dilemma of showing pride with honesty or hypocritically-pretending to be humble hits me. It just happens every single time. In fact, I don't know why I always get this pang of guilt talking about my past experiences/achievements, as if I have done something wrong. Maybe I should just keep my mouth shut no matter what next time. A confession: I really did do something wrong - for allowing pride taking over.

Fine, let's not even pull 'being proud' into the picture. To be genuinely humble, is extremely difficult. A person can be self-effacing, gentle, meek and 'humble' all the the time, but is the person really humble? Or is he just pretending to be humble, a hypocrite, so he can earn his rewards? Is he trying to earn praises from his friends, seniors for the sake of his resume/popularity, or is he really putting others' higher than him?

Next, how much 'humility' is humility? Where is the fine line separating humility and low self-esteem? What if I'm being so humble such that I've discredited all the blessings that God wants to me share with others, as a testimony of His love in my life, and yet here I am, keeping everything to myself? Should I share?

A friend once told me, that's not the point of humility. (I've talked to a few friends regarding this, but none seemed to give a pragmatic answer, or what a pragmatist would be fond of.)  Rather, humility is about imitating Christ. No doubt, humility has been a very central virtue of our Lord. But, what exactly is imitating Christ?

Who, being in very nature God, 
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing 
    by taking the very nature of a servant, 
    being made in human likeness. 
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death 
        even death on a cross!

(Philippians 2:7-8)

Was reading this passage as a friend suggested. Then I read the whole chapter.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
(Philippians 2:3-4)

There, that is more like a practical, clear first step of imitating Christ. :) 

Slightly more than 40 days till departure. I've been back from camp for almost 3 weeks and I'm back to madly reading. I mean, 40 days left to read whatever I like. Got bored of non-fictions, have been reading quite a few beautifully-written fictions. The stock-up session at Bookxcess in KL few weeks ago (3 books bought only) has proven to be obviously very inadequate to satisfy my craving for stories, but thank God for the another financially-able book-lover at home - my sister-in-law. Her library is amazing. So...back to reading!

Friday, August 03, 2012

I need a BIG bookshelf

I have had enough of the incessant complaints from my mom and the eldest brother.

"Books...books...books everywhere!!!! Your room is a complete mess!"

"That pile of books on the dining table better be vanished before you leave for university!"

"Where are you going to sleep tonight? I can't see your bed!!! Is it underneath all those books?!?!?!"

"Your study table is huge but I can't even see the surface of it!"

etc etc.

Urgh. You know what's the best solution? Give me a library and I'll store all those books, (which strangely are eye sores to them) or perhaps, I'll enjoy the luxury of storing myself inside that library too. Hehe. :) However, since it's quite impossible at the moment to magically set up a library, all I ask is big bookshelf in my room. Then, I'll promise those 'mess' will never again appear in any corner under this roof.
Caught reading during work time.
What!? They didn't assign me any task for hours!
You guys have any spare change to donate towards this cause?

***************************

I was wondering what will happen to this blog once I go over to the UK? I mean, it has been 'sort of' abandoned before when I was working on my exams during college days. I believe the workload in Medicine is much bigger than A-levels. Will I stop blogging? 

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

"Somewhere Only We Know" - Keane (ft. Max Schneider & Elizabeth Gillies)




I walked across an empty land
I knew the pathway like the back of my hand
I felt the earth beneath my feet
Sat by the river and it made me complete
Oh simple thing where have you gone?
I'm getting old and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you're gonna let me in
I'm getting tired and I need somewhere to begin

I came across a fallen tree
I felt the branches of it looking at me
Is this the place we used to love?
Is this the place that I've been dreaming of?

Oh simple thing where have you gone?
I'm getting old and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you're gonna let me in
I'm getting tired and I need somewhere to begin

And if you have a minute why don't we go
Talk about it somewhere only we know?
This could be the end of everything
So why don't we go
Somewhere only we know?

Oh simple thing where have you gone?
I'm getting old and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you're gonna let me in
I'm getting tired and I need somewhere to begin

And if you have a minute why don't we go
Talk about it somewhere only we know?
This could be the end of everything
So why don't we go
So why don't we go

This could be the end of everything
So why don't we go
Somewhere only we know?
Somewhere only we know

This could be the end of everything,
So why don't we go,
Somewhere only we know,
Somewhere only we know,
Somewhere only we know.

**************************************************
By 25, I hope I remember this
You are young enough to believe that anything is possible, and you are old enough to make that belief a reality.

Maximising Memories


"...we need to appreciate that our senses are not designed to record the world, but instead to make sense of it."

"leave pretty women to men devoid of imagination"

" It's an imaginative process where we actively discover meaning on the basis of prior knowledge. We only really perceive what we know how to perceive."

- The Importance of Obeservation, The Guardian, 15 January 2012. 


 when learning, it is best to continuously and cyclically review information as you go.

the ideal time to review a memory is just before you are about to forget it. 

your memory gets stronger with each review, the times at which you should review the information increase exponentially.

 it is often very helpful to review information you wish to remember just before you fall asleep. In the morning, what seemed complex and cloudy can appear surprisingly lucid.


- How to Improve Long-term Memory, Ed Cooke, The Guardian, 15 January 2012.

Tips to Maximising Memory:
Rehearsal
Elaborative Processing 
Mnemonics
Retrieval Practices


- How to maximise your memory, Jon Simons, The Guardian,  14 Janurary 2012

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Unsent letters

Visa application matters pour in these few days, right after I came back from KL. This imminently means I have book tickets to fly to KL again, just to get the biometrics done. 2 weeks after the flight scheduled on mid-August, I'm supposed to fly over again to collect my visa and attend the fresher's camp. As I am caught in this dilemma of flying back to attend the camp and collection of visa (option available: visa can be courier back home so I don't have to travel there), I am also at the same time, caught in the web of having to draft so many letters to the sponsor, to the university, to the seniors, to the juniors, to my secondary school and a few more close friends of mine, whom I have yet to meet even though I'm free for a year.

Letters. As I realise that lately I tend to organise my thoughts and feelings better through words, instead of speaking to the person face to face, though my language still sucks.  (But I still hold on to the 'belief' that photography is my paramount and favourite method of  expression. The colours, the lightings!) At least it gives me space and time to think properly before I pen down each word, to give each thought a proper judgement before 'voicing' it out so as to not hurt others as much, especially when those words were meant to be confrontational. Constructive confrontations. I've written many letters before, but many were unsent, just because I lack the courage to do the last step - click Send. What a coward. 

Back to the trail of procrastinating from writing the official letters and doing other presumably more important stuffs, I went through the unsent letters in my mail instead. Memories from near-past swarmed my mind, the good and the bad ones, then there came pangs of remorse. Those words which once were flowing directly, true from my heart seem so distant now. I don't feel like the writer of those letters any more. I felt so embarrassed and stupid for writing those words that I feel relieve for not sending those letters. But who knows what those letters might have brought? The pure honesty? They could, in some serendipitous way, heal some relationships that were broken. But then again, I didn't send them. 
Perhaps, it's of the character and personality change God has blessed me with throughout this year. It's not a drastic, 180 degree change like the one I've been through when I first left home to college. This time, it is more subtle. It may be due to the stress, the bamboozles I've been whirled in for the past year or maybe I've been reading so much and talking so much lesser for the past 8 months compared to the college days. Lately, my buddies have commented that I am, strangely, radiating a very different aura: A much more quiet person who seems to have something in mind all the time. 

It's true that I am always thinking of something else while simultaneously carrying on the topic we are talking about most of the time. (I believe most people do that too) My mind just has that wondrous propensity to wander. Then I'll pen it down when I get back home, having the urge, the illusion that I have the guts to send it out, solve the problem once and for all, but resolved to coddling myself by saving those drafts in the inbox, evading all those 'soon-to-be-uprising' awkwardness and anger all together - the aftermaths of unnecessary necessary confrontations. 

I don't think it'll ever be too late to send those letters out. Better late than never. At least, you are giving the supposed-to-be recipient the right to choose, right?



Argh, where are my guts?!?! *pulls hair* 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A reflection on Psalms 84

How lovely is your dwelling place,
LORD Almighty!

How great is God's temple? No, this is not a rhetoric question. Let me ask again: How great is God's temple, really? I have tried to imagine many times, based on the descriptions in Revelation 21 on the Kingdom of God, the Lord's revealed glory in its full measure, the one that shines like the precious jewels but I still could not fathom His blinding glory. Maybe for a moment I am able to do so due to the circumstance that I am writing directly under the sun, but I believe He is more than our Sun!

My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself, 
where she may have her young-
a place near your altar,
LORD Almighty, my King and my God. 

Indeed, the longing to witness His full glory, just as the psalmist who yearns to see God's Temples is unbearable! It's like holding myself back from the ultimate suspense of the story of our God's Kingdom, yet I can't even handle the reality unfolding so impeccably in front of me right now. It's like suppressing the impulse to rush to the street and grab any passer-by, asking ever so eagerly: Do you know when is the second coming of the Lord? When?

Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever pleasing to you.
Selah
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. 

I want to draw near to God. Andre Gide once said: Man cannot discover new oceans until he has the courage to lose the sight of shore. I need to give up the shore, my comfort zone. Whenever I study God's words, I have this tendency to beat around the bush. I rather read all sorts of Christianity books and find excuses to not read the Bible itself. It's like eat supplements without taking the real foods.

As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs; 
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.

Temptations are everywhere. Do pray for me, my dear brothers and sisters, that as I journey through this valley of dryness, I will be able to transform the surroundings as well as my core of life to His likelihood. May my chains be broken and more than that, may I learn to fully understand God one day, by His grace, through His words and of the work of the Holy Spirit, that I am able to see His Kingdom's glory in its full measure.

Hear my prayer, LORD God Almighty;
listen to me, God of Jacob.

And I, from the apex of my heart, from the deepest corner of my soul, trust that the Lord will guide and empower us to reach His temple, our final destination.

They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.


LORD Almighty,
blessed is the one who trusts in you. 



I'm back!

Oh wow, look at that, last post was about 2 months ago. Sorry for disappearing for such a long duration but...I am finally back from a great adventure! :D
Latest additions to my camp tags collection 
Life has been treating me extremely well for the past 2 months, or I ought to put it in another way - The Lord has been generously pouring blessings after blessings. I'm back from the Biro Tata Negara (BTN) camp for government-sponsored scholars, which was a week long and Camp Cameron 2012 by FES for 3 weeks! Imagine that...1 week by the beach and 3 weeks on Cameron Highlands, with great time catching-up sessions with my collegemates and SUFES campers & staffs as the prologue, interlude and a fine epilogue to my adventure. I was working before flying off to West Malaysia for the camps and work will resume tomorrow, before I officially resign to prepare myself for university next month.

I have been writing and drawing quite a bit during these camps - essays, poems, sketches and haikus all lined up and prepared to be posted once I resign from my first ever, proper work. It's amazing how the Lord guided me through things, brought me to the paradises on earth like Chefoo, Cameron Highlands then allowed the Spirit to prompt me to express in words and drawings. My language has never been sharp and good before, same goes to my awful drawing skills, but somehow, which I believe were the works of the Spirit, I was able to channel my experiences through those mediums, quite precisely during those few weeks. I really doubt such works of art would come from me any time soon. 
Boh Tea Plantation, Cameron Highlands

Boh Tea Plantation, Cameron Highlands
 Nevertheless, thank God, really, this year has been a fruitful year, albeit lacking the lustre of academic achievements. It has been a year of growth, an unfathomable expand of the width of perspective. (Plenty of work needed to be done on the 'depth') I was broken, healed, broken and am still in the process of healing, but I am no longer afraid because some things are just not meant to be, some people are just there to teach you stuffs and leave your life forever. All that is left to be done is surrendering these broken relationships for God to be redeemed. I shall fight for myself no more. 
Academic wise: everything seems so surreal at first, but at least, the confirmation from my university today has brought something down to earth - I have finally received the unconditional offer from University of Cambridge for Medicine at Gonville and Caius College. And so it is to Cambridge I will be heading to no less than 2 months time! I'm in the process of sorting out visa applications, warming up my rusty brain to study, packing, lots of reflections to be done, and schedule for farewells. Mixed feelings I will talk more about this when I finish posting up all my works from Camp Cameron.
Enjoying the afternoon at The Lord's Cafe, Cameron Highlands

Jehovah Jireh...God who provides. He is indeed my God who has provided me with everything more than I could ever imagine. All praises to Him, to God be the glory! 

Till then. 


Monday, June 04, 2012

Multi-tasking

We, the 21st century humans posses the ability to multi-task with no precedence has been an undeniable fact. And more often than not, we have to do so. While working on Microsoft Words for my reports and over-due writings, I often have several windows of chrome opened too. In each window, multiple tabs are running at the same time: emails, Facebook, search results, 9gags, youtube, blogs, checking airlines website for cheap tickets (yea, only cheapskates like me do this consistently) and more other irrelevant websites... Oh ya, not to forget, the little man on MSN is always green and blinking, occasionally (explains the decline in MSN users due to the growing popularity of FB chats and video calls). I used to have skype on too, but decided it's a tad too much to handle. So, usually, I'll sit in front of telly and do all these stuffs. And...my phone beeps every few minutes at the side with incessant notification alerts of sms, whatsapp, viber, line... It is only normal that these noises fill the air each night lately. These disturbances are so embedded into the routine that it's just the ambience of my study. It's as if, I need to bask in these noises in order to feel comfort.

I have not realised my pre-occupation with all these disturbance for the supposedly restful night until my brother saw my screen just now.
"Oh my, running a big business are you? How many people are you talking to at the same time?!" he was so shocked at the number of conversation boxes in my fb page.
"Not much la. a few. Need to organize some stuffs."
He shook his head and walked away.

It's true that I don't even earn half as much as he does and yet my 'working hour' seems to be much longer than his. However, what makes me that nearly, despise myself is that, I don't pay full attention to every single thing that I was doing, especially to the person I am talking to. With much prudence, the quality of tasks can still be maintained under this circumstance, but what happens to the conversations? As I went through the chat history I had with the peers, only then I realised there isn't much content with the leisure chats, but empty talks. I don't reckon these as proper conversations at all and it is extremely rude, in reality, to do such thing. I believe every one will get agitated if the person you are talking to is not paying attention to you, but continues doing his stuffs and talks on his phone. (Must resist the temptation to slap that person!)
It is the least of respect one is obliged give to a person who is willing to talk to you.

So dear friends, I'd like to apologise here for my ignorance in the past conversations. Should appreciate each chat more. :)

the most irrelevant, useless talks are good masks to emotions. Tinge of fear still lingers after a long time. 

Saturday, June 02, 2012

His Majesty

A conversation between my brother and I.

"I wonder if Agong has a facebook page?" my brother asked.
"He's so old! I don't think so. Why?"
"It's his majesty's birthday tomorrow."
"So?"
"I want to post 'Happy Birthday, Agong!' on his wall."

I'm not alone. This plain 'innocence' runs in the gene.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Priorities

And in the end, I chose to take up my responsibilities. This is an inevitable fact of growing up - to take up the responsibilities that you have been entrusted with, no matter what the cost may be, no matter how painful the process may be. It's yours, means you must never push it away. Face it, head on.

I've planned to go to Redang, to Penang and to Jayesslee concerts with my friends this coming end of month. Into the planning process, everything was progressing not so smoothly but the enthusiasm was never less, not even a single bit. We all looked forward to fun awaits! But, there are so many other factors to look after (time, money etc) that I can barely breathe upon looking at these details, then only I realise how bad my time management is and how lousy my communication skills are.

"But this is my gap year! My responsibility is to play!" I shouted when we were discussing on, or should I say, it was not even a discussion at all, all the decision were made before I make any noise at all. I resented, raged like a monster, complaining how unfair everyone is to me. Why aren't they going according to my plans? I've worked so hard on something I'm not even interested in, on something that I wished to quit as soon as possible, on something that I sigh and my heart drops every time I think of it, can't I claim back my rights?! or at least, my rewards?! I'm paying on my own ok, you are not suppose to boss over me.

Wait, pause for a minute, take a step back and... What am I talking? What are my priorities? Since when that MY pleasure has topped the list of priorities? Yes, the financial part is within my own means but are these pleasures beneficial for my growth, serving the people around or glorifying God? No! The resentment are because I'm afraid that I'll miss out the chance just to play!

So in the end, I took up my responsibilities. This means I will lose out the chance to go to those new places and spend more time with my friends but for what I have promised, I will do what I am supposed to do, even if it means I will have to watch my friends post up their photos on FB, posing by the crystal blue sea of those paradise. It's not that you are not allowed to play, to enjoy life and its pleasures, it's just...Set your priorities straight. You can enjoy, when you have planned everything properly (but do prepare for the unforeseen), then set aside the time to enjoy those stuffs because the centre of life should have never be, purely playing and enjoy wasting the time.

However, don't you think there are other matters that bring greater pleasures than your hobbies, travels?

It's the peace, the joy and fulfilment of that emptiness within the soul! Oh, do remind me how beautiful it is to enjoy such love from above! No other thing posses such serenity, such richness, such refreshing moments like worshipping and serving the Lord do. No, it's not a matter of impulse or temporary but more like filling a gap within with something...really long-lasting. I shall not go deep into that due to time constraint but I once heard from a senior, "I won't read my textbook until I've done my devotion and read the bible." We were all shocked by that statement that time, but isn't it true? I mean, humans are made to worship God and it is only through worshipping Him that we find true joy. If life is a pursuit of happiness, the answer is there, just reach out your hands and take it! There, by revealing the top of my list of priorities, I hope that I am now being held accountable openly and feel free to whack me as hard as you wish if you find I'm swaying away. Pray to the Lord that I will never drift away from Him. Be faithful, be faithful.

 By keeping God in the centre then my responsibilities (studies, work and promises made to any beings) next, I do hope things won't mess up again. But then again, where do relationships stand? Above or below the responsibilities? :/


Thursday, May 24, 2012

People change.
True friends embrace the changes, forgive, love and grow together.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Updates on work and church

"Welcome to the world of OCDians!" I could almost hear that in auditory sense every single morning. I have been on my job for more than a week now, and at the end of most days, I walked out of the office, sighing, complaining about how miserable this job is and how it miserably messed up my perfect holiday life. The problem is, I have huge issue with consistency and neatness. Yet those are the very qualities that are to be found in an accounts clerk. Oh ya, extreme efficiency too. Your handwriting must be neat, clean (mine was usually beyond legible). The papers must not be rolled or crumpled, they must be perfectly smooth or at most, folded into half. The documents must always be arranged in specific ways: according to dates, invoice numbers, alphabetical order, in reverse or normal order, from left to right, from front to back or back to front etc. The holes punched for filing must be on the exact same position for each piece of document, regardless of the paper size. And who says you can work without thinking? There are surprisingly many "procedures" to be done! You have to remember which documents to photocopy, fax (and to who) when people throw you a banker's acceptance application, which documents to photocopy and combine for each different purposes, which company to call, which documents to send out, which bank's cheque to be filled and bank in for each company, which program and steps to key the datas into the computer for every different types of informations and a very minor, subtle yet vital point - remember every document that have been on your hand, so when your boss runs over and ask you, "Have you seen XXX's receipt?" then you will know what to do. Otherwise, the hunt for that small piece of paper could wreak havoc with the whole office.

Perhaps I am really not an office material. I never like routine, repetitive events, which explains my addictive nature towards surprises and unforeseen circumstances. Never mind the annoyance caused,  at least those exciting events get adrenaline pumping in the body fluids and are brain-stimulating. These repetitive works are rather numbing...slowly becoming lazy to think, putting off whatever sparks of creativity left. The effects are pretty evident. :/ Nevertheless, I dread for any form of productivity... so I don't really mind hanging out in the office although the nags from my senior to "write every single alphabet clear and straight" has developed OCD in me and in herself too. Oh ya, not forgetting the part, exactly where to staple the documents. =.=" Do your job NEATLY! is what I get every day. (my books and papers are always crumpled and scribbled all over. I guess that's the difference between authentic book-lover and book-content-lover)
This job has affirmed me of another preference of mine: I like to work with people. You know how sleepy am I throughout the day when I saw the pile of paper on my desk but when my senior asked me to phone the companies and talk to the customers, I could totally picture my own eyes lightened up.
These encounters have made me realise that God really does know the best for each of us, even when we could not see what's ahead. He will provide. Maybe, His grand plan of pushing me into Medicine is His purpose for me after all.
Anyway, my colleagues are really nice, funny and warm people that the working hours are with rich supply of laughters and...food. Shouldn't complain at all. :)

These few weeks things have been rather set and balanced. Church is awesome, I mean, having to consistently attend the church I grew up in is really comforting. And, OH THE JOY of being baptised after missing the opportunity for years! I was finally baptised and confirmed last week. :D Many people were surprised of my baptism tho, because it seems like I grew up in a Christian family, why am I only baptised at this age? That's another long story but I can only tell you the journey to even get baptised was not easy, it's impossible without God's grace, God's will. Besides, I have befriended quite a number of new friends there! Having peers of my age in this home town is what I hoped for for years. Having brothers and sisters in Christ to hang out with is an even greater blessing! Since secondary school ended, my group of friends have separated and moved to other places for studies and work, those that stayed behind are busy with their studies, so this town seems rather 'deserted' at times. We volunteered at a newly established Methodist church in the outskirts of this city last weekend and taught English to the bumiputra kids. Who says volunteers gives the most? I say volunteers receive the most! We have 'earned' priceless experience just by spending an afternoon with those cute angels. They spoke in Iban and Melanau so I can roughly piece up the puzzle to get their meaning but what struck me most was, their level of education. These kids stay in the city yet they can hardly speak any proper English despite the free and easily accessible education being made available. I have no idea how that happened but there was this primary 5 girl who can't even finish her alphabets! (And I thought most kids these days are able to sing the ABC song at the age of 2) Thank God for blessing us with this new perspective. Plus, our church is seeking for sunday school teacher to teach in that church, am seriously considering it but kinda put off by the distance I have to travel and the short duration that I'd still be in this city if I were to commit into it. In retrospect, this might have something to do with the promise I've made and prayed about at the end of SUSOM: to serve in children's ministry in Miri when I return. I dearly hope this is the beginning of it and do pray for the Sunday school there! :)

It's almost the end of May. 3 months to go. Oh yea~

Sunday, May 13, 2012

There he was, trying to convince the readers about the non-existence of God with a very persuasive tone; exactly a quality that lawyers must possess. However, there he was, while couldn't prove himself to be unerringly right, he's begging evidence from believers of God. He used Einstein, Hawking, Darwin's On The Origin of Species and plethoras of other scientific evidences to back up his arguments. Don't get me wrong, science has greatly contribute in helping human to attain a more comfortable life but is every facet of it really so concrete, infallible? No, the hypothesises that were proven to be right by Science are only waiting for the next 'geniuses' to nullify them. That aside, wasn't he putting his faith in the theorists too? He has never touch, see, smell, taste or feel these giants of the science and history in person, and I don't think he understand Einstein or Hawking's full calculations and theories either; Darwin's theory is just another theory (some argued it is, but a hypothesis) until today, something humanly impossible to be evaluated, compared, or proven with current technology, at least until the day someone invents a Time Machine to travel back time and comes back with the answer. Yet, he puts his faith in them, his 'divine being' in the sense of humans in the past.

Next, he talked about making the world a better place based on humanity. Firstly, why do you want to make the world a better place? You do believe in goodness too? Why do you think every being on this planet share the same definition, perspective of goodness as you do? What is the people in the past, present, future hold different view of goodness from you? Aren't you evil in their eyes? So what is humanity? What is goodness? Based on what standard? Based on conscience? Where does that conscience comes from? If mixing a few organic compounds, heating on a Bunsen burner, cooling or maybe bombarding the compound with electrons could, by chance (as you supposed how the universe begun), voila! create conscience in a test tube, why didn't you try doing that? Isn't that an even more solid, infallible option to proof your 'faith' once and for all than to write numerous lengthy arguments, speeches? Oh, you are not a man of science, but pardon me for my dullness in arguments, which elements are you talking about that makes up your personality again? Why has not any one succeeded in making conscience and personalities after billions years of countless trials, errors, experiments?  Why can't the giants in science you are so fond of (despite claiming you are not a Man of Science) create conscience or at least, prove where does this trait that runs in all homo sapiens comes from? Or are they lacking in certain mental capabilities? Oh, the time has not come yet for them to reach that stage of scientific advancement to prove this 'fact', so, now you are putting your faith in a future 'unknown genius'? Yet, he puts his faith in them, his 'divine being' in the sense of self and on someone(?) in the unknown future

A mathematical equation even popped out later in his argument. To make it even more convincing, he quoted Dawkin's what if I am wrong? At first glance, it seemed quite 'true', but it's a completely different story at second glance. With every single point he made, he made a huge assumption beforehand, exactly the statements that he, himself could not prove. Yet, he puts his faith in them, his 'divine being' in the sense of waves of thoughts, or should I put it in scientifically-proven terms, surges of electrical impulses in our mind as a result of chemical reactions between hormones.


There are many other flaws, which I am quite surprised that such an intelligent, bright, eloquent young man like him would have overlooked as he tried to make his arguments perfect, infallible. I apologise for the straw man statement I am about to put up here but: If he were to counteract with 'no human is perfect', why exactly is he putting his faith in himself/humanity then? Why is he thrusting his hopes in himself that will inevitably fail him, when any god, as he assumed, could be right? However, we are not playing "Risk" or rolling a dice here, nor am I interested in worshipping with an "what-if" in the centre of my soul all the time. We are sure of what we hope for and certain for what we do not see. Therefore, I deeply apologise again, my fellow being, for I could not hold this omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent and perfect God in my palm and show Him, as an object/calculation/theory/philosophy right in front of your eyes that might have resulted in your current 'belief'. As your friend has put it in very direct manner:

Did you not know that we as humans are limited in our natural form in many ways? Simply put it this way, a normal person is created with five senses to help go through the day doing daily tasks. What about one that’s born with no gift of sight? He lacks one and thus he regards sight as a non-existing factor that most of us enjoy and believe exist. So here’s the deal; lets say God is something to be experienced and “seen” with senses 7 and 8 then I strongly believe we are missing out the point of God’s existence. At the end of day, we find ourselves debating to whether or not God exist based on scientific methods, protocols and humanly understanding without realizing how limited we are in terms of abilities and knowledge.

I do not understand what you did meant by "This, is precisely why I do not believe" when you have clearly put your faith in the past, present and future, on deities of all kinds. My mind does not contain the answers to your sophisticated assumptions, nor am I equipped with ability to debate, refute and counter your complex arguments eloquently, unless the Spirit does it through me. I could only pray for you: May the Lord open your heart, mind and soul to Him, then you fully understand and be part of what He means by Love. May God bless you. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Last of bumming around?

Finally got a decent job with a nice, huge organization. Not a trainee/tutor any more but lazy afternoons like this will be scarce now onwards...  oh well, at least the days will be more productive. :)

Tutoring

I never knew tutoring could be this maddeningly fun. Yes, it's mad, but strangely, I enjoyed every moment of "torturing" those kids who just hit puberty and think they are the king of the world. (ok, that sounds really ridiculous but please bear with my sarcasm) And just as I have always labelled myself, the kids have finally called me "a witch" today. IMAGINE THAT. HAHA. I could never picture myself to be a kind, gentle mother in the future. But again, maybe I will because I didn't even raise my voice, or physically torture anyone throughout the session (except a rough "you guys dont diam here diam there, you diam lah and do your work, now!")  and I just gave them THE STARE, and an "excuse me, young man?" The kid compliantly said, "Oh sorry, nothing nothing, you are very pretty." Then I gracefully returned his 'compliment' with a smile and continued my verbal tortures of nagging non-stop. I thought only old woman does that... urgh.

"Eh lao si, you know he got gf d?!"
"Oh, so?"
"Neh, outside there! She's form 4!!!"
"No wonder you guys keep peeking out. Are you guys in Form 2?"
"Yes..."
I turned to the one with the Form-4 girlfriend he was so proud of and replied,
"YOU, better start doing your work now. Your girlfriend passed her PMR, you have not!"
"Yea lo, later your girlfriend don't want you..." his 'brudder' added.
"I passed UPSR.
After saying it, he shamefully laughed at himself. seriously, UPSR?! 

"Are you from Chung Hua?" one of the 'si gina' asked.
"Yes." I replied indifferently without looking at him, after being annoyed incessantly. 
"Did you join brassband? PBSM? Kadet Polis?"
"No."
"Oh i know, BOMBA!"
"No."
"Then what are you?" He was taken aback with a very surprised expression.
"I am calon bebas."
"What is calon bebas?"
"Shut up, do your work." 

"Eh, why are you on the same page after 1.5 hours!!!??"
"I am slow ma, I'm doing at the speed of 1 km/h." one answered.
"Eh you, can you please pick up your pen and look at your book?"
"I can write with my bottle." He proceeded to picking up his bottle and pretend to write with it.
Flabbergasted, I stared at them, "Are you guys 14 years old?!"


"Lao si, I think you are very kelian lo because you have to teach us."
"You know what? I totally agree with you on that." Nodding my head furiously.

After the session, I went out and talked to the clerk.
"So, what were they doing?"
"Talking non-stop but still working on their papers lo."
"Really?!"
"Why?"
"They usually walk around, play with ipad/iphones/phones and would never sit still."
Now I get why they called me that. =.="



But fortunately, not all kids are like that. I had a session with Form 5 students on Maths too. Although they didn't really understand the questions on the past year papers they were doing, at least, they asked and we could all discuss constructively. The hours spent were fruitful and we all were happy with the session. Same goes to my private tuition before. Oh, how I miss tutoring that student! She was really keen, hardworking and attentive! It was really enjoyable spending my time with her...

Why can't all students be like that?

But again, I was the one sleeping in class during secondary school. The right to these sort of complaints will never be mine. LOLS. *guilt*

some literal records. some reflective. we can't always be monotonous, can we? 

Macaroons & fats

Shouldn't have done this crazy, sugar-loaded experiment at such hour. It's nearly midnight and I'm baking macaroons....To make the situation even worse, I couldn't find a proper filling at the moment so it was substituted with durians. DURIANS! the most fattening fruit on earth. So there, lots of sugar + durian + midnight munching = disaster. 
I have tried 3 times now and...failed 3 times. Yes, the macaroon in the photo above is a extremely failed one. I mean, look at the ugly cap!!! And who uses durian for fillings? Perfect disaster, spoilt the elegance of this supposedly delicate, small, fragile French delicacy...A dessert done meticulously with smooth caps, light and fluffy, fit for the ancient royalties. A fruit harboured by extreme patience. 

From the perfect macaroon I once greedily savoured from Canele (which until today, I could vividly remember how it tasted, the texture), I never knew the process of making it requires absolute precision, accuracy and speed. Too much folding, and you get watery batter which is good for nothing but to be thrown away; too little folding, the batter will not be smooth enough. And whole lots more details on the whisking, sifting and baking part... Oh ya, the room temperature and humidity have to be controlled too. The ingredients are extremely cheap but the process is tedious. Thanks to Chef Jeremy's distance coaching, at least there are improvements after each bake and troubleshooting. 

I wonder how many more trays of eggs will be wasted until I get this thing right... another thing, never, ever bake in the middle of the night again! I say, NEVER! 

maybe when the door is closed, it can't be opened with the same key again...Some chances are only there for once in a lifetime.