Sunday, April 29, 2012

Work among the dying & NLS

"I never intended to make my living among the dying. When I entered medical school, I dreamed of helping people. And for me, helping meant saving lives. I imagined a clinic filled with grateful, cured, modern-day Lazarus equivalents, I also convinced myself that my undergraduate background in medical anthropology would make me more empathic than other physicians; my patients would not only be physically cured but would be emotionally healed in culturally relevant ways.
As it turns out, my dreams about my future medical career were not that different from those of most medical students. Premedical students overwhelmingly believe that as physicians they will be able to cure and help their patients. Few choose this career to care for the dying; instead, they believe they will save others from inevitability of death."
- Pauline W. Chen, Final Exam.

Was rummaging through the overwhelmingly huge National Library of Singapore when I came across this book. Haven't been reading medical related books lately and this book has got me thinking again. I will try to find time and make a review about it as I am again, half way through the book at the moment. What made me so pissed off in the library was that I couldn't find any book I intended to find! (I mean fictions) It's either on loan, not on loan but mysteriously gone or not available at all in the central library, and I thought it's supposed to have all the books other branch libraries have. That library was huge, i mean bigger-than-a-T-rex huge. If only we have this first-class facility back in Malaysia. Le sigh.

For reasons unbeknownst to myself, I suddenly pictured myself as Dr Park in House. Yes, the not-so-gifted, nerdy Asian one in the pack. To be honest, I would rather bang my head to the wall then to be like her, but then again, who am I to say such things?  Yet it's just a drama. A recent incident has made me felt so "connected" with her that this after-thought kept haunting "Why did I do that?!" Remember the part in House when Dr Adams did Park a favour, then Park insisted on returning it just to BE FAIR? She felt that she had fallen into superiority of Adams if she doesn't return the favour. I think I just did that, of course not in the extremity directly on par with Park. A good friend of mine gave me a very useful present for my last birthday but what I couldn't bear was to receive such expensive presents from others, it made me feel as if I OWE them something; the gratitude was too overwhelming, that I couldn't receive it with any grace. Mind you, competition/kiasu-ness/superiority is the last thing on my mind in this case (unlike Park). All I had in mind was I need to do something, anything to return the favour, even when the other party insisted on that being unnecessary at all. But then again, why should I ever regret doing that? A smile on my friend's face (tho I couldn't witness that, but you have to smile even if you don't feel like it!) is worth more than all those stupid pride matters.

Happy Birthday, you-know-who-you-are! Cheers to years of great friendship to come!

**On the side note, I noticed some form of plagiarism occurred in Facebook recently on my previous posts. Not that I'm a credit-sucking maniac, but my dear reader, I would very much appreciate your thoughtfulness if whatever you read stays on this site. If you would like to share the words/opinions from this site with your friends, kindly leave a comment or email me. I will be more than glad to help you as much as it's humanly possible. Thank you.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

To love and not expecting to be loved

You will also find that it is no great tragedy if your love is not reciprocated. You are not doing it to be loved back. Its value is to inspire you.
Finally, you will find that there is no half-measure when it comes to loving someone. You either don’t, or you do with every cell in your body, completely and utterly, without reservation or apology. It consumes you, and you are reborn, all the better for it.
- Adrian Tan, a speech to the graduating class of 2008 in NTU. 
Full speech here. :)

Parallel

Have you ever met a person who lead a life almost parallel to yours? I mean parallel, not identical. No, not the Mary-Kate-and-Ashley-Olsen type of twins or similarity I'm talking about. You two may be different in some way too: family, location, place of birth, careers, but these are where similarities intertwined with difference. Both are doing almost the same thing at the same time, like humming the same tune, playing the same song on the piano, wearing the same brand or colours. Both have the same goals but different ways of execution, hence the different path taken. For goodness sake, you don't know the existence of this other person, how could both of you be blood-related when you are born and raised thousands miles apart? Even if many realise this, how many would be convinced of this twisted, wicked idea? Superstitions, over-analysing, they sneered.

It's creepy to meet a person who share so many similarities with you. It obliterates that ticklish feeling you have in your stomach when your parents call you their "princess" and deludes the thoughts in you, of you and your uniqueness. It makes me stare deep into the eyes of my reflection in the mirror and somehow I feel another person staring back at me, head slanted to the side that opposes mine, from the other side of this piece of silvered glass. I check the back of the mirror to make sure there's no one there. To my disappointment, there really isn't. Then that pair of eyes in the mirror meet mine again. Who is this person? I reach out to touch nothing but feel only chills from that cold, hard surface. Who am I? I look at the fingers touching the mirror. Am I just a trapped soul within this body? It's as if I could float out any time, to the ceiling and watch everything pass. 

Nonsense. Must be a trick of the light on my mind. I should get to work. Laugh, love and stop acting like a mad person.

Perhaps, that's what parallel lines are suppose to do. They are similar to each other, but they are never the other and they have never and never will meet the other. If these lines do ever intersect at any point, that's a disaster. It's wrong! The lines should be erased and they should be back to where they are because that's how the harmony between parallel lines plays, ruled. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

On Giving Advices

A junior very dear to me called quite often lately, mostly seeking for advices regarding her studies. As usual, whenever I start talking on the phone, the words per minute rate tends to accelerate like mad, so do my tone and pitch raising by the second. I have no idea why that happens but I would just get so hyped up and start jumping around in my room while talking. Thank goodness the other party don't know (the lack of imagination is very much appreciated here) how I look like, live.

The moment we hung up, a sense of guilt and uneasiness crept in. Am I not the worst person ever to ask for an advice? Like a broken stereo, this question echoed in my head for hours. I was never an exemplary or model student in my mind, albeit the awards bestowed over the years, nor have I ever intend to be one. For each of these so-called achievements, I felt not much pride but more undeserving each time I am reminded of them. I doubted myself again and again, have I really worked for these? Based on my skills, knowledge and abilities, I would have never attain anything similar. (Further evidence: My ridiculously low IQ score) Every time I see what my peers did to have the same results, "They are all brilliant geniuses!" my heart screams, I feel smaller inside though I've never regard that as a bad thing because this small brain and the sensitive ego of mine tend to be blown up easily by that damning sin - Pride. Brief disparagement might be beneficial in this case, as a reminder that I am but a creation of my Creator, but not so much as to cause severe inferiority complex, as we are indeed created in His likeness. By having faith in God, we have the potential to achieve anything within His will, under His provisions. (as the lyric "No problem is too big for God to solve..." plays in my mind now). But the core problem still lies with: Why am I competing with others?

As I recalled on the days for my AS and A-Level exams, I tried to give "appropriate" advice. Save the effort of trying to a goody-good student in the public here. Be a hypocrite not, because the truth is I can't say that I have studied hard enough to achieve the results when in fact, I was slacking like a boss (as many would put it these days) prior to the agony of facing exams. The images that flashed through my mind were nothing but the days my crazy bunch of friends and I out in the city, shopping, eating and indulging ourselves, or should I say wasting our youths away, despite having Chemistry and Maths quizzes the next day. I felt a pang of regret instantly. What should I tell this junior? "Don't worry, stop studying and go enjoy yourself!" It's just crazy to give this kind of advice when I, myself know very clearly in my guts that these last-minute works don't work. Until this writing moment, I still can't figure out how I got those above average results in A levels because I was sleeping in almost every Maths class during my first semester! (I did tried to be alert by sleeping early and having shots of concentrated caffeine drinks, red bulls, none of them work.) Tell me those incidents that sent chills through my spine every time I thought of them are not miracles from God, then I don't know what those are. Plain luck? No, or as my Maths teacher, Mr Raja puts it, "Prove to me."

Because you hold the responsibility of every single advice given, when people consult you, you don't simply throw any words at them because dumb, insincere ideas will most probably spell disaster for those that meant well. You can mess your own life up, but please don't destroy others'. 

Although I do regret, very infirmly, on those hours spent laughing away, but it could probably be the only period in my life which I experienced being a reckless, carefree youngster before I, by age, legitimately step into adulthood next year. Adolescence is, anyway, there for only once in a lifetime. I don't mind having something absurd to laugh with my old friends when we all sit side-by-side in those rotan-made rocking chairs next time, reminiscing other things other than work and serious matters. However, this call has serve another purpose well: to get me to start thinking and behaving like a sensible person so that next time, whenever someone asks me for an advice again, my voice pitch would remain stable and would say something truthful (based on experience) and pleasing to God. I would want to claim: We all had our crazy adventures yet in His love, we manage to get back on track with God, I have had a life well-lived.  

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. 
Psalm 19:14


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Grudges

It's not that I don't want to hold grudges, it's just that I can't.

I'll forget whatever we were arguing about after a few hours; after a few days, I couldn't even remember such incident happened. It's difficult enough to remember facts, what's more to say on "resentful emotions"? The problem with this is that if I argue with a person, that person might still feel angry afterwards but I've long forgotten such thing happened, so when we meet again, I am often thrown into this completely confused state and the person just get even angrier. The solution: Just apologize for whatever it is. Pfft. Hopelessly handicapped in my memory department.

p/s: added a LibraryThing widget to the sidebar. :D <3

Despite growing in Malaysia, this plant in my backyard only bears these colourful, mini pumpkin-liked berries when the cherry blossoms bloom in temperate countries.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Age

Honestly, do I look like a kid?

I am hitting 20 in a few months, somehow this number suddenly makes me feel so old. Besides, I was "kicked out"/retired from the Youth in church and am planning to join Young Adults fellowship this coming Sunday. gosh. Me, a young adult? I don't think so.

I was chatting to a junior in my secondary school the other day. He just got his SPM results and that makes me 2 years his senior. We've never talked before, neither do we know each others name but I remember he is some popular junior back in those days when I graduated from high school so I just strike a casual conversation with him while waiting to meet a teacher,

"So, where are you studying now?"
"Sydney. Wait, are you done with your secondary school?" He looked at my polo shirt, skinny jeans and flip-flops.
"I finished 3 years ago."
"That makes you...20?"
"Yes." =.="
"BUT YOU LOOK YOUNGER THAN ME!"
Moment of enlightenment!

So what?!?! I'm usually speechless under this kind situation especially when such comment comes from someone of years younger than me. They just remind me of those days when I wore pinafores at the end of Form 5 (Didn't have enough half turquoise skirts and didn't bother to buy any after prefects retirement) and people thought I was a Form 2 kid. And now that I'm 20, a similar scenario happened.

I guess it's good in some way (e.g. the financial way) if you look younger than your age. It's, anyway, the main focus of the cosmetic industry nowadays, spreading their propagandas of "Looking, Feeling and Staying Young Forever" by applying those bloody expensive products. I've never use any facial products except a facial cleanser until quite recently, my mom forced me use Dr Wu's, nagging me about wrinkles, fine lines and dark spots that will appear as we, women age. It's a bad habit, I know, for not applying anything at all which explains the dryness of my skin (can crack any minute!) but I have extremely sensitive skin. Almost anything that goes onto my face causes pimples to pop out like mad within the next 24 hours. How funny that despite the extreme dryness, my skin still secretes large amount of sebum! urgh. Beauty comes with a price, no?

Looking young and immature often means people won't take you seriously no matter how brilliant or mature your idea is, at least in this scientific field which good fashion sense is rather irrelevant. However, appearing impeccably dressed in those trendy suits is extremely important in the business realm. (I draw this conclusion after a careful observation in Curtin Sarawak between enginnering/geology students and commerce students.) Of course, this is an over-generalisation which deem to be untrue in many cases. Blame the hackneyed characterization for each career, but it's almost a second nature to raise an eyebrow when your doctor walk in looking like a 19-year-old in his father's suit. In some jobs, it's better to look "old and wise".

Random stuff:


p/s: How can a person who has not seen me for many years, call me GILA after a mere 5 minutes conversation?! For the nth time, seriously? 

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Oatmeal

"Goodness gracious, why are you laughing on your own in front of the screen for the past few hours?!"



p/s: Finally get to tutor a Singapore IB student for Physics. Oh the joy of doing something meaningful again after so long! (Nerdy? Better than rusty.)

Bumming around

Can't believe I actually went out in my pyjamas today. Not some silly secondary school over-sized club shirt and shorts but real pyjamas, a pink one, with a bear in front. Gah, you know your holiday is simply too long when you are starting to get a bit too lazy. K lah, to be honest, I went out of the house but not of the car. My mom went to the clinic and needed somebody to sit in the car because there was no parking around, so she dragged me out. I just slept in the passenger seat for almost an hour, in my pink pyjamas with this super huge sunglasses on, so people don't know that I'm actually sleeping like a pig. Goodness...laziness, if I don't overcome that as soon as possible, I don't know what will happen in uni. To make the matters worse, I am getting comfortable with being antisocial. How lah?!

The funny thing is that when I was sober a few hours later, (which is about noon time = complete lost of regimen) I was lamenting about how sad my current life is. No social life, no work, not many aims, no concrete plans, below zero production level, stuck around the same places almost every day. I am almost at the brink of pulling my hair, screaming I NEED TO DO SOMETHING NAO!  The fact is, I was only introduced to this sedentary lifestyle at home about less than 2 weeks ago. Butt-itches-can't-sit-still type of person. I tried to look for job, but no one wants to hire me because I am travelling around again soon and no one really wants part-timers over here, only post-A levels type some more. Believe it or not, I was so desperate to find something to do I actually asked my mom to ask her beautician if I can be her shampoo girl. She literally ROFL then said, no. (What's so funny about that?!) Want to be shampoo girl also no one wants, how am I going to survive next time! I gave up looking for jobs, considering the fact that I am travelling out of the country again next next week until next month. So much for "not leaving the house until there is something urgent or absolutely necessary". =.=" 

 Finally, I resolved to studying and taking music lessons. And yet just a few months ago I promised myself to not touch any academic books for my gap year. Hmph.

Refreshing the facebook page every 5 minutes suddenly becomes a very depressing act. You see your friends moved on with their life, new friends, new jobs, new universities and you are still stuck here. My mind has moved on but my heart yearns to linger around.  I will stay away from Facebook until I figure out how to fully utilise my free time here.Another interesting observation is that I have more friends doing law, economics, accounting and business than medics or engineering. Come to think of it, it's actually a good thing having more friends in other fields at this age before I plunge myself into the oh-so-medical world so next time when I face litigations/starting a business, I would know who to turn to for FOC services. Materialistic betul. Tsk. 

Maybe I'm just too used to living in a pressurized environment for years. I grew up in that condition, with never-ending to-do list. Now that I am given the time to do nothing at all, I just can't take this idea of wasting my time. This is what we, Asians do. We work all the time. But....hullo, I am about to be in my prime now (or have I passed that era?), how can I just be bumming around whole day? A little rest is enough, too much is just unacceptable. Reminiscing about the good ol' days of training for the marathons and that was just less than a year ago. My brain cells are gone, so have my muscle tissues in dormant state.

Well, mom kept telling me I need to learn how to enjoy doing nothing. Teach me lah, how? My life has been revolving about myself too much, time to revise and correct the course! Sighs.

Oh wait, it's mid-April! *twirls* 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sketch: Musee du Louvre

When two worlds clash together 

University of Bristol's Interview for Medicine

I realised there are MANY posts, news, informations fully dedicated to Oxbridge and Imperial's medical school's interview, yet so little information on Bristol's interview in Malaysia. So as promised, I am going to blog about it now. :D

I applied through UCAS to Bristol around mid-September. Bristol was not a too-hard option for entrance of a medical school with no requirement for BMAT/UKCAT, good reputation in teaching and the interview will be held in Malaysia, as compared to my 3 other choices which required much more effort, time and money. The interview contents were a mixture of personal experiences and academic stuffs, not as academically-inclined as Cambridge's.

I got my invitation for interview in Crowne Plaza Hotel, KL one week before the actual day through an email from MABECS. My interview was on 23 February but the interview period usually stretches from March till end of April, so the Malaysia interviews were considered rather early. There wasn't much information regarding the application from the time of submission of the application until the interview invitation.

I was coincidentally in KL that time so I was able to go for the interview but I did not prepare well because I just finished a one-month programme (Yay! SUSOM!) the night before. I briefly went through my personal statement and Bristol's website. It has quite an informative website with youtube videos which are really helpful. And utilise the VIP page they have provided for each applicant well! There are informations in there which potentially can save you during the interview. You can, of course, refer to the information for interviews for other universities too. Don't over-prepare, but be sure have the answers to common questions like why medicine, why bristol, in your head. I went off to bed quite late that night as I only started my preparation at 12am, after a mamak session with friends at SS2. (Yea, I miss those mamak food dearly. No nice mamak in Miri.) 

My interview was scheduled at 9.50am so I left my aunt's house at about 8.45am. It is usually a 10-minutes drive from my aunt's house to the venue. Who knows the traffic was so congested that morning! Consequently, I was late for about 5 minutes despite leaving house 1 hour before the actual time! However, I kept calm and acted "steady", walked confidently into the business area on the 1st floor of the hotel in my heels. "You are late," the lady said while I was registering. What to do? I just smiled and she directed me to the waiting area with a few KYUEM students who looked rather...anxious. I introduced myself and chatted with them. Ah, their first interview! (And I still remember mine, more than a year ago, vividly for the fear of some imaginary "man-eating monster" sitting in the room) 

Then it was my turn. To be honest, I was in a jolly mood that morning, not really tense, so it wasn't hard for me to put on that smile and to greet the interviewer. He was there with his wife but the wife was just an observer. He was a really friendly guy, a lecturer for first year students in Bristol, who allowed me to answer and talk as long as I like after his questions, instead of cutting in even before I finish my sentence. He asked about my experience in hospital attachments and voluntary work. He also asked about my interest in the latest findings in the medical world. It sort of surprised me but fortunately, I pulled it through with the monoclonal antibody news I've read a while ago, adding in details from what I've learnt from my A Levels Biology. Thank God I still remember those stuffs! I was in a programme for a month, how recent can my news be? (Hehehe... making up excuses only! :p) He was rather impressed with the antibody tale and it linked to production of insulins and then, to the ethics part. Goodness, this part was such a headache. He asked me to tell him about the sugar consumption of Malaysians, obesity and diabetes in general, then the million-dollar question: If you think diabetes is a consequence of the patient's own behaviour, will you treat them? Most diseases are due to the patient's own actions, if we exclude the diabetes patients from our patients list, we might as well treat only those with genetic diseases and that's just absurd. Yes, I would treat them. "But isn't it unfair that these people are using the public's money to treat something due to their own irresponsible actions?" Ah, the NHS controversy! I joked about how most Malaysians pay for their own medical expenses or with insurance (except in gov hospitals, polyclinics and 1Malaysia clinics) but to refrain from treating those who need help  is very much against the oath taken by a doctor, so we should treat them no matter how much we disagree personally, with their past actions. 

I stumbled a bit in the process but it was still a very pleasurable experience. The whole interview took about 25 minutes. Sounds long but it was actually really short. You will have so much more to discuss about as you go along. And there, my last interview for university application was successfully done. I received an unconditional offer from Bristol on 30 March, about 1 month after the interview. So after the interview, rant for a little while if you want but don't panic or beat yourself out for any stupid thing you've said during the interview, just sit back and relax until you hear from them again. 

All the best to all of you going for the interview! :) 

Sketch: Eiffel

un hommage a la beaute: d'Eiffel 

Christchurch earthquake, 22 Feb

I returned to my secondary school again today, asking if there's any vacancy after much contemplation (I don't want to wake up at 5am again, to climb stairs and shout at rebellious adolescences just to earn a few hundreds ringgit). Unfortunately, there isn't any for me at the moment as all the slots are filled up by other post-STPM students. Oh well, guess I have to go back to job-hunting in tuition centres or education advisor. I'm actually quite interested in working with education advisor, recalling how I once clung on them so tightly before my college days and I want to know more about universities around the world... I have not go for any interview for either institutions tho... procrastinate much. :/

Anyway, back to the topic of going back to school, I ended up chatting with many teachers instead. Mostly were teachers who attend the same church as me. We haven't had much chance talking in the church, owing to my bad habit of slipping away immediately after services (you have no idea how congested the traffic of the whole city is every Sunday after church). 

A teacher whom I respected very much (helped to build a strong foundation in my maths) was telling me about her relative. She was an admission officer of a university in NZ, in her 30s, a very enthusiastic and charitable lady, a very devoted Christian. She's not married but enjoyed single-hood in serving the Lord. She used to come back to Sarawak once in a while to visit her family. Just last year, she came back and  brought her mom to overseas for holiday. They enjoyed quality time with the family and returned to Malaysia. At the departure hall, she bid her mother goodbye, again and again. It was unusual for her to act like that. February, it was a cool, windy night. After dinner, her house mate and her decided to go for a long walk around the neighbourhood. It was, again, another unusual act. They shared stories and experiences along the way, enjoyed each other's company. And when they were about to sleep that night, she kept telling her house mate "goodbye!" 22 February, lunchtime, her mother back in Sarawak received the news of 6.3-magnitude earthquake hitting NZ's second-largest city. Her heart skipped a beat, it was the city her daughter was in. She lost her. 

They went through her stuffs after the cremation. She had very little in her bank account even after years of work, she didn't spend much but has been consistently offering her money to help others. What was amazing was they found a card slipped in one of her books. It was addressed to her mom... "Don't worry, I am doing very good now. Cling on to God tightly in whatever you do. We will meet again very soon."
Does a person really knows when he is going to die? I've heard many stories of people signalling others with unusual acts about their departure, but is it really true that they have that sense or was it just eerily pure coincidence? No matter what, we know where that lady is heading. Instead of weeping for her, we should be rejoicing! What a great comfort that we have for believing in the Lord! :) 

Life is full of uncertainties. To leave at any time, any where, without regrets is to live each day with a purpose, to breathe each breath with gladness. 


Friday, April 06, 2012

Rest and reflect

After so many "heavy" posts, let's have something more cheerful - a post to match the new chicky background. I have no idea why am I so obsessed with round, fat, yellow creatures lately (ducklings,chicks).


 I've calculated, I have 317 days for my compulsory gap year and I am almost half way through it. Let's just make it half. This half was so fascinating and exciting that I would have never imagined my gap year to be this crazy. I've been to 23 different places in total and in these 23, only 5 are those that I've been to before. 18 completely new places, not bad eh? And after rushing around for these many months, I've finally decided  to settle down and chill, to really enjoy home and rest. I mean, since A2 finished man! That was ages ago, and I was hardly at home. Cambodia, Taiwan, Singapore and practically around the whole east and west Malaysia for camps, attachment, events, travels. Was invited to tag along to Japan with my siblings, but...my mind really needs to rest plus all these travellings have sort of distanced myself from God because it's hard to have proper quiet time when your schedule is not fixed at all and your environment is constantly changing. I could feel His voice almost drowned as I rushed through the excitement around.  

I've been wanting to study a bit ( my brain is soooo rusted that I don't even know what IBR is. maths stuff), take music and dance lessons and give tuitions so I've decided to settle down BEFORE I START RUNNING AROUND AGAIN in July onwards until my departure in September. More camps to come. (dont know whether to respond with enthusiasm or not :/ ) 

Hallway to ORs in TMC, Kuching.

I've been flying so often, from the very epic twin otter experience to huge air buses on international flights. Met MORE interesting characters from other countries and LOTS of medical staffs, some even on my holiday trip. Maybe it's just my mind playing a trick on me, but sometimes, I felt that when you are about to embark on something great, things around you starts to change; everything seems to link to what you are about to do. Or maybe, I was just more observant and sensitive to these stuffs? But even on the story books that I've been reading, fictions to non fictions, classics to new releases, everything seems to have strange relations. Believe me, I've never seen as many "University of Cambridge" and "Medicine" in books that I've read during my secondary school years. (Ok, maybe I don't read that much those days) Or maybe, I'm simply too excited about the days to come - I'm finally going to enter a university! Oh, how I dread for that day to come! My peers will be graduating as I am about to start my first year!

That was just an absurd rant. Ignore!

Breathtaking view of the Rajang River during sunrise in the Twin Otter,
on the way to Tanjung Manis from Kuching.
 I dreamt of owning an empire of hospital groups, I wrote it down about 2 years ago but in retrospect, that was absolutely ludicrous. "If you are after money, you may or may not find money, but you will definitely find no meaning; If you are after meaning, you will find it, and perhaps, have an amazing encounter with money as well." I read this from some book I've read not long ago. It sort of reaffirmed my new plans but observing how fast my interest changed, I can't promise how my plans, and consequently, my course (of life, not of studies) will change again. I do have a strange scheme in mind now, one that I've never really considered before. It may not bring prosperity to me, but it definitely is of goodwill to all. Guess this gap year thing is really working!
View of Taiwan
I've also never been so pissed off by alcoholism before! This habit is just sickening, same to smoking! I hate the habit, not the people. For goodness sake, STOP destroying your own body, wasting your money, time and effort of the people around you! After you've done enough damages with your body, you go to a doctor  and expect him to work a miracle. If he did it, you are happy, you give stupid promises and go back to your sickening life again; if he didn't, you are doomed, and if you are lucky, you live with side effects and you hold grudges against the person who tried to save you for the rest of your life. COME ON, wake up! I believe you are a rational and responsible adult, THINK WITH YOUR BRAIN, please. Why on earth, are you destroying your body?! (And here comes the paradox of "everyone will die one day, no harm taking another drink/cigarette" and "Doc, I don't want to die so fast!")

Why am I so worked up? Pfft.

So another half to go till departure. It was the right time to go to Taiwan for shopping as it is spring there and summer is approaching, so all the autumn and winter clothings are on great sales. Yay! It's just a "natural"thing that I bought a few sets of autumn clothings for preparation. Heh, excuses! Oh ya, Taipei 101 was ok-ok-lah. It is tall with really cool and practical architectural design, but I have to admit, truthfully, that Petronas Twin Towers have a more majestic and impressive architecture (and more affordable food and shops :P).
My first ever trench coat. Thanks, Dad! :D
WEEE~!
And here I am back in Miri, finally. I've made up my mind not to go anywhere unless it's absolutely urgent and necessary. The universities I've applied to have all made their decisions. I dare not show you my UCAS track screen shot as it is really embarrassing. It's like a rojak...all sorts of decisions offered but I've put in my firmed and insurance choices. University of Bristol gave an unconditional offer. It was a complete surprise to me. Unconditional? Guilt swamped my throat instantaneously. I will talk about the interview in the future post but what I felt really glad was that my dear friends have gotten their offers from brilliant universities as well. We will be just 40 minutes of train ride apart, peeps. I anticipate monthly gatherings in London! ;)

Hazard Bistro @ Canada Hill, Miri
I've not done much maths, despite my interest (which I never realise until quite recently) in it and am trying to practice again these few days. I hope my course will cover lots of maths but I know that is just wishful thinking. Fortunately, I'm not taking arts course in uni (pfft, as if I have any talent in that field), I can't imagine how my interests in maths wither. If I can't pursue it, let it fade in a more subtle way at least! Don't get me wrong, if I were given a chance to choose again, I will still choose Med over anything else. I will sometimes talk nonsense of hoping to be in other fields, but at the end of the day, I couldn't be more grateful for the decisions made.
"Syllabus of the Year"
If reading is a mind-stimulating activity, I guess that's the only activity my brain has been embracing lately. It's funny how I rarely hold books during schooling days (unless it's near to exam periods) but now, I always have an unfinished book with me whenever I go. But it has really been a pleasure, to read whatever you want, at your own pace, instead of being instructed by the school or college, trapped within the syllabi.

So, gap year has been absolutely GREAT for me hitherto, how about you? :) 

p/s: pardon me for my grammar mistakes in this post. I plainly typed whatever came to mind. :P 

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Hard work, purpose and success

This post is inspired by blog post "Why I regret getting straight A1 in SPM" from akirastory.com

"Aiya, we simply can't talk about HOW TO STUDY with this type of people. Studying is like a breeze for them. They won't understand how hard is it for us down here to get these things into our heads."

"I don't want to study any more. I feel lazy."
"Even without studying, you'll do well in the end. Now go away and don't distract me."

"Eh, if you don't know, go ask him/her lah, he/she definitely will know the answer."
"You think he/she'll help idiots like us meh?!"

Really? Is that what you think?

Life seems perfect for some of us but, no matter how great it look, it's all just an illusion. No one's life is perfect. We face struggles, pressures, betrayals and disappointments too, tonnes. We too, have the same receptors as you do, we too feel pain. We are the same except for the fact of what we put our faith on, underlying everything else. Ideologies, objectives, principles, philosophy....are irrelevant.

People are always making Plan Bs, fall back alternatives, it's just a state of mind to help us cope with "When all else fails, I will have a back-up plan waiting to save the day!" The truth is, all our mastermind-made plans are fallible. Ya think it's optimism? I think all kind of optimisms are relative and subjective. Optimisms, no matter how hard you try to hypnotise yourself, will be corrupted by negativity, in any small amount. It's just a cover up show. Same goes with Complacency. When you sit beside a have-it-all person, see where your complacency (or should I say, imaginary satisfaction) goes. Greed arises, never consequently due to extremism, but due to wrong application.
Famous image for Optimism. Pretty relative, no?
All these are results of hard work and many, divine interventions - miracles. Yes, I do believe in miracles, no matter how hard you try to disapprove with me on the basis of scientific evidence but that's not my point now. I would like to talk about hard work.

People work for a purpose. Even when you say you are working for fun, it's for a purpose of attaining pleasure for one's own cause; Or to kill time, now that's your purpose, because you don't want to spend even that small fraction of your life in boredom, you decided to do something. You don't do something for nothing, you just don't. It's just too difficult to imagine a task without any purpose.

When this point of "doing something" is applied onto our work/studies, it's obvious that we are all doing something and apparently, while doing the same thing, some achieve greater results (in relative sense of course). Have you ever wonder why?

They WORK HARDER. (And if you want to tell me it's pure luck for them, why not believe in miracles?) There must be something that gives them the drive, the greater that cause is the greater the drive. By sheer will power, working harder will not be long for you. And when your cause fades, your drive goes too. What is your goal?

I dare not say I am any where near success yet as my purpose is a never-ending one: I want to glorify God in everything I do. My achievements in many things (eg. SPM, scholarships, college, university) were through incessant struggles. It's like walking on a rope in air but I ain't no good balancer. I fell in almost every single step I took. Every time I fall, I felt I grew another step closer to Him. When I was emotionally and physically drained, I learnt to quiet down and talk to Him and LISTEN, just the right time when I ignorantly assume everyone else in this world doesn't understand me. Then He works through me, through my family and friends. Sometimes I think I'm addicted these cycle of events, that I am constantly pushed to take that extra step outside my boundaries because I know what are all these for and my cause is everlasting, so does my drive towards achieving that sweet success. He is NOT my assistant but exactly what I work towards. I hope that explains why I am never satisfied with my progress but I am never in despair for not achieving my goal, YET. I trust in the Lord in leading me towards Him. :)

Of course, everyone has their own way of achieving their goals. Even if your goal is the same as the person sleeping beside you, you still argue on the methods of cooking an egg. But when you are set on the right track, whatever you do, will be meaningful. I was pondering upon a man's last words before he committed suicide about a decade ago from the news. He said his life was meaningless so there was no need for him to continue to stay in this world. By ending his life this way, I would say he gave the devil an easy victory. The devil's aim is to win us over from God before our life ends and our judgement comes. If we are not saved before we die, he gets an extra prisoner in Hell. However, if our life is set on the right purpose, he will try to lure us away from God until the day we are called to return to Him, and if we really do believe in His salvation and redemption, it doesn't matter how long more will we survive on Earth because we know exactly where we are heading towards. Of course, this doesn't calls for suicide once you believe! But I do not fear for the latter ones because those who believe will love and treasure this Life.

Okay, before I go off topic... Try to think, why do some people seem to "have it all" and constantly fill with joy while some sulk in the corner, fill with resentment despite everything that they have?