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!!! ><