Wow I just reread my college application essays, and honestly…I’m quite satisfied with it even now. It’s not common that I’ll reread my previous essays and not end up closing the window while cringing deeply. Particularly for the personal essay, I actually still felt the emotions that I had felt in that instance. It was genuine okayyyy omg those days. I’m trying to do another application now, but I’m having so so so much trouble with it.

OMG I JUST THOUGHT OF SOMETHING.

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money!……???

I’m currently working on a story about a philanthropic gift made to the college, and I’m feeling so awed by such philanthropists who, regardless of whether they were born rich or became rich through their own efforts, contribute so much to society and to the needy. Myself being on the receiving end of such gifts, I am really impressed and inspired by the generosity of these people. I remember telling a friend right after my worries about financing my college tuition were alleviated “omg I’m feeling so inspired and thankful right now. Money should never be an obstacle in education man.” And y’know what, till this day – okay not like it was thaaat long ago – I still can recall those emotions and I truly, truly believe that money should never be an obstacle in one’s academic pursuit. Or rather, money shouldn’t be an obstacle in any meaningful pursuit.

/

Sometimes, it’s really hard being in a community of really privileged, mid-high income students. Like, really hard and really pressurising and you just end up questioning yourself and your values and whether you actually deserve the privilege of doing what you love instead of doing what is practical. You’d think that this would motivate you to work hard and be better than the rest, but you look at them and you realise that they are so far ahead and you’re just so incompetent and, for lack of a better word, plebeian in comparison. You want to be comfortable here, but you know you ought not be, because what you enjoy now is not a lifestyle that you can/should afford once you’re out in the working world. And unlike the rest of the college who can joke about the employment possibilities (or lack thereof) for LAC students, this is actually a real concern for you, in that you have higher stakes in not securing a job…because well, you were not born with a silver spoon in your mouth and the options of relying on daddy’s money or working in mummy’s company simply. do. not. exist.

😦 Not self-pitying but just questioning myself and what I ought to be doing with my life.

 

???

Breathe in…

Breathe out…

In, out, in, out, in, out…

But the forcing myself to breathe slowly only makes me more jittery. Like, dude, I don’t even have time anymore, and I’m supposed to do something slowly??? What???

From head to toe: unfocused mind, heavy eyelids, slightly runny nose, dry lips and mouth, tense shoulders. jittery heart, squirmy and shivery insides, cold fingers, weak knees, cold toes… This is a new level of nerves, man.

5 more sets of readings to be completed in 12 hours…really?

FOOD???

Because I can’t seem to concentrate (even when I so need to), I shall write a bit:

But snap, I forgot what I had wanted to write when I opened this.

I honestly don’t think I’ve felt this level of anxiety in Uni before, really. Like whyyy I don’t even get it?!

Oh, I remember what I had wanted to write before!

Just now around 945pm, I was buying tarts from Tarta at Vivo when I decided to ask them what they do with their leftover tarts. The guy whom I asked didn’t seem to get my question at first. He clearly had a ‘what is she talking about’ expression on his face. Then I repeated, to which he answered, “throw lah”, before proceeding to say “if not then what”, with a tone that practically screams ‘duh’. I was amused by the way he responded, and I wasn’t shocked by his answer, but above all that, I felt rather disturbed that it is indeed true that F&B joints in Singapore indeed throw away their leftovers. CAN YOU IMAGINE THE AMOUNT OF FOOD WASTAGE THAT WE GENERATE ON A DAILY BASIS, MULTIPLIED BY THE NUMBER OF JOINTS WHO DO THIS??? So I was very disturbed and a stray thought came into my mind – why hasn’t anyone started an initiative that gives out such food – leftover, but not expired – to people who would benefit from it? Clearly, there are many, many causes who have ad-hoc partnerships that get food from these joints for short-term distribution, but, why isn’t there a…idk, movement, or company, or something along those lines… that focuses on doing such distribution on a larger scale? (Or maybe there are, just that I’m not aware of them hmm)

 

 

I drafted this 9 months ago, but I don’t know whether it got published. (2)

One of my electives back in Learning Fest was Chinese philosophy… and I vividly remember one phrase from the course, which the teacher said was in the school’s 正心园 – the  quote was 修身,齐家,治国 平天下. What that meant was that first, you have to cultivate your moral self (hey PPT) then manage your household, before you can go on to cure/ heal the country and conquer the world. It’s probably a Confucian idea, but regardless of whether you approve of Confucianism, I think that it’s something that the late LKY followed.

Alas, what we see today among the familee is rather shocking. The situation would have been much funnier and more entertaining if (1) this isn’t happening in Singapore (2) the accused isn’t the prime minister (3) basically, if the stakes weren’t so high. Let’s face it – it’s an open secret that Singapore’s official press is ridiculously strict and restricting. But perhaps it is all part of an overarching reason to benefit the society? (Let me just qualify that I’m not really a conservative person, or a blind follower. If I was the latter, I wouldn’t even bother with this post.) Like, perhaps it’s so that there will be national ‘harmony’ (or rather, as long as it can last until the Internet takes over the world), peace and security, and like, a fluffed-up-clean-and-beautiful  impression of Singapore on the global stage. (Ok, I’m not very sure about the last one since censorship and bad press doesn’t bode well for us on the international front either.

But anyway, this is an example of how 齐家 is not met and you try to 治国平天下. It’s entertaining yet uncomfortable watching this drama unfold. What happened to ‘never air your dirty laundry in public’? As a Facebook user commented, perhaps it is time for some clean linen.

I suppose the PM is in a tight spot now, with his currently-conflicting roles as a son, a brother, and the ruler of the country. It must have been a hard journey stepping out of his father’s shadows, proving his capabilities, only to be met with such accusations and comments from his sister.

It’s one thing to be ‘entertained’ by internet trolls and youngsters ‘defaming’ him and then getting sued for that, but it’s a different matter when the defamation is done by a family member – are you going to sue her? if you do, are you going to make the family a mess in public? if you don’t, is that double standards at play? Then again, she used a word that’s harsher than many other accusations yet rather subjective: dishonourable. In a Confucian society, that is the trademark of a bad leader, a bad son, a bad person even. The word has such strong negative connotations that it’s honestly jaw-dropping to hear/read about it.

The PR team is going to have a field day, while netizens just watch the show.

Frankly though, what happened to
(1) family conversations (unless family relations have been detached and terrible for a while now since the parents’ death? What happened to Sunday lunches?)
(2) self-editing before posting anything online (oh and this includes, re-reading and checking your basic grammar – dude, did you not graduate from the UK/US? Sorry to say this, but you were a President’s Scholar with a doctorate from an elite university yet primary school children probably have better grammar than you do)
(3) being aware that something posted online can never be recalled? (hey, even pre-college kids know how to do some Internet-purge and know better than to post weird comments online, out of fear that their future interviewers stalk them online – and this is why this is saved in the doc instead of WordPress)
(4) don’t you have some lawyer friends who can help you proof-read your works before you publish them? (So that y’know, you don’t get sued? Even Xiaxue knows how to do that. Unless you have faith in your bro that he won’t sue his sister for defamation)

Okay but even though I say all these jokinglee, I do hope that things won’t get uglier. More entertaining, yes, but not uglier. The people getting dragged into this mess are increasingly powerful.

And y’know what? I’m sure most parents wouldn’t want their very powerful children to fight in public, as much as they wouldn’t want to be hero-worshipped. You can protect your father’s name and wishes, but please realise that how your father is remembered in the future – i.e. his name and reputation – is closely tied to the legacy and reputation of your brother, his son, as well.

DAMAGE CONTROL PLEASE. MORE POPCORN PLEASE.

I drafted this 10 months ago, but I don’t know if it ever got published.

Once again, I am experiencing an inexplicable feeling of sadness, like there’s a huge hole in my heart. I’m not missing anything or anyone. I just feel empty but I don’t know why. Sometimes, when this happens, I don’t even know if my heart is empty like there’s a lot of room to receive more emotions, or if my heart is too full and overflowing with emotions that have nowhere to be channelled to.

Maybe this is all because I’ve been listening to sad songs/ ballads/ old songs that bring back so much memories from 2009-2010.

I want to write. Like, write physically, using a pen and paper.

I’m so sick of my LH paper. I hate how I keep writing long sentences and long paragraphs that keep beating about the bush. I hate my messy sentences and my unorganised structure. Ugh I  hate how I’m not getting good grades in college and how some people can actually get better grades than me.

This feeling of inadequacy… I should have gotten used to it, but I have not. And I’m glad that I have not. Or maybe I have, that’s why I’m not too bothered by it. Am I even bothered by it? I can’t figure it out.

Listening to Taylor Swift’s country songs always makes me wish that I have someone whom I can count on to always be with me, but deep down, I know that that’s not realistic. People disappoint, just like how you will disappoint others too. There’s no use living in a romantic fantasy world.

Romantic fantasy… Wasn’t that the festival where SS501 dressed up as girls and performed? I don’t know, I can’t remember. If I wasn’t listening to a song right now, I might just go look that up on YouTube and then get sucked into the black hole… Or maybe not, since the video quality is so bad that I’ll probably give up watching it.

Anyway, I feel my eyelids getting heavier but I shouldn’t go to sleep yet because I still have 1/3 of my essay left to do, even though I’m stuck and I probably can’t write a coherent piece.

I love it when my fingers fly over my keyboard, typing things at the same pace as my brain thinks of them. But that rarely happens, right?

I wish I could express myself more eloquently, write less clumsily and actually sound coherent. I hate feeling messed up in every aspect – in life and in writing.

Cos when you’re fifteen, and somebody tells you they love you, you’re gonna believe them. Really? I don’t know. I just want to be able to write as well as Taylor Swift. It must feel really good to be able to write your thoughts and emotions in a 4min song/ poem. That’s so concise and neat.

I wonder if I will ever let anyone read my blog/ documents/ journal entries one day. I’m not embarrassed by them, but I’m wondering if I will ever trust someone THAT much.

I sound like I have trust issues. Maybe I do.

Life is so meaningless recently. It’s exciting but meaningless, you get it??? Like there’s always something going on, something that you can easily engage in, but at the same time, that’s so utterly meaningless if you are not helping anyone. I’m not improving anyone’s life and that just means that I’m wasting time even if I’m occupied. I wish I could make it sound like it makes sense, but alas, my writing is too choppy and clumsy.

I used to have such strong wanderlust, but not anymore. Not recently, at least. I want to travel, but I’ve had enough travelling sans my family. I want to bring my family around the world but they don’t want to waste money.

I am so tired but I love getting myself exhausted because it feels like I channelled my energy into something. Lying to myself, I know. But ugh, whatever????

Fuck it. it’s 5 am  I need to finish LH ASAP so that I can do the stupid exhibition poster then hopefully get a nap before going for class at 1030am. Then lunch/break/nap/shower before class at 230 then work at 4 then home. I do hope I finish LH in 3 more hours so that I CAN FORGET ABOUT IT OVER THE HOLY WEEKEND. OH, wait. I can’t just forget about it because it’s probably going to be so crappy that I’ll have to edit it like a thousand times.

Ohmygod am I stressed? I want to watch Zootopia, I really do. But when? And with who?

And I want to watch Les Mis too. Again, with who?

I feel like I have friends but at the same time, I don’t have friends.

Do I really have friends?

What are friends anyway?

 

Fun fact of the day

I met Prof Chan at Vivo City (L2) when I was going down to work at Weekends. I was approaching the escalator when he came up from the escalator. He was looking in my direction, but he probably didn’t see me even though I might have stared at him strangely for a bit, trying to figure out if that was indeed him.

End of fun fact.

I hate using the word ‘stressed’, because it’s super overused and thus meaningless in present day, but honestly I’m feeling as stressed as I normally do towards the end of the semester.

But remember, it’s always a learning journey.

Right?

 

Words that I overheard while waiting for July 4th fireworks | Brooklyn

“As a black person, I’m telling you don’t come here. Go find somewhere else. People here are willing to get into argumemts over spots.”

July 4th. Not independence day. Independence from the state and the system. Independence from the stereotypes.

“This is why i go to school and get 2 degrees. This is what my mum told me, this is why i go to school. This is why you go to school too.”

An evening at Central Park

Found an entry that I had written when I was in New York Central Park alone, and it’s such a precious memory that I want to keep (‘:
—–
“Smile. I want to see you smile more.”

The old man said as he walked past me, holding an (almost) empty beer bottle in his right hand and brushing a branch of flowers across my leg, as another old man nearby played music on his guitar. He is such a jolly man, talking to groups of people nearby and playing songs specially for them. In the distance, the most beautiful sunset painted the sky red, orange and pink all at the same time. It was also the first time I saw fireflies, with the light glowing and flickering behind them. All this while, people – couples, friends, families – strolled past, some walking their dogs, many others taking photos. This is easily my best day in New York City so far, but alas, no pictures nor videos can do it justice. I was reading Marcus Aurelius for a while, but I gave up, preferring instead to soak in the atmosphere (which turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made all day, and that’s saying quite a lot since the day has been pretty damn good all alone).

This place makes me feel so blissful and loved that I can’t stop crying on a park bench.

No wonder people love Central Park so much.

“Smile more, my dear.”

/I want to keep this in my memory for as long as possible, but it feels like a dream already./