Monday, March 31, 2008
It's interesting that i managed to get this interview, since i didn't fulfill all the paperwork requirements (unfortunate circumstances) and I am no stellar postgrad with lots of experience or exceptional brain power. :-D
I don't really know what God has in store for me in the next half a year or so. This period of my life consists purely of doing the mechanics, and then placing my trust in the Lord for whatever that may come about. In other words, wait patiently and keep smiling.
Anyway, here's my bit of advice for those of you thinking of furthering your studies (eg. Masters):
1. Be on GOOD TERMS with your educators in school. You will/may have to ask for referee reports from them. If you are applying to more than 1 school, you'll be "bugging" them considerably as they are quite busy people, i assume.
2. Work/volunteer/intern, if you can, while studying. You may also need to ask the person in charge of you to help you out with referee reports once you are done with school. And yes, be on GOOD TERMS with your boss. That said, work also gives you some real life experience and it's a bonus if you work in a place related to your current area of study. It may also spell out to the uni admissions people that you are able to manage your time and that you have some substance.
3. START YOUR APPLICATIONS EARLY. You really don't want to miss deadlines. Check out the application deadlines for your intended course as early as 6 months before your final examinations. Sometimes, you'll need to do a lot of leg work and paper work before sending in the ACTUAL applications, and that in itself can take MONTHS, so please start early. Don't procrastinate! (eg. getting a degree accreditation from professional bodies/associations so that you can apply for a particular course in university)
4. Of course, be very sure about what you want to do in future so that your course can train you in specifics.
5. Doing your homework on the schools (does not mean that just because it's not listed in the top 10, means that it is not good) is important. You want to know what are the particular strengths of that school, what it has been good in for the past years. Locations, cost of living, facilities, COURSE SYLLABUS, whether the degree is approved in Singapore, etc.
6. Make sure you look-out-for-fulfill-hand-in everything that the school requires from you. You don't want them coming back after 1 month only to tell you that you missed out on some paperwork and therefore can't process your application. Sometimes, even when they don't specifically ask for something, if you think that it's a common enough request (eg. supplementary information/referee report/work experience history), just get it done.
7. Going through the process can be frustrating from time to time. I didn't have a very tough time because i managed to cover as much ground as possible, to my knowledge at least. So remember, don't pass on your frustrations, be nice to the people who are helping you out. From your parents to the people who are processing your applications!
Ok, this is all for now.
God, thank you for the interview opportunity. May there be more of you, and less of me.
OH YEAH. And since i will be in NTU-NIE tomorrow, i WILL BE FREE AFTER 1:30pm IF ANYONE WANTS TO ABDUCT ME FOR LUNCH OR A CHIT CHAT SESSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (ah, the joys of cheap uni food)
ok, that was a darn big hint already lor. Heh.
Speaking of "stellar students", here we have a very "talented" .... Elephant! It PAINTS. Seriously.
Monday, March 24, 2008
If this touched your heart... Let this be an analogy of how God the Father sacrificed his son, Jesus, for you. Just for you, and it doesn't matter who you are or how bad you feel about yourself. He died just for you.
Why was this dying "Good"?
Very plainly and simply put: Jesus Christ died on the cross to "take away" our sins so that those who believed in Him and this truth that He died for us, would go to Heaven and be with Him for all eternity.
So who is this "Jesus" person? He is the son of God that came to live among us as a man and show us the way back to God.
Jesus lived as one of us and remained sinless (without any faults/wrongdoing. Eg. lying, lust, etc). Because of love, He chose to take our sins upon Himself and died to pay the price for us upon the cross. He opened for us (humans who sin every other day) the only way back to God.
And THIS is why we celebrate his death! Because when He died, he opened a way for us to live with God when we leave this Earth.
Question: But what is this connection between sin and death? Why is it so... blown out of proportion?
We now live in a physical world, and we are physical beings who live according to the laws of the physical world. But equally real, is that of the spiritual world and that realm also has its laws.
According to the bible, it is said, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” - Romans 6:23
It simply means that if we sin, then we are going to die eternally, that is, make a journey to Hell when we leave Earth.
Over this weekend, i felt numb towards God. Yes, it does happen from time to time... And i believe that i came across this because my heart needed to be softened once again towards God. It brought me to tears when i saw this. I could better understand God's LOVE when i saw this sized down to human proportions and to a possible Earthly scenario.
I am smiling inwardly so much now. :-)
Credits to ieatishootipost for the video, and church mate HW for the explanation of Good Friday.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
"Love those who are unlovable."
It's easy to love those who are loveable... There's nothing extraordinary about that. But to love someone who is not lovable... That is how Jesus does things, it's extraordinary, and that's how we should follow suit too.
"People can't annoy you, unless you allow them to."
J: Oh! (err... mind races to find something to say) Hello....!
SP: Hi! *smiles till can't see his eyes*
J: *garbles something to him and can't remember what he said in reply*
J: What's her name?
J: Oh... Gracie!
SP: Her mother is getting baptised.
J: Oh, ok! She really looks like you.
SP: Really? I don't think her mother would be happy to hear that...
J and M: *LAUGHS*
Oh man... My pastor is funny sia.................
2. Family was at Swensons discussing the various scenarios related to me and sister going to Australia around the same time, when mom exclaims:
M: Ah! When both of them leave... It's just the 2 of us... *buries face into dad's shoulder*
Dad: Sure what! 4 minus 2 is 2 wad...
My sister and i just CRACKED UP, and then my dad caught onto the joke and we all cracked up. I don't think my mom was as amused as us, but she didn't make a fuss.
It was so hilarious. I mean. Here was my mommy bringing up something pertaining to emotional ties (you know how WOMEN are... Emo creatures.), and here was this MAN, responding in such a practical, objective, emotionless way, doing a MATH SUM to address her concerns!
WAH LAO! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA..........
Thursday, March 20, 2008
To date, i've applied to Monash University, University of South Australia, University of Queensland and National Institute of Education (NIE). I'm now waiting for their replies.
I'm in a situation where i am confident in God's plan for me, while another side of me is anxious about whether I would be accepted anywhere. You see, i'm fine (ok, maybe 75% fine. i'm just creeped out by working life.) if God thinks i don't need a Masters to start working right away. Yet, when i look at my transcript which still isn't too bad looking, but when i fill out my application forms, i'm struck by how underqualified i am to do a Masters program.
Which is why i've told my folks and Gem, that if i REALLY do get a place in the Australian Uni(s), it is DEFINITELY God given, and there's no other reason besides that. No such thing as luck or human wisdom and strength here, man. It would be pure providence.
I'm reading up on the money issues and accomodation. It's so exciting but oh so tedious!
Another thing that i've discovered recently is... What happened to my running form?!??!?!!
For the past few weeks, I've been brisk walking because i accompany my folks to the canal/park connector at night. I have my short runs here and there but nothing too drawn out. Last sunday, i did 4.6km of jogging and i tell you, it was SO unpleasant. 3/4 way, i had to stop and stretch my back muscles that felt really tight, my knee(s) hurt (sharp pain type), the outer rim of my right foot was feeling "pounded" from the impact of running and my chest area was feeling fatigued and tight and I kept having to breathe extra deeply in order to feel like i'm getting enough oxygen to carry on running. All in all, i was a bit of a mess!
Ok, given, the night before, i slept at 6am la, so maybe that contributed to my poor performace.
I'm wondering if the knee pain was part of the result of brisk walking on the treadmill, which might've done more harm than good. Had a slight injury from moving quickly on the belt. Think i strained something. I'm glad to say though that i've dropped a bit more weight since my very odd post-half-marathon-weight-gain. You would've thought that you would lose some after running 21km, right?
Wrong! I put on something like, 3 kg?! Yeah man, what in the world... I wouldn't say that it was muscle gain cos i definitely didn't feel very healthy. I read up on post marathon weight gain and found that it might be water retention because the body is repairing itself after being strained. Ok, so it took me 4 MONTHS to repair meself? Gawsh.
Anyways... Miss Lalalo, with the new pair of rubber to burn!!! You can run with me now!!! ;-D
Monday, March 10, 2008
A dream come true! But it ended up tasting so-so only. (some of you know that i love fake strawberry cream and green tea flavoured stuff too)
Saturday, March 08, 2008
Jo: What does your mom work as? *staring into the distance and the word "remisier" pops into thy head*
S: Oh, she is a stock broker.
J: Is that the same as a remisier?
S: Yes. The same.
J: Before you told me what she worked as, i had the word "remisier" in my head.
J and S: *become wide eyed*
Ok, so the next time someone asks me if i can read his/her mind when i tell them that i did psychology, i shall just look deeply into their eyes, with a slight creepy smile and say, "Sometimes.....".
Yesterday, Gem and i were at Watsons holland village choosing a shampoo for me. I was making an evaluation of some brands and just as i said, "The shampoo is quite moisturising", this slim lady with long brown hair and blond streaks walked by us along the same aisle and said outloud to no one in particular: "No, it's not."
I was quite perplexed for a moment, and i asked Gem whether he heard what i did. He said he heard: "Doraemon". (ok, at this juncture, i declare that women have better hearing. heh. ok, kidding...)
After a few minutes of deliberation i picked out a sunsilk shampoo happily and said to Gem, "Ok! It's $6.50 right?", while striding towards the cashier.
Then, the SAME lady who happened to be in the queue in front of me said outloud, "If you have the money to pay for it."
In my head, i was like... "HUH?!?!???!?!?!?!?!?!? WHAT THE???"
SO WEIRD RIGHT!!!!!
I kept quiet till i paid for my shampoo and then Gem said to me, "Hey, that lady is saying some very bizarre things!"
At first, i thought that her first comment was to the person she was talking to over her handphone or something, through an unseen bluetooth device. But the second "pissed-at-the-whole-world" comment, was just too coincidental that it left Gem and i super amused and bewildered.
HA. These are the things that make life so interesting. I don't even know the lady and whatever she was saying was too directly relevant to whatever i was saying. And i couldn't find the bluetooth device anywhere because her hair was covering most of her head. I wonder what was making her so pissed that night.
I don't really know how to begin or end telling you this. But. WOW! God REALLY surprised and blessed me AGAIN. Some 3 years ago, i didn't know if doing my honours was the way to go because i wasn't sure if i'd nail a good pass for it. But well... With hard work and faith in whatever God had in store for me be it good or bad... I just got my official transcript 2 days ago, and i was awarded a upper second class!
Oh my Gawssh!
You know. Nothing about what i do makes me deserving. Yes, i did work hard but there were many times when i really struggled through my work, because of never ending deadlines for self study, doing essays and reseach, fatigue (through nights and wee morning hours), severe writers' blocks (can last for 1 week!), immaturity in thought at some points, not being able to attend cell group because of clashes with class, etc. Throw in the fact that I've not been the most angelic of people, with my fair share of horrendous behaviour and unfaithfulness to God. I really had to depend on God to pull me through it all.
With that, i can only say: God, You amaze me.
I just feel that it's appropriate to post this poem by Carol Wimmer here. It really touched my heart when i first read it through an email sent to me. Here we go...:
WHEN I SAY, "I AM A CHRISTIAN" by Carol Wimmer
When I say, "I am a Christian," I'm not shouting, "I've been saved!"
I'm whispering, "I get lost! That's why I chose this way"
When I say, "I am a Christian," I don't speak with human pride
I'm confessing that I stumble-needing God to be my guide
When I say, "I am a Christian," I'm not trying to be strong
I'm professing that I'm weak and pray for strength to carry on
When I say, "I am a Christian," I'm not bragging of success
I'm admitting that I've failed and cannot ever pay the debt
When I say, "I am a Christian," I don't think I know it all
I submit to my confusion asking humbly to be taught
When I say, "I am a Christian," I'm not claiming to be perfect
My flaws are far too visible but God believes I'm worth it
When I say, "I am a Christian," I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartache which is why I seek His name
When I say, "I am a Christian," I do not wish to judge
I have no authority--I only know I'm loved
Copyright 1988 Carol Wimmer
Thursday, March 06, 2008
I'm thinking: SHEESH. That is such a lazy way to go about things and it coerces customers into buying the clothes without being able to make an informed choice about a piece of clothing.
But then, he also said that when it gets crowded, it makes stealing easier for shoplifters. This is highly possible, seeing as how the space within shops in queensway can get really squeezy when the shoppers arrive. He didn't say how, but i assume he means that people can slip stuff into their bags easily. (how is that related to not having a fitting room again? Queensway = small =too crowded = bad security = theft? It's not as if other shops around Singapore don't have this problem... and they still can afford to have fitting rooms. Someone please enlighten me.)
Honestly, as a picky and careful shopper that also likes to have everything in the shop, i want to make sure that i buy only the things that i really want. And that can happen only when i get to try the clothes first before making a purchase. Bleah.
Anyhow, the guy (whom i suspect is the boss) at first said that i had to buy the pair of pants first before i could come back and change it if the size did not fit. (do these people not realize that it's NOT just all about size? there's also the case of fitting!!!) But just as i was going to pay for it, he said to me: "You want to try first?" I gave him a pitiful expression and a silent nod. So he took my IC for insurance and let me off to the loo. Well. I liked it, thankfully, and bought it after all. He later informed me that the other guys in the shop wouldn't have allowed anyone to try the stuff if he wasn't around. Ah well.
I have concluded that i will silently take stock of roughly what queensway has in their stores. Then i'll just head to the upmarket places to see what they have and try on the stuff and record the sizes i fit. If there are matches, then i'll head to queensway, because obviously the discounts are better. What's a customer to do, so as not to be duped?
I was walking Jed yesterday around my estate when a girl from ACS (International) came by. She slowed down to a stop beside me, looked down at Jed and i could feel her drawn very strongly to him and i could almost see her heart smiling. She bent over to let Jed sniff her hand for a moment or two. I can't remember if she tried to touch him or not. But she soon got up again and smiled at me.
With a grin, i said to her: He's cute, isn't he?
Girl: *smiles back* Yeah...
And she walks away, glancing back at him from time to time.
This seemingly insignificant moment sets me musing for a couple of reasons. I remember that not long ago, someone wrote to the papers that it was rude for strangers to pet someone else's pet without asking first. I agree somewhat. First things first, the stranger doesn't know if the dog will bite or if they are scaring it. Secondly, they shouldn't assume that all owners aren't paranoid about strangers touching their dogs. Thirdly, well, it's just plain courtesy. I'm sure you don't go around anyhowly touching people's babies on the streets.
But anyway for me, i don't have much against doggy touch-ers. I get annoyed only with people who don't have a clue about the nature of dogs and their behaviour and therefore attempt to do stupid things to the dog. Any of which might get the dog defensive/fearful/aggressive, etc. I really appreciated how that girl allowed Jed to sniff her hand first. It was non-threatening and kind to him. Ok, and i also appreciated the she bothered to look at the owner of Jed after she tried to make friends with him. haha.
Everything about her behaviour also hinted that she is either an animal lover or a dog lover. Why? Ha, because i act the exact same way... hurhur.
Secondly, for those who know me, you would know that i have a strange fear of people, even the most harmless of sorts. Like children?!
So yeah, when the girl looked up at me, i was like: "oh no, oh no, what do i say? So awkward to just like keep quiet and smile at her right... Like, SO PSYCHO."
With the split second calculation in my brain, i blurted out candidly, just like i would to a friend, about how cute Jed is. (haha, i was amused big time at my thickened skin.) And she replied in a friendly and open way as well.
Ok, hardly a big deal i know, but i see this is a minor victory in my quest to be less tongue tied in spontaneous situations, and more comfortable with strangers in general. Because you see, in my line of work in future, i will be meeting strangers ALL the time!
I recently, erm, "installed" hot pink streaks into my hair. Actually, i wanted baby pink streaks but the shop didn't have em. They said that the hot pink would fade into a lighter pink and i bought the claim. So... hence, my ah-lian pink streaks.
I is liking them a lot! Except that i wished i could rearrange the positions of the streaks. But i can't do that unless i have the tools. Apparently, the hair is real and comes from girls in China who sell their long hair for money, so that they can pay for their school fees.
Rather interesting and kind of sad. It paints a picture of poverty, directly against indulgence. Yet, they gain and we gain as well, hence everyone is happy. But i wonder how much they are paid in exchange for their hair. I mean, hair takes ages to grow and once they chop off their locks, it'll be a long time before they can make some money out of it.
Monday, March 03, 2008
You should have seen the way i was scowling the other day. People on the streets were taking second looks at me, and i suspect that i was scowling way too hard for a normal human being.
There is no peace in my heart and although i am functioning as per normal, i know that at the back of my mind, there is unresolved business that can't be resolved immediately, and there is hate and bitterness swirling about.
I've been trying to think logically and rationally. Trying to piece together the facts and trying to place myself in the person's shoes. Trying to be an understanding person. But nothing seems to help. I'm so consumed by disappointment, anger, disgust, hate, hurt, that my reasoning has become hazy. It's as if the only emotions i can feel for men right now are all these.
I feel like i need to walk away.