Tuesday, April 29, 2008

1. i got accepted into monash to do the grad cert in counselling (a prereq to do the masters). while i think that it's good to start off with the grad cert since i don't have any background in counselling, i don't know what are the chances of me progressing on to the masters program which is my ultimate goal. hence, i am not accepting the offer just yet.

2. my fear of people, being alone one on one with people, even GIRL FRIENDS, has robbed me of building close relationships with them. i tend to shut people away. i hate being so fearful. i hate it. i feel as if everyone has at least one close girl friend to spend exclusive time with. i get angry and jealous, because i have no one like that. and i have only myself to blame.

3. might be starting on my voluntary work soon. the whole of may and june will be taken up, working hours even! i will be thrust out, OUTSIDE of my comfort zone. not only mixing with people who lead hard lives, but also sharing with them about God. i am shaking in my shoes, and i am wondering what the $#%$@#% am i doing, my mind is running amok! but somehow... i know that there is a bigger picture to all this. i feel like an ugly catepillar who is struggling very hard to burst out from its cocoon, either as STILL an ugly catepillar (untried, deformed, untested, unsure, not ready for the life outside) or as the butterfly about to test out its wings and taste freedom.

4. i was thinking and i sense something isn't right with you. you know, if you have an issue with me, tell me. don't sulk and expect me to read your mind. if you've got a problem, say so. don't brew in your own poison. if you want to keep silent, then fine. you can brew while i continue to live my life oblivious to your issues. as if being silently angry with someone solves anything.

Friday, April 25, 2008


It's so funny how when i look at running distances in running event ads, i hear my brain saying: "5km, 10km... Easy peasy." But then when i remember the last 5km i did which was last sunday, my body said the complete opposite. And i realize that while i am mentally prepared to do distance (having challenged and conquered 21km), physically, i am not as fit as i would like.

You see. I've noticed that my right knee acts up when i walk/run for distances beyond 4km, and somehow, my breathing is more laboured than usual. And in general, both my knees are a lot more tender these days even when i am just simply moving around. And i worry that they are more tender than they should be for someone my age. I'm ONLY 24! I can't imagine the backlash i *might* get in future at age 50 or 60 or 70. Royal bummer.

I'm thinking of changing my main mode of sport. I've GOT to do something that doesn't tax my knees so, while at the same time, sustaining the kind of intensity that i love to have in my work outs. Shorter runs? Cycling? Brisk walking with short runs? Swimming? Pilates? Kickboxing? (NO AEROBICS FOR ME)

On a different note, i was very tempted to sign up for the Singapore Sprint Series Duathlon. The event consists of a 3km run + 15km bike + 3km run. Sounds ultra do-able! But the event is on the 4th of May, and that's way too soon. Ah well.

All righty. Time for bed, i've got work tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

that odd yet meaningful dream

I had a really strange dream on friday night...

I dreamt that the whole of NTU cell had gossiped behind my back. And to me in the dream, that was TOTALLY UNIMAGINABLE because, other than my family and close JC mates who've seen all sides to me, they are the closest people to me and people whom i have been honest to! In the dream, R was the one who spilled the beans to me. I'm not sure why she told me what the cell had done, but she definitely wasn't sympathetic either. Apparently, they had talked about all my negative points, and pretty much came to a conclusion that i was NOT likeable.

(NTU cell aka Cell Group = group of people who meet up once a week, every week, other than for church service, to study the bible together)

I can only remember a couple of the things they "did not like" about me: I was told that the cell disliked how i sang so loudly during cell worship as if i was some big shot with a splendid voice, and i was told that they did not like me also because i could not lead them well during cell worship. Which explained why they did not ask me to lead worship anymore. Among other things, they said other bad things about my personality.

And throughout the dream when R was telling me about what cell had spoken behind my back, i was supremely indignant. I was so desperate to understand WHY they did not like me even when all i have done was to be the best friend and person that i could be to them. I was all alone, and felt totally misunderstood. In the dream, i could not comprehend why the people who were so close to me, people whom i had sincerely liked, could do such an abhorrent thing to me.

In my dream, i found that i was greatly distressed because i felt as if all that i was worth depended on whether i was accepted positively by people. The NTU cell is a representation of people who are dear to me. But strangely throughout my hurt and indignance, somehow this message was deposited into my mind:

"Who cares about what others think about you? The opinion of man is superficial and changing. What matters is what God thinks about you, and that is steadfast and everlasting. Your worth is not defined by what people say or feel towards you, or whether people like you. See, even the people who are closest to you have turned against you. You now understand the true meaning of what it means to have the world against you. And you now understand the true meaning and weight of what it means to rely completely on the worth that God gave you."

You see. It is easy to disregard what strangers think about you, and it does not hurt so much when they think badly of you. But when your own close ones begin to hate you, suddenly you feel like your worth is being called into question. Suddenly your identity and reputation is in shambles, suddenly you feel as if you have no where to go.

As i thought more about this, this dream is in line with the Christian walk. God is to take top priority in every aspect of my life, and loving God beyond all else and accepting our identity in Christ is what every Christian is suppose to do. But all too often as we jouney through life on Earth, we forget this and get swallowed up by the worldly things that surround us. We lust after material things of this world, and we accept definitions of people and things set by culture and society at large (Eg. beauty, intelligence, self-worth, etc).

We love and obey God and choosing to do His work is/may be unpopular with the masses. For example, speaking out against homosexuality and abortion, or sharing the gospel. There are times when we may have to do this among people who hate God and Christians (which is actually happening today). And in doing so, we have to forsake our own plans, reputation, safety, etc.

To be able to stand up for the things of God, we need to secure in God. To know that we are loved even when the world hates us.

Therefore, i understand that being secure in God, gives us sureness in our lives. It's being on a foundation that does not change.
You may say: What if you die doing God's work? What kind of security is that?
My answer is simple: The safety that God gives is beyond this physical life. It is eternal. By that i mean, you go to the place where God is to be with him forever. Heaven! It can't be more secure than that. :-)

I don't really know why i had this dream or what triggered it. Thought i'd just share it on this space and i hope that anyone reading this will benefit from it. :-D

Monday, April 14, 2008

Eastern Park Connector Bike Trip April 2008

Attempt Number One: 8th April 2008, Tuesday
Weather: We got rained on big time.

We had sought shelter at this void deck at Tampines. We waited for quite a while for the rain to stop and both of us were freezing our follicles off.

Our bikes and barang barang.

The wet, sodden bikers. After considering our options of what to do, we decided to turn back around and go back the same way back to East Coast. It was late and the rain had slowed our plans down. We vowed to come back another day!

We had a really slurpilicious dinner at a turkish food place at East Coast, "Kebab Station". This was the Beef Kebab Roll. Heavenly! Juicy and tasty beef, tangy sauce, veg, wrapped in a warm and crisp skin.
This would be the turkish pizza. It's got tomato based sauce mixed with minced meat and eggplant, fresh tomatoes, topped with cheese, yoghurt/sour cream and herbs with pita bread on the side. Oh, how we savoured every drop!

Ok, i got this scrap on my knee because my bike skidded on the edge of the wet road when i was going up a slope. Gem was behind me and he thought i was doing a stunt! (WOT?!) He said that it looked like i was jumping off my bike. This was what happened: I was going up the slope, the wheels skidded and the bike toppled to the right. For fear of being mashed beneath the bike, i jumped off, landed first on my left knee, then palms, did a small roll and landed on me arse. To my surprise, i felt more like an ant/bouncy ball that got thrown off, and not like a heavy potato that i envisioned myself to be more like. HAHA. I landed quite softly, and not with a hard bonk on the ground. I'm guessing it's because it was a controlled fall. Thank God the injuries were really minor! :-)

So, on tuesday, we completed only route G.

Attempt Number Two: 10th April 2008, Thursday
Weather: Really Cloudy. Experienced only a slight drizzle.

Other than falling over, and scowling and grumbling at Gem whenever i did (how 'charming' of me, sigh. my temper is horrendous.) and having "discussions" on safety while cycling, i had a really good time cycling some 30km-40km last week on thursday. We cycled routes A, B, C, D, E and F and the whole stretch of East Coast.

The weather was really cloudy and on the verge of a major downpour, but i believe God really held the rain cos this was our second attempt in the same week to complete the eastern park connector bike route, and we really prayed for the rain to be held at bay. Gem was also an amazing sport. It's not easy being with a fighter cock/chilli padi and remain composed, and he always took effort to take care of me, even when i wasn't very nice to him sometimes.

Us by the beach while having lunch before renting our bikes.

First stop, Bedok Reservoir.

Second stop. Hmm. Can't remember where this was... :-( We had to carry our bikes up and down the overhead bridge stairs. Some bridges had ramps though. Overall, you need some level of endurance and strength to tackle the urban terrain.

The next stop.

This was taken by Gem at Changi, at one tip of Singapore! I really wanted to make a stop here because i was charmed by the fact that it was literally one of the edges that make the perimeter of Singapore. The NTU Cell passed by this point when we were travelling back by bumboat from Pulau Ubin. Played around with picasa to created the saturated colours.

Ha, ok i admit that i love this photo taken by Gem. Could do with some editing.

Oh. This is the Coastal Park Connector, a notoriously LONG straight road that links Changi to East Coast. It's 8km long.

When we got back, we chowed down on some hong kong cafe food which was tasty and nice, but terribly overpriced. Altogether, we left satisfied. Aching, but satisfied. :-)

Friday, April 11, 2008

bike date

(closet narcissist + more-than-happy-to-be-trigger-happy-boyfriend = photos!)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

After an enlightening talk with miss JL (not myself), we agreed that i would post THIS!
Muah haha. Take a goooooooood read, my dear male friends.

Taken from Wikipedia:

"PMS is a collection of symptoms. More than 200 different symptoms have been identified, but the three most prominent symptoms are irritability, tension, and dysphoria (unhappiness). The exact symptoms and their intensity vary from woman to woman. Most women with premenstrual syndrome experience only a few of the problems.

Abdominal bloating
Constipation and possible hemorrhoids due to water retention
Abdominal cramps
Breast tenderness or swelling
Itching of the breasts
Stress or anxiety
Appetite changes and food cravings
High sexual arousal or desire
Trouble falling asleep (insomnia)
Joint or muscle pain
Trouble concentrating
Body temperature increase
Worsening of existing skin disorders, and respiratory (eg, allergies, infection) or eye (eg, visual disturbances, conjunctivitis) problems "

Methinks that you can now sort of figure out now why we tear people apart during a certain time in a month.

ACJC Fun-O-Rama 2008

29th of March: Joline was spotted at... ACJC Fun-O-Rama 2008!

I was from class SC10 back in 2001-2002, and being from the pioneering SC10 class, i was pleasantly surprised to find that SC10 still lives on. Looks like there are still lots of biology students.

Back in my day, we sold chocolate coated bananas. I don't know HOW we managed to win a prize for raising a respectable amount of money from our POOR excuse for dessert-food. I think we were fortunate to raise enough money, conning the first wave of curious people who probably never returned for a second helping. I remember the then-boyfriend asking his friends to buy the bananas from my stall. How nice of him. But, poor friends. MUAH HAHAH.

I guess this was their game stall. Back then, our game stall was a golf course one. I never really got a chance to see/try it. It was manned by the guys of my class.

Ok, and THIS, my friends. Was a sight to behold. People just stood and STARED at the scene before them. Others, like me, took photos. Many bewildered people stood around gawking at this... headless creature being barbequed.

Look at its posterior! Devoid of meat (presumably sliced off) already!

It is a cow. Er, was.

Ok, joline, signing off for now! More later at a godly hour.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

long long ramble

So wot happened at the interview you ask? Firstly. It REALLY WAS 2 hours long. ha. And well, it went pleasantly enough. Read on for the details:

When i arrived, i was given a case study to read in a cold and quiet room, along with another interviewee. I made some notes on the sheet of paper... Mostly jotting down my analyses of the case study. When i mean case study, i mean, that the sheet of paper had a hypothetical situation of a family that was having their first consultation with me in a counselling session. The scene was of a family that was having problems with their "havoc" teenage daughter.

I made all my analyses till i had none left and I asked God: "Ok, what else do i need to consider?"And a thought popped into my head, "Think about what you would do in this situation."
When i received that answer from God, i was struck by how i missed out on such an obvious thing to think about. I mean, i analysed EVERYthing except for thinking about what i should do as their counsellor. Which would be the most commonsensical question that the interviewers would ask. I only had a few minutes left to think about it too... But God is so cool. :-) He told me what i should do.

Soon after, i was called into the room with one lady, and one man. They didn't like, stand up to greet us and shake hands. So, i was kind of at a lost of what to do. Somehow, everyone seemed a little tentative.

So it turned out to be a group interview: 2 interviewees, 2 interviewers. We were asked about our backgrounds, what makes a good counsellor, what are our best qualities to offer as a student and as a potential future counsellor, what our commitments are to the course, where will we be headed after the course (if we do get in). Oops, am i revealing too much? There were some other questions targeted at my *ahem* competitor.

I made a booboo blunder at one point... When competitor made her stand on something, lady interviewer asked me if i had anything to comment... I blabbered something or other, that was 50% sense, and 50% nonsense. For my 50% nonsense, i stuttered one line, contracted verbal constipation, stared hard at competitor (till she raised an eyebrow at me), stared at interviewer, and gave an embarrassed laugh, and said, "Erm, never mind." So... Joline. Good grief. Lady interviewer DID NOT LOOK THE LEAST BIT IMPRESSED WITH ME. She had such a demeaning look on her face. *shrinks timidly into a corner*

But i kinda "redeemed" myself later on during the case study analysis. When the guy interviewer posed THAT question: "So, what would you do in this situation?" (See? GOD IS SO AWESOME HOR.) I waited for 2-3 seconds to see if competitor wanted to answer. Since there was a moment of silence, i decided to speak up first. After which, competitor agreed with everything i said, when interviewer asked if competitor would like to comment on my answer. Interviewers seemed to take well to whatever we both said. But there was no way that i could fathom what they were thinking. They just nodded, smiled, analysed our answers here and there, and asked a few questions to clarify some points.

At this point, i was really thanking God for my experience at work. Although i don't get to meet clients as a counsellor, i get to observe what the psychologists do at the center. So, i was able to draw on what they do at work and applied it to the case study.

In general, I noticed that competitor was faced with more grilling than me, because she threw in some of her own theories and slightly "of-concern" comments. To which the interviewers had to intervene to get/make some things clear. Somehow, the guy seemed to be more firm/critical with competitor than he was with me. (by the way, competitor is twice my age.)

So after our case study discussion, we had to write a short essay, which was a reflection and self report on our strengths and weaknesses. I wrote about my childhood "traumas" (haha) which kinda precipitated some problems for me today... And how i had to overcome some of these fears when i went to Timor. Gosh. The Timor trip and its challenges really has been a timely example for me to write about in my various self reports.

All in all, i can't tell whether they were impressed with either of us. They looked super composed, critical, careful, pleasant but stiff.

I am not sure about why they were so easy on me. ONE: they could have like, after hearing my first few answers to their questions, written me off already as a non-potential. So, maybe they didn't have to bother about grilling me since i'm already out. Or, TWO: they heard and saw everything they needed to see and know from me, and already made the decision that i can move on to round 2. There's NO way of telling.

My dad and cell mate commented that a possible reason for a group discussion is to stimulate competition. Like, to see who's the leader and follower, who's the one with the bright ideas. In actual fact, both competitor and i were kinda backing one another up... Not really going against each other's viewpoints. Hur.

Apparently, competitor asked the interviewers what their expectations were of future students, and one of the answers they gave was that, they hoped to get a group of students who could work with one another. Hey... So maybe the group interview is not all about competition, but to see if the interviewees can cooperate and work cohesively.

I won't really know the outcome till perhaps a month or two from now. That's a long time to wait, i must say. Round 1 is done! I wonder if i'll make the cut into Round 2.


I was just talking to Gem about how i bet i could be much better looking (HAHAHA) if i bothered to dress up. Like, you know, paint my finger and toe nails, put on contacts and make-up, put on false eyelashes, do my hair, wear heels, dresses, be more fashionable, yada yada yada. I mean seriously. There is SO MUCH more that i can do to look more spruced up. But i am lazy and well, i just can't see myself prancing about in such feminine wear in the first place.

And Gem said matter-of-factly: "I am comfortable with your sense of style. And i like it that you don't require so much time to dress up before you go out."

Some time ago, he also told me that he thinks going natural, without having make-up on, is nice.

And Joline grins inwardly like nobody's business.

How can i thank thou for not imposing standards of feminine vanity upon thee?
Muah hahaha.


I just came back a while ago from cell group and a short girly night out. Gosh. Good friends, good conversations, good ICE CREAM *heehee, thanks J* and a ride home (much appreciated, D)... Wonderful way to end the night.


You know. If i had my own way... I'd be out in the wild, being with wild animals. Maybe filming a documentary for Animal Planet and/or Discovery Channel. Or, if i had my way, i'd spend my days training and going on adventure races/trips. Or doing other sporty things. Make a living from being with animals or doing sports.

I have all my life to live out. About 50 more years of it. For all i know, i might move from one occupation to the next, achieving these funny little desires. :-)
Zookeeper, right WL? ;-)


Time to sleep now... Though i feel like i could just go on and on and on and on...

Good night! It's going to be another good day in church tomorrow!