Gabriel's shared items

Monday, September 26, 2005

My Bags Are Packed, I'm Ready To Go.

... am I?

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Sleepless Nights

I appear to be experiencing insomnia every alternate nights... On one night, I'd sleep excessively, and on the following night I would not be tired enough to fall asleep. Predeparture Syndrom? =S

So just jotting down everything that's on my mind now...

Just went shopping with my sis at J8 tonight... It's been ages since I loitered around that building, it's changed since the renovation, and there seems to be many good shops there!
A bag for my daily use in Cam for $34.00,
A pair of slippers for $2.40!
A bottle of Kaya for $1.80,
A pair of track pants for $50.40.
My parents also got me some Vit C and an inhaler from Horizon.

I liked the bag I got, I've been looking for a large bag for my daily use, as the bag I am currently using is beginning to wear out... Can't seem to find one that I liked until today... and it was very reasonably priced! The more I think of the bag I got, the more I'm liking it. It has 2 side pockets, one for an umbralla and the other for my waterbottle, a compartment for diskman, which snuggly fits my palm, and a handphone holder on one of the straps, and the space inside is large enough to fit a laptop and A4 files, and books! The wonders of shopping with a sister... In fact, I like the bag so much, I'm gonna check out their website!

Think everything I got tonight was very worthwhile (consumer surplus ;p) except for the track pants... Nevertheless bought the trackpants to try out what kind of pants would be suitable for exercising in in cold countries.

Also tried signing, for the first time, for the items I got; used it for the more pricy items... Now I understand how people can chock up so much credit card bills! It's so hassle free and you don't feel the pinch until you see your bills! Gotta find out the details of the charges and conversion when using the various credit cards, POSB card, and the various bank constructs like TT and Bank Drafts. Ah!!! Adult life comes with so much complexity =S

Looks like I am materially quite prepared for the transition... Other minor items to bring include ziplock bags and a tuperware.

Tomorrow's Baptism
Erm, nothing really much to say actually. Shared my testimony at the YA service today, somehow when I was up in front I never really used what I had prepared...
Today's service Pastor Kieren touched on prayer, suddenly felt a compelling importance of beginning the day in prayer. I'm resolved to make it a habit when I'm over in Cam.
"Vision is that which grips a man,
Passion is what drives him."
One needs both Vision and Passion to live with purpose.

Final Arrangements
Here are some of the things I'd need to settle before leaving for Cam...
  1. Money Arrangements
  2. Communication Arrangements
They seem so complex...

Initial Concerns Over in Cam
Wow! I am actually seriously thinking about the nitty gritty of living there!!! Surreal!!!
Anyway, the list seems to be very long and it's getting longer by the day... Just randomly listing all the items that is coming to mind... Will definitely be sorting it out in the days to come...
  1. Open Bank Account
  2. Applying for Computer from the college (can't see myself living without it)
  3. Furnish the kitchen with cutlery and pots and pans!
  4. Stock up the fridge with food... and I have a long list, so I wont go into it yet...
  5. Furnish the room with lights, anything else?
  6. Apply for landline and consider the various cellphone plans
  7. Contact home - Handphone or Email?
Ok, not so long afterall...

Ah, bad case of literary diahorrea... and off for another attempt at REM. Time check: 0300.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Time is Running Fast Away!

To My Departure!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Man vs Matter, Round One.

mat·ter (măt'ər)
  1. Something that has weight and occupies space.

- PSLE Science Ten Year Series

Weight and Space... Properties that have acquired a new dimension of meaning since I started packing. Always seem to have too much of it...

Anyway, just taking stock of what's occupying all the space in my luggage bag...

Winter Attire:
  • 2 x Jackets
  • 3 x Sweaters
  • 1 x Pair of Gloves
  • 1 x Pair of Woolen Socks
  • A whole set if Thermal:
    • 1 x Long Sleeve Top
    • 2 x Short Sleeve Top
    • 3 x Bottom
  • 1 x Scarf
Outdoor Attire:
  • 6 x T-Shirt
  • 4 x Pants
  • 2 x Long Sleeve Shirt
  • 1 x Short Sleeve Shirt
  • Formal Wear:
    • 1 x Coat
    • 2 x Tie
    • 1 x Pair of Shoes
    • 1 x Belt*
Indoor Attire:
  • 5 x T-Shirt
  • 4 x Shorts
  • 2 x Towels
  • 5 x Hangers
  • 1 x Extra Pair of Shoes
  • 1 x Pair of Slippers*
  • Socks
  • Underwear

Important Documents
  • Medical Stuff:
    • Medical Exam Form
    • Vacination Cert
    • X-Ray
    • Health Booklet
  • Photocopy of:
    • A-Level & O-Level Results
    • IELTS Result
    • College Letter of Acceptance
    • UCAS Letter of Acceptance
    • Parent's Bank Statement
    • Bursary Letter
    • NRIC, ISIC, Visa
  • SingTel Calling Card Letter & Directions
  • HSBC Letter
  • Photocopy of Insurance Policy
  • Homework!

  • 3 x Prima Deli Curry Packets
  • 1 x Packet of Chrysanthemum
  • 1 x Bottle of Kaya*
  • Some Vit C*


Stationary Bag:

  • 2 x Mathematical Set
  • 1 x Stapler + 1 x Box of 5000 Staples
  • 1 x Box of 12 2B Pencils
  • Many Many Blue and Black Pens
  • 1 x Box of Highlighter
  • 2 x Packets of Poststick Paper
  • 1 x Pocket Clock
Outside Stationary Bag:
  • 10 x A4 Exercise Books
  • 20 x Folders
  • 2 x Foolscape Pads
  • 2 x Graph Paper Pads
  • 1 x Hole Puncher
  • 1 x Calculator*
  • My Pencil Case!*


Toiletries Bag:
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Tongue Scraper
  • Floss
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Face Wash
  • Nail Clipper
  • Twiser
  • Cotton Buds
  • Mirror
Toiletries Resupply:
  • 1 x Tube of Toothpaste
  • 1 x Bottle of Face Wash
  • 1 x Packet of Cotton Buds


  • Palm Accessories:
    • Palm
    • Cradle & Charger
    • CDs
  • Handphone Charger
  • Thermal Flask
  • Umbralla
  • Water Bottle
  • Washing Powder

Feel like selecting the items on this list and running winzip... Too bad it doesn't work that way =(

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

An Intriguing Find

Surfing the web out of boredom tonight cos I couldn't sleep, stumbled across something intriguing and somewhat disturbing...

Was looking through eXTReMe Tracking to find out how people found this blog. Decided to follow an entry on the "search engine referers" querying the word "cumsa" on google's blogsearch.

Here's the exact URL:
Search "Cumsa" on Google's Blog Search

It turns out that I know the authors of half the entries returned by the querry... Few would appreciate this, but the initial resemblance of the blog address to the msn nicks was shocking and unmistakable. What's worse is that many were the blogs of girls whom I never really spoke with.

Damn, I feel like a voyeur :S

Failing with Distinction!

Ah, screwed up my driving big time today! Actually I thought I did OK, but met with a tough tester - an ex-traffic police, or so my instructor told me. Damn! Earned myself 50 (demerit) points... Beat that! Also never thought I'd be nervous, but I found my leg trembling during the test :S Perhaps that was what made the tester pick on all my mistakes... Ah well, I'll have another go at the test when I come back in dec...

Lemme now reflect on my mistakes... It's quite disputable if you ask me...
My Mistakes

8 Points:
"Not enough side clearance given to other road users"
for travelling too close to the cars parked on the side when driving in a 2 lane road with cars parked on both sides. How to compromise?!?!
"Cause other vehicles to slow down or take evasive action"
when changing lanes to do u-turn. Of course the other person got to slow down to give me space la!
"Proceed on Amber Light"
for not stopping when I was 10 cm behind the stop line travelling at 20km/hr when the light turned amber. The deceleration would inflate the airbags if I managed to stop behind the stop line!

6 Points:
"Fail to keep within lane"
K la, this one was my fault. I mounted the curb a day before, and staying clear of the curb this time, so crossed the center divide.

4 Points:
"Veering off course"
Got two ticks for this, both at bends... Can't remember the specific occassions though...
"Improper turning - into incorrect lane"
"Fail to confirm safety"
I'm clueless :S

2 Points:
"Fail to use appropriate gear"
"Improper turning - wide turn"
Compared with 50 points, this is small change ;)

Now try beating that without earning yourself an immidiate failure :P

An update on my anti-virus campaign... Realised the bloody virus was still residing on my computer after the reformatting the computer and installing McAfee. Each time I started the computer, a webpage, "" would open, and my internet would work for a while. Then after sometime, the virus would be triggered, and my anti-virus software would alert me of some viruses, which always happens to be the same... "mmxxxxmas2.exe", "avatarz.exe" & "goaway.exe". Thereafter, I would lose my internet connection. It was very irritating, lived with it for 2 whole days.

Today I finally decided to track down where the virus was being triggered, traced the location of the virus from the McAfee log to the location "C:\Documents and Settings\Gabriel Wu\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\" and deleted all the folders there, the files looked suspiciously related with the virus... Did not really help. The popup did not go away when I restarted the computer, and somehow the file always reappeared each time I restarted the computer.

Ran HiJackThis and deleted the following entries:
R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer,SearchURL =
R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Search Bar =
R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Search Page =
R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Connection Wizard,ShellNext =
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [System service69] C:\WINDOWS\etb\pokapoka69.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [System service65] C:\WINDOWS\etb\pokapoka65.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\RunServices: [Microsoft Mapped PC] mapppc.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [Microsoft Mapped PC] mapppc.exe
And now the situation looks better. At least I seem to have sustained internet connection.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Declaration of Independence

This is the testimony I wrote for my baptism form. Not sure if it constitutes a testimony cos I haven't really elaborated on what God has done, I merely stated it. I really don't know where and how to relate everything that has happened. And it's kinda short, or so I feel. Guess I'll submit it anyway lest I exceed the deadline... here it goes:
As a child, I grew up in a christian family, blessed with God fearing parents who faithfully inscribed the torah on our doorposts and in our hearts. For that I am grateful. However, growing up in a christian family also meant that I have never known a life apart from God, thus making it difficult for me to fully appreciate the saving grace of our Lord. This may be the reason I have never really experienced very elaborate revival before. Nevertheless, on hindsight, I recognise that God has been making Himself known to me a little at a time over the course of my life, and His hand has always been upon my path.

As I turn 21 and begin my first independent steps, I want to consecrate my life to God, by
  1. Acknowledging God as the Soverign Lord over my life,
  2. Testifying of His great goodness and abundant blessings upon this undeserving jar of clay, and
  3. Declaring my commitment to follow the Lord, and live a life that is pleasing before Him.

T-Minus 10 days.

The past few days have been eventful... Just held a triple celebration tonight with my family. Really joyous occassion, filled with anticipation for the future... Tonight we celebrated:
  1. The beginning of my overseas education endeavour,
  2. My Sister's 20th birthday, and
  3. A recent addition to the family, the details I'm forbidden to divulge.
The Tan Family: Generation Y

The following days looks set to be no less momentous, with my driving test on Tuesday, and my baptism on the Sunday before departure.

I'll also need to make the final preparations before I leave, like...
  • packing the last minute daily clothes,
  • packing the important documents,
  • making arrangements on how to communicate home,
  • money matters: how to carry my money, and transfer money to my bank account over in Cam.
Oh yes, one other thing to do before going to Cam: save my favourite MSN Pictures online so that I'll have access to it when I'm there :p

So there you go... My iconic Pinky and the Brain MSN pics...
This pic is cute,
This one has attitude, and I like it,
This is my favourite,
but unfortuntely it shows up grainy on MSN,
so I don't use it often...

Why Pinky and the Brain? Well, I'm inspired by this little rodent with BIG ambitions... It's sorta reflection of myself... I'm insignificant in many ways, and I was born in the year of the rat, but I have Wild Dreams! But unlike the Brain, I hope my attempts at pursueing my dreams would be blessed with success.

Speaking of success, I'm proud to announce my successful campaign against the irritating viruses that plagued my computer! But must say, we have become incredibly dependent on anti-virus softwares! It's unbelievable how much viruses you can get infected with if you don't have proper virus protection. Really have no idea where they come from man! Somehow my computer was infected, even before I connected to the internet after reformatting my computer! It was bloody irritating! In the end, what solved the problem was installing "WinXP Service Pack 2", and "McAfee" before connecting to the web. And frantically registering and updating these programs upon connection.

When I first decided to reformat my computer, I felt like God passing judgement and destroying Sodom and Gomorrah. The thought of wiping out all the evil viruses at the click of a mouse felt really empowering and satisfying! But I soon realised that I was casting out one demon only to have 7 more malicious ones come and take possession of my computer. It even took on my anti-virus, and disabled the ctrl-alt-del function! Glad it's all over now... Hope my com remains healthy after I leave... But this over-reliance on anti-virus software really raises the suspicion that these anti-virus corperations are the ones who ultimately have a vested interested in the creation of these viruses.

10 days left :s

Friday, September 16, 2005

I hate viruses!!!

And I'm determined to kill them until they die from it!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Longest Yard?

I don't usually watch movies, and when I do it's usually for the company.

Well, watched the movie "The Longest Yard" with Tsang, Varun and Shamir tonight. Kinda enjoyed it, slapstick commedy, with a little witty literary humor. The slapstick part was somewhat different from the regular crude humor, so it didn't feel too lame...

Parts of the movie invoked memories of my NS and relief teaching days. Watching the life threatening politics reminded me of how life felt like in 46 SAR, and I felt that the way Adam Sandlers approached and soft talked the wayward inmates into joining his team can be applied to handling the students in school.

Also, somewhere in the movie I heard this line:
"Winners make the rules,
Losers live by them."

How true...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Life in 2 Weeks...

The Reality: In 2 weeks time, my life would be drastically different!
The Reaction: Nay... Nil... Nothing... Numbness...

I don't know... ever since NS, I feel that nothing really excites me anymore... I feel like I'm going through life the same way I bash through the forest behind my PS: mindlessly following him, not feeling anything, not anticipating anything... Just overcoming the obstacles that come my way, and moving forward...

Occassionally I glimpse myself doing things in Cambridge, and I go through a quick spasm when I realise that that's going to be my reality in 2 weeks time. But, most other time, I'm still quite emotionally oblivous to the fact that I'm going to Cambridge... K-K-K-KAMBRIDGE leh! Like, the father of modern mathematics did his work there, Stephen Hawkings is there, I'm going there, and I don't feel the least bit excited?!?!

2 weeks seems so damn near! 2 Weeks before POP'ed, I was beginning to pack my belongings from the cupboard. Way before the second last week of school, I was feeling nostelgic, and telling myself to cherish the time I'm spending in the school with my friends, and teachers... 2 weeks before army, I was depressed and dreading the prospect of a grim, uncertain, tough two years.

But 2 weeks before I ORD'ed, I was numb... I was just doing everything I need to (clearance, ffi, etc...), to reclaim the symbol of my freedom, my pink IC... And now 2 weeks before embarking on something as exciting, and out-of-this-world as going to Cambridge, I am as numb, just doing everything that needs to be done...

It must be army... Ah-mee killed my senses... Or maybe it's because I'm walking alone... and there's no one else to resonate in excitement with... The past 3 months, I've had this sense of being an observer... I've been doing all these things, teaching, going for events, crashing lectures, but I feel detached from the system I'm in, feels like I don't belong anywhere... When I'm in class, the teacher is the odd one out. When I crash lectures, I feel like I don't belong there, and I don't face the same problems as the other people in the lecture, like having to understand the lecture. When I go for freshers events, I don't really know anyone there, and because I never expected that I'll be going to Cambridge, I feel like I don't really belong there... And when I went for the Saints Reunion Dinner, I had this really awkward feeling of being an observer. I wasn't a councillor, and I was sitting among them, everyone around me looked strangely familiar, but I did not know them. I felt nostelgic even though there wasn't really anyone there whom I shared common momories with, none of my classmates were there... It was as if I was a ghost just absorbing everything that went on at the event, without really interacting with anyone there... Really weird... I hope it changes when I begin life in Cam...

Anyway, this is my idea of what my life would be like over there:
My Routine

  1. Wake Up
  2. Wash Up
  3. Prepare Breakfast & Lunch
    • Breakfast: Cereal with Milk
    • Lunch: Sandwich
  4. Attend Lecture
  5. Do Homework
  6. Misc Stuff: weekly stuff, surf net, etc...
  7. Do Dinner/Formal Hall
  8. Wash Up
  9. Manage Finance, Plan for Next Day...
  10. QT
  1. Laundry
  2. Grocery Shopping
  3. Telly Finance
  4. Exercise, at least that's my resolution...
  5. Church

I see myself arriving at the airport on the first day with lots of freshers and seniors, and another image of alighting at the central bus station, and dragging my luggage all the way to my college. Then waiting at the main college building, and going to my room, and meeting the guy staying opposite me. Beyond that it's quite blur... Maybe that's the reason I'm not very excited, cos there's nothing much I'm really anticipating...

Ah well, I guess I'll just let life unfold itself... And hopefully somewhere along the way, my emotions will be revived...

Monday, September 12, 2005

A few Pics, a few Websites, a Lecture, and a Dinner - All in a Day, of a Guy with a Clie.

Yesterday was a pleasent day... Kinda trial day for using my Palm.

Highlight of the day was crashing Psychology lectures with Max, slacking the afternoon away at the central library, and meeting a few freshers for dinner at marche.

Learnt two words at psych lectures today: Schema and Heuristics. Though i wasn't inspired enough during the lecture to appreciate the meaning of these words, I now know that they are psychology lexicons :P. Utilised the dictionary on my palm during the lecture to find out the meaning of the words, so that was the first practical use of the palm...

Went for lunch, met up with some church people... Jotted down my expenses on the palm... Chatted over lunch... Man, the Arts and Social Science students have it so much better than the Science students! While my science friends won't even have time to eat at 2pm because the canteen would be so crowded, and they would be rushing between lectures, here are the Arts students casually chatting over a meal!

Then proceeded to the central library, NUS has these colourful glass cubicles in the library where people rush into to use their handphone, or for small grouped (usually paired) discussions. Found one and slacked in it for the whole afternoon, while Max did his work. It was a bit small, but very cosy, even slept in it for a while! During that time, also took some pics from inside our cubicle with the camera on the palm... The third use of my palm :P

For Chatting...

For Discussions...

For Me!

Proceeded to Marche for dinner after that lazy afternoon, met up with a few freshers going to Cam. Was a good time of getting to know each other... 7 people is a good number, critical mass without being too many that people get left out of the conversation.

Took a group photo after the dinner, with Kezheng's camera. Once again, decided to summon my Clie to capture the photographer doing his thing...

And the group photo...
Kezheng, Alvin Tan, Dexter, Me,
Yao Yu, Royce, Hongking.

Just jotting down the names in case I forget them in future :S

And websites? Ah... Max showed me an awesome astronomical program his astronomy professor recommended, and I jotted the website down with... you guessed! My Clie! So that I can now share it with the world!

The program is called stellarium, and it maps out the heavens given the location and the time... Arh, too tired now to elaborate...

And another website we were talking about over dinner,
Very amusing singlish blog. Like this remark he made:
"Army most dangerous weapon is not tank not gun,
is the blur f*** with the tank and the gun!"

Words of wisdom indeed.

There, the AAR of living with a Palm... All in the day, of a boy with a Clie.

Friday, September 09, 2005

What is Wisdom?

Is it making the best decision with existing information?

Or making the correct decision inspite of existing information?

And how would one know what is the correct decision without such information?
Intuition? Divine Knowledge?

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
- Proverbs 9:10

Plans for Next Summer's Vacation

It just occured that I could work as a relief teacher for a whole term during my Summer vacation next June to Sept. Made a quick calculation of how much I'd earn:
$65/day x 5 days/week x 10 weeks = $3250
But since I won't work every single day due to holidays in between, I shall round down that figure to the nearest thousands... $3000. Would it be worthwhile? It seems very negligible compared with the amount I'd be spending on my uni fees, but still it's a lot of money! I could give tuition for a term too!

If I were to teach this time, I'm hopeing that I'd be able to get a place in a JC. Teaching in secondary school is really tedious, and very often it's hard for the relief teacher to impart any knowledge. I've hoped, during my last stint as a relief teacher, to experience proper teaching: covering a few chapters with a group of students, and seeing how they advance in their understanding of a topic... I never really had sustained sessions of fulfilling lessons, the closest I had was taking the math olympiad class, but that only occured twice.

I'm still wondering what uni students do with their vacation... It's kinda loooong...

Thursday, September 08, 2005

A Culinary Attempt

Just tried cooking curry chicken for lunch with Prima Deli Packets this afternoon... Turned out quite well, considering it was edible. Having said that, I shall now play the devil's advocate and critique my own cooking, for future improvements...

I found the curry too thick, and there was too little chicken in the curry... I had followed the directions on the packet, and added around 400 ml of water at the beginning, and found that the depth of the water in the pot was only sufficient to submerge a packet of chicken in it... So I added a packet's worth (3 pieces) of chicken... Then halfway while cooking, i noticed the directions instructing to cook with 700g of chicken, and I had only used around 300g... No wonder I felt that the amount of chicken I was cooking was a bit little for a packet... Also realised that the water would expand, increasing the water level in the pot, so there's no need for all the ingredients to be submerged at the beginning...

Next time, I think I'll also try adding more water... say 800 ml... cos the curry was too thick, and more food can be cooked with more water...

Just jotting down my experience...

Crashin' SMU...

...and busted within the first 5 mins of the lecture :S

But I must admit, it's the best lecture I've crashed so far! Among the 3 universities... The lecturer was very interesting, the class responsive, and the topic was one that I'd never done formally, thus attending the lecture gave me greater insight into the topic. It was a very stimulating and engaging 3 hours!

What was I thinking? Class of 40, arranged in a way that it's visually accessible from the front, of course I'd be busted sooner rather than later! I was still hopeing that I would survive until halfway through the lecture when the lecturer shot a cheem economics question at me, and even then be able to smoke my way through :p But darn! this lecturer makes it a point to know her students!

She begun the lecture by asking those who had not attended the first 2 lectures to proceed to the front. One person admitted. Then she started looking around for unfamiliar faces, picking out another boy who thought he could escape unnoticed, and she came to me... I had written my name on a piece of paper and slot it into the groove in front of me, like the rest of the students, in an attempt to blend into the crowd. But I wrote my name in bright yellow highlighter so that it'll be harder to read from far... but to my dismay, the prof called my name :S (she must have strained her eyes very hard to read my name off the paper from the front!) and asked if I'd been been to the two previous lectures. I reluctantly admitted, and walked to the front. As a consolation, she had good intentions for making us proceed to the front. We were instructed to introduce ourselves, stating our name, major, why we chose the course, etc. At this point, I was still considering if I should continue with the fake SMU-student-from-another-course identity I had intended to use, or come out clean and admit that I was crashing. I decided on the later after hearing the first two guys speaking, cos i knew I wouldn't be able to reproduce the terms when faced with the subsequent interrogation... And so there, Game Over! Blew my cover 15 minutes into the lecture... The professor graciously allowed me to stay in the class, and perhaps in an attempt to assimilate me into the lesson, shot the first and easiest question at me:
"What is the night safari, Gabriel?",
"The nocturnal version of the zoo." I quickily answered,

The name I displayed. Deliberately written in bright yellow, move away form your screen, how she see from far???

The rest of the lesson was very interesting indeed. It was an 'Introduction to Economics' series, I had tried to learn economics by reading my sister's JC notes. It aint very helpful. But these 3 hours I received new found insight into economics. It's been a while since I experienced the pleasure of learning something simple and enlightening in a classroom environment. I even took notes!

Touched on the supply and demand,
Elasticity of Demand:
  1. Price Elasticity of Demand
    • Luxury Goods vs Neccessary Goods,
      • i.e. Perfume vs Water
  2. Income Elasticity of Demand
    • Normal Goods vs Inferior Goods,
      • i.e. Hawker Food vs Restaurant Food
    • Normal Goods co-relate positively with Income,
      Inferior Goods co-relate negatively with income.
  3. Cross-Price Elasticity of Demand
    • Complimentary Goods vs Substitute Goods,
      • i.e. Bread and Butter vs Ice-cream and Yogurt
    • Complimentary Goods co-relate negatively with each other,
      Substitute Goods co-relate positively with each other.
I'm just typing out all the notes I took :p

Briefly introduced to the idea of Effecient Markets, in the lesson, we took Effecient Market to mean a situation where people who want to buy, and people who want to sell are able to do so...

Then learnt something I would never be able to get on my own: Consumer Surplus, Producer Surplus, add them to get Total Surplus. Throw taxes into the cocktail to get Government Revenue and Deadweight loss...

Deadweight loss is something feel very passionately about. I've realised since coming out to work, that the process of matching an employee to a job, a producer to a consumer, is a very important one. And it's a pity if there's no deal - Everyone goes home unhappy. That ain't how the world should function. I've always fretted over how this world sees a situation where people who want to work cant find the means to do so, similarly how children who want to learn aren't provided with the means to, thus hindering them from contributing the max they can, and they wont be less happy contributing their maximum, in fact they might even be happier!

Following my new found appreciation of the term "Deadweight Loss" I shall add to Jimmy's collection of "Economics of War" quotes:
"NS forces deadweight loss: The employers seem perpetually unhappy, the soldiers are dejected...
What happenned to the Consumer and Supplier Surplus?"

I guess the military follows a different set of economic rules, one not based on consumer-supplier happiness, but based on superior's gain regardless of inferior's expense...

Depressing NS days aside, I guess it'll be appropriate now to document all the lectures I've crashed and with whom...

Went WithOnToForHow
NTUPhysics Symposium...
NUSPhysics Symposium...
Physics Symposium:)
Statistics for Biologist,
Physics Ideas
Introductory Biology
SMUIntroduction to Economics:p

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Found this amusing link on Boon Leong's website while blog surfing...

General Artificial Being Responsible for Infiltration, Efficient Learning and Worldwide Utility

Kinda like what I got...
'Efficient Learning', 'Worldwide Utility'...
Aptly describes my ambition :o


Monday, September 05, 2005

Preliminary Round of Packing

Got my suit yesterday at $159.00 thanks to a 'broken sizes offer' and the 20% Robinsons discount. Woke up this morning to find myself in my room with all these items lying around, coupled with last weeks resolve to start packing, I finally found inspiration to do so. I've realised, after this round of packing, that I have less space than I initially thought :s Still have 3 weeks to figure this out...

I begun by consolidating all the items lying around in my room that I wouldn't be using, and sorted them out. Broadly categorising them into 'Big Luggage', 'Small Luggage', and 'Backpack'. Most of the items I don't need now fell into the 'Big Luggage', as they tend to be the big, bulky items which I won't need access to until I'm settled in at college. Intend to keep the important things I'd need readily accessible in the Backpack, and the important documents and electronics in my Small Luggage.

Ok, here's a checklist of items sorted by Luggage type:
(*asterix indicates items I have yet to pack and need to take note of.)
Big Luggage

  1. Coat
  2. Shoes
  3. Tie*
  4. Belt*
  1. Stationary Bag
  2. Ex Book, Folders, & Foolscape Paper
  3. Hole Puncher
  1. 1 x Jacket
  2. All my thermals
  3. Outdoor Clothes** (Lots of them)
  4. Pajamas*
  5. Underwear & Socks* (Lots of them)
  6. Towels* (about 4 pieces)
  1. Hangers* (around 10?)
  2. Toiletries Resupply - Toothpaste, Face Wash, Soap, Ear Buds
  3. Thermal Flask
  4. Some bags - For my daily use in Cambridge

Here's the status of my luggage... It looks so full even before I put in the bulk of the clothes :s


Footwear (will be packed at the bottom):
  1. Slippers*
  2. Extra pair of shoes
  1. Toiletries Bag
  2. Some Toiletries Resup
Winter Clothes:
  1. 1 x Jacket
  2. Scarf
  1. Umbralla*
  2. Water Bottle
  3. More Clothes
  4. Perhaps some food

Small Luggage

  1. Palm Accessories - Cradle, Charger, CD
  2. Handphone Charger
  1. Medical Exam Form
  2. Certs
  3. Letter of Acceptance, Proof of Finance*
  4. My Homework :p
  5. *what else??
  1. Food Items - the not so objectionable ones
  2. More Bags

Just making a checklist...

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Saints Reunion Dinner

Tonight was one nostalgic evening. By circumstances I did not expect or intend, I ended up attending the SAJC reunion dinner, and I how I enjoyed it! I went on Wei An's ticket cos he was not able to make it, sitting with the councillors of my year. I vaguely remember their faces, and barely knew any of them. But I've been used to mixing around with strangers recently, having to make new friends at fresher's events, so I did not feel very left out. However, I did see lots of other old, familiar faces, and it added to the sense of nostalgia.

The food was pretty decent for an outdoor event, and it was sufficient without being excessive. The weather was nice and cool. And sitting with the councillors, the company was very vibrant. But what made the night special was the tunes which were playing. The familiar sound of our excellent (that's an understatement) school band, and the finale where we did cheers and sang the our lovely school song. It reminds me of how much I loved being in St Andrews, and how very special St Andrews is. It was extremely heart warming to see Saints from different generations connecting through the cheers and singing the school song, among these saints were some of my favourite teachers... It felt like we were all kids again, finding amusement in screaming our lungs out for something as trivial as fun.

One thing I find unique to St Andrews is that our identity is so poignant. The theme 'Saints' can be so easily translated into merchandises, as a result we have a whole range of very interesting t-shirts we can wear to proclaim our identity. I bought one today for $12.

I think St Andrews has the best school song around! One that affords lots wise advice on life, to a very catchy tune, almost like a cartoon theme song.
Lives are in the making here
Hearts are in the waking here
Mighty undertaking here
Up and On! Up and On!

We are arming for the fight
Pressing on with all our might
Plumming wings for higher flight
Up and On!

Up boys
Truest fame lies in high endeavour
Play the game
Keep the flame burning brightly ever

Fair before us lies the way
Time for work and time for play
Fill the measure while we may
Up and On! Up and On!

Life and time will not delay
Time is running fast away
Life is now today, today
Up and On!

Up boys
Truest fame lies in high endeavour
Play the game
Keep the flame burning brightly ever

Foes in plenty we shall meet
Hearts couragous scorn defeat
So we press with eager feet
Up and On! Up and On!

Ever onward to the fight
Ever upward to the light
Ever true to God and Right
Up and On!

Up boys
Truest fame lies in high endeavour
Play the game
Keep the flame burning brightly ever

Oh No! The week is over...

and I haven't even started packing yet! This can't go on :S

Ok, I'll jot down the things I need to pack to spur myself into action.

  1. 3 x Jacket
  2. 1 x Scarf
  3. All the Long John I have
  4. A set of suit: Coat, Pants, Belt, Shoes. I need to get the coat first
  5. All my outdoor clothes: lots of shirts and pants
  6. Pajamas
  7. Important misc: lots of underwears and socks
  1. Toiletry set
  2. 3 x Towels
  3. Ear Buds
Important Misc:
  1. Hangers
  2. Some clocks
  3. Slippers, extra pair of shoes
  4. Umbralla
  5. Electronics: HP Charger, Palm & accessories
  1. Stationary Bag
  2. Folders, Ex Books, Foolscape pads
Food (less impt):
  1. Maggie Mee
  2. Prima Deli Packets
  3. Chrynsanthemum Tea... Had to google for the spelling of this word and still not sure about the spelling :S
  4. Kaya
  5. Vit C

Other Things to Do:
  1. Baptism Testimony
  2. Buy Coat
  3. Buy a new pencil case and some liquid paper
  4. Buy food stuff: Maggie Mee, Prima Deli Packets, Kaya
  5. Photocopy important documents: Passport, Visa, Exit Permit, IC.
  6. Homework!
Significant Upcoming Events:
  1. Baptism (24 Sept)
  2. Driving Test (20 Sept)
  3. Too bad Nathan was returned unchallenged, otherwise would have been able to exercise my responsibilities as a citizen, a very significant act of maturity at this eventful junction.
25 days left to D-day (Departure day :p)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Conclusion of a Pedagogical Chapter

Everything in life comes in a package.
With it's share of bitter, and a doze of sweet.
Tuesday marked the end of my stint as a relief teacher at my alma matar. With teacher's day celebrations and the end of term filling up the rest of the week, and the holidays thereafter, there's no chance that I'd be returning anytime soon.

Chatted with Lawrence Koh, my Sec 3 A-math, and Scouts teacher just before I left the staff room one last time. Related to him how I've enjoyed coming back to school and relieving my sec sch days as I worked as a relief teacher; how I've enjoyed working with all my old teachers, though I've come to realise that teachers hardly get time to interact among themselves, nevertheless it was a great experience... How beautiful the new school compound is, and how I relish being greeted by the stunning view every morning as I walked into school.

Chapel of the Accension atop the hill.

A warm view of the refurbished old school building.

As with everything else in life, this experience hadn't been entirely rosy. Throughout this tour, I've exchanged my idealistic, romantic view of a teacher for a realistic, and more sobered one. I started teaching envisioning myself capturing the imagination of the kids, but I soon realised that before a teacher can do that, he first has to subject them to his control. And that's an immense challenge! I take my hat off to all my teacher's on this teacher's day blog entry. Cos I was one of those students who provided my teachers with such a challenge :p

I began this chapter as a relief PE teacher around 2 months ago. And within these two months, I've practically took every genre of class from Sec 1 Express to Sec 5 Normal, relieved a whole spectrum of subjects from PE to D&T and Homec, Science, Maths, Chinese! English, computer lessons.

School aside, I just received my first ever teacher's day card from my a-math kid :p I never thought of myself as a teacher all this while, just some guy helping a kid at the subject. Well, this card served to prove me otherwise, sealing my role as a full fledged teacher. It's kinda encouraging to know that your efforts are appreciated. But better than cards, I now understand how the greatest reward of a teacher is seeing his student do well...

Trackforward: Reaping the Rewards of a Teacher