April 18, 2016 § Leave a comment

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.33.03 pm.png

My favourite verses in Lukas Graham’s 7 Years

(with minor changes) 

Ripped jeans, pale face.

April 17, 2016 § Leave a comment

Has there ever been a moment in your life where you literally feel like the underdog protagonist in a feel-good movie by some distant Hollywood team out there? Well, that was me this morning and now I can conclusively claim with proof that I literally gave my blood, sweat and (nearly) tears to getting into law school.

anigif_enhanced-buzz-7613-1361917068-1_preview.gif

^ Hearty disagreement my good man – my life is as dramatic as Keeping up with the Kardashians. 

The day started off normally enough, I was excited to go to take the written test. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping and my parents drove me to the Bukit Timah campus where the law faculty was. I cheerfully waved them off with the promise to meet them after the test was done as they headed off to Botanic Gardens to wait for me there.

Truthfully, I should have known wiser. The faculty was deserted – no wandering parents or law hopefuls who had similarly arrived early like yours truly. But I merrily concluded on my way and called Yew Hwei to meet up and chat before the test commenced. That was probably the first good decision I made that morning.

Me: “Hey, where are you? I’m here at the lower quad – where exactly is the sports hall at?”

YH: “Uh, what do you mean? I mean, I’m at the sports hall my taxi driver managed to drop me off.”

Me: “Hmm yeah, as in is the sports hall at the upper quad? I’m at the law faculty already!”

YH: “… The sports hall is at the Kent Ridge campus, you know that right?”

Me: /internally screaming/

690faf39c66637a7395f5d9afbe92040.gif

The plot thickens! In my gung-ho potash-esque haste – I didn’t read the letter carefully. The test was to be held at the sports hall at Kent Ridge not the law faculty as I has merrily assumed. This is where the first wave of panic sets in as I realise that the campus might as well have been on Silent Hill as taxis were as rare as an albino do do bird. I frantically call my parents and pray their phones were on. The heavens were merciless, both of them have not switched on their phones. This is where the second wave of panic grows as I realised I have little cash on me, I am at the wrong fucking campus and my law test was due to start in 45 minutes.

I quickly decided to go and make my way there via public transport and hopefully catch my parents in the park if I was supremely lucky. After breathlessly accosting a confused law student who pointed me in the direction of the way to the MRT through the gardens I pull ass and dash into the park. At this point, I was panicking, sweating, and running in skinny jeans from Pull&Bear. Probably not the best position but I was determined to let myself be undermined by my own stupidity.

giphy-1

However, like a true blue hollywood movie, the Godly producers of my life decide if panic wasn’t enough they were going to throw me another curveball – halfway through dashing through the gardens like a frantic headless chicken, the Heavens stuck out its proverbial foot and I was literally brought to my knees as my weak ankles did a Mr Magoo and I went down onto the pavement like a newborn giraffe.

It was at this moment I truly felt like I was the loveable but idiotic protagonist who was desperate racing against time to catch the love of their life at the airport before they take off. Except the love of my life in this case was law school. I was in half minds of just giving up and hopefully begging the faculty to let me sit it on another day – I was panicking, I wasn’t sure if I would even make it in time for the test, my parents were uncontactable and I was literally kneeling on the ground in pain and confusion. If I had been prone to dramatics I would have angrily stuck a middle finger to the sky and screamed “I will defy you stars!”

0xjGr.gif

^ Literally me.

But then, the majestic mustachioed faced of Taron Egerton as Eddie Edwards flashed in my mind in my moment of despair. I remembered that no matter what curveballs life threw at him – from being physically weaker than other kids, to having the Olympic committee raise the standards just so he couldn’t make the cut, to never having even skii jumped in his entire life – he still didn’t give up. He still ploughed ahead, stupid maybe, but he ploughed ahead and he never gave up.

If it had been a movie, there would have been the Rocky Theme Song playing as I struggled up to a standing position – probably a slow-mo wiping the sweat off my brow for good dramatic measure. And I continued running. At this point, I was pretty sure this should have been my initiation test for law school  – I literally bled for you NUS.

tumblr_nzi4hq8p1H1uokpato1_250.gif

I eventually made it to the MRT station, and calculated the fastest way I could get to Kent Ridge was via Buona Vista and then taking a bus from there before having to walk into the campus. This was probably the second best decision I made and as I sat in that MRT carriage I realised that the knee portion for the left leg of my jeans had actually ripped and I was bleeding through the rip. I was shaking from the pain and the exhilaration and I’m pretty sure the woman next to me was severely judging me as I tried to clean the wound as best I could through the ripped hole.

At Buona Vista, I limped up to the bus stop where the NUS website recommended we take Bus 196 to its campus. I hastily checked my bus app to see how long 196 would take to come to my bus stop and my heart sank – 17 minutes. At this point, it was around 8.35 and I could not spend 20 minutes waiting for a single bus. However, this was where the Gods pitied me and I realised that bus 95 actually went into U-Town unlike 196 which dropped students off at the edge of the main campus.

And as I looked up, like a angel descending in front of me – it was Bus 95. It was completely empty and I am pretty sure that the bus driver was literally an angel sent down from God to help me. I was lucky that he spoke fluent  english and was sympathetic to my breathless questions of if the bus went to where the Multi Purpose Sports Hall was. He mentioned that he didn’t know where it was but he would pass by a sports field and “if that was close by”, I nodded and perched myself onto the seat – time was ticking and I would do anything to get into the campus itself.

tumblr_n26wpli1bW1tqflpgo2_500

^ Sadly, it wasn’t this angel

At this point, I didn’t know what the sports hall looked like, I only had a vague understanding of where it was at from the frankly unhelpful map provided on the website and I was in a bus where I didn’t know exactly where to get off at. Time was ticking. I thought to myself I would still beg them to let me sit for the exam even if I came in late and had less time. I had to do it.

Telling the bus driver that I “was running late for my written test” was probably the closest I ever came to bursting into tears but I managed to hold it all in and calm myself down as we entered the U-Town campus. A couple of uni students got on at the NUH stop and we passed by the sports field that the bus driver had initially indicated. The group of students trooped off at the stop and I stumble confusedly behind them. This was when I made the third best decision in this crazy journey – I desperately asked the girl who was behind the group if she knew where the sports hall was and she looked at me and said “Oh, I don’t really know sorry, because I am looking for it too!”

eddie-the-eagle-introduces-hugh-jackman-s-best-performance-850491.gif

^ Come to me, my fellow late-comer!

I had found a fellow late-comer! The odds were low but somehow I had managed to find another person who was also running late and also in the same boat. Luckily, it seems that a actual NUS student had told her the directions to the sports hall and it was indeed around the area where we had gotten off at. I made grateful small talk with her and her blasé presence really helped because if I hadn’t met her I would have probably tripped down the stairs again in my haste to find my way.

At this point it was 8.57 when we saw the entrance of the Sports Hall and we were shown in by a teacher. My first instinct was to grab the table closest to the entrance that I saw, but because we had seating arrangements I had to do the Walk of Shame down the rows and rows of judgemental law skool hopefuls who make good life decisions and aren’t bleeding from the knee. As I was walking, the teacher was still explaining what and what not to do and I had just enough time to find my seat and get comfortable and thank god that I made it just by the skin of my teeth.

My life is literally a Hollywood movie.

media_304ec1f0-dfe9-11e5-a17f-2916713ca3fb.gif

However, reality is not as great as the movie because if it was I would be able to get news of if I got in 5 minutes after an inspirational time lapse of me doing the test whilst my knee was probably turning septic. Real life isn’t as easy and we have a two week + wait before I know any conclusive result. But dear god, I hope this movie has a happy ending.

walktioff.gif

^ This is why I deserve to be on Team Cap

EDITOR’S NOTE dated 07/05/16: It was a happy ending after all 😉 

hoity-toity, high-brow goodness

April 16, 2016 § Leave a comment

I’m not even fully 100 pages into The Secret History and I am already considering the merits of studying Classics at uni even though there is a 100% chance that no Singaporean university offers it lol. I don’t really care much for the dead languages component (although there is a fair amount of pretentious Latin in Law) but I think the philosophical ideas from the likes of Plato and Homer are quite interesting to consider and I just think people who study all these hoity-toity absurdist high-brow subjects are immediately ten times more enigmatic and awesome than people who study more conventional topics like law/medicine/business. HAHAAHA

Mainly because the fact is that many of these people take these courses for the sheer passion and love for the subject, and not because it’s going to guarantee them a good job in the future. And I think to have such a love and excitement for any area of academia for the pure merit of it is such a beautiful thing to see in a person. I love people who are passionate about studying and academia and all those “ivory tower” subjects. It’s not so much as being elitist, I just like when someone can tell me all about the French Revolution and how all the kings and queens are capitalist bourgeoisie dicks or how secretly Alexander the Great has such a riveting homosexual affair with his best friend everyone else practically ships them together.

I don’t have an undying love for history as many of my friends do (some of them read history books for fun and some are even revising old JC material for the sheer fear of losing that little bit of knowledge that they had gained) But I just like to be surrounded by people who want to learn and want to be interested in things that most people would shun or find confusing or archaic. Like I want to have friends who live and breathe philosophy or art history or atmospheric physics. It’s like the little part of the subject’s beauty becomes part of that person and that just makes them even more interesting.

Yesterday’s interview was just so fun towards the end. Because we kind of veered off the current affairs topics because the female interviewer picked up on my hasty scribble on the application form we had to give them in the “Other Activities/Hobbies” column that I wrote I “liked to read pretentious literature”. Honestly, I had just written “reading” at first but when I looked back on it I thought it looked too mundane so I just tagged on the “pretentious literature” because 1. I think I am hilarious 2. I didn’t think they would actually read the form lol

And it was just so freaking amazing to just tell somebody about my gripes about how some people just cast off reading certain literature that are more “higher order” like the classics because they feel it’s too “cheem” for their liking. This is especially in light of how a lot of Singaporeans don’t really have a reading habit as they grow older which is on one hand understandable (time constraints and all), but also very sad? I’m sorry, but if you don’t like reading I don’t think we can be friends HAHAHA Then the female interviewer then asked me to tell them about one Kazuo Ishiguro novel that I like because I mentioned how I adored his work. I started going into ROTD but she cut me off and she asked me to name another Ishiguro book that I “didn’t study in JC” since I mentioned that “he was my favourite author”.

When she posed that question she had that twinkle in her eye, and I could see the challenge in that question. Honestly, my brain was freaking out a bit because I almost forgot the title of all his books but thankfully my brain managed to stop hanging and I answered with Never Let Me Go. I then went into this overly excited ramble about how while the book’s premise is actually quite sad because it’s about the whole morality about the treatment of the human soul and what constitutes it – it is also a very happy book because it represents the tenacity of humanness that exists in all of us. Because the clones in the book didn’t resign to their fate to die and be harvested for their organs, they kept trying ways to prove their humanness to prove their soul and they ability to have love and to hope and the sheer will to live beyond what society dictates their role to be and how fucking awesome it is. Basically, I went full John Green on the interviewers and might have gotten a bit too excitable but I don’t care because that’s the madness I descend into when people talk to me about the books I like. The female interviewer also knew about the book (granted it is Ishiguro’s most famous novel) and gah I just liked her even more because the fact that she also read the books and knew about it just made her a cooler person imo.

Shan’t go into a full post on the interview because I’m not too sure on the confidentiality thingies (though I might make a locked post so my friends can still read what happened) but it really made me realise how much I loved talking about things I’m passionate about to people who are actually interested.

Chittity chattity

April 14, 2016 § Leave a comment

It’s ma’s birthday today! This was the first year I legitimately bought her dinner and a gift with my own money and it all felt really grown up and kind of a weird concept that I can actually pay for dinner now instead of my parents.

Now, I need to plan something hilariously great for Pa’s birthday as well! He wouldn’t let me buy his new shoes as he had invoked the chinese proverb of “if you let someone buy shoes for you, you let them walk away from you”. Which I think only applies to presents to friends? But whatever, I really want to get him something that he will really appreciate and use 🙂

The chit-chat session is tomorrow! Pa and I discussed various topics over dinner and the “tea party” (look at me, finding different synonyms for “interview” haha) was a huge part of it, mainly because I think he just wants to be there for me since I always don’t have that great self-confidence when it comes to these kinds of things. Honestly, I am not even nervous at all about tomorrow. Definitely will get a case of the nerves before the actual thing, but hopefully I will go into a calm zen mode like what happened with the other chitchat session haha I do genuinely want to get a place in there, but I guess I have to reconcile that notion that the most important thing is that I walk out of that room knowing I did my very best and I am content with whatever I had said and I don’t regret anything.

In a more sentimental facet, I guess everything I had worked for in A’Levels has brought me to this point? While yes, I had wanted to get straight As because no one puts themselves through such a prolonged period of physical and mental suffering to get a B –  but a huge part of it was to get the grades I needed to be offered interviews for law school. And the fact is that I have been offered a nice tea party session with some very intelligent people last week and also tomorrow. God knows how much I would have loved to have gone on that damn stage to shake xiaozhang’s hand, but I suppose I can be grateful that I screwed up in that econs case study paper in a weird round-about way. It was because I screwed up and it was because I know where I went wrong that I now know where I can go wrong and actively overcome it in more important scenarios in the future. It never really hit me that everything I had worked for in JC, I have now gotten. Just a really weird epiphany which I never really realised and considered before.

I guess I hope tomorrow will go well and I will be happy with whatever happens 🙂 Also damn excited because I’m finally getting my book tomorrow yaaaaaaaaaas *hands up emoji*

/cue gratious gifs and photos of the Sorted babies/

tumblr_o13et3RTQ01tmn5k6o2_r1_500

^ Double the good luck charms because I posted Ben’s photos before the lit paper and it eventually turned out fine HAHAHA and I posted Mike before History and it also turned out great so.

TWO BABIES!!

tumblr_inline_n99pvd0tsL1sbzd1o

^ Look at this man in his grandma cardigan and oh my god you beautiful human being. 

IMG_9188

^ AND FINALLY! My ultra good luck charm. ❤ ❤ ❤ Mike licking a lemon whilst the stem of a green pepper caresses his chin. A magnificent specimen.

So much has happened. And yet so little

April 13, 2016 § Leave a comment

Terribly, terribly excited for Friday.

Partially because of the interview (trying to be optimistic about the whole endeavour) and also because I finally get to meet up with the Carousell seller who is finally going to bestow upon me the lovely literary mess of words that is The Secret History by Donna Tartt!!!

tumblr_nt907hNHKq1tg0s94o5_400.png

^Not my edit (and sadly not the real cover of the book) 

I have heard a lot of good things about this book, and I did enjoy The Goldfinch a lot, which was Tartt’s latest novel, so I am hoping my expectations will not be for naught. The real travesty is that Kino doesn’t stock it and I would have to wait at least a week for them to get it shipped over from god knows where. Luckily, I found a brand new version of it on Carousell (the only one which hadn’t been read before) and for quite an affordable price as compared to if I had just bought it from Kino.

Plus, there seems to be quite a prolific following of the book on Tumblr (with really beautiful gif sets and minimalist edits) which really reinforces the book’s reputation as being a “cult classic” so I am really quite excited to read it over the weekend 😀

Honestly, this is why I need to keep working. I need to sustain my frankly unsustainable lifestyle of adult MRT fares, buying books, pop figures and eating gloriously overpriced food. In a way I feel really happy that I don’t need to be financially reliant on my parents for such things anymore and that I can now treat them to dinner and buy them presents for real.

Speaking of working, my contract with my current company was extended till the end of April (I was supposed to end today) because their replacement for me won’t come in till start of May. Through the power of friendship and connections, I am applying to work at the same place as Waves, so if I do get the job it will make lunching so much easier and hopefully I get to learn more stuff (and more money, let’s be real HAHA). But even if I don’t get it, I doubt I can – nor do I want – to stay on in my current company past April. Mainly because while the work in itself is quite slack and I am hardly stressed, I just want a change in environment and people. Even if the work I end up doing is the same, at least I am trying to push myself out of getting into a rut of comfort and familiarity.

Waves and I both agreed that coming out to work was kind of like “the adult version of JC”, except there were more adults, more expensive food, and the responsibility is (slightly) more real.

Movie Review and introspection?

April 9, 2016 § Leave a comment

tumblr_n26wpli1bW1tqflpgo2_500.gif

^ Dr Sexy. Gabe ❤ 

I love the name Gabriel, it’s the kind of name that I would name my son after. 

Body went into auto-recovery mode today and I woke up feeling pretty horrible. But I was much better than yesterday where I was just sneezing and blowing my nose non-stop in the office lel. I was so desperate that when I finished my own tissues (all three packs) I stole an entire wad of serviettes from the office pantry HAHAHA

Also had lunch and dinner plus watched Eddie the Eagle yesterday with the Waves. We are both Taron Egerton trash because he is a beautiful cinnamon bun that always ends up  in movies where he’s partnered with certified Dads (aka Colin Firth, Hugh Jackman etc) and it’s the most trashiest adorable thing ever. Anyway, it’s apparently an “indie” film, but it was produced by the same team that made Kingsman so the cinematography is amazing! It’s your usual feel-good underdog sports movie and will hit you right in the feels at the right moment.

tumblr_njy3s8jA8s1tmv07ro1_540

^certified Dad, Colin Firth

I love Taron’s acting diversity because with some actors, they tend to be cast in the same rut of character stereotype. For example, my top movie bae is Jessie Eisenberg but he is always cast as those twitchy neurotic-type geek boys. Taron seems to be branching out from his Kingsman role and transforming to the anti-thesis of Eggsy – the loveable underdog Eddie Edwards. However, not once during the movie did I think to myself, “hey, that’s Eggsy/Taron.” Taron became Eddie in his nose twitches, and his squinty-eye looks and his clumsy movement and I feel that reflects a really great acting diversity for him.

6-reasons-why-you-must-see-eddie-the-eagle-taron-egerton-as-eddie-the-eagle-838966tumblr_nj4164brQ01re6b50o1_500

As far as the morals of the story goes, I guess the main takeaway aside from the usual takeaways of “never giving up” etc, is that your greatest competitor is not with somebody else, but with yourself. One of my favourite moments of the movie was at the very end, where Eddie and Mattie (the reigning ski jump world champion who was decidedly very Finnish) were going up the 90m jump in the lift. And Mattie leans over and tells Eddie that they were like the “1 o’ clock and 11 o’ clock hands on a clock”. Technically, they were very different in terms of experience and skill level, but in terms of heart – they were of the same, trying to do the very best of their abilities to not let themselves down. Although it is difficult, I suppose we need to realise that we are all running our own races and while comparison stings like a bitch, we need to make peace with our own improvements and our own individual races.

“The most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.”

Which brings me on to a slightly related segway of that the NUS interview letter came in yesterday! I was slightly annoyed that we still had another form to fill out and it is pretty much is an exact replica of the online submission application – except we have to write it down on the new form. Though I am not complaining about receiving the interview offer! Really, really thankful and grateful for the opportunity that is given to me and I just want to do my very, very best and not kick myself up about it afterwards.

I guess the key point is not to idolise a certain law school? I certainly did that with oXf0Rd because of the brand name it connotes to our brand-concious society. It’s an unnerving fact, but the thing is that schools do connote a certain branding, much like corporations. I guess the main thing is to not look so much at the “branding” of the school (e.g “Asia’s top law skool” (u know who u r) – but whether the teaching/learning/culture style of the school will fit you. At the same time, due to the presence of imperfect information, I don’t think it is fair to judge a certain school based on hearsay or whatever. What works for one person may not work for another individual, to simply cast aside a certain school because of the experience of one individual experience would be a discredit to not only the institution but also yourself.

That is not to say I don’t have my preferences – I do, but I guess I am trying to remain really neutral and objective about both these schools. After all, getting into law school is only the very first step to a really long journey in front of you – leave the stressing for when you are actually make it in.

Did not get the B&W memo

April 7, 2016 § Leave a comment

tumblr_o0bl74urX11teqe4eo1_500.gif

Sammy, my baby boy ❤ ❤ ❤

Interview was today! Mildly horrified because when I walked into the registration room literally 90% of the people were wearing court attire, and I was wearing my usual office clothing so I stood out like a sore thumb colour wise.

Was super lucky to have gotten in the same interview group as Audrey (PW groupmates and now interview group mates haha) so I think that made me a bit less nervous? I had the typical chest-clenching anxiety and the tingly nervous exhilaration while waiting, but when we went in and actually sat down, the nerves kind of went away because the interviewers weren’t mean or anything like that.

Before that, Audrey and I were wishing how we won’t get the “current affairs room”, because there were like 4-5 different rooms with different pairs of interviewers each and I had this theory that some interviewers would ask the really weird abstract questions, while others went with the more conventional route of current affairs. As mentioned before, I preferred the abstract questions but fate decided it was not to be and we had the current affairs question after all HAHAHA

However, thankfully it wasn’t that bad because it was on the David Ong affair which was the MP was found out to have had the affair and he resigned from office, much like a lot of previous philandering MPs before him who were eventually caught out. The interview was based around the usual GP question of whether somebody’s private life (and private moral failings) should have an effect on how he performed as a public servant.

Thankfully, I had discussed this with my dad before and I already had thought about this issue because I found it striking how this was totally the opposite in the likes of France where their president, President Hollande, is a serious philandering frenchboi and he has had countless of (very public) affairs, yet his approval ratings are still quite high and the French people seems to have taken this very liberalised view of “We don’t care who or how many women he fucks, as long as he doesn’t fuck the country.”

So I told them that aside from the usual threshold tests we have to do (e.g the role of a MP vs the role of a janitor etc)  – which Audrey talked about – an important consideration is the culture in which the political system is in. Should we consider French people more morally dubious than Singaporeans? I don’t think so. Ultimately, I think that since Singapore is still operating under the asian system of respecting family values, it would be almost impossible to have a person who had broken this unspoken moral expectation to remain in the public eye.

Then they mentioned how the President was actually vetted by a special “morality committee” before he can be a candidate for president, and one of the expectations of the President was for him to be of a upright, and fundamentally morally clean individual. They then branched out to ask if this special committee should also be extended to MPs as well?

All three of us said no, mainly because morality is very subjective and I think since MPs are voted in by the people, I have confidence that people want to vote in individuals who share the same belief and value systems as they do. They want a representative that encapsulates and reflects their political and moral standpoints. So the people’s choice already acts as a “filtration” to weed out less than desirable people, again coming back to the argument that Singaporeans are still led by family-based asian values. A specialised committee would probably be redundant and be slightly insidious as the citizens may perceive it as a way for the government  (or whoever is running this committee) to have ulterior motives in clearing out certain candidates under the pretense of less than clean moral consciouses.

Wish I could have expressed my thoughts a bit more clearly, but I am thankful for the question we got. YH’s group got one on the impact of the American elections on the TPP, which would have been utterly disastrous if I had gotten that because I don’t know anything about the TPP – except for a hastily read article on Lee Hsien Loong’s comments to the Wall Street Journal. (I have a very strong feeling it was LHL’s WSJ’s comments that sparked this question.)

Anyway, interview was over really fast and I felt a bit sad it was over so quickly (yes, very ironic I know) I hope I did okay… These kinds of things a bit hard to tell, because you may think you did horridly, but in the end they like you, or you think you did well and in the end that may not be the case. Meh.

48572-john-green-Im-not-this-bad-whe-GHbt

Where Am I?

You are currently viewing the archives for April, 2016 at Chasing the Ivory Tower.