Nov 28, 2011

Twelve hours from now, twelve years of education

will come to a conclusion.

Farewell, English Language & Linguistics. I'll miss studying Singlish (optional marking for plurality, optional tense marking, omission of articles and 'be', the passive 'kena', the perfective 'already', discourse particles at the end of sentences...) and Afro-American Vernacular English (invariant form of 'be', [d] voiced stop in place of initial [ð], non-standard subject-verb agreement) (oh the opacity of the language of linguistics with all its technical jargon) and my favourite, Inglan Is A Bitch. (CHECK OUT THE LYRICS. IT'S ENGLISH. REALLY.) Descriptivism desrciptivism. And watching a video about the study of swearing in British schools. And Ted & Ralph.

95% of New Zealanders are monolingual in English. China introduced compulsory English lessons for all students starting from third grade, but a few poorly-resourced, mostly rural schools were exempted. David Deterding has written extensively on the various linguistic features of Singlish. (poor guy.) BBC introduced an audio- and SMS-based English learning program called Janala in Bangladesh at just 4 US cents per lesson to help reduce inequality and help make up for the shortage of English teachers. South Korean parents fight to get their children places in English-speaking kindergarten centres even though they cost twice as much, and wealthy parents send their children overseas to learn English. (Seokhoon, Hyun and Park, HAHAHA)

Crap why am I online?

Nov 26, 2011


In love

I'm not the person I know myself to be. I am a lonely person with love's happiness in my head, who hopes, dreams - that's what keeps me alive. That longing and the pain becomes a part of me, such that when the dream comes true - warped still with other forms of pain, but love nonetheless - it doesn't feel real, just feels like another one of my dreams. That's why I always say it feels unreal.
So why should I feel sad when it goes away? It was just a dream afterall; we all have to wake up someday, remember who we really are. It doesn't feel like anything more than a fantasy, too; I tell myself a lot that I was so lucky it ever happened to begin with, and even that was too unreal, too dreamlike - so in line with my hopes that it couldn't be real, couldn't ever feel like the life I was entitled to live.

Yet, of course, maybe it was, since it was (and is, and will continue to be) so riddled with pain. Most relationships have honeymoon periods and they're "honeymoons" because they're sweet, amazing, worry-free...not laden with tears and doubts and "I really think you'll get tired of me someday"s and "my eyes are too red to go out"s and apologies. That's not a honeymoon, so I guess it's reality. So even when my hopes from the world of fantasy come into reality the pain is the price I have to pay.

Nov 25, 2011

Of all the things to misplace


When someone brings up an old blog post of mine I realise I NEED TO FIND A WAY TO DELETE THEM OR SOMETHING NOW. SUPER EMBARRASSING

Nov 24, 2011

Random: The Impact of Fairy-Tale Language

The stereotypes. Only beautiful princesses / damsels have brave handsome men who would die for them; a witch is an unattractive woman in black with a protruding chin, ugly nose and a huge pot of boiling stuff; damsels in distress are attractive; stepmothers are wicked.

Even now, everytime I see/hear the word "stepmother" I think it weird that they use a word associated with evil before I realise it never really had a real negative connotation attached to it, it's just what we were fed with in fairytales as a child, and things ingrained into you as a child with repetition and emotional attachment (who doesn't love fairytales?) can and do spill over into teenagehood and adult life as subconscious thoughts / associations.

Nov 22, 2011

When the time comes,

you'll say, it's over, so it can begin. You'll bring me close, tight; I won't have the strength to reciprocate the tightness, and your unspoken words will wrap around my heart like sweet iron bars, like a silver-coated prison cell, that will cue tears and pain, the pain of being chained again. Sometimes I wish I never gave my heart up because it never made me feel free, only more imprisoned. You say loosen those chains, let yourself run freer, but you don't understand. I am either bound by tough metal with no ability to loosen itself, or not bound at all. There's no in-between. A lot of times I wish I had a definite answer. Either bring me back to safe ground, or cut the thread and let me fall so that I can heal. It sucks to be left hanging by a worn-out thread, so breakable, yet not fully broken yet, not just yet, just left willing for the fall, the end of this suspense.

You'll say don't cry any more, there's no need to cry any more. It's over. It began, it ended, now it's over so it can begin again. But it never ended, so it isn't a new beginning - just a prolonging. And I'll cry for what has already begun and ended a couple thousand times in my heart, the times you didn't notice; I'll cry for the many more beginnings and endings to come, for my inability to loosen the chains - or free myself ever again, because that very day I'd have fastened the locks back on.

guitar love

he makes it so beautiful, how can anything be so beautiful

Jerry can't make it for his concert on 3 Dec so he gave me his ticket!!!!!!!! I'll be leaving the auditorium in tears.

Wow. Sungha's channel is the most subscribed of all time in Korea. SM Entertainment comes after him, then 2NE1, then YG Entertainment, then Big Bang, then SM Town (Wait isn't that the same as SM Entertainment?). Wow, Sungha's subscription numbers beat them all.

Nov 11, 2011

It's sad to know I'll never be a scientist,

getting to study the stars, huge, beautiful, thousands of light years away - or the tiniest of cells, where life is being formed, how they magically divide to multiply, life exposed and raw.

I've always been really fascinated by astronomy; I remember being nine and playing with that NASA space shuttle model we had at home, complete with seats and tiny astronauts, watching documentaries about space exploration and lift-offs and imagining myself being one of the people in that dark room with countless computers, all working frantically to make sure everything was working fine. Being an astronomer was a cool dream, until I got to secondary school and realised math and physics were the two things I couldn't do to save my life.

Biology was something I loved throughout my schooling life. My primary school held a life sciences workshop where I got to cut up a squid with a partner (Zu Hui or Evelyn?) - and we found a fish inside its stomach! Tried to dissect that too but it was too...digested. We also cracked open eggs that had chicks inside them and were about to hatch. Felt quite sad that we were wasting the life of a cute chick just like that. You could see something in the cup of blood move -that was its heartbeat. And the teacher dissected a frog - I remember the intestines and the liver and the heart, all of different colours. And its heartbeat began to slow down. In secondary school we had a sheep's heart and my teacher was encouraging us to put our fingers down the four blood vessels to see where they'd end up.

I remember looking into a microscope at plant cells in one of the first few lessons in Sec 3. This was what we had been drawing in diagrams, finally coming to life. I remember the green chloroplasts moving around in the cytoplasm, busily busily, like there was somewhere to rush to, something to do. It was fascinating.

Schools kill biology when it becomes dead, diagrams and mega-long terms, black ink on white paper. Biology is the study of life. I really wanted to do it in JC but replaced it with Math/Econs instead. Oh why. Why.

Science fascinates me. Biology fascinates me. You're working with life. Living things, crawling on your skin or inside you or just beginning to form. It's this miracle you see every day. From plants to viruses to your average human, we're all these crazy wired-up bodies of tiny stuff that, by the grace of God, continue to function perfectly despite its intricacies day after day. And we're all linked by a common instinct: to survive.


The whole ecosystem, or the whole world with its billions of life-forms and how everything is so intricately linked, is just amazing. A wonderful creation and a web of chains we'll never fully understand - because we're also destroying it.

It's too bad I wasn't really made for math, and therefore, science. I'll never get to work with amazing faraway bodies of unimaginable mass and power, or tiny things in your blood that, just like us, are alive. I'll never get to study the behaviour of penguins or the emotions of elephants. Discovery Channel documentaries will be the closest I'll ever get to the beauty of life and the wonder of things beyond. My mum did Bio and Chem in university and once worked in Science Park II, where she worked with chemicals "like a real scientist"; my dad's a really devoted Physics teacher. Sometimes I wish I could work with the life sciences and just... marvel at the way we do all we can to survive, marvel at how animals feel, too - we really aren't that different, are we?

"A 3 year old leopard cuddles a baby baboon whose mother she has just killed."

The study of life.

Nov 8, 2011

One down

For our ELL adaptive writing section we were supposed to write a story about a visit to the dentist, to be read by children under the age of 10. Had fun doing it, did it in fifteen minutes which made up for the two hours I spent on Section A (because forty-five minutes into the paper I hadn't even finished my first point about contact, and at the 1.5-hour mark I was still at my second point about power. Fatal!!). If I were my ten-year-old self reading my adaptive text, though, I'd probably laugh at it - or be disgusted at how lowly they think of ten-year-olds - and then write something like 'oral hygiene is important because nobody wants to kiss a girl with bad breath'. Ah, the ten-year-old me.

Was just reading the GP Package on Education since tomorrow's the GP paper and if I don't get an A I'm gonna bash myself up for not bothering to memorize examples and all. There was this one article about the failures of the current Asian education system, on how its 'rote-based curricula and examcentric systems' aren't suitable for the new and challenging information economy and whatever, and how East Asian students top worldwide academic tests but retain the information for the least amount of time because they believe there is little utility in what they've learnt in classrooms. And how Asian students were placed first in their understanding of Math and Science but also scored second lowest in their enjoyment of these subjects. And how the failures of the current Asian system of education has led to high dropout and suicide rates especially in Japan, and even parents seeking to put their children in a Western-style education with less information-cramming and more creativity-infusing instead.

And I'm just like, dang, this is so not the thing to read on Day One of my A Levels.

And right now I'm blogging.