Monday, June 15, 2009

blog post? not quite....

i NEED to start blogging again.... too many things happening, time flying by too fast.... i dont want this year to go by without making some record of it......

this week theres no lab experiment, apparently the sensei in charge of the current experiment (biophysics) went off to hawaii with his whole lab staff for a 'conference'.... so suddenly theres like a huge block of free time opened up in the afternoons. should b able 2 catch up on sum of those studying, n completing other tasks. well, theoretically at least.....

need to find a reason to change my password..... this one's been around far too long.....

well mebbe i'll find some time to write a proper post tmr in the library.... thats where i expect to spend this week' afternoons as opposed to the lab. tho the idea of coming straight home after morning classes to spend a warm, sunny afternoon in my room, doesnt sound so bad..... NO! i must persevere, i MUST get things done while theres time! lol

there wont b any shortage of 'warm, sunny afternoons' when mid-summer rolls along by.... even tho i'll b spending 3-4 days a week at sch working on that iGEM project...

Sunday, April 05, 2009

sch starts tml....

...... n i havent done a single thing in preparation for it. in fact, i dun even know wat im supposed 2 prepare..... dun hv the books list or anything yet. n there were sum discrepancies between my syllabus guidebook n the classes schedule published on engineering fac website so i cant even plan my classes n decide wat to take etc. guess im going to sch empty-handed n clueless tml.

well, its been a good spring holidays all in all, compared wif the last few..... last year's summer hols were boring; winter hols were terrible. this time arnd at least i managed 2 go sum places, meet up wif frens (sum of which i havent seen in 2 years or more), n had some fun around osaka... primarily at karaoke... heheh. but still i cant consider these hols completely satisfactory. there were things i planned to do but couldnt make time for, such as: learning korean, learning sum new piano pieces, trying out some cooking/baking experiments, exploring the surrounding areas by bike, going for morning jogs n nightime walks, blogging more, sorting thru n uploading my pics..... the list goes on n on. ive been back frm australia for nearly 2 weeks now, but it still feels like juz yesterday.... simply cuz i didnt do anything noteworthy during these 2 weeks n they juz flew by.

ah yeah, abt the australia trip, hv 2 blog bout it sumtime.... but meanwhile check out d pics on facebook! :P

well, in the last 2 or 3 days temperature's gone up slightly (tho i feel the cold even more for sum reason).... marking the end of winter finally. its not without a twinge of emotion dat i see march roll by. march is always the month of farewells n partings... starting frm the time in gaidai when i parted ways wif my tokyo frens n came 2 osaka.... n every year during march there would b some frens leaving, whether going home to their countries or to continue studies elsewhere in japan. theres even a feeling of regret at winter making its retreat n giving way to spring, cuz it marks the end of the cold days which i love so much.

in japan there r many 'new year's. firstly of course theres the 1st of january new year, which in my opinion is nothing more than a formality brought about by the calendar system. then theres the chinese new year, which always reminds me of home n reunion dinner n new year cookies n fireworks. but cny almost always falls in the middle of exam period, n its not celebrated by most ppl here so i end up hardly noticing it.

some ppl say 'have a good year ahead!' in addition to the standard 'happy birthday' greetings. so i guess each person's birthday marks a personal kind of new year too. but nothing changes during the birthday except that ur formally one year older. in that sense that new year is kind of meaningless too.

so actually the new year thats most 'real' to me is the beginning of the school year in early april. its the time when u feel a difference in the air.... winter going out, spring coming in, annoying sakura blossoming everywhere, u start feeling apprehensive about the study-laden year ahead. its the time for a fresh start, for taking another go at the year; its the best time to be making 'new year resolutions', imho, than either new years day, cny or birthday.

so wat will my resolutions be? ive got some idea but wont be putting them down here yet. guess i'll think them over later b4 sleeping.

anyway, time to end this rambling....

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

spring holidays

WOW! time passes so fast. without realizing it its been almost 2 months since the last post..... in that space of time 2nd year semester-end exams came n went, i went to tokyo for a well-deserved (?) vacation, n then flew to australia for ANOTHER well-deserved vacation wif my family. n now here i am at the end of the holidays, as usual thinking back n asking myself: have i made good use of my holidays? hv i done all the things i wanted to, so that i wud b ready to start the new sch year well rested, with all enthusiasm n no regrets?

unfortunately as always the answer is no.... but thats a matter for another post. here i'll juz attempt to summarize briefly what ive been up to during the hols..... no easy task, considering im having trouble remembering things that happened merely 2 weeks, let alone 2 months ago.

so exams came n went. as stated in my last post, my exam performance was NOT good.... at least in my opinion. so it was a surprise when results came out n i found that i did MUCH better than the last semester. no C's, n more importantly no F's.... wont tell u the rest of my results but number of S's n A's reached an unprececdented high (or conversely, number of B's an unprecedented low... heh). i'll chalk that up to big contributions frm attendance marks n mid-sem tests tho, cuz i certainly did NOT do well during the semester final. n its funny how my exam results r always much better in the second semesters, mebbe its becuz 1st sem exams r around the height of summer when i cant study or even sleep properly.

so right after that..... went to karaoke once or twice.... resumed my daily training routine for a while (had to break that off when i went on vacation tho) n oh yeah, there was another food party, i think on the day right b4 we left for tokyo. i tried making roti canai n sum chickpeas curry. the curry turned out fine n was in fact praised by a few.... but the roti canai became.... pancakes? still it was ok tho, the hungry ppl devoured everything i made, so i consider my cooking a success ^^

anyway sumtime around end of feb i went to tokyo, with han yee tagging along. after meeting up wif gaidai frens in tokyo we left for nikko, which was our travel destination.... an ulu-ulu place about 2.5 hrs train ride frm the city, supposedly famous for unesco world heritage designated temples n shrines, n beautiful waterfalls which unfortunately we did not get to see. we did purchase a combination pass to visit 5 of the shrines, but as usual each seemed no different from the other, tho rushanti seemed to find them quite interesting. it started snowing shortly after we arrived n later that evening we checked the weather n discovered that we had been plodding around in -3 degree cold! dat was my 1st experience actually being outside during a full-scale snowfall.... cant say if it was good or bad, but i wud certainly do it again :P

anyway, we spent 3 days 2 nights in that area all in all. on the 2nd day we went to tobu world which was basically a big compound wif miniatures of famous buildings from all over the world. 3rd day was spent in edomura (edo village), a place where employees dress up as edo-period peasants, samurai, nobles, u get the picture. the ninja show wasnt bad, the rest were quite boring. oh n the ninja house was fun... using a combination of optical illusions n sloping floors, walls n ceilings, it induces major headache n dizziness in anyone daring to step in. anyway check out the pics for more info, running out of time here hehe.

the rest of my time in tokyo was spent rather uneventfully, except during the last day where i went to gaidai in the morning to meet ex-teachers n this year's kohai, then rushed to shinjuku for karaoke wif the gaidai gang, n had a huge sumptious cake buffet at night. this restaurant, called Bitter Sweet, was relly good... delicious pasta (which i regret eating too much of), variety of grilled meats n veggies u can order without limit, crepe n pancake bar where u can specify ur own toppings n fillings, n a coffee machine with all the usual suspects like americano, cappucino, latte etc.

ok hv 2 get ready 2 go out, will b blogging about my australia trip in the next post...

sigh..... watever happened 2 'i will blog regularly'? shud hv blogged a little bit at a time right after each event, when memories r still fresh instead of letting them pile up like this >.<

anyway, pics r upcoming in facebook, as soon as i manage to sort everything out (n get time to upload them) so stay tuned!

p.s. just for the record, we had a relli persistent winter last/this year..... nightime temperatures were still reaching 1 or 0 degrees until a few days ago. if only it would last, sigh...

p.s.s. will hopefully b writing another post soon on some of my thoughts on the closing of the year.... it hasnt been a very good year in sum ways, n i shud look thru it n see wat went wrong. juz a reminder to self.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

bad start

yesterday was the first 'real' exam day - 3 subjects. n it turned out.... bad.

to cut a long story short (n i hv to do that cuz there r 2 papers coming up tml, one of which i ve hardly studied for), at some point my mind decided it cudnt take anymore n stopped absorbing information well before i finished clearing my subjects. its like hitting a wall suddenly - your mind juz wanders no matter how hard u try to concentrate. so i was forcing myself to go on for the last 1 or 2 days n yesterday, well, i guess i burnt out.

the papers were not THAT hard, but i juz couldnt think clearly enuf to work my way thru all but the most elementary ones. like the one in bioorganic chem about Ru5P carbon fixation, i didnt memorize the exact mechanism but shud hv been able 2 work it out wif all the hints given in the paper, but sumhow i juz went round in circles n cudnt focus properly to do it. n i kicked myself afterwards to find that one wrong step messed up my whole answer. n there was another reaction mechanism problem which i cudnt work out by trial-n-error cuz i forgot wat the substrate's structure was like.

u noe that shitty feeling u hv when u KNOW a complicated question is actually very easy, but u juz cant focus well enuf to sort thru all the elements? like calculation questions involving many variables... there was one in biophysics that involved a long tedious calculation but if i had the presence of mind to cancel out certain variables i wudnt hv wasted so much time on the relatively straightforward calculation. anyway, i had that several times yesterday n felt like killing ppl when i went thru those questions again this morning n saw juz how easy they were (n juz how wrong my answers were yesterday cuz i wasnt thinking right).

n there was that stupid open book exam for elementary electrical engineering. the teacher's teaching was shit, but i KNEW i worked thru one of the questions b4 by myself, n there was one on operation-amplifiers that sumhow looked familiar (i think we did sumting similar in high sch). n anyway it was an open book exam so i shud hv been able to refer n work out the problems myself but guess what? i didnt bring the textbook. i was gonna depend on the sensei's shitty notes but found that my fogged state of mind didnt allow me to sort thru all the garbage to understand his diagrams.

at lunchtime i spilt miso soup on my jacket n jeans cuz i wasnt concentrating on drinking from the bowl. ok, i duno y exactly i managed to spill half a bowl of soup on myself when i wasnt on a moving vehicle, standing, talking to ppl or anything. its juz one of those days, u noe?

lately (since sunday or so) ive been having difficulty speaking coherently. my sentences tend to break up abruptly while i grope for words, n my articulation has become worse somehow. unlike previous bouts of 'incommunicabilty', this wasnt caused by extended lack of interaction wif ppl, cuz ive been hanging out wif other engineering ppl at the library (which has become our 2nd home). probably another side effect of mental overload.

after this exam im gonna check if theres a medical cause for this poor memory n bad mental stamina of mine. i dont see my frens turning into incoherent, absent-minded, brain-fogged idiots after extended periods of studying. a cursory search online has turned up magnesium deficiency as one of the possible culprits (some other symptoms fit, too). in any case, time to return to the swotting.............

Friday, January 16, 2009

spontaneous bleeding...???!!

dunno wat we call this condition so i juz labelled it 'spontaenous bleeding'

happened last nite after going out 2 meet a bunch of frens (one of them apparently wanted 2 go karaoke so much he borrowed everyone else's phones n was spamming calls at me)..... unwisely i neglected 2 wear gloves in the -1 degree cold even tho it was only a short period. n when i got home n tried 2 play dota suddenly the mouse felt sticky under my middle finger n it turned out dat thick, sticky blood was oozing out frm the side near the nail. n my toe followed soon, blood welled out of the crease at the joint (see pic) after i took a shower.

wtf is happening?? cold, dryness, over-eating causing my internal volume to swell n strain the skin to bursting point? no time 2 ponder on it but hope its not gonna b a recurring thing....
neways, going 2 sch 2 eat (n use up my surplus meal coupons) then study d....