Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Times I Called Home From College

By Scott Greenberg
in Chicken Soup of the Soul

When I got off the plane
When I met my roommate
When I had to select a long-distance phone company
When I wanted my stereo sent to me
When I fought with my roommate
When I needed money
When I needed to know how to make mashed potatoes
When I put liquid dish soap in the dishwasher
When I wanted to know how to get soy sauce out of rayon
When I got in a car accident
When I failed a test
When I met a special girl
When I lost a special girl
When I got lonely
When I got a kitten
When I got fleas
When I didn't want to study
When I needed money
When they sent me a care package
When I got a good grade
When I got published in the school newspaper
When it was my mom's birthday
When it was my birthday
When I needed help moving out of the dorms
When I changed majors
When I changed majors again
When we won the big game
When we went to war in the Gulf
When there were riots
When I gave up meat
When I wanted my parents to give up meat
When I needed money
When I got the flu
When my parents had an anniversary
When Grandpa died
When there was an earthquake
When I met someone famous
When I needed money
When I got a night job
When I needed advice
When a friend from high school got cancer
When I felt no one understood
When I wanted a ticket home
When I won an award
When I needed a relative's address
When I ran out of stamps
When I wanted some homemade cookies
When I needed money
When I just wanted to tell them I loved them


How Sinful Am I?

Your Deadly Sins

Envy: 80%
Gluttony: 40%
Wrath: 40%
Greed: 20%
Pride: 20%
Sloth: 20%
Lust: 0%
Chance You'll Go to Hell: 31%
You will die in a duel.


The Keys to My Heart

The Keys to Your Heart

You are attracted to those who are unbridled, untrammeled, and free.
In love, you feel the most alive when things are straight-forward, and you're told that you're loved.
You'd like to your lover to think you are loyal and faithful... that you'll never change.
You would be forced to break up with someone who was emotional, moody, and difficult to please.
Your ideal relationship is lasting. You want a relationship that looks to the future... one you can grow with.
Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.
You think of marriage as something that will confine you. You are afraid of marriage.
In this moment, you think of love as commitment. Love only works when both people are totally devoted.


Monday, May 30, 2005

Exam Hiatus

There are 6 days left to exam and now I have 10 more weeks of lectures to cover!! I can't help but to stop my daily activities such as MSN-ning, ReComming and Blogging. I will be taking 4 papers in a span of 5 days, from June 6 to 10. The 4 papers are Principles of Biomedical Science, Problem Based Learning, Practical and Health Practice respectively. Besides, on June 14, I will have a first-aid test, failing which would warrant suspension until I pass. So, it would probably mean a hiatus from this blog until the 15th, see ya friends!

By the way, it's a bit too late but I would like to wish my friends who are taking A-Level papers tomorrow all the best and may the force be with you... Especially to Stanley and Jason, I know both of you have been toiling away days and nights just to stand up for this challenge, so go for it with your shoned knowledge and armoured confidence, I have faith in you!! I will be here praying for your success in the exams, holding dear to the adage that "you shall reap what you sow"!


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Day of Three's

It's already three months since I came to Melbourne. Quiet, hushed, unuttered. Nobody remembers it as they dwell deep in the realm of books, preparing for the impending Judgement day. No more barbeque, Chinatown or birthday party. Study.

Three months in Melbourne, three weeks to go from the third holidays in 2005, three days before the coming weekend, three more past year papers to be done, three new bottles of carbonated drinks.

It's three today.


Saturday, May 21, 2005

Ups and Downs

Growing up as a little innocent child, all my life people have always been telling me, life is not a bed of roses, there must be ups and downs that make your life a ride of joy. I have always taken this with a little bit more than a pinch of salt, I don't doubt it but somehow its real implication has just never dawned upon me. You know... eluding the real life in a real world.

Everything was alright until a week like this. It seemed to me that every single piece of life I have painstakingly assembled in Melbourne came tumbling down on me in a few days. An event after another, a mediocre performance in a medical interview coupled with an unfathomable friendship crisis, life in Melbourne has never been more cruel to me. As if everything is not stressful enough, as a committee of International Medical Students' Society, Jian Wey and I were told to design a poster for a pancake lunch, in one day's time! Luckily we have been working hand-in-hand and we managed to struggle through the mammoth task of first graphics design in our lives. I was so lucky to have him as a partner, at least I didn't give way to this final strike of the grim life. Thanks a lot my pal. You wouldn't know how appreciated your help was.

This is the final poster we made for the pancake event. Luckily the time that we dawdled on photoshop editing throughout the year in Shah Alam, has finally paid off in this job. Scanning the logo of the sponsors, making a white background transparent, adjusting the contrast and the colour, all these jobs would have been impossible without the mentoring of the great photoshop guru Cheok Quen. Today I come to learn that not everything we do in our free time sum up to nothing. We shall always reap what we sow, and the seeds that people tend to overlook is not always a bad one. It does pay off.

Rambling in a blog is not a good means of catharsis, neither is languishing in bad thoughts... I shall remain steadfast on my belief and stand strong. I don't want to wake up everyday feeling distraught by an unsolved puzzle.

And my friend, talk to me. You can't take that away from me - my sincerity.



This is an article I read from recom.org, here I share with everyone...








“…我! …有。”他吞吞吐吐地回答了她。























As iQing in ReCom said, this article should be put in TAK NAK campaign (anti-smoking campaign) in Malaysia.


Sunday, May 15, 2005



墨尔本的朝旭,我不曾看过,因为我不曾欢愉地迎接白天。总是徘徊在夜里孤单地享受着一个人的狂欢, 一个人的我。也许我早已习惯在夜里沉醉在歌曲里的童话,也许我又在那几首最爱的经典歌曲中,细细体会那种蕴绕不去的余味,静静地随歌声飘荡。夜,是我的疆土。



Tuesday, May 10, 2005

[recom.org] Why I Choose Medicine

Babikia wrote:

Top students want to be doctors, not so top students also want to be docs, really bad students also want to be docs. The nightmare is that all of them, including the really idiotic ones can become docs someway or another. The nightmare worsens as the number of not-so-smart but $$ minded docs exceeds the nearly extinct smart with a heart of gold ones.

Tab wrote:
also, how can you justify the fact that someone is 'not so smart'? Can you point to a person and say, "hey, your SPM/ STPM result is crap... you're not cut out to be a doctor!"?
Can you point to a high achiever in exams and say that 'oh look, that student is bound to be a good doctor!"?
The fact is that we won't know who will make a good doctor UNTIL that person finally graduates from med school and becomes a real, bona fide doctor. It is then, and only then, that one is able to judge whether or not that individual is really competent and cut out to be a doctor.

I rest my case.

Babikia wrote:
That's how many msians are. Judging everyone by their academic results. You've just elaborated a typical msian with all the typical elements: exam results, medicine. Damn, you guys are fun. But I'm still gonna hack on all you future docs. One day, going to med school will be like going to high school. Anyone can get a medical education.

I agree with your point that Malaysian and most Asian country society has a biased emphasis on academic result and a neglection of other human qualities. And also, many parents indeed exerted pressure on their children towards becoming doctors so that they have something to boast of. Uncomfortable, but it is the truth.

But I don't get the point you keep on "hacking on all future doctors". Now I tell you:

I wanted to become a doctor because I derive great pleasure from being able to help others (ask those who know me personally in ReCom if you don't believe it). Just being able to see a doctor joining the tendons in a crushed finger and re-enabling the finger movement, gives me sheer thrill and excitement with a magnitude of more than the one you can derive from rambling around in an online forum. You feel happy when your patient recovers; you feel gratified when your patient looks at you with a grateful glance; even when your patient failed to recover or even died, you know that if there had been a chance for her, you were there to give her that chance. You know, talk about job satisfaction, cliche but it's true. Last but not least, the "taboo" - I want to earn money, a good amount of them to ensure a good life quality for my future family.

In my secondary school years, I obtained a fairly good result and I was involved in quite some array of extracurricular activities. Today, here I am, a first year medical student in Melbourne University, fresh and naive. It's only the tenth week of my course today, but I have already had some idea of life as a medical student. Stark picture? A bit grey, but not really stark. Studying medicine indeed involves a lot of memorisation and I totally agree with the saying that you don't need a rocket scientist brain to study medicine. You need to be astute, professional, disciplined, empathic, well-resourced, endowed with fairly good memory etc; but I can assure you, intelligence is not a prerequisite.

Let's go back to life as a medical student... Take an example, embryology, the subject I am studying now. Embryology is challenging and confusing, it takes ages for me to read, let alone understand and remember. But you know, it amazes me, it's something I want to know more about and have great interest in. It's something I like. How the zygote transformed from two layers to three layers, how 3 layers of cells fold into the shape of a fetus in the womb, they are all things that captivate my imagination whenever I read it and put myself in the embryo's shoes (weird expression huh?). I know it might be hard for me to do well or score in the exam, but the crux of the matter is, at the end of the day, I knew I enjoyed learning. That's it.

If everything turns out fine for me, I will be a GP in 5 years time. Yes, if you ask me, I can definitely foresee that the life as a doctor is going to be stressful and strenuous. Although I know the immense magnitude of the work pressure, the peril of the hospital environment and the sacrifice of the family and social life I have to make, but I am sure it's a trade-off I have chosen with a right frame of mind. I want to be an excellent doctor, someone who can make a difference in people's lives. I can come home dog-tired physically but I want my psyche to be contentful of what I have done everyday. With my good work, I want to be repaid with some handsome but well-deserved income because I know that my family deserve nothing but the best. Of course I know money is not everything in this world; but everything else being equal, money certainly helps you attain a better quality of life.

I hope that I can live my life to the fullest. Period.

And now, hack on me.


Sunday, May 08, 2005

[recom.org] What Makes A Top Student

On the other day I was IM-ing with another recommer and his words enlightened my perspective on the definition of top students, and what top students should do. He is a top student for sure, but his humility of remaining anonymous and low-key in recom has impressed me even more.

Today, Malaysia has become such a society that whenever we come and think of the word "top student", our minds conjure up an image of the guy / girl with the longest string of 1A in their exam slips. Go ask the aunty at the groceries shop, our parents, our peers, our teachers, our principals, or even ourselves, most probably we would all hear the same answer.

The problem with this perception is, they are only the top-scorers, not necessarily the top students; and they are not the only role model of an excellent student. In the more-A1-means-better-student environment we have here, the only thing we are going to cultivate is one-dimensional and parochial outlook, kiasuim, "scheme-expert-ism", and the list goes on. Ask top-scorers to write an essay on an issue, and you will see. Many of the top scorers would give you a piece of writing with columnist standard, if it's covered in the tuition or in the school; any other issues, you will see them lamenting about the difficulty and their writing turn out superficial with immature points showing their inadequate exposure to the real world.

String of A1's is not the only thing a student can achieve, and is certainly not the only prerequisite of a generation which will become the pillar of Malaysia in 20 years time.

And the issue we have today, is that with those excessive attention on the quantity of A1 and total neglection on the other good qualities in students, our education system is going no where but towards becoming an A1-generating machine.

Edit: Do notice that I qualified all my points with the word "many", not "all". Of course there are top-scorers who are indeed top students in its real sense as well, but we still see a lot of students who know to study brilliantly but achieve excellence in barely any other qualities.


Wednesday, May 04, 2005

[recom.org] Rote Memorisation

In my opinion, repetition does work but it only applies for short-term memory. You can rote memorise a chapter for your monthly test, but by the time you have your final exam 90% of what you have memorised would probably have vanished into the thin air, and you will end up memorising everything again.

I agree with the posts above that we should employ strategies which suit us best. If you are better at "auditory memory" then go for chanting, singing or listening attentively at class; if you are visually orientated then draw your own flowchart and familiarise yourself with it. In all cases, especially for history, let yourself be a part of the story, imagine that you are one of the characters of the story. Think how he thinks, know why he did the things he had done, empathize what it was like when World War erupted... it does help a lot.

Talking about keywords... you can hate it, swear it, curse it or swallow it, but at the end of the day, they are the things that earn you marks. I personally hate rote memorisation of keywords too, but nevertheless, I still do memorise them.

One of the strategies that makes keyword easier to memorise is well-thought mnemonics. Mnemonics are words, rhymes, story, or sentences that make it easier for us to memorise keywords or story sequences. Now that I am taking medicine course, I realized that mnemonic is indeed one of the most important strategies of improving your studies. There is even a website dedicated to the mnemonics of medicine-related stuff.

To give you some ideas of how mnemonics work, here are some of my favourites: * sorry if my examples are mostly about reproductive system, it just happens that this is my current topic Twisted Evil *
Fact: The pathway of a sperm in male reproductive system is from Seminiferous Tubules to Epididymis to Vas deferens to Ejaculatory duct.
Mnemonic: My boyfriend's name is STEVE.

Fact: Erection is controlled by Parasympathetic nervous system while ejaculation is controlled by sympathetic nervous system.
Mnemonic: Point and Shoot.

Fact: The abundance of white blood cells in decreasing order is Neutrophil, Lymphocyte, Monocyte, Eosinophil and Basophil.
Mnemonic: Never Let Monkey Eat Banana.

Fact: The colour code of resistors from 0 to 9 is Hitam, Perang, Merah, Oren, Kuning, Hijau, Biru, Ungu, Kelabu, Putih.
Mnemonic: Sorry, too vulgar to be typed on ReCom. My friend created this mnemonics in form 1, and I can recall it until today. Basically it's a vulgar sentence with a combination of Hokkien and Malay words. Laughing

Hope that helps. If everything else fails, remember one word: priority. Remember to prioritize on the importance of the facts, and make sure you remember the more important ones if you are running out of time. It works most of the time.


Monday, May 02, 2005

How Old Is Old?

I received a forwarded article this morning from one of my friends, Chong Beng. The article is about the feeling of getting old. While the article certainly reflects the freedom and well-preserved memory that is the culmination of age and experience, I certainly think that it is a food for thought for adolescents too.

How old is old?
THE other day, a young person asked me how I felt about being old.

I was taken aback, for I did not think of myself as old. Upon seeing my reaction, she was immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting question, and I would ponder over it and let her know.

Old age, I have decided, is a gift. I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body!

I sometimes despair over my body's the wrinkles, baggy eyes, skin spots and bumps, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives
in my mirror, but I don't agonise over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, or my loving family for less grey hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I have become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself.

I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement fountain I didn't need but which looks so avant garde on my patio.

I am entitled to over eat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read until 4am, and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 50s. And if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love, I will.

I will walk the beach in swimming trunks stretched over a bulging body, and dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the bikini set. They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some parts of life are just as well forgotten and I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years, my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when a beloved pet gets hit by a car?

But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turn grey or even be lost forever, and to have laugh lines etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

I can say "No" and mean it. I can say "Yes" and mean it. As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't
question myself any more. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be.

And I shall eat dessert every single day.

Hope we all learn something from it.