Thank You, 178980 Times…

The writing has been on the wall ever sinnce I started working, zzonking out easily at night, and the number of incompleted posts accumulated. (Many apologies to Conclusions to GeongJju, The Story of an Orange, The Sttate of Undergraduates’ Minds, Dear CFA, About Building Chemistry, 印象西湖, Reflections, University-Wide eLearning Week, Gadget Luust and a zillion other deleted drafts.) Maintaining updates of my life in this formbat has become more difficult as the amount of time that I dedicate to bblogging decreased. Yet, I’m not keen to change the stylle of writing that I’ve established (herre) for the past three years.

Upon watching Up for the seccond time, I’ve decided to follow Carl Fredrickson’s lead and let the past go. A big thank you to all readers for being interested in my mundane life and toolerating mmy weird thoughts.

有缘分,一定有再见面的机会。

— nzj

President’s Star Charity Show

Had lentils soup cooked by the high class Laval before we rushed down to MediaCorp for President’s Star Charity show! Fen is a co-choreographer and four of us got to watch the performance LIVE~!

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I shall leave all the negative comments about various MediaCorp artistes to myself, but Fen’s item, choreographed by Derrek, was quite well done! Fen was an expert in 抢镜头. He was faking some warm up in the background when the Michelle was interviewing the artistes at the backstage. The four of us at the audience seat couldn’t stop laughing when we saw that telecasted on the projection screen. And apparently the camera man loved him too. I believe he got 5-10 seconds of on screen time when he was the central focus during the performance. Hur hur~ Oh, Yeelian was one of the O School dancers doing the Michael Jackson repertoire and she looked great too. 心机没有那么重,但她跳得很有架势。:)

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The dancers and the six of us (including Yuki and her husband-to-be) went to the post performance reception. It was my first time being so close to celebrities: Michelle (who remained beautiful even up close and had the practice of mumbling her scripts several times before she appeared on screen), Gurmit (who could dance surprisingly well), Kim Kym (who is really small and was really friendly to her fans), Nat Ho (who was very soft spoken)… Hur hur~ Saw many youngsters walked to the artistes to request for a photo to be taken with them. 有点心痒痒,但还是跟艺人有点距离感会比较好。哈哈哈…

Random events: 钟情 钟琴 walked past us and said “Hello” in a very soft and cute voice; someone patted Laval’s back and said “Well done!” Also observed that Patricia Mok was pulling Nat Ho everywhere. I would have had some snide remarks about that, but having saw her putting in so much energy into the performance (unlike J*d* S**h who had blank looks on her face from time to time), I thought she could have some fun with him after all.

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Busy Work Week

Had been rather bogged down with major work stuffs this week. Time flew by so quickly and here I am at the end of the week already. Another work-day tomorrow. Hur hur~ Did scanning electron microscopy on Monday and Tuesday with no nice results. Just look at the mess… I was suppose to get a very regular matrix of 200nm pillars. I wonder if I should be glad about it or not. Having no good results from SEM meant that I would have more time to slack to prepare for my experiments. But that also means that I’d have little stuffs to present to the lab when I am updating them on the progress of my project(s). Oh well… Got to try and try again. Next SEM session is booked for this coming Tuesday.

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Performed some super long (and tedious) experiment on Wednesday until late night. I was playing some games on my iPhone in between the incubation periods when my boss walked into the lab. She said I looked surprised to see her. Actually it was more of embarrassed to be seen playing games. Hur hur~ Didn’t get any nice pictures from this set of experiment too. I got fragmented pieces of cell sheet instead of a continuous one. Didn’t like them at all… Yucks.

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I hate Thursday mornings. It’s either lab meeting or journal club from 9.30 a.m. I fear the latter more because that usually mean that I have to spend lots of time digesting dense papers like “Lamellipodial Actin Mechanically Links Myosin Activity with Adhesion-Site Formation” and “Induction of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells into Dopamine-Producing Cells with Different Differentiation Protocols” Was scrambling after the journal club to compile all the results for a one-to-one meeting with my boss to update her of my progress. I think it went not too bad… And my boss recommended me to consider taking up part time Master’s degree since the cost would be waived for all staffs. Sounds extremely attractive… (But looks like I’ve missed the deadline for the Jan 2010 intake already. :S)

Friday was a crazy day. I planned to end my day in the office on time but came in a SMS announcing that a corna graft was available for collection at Mount Alvernia Hospital. Why must cornea tissues come in on Fridays?! Having one coming in means that we have to spend hours to process the tissue before the tissue go bad. The good news was that my FYP student would be performing the cell isolation from the tissue; and the bad news was my FYP student would be performing the isolation. I knew how stressful and disorienting it would be to attempt to isolate the cells for the first time. On top of that, my FYP student’s cell type is more difficult to isolate than mine. So I tried my best to help her in the initial preparation and guide her as much as possible. Then came Saturday when I continued with the processing of the cornea tissue for my own experiments. My FYP student came in too to take a look at her isolated cells. They didn’t look good… Yikes~ She left and I watched Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Bleach and Naruto while I processed the tissue. Thank god for piracy~

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Forgiveness

I committed a horrible error on 20th September. The thought I had back then was if only I had kept in touch with you more often, then most probably you’d be able to sound out the alarm much earlier since you usually know my schedule much better than myself. However, the fact is I’ve been burying myself in many other stuffs but not been updating you. Therefore the clash in personal life and “work” came without me noticing, and I chose work. You’ve expressed your anger and disappointments. I kept my silence because I knew I was in the wrong (and I was stuck in a Catch-22).

我们星期五无意的碰面。看见你的时候,心里是紧张了一下。但,还好你微笑了。

It was amazing (to me) how quickly we discussed about the elephant in the room, killed it, and moved on to other topics. Not many other people could get me converse and explain my thoughts as easily as you. Especially when it comes to admitting my mistakes, or explaining my dilemma. I even had the guts to comment how you made things about you even though you were not the protagonist of the event.

我其实也很但心不能再与你如常的沟通。

Do continue to be my strictest critic, my strongest confidant, and my cesspool for verbal diarrheas. Continue reading

Mauritius Trip

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我回来了~

This trip started off just as a mini-project when everything seemed rather uncertain. Then it became more and more painful as the admin work piled up (including the cover page of the programme booklet you see up there). So much so that I was very much drained by the time I was on the flight. Then excitement and nervousness came as we saw profiles of ourselves published in the center fold of a local newspaper.

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我们真的有那么大牌吗…

Threw all my concerns away and just focused on dancing and having fun. And I got much more than that. I got to know so many more people better; Talked to some of the dancers more in the seven days than the total amount accumulated since I first met them. And there was quite an amazing good mix of “chakras” — Minimal friction and maximum chemistry. It didn’t matter that we were seeing each other almost everyday before and during the trip.

每个人回来了都在问“下一站去哪里?”

Guess that’s quite a good indication of how we enjoyed each other’s presence. 🙂

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Research Assistant

It’s been over a month since I started work in NUS, at my FYP lab, as a research assistant. It has been quite a good experience and I got to know what I’m looking for in a career.

  • Flexibility seemed to be the utmost important to me right now. I enjoy the freedom of reporting to work at any time (though I’ve been reporting to work rather timely at 9am daily, almost), going off work on time (to cater to my dance rehearsals), and I don’t mind working in the lab during weekends.
  • People at the workplace allows me to enjoy my work there. We all, being engineers, have reduced ability to bitch and backstab. This mirrors my work experience in ST where the engineers were working conscientiously while the sales people and the secretaries created the majority of the drama in the department.
  • I like implementing processes and workflow in my workplace. I helped organized a lab orientation for the incoming lab members and I like the idea of putting in a structured system which was never there before; and document events/skills so that the same process may be executed again easily when the day arrives.
  • I have limited passion for research. Yixin suggested the possibility of me designing my own research but it didn’t excite me.

Just a little unsure about what I should do at the end of this contract. There’s an opportunity to undergo 15 months of training and attachment at a pharmaceutical facility in the United States of America, and I could choose to stay behind for one more year. Hmm… My only worries is that by being a research assistant, I am not developing the career path that I should be in. Then again, maybe I should be as aggressive as I was when I was doing my FYP.

Oh yar… I also like that I need not be in business attire on a daily basis. Some juniors wondered why I can work in NUS in T-shirts and bermudas. Speaking of encountering friends within NUS, the first questions they always ask are always “Why are you here?” and “Doing PhD?” I don’t mind explaining that I am only working as a Research Assistant but it does get tiresome after I repeat myself several times to different friends. (And neither Research Assistant not R.A. has a nice ring to it. =.=”)

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