Sunday, November 29, 2009

Regrets, I've had a few, then again.....

If anyone asks me in the future about what I regret about not doing Honours, I would say I regret being unable to do Special Paper in Military History taught by Brain Farrell. I met him that other day at BK. I asked him about the Korean excursion for this module, which students went with him to visit Korean War battlefields. We chatted abit while we waited for our orders. I told him I have been waiting for his military modules for 3 years since I missed it in my 1st yr 1st sem. He asked if im doing honours and for my CAP, which stressed me out LOL. His parting words was 'It's in your hands'. At that moment I felt I had let him down. Looking back, i wasnt really a great student, esp so among my peers in uni, but also in itself, im the lazy student all along. It is great to be able to study in uni, all the ideas and concepts, simply amazing (esp what profs do for their Phds n all). It is also the greatest irony of my life (as of now) to be able to study in FASS n my major. My grades sux but I realised I learned alot as well and met interesting ppl, ppl who are far far more dedicated about their work. Haha sometimes i spent far more time during semester learning about other bits of history other than the modules im doing for. (esp hist vids on youtube). One thing i enjoyed doing assignments is learning the extra bits about history and I regretted being unable to do. I feel terrible about missing out all the knowledge and the little tidbits about life and people that I always read about. That day I sat among the shelves (D-DS rows) and sobbed alittle. I felt all the energies and efforts in writing these books are wasted cus I didnt push myself harder to read them. It's always tomorrow, 2ml, 2morrow, tomolo and tomorrow. Well tomorrow came, today went and yesterday lost. Haha but im glad i was able to help others along the way even if i cannot help myself....

Friday, November 27, 2009

Musings

The secret to the sword technique used by the main lead in the anime Rurouni Kenshin, is not some super fantastical moves or ability, but simply the motivation to stay alive and return to one's loved ones and friends. From all the history books and biographies that I have read this is certainly true. Nothing compels anyone more than the desire to go home. There was this example of sailors when their ship was sunk. The one of the few survivors was a 40ish man who was wounded and lost a lot of blood but he clung onto life hoping to see his family again. The rescuers found bodies of uninjured young men, who had simply given up hope. I recalled that there was a book on a German prisoner of war who trekked across Siberia, he literally walked home. Determination, they didnt give up.

Bathroom Musings : Humans, Nature, Machine, Ourselves

Surprisingly I think much better while Im in the shower, and no I dont sing, unless at that moment I feel that it is up to standard. Anw... Aftering watching Seabiscuit on telly, it reminded me how an individual is connected to his or her horse / craft / machine / person at such an intimate level. The rider and his horse, a chief engineer that listens to his engines, a master craftsman. Passion and hard work plus a sense of kinship, maximises the potential of both. Maybe its talent, though i think much of it is passion and sense of ownership and belonging, like pride. Its all the little details that make things work, like in Seabiscuit, the rider was telling his replacement the habits and quirks that make the horse go faster. Even the so called BIG Picture does really matters at times, but ppl forget, especially those at the top, forget about the little things that make ppl tick and make things work. Even machines can have their sensitivities, go ask a pilot or racecar driver. Especially when its complex enough, it can develop a 'character' even more so when success or your very life depends on it, you become more attached to it, be it something alive or mechanical. It is interesting to examine the relationships between self and EVERYTHING around the self.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oldies

Bear with me, let me indulge in some oldies



Exam Craziness Pt 1 (Or the Last)

Sat for a paper on Monday. MCQ 60 qns. Pretty alright finished up early. Saw a guy on the right, his answer sheet blank. Blank! It was obvious since you have to shade little black ovals. He had none on his even right before I left. Dunno whats going through his mind. If he knew he was going to give a blank sheet he should not have gone for the paper and revise for his other modules or something. He could have spent the 3 hours++ (2hr paper + waiting/travelling) for his revision or even just to rest. Well I know what issit like to give up on something. It just that its more about weighting your options and thinking about the next step. I wondered whether he stayed until the end of the paper. I hope he left after the 1st hour since hes not going to do anything at all.

How to Become Invisible

1. Wear specs.
2. Have a Southeast Asian History book before you at a table
3. Have a confused look on your face
4. Dont say a word
5. Voila! You are now invisible!

Was sitting outside the library (go left after exiting, tables there) revising, reading my book bright as day. These two girls came along, one with her food/lunch. The one with the food placed the food right in front of my book (they were touching) she was right before me. I looked up, i mean im all right with people sharing the table to have a bite, study or just to adjust their bag and stuff. She didnt look at me and continue chatting with her friend. Her friend probably have seen me and is just as confused. Only after a few lengthy moments, she chatted somewhat with her fren, only then she saw me. Her fren went like 'Didnt you see him sitting there?' I just had to say to them after they shifted to the other end of the table, smiling and gave a quick laugh, 'Am I invisible?' Though im not sure how they viewed it, maybe im sounded pissed or something but i was just laughing it off.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Walking Whistling Tunes

A German folksong which my deutscher Lehrer introduced to us when I took German 1 class (aka Level 1) a few years back that stayed in my mind ever since. I usually whistle the very first verse, well mostly only half is all I can manage, when Im alone and walking about, bored and all.



(First Verse)

Muss i denn, muss i denn
Zum St├Ądtele hinaus
St├Ądtele hinaus
Und du mein Schatz bleibst hier
Wenn i komm, wenn i komm
Wenn i wiederum komm
Wiederum komm
Kehr i ein mein Schatz bei dir
Kann i auch nicht immer bei dir sein
Han i doch mei Freud an dir
Wenn i komm, wenn i komm
Wenn i wiederum komm
Wiederum komm
Kehr i ein mein Schatz bei dir

Must I indeed, must I indeed
Leave the town
The town
And you, my darling, stay here
When I come back, when I come back
When I come back again
Come back again
I shall return, my darling, to your side
After all, I can’t be with you all the time
After all the joy we had
When I come back, when I come back
When I come back again
Come back again
I shall return, my darling, to your side

Saturday, November 07, 2009

RT

No wonder it uses so much time, there is like almost 60 people in one group led by one PTI. The individual statics were fine, it was quick and to the point. Only when it came to the chin-up stations (wic i am excused muahahahaha :() that the queues start to form and lots of time is wasted then. The PTI spent quite a bit of time explaining techniques and tips and such which I think people has been listening to for years. A brief reminder will do fine....but one that stretches 5 mins or more, no thanks! Almost missed out the attendance receipt part haha didnt realise.....NOOB! I almost thought i was promoted cus one guy before my number was 3SG TOH, lol i tot it was mine. HAH wishful thinking........SIgh have to go 2ml again and twice a week through the exams, fortunately it is easy to arrange for makeup, i.e., shift the session to another date.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Vietnam 1975







We can learn about history through the songs, even the propaganda songs, sung by the peoples during trying times as they reflect what values and ideals the nation-state felt the people should have and then comparing how well the peoples accept these values and ideals or to even mould it to fit their own needs. Even if the context is of war and conflict, it is remarkable people still compose and take part in culture formation, expressing themselves through songs. This is especially so when the most accessible media was radio. They even have dance troupes travelling down the whole length of Vietnam by foot mostly to entertain people, and of cus spread propaganda. (Anw I just felt that the songs are quite catchy)
Both sides did horrible things to advance their goals in war, I grant you that. But do not doubt the resoluteness of the Vietnamese peoples. The final end and a new beginning. Uncle Ho, first and foremost, a nationalist unmatched by any other.

J' attendrai - Rina Ketty



A song I discovered in Das Boot and have come to enjoy. I think the submarine captain in Das Boot enjoyed this song cus it echoed he and his crew's desire to return home after each lengthy patrol.