i have officially replied all the letters u guys have sent me, 2 wks ago! haha. only posting it now such that u guys would have received it already and i wouldnt spoil the surprise.
i have stopped procrastinating in terms of sch work too. but i've also realised that it is way too late. grr, i can only study for the long haul now and not worry too much about aceing this exam. i really dont know too much about studying smart, do i?
i have been able to put on a strong front and continue being ur pillar of strength. i just hope u noe that every ounce of strength that i build up in u, i give up of myself. and thus, there is no guarantee that this pillar can remain strong. i have been taught to draw strength from other avenues though. theres family, friends here, friends back in singapore, and God. so there isnt much of a worry. i probably just need someone to say, 'you know, i believe in you. i believe in what you can be.' and really really mean it. it would be a real encouragement. or maybe, i just need a little more faith and belief in myself. i have got a really nice floor mate! i dun even know who she is but this is the 3rd time she's helped me wash the dishes i left out in the kichenette. so nice rite. really unwarranted. and i feel uber undeserving. hmmm maybe she's a perfectionist too and finds my dirty dishes an eyesore. or maybe, the cookies i left out for her last time were too good and she's now craving for more :) i have not wished all the meddies good luck for the upcoming exam, have i? so here it is :) jiayou!!! and with this, i think i have fulfilled jeff's wishes. isnt all that read-worthy, but oh well. anything to fill in that few minutes of break time in between mugging sessions eh?
[din post this because i was waiting for more pics from the babes, but i got impatient :p]
ok lets rewind a little bit. met up with zhen and sheryl again on fri after salsa on thurs (haha, yes i'm hiong) such that we could spend a lovely afternoon together and then proceed to sleepover at their place this time b4 the great venture out to ocean road the next day ;) had a really simple but splendid time gg down to lygon for gelato and then having dinner at villa romana. the girls were freaked because the italian restaurant owners lining the streets kept approaching them full on to invite them into their restaurants. many stopped us in our tracks and refused to let us pass through even though we ignored them! we even got thrown a really tacky 'pickup' line.
'hey this is the restaurant to be in! werent you here the other time and loved it so?'
italians will always be italians. anw, after dinner we managed to do some shopping while waiting to watch the lakehouse at a nearby cinema. must say it was quite good albeit the draggy start. i particularly like the catchphrase 'how do you hold on to someone whom you've never met?'
headed back to urban central at around midnight. lodging there is really decent for $19 a night! i'd recommend it anytime. great rooms, great atmosphere. breakfast and pasta provided too. i'd want to lodge there myself. we hung out at the bar downstairs for awhile. there was a live band playing some music. of standard. we then rented some board games to entertain us through the wee hours.
saturday out at the great ocean road with the babes :)
we experienced hail! little balls of ice fell from the sky. a little biting actually. btw, this treetop walk is supposedly the best in the world (and 1 of the only 2 steel suspension treetop bridges in the world) unfortunately, it was disappointing. maybe its the wrong season.
the 12 disciples at sunset.
yeps i hope the pictures sufficed. will not narrate much about the trip apart from some random facts:
i drove down the great ocean road! the view of the coast is just so scenic.
zhen drives very scarily. sheryl dear was belting up and gripping to her seat for dear life.
we intended to catch sunrise at bells beach (which is why we set off at 5am). unfortunately the skies were overcast. hence, must go back there again!
kel and josh were very thoughtful and pretty entertaining throughout the whole road trip, so thanks must go out to them. psst, my frens are very appreciative!
did i mention that sunset at the 12 aposles was awesome? zhen, sheryl.. i need the pics i took using ur cams! plus plus everything b4 the road trip!!
and so, that marked the conclusion of the days out with zhen and sheryl. i am soooo missing them.
a short piece on someone's view of the dissection room. i personally find the initial description a lil exaggerated. but the last part resonates with what i feel, hence it is up here for you guys to read.
death abounds. faces staring out through clear perspex, one set of eyelids removed, the other eye closed in a gruesome wink. stomachs opened, disemboweled, internal organs in eternal stasis. tufts of hair sprouting from yellow skin, above faces locked in an expression of perpetual anguish, bodies reduced to their composite parts. one face, with lips shriveled and pale as the rest of the face, appear to be trying to say something. a woman, lying face down, legs chopped at the thighs, staring down with her nose squashed against the plastic and grimacing, everywhere the pungent stench of death prevails. this is the monash anatomy museum, in the medical faculty, and it's enough to stir even the hardest of stomachs.
i went to the anatomy museum on an overcase and bitterly cold melbourne day. a chilly wind was blowing down from the dandenong mountains. i walked the 300-odd metres from the campus centre to the medical faculty not knowing what to expect. death is not something that confronts my everyday, ordinary reality. but, like all beings who exist on this mortal coil, it is an inevitability i will some day have to face.
one of the most difficult things i find when confronting death, as indeed i did upon entering the anatomy museum, is reconciling the opposing realms of life and death. as i beheld the body parts in their perspex boxes, it was difficult to imagine that they were once living, healthy organisms. i looked down at my own stomach, and shuddered to think that these bits of inanimate flesh floating in formaldehyde solution were once upon a time of the same mettle. and, likewise, i will some day be like them, whether i am left to slowly pickle up in preservative, am buried in a casket or go to the fires to have it all reduced to a pile of ashes.
for much of the time i was in the anatomy museum i was alone, i was however intruded upon in my private musings on death by a small cluster of students. one of them told me how, as a science student the year before, he had cut into the corpse of a foetus. asked whether this took an emotional toll, the young man replied that while at first he felt somewhat uncomfortable, once he had begun cutting he was able to detach himself from the task.
hearing the science student's experiences gave me a new appreciation for those who work intimately with death. doctors, cops, funeral directors and paramedics all face the old grim reaper on a daily basis. i'd assume that it would either break a person or give them a valuable insight into the impermanent nature of human existence. perhaps we should all take a little trip down to the anatomy meseum every now and then, so that we can be reminded how fleeting our existence really is, stop putting off happiness for another day and realign ourselves with those things in our lives that are truly important.
i must say that i couldnt stomach my lunch after my very 1st dissection prac, unfortunately. mainly cos i had packed bread with smoked salami (which tasted raw and smelt vaguely like formalin). din realise the psychological effects my motions had on me because i was so engrossed in the task of scapel-ling off the various layers of tissue. not to mention i was so into the groove and pleased with my supposedly efficient, skillful dissection procurements it din seem possible that i would be affected at all. but i was, somehow. just for that instant.
but yes, anw thats over. at least i havent developed some kinda phobia. speaking of which, i just read a list of interesting phobias. namely, agoraphobia which is the fear of placing oneself in situations where others have an opportunity to observe or judge one's behaviour. xenophobia which is the fear of strangers, biblophobia which is the fear of books (nods, anyone?), logophobia which is the fear of words in general, lalophobia which is the fear of speaking, onomatophobia which is the fear of CERTAIN words, algophobia which is the fear of pain, and finally philophobia which is the fear of falling in love.
[ salsa peektures! ]my 2 babes! the dance floor. copacabana! [ ndp celebrations! ] (above and below) the 2 guys who cant take chilli! the 3 gals and their pretty bouquet of orchids! hou2 liao3! bali bombing memorial. each light represents one life lost. they remind me of stars - ever present, shining down on us. perhaps thats the designer's exact sentiments. kokoblack: putting max brenners to shame. pretty patterns in a hot chocolate cup.
...'For most of human history, erotic images have been reflections of, or celebrations of, or substitutes for, real naked women. For the first time in human history, the images' power and allure have supplanted that of real naked women. Today, real naked women are just bad porn.'
now why didnt they tell all those porn maniacs out there this earlier?!
yeps, i injected myself at the one week rural attachment. was to teach us empathy, anticipation and technique all in one.
apart from that, the other highlights of the week included a trip down to a primary healthcare centre. i followed this worker who did home visits to followup on patients who had just been discharged from an affliated hospital. she was mainly assigned to the elderly and paliative care. she would clean wounds, change dressings, and talk to the patients regarding their concerns and evaluate their health risk factors to see if any further exacerbation of the disease could be prevented (cos mainly the patients are elderly and retired and at the end-stage of their lives). it was nice to know that such services were provided to help the sick live the last few years of their lives with dignity, to help them alleviate their pain. her patient practitioner relationship was also more personal and intimate, and she would drop by patients' houses to talk to them and make sure they were healthy and fine, which was great for the lonesome and ill-connected elderly (think holistic healthcare and mental health).
it touched me though, when i observed her treating this guy with parkinson's. i mean, i've seen patients like these in the hospitals before. but him, sleeping in front of the tv in an armchair, twitching uncontrollably, delirious and unable to communicate properly even anymore, just felt wrong. nobody should be wasting away like that, i thought. especially not in their own house. in a hospital you expect to see sick people, so its fine. but this felt wrong. the photos hung up on the walls around him, of his younger days when he was bright and brilliant, did not help. one just cannot imagine that the young man in those pictures, is the same man slumped over, wrinkled and weathered, in the armchair in front of me right now.
my time at the icu was fun too. got to take the temp, bp, resp rate and pulse of 3 patients. phew, thankfully my course taught me how to take bp like just last wk. i only practiced for 5 mins though and there i was carrying it out already. hope i managed to look somewhat professional. anw, i enjoyed my time at the icu so much that i voluntarily went back to the emergency department of the hospital to tag alongside one of the interns after our schedule for the day was over. not a bad experience there too. learnt more about xrays and stuff. and saw a few more cases.
oh yar, the yr 3-5s were all very friendly and hung around with us alot. we yr 1s speculate that it's because the rural place had not much entertainment and hence we were like smth new n exciting for the wk to them ;p but anw we were really appreciative that they were extremely helpful and tried their best to teach us so much. special mention goes to leon, this really crazy angmoh who always said really random stuff. he actually said that he din want to visit singapore although he's heard so much good stuff about it because 1. they dun allow him to chew gum (ok that made sense) 2. they dun hav the dish with only one noodle.. which is where we interrupted him and asked him what kind of dish this was. so apparently theres this dish in australia where they dont cut the noodle at all so the entire dish consists of one strand of noodle. this seemed fine until he told us that they had to cook it in a really long testtube reaching all the way up so as to not break the noodle. lame!!! i'd never forget that.
of course, nothing can be more eventful than ethan CASTRATING A GOAT SHEEP. i still cant believe he did it. but unfortunately, thats the way we get mutton lamb on our platter.
all in all, rural week was really fun. a nice break from monotonous sch life.
our visit to a primary industry: orange world - the citrus farm.
si huan this is for u and ur fascination with babies! i'm gg to make u green with envy at all the angmoh babies i'll take. compared to only the asian ones u get in singapore!
ps. more photos will be posted once i get my hands on them! my cam batt is so screwed i keep having to use other ppl's cams to take my desired photos. grr dun like it at all the process of collating is tedious. shall wait patiently till the end of the yr to get a decent cam back at singapore tho.
the 3 sisters.
cute candid of me grooving.
a photolog dedicated to mel. that funky gal. [grins]
dinner, actually. with my mentor, jesslyn. she's a worship leader at ocf. it's funny how i've never had a mentor, and i immediately jumped to becoming a youth leader at occ. but now i have one, who's going to help me to mature and serve in the area i'm most passionate about. this shld be good for a change. and maybe the experience would teach me how to mentor and ignite my passion for it too.
she got me this bk called captivating, which i told myself i'd get in dec when i'm back in singapore. such telepathy! ;p i've heard raving comments about the bk, u see. had a great time chatting and sharing with her too, its wonderful how we can open up to each other. i foresee a great journey ahead, walking hand in hand supporting each other and being accountable for each other along the way.must add that i really appreciate this sister investing her time and effort in me such that we can build each other up. it's really a rarity and i must really thank her for that.
and oh, btw. i'm still considered guai from an outsider's pov. xin yi hasnt turned into some closet rebel k!! this is part of the conversation when jess was making some observations:
'hmm can tell that u're actually quite guai eh.'
'huh, what do u mean.. actually!!' [grins] 'i'm guai one wat.'
'yar la, now that i've known you better and after u've been sharing ur thoughts with me.'
'but how can i not be guai? i've always thought i appeared to be very guai.'
'well u do look guai. but looks can be deceiving! n u're like v sociable, outgoing and talkative and all, so..'
'haha, outgoing means not guai meh!'
'the initial general impression la.' [winks]
haha. maybe i do like the idea of APPEARING to be 'pai'. gives life a little zest.
haha k i'm pretty hyper now. just came back from church with ethan and just had free fairy floss (yeah thats wat they call candy floss over here) and popcorn and wangwang and prawn cracker and kuey lapis (mum's favourite, and i think i'm starting to take after her). yeps, all because its monash's open day and no doubt i'm one year late, but oh wells free food is always welcomed into this little tummy of mine. not to mention ethan got me a purple balloon so i'm a happy happy little girl. thanks guy. beams.
speaking of which, since he was so nice i shld be nice and not blog about his blunder last week which i was reminded of on the way back. he's been trying to bribe me not to, but its really tempting and i really wanna rmb it! BUT, i shall be nice.
or not. mwahahhaa.
ok so here's the tale. you would think that by now, after so many months, we would know clayton like the back of our hands. at least, we would noe the route back to halls from clayton town. so yes, we went to get groceries from coles and headed back. at a certain bend, i wanted to turn left but then ethan stopped me in my tracks and asked me where i was going, as if he were sure i was heading in the wrong decision. so i was like, ok lor follow him. so we turned right, and continued being engrossed in our conversation. after awhile, the convo went as such:
'hey, eh. are u sure we're walking in the right direction? that sounds like a train (that just went pass right up ahead).'
'haiya, no la. its a lorry lah.'
[and so we continued walking straight]
'haiyo!!! 'twas a train!!!'
'it was a train?! oh gosh, yes it was train (stares blankly at traintracks). where ARE we?!'
super duper funny. all the more so because he acted so confident and all when i turned left because apparently 'girls are bad at directions'!!! tsktsk. ethan, now u noe never to stereotype! and i just had to blog it so it'll be etched in my memory even more and i've got ONE more upperhand when we argue next time!
psst. guess what, he let me lead the way today all the way to church and back for fear of getting berated at again. haha, i kid. but, i DID lead the way :)
just came back from ocf. it was really great because there was both an invited worship team and a guest speaker. the worship team 'altered frequency' was a band from malaysia and they were testifying about the wonders of God as displayed in their ministry in malaysia. it is really amazing, seeing as to how strict the malaysian government is about religious issues.
the speaker was good too, as since the service was seeker sensitive he touched on the all-important, greatest verse in the bible again - john 3:16. but indeed, sermons on God's love never fail to impress me. especially after witnessing the miraculous change it has effected in so many people's lives. too many of us look for love in all the wrong places, and we all know it, because we all get hurt. yet we still seek it, because it is a very innane thing to do. we were built that way, to share loving relationships with the ppl around us, and most imptly with the one who created us. but we fail to realise that the only one who can provide us with true untainted unselfish love is the very person who created it in its full essence, God.