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Picking on someone . . . is it justified?

 A little history before I start on my topic today; I am no stranger to being picked on. It happened a lot in both Primary School and Secondary School, and to be honest, now that I look back on it, I wonder if I am to be blamed for it. In Primary School, it was mostly my skin that got the flack: I remember being called both "lizard" and "crocodile", or something close. However, there was this other girl who had skin worse than mine, yet she seemed to get along very well with her classmates. Hence, I cannot help wondering if it was something else. Either way, I cannot really remember now.

In secondary school, I think I had the reputation of being weird. I'm not very sure how it came about, but I think it was because I was different from the girls. I was not very sure how it came about, but I do remember having my nose in a book practically all the time. I think I got addicted to reading in primary school, because that was how I coped with being picked on. Hence, I had my nose in a book all the time and that was probably why I was so different. I also had the feeling that I had a superiority complex; I thought of myself as smarter than everyone else due to my English being so good. In that respect, I probably deserved it.

However, in RP, things are a little different. This time, I'm not the one being picked on; in fact, I seem to fit quite well with my classmates. The guys in my class basically treat me the way they treat the other girls; some teasing from time to time, and I even get poked like them. I have friends in my class as well, and we get along extremely well. Yet, there are two girls in my class who do not seem to be able to fit in as well. I am quite friendly with them, though sometimes, I too, get annoyed with them.

One of them, Rachel, gets into trouble with my classmates because she practically does all the work without consulting her group members. I even got into a spat with her once, because she refused to listen to me when I tried to correct one of the slides. One of the other guys in my class, Jhomel, is quite a patient person at times, but after working with her yesterday, he told me later that he was ready to spit blood. In fact, we could even hear them arguing all the way from the other end of the classroom. Another problem was that she kept asking all the irrelevent questions, questions that the team had already gone through earlier. Stacy looked ready to slap her in fact.

As a result, she does not seem very popular in class. The guys make fun of her by refering to her as 'maggot', while some of us girls end up bitching about her because of our fustration. As much as I feel that she did deserve it, I cannot help feeling that I too, am being mean. To be honest, I actually do enjoy listening and taking part in those bitching sessions, and during the aftermath of it, I feel guilty. I'm starting to loose some respect for myself in fact,  because of this, especially since I know what it is like to be picked on. I really ought to talk to Rachel about this. True, it might be too late to repair her relationship with this present class, but at least in her future class, she might be able to fit in.

If she would even listen to me in the first place. I can always try, I guess, but I'm not very hopeful about it. Oh well, at least it is the thought that counts, and who knows, maybe I might even end up being successful.


Hello Again!

I almost had a heart attack when I found out that I had not posted for three whole weeks. My goodness, time really does fly extremely fast! Of course, I had been aware that I had not posted for a long time, but still, three weeks was quite a shock. I'm not surprised why times seems to have flown by though, because I have been extremely busy with school, especially since school has really started for real. I feel as if I have been an RP student for ages already, that's how comfortable I am with my situation right now. Moreover, the reflection journals the school has set up for the students to do kind of takes the wings out of my sails because I'll end up repeating everything that I have said earlier.

However, I will have to start posting again, because I need this as a record to see exactly what happened at this point in time. I want to be able to write about everything that goes on so that I will be able to look back and tell myself that this really happened, and to evoke the same emotions in me as it had in the past. That's why I write journals in the first place; I need a place to unleash so that I will not give crap to the other people around me. I'm still not comfortable with sharing my life stories with other people, but at least I really am starting to get comfortable around people again.

Life in  RP has really been picking up, and truth to tell, no matter how busy and hectic everything seems to be, I really have been enjoying myself there. I even have a group of friends to hang out with, and we really do have fun with each other, though these days we've been too busy working on our presentations to actually eat a proper lunch. I'm also starting to make more friends as well, especially since the projects we get require us to work with different groups of people every single day. Even though I'm pretty much comfortable with the class at the moment, there are people that I'm the closest with that I tend to hang out with the most. 

Yet, the class as a whole has been really good. We end up talking a lot on the communicator (the microsoft version of windows messanger), and I find myself utalising my msn once again, because everyone seems to be hanging out there.  Even presentations do not seem as daunting anymore, because it's like being in a big family of friends. We even have massive class conferences on the communicator, and some of the people in the class really are extremely funny people. We end up cracking up half the time because of them.


Orientation Day 2

Today was the second day of the Orientation Programme and RP, and the main aim of the programme was to get to know the schools as well as the facilities in the whole campus. I'm not too sure whether it really was effective or not, because I just kept following everyone around, and I'm not sure whether I would be able to find my way to the labs or the sports hall without asking for directions. However, I do remember my own course, Biomedical Science, followed by Biotechnology, then Material Science, Phaumetical Science (it's a good thing I didn't get into that course because I don't even know how to spell it) and Envionmental Science. I still cannot remember the names of all the schools though.

Orientation was great, because I really did have a lot of fun. We were divided into teams, and we had a kind of Amazing Race game, which took us around the school to find out more about it and to look at the facilities. My team-mates were really nice, I even made friends with a few of them. However, I do admit that it is rather hard to remember their names. The only names I did remember were Mash, Hana, Nurul and Nicholas, Punitha (scary, there was one in MI as well, and both of them love to read; maybe there is something in the name after all), and Taufik. I ended up talking to Taufik the most, and I found out what course he was in. I also met a few Biomedical students, and though I can't remember their names, I hope that I can at least recognise them when I see them.

The campus facilities were really nice though. The whole place seemed to have a green and white theme, and there were a lot of fountains and ponds scattered around the school. In fact, Admiralty Park was taken over by the school, and now the school students would be taking care of the park. I think it would be mainly for the Environmental Science and the Conservation IG that would be involved, though since my brother is in both, I think I may end up being involved too. The scary thing is that the schoo logo, colours and robes actually look very similar to the Slytherin House in Harry Potter, and since I was kind of sorted to that house as well, I cannot help wondering whether this means something.

What I didn't like though, was the fact that we ended up waiting until nine fifteen before the student leaders even spoke to us, and even then, we still only officially started at nine thirty, when we were supposed to start at eight forty five. Needless to say, I was bored waiting, so I took out a book to read, which I couldn't do yesterday because I forgot to bring it. It could have been better planned as well, so that we would not end up having to waste so much time just sitting around. However, at least even though we started late, we still ended up having a good time, and we even made friends as well, which is a really good thing.


Day 1 of RP Orientation

Yes! Finally, the day I have been waiting for has arrived!  Today I have officially gone for the RP orientation and have since met my new classmates for this semester. Of course, they're going to keep changing us around because they want us to get used to new faces and environments, just like the workplace, but at least, I have met my classmates for this semester. Plus, I have even made some friends as well! My life seems to be picking up, I'm starting to feel more motivated to study, and maybe this means that this school system might actually work for me. Of course, this is only the first day, but it is good to have some positive thinking.

The classrooms are really nice as well, we even have nice, comfortable rollover chairs, and three out of four walls are windows, and the view is really nice, especially since we're on the fifth story. The Jeek keeps telling me that the classrooms resemble mental hospital cells, but to be honest, I really don't think so. In fact, I fee that the room really is very nice. Of course, this is just one classroom, and others may not be the same, but all the same I'm still glad that we get a nice classroom. Surprisingly, the classrooms didn't seem very cold, and the Facilitator was talking about the aircon being off, so I didn't need to wear my jacket.

Moreover, the school has a wireless internet network, and we can connect to the internet from anywhere in the school. This means that whether in class or outside, I can still be able to check my emails and chat on msn. However, I probably won't chat on msn in school because seriously, it's very distracting. In fact, even when I'm checking my emails I can't stand to be interupted, which is why I don't log on to msn these days, unless I'm really bored. This also means that if I want to, I can write my blog in school as well, which would save a lot of time at home, which can be spent doing non-computer things.

However, I do admit to being scared of the UT tests though. We did a sample paper today, and the whole thing was computerised, so much so that we actually had to type our answers in the computer itself and submit it. The whole paper was about half an hour, and luckily, I was able to finish the entire thing and even check twice. However, the programme kept hanging frequently, or lagging, and got so scared that I would not be able to finish on time. Moreover, they actually asked real thinking questions about maths and medicine, unlike what happened to my brother, who got simple questions asking for experience rather than problem solving.

All in all, a great day, and I'm looking forward to more in RP. My classmates are very nice, except that some of the boys in there were extremely loud. Apparently, I wasn't the only twenty year old their either, because there was another boy who was my age too. More embarrassing though, I was recognised by a junior from my secondary school, though at least he was rather nice about it. I only hope that I don't end up bumping into Salihin, otherwise I might just die of embarrassment.


Some HP Quizzes . . .

Which HP Kid Are You?

Which Hogwarts house will you be sorted into?

*Blinks* Draco Malfoy and Gryffindor? *Dies laughing*


The Richness of Humility

Today's devotions is taken from today's article in the Daily Bread, titled "Richness of Humility". According to the article, humility is extremely important because we have to remember that no matter what we do, we have to give the credit back to God. What we do is accomplished by His glory and grace, and hence, all the glory must go back to him. According to 1 Corinthians 3: 7, "So neither is he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow." Thus, we have to remember that God does all things, and we are the tools He uses in order to bring about His purposes.

This is important to me because God is telling me that I have to put my faith in Him, and realise that it is He who commands my destiny. Thus, I have to make sure that I do not fear what other people say about me, but only God. This is important to me because I judge my accomplishments according to the people around me, and hence, I feel bad because I feel as if I'm not as good as everyone else. For example, my recent withdrawal from MI as well as the fact that I got only two votes for my Fireplace Challenge and the fact that people who were younger than me were better than me. 

Moreover, this is also important to me because it talks about evangalism, which is a major weakness when it comes to me. Planting and watering are phrases frequently used in evangalism because it talks about the process of evangalism, telling and growing. I admit that I am better at the growing part than at the telling, but I have to make sure to remember that it is God who does the growing, and we are just His gardening tools. Thus, I have to get rid of the fear within me which is preventing me from reaching my full potential, and make sure that I just do what God wants me to do without fearing the consequences.

However, another weakness of mine is definitely pride and the fact that I have an independance streak, and I hate the idea of having my destiny planned out by someone other than me. I have to be brutally honest with myself here, because this journal is my communication with God, and vice versa, and I feel that it is God telling me to write all this down other than myself. Moreover, there seems to be some sort of conflicting doctrine present here; according to my mother, which she says is according to our Church, God blesses us in anything we chose to do, as long as we work within His boundaries.

Obviously, I would prefer the second option, because it lets me decide to do while still following God, but I need to know whether this is the right thing to do. I don't want go against God's will and willfully disobey Him, because I know that the consequences will be drastic. I know He will forgive me in the end, but I don't even want to upset Him in the first place, mainly because of love. You know you don't want to disappoint someone whom you love, and this is exactly the same thing. I need to pray that God will help me understand what is His will, and that I will be able to follow it.

Black Blood Updated!

Yes! I finally posted the latest chapter of my story "Black Blood"! These past few days, it's been a real struggle trying to write because having been at  home for so long, I'm starting to get a mental block. I realise now that I need to be around people so that I can see how they react and then incorporate them into my stories. That's the way Jane Austin gets her inspiration and so far, it really has been helping her because she really is pure genius at fleshing out people along with their positive and negative traits. That, along with depreciating sense of humour.

I guess you could say that Jane Austin is my model writer. I love reading her works and so far, though I have only read Pride and  Prejudice due to lack of funding, I really enjoyed that piece of work she did and am almost desperate for more of her work. I don't know whether I can immitate her sense of humour, or even if I want to, because I know that if I write in my own voice and not try to immitate another person, I would be able to get my point across better. However, I do think that her way of studying human behaviour is extremely important in incoporating realism into one's writing, which is why I'm trying my best to do the same thing.

Basically, Black Blood is a crossover between Fruits Basket and Vampire Knight, my two most favourite mangas in the universe. Unfortunately, I cannot afford to buy the latest episodes due to the fact that funding is tough these days, so I have to make sure that I read spoilers so that I can be on top of my game. Basically, it is about a certain Fruits Basket character named Sohma Hatsuharu (see avatar for picture of him) being transplanted into Cross Academy and how he deals with his own problems as well as the problems of the people around him. One thing I do notice about Haru though, is the fact that he always tries to help other people with their problems but forgetting to help himself, which is one thing that I will be bringing out in the story.

I'm rather nervous about the latest chapter that I updated, to be honest. I'm afraid that since I have been at home for such a long time, I have forgotten how to do a believable dialogue scene. What happened in the chapter was that Haru and Boyce, a original character of mine, got into a spat, and as a result, Haru almost turns Black (which is another problem of mine; the transition from Black to White Haru is tough, and something that  I don't really get). These kids are supposed to be seventeen  years old, or eighteen for Haru since he is a repeat student, and I'm afraid that the dialog between them is weak and connived. 

On the bright side, at least I have finally updated my chapter. Now all I have to do is wait for reviews (hopefully reviews that are constructive criticism and not just praise, though it would also be good to know what I'm doing right so that I can go on repeating it) and hope that I receive enough to let me know what I need to do to improve.


Be My Escape

Wow, school is starting next Wednesday, and I'm not even sure whether I'm prepared for it! Other than the fact that I have my new laptop which is RP configured, as well as my new student ID. I'm still giddy about the fact that I'm considered an official RP student, even though I'm already at least two years older than my cohort. However, at least this means that I do have experience in A-levels, though I wish I could change back the time, so that I wouldn't waste at least two years. I guess there is a reason why God put me in MI, but I can't help feeling that my purpose has not been fulfilled yet.

Today was boring, I didin't even do much at all, except check my email, from which I now have a headache. However, at least I didn't sleep in the afternoon. I'm also glad for the time spent with my brother, because he has to work from Tuesday to Friday, and hence, it's a nice feeling to spend time with him. Role-playing with him is especially fun, though I'm definitely not going to give any details about it because even I consider it too embarrassing to talk about, unless I'm alone with him. Don't get me wrong, I love roleplays, but for this particular one, it's just to embarrassing to talk about.

Anyway, my brother would be in the same school as me, except that he would be in the second year while I would be in the first, even though I'm one year older than him. At least he didn't waste his time doing something that he should not be doing, unlike me. I guess that's the main reason why I'm apprehensive about this; the fact that I'm two years older than the rest of my classmates, assuming that they would be in Normal academic. I'm afraid that I would not be of the same wavelength as them and hence, would not get along with them as much as I would like to. I'm also afraid of being a loner, because though I enjoy solitude, too much of it would make me unhappy as well.

In other news, I had a bath today. It would not be anything special if I did not mention the fact that I did not have a bath yesterday. In fact, the latest I have ever gone without bathing would probably be two days, and worse of all, it sometiimes happened in MI as well. In fact, I notice that the whole thing started ever since I started studying in MI, but I'm not sure exactly how or why I started that in the first place. Maybe it could be due to the stress, and the fact that I was not very happy there. I feel a lot more freer now ever since I left MI, but I don't know whether the stress in RP would get to me, especially since it would be a different kind of stress.

However, when I'm having my holidays, it does feel good to be able to do exactly what I want, if and when I want it. Hence, the non-bathing thing; it feels especially good because I know that I can actually do it if I want to, though I know that it's not very healthy, and anyway, I would have to stop doing that when school starts if I want my classmates to have a good impression of me. However, since it's the holidays, and now that the holidays are ending . . . I do admit though that I feel awful everytime I don't bathe every day, and though I don't look forward to bathtimes, at least I still do it. Maybe that would make it easier to integrate into school life.

A few days ago, I came across the book "The Audacity of Hope" by Barack Obama, and since it was in a bookshop and I wouldn't be able to afford it, I had to speed-read through it. I also spent some qualitiy time reading about his thoughts of religion in general and I have to admit that I do agree with a lot of the stuff that he has said. I guess I should say now that Barack Obama is my favourite candidate in the United States Presidential Elections, and the one that I hope would get to be the American President, later, if not now at least. He is young, and he has the world at his feet, loosing now and gaining later would not be such a bad idea, since it would gain him a lot more experience than what he has now.

What I did find interesting was the fact that he grew up being exposed to a lot of religions, and yet when crunch-time came, he chose to become a Christian. He even spent some years of his schooling in Indonesia of all places. In fact, his father was a Muslim though he considered himself an Atheist by the time he married. According to him, what finally pushed him to become a Christian was the fact that Christianity was relevent to what he wanted to do, and the fact that it was alive for him, much like it is alive for me. In fact, Christianity is not about putting ourselves on a pedestal and proclaiming that we are better than everyone, but rather, putting ourselves among the people who need us so that we can help them.

I found it refreshing to have my religious beliefs backed by someone whom I respect very highly, and someone that I can look up to as a role model. I would say that maybe, God brought me to that very section to open my eyes and see what Christianity should be about. It is also a fact confirmed by my pastor in the earlier sermon on that day (now that I remember that it was a Sunday that I came across that book). God has become more real to me as a result, and I can safely say that I highly doubt I'm going to exchange that security in Him for the uncertainty of the world today.

Andrew and Christopher

Today was Easter Sunday and as a result, today was a special service. It was so special in fact that it started at eight thirty in the morning rather than the usual nine thirty, and I almost overslept because I couldn't sleep the night before. It was worth it though, and I'm glad that I came, because in was in the sermon in which God answered the questions I posted to my mother on Thursday, when we were both having dinner. I don't know whether to be scared of honoured, especially since God is paying so much attention to me.

The service was really nice as well. Even though we did not sing "Lord of the Dance", which I really wanted to and am still praying for it, the other songs were really nice. There was even a concert band, and they were really good. It made me realise that I am in fact a classical person rather than a modern music person, even though I still have not shed my love for hip-hop, rock and jazz. I guess you could say that classical music is my favourite genre of music now, and I'm even thinking of joining the band in RP. I feel so much more comfortable with music than any other past time, with the possible exception of reading and writing.

In addition to that, there were many entertaining moments in the service as well, and the majority of them done by Reverand Melvin Huang himself. Seriously, he made me laugh half the time. I also was rather stunned to find out that he could play the guitar; he actually played it during one of the songs in the outlilne today, and he refered to it as "Stunted Christian Country Rock" and apparently, he did something wrong because after that, I heard a "oops!" from him. He also forgot to do the blessing, and someone had to remind him to do that, hence the "Oh-yah!" from him.

However, despite the glitches, the sermon was really good, because today's sermon was about evangalism, and the way Reverand Huang made it sound, it seemed so simple. Of course, after the service, it would be much harder, but I guess as long as we treat it as something that we need to do and convince how easily it can be done, then maybe we would be able to do it with confidence and aplomb. Reverand Huang summarised the concepts in two key terms that I should remember, which were, "Come and see, go and do". Moreover, he also suggested that one thing Christians should do is to write out their journey with God, so that they can get their non-Christian friends to refer to it., which is what I'm kinda doing with my livejournal.

Another thing he suggested was to bring our friends to Church, or to any Cell Group of Outreach that the Church starts. In fact, according to him, it is the way in which the most people end up comming to know Christ, and according to him, one of the simplest as well. I guess even I can do it, and maybe I should start to, though I still have to wait until I get a cell group because Church may be too daunting for them. I guess I'll wait until God provides the chance for me, because now that it's the holidays, I don't hang out with much people.

"Wild Swans" by Jung Chang

Today, after probably a whole week, I managed to finish "Wild Swans" by Jung Chang. It is probably the thickest book I've read in my entire life,  of course excluding my textbooks. Yet, the book covers exactly what I studied in Secondary School History; the experience of Communism in China. I do wish I had read this book when I was in Secondary School because it really would have helped in my History grade, or even when I was still in MI. However, it is too late for any regrets and anyway, the book really was worth it.

Basically, this book is about three generations of women and their families during the twentieth century, during the rise and fall of Communism. It also outlined key events in the History of China, such as the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, as well as a phycological evaluation of Mao and his policies. It was altogether a very interesting book, and it raised a lot of issues that I would be touching on, prefarably in other entries because there are too many to touch on. 

What I liked about the book was that it was in an easy to read format; the author did not use many difficult words to explain her points, and I loved her descriptions of the surrounding countryside. I also loved the way she described the people she encounted during her experiences, and how she made them seem so real, so much so that it makes you want to get to know them better and to find out what happened to them in the end. It is particulary sad though, when you read about the deaths of the bravest of people, just because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

There were also some light-hearted parts that really made me laugh. One such part was the mention of the Christian Warlord, who baptised his troops with a waterhose. Humour, especially in the hardest of circumstances, are so rare and yet so necessary sometimes. For example, the cynical humour of the author's younger brother, Jin Ming, as well as the kindheartedness of him and other people mentioned throught the books, made it a testiment of human spirit and how it could shine through the hardest of circumstances.

This book also contained sentimental value for me as a Chinese, because even though I know that I'm a Singaporean and I consider myself a proud Singaporean, I am also a Chinese, and this was the land that my ancestors came from. Moreover, the author's father really reminded me of some of the principles that I should be upholding, and I would be talking about these in subsequent journal entries, because the his story was the story that stood out for me the most in the entire book, and he deserves his own entry.

Right now, I am reading Ian McEwan's "Atonement", and I will be commenting on it when I finish.