Kev (abr. Kevin)
Irish, Gaelic orgin. Caoimhin.
1. adorable. 2. gentle one

Walkabout (walk-a-bout)
1 (in Oz) - a walk in the Outback by Aborigines that lasts for an indefinite amount of time. 2 (chiefly British) - an informal stroll among a crowd conducted by an important visitor e.g. a monarch. 3 a walking trip.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Singaporeans, are they?

For the past few days since the Singapore's women team won the Silver medal in the women's team table tennis event in Olympics 2008, I have been either seeing or hearing comments made against them. Chiefly they were regarding issue of the women's team being not Singaporean, but 'imported' as so coined by one of my friend. Somehow this has somewhat hit on a raw nerve and I get very emotional every time I see or hear a similar comment. Probably because these comments comes from Singaporeans themselves! I would have understand if such comments were to be from non-Singaporeans, but to hear it from Singaporean themselves is really too much for me to bear!

Technically, these women are Singaporean as they have already been given Singaporean citizenship. So, case close on this issue! But then, I'm sure this will only shut the critics' mouth up but never really truly make them realise their flaw in their viewpoints. And so let me tell you a story, though I'm extremely bad at story telling, which I hope will convince the critics to see the light.

"Long long time ago, back in the days of 1965, a new nation was born. Together with her birth, her people was given a new status - as Singaporeans! No matter where her people were born, where her people spend their younger years, or what her people religion or races were, they were all given the title of Singaporeans. And for years, these Singaporeans with roots in many other places 'cept Singapore were pretty much condemned (by her ever so friendly neighbours etc), and Singapore's odds of surviving adolescence was next to nothing. But still, her people worked hard and beat all odds and even propel Singapore's ability beyond her physical size.

And now, 43 years down the road, a group of people of different background e.g. country of birth etc intends to not only make Singapore their home, but to bring sporting glory to Singapore. But, her people shut their doors to these new Singaporeans instead, citing among other reasons, that they are not even born in Singapore to begin with (in order to be considered a Singaporean)."

Moral of the story? Are you going to deny your grandparents or great-grandparents of their Singaporean status because they never grew up in Singapore but in China/India etc instead?

Monday, 25 August 2008

To die trying...

First off, thanks guys/gals for your comforting words and encouragements for my previous post. Yeah... my work has taken a turn downhill, but I do not, and will not give up. I guess, I just need some place to vent my frustration, anger, disappointment, and all my negative feelings. And as bokjae has mentioned, this is life. Along the way, we are going to meet with lotsa challenges. And as Dr Randy Paush had mentioned in his last lecture of his life (he gave his last lecture knowing that he would die from cancer a few months down the road), "... the brick walls are there not to keep us out, but to let us prove how badly we want things. ". So, I guess if I want it bad enough, and just keep banging on the wall (pun intended), it would one day collapse! And a phrase that he said keeps coming back to me - "...we cannot change the cards that we're dealt, just how we play the hand". A very meaningful phrase, I reckon. If he see through death in such a calm and positive light, what is my little non-life threatening setback compared to his? So, no matter what, I'm going to hang on. I will hang on till the rope snaps, and then at least I can face up to the world and proudly shout, "I tried".

And if anyone is interested in 'The Last Lecture' by Dr Randy Paush, you can catch it in youtube at And being a truly dedicated and caring educator he is, he dedicated his last lecture before his impending death (on 25th July 2008) to inspiring people to pursue their dreams. It is really disheartening to see him passed away at a golden age where he could have contributed so much to the next generation, should he have survived this ordeal. And clearly, there are so many educators out there who cares only for their own fame and benefits that live to a ripe old age. How ironic is this world?

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

the longest night

I wish I could write this post in better circumstances, and fact is there were better instances just a couple of days ago. But, everything just went down hill since Monday. What else could it be regarding but my research project?

I see myself as a calm lake. The surface of the lake is so still that you can be blinded by the reflection of the sun from the lake surface. But yet, underneath such deceiving calmness lies the emotional undercurrent so strong that no plants or life can establish a foothold. On the outside, I may appear well, or barely scraping through in handling the constant stresses of a PhD research route, but deep down it's always a constant struggle.

Faith? Faith that everything will come to be alright eventually? How is it possible to have faith when you're being stuck down to the valley floor almost every time you are about to climb out of the dark abyss? It would seems I would have more faith in staying in the dungeon of despair than escaping. Hope? The more you hope for, the harder you fall. I daren't hope. Not even so much as to hope I can graduate.

But yet, as certain as hope and faith slowly slip away from my grasp, a part of me urges me to carry on. But how far can I go on, constantly being abused psychologically by myself? Like holding on to sand particles, the longer and harder I tried to hold on to hope, to faith, I could feel myself slipping away.

I've thought of giving up, throwing in the towel, simply just pack my bags and left. But I just don't have the courage, to face my mentor, to face my friends, and to face myself for being a failure. So how can I be 'honourably discharged' from my research? Accident? Yes, hopefully some sickness or accident would render me a few months or a year's break, and thus it would be perfectly alright to discontinue my research studies. Morbid? I sure am. That is what constant psychological stresses and cowardice left me with.

I wish I can be numb of feelings and emotion towards my research. It is the only way I know of to survive these trying years. No hope, no faith, no expectation and I will have no disappointment, no sorrow, no despair.

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