The Best of Both Worlds: Living Alternate Lives in Stanford and Oxford

“It’s hard to feel comfortable around you, or, you know, the same, knowing that you’ve studied in not just one, but two of the world’s most elite universities,” a friend of mine divulged during our annual catch-up, an occurrence limited by the once-yearly frequency of our returns to our hometown of Singapore. “Stanford and Oxford. Wow. Just wow.”…

Truth, freedom, and identity: scattered travel thoughts

The contemporary struggle for truth and freedom isn’t quite contemporary; it’s a debate that existed long before the horrors of 2016 (I apologise for referencing Buzzfeed), Conway’s #alternativefacts, or the purported end-of-American-democracy-as-we-know it. We often hear that we are at crucial crossroads, teetering on a precipice of intolerance and deceit never before encountered — but the conflation…

Oxford Shenanigans

“Oh, so you blog?” “Yeah, I do! Well, kind of.” That murky wave of guilt laps at my conscience and I remember that it’s literally been months since I last posted. Sitting across a new friend at a beautiful coffee shop in Oxford, I begin to recall why I started blogging in the first place….

New Year, Old Concept, Same Life

At the debut of every new year, the vast majority of the 7 billion (and steadily increasing) human inhabitants of this earth sit down at their desks (or stand in their showers, take a run in their parks, do handstands in their rooms for all I know) and mull over the past 365 days with…

Household Gods, by Philip Hobsbaum

Household Gods “I mirrored their breaking lives,I saw their pale Distraught coming and going, lined despair, His shaken bulk, her calm pose in the doorway— I saw them. I was there.” “I have so long been silent, even now Hardly at all remember how her slim Long fingers once caressed me—was that how At one…

It’s All in the Mind.

It’s that time of the year when work starts piling up- multiple IAs and assignments lie in a stack of unkempt, disheveled papers at the corner of your desk- constantly reminding you, beseeching you to pay some thought to your neglected duties. But all you can think about is how to avoid studying for your…

Taking a Nap: A Break from the World

I never really believed in the power of naps – quite frankly, I considered them a waste of precious time that could be put to use productively. It pained me to think of wasting thirty minutes on pure lazing around: there was simply too much to do to take a break just for the sake…

To: Me.

Dear future-ruru-to-be: There tends to be a cycle of blissful happiness and terrible melancholy that repeats itself over and over again: no matter how much you try to change, or rectify your problems and mistakes, it happens again anyways. The wheel turns, nothing ever changes. An undulating sinusoidal curve. Perhaps it’s a testament to how…

Home

Home is where the heart is. A brief spell back in Shanghai more than confirmed this typically-brushed-aside adage. Driving through the familiar roads, gazing at the brick-red buildings that was once my haven of learning – even gawping at the sprawled compound that Concordia since transformed into – I realized they meant next to nothing….

Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg

I am a feminist. Abashedly, such a declaration makes me cringe. A voice in my head adamantly screams fury and repulsion, refusing to let me associate myself with the characteristically outspoken, obstinate, and vehemently bitter female advocates of feminist rights. But I am a feminist. I believe in social, political and economic equality of the…

Hair for Hope and Beautiful Lengths

Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else. June 4th, 2013. It was our first major event as a council, but perhaps represented much more. Hair for Hope is a tradition in our school – an amazing cause that never fails to raise donations and…

Busy.

I like the pace of my world. It’s busy, but for me, the less I do the lazier I get. Another incredibly hectic week. After a frenzied week of missing school intermittently for Tobacco Summits, Director General of Education visits, etc.- I was greeted by a week of tests (that abashedly I only studied for the day…

A New Chapter: Council Retreat & Investiture

5 a.m. on the beachfront. Perching precariously on the edge of a jagged rock, I look out across the deep, humming waters and marvel at my own swelling wonderment as it rises and ebbs with the tides. What is it that allows the iridescent turquoise waters to evoke such reverential devotion in us? What is it…

Piffling Postages

Things have been a bit of a convoluted Christmas-light-esque jumble of tangled wires lately, but suffice to say these few days have been incredibly eventful ones. The past week has been frenetic- from helping out at Open House 2013 (a chaotic jumble of 400 people!) to watching The Importance of Being Earnest, to multiple IAs…

Elements of Thought

Throbbing aches Of a newly formed notion Coaxed out of tranquility; Conjured from wispy thin air- Forced to materialize, to be made aware Retaliating Lashing out Coiling spindly fingers throughout Leaving us with no choice but To live in perpetual fetters to inescapable contemplation In transient delusions of liberation Tied to aphoristic observations Significance in…

Nothing Good or Bad, Only Thinking Makes it So

Thought. The throbbing ache of a newly formed notion, coaxed out of the tranquil state of wispy thin air and forced to materialize in the depths of our minds- retaliating; lashing out and coiling its long fingers around our brains, leaving us with no choice but to live in perpetual fetters to its inescapable contemplations……

Lord Turnbull and the ‘Really Inconvenient Reality’

Lord Turnbull came to give a presentation on his ‘Really Inconvenient Truth’ about climate change today, but all I got out of it was the reflection of a ‘Really Inconvenient Reality’. His presence here was showered with prestige, but tainted with an unfair amount of conceit. Not on Lord Turnbull’s part- but rather, the entire…

What it truly means to be Lasallian

Today I met up with A.S and A. at Laurent Bernard Chocolatier to have a good catching up, and the conversation that we struck up really resounded with the very core of who I am. We talked about Lasallian Leadership Training Camps (in which selected students with ‘leadership potential’ are sent to for an introduction…

Idyllic Sundays

Pumps of adrenalin surge through your veins as you cross the short expanse of the tennis court- legs flying over the green surface, breath gasping in short puffs, muscles stiffening in preparation for the impact;– then, all of a sudden, time stops. The ball falls slowly, exaggeratedly towards you as you screech to a stop,…

Perplexingly Puzzling Paradoxes: The Tortoise

I have an riveting problem for you to scratch your head over today, but I have no doubt many of you have come across it before: Achilles and a tortoise were about to race over 100 meters. Achilles was ten times faster than the tortoise, but the tortoise requested only a 10 meter head start…

New Beginnings

Ridiculously optimistic about the new year now school has started, albeit off to a crawling one. Did some registration, assemblies, and then ice breaker whatnot. Usually I’m the type to shy away from such games- I take part in them to the fullest of my capacity but I keep my mouth closed lest I show…

New Year, Schnew Yarrr.

New Years, Christmases, birthdays- all these celebrations usually call for a cup of nostalgia and a spoon of melancholy, or else a flaming plate of excitement- but these past few days have been anything but so. Relatively phlegmatic, tranquil, and utterly devoid of lugubrious mournings of lost time. I think I’ve come to accept that…

Time Must Have a Stop, by Aldous Huxley

I picked up this beautifully laminated paperback at Citylights in San Francisco- a rustic and sublimely homely book shop that contains shelves upon shelves of books. If I had the choice I would’ve willingly remained there for the rest of eternity. The comfortingly earthy smell of heavenly tomes blended right in with the roughly cut…

Scintillating Lights- Las Vegas

Paris may be the city of lights, but no city trumps Las Vegas when it comes to a display of effulgent neon strobes and glinting headlamps. In fact, one could say that Vegas is the true city of dazzling luminosity. Gliding into Las Vegas in the morning means bright blue skies, sandy majestic rolling hills…

Sweet 16.

It’s my birthday today! Had an additional maths and chemistry exam today, but today’s unofficially the end of my exams. (Only multiple choice left.) I’ve never really understood what the hype about birthdays was/is about. After all, birthdays do come every year. And if statistics hold any meaning, I technically have 83 of these to…

Myself and I

Me. What am I? Who am I? What defines me? I’m having those moments of doubt again. It’s not that I don’t know who I am, I know where I stand and why I do what I do. I know what I love, what I dislike, and I know my emotions through and through. Nosce…

Change.

Deterioration. Change. I have been on a downward spiral lately. Not really, everything is just peachy. Things are looking up and life is pretty amazing. I’ve got to admit, this year has been a relatively good one. I’ve managed to find myself this year, and get back on track in terms of co-curriculars and finally…

Times Change.

Years have passed.  Please do check in with my new blogs.  I mostly write in journals now, but when i do post, I post on my tumblr.  If you’d like to see a recent project I’ve been working on: The Ideal School System.  If you’re interested in The Lost Island / Time, they were completed…

Julie and Julia

We watched Julie and Julia after having lunch with grandparents today. This morning I painted half the river scene in my Shanghai painting. I don’t know whether painting pictures of Shanghai is a good idea. It brings back so many memories. Julie and Julia would’ve been a boring movie, but it wasn’t. It was about…

ERA

A new era has come, comrades. It is the one, the only, that shall thrive for the rest of eternity. Its greatness shall be marveled at, its beauty revered, its splendidness admired… Ladies and gentlemen, I present you………. ERA! Yes, the name is rather obvious. But what you see isn’t what you seek.  Ponder my…