Thursday, May 18, 2017

STM

Hey you

Huangmu makes sure that she reminds me constantly that I have STM - a term coined in JC to denote that I have Short Term Memory. This happens quite frequently as I do suffer from temporary amnesia of some kind - yea I know how paradoxical it sounds.

I tend to forget things - big or small, immediate or distant, serious or trivial.

But what I cannot seem to figure out is how my memory seem to adhere to a random protocol in its construct - I seem to recall the most random and unimportant of things, while neglecting bits that I probably should remember better. I guess the brains do some resource allocation subconsciously on its own when dealing with things to store in memory - some assigned a much higher priority than others. I do notice that I make special attempt to remember some things which i know are important, but some just creep up seemingly from nowhere - and unimportant to speak of!

This came up when I met up with ex-colleagues, I remember the name of my ex-colleague, whom I only got to know for a short 2 months before I left there. I remember my ex-colleague's kopi order - iced yuan yang teh gao, most random and very very unworthy of remembering.

There may be many more examples over the years which I cannot recall now, but it does bring a chuckle when I realised I can remember these effortlessly.

- Domon

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Topicless X^10

Hey you

Wow, 100th Topicless posting, must be milestone of some kind.

Anyhow.

Had a KTV session today and it dawned upon me that my voice has aged so badly. Gone were the days that I could hit those high notes easily, and now I find myself tire easily after a few songs. It almost feels surreal the inability to sing well anymore, the 力不从心 feeling which makes me so despair.

Also find myself making detours in my life, seemingly heading nowhere. At the ripe old age of 29, my peers may have already have a respectable career, a loving and warm family, some kind of goals in sight. In comparison, I just feel utterly useless, with nothing to show for myself.

Someone told me I was too idealist many years back when I just graduated. I didn't see myself that way but I certainly see it now. I am so so hard on myself for different things that may or may not be in my control. Expectations are tearing my apart.

In many ways I feel like I have not outgrown my teenage self, with that mindset and inferiority complex still intact. Problem is, I am no longer in a teenager's world, and I cannot cope with mechanism of yesteryears.

- Domon

Monday, May 01, 2017

One About the Merger

Hey you

I read with interest on the impending 'largest merger' of educational institutions in Singapore history. Mainly because one of my alma mater - Anderson Junior College - has been selected in the merger exercise.

I remain deeply unconvinced of the official reasons put out by the Ministry. While I do recognise the need to maintain the holistic student experience in a school by supporting at least a minimum critical mass to enable activities to run, I cannot see through the opaque selection criteria the Ministry has used to justify which schools were selected. Geographical proximity, infrastructure capabilities? One look at AJC and Serangoon JC and I can safely tell you none of these two 'aged' schools are well equipped to take in another school's population. These 'neighbourhood' schools just were not built to accommodate that kind of population.

As much as birth rate has steadily declined, as so many have pointed out in opinion columns, we have not stopped building new JCs. The irony is not lost in me when the newly created 'IP' school was spared from the restructuring. Why continue to build new infrastructure - consuming millions of taxpayers' money, when eventually we are going to shut off existing institutions that do the same job? That is simply a duplication of resources and unnecessary wastage of money. While I applaud the effort to introduce IP to reduce exam stress in our students, building a new school just for these students??

Back in my days, there was a truly large spread in terms of cutoff points for secondary school students to decide which JCs they could go to. Those who performed slightly underwhelming in the 'O's could still enroll to a JC, there was no 'cannibalisation' so to speak other than JCs in the very top tier. Otherwise, there were comfortable numbers of JCs in the top, mid and 'lower' tiers for students of various learning capabilities (as determined by the 'O's). Now, the cutoff points rank uncomfortably near to each other for the 'mid-tier' JCs, while shutting off many students who might have want to go to a JC. Why the self-sabotage when there is already a foreseeable shortage of students? Was it also partially due to the Ministry being cognisant of the costs of building under-utilised Polytechnics? The alarming lack of foresight is worrying, especially for a gahmen that has prided itself for being one.

Most of this rant was probably exacerbated by me being of the those affect alumni of the merged schools. I am sure students and ex-students from Serangoon for example, where they have been selected to 'be merged', are having it worst. In addition, I already lost my Primary School to that one round of 'small scale' merged a decade plus ago, so this is nothing new. But I still hangout with my Anderson classmates, we still recall fondly of the memories which are inextricably tied to our alma mater. To have it being merged, and in the process, transforming it into something wholly unrecognisable, while being provided a less-than-satisfactory explanation, it deeply upsetting.

Alas, having some experience in the past year plus working with people from the Ministry, I recognise that decisions are often made with a good mix of unrealistic but well intentions, idealism, as well as politics. The dust has settled and decision made, so like often times we Singaporeans do, we can only just suck thumb and move along.

- Domon


Thursday, March 30, 2017

清明

杜牧的诗句,传诵至今,已过百年,但仍旧是华人必读必学的唐诗。

我也记得在学校的课本中接触此诗:

 清明时节雨纷纷
 路上行人欲断魂
 借问酒家何处有
 牧童遥指杏花村

 诗句就是有这种能力,能过已精简的句子,阐述作者的思绪。

 今天正逢清明时节,早时天色也可见阴霾。

 是否每年清明总是带着一点唏嘘,一阵感叹?

 每每也带着那沉重的心,来到了亲人的墓前,总让人不胜唏嘘。

Saturday, March 18, 2017

An Anniversary

Hey you

It has been 3 years since Mok left us. Somehow due to many things happening in the past month, I did not manage to organise one get-together, like we used to do during the past years for her anniversary. Funny though, this word anniversary is often associated with a joyous occasion, something worth celebrating, yet I am using this word is such a morbid context.

But again, we should not fear death, as it is an eventuality. Only immortality is the exception, or miracle as pious individuals would prefer. So it is as much as occasion worth remembering as anything else, even more so because we owe it to the memories of our dear friend.

So much has happened in the relatively short 3 years since you passed. Sure, a thousand days may seem colossal in our relatively short time thirty years on Earth so far, yet it is but only a short period in our life to come. I got out into a great supportive relationship, changed jobs twice (yet still clueless about my future), injured myself badly while still trying to rehab my way, picked up driving and braces, looking forward to new little additions to our JC gang, attended 3 (!) weddings from our gang.

If only you were here with us.

Mok was always the special one, someone who beats to her own drums, never conforming, always unpredictable. Beneath the cynicism is also someone who is kind, loyal, righteous, and just downright good. We have shared a special connection and I will always cherish that.

On days like this I do feel a deep sense of unjust, why You have bereaved us of her, when she has not done anything to deserve this?

- Domon

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Mental

Hey you

The day I accepted this job offer I told a big fat lie that would change the way I conduct my business as usual in an office setting. That directly impacts how I behave, how I react, how I treat my co-workers etc. Even till today, the situation has been evolving, presenting many internal conflicts for me - how do I behave now? How much should I reveal? How much would they want to know? How much would they accept?

It got me thinking. Due to circumstances and my mental state being constantly conflicted and messed up generally, I do engage in a kind of multiple personality disorder. Or not exactly a disorder in terms of being a mental illness thing, but more of a confusion as to who I really am. Whoa big issue there.

You see life was simpler back then. And even though with puberty and all that messing up my secondary school life onwards, I was clear about myself. At least I was clear what side of me I would show to the world. And I lived my life since then the same way - reveal some, hide some, rinse repeat. It got to a point where the fences are blurred and I cannot seem to differentiate what I can and cannot show. Somehow, now I become a conflicted being when interacting with new acquaintances.

It is all mental at this stage - I struggle to reconcile the multiple facets of my personality, hence the word disorder.

That is also why I enjoy being around with people like Huangmu, Ldj etc., I need not think through what I want to say, it just flows.

But at work, it gets tiring.

- Domon

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

First Scare of 2017

Hey you

Dong Dong Chiang from my family to yours. We had quite an eventful CNY thus far. Ma was admitted for day surgery for her eye today. This stubborn woman suffered in silence for almost 2 full weeks before finally revealing to my brother that she has been suffering from partial loss of vision in her left eye since 2 weeks ago.

I was outraged! Firstly she did not tell me anything. Secondly she refused when I told her to go A&E straightaway. And lastly she insisted on going back to work once Chu Er is over. I mean what is wrong with this woman!? She has this inexplicable virtue of determined perseverance - a penchant for suffering in silence and just doing your work despite the conditions. Those hallmark characteristics of our forefathers which enabled the successful nation we live in today. All that. It is good and all but I don't want her to lose an eye for not inconveniencing others! That is her problem, always putting herself last, too much of that selflessness!!

Anyhow, good news is surgery went well and hopefully no complications. She can take her time to slowly recover, no doubt process may be troublesome and inconvenient. Hope she finally decides to treat herself well for a change!

- Domon