Viewfromb4 will be put on hold until I finish producing my magazine. Causing me a headache.
Viewfromb4 will be put on hold until I finish producing my magazine. Causing me a headache.
Okay, I have only a few minutes to write a blo g entry here. I have not been updating because its been busy, things to do, places to go, books to read, meetings to attend. So here’s a quick summary of everything that’s happen with regard to school and hall.
Thursday was supposed to be the Dialogue with the Hall Master, to be held over dinner (i.e. Family Hour). I was supposed to be on duty for tech support, but I had major clash with every other co-curricular activity that I was involved in, and had to prioritize (Political Science Society, Cross Campus and Touch Rugby). In the end, I didn’t make it.
Sunday was Temasek Hall’s touch rugby day. Since I have been somewhat regular at touch rugby trainings during the holidays but not for the last three sessions during term time because I had other commitments, like on Thursday. I went to the SRC at 8.30am, and I played touch rugby for a total of 2 minutes out of five 10x2 minute games. Temasek Hall guys in the end ranked 3rd or4th. I want to play again next year.
On another note, the Temasek Hall sports shirt makes me go, “damn, that’s one fine looking shirt.” I think its the Nike Dri-fit material. Still, I like Salomon stuff better but as far as Hall shirts go, that’s one damn good-looking one.
Monday we had Combined Block A and Block B Supper at the quadrangle. Tech crew was there to give public address support, but I wasn’t on duty. They brought out tables and chairs in the open air, and served pizza, pasta and clam chowder under open skies. Managed to burp on the Public Address system and crack two lame jokes on it too. Managed to talk to some people (including one from my old church in Malaysia, gasp!) and the Resident Fellow, Mrs. Goh.
Academic-wise, I’ve been through at least two lectures of each module I’m taking. Here’s basic preliminary thought of them:
EL1101E The Nature of Language by Dr. Sunita Abraham: She makes her lectures interesting, but my interest in linguistics is fast dying. However, her “contractual learning” and explicit expectations between student and teacher is to be lauded. The project concerning Singlish could become a particular exercise to be loathed however.
HY2241 Why History? by Dr. Keck and Dr. Chancey. Has been okay so far. I don’t understand how people manage to keep up their writing stamina to write pages and pages of notes. Hoping I do not lose interest too much. Tutorial’s on Thursday, keeping my fingers crossed and am worried about this particular subject.
PS2233 Contemporary Political Ideology by Dr. Putterman. I’m still going strong with this one. Just had one tutorial, and it looks good. The small class size makes it feel very intimate, but I feel that there’s something that we can never really cover in the course because we’re not studying JUST any particular ideology in too much depth. I liked the presentation topic I got though, on Post-modernist Political Ideology.
PS2249 Government and Politics of Singapore by A/P Hussin Mutalib. Course pack is a killer to read, but I enjoy the lectures more. Professor Mutalib is a pretty diplomatic guy but knows how to imply things to a great degree of humour.
PS3240 International Security by Dr. Khoo How San. The material is interesting but I find the lectures to not suit my mind — either I don’t have enough understanding about Political Science to really comprehend at a higher level what he is talking about, or it all seems too random to me. The books make more sense. Downside, there is no coursepack. In particular, today’s lecture didn’t stop until the next class had to tell the Doctor to. I wonder if that’s the precedent that sets the standards. That’s doubly worrisome.
The legitimate tutorial balloting results came out a few minutes before 7pm today, and the following are my results.
You have been successfully allocated the following discussion group/tutorial/laboratory classes in this round of exercise:Okay, those are acceptable results. PS2249 Government and Politics of Singapore is a large class with lots of tutorials, I’m sure I can fit one of them into my schedule somewhere. But that also means I start balloting again tomorrow.
EL1101E TUTORIAL DW9
HY2241 TUTORIAL DO6
PS2233 TUTORIAL DO1
PS3240 TUTORIAL DO2
The following classes are not allocated to you due to the following reasons:
PS2249 TUTORIAL DO4 (No more vacancy in class)
Prof. Straughan, Vice Dean in charge of Undergraduate Affairs has emailed me this morning saying that they are aware of the problem and the CORS adminstration are investigating.
Also, the CORS website had this on the front:
Tutorial Allocation Round 1A, Sem 2, 2005-06 Over the weekend, some students reported that they received email messages that they were unsuccessful in their tutorial preferences even though the period for filing preferences has not yet expired. This was an error message and should be ignored. All students should note that tutorial allocation has not been processed yet, and will not be processed till after the deadline, that is, Tuesday 17 Jan 06, 1500 hours. Students who received the error message do not have to take further action as their preferences have not been processed yet. The CORS team is fixing this problem right now. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
So its no biggie. Don’t have to re-arrange my timetable as of yet. Am saving that for Tuesday night.
There’s another reason for students to hate CORS. Right now CORS is in the 2nd Iteration (for non-language modules), Round 1A of tutorial balloting that lasts from Saturday 9.00pm to Tuesday 3.00pm.
However, today (Sunday 15th January 2006) at about 6.00am in the morning, a system generated email was sent to all the students who had balloted for tutorials the previous night. It told students (at least the FASS ones) that none of their ballots were allocated at all. That’s odd, because results only officially come out on Tuesday night. Personally, I wasn’t affected because I hadn’t submitted my ballots yet, and it seems that people that haven’t balloted were not emailed as such.
Nevertheless, when students who were affected returned to CORS, their ballot ranks remained the same. A friend told me that another student has asked the relevant authorities and they said it was a system glitch.
So ignore whatever message you got. But, you’ve probably heard it from your friends already.
There are several things that I need to document in ViewfromB4, however I haven’t got down to writing them because 1. I’m lazy, 2. After I’m done being lazy I’m busy, 3. I will somehow get them done when I find the willpower and time. These articles are:
1. Pre-IHG Supper, 12th January 2006. (short article)
2. The Kaira Gong campus concert held in Temasek Hall, 13th January 2006 (medium length)
3. The King Edward Hall VII play on 14th January 2006 at University Cultural Centre (long)
4. More CORS experience stuff
I don’t know why, but today the dining hall seemed additionally empty. Will write those sometime when I have enough sleep and willpower.
A few days ago I posted that I wanted to go for the talk by George Soros on A Global Open Society. A certain Gabriel Seah has written an account of the forum, and here is the link.
From the entire article, the best quote from Prof. Tommy Koh:
I have the pleasure of introducing Mr George Soros… I will begin by saying I do not share Dr Mahathir’s view of him… he might have slightly exaggerated his power, even though he brought down the British Pound a little.
Okay, Funkygrad’s latest online issue carries this article on “Sex in the University“. The article professes to help you “Stumble along as we bring you five most conducive spots to make out in NUS” and features the very obvious location of “Hall room”.
They rate the makeout spots on five scales. 1) Sweat-before-the-act, how hard is it is to physically get to the location, 2) Sex-tifaction Factor, 3) Climax-ability, 4) Caught with Pants Down Risk and 5) Mozzie Attack Probability.
This is the excerpt for Hall Rooms and the “Caught With Pants Down Risk” scale.
How true is this? Well, I don’t know. Living at the edge of Temasek Hall kinda precludes you from hearing all kinds of activities. I’m not in “that” group as well. Go figure. But one things for sure: its incriminating Temasek Hall. But if its a known fact or an “open secret”, then there’s nothing much to incriminate.
Caught With Pants Down Risk:
The risk of getting caught is almost zero, unless (1) you don’t like to draw the blinds and (2) you can’t keep your noise level down. There have been reports of live sex shows in PGP as well as “squealers” in Temasek Hall. You are advised to draw the blinds and lower the volume at all times.
Last week I received an email in my NUS Email account inviting me to a tea session on Wednesday with one of the Vice Deans of the Faculty of Arts and Social Science, Associate Professor Paulin Straughan. I replied that I would attend, and attend I did. Theresa was also supposed to be there was she was invited but she called for a raincheck because she wasn’t feeling too well. Here’s an excerpt from the invitation letter.
From time to time, we would hold informal tea sessions with our students to solicit feedback as well as suggestions on how we can further improve the quality of an FASS education. These dialogue sessions also provide an opportunity for my colleagues and me to get to know you better, and to find out more about your needs.So I rushed down at 9.30 of a overcast Wednesday morning, completely aware of the fact that I had Government and Politics of Singapore at 10.00 later. I thought that I would just go for the later half of the lecture. I put on one of my white shirts I haven’t worn before. Snappy.
Outside the Dean’s Lounge, was a table with food. In the lounge itself, there were four women seated at the large conference table. Opposite them was what appeared to be three other students, already there for the 9 o’ clock session. There were another two girls outside with me. One was a Chinese Mauritian. The Vice Dean A/P Straughan was a warm and friendly character, who made us feel comfortable talking to her. Altogether, it was 6 students, 4 faculty members. 9 ladies, one poor little boy — me.
In the meeting itself, she talked to us about issues about what they are doing for the student body in general, such as Student Exchange Programmes (SEP) and Internships for FASS students. She also asked us of our perception of the Faculty of Arts and Social Science, on which she said that I hit the head when I gave the comment that “the FASS is easy to get into”. She said that once it was harder to get into the FASS than in the science faculty. And it is harder to get into the FASS as compared to the School of Computing.
She asked us about why we didn’t apply for USP. I didn’t say that I DID apply for USP and I did manage to get in, except that I screwed up my registration so I am not in the USP. I did notify her of my perceived case of Elitism, with an example of the case of that student from the USP in the March NUS Open House who went, “Lets see a show of hands, anybody from RJ? HC? Neighbourhood JCs?” They then said that was pretty uncalled for. The USP is also pretty separate from the rest of the FASS — the USP students get to hang out at the USP block while FASS students don’t feel comfortable there and have no real place to call their own.
They acknowledged that there is a lack of space in FASS. The graduates, the undergraduates and the societies all are jostling for space they can call their own. As the largest faculty in NUS, space is a problem. She expressed that they are keen in getting societies and graduates their own rooms, but alas, not much can be done in the meantime.
They also discussed CORS, our study options, and our module preferences. In front of her were our academic transcripts. She saw my list of Exposure modules last semester and tried to guess my intented major: Political Science. Heck, she guessed correctly. She said my long hair was a giveaway, dammit. I don’t see any other Political Science majors with long hair, its a bloody stereotype. I told them I couldn’t get the Philo modules, and they told me I should have declared both my preferred majors as Philosophy and Political Science. In fact, they encourage people to declare two majors, then drop one later on. They assured us the departments won’t be angry at us.
The other students also told her of their plans. One was a student who was formerly from arts, and then transferred to science, and then transferred back to arts. Others were formerly from NTU and SMU. She then talked about the other courses that other universities were offering, and compared it to the programme the FASS was offering.
It ended about 11.30, with A/P Straughan asking us for emails in which we would include feedback about FASS and to remind our friends who were in the mailing list to email her feedback as well. She also obtained some consensus among those who were there that she would involve us in the FASS Open House later this year. I thanks the Vice Dean, and left. Before I got out of the door, the vice dean reminded me to apologize on her behalf to A/P Hussein Mutalib, and ask what happened during the lecture.
I rushed off to A/P Hussein Mutalib’s lecture. I got in at 11.40am, and the lecture ended 10 minutes after. Not bad, I actually managed to catch some of the lecture. I did as I was told, I saw the professor at the end of the lecture, and apologized. I told him that I was at the tea with A/P Straughan, and he told me that I was in the Dean’s List, she does it all the time. Anyway, the professor was quite congenial about my apology, and if he was irritated he masked it very well.
A lot of new things learnt today.
Its official! As of yesterday, the fridge has been cleaned. Well, its being cleaned. Most of the internal parts, the clear plastic trays that serve as platforms where our foodstuff stands inside the fridge, have been removed and presumably being washed at some unknown location. The fridge was left ajar and unpowered, with several remaining items of foodstuff that will probably go bad quite soon. Wait… that includes my cheese. Damn.
Hopefully, the fridge will remain clean and usable for the remaining weeks in the semester. Oh, and in the day that I saw the fridge being cleaned, there was a dead dragonfly on the sill of the water dispenser. Yay.
In other news, walking along C block corridors on the way back from class you can see that several doors have been defaced with white chalk. Now, the C block corridor I walk down to my room is a Female Floor and the things that are scrawled on the doors are almost of a hate crime.
I must! I must! I must increase my bust! The boys! The boys! The boys are counting on us!I don’t know if its a prank, but if it was a prank I think the girls would have rubbed it off by now. Its probably a dare or some forfeiture at some game.
Will have sex for transport.
TH Official Ch**bye.
and other assorted innuendo.
If the weather’s been any news, its been raining on-and-off since last week. Its irritating because I can’t go running anymore… unless I run in the rain.
Day 1 of school is much like New Year. You try to get everything off on the right foot. Its as thought the moment you open your eyes you gotta get off the right side of the bed and pray that everything goes well so that you don’t cause trouble for yourself too early in the beginning.
Day 1 is when I wake up early to grab some breakfast even though I have no classes in the morning. Met this International student from North Carolina living in Block A while having my half-boiled eggs. He was studying Electrical Engineering and had a cleanshaven head (which looked pretty cool). After we were done, I went back to my room, and took another nap. I blame it on the cold drizzle.
I woke up an hour later to meet a friend for lunch. That afternoon, I managed to print out some lecture outlines, check out CORS for one last module, borrow a book from the library, previewed a lecture, bidded on CORS for that lecture I previewed, and went for a lecture that I paid dearly for on CORS, Contemporary Political Ideology. After that, I went back to hall, had dinner, and tried to get to my reading while chatting up a storm.
Hall is becoming a hive of activity again. Wish I didn’t live in the corner of nowhere because I don’t get to see anything happen. At least my roommate and I can occasionally hear the seniors making a lot of noise on the balcony. Its the same thing, over and over again.
Finally, I checked CORS for the last time. I got my last module - EL1101E: The Nature of Language. And examining bidding statistics on CORS, I found that in Round 1b, Applied Ethics and Major Political Philosophers had little demand. Should have declared a Philosophy Major and snapped these up for one point, instead of taking HY and EL. Crap.
Okay. People were supposed to check in on the 5th of January, and its already the 8th today. Yeah, I can tell people are in. Last night I heard the seniors playing football on the balcony making hell a lot of noise. Just now, the next room was playing some Indian music real loud too. Kenny and Raymond have finally moved back in, and I had the first hall committee meeting of the year.
Next week is going to be a busy one. From the Tech Crew meeting, there are going to be two events in hall. On the 12th of January (Thursday), there is going to be a pre-IHG Supper in the Hall and on the 13th (Friday) will be a in-hall concert, starring Kaira Gong, NUS’ very own singing sensation. I’ll be doing tech support for the latter since I’ll be busy with another committee meeting on Thursday. And everybody’s going to be attending their first lectures, juggling it with their sports and committees as well as a little bit of bidding for those who haven’t been allocated all their modules.
And we had our first hall dinner this semester! The caterers have been jumbled up, there’s this really nice guy service the vegetables now. I loathe actually describing such mundane things as food, but I had egg (finally) and lousy vegetables (crap). Reaction to the new caterers has been so-so. Quality is not radically different from the last caterers. My roommate’s opinion is that they are worse off than before. We’ll know by next week.
Oh, and I finally met the Eric guy who emailed me when he found this blog through Google. Here’s props to you.
I got my good ol’ friend from my old Junior College to get me tickets to King Edward VII Hall’s annual production, “Fame!” as he was in the cast. Of course when he’s a good ol’ buddy then you’ve got to go watch the play. Anyway, I’m into the whole “Hall Play” thing and critisizing its quality, so I’m killing the proverbial two birds with the proverbial one stone.
Apparently they had some drama with getting the license to stage Fame! and had to creatively reinterpret Fame! so that it didn’t violate too many copyright issues or something like that. Not very sure about that. But, at the bottom of the poster had the caveat:
Anyway, the play details are as follows:
This play is being produced by special arrangement with the Dramatic Publishing of Woodstock, Illinois.
On another hand, there is another event that I would like to attend and that is :
6.30pm onwards on the 14 & 15 January 2006 @ UCC, NUS
Tickets: $15,$18, $50 (charity tickets)
However, I did not managed to register in time because of the ticketing being first come first serve basis. Dang. Would have been interesting to have a chance to see the alleged architect of the 1997 East Asian Financial Crisis (as accused by Tun Dr. Mahathir a few years back).
Topic: “George Soros & A Global Open Society: A Dialogue with a New Generation”
Venue: Padang and Canning Ballrooms, Raffles City Convention Centre
Date: Wed 11 January 2006
Time: 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Organised by Institute of South East Asian Studies (ISEAS), this exclusive event will be an interactive session in which a panel of discussants will engage Mr Soros on a variety of topics revolving around the theme “A Global Open Society”.
After miserably failing to obtain modules in Round 2B of bidding since everything I wanted was past 600 points, I got my senior (a kind senior willing to help out poor ol’ me who forgot to declare his major), to help me choose and strategize my bidding techniques.
In the end this were my results.
Module Code : PS3240
Module Title: INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
Module Code : HY2241
Module Title: WHY HISTORY? THE 20TH CENTURY, 1914-1989
Module Code : PS2249
Module Title: GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS OF SINGAPORE
Module Code : PS2233
Module Title: CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES
Modules that are not successfully allocated in this bidding round
Module Code : PS2102
Module Title: POLITICAL INQUIRY : AN INTRODUCTION
Reason : Out-bidded
I got HY2241 and PS2249 for 1 point each, International Security for 300 points and Political Ideology for 563 points. From the 1165 programme points I have, I leave about 300 points to bring over for the next semester or to use to obtain 1 more module. I also have not touched my General Account as of yet. Apparently for Contemporary Political Ideology, the minimum bid points in Round 1A is 600 points, so I saved 37 points! However, International Security most people got in for 1 point compared to my 300 points. Its a net loss, I tell you.
I wasn’t keen on taking HY2241 but brushing up on contemporary history is good and Alvin says its a good course. In the end I took up International Security too because, well, it just fits in to the plan. The Philosophy Modules are quite a loss actually, because the vacancies are in low supply, causing the the price of the module to go up. Simple economics really.
And friends tell me that they spent 5 points this semester. Bugger.