Monthly Archives: March 2012

history is not useless

history is a fascinating thing. saying the word conjures up images of dusty books and musty people, of resistance to change and a desire to fall back and sink into the past, things which are anathema to the world of the Now. of youtube and whatsapp and instant gratification – cliched but true.

but history is alive and full of fascinating things to learn and discover. i like history. i like seeing how the big picture fits together. i like history enough that i study it despite having to work my ass off in order to achieve a decent grade. this is most unlike me.

so they say that history is full of lessons to learn from. well, from my own personal history, i learnt that if you don’t dedicate yourself to focused and intense studying at appropriate times you don’t do as well in exams and on paper as you should. 4 years in that most excellent of institutions left me with a paltry and miserable GPA of 2.8 out of a maximum of 4, while my compatriots were averaging 3.6s and 3.7s, etc etc. the statistics say that i should be at least hitting a 3.4, even if not a 3.6. but that is the past. go to jc and ta-da! there i am again with ungradeds and subpasses… only last minute fiercing down in the library and a suitable amount of peer pressure gets me to take the a levels seriously enough to do… decently. in the grand scheme of things i know my 3 H2 As is pretty darn good, but once again compared to my peers i cannot help but feel a sense of dissatisfaction.

the current structure that the education system has tells each person to be the best. there is a distinct difference between doing your best and being the best. sadly, this line is not always drawn clearly. it has reached the point by which it is assumed if you ‘do your best’, your results will be ‘the best’, i.e. A upon A upon A. and while this constant frantic rush towards academic success has pervaded the singaporean education system (a well documented fact), it has no doubt created a successful system in turn. GDP don’t lie

however recently i have begun to question my own desire to really be the best. let us be very honest here. i will admit that when i came into university i went in with a guns a-blazin’ mentality, determined to squash the competition and lay the rhetorical smack down upon my peers. i came in determined to prove my academic worth, to prove that i belong amongst the cream of the crop, the figurative creme de la creme, the other top-of-the-soup metaphors and whatnot.

but recently i have found that this desire to acquire the elusive first class honours is fading. i don’t know if this is permanent or its just a phase, but i have come to the… mental ponder-ations (i refrain from using ‘realization’) thatĀ maybe its justĀ not worth it after all. slogging my guts out over academics is something i have never done. i’ve done it now and then but never in sustained stretches. maybe its just me, maybe i’m being lazy, and i’ll be the first to tell you that yes, it is an excuse of sorts. but there’s something that tells me in the long run, people aren’t going to look at whether you achieved first class honours or not, and when i’m 35 or something like that, how i judge myself isn’t going to be based on the paper that i got. maybe its army that got to me, that made me realize that being the best and the brightest doesn’t make you any better than anyone else. so what if i was a big-shot cadet? doesn’t make me a better officer. what made me a better officer (later on, much later on) was that i realized that what matters is the men around you. the letter of the law can go fly kite if you don’t care about your men first. i grew brains and more importantly grew a heart in a compressed amount of time in the army to the realities of life. that is a grammatically imperfect sentence which may pose comprehension problems but i don’t care.

and so i think history is going to repeat itself. here i am in uni, and i am going to end up with a 2nd upper (i hope), while getting myself involved into bigger things that i think (i think) will be bigger and more beneficial. i am going to go forth into the world. not that i am going to go do many different things, but i am going to devote myself to a few things, to devote my energies to things which are everlasting and eternal. i don’t know if this will work out (this line of though i mean) but in my youthful and slightly foolish naivety, i am going to walk the path that i espy before me, even if i don’t see it very clearly.


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what is a man?

its late at night and i’m doing work

i have discovered that such conditions, while not very practical, are sublimely optimal in the production of blog posts.

so today we will talk about WHAT IS A MAN? this is because i have read a friend’s blog, which says that in essence, she wants to marry a man who hears and understands God’s call. another friend of mine once said that the hottest kind of guy is the kind who is on fire for God (which is a very simple play on words but one which has stuck with me for about… half a year? probably more).

so what does it mean to be a man? considering my raging hormones and my beginning-to-tick biological clock:

being a man is being half of a complete unit. man and woman have been created to complete each other

which leads to the very common question of ‘so what kind of girl would you like to date’

so for the interests of curiosity i shall fill some of this up.

a girl i’d like to date would be (ideally) good at cooking, great at baking (yes i know stop telling me, i’m traditional. women are inherently domestic too i think. don’t call me chauvinistic… look inside yourself and you know this to be true girls!), love kids, want to have a family, play ball, be okay with staying at home to be a housewife (true story bro. i refer you back to my domestication argument. now i sound like a 16th century dude), be reasonably pretty, have long hair, blah blah other cosmetic features blah blah

and of course most importantly must love God first.

but then this begs the question that

what is a man?

a man must complete his other half. which means to say for better or for worse in sickness or in health you gotta be there man. and before you date a girl you must know whether you can do this for her. so this is the question again

what is a man?

before one goes forth to search the world for the chosen one and special soulmate one must consider that oneself must be properly equipped to do the same. in other words…

what is a man (that your dream girl would want to date)?

so you know what, i have many peers who have entered into healthy relationships which project to great things ahead, i.e. marriage. now i’m one of those people who believe that dating should be for the purpose of marriage. i must admit that this stand may sound upright and noble and all but in all seriousness it is extremely difficult. what this entails is that one must not engage oneself in any emotional playtime, i.e. flings and suchlike. while the temptation to go forth and to just have a good time (believe me i have felt that temptation many a time) is truly great, it is the thought of your future wife that must keep you going.

after all, what makes a man is his dedication and his love to his wife

a concept with which i still struggle with, and i look to happily married couples in order to understand this. it is only too often that one disses ones parents for being uncool, with the rebellious stage and all that, but i have with dawning realization began to understand that my parents are eventually my final role model (at the earthly level) for what marital bliss is. this is of course accompanied by a parallel realization that hey good parenting is super important because my own kids are going to be looking at me in the same way that i am looking at my parents.

aside: i realise that a lack of punctuation seriously detracts a reader from easy comprehension of the text. but i can’t really be bothered and truth be told, it is deliciously fun to intentionally do this, especially with the knowledge that i am arming you with the knowledge to comprehend this humour, if you don’t already

anyway the point of this exercise is to examine oneself. before looking out, one must look inward. ironically the behaviour that is perceived to be selfish is the most selfless of all. people say that they will change for love, blah blah. sure i believe that – i really do. but temporary superficial change is nothing, and only brings hurt in the end. that’s an easy thing to type but not an easy thing to experience. i think it is worth it to be extremely exacting in some specific criteria when looking for a girlfriend, so that the long term implications of entering into a relationship project positively and extrapolate upwards. do we not preach in the corporate world and in every other aspect of society and secular work that one must have the end in mind?

i propose that we do the same (propose, haha) in our relationships, particularly those that will last forever

so now, after answering what is a man, the question becomes…


still figuring it out

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andre iguodala

a dude whose game i absolutely love and admire.

iguodala, josh smith, shawn marion… these are my favourite players. no shame not to be a alpha dog scorer! as long as you help your team win



writing an essay now and i have to address feminism as one of the issues addressed by the author

just wondering if i’m qualified or even correctly empowered to say anything about what she has to say about women

i have this notion that if i were a woman, i would be better equipped to express myself

being a boy

just now i was shooting hoops

and then i realised that pretty girls are most fascinating creatures

well you see, what happens is that there were some other people not from ke7 at the court also

so i ended up playing with them

there was a pretty girl playing also

long story short i keep ending up marking her on defense


i guess boys will be boys

all is good