Monday, August 2, 2010

Goodbye July, Hello August

I guess I won't be blogging in my Windows Live Spaces blog for quite some time. It cannot be loaded properly. Can't even reply to comments.

The last week of July just ended and here is the first week of August (cum my last week of hols). My last summer holiday has just ended. The next time I'll have a summer holiday like this probably when I retire from work.

To everyone who made my birthday a memorable one, thank you so much :) Thanks for all the Facebook and text messages. Thanks for the celebrations at home and the birthday gifts. Thanks to RH peeps and alumni for coming over to Block 4 kitchenette and getting me prezzies and ice-cream cake. Thanks to my three MSD south fellow interns who prepared the big doggie card :) Thanks Stacey and Justin for remembering me.

23 does feel rather old. But I've stopped counting the years. Better count the blessings than count the years and wrinkles and white hair (though I haven't come to that yet).

Went home last weekend, and Daddy brought two sport shoes for me to replace my cracking old-faithful which has started to have holes at the bottom too. I like my new shoes. Went through a chapter of Mable's biology with her - nervous system and coordination. Funny how I remember my Form 5 bio better than last semester's school work. I really must have put in a lot of effort back then. I wish I could do that now, but it seems like its hard to get enthusiastic when you're not aiming for 11 A1's. I'm glad I went through that Biology chapter. Besides getting the satisfaction of successfully drilling concepts into my sister's head (and seeing her reproduce all the funny drawings), it reminded me how wonderful it felt to study, and to have studied well. I have lost that feeling.

It has already been 1 month working in MSD West (or Schering Plough). Work is getting stagnant. I briefly talked to a new intern from NTU today. It reminded me how lost I felt a month ago, going around the plant to find people I never knew of. It was then I realized how considerate my supervisor had been. She gave very detailed instructions for me to navigate in plants I've never been to; checked with the security to grant me all the door access I needed; and taught me where to print out the whole telephone directory of the plant. The intern I met was not equipped with all these and she was rather lost. I was glad to be of assistance :)

Had lunch in MSD South last Friday. The bus driver was kind enough to ferry me and a few colleagues there, so I met up with Mei and the rest of the interns, some which I knew, and some which I didn't. We're going to meet up for dinner again tomorrow at City Hall. A celebration before school starts and we start rolling in stress and work again. It made me feel happy to meet them, yet lonely remembering that I was the only intern in my office. But then again I was thankful to have met the many senior colleagues I wouldn't have talked to otherwise if I had a firm clique of my own to start with once I stepped into the company.

Tonight we had our annual formal dinner in RH. I performed, probably for the last time, with Andrew, Jing Hong, Shawn and Jon. I never really enjoy performances, for I do not really like the stress of being under the limelight. But I love practices, and I love the sound of the songs we practiced and improvised ringing in my head during work hours. Playing with a team is so different from playing alone. Besides having my mistakes covered (a very important thing!), it broadens my dimension of piano playing somehow, to incorporate the sound of strings, to bring out the heart of different songs. I fell out of love with CME last year. Performing was a responsibility, something mundane that 'must be done', something that only brought a slight, occasional joy. It is so wonderful how good leaders can bring out the best in people. :)

I will still be in CME, though I don't think I am willing to commit to performances again. I'll be around to jam, to see the new members play, and maybe to teach willing learners basic ways of playing by ear and improvising. Shan Qi was a great encouragement last year, and I wish to interact with more juniors like him - so that we can learn from each other.

I don't understand why people want to live and die for music, why it is such a burning passion to them. But I do understand the simple joy of being appreciated, when people actually listen while you play, when they care enough to say 'good job' for those minutes on stage where hours of practice lie behind. I also enjoy the bonds of 'kindred spirits' as Anne of Green Gables would put it, as we strive together to present our very own translation of a song we play together.

This Friday evening heralds the coming phase of my life as a final year. My FYP professor is meeting up myself and Mei to discuss his new research paper. We are assisting him with the literature review, and here is a chance to learn more about the project we've doing the past half year. With this extra load, next semester is going to be heavy. But the more new experiences, the more worthwhile my uni life would be. I think the next 4 months are going to be exciting ones! And maybe by next week, I'll finally feel like a Final Year. Not feeling that yet for now. :p Oh well, it wouldn't hurt to let this state of bliss (or denial, whatever you call it) continue for a few more days.

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