Birthdays. 21. 2017.

1996-2017 (21)

09 December (2017)

中学的那四年起,经历了大风大浪,最珍贵的那几份友情似乎存活了下来…

以为昔日友情可以永远同在,但或许是时间的流逝与忙碌的新生活阶段,使故人之间的距离越来越远。

人生21载,在生命诞生的21周年纪念日,不禁让人深思、反问…

难道,那些年的友情,真的风光不再了吗?

A 21st Birthday does not only commemorates the person becoming a year older – and naturally assuming – a year wiser, but also one’s coming of age, in which one becomes a true adult in the modern sense, shedding child-like characteristics and having to face the realities of the real world, and stepping into society on one’s own.

I find celebrating birthdays a joyous and meaningful occasion, because it is the birth of the ones who are close to you, that actually shapes your life experience. It is his/her birth 21 years ago, which actually made getting to know him/her a possibility, thus allowing for friendships to even start in the first place.

Friendships, to me, are probably the most important possessions in this world, aside from kinship (which I had always taken as a given).

It is, what one has to be sincere to build, to be true to strengthen, to be dedicated to maintain.

The drifting apart of old (and formerly close) friends is a crisis, the end of a true friendship is a tragedy, while the fading away of friendship is a slow and painful process of death.

Despite having drifted apart from some of my closer classmates in primary school and high school, there are those tenacious ones which have weathered through years of intermittent contact, parting of ways in academic pursuits, and expansion of social circles.

I am fortunate to have such friendships, and I am determined to protect them at all costs.

My closest homies from HI school (almost are sisters rather than bros) has all turned legal this year (the last one to turn 21 with effective from this very day as I write).

They say your secondary school friends would be your closest friends for life, and a friendship of more than 7 years will last a lifetime. I have always believed in this saying, and this is probably the first of what keeps me going in the face of adversity, knowing that the very friends I cherish would always be with me, no matter where we are, what we are doing, or how old we may be.

As we start our 21st year of life on Earth, I wish my homie’s today (you-know-who) a Happy 21st Birthday.

May 2018 be a year of more wonderful birthdays and better friendships!!

~Zquan

Advertisements

Needs and Don’t (need)

I don’t need romance; I need Friendships.

I don’t need wealth, I need health (to create wealth).

I don’t need injustice; I need equity.

I don’t need sympathy; I need empathy.

I don’t need sadness; I need happiness.

I don’t need pessimism; I need optimism.

I don’t need fury; I need energy.

I don’t need frustration; I need to be calm.

I don’t need I or YOU; I need WE.

I don’t need heat; I need warmth.

I don’t need despair; I need hope.

I don’t need deadlines; I need time.

I don’t need to feel the dark, I need to see the light

I don’t need to be distracted; I need to be focused.

I don’t need to wait for things to happen; I need to make things happen.

Just some of my random thoughts.

And wishing a happy 21st to myself. 😜

The 3 Defenders of the Nation

My experience in National Service in one of the three uniformed forces responsible for the stability and security of this nation that we live in, has given me a realisation.

The SAF, the SCDF, and the SPF, the three uniformed services that a son or daughter of Singapore could serve in, form the pillars of the nation’s defence policy.

While the SCDF focuses on saving lives such as in fires and accidents, the SPF protects the population from crime and at times, terrorism.

The SAF, on the other hand, puts servicemen through tough military training, which I believe, changes their lives, for the better I would say. I believe so because I’ve seen and heard so many anecdotes of how many people become more disciplined, become physically fitter and mentally stronger. Military service does develop one’s character and keeps one away from vices (except perhaps vulgarities and smoking). Servicemen in full-time national service are not allowed to have new tattoos when they are in service and drug abusers/addicts who are in NS are made to undergo regular urine tests to encourage rehabilitation and kicking the addiction. 

These measures, I believe, transforms lives of national servicemen (from Full-time NS to Operationally-Ready NS or Regular Service). The experiences and memories gained and made during NS would last a lifetime and the lessons learnt could be useful in life after NS.

With that, I thought of what these 3 for es could have for their slogans 🤣:
SAF: “We change/transform lives.”

SCDF: “We save lives.”

SPF: “We protect lives.”

🤒

What a horrible way to spend the weekend.

FALLING SICK. Down with cough and cold and a very bad sore throat.

This is a feeling I never want to have again.

Perhaps,

it’s when you are ill that you realise the importance of staying healthy, 

it’s when you are tired that you see the importance of rest, 

it’s when you are injured that you know the importance of preventing accidents.

Sometimes, I feel that it is when something has happened that you react to it, defensively.

It’ll be a good idea if we could pre-empt and prevent rather than react to something bad. So that the loss, damage, and cost would always be kept to the minimum, or even eliminated.

That’s all for today. I hope I’ll feel better tomorrow, waking up more energised, less lethargic, and of course, less ill.

A Trinity in Harry Potter

There are various instances of a “trinity” in Harry Potter, such as the Harry-Hermione-Ron trio, and the Peverell brothers who each owned one magical artefact of the Deathly Hallows.

Oh and there’s the Triwizard Tournament between Hogwarts School (of Witchcraft and Wizardry), Durmstrang Institute, and Beauxbatons Academy (of Magic).

I’ve heard of this fan theory that suggests that Voldemort represents the Elder Wand, Severus Snape the Resurrection Stone, and Harry Potter the Cloak of Invisibility. Not to mention that all 3 of them were Half-bloods.

And now, I’ve suddenly realised that 3 types magical creatures in the Harry Potter Universe, could correspond to the 3 magical artefacts that make up the Deathly Hallows. 

These three types of magic creatures, which are not symbols of any of the 4 Houses of Hogwarts, are prominent even in the muggle world of mythology and folklore: The dragon, the Unicorn, and the Phoenix.

The Dragon could be associated with the Elder Wand, in that it’s powerful, deadly and even fatal. Both make good prizes that every wizard would want to possess.

The Unicorn, shares an similarity with the Resurrection Stone which was set in the Peverell ring passed down generations in the Gaunt family (Voldemort’s maternal ancestors). The Resurrection Stone could (supposedly, according to The Tale of the Three Brothers) bring back the dead to life. Similarly, Voldemort survived on drinking unicorn blood with the help of Quirinus Quirrell in the Philosopher’s Stone (Book 1), tethering to life the Dark Lord who has lost form after his body was destroyed when he first tried to kill the infant Harry Potter at Godric’s Hollow.

The Phoenix, the immortal magical creature, bursts into flames when it’s growing too old, and rises from its ashes. This aspect is particularly similar to the Cloak of Invisibility, first owned by Ignotus Peverell, the cloak that supposedly enabled him to hide from Death until old age as depicted in The Tale of Three Brothers. Another characteristic of the Phoenix is the potent healing powers of its tears, which as seen in the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2), was the antidote to Basilisk venom. Thus the phoenix (in this case, Dumbledore’s phoenix Fawkes) is able to save lives and thus allowing Harry to live longer, a function which I believe to be similar to the Cloak of Invisibility.

Last but not least, these three types of magical creatures, the Dragon, the Unicorn, and the Phoenix, provide the most commonly-found wand cores, namely, dragon heartstring, unicorn hair, and phoenix feather.

“Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus.”

Seemingly “little” words of kindness, gratitude and encouragement

Thanks. Happy Birthday. Jiayou (加油!)

These words, however effortless they may seem, have such an impact beyond what people usually perceive, and of course, they mean much more especially to me.

These words, however minute or insignificant they may appear to be, could brighten up one’s day. They make one feel that he/she is appreciated, is valued and important (to others) enough to show some concern for him/her. 

They make one feel that he/she is not alone, that he/she is not forgotten or left out, that he/she has friends and ppl who care, that he/she is worthy of living in this world.

There’s would always be a he/She who wants to be counted in/involved in things that done/experienced together with others; he/she who wishes to have friends, especially those who would stay true and sincere, regardless of what happens, until the very end; he/she hopes to have friends who are thoughful enough to do something for him/her, in true and pure friendship.

I concede that true and longlasting friendships are rare, but I don’t believe that it’s that uncommon to have true friends at any point in one’s life.

I myself have came across several, but struggle to maintain them as studies, NS, time and other commitments attempt to diminish them. 

The way to start a friendship, or any other relationship for that matter, always starts with words of kindness, words in which one tries to be nice and friendly, words which start a conversation that would otherwise not be initated.

I’ll always remember, the times when Zhi Wei and Cedric thank me, when Tristan and Jessie encourage me, when Kai En consoles me, when Joel Eb, LTC Low and CPT Ming Xiang ask how I am, when Gladys Aiyo at me falling sick again, when Miss Janell says she believe I could do it (A levels). All these I’ve mentioned are just a handful out of the many kind words I’ve received from some of the many people I hold dearly to my heart, the people who mean the most to me.

Thoughts in my free time,

Zq

HLS Wednesday

So Yesterday we had our usual HLS (Healthy LifeStyle), a.k.a. L.I.F.E. (Lifelong Investment in Fitness and Exercise) Programme in camp.

What made yesterday’s HLS session special was that some of my friends (who usually don’t participate) joined the HLS session.

These people, mainly, Timothy, Corn, Hao Zhan, and the usual peeps like Sylvester (who’s back for a couple of months only), Zhi Wei, as well as Joel and Yi Zheng, our friends/colleagues from Pers Node.

Although we only did 3km for the running segment (unlike the usual 5km on Wednesday), I hope the extra stretching exercises after our “static”/calisthenics (if I’m not mistaken), also known as EMOM, would actually help.

Yesterday’s was a great exercise, hope to have more times like these where I can keep fit with my closer friends in camp, before they or I ORD.

SMUN 2017

So SMUN 2017 ended today.

A wonderful, exciting, and eye-opening experience.

The 4 days spent in Tembusu Learn Lobe had not been in vain; I’ve learned much more about MUN and diplomacy.

So the first day was probably when I was most nervous: that 3 hours in a room with 6  more fellow delegates and 2 chairs (I’m referring to the Dais chairing my cabinet/committee), having to make an opening speech in front of them, having to speak up when fellow members of my “cabinet” refer to me.

Honestly, I didn’t expect to speak up on the first day at all. I had intended to just keep quiet and listen to what the others have to say. However, the opening speech forced me to speak and thus I spoke a little, and then having nothing much to add, went back to silence. But this wasn’t that of a bad start after all, as I spoke a few more times, nervous and stuttering as I spoke, but the thing is, I spoke. That’s good enough for me, for the first day at least.

So Day 2 went as the debate got more intense and more incidents were happening and our newsfeed was constantly being updated with (ice or heart)breaking news. We went to the National Gallery for the socials, where food was (obviously) provided (it’s not socials for nothing). There were also guided tours about the former Supreme Court and City Hall buildings that were connected to form this National Gallery, but it was so long and boring that I left the tour probably 10 minutes into 45min-1hr tour. I did passed by the exhibition where the works of Yayoi Kusama were featured, though I didn’t and couldn’t enter the exhibition as there was what seems like an event in progress.

Then came Day 3, where roses (😱🤣😂) started being passed around, much like notes that were passed from delegate to delegate. And on that same day itself, I received 3 letters prepared by the crisis team/backroom addressed to my portfolio, National Defence. It was actually quite interesting (and amusing as well) to see that they printed out letters, which were made to look like official government letters, complete with insignia and the font commonly used in detective comp games.

Day 4, the last day. At last, this exhuasting yet fruitful event comes to a close. Feelings of sadness that all things have to end somewhere and at some point in time came through, but it also meant for me a beginning, a start to actually learn more about MUN, to gain more experience, to learn to speak better.

Not forgetting that we have somehow managed to reunify the nation at the end of the last committee session of today and of the whole event, before our last lunch at SMUN 2017, we heaved a sigh of relief *phew* *yay* that we are done with this crisis. This crisis council was certainly not easy, after all, it’s rated 4/4 in terms of difficulty level, comparable to what a UNSC committee would face. 

I’ll remember these interesting characters of my committee:

  • Min. Unification: Elijah, who speaks with an American accent, and is so adept at debating, making speeches, drafting directives, and “warmongering”.
  • Dir. NIS: Jyan, the tall guy who’s always very calm and steady in speaking and addressing the council, the one who knows almost everyone in the org comm and some of the chairs too, the one who received roses from someone via the notepassers.
  • Min. LIT: Ashna, the only lady in the JCC list of delegates, who was also our PM, who speaks like a rights activist, a natural in speaking, the very enthusiastic VJ girl who invite us to come for SMC next year.
  • Min. Strategy&Finance: Joseph, the guy who would always address the council calmly but agitated when we try to touch his funds 😂, the guy who was gagged by the chairs, the guy who also received a stalk of rose and was very taken aback, the guy whom one of our chairs tried to joke with. 
  • Min.FA: HaoYang, the smart guy who speaks with a Chinese accent, the guy who “released” an album, who kept pushing me to deploy assets, and also the one messenger and diplomatic channel between our side and the cabinets/committees in the rooms along the aisle.
  • The 2 chairs of ROK cabinet, acting as the Pres: 
  1. Yu Han, the doctor-to-be, tall and seemingly-quiet guy, who had loads of experience in MUNs, whether as chair, delegate, press corps, etc. The guy who appears to be playing (Civ game?) on his computer, the guy whom Joseph asked for help with math, the guy whom I always see taking bringing some food from lunch for his friends in the committee/crisis team/secretariat I suppose.
  2. Stephanie, the very young and conposed chair who looks more outspoken and willing to show more emotions than Yu Han, the chair who watches online videos of cats/rabbits/dogs on her comp (which was displayed on the screen occasionally), the chair who would joke with us a bit more (clapping is not in order 🤣), the experienced MUNer who provided me with feedback and suggestions on how to improve my skills after the closing ceremony, along with Darrell from the backroom.
  • Crisis Director: Christopher Davies, the angmoh with fluffy/curvy hair and speaks English somewhat like a Singaporean chinese, accurate yet informal/casual, funny and interesting guy who always asks for our feedback or grievances (if any) after each day of committee session.

And not to mention that we had a sudden visit by some ppl offering us Red Bull to tide us through the long meetings, someone wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap speaking to us as a rep of the US, etc.

Thanks for the memories!

SMUN 2017, 13-16 June 2017

Monday blues’ day

So yesterday was the start of a new week.

I was still on duty in the morning. I woke up at 5:30am because I couldn’t sleep. Felt tired but not sleepy, I would say, although the fatigue came in when I was on the bus on the way home in the evening.

Evening bus rides back to home are usually the best time and environment for me to rest: there’s aircon, there are seats, and of course, more importantly, the movement of the bus on the road makes me feel relaxing and sleepy. Nowadays I usually take a nap on the bus home, and very curiously, I would always be able to wake up before the bus reach the bus-stop near my house.

Okay back to yesterday.

One of the best things that happened to me was when Emily, one of the nicest ma’ams in this branch and camp, gave me a mug.

And this is the second one that I’ve received from a Ma’am in this branch. The first one was Ashley, who left us several weeks earlier for another post, in a better environment. I’m so glad for her because she’s is also one of the nicest ma’ams and she’s in a better place now. She doesn’t have to face the no-action-talk-only AK-58 and that old terrible hag who looks like Rozz from Monsters Inc, the worst ppl you would ever come across.

But that’s another story for another day.

Good night.

Monday “yay”

Have been busy with a lot of stuff, and getting easily distracted, such that I tend to forget things.

There’s something that I couldn’t forget.

It was when I watched the news in the morning that I remembered that yesterday was 4 June, the 28th anniversary of the Tiananmen incident/massacre, when the social and political movement turned into a tragedy that would be remembered by people for years to come.

So I read that Hong Kong, as is every year since 1989, held a candlelight session, a commemoration event that mourns the dead and calls for vindication for the victims of this incident.

Hopefully, one day, wounds could be healed, justice would be upheld, and differences would be reconciled.

zq😓