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Pre University Seminar 08, generic..
Saturday, May 31, 2008

The last week has been a blast, what can I say. It took me almost three days to just upload all these pictures and write all my sentiments, but I think it's totally worth my time. The Pre-University Seminar, for those of you who don't know, is basically a 5 day residential camp confined mainly to the sprawling campus of NTU, exploring the topic My Global City, Home For All, through group presentations by individual JCs. It's an interesting opportunity to interact with the creme da la creme of Singapore's students, and get a crash course on interaction with our seminar groups.

Leaving on a monday morning with a huge duffel bag I borrowed from a friend and a blazer cover, I cabbed to Cheryl's place to meet up with her for lunch. After a meal at her grandma's, of which was something of a first, we hurried over to catch the bus to NTU, from TPJC. Already my excitement was turning to jitters, about fear of a cold group and an introverted experience in all.

We finally disembarked at our given hall, amidst the vast campus. Check in was a tidy affair, keys and rooms assigned. My roommate, however, was extremely late, due to VJC's bus driver clueless on where to go. I was amazed, within several hours of ice breakers, while other groups still shunned the new company, ours was brimming with conversations and laughter. I couldn't have asked for a better group!

Kicking off the day were the dreary briefings on campus matters, upcoming events and etiquette. But I shan't ramble off into an essay. A picture tells a thousand words.

The funny faced guy (who isn't? lol) on the floor was my roommate, honestly, kind of unkempt, but that was in my standards. Subra for short, he was a presenter for Victoria JC. Getting to know him was a bit similar to myself, spent several nights up late chatting. Good to get things off your chest to an outsiders view.. On the extreme right, Joel (Fan), an entertaining confusion with naming complications, and my evil/good twin. On my right, Ivan, close confidant and fanatic chinese singer :D

The view from the rear of a certain cafeteria, the raindrops really caught the potential in the shot.

Si Han, myself and Faizah. As you can see Si Han's pretty tall eh? Lol. the first person I knew prior to Pre U sem thanks to Joseph's brief introduction. Faizah's from republic poly, and maybe it's me but I find few malays nowadays wear that head scarf, so she came as a mild surprise to me.

Macro-ed wooden panels, but perhaps I'm taking too many of these types of photos eh?

Pre U sem theme, My Global City, Home for All. It's a bit of a paradox for a context like Singapore, but who's going against the government?

Here's a new technique that Cheryl taught me in the middle of the pre u sem. Colour accent. You select the colour you want to accent, rendering the surroundings black and white. Quite effective in bringing out the focus on certain people..

The gross breakfast for some morning, with the sunny side up more like a mirror, from the massive dose of oil generously lathered all over it. Repulsively oily.

As you can see, colour accent doesn't work well on face skin tones. Jake came by so I yanked him away for a colour accent experiment. He notified me about our parallel presentation's recieved applause too, which was really encouraging :P

TJ's Student Council president, Esti. She's slightly tomboyish, but practical yet funny. Here she is sharing the proud colours of her school. And I guess mine too, heh.

Managed to shop for a pair of slippers the Sunday before the seminar, going out with Cheryl and Zhi Wei. I still haven't forgiven and forgotten the latter's actions, but that's for a whole 'nother story.. Can't believe it was my first time wearing slippers, kinda late bloomer eh? I got this for $22.90 under the GSS too :Y

Put to good use in making someone stand out from a crowd. She was in SG8, just one group away from mine.

Rugby player Kenny, and Ivan on the left. Man, the red was striking.

Abigail, RJC if I remember correctly, candid yet posed :d

On the last day during the closing ceremony, we gathered for a group shot, kinda singled the lurid green blazers out from the sea of blacks and blues. Innova's was the most vibrant to stand out though, in a cloudy blue. For the few of you who half know, it's Sabrina, Shermaine, Cheryl and myself.

TPJC! The few of us you'd recognize are at the left hand corner, all in different shades of green from the various timeline of blazers. Did I mention mine was oversized, not having anything but L available?

Jolene, Deborah and Yu Jie. Blazers were switched, except for Jolene's. Intro's seperate and jumbled up, for Yu Jie, he struck me as this really intellectual guy, taking KI. Explored issues on religion and general knowledge, with perspectives I haven't really seen before. Guess that's why I wasn't cut out for KI. Read during his free time, but was quite sporty too. All rounder I think. Darn.

Ivan from Dunman, IP programme. Damn he makes me envious. The creme de la creme come here, and then there's still the cream on top of that creamed layer. He was anything but proud though, affable and entertaining, lol.

At the closing ceremony with a heavy heart, knowing we'dall leave too soon.. Esti and Subra.

That's Nisha on the right, in NJC's shocking red. She's got high metabolic rate like me too, hehe. So there was a common subject from the beginning already.

Guess mine?

Shaiful, Ting Yi and Si Han. Any surprise that Shaiful from Pionner already knows Phyu Phyu? Haha.

Deborah. I was hoping to change badges with her cuz it looked so similar to Damai's, but apparently they bless their badges upon the student investiture, so exchanging was outta the option :(

Here's a more glamourous shot of Abigail, I think their tie looks nice :/

I swear I don't know how else to smile..

Jolene, avid and sporty canoeist whose strength surpasses the average guy I think. Lol. Apparently we went to the same countries twice (some places around Europe) around the same time and never had the opportunity of aquaintance till now. Woulda been pretty surreal if I had know her earlier..

Couldn't be more honest when I say I'm glad I'm in TPJC, but wish they woulda have given me a better fitting blazer :o

Think I look pretty gay here, but anyways introductions have been mentioned earlier. Two cameras, one pair of eyes. I dressed up as a Christmas tree, logs, leaves and decorations from the vivid colours of Innova (Jolene's), TPJC, and National JC. I just realised I haven't got any of Nisha from NJC who lent me the blazer. Darn.

The Neubronner2000. A nickname we coined up after her creative interrogative skills and versatility in truth or dare. Part german, japanese or some others, but a really mixed girl, haha. That's her surname though, she's Nicole.

Brendan, ASC(I) An awfully hilarious dude with a personality to boot, similar in lucid details like I prefer. It's better if you didn't get my gist.

Saw Wah, MI. Slipped my mind to ask her what campus life is like, but she said competition really sucks because you get all the rich kids who aren't really academically inclined going in there. I like the effect on the tie C:

Nicole and Ting Yi, they were camwhore-y so I put the better few shots only in here, haha.

To thank; our SLOs, of which I can't remember what it stands for.. Think of it like orientation, and they were the OGLs. Just a year our senior, and way packed with studies and revision but they didn't lose their sense of humour.

The NYP badge looks really snazzy don't it? Along with the black blazer, looked really corporate like..

Macro and colour accent combined. Hope I'm not spamming this effect too much..

Evonnie in the background, requesting only for her smile to be taken for that effect. Worked out really artistic, with her advice :d

Wait, this is a repeat if you noticed, except now its on the green not the red..

No comments on my smile please, I got enough 'constructive' comments, heh.

Evonnie and Deborah, the former being a rock climber from NYP. Pity I didn't get to know her much though, I thought she was kinda tough physically and mentally, but when it came to the farewell only her and I broke down. I can't take goodbyes easily, really insecure over the loss of company. Which is probably why I screw up so much worrying over the end. Her facade was really strong though, but thankful I wasn't the only one overly worked up over the leaving...

The three of us headed over to Secret Recipe at IMM after the debrief, mine being the first time setting foot into that mall. Actually we didn't wanna take off our ties after being so used to Damai, and it didn't look bad either so we had it on till we left for home.

I think that week went by too soon. When will another opportunity like this arise, with the consideration of our fast paced education? I'm proud to say I appreciated and treasured that little time though, and not lay back to wait, or not that'd have been a sore thought. For Zheng Wen, remember sometimes you got to live like there's no tomorrow, no future chances..

I'd lie if I said I'm glad its over and now I can have some old company back. Perhaps if my group consisted of a bunch of introverts including myself, then I'd be happy to return to the normal self, but the energy of our's was unforgettable. I thought I'd mature and come to accept good things coming to an end as part of daily processes.

Seems not, because the attachment may drift but for a while it tethers. So I need to pre-occupy myself... badminton, shopping, barbeque, hope it all lasts longer than the nostalgia, or not the seconds to the mid years..

penned by joel at 1:14 PM


Photo editing
Monday, May 19, 2008

Some may despise this due to the eccentuated vibrancy that kills some the meaning of photography, but everyone has their different takes I guess. These are some photos I edited, originals taken from's photoshare, the ones above being the original. Comments welcome, what are your takes on editing? Should it be put down?

Personally I am for it, because there's simply no time for people our age to wait patiently for that perfect shot.

penned by joel at 2:41 PM


Is it time yet?
Sunday, May 18, 2008

The 111st post, but to some this number is insignificant due to the age of their blogs. Anywho, it's been a tiring week and the next is going to have three hurdles, being the mid year assesment for GP, MT and Economics. The rest are slated for post-June holidays. I love the short fridays, even glad to wake up in the morning, looking forward to any outing after school and the godsend of the weekend.

Few pictures nowadays, from the monotony of the coming days, but here are some to break the bore. Taken whilst at meridian and en route home, after the girls tennis match. Prior to that, I'll just summarize the week.

Got back my much anticipated Maths Faculty test, to an awesome 33/50. previously, my tests were failing, at an average of 7/20. The jump was a much needed reward to the bucking up I had to do. Money's getting tighter, did I mention that? Find myself cutting off $2 from my pockect money everyday to ensure I've got enough for my bill and the sudden splurges while I'm out. I went over to Shermaine's place for tennis, played for two hours and saw her room for the first time. I find more student's I know in JC live in condos or landed property, rather than HDB. Not implying anything though, could be a mere coincidence.

Then I had to wake up to a dark Saturday morning to come to school early for the Pre-University Seminar briefing. It got me all hyped up, with the itineary sounding like an awesome way to spend the holidays. In a group of people from all different schools, living with teens our age for five days. FIVE meals a day, a dormitory, shuttle buses and even down to fresh linen, this seems flawless. Free food, free t-shirts, free lodging, hey I'm not really that big a free loader, but doesn't it sound fantastic?

Shermaine had to get her tennis racket so Cheryl and I went along with her to Queensway shopping centre, grabbing some tennis gear along the way. Lunch was at Anchorpoint, the not too far west, and whilst window shopping for white shirts compulsory for the pre-u sem's formal attire, my attention was dragged away by the occasional tees that I wished I had all the money to spend for. Joseph says my desire for apparel could be influenced from the company I keep, and yeah I guess there's some point in there..

An ordinary scene but perhaps also an overlooked photo opportunity? I like perspective pictures :D

The girl captain on the right, at Meridian before the match. In the middle our amiable TPJC tennis coach Raymond, who's poor in english and fondly known as coachie. Coming from Hong Kong, he has this hilarious accent that we like to mimic. On his right, Su-An, much more experienced than I. She's lives only an estate away though, making it pretty convenient for me to play at her place.

The new girl's team captain, I'm not as close to her but I thought this was a great tennis shot so I just put it here. The perfect follow through captured in that short second, the finish to any stroke that I often forget, causing the inconsistency in ball direction and speed.

On the left, the new guy's team captain, Ivor, he's got extensive experience in competitive tennis, and is a really witty guy. Danny in the middle, affable and a good listener too, I thought he'd be the captain but I guess my ex-captain had other ideas. Vishaal, my doubles partner, preferring top-spin shots. Wonder now that I'm the only doubles junior, who I'd be paired up with next year..

Just got a white shirt today, it's necessary for all participants so there'd be a cuff below the blazer sleeve and it'd look more formal. Already have one white shirt but think I'd need two cuz it's a camp and there won't be anytime to wash it. I always wanted to pair those shirts with one of these vest sweaters.

Found two outlets at Parkway selling 'em at around $30, but I've only got about $50 spare, and half of it goes to paying phone bills. Disposable income is fixed at that paltry sum since I can't really save much pocket money nowadays. Lots to want, but I've got little choice. The only windfall of my birthday or christmas is end year, bummer.

penned by joel at 11:54 AM