Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chapter 10 - Celebrating The End

On a rainy night, I'm heading into the middle of November. I must have exclaimed "What? November already?" It's not hard to realise that the year 2010 is coming to an end, because firstly my exams is in a couple of days' time. Secondly, I can feel Christmas right up at my doorstep from all that X'mas stuff I see printed on shopping malls catalogue. Yet another year and this chapter will round up a fruitful year. Of course, December is when travel agencies are jammed packed with eager tourists wanting to get their packages sorted out. Travel! Nope certainly not me at the moment, but I smile at the thought of knowing people around me going for a holiday. I'm happy, because the people around me are happy.

Earlier last year, I left my email on Brightsparks (scholarship) forum after helping a one or two enthusiastic students who wants to know more about studying veterinary science. Ever since then, I've had another four to five students adding to my email inbox. Yes it is a long and dreary process to even prepare for application, and the next thing that appears in your face is another six to a twelve months' worth of wait (for application results). So many, or rather all of them have the same questions in mind. I could even recite them now almost immediately.

what are the academic requirements?

how long is the course?

why did you choose murdoch?

how much are you paying for school fees?

do you work part-time?

are you on any scholarship?

is clinical experience enough to apply?

is the course tough?

how's your accommodation, is it near/on campus?

which agencies would you recommend?

what do you all study in the first few years?

The exact questions I had in mind when I started off wanting to know more. I counted myself lucky because these questions came up before I even started O levels. I had time to do research, I had time to prepare for my application, I had time to get myself as much exposure as possible. In fact, I had at least 3 years and of course knowing to clear the A levels was my next target; and with near perfect score.

I didn't have a mentor to inquire about my queries then, I could remember vividly the personnel I spoke to. First and most importantly I got to know Ferdinand (my agent), whom I met on three separate occasions at tertiary education fairs. Secondly I met the representative from Murdoch which by then I already submitted my folder of application details, short of my personal statement. In the midst I've spoken to representatives from Uni. of Queensland, Sydney, and even Glasgow Uni. from the UK. Till today, I still believed they are the ones who strengthened my belief to excel in my crucial examination.

Thinking back, I was in the exact situation then. I could almost feel their desire, that feeling of wanting something so much, that you could go all out and sacrifice for it. It is my pleasure to be able to lend a helping hand to the lost souls. I don't lose anything by giving, in fact I gain future working colleagues if they get through this round.


Despite already spending close to two years pondering over my future, my direction seemed to go off track sometimes. So many vets I've came across had their course of direction altered and for some changed totally in their bid to want to make a difference. Opportunities come and go along the way, and those opportunities lost me there somehow. To a certain extent, I look forward to graduation but for most part, I believed my career has already started. I may still be nothing compared to many in the profession, but who doesn't start a book by reading the first chapter?

"The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough."

As cliché as I may go, it's the journey that creates the memories and it's too the journey that we make a difference to ourselves & the ones around us. The 'destination' that we all have on our minds, to me, is like a pit-stop reminding us of our achievements. And the journey continues. I can't emphasize enough how beautiful it is.

As a student, we always have people around us getting fidgety over tests results. The mid-term examinations, that practical test, that 2 marks which the lecturer fail to award for your lengthy paragraph of words. Of course, examinations are important, minor 'destinations' for many, but at the end of the day when the semester has passed, what do we actually remember? The 2 marks? The 1 mark short of a Distinction grade? No we don't. All that is edged in our memories are what we've given to others through our time, and how we've made a difference in someone else's life, the friendship that has its roots grew deeper.

All that I'm trying to say (as a personal post of mine) is, don't let the destination distract you from the moment that's right in front of you.

Good luck to all having final exams!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Chapter 9 - August 29th & A New Beginning

So this is the story. I was headed back home after the end of last semester. 9 more semesters to go! Right now I'm enjoying what I'm studying, and making the best of my time here. To learn as much as I could get my hands on, to have as much experience that would be required of me, and to impact the lives around me. To inspire, and make this a better place.

In the 6 weeks back home, I've done and learn so much that I possibly could. To live a life of no regrets, making decisions, to be willing to let go, be happy and be kind to the people around you.

A simple breakfast, but it was the company that mattered.
I didn't have to eat by myself back home.

Have a couple of hours off at night for ice cream waffle,
I wished I could do this more often than once in every half yearly.

@ The Arts House: supporting Sean at his "short & sweet' play.

making salmon-egg-mayonnaise roll, bro lending a helping hand!

it was the company that mattered more.

jeri's birthday dinner at Sakura's!

jeri turns 21!

Happy Birthday to my dearest.

With so much more I wished I could do, the next semester looms. 1 Aug was when I headed back Perth, with an unexpected 2 hours' flight delay and an additional 1 hour delay on board.

The airport; the place I love and hate at the same time.

5 weeks of the semester have passed and I'm heading into the 6th. It's a good thing the weeks are passing by so fast. Being away from home really has its good and bad, and it's not any easy to be away. It can be really miserable when you pray for time to pass faster every night.

29th August, and I turned 22. It was a freezing night with no more then 7 degrees on the scale. My dear, you made all these possible. Love you.

Surprise! (that's Mollie, my foster dog)

Thanks for the video, my dearest. :')

There're no boundaries to what we can do, apart.

29th Aug, 1am.

"A special moment; turns a destiny.

Wherever you go, your footprints are left behind.
Alongside yours, there is bound
to be another pair of footsteps.
You've touched the hearts of many,
without you realizing it sometimes.

Although you've trekked off thus far,
we never fail to catch up with you.
So regardless of where you are,
here goes - a heart filled with wishes and blessings
for you.

Never apart, always a part."

Happy Birthday :)

On the day of 29th, I had lunch at charmaine's and her mum made kong ba bao, again! (: Home-cooked dishes, thank you for the simple yet heartwarming lunch.

A birthday celebration, a new beginning. Let us all rise up to the challenges ahead and find answers to our questions within.

Come on, let's run.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Chapter 8.3 - Childhood is special


Each one of us have our own unique childhood, millions of different stories we can share, it is just that special. It's special because no one can take those memories of your own childhood away. It's yours, forever. How far back can you remember? The furthest I could reach was during kindergarden, I could remember a zillion of things I did during then, but I struggled to recall much I did with my sis. Back then I wasn't already staying under the same roof with my sis, parents' marriage wasn't exactly stable (I can remember that), I only saw my sis during the weekends.

Not till primary school when I couldn't really think of much too, for the very simple reason that she's only 3 years old then. Soon after a year into primary school, I transferred to another school and hadn't seen my sis much, ever since then. Stayed with granny five out of seven days a week, sometimes I dread going back to my own home because the home isn't a home to be, mom and dad quarreled almost every now and then. I wanted to catch my power rangers on TV and make sure my sis slept during the afternoons after class. But for the matter of fact, till today, I've always believed we're the worst hit casualties of a marriage that'd about to fall apart.

'the picture on top is my sis, and me, below.

'when I was 7, sis was 3 then.

At the beach, I remembered finding a really beautiful seashell underneath my feet on the sand.

From then we lead our own individual lives. As kids we never really cared about anything else besides wanting to explore the computer (I touched my first computer when I was 12!), watch TV, obsessed with my sweets in shiny plastic wrappers, and never thought of anything except dreading waking up at 6.30am and needing to change into school uniform on a Monday morning.

In primary school I'm concerned about excelling academically, then I took part in calligraphy competitions, soccer tournaments and track & field. All I knew was my sis was also in primary school, but I didn't bother myself with what she was doing then. When secondary school came I began seeing my sis lesser over the weekends, because the adults above us fought and nothing could be salvaged then. It all finally came to a conclusion at 15, sis was still in primary school then. The court decided each parent should bear the custody of one of us, which meant sis to mom and me to dad.

Still, it didn't occur to me that both my sis and me were losing our childhood together. I remembered I had an acute appendicitis at 13, hospitalized for 2 weeks then. I wasn't even sure if my sis knew about it. See, all I could write was about myself. If only I was there to listen to her stories after school, if only I can help her with her homework then, if only I can take time away from myself and give it to her. Things would have been different, it would have been better.

'taken in 2007.

Till date I've come to realize so much, the photo in 2007 was the next photo we've ever taken together, twelve years since we've grown thus far. I ask myself, what happened to the years in between, all I could come up were little chats over MSN in the much later years, when we both were masters in technology in such fields. Even so, it will never, ever replace what we've lost. And I'm sure, it never did.


In 2009 I was done with my national service and headed for Vet school in Australia. That's our story, our childhood.

I had a dream about my sis last night. I dreamt we were both studying in the same school, in a university - something that has never happened. I had similar dreams before, and it always goes back to the same story.

I mentioned no one can take your childhood memories away, and for that, it'll always be true that I never had a chance to see my own sis through any part of her education. I feel sorry for myself, for not standing up for her when I could have done so.

woke up every morning, and realized life's never the same again. if only all these weren't true.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Chapter 8.2 - Life, like a cup of coffee

"The happiest people,
don't have the best of everything,
they just,
make the best of everything

Live simply,
Speak kindly,
Care deeply,
Love generously."

We all know the stresses of exams, all the what ifs, the uncertainties.
Pretty much detest it when I can't sleep as whenever I wish to,
not even when I'm exhausted.

Came across this video while having a break from studying (yes, youtube!),
thought I'd share it with the ones who still reads my blog.

Watched the 'Last lecture by the late Dr. Randy Pausch ( -2008), I've already read his book,
an amazing guy who really deserves the deepest respect. In other part of his
talk on Ophra Winfrey's show, his last few sentences were:

"Why I gave the talk,
only for 3 people,
and when they are older, they will watch it."


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Chapter 8.1 - Safari ya Afrika

Happy Birthday to Google =)


I remembered the last time I typed 'Africa' in that manner ('Afrika') was in 2008 when I had a FB post (or photo album?) on my service training in South Africa. The night's concert at Wesley Church brought back many memories as I sat on the second deck with Alex, allowing the brilliant voices of the choir to engulf me. Lasting approximately 2 hours into the evening, it certainly brightens up a gloomy and rainy night.

The architecture of the church amazes me and surely it was one of the churches in the olden days preserved and occupied up to date. First saturday of the study break, perfect way to spend the evening, away from books and the computer.


First time into a church of this brilliance.

First time to a refreshing concert like this in Perth.

Joel as the Tenor.

the choir embracing themselves in the Zulu language...


As we march into the finals, I'm happy, that I'm about to cross the first of the many hurdles of this marathon. Many thoughts from this semester, only one conclusion.

"Believe, is what you really need to walk out of any jungle."

I will, go the distance.


Sunday, May 09, 2010

food for thought.

[ if tomorrow never comes,
what would you want your last impression in the memories of people to be? ]

Food for thought. surely it affects how you'd behave, thinking twice before acting, and last but most importantly, how you'd treat others.

*random thought...

Monday, April 05, 2010

Fidelity: Eight animals that triumph Homo sapiens

Humans aren't the most faithful species around. When it comes to fidelity, I think animals can pull it off better. Here are eight species who only mate with a single partner in a lifetime, hence are termed monogamous species.

1. Swans:

Swans can form monogamous pairs that often last for many years, up to a lifetime. Two swans swimming close to each other, forming a shape of a heart with their necks - which has become a universal love symbol.

2. Turtle Doves

Turtle doves are migratory species, smaller in build than other doves. They are distinguishable from their wedge-shaped tail, with white borders; especially when they fly away from you.

"turtle" comes from the Latin turtur as the dove makes a deep vibrating "turr..turr.." sound upon it's arrival in spring. Nothing to do with the reptile - turtle!

Turtle doves form very strong pair bonds, and thus the reason why, in the song The Twelve Days of Christmas, Turtle doves come in pairs of two!

Populations of turtle doves are falling rapidly due to changes in farming practices (as they feed on weed seeds) as well as shooting practices in Mediterranean countries.

3. Albatross

These huge birds can travel over great distances, but despite all that, it will always return to the same place and the same partner during the breeding season. The monogamic pairs can form bonds with each other that will last a lifetime; usually through affectionate ritual dances.

4. Bald Eagles

The national emblem of the United States. These birds will only have a partner for an entire life, unless in an event of death of either one.

5. Black Vultures

Inner beauty or good looks? Black vultures show us looks aren't key in a faithful relationship. In fact, they attack other vultures that are caught philandering or rather, having extra-marital affairs!

6. Wolves

Wolves often have a much more loyal and faithful familial relationship than us. As such, wolf packs usually contain the two parents, and their offsprings! Amazing isn't it...

7. Gibbons

Gibbons, a family of the Lesser Apes, express very low sexual dimorphism, meaning both the male and female are of almost equal size. Also, this means they are on equal footing in terms of relationships.

8. Schistosoma Mansoni Worms (Schistosoma japonicum)

These parasitic worms often cause the disease known as schistosomiasis or snail fever (snail fever, because freshwater snails carry this parasite!). The reproduce sexually in humans, and they stick together for life. hmm.. this is sick, but they stick together via a groove in the male, which the female resides.

The parasite can penetrate the human skin into post-capillary venules, where they travel to lungs and other parts of the body. It's chronic and normally gotten from swimming in infected waters.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Chapter 8 - The little things we keep close to our hearts

Find the little things and keep them close to your heart.

"Moments stand still.
Days crawl by.
Time flies."

With that I'm heading into the the 7th week of the semester already. It certainly has been crazy and hectic, and now I really think sleep is a waste of time. (yes it repairs the body! and for the matter of fact, we don't rest our brains when we sleep, our brains never shut down, but rather, we repair the broken tissues and muscles from a day's walking and trauma. our hormones comes into our circadian cycle and makes us sleepy!) Time really flies when we're smacked with deadlines. I guessed it's only human nature to always look forward to every single deadline and work towards it, assuming we'll lighten the load off our shoulders and feel happier, not knowing that doesn't really happen. Or I would say, that 'happiness' is just a temporary derivation. Soon we're faced with new deadlines and no one exactly looks back at that 'happiness' anymore. True enough?

Being in the vet school tells me no matter how much we love animals, we absolutely hate them when we struggle to pass our exams. Though I have sever quite a fair bit of emotional ties with animals, I haven't got over my passion for the good of our buddies in the wild facing extinction.

Being where I am now, also tells me everyone studies veterinary science for a different reason, though we still end up prescribing medication over the consultation table some day. Some thought it was a something interesting, some just want to do related administrative work, some wants to be a vet down at the farm, some just wants a stable job in the town clinic and for others, they didn't know what they want to do.

Competition drives one to greater heights, and it could be a suicidal weapon too.

At the end of the day, we would still want to see each and every one of us graduate together and then we explore our own career paths. It just irks me to see people who are so competitive and keeping everything to himself, despite knowing the fact we're all in this together. I appreciate competition but being over-competitive and overlooking what's in front of you, isn't how it is supposed to be. Maybe some people are meant to be like that, which isn't a bad thing after all. Because with them in our lives, we are able to think and further our thoughts, which makes us richer; emotionally.

Think about:
1. The last 3 Nobel Prize winners
2. The last 3 Miss World Universe
3. Top 3 world's wealthiest people

Now think about:
1. 3 teachers who have an impact on and contributed to your education
2. 3 friends who helped you in times of need
3. few people who made you feel special and would like to spend time with

The second one seemed much more easier to answer. The people who mean something to you in your life, are not the ones with the most money, are not rated at the top of the list or the best. They are the ones who care for you, who loves you, who will stand by you no matter what, and lend you a listening ear in times of need.

Give it a thought.

I want to quote this from an email my mom sent:

At the Seattle Olympics some time ago, nine athletes who were either mentally or physically challenged, stood at the starting line. As the gun fired, they raced in threes. Then one boy tripped and fell, after which he started crying. The other eight athletes slowed down, stopped and turned back to look.

Then a girl with Down's syndrome went over and sat beside him, gave him a hug and asked "feeling better now?" All eight athletes went back, and walked shoulder to shoulder with him together to the finishing line.

Everyone in the stadium applauded, and the applause went on for a very long time.

People still talk about this, but why?

Because deep down in all of us, we know that the most important thing in life is much more than winning for ourselves. It is about helping others to win, even if it means slowing down ourselves.

- "A candle loses nothing even if it's used to light another one."

I guessed there will always be people in our lives who are constantly wanting to win for themselves. To me, it's a loss to them, to overlook what's far more important in front of their eyes. For the rest, we try to help them realize that winning isn't everything, but there's only that much anyone can do.

Let us all find the little things, and keep them close to our hearts.

I reckon I'll leave it here. cheers.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Chapter 7.2 - Climbing the stairs

Exactly two weeks have passed since I'm back at the vet school. Technically speaking, knowing one semester has 16 weeks. Minus two for end-of-sem exams and minus another two for study breaks, we only have 12 teaching weeks! so I'm left with 10 teaching weeks. (: How comforting.

I'm beginning to see it. The amount of sacrifices and hard work behind that smiling face of a veterinarian at the clinic or hospital. Five years worth of knowledge and surgical skills earns you that Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (Bsc, BVMS to be exact) and then we all start off as a lowly fresh graduate. Honestly speaking, that degree doesn't give you anything much, it more or less, adds on a whole new level of responsibilities and moral values.

At times, when I wake up in the middle of nights, staring at the clock which reads 3:xx or 4:xx.

"... another couple of hours to go!" then falls back to sleep.

I see an imminent problem. I need to learn to stop thinking, for that few minutes whenever I want it to be. It's really a bad thing, when your mind can't seem to not process any thoughts, even on a Sunday afternoon. Though there's no limit to how much memory the brain can store, but, still. !


2 days ago, which was a Friday night. Was talking to dad on msn, late into the night. Was about 12midnight...

Dad, "Got to go. work tomorrow."

me, "huh?! work, tmr? saturday eh. How long?"

Dad, "8.30-5pm"

me, "okay. gogo. goodnight."

Dad, "Bye."

It hurts, again, to know all that he's going through, all that he's put in, for his children. While I'm quietly studying in the library on a Saturday afternoon, with little (relative, and subjective) worries, he's elsewhere, everyday, just giving that little push to earn the extra dollar, not for himself, but for me.

He always tells me my studies is my priority, money isn't. When I was younger, I always believed money came from the sky, and dad could always buy me things which I want, and which would have some form of entertainment or educational purposes. I looked at how circumstances have changed, and I know it's not fair for him to be working so hard. What if: one day, he's down because all that late nights everyday has taken a toll on him? What ifs. all that. There're too much what ifs.

Yes, I don't have to be too concerned with all that 'what ifs', because I see each day as a gift, and count my blessings. But still, studies aside, dad, I will do my part. to lighten that burden, at least. Can't help but this thought never leaves the back of my mind. It's painful. and of course, there're so many other things we have to manage, be it daily, or part of the planning process for the future.

I guessed. Everyone have their own painful blob that hangs around somewhere, at the back of the cerebrum in the brain. It is there, and so we live with it, and manage it everyday, to lessen the pain. It's synonymous to stress - never let it build up. One day, that built-up will explode.

taking a step at a time... gaining back my inspiration.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Chapter 7.1 - Sacrifice

Been three weeks into the new year, another three to a whole new semester. Well, not actually, every semester is somewhat linked to one another. Hmm. But yes, a new year, with a whole lot of new friends. When I first came over to Perth, I thought six years of vet school seemed forever. Now that one year's down, five more to go! It certainly hasn't been easy but the many skills in life and lessons learnt throughout the year would have been priceless. It surely takes quite a bit out of one's life for him/her to grow up.

Many a time, it dawned upon me that I'm here by myself, my parents ain't gonna be around. My mom isn't going to be there to wash my clothes over the weekend, my dad won't be there to settle the monthly bills. No one's going to be there to tell you dinner's ready. No one's going to tell you to start studying, no one's going to teach you to manage your money. Basically, it's telling you, you ain't a child anymore; this is the start of adulthood. Even if everything seemed too harsh for you to accept, there don't seem to be another way to go about doing it. We take stride in what we do. We make mistakes, and we learn. We fall and we get up. Everyday is special, the whole learning process of what we term an 'adult' doesn't seem like ending anytime. As part of that process, we learn to accept that things don't always go our way, we learn to handle tricky situations, we learn to accept differences in people, we learn to make wise decisions.

As the saying goes,

By 3 ways we may gain wisdom. -

First by reflection, which is the noblest.
Second by imitation, which is the easiest.
Third by experience, which is the bitterest.


Recently, I learnt sacrifice. The meaning of sacrifice from within, a question that I've found answer to. I never understood how far, as a father, would go for his son. Sacrifice. It's such a big word. Big, big, one.

Now I do, I think I do.

"We reject someone else's sacrifice because we feel bad they are doing it,
not realising,
by rejecting them, we actually make them feel more pain."

And trying to help dad save some money for my flight back home during winter and summer breaks, I've decided not to go back so often. Seeing him work long hours everyday, and not even letting a Saturday or Sunday off, I feel very bad of the financial burden I've imposed. So I've always saving that $700-$900 for airfare, the money can be put to better use on my brother who needs it more. Despite of me telling dad all these, he said I should go home during the breaks if possible. I do agree with him because I believe spending time with loved ones, cannot be put on hold till another day. But still, I insisted the money can be better spent, and I'd work to gain some income.

However, little did I know, he worked so hard everyday, to earn that extra cash for my flight back home, and to see me. It's so hard to imagine how a father will feel, to want to see his own son, grown up; safe and sound. And so, never did I realised, my act of rejecting him, hurts him even more; that his sacrifices weren't appreciated.

Now I know. I really do.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Chapter 7 - The battle against yourself

And so we have half of the summer gone already. Yup, survived with just a little bit of burnt skin and toasted face. When December first came I dreaded the holidays because it seemed too long and hot over here for me to take it all. Especially when everyone heads back home one by one; been to the airport at least nine times in the month of December alone.

"See you next february! Have a joyous x'mas, new year and chinese new year. Remember to come back!" - classic sentence outside the airport departure hall.


That's Lucifer the mouse. Been with me since a friend of mine went back home. He loves nibbling on the spoon, he loves yoghurt, eating lotsa veggie and he gets high on beer. Imagine chasing him around the house after he gets high on alcohol. Once bitten, twice shy. "No more beer for you, lucifer!"


Alfred. Nicholas. me - Monkey Mia; 19 Dec '09

Alfred and Nicholas came over for a tour around Aussie! Went north to Monkey Mia, and I'm proud to say I'm a finisher of 878 km on road; 10.5 hours drive! - Impossible is nothing. Yes, and so they are supposed to leave on the 21st night, but we spent a tad bit too much time at the casino and missed the flight to Brisbane. Tensed situation but this is what made things better - "When things go wrong, a smile is a curve that set things straight." One of the most valuable lessons I've learnt since coming over.

~ 22 Dec '09 - 7 Jan '10 ~

/King's Park on x'mas day/

/Caversham Wildlife Park/

/Animal Show; shearing sheep and cow milking!/

/Magaret River Chocolate Factory/

Fremantle Port

/Rottnest Island/

/Train Ride/


/Northbridge; Hawker's Cuisine/

/my room; new table from Ikea!/

/Burswood; (A)lure Restaurant buffet lunch/

/Murdoch University/

/Murdoch University's lawn/

- 7 Jan '09; you guys will be missed.

A really BIG BIG thank you to everyone who made the summer break enjoyable, despite the scorching heat, yes 38 degrees isn't a joke! As I said, Perth is a wonderful place, you guys just made it even better. Your impact on my life is immense; though the days may be already gone, we never forget the meals we cooked together, the barbeque we came up with and the endless jokes. Yes, memories is what we created, and they will last for an entire lifetime.

Good luck guys. Stay healthy and safe. See you soon!

life will never be the same without you.