ITE Clementi Orientation Camp – Intake January 2010

It was the first ever known overnight camp for the students to my knowledge. I had not witnessed an event as exciting and enriching as this. Two days one night were too short for the fun, though ample for the bodies and minds to endure. Hirman, the great one, together with his team of lecturers and student leaders, made it all happen.

Most of the staffs of the Singapore Discovery Centre were over-accommodative, responding well to all needs and they even prepared coffee at night at their own good wills.

The schedule was packed and every moment was fruitfully spent. The orientation group leaders (OGL) were quick to react to fill the time in the middle of switching the game stations. They did their jobs well and responded to the lecturers.

The management made their ways down after work on both days to show their supports. I was much luckier than them since I could stay for the entire camp to interact with everyone, including their seeds – the students.

There was nothing much I could really do other than photo-taking, but I believed my fruits of labour would sharpen the fading memories in future; I hoped the sights of them would bring back true smiles on everyone’s face. Most importantly, I hoped I could help Hirman to sum up the entire event through the photos.

So much for my great photography experience and fun in disturbing the kids, everything came with a price. The greatest exchange I made was my two days of time to do my own work and probably longer time to sum up the event together with the aids of the photos. I went down in my sore throat, cough and flu. The sleepless night before that almost made me float and I managed to challenge my limit again by sleeping less than three hours throughout. I had gastric pain twice on the first day and once on the last evening. My feet were sore and my knees were stiff after two days’ walk.

Hirman had brought back confidence and enthusiasm to this five hundred-plus-strength future of our country. It was the first step, a magnificent thrust, to implant hopes into them by making them understand that there was a big pool of people who really cared for them. It was a great effort to bring out all the goodness within them.

There was no absolute measure for the success of any event. However, it was made obvious with the sight of sick and injured students refusing to leave the camp to rest at home. The reluctance of students to leave the place at the end of the camp proved it.

No event could be perfect; although with the strong support from managements, staffs and students, there were still a number of areas to be improved since it was the first attempt of such grand event. There were some ground rules, which were not lay, and thus, creating some political issues. Some students created big issues for the leaders at night.

If the camp goes on for future intakes of students, many great souls would be torn to bones; but a much awesome and impactful one would commence after all the reflections.

Day 1 (part 1/2) – 200 pic

Day 1 (part 2/2) – 102 pic

Day 2 (part 1/2) – 200 pic

Day 2 (part 2/2) – 19 pic

The Devil within Me

Monday was the day I was assaulted badly.

It was a different morning as I managed to spend some time slicing off the skin of two carrots before stepping out of my house.

My lunch date with my shi fu, Josephine, was called off after I checked my phone. I was instructed to take over Chenghong’s class for the entire afternoon since he was sick. I was told that I could skip the class at ten but little did anyone know how unprepared the class was for this Friday’s paper and that I could not afford to loosen down on myself. People made planning but they did not consider every detail well. Nobody knew how much I tried to hold my principles that they never knew how hard I had been pushing myself for others, thinking I was having a great life.

Apart from the lunch, I lost the chance to get myself the driving basic theory handbook for this Wednesday’s test and also, the freedom and concentration to do my own work. Basically, my entire plan was destroyed.

From slightly after eight AM, I started debugging and talking, and hardly had any time to even reply emails and SMSes. I could not even get myself out of the lab after ten and was late for the next class. At the next door, I accelerated on the speed of my words and injected more fun into the learning process. I did enjoy doing things I was good at but it only weakened my throat and the enthusiasm to even talk after work.

Dorothy was supposed to chew on bread on every Monday and Wednesday but somehow, she had a change of mind on this day. Since she wanted to dine at the canteen finally, Weitat and I waited for her and eventually went down first as instructed by her. Just as I was queuing up for the usual mixed vegetable rice stall, she told Weitat that she wanted to dine out instead. I could feel the dagger pointing at me. There was so much frustration within me for the afternoon’s extra four hours of workload, which I was very tired and irritated to take up, and yet I was somehow being pushed to go out such that I could be late for my duty. I was already exhausted like half of my soul was burnt.

I would really love to enjoy my lunch with my buddies, given sufficient time. The greatest thing to do was to keep them accompanied and make sure they were happy with my presence. It was obvious that my health was badly degenerated and that I had no other choice than to fulfill my tasked work, and I could not make better of my decision.

Nevertheless, I insisted to stay behind. Queuing up at the food stall boiled up my deceasing blood cells for the uncle claimed that there was no rice again. The percentage of this incident was far too high. I did wait on until Weitat and Dorothy turned back to take on one of the stalls instead of leaving the campus, and the rice was not even ready after they had finished half of their food. I switched to the next stall instead since I could no longer trust the “five minutes” promise, let alone there was still a queue for the rice. It was a good choice for I was very well served by the old couple.

Before I could go to the toilet to get my shit out of the loaded big intestine, it was time for my next struggle. I did have some peace for the first few minutes, trying to act as if I was a nerd, but I could not turn down requests for helps. It was all predicted that I would continue to rock my afternoon with non-stop debugging and squeezing all my brain juice just to explain why Billgates was trying to make data work.

By five PM, I was filled with fatigue. Some of them continued to struggle for results for this coming Friday and it was my usual characteristic not throwing them out even when I was in a rush to go and get my book. My throat was sore and my lungs were twisted; my brain was numbed and I could no longer feel anything. Apart from all these, I was having a gastric pain. Sitting at the front of the lab, trying to get my work done before my name was flying around again, my mind almost went to the heaven. I used to hate sleeping because it took up lots of time but it was now my greatest release from stress.

When it was near six PM, I was finally able to pick the remaining pieces of myself up to stagger back to office. Xiao Mei was sweet enough to offer me food and even making milo. I fixed up part of my broken face in the weariness to go to the boss’ room. In my hundred reasons of unwillingness, I officially promised my boss that I would help him up for another month because the kindest man needed my service and it was the greatest way to repay him.

It could be one of the stupidest mistakes I could have made in my life to toy with my health. There were beautiful reasons that I should stay, for the sweet colleagues, cute students and supposed-to-be easy money, but the evil forces certainly had the upper hand. The devil within me instructed me to do more than I could provide and certainly things beyond my job scope. Yet, different eyes seemed to be watching over me, telling their ignorant owners different stories.

I was never a saint and I could never be one. I did try hard but the demon got the better of me and almost got me destroyed instead. Often, I blamed myself for trying too much. Gilbert and Peh were all correct about me that I was never kind to myself.

I no longer had anything that I could look forward to after this week.

It was killing me.


Nothing’s my Business anymore

Sleepiness, exhaustion, sweaty clothes, sore throat, freezing, hunger, gastric pain and disappointment hit me badly.

I have tried so hard each time at the expense of my health and happiness, just to make sure things work the correct way. Nevertheless, it has been so clear that all the extra effort worth nothing; someone else out there can easily make the difference. Sometimes, nothing seems even important in the first place.

What have I been doing all these while? Why do I bother to care? Why do I keep making myself miserable, especially for people who would not care?

Without anyone, the Earth will continue to spin.


Date with Bao Bei Fen Fen

The most awaited evening was on Wednesday. Originally, I was not supposed to meet up with Bao Bei Fen Fen on this day if not for the big screwed-up by me.

A rush home from work and the dashing out of my house almost wasted my effort for bathing in between. I had a big problem with shoes due to the rain on Saturday morning’s cycling in the rain.

It was my second movie of the year after the previous one with Guoxin. We caught the movie “Tropical Thunder” at Plaza Singapura and had some great laughs at the stupidity of the characters.

Since Mdm Seet gave me my second breakfast in the morning and that I only had two plain roti prata when I was having lunch for the second time with Faris and other colleagues, the hunger caused some gastric pains.

I had dinner with Bao Bei Fen Fen at MosBurger where we had quite a long chat until ten plus PM. A sudden numbness on my brain strike me and almost caused blackout but I managed to appear normal, and after I got better, suddenly I felt that the restaurant was very noisy.

Anyway, her eyes almost killed me.

I felt weird for not sending a girl home but I had to bear with the uneasiness and worries in order to avoid causing irritation.

The Next Moment, Next Day, Cherish Life

A little gastric pain strike and the heartbeats increased. Soon, I felt so numbed in my brain and that I was going to faint anytime.

Life could just so vulnerable and we would never know if we could still breathe the next day.

Will I learn to cherish my life more? Will I learn to enjoy myself before I depart?

I may not be able to accomplish my dreams and I may not be able to finish all my projects; but I can probably start loving myself more before my day comes.

What a night

I’m having a gastric pain not because I’m hungry. The lime juice must have caused the acidic gas in my stomach again. Damn the SGH specialist who told me it might not be gastric problem and thus I thought I could continue drinking my favourite lime juice.

I’m facing a bowl of rice now and I have to finish them when I’m not feeling terrible, so as to prevent my mum from nagging in a very very piercing manner, in a way which is thousand times worse than scolding. I will never tell my mum I will be home for dinner until the day itself; how I know Sam will ask me out for a movie and dinner?

I’m typing with the television on when I really hate noise now. It is tearing my brain apart. I do not want to see any show even when there are babes inside, not even if they were to strip themselves naked.

I’m having such irritating eyes tiredness, which the doctors in polyclinic fail to solve after four times of visiting. I’m having them red, with the blood vessels appearing.

I’m sending Pauline a file with such a low transfer rate. It has been so many days that my brother’s computer is dealing with such damn freaking big transaction of files and hell I know why his computer is always having the upperhand and holds priority to the bandwidth.

I’m blasted with problems now. The memory card just refuses to show anything except to indicate it has to be formatted. The pictures to all the happy hours are kept inside and I cannot do anything now. How am I going to answer to everyone else? How am I going to stop their disappointments? How am I going to ease the pain in my heart?

What a night.

Ultra Sound scan

Yesterday was a bad day because I missed my lunch. It was an awesome one with french fries, eggs, hash brown and mushroom soup, which I had waited so long for. The cookhouse always had dishes which did not fit everyone’s appetite, but they were for free anyway.

Since I had to go for medical check-up in the afternoon, I had to leave my stomach empty since morning. The worst thing was that I still had to scan my card and collect the food, forcing my eyes to stare at the wonderful food and my nose to sniff at them as well. I shared the food with Hong Kiat and Yuan-Le-Bu-Neng-Na, and threw the remaining away.

I left camp with my rumbling stomach, dragging myself home to get changed before taking a tiring stroll towards Singapore General Hospital. It was a short distance to me, but ever since enlisted, my injuries had imposed a penalty in my mind.

Being a responsible patient, I was early as usual, and yet I had to wait more than half an hour for my name to be called. It took another fifteen to twenty minutes after I changed into the quite styled gown to get into the actual scanning room. Finally, I realised I was going to do Ultra Sound.

Some jelly was applied on my body before the instrument came into contact. I had to breath in and out as instructed, and sometimes to hold my breathe. Finally I was asked where exactly I was feeling uncomfortable at but the question came too late; a freezing man could not think much and only care for where his hunger strikes most at.

But due to the fact that I had been taking my dinner quite early for the past few months, there was less relapse of the gastric attack. I had forgotten about the area in the middle of my chest where I experienced stitches.

Anyway it seemed like all the scanned parts were quite normal.

Not gastric problem?

Life tends to be better in camp without people who always plays hide-and-seek and often causes us troubles; or maybe it’s because there haven’t been many lessons.

Our bonds are getting stronger each day, although all the bad habits are still there. There’re still too much of slacking and the shits are left behind for those who’re more hardworking. Again, why should we care when the I/C doesn’t even care?

It has been so peaceful that the upcoming huge number of new trainees is frightening me off. It’s going to be so busy again and new craps will emerge soon.

There was this guy in smart four wearing sandals, waiting for his unorganised platoon being punished, to march to his spot for lunch. We were walking towards him and I was curious and asked him was that his platoon and he replied me “Yes sir!” It was that moment I felt being promoted and I paused and looked at my shoulder before I continued “Huh?” and he said “Yes sir” again. I wasn’t trying to disturb him, but wanted to tell him something, which I had already forgotten after the joke he created.

I went for medical appointment for my gastric problem. I dozed off while waiting and then woke up for some time, long enough for me to doze off again.

The specialist, Ankul Patel, impressed me with his humorous character at such hour that it was nearly time to knock off and yet there were so many patients waiting. His accent was the big problem, which I couldn’t really catch.

However, he seemed more professional than all the previous specialist and he suspected my pain wasn’t due to gastric problem. His analysis sounded logical but now I’d to go for another x-ray scanning. It wasn’t good for I was going to miss more actions in camp, which mean more accusation.

After which, I went to collect another three months of medicine supply for my injuries. In fact, I was only interested in the anti-inflammatory plaster, not all the useless pain-killers. I was given a different brand of plaster – Ketotop – so cool shiny packaging! The quality of the cloth seemed better as well.

Away from the doctors

When I was finally recovering from my months of coughing, just a moment of foolishness I got myself a can of sparkling orange drink to drench my thirst. The auntie nagged at me for I was having gastric problems already. It didn’t really affect my stomach but bring back the cough instead.

So, days of dry cough arrive once again. Together with the gastric problem that causes lost of appetite, I become so weak. The worst thing is my eyes getting tired so easily. They can turn red even during the day. They turn itchy and sometimes as if I’ve accidentally spilt chilli on them. It might be dry eyes or infection once again.

And right now I can’t go to the doctor when everyone’s taking leave and there won’t be enough people in the office. So, I’ve to wait and hopefully by next week I’ll recover.

There’re some damages

“There’re some damages,” the specialist claimed. He seemed to bring me back from my sleep.

I waited more than an hour while I slept on the chair upon sitting down. To think that I was actually earlier and I got so frozen up in the end.

That guy’s attitude was quite alright but the crowd outside made me want to leave the room soon so that others could get home earlier. Sometimes I felt silly.

I expected no stomach ulcer but perhaps some minor problems since I had weird pains often and when all prepared, this doctor just sounded my problems to be so serious. He showed me the photos ripped from the product of the video camera that had toured my throat and stomach, which were quite impressive.

There was nothing he could do able it, just merely gave me the same gastric medicine and expected me to go back six weeks later, which I was reluctant to, not when others would assume I was trying to “chao geng”.

One unhelpful’s helpful advice from the specialist was that I shouldn’t be smoking or drinking. Damn the smokers?