Tuesday, 26th June '07

The KKK Took My Baby Away

Just collected the Graduation Gown today! Much as I always averred that the NUS commencement ceremonies are about as tak-grand and tak-glam as they come, I did feel a little tingle of excitement in my toes as i espied the three-piece garment packed neatly into those little polythene bags.

I found out that excitement was not far misplaced when I broke the thing out for inspection. Wriggling the gown onto my shoulders and getting lost in the vast expanse of cloth that was the body piece, I gazed proudly at the "medium blue" (such an unromantic name for the Law Faculty colours; why can't we have something as romantic or passionate "crimson" like the MBBS folks? I suggest calling it "azure" in the future) hood piece, and it immediately occurred to me there was was only one proper way to wear the gown. One way to do justice to the voluminous layers of fabric, and one way that would make all that blood and tears shed in Law School, and all those years in the public education system leading up to it, Completely Worthwhile.

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BEHOLD!




There is much you can do with a graduation gown and a few well-placed Photoshop lens flare filter effects.

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By the way, have you met my classmates?




Three of these things belong together, three of these things are kind of the same...


en ying snapped a shot of life @ 12:56 am
[8 photographs developed.]


Sunday, 17th June '07

Social Networking is a Funny Thing

I've been feeling the effects of globalisation lately. Sometimes, people or personalities you think are so far away are really not so:



Oh yes, it's THE Josh Kelley alright. Musician, I have his album, engaged to Katherine Heigl (Roswell / Grey's Anatomy), Josh Kelley.

At first, I honestly thought it was just some dude named Josh Kelley. Then, I figured he (or his publicists) probably went a-friend-shopping from John Mayer's myspace page. The latter whom I thick-skinnedly self-requested an add from. But if you knew anything at all about me, then you'd know this is one person he would probably never say no to.

In fact, out of my measly 8 friends on myspace, only three of them (Ben, Maree and "WOZZAA!!") are regular people. As close to "regular" as someone with a name like "WOZZAA!!" could ever get, anyway. *private joke*

But once I got over the mild excitement about having a real celebrity friend-request me, I realised it's just another publicity stunt. Target people you know have a certain interest you can fulfill, and thereby sell them your stuff. Social networking tools like Facebook and Myspace bastardise the "friend" label, reducing it more to something like "acquaintance", "consumer" or "someone I think looks cute". It's not like once we add these people we're ever going to talk to them again; we might, but then there's no obligation to actually do it.

And yet that's not a bad thing. It's enough that for that split-second we bring ourselves to that person's attention, and how it proceeds from there is all up to chance. If Josh ("may I call you Josh?") hadn't added me, I wouldn't have actually thought about him any more than the fact that I have one of his albums, and it was pretty listenable. Now I might actually actively look out for his next release. And buy it, because his Myspace presence reminds me that there is an actual, live person behind the music. And frankly, I now also notice he's a lot better looking in his Myspace profile picture than on his album cover. Sure it was a publicity stunt, but I think it worked.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 11:35 pm
[2 photographs developed.]


Monday, 4th June '07

Fruits and Files

Finally jumped through all the administrative hoops the Board of Legal Education has to offer, and if all goes well (and there really is no reason why it shouldn't), the BLE will approve my pupillage application and I'll be a full fledged half-lawyer (which is really what a legal pupil is).

Received my first file to work on today, and I'm really thinking I made the right choice with where to do pupillage. My pupil master seems to understand pretty well that I want as much exposure to litigation as possible, while still getting a fair amount of IP work, so today she sent me off to the litigation floor in search of an associate who set me some research on a hybrid matter. Cool.

I'm feeling rather happier here as a pupil than I expected to. Everyone's been nothing but lovely, and there's none of that breathing down my neck checking to see that I'm not slacking off that I anticipated. Everyone seems to work reasonably hard, but I haven't heard any raised voices or screaming bosses yet. And there's the Pantry Aunty.

She came around today with her little pushcart of fruits. Free fruits! smile And I got a bit of a shock when she entered our little pupils room and forcefully reminded me of the need to eat my "水果!". When the LA whom I'm sharing the room with told me they were free, I helped myself and felt surprisingly comforted. For all the long dreary hours I see ahead, at least someone's going to make sure I get my daily fibre.

And while I was contemplating that warm and fuzzy observation, the Pantry Aunty was gone in a blink of an eye. Before I knew it, I could hear her unmistakable voice - still audible, but growing fainter in the distance - as she made her way down the offices, dolling out apples and ordering lawyers and partners alike to partake in the "水果!".

It made me laugh.

I think this is going to be fun.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 09:45 pm
[2 photographs developed.]


Sunday, 3rd June '07

Perspectives

There was something funny about returning from Italy. It's like I've been away forever, and coupled with the reunions that the summer holidays and the start of work bring, this is a blog about many meetings.

Most recent of which, work began. You're not going to see many blogs about work, I don't think, because of the highly sensitive / confidential nature of the information I work with, and the fact that blogging even about the people at work is bound to be a recipe for disaster. But I will say that a day of tea breaks and orientation lectures later, I'm pretty stoked about the place I'm at. Everyone seems so very happy working there and that kind of healthy work environment is infectious.

And here's a little tidbit. I may actually have an office to myself when I return from PLC in January. It's not like I deserve it or anything, and it's nothing fancy. BUT, it's a product of being the only pupil in this department. For now, I'm loving having a new associate and an attachee in the room with me, but both will be leaving the room shortly. It might thereafter be lonely, but I am comforted by the gorgeous waterfront view overlooking the Esplanade and the vicinity. I am, however, vaguely intimidated by the thought of having my own phone and recording a voicemail message next week. Funny huh, I'm not scared of the real work, but ask me to record a voicemail message and I totally wig.

Before that, we had the SMUB stayover that's probably going to go down in history as the most unplanned, yet most successful stayover ever. I don't know how we did it - I don't think it was because anyone was buzzed up on Fragolino or anything - but we honestly sat and talked for NINE HOURS straight. 9pm to 6am. I don't mean we enjoyed each other's company for nine hours, I mean we TALKED for nine hours. We did not watch movies (though we battled Babel and actually enjoyed John Tucker Must Die at earlier points in the day), we did not play cards, we did not play video games, we did not watch soccer; we did not even sleep. The latter is particularly impressive because we usually end up all sleeping on top of each other in a higgley-piggley mess everytime we try to pull all-nighters.

What shocked me, in a sort of hindsighted way, is that we actually had so much to talk about and that we WANTED to keep talking to each other about it. You know how with some people you find that you just run out of things to say, or sometimes you find that you don't know what to say that won't offend or that the person will find interesting. The thing I realise about SMUB is that I can tell them ANYTHING. We can reminisce about the old days in RJC, and that will lead us to Shaun dropping a nuclear bomb of a diao on the unsuspecting Ben. We can discuss out lives, our dreams, our past stupid mistakes, and make less-than-polite jokes about each others' girlfriends / boyfriends. We can speak (without fear or favour) about political figures that will not be mentioned here for fear of defamation suits, the latest fashion trends, and bouillabaisse recipes. We can learn about equity markets, commodities exchanges, deep vein thrombosis, the lack of safety in Johannesburg, international adaptors, how to deliver a baby from an AIDS patient, Napoli Men's pubic hair, Miss Universe, fear of dogs, how to turn a screwed up application into a contract job, and the Civil Law Act in a matter of hours. And at no point in time are we ever tired of each other, and not completely respectful of each other's views.

It was so simple, and yet I think I've reached the next level with these people. The sheer breadth of the discussions, the attitudes and the fact that we all really cared about hearing from each other taught me something I may have subconciously known, but I can now say very happily.

Stupid SMUB is going to be together forever. I'm stuck. It's been 7 years since we met, 5 since we somehow fell into today's form. 4 years since we tested it with a mass trip out of the country, and less than a month since some of us we put through a major strain in the friendship. We've only lost one SMUBbie in all that time, but as a group we've seen a number of serious, longterm boyfriends / girlfriends (more the latter than the former) come and go. It's got to say something to you, hasn't it, when a group stays so strong that it lasts longer than serious longterm relationships.

Funny how I've never really thought about it that way before. Funny how comparing our young, silly, idealistic selves to what we are now leaves me with little epiphanies of the sort.

And even before that were the big spontaneous moments of sneaking out to supper at ungodly hours of the night (or, morning), and the dinner with Andre that got turned into one huge party with Babs and Nora and Teddy and Beanie joining the fray. It's amazing how much the same we are, and how much we're different. We still make Limin's life rather miserable, and we still talk about useless things like giant rabbits and North Korean leaders. And then somehow we get into big serious discussions about second life and entrepreneurship.

A final yet completely unrelated thought I had on perspectives today occurred in the middle of tech class, while I was talking to Zaini, Mel and Rita about Europe. Mel just got back from Greece with the biggest, shiniest engagement ring I've ever seen. Granted I have not seen many, but this one takes the cake. It's beautiful, and it sparkled gleefully even in the dubious lighting of the Dance Studio toilet. Rita's planning a trip somewhere and I just got back from Italy, so we were sharing all kinds of stories. The odd part happened when we were discussing Turkish baths and Zaini mentioned how it was so expensive for tourists to do it, and how "silly Singaporeans just want to do it for the experience". And that struck me as something that I'd never seen that way before. All this while, many of us pride ourselves on our daring, our willingness to try something new - as if it made us cooler or more worldly in some way.

Yet, here was someone older, wiser, more experienced, and who no one could ever deny was "cool" or "worldly", telling us that there was still value in the idea of CHOICE. I can't be blogging the exact reason why this strikes me, but it occurs to me now that it's not about just having the experience, but knowing also what the experience is good for. It's something I guess I always considered intuitively, but never found a proper way to articulate, or the reassurance that this was a right sort of thought.

Hmm...

Well, alright, that's it for the thought of the day.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 12:29 am
[5 photographs developed.]