1. Dear Diary

                                                      Misery
    Today was the one of the worst day in my life. I felt like I was totally a loser in the presentation and I am still feeling so now even after 30 minutes howling hopelessly inside the toilet. My eyes are painful and I am in a bad mood.
    Actually before the presentation, I was quite satisfied with everything going on then. Indeed, I was joking and disturbing the people around me to enlighten my day. However, all my happiness and enthusiasm drained out of my mind when I met my biggest challenge - presentation.
    I am sort of person that I can be very talkative to my friends, giggling about the stuff that exhilarates one’s spirit, but when it comes to presentation, to make a speech to a bunch of people in a lecture hall, I would be too nervous to blurt out a word. I don’t really mind of the people scoffing at my accent or nationality, because that is something inevitable for a student from China to step on the soil of a foreign country. Humiliation from the locals and the sense of not being accepted must be there to test my mental limitation.
    Yah, maybe I did not do well for my presentation. Yah, maybe what they saw in me might be just a loser who couldn’t properly speak out. I was not trying to shift the blame on my classmates and teacher, because the problem was from me. They did pay their attention to me when I spoke or trying hard to convey my ideas to them. So, I hated nobody but myself. I hated myself that I could not do well to prove them that I could speak very well like them. I hated myself that I failed to bring up my best of me to them, just simply due to my nerviness. So I was down and totally desperate for some personal space to lick my wounds.
    Therefore, I decided to attend an inspirational talk, delivered by an Italian lady called Elisabetta Franzoso. Her talk was quite inspiring and motivating. Instead of being melancholy about my own failure, I started thinking about myself through her words and her life experience. One of her sentence was “accepting yourself is the first step to success.” Yah, maybe I really had to put the expectation from myself down to the earth and be thinking positively always. So I went up to grab a book in delight, and hoped that the misery for today would stop here.
    However, life would not be working in your will. The misery was still haunting me like a ghost. But this time, it was brought up through my friend’s teeth and my emotion went upside down once again. Even though I knew that he wasn’t doing it on purpose, (in fact, he did not even notice I was upset by this,) I was still affected by his words even after the cure I had in the talk. He was quite caring to ask me whether I was ok, but, in deep, I was shouting out aloud and shrieking ferociously back at him. He was innocent, and I did not blame him for that. In fact, I wanted to tell him all my feeling when we were in the same car, but I did not.I mean, who could be thankful to a guy who just sprinkled a dab of salt on one’s wound? 
    I think i need to back off from where i am now.
                  

     
  2. Dear Diary

    The Impacts of Haze in Singapore

    “The haze is so bad it smells like second-hand smoke.” Mrs Ong Chai Leng, a 57 years-old housewife, said when she sent her son, Kenenth, 7, to school with masks on their faces, serving as a basic approach to the current situation in Singapore.
    Recently, Singapore has been blanketed by a layer of smog which is brought from the Indonesian island of Sumatra by the prevailing winds for the past few days, due to an illegal fire deforestation done by locals to clear the land for oil palm plantations. This unexpectedly disastrous strike is directly affecting the people in Singapore and “impacts of haze in Singapore” has become one of the hottest issues, being discussed among the people since the beginning. Let’s start with the negative impacts first.
    Health Issue- (1) On 21st, October, 2010, the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI), measured in three-hourly slots, hit 108 at 6pm. This report shows that air pollution hit the peak of measurement on that day. This circumstance gradually turns out to be a concern for the patients with haze-related health problems such as asthma and allergy. Tiny particulates in the haze, which are smaller than 5 um unable to be filtered by our respiratory system, can induce more serious disease, like Cancer of the Bronchus. Eye irritation and throat discomfort can cause life inconvenience and embarrassing moments for healthy people. All the situations above can be further worsened if there is no action taken by the government to remedy the situation.
    Congestion in Polyclinics and Hospitals- In view of the above description about health issues, another problem is brought to the surface - congestion. As more patients seek for medical treatment and consultation for cure, hospitals and polyclinics can be immoderately overcrowded and risks in this chaotic situation can be building up insidiously. Bumping into one another, waiting for doctors endlessly and inferior service quality from nurses and doctors can antagonize the patients, who suffer from excruciating pain caused by the illness. An increase in the number of professional doctors and nurses should be an imperative and expeditious method introduced by the government.
    Visibility- (2) As the layer of smog is accumulating in air, sunrays can be scattered to affect our visibility. Without any assistance from strong prevailing wind or stormy deluge, this ‘thick black blanket of dust’ is hardly dispersed, resulting in car accidents and flight cancellation due to obscure views. These disruptions can upset tourists who have an urge to head to the next destination and infuriate businessmen who are consistently running the time-demanding errands. The image of Singapore as a premier destination would be setting on the brink of danger.
    Relation with Indonesia- Due to inappropriate enforcement of law implemented by Indonesian government on palm oil plantations, Singaporeans, as victims, are voicing out in a tide of discontent towards the presumptuously intransigent attitude of Indonesian government taking actions on the issue. (3) “It has only been a week of smoke but people are already making so much noise. What about all the oxygen that (Indonesia) supplies to them during the rest of the year?” it is a sentence said by An Indonesian government spokesman during a meeting. To me, this irresponsible saying would probably threaten the fragile relationship between Singapore and Indonesia. In addition, the Indonesian government has shown no intention in conceding their faults or in announcing an efficient approach to tackle the problem, by shifting the blame among the government officials since the haze starts. Instead of splurging the time on “investigation”, I would rather suggest the officials to douse the fire which has been vigorously burning for more than a week. A modest diplomatic attitude is the key to resolving the crisis.
    However, every cloud has a silver lining. Some optimists in Singapore would take this as a precious opportunity to enjoy their life.
    Economic Outburst- Despite the fact that most people are facing this tragic predicament negatively, many shopkeepers are trying hard to suppress their unspeakable joy when the sales of masks increase tremendously just within these few days. Many people in Singapore are willing to spend a penny on purchasing a mask, which serves as a personal protection equipment to prevent from inhalation of the haze. “I don’t mind spending a little to make myself feel safe,” Tey Yuxiang, 15 years-old student, kindly responded to me when I asked him if he was willing to purchase a mask for the health reason. Regardless of the congestion in polyclinics, the owners of those are making decent profits by conducting medical consultation and selling medical prescriptions to patients. This can temporally relieve the economic burden on those small enterprises.
    Family- Life in Singapore is relatively more stressful and competitive compared with one in others. Many parents working indefatigablely from Monday to Sunday would be just enough to subsist on for the entire family. As incremental inflation is playing as a big bully in Singapore, many parents at the bottom of the economic pyramid have to put parent-child relationship in second position, which is terribly undermining the cohesion in a family between the members. Child is upset; teenager becomes rebellious; and the severe consequence is irreversible. As the haze is polluting the air quality in Singapore, which results of most outdoor activities or even works being axed lately, parents finally have a break to conduct some family interruptions with their child. This precious moment can set off their care and affection again to the child, and drive this momentum on with better understanding about one another after all.
    To raise public awareness- During these few days, Singaporeans are getting more and more concerned about the impacts of haze on the country and the value of PSI in ranges. No doubt, this issue has alerted the general public that laws deficient in systematic control can result of many deleterious consequences in respect to environmental issues, national crisis and deterioration in relationship with other countries. By studying the mistakes made by Indonesian government, Singapore government can look back to the policies, re-considering and re-evaluating about the feasibility in our law system and improve from that. Citizens and Permanent Residents are please to see the government doing positively, in pursuit of goals and achievements towards prosperity and modernization.
    An optimist sees the rose; a pessimist the thorn. In spite of the fact that haze is rather more prejudicial than beneficial to Singaporeans, we should equip ourselves with a strong mind to brook the blow. Groan and moan will only corrode our determination; dejection would doom our brilliant future; the only key to triumph is to think positive. Let’s hold our hand and pass through this storm. With our fortitude and vitality in mind, we see nothing but iridescence dazzling in the sky.


    Reference:
    (1) “PSI crosses 100; Govt urges Jakarta to act” written by Jeremyy Au Yong in Straits Time
    (2) “Air Pollution Study” exstracted from School of Chemical & Life Science in Nanyang Polytechnic
    (3)“ Limit to what Jakarta can do about haze” written by Lynn Lee in Straits Time

     
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  4. Dear Diary

    It has been a few days I have not shared any things with you. I am very sorry about that, but I feel safe to talk about all my innermost feelings with you, without any concern of being unravelled my secrets to others. Honesty is a fundamental basis to continue a relationship. Haha it just sounds as if I would be in love with you literally.

    I went to Singapore Zoo yesterday with a bunch of poly friends, people, Shuxian, Zaizai, Jason and Xiameng. It was not only fun and unforgettable, but also emotional to me. Actually it was not my first time to be there. I went there 2 years ago with my secondary friends, Huiling, William, Vicki. This really made me feel morose when I passed by the attractions where I had spent time with them who were no longer around this time. The memory started playing back when I just stepped into the entrance, the place where we took our first photo in that day. The four funky wooden sculptures I passed by made me bust out my hysterical laughter, as they reminded me of how stupid our poses were. Sitting on the benches in Rainforest Fightback recalled the conversation we had last time. I felt like it just happened yesterday, but I think it would gradually slipped my mind.

    I understand that nothing is perpetual, even including the closest bonds with family and best friends whom we do swear to stay forever with. Promises sound so sincere, but they are taken so lightly. Sometimes because of life distractions that drift us apart or sometimes we just feel that we are no longer of who we were in those simple days. Intricate mind games are playing as a barrier to stop us from getting close. How could we dispel our selfishness and ego from the illusions of wealth and power to free ourselves? “don’t turn around and just move on.” Some people deem that they have a strong mind-set to conquer all the sorrow happened on them, but they have no idea that apathy is insidiously corroding their sympathy. In fact, they are deluding themselves into letting a friendship go without even trying to retrieve the situation.

      We are doomed to be alone. 

     
  5. Dear Diary

                                               Pedantry  

    Recently, I have been very proud of what I wrote in the last post, opportunity. I know that it is indeed my great achievement because it is my first time to blurt out a story that is so fascinating and thrilling. However, in deep, I know that I am just being too desperate to be praised, to get recognised in the ability of writing. By showing off that pathetic amount of vocabularies that I have learnt so far, I make myself feel as if I were of a British. I live in my own fantasyland. I think I must be acting like a pompous pedant with a strong feeling of inferiority complex about himself.

    Actually I appreciate the creation of language. It helps this world develop into a better place just by communicating with one another in the same tongue. Less misunderstanding, compared to body language, can speed up the growth of human society. People are drawn closer to each other in terms of writing and talking. With assistance of book and internet, information can be imparted globally, swiftly and perpetually. As technology evolves, more innovative devices are going to change our life more comfortable by computerizing our home and work place.

    Due to the evolution and transition of the form of word, whatever we are using now doesn’t resemble what it was like then. Some of them have sunk into oblivion and some may be just simply replaced by the new words for the purpose of clearer explication.

    Maybe it is too much for that and it is as if it were an argumentative essay I would write in exam hall just in the hope of passing my language paper. It sounds unconvincing because I just groundlessly assert my idea about language. Anyway, bye. Stay happy~ peace.

     

     
  6. Dear Diary

            

                                                  Opportunity

    You better lose yourself in the music, the momet, you own it, you better never let it go go” I look into a mirror, staring at myself feeling calm and ready from outside to drop bombs in an upcoming rap competition. While the music is blasting in my ears, a surge of anxiety sweeps over my mind. “wah eh….” An abominable smell rushes into my nose and my singlet is smeared with my vomit. In deep, I feel nervous.   

    I am Terry, an Asian-American whose father emigrated from mainland of China to pursue his dream in this magical place, a beacon of freedom and opportunity. However, my father did not make his dream come true and the cruel reality dragged him back from his fantasyland. He is now working as a car washer, earning a minimum wage every month for the family. Frankly, my family is languishing at the bottom of society pyramid.   

    In the first 2 years of school, I was a victim of racial discrimination and was mildly abused with nicknames like “son of dust” at the starting, but as time went on the terms became uglier. Punching my face with fists and throwing me into the dust bin happened more often as if they would form parts of my routine in life. I hated my father as a car cleaner and desperately want to get rid of what I had been treated as a rat in school, by putting a vengeance back on the villains. They should taste the fear from me as well. The mental anguish that caused an excruciating pain in my school days had led me astray from being an excellent student. The hatred which had been haunting me for a long time exploded.  I became an ache in the eyes of teachers’ later on and was known as somewhat of a troublemaker spoiling for a fight. My father always told me, “Son, no one can beat you if you are strong enough.” That was a sentence echoing in my mind when I was involved in a fight. I was hopeless. 

    I loved music and was fanatical about rapping, as I realised it was the only time I could be myself when rapping. The words from raps could keep me alive from being that intractable adolescent who was taken over by the rage and depression. The rhythm of the song sounded like a mesmerising canticle sang by angels to cleanse my soul. I knew the obstacles faced to be a famous Asian rapper in America. The popularity could be gained only through individual brilliance in my songs. 

    “Hey dude, get out of the toilet, you’ve got to be on the stage right now, are you ok?” someone shouts behind the door. I take one last glimpse at myself and the sentence that I have been told for more than thousand times repeats in my mind, “Son, no one can beat you if you are strong enough.” After passing through a narrow corridor, I turn out to be on the stage, glancing down at the crowd below my feet yelling wildly in fury. “Asian dog, get out of here,” they shriek fiercely as if they were the irascible protestors being tyrannically oppressed by the brutal and immoral governors. Some of them may resort to throwing cans and bottles at me. I cringe, but now, I have one opportunity to seize my goals. I am not going to let it slip. 

    Just half a year before the rap competition, I started writing songs about my friends, family and all the dramatic issues in life that caused my sentiment whirling emotionally. A certain numbers of songs had been uploaded to internet and the comments at the beginning were viciously negative. Indeed, it was demoralising and destroying me from publishing my sheets again, however, my determination to be a star wasn’t descended.

    Now I am just one step away to my dream and there is a gap in between. I feel like my body is shaking and my legs are trembling. The singlet soaks with the sweats. I grip the mic tight in fear. When the music is on, I chok and nothing comes out from my mouth.

    After releasing my 5th song called “indecision”, this abruptly created a stormy hit on Youtube and over 5000 public views had been made just within a week. More viewers craved for my music and unexpectedly, even a music producer was enthralled with my songs. He would like to sign me up a record label if I won the forthcoming rap competition. I hesitated as I did not have any live experience on stage. I was frantic when an opportunity was presented just right in front of me itself. “Can I capture that?” I questioned myself.

    “Haha, this chick can’t even blurt out a word,” the whole crowd starts laughing at me when one of them contemptuously screams out the sentence. The words sound as if it were a knife with venom plunged into my chest, piercing through my heart without a second of hesitation. The music producer is waiting and the judges are staring at me impatiently. Suddenly, I catch a glimpse of a person in the crowd, a person who has been taking good care of me but yet receiving a ‘thank you’ from me. That is my father. He is looking at me affectionately and he is moving his lips as if he were whispering to my ears in silence, “Son, no one can beat you if you are strong enough.”  At the moment, the time is frozen and the music is slowly trailing off. All the memory between my father and I is playing backwards to the time we played football on the yard, the first quarrel we had when I was 10 and the moment I saw him weeping for his miserable life behind a door. “Tonight, I want to dedicate my song to my dad whom I hated him very much to bring me to this sickening evil world. And now I own him an apology. Sorry, Dad. I miss you,” I bow my head and express it in sincerity. “Father, I know you trying hard to shelter me from the world, when it spins, when it twirls….” As my rap rhymes in the air, the crowd is astonished with 

    consternation and 

    surprised by the lyrics. Instead of mocking at my presence on the stage, more and more audiences are nodding their heads and hipping to the beats. Hands waving fanatically in the air and the thrilling screams for my name really sweep off my anxiety I had before and exhilarate my spirit of being a performer. I am getting more comfortable on the stage.

     I know, at the moment, I have captured my opportunity.

    “Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity. To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment. Would you capture it? Or just let it slip?” 

     

     

    -inspired by a song called “lose yourself” from a white rapper Eminem