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Saturday, 22 January 2011

Asian Contemporary Ensemble

I recently became a part of this: 

Picture taken from the official website: http://www.asiancontemporaryensemble.org/
For more information, check out the website: here!


Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Of Beers, Pizzas and...


And I thought A level Economics was dreadfully dreary.

At least Mrs Chiu would use different examples every week. This woman used pizzas (as example) for last week's lecture, and she's using pizzas (+beer) again this week.

Apparently, the more pizzas you eat, the more beer you need to drink.

*I swear I could hear Guan Yu going: but I don't drink beer leh~ *

I reckon the lecturer knows her stuff, but her explanations are horribly confusing. I panicked for a bit the first time I saw her lecture notes cause they looked very different from what I learnt back in MCKL. But after attending her lecture... -_-

It's just the same things taught a different way.

And it's not a very comprehensible way, might I add.

When I go back to KL for Chinese New Year, I shall dig up all my old Econs notes and textbooks. My memory's gone rusty, so I'll need some time to get it back. (Not gonna be easy cause I've forgotten a huge chunk when I left MCKL).

I just drew something on a scrap piece of paper that made James laugh when he saw it. Will take a picture and post it up here when I get back to PGP tonight.

Grr... I'm feeling jittery cause I've got major at 5pm later.

Followed by chamber studio at 6pm.

Okay, this lecturer is officially getting no stars from me for the teacher's evaluation survey at the end of the semester. *frowns*

I shall bring my awesome earphones next lecture and listen to some Mozart/Haydn whilst reading my old econs notes instead of listen to this hag go on about pizzas, beer and cigarettes.


I shall go "window shopping" on Gmarket.com


Yes, I'm becoming a cheapskate. So sue me.

Budget Barbie, it's all your fault!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

"Chinese" Mothers

I read an article a couple o' days ago about "Chinese" parenting and "Western" parenting. It was written by a professor at Yale, Amy Chua, and after reading it, I was itching to write a blog response, so here it is.

To those of you who are interested, the link to the article is: HERE.

Needless to say, I disagreed with some of the things she said. 

I'm not saying she's a lousy parent, but don't you think her children had... well, no childhood?

Not allowed to be in school plays, not allowed to watch TV or play games, not allowed to choose their own extracurricular activities, etc.

What kind of parenting is that?? Not only you're being a control freak, you're immediately limiting your child's careers!

School plays = possible careers as stage actors/dancers/singers/producer/director?
Watch TV = (selective shows) err hello, something called general knowledge?
Play games = hey, I'm no gamer myself, but there Are computer games that seek to enrich the mind.
Extracurricular activities = they are EXTRAcurricular activities, hence it's something they are SUPPOSED to enjoy doing themselves, therefore it should be an activity they are allowed to CHOOSE to participate in.

Life's already too short to begin with. Playdates, sleepovers, sports, competing with classmates for roles in the school play, etc... aren't those very much a part of being a child?

My own parents were not pushovers. I got a severe beating whenever I got less than 90 marks for my exams in primary school. But at least my parents allowed (and encouraged) me to join the other activities in school that I showed an interest in. For example, I was a part of my school's MARCHING band, playing the SNARE DRUM (I bet Amy Chua would highly disapprove); in high school, I was an active performing member of a dance group (Entangled); in college, I took part in badminton competitions. Meanwhile, I still practiced the piano and violin diligently at home (of course, with much nagging from my mother).

As a teenager, my focus gradually shifted from academics to music. Admittedly, I've never really studied hard - call it being lazy or whatever - but to be honest, I've NEVER felt anxious about academic exams, as opposed to music exams. That's how I found out that what I cared about, and what I would strive to do well in, was music.

And I was fully supported by my family.

IMHO, every child responds differently to different types of parenting. Amy Chua's daughters responded well to "chinese" parenting, so congratulations to her! But, if what she says were true, if every child responded to "chinese" upbringing the same way Lulu and Sophia did, then we'd already have billions of brilliant "chinese" kids ruling the world by now wouldn't we?

And then there's all that crap about "studies shows".

Studies schmudies.

Whadda load of bull****.

I'm not saying that there's no difference between the mentality of the "westerners" versus the "chinese". Of course there is a difference, there's a MASSIVE difference. But it's because of these "chinese" mothers who, quote: believe their children can be "the best" students, that education in Asia is what it is today: all about rote memorization and regurgitating textbooks. Why the heck do you think "westerners" find their Asian counterparts less opinionated/creative/innovative than themselves?
Because most "chinese" parents (in Malaysia, anyways) want to wear their child like a trophy, to show off to their relatives and friends, and be able to say things like: my child got straight A's for his/her exam!

Err... so your child swallowed the textbook, big deal. *rolls eyes*

Amy Chua mentioned briefly about how her husband, Jed, viewed parenting duties differently from her, and that it sounded (to her) like a terrible deal for the Western parent.

Oh, so it's a good deal if your child is the one suffering for your own benefit? 

Yeah yeah yeah, work hard and play later... you can enjoy life when you're rich and old... bla bla bla... but you're only ever a child once.

Look at Michael Jackson. HE didn't have a childhood because his father insisted that he practiced singing and dancing instead; look where HE ended up.

Where I come from, "chinese" mothers are strewn everywhere. My mum used to tell me that my classmates' mothers back in primary school would ask how I did in my exams. This is how the conversation would go - my mum: A; classmates' mum: B.

B: Hi! How did Clarissa fare in her exams?
A: Not bad, she maintained 90 and above for everything.
B: Oh, that's good!
A: How did Aaron do?
B: Not good. He got 100 in everything except Science.

Like, double eww - tee - eff?

Is that all there is to education? Getting 100marks in every bloody subject? 

My sister recently obtained straight A's for her PMR, and we were all very happy for her. But my parents acknowledged that A's are not everything. Quote from my dad: A's don't make the man.

Let me tell you my personal experience with "chinese" upbringing.

My paternal grandmother and I never got along. Since a toddler, I'd always been closer to my maternal grandmother. For some reason, the other grandma didn't like that. I used to get beaten (by my dad) for nothing at all - for watching tv, for playing the piano when she was reading the newspaper - just because she ordered him to do so. Those were the days in my childhood where I was miserable at home (because she lived with us), and my relationship with my dad was pretty sour back then. I sought escape during the weekends, and my maternal grandparents would bring me to their home, where she couldn't touch me.

Did I mention she used to throw things at my siblings as well?

The above might sound completely unrelated, but I wasn't referring to my parents being "chinese" parents. My dad went through the "chinese" upbringing, where "parents are always right". Hence, he always did as his mother ordered, whether or not it made sense. 

Do you know when my dad and I finally managed to get along?
After she passed away.
Go figure.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Amy Chua's methods don't work. Her daughters are living proof that "chinese" parenting work on them. But MY view is that it's not the same for every child, and every individual responds differently to different approaches.

However, I DO maintain that her methods were just short of slave driving.

My mom called earlier (I told her to read the article) and also agreed that it was too much. Childhood is called childhood for a reason, and I think every child has a right to experience it as fully as they can. To me, a parent that takes away everything that one ought to experience as a child is not much of a parent.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

The First, and Last.

I've been sorely tempted to blog about this for awhile now, and after reading Lina's post last night, it finally prompted me to blog extensively, for the first and last time, about DBSK.

I still remember those evenings when their concert promotional advertisement would come on TV, and I'd stop whatever I was doing to stare and swoon at their smooth vocals and suave dance moves.

Laugh at me if you will. Pfft. 
*Oh goodness I can imagine Tarrant rolling on the floor at this point -_-"*

If you belong to the group of people who don't know what the heck I'm talking about, go visit allkpop.com.

I watched them evolve from this:

When they still struggled to sing in-tune whilst performing live, to this:

Singing 5-part acapellas prefectly in-tune.

It pains me to know that the only Korean boy band I ever regarded as worthy of my attention (and money) have now dissolved into (almost) nothingness. I say the ONLY Korean boy band because they are (so far) the only ones that can sing in tune whilst performing live, they can dance, they sing 5 part acapellas, and they look good doing whatever they do did (always a bonus).

Upon attending their first concert in Malaysia back in 2007, I became a fan. Not the "scream-when-I-see-their-faces" type, but I appreciated their songs and bought their main albums - both Korean and Japanese.

3 of them now call themselves JYJ, and the other 2 are "carrying on" with the name "DBSK". Their vocals may remain the same even though they've split, but I will only ever support the original 5 member DBSK.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Procrastinate With A Capital "P"

Woke up feeling aches all over. Blergh~

Yes yes yes, I know the pictures are WAY overdue, but I'm not exactly in the mood to deal with blogger's incompetent photo upload function.

Oh wait. I just realized that you can now upload chunks instead of one-at-a-time.

Way to go Clare.

My practice isn't going as well as I would like it to, so I'm feeling kinda direction-less at the moment. Called my teacher and tentatively set a date for our first lesson of the year/semester/whatever.

I swear, the rain is messing with my head. Grr...

The story of my life huh? It's a friggin' roller coaster ride.

I thought the "P" in PMS stood for "Pre" not "Post", if that's the case, why on earth am I feeling...


Yeah, that's the word. Numb.

You know the feeling you get sometimes from thinking and worrying too much? And the feelings become so complicated that you don't quite know what to feel anymore?

Lately, I've been thinking about what I'm gonna end up doing after I graduate. Passing the auditions and being a first year in YST seems so long ago, and at that point of time, graduation seemed a century away. Right now, it seems scarily near.

Where will I be in two and a half years' time?

I'm scared.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Best Dinner EVER!

I'm still giddy from the experience.

No kidding.

I arrived in Singapore only yesterday, and had a pretty darn good dinner (Bak Kut Teh, mind you) with Boon Ping and James around Tiong Bahru area.

Tonight, however, James decided to spring a surprise on me by taking me to:

Halia ("Ginger", in Malay) Restaurant, Botanical Gardens.
p/s: I didn't even know where the heck we were headed until we got out of the taxi. O.O!!!

The ambience was crazy romantic. =P

The interior:

I didn't manage to get good shots of the food we had (cause my camera sucks), but for more info, check out their website HERE!

I highly recommend their prawn satay for starters, and the trout as main course. =D=D=D

Drool away!

Monday, 3 January 2011

Reflections and Resolutions

Year 2010, I've been too much like this:

Instead of ending up like this:

I resolve to practice like I've never practiced before!

Let's rock 2011!!!!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

2nd Day of 2011

Brand new year, brand new start?

Spent new year's on board a plane back home from Macau. It was a good trip, and I reckon I've put on quite a bit of weight in the past 5 days. O.O!

Funnily enough, apart from stuffing ourselves with Chinese goodies, we didn't buy much. Didn't even manage to get any souvenirs of the non-edible variety. All we did was eat, sleep, buy snacks and drinks, visit tourist attractions etc.

The first 2 and a half days in Zhu Hai were great. Food was awesome, hotel rooms were spacious and comfy, took a lot of nice pictures... Macau was good too, though everything was much more expensive. They didn't have many tourists spots per se... but they had a lot of casinos. -.-

33 in total.

And Malaysia only has one.

The age limit over there is 18, so dad decided to bring me in one. The lady didn't believe I was 20 so I had to show her my ID. Grr... She was all: HAH? 20? Aiya you show me your ID la, later I get into trouble.

After I whipped out my IC (which, embarrassingly, had the photograph of me when I was 12), she took a solid 15 seconds to do the math (2010 minus 1990, hello???).

Didn't fancy it, to be honest. I don't see the point of sitting there pushing the button and hoping the pictures would match up. *rolls eyes* Of course, being in China, every Tom Dick and Harry was smoking, so I couldn't wait to get out of the place.

We went to the Venetian (Macau), which was a hotel, casino and shopping centre situated on a HUGE piece of land. These people should stop building huge-ass casinos and start making room for the citizens. Our tour guide was telling us how big the gap is between the rich and the poor. For want of a big fortune in a short space of time, the poor result to gambling. Hence, the poor get poorer, the rich get richer.

Kinda sad.

Pictures will be uploaded soon. =)

Went to Pavilion yesterday for lunch with the parents and sis. Bought another pair of Nine Went shoes (boots, actually). Hey, they were on 50% sale! As well as a nice laced top from FCUK, on 60% sale. Heehee.

Decided not to get anything from Macau cause everything was more expensive. Like, MUCH more expensive. The same boots from Nine West I bought from Pavilion were selling for 3 times the price in Macau!

Righto, I need to print that statement thing from Aeroline or I won't be able to get on that bus to Singapore tomorrow morning.