Sunday, January 24, 2010


I've decided that I might actually start penning down a few thoughts here and there here as well.

Much has changed since the last time I've written. Looking back, it has been about eight - or rather, slightly more than eight months since the last time I posted here. Since then many things about me have changed. I've lost weight, gained (and maybe lost some) friends, received IB results, etc.

Most clearly, on the surface, I have seemed to enter a new chapter of life, in the form of what I spend a large portion of my time doing. The challenges of the IBDP have passed and now I am in BMT, having traded the SAC for the cookhouse, TOKEECASIA for 5BXACBTPGAC, my subjects having changed somewhat from Physics HL and Economics SL to First Aid and Individual Fieldcraft, and my official designation from being in 5 or 6.14 for Quebec P2S3. The former chapter ended well; perhaps not as well as my terribly greedy ego wanted it to end, but I cannot deny that it ended well at all... I'll be hoping the latter will start and finish well as well.

At this juncture, indeed writing about various aspects of my school life that have been changed now that I am in BMT brings back many happy memories I had in school. I shall elaborate on this point later, where its relevance will become clearer.

It has indeed been a period of change, and thus facing such change I often seek stability; I'd think that would be natural among most people. I guess that's why "Admin Time" is very valuable to me - I end up spending most of my Admin Time on the phone, usually with my parents and then if time permits 1 other friend. Perhaps it might seem a little unusual for me to say this here since I have already been in BMT for three weeks, but I must say that I haven't fully settled in, though I believe I am coping reasonably well with the stresses of military life and training, and perhaps at times even found some enjoyment in it (PT before my shoulder blew up, and a certain part of arms drill - Lepaskan Sepering is honestly quite nice, IMO, if done well and in synchronisation).

Thinking about NS reminded me of a poem I've read in the past by Robert Graves - it's called Two Fusiliers and was one of the exam poems in Sec 4. The poem extols the nature of friendship between two soldiers at the warfront, claiming that such friendships surpass marriage (if I recall correctly the poem mentioned there being "no need of pledge or oath / to bind our lovely friendship fast" or something like that). While it's not within my expectation to develop such a strong friendship as discussed in the poem, bearing in mind the frequent use of lyricism and stereotypes in poetry (I know I'm generalising here), as well as due to the lack of the stimuli for friendship under those circumstances (forced interdependence or death, for example), I guess one thing which I hopefully will develop from NS would be friendships. This woud apply both to those in my Section and Platoon (most obviously), as well as even my friends outside of NS, or those who haven't enlisted yet and are going in in February or April. I'll see how this goes...

Anyway, today during "Bible Study"/Cell (which, honestly, the way things are going seems more appropriate, as meetings often are just worship with maybe a short sharing, and then prayer, then fellowship) the 7 (later 6 and then 5) of us were praying about various issues both on a micro level as well as on a macro level. My mind was thinking, and noticing a pattern in the previous prayers that had been made, I decided to follow the pattern as it would give a good framework for me to sort out my fairly disorganised thoughts with regards to various issues. The structure was fairly simple and would be something I'd have planned out anyway - an introduction, followed by micro and then macro-level prayer issues, followed by a conclusion. However, the importance of the introduction did not really occur to me...

Until it was my turn. I don't know why but upon reflecting on various issues that we had talked and then prayed about, such as the Haiti quakes and the political turmoil faced in some parts of the world, a sense of thanks, or rather gratefulness welled up in me. Perhaps the mentality of "I'm glad I'm not in the other position" is not a good one to adopt, but interestingly in that moment it did not occur to me that that statement might've been an implication of my emotion. Instead, I really felt thankful for God's blessings in my life, many of which are things that I've taken for granted. In a way, my 3 weeks in BMT may have led up to this lesson as well - having assumed that I'd have a comfortable bed, good food and the like, being forced to use a simple (though more than adequate) bed, and eat acceptable (OK would really be the best word for me to describe it) food has made me appreciate the good versions of these comforts. Perhaps having these comforts temporarily taken away has made me more able to appreciate their presence.

In any case, I learnt a lesson today - not one in the IB sense, such as how to perform implicit differentiation, nor one of BMT, such as rifle handling and stripping, but instead a spiritual lesson. Perhaps lesson might not even be the best word for it - reminder would be more appropriate, actually, given that this "lesson" by right would have been something I've learnt long ago. Anyway I do hope that I will remember this, to be thankful for what I have been blessed with.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

the needle and the club

At times, including today, I do feel that my mind is like a quartz club, and I'd rather it be a feldspar sword or dagger.

Monday, May 04, 2009

clean hands and a pure heart

We bow our hearts, we bend our knees -
O Spirit come make us humble.
We turn our eyes, from evil things -
O Lord we cast down our idols

So give us clean hands, give us pure hearts;
Let us not lift our souls to another.
Give us clean hands, give us pure hearts;
Let us not lift our souls to another -

O God let us be a generation that seeks
That seeks Your face, O God of Jacob -

O God let us be a generation that seeks
That seeks Your face, O God of Jacob.

Give us clean hands; (O give us clean hands -)
Give us pure hearts; (Oh, and give us pure hearts -)
Give us clean hands; (Let us not lift our souls to another -)
O God, O God we cry out -

Give us clean hands, give us pure hearts;
Let us not lift our souls to another.
Give us clean hands, give us pure hearts;
Let us not lift our souls, let us not lift our souls -

O God let us be a generation that seeks
That seeks Your face, O God of Jacob -
O God let us be a generation that seeks

That seeks Your face, O God of Jacob.


This song hardly fails to remind me of something I consistently have to aim for, even though I know I will never fully succeed here on this earth; our hands are washed, but we dirty them again almost immediately. Other than the verse from which the key line of the lyrics are taken (Psalm 24:3-4), this also consistently reminds me about the passage on faith without works being dead (the second part of James 2).

I guess right now, though it seems a really superficial interpretation of the song and verses, clean hands and a pure heart are something I really need. The song ties in to a struggle that I find comes up very often in my life - namely, the problem of discipline, both in the professional area (i.e. work) and also elsewhere, in the form of my own spiritual walk, relationships with friends and family, even how I spend my time.

Time and time again, I do feel that God has touched my life with this song; He has reminded me of it many times, such as during the Primers' retreat last year (I think), many isolated incidents over the past 2 years or so, and actually quite recently, on the Sunday before the 3rd May (26 April I believe), when it came to mind while I was praying about my own issues with work and discipline. It's meant a lot to me, and consistenly serves to remind me to evaluate my own actions and responses to a situation to some extent after the situation has passed.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

closing a door behind.

Father Lord,

Even as our Primers term comes to a close,
We pray we will continue to grow deeper in love with You.
That Lord, we will continue to live for You and grow in You.
If it be Your will, Lord,
We pray that You will lead us to serve further, Lord;
Whether it be through BB, the church or elsewhere.

Lord, we just want to thank You
for giving us the opportunity to be in Primers, Lord.
We thank You for Your guidance these 6 years;
we thank You for how You have changed our lives through BB.
We just want to commit all these experiences,
and to commit all of us,
the 12th (I) Primers 2008-2009,
into Your hands, Lord.

In Jesus’ name we pray,


I guess, my last words (for now) to this Company and my fellow Primers. I'll still be around. Thanks for everything. Really.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Inertia and the Continuum of Sanity

Right now, I don't have too many short-term projects but quite a bunch of long-term ones.

The notion of inertia makes me feel terrible and undisciplined. After finishing two medium-term projects (TOK presentation and ROD video), I just don't feel like I have the drive to delve into EE draft 3, World Lit draft 2 or TOK essay draft 4.


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

a broken comet

i'm sorry i did that to you.

i figured out your possible reasoning, actually.
i didn't act on my reason about your reason.

and now -
i just hope i'm not becoming hypocritical -


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Partial Sums

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.
James 1:2

The verse has meant a lot to me.


I have loads of backlog and the BB video is crawling by slowly
But I actually feel happy (:
I really wish to echo the thoughts of many in the video -
it's not awards and the like that count,
it's the friends, and God, that do.