A Space of My Own 我的空间

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Moved to http://gail-lee.blogspot.com/. I meant to always duplicate my entries over here, but it’s a bit hard because Windows Live doesn’t always let my posts go through.

Hue Wen shared this song on Facebook today and tagged me.
I remember my first encounter with this song. It was from the album produced by 小羊诗歌, in which has many nice songs that I really liked. A fresh change from Stream of Praise at that time. And I like this song because it brims with hopefulness. Also, it reminds me of Charissa because she introduced this song to the church when she led worship.
I guess I was more or less influenced by this song when I composed 凡事都能做. It was my one and only composed worship song which has been brought out in public, although only for a while. I still remember that day when the church choir sang it. I was in Singapore, but they were singing it in Tampin. Because of this event, the song also reminded me of Mummy and Charissa. Mummy video-recorded the choir singing it and posted it on her Multiply album. Charissa msn-d me about it, and even sent me voice clips singing the chorus of the song. I saved those voice-clips and they are still with me in this laptop. I am very thankful I did, and am thankful that even if my song has not been used for too many things, God was graceful enough to let it contain memories of love for Mummy and Charissa.
Back in those days Philippians 4:13 was my favorite verse. I haven’t been claiming it a lot now though. Been tired, and in turmoil, struggling over certain things. Complacency has taken over me. Today pastor preached that there is not much time left. Every second has to be converted to eternity. I pray that I should do that conversion wisely, starting even now. I pray that I will be able to do this, for Philippians 4:13 says ‘I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength’.
I still believe in Philippians 4:13. I pray that it will be seen through my life.

I generally do not loathe writing reports. It is at most, lots of tedious formatting, sentence-generating, referencing, table-designing and graph-sizing; but it requires no creativity on my part (unlike writing Phoenix articles), or too much thinking/programming. So my right brain could be dead and tired, but my left brain will churn things out. Of course there are a lot of tricky things like tenses (I always get them mixed up), and the need to vary your words a bit so that the same verb/term which is not a technical term does not appear in 30-50% of your report, and cause whoever is reading it to get turned off (at least I’m the type that does). I had lots of training in the past few semesters since I’m mainly in-charge of writing for almost all my group projects.
However, I do not like doing it within a stipulated time-limit, especially when I have less than 5 days to write, edit and print (including work-days). Thank God my professor doesn’t like ultra-long and detailed reports, and asked us to stick within 30-50 pages, which is the length of my usual lab reports, and hence, is very much manageable. 🙂 Am grateful to Nick for his report skeleton too (though the content has totally nothing to do with mine). At least I do not have to wreck my brains thinking out the cover page formatting from scratch, and fear that I have forgotten any formatting details or report sections.
These two days I shall exhibit in full blast all my report-writing capabilities, and hopefully by Tuesday night, it shall be over. 🙂

Counting down 4 days plus plus to complete my report! It’s really rushed, but it’s a kind of rush that makes me ‘high’ (at least for now).

Our last FYP consultation meeting is just over today, and this is here’s a pic of Mei and myself with our mentor Bevan. I don’t know how to resize the picture, so this looks weird. Anyway, you can see all of us in it. We were really very fortunate to get Bevan as a mentor. He’s very patient in explaining things, doesn’t push/stress us out, provides us with literature info as best as he could; and most importantly, I know he did not just help us because we were involved in his project. I really appreciated the fact that he was very mindful of our interests as FYP students, and I learned a lot from this project.
After this half-year FYP experience, I shall take a leaf from his book and be more patient with others (no matter what the issue is). Yes. I shall even try to be patient with the 183 bus driver who literally makes the bus crawl on Clementi’s road on my way to work, getting stuck at all the red lights when it’s already all jammed up, and making me nearly miss the shuttle bus to work. Maybe when this happens to me again, I’ll just think of how patient Bevan was when I asked him near-elementary questions, and I’ll tolerate the poor bus driver more.
FYP would have been so different without Mei too. We’re the type that like to rant together! And it’s fun to have someone else under the same professor and mentor instead of being on my own. Now Mei is working in MSD South and I’m in MSD West. So we somewhat have another common topic to talk about when we see each other.
We didn’t really have much actual meet-ups with our Professor, but what I like about him is that he tries his best to help and get us interested in the project, and believes the best there are in people. In fact he has more confidence in us than we have in ourselves. Usually when this happens, I will think that this is because ‘he hasn’t seen our report yet’, which may be true. But this time I shall take it a different way, and learn to have more confidence in what I can do too. 🙂 I tried adopting this mindset in my work place and it seems to have put me in brighter spirits.
So now I shall try not to have such a phobia of new and ‘difficult’ stuff, and learn to make the most of what I have! And now I’ll have to somehow churn out a beautiful report for the little data I have. 🙂 All the best to other FYP students too!

This week is my first week as an intern in Schering-Plough (or SP, now brought over by Merck and is officially MSD-West). I feel so blessed by everything I went through these four days!

I am not supposed to blog about anything regarding the work I’m doing so I shall omit all names and not mention the nature of my work (which I haven’t really started doing yet). Will just share the overall feeling of what this place gives me.
I had my first day in MSD-South (or Merck) for orientation. It was a very well-planned orientation and I was very happy when they highlighted Merck’s value systems, and emphasized it’s importance to us. ‘Values’ of giving only the best to the people (Merck is a pharmaceutical company), are more important than ‘skills’, which many other companies pay more attention to. The Merck organization is extremely value-driven since it’s founding, and I feel proud to be a part of it, even though I’m just an intern.
Some people get the kick out of their job because it’s challenging and they excel in it. My satisfaction from this job comes from the fact that I know the whole organization is encouraged to pull together to help people, not just for profits and fame.
Another thing I like about Merck is it’s cafeteria. Free salad on Mondays, free fruits and drinks everyday! Free drinks in the pantry too. And the food is NICE and inexpensive. Too bad I won’t be eating there everyday haha. I haven’t really tried much of SP’s canteen food yet, but it is a bit more expensive than Merck.
The employees in both Merck and SP are very kind and friendly. I made friends with a few new employees on contract basis who underwent the same orientation as me, and were around my age. They have been around since June though, and are more familiar with the place. Hence, when I was in SP, they baby-sitted me around when the HR assistant was not free. (I suppose they treat me as if I’m much younger because they thought I was from Polytechnic at first, and one of the uncles actually asked me if I was 16 or 17.) They showed me where the canteen and toilet were, directed me to the shuttle bus waiting area, and agreed to drop by my office for lunch because they didn’t want me eating alone, although we were working in different areas. (We couldn’t use our phones as the reception is very low, and in some places, phones are not allowed.) Even the chemists in lab took the trouble to show me around, and senior employees I was not working under voluntarily introduced themselves and asked me to approach them any time if I needed help.
I’m very thankful to be under my current supervisor too, who is very kind and approachable. When I was at the pantry this morning waiting for her arrival, one of the other colleagues in the office talked to me and said I was very lucky to be under her, as she will make sure I’d learn a lot. And judging from what the things she told me that I would be doing, I think I really will.
I finally managed to navigate around the plant I’m working in in SP today without getting lost. Everyone knows I have a bad sense of direction! It was so extreme the past two days that wherever I need to go, I had to follow someone around (or ask people). I suppose I was getting rather burdensome, especially on the HR assistant who had his own work to do. He brought the bunch of us out for lunch, and this time I managed to remember the directions to the hawker center properly. 🙂 But I guess I won’t be going out much, as canteen food is still relatively cheaper.
I’m looking forward to next week where the sequence of day-job night-FYP is going to be over! And I look forward to tomorrow as well, because on Fridays we go home half an hour earlier! 😀 The start of this internship looks promising. I hope it will end fruitfully as well.

You know what draws the masses to the story of the ugly duckling, who later became a swan? It’s the fact that the duckling was initially ugly, and abused and downtrodden; and in the end, it became a swan.

The story wouldn’t have been interesting if it started off as ‘a swan which grew up to be a swan’. Or, a swan which knew that it was born into the midst of a bunch of ignorant ducklings, and grew up knowing that it would be a swan anyway, and was proud of itself.
It was the transformation, or more like the realization, that one day let the duckling overcome it’s former inhibitions of who it thought it was, and started to behave like a swan… and forget all things that associated itself with the ‘ugly duckling’ it once was.
One wouldn’t appreciate beauty that much, if it was something one had all along. It is through having what you once didn’t have, or once lost; that makes you appreciate what you have all the more.
I was really an ugly duckling in a particular phase of life. No, I’m not talking about looks (though I might as well be doing that too). I never knew that that phase of life affected me so much, until it was brought up today, and the mention of that topic itself was strong enough to bring tears of shame into my eyes. It was overwhelming. 
I just want to thank God for giving me a chance to break through this cocoon and transform into something new. Now the most important thing is that this chance and forgiveness is cherished, and I do not go back to what I was again.