Archive for the 'Undergraduate Education' Category

No more blood

I have ended my employment with the laboratory I was working with. Looks like my plan didn’t work out. As expected, I flunked Calculus and Statistics. Paying to retake these two modules burnt a hole in my wallet.

I am a biologist! Why do I have to study Math! This frustrates me. Imagine not being able to finish this degree because of two Year 1 Math modules. No, I have to do something about this. Practise more. Find a tutor. Pray more novenas.

I finished General and Applied Microbiology. Piece of cake. I hope I can get a distinction for this one. I am currently taking Molecular Biology. I need to start studying for this one, especially the practicals.

Well, no more blood and formaldehyde for now. Overall the experience has been quite interesting. My only regret is not mastering the more important and profitable skills. In the meantime I will go back to my part time jobs. No more blood taking though. I think I will stay away from Healthcare for a while.

The year is ending rather quickly. In the past few months I have completed 1x NS Refresher training, 1X Low Key ICT, 1X Technical Mobilization. I hope that they do not call us up in December. And I still have to find some way to pass my IPPT. This is not good. What else can I do, but work at it, and suck on it?

Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. But God helps those who help themselves.

Madness, Mathematics, May

Juggling work and school at the same time is really no joke. Weekends are also spent doing assignments or revision. I have grown accustomed to getting little sleep every night.

After so much toil, I think this maths module is going to crash. I was quite clueless during the exam. I haven’t had this feeling in such a long time. In fact the last time this happened was back in polytechnic year one. Nostalgic, in a bad way. Though the years fly by, Mathematics will always crawl out from the grave of time to plant a blade into my back.

For the first time, the prospect of failure is quite real. Dropping A Maths in Sec 3 wasn’t a big deal, because it didn’t affect my O Levels. I managed to scrape through E maths, and even scrape though dumbed down poly maths. Although it seems like I was the dumber one for not practicing much.

And now the creaky and weak foundation of rules and formulae has proved insufficient of holding up university-level mathematics. And oddly enough after the exams we are still struggling to complete the assessed E-learning questions!

Fine, retake this module if I have to. I don’t really care anymore. At least I know where not to go wrong now.

Notes to self and future calculus students:
1) Do your elearning every week or regret it.
2) Practice makes perfect.

Work is all right so far, though its about to become more intense. More skills to pick up, more things to remember. More overtime to do. It’s good. I like learning new things. I just need to watch the workaholic streak and time management.

Everything is going according to plan so far. I even had time to squeeze in a few Latin Masses (Ordinary and Extraordinary forms). It’s time to work on some of my other priorities.

Midway through Long Lent

Forty days in the desert with Our Lord.

The dryness is starting to get to me. The absence of a day job does this to me. The job hunt is fruitless so far. I had two job interviews this year, but no luck yet. So I reviewed my resume and decided to rewrite it. And continue applying for more jobs.

It is a great opportunity to put things in order. I am not doing well with my spiritual life either. Recently I have acquired The Soul of the Apostolate by Jean-Baptiste Chautard. This is an awesome book which teaches that those with a good interior life will be fruitful in evangelization.

One chapter entitled Action Made Fruitful attempts to categorize different kinds of souls.

Starting with the most sinful we have:

1) Hardened in Sin
2) Surface Christianity
3) Mediocre Piety
4) Intermittent Piety
5) Sustained Piety
6) Fervor
7) Relative Perfection
8 ) Heroic Perfection
9) Complete Sanctity, which is the most saintly state.

I seem to be alternating between 3 and 4, barely touching 5. I won’t type the descriptions of each state, they are quite long. Cultivating the interior life is so difficult.

There is a Legion Officers Training Camp next weekend. I hope it will be fruitful in passing on the values for these prospective leaders. Past generations have come and gone. When will there be a generation who will stay faithfully?

I’ve heard it so often: A vocation without sacrifice is not a vocation. Even a lay apostle must make sacrifices. How can I inculcate this spirit in my legionaries?

I am looking forward to the end of Lent. The end of Lent also coincides with the end of the current module I am taking.

Statistics is madness. I am not enjoying this module, though I’m forcing myself to. Why? I might need to use this in whatever occupation I take up one day. For example, biostatistics or public health. After not doing very well for the first test, I think it’s time to take it more seriously.

I need to find an alternative strategy to studying for tests and exams. I got a distinction for the first module Human Biology & Disease, and I think I’ll be able to scrape through Biological Organic Chemistry. I enjoy isolating myself in my room to study for hours, but when I get full time work I won’t have this luxury.

I hope all this is not in vain.

First post of 2010

Ah, welcome to the first year of the second decade of the twenty first century.

After three months of being in a post-ORD  semi-employed state, it is time to find full time work. Based on the job ads I’ve been looking at, it seems like a lot of the better jobs in life sciences ask for experienced personnel. Well, I have to start from somewhere. It is time for me to accumulate some experience in this field. Stepping stones, that’s the right thing to call it. Besides, having night classes alone for the next few years seems to be a waste of time if I am doing nothing in the day. I need money…

When I do take on full time work, I’ll really have to manage my time very, very wisely. There are so many things to juggle, so many things to prioritize. I do worry about that from time to time. I tend to throw everything into my primary task, and sometimes neglect the rest. I hope I do not end up neglecting the needs of the ministry.

Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.

Expensive Lessons

Lab practicals are proving to be expensive. In my first lab I broken one 10 mL measuring cylinder and one glass funnel. Total cost was 41 SGD.

Last Saturday I forgot to bring my lab coat and goggles. I had to buy a disposable gown for 6 SGD and rent the goggles for 2  SGD. Oh well, better than being sent home without the right attire. And we had a cracked 100 mL beaker after the experiment. Cost? 30 SGD.

Thirty bucks for a damn glass cup! School is really draining my bank account. I need a job.


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Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us

Stella Matutina, ora pro nobis

Our Lady of Perpetual Succor, pray for us

St Michael the Archangel, pray for us

St Jude, pray for us

St Benedict, pray for us

St Dominic, pray for us

St Anthony, pray for us