Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Officially Licensed Driver!

I passed my driving test!!!!!!! After three tries!!!!!! With a cumulated 93?4? demerit points!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, I wanted to write a lengthy blog post about my journey from BTT all the way to getting the coveted spot in the room where they make you watch the road safety video, buuuut it's mean nearly 9 months now and I don't have the feels nor time for it so...maybe next time I'll update this space hehe. For now, please try to avoid me on the roads if you see me.

Monday, July 11, 2016

TRIO Camp 2016

Just came back from 3 days at TRIO Camp yesterday and it was, unfortunately, not all that fun. I suppose my expectations weren't that high anyway because after all, it is a music camp and not to be stereotypical or anything, but music camps have limits to the extent of which they can be rabak (read: wild).


I met Peter before camp for breakfast at Ya Kun to catch up, and that was like the fourth-best memory of camp HAHAHA

Reported to Practice Room 2 where we parted ways to our respective OGs. There are 4 OGs in total: T, R, I and O. I was in I and Peter was in O. I actually knew quite a few of my OG-mates before camp- Rebecca (from Pei Hwa LOL), Jing Yi (ACJC bassoonist), Ming Ren (LAB) and Vivian (RSB alumni), so I wasn't too nervous about social interaction.

We started off with intragroup ice-breakers, followed by intergroup ice-breakers, listened to introductions of the NUS Wind Symphony and Symphonic Orchestra before going off for lunch at the Science Canteen. The ice-breakers were quite standard and didn't do enough to generate enthusiasm and hype, in my opinion. But I would cut the games some slack because the Games Committee was more or less a one-man-show.

After lunch, there was an Amazing Race which was not so amazing because the traveling time between stations (NUS is huge!) took up 80% of the time, and the station games were rather boring. It was really up to ourselves to keep one another entertained!!

One of the games was a DEBATE (of all things...). I think the idea was to facilitate bullshitting but reality fell short of expectations. We argued Superman vs. Batman, Justin Bieber vs. Selena Gomez and Tea vs. Coffee. I got arrowed to do a lot of the debating because LawSku but felt I didn't perform as well as I could have. :( I think something about group pressure makes me anxious and hinders my ability to think clearly and articulate my arguments. Anyway, we still won.

One of the Bonus Challenges was to steal the Camp Head's (Dexter's) slippers for 15 seconds.

Another Bonus Challenge was to plank in 3 different places in NUS.

After the Amazing Race, we went checked in (to the College of Alice and Peter Tan!!) and went for dinner, before going for the Jazz Band rehearsal. I think Jazz isn't for me as a performer. I enjoy listening to Jazz but I really don't see myself with the groove and swagger to belt out a snazzy, jazzy improvisation.

After Jazz, there was Night Games which was really quite bad.

Us getting dunked with water for identifying our Fake Freshie wrongly (it was Kiyo).

After the whole affair, we freshened up before meeting for supper! McDonald's never fails to deliver and we ordered $87.35 worth of junk food. They forgot Zhen Ye's hot fudge sundae and the deliveryman ended up having to do a second delivery just for one hot fudge sundae. He wasn't too happy about it. 

We played First Impressions, which goes like this-
Person A: Who is the person you wouldn't want to talk to?
Everyone: *thinks of person based on first impressions, holds up finger once he/she has chosen*
Person A: 1, 2, 3...
Everyone: *points at chosen person*
It started out pretty tame and then escalated to semi-rabak and then somewhere along the line the game dissolved into a HTHT about relationships and love lol. But First Impressions was a fun game for me because Ming Ren pointed at me for Who is most likely to get a CAP 5.0 and a bunch of other positive things HAHA. Maybe he pointed at me because he couldn't point at himself but still, it feels very shiok to have a smartypants think so highly of you (intellectual-wise).


After 4-ish am, the sleepier people left. Rebecca, Danial, Zhan Hong, Xin Hao, Jocelyn, Weina, Zhen Ye and I stayed to talk some more because we weren't that knocked out yet! Ended up talking about religion and love and I felt a bit uncomfortable as the only Christian there (besides Rebecca). But the group was a little too big for comfort lah and I felt there was real potential in us bonding on a deeper level if the circle was a bit smaller. We ended up sleeping only at 5.30am, when security guards woke up to start patrolling the area LOL.

Also, one thing that really annoyed me was Joycelyn's poor sense of humour. As much as it sounds mean and horrible (but this is a safe space, after all), I was irritated by her need to neutralise every (joking) burn, criticise every attempt to raise the rabak bar and basically make everything politically correct/PG. Maybe she feels uncomfortable if she were the target of the insult (never, because I think everyone figured that she was a bit more sensitive than others early on) but I think she shouldn't project her discomfort onto other people, who may not mind being insulted in that way.


Woke up bright and early at 7.30am because the sun was scorching hot!! Managed to go back to sleep until about 9.30am, before meeting the rest at 9.45am, skipping breakfast (to have breakfast after a 3am McSpicy would be a cardinal sin).

We had a skit rehearsal in the morning before going for the Rhythm Workshop with Mr Ramu, where we did body percussion. It was cool, but still quite meh. I think the time would have been better invested into some activity to make the camp more fun because the workshop wasn't very necessary in achieving the aims of the camp (which should be to introduce freshies to the three ensembles and foster bonding to induce us to join the ensembles as a group of not OG-mates, but friends). Seriously, if I were OIC of TRIO Camp next year, it would be much more fantastic than this year's.

After lunch, I sat in for the NUS Symphonic Orchestra session to mock Peter's violin-playing skills hahaha okay just kidding. I wasn't too impressed with the orchestra but then again, everyone is sight-reading, so who am I to judge? But I really think Peter should go back to playing the trombone haha.

I left around 1.30pm to go to CCAB for SNYO rehearsal! It was a hot and tiring journey but I made it for the 3.5 hour rehearsal. Vanessa was so nice, she helped me set up and brought me a banana. :~) I was feeling really tired during rehearsal and almost fell asleep ahaha, not good considering it was my first run of Tchaikovsky in a very long time.

Got a lift back to NUS from the mother and managed to reach in time to eat (what remained of) the buffet dinner and have a short skit rehearsal before the final performance. Happy memory to remember: singing 小幸运 with Zhan Hong and whoever else joined in intermittently :)))

Our skit was ultra cringe-worthy. Too much 爱情, but there was no point saying so because (i) there wasn't much time to change the script and (ii) everyone seemed so thrilled at the idea (though I later realised could be like the Aberdeen problem). We didn't win best skit, but I hope everyone had fun, making the performance worthwhile!

After everything, we found out we were in second place (points-wise) and decided to go all out for the Bonus Challenges to be Best OG. It was quite funny, doing some thug life sequence, burping 10 times in 4 seconds, doing the harlem shake, reenacting the Lion King starting scene, etc. In the end, we were 140 points ahead of the second OG!!

We stayed up till about 4am that night, this time at the Level 9 Lounge with comfy sofas! We played the Probability game, and just because I was okay with doing a lot of stuff, I got arrowed quite a lot and was known as one of the more rabak people. It was quite annoying to see people wanting to play the game (there was an option not to) but be unwilling to take on simple dares, like licking someone's (of the same gender) knee. I ended up doing quite weird stuff like putting my finger on ZH's lips for 30 seconds, licking butter chicken off Rebecca's fingers (apparently I did it with my tongue very suggestively?!?? lol I had no intention to, serious!), getting chili sauce squirted into my mouth by ZH, putting my finger into a soya bean carton for the entirety of the game, etc. It was fun but I wished the people would've been more willing to undertake weird stuff (I really believe alcohol was the limiting factor!!).

The game then progressed to Shoot, Shag, Marry and I got shot 3 times (there were 4 guys in the room). I know we aren't supposed to take it personally but I got a bit pissed off, because Zhen Ye only shot me because I dared Kiyo to pluck off one of his armpit hairs. Anyway, Xin Hao shot me probably because I am the most bro-like in the circle and Danial shot me because going with the majority is always safe in games like these. Thank you ZH for shooting Joycelyn haha I would have wanted to as well but that would make me seem like a bad person.


Probably the worst day, with masterclass and then some senior's sharing thing which was insanely boring and unnecessary for the camp (it would be covered more in-depth during O Week by each faculty).

The oboist (apparently a senior in NUSSO) was really bad...she couldn't sight-read even the simple piece and a lot of time was invested into her during the practice, so the rest of us couldn't learn as much from the session. I mean, that's what happens when 30% of the time is just starting over because the oboe was lost/wrong rhythm/etc. I hope thinking this doesn't make me a bad person haha. A typical judgemental musician, yes.

Will the friendships made during this camp last? I doubt so, though I would have liked to keep in contact with Zhen Ye, Weina, Ting Yu, Zhan Hong and Rebecca. They seem like really interesting and fun people! Unfortunately, TRIO Camp really didn't do much to foster bonding/incentivise OGs to continue meeting up because the whole programme was too chill, it was more like a means of passing time than an event to look forward to.

I am also really interested in ZH as a person. Getting to see the real, sincere person beneath his cocky exterior made him more appealing as a friend! I also felt there was quite good chemistry between us during the camp, and can only hope that he doesn't get offended by my insults because I realise I have a tendency to insult people as a way of hiding my awkwardness. Always jokingly, but I'm afraid people don't see that. Hence my getting shot 3 times. :/

After breaking camp, we went for lunch as a semi-OG and then I met up with Peter to talk a bit more before going back home, and that is the end.