Yay! There's no school today as only those retaking the Chinese paper are going, so I finally have time to settle down and talk about some of the things I've been flippin' through.
By the way, I've decided to stop numbering this series because there isn't really any point.
1. The first up is Door to December by Dean Koontz. He's a fairly prolific writer, and I first heard about him through Em. She was scared silly by his Frankenstein novel, and for your information, what scares her most is the "degeneration" of human species that's so explicitly described, implied, in his books.
No one's better able to craft a synopsis better than the editors, so I've put a picture up there to give you the gist of it. Basically, it's about this girl who's been kidnapped by her father and she's found 6 years later, after her father and another scientist are found dead in their house.
By the word 'scientist' you probably can already tell it's about those freaky, weird psycho-science-fiction thrillers. It is, but a rather abstract and fantastical kind- definitely not the sort which they teach in school. I would say it's a little bit mixed with the supernatural.
Whatever it is, the book was gripping. Really, there's no other word that perfectly encapsulates the essence of it. I haven't had such a hair raising, edge-of-the-seat read since maybe Dan Brown. Perhaps it was in the gruesomeness of the murders described. The way Koontz writes, you can see them in your head, clear as day. Or maybe it was the whole mysteriousness surrounding the killer- who possesses inhumane strength, enough to crush a breastbone (by the way, the breastplate and the skull are the closest things the human body has to body armour- it requires a car with tremendous force, going at 50 or 60 miles an hour to smash it to pieces. I quote directly from the book.)
So it was all very dangerous and exciting.
Plus, the ending had a great twist to it. If you're looking for a mystery crime novel, this is the one for you. And I'm definitely going to look out for more of Dean Koontz when I have the time again.
2. The next one is Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella. I'm not even sure why I'm including this in here because it really sucked, but it was one of the books that were on my to-read list.
I'm quite disappointed with Kinsella because her books are usually OK for a light-hearted chick flick. I really liked Twenties Girl, which actually made me cry.
This one, however, was a flop. Not even the star decorations in the pages could save it.
It felt like one big garbled mess.
For one thing, you start to dislike Becky, the main character, a lot. She turns from a naive, good natured adult into something of a selfish, childish brat. It was neither funny nor interesting, and by the end of the book I wanted to throttle her. In this book I truly see her for her: a lying, immature adult who has a spending addiction, a celebrity-Hollywood complex, and a raging sense of denial. One can't help but be disgusted by Becky, even though she turns "good" right at the very end. At the end, Becky always manages to get away with it. Ha di da.
Secondly, the plot was one hot screw up. I was more confused reading this than, say, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, because she just threw in so many sub-plots and side characters my head spun. It was really too much. And extremely annoying.
Worst of all, the ending was a "cliffhanger"- but a lousy one because it didn't compel me to read the next book at all. I didn't get an explanation for suffering through 400 pages of nonsense, no. Instead I got a beg to give Kinsella more money so she can continue with this tired, overstretched series. That's not how cliffhangers work. You don't make up for a ridiculous plot by shoving all the answers into a sequel.
After the high that was the long weekend, I've been strongly brought back down to earth by my prelims results. Hello, stargirl! I'm no longer on cloud 9. But then, I always knew my Chem and A math were really gonna be the pits- it's just that someone had a brilliant idea to put both subjects- my two worst subjects- together, so it was a double whammy. Has anyone ever failed two prelims in a day?
Anyway, I was struck by a thought just now while laying in bed. It suddenly came to me that I wouldn't actually mind ACJC if I didn't have so much self-esteem issues and anxiousness.
Ok, it's probably very obvious to you, but honestly, I felt like I'd been hit by a thunderbolt. I sat up straight away and went to write here.
I was imagining myself in uniform, walking around in the compound. And strangely enough, it felt OK. I wasn't plagued by thoughts of bumping into all the dreaded seniors or dance sessions. For the first time, I wasn't worried about all these things. I just thought of seeing my good friends like Cait and Denise and Germaine. And Vera from church, who doesn't even care for dance even though she's in dance right now. I thought of Jeannette- and if someone who is as conservative, understatedly classy and nice as her can go through it and have good things to say- it can't be so bad, can it?
Notwithstanding I get to minus another 2 points of L1R5, which is a huge bonus. It would also be A level track, which is something we're terribly familiar with.
Of course, the dance issue doesn't change. I still really want to do dance in JC. Like really really. It's come to be something I can't do without. I would be devastated if I don't make the cut (and the chances of that are more likely than, let's say, the sun rises tomorrow.) Yes, there's still ballet, but it won't be enough. And if not dance, then what? Sports? Uniformed groups? Not a chance.
I don't know anymore.
I'll have to talk to seniors and people about this. Maybe I've just made myself more confused.
Things have been looking really up lately, and I've been wanting to write this ever since Thursday.
Well, with much anticipation, we finally got back our Chinese O Level results! I can tell you, the morning of Thursday I was so nervous and sick to my stomach. I was too busy crying over my drama the night before, but the nerves as we sat in the LT...listening to the teachers talk about our scores...the belief that I definitely would become the world's biggest failure, it's like it was screaming in my ear. And I really believed it. I was already searching for my B or even C and was just waiting to be smacked in the gut. Especially when lao shi said we did average, with a hand motion.
Except I didn't. When I approached the results table, I searched frantically for my name, and suddenly all I could hear was lao shi saying (in Chinese), "You got an A!"
And I swear, my heart burst with joy.
It was amazing. It really was. All the terrible anxiousness melted away, and I couldn't help but cry, I was so overwhelmingly relieved. You know I hardly ever cry from happiness. This was the second time in my whole life.
Later on I realized it was never me, it couldn't be. God stood in and watched over me somehow, because it's fact that I screwed up my oral exam, and I'm not just saying this to be polite. I literally did, because there was one point when I couldn't answer the examiner's question for almost 15 ~ 20 whole seconds (count that out in your head and tell me that's not long in real time). It was this moment that weighed so heavily on my head I knew it was going to be the catalyst to a B. It would have, if God hadn't been intervening for me. I just know it. Studying is a given. But His grace isn't. My A2 would surely, surely never have been real if not for my Father in heaven.
And the worst is truly over! No, not the whole prelims, but that's very soon away, because like I said- the worst is truly over. It was lit today, so there's only E math and bio MCQ left, and while those aren't easy peasy exams, to be honest- no one's going to be able to buckle down already.
Case in point: we went to Botanic Gardens today to have the proverbial picnic in the park. And it was pretty nice!
Before that, lit exam first: thank goodness Ben came out, seriously, which was what all of us were spotting. The problem wasn't that I had nothing to write: the problem was that I had too much to say, and too little time. Seriously, they give way too little time for the lit exam, and it's one of the worst ones too. Say for history and SS, they barely hit the line for students to finish their last words too, but for lit, so much thought goes into the flow and design of words that I can't articulate quite that quick enough. So my paragraphs suffer. Handwriting too.
Mrs.Cheng would probably have an aneurysm reading my lit essays. They may be even more flowery and exaggerated than normal English essays. The number 1 rule of writing is to keep it simple whenever possible, which I push to one side for LA but completely ignore for literature. Hey, it's an art, OK?
Happy birthday, Singapore!
What an oldie. Ok, not quite. My parents are older than how long Singapore has been independent (by one or two years lah. They're not that ancient.) Though I've only been alive for 16 out of those 51 years, I have to say, it's been a pretty good one all this time, me and Singapore. Our story goes like this:
- I'm born in Singapore in Mount E. Probably cried a lot. Wasn't granted citizenship so became an Australian instead because my 婆婆 and 公公 both hold Australian citizenship.
- The Gan family moves to Tokyo. Then New Jersey.
- The Gan family flies back to Singapore and decides to stay.
- I go through a love-hate relationship with this country for the next 10 years of my life.
This is the thing I've been brooding over for not only this entire morning, but also a few months now. Ever since the issue of which JC I'm going to became very, very real and not a thing which I could just toss aside to the pile which is labelled 'problems I want to ignore for the next 1,000 years.'
It's been a long time since I wanted something with such intensity, and I'm finally going to admit it: yes, I really want to go to ACSI.
I suppose it's quite easily guessed that my top 2 JCs of choice are ACJC and ACSI. That's pretty common knowledge. But not many people know that between the two, I would pick ACSI in a heartbeat.
Of course the most obvious factor that sets it apart from ACJC is that it does the IB curriculum. In fact, I would say its the biggest factor, because it changes the entire academic structure completely, and personally, it's quite a draw. If you've been keeping up with my posts you'd realize that I'm starting to tire of O-level / A-level track type streams where everything depends on a major exam at the end of the year. It's not just the major exam that drives me up the wall, but also the endless in-the-middle tests as well.
I feel like I've been constantly taking exams this whole year so far, like there's never a break between this exam and the next. The ME Lau hall is practically our 'cardboard palace'.
The possibility of something new is so refreshing I can't let the thought go.
Another major incentive is dance in ACSI. As far as I know, ACSI is the only IB school with a decent dance CCA- and dance is something I can't bear to let go. In the beginning I said it's been ages since I wanted something so bad, right? Well, the last time was probably joining dance. That was sec 1, and I was so determined to join dance that I went back after getting rejected from auditions. That's how desperate I was. I didn't even care that I was lousy as shit. And now I'm just as desperate to do dance in JC.
Dance Venia seems like something out of a story. For one thing, I know people who are in it but have (to my knowledge) no dance experience, like lao shi's daughter, and that's very encouraging. Secondly, all the great seniors joined D.V, like Naline, Grace, Shanon, etc., PLUS, all the amazing people from my batch will join too- like Sarah Tan, who is a total cutiepie, Sarah Cher, and Megan. They are all so nice. If I got into D.V I can truly imagine myself enjoying it there.
Not just in dance either. I would see Pris, Denise, and ELI every single day.
As opposed to the people in ACJC dance, like Joy, Yaeeun, Natalie, Gynette, whom I am TERRIFIED of. I've seen ACJC dance before and they're out of this world. I saw pure talent on stage. I saw a place where only people like Joanna Theng and Beatrice Low could truly make it out alive. And I couldnt, as hard as I tried, see myself there too. (Not saying D.V. is bad or anything. But ACJC dance looks ten billion times harder to get in, like it's some elite club where you have to slice off your pinky to be considered.)
Let's not even mention the girls who will likely be entering ACJC, i.e. Celest, Natalie, or even Sam. All the popular girls with their crowds of friends and boys. It's just not me. I'm not that kind of girl. And I need to be somewhere where I can feel safe, included, and happy.
I don't think any of that can happen in ACJC.
But I'm not an idiot. Getting into ACSI is only the first hurdle that I can't even seem to cross. My grades can barely even get me into a JC. ACSI is a prestigious JC. For me, I can't even just get the minimum score to enter. I have to be better than the rest, get below 5 (that means score a raw L1R5 of 6 POINTS) to be guaranteed a spot. #PRprivileges.
Also, if I do get in, what next? Everyone from the IP boys to the MG IP girls would have formed their own cliques already. I have no friends. No one. Zero faith in friends-making skills.
It's an almost impossible task to get into ACSI. Maybe that's why I want it so much.
GOD. Ok, so the most embarrassing thing just happened, and this may even trump that time Ultimate Lemon auditioned for MGActs and didn't get in. Or that thing in P2 when I accidentally said 'she's gone to pee' in Cantonese to my friend. Ok, maybe not as bad.
Me and Chloe and Germaine were just walking out of class when some girls were doing interviews for National Day, which is next Monday. So of course being Chloe and Germaine they yelled excitedly and clamored for the camera. I was excited too, because it seemed like quite a fun thing being on a video that's screened to the whole school. oh HOW VERY WRONG I WAS.
We had to pick a question each and answer them in front of the camera. That's where everything went to pieces. I thought I could just smile and nod benignly while they chattered away. It's their thing. My thing is to laugh at all the right places. And don't come at me with the Perks of Being A Wallflower stuff about 'participating' and all that, because sometimes it's really difficult to make it a reality, OK?
I should have known this was coming. The fact that absolutely nothing came to my mind while pondering the questions was already a dead giveaway. Nevermind that I was terrified of having the camera specifically on me- that I couldn't be funny, or witty, or charming, and I couldn't even think of anything seriously deep either.
Protesting didn't work. I went as far as sitting down with them at the table. But even before the camera started rolling I straight out burst into tears. I cried in front of Chloe, in front of Germaine, in front of all the Sec 3s who were filming it. One of them had to come round and give me a hug, I was such a scene. Heck.
What a huge fiasco. Only God knows, but it may have been an anxiety attack.
I've hesitated from terming or actually putting a name to what I feel for a very, very long time because there's simply no way of telling if it's actually what I think it is.
The thing is, I'm starting to get kind of scared. It's not the first time. It's one of the many. At one end, I'm so sure that I actually have an anxiety or social anxiety problem while the other end is full of "are you sure? REALLY? You suffer from ALL of these symptoms? You're not just making it up to be pretentious and romanticize mental disorders?" BUT THEN WHY DO I FEEL THIS WAY? Can someone please put an end to the mystery?
When the anxiousness, or whatever it is- takes over, your mind goes strangely blank and haywire at the same time. There's nothing but the impending doom of your problem. It's a bottomless pit of What's The Worst That Can Happen, over and over over. I wish it would just disappear. I wish I just knew what it was.
L / 18 / SG / ACJC
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If you get everything you want the minute you want it, what's the point of living?
last updated: 5 september