It’s 02 44 hrs and I am still awake. Tried to sleep for like 2 hours but to no avail, so I thought I might as well do some reflections.

I like to think that schools are for moulding minds and creating a safe environment for students to explore and make mistakes. Teachers play an immensely important role in this area. I’ve met many teachers in my life, but I won’t say any of them really inspired me. Perhaps because I was always quiet and pretty unremarkable. I do have teachers that I really like, but that’s about it. I’m really grateful for these teachers, but I do have a few teachers who were really uninspiring and somewhat demoralising.

My results weren’t fantastic in secondary school except for my languages and argumentative humanities like history and social studies. Sciences and Amath were the worst. I couldn’t understand what the teachers were talking about half the time. Because of my poor results, I was put into the lowest banding in terms of classes. I don’t mind the banding, because after all, different people have different learning speeds and lower bands usually have slower speeds which I could cope better. I did benefit from banding. My Emath went straight up to A1 from a grade of C5 and I’m really thankful to my teacher Mrs See for it. Amath was a totally different story. I was failing it miserably all the time. My teacher was totally uninspiring. He tried to spur us on, with stories of how all his classes got 90% A grades in previous years, and that we should keep his record. He compared us to his triple science class and constantly reminded us we were falling behind. I know. We all knew we were falling behind, which was why we ended up in his class. To me, he probably didn’t take a class which was as lousy as ours, and so, we broke his track record. Honestly, I already knew we would. Our class was scoring F9s. And we were already working our butts off.

During the release of our O levels results, he told us to give ourselves a second chance by going to jc. I vividly remember standing there with my friends while he disapproved of our choice of heading for the polytechnic route. As an educator, was he supposed to deter his students like this? Wasn’t he supposed to encourage growth and analytical minds in students to decide for themselves what is the best for them? And not just make a passing remark like this? I’m not sure of how he got into teaching, or how he got to his rank, but he was the IT head of department (HOD) in my school at that time. He went on to be a student development HOD and is now a vice principal of a primary school.

I got good grades for O levels with effort and pure luck. I mean, who goes from having 30 points during prelims to just 9 points? My teachers were shocked. I was shocked too. I could get into the JC I wanted, AJ. But in the end, I decided that I couldn’t take another major exam again. That was something I thought was best for me and something my parents have talked to me about and discussed with me. How can he, with one sweeping statement, condemn a decision like that? A second chance? What does that even mean? It sounded degrading to me and I have never disliked a teacher more. If he had explained why he thought that we would benefit from a JC experience I probably wouldn’t have felt this strongly. But he didn’t. He was more concerned of his track record, like how many of his students got into JC, how many got A for the subject, than he was concerned for the student. The most ironic thing is that he was the one who rose through the ranks faster than a wildfire spreading in the woods.

It is good that he is no longer a teacher, which meant that he wouldn’t be able to bring students down in this way. However, I shudder to think how he would drive his primary school in the direction of academic excellence and nothing else,and how these young kids will develop under such a mindset.

Every path you take, every decision you make, no matter good or bad, you’ll be able to take away something from it. Experiences, lessons and things, which moulds your character. I’ve had a great time in polytechnic and learnt many things outside of academics. I learnt more about myself and more about the world. I guess what’s most important whichever path you go down is your mindset. If you don’t have an open mind to get ideas and see beyond your own mind, you won’t be able to develop yourself as a person. That’s what’s wrong with his statement. He was from JC. The only path for success in his mind was JC. He couldn’t see past his personal track records of excellence and into the students development and the future. If you’re close minded, you’ll be restricted. Open your mind and you’ll discover endless possibilities in this world, which never cease to amaze me.

We as a society is opening up and claming up at the same time. If we can look past that academic achievement making or breaking a person, we would be a much better community and society. I’m happy that our government is taking more interest in this, despite nothing currently being done to rectify the issue. I guess identifying the problem is a start.

Hopefully, the future generations will be those which are not judged based on a paper we spend nearly 20 years chasing.

I can rant on forever and I’m sure I’ve missed out so many points but I’m gonna go grab some sleep now and study later on.

The Chase: http://youtu.be/S9G6p_u4SEQ

Goodnight.

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You know, I often get offended when people use uncouth terms or vulgar. It just feels wrong to me.

Especially racial terms or slurs.

I just read an article on CNA reporting the people of Hong Kong as Hong Kongers. Thank you. I’ve been trying to tell this to people I know, but somehow it just doesn’t stick.

People around the world, Hongkie/Honky is really kind of racist. Try using the proper term of Hong Kongers.

While I’m at that, Singapore is not in China or any part of China, or even near China.

As you can see from the map (taken from lonelyplanet.com), Singapore is separated from China by several of our lovely ASEAN neighbours; Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar. We take about 4 hours or more by plane to reach China. Our population consists of Chinese, Malay, Indians and Eurasians, our official national language is Malay, and the common tongue that we speak is English, or Singlish if you would prefer. We are not in China, and our culture is really diverse, mixed, and unique from any other part of the world.

Both Singapore and Hong Kong are lovely countries and cities, but I’ll save that for another post where I sing praise to places I call home.

Does your country have major misconceptions? Maybe you feel as frustrated as me on these topics 😛

I haven’t been here in eons.

I’ve decided, that even though I have so many things to do, I should really write something in this tiny space and add on to this content intensive place called the internet.

Well, reflecting on my life and making my procrastination time is kind of useful, I guess.

Uni has not been kind to me. I don’t mean that in a sense that university sucked or anything. It’s just that I’ve been thrown into a new environment. I though that poly would prepare you adequately enough for Uni. Well, I thought wrong. The never ending assignments and lectures. Sounds like poly? Yes, just poly x 100. I’m probably exaggerating but seriously, it feels as if this whole world of information has just collapsed on me.

I went through phases. I went through a phase where I told myself “I can do this!” to a phase of extreme stress and anxiety that led to sleepless nights and just crying almost all the time when I’m alone in my room (which is most of the time I’ll admit) to just stoning and simply getting the information bouncing out of my brain. It was as if my brain was just saying “nah-uh you’re never gonna get this into your brain, sucker!”

On top of that, I had to settle in a whole new environment by myself. No friends (though I made some, but none as close to me as those lovely people back home), no family, no parents.

I had to cook, clean, and do everything myself. Of course, that was what I expected, but for some reason I thought it was going to be alright and it was. But I just had no one here.

I have always believed that humans are social creatures, and that they will need people in their circle they can trust and depend on. These people will not be there all the time, but these people will be there sometimes and it’s lovely when they’re there. Back in Singapore, I had my parents every single day. When I’m not with my parents, I’m with my friends whom I’ve also gone through thick in thin with. I was spoilt with people around me who cared for me, and who I cared for. People who are my loved ones, and who love me. Now, 3 months have gone by, and I didn’t have anyone during this 3 months. They were only accessible, seen, through pictures and my tiny computer screen. The yearn to have contact, to have a hug, but not being able to. I know things are probably much better than in the past where people had to even go to a telephone booth or resort to writing letters to communicate, but, these devices which brought communication easier across the world is still no replacement for the physical presence of a person.

There was something wrong with my life. I am overseas studying. Many people enjoy their experience in studying overseas. I must be doing something wrong. Then, I realised that I haven’t gone out to anywhere other than school and the supermarket in about 2 months since I had been here. I have just lived here for 2 months, thinking that I’m going to be back very soon, yearning the life in Singapore, rather than even attempting to enjoy a little over here. It even felt wrong to enjoy.

I talked to my parents about being homesick and everything and sought for their advice since they’ve both been overseas studying in Canada, where they met. My dad just told me straight up to go out of the uni, go somewhere else, enjoy a little, talk to people more. My mum tried her best to comfort me with words. I’m glad I chose to talk to my parents about it. Talking to them made me reassured that I wasn’t alone and it also reminded me that they supported me through everything.

Things are still stressful, but I feel better than before, though I still feel homesick.

I am not doing well in school, and I talked to my parents today about it via WhatsApp and they were really supportive, saying that I just have to pass and get the degree and “enjoy the rest of my life” as my mum said it. And that’s just what I want to do. I’m not the most academic person, and exams terrify the shit out of me. The fact that my parents can accept that I have my limits, and believe that I can make something out of myself other than in academics makes me infinitely grateful for them. Not many parents will be able to accept their children’s inability to succeed in school, especially when they put in so much money for their education. My parents believe that I should get an education as long as I want to and can do it. And for that I’m infinitely grateful, because no matter how much the world said that GPA didn’t matter when you come out to society to work, it means that much more when your parents tell you so.

I know this hasn’t been a very coherent or well-linked piece, but I needed to do some reflection on what I’ve been doing for the past 3 months. Looking forward to slightly less than 2 months later when I go back to Singapore, and looking forward to having a much better grip and handle on school life in the next semester.

I guess in the end, I just want to say that I really do appreciate everyone that is in my life, and that all of them mean so much to me. So so much.

For that, I’m infinitely grateful.

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Here’s a pretty Brisbane sky. I’m also grateful that I have this opportunity to study in Australia of course(: It’s a beautiful country

It’s been a very very very long time since I last updated my blog. At least, it feels like a very long time. So.

In the past 2 weeks, there was birthdays, quite a few outings, and 2 baking experiences.

Let’s have a look at my planner to see what I did. Flips flips flips. I had an advanced birthday dinner at Arab Street at a restaurant called Derwish Turkish Restaurant with my family as my dad went overseas just one day before my birthday^^

PicsArt_1393844866068The food was pretty different from everything that I’ve eaten so far and was refreshing and not bad. The herbs were really interesting and the sauces were flavourful. Overall, I really enjoyed the homely ambiance and delicate decorations of the restaurant. However, if you asked me whether I would have this again, I would probably say no for quite some time as I’m simply not too used to the taste.

My cousin and I both had diarrhoea following the dinner. We have weak stomach as compared to my parents and my other cousin, I guess.

Pretty soon it was my birthday! I went out with Berty for the whole day~ Had a blast eating the Japanese buffet at Shinminori~ I had the birthday voucher whereby I could get a free buffet! Isn’t that awesome?:D However, berty had to pay and he refused to let me split the bill cause then it will be more fair. tsktsk

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He gave me my present hehe^^ I know he had a hard time wrapping it but it’s so cute that after spending much effort, the wrapper was a bit crumpled and it wasn’t wrapped really nicely, but it did had some artistic sense from this angle don’t you think? hahahaha Loved the present berty ❤

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The food was really not bad, though I would avoid some dishes. Hahaha the above are some of the dishes we really enjoyed a lot!^^

We then went to walk around and I checked the Hwawei store in Singapore to take a peek at the price of the handphone I was eyeing. HOWEVER, it’s currently not launched in Singapore yet and will be launched only around mid April. Sigh. Another month’s wait. I just hope my phone won’t go ahead and make me angry with its lag and stuff.

We then decided to watch a movie, Nonstop which was omg so so good. Maybe I have a thing for movies with plots on aeroplanes, but omg I promise you, this is one movie you would like to watch. I know I was kept on the edge of my seat most of the time during the movie (figuratively).

It was one of the best birthdays of my life ❤ Haha and thanks jelly for trying to surprise me hahahaha your efforts are heartfelt^^

The following evening, I went to join Sylvia and her family in celebrating her birthday for the 3rd time in all my years of knowing her. Such amazing best friends I have. I think I’m lucky to have met a group of people that I treasure for every step in my education. Truly grateful for these 2. LYLAS^^

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Went to celebrate Women’s Day on women’s day of course, 8th March. It was actually mainly to celebrate my grandma’s birthday and my mum and aunt told no one, and I only realised halfway through the meal.

Why, you might think, would my mum and aunt keep it a secret?

Well, if my grandma found out that we were celebrating her birthday, then she would not want to go for the dinner at all. Unlike most of the grandmas around (and even as compared to my paternal grandma), she hates it when others celebrate her birthday, and hates it even more when people treat her to a meal like this. What can I say. To add on, she was having a bad day that day. Sigh. What a dampener. She disliked the longevity buns the minute she saw it and got into a worser mood, if there is such a word. Sigh. Nevertheless the food was pretty good

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We love you grandma!

Met up with jellybean the next day to have a catchup lunch, and got berty to come along. First impression of jelly by berty: exactly the same as me. Oh wells. I guess it’s just.. idk. sisterhood. hahahahaha. Ant this jelly got me a rainbow cake as sweet as it looks. Thanks jelly ❤

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I made macarons with my cousin and my mum came in halfway during the process to scold us cause we were too slow hahahahaha had to use a coffee sieve to sieve the almond powder because the sieve gave up on us. Good on you sieve! -.- it was painstaking, but ultimately, quite satisfying hahaha though it was really way too sweet for my liking.

Berty came over the next next day, and we had fun watching frozen in the morning. I abandoned him in my room in the afternoon to accompany my mum to her check up and went home in the evening to have dinner, and subsequently go cycling with berty and my cousin. NEVER cycle at sengkang park at night with all the sandflies and whatnots. *shudders*

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Went to my cousin’s grad show to show our family support and watch his animation. I LOVED his animation because it’s so darn cool. hahahaha he drew this character and made it come to live! Animation is so hard and knowing how hard he worked for this makes me appreciate this even more. Well done well done^^

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CUPCAKES! after a brief meeting in school with Dr Simon, I went for baking lessons with my mum and cousin, whereby my cousin confessed on his contemplation of whether or not to run during the class cause he was the only thorn among the roses and prolly the youngest there too. Hahahahaa These cupcakes turned out lovely, and I brought 3 of them for Whyeyen Qianhui and Marcus to try, but the icing and everything got squashed so it looked disgusting, but hey, I’m sure it still tastes pretty nice~~

The 3 of them treated me to a meal at Namnam which was pretty good with fish sauce and everything (hahahahahahaha) for my birthday celebration/present. Thanks guys ^^

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Went to help out with Zhifon’s teacher’s event, Tan Kah Kee Young Scientist Award interviews. It was pretty funny, boring and tiring, so here’s a sexy banana that Qianhui made. Entertainment when you’re bored.

2014-03-15 13.48.28  I just went to an ethics seminar today, and there’s day 2 tomorrow. It’s so cool and interesting I think I’ll make time to blog for that. So. This has been my past 2 weeks or so. Pardon me for my sometimes incoherent language. Hahahahaha rushing so I can sleep. Just needed to write all these down before my useless brain fails me again. Haha

Toodly toodles~

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My Strawberry pouch is completed! The zipper is the killer, but I’ve fully grasp the concept of it. My mum underestimated me by thinking that I would definitely need her help with sewing the zip but I’ve done it! And she said it was even better than the one she sewed. Heh.

It took me maybe, altogether about 24 hours to finish it, but it spanned over a few months because of my hectic school work and as such, I was only able to complete it recently. Starting on my new project to try and make a bagpack~ In prototyping stage now!

Toodly toodles~

We have finally reached the last day of poly. It feels… like… you know this has got to end, and you want this to end, but then again, you just miss it so much too.

3 years have flown past so fast, and it was really a blink of an eye, or even lesser. My classmates were talking about how their year 1 and the funny things that happened. Despite a few bad incidences, I cannot even look back and think that a certain period of my life was horrible. I mean, when I think back upon the past 3 years, I just feel happy and I miss the times so so much, and the happiness just radiates through all 3 years, overpowering all the negative incidences I have had.

So, so awesome. Good times, good times. It is now time to actually think of the scary world outside school, and it’s time for me to find my first proper job.

Triple jump was scary and not scary at the same time, but it made me a bit emotional in the room, as I’ve grown on Dr Tan really. Despite his smiles that annoy the hell out of you and his answers to your questions adding on more question marks to your head, he is really quite a nice lecturer, and he’ll be the lecturer that I remember the most from poly. Thank you for being such a great FYP supervisor and liason officer for my internship, giving me the courage and moral support, and advising me through many many things. Although I don’t confide into you on anything, and not asking you for help (because of my stupidity in asking people = annoying them), you continued to give me your support and nudged me forward when I needed that extra push. For that, I thank you so so much for being such a great and wonderful lecturer to me. Feeling so emotional right now><

There are other lecturers whom I’m closer to, but really, the person that probably impacted me the most in poly is Dr Tan. Thank you~

Anyways, triple jump was… I have no words to describe it. It was kind of redundant, but at the same time, quite fun and interesting. Oh wells~

So after much deliberation and planning and people this, people that, our class finally agreed to go to MJ at Clementi. Our first meal as a class! (missing only 2 people, and that’s rare okay!)

Honestly though, the meal was… horrible. Firstly, the place. I thought it was quite a posh restaurant, but the set up was more like… a Hong Kong tea restaurant, with limited space and a cafe ambience more than that of a restaurant. I expected more for this franchise.

Secondly, the food. The soup was just a thick tasteless mush with loads of mushrooms with a buttery smell that would normally be fragrant, but somehow, it just isn’t. The burger, well the hamburger bun and lettuce was pretty okay, but the main, which is the patty itself, was horrible. It was the worst tasting beef I’ve EVER had. it was just a mush… of god knows what. I can’t even taste it properly. The fries are okay. I mean, if you can manage to  screw up fries, then I don’t know what kind of western restaurant that is. The other thing I had was pepsi, which they obviously can’t screw up.

As I was eating, I was just considering how horrible the food was. I only finished it because I didn’t want to waste food and I ate what I could. I was also just kind of stoning as well, so being in stoney land just meant I ate and ate without really thinking. I must say I never critique food, like ever. But this just… it’s just too much. It’s too horrible, and I’m sorry.

Now you know why I didn’t write the name of the restaurant. Though, maybe we should’ve done a feedback for them, but I honestly don’t see how they can improve, seeing that the food served to my classmates were equally bad. They are just going to take an uber long time to fix all their problems.

At least if I’m not wrong, the cake was nice? hahahaha that’s a good thing amongst so many bad ones

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Berty, I’m sorry you had to celebrate your birthday with such a bad meal, but hey, happy 20th birthday, and hope you had fun with the class anyways hehehe ❤

Those that came late didn’t order food, so in order for them to get food, we went on to our next location, Clarke Quay, to chill out at some bar. But but but, we were a group of 11, and it’s hard to find a bar to seat all of us. However, we found a cool spot on the bridge where you can climb up and sit and feel the breeze. It’s amazing how about a 1.3m difference can make to the chill-ness of the place. It was awesome!

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Some of the best people I met in poly~ ❤ Happy, and lucky to be my class, and *sniff sniff* going a bit teary now because I’ll miss them despite some stupid things that happened. In the end, I’m glad to have gotten into this class, and glad to have managed to somehow get them to have this one meal together so that we can sort of bond(:

Cheers to all of us for completing this 3 year journey, and let’s all have bright futures ahead of us!

Toodly toodles~

I HAVE JUST FINISHED MY WRITEUP FOR THE LAST ASSIGNMENT

*happy dancing flapping hands*

It’s a good thing, and I feel accomplish, but there’s also this nagging tugging “I’m-gonna-miss-this-…-kind-of?”  feeling. The end of poly is so near it will just pass with a blink of an eye. I just can’t believe that I’m graduating and getting kicked out of this place soon *tears a little*. Also this feeling of fear of the unpredictable. The next step after poly is either University, or out to work we go. And I guess I now understand why people would say “enjoy your uni years, they will be the best years of your life”.

Having  been on internship for 8 months, and working for the internship company for nearly an extended 2 months, I yearned so badly to be back in school during the later part of my internship. Though the assignments from school remained like hell, I still liked the feeling of being in the school environment, because it is where I feel safe and sheltered. I’m just quite unwilling to step out of my comfort zone and into the unknown, even though I know that many adventures await me. At the same time, I can’t wait to do it either. Why am I such a ball of contradictions?

Anywho, today also marked the last presentation with my a-awesome group consisting of Victor, Thamil and I.

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I still can’t thank them enough for tolerating my lack of knowledge and craziness at times, and I’m blessed to have them in my group, truly^^

There will be a discussion tomorrow, but it won’t be a full fledged presentation like previous cases. Last assignment, and we’ll be disbanded forever!

I think I must be worrying my dad quite a bit. He reminds me that I have a bright future every now and then. Maybe it was my remarks on how science was not as glamorous as everyone thinks. Which is damn true, but I don’t know. I’m still contemplating whether I’m truly suited to be a researcher. The decision after/during Uni will rule the rest of my life. Or perhaps, at least the first 20 years of my career. Wow that seems so long ><

From what I have gathered from myself, I’m not a person who wants to go through constant changes, though I have learnt to shut out the emotions rather quickly and I find it easy to forget them after awhile. Which is why I repeat mistakes. This bad bad habit of mine.

Triple jump on Friday. Oh man. Sigh, but no point brooding over it. I’ll have to face it anyway.

Oh. I just remembered I have an individual assignment to be done. That, can wait. Right now, I will have some rest time, or perhaps I’ll just catch up on this ginormous sleep debt of mine.

Toodly toodles~

My #100happydays challenge starts tmr! This challenge is basically you having to post a photo everyday for 100 days straight to tell people why you're happy that very day. It's awesome simply because it makes you stop and think of the great things in life that makes you happy every single day. Now, that's something worth living for! & in addition to appreciating everyday of this 100 days, you can get "a little 100 page book with your 100 happy days" upon completing this challenge. Isn't it awesome? So, my instagram will be pretty filled for the next 100 days, and hopefully I'll complete this challenge no matter how busy I'll be (:

Our class decided to run (after eons of planning, and finally thanks to Wenjin’s lead) on Friday. It was only the 2nd day I brought my camera to class, but my classmates have already been accustomed to the presence of the camera, and are prepared to pose any time, anywhere.

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This bunch takes pretty nice photos hahaha

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The camera timer at work!~

Wenjin and I jogged/walked 5 rounds. Hey it’s really tiring to keep the running motion there even if you’re really just kind of walking okay! And it was like what, 40 degrees celcius (just exaggerating) out there in the sweltering sun. It was foolish to run at that timing, but oh wells. The guys did their workout for NAPFA which happened 2 days ago. Eugene joined in the training as well, which is probably the reason why Wenjin organised this thing heh. Speaking of which I should probably get her to swim/cycle/badminton again soon. After this coming week. Ta~

Went to SPGG to shower again (2nd time~) with their really nice toilets and not a need to bring shampoo and stuff (heh I’m lazy this way)

By the time we wanted to go for lunch, it was already 3. What a lunch!

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Songfa Bak Ku Teh. Honestly, I’ve never heard of it before, and honestly, I can’t find much difference between their soup and the one my mum made with the packet of herbs my cousin brings back from Malaysia. Except they really put a lot a lot of pepper in their soup. And my mum cooks the pork ribs till the meat fall right off the bone. Slide would be a better word. Yum.

On Saturday, there was a party at my house (kinda) with my grandma and aunts and uncle and cousins present(: Some stuff did piss me off, but oh wells. I guess that’s family. Had yusheng again! Despite me not expecting much this CNY, I did, in the end, get to have 3 yushengs this year. Though it’s not my favourite food, but hey, it brings everyone fun and joy! Speaking of which, CNY is officially over today. 15 days of CNY flew past just like that~

On Monday, we sat in a rather peculiar arrangement for classIMG_1658IMG_1653

Kind of like a conference arrangement I guess? And then, our lovely lecturer dropped the bomb: 2 papers to present on Friday and Monday. *faints* But with some luck and after much negotiation, we got to present our papers on Monday and Wednesday instead. Phew. And if I’m not wrong, the latest update is that there will be a writeup for Wednesday’s paper instead of a presentation. I don’t fancy a writeup because it shows my lacking in knowledge. But, oh wells, what’s done is done.

Well, at least Berty and I had a good lunch that day, at JP. Their presentation for lunch specials are quite disappointing, but for that price and at JP, I guess we just can’t expect all that much.

Tuesday was packed with 2 journal club presentations, which was both interesting and boring at the same time, because there was just too much information.

Wednesday was an utter waste of time because frankly, nobody cares about the bioentrepreneur presentation that we were doing. I honestly thought that this would be an interesting module, but I’m sorry, I just. It’s just not my type.

Thursday, was the VDay celebration with a movie and a dinner, nothing much fancy, but it was great(:

Yesterday was a bore, and so is today. A bore with creeping feelings of I’m-so-gonna-die-during-the-presentations.

Oh wells. The life of a research student. Presentations, research presentation, research and the occasional pinch of sleep you get now and then.

Okay okay I know. Enough rantings and back to work!

Toodly toodles~