Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Back to Library! =)

I'm ALIVE! And the chestpain hitting me yesterday has subsided, though minor pain still can be felt occasionally. The bliss of living another day enlivens my day with gratefulness; appreciating every single moment through. One of my friends told me the primary reason for not having new year resolutions is, due to highly probable restrictions faced to sole new year resolutions and no further plans. For new year resolutions are deterministic and impromptu plans are pure randomness. 'Live up the day as if everyday was the last day you have' was what my friend told me, and I fully concur with the implication of contributing significances to the society by practicing such wise advice.

Well I'm back to the library! err, yeah college's library if you are wondering. There lies many memories of mine, particularly college life, for the past 19 months. It's been more than 6 months now since my last staying back in the library, mainly after I started joining gym back in July. I prefer not to stay back too late in college, especially the day that I have planned to exercise in the evening after college (mostly Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with the other two weekdays as resting days). But now I have made up my mind, that I shall stay back in college until 4pm everyday to revise my study.

I saw many new faces just now, and the library was as crowded as usual. As usual there were some couples studying together in the library (sorry couldn't help but noticing haha! =p), reminding me of my previous crush back in January last year. But the fact that she stopped studying in Taylor's after securing an post-SPM oversea scholarship faded my feeling towards her gradually. Might just be another puppy love afterall. Ops, too much of privacy disclosure haha! =p

Well, it's time to start my revision now! No matter how thick are my Economics notes, somehow or rather I must start it somewhere. So here it goes! =)

Monday, 30 January 2012

Heartburn! =(

As the title stated, I bet you guys remember I experienced chestpain (if you have been following my posts since before CNY) when I drank cold Coca-Cola at a very fast speed. Well, this pain persisted until now although the medicine prescribed by the second doctor did alleviate the pain slightly, to the extent of not bothering me; and eventually I stopped the consumption of the medicine altogether.

Till now, I can still feel pain at my chest occasionally, although not that severe to the extent as if a knife stabbing at my chest. Yes the pain is that intense when it strikes and I definitely do not want it to happen in whatever circumstances. I can feel the slightest pain when I inhale, when I wake up from bed, when I carry heavy weight and particularly when I stretch my upper body (chest). 

So what inspires, or causes to be exact, me to write a post about it in my blog? Just now I went to gym after one week of CNY holidays and I started working out as usual. After 30 minutes, I felt some intense chestpain to the extent of experiencing helplessness. I couldn't help but to tell this to my friends around (Hari and Calvin Diong), and they advised me to call my mom and ask her to send me to clinic in seeking treatment. 

I saw my trainer (Ms.Cheryl) and I told her about that. She asked me to go consult a trainee of hers who, by randomness, is a qualified doctor. There stood an middle age Indian guy who was working out and Cheryl told him that I have a crisis occuring. I explained everything to him and there he told me in detail the process of all these occurrences. Well I will tell you how it works, and surprisingly what the other two doctors before this has told me were true. 

The cold carbonated drink (Coca-Cola) entered the oesophagus tube at a very high speed and, while facing sudden change in temperature in the body, expanded, causing the oesophagus tube to expand. The expansion of oesophagus tube then causes the injuries and tears of the tissues and muscles surrounding the oesophagus tube, hence my chestpain, or in more precise word, heartburn. Whenever I inhale, or wake up from bed, or stretching my upper body, I would tend to stretch/move the muscles surrounding oesophagus tube, hence the intense pain. 

This is not all. To my amusement, this situation is also closely related to gastric reflux. What it means by gastric reflux here is, the gastric juice leaks out from the stomach and corrodes the oesophagus tube. There he recommended me Gaviscon, a type of antacid treatment for heartburn, and it can be easily found in any pharmacy center (Guardian, Watson etc). He added on further, this pain would not cause any harm to your body and is completely normal (sounds familiar? Just like what the first doctor said), but only would cause discomfort in you.

He also told me that I should completely stop drinking carbonated drinks or anything acidic (which includes green apple, pineapple, orange, lime juice, ice lemon tea?). He also advised me not to consume food containing high fats level (fried food) and curry. Well those stroke me all in sudden, realising that those are food for weight reducing diet. And yes, he said all these are related to diet as well, and reducing weight is apparently one of the ways to eliminate this problem. 

In the long run, I must take care of my food to prevent such pain from recurrence. It IS possible to eliminate this pain completely but it takes time. Now that I know this would cause discomfort in me, that I should take care of myself and start reducing weight! Well it's one of my goals anyway, to be achieved before my final exam this May/June. Guys, please pray for me, and thank you for faithfully reading my post! I'm happy and certainly grateful, having you as my friend. =) 

Dear Father,

I thank you and grateful for everything you have done for me. I thank you, too, for giving me such pain, strengthening my aim to loss weight and thus have a healthy body to serve you better. I take this as a challenge as well, for me to stay close to you and talk to you more often. I take this as your signal to reconnect with you, that I have deviated so far away from you, and sorry for that. But Father, I pray that you would take this pain away. This pain, even at its slightiest intensity, causes discomfort in me and certainly I do not wish to experience it. Father, you are the Almighty God and I know you love me. You would not give a challenge that your believer wouldn't be able to sustain. I pray that your grace will always be with the undeserving me Father.


Saturday, 28 January 2012

Reflections on January 2012! =)

January 2012 is coming to the end soon and it's time to reflect what I've done thus far. So far my new year resolutions are still remained intact, although I've breached one of them such as diet (especially during CNY week). I could resist myself from all the food temptation in the first 2 days of CNY, but starting from third day I literally ate what were on the table, without self-control much. -.-

As the result of eating everything on the table, my belly is back! Well maybe not as bad as I thought, but still it would take me at least another week to cut it off. Why do you love me so much, belly fat? =( I don't love you and wish you wouldn't come back to me ever. This time I must send you further to somewhere more isolated haha. =p 10kg weight loss wouldn't sound impossible if I'm determined enough.

What about study? CNY mood was so overwhelming that I hardly think of studying. Kids were playing firecrackers everywhere, and again tempting me to join them. -.- Another temptation that I hardly could resist. Well it's CNY anyway, nobody actually study (for non-kiasu Chinese). Time to revive my study mood! Again and again I remind myself to make a study timetable, but many times I just shunned off the idea and procrastinated. It's time to get real. Here is my study timetable. As I said it, I made it straight.

                 Evening (2/3pm - 4pm)            Night (8.30pm - 11.30pm) 

  Monday                                          Maths                                      Further Maths 1 
  Tuesday                                       Economics                                     Economics
Wednesday                                       Maths                                      Further Maths 2 
 Thursday                                         Physics                                          Physics 

I took 3 days off for the time being. Friday usually occupied with CF in the evening, and Homes (cell group activity) at night. =) And during weekend, I wouldn't study much haha, frankly. -.- I should follow this timetable strictly, but I do acknowledge that sometimes lecturers would give class tests and so on. In such occasion, I shall study for the test and compensate the time used  for that particular subject during weekend. Cool? okay done! =) 

Trading? So far I've learnt nothing much new. Mr.Lai (my Maths lecturer) joined Mr. Teh (my previous FM2 lecturer)'s e-learning class about basics in technical analysis and sometimes he does share with me some knowledge about stock market. Nothing much yet so far, but he told me he joined that e-learning class also cause of the wish of sharing opinions and knowledge. That said, I know I can learn a lot from him for the next 5 months. Definitely looking forward to it! Oh btw, I found Everything Technical Analysis (by Jacinta Chan) in the library and I finished reading it in a day cause all those are basics. 

Oh btw, I've got RM200 book voucher (as stated in the Budget 2012) and it's time for me to buy books (again?). I've bought a number of books recently and now I have RM200 more to spend? What should I buy? I don't know. Should ask my seniors on any good books to recommend, that would be relevant to my study in future. Books on actuarial science, risk management, finance, insurance? Or I should just spend it buying some random books like Animal Spirits (by George Akerlof and Robert Shiller) and Fear and Greed (by Pauline Yong)? Those are good books, too. Time will determine everything. Just wait. =) 

One more thing, remember my last way of utilising time? By stop playing Facebook games and applications altogether? Good news, I've stopped playing Maple Story Adventure altogether, for a few weeks now. Incredible! Now I've allocated longer time on doing other more beneficial things. =) 

Wooohooo! Going to Sian Wei's house later for PE1 CNY Dinner! =) I'm glad that I joined PE1, so happening! So far I've joined many events organised by PE1. Sunway trip, squash, watching movie (Jack and Jill) at Tropicana Mall, and now CNY dinner. Thank God for everything! =)

That's all for now, people! February would be more interesting! Stay tuned. Ciao~ =)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Happy Chinese New Year 2012 (Dragon)!!! =)

Wooohooo!!!!!!!!! yea I'm having lots of fun during this Chinese New Year! And the bliss of getting an Internet connection is so overwhelming throughout this period! I'm now back in Penang Island (Balik Pulau, to be exact) and here locates my grandmom's kampung house. She is 70+ year old this year, but thank God that she's still here. In fact, she's my only living grandparent, and I never had the chance to meet my dad's side grandparents. =( Anyway, they are now in Heaven with the Almighty One! =)

The pretty boy with his two pretty sisters! =p 

On the first day of CNY, we visited my dad's side relatives at Bukit Mertajam (also in Penang, mainland though) and as a young boy I am, I never actually cared much about the most up-to-date gossips in town but rather, getting ang-paos!!! Well I believe most younger generation do (too bad for those who has married). What about those older generation? Keep talking about gossips. Gossips, gossips and gossips. It's been a year anyway, since their last gathering on gossiping. Hours and hours spent (or wasted?) in gossiping. Unproductive, but consolidating family bond. =)

First day of CNY ended with lots of ang-paos picking and gossiping. Second day I met up with Leowanie (a ReComer I knew since January 2010) in Penang and went to Queensbay Mall! And that was my first time visiting to QB! Although I always come back to Penang during Chinese New Year, but I never actually visited QB, not even once! We had lunch at Manhattan Fish Market and that's all, nothing much since not many shops were opened that day. Bad timing, but what to do, she only had that day to meet up (other days, she is going to work).

Me in front of Pulau Jerejak, near Queensbay Mall. =) 

Awesome CNY decoration at Queensbay Mall! =)
Third day of CNY, which is today! Weee!!! My mom wanted to meet her friends at Queensbay Mall (again~ -.-) so my whole family went to Queensbay Mall this time to walk around. Today most of the shops were already opened and a huge crowd, although lesser than ordinary crowd at Midvalley or Times Square, was strolling there. I was hoping to bump into someone I know there but none haha! =p Not enough popularity. Later on we went to visit my aunty's house (mom's sis) at Ayer Itam, and headed to Ayer Itam Dam. We skipped the Kek Lok Si Temple cause it was a bomb. Too many people and ridiculous traffic jam.

Me at Ayer Itam Dam! Looks quite thin haha! =p 

Me, again! =p Plant with nice leaves! 

At the Ayer Itam Dam, I finally had the chance to exercise. I ran through the side path surrounding the dam for a round spanning 2.8km, in my blue jean. -.- I never actually expected that my parents would come here, otherwise I would have brought a shorts and extra shirt. Impromptu. Finally had the chance to exercise? YES! I had been eating too much these few days (okay maybe not that much, but sugary drinks and fattening nice food) and I AM getting fatter!!! Someone would be quite happy reading it. -.- Well I hope I'm not getting fatter haha. Will measure my weight again next week. =p

See how I sweated so much? Feel happy! =) 

Tired~ @.@ 

Oh one more thing! About the chestpain hitting me last Thursday, painkiller itself didn't heal me. I was still having mild chestpain (especially during inhalation) on the first and second day of CNY. Thank God that I visited another clinic (Joe Fernandez) in Bukit Mertajam and the female doctor gave me another set of medicine and it worked! The right explanation about my chestpain is that, when you drink very cold Coca-Cola at a very fast speed, the cold drink encounters a sudden change in temperature (from low to high) inside the body and expands fast to produce bubbles. And the others were almost the same, but of course she prescribed me more than a mere painkiller. -.-

Yea, I'm going back to KL tomorrow! Why? Nothing much to do in Penang, my dad said. Sitting inside the small kampung house in Balik Pulau is suffocating. My grandma is a faithful (I'm not sure about religious? superstitious perhaps?) Taoism practitioner, and would burn red candles for religious purpose WHOLE DAY long alongside with some fruits putting in front of Taoism deity. Eyes would get swollen if you sit at the living hall for more than a few hours due to the candle smoke, serious! I don't have much to comment personally, as this is a religion issue. But I wouldn't sit there for the whole day long inhaling the smoke. -.-

2012 would be my last year celebrating Chinese New Year in Malaysia, as I would be in UK by October this year. I bet I would miss all these a lot, next year during this festive season. But I would get to celebrate Chinese New Year with my friends, well a slightly different way of celebrating Chinese New Year. Definitely looking forward to it haha! =)

Friday, 20 January 2012

Counting Blessings! =)

Hello people! I'm back from a week of classes before Chinese New Year! Wait, YES Chinese New Year is coming soon! Excited? I bet you are, if you were a Chinese. Anyway, there are lots of things for me to update here! So ready? Here it goes.

Saw that or not? Yea that's right! As you might have guessed, Taylor's College SJ actually invited a lion dance team to college, just to perform on our ECA Recruitment Drive. I was so freaking excited when I was watching lion dance performance, considering that it's been years since I watched lion dance performance for the last time. Ah, the bliss of childhood memories rushing all over. I literally cheered for the lion dance performers after they finished performing. =p (like a kampung boy haha, I know! -.-) 

It was held yesterday, giving opportunities to new students to join new clubs and societies. When I looked at them choosing society by society, I suddenly thought of myself when I was in my first semester, back in June 2010. That was super long ago, but yea I still can remember that I actually joined 5-6 clubs but eventually, what happened? I'm only active in one club, Christian Fellowship. 

Since I'm only active in a club, all I did yesterday during ECA Recruitment Drive was walking around the car park area (in college, of course) to recruit new members to CF! I felt really honoured to contribute my very best to CF, and I can feel the hands of God working on me! Amen to that. I always had this doubt in myself, that God didn't have a plan for me, in this long journey of salvation. But I was awfully wrong, very wrong indeed. God has proven my value in His eyes, by utilising me in His work, asking new students to come to know Him. Even such a small contribution in human eyes, could be a huge leap towards the salvation of other people. I thank God for that. 

Oh by the way, there were people giving cans of Coca-Cola for FREE yesterday during ECA drive itself. The point is not this, but what I actually learnt is, NEVER drink your coca-cola at very fast speed. I treated Coca-Cola like 100plus + ice lemon tea (my favourite mixture drink) and drank it at a very fast speed, and something 'bad' (I thought) happened to me. My chest felt a sudden excruciating pain, but I prayed and it turned out fine, after a while. 

When I went back to Casa yesterday, I slept for the entire evening and when I woke up, the pain was STILL there and I was freaked out. All in sudden, for once in my life, I appreciate my life so much. I felt so scared of DEATH. The word 'death' never actually crossed my mind even once cause I'm a daring boy. I'm adventurous and brave, and would love to try out everything challenging. Now, what if I couldn't make it to the next morning? Yes, that was the exact thought chest pain gave me. For once, I prayed so hard. For once, I felt that I was so close to God (especially when I was going to sleep at night). 

But I believe. I believe God, that He has a great awesome plan for me. He wouldn't want me to die at such a young age. It's not time for me to die, as it would be such a waste of a great talent that could give huge contribution to both the society and religion. Thank God, that I woke up this morning. Although I could still feel some pain in my chest (especially when I press it), but I know that it's going to be okay. Few hours ago, I went to nearby clinic to consult a doctor. 

As expected, the chest pain was due to extremely fast consumption of Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola is an unstable drink, from the perspective of chemical elements. If you drink Coca-Cola at a very fast speed, the drink would expand its bubbles INSIDE your oesophagus (or something like that). The cartilage or joints holding the ribs might have swollen due to the bubbles from Coca-Cola, hence the chest pain. He said, it's perfectly normal! =/ He eventually gave me a packet of painkiller pills and that's it! 

Thank God for this! This is really a relieving and great news for me. Finally I can have a nice sleep tonight. =) So guys, never drink Coca-Cola at a very fast rate, or you might experience chest pain like what I did. 

Enough of this, I have another good news and another blessing in disguise, perhaps. I will tell you about the good news first. Remember I lose around 2kg in a week last week? This week, I was hoping for a similar rate of losing weight. BUT no, unfortunately I didn't lose any major weight. I merely lost 0.1kg (from 84.5 to 84.4) and the good news is, I lost 1kg of fat but gained 1kg of muscles. Body fat percentage dropped from 29% to 28%, which is GOOD! Another blessing that I want to thank God! =) 

Bad news? Err, my sponsor refused to send me to do 4 years MMORSE at the University of Warwick! =O Also, now only I know what I really want. Before this news, remember, I was contemplating between Warwick's MMORSE and Cass' Actuarial Science. Now I know what I really want (4 years MMORSE). But, considering that I could only obtain maximum amount of 2-3 papers exemption from Institute of Actuaries (UK) should I go for MORSE (3 years), I would rather go for Actuarial Science at Cass (able to obtain maximum number of 8 papers exemption). 

Although I could get only 7 papers exemption from MMORSE (4 years) and plus it's 1 year longer than typical Actuarial Science degree at Cass/Heriot-Watt, MMORSE has more optional modules for me to choose, and obviously is more FUN and interesting! It has more flexibility too in the career of applied mathematics, as compared to very specialised Actuarial Science degree. Besides, Mathematics degree in Warwick is one of the Top 4 in the UK (others be Cambridge, Oxford and Imperial) (COWI).

Should I really forgo Warwick for Actuarial Science at Cass? Or, should I go for Warwick's MMORSE and fund myself in my forth year of study, with the other 3 years being sponsored? Or, should I just shut up and go to London? I wouldn't know, and time will determine everything. I still have 4 months to decide, anyway. Anyone has a good suggestion are welcomed to message me, thank you! =)  

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Storage Paradox

Chinese New Year is around the corner, and by this time many parents (including mine) start to clean up the house, seems as an effort to welcome a great year ahead. My mum, in particular, began to be excited to clean up everywhere around the house. Curtains, grills, storerooms, rooms; and the list goes on and on, endlessly. What interests me is not this, but rather something most of the people wouldn't have pondered upon.

Having lived in a small house in Setapak (KL) for over 12 years, I had accustomed to living at a small cosy house before moving to a slightly larger house at Seri Kembangan (Selangor), when I was graduated from my primary school. Despite my old house in Setapak was small enough with very little room for storage, but the storeroom was always full with old books and documents that my parents used for their Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) exams. 

Now that we have moved to the new house, and they have qualified as Associates (ACIS). But their books are still being kept in the storeroom. Not only that, but the space in the storeroom seems to be getting smaller and smaller (although the size of the storeroom is much larger than that in the old house). Why is this happening? I contemplated over this for a few minutes, and here is what I've observed.

When we have a smaller storeroom, we tend to keep things that we wouldn't really need in future, just for any possible circumstances arose. We will stop accumulating 'rubbish' once our storeroom is full. Now suppose we move to a bigger house with bigger storeroom. What is likely to happen? Would we keep our things just to the capacity of the size of our small storeroom previously? Or rather, would we keep our things up to the full capacity of the big storeroom? 

As you may have surmised, yes we tend to accumulate things up to the full capacity of the big storeroom, rather than keeping things only to the capacity of our previous smaller storeroom. We move to a bigger house with a bigger storeroom, in a hope that we could enjoy life with larger space everywhere the house. You might argue that bigger storeroom is built for the purpose of storing higher amount of things. That's undeniably correct, but I suspect an irrational occurrence to our behaviour should we get accustomed to a larger storeroom. 

When we have a small storeroom, we would keep things only to the limited capacity of our storeroom. We tend to be more attentive of our capacity of storage. But when we move to a larger house with larger storeroom, we start to develop a thought that we have 'unlimited' capacity of storage, hence tend to be oblivious of the things we keep in the storeroom. One perfect example is, my mum turned the back-room to a storeroom when the larger storeroom reached its highest capacity of storage. We wanted a larger storeroom and larger space everywhere the house, but now we transformed the back-room to a storeroom just to accommodate the ever increasing amount of stocks. Isn't it irrational? Think. 

How does it affect our daily life, and most importantly, what could we do to prevent ourselves from falling into such irrational trap? Storage problem is just an example for what I wanted to convey. As human being, we tend to get accustomed to the changes in our lives but struggle to revert it back to the previous state. In other word, many changes made are irreversible. From the above case, we get accustomed to a larger storeroom (and sometimes alter our mind to store more things somewhere else than storeroom), and eventually struggle to clear up things when it's time to move to a smaller house or for whatever reason that might arise. 

So what do we do? Be more mindful of your own ability (or capacity) and not to expect too much when you improve something, to the extent of being unrealistic. Expectation kills (some people say), and often changes our state of mind and also our behaviour. We should always be realistic of our own strengths (at the same time improving our weaknesses), to strive better in everything we do.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

2kg Lost in A WEEK! =O

That's freaking impossible I thought, but I just did! =O I couldn't believe it but last week when I weighed myself, I was 87kg. Guess how heavy am I now, yes you're right. I'm back to 85! I hope the rate of detraction wouldn't stop right there just before joining gym. I've been weighed 85kg for over 5 years, and I want to break the record of having weight more than 80kg.

As you may have surmised, yes I did it by implementing healthy lifestyle (eating good food and start exercising). I did not expect that rate of decreasing weight but the way I'm using somehow proved its reliability. I had a huge belly with fats surrounding my waist, and my main objective was to cut down my belly fat. That was my main objective and what I did was controlling my diet. I've written the healthy way of eating before in previous posts and I'm going to write it once again. Eat healthy food. No fried food, minimise sweet food, no processed food (mee and kuey teow included), drink a lot of water and eat lots of vegetables and fruits. Remove skins (and the fats around the meat) when you're eating chicken meat, and do not eat any tangible fats (or if possible less fat/oil in everything). Consume high protein food like milk (or low fat milk) and whole eggs.

Drinking low fat milk, eating eggs and chicken breast meat are my favourite. You might argue that egg yolk contains high cholesterol level but from various sources in the Internet, high body cholesterol level is mainly caused by eating red meat (beef, mutton, lamb, duck etc), and NOT by eating egg yolk. In fact egg yolk contains lots of vitamins so it would be a waste if you throw it off.

Drinking low fat milk in excessive (like what I do) also has a side effect, my housemate told me. It's fathomable that my main purpose of consuming low fat milk is to get protein. But low fat milk also has higher proportion of calcium as compared to full cream milk, and having excessive calcium in your body is definitely not going to be beneficial but rather side effects, such as tiredness, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. Sounds scary, but I just like drinking milk! =/ Going to cut down my milk intake. Full cream milk is good as the proportion of calcium is not as high as low fat milk's.

This is what I eat for 3 meals in a day and I could actually write it down.

Breakfast : 2-3 slices of wholemeal bread with peanut butter spread, low fat milk, 2 whole eggs.
Lunch: Rice (of your fist size, if possible brown rice), chicken meat / fish, tofu, vegetables (each of these can be substituted by other food having similar amount of protein, carbohydrate and vitamin).
Post-Workout: Chocolate milk / 3 whole eggs (I still do not consume any protein shake till now)
Dinner: Anything light (not heavy), for instance, 2-3 slices of wholemeal bread with peanut butter spread / apple / eggs / milk / oat / nestum etc.

That's all I eat and I'm seeing my result! Perhaps the time period is not long enough to prove this, but I will see what will happen for the next 2 months. =) Just wait.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Blessing in Disguise! =)

'How's Cambridge decision?' and  'Got any reply yet?' are among the most common questions that I got these few days. The actual decision was revealed finally after a few months, on last Friday. Some of my friends (in fact a lot) got rejected as always, and some of them got pooled. I don't personally know of anyone who got offer from the University, until just now someone told me that one of my friends got offer. I would like to congratulate those who got offers and commiserate those who got rejected. To those who are being pooled and waiting to be fished, good luck and have faith in yourself! =)

Unbeknownst to me, I was waiting for my decision like anyone else. Thanks to my senior, I was advised to stay calm and not to expect too much. Indeed, expectation would influence your immediate reaction at the moment you get to know your result. If you hoped too much, you will be very disappointed when you were rejected. If you did not expect much, you wouldn't feel that down if you were rejected. Moreover, you will instead be surprised by the success should you succeed in that matter.

So, I was waiting for the decision email to come hitting my email. Nothing. No changes from UCAS Track. I sent an email to Pembroke College's Admission Office and the admission officer asked me to wait until Monday (9 January). So I waited until Monday and still nothing came knocking my door. I sent another email to the admission officer and finally, she replied me just now. An automated email goes like this:

Wooohooo! A rejection! Surprised of my reaction? That was what most of my friends' reaction when they know that I'm happy for this. Why am I being so happy for being rejected? Why don't I feel that disappointed when I get rejected? If I tell you that I'm very happy and don't feel disappointed or sad AT ALL, I'm lying. I doubt anyone would feel extremely happy for being rejected. But, what is the element that makes me happy, and more importantly, what alleviates my disappointment in merely a few minutes? 

If you feel happy for your rejection, why do you apply in the first place? Well, I applied for Cambridge Maths mainly for its strong reputations and my deep interest in Maths. But sometimes a rejection doesn't mean that's a bad thing. Perceiving it from another point of view, it's a blessing in disguise. I had been rejected by many scholarships institutions two years ago, and what doesn't kill you would definitely make you stronger. 

What really rejoices me was my personal preference and the ability to think rationally out of emotions. Emotion is a very strong element that would influence everyone of us if we don't know how to control it, and use it for our own good. It could be so demotivating to the extent that you take it as a failure. When you view something as a failure, you will never get to stand up and search for other doors. When one door shuts down, often we are so overwhelmed with our emotion, that we do not realise many other doors are opened for us. So first thing to learn here, learn to control your emotion and not the other way round. 

What about my personal preference? Do I NOT like Maths at all? No, I love Maths and I would really love to pursue a career related to Maths. But at the meantime I must also be acknowledged that Maths Tripos at Cambridge is a course full of extreme level of mathematical theorems and proofs, and often is NOT consistent with real life applications. In other word, Maths Tripos in Cambridge teaches pure maths at extreme level with the main objective of moulding top notch mathematicians. 

You might argue that there are some rooms of real life applications for pure maths, but those are still very limited in fact. Number Theory (a branch of pure maths), for instance, can be applied in cryptography. One of  the advantages that I could think of studying Maths at Cambridge is, graduates would be able to pick up any sorts of knowledge (be it finance, economics etc) at a very fast pace as they have been trained rigorously throughout the whole course. The ability of understanding abstract mathematical concepts trained students to think beyond everyone else's remotest imagination. That's the ability that I wish to drill within myself. 

On the bright side, if I got an offer from Cambridge to read Maths, my hell will get started. Why? I would then be required to do STEP papers, which are NOT easy at all. Based on past year records, many Cambridge's Maths offer holders missed their offers simply because they didn't meet the requirement set for STEP papers. My A2 is coming this May/June 2012, and the combination of A2 and STEP is predicted to be a disastrous one. Plus, should I got an offer from Cambridge, my sponsor wouldn't let me go and would certainly pressurize me to firm it. Thank God for saving me from all the unnecessary stress. You know what I want eventually. 

I suspect my passion for pure maths is still at the scratch of the surface, and it definitely won't be consistent with the fact that many maths students pursue a degree in Maths because they appreciate the beauty of Maths and their extreme passion in Maths. Maths is itself a very beautiful creation I would say, but with the exposure to many other interesting elements like Economics and Finance, the passion for Maths alone somehow distributed over a larger area of subjects. 

Since I am deeply interested in financial market, I prefer to pursue a career not only emphasizing the importance of  maths, but also in statistics, economics and finance. Anyone who knows me well will definitely know that I like Actuarial Science, and recently grew my interest in trading and mathematical finance. I still have a lot to learn, and a lot to improve myself. I am still a novice in most of the subjects so I wouldn't have time to sulk over yet another life challenge of mine. 

Remember this, a challenge would only strengthen you if it fails to deviate you from your initial goal, or worst, topple you altogether. I have so many reasons to be grateful and cherish over, rather than be disappointed and sad. Anyway, I still have 3 offers on hand, and now it's the time for me to really ponder over what I really want. Living a life by counting blessings is very much indispensable than living a life of sadness. Thank God for everything I'm blessed with! =) 

Firm: The University of Warwick (MMORSE) / Cass Business School (Actuarial Science) 
Insurance: Heriot-Watt University (Actuarial Science) 


Monday, 9 January 2012

New Outlook! =)

Some of my friends told me that it's quite hard to read posts in dark background, especially like what I always do. Long-whining post with many words. Gracemode suggested to me, saying that I should try white background instead with dark color words. I think she was right, so there you go! I think it's time to give this blog a fresh outlook, since it's a new year!

I've got some gifts for my new year and I've posted this on the first day of the year on Facebook! New pair of shoes, new haircut, new wallet and a new spectacle. Now I'm going to strive hard for my new goals, new plans and new hopes! I would be going back to college tomorrow, and hectic classes would be resumed. 

Despite all these gruelling schedule that I've foreseen, I'm definitely looking forward for tomorrow! It's been a month that I've done nothing, revised nothing on my formal academic syllabus. It's time to go back to my study. But it is also the time that I would meet my 'new' friends (after a month of holiday). 

New outlook, as stated in the title, is not only meant for the fresh look of my blog, but rather new expectations and attitudes. I don't expect much for what I could do on the first day, but I definitely can change my attitudes. The main problem that overwhelms me is procrastination. I tend to say 'later-lah' to many things that I am capable of completing it on the spot, but eventually this seemingly easy, yet malevolent, act would creep in and serve as hindrance to completing my works. 

The key word here is discipline. My dad used to accentuate this word over and over again to me and my siblings, wanted us to be discipline in everything we do. Same keyword would be particularly useful here. I've mentioned earlier that I would make a new study timetable; but due to procrastination, I have not created any. I guess I would make one once I get my new class timetable. 

Be nice to everyone might seem easy but in fact it is not. Often you will find yourself couldn't cope well with someone, and you find it very hard to find a common topic to start the conversation with the person due to various reasons. This is a challenge for myself too, cause sometimes I couldn't talk much as well with people around. Some of my friends said that I'm a talkative guy, but I beg to differ. I would only talk if something interests me, otherwise I would just remain quiet most of the time. What you can do if you were in my shoes? Smile. =) 

I find smiling so amusing to the extent that when anyone (including stranger) smiles to me, I will smile back. It's free, anyway. I think smiling people are beautiful people, beautiful in the sense that happiness turns into 'epidemic' and spreads insidiously to everyone around. Want to know how I define pretty girls? Cheerful and friendly girls who smile frequently are pretty, I think. So smile more! Smile turns problems into hopes, sadness into happiness, and many more unexpected transformations. Life is good if you know how to cherish it. 

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Rat Race! =)

It's been a few days and I'm back! Well I'm always here. I have so much things to tell yet couldn't put it in words. I just don't know where to start. I've attended a few events these few days - a gathering for Christian Fellowship members in TCSJ (2010) and an annual general meeting for alumni of Alam Shah Science School (OASIS). I wouldn't tell everything in detail cause that would certainly bores you to death, but I've noticed something in common. And I feel obligated to share it with you, my reader.

First of all, I felt extremely happy and grateful to gather with many old friends (some of them even lost in touch for ages). I was happy for their well being now, and definitely hoped that they would continue to do well in their life. Some of them do extremely well and have already proceed to doing their respective degrees, while some of my seniors from my previous secondary school have already started working. Some of my CF friends are taking gap year and still pondering over what to do next, albeit already graduated from their pre-U for months, or years for some cases. But this doesn't make them any lesser than those who are doing well in degree. Why?

Taking any gap year doesn't actually make someone any lesser compared to those who have planned well and proceed to the next stage of life. Quite contrary to it, it actually gives someone more time to think of their future career, or simply just taking a break after more than 11 years of formal education. Many parents think that their children should not waste the time taking gap year, and should finish their study as soon as possible, and start entering job market to earn money. Everything is subjective based, and the word 'should' to above cases has been embedded to the mind of most parents, over many generations.

What are the reasons we study and graduate from such and such degree? In the end, everyone is looking for a job with the main objective circulating money. What most people do not aware of, is what we called as 'Rat Race', awaiting us upon graduation. We graduate from a good degree from top university with a good result, find a good job in top firm, get the paycheck, and start paying off our debts in any form (car loan, mortgage, house loan, study loan, credit cards etc). Soon after you get married and have children, expenses for household increases, exponentially. This goes on and on and on, without any breach in between. You cannot possibly build wealth with such cycle circulating on and on and on, without an end.

So, what do we do, to avoid such seemingly trivial, but could have pernicious consequences, cycle that haunts most of the working population? Start SAVING! Saving itself might not be influential enough but this is the first step! A simple yet crucial step that would contribute to your financial independence, yet many people couldn't do it. That's where credit crisis comes in, in simple form, when everyone gets involved in any forms of debts.

A smart person will try his/her best to avoid from every sort of temptation, to be trapped in debts. As long as you have debts, you will never achieve financial independence. Credit cards is another very common form of debt. It's good if you could spend appropriately based on your monthly earning, but many people do not care much and spend extravagantly like nobody's business, treating credit cards as the licence to spend future money. Think twice (if possible thrice) before you register for a credit card, as that would easily crush your dream of being financial independent if you couldn't control your spending. Invest in income generating assets (bonds, property, stocks, options, futures, forex, commodity) and reduce expenses. Think about it.

That's all for now! Ciao~ =)

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Holiday's Ending Soon! =(

What??? Holidays spanning a month time are going to end soon!!! Oh yeah it's only ONE month anyway, what to expect? Time flies as you sleep and accumulate fats at home. Wait, that's not what I've been doing okay! I've been 'studying' all this while! Non-academic related though. Who says studying is only necessary for exam?  =p 

Sadly a lot of people do and I used to be in that category. I did not appreciate the value of continuous learning and obviously did not practice it. Knowledge is power! We have so much things to learn and pick up, to equip ourselves with powerful tools for survival in the ever increasingly competitive global market. Yet a lot of us choose to constrain ourselves to topics related to exam syllabus, not for the sake of real knowledge. No exam, no study. That was what I used to say. 

Well now I've changed. I realised I have so much things to learn, and I will pick up as much as I could along the learning path. Besides new year resolutions that I've made for myself, I would add some new goals and pick up new knowledge throughout this year. New Year Resolutions are overrated. 95% of people, after 15 days, would incinerate their new year resolutions and resume to their prior lifestyle, as if they had never set anything for themselves. Me? I will consistently remind myself to keep intact with my new year resolutions. My new year resolutions are not too hard to be achieved, anyway. 

New Year Resolutions are meant to be followed strictly, to be realised by the end of the year. If you couldn't keep intact with the new year resolutions, why bother making a list of it at the beginning of the year and by the end of first month forget about it completely? Be more disciplined, more persistent and more persevere. Everything is possible if YOU want to do it. Yes, you. Mind controls everything, anyway. If you think of success, success will be on your way (of course with efforts putting in). Nobody could change you, only yourself. 

Well holiday's ending soon, the title says. That's right, I'm going back to college on January 10 and by then I might not have enough time to update this blog. I'm afraid that I might leave this blog hanging, just like what happened in March last year after my last post, regarding the actuarial trip to Bank Negara. 

Thinking of this, now I have set a new goal. What? 


Is that even possible, especially during exam period? Why not? Remember, everything is possible if you have the heart and mind to do it. Utilise them and you will discover wonders out of you. You will never knew what is your inner strengths and abilities until you've discovered it yourself. Time to spice up your life (and my life, too)? 

Now, I must create a study timetable! A2 is coming soon this year, for me. Trial is in March and this time I must nail it. History must NOT repeat. I've screwed my A2 Trial last year and definitely not going to do the same this time. Time to practice past year papers and fully utilise my valuable time! First step, start revising! =)

I know that I'm not that disciplined to study cause I never like studying. What? Yes, studying is bored. Learning and truly understanding is the way to go. Studying for the sake of exam by rote learning will not be beneficial to you, and it might bring pernicious consequences to you in the long run. That was what I do throughout my primary and secondary life. Well it's not too late to change, isn't it? It's never too late to change, and it's entirely up to YOU. 

Alright that's all for my motivational talk haha. Stay tuned. =) 

Monday, 2 January 2012

Books Collection! =)

Wooohooo I've recently picked up a new hobby - books collection. That's a bit crazy but it was sort of unintended one. Remember I've bought two new books a few days back at Kinokuniya, KLCC? My dad suddenly told me that Bank Negara book sales (40% off) at MPH bookstore is on now but is going to end soon at January 8. Since I've a list of trading or self-help books to be collected and read, I decided to give it a visit!

As you might have predicted, I was strolling around the Finance/Investment section to find for some interesting books (to be collected =p). I've found 7 books that interest me, so I bought it! =p I realised that I might not be able to understand all these book if the contents get too technical, but I know that as time passes, I would be able to understand eventually upon consolidating my fundamentals in topics regarding investing and trading.

Here is the list:
1) A Guide to Investing During Bull and Bear Markets (by Dr Othman Yong)
2) Essential Stock Investment Strategies to Make Money Even in A Falling Market (by Ho Kok Mun)
3) The Financial Times Guide to Technical Analysis (by Jacinta Chan)
4) Winning the Game of Life (by Adam Khoo)
5) Secrets of Millionaire Investors (by Adam Khoo and Conrad Alvin Lim)
6) Secret Psychology of Millionaire Traders (by Conrad Alvin Lim)
7) Profit from the Panic (by Adam Khoo, Conrad Alvin Lim and Ryan Huang)

Favourite Music! =)