Category Archives: i-Learn

sharing something i think is important for personal development

have a read, let go and live your life.

20 things to let go of

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Posted by on July 17, 2013 in i-Learn, i-Reflect


the journey is the story of our life

“but Life teaches a lot of things. so the past is nothing to be ashamed of”

the day comes when one incident is no longer the central focus of your life.

i have learnt.


i have it in me to complete this.

i know i can do this.


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Posted by on December 5, 2012 in i-Learn


Protected: maybe sometimes ‘passion’ is not good enough

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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in i-Learn, i-Wish


where do you find the strength when you feel defeated and lost?

forcing myself to stay positive and see this through. i must not give up.

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Posted by on November 7, 2012 in i-Cry, i-Learn, i-Pray, i-Sad


how to write a scientific paper

not that i was arrogant thinking that i knew how to write a scientific paper, but more of the idea that, i thought if i knew the sections, i should be fine. but having struggled with one aspect of getting to a scientific paper, i realised i really didnt know much.

this article on how to write a scientific paper is really handy. even if it is just a lit review or a small research project, this outline will help. i highly recommend this.

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Posted by on November 5, 2012 in i-Learn


the positivity that positive ppl exude

i must have mentioned my ex-landlords a few times on my blog. i can never say how much of a blessing it has been that they were the first ppl i lived with in a foreign land. i cant even begin to say how much of a blessing in disguise it was that the dorm i applied to said there werent any vacancies. living with them was a stark difference from what i have been used to at home. the love, care and concern, lack of judgement, and full on encouragement and more importantly, their unconditional affection for each other made me feel like they were family in this place i call Ghost Town.

today, they tell me thru sms that they were leaving for Melbourne. it read, “Tonight, can i ask you and Ki to please be positive about us moving to Melbourne soon. it is a big shift for Brent and me and he needs lots of encouragement. the house may look pretty empty as we have been very busy packing. please do not say it is sad”.

i was sitting on the bus heading over to their place for dinner, and almost cried in anger. i kept telling myself, “they are not leaving me. they are just leaving.” i try to psychoanalyse myself to try and figure out what it is that makes me over-react to ppl (whom ive built a relationship with) leaving. i just cant seem to pinpoint a childhood incident. i just get very angry at the idea that ppl can leave and there’s nothing i can do abt it.

i reach their place and put on the biggest smile i know. honestly, that house is one place where i know no sadness or feelings of misery. both of them have gone through some hard times, struggling with Brent’s health condition and Val having to sort work and house between hospital visits and mortgage issues and open houses. She’s always said, “it’s all abit of a challenge, isnt it?” with a huge smile on her face. “but it’ll be alright. it always has been.”

its great to be around positive ppl. i had grown to believe that good things cant happen, and if they do, its because something bad was going to happen thereafter. i think im worse than a pessimistic person. but for the past 2 yrs, ive re-worked my ideologies and figured, i didnt want to live my life in regret or a regretful life. that i want to go out and experience the things ive dreamt of doing. and coming to this house with Val consistently saying, “You’ll never know if you never try” always reinforced my newfound belief.

they raised 2 great sons who have inherited their principles of “just get out there and try. do stuff experience things. learn, fail and re-learn. its ok to make mistakes.” kinda stuff. and i feel so happy that i got to meet their sons too.

they never fail to say something that will make me sort out my thoughts. having these 2 ppl encouraging me with positivity has been such a different experience. something i used to give others in SG, but never really gave myself. that house is one place where i know i can trust to get advise for the betterment of me. their sharing of experiences and just general warmness had touched me since day 1. and while its really sad that they are leaving for Melbourne, i am ever so grateful to the entire universe for bringing us together. i think things happen for a reason. this one was definitely to remind me to smile, even in time of adversity, cos even bad time dont last forever.

Cheers to Val and Brent. I wish them all the very best! :)

(with all pun intended: looks like they’ll make it to Melbourne before my current landlord does!)


Posted by on October 21, 2012 in i-Learn, i-Reflect


the egoistic me

i had a really lousy day today – all i could think abt was why i scored that low in that report, in addition to my inability to stomach an insulting comment, “i suggest you take up scientific writing courses”. that was a slap on the face. and for an adult who has had numerous ‘well done’ reports, that was like being wrongly accused.

several things went well today too. had a nice relaxed lunch with a friend, had a good discussion with my sup, had a nice chat with the same friend over a ‘posh’ dinner.

back home, an argument discussion ensued over my pissed-off-ness with that comment. and they thought i was egoistic. “it was just my pride standing in my way of seeing what was” they said.

you are damn right i am. i am too egoistic to submit a report that would be so bad that would require someone to say, “i suggest you take up scientific writing courses”

i had not felt that much blood rush to my face. i was angry and i could feel my cheeks burning. i was not happy. and i was not happy with 2 other ppl telling me i was egoistic.

and having an ego is not necessarily bad…. you have to believe you are good enough to aspire to achieve more. you have to believe that you can do it. you have to. humility on the other hand is just as important in learning. but you have to have that believe that you cannot fail (your expectations of yourself) – thats ego. i know im good enough.

perhaps its not anyone else’s fault. i just have high expectations of myself. i know im better than that. and i dont believe i deserved such a comment. that woman hasnt seen any of my other reports, so maybe this one was bad. i already knew it was disjunct. i knew i rushed it. perhaps i just cant accept getting a below average grade.

i guess i just have to learn the difference between my ego and my opinion.

so, now, i just have to get back on track by nailing the last 50% report. i just have to be fantastic. i know i can. cos i may not be the best, but i know im good enough. i can do this.

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Posted by on August 16, 2012 in i-Angry, i-Learn, i-Reflect


“at least i didnt get decompression sickness”

“shit happens” people say.

but when shit happens to you, it’ll feel like all the shitters in the world aimed their shit at you. :p

once again, this is a delayed post.

the trip to Puerto Galera (PG) ended with mixed feelings. fully organised by the Tattooed Smoker. while the ppl at Blue Ribbon Dive Resort were fantastic, i screwed up quite a bit. i was fine on all the dives except the ones on the 2nd day. Unfortunately.

on the 2nd day, we took a 1 hr boat ride out to Verde Island. Water was real choppy that day. so after my first dive, on the boat, i fell seasick and fed my breakfast to the fishes. the 2nd dive was interesting. currents were strong. so strong that we were told to hold on to something. in my fear that i might just be carried away by the current, i became desperate and wanted to hold something. and the result ended up in 3 of my fingers getting scratched by the coral i didnt managed to hang on to. the current was that terrible. after we surfaced (really choppy waters, like the kind you see in movies), we realised that our boat was the 3rd one away from us. i finned with all my might, reached the first boat, tried to get past the second boat but i got so tired, i hung on to the rope that tied the 2 boats together. bloody dangerous thing to do! the boatmen from both boats were shouting at me to let the line go, but i just DIDNT WANT TO LET GO! honestly, i wished someone would just airlift me past the 2nd boat to the 3rd boat. eventually i found the courage to let go. and finned my way to my boat. on my way in, i knocked my mask onto the bamboo pole which stabilises the boat (which didnt help much cos the boat was rocking at least 1meter high!. argh! anyway, we had a BBQ lunch by a lonely sheltered region in the beach. food was fantastic with lazy beach dogs hanging under the table for any food we might feel like throwing to them. seemingly, doggies like the smell of plankton on our wetsuits! haha. the 3rd dive’s current was even worse than the 2nd dive. so terrible the current that even when i finned with all my might against the current, i was still moving in the direction of the current. imagine that the bubbles from our regulators was not going upwards. it was moving diagonally downwards! strong current! i hardly could snap any shots. we ended the dive in 19 minutes. sucks to be down for just 19 minutes. already feeling terrible, i thought going for the fluorescent dive would perk me up. so all packed and geared up, i went for my very first beach dive. i thought the current was so strong again, but alas, i lost the fin on my right leg. and i didnt even know it until i surfaced and the DI asked where my fin was. OMG! we ended the dive and my DM has to use all his energy to drag me back to shore cos its just impossible to do any dive without fins. i was so embarrassed. and i felt stupid. on the whole, day 2′s dive trips made me feel like shit.

“shit happens” said the Tattooed Smoker who patted my head.

urgh! that day, i felt really horrible.

anyway, the rest of the dives were fine. especially day 3′s dives. they made me feel so at peace, and pleasured that i managed to experience what i did.

at one point during the night dive, we saw this fire urchin moving in one direction, and as we looked further, we saw 2 more isolated fire urchins moving towards the same direction. looking further, we saw 4 fire urchins congregating at one particular place. i stopped videoing the movements of fire urchins and realised my camera was not going to do any justice to the beautiful sight of gathering fire urchins. and i realised that i might not be able to show the world what i saw, but at least i got to be fully involved in the moment. :D

i smiled all night long. nice live band (not the best, but good enough to chill) complimented the cold night by the beach.

this dive trip was fantastic. apart from a few instances where i realised im not ready to take the rescue diver course. BUT I NEED TO, so i’ll get it done after a few more dives in aussie.

overall the trip further enriched my experience as a diver. i thought i was happy being a follower, but during this trip, i realised it is impt to take over as a leader when time comes. i didnt need to at this time, but Tattooed Smoker (who is a DM in training) had to take over on one occasion where a pair of idiot-divers refused to follow instructions to move up to surface and instead stayed below to take photos. caught in between, i didnt know whether to go up or wait for them. Tattooed Smoker signalled to me to go up and do my safety stop while he went down to tell them to come up again. they still stayed down. and then he took over at the surface while the DM went down to get them. (idiot divers).

so, if/when the situation calls for it, i cant lead, then that would be bad. so, im not going for the rescue dive course just for my module, but also because, its with rescue diver certification that you know how to deal with situations like these and lead the group.

the trip also was my first wreck dive trip. and it was fun going in and under wrecks. my bouyancy control has definitely improved. i now know how to stay where i want to stay and go where i want to go. comes with experience i think. but i still need to figure out how to work with currents.

anyway, enjoy the pictures and videos.

Dive trip @ Small La Laguna Beach, Puerto Galera, Philippines.

Numerous Scorpion fish

Lion fish

Cushion star maybe getting ready to spawn

Numerous nudibranchs, but i totally screwed up the photographs trying to go all macro on them.

macro focus on wrong animal! haha

saw 2 sea turtles

acorn worm cast

pipefish? or pipefish look a likes?

saw a number of sea kraits!!!!

and weird sea creatures


giant clams

sea stars

hermit crabs

entering one of the wrecks

checking out a school of giant trevallys

and the boats along a jetty… all the boats were as such

and here are some of the videos:

fire urchin moving

nudibranch moving

sea turtle moving away

batfish checking me out

octopus changing colour

coral spawning at night!

fanworm opening up

anemone feeding

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Posted by on February 14, 2012 in i-Dive, i-Learn, i-Marvel


moving on to the world’s largest island

“open your arms to change, but dont let go of your values”

Dalai Lama

today, im in a new country, making this island my home for the next 1.5 years. as exciting as it has been, im also going to start missing home soon. having to take care of myself. but i should be fine.

change in environment tends to bring changes in a person’s attitude and personality. sometimes a quiet person is forced to become act more extroverted in a new place, which makes the person sometimes adopt different personalities in front of different people. i guess in a way we are all victims of split personality.

im not sure how my stay here will be, but im looking forward to experience the changes in my lifestyle. LTs, assignments, projects, presentations, lab work and late night studying will be my pattern for a while.

and im gonna make the best out of thie S$80000 experience!


Posted by on February 6, 2012 in i-Learn, i-Reflect


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