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Scottsdale: Day 1

It seems unbelievable that i've taken the first steps of the journey as a final year intern!

Took the 7am flight to Launceston from rainy Sydney, walked around the city area until the 4pm bus arrived and dropped me off at Scottsdale.  It was slightly unnerving being the only Asian/city bum for miles around (not that there was racism, but anyhow).  Dr Sonika was there to pick me up and brought me to do grocery shopping.  I will be staying with her for the next 3 weeks!

Her 2 dogs Tara & Nyala + Madison the beautiful long-haired grey cat who follows you everywhere are lovely companions (albeit sticky at times haha).  The roaring fireplace in the living room does make me toasty and warm but sleepy...(mind is tired so pardon the incoherent writing)

Anyway, the first day at Scottsdale Vets started off with Khyle cancelling his morning cases due to the rain (a gelding and some rams to dehorn i think) so I just followed Sonika to the clinic at 9.30.  I didn't stay long at the clinic however as Peter (the young vet whom I just met) asked me to join him for a house call euthanasia.  It really felt like something out of a James Herriot book as we drove down Ringarooma (can't remember the name exactly?) in the ute, with the clouds grazing the top of the mountains

When we got to the house, a Border Collie greeted us, stick in mouth, with fervor that only a dog could possess.

It was humbling to experience first-hand how much country folk treasured their pets, as Jane the old lady choked up with tears but managed to compose herself as Peter injected the lethabarb into Whisky, and watched the last remnants of life fade from his eyes.

After getting back to the clinic, Sweetie, an old patient (Lab cross) showed up.  The presenting problems were horizontal nystagmus (fast phase to the right), ataxia, vomiting, mixed ear infection...so the differentials were otitis externa/interna + possibly a cranium lesion on the left side?

Later, I was really happy I got to scrub in with Sonika and attempt a spey and suture up (finally!).  Also, Peter and Sonika guided me through putting IV catheters in (thank you for your patience!).  Got scratched by crabby cat while attempting to, but I didn't really mind (or blame her - i would be crabby too if someone tried to stick a needle into my arm).

After lunch, helped Peter with induction of anaesthesia on crabby cat and watched a bit as he did the spey (turns out she was pregnant with 5 foetuses!) and followed Colleen to the Lee's (horse owners who wanted to breed their mares via embryo transfer).  So we spent a fair bit of time doing rectal exams/ultrasounds.

It's been not a very long day, but somehow i'm still zonked out...lame cows await me tomorrow with Dr Khyle...exhausted but looking forward to the next few days!

all things wise and wonderful

Stumbled across some beautiful photography of the Masai Mara Nature Reserve in Kenya , which led me to check out the photographer, Kalyan Varma's website. His work is STUNNING. Words cannot suffice to describe his extraordinary ability to capture the poised, simplistic, breathless beauty of the Kenyan landscape in artistic monochrome. His journal, too, speaks of far-off adventures that one can envision in his or her wildest dreams.

Immortalised beauty of the Kenyan plains

Africa is such a mysterious, surreal place. I wonder if I'll be able to live and work there someday.

I'm itching to go hiking sometime this year. The Overland Track in Tasmania looks amazing. Abel Tasman Coast Track in New Zealand is another dream destination. My mother chided me in an expaserated tone this morning not to be so adventurous and focus on my studies.  Needless to say, I am innately neurotic and will channel my utmost efforts into my studies, but who's to say you can't live life in perpetual excitement?

Pa bought a new bike yesterday, so I took it out for a test run in the evening. Given that I'm hardly the most confident/competent biker around, I could taste fear in my mouth as I whizzed downhill around my estate and to Kong Meng San temple. But it was cool, nonetheless, taking in the cool evening breeze. And I found an adorable litter of kittens mewing while nestling under the neighbour's car with their mother, looking bewildered and wary. :)

AO men's finals tonight! May we see Rafael Nadal lift up the champion's trophy on Rod Laver Arena tonight. :)

Jan. 12th, 2012

I feel glad when I meet up with pals back home who don't spend their time having their eyes glued to their iphones, constantly checking for facebook updates, posting every other minute about the places they're at, the things they're doing.

Honestly, I could never really fathom the insatiable need for constant attention and advertising your life to the entire world. People like the Kardashians should remain far and few, for goodness sake.

Funny how some enjoy having such an active cyber life, yet negating the very fact that they are having a face-to-face interaction with a real person at that very point in time. I wonder what we've become - a group of people who hang out together while spending all that time 'talking' to others through a screen. How then, can these people be called 'friends'?

To be honest, I didn't have the highest of expectations for the indoor camp these 3 days at St. Hilda's Primary - my friend who had just gone for the Live! Ops outdoor camp raved incessantly about how tiring but fulfilling the program was, on the other hand complaining about how boring indoor camps were.

But looking back, being a coach for the past 3 days has been nothing short of a great learning experience. I was allocated to the GEP classes for the first day, and Amin's style of training didn't really appeal to me - too militaristic/dictatorial, and one boy even cried! But after I moved over to the sports hall group with the mainstream and foundation classes, I found the atmosphere much more lively, engaging and light-hearted - not so burdened with expectations (and intellect O.o) YY and Freddy were strict but entertaining trainers, so things were never really boring. Throughout the camp, it was like stepping back in time - I could almost see myself back in my pinafore, tense with anticipation of the PSLE looming ahead.

Overall, what I really took back from this assignment were moments of interactions with the kids - they were rude, naughty, interactive, amusing, endearing, cunning, clever, stupid and slappable all at the same time. I was literally bombarded with questions during the 'set your life plan' segment - some of their ambitions were hilariously incredulous/impressive (depending on perspective) - like the boy who wanted to score 289 for PSLE, be a supreme judge and get rich from stock investment. One boy was particularly memorable - he wanted to be rich and donate his savings to help children in Africa (incidentally, the same kid who wanted to take a photo with us at the end of the session).

The second day of the afternoon saw a powerful session - learning to forgive, let go, and own up to mistakes - that caused many of the students to cry.  On the last day, Freddy made the students go up on the stage for confessionals - and my eyes smarted a little when the first boy stammered into the microphone - and to my utter astonishment, some students with the toughest of exteriors (by that I mean ahbeng-style) broke into the tears and had to be escorted to the toilet.

When I was walking out of the school, it was heartwarming to receive smiles, personal goodbyes ('Bye Coach!') and even a 'I'll miss you!'


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cos you know you want it;Collapse )



Damn, I'm having an intense craving for mooncake these days, now that the mooncake festival is drawing near. I remember going to the mooncake exhibitions in shopping centres last year, scouting for our favourite flavours, trying new/weird/nice combinations the different hotels/brands seem to churn out every year. Ahhhh... snowskin mooncake would be so good right now, and I the traditional ones are yummy as well. I seldom have cravings (not even for like char kuay teow or bak chor mee or anything) but this is one of them.

I only realise now the things that people going overseas give up for their education - stepping out of your comfort zone, being independent managing your own life in every aspect; forsaking the opportunity to be home, to watch your siblings grow up, to be with your family, to celebrate local festivals, chill at local hangouts, stuff yourself silly on local food. Being abroad is an experience many would kill for, but occasionally you are reminded sadly of what you are missing back there.

Anyway, shall not dwell too much on what could have been, but instead, I shall think and try to control what can be. :)
Sad that FIFA World Cup 2010 is over! :( i didn't even get to watch the opening ceremony cos of exams -.-

I realised that the major sports events always seem to fall during major exams...what the heck.

Anyway! It was a rather unusual World Cup? I was looking forward to see Brazil play (Luis Fabiano is cool :D) but unfortunately they crashed out. My favourite teams are Germany and Spain! Lionel Messi is brilliant and cute in a small-boy way but his team's defence is for the lack of a better word, crap. The Japan team was a delight to watch (asian pride kicking in here!). The German youngsters make an awesome team - Tomas Muller is my favourite, and I think Schweinsteiger is an awesome player . But the Spanish team captured my heart :DD Captain and keeper Iker Casillas is such a brilliant and not to mention, cute :) player, the intense final between Spain and Netherlands was heart-stopping every time the ball ventured near the goalpost. He is definitely the reason (over the strikers) why Spain got to the final and won it. The chemistry and camaraderie among the players (Xavi, David Villa, Pique, Fabregas, Puyol, Alonso etc) was also stunning to watch.

Ahh, what can i say. I always find events that involve countries competing against one another more exciting to watch than the regular seasons (no offense :P) but somehow playing for one's country brings out so many good things in people - they unite people from all over the world, being able to talk about the same thing, celebrating victories and lamenting losses together.

The atmosphere for the past month has been electric, and I'm really going to miss all that.  I sense the onset of withdrawal symptoms :(((

Sometimes, I feel almost like an alien. I don't take interest in some things that other girls of my age are obsessed about; my outlook on certain things are different, and i seem to be interested about things people don't give a flying shoe about.

It's kind of worrying, wondering whether your buddies will accept parts of you that have changed.

Things that used to be now seem strange and unfamiliar.

So, tonight's my last night in Sydney before I head home for the winter holidays. Most of my coursemates/hostelmates have flown off, and I'm one of the few left here to soak up the quiet atmosphere and whatever sights and sounds I can of Sydney.

I won't say that the entire semester has flown at an incredible speed. It did during the weeks of normal curriculum time, but time positively crawled during the examinations.  That period of time (just a week ago, now that i think about it) was the time when many people cracked under the pressure. For the first time, I had a 'breakdown' - started having doubts about my abilities, losing faith in myself to run the race to the end. Fortunately, what made me pick myself up somehow or another was nothing but drive/willpower and self-motivation. There were times when I cried/teared when receiving handwritten letters in the mail, looking at photos thinking and remembering about past years in Singapore, friends, family etc. Vet school is more tough than i ever imagined.

After I came to Sydney, I realised countless things about myself - what is really important to me. I see some people who are more suited towards university style, and others (like me) who really miss the JC days where the culture is less independent, and the community more close-knit. I feel i am no longer the naïve, wayward, narrow-minded girl in JC who was just content with living day to day; somehow something has changed, though I can’t put a finger on what it is. But anyway, the few months here haven’t been easy – I didn’t realize how bloody much I would miss Singapore, my pals and family. Being overseas makes you bond with people you normally can’t and wouldn’t bond with, and sometimes it shows clearly and you suffer from it. There were many times when I got angry, frustrated, depressed about things because I felt so restricted. And then I realized, it’s up to me to change my own circumstances – go out, broaden my horizons, and not be afraid to take a leap of faith. I can't keep comparing myself with other people and feel inferior, I have to count my blessings and learn to find happiness with whatever i have. But all in all, I did make some pretty awesome friends, and had a blast  :)

Now, every time i see or hear an aeroplane in the sky, something stirs within me - and i realize how a plane trip can bring someone to a new place, new people, new life altogether; or bring someone back to places which hold so many irreplaceable memories for him/her. As it does for me. :)

Never had so many panic attacks in a week before. Not even for A levels.

This is crazy. I've a million things to do and my brain is about to explode.

How did my senior get straight distinctions? She must be a damn genius, for crying out loud.

Don't even know if I can finish my syllabus on time. Argh.

I sense brain damage is in order, seriously. Someone kill me please.

And to think the seniors say 'Year 1 is nothing!'



Liv Tyler

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