Friday, September 28, 2012

Nightmare: Snakes and Death

September 27th
This dream was a bit more mystical than the one during the night before; it's a lot harder to put it into context.

For some reason I was walking in an area with a lot of trees, with many poisonous snakes on the ground. Of course, I couldn't actually tell whether they were poisonous or not, but they had black bodies plus some weird yellow patterns on their skin, so I assumed they were. Also, these snakes were all very large. They were perhaps as thick as a person's leg.

Nightmare: Failure

September 26th
That night, I had a bad dream in which I didn't win any awards at all during graduation. I'm not sure if there was any other "major failure" in the dream, such as not getting into the university program of choice, but I remember I was absolutely devastated during that dream; I think I literally cried. This goes on to show how much it means to me for me to win an award.

But why is it so important to me? Of course, there is a practical side: this year I have actually set goals to obtain awards just so that I can have more things to put onto my resume. However, I think it's mainly about pride and a confirmation of my ability, just like how I care so much about my marks.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Catcher In The Rye by J. D. Salinger

I recently read the famous novel The Catcher in The Rye by J. D. Salinger, after seeing it in book stores and reading lists so frequently.

However, I really don't have much to say about this book, which is why it's five days after I finished the book and I still haven't written a post about it yet. This is probably because I don't have much connection with the narrator; we are simply two very different teenagers with different family backgrounds as well as values and concerns. Not to mention that Holden is a teen in the 1950s and lives in New York; even our societies are tremendously different.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Asbestos Problem

This was an assignment for my economics course

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that has many wonderful properties— it's fire-resistant, flexible, and a good thermal and acoustic insulator. With these useful qualities, it became extremely popular in the early 1900's, when people used it for a variety of things, such as wall insulation, roofing tar, and fire blankets.

Unfortunately, as wonderful as asbestos may seem, it is responsible for a multitude of diseases: it has been proven that exposure to airborne asbestos can cause lung cancer and mesothelioma (a cancer of the pleura of the lung), as well as asbestosis and diffuse pleural thickening. Cancer is almost always fatal, and the other two conditions result in the difficulty in breathing— which, if not fatal, severely affects the quality of life.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

The murder of Roger Ackroyd is undoubtly one of the most famous works of Agatha Christie, with many stating that it is her masterpiece. However, I personally only liked it as much as many of her other works, perhaps because I accidentally read a spoiler of it while reading the review of another book.

(spoiler ahead)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Free Swimming Lesson

Whenever I have time and feel energetic, I would go downstairs and swim at the swimming pool in my building. However, I would always choose the time carefully to avoid having to swim in a crowded pool or with a lot of children (children swim sideways, so it's annoying to be in a pool that has children). For instance, I would never go down at 1:00 PM during weekends because at that time there are usually many families down there.

So a few days ago, I went down to the swimming pool at 10:30, a time at which most children would be at sleep. Indeed, there was no child at the pool that night . However, as soon as I got out of the change room, I heard a woman greeting me, and upon squinting my eyes— I had to because I was near-sighted—I realized that she was the pastor's wife!