Tuesday, March 31

Student feedback

The good:
1. very knowledgable and teaches very clearly
2. nil
3. Gaves us alot of constructive feedback for our project
4. Well prepared, dedicated, goes the extra mile.
5. very helpful
6. Claudia likes to analyse the main points in our tutorials, which makes it much easier for us to grasp the
main concepts of software engineering.
7. Nil
8. Helpful, understanding.
9. clear teaching, very approachable :)
10. co-operative and pleasant
11. Summarises the whole lecture! I learnt more from her in 1 hour than the lecturer in 2 hours! she's
wonderful! Explains what we need to know clearly and she's very nice =p
12. good interaction with the class. gives a summary of the important points after every tutorial questions done.
good at explaining difficult concept.
13. very helpful. she is very good in tutoring.
14. knows the content well explains well
15. Straight forward no nonsense teaching, clear and good.
16. Straight to the point Explains clearly Flexible Friendly ... [blah blah blah]

The bad:
made some bad assumptions about the requirements of the project. [?]

The ugly:
Be less patronizing during project evaluation. It's not funny. *

*It's very funny to me!! Mwuhahahahahaha!!!

Thursday, March 26

1400 km

Well, 1400.98 km logged to my iPod to be exact, since April 5th, 2007, in a total about 1 year and a half of running possibilities (1.5 mths in aconcagua, ~2 months in the alps, 2 ankle sprains, 2 after/before marathon tapering periods) . Not bad but not extremely good either. Today's scheduled speed workout turned out to be a fluke. I wanted to do 6 sets of 1 minute sprint (run as fast as I can), 1 minute jog. I don't know if it was the extreme heat (I forgot to say that I was running at 12:32 pm) or my lack of shape, but I could only muster 4 meager sets, with at least two of them me giving up on "running as fast as I can" at about 40s into the 1 minute sprint.

Running in extreme heat has several advantages. First of all, there is absolutely NOBODY on the track so you can run in your sports bra and get a tan! Secondly, you will be much much faster when you run at night because the air will be cooler and you will feel like flying. Of course, there are several drawbacks as well. One would be the fact that you have to squint your eyes to see forward, resulting in quite a dizzying effect. Secondly, as I found out today, you feel like you are running through molasses and hence your progress might be a tad slow. Lastly, when you come back to the lab you might scare random people in the elevator with your super flushed face and very messy hair. The sight of me after today's run is an experience no innocent by-stander should suffer so close after lunch.

Monday, March 23

I feel ...

like somebody took a baseball bat and hit me with it repeatedly. Boulderactive 2009 has left me incredibly tired and sapped. This year I didn't climb (alas) but only helped out and it was even more tiring than last year. This will probably be my last year helping out (and my last year competing ?)

Open Men finals were exciting as usual, harder than the previous ones, with Ben conceding and changing the ending for the last route to make it more "finishable". Other than that, had a lot of time to think and ponder. Realized that I do not like to watch people slack while other people are working (resulting in a lot o glares from my part). Realized that hard working times (and coffee!) bring people together. Realized that the road of recovery towards sticking those crimps again will be long, hard, and windy. Realized that I do not like (bordering dislike) beautiful (not handsome, but beautiful) men. They have no need to make up for lack of looks and hence are vain.

An all time mental low and high at the same time. I must've looked very downcast when the open girls were climbing because at least two people passing by yours truly's blowing station said something along the lines "never mind, there still are competitions left"... If anything, being injured and watching the girls climb* has cured me forever of the competition high and has finally sunk in the fact that, if possible, I will climb for the rest of my life. An all time high for seeing San get into the Open Women finals and do a great job of it (flash one route and finish another) plus qualify above Salfarina (albeit with an injured shoulder). WOO HOO!!!! I feel we've come a long way from the intermediate finals for Boulderactive 2007. Of course, the "we" here is purely by the osmosis probably guaranteed by the oh so many training sessions together. And not to forget Regina winning third in Intermediate Women, a very long way from the whiny spoilt chicken climber that she was when she joined the NUS team. Now, less whiny, less spoilt and definitely very very brave. Again, by osmosis, I am feeling very very proud.

*this and seeing Jensen purposely ignore a bonus tile (extra points) because it was uncomfortable and he wanted to see if he could do the route regardless of rankings.

Thursday, March 19

Stuck in the lab at 10 pm

The greatest fear that I have when climbing mountains is not that I'll die and leave all my loved ones behind, but rather that I'll die and the people that rescue me and/or try to help me will find me with dirty underwear*.

a very common case once you spend more than 2 weeks away from a washing machine.

Tuesday, March 17


I passed the "FACE CREAM TEST!" (Did I just say that I passed the face cream test?!) Yup. This Sunday I grabbed my bottle (?) of the pictured face cream, and, swiftly using my right index finger, squeezed about 5cents worth of cream out of it (with my left index finger i can squeeze about 1$ at one go). Yup. Not (that much) pain, actually no pain at all if I recall correctly, just a horrible feeling of weakness. Next proposed test is to be able to make a fully closed fist with my right hand. Which. I. can't.

In other news, this weekend is packed with action from Boulderactive (alas, not taking part), which means that everything else (running, project elephant, and more importantly, WORK!!) will be put on hold. I hope it will be worth it as I know (and hope) this is my second last boulderactive ever (hopefully graduating by next year and going to live in France for everybody in singapore to come and visit, woo hoo!) This year I am setting routes for intermediate women and yet again, whistle blowing. I guess it takes a certain type (good lungs too!) to do a mindless, 3 mim repetitive action for 3 days in a row!

Pfft. Just thinking. For the amount of injuries that I have sustained, you would think that I am at least a world class climber by now. This just goes to show that will power sans talent can take you only so far.

Friday, March 13

I just can't say no, now can I?

So here's the deal. About three months ago I embarked upon an excruciating journey of liberation, leaving Elephant land, and going towards, I don't know ... the light?! in what I have since come to call Project Elephant. As any indoor activities literally make me puke (except for gym climbing/bouldering), I could not embark on this journey alone, and hence I recruited a colleague to go with me. After sharing so many twists and pushes and turns, we have also become friends (but this is another story). Anyhow, needless to say that this friend of mine enjoys yoga very very much. She has progressed from a noob (like I still am) to doing scorpion pose, crow pose, headstands (HEADSTANDS, people!!!) and almost doing handstands (HANDSTANDS, people!!!) Her utter passion for the sport (?!) has made her attend classes were i nearly broke my joints, nose and knees and furthermore to attend them with a higher frequency than me. Which brings us to last night.

So last night was my scheduled running night, in preparation for my blitz-krieg-i-wouldn't-advise-anyone-else-to-do marathon training. I was planning to run home following a smooth and known 8 km route. My plans crumbled to the ground when said friend asked me if I want to join her for yoga (ashtanga) at 8:45 pm. As i cannot obviously say no, I say yes. But then I went on to say "of course, you realize that i am making a big sacrifice in renouncing my run" (but very very happy inside because this meant that i would have to do a run on the track - and since i can't run around like a carousel elephant for 8 whole kilometers, it would have had to be halved). But then said friend (with friends like these, who needs enemies) said "Why don't you run to yoga?" Now what was I supposed to say? I don't know the route, never ran it, will not commit? I don't want to run that long? (Especially after she said "how long do you want to run for? 10-11 km?") I don't have any clothes to come back? (she would take some for me) And thus last night I ran an unknown 11-12 km route to Raffles Place (from NUS). While I had a good idea about the distance, I didn't know how the run would be. And while I do notice roads/ crossings/various buildings from the bus and can reproduce them if needed, nothing compares with pounding the asphalt like a mad ... peacocky elephant. Because you see ... the advantage of running home and in the dark is the fact that you can wear anything. So for last night I had paired my hot pink very short shorts with my yellow lime singlet. A sight for sore eyes, what can i say?

So it all went as good as it can be expected, with me occasionally scaring unsuspecting grandfathers that were just enjoying the night breeze on some bench or other... Until i got to the intersection of havelock road to some other road. That was the point until i had memorized the map, thinking that from there on i just somehow make a right and I reach the yoga place. But noo... when i got there, the right turn wasn't as obvious. So, after several traffic lights, i worked up the courage to ask some fellow runners that were waiting at one stop for the way to raffles. They seemed to be from a running group as they were wearing matching singlets. The leader (guy in front) told me the directions and i was about to thank him but then he said "or you could just follow us". Pfft! And of course, I said yes. Not only am i arrogant enough not to refuse a challenge but I am stupid enough to tackle it heads on. It's nothing more gorgeous to start sprinting at the end of your run. Because you see ... those guys were pro. And they were fast. And so I had to keep up with them. And that i did. It killed me but I did. I was right there next to the leader. Yup. Nothing gave me away. I didn't huff, i didn't puff. Except for my heart monitor. It went on beeping like mad. Beep, beep, beep beeep beeep ... My heart rate was around 170-180 bpm and my easy exercise was set to maximum 160. And these guys were not listening to music. And when I said "sorry for the beeps!" one of them replied, "nevermind, it's a distraction" ... And now comes the worst part. Your pinky-lime elephant (wearing knee guard and ankle guard on the same leg) was running through robinson quay and clarke quay and what not, which are some of the busiest eating/hanging out places in downtown Singapore. And they are packed at night. Yup. Running through the middle of it all.
The guys finally left me to die in peace when we reached boat quay and from there on I had to push myself really hard to even jog for my last 500m. To the corporatist guys that were heading into boat quay but stumbled unto red faced, sweaty, crippled, pinky-lime elephant muttering uncomprehensible things to herself in what appeared to be romanian, I apologize.

cca 11.5 km . 5:15 min/km

Wednesday, March 11


Today I finally managed to spray myself with perfume using my index finger! Or otherwise put, I managed to use the perfume spray bottle with my index finger. Woo hoo! I didn't feel any pain, just the weakness and numbness one gets after trying to use a limb that was in a cast for long (I should know, I broke my right hand, TWICE! In adulthood!). I know it sounds kinda lame but it is a great great thing! Anytime soon I will be able to use the face cream bottle as well!

Today also marks the first day of my-run-during-lunch-time-on-alternate-days program (you see, I am running a marathon in 2 months and a half and I haven't trained AT ALL). Today I will run home and back because this morning on the bus i read san's message that said to bring our team singlet to school. TODAY. This is because the phone and I, we just don't click. So in appreciation of this milestone, I will be wearing my pink running shorts so watch out for big fat white girl in very pink and very short shorts leaving the Science building about 1pm today.

Today also marks the first day when I am running two OSs at the same time: MacOS and Ubuntu, woohoo! Below is the picture to prove it. Those two little creatures on the right spend their entire life mocking my work. The furry one even has the audacity to sit on my rock from the summit of Aconcagua and tell me that I could do better things with my life. That is why he has a red collar on, such that I can strangle the sucker every time he oversteps the line marked by the black monitor cable.

Tuesday, March 10


Because protein enhances muscle and tissue regeneration and because well, i still am injured, and because well, milk has a high content of protein (9.3 g per 250ml serving) here am I drinking, yuck, milk. I am a bit sick of it already since I drank about 750 ml in 20 minutes or so. I wonder what milk + watermelon + apple + 2 pineapple + 1 papaya will do to my stomach. Oh, and one spicy tom yam soup as well! Suddenly I am not feeling so super smart... Stand by for updates!

Wednesday, March 4

From hero to zero ...

... in three weeks flat. Sometimes, there just comes a day when no amount of optimism and putting things in perspective (could've broken my ankle, injured another finger, could be smoking and fat) can sweeten the pain. Today I climbed novice routes for boulder circuits and did some 10 min ARC. While it was good and the finger for the short time that I used it behaved quite nicely, still... I can't climb with the girls anymore and not only that but I can't share in any of their routes or excitement. No amount of empathy can get you to "route talk" properly. All you gotta do is do the route, and then you can talk, share and encourage. I did try some of the moves after they moved to different walls and i cannot do them to my immense frustration. It's a terrible case of over-visualization when I know I can/could do the move and then I get to the route and bail out in the middle of it (or worse, at the beginning) because I just can't hold the tiles. The truth of the matter is that given a serious injury, you just are not there anymore. It's like you're that weak (did i ever tell you how much i dislike weaknesses?), whining person in a room full of psyched people and at some point in time you become almost invisible. It gets frustrating and painful to some extent to still have to say that you can't do this and you can't do that because of this injury that you sustained eons ago. To say nothing that the mere repetition of the words "can't" just makes me want to puke.
Top this up with the fact that now I turned all my energy on the novice girls which most obviously freaks them out and you get a very interesting me. Today I left early just to prevent myself from trying any stupid things or even worse, stalking Ely and exhausting her to death.


Tuesday, March 3

His and hers

And after this, I promise, no more cooking posts. For him, pineapple fried rice (note to self: next time, maybe 3 red chili peppers is a bit too much):

For her, grab-whatever-veggie in your fridge day: broccoli with grilled chicken breast (good protein for a bad finger). Note to self: lime + black pepper is amazing!!

Monday, March 2

Claudia can cook ...

but always with a quirk. Like the time when i did cinnamon rolls with an old, deflated yeast. Or when i didn't know how much cinnamon to buy and i bought five packets and after 3 batches I still have 3 packets. Or when things go right but only for the even versions: like version 2.0, 4.0 of any dish will turn out excellent while versions 1.0, 3.0, 5.0 will be but a pale copy of the others. This week is thai cooking week chez claudia's, so if you don't hear from me or marian for a week please send somebody down to break down the door of our apartment as we are definitely dead from food poisoning.

This weekend started marvelously with a much too sour but very good and extremely spicy (by Marian) tom yam seafood with chicken soup:

Next we had mango sticky rice sans mango (couldn't find any at Fair price) but with bananas and grapes. It's very filling so we shared this portion (and I ate another portion only of sticky rice sans milk or fruits by myself the next day)

Lastly, basil minced chicken sans basil and sans wok (now my kitchen is filled with oil splash spots):

All dishes feature steamed rice sans steamer but nuked in the microwave. [Excuse the poor pictures, we were in great hurry to eat]

Sunday, March 1


Pronounced "DeeToo", he's going to be a very very good friend of mine from now on*. The picture doesn't do him justice though (just to show you that having a DSLR doesn't mean one can't take crappy pictures) He is wonderful and I truly like him. Almost half-way to installing the apps, but I am pretty much there. Hopefully by the time installation is over i will be able to provide a better picture. The background picture is from the summit of Dufourspitze (I hope this mac will not be a frightening experience like that one, though :) )

Hardware Overview:

Model Name: MacBook
Model Identifier: MacBook5,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2.4 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 3 MB
Memory: 2 GB
Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz
Boot ROM Version: MB51.0073.B06
SMC Version: 1.32f8
Serial Number: W88502E91AX
Sudden Motion Sensor:
State: Enabled

(later edit)
Applications that i am installing (in no particular order):
[An older list of applications that marian likes/needs ; a new list coming soon here. It pays to have obsessed boyfriend!!!]
-secrets prefpane
-the unarchiver
-delicious library
-tunnelblick (for stealing internet from starhub)
-iphoto (ongoing secondary-school-like debate with marian on which one he thinks i want to install: iphoto, aperture, lightroom :)) )

*He makes a sound similiar to R2D2's when he starts.