The Night Before

For that matter, I haven’t been on Facebook nor online in the transport community in a while just to keep myself focused on schoolwork. It’s getting late though and I don’t bother unlinking this from my Facebook anyways.

To get to my point, sheez man, so many weeks gone by and now it’s the very night before the exam. The VERY NIGHT before the ‘O’s. And it’s not going to be a soft start when the very first subject is definitely one of the most important – English. This is especially considering how I basically ‘wasted’ my years on bowling (rather, how I was just bad at it; bowling wasn’t actually a bad experience per se), so unless I hit home run with a perfect 6 for L1R5, it’s gonna be hard to get anywhere near a competitive entry score for JC (at least for me), given my abysmal CCA grade. And chances are, I won’t be banking on Higher Chinese for the L1 (of course, if I get straight As that would make me over the moon, though as far as I want it, I’ve got to be realistic).

It hasn’t been the ideal journey, pretty much like everyone else. I’m still struggling in some aspects of the new syllabus in English that are geared to be literature-style, and I’m still like a deer with headlights when it comes to Humanities. Admittedly I have been really slack at times this year and it’s coming back to bite. Now I’m flustering to juggle every subject which is coming head-on (Annoyingly, HUMANITIES! All the essays that just send the brain into overdrive!) At the very least, I got rid of distractions (at the moment) like transport enthusiasm … … at least to some extent (DTL opening soon :D). Still got some troubles, some uncertainties academically and in life that still fester me (Otherwise why would my reflection for closure to secondary school life disturb my form teacher? But meh, ain’t the time to ruminate over life.)

Thing about exams is, they’re just individual papers used to prove someone’s worth, benchmarking one’s abilities against others simply using the paper (or if the subject is like English, 4 papers, but you get my point). There’s no way it can be a sufficiently conclusive way of evaluating a person’s performance. But I guess that’s just how life goes. It’s unfair, but one is only as worthy as his last effort.

Fact is, reality is brutal, and it’s a difficult fact to learn (at least for me). Bell curves aren’t called bell curves for no reason. Some will be thrilled when they get their results, but there will always be others who feel disappointed. Efforts won’t always pay off, and I guess we really have to deal with it. Not everyone will have aspirations are high-flying as I do – some probably aiming for just a good polytechnic – but whatever it is, I believe it’s the determination to achieve what one wants that counts.

And in the rare event that anyone of my friends taking the ‘O’ Levels is actually reading this post: IT’S HIGH TIME TO GET SOME SLEEP, but also as important, all the best for the exams.

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Thoughts About the Cement Truck Incident

It’s Chinese New Year and also two weeks since that cement truck tragedy which resulted in the deaths of two young boys.

Sure it was a sensational incident: two boys, an unfortunate road traffic accident, a mother losing two sons at a go. It definitely would be hard on the family.

Of course, this also sparked off a rave all across Singapore. Notably, there was the plead from the Tampines MP, Baey Yam Keng himself, to stop circulating photographs of the dead as a mark of respect, which made their rounds online like wildfire. On another note, many questioned the well-being of road users: will such an incident occur again? Will anything be done to prevent such incidents from occurring again?

Which brings me to the point I wish to make.

Some may ask, why am I making my point about this only two weeks after the incident?

That’s because a common trend about such news sensations would be the dying enthusiasm about such incidents. Yes, people get all hyped up at first. They sympathise with the victims, they spread the news, they press for radical changes to protect everyone’s well-being. But how long will this last?

Drawing to the Sandy Hook Elementary School incident in Conneticut end-last year which saw the deaths of so many young children, this was one of the queries often cited. As the incident starts to become more and more distant in people’s memory, will there be enough momentum to keep the lawmakers going until they come to a consensus on gun control? Just as an instance, a writer on Capital New York wrote that ‘the president and Washington, if precedent holds, will talk about how terrible the shooting was and then wait for the story to fade away’, indicating the doubt people had about the changes that would be made as a result of the incident.

I’m not saying exactly that the cement truck incident can be drawn directly parallel to the Conneticut shooting, considering that they occur on relatively different grounds. Rather, it is the follow-up course of action – whether there would be one, whether it would be carried out, whether it would work.

Our government is definitely capable of making smart and informed decisions. What I really do hope is that out of something like this, even though the incident may start to fade away, there would finally be something put in place which would help safeguard our well-being and making something good out of this horrific incident.

As for the family involved in the incident, it is unfortunate that such an incident has to occur so near a joyous occasion like Chinese New Year. Nevertheless, I definitely hope the family would walk out of this tragedy and carry on.

And to all, a wonderful Chinese New Year.

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4 Years On

Today is exactly 4 years and 1 day since I joined the transport community.

Many things have transpired since then – new trains, new buses and new lines launched, SGTrains was launched, I am in my final year of secondary school – the list in endless.

For the most part, I wasn’t happy with my hobby for a long time.

Looking back at the journey in the transport communityI really regret not taking my hobby seriously.

When I first started, I never really saw the true meaning of this hobby. Back then it was in the pioneer stages and everyone was new to each other. Over time, people made friends, we started to know more about the rail system and also noticed the things happen in the system.

I never quite thought of this hobby to be anything. I treated it somewhat like a joke, something I do just for the heck of it.

I lost quite a bit of the passion for it, but more so because I had to study for my streaming examination in Secondary 2. That was a period of radical changes, where SGTrains was launched and there was an influx of new people in the community. In the end, I missed out quite a lot on the things around me.

When I came back, I was still being quite immature in the way I treated things. Looking at the kind of posts I was making, I felt quite embarrassed by some of my remarks. I was more engaged in things like exclusivity (of trains, happenings etc.), priding off the time I have been in the community (which isn’t quite anything to boast about but worth reflecting about) and most significantly my peeves about the SGTrains team (This is in my opinion quite a number of people though I now no longer mind about this. It’s not nice to make a fuss over such ranks as those who deserve will get it.).

Soon, I realised I wasn’t going anywhere. I mean, it doesn’t matter if you ride the rarest train, know things that others don’t or have the best English (or grammar Nazi to put it bluntly) as being overly obsessed with such things only made me unhappy in the community. It was only going to be meaningful if I learnt to appreciate my hobby.

I no longer see my hobby as something just about merit. Sometimes, these naïve thoughts still come back to me but I try to not let them bother me. It just takes time. I was never as contented with my hobby as I was at the end of last year, albeit things I could still continue to do.

4 years on and what has happened has happened. It’s going to be a busy year but one which I would hope I would finally enjoy thoroughly in this hobby.

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