9 March 2014
Although this week was supposed to be a recess week for everyone in NTU, I felt this recess week is not that relaxing compared to the previous semester’s recess week. This week, my spending on recess week can be said very high as many times I went out of NTU and had lunch or dinner there before going back.
On Monday, I went to US Embassy to attend my visa application interview, which I am supposed to be at the gate on 9:15am. It was quite far from NTU, and according to Gothere.sg, it will take 60 minutes. Hence I planned beforehand to start my journey on 8 and arrive there on 9. At the day itself, I started to move 15 minutes earlier than my plan, but alas, the 199 bus was caught in a bad traffic jam. I was worried. Then, I realized that I don’t consider the rush hour, which may result in bad traffic jam. I arrived Boon Lay around 8.30 and started to worry, will I be there on time? I was quite lucky, when I alight at Dover and waited for bus 106, it came quickly but I still worried: what if there was traffic jam, considering the bus will go to Orchard area. Luckily no, and I arrived at the nearest bus stop to US Embassy at 9.10am. I ran to the gate and realized that I need to queue to get into the security check before I went in to the embassy. The security check was strict: no communication device was allowed in to the building. Inside the building, it was very luxurious, and very “America”. First we need to queue for document submission, and next for fingerprint taking, and finally the interview. The interview was very short and was done in the counter. After my visa was approved, I went out and went to Tanglin Mall nearby to have lunch. After the lunch, I went straight to my room.
This day, I started to do my CZ1007 Assignment. Besides that, I also enjoyed the release of Coldplay’s new Single, Magic, and their announcement of new album, Ghost Stories, which will be released on 19 May 2014. The hype of me waiting for Mylo Xyloto rises back: the feeling of listening to the first single was like listening to Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall for the first time: the style was new, never heard of this style before, and it was NICE!
On Tuesday, I started to remind my subcoms to do the work of finding the price quotation of buses. I also started to do research on EE8087 Living with Mathematics project: Mathematics in Gambling, which the group decides to analyze Texas Hold’em Poker. I started the research by studying how to play poker and play some rounds of poker game. I also found out that in Business Library, there is a book about poker. Besides doing those things, I also continued my CZ1007 Assignment until I finished number 10. The assignment was not too hard in terms of logic, but hard in terms of the many restrictions applied (and the input-output was sometimes weird too).
On Wednesday, I set the day goal was to read the books about poker. The books turned out to only contain the analysis of the probabilities of every hand, and not about suggesting the optimal strategy. Nevertheless, it took me not long for understanding the main points of the few chapters of the book. After that, I went to LWN Library to do some tutorials (on BU8201 Business Finance and then CZ1008 Engineering Mathematics), but unluckily I forgot to charge my Surface (again). Hence, I can just use it to do some tutorial questions. After some time, I decided to go back to find the other book about poker. This second book talked a broader topics of mathematics, and was somehow hard to understand (and very wordy). I just borrowed it, in case of needing another reference book in doing the analysis. After going back to my room and charging my Surface, I went to the reading room to start my analysis. Usually the works that need many thinking can’t be done in hot air (hmm, the afternoon nowadays were hot). At some point, I almost surrender because of not having the correct ways of calculating the probability, but at later time, I realized that I have been thinking wrongly the whole time and hence my solution result was the same with the result posted in the book. On this day too, I received my passport with my US Visa inside. Next, apply for Canada Visa, but due to my long list of questions and documents needed, my father told me to send my passport back to my hometown via the travel agent’s client. On the night, we went to Teheri’s room to celebrate his birthday.
On Thursday, I went to Chinatown Point to pass my passport to the person who will deliver my passport to the travel agent. After the meeting, I went to loiter around, and went into Daiso, which I bought a stylus pen to accompany my Surface, pack of candies, and pack of jelly. Next, I went to Fairprice, and then went to have lunch at KFC. KFC’s french fries was thicker and nicer; the chicken inside the Zinger burger was also more special than the McChicken of McDonald’s. After the lunch, I went to library@Chinatown to look around what was inside. The books were about Chinese, or written in Chinese. I was amazed on how many people who read book there. After some time, I find out that the ones who can borrow books was only Singapore Citizens and PRs. After that I started to went back, but just right after I went to the MRT platform, I was called aside by the security guard to check my bag. After seeing through my newly bought stuffs (majority was snacks) which I put inside my bag, I was free to go.
Going back to my room, I just rest for a while before going next to NTUBS Secret Project (not secret to many people already btw) meeting starting at 5pm in TR+4 with Rizky, Freddy, Peter, and Stephanie. First we raised many points about what to improve from the project, and then after the dinner (which was sponsored by Rizky), we started to do them! Five hours passed since the meeting started, and we haven’t done everything, but we already decided to call it a day. Although it was a long meeting, I enjoyed it very much as it interests me the most.
On Friday, after quickly compiling the slides for EE8087 project, I went to LWN Library to work. This time I got visited by the library staff, which was not very friendly, twice (just to check my work condition). At the work itself, I found around 5 lost items and report them to the library staff, next I do a revision of CM8001 which mid-term will be held on Week 8. After that I managed to read some pages of the “heavy” book on Nothingness. The main points I get after the heavy journey was: there was no such thing as nothing. Vacuum is not nothing, the empty space between electrons and its nucleus wasn’t neither, because if it really was nothing, it should not be able for waves to pass. It also touches in symmetry: every “something” must have a symmetry, whether it was rotational, translational, or orientation; and hence “nothing” has no symmetry, because of nothing to rotate, orient, or translate. And the fact that we can lay down axes on the universe, to rotate, orient, or translate, hence the universe, including the vacuum, was in reality, “something”. I may be wrong in interpreting the book, feel free to correct me, I should After I have dinner with my subcoms, I joined them studying at LWN Library. Here, I done CZ1006 e-learning tutorial and continue to revise for CM8001 mid-term which in the end I watched the part 2 of the documentary “Chemistry, a Volatile History”.
On Saturday, I did my routine of laundry, room-cleaning, and ended with lunch in the morning. In the afternoon, I randomly browses the web and continued the EE8087 project. In the evening, there was a gathering for Medanese at Westgate, Jurong East. Here, we had a dinner and chit-chatted all times. It was a nice experience to talk in Hokkien to the people from my hometown studying (or even working) here in Singapore.
On Sunday, I went to Poh Ming Tse temple with NTUBS people. Here there was a monthly event of Sunday Service (accompanied by the Music Sharing) and a talk by Bhante Rathanasara on How to be happy. People are not happy because of 2 things: (1) uncontented with what we have; and (2) worried about what we do not have. If we eliminate greed, hatred, and delusion, we can achieve this contentment and thus the happiness of contentment. After the talk, we had a lunch dana and then went to JCube at Jurong East. There was an idea of watching movie instead of ice-skating, but later we decided to go ice-skating. This was my second time of ice-skating, with the first during Pelatnas I TOKI 2013 at Bandung. This 2-hour session was nice, but painful for my feet after the first hour. After the first hour, I rested for the first time and realized the bruises on my feet. I continued for a while before going to rest again, and again, because of the pain and not to further injure them. After the skating, we had dinner at Boon Lay Place Food Centre before going back to NTU.
This week was a long and tiring week. Next week, I will have three quizzes on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday of CZ1006, CM8001, and CZ1008 respectively. Besides that, the 2nd General Meeting of CNS 2014 will be held on Thursday, and the EE8087 group drawing will also occur next week. Hope that I can survive all of them.