The one about 0.62

The normal level of cardiac enzymes in someone should be 0 to 0.5 (I don’t know what this fully means yet).

My dad’s is 0.62, above that level. Hospitalised at TTSH now. It is rather worrying what sort of implications this whole ordeal will have.

The other day I was thinking, there is a definite last time you can do something. You may be seeing this one person for the last time in your entire life, and the funny thing is that you don’t know at that point in time that you are experiencing that moment. For my dad, I think his running days are over. With his heart issues he may never join a race ever again, for his own sake.

The last time I took a picture with him at a race was the Nike Human Race 2011.

😦

Wish my papa all the best in recovering.

The one about force-writing

I was wondering if making myself write everyday is counterproductive to writing good entries. Reading others’ short stories make me think that there is a clear gap between my writing skill and theirs.

Whether this is due to experience or language proficiency or talent, I’m unsure. My idea of the best way to find out is to persevere and continue writing seemingly substandard work. It may be substandard for international standards, but it is crucial for the development of my writing skill.

Good or bad, every piece is still a step forward. I want my journey to count, each and every step that I take will take me to where I want to become.

Yes, the stories I’ve been reading are from good writers who have made a name for themselves in the literary world. But why not compare with the best, right?

Kanye West, hilarious and ridiculous as he is, said some very thought-provoking stuff in a recent speech at Oxford:
“My goal, if I was going to do art, fine art, would have been to become Picasso or greater. That always sounds so funny to people, comparing yourself to someone in the past that has done so much, and in your life you’re not even allowed to think that you can do as much. That’s a mentality that suppresses humanity.”

It complements one of Bruce Lee’s quotes too:
“If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”

Just the other day I was at Leonardo da Vinci exhibition at the Art Science Museum, marvelling at his creations. But a part of me wanted to best him. It will be hard, but as they say, nothing worth ever comes easy. It will be hard, but it will be worth it.

I hope I’m not being over-ambitious. Ambitious, but not over-ambitious. Who knows where to draw the line, right? Guess it’s up to me to draw it!

The one about Leonardo da Vinci and education

Leonardo da Vinci’s most well-known works are (arguably) the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper and The Vitruvian Man. You must have, at some point in your life, heard of them before.

At the ArtScience Museum exhibition I found myself more fascinated by his lesser-known works. Aerodynamic parachutes. Optimal mathematical proportions and applications in natural floods and architecture. Construction of a giant, archaic bow and arrow.

The way he studied and practiced his craft was revolutionary at the time, as few bothered to study beyond their own microscopic field. He was thus able to make several connections between ideas from different disciplines. Truly a Renaissance Man.

Even modern schools are still not doing this, probably due to the perceived optimality in churning out specialists, or the difficulty in implementing this effectively. When I was in university, I viewed taking electives as a token service. Obviously this was not what the school planned for us, but still I felt that it would be more prudent of me to study within my field.

This was somewhat true. Except for the fact that I decided to YOLO in one semester, and purposely went to take on a myriad of disciplines that resulted in me feeling rather flustered and disarrayed.

That particular semester, I had to pick up calculus (there was apparently a huge gap in my previous education in calculus: the whole field of proofs), programming (in C, no less), and the study of how languages are formed and pronunciations are broken down.

To cut the story short, that semester was, in one word, excruciating.

Mentally I was useless when it came to studying many different things, and I guess this was what schools feared their students would become. I was far from a top student; I was from the very batch of students they were thinking of and thinking for. Perhaps the masses (and I do have a big mass) would be more easily pacified and given a degree if we were to specialise. Also easier to compartmentalise us, definitely.

Nowadays, I try to take it slowly. Not so many new disciplines in an examinable manner, but really focused one-by-one and taking my time to do so. Sure I’ll lose out to the fast learners, but that’s the challenge of being the underdog. Always.

The one about the Seinfeld method

Jerry Seinfeld is a well known comedian to me. I’ve watched some of his standup shows (electronically) and also some episodes of his TV show, and he’s pretty funny (That’s an understatement).

How did he get so great? One of his methods is to write a good joke everyday. Get a calendar, write a joke, and cross out that day. And the aim is to not miss crossing out a single day. When you see so many consecutive crosses that you have, you will naturally want to continue it and not waste what you’ve achieved thus far.

I’m trying to use this blog as a Seinfeld-esque motivation to write everyday. A little bit, just a little bit, is still better than nothing. When I used to run a lot more, I always reminded myself that, no matter how much I ran, I’m still overtaking those sleeping. Or those relaxing on their sofas. It makes things a little easier that way.

Don’t break the Seinfeld method.

The one about yesterdays

Today I saw that one of my ex-schoolmates had directed a play which would be staged in April.

We never talked, but I did notice a unique strive for excellence within this individual, a resolve to study literature and make good of this education to make a change. Unique, because I only saw it in this one person in the entire school the entire time that I was there.

To be able to direct a play and let it get staged — that has to be one of a literature or theatre major’s dreams. Here it has come to reality.

I know that I will eventually not watch this play, but I wish this person all the best. There are many like me who silently stand by the sidelines hoping that you will succeed; and then there are those who silently wish you would fail, just so they could smirk and say, “I told you so.” This is a small play with a very microscopic examination of a specific subject. But every journey starts with a small step, and whether big or small, it is still a step forward.

May many of these small steps bring you somewhere great.