lovely diacritic?


Hashtag Sharp
12 September, 2013, 4:36 pm
Filed under: Education, Music, Non-Profit, Social


#sharp logo

I truly believe that no youth should be taken away a chance of pursuing music because of financial constrains. I’ve started an initiative. #sharp is a free music class for youths who do not have have the means to have such a class. Using music as a mentoring opportunity – through the class, youths will be able to make friends with mentors, creating a healthy role model in their lives. Based in Singapore. Share it with your friends and I hope people who need this programme will be connected to #sharp.

http://www.facebook.com/hashtagsharp



I’m going to SMU. (:
26 June, 2009, 4:20 pm
Filed under: Education | Tags:

A continuation from my previous post about the journey of my univeristy application.

I am so glad that this journey of university application has been a fulfilling one. I get to know God even more and my character has definitely been shaped.

On the 26th of May, I received news that I made it through the audition for USYD Sydney Conservatorium of Music audition. I really thank God for that because before the audition the manager told me that there are only 8 Singaporeans in the conservatorium. Really all glory to God for my successful audition. As soon as I heard the news, I seeked God about the direction and He spoke to me through Tim Hugdes’ God of Justice (We Must Go).

I thought to myself, “Is God asking me to go to USYD since the song titled “We Must Go”. But nah, it is kinda extracting out of context. So I waited upon God to reveal more things.

At Church camp during the 2nd week of June, Pastor heard from God and prayed for clarity of mind for me during ministry time. Yes, prayer was answered and things all fell into place during the Eagles’ Programme just this week. God spoke to me and 3 dilemmas in my life were settled.

One dilemma was about accepting USYD. The word is from Hebrews 11. It is about the past characters from the bible who acted by faith and in the end not getting what was promised by God. One example from that passage is about Abraham. By faith, Abraham obeyed God and was going to sacrifice Isaac. He was promised to be the father of nations yet he did not get what God promised. (It later happened through his son, Isaac, after he passed on.) In my interpretation, by faith, I applied for overseas universities and went through the procedures of auditions and write-ups. And at the end of this, I am not getting what God has promised. As what the scripture says in Hebrews 11:39-40:

And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.”‘

It may seem illogical to have even started on the process in the first place but if I were placed in that part of my life again and know I’ll end up at SMU, I’ll still apply overseas university if God ask me to. Simply because I believe God has plans for me to take on this journey and indeed, I have learnt so much, in the areas of knowing more about Him, knowing more about myself and knowing more about other people.

The second dilemma was about confirming SMU. During the Eagles’ Camp, I learnt about experiencing holy dissastisfaction and it is one roadsign of the place where I am called to. I discovered that the reaction I have towards a group of people I see is a kind of holy dissastisfaction. By taking Social Sciences in SMU, I am one step closer to that place of calling.

Lastly, the third dilemma was to join Eagles’ Programme for the next one year. I went back to the song, “God of Justice (We Must Go)” and read the lyrics in detail. It was actually speaking out reaching out to others.

God of justice, Saviour to all
Came to rescue the weak and the poor
Chose to serve and not be served

Jesus, You have called us
Freely we’ve received
Now freely we will give

We must go live to feed the hungry
Stand beside the broken, we must go
Stepping forward keep us from just singing
Move us into action, we must go

To act justly every day
Loving mercy in every way
Walking humbly before You, God

You have shown us, what You require
Freely we’ve received
Now freely we will give

Fill us up and send us out
Fill us up and send us out
Fill us up and send us out, Lord

That spoke to me in such a way that I must join Eagles’ Programme since it is about leadership, reaching out to others. To me, it is speaking to me that I must go to reach out to others. Definitely through this programme, I will be able to do so. On top of that, it means I have to study local university because it is a one year commitment.

Therefore, I am going to SMU.

Thank God for taking me through this journey.

Decisions are hard to make for some can be very major. I am so glad to have God to be able to give me clarity in my decisions. I know my future is certain and secured in His hands.



Don’t be afraid.
21 May, 2009, 12:11 am
Filed under: Autobiography, Education, Religion | Tags:

Looking back at my previous post, One Way, God has certainly brought me through an amazing journey. He instructed me through John 6:12 to apply for all the universities that I can and I obeyed. Now He has blessed me with so many openings. The universities I got are SMU SOSS, NUS FASS, NTU Psychology, and the one that I just received today is, University of Melbourne Bachelor of Music! Praise the Lord for blessing me with so many openings that I never thought that I would get.

Before the reply from the Music Degree, I was kind of settled with SMU SOSS but I did not have 100% peace of mind. SMU has been my dream school since 2006 and the reason of choosing her is because of the electives they have (ie. Music, Dance, Art), the seminary teaching style, the CCA – InDanCity, and the distance. The only thing I did not like is the fact that it is 40% project work based and looking back at the experience I have in JC1 with H1 Project Work, I am not very keen in doing projects regularly for the next four years. But then again, I thought that I should counter my fear and overcome it because project work is inevitably part of working life. If I do not counter it now, I will have to do in the future. So I was settled with SMU SOSS without a 100% peace of mind for some reason which I do not know of.

Then I got the acceptance from University of Melbourne today! I totally could not believe my eyes when I read the acceptance e-mail and had to read it a few times before it sank in. (Because University of Sydney Bachelor of Musicology rejected me yesterday so my hopes kind of went down slightly) However, I got to accept this offer by 31st of May and pay a deposit of AUD$10,000. Gosh. And I cannot accept until the scholarship accepts me which will only be in July! I need the financial aid because just tuition fees alone ranges from AUD$64k to AUD$74k. So I went to seek God and asked just cast my cares upon Him (what I learnt in the last mentoring session I had) Basically talk to God about my situation and asked Him for a direction. He told me “don’t be afraid” through Chris Tomlin’s “On Our Side” and Psalm 112.

The lyrics of the chorus goes:

If God is on our side
We won’t be afraid
Though the mountains may fall
And the sky will crumble
There ain’t nothin’ gonna stand in our way

Psalm 112:8 says:

His heart is established; he will not afraid, until he sees his desire upon his enemies. (NKJV)

His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries. (ESV)

Through this, I know I do not need to be afraid and just trust in the Lord. 😀

I am so excited to see what God has installed for me.



One Way
21 April, 2009, 3:50 pm
Filed under: Autobiography, Education

 

“…We live by faith and not by sight for You…”

 

My journey in this university applications has really been a rough one and I have learnt so much. Such as learning how to live by faith and not by sight as what the word of God says in 2 Corinthians 5:7.

We live by faith, not by sight.”

 

By sight, circumstances are definitely not in my way. I do not have the finances to support my Australia music education, my playing standards of the piano are not as great as others, no one in my family underwent the procedures of studying overseas before and therefore we are all new to it so there is a possiblity of leaving out some necessary step to be taken in the application procedures or miss certain important deadlines, and the list goes on.

 

However, by faith, God has given me the word ever since I was seeking Him about this situation in September or October last year during the ‘A’ level season. The word he gave me is from John 6:12.

“…Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.”

At that moment, I was like “God, what are you trying to tell me??? Am I spending to much and I should save and not waste anything?” I read it literally. I did not hear from God about that verse again until March this year. John 6:12 is actually taken from the passage when Jesus fed the 5000.

 

This is a film that tells the story of Jesus feeding the 5000

 

 

So what I heard from God is that since He has multiplied my grades (my midyear results was SSSUU and prelim results was SESUU and finally ‘A’s was BCBBB!), I should not let any application be wasted and just apply. So it was a green light to apply to Australia music. But I thought, probably I am reading out of context so I dismissed that.

 

However, during one of the week, Jessica & Jeanette (at different times) told me to apply.

Jessica: (the more practical thinking) I should just apply and not live my life wondering if could have got in or not.

Jeanette: I should not limit God and just apply whatever I can, then just leave to God to open whatever doors that He wants to.

So feeling quite conviced to apply yet hesitant because by sight, conditions seem quite difficult, God gave me James 1 as encouragement. Perseverance was the key.

“…Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him…”

This was again confirmed by Weijie when he told me to persevere when we were talking about my application to overseas Music. (that was before I told him God spoke to me about perseverance too) As soon as he said that I was like, that is what God is telling me too! Immediately he said, “James 1”. I was completely stunned and was so glad to have the confirmation.

 

However, in the journey of application, I was still down at times and felt like disobeying God and not apply. I believe the devil was rattling in my ear to take the easier way out and give up on applying so that I will disobey God. Thank God for His word, He gave me Romans 5:1-11.

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a]have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we[c] also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

 6You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

 9Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”

In summary, the gist of the scripture was, with perseverance/endurance comes character/approval from God, with character/approval from God comes hope. That encouraged me once again.

 

After few weeks later, I was discouraged again. I was crying out to God because I felt so helpless and did not know what to do because at the time the thought of applying is like an endless pursuit. Emotions were getting over me (that is another way the devil stops you from obeying God) And the God that never fails gave me another word once again, also from the story of Jesus feeding the 5000, but this time it is from Matthew 14:18.

“Bring them here to me,” he (Jesus) said.

Such little words that carry such volume. Immediately, I felt so comforted.

 

Guess what happens next? Yes, I was discouraged AGAIN. That was just last week. God used the people around me once again. Minsheng (who is currently studying in Australia) suddenly had to be back in Singapore for an interview at NUS Medicine. (So happy for Thea!) Those who know him will know how persistent and determined he is. So he was so determined that I should apply and his words of encouragement simply woke me up from my contemplation to apply. He said stuff like he’ll even drive me to IDP so that I can quickly apply before the closing date which is in 9 days time. Ultimately, I was so moved by God who persistently placed Godly people and used His words from the bible to turn me back to the right direction whenever I am lost. Even when I have given up on myself, God did not give up on me.

 

Last night (guess what happened again), I was still unsure and did not have the desire to apply. The audition recording I did was still not up to my expectation and the best of so far was after 5 hours of playing. Imagine how tired I am already. That will greatly affect my quality of playing. It is so disgusting to submit a lousy recording. However God, unfailingly, gave me Matthew 14:18 again. The little words with great volume verse. I completely forgot about that verse and it was a reassurance and comfort to me.

 

This morning while doing my devotion after I woke up, I was still haunted with the thought of how gross my recording is. God then reminded me of what Samuel heard from God during youth camp’s “prophesizing practicum” (Not the right term to use but I do know what other ways to put it.) Samuel heard from God “It’s okay.” and God is pleased with my service to Him through the keyboard. At that time the intital did not speak to me. Finally I saw how it spoke to me. That is, it is okay no matter how gross my recording seems to be. So I was just glad that I pleased God with my playing.

 

And finally, I made my way to the office of IDP just now. The devil was still playing with my emotions and I wanted to stop my hands from filling up the application form and just walk out of the office. Unfortunately/Fortunately, I brought my mum and Michelle to accompany me so I did not want to waste their effort in making time for me and stay put. Application fees was at $200. No small amount. I did not want to waste money. That is another “by sight” factor that was stopping me. Thank God for His word that I was so sure that I got to apply no matter how wrong it seems by sight. (And thank God for Ps Gary who was the guest speaker in last year’s youth camp and he kept resounding “The truth will set you free. What is the truth? Words found in the bible.” So simple and easy to discern what is right or wrong in the eyes of God.) So yes, after ALL that hesistance and battling of emotions, I finally submitted the application forms.

 

As soon I got out of the building, I suddenly felt such peace of mind which I have  never felt ever since God convicted me to apply in March. It is when I realised all these while the devil has been trying to stop me from applying. So now that I have obeyed God, there is nothing the devil can do to reverse that action. I am so glad I obeyed and embarked on that one way to obedience that God instructed me to.

 

Right now, I have done what God called me to do and I will continue to wait upon Him for the next direction. He did not promise that I will get in but simply instructed me to just apply for whatever I can. So I am excited to see what God has installed for me! Even if I do not get into any Australia University and may seem illogical to even apply in the first place, I believe the lesson learnt from this process is far more valuable. Also the promise I will get is far greater, that is the promise of eternal life. As what He told me through Hebrews 11:39-40.

39These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

 

Anyway, all the discouragements and emotion battles I had may seem nothing because it is so easy to type them out. “I was discouraged.” But to go through it is definitely not as easy. So if anyone goes through such battling of emotions or experiencing negative thoughts, I encourage that you will turn to the word of God. Do not have a bible? Use an online one at http://www.biblegateway.com/. God bless you.



Wee Welcome You
19 April, 2009, 11:51 pm
Filed under: Autobiography, Education | Tags:

That was the wordplay I saw at the NTU Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI) pre-admission reception. I love wordplays.

 

This reception is the school’s first one. It was held in replacement of conducting interviews to access our applications. I think there are several pros and cons to this change. It is definitely better for us applicants to have a better idea of the school but I am not sure if it is better for the school because they do not have equal contact with all applicants like how interview provides. So applicants have to be like hungry ghosts fighting to win the attention of professors. Personally, I do not like the idea because it is like bootlicking, pleasing the school just to get a place. I like sincerity. Not doing certain things for the sake of doing but doing because you really mean it and it comes from the bottom of your heart. Imagine if you are the sort who did your research and really have nothing to say to the school body, will you still force a question out and ask for the sake of asking so that you are assured that the professors heard you? And whether you impacted them or not, is another worry for some.

 

Nevertheless, things can be viewed from another perspective. That is, if you are hungry enough for the course, you will do whatever is required and I am pretty sure that is coming from the bottom of your heart. Also in mass communication, things are usually this competitive. You got to fight for the attention of the mass, if not why would they bother hearing what you have to say. But is this always the case in mass communication industry? I wonder.

 

Anyway, after the reception there was a school tour and it was rather impressive. Although the walls of the school building were dull, with just white walls and blue window and door frames, the facilities kind of offset it. They have state-of-the-art equpiments and the nicest thing I saw was the Spectrum Television Studio. It was pretty cool. Here is some pictures of it:

 

 

 

 

I love the idea that how such stuff are taught at the university level. It will be so fun! Anyway, before the reception I was disappointed with the standard of their films because the ones I watched on YouTube were way below my expecations. However, during the reception final year project (FYP) films were showcased and they were not as bad. I guess I got to lower my expectations too because afterall, not everyone one of them are majoring in Broadcasting and Cinema Studies (BCS) and even so, they only had the most, 4 years of training.

 

 

Anyway, I advice future applicants to fill up the optional write-up portion of the NTU application form. Although it is usually used for discretionary admission to the various faculties, I speculate that it is one way WKWSCI reads to know more about you. Just a speculation. Unfortunately, I did not fill that up because I assumed that there was the interview to access my application. Nevertheless, I am thankful to be shortlisted and was given the opportunity to have a little glimpse of what communication and information studies is really about and was glad to spend it with the one who is extremely (no exaggeration added) passionate about WKWSCI, Yanyu.

 



I had an SMU SOSS interview today and
1 April, 2009, 12:21 am
Filed under: Autobiography, Education, Religion

I totally had fun! The inteviewers challenged me like CRAZY. To me, what happened was like a glimpse of what usually occurs in a tutorial class. So interactive and thought provoking.

  

(Hopefully this post gives an idea to those who are about to go for SMU interview. But I believe every candidate is given a different question because the questions I had simply flowed from one question to the other. Love this part of it. The questions aren’t like rigid and typed out on a sheet of paper. Having little or no link to what you answered. How boring will that be.)

  

Before I went in I prayed to God to give me questions that I KNEW the answers to. And yeah my prayer was answered. 🙂

 

There were 2 interviewers and I was the only candidate in the room. Here’s what happened (not the exacts words for sure):

 

“Hi Lydia, so what does your name mean?”

(I was like whaaat but good thing my study table had the name thing bought from a Christian bookstore and it had the meaning of Lydia and I always treat the meaning seriously.)

“My name means worshipper of God.”
“So do you worship God?”

“Yes.”

“Do you worship other things?”

“Nope.”

“How about do you worship education or relationships…?”

“Nope.”

“Then why are you in education?”

“Because it is essential to have and it helps a person to grow. And it’s especially needed in this meritocratic society.”

“Okay. Imagine you’re the leader of a university and you’re, like here, interviewing students. Student 1 comes in, female, brilliant. Student 2, female, brilliant. Student 3, female, brilliant. And so on until the final student, female, brilliant. Do you accept all of them so that you can take in boys to have diversity or just keep all the females.”

(This is my favourite part of the interview. Really makes you think.)

“Keep all the females.”

“Okay. Let me change the question.”

“Student A, Malay, Brilliant. Student B, Malay, Brilliant. Student C, Malay Brilliant. What do you do?”

(I still thought that its only fair to take in students that are brilliant so I said…)

“Have exchange programme.”

“With who?”

“Other universities…?”

“But there is a need for diversity right?”

(Realising it was quite a dead end and diversity is actually important I decided to change my stand.)

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“Diversity helps people to understand each other better… (etc.) Okay I’ll judge the Malay students according to their character and see who stands out more and then eliminate. So I can take in some Chinese and Indian students.”

“Okay. I believe in Singapore it is 85% Meritocracy and 15% other stuff” (Not the exact words)

*Suddenly awkward silience*

(I was, like Lydia say something! Then I said…)

“Similarly for HDB in Singapore, there is a limit for the different races. Even if all that who applied first are Chinese, not all of them are given the place. So that Indians and Malays are given an oopportunity.”

“Quota you mean.”

“Oh yes.” (I just couldn’t get that Q word at that moment. Don’t know why.)

 

“So Lydia what do you like in general?”

“Psychology. *Pause for a moment* Oh as in what I like in social sciences?”

“No, generally.”

“Oh I like Music and the arts.”

“So what kind of arts?”

“Music and film. I have been playing the piano since I was 4.”

“So which Singapore film do you like?”

(Immediately I thought of Singapore dreaming, I don’t know why. But i don’t like that show! And before that I was actually thinking of foreign films.)

“I like films by Royston Tan because he embraces the Singapore culture. His films are often about the cultures in Singapore that evolved due to this multiracial society.  The culture here has inter… inter… intervened. Unlike China and India, the culture is not that traditional.”

(I couldn’t get the word! It was supposed to be intertwined or interwoven…)

“Isn’t it bad that the traditional culture is lost?”

“The culture that we have now is a unique one and people have adapted to it. But people still embrace the traditional culture through the media.”

 

“So Lydia, you mentioned Mr Alex Abisheganaden in your write-up. Why?”

(Mr A. is my guitar ensemble instructor in YJ. Anyway I thought to myself, what a good question. Yeah, exactly why did I mention him?)

“Mr Alex is the first who introduced classical guitar to Singapore.”

“Oh he’s not the first but he’s one of the first.”

“Oh is it? He told us that himself.”

“Mr A is (then he started talking about Mr A in a joyful manner and then laughed) So basically you mentioned him so to have some link.”

“Yeah.”

(I really couldn’t think of anything else to say but anyway that was really my reason. Simply to have some link since Mr A is actually quite well-known.)

 

“Anymore questions?”

“Nope.”

*Pause*

“Really no more question?”

(Think of something Lydia!)

“So when will I know the results?”

“Haha that you have to e-mail the Admission office yourself. But I think it should be in about 2 weeks?”

“Alright.”

“Do e-mail them okay?”

“Okay.”

“Thank you.”

“Thanks and have a nice day!”

“Have a nice day to you too!”

 

After I left, I was like man I hope this isn’t my last time stepping into this building. SMU has been my dream school since I was Secondary 3 or 4 you see.



A Physics Enthusiast
9 October, 2008, 8:03 pm
Filed under: Education, Science | Tags: , ,

A lecturer from Massachusetts Institute of Technology proving that a pendullum with a different mass does not affect the period of the oscillation, ceteris paribus. Super cool. I wish my lectures were like that too.

 

Please watch from 45:15 onwards.

 

 

Voila! Same period!