Monday, October 22, 2012



Unusual Excitement on UNSW Campus

La, what excitement there was this morning in an unlikely area - one of the driveways into the UNSW campus at Gate 2.

In the quiet of about 7:20am, a stolen black Audi getaway car was chased by several police through Kensington, finally driving through UNSW's Gate 2, where it was finally rammed by an unmarked police vehicle into a wall near Baxter College behind ASB, near the Quad.

There were apparently dozens of armed police and a helicopter to provide guidance for the chase. The police managed to arrest the driver and one of the passengers, while another three men supposedly escaped from the vehicle and went on the run. The car allegedly held several firearms, and the men were possibly part of an planned armed robbery.

This is the second time police have had to come to UNSW this month, the first occasion occurring on 11th October, coinciding with the Oktoberfest festivities going on that afternoon.

In the Chemical Science Building, two Chinese PhD students got into an argument which resulted in one of them throwing concentrated sulphuric acid in the other's face before hitting him on the head with a hammer.

The victim was rushed to St Vincent's Hospital to be treated, as well as two other bystanders who were treated for superficial burns. The victim was in an induced coma. The perpetrator has been charged with causing grievous bodily harm to the victim.

Where was I during all the excitement this morning? I was sleeping, safe and sound in IH, not 100m away from the ruckus. I know it sounds stupid, but it feels like absolutely nothing happened. When we were heading up campus to class, the only indication that something had happened was that the driveway was blocked and we weren't allowed to walk along that road. But by then, the police had already left UNSW and gone to search the surrounding suburb.

It was funny to see articles talking about how the university was in lockdown. Please, it's already past Week 13 - the only people milling around campus at that time are lower-year medical students like me who still have classes, those who have exams, and those who live on campus. There's nothing to lock down, and no one in my lecture knew what happened - not even those who live in the UNSW Village which is just next to where the whole thing happened.

Such excitement indeed - but only for a select few.

xuan blogged at 6:22 PM

May your light shine...
in the darkness...

Saturday, August 11, 2012



3rd Week of Semester 2 and the Blustery Day

I've just finished my written assignment for O&G, so I'll just post a bit about this week.

On Sunday we had our Running Focus social, which had station games pitting any 2 different teams against each other. Our group, Crossing Jordan, won the 1st station (guessing the phrase) against Mike's group, the 2nd station (passing the drawing) against Boon and Pete's combined group, the 3rd station (multiplication amidst distraction) against Mitchell's group, the 4th station (guessing by hair) against Jeremy's group, but lost the 5th station (getting rid of post-its) to Clement's group. We were tied at the end with mike's group with 4/5 wins.

Then the 2nd phase had the hide-and-seek game that's classic of Running Man, and we were pitted against Minsheng's group. They were the chasers and we were the mission team - we had to find 6 aluminium foil balls hidden around the CLB/Scientia/Library area. I found one before I got caught by Teck Khai, but it took him, Pris and Wella to tear my name tag off - mission accomplished! In the end we found 5/6 balls and because Josh kind of cheated by going out of boundaries to hide, we won. At the end of the game we came in 2nd place, because Mike's group had won their mission faster than us. Then my group, Jonno's group and Minsheng's group went to Honey Wok for a well-deserved dinner.

Then on Monday when I woke up my hip joints kind of hurt from the running that an overly-enthusiastic Josh made us do the previous day, haha. We presented our case assignment at hospital, and then I swapped my delivery suite session with Harshita, so I got lunch and went to the DS at about 12:45pm before the handover and hung around. Actually 4 women delivered while I was there, but I wasn't able to see the first two.

I saw the 3rd woman deliver, though I wasn't expecting it to happen that soon because she'd been there for a long while prior to my arrival. As for the 4th woman, I kind of helped to translate for them on occasion, and stayed until she delivered, then to help clean up before going home. My feet really hurt after standing for so long!

Tuesday was more uneventful, except that my legs hurt a lot more! Then on Wednesday I had to leave in the middle of choir practice to do this high intensity intermittent exercise thing as part of my friends' research project for which I'm a participant. It was terribly hard!

Part of the project dictates that I fast 12 hours before going for the blood testing, which meant that I had to scarf down my dinner by 8pm right after I got back from choir practice. That night was also the night for our Singapore Study Break in IH, in which we made curry chicken with bread, muah chee and teh tarik for the residents, and did a presentation on our country and taught them some Singlish.

I wasn't very helpful in the food making process, I admit, and it was kind of saddening not being able to eat any of the food or drink any of the tea (no caffeine allowed), but it's okay because I packed the muah chee and took a bottle of the teh tarik for myself to eat the next day, yay!

Then on Thursday morning I went to my friends' lab for the blood testing, which involves taking a milkshake and having my blood drawn every hour on the hour for 4 hours. I managed to complete about 2/3 of my assignment during my time there - focused!

And since it was National Day, some of us went to Renu's place to watch the NDP online live screening, though obviously we were lagging behind by quite a bit due to the screen freezing every now and again. It felt shorter this year, somehow, and I thought it was over quite quickly, but maybe that's because we missed the marching part, which is my favourite part :( I think the new song isn't very nice...

Then Michelle, Renu and I watched some of the Olympics on Renu's new tv screen! We watched some beautiful rhythmic gymnastics in the individual 2nd qualifying rounds, namely the competitors from Belarus, South Korea and France. And it would intermittently cut to the women's 10km swimming marathon at Hyde Park - those women are amazing! Kudos to the Hungarian competitor for maintaining her lead, and to the USA and Italian competitors for catching up and making it a tense last stretch near the end!

Then on Friday we had our Bible study at Josh's place, where they made chicken rice (yum yum) and we celebrated Trish and Simon's birthdays! I think my plans at being stealthy about bringing the cake kind of failed since they suspected me of doing so, but too bad. And I think the cake shop lied about there being any tiramisu flavour in the cake, hmph.

The winds in Sydney have been ridiculously strong since Friday up to today, and I read in the news that further up north or nearer the coast the winds are even stronger, to the point of roofs being torn off. I had to brave the wind both yesterday afternoon and today when I went to the library to do my assignment.

That's it for this week. O&G is over, and we're going into paediatrics next week. Hopefully the kids are easy to work with! I miss my niece and nephew, sigh.

xuan blogged at 5:07 PM

May your light shine...
in the darkness...

Friday, May 25, 2012



22nd Birthday

I don't really post here anymore, but since it's my birthday I'll just post something. I've been surprised twice this week by friends celebrating my birthday, which I really appreciate.

On Wednesday, I was in the law building on campus using the internet, when Wenyan called to ask if I was in my room, to get back a library book she borrowed for me. Then soon after, Ezekiel called to say that he had milk tea to pass to me, and I was to come down to collect it in 5 minutes. But when I went down I couldn't see him, anywhere in the building or outside, though there was this group of people standing a distance away to the left. Then Jay turned his head and I realised that was them, and for a moment I wondered if Ezekiel was just distributing milk tea like some vendor. So I walked to them and realised that they were there to celebrate my birthday in advance, at which point they sang to me.

Renu made an oreo cheesecake because she knows how much I love it! And I was really surprised to see them there: Renu, Ezekiel, Jay, Reuben, Rachel Chan, Wenyan, Mann Ying and Yi Chen. It was only when I saw Wenyan that I realised the earlier phone call had just been an excuse for her to find out if I was in IH or not! I was absolutely deceived! Retrospectively, I realise her questions didn't really make logical sense, but at that point I didn't think about it. It even occurred to me how odd it was to receive 2 phone calls from friends within like 15 minutes when I normally don't get calls, but I didn't suspect a thing.

Later on we went to the IH ground floor kitchen to eat the cake, and I spent the next couple hours or so chatting to them. It was especially nice because I'd met Renu on Monday night on my way to choir practice, and it just made me regretful that we don't get to see everyone every day like we used to in Phase 1. Apparently her questions about my choir practice time were also for the sake of the surprise! But yeah, it was great to get to hear from them about what their experiences this year have been like.

Then today was my birthday, but I spent the morning and early afternoon in hospital, where obviously only Josh would know my birthday, if at all. So it was actually just a normal hospital day. The exception is that Raja had these magnums, and then I got the last one for free though Jeremy actually paid $2 for one, haha. So it was like indirectly getting a present!

And the thing is that we had Dialogue Night this night, so there was a lot of preparation of food and questions and I thought if my Growth Group was going to celebrate my birthday, it would be during then. And Trish even baked a cheesecake, but it wasn't for me. Since people from Pete's group (whom we combined with) were either unaware of my birthday or knew via Facebook, I assumed that that might be kind of the case with our group. And anyway the dinner was good and the session went well, so I figured it didn't really matter. And my bro Cai got me Chatime milk tea!

Then Simon was in a hurry to get back to IH, so we went back and Ming Fei's and Mike's groups were still there at the ground floor kitchen after their Dialogue Night, so I went to talk to some of them. I met Evelyn on my way up to 1st floor, and then went to the kitchen to keep the food I'd brought back. And I heard her in the corridor saying something like "Sixuan's in the kitchen", but didn't know who she was talking to.

Then my group came in: Jordan, Josh, Trish, Sam and Simon with a cake in the box and a lit candle, singing Happy Birthday! I was surprised, because I genuinely didn't expect this at all! It was this rich chocolate cake that Josh got from Randwick, and he said that's why his first quiche (for dinner) got slightly burnt - made me feel bad! Apparently they thought I was still on the ground floor, went in singing Happy Birthday, only to realise I wasn't there, thereby confusing the people inside, haha!!

This whole surprising experience made me appreciate how the surprise is real and better when you're really not expecting anything. Of course it's not like I forgot my birthday - had to get the free Chatime milk tea, after all - but I don't like the waiting and expecting/hoping for people to remember my birthday. It just makes you more disappointed if they forget. And I wasn't sure if my group forgot, or if Josh (the other birthday IC with me) was simply too busy to do anything about it - it seemed like a real possibility. And it's just childish to be sad that no one celebrates your birthday with fanfare or anything.

I guess the only real expectation I have is of my family to remember. This is evidenced in how I purposely checked the mail pigeonholes to retrieve my birthday cards! I was happy when I got my parents' one on Wednesday - apparently mum sent it 2 weeks in advance so as not to have a repeat of last year when it was like a week late. But I didn't see my sister's one, and was kind of sad. So I decided to make sure, and ran down last night in the cold to check again, and it was there! The sad thing is that I failed to pick up their calls today, which is something I look forward to.

So even though the early part of the day was pretty uneventful - though not un-enjoyable since my hospital group is a fun bunch - I had a great night. I appreciate the Facebook messages, the texts, the face-to-face wishes, and the cards. I especially love reading what people have to say to me. And I'm thankful for the prayers!

Thank God for a lovely birthday :D

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xuan blogged at 11:36 PM

May your light shine...
in the darkness...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011



Long Time No Post

I was reminded by my sister that I haven't posted anything on my blog in forever. The thing is that besides the fact that I'm lazy, I didn't think anyone was still reading it. In fact, I think it's just my family. So I'll just put a post to let them know that, no, I didn't get a new blog, and yes, I'm still alive and well down under.

The last time I posted was on my birthday, and if I have to recap I think it would be pretty hard, since my memory isn't good. I'll just put down what I remember.

*long pause*

Mid-Year Break
- Michelle came to visit from Melbourne to Sydney and stayed with me for about 10 days! It was nice catching up with her! Sorry for being such a lazy host :P
- I went for the Mid-Year Conference organised by Campus Bible Study, as we looked at the theme of humanity in the whole Bible. It was really cold (apparently was -2 deg at one night) and also really intense. I think one really interesting bit was reading through the whole 1 Peter as a small group without a leader and without paragraphing or verse numbering.

Teaching Period 3
- We started the term with a new half of my tutorial group - all 1st years, plus the 2nd years whom I've been with for a year already. It's a bit weird to be the older ones in class now.
- I started the course A Life Worth Living in FOCUS Team this session (was doing 2 Ways to Live in Session 1), and it's a really good course. It makes you think about fundamental aspects of the Christian life, such as why you believe, the importance of the Word, prayer, sin, and reaching out to others with the gospel.
- I joined the welcome team and music teams in church. It feels good to be actively serving in a defined role in church once again :)
- The New College Revue had a slot for a choir, which I participated in - we sang Somebody to Love by Queen in parts!
- Our Growth Group had a picnic social at Centennial Park, in which we ate pizza, played Taboo, and had lots of fun!

Teaching Period 4 - now
- I picked an assignment on euthanasia and ethics, and have managed to just about finish it, way before the deadline, yay.
- The women in church had an evangelistic event with baking, high tea and a panel of our own girls to answer questions that our friends had. I helped Jieyu to make quiche! My TEA group (me, Jo and Grace) was researching on the reliability of the Bible, focusing on the gospels. But since I was co-MC with Renette, Jo had to be on the panel :)
- My UNSW choir concert is coming up this Sunday, and I have bits and pieces of the songs stuck in my head!

That's all for now. I hope whoever may read this is satisfied.

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xuan blogged at 8:23 PM

May your light shine...
in the darkness...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011



21st Birthday!

I turned 21 today!

For a birthday, today wasn't really a day in which I could celebrate, because Wednesdays are my busiest days. It was marked by especially cold rainy weather with vicious winds that kind of spoilt my umbrella.

Special things:
- I received Jiejie's birthday card to me on Monday
- I went to my cousin's house yesterday, and she cooked chicken rice (yum!) for dinner and baked me a cake with chocolate icing and sugar roses that were speedily devoured by her children
- I got calls from my parents and my sister: literally held 2 phones with both parties on the line at one point! note: this made me a little late for my lecture.
- Audrey got me a slice of cake from 85 Degrees!
- Gilly got me a brownie!
- Renu wrote me a card!
- I got birthday wishes in person, via SMS and Facebook wall posts from more than 100 people! the ones in person are the best :)

I think a birthday is only as special as you make it out to be (Lin, 2011).

People in Australia seem to make a big thing of turning 21, which is bizarre considering they can do most things when they turn 18. For me, it means I can vote, but I wasn't 21 early enough to vote this month anyway. I don't like the idea of being old - 21 really means that you're an adult, apparently.

I'll be sort of celebrating with my Bible Study group on Friday with another guy's birthday, and then with the Singaporeans in my year with another 2 people's birthdays next week. It begs the question of how important the actual day is. And yet whenever I see the date 25th May pop up anywhere, it makes me feel like it is my special day!

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xuan blogged at 9:55 PM

May your light shine...
in the darkness...

Saturday, May 14, 2011



College Musical Finally Over

As the title indicates, our College production of the musical I Love You Because has finally come to an end after it's three-night run this weekend.

I guess I was pretty excited last year at the prospect of there being a musical rather than a play, and I kind of volunteered to be a choral director without thinking that I actually don't have the vocal training to be one - that was silliness on my part. But I'm glad the directors thought I could help out being the rehearsal pianist and teach the parts to the singers in the musical!

Then I got roped into being one of the keyboardists since I had to learn the songs anyway, as a rehearsal pianist. Thank goodness Audrey played more songs than I did for the actual thing, or I might have gone crazy trying to do it.

While the musical wasn't perfect, if I have to be very honest about it, it definitely was a success in ticket sales and audience response. The best was when one ex-Collegian (who's a very talented music student) complimented the entire production, especially the band!

Tonight was the final performance, and as could be expected, some actors took the liberty to do funny things they hadn't on the past two nights. The funniest was probably when the Chinese-restaurant-manager actress put on a sort-of-Chinese accent - I think it came out as a little Singaporean at the end of her lines, but it was hilarious!

Being the final night means that at the end the producer and directors gave speeches and thanks to all the people involved. And the directors were so sweet - they gave me a gigantic bouquet and gave me special mention in their speech and in the programme booklet! Considering how I can think of five other people at the top of my head who could have easily done my job, I don't think I was as instrumental as they said, but then, Collegians are very affirming and encouraging people!

Now if only I knew how to keep the flowers alive...

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xuan blogged at 10:35 PM

May your light shine...
in the darkness...

Monday, April 25, 2011



FOCUS Church Camp 2011

I just got back from the church camp over the Easter weekend - it feels like no time passed at all while we were there!

I got to sit on the bus with lots of others this year rather than in a car, which I think they generally allocate to people coming for the 1st time. It was nice sitting on the bus and talking to Shiwei, except that the driver kept going fast and braking suddenly.

The theme was riches and money, and the talks were about our attitudes towards riches, while the Bible studies were on Ecclesiastes and the meaning of life. I feel like I know the book of Ecclesiastes a lot better now, even though we only looked at about 6 chapters of it plus the 2 verses at the end (that provided the twist and conclusion).

There were many electives to choose from: I went for the one on Common Grace, which is the idea of how God gives grace to everyone in many ways, but is different from the grace to give us salvation who believe; and the elective on Materialism. It's depressing to realise that you're actually materialistic when you thought you weren't, because materialism isn't the same as extravagance, but stems from discontent.

The talks were about the blessings from God, how we idolise money and give excuses for it, how we should be spending and saving and sharing, and what it means to live the good life and desire good things.

I feel like I got to speak to quite a few people during this camp, and there were lots of conversations about what we learnt, questions that we had etc. I also got to interview people for the FIC blog.

Free time was well spent playing games like Big Taboo, Jungle Speed and Saboteur, plus a game of Captain's Ball that I just watched but had a lot of fun laughing at. The best part was definitely when Simon fell onto poo while attempting to score.

Camp is now over and I'm looking forward to a week off from uni before getting back to the normal grind again. The things we do under the sun are meaningless unless they are done for God - that has everlasting consequences and meaning.

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xuan blogged at 3:46 PM

May your light shine...
in the darkness...


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