Wednesday, March 21, 2007

An Amalgam of Updates

It's been raining quite often here in Singapore - yesterday, the sky was a perpetual gray, and today you can barely see past the horizon. Everything's gray and wet and cool, which is something I've always enjoyed in terms of weather.

Still, I'm not looking forward to squelching my way towards the bus stand again. Since it's about a five-minute walk from my block to the bus stop, and the path cuts through a grove of trees whose soil turns into mud whenever the rain comes. And it doesn't help that my sneakers are dying a slow and painful death: there are more holes than canvas, and what used to be a pale pink is now more of a muddy gray. I really need to get new sneakers...

Hopefully, the stipend comes this weekend. I'm sick and tired of this hand-to-mouth existence.

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We've starting this Friday night dinner thing with a bunch of classmates this semester, owing to the fact that there's quite a number of new faces that came in, and also because after awhile, M and I get quite lonely when it's just the two of us - especially since we're together pretty much the rest of the week anyway.

So last Friday, we had myself and M, Lorie and Gene and Justine (all Filipinos), Angie (who's Chinese-Malaysian), Raras (who's Indonesian), Grace (from Taiwan), and Sonal (from India). So yeah, we're quite an international bunch, and except for Gene, we're all girls. Well, actually, Gene can be considered a girl already...or at least getting close to that divide. As usual, we ended up at the Cheese Prata Shop along Clementi, since it was one of three places where we could have dinner and be near the bus stop. And as usual, service was so slow that I almost forgot that I was hungry (took them almost thirty minutes to serve my meal!) and there were various conversations going around. After all, you can't have nine people in a group and not expect to have voices criss-crossing across the table.

I've missed conversations like these - it's always rare to fit in so well with a group that you've barely known, although obviously M and I are friends, and I've known Raras and Grace since last semester, since we all came in at the same time, but somehow, everything seems more lively now, more exciting. We were all trading stories and sharing some insane anecdotes about each others' lives and home countries and bursting into random peals of laughter. And finally! Finally, the Pinoys are the largest contingent now - four of us! Whereas last semester, it was only Nathan and I, and we'd periodically hang out with each other, just to be able to code switch. Now, it seems so much easier to just transliterate and communicate, even with such an international group around. I luff it! ^_^

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In other news, all my presentations are done for the semester. First paper deadline in a couple of weeks, but somehow, I'm more confident of my writing skills as opposed to my presentational skills. Perhaps the only class where I speak very freely is in my Lyric class, but it's only because of the instinctive grasp of the subject and the fact that Yeo Wei Wei is the bestest, most excellentest professor I've had since I started this program. (Sadly, she's leaving the university next semester; we're her last class EVER.)

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Someone should really stop me from reading fanfics.

Last semester, the only thing that anchored me to sanity was House MD, which, sadly, is not making a run this time around (Season 3, where art thou?) and American Idol is becoming more and more disappointing with each passing week. So what do I do? End up immersing myself in fanfiction in between reading torturous essays about postcolonialism and narrative structures. Although I must say I'm looking forward to writing my Lyric term paper, because at least I'll be working through Louise Gluck, and her poetry's always something I love sinking my teeth into. ^_^

But with a month to go, I just realized that there's so much on my plate: freelance stuff that I can't say no to (it's always extra cash, and nobody says no to extra cash, especially not me); the research project bibliography; papers to write and exams to prepare for; collections to submit for possible publication - the ball just keeps on rolling and rolling. At least I'm glad that the initiative is there, a welcome change from last year's Amazingly Un-creative Rut that puts all my other ruts to shame.

Still. I'm looking forward to being able to accomplish much, particularly in the excellent three-month break that NUS is giving us. Looking forward to seeing old friends, traveling around the Philippines, and just getting back into writing. ^_^

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