Saturday, May 31, 2008

Montage 2008: Tension

Once again, the annual Montage is back again.
This year NUSPS celebrates her 10th Montage with the theme TENSION.
With this special occasion, the 39th MC decided to bring Montage nearer to home and held it at UCC instead of Suntec.
I took charged of the ticketing, aka the ticketing officer.
Things weren't as smooth as it seems as the current committee worked with UCC.
UCC had many don'ts which created many obstacles ahead for the committee right up to the day before the BIG day.

But I must say that this year's montage turnout was better than last years.
The alumni, though I think they were hibernating somewhere, were here to gather too.
And for the first time, the NUSPS big family took a group photo together.

It was rather sad to see the nicely done up exhibition area being torn down after a day of showcase.

(photos by Nicholas)

The NUSPS big family (alumni, seniors, current committee and support team).

Past montage posters (7 out of 10).

Happy 10th anniversary to Montage,

Monday, May 26, 2008

Grinder-Man Workshop 2

I'm back at the workshop again the next day,
With pain throughout my body.
My neck hurts, by back hurts, legs hurt too.
Everyone in the theatre studio was asking if you got any pain.
Later on, Maki would say that it's normal to have pain since we just started learning it.

As usual, we started with warm-ups.
After that, my legs did not hurt that much bcos it was used to the movements.
But my back still hurt a little.
After warm-up, we did the stretching thing again and then walk/run around the room.
The ultimate aim was that there is no one telling us when to change or stop.
Someone has to give initiate the command to the group.
It doesn't matter if you hit someone, it is unavoidable.

The next activity we had was to mentally think of 2 people in the room and try to form an equilateral triangle (triangle with all side of the same length).
And once you get it, you are suppose to jump and shout "yay".
The objective is to get everyone to stop.
Quite a fun game.

Then we did the free air painting,
And the worm in the body activity.
It is a free expression activity which after some time I hated it cos I ran out of ideas.
The worm in the body is to think that there is a worm moving around your body and controlling which ever part it moves to.
The aim of it is to let the worm control your movements and not your mind controlling the worm to control your body parts.

After that, we did the no communications group work.
In groups of 4 or 5, we have to stand in a line as a group and move across the room without any communications.
Someone has to start the movements.

And later, we played the continuous freeze pose game with the black boxes.

The instructors, Hitoshi and Maki

No communications

Continuous freeze pose with black box

Great news, at the end of the workshop, we are told that everyone is selected for the rehearsals and performance.
My very first performance at the Singapore Arts Festival.
Do look out for Ginder-Man.
I'll email all my friends to tell them about it.

More pain to come,

P.s. There is no time for me to take pictures during the workshop so the photos in the entries are taken by esplanade staff and they uploaded them on the Grinder-Man group in Facebook.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Grinder-Man Workshop 1

I went for my first workshop at Esplanade.
The workshop was a prep course for one of the Singapore Arts Festival's performance.
The group conducting the workshop is Grinder-Man.
They are from Japan.
The instructors are Hitoshi and Maki and our wonderful interpreter, Pauline.
Details about them can be found here (but everything is in japanese).

The workshop isn't about dance nor music.
It's about free expressions.
Though the basic skills are taught, the way of expression, such as freeze pose, is up to individuals.
Everyone was very stiff at the beginning of the workshop.
We started off with warm-ups and simple works to soften our joints and muscles.
Then we tried to stretch ourselves as if there is some rope pulling us up and another pull down, and then quickly tug in to make ourselves as small as possible.
It was a swift action.
After that, we did the same stretching thing again but this time, we had to freeze pose and then drop to the floor (like a dead person falling to the ground).
It was quite painful intitally.

We did many things during the 4 hour session.
One of which was to learn how to walk.
We had to find a partner and using our fingers, press on the tail bone (somewhere just above the butt hole), and push your parnter to maker him/her walk forward.
And finally, we played with the black box, which everyone was waiting for.

A quick view of the workshop with the box (from facebook group album).

I had a big bruise on my left knee and my back is hurting badly by the end of the workshop.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Should I have taken it up at first?

Was it a wise choice for me to volunteer myself to be the ticketing officer for Montage?
I never foresee myself to end up so unhappy doing it.
I getting tired of this.
Very tried.
No one has been able to understand my feelings.
No one has been able to understand my thoughts.
Why can't most of the things flow as I wanted them to be?

I feel that I'm a shit worker doing ticketing,
Selling tickets to don't know what kind of event.
I don't feel like a ticketing officer.
I don't feel part of Montage.

I'm not a wonder woman.
I don't have magical powers.
I cannot create miracles.
Things don't come out with a snap of my fingers.

You say that I'm given the space to have my plans running.
Since when was I given the chance to sit down and discuss about my plans?
You tell me that the committee wants to do this this this for ticketing,
I said NO.
You never asked for my opinion,
And threw at me the whole lot why it's better to follow what the committee wants.
What kind of ticketing officer does the committee treat me as?

I was not asked to attend meetings.
I'm fine with that.
But the least could be done was to update me on any progress I needed to take note of.
Not the other way round.
I don't know what was discussed during meetings,
I don't know how far the progress has gone.
I'm very sure that ticketing was never on the agenda list.
Because no one borders to ask me to update them.

I took the initiative to post the progress occassionally.
No one showed concerned about it.
And people can still come and ask me about the progress after that.
What does my post mean to the committee.
I'm not posting for fun.
Nor to boast how much work I've done.

I had to verbally asked how many helpers they got for Montage.
They told me 3.
What can you do with 3 helpers?
There are more models than helpers.
Luckily I asked.

I told one of the committee members that I intend to resign from my post of a Ticketing Officer.
And I thought it could just be a one-one sharing of how I felt.
Eventually I managed to tell myself to carry on for Montage and not for the committee.

What exactly is my role in Montage?
I don't know.
The view is so hazy...

Monday, May 19, 2008

I've been invited to...

Just checked my NUS email.
Noticed that I received an email regarding the Main Commencement Ceremony.
And on further reading of the email it says:

3. Congratulations! You have been selected by your Faculty (subject to the conferment of your degree by 30 June 2008) to be part of the privileged portion of the 2008 graduating cohort to be presented at C1 in lieu of the ceremony scheduled for your home faculty. C1 is scheduled for 7 July 2008 (Monday) at 11.00 am.

I did not expect myself to be selected for the main ceremony.
I had read briefly before about this main ceremony where only selected graduates get to attend.
Little did I expect myself to receive the invitation too.

Now, I have to think about it.
1. receive the scroll during the main ceremony from the Chancellor of NUS and sit in as an audience for my Maths dept session (faculty ceremony)
2. decline the invitation to main ceremony and receive scroll together with my coursemates from the Science Dean (or someone from the Science Faculty).

Which one should I go to???
Anyone can tell me?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

First studio shoot

Did my first studio shoot with the East Shooters today.
Many first times.
My first outing with them,
My first studio shoot.
Model's first time too.

The model

The group shot

More of the studio shots can be found here.


Friday, May 16, 2008

New Shipment has arrived

My new orders have arrived today.
This time, the orders are mainly reading books (not textbooks).
After finish reading the book "The Man who Knew Infinity", I was craving for more books on Number Theorists.
Hence, I went to search for new books to read.
But after a few dissapointing tries on the national libraries, I decided to give up and buy the books from amazon.
I wonder who the delivery man was cos the package always land on my table when I reach home (that's bcos I'm usually home late :P)

A much smaller package this time since it contains only reading books

Book 1: The Man Who Loved Only Numbers by Paul Hoffman

Book 2: The Code Book by Simon Singh

Book 3: My Brain is Open by Bruce Schechter

There are 2 more books making their way to my house.
Should be able to get them tomorrow or on Tuesday.
2 packages, shipped on the same day, arriving on different days.

More readings to feed myself with,

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Man Who Knew Infinity

While in the course of learning Number Theory in MA4263, I gradually grew interest in this area of Mathematics. Through the course, Prof Chan told us many stories of famous mathematicians he has met before and stories of great mathematicians in Number Theory. There's G.H. Hardy, dela Valle Poisson, Hadarmard, Selberg, Paul Erdos, Adolf J. Hildebrand and others whom I can't recall their names. But of all, S. Ramanujan had very interesting stories about his life in becoming the greatest mathematician India has ever produced.

Ramanujan was born in India with no proper education degree as he never manage to pass any school exams. His main interest was in mathematics, neglecting all other subjects. His only activity is sitting somewhere comfortable with his slate and pencil and noisy writings on his slate as he drift away in this mathematical thoughts. From young, Ramanujan came up with many mathematical 'results' on his own (some of which were already been found ages ago in the western part of the world while some became very interesting results as found by other mathematicians later). With no proper training in mathematics, Ramanujan did not know where he was right or wrong in his mathematical arguments. Neither did he know that some of the results which he found out by himself were already made know in the western countries.

Ramanujan tried very hard to approach many significant people in his hometown to help get his mathematics works recognised but no one could help him. It was until a letter from Ramanujan to a mathematician in Cambridge, G.H. Hardy, in which Ramanujan sort to seek help from freed up Ramanujan's mind to wonder freely into mathematics. Hardy felt that Ramanujan was a gem which has not been excavated.

Ramanujan gradually grew recognition when he went over to Cambridge to work on his notebook (which contains all the results he found) with Hardy. The results of this genius was widely spread amgonst the mathematicians in Cambridge and back in India. But Ramanujan's health took the plunge in Cambridge as the WWI came due to his strict vegetarian diet and long work whole day long with no one to take care of him.

Ramanujan died at the age of 33 due to tubercolosis.

The elmo thing you see there is acutally my bookmark.

It's so sad that such a genius man in mathematics died young.
One famous result from him is the Hardy-Ramanujan number: 1729
While sick in the hospital bed, Ramanujan could still explain the number which Hardy told him about the taxi having such a boring number plate.
It is the smallest number which can be expressed as a sum of 2 cube in two different ways.

Go borrow the book if you are interested.
I'm almost finishing mine.

Elmo zooms in to keep your spot,

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sushi Buffet

I've finished my last paper this morning.
The paper was bad to the extend that don't think anyone managed to complete the whole paper.
Out of 12 questions, I managed to complete 8+ questions within the 2 hours period.
And the last test question came out again and I couldn't complete the whole question.
The regular surface was another problem as the function was rather disgusting to get numercial values of x, y and z.

With the end of the last paper, I end my exams in NUS.
Jeanbean called me suddenly at about 3.45pm, asking me if I want to go and eat sushi buffet.
I joined him with 2 other malaysian friends at Sakae Sushi at Harborfront.
We could order anything on the menu as long as it cost $2.29.
No red plate from the sushi belt (which are tempting to go round and round pass our table).
Seriously, I think the sushi we ordered are much better in taste than those on the sushi belt.
Don't even know how long the sushi have been going round the belt.
The soft shell crab handroll was nice.
The fried tofu was delicious.

Jeanbean with mouth full posing with the 46 plates.

Aftermath of the sushi buffet.

Jeanbean and Thomas.

In total on the table, we cleared 46 plates.
But in actual fact, it should be more than 46 plates bcos they combine the plates for some of the orders.
Dessert was black sesame mochi ice-cream and watermelon.
For normal sushi, Sakae is ok.


Monday, May 5, 2008

Another shipment has arrived

My second shipment for the books I've order on Amazon has arrived.
This is book 3 out of the 3 books I ordered.
The other 2 books were shipped out earlier.

The book came in a cupboard cardboard wrap form since it was just one book.
It was quite interesting to see how the books are being shipped to my house from US.

My book wrapped in a cupboard cardboard envelope.

Behind the parcel, I'm suppose to tear the tab to open.
(I shot this after I tore it.)
Pull tab to open.

The book is nicely kepy in place within the perfect fit of the cupboard cardboard envelope.

Book 3: Intro. to Analytic and Probabilistic Number Theory by Gerald Tenenbaum.

The hardcover book is the glossy cover which all the hardcover books now are.
The one I borrowed from the library was an old copy (i think).
Thought it is also hardcover, but the material was more cloth-like kind.
It's nice to hold and has those old book kind of sound.

More number theory to come,


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