Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Happy Holidays!: It's Nice to Feel Appreciated Every Once in a While...



I do my volunteer work because I enjoy it--it's my way of keeping sane...So I never expect anything in return. As long as they're willing to vouch I was there when I said I was there when the need arises, I'm pretty much set.




One of the cards...



So it came as a lovely surprise these two weeks or so when I go in and find a little card or two waiting for me. The first surprise was the hospital, who gave each and every volunteer a card thanking them, and a personal pocket planner for the new year.

Then I went to the Disability Services Office (DSO) on campus and found another card there, with a gift voucher to the cineplex...




Sesame Street! Lol, I love puppets...



And then one of the ladies I help, who knows I love Elmo (and she happens to share a soft spot for the little red muppet) gave me a book-gift on the History of Sesame Street "just for light reading; and it's a selfish buy so don't feel bad--I get to borrow it anytime, ok?"...





Oooh...Chocolates! Definitely the way to my heart...;)



And today, I go in to write my finals (Ergh, Advanced Statistics!), and what do I find? A box of chocolates waiting for me bright and early...




I have had a habit, for quite a while now, of giving out cards to people who've gone out of their way to help me in the year, and I never got it why people are so touched when you give it to them (it's just a card!).

Now I know...It's especially sweet because you didn't expect it, and it's just nice to feel appreciated every once and a while...=)



Happy Holidays, everyone!





Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Dreaming into the Past...



I had a dream last night, which woke me up mid-way. I'm taking a dreams class this term, and while I now have such wonderful recall of my dreams, it's really annoying because I now have to write every dream down otherwise it bugs me. Of course, it's also annoying if it turns out that I had a nightmare that night (barely happens, thankfully).






With Chee Keong...



For some reason, in my dream, I had images of quite some children that I used to work with. Chee Keong was in it, so was Aisya, so were the kids from the Riding for the Disabled program (RDA), so were some of the children who were in the hydrotherapy program.





With Aisya and mum...I wonder how the little girl is doing?



I don't usually wake up mid-way from my dreams, and something told me I should analyse this dream, and I did (geez, I did a full dream interpretation in the middle of the night).



And for some reason, the insight that I got from this was that people in Canada don't know me much at all. Lol.


Barely anybody knows about the life I shared with Chee Keong (except a handful), the work I did with Aisya or all the other children, the many years I spent with The BRATs, and all the other stuff.





Building a playground for the children of Kampung Parit with The Star's BRATs...



People here are so darn good at talking about their work. I have to learn to do that wayyyy more than what I'm doing now.



I mean, heck, if I ever go to my professors and ask them to write me a recommendation letter, the only thing they'll probably be able to say is that I work hard and all the other stuff they see in their labs and their class.

(But then again, I guess grad-school doesn't care?)



Heck, I bet I could write them a better letter if they ever needed one, lol. After all, they always talk about their kids, and their teenage years, and their husband/wife/dog/cat etc!



Sunday, 29 November 2009

We've Become Friends...



A few weeks ago, I wrote about this old lady whose room I passed who was moaning and crying in pain and who kept saying "I promise I won't bug you anymore" everytime I got her something...She was definitely very miserable the last time, and as I held her hand and she eventually went to sleep after about an hour, I whispered a little prayer for her.

Before I left her room, I left her a little note on her bedside table wishing her well.


Imagine my surprise when I went in to the hospital this week, and this happy old lady greeted me! I knew something about her was familiar but I couldn't really place her, having seen countless of happy old people. But there was something about her that felt vaguely familiar.


I went about my daily routine, and found myself in one-wing of the hospital that I only go to if I have the time (it's under my jurisdiction, but I usually don't have time to cover there), and I saw her again, and this time, she called my name.

She: "Daphne, it's me, X. You left me a card and I still have it!"

Me: "Oh my God!!!"



At that point, I was going to cry. She looked amazing. For someone who could barely lift her head a few weeks ago, here she was sitting on a chair, reading a book.


Me: "You look great! The last time I saw you..........."

She: "Yeah...You helped. Thanks, sweetie"

Me: "Hey, you wanna go for a walk? I could wing you a wheelchair and we could sneak out"

She: "Ooooh, that would be awesome"...



The nurses were alright with it, and even gave us the suggestion of going to the coffeehouse, so I dropped all the other stuff I was supposed to do, and the two of us made our way there. The old dear even asked all the nurses and staff if she could bring them a coffee or a donut!


On the way:-

She: "You'll let me buy you a coffee and a muffin, right? You have to. I'll be depressed if you won't"


I finally agreed to a coffee...



And so, we spent another hour or so together. And she invited me to come visit her at home ("When I get out of this place, of course!")...



But this is the first time a patient has remembered my name, a few weeks later.

And what a stark contrast from the first time I saw her...

No more "I promise I won't bug you anymore": We've become friends...






Wednesday, 18 November 2009

"I Was Trying Out for the National Ballet..."




Image taken from here...




Apparently, I am a little bit clumsy...

But I didn't know how clumsy I was until today...


I was on my way home yesterday, with my mug of coffee when I tripped, and did a magnificent ballerina splat on the staircase, on the way up...


Yes, I fell going upwards...





Such was my unique way of falling that one ankle was on the sixth step and my knee was on the edge, five steps up. I literally looked like I did a split, on the staircase. The two girls who were outside enjoying the sunshine, after recovering from their shock of me tripping were admiring how I managed to fall so flexibly...and painfully, I might add!


So, of course, I am now limping...again...



Needless to say, people have been asking why the limp...Like I said, I didn't realise I was such a klutz, until I started meeting people...


And just my luck, Wednesday's the day that I spend the entire day within the maze of the Psychology Department offices and labs, so all I do is bump into profs and the like.




Class last night

Super-Nice Prof: "You hurt your foot again?" *Grins* (She calls me Hoppy)


Oww...Usually, people say, "did you hurt yourself?"




Today

Supervisor-Prof: "Which part did you hurt this time?"

Me: "Knee"

She: "What happened?"

Me: "I was trying out for the National Ballet"

She: *SNORT* *Choke on coffee*

Me: "What???"

She: "You?!? You have to find a better more believable cover. You're such a klutz!"




Bumped into TA in the Hallway...

TA: "Oh dear, what happened?"

Me: "Hurt myself trying for the National Ballet!"

TA: "Oh come on, hon. What happened?" *Laughs*

Me: "Why won't anyone believe me?...I fell..." *Rolls eyes*

TA: "Now, that's more likely!"





The coordinator of the Psyc Department


She: "Now what did you do to yourself?"

Me: "National Ballet tryouts!"

She:"No, really, Daphne..."

Me: "You people really don't believe me! Why?"

She: "Because you of all people don't have time for that!"


Me: "You're kind. XYZ said I was a klutz"

She: "No, you're not" *Laughs*



Oh, finally. Somebody who was kind...


LOL...




Friday, 6 November 2009

Of Body Worlds and The Sound of Music...



It's back to the grind this week after a short break for a week.

Didn't feel like much of a break though, since I was busy paying back the hours I had missed in the lab when I came down with the cold and my professor threw me out (H1N1 paranoia!) and busy trying to finish all my assignments and study for my midterms as well!



But I did manage to visit Toronto for two days and go and see two things I've been looking forward to, courtesy of my two very generous cousins. I got to visit the Body Worlds Exhibit, where they showcase real-life human specimens that have been plastinated. The World Tour was held at the Ontario Science Centre, and it was really darn cool, seeing the human body preserved like that. The focus of the fair was the story of the heart.




My friend, Angie, and me, at the Ontario Science Centre...



I wasn't too happy because I felt the organisers were a bunch of money-making leeches--they charge you extra if you wanted a set of audio-recordings to accompany you on the tour, and I felt that was ridiculous.

Some people who visit the fair could very well have a reading-disability and/or have low vision and not be able to read the exhibition material, and NEED the audio-recording. So it's NOT fair to charge for something you have no control of, especially since the entry-tickets are like $ 30 to begin with.


But besides that fact (and that the security in charge of the fair (not the Ontario Science Centre in general, whose staff were helpful and polite) were quite rude), the exhibit itself was good.





That's one loooong cow! Seen in Toronto, outside the Princess of Wales Theatre...



And then we went to see The Sound of Music at the Princess of Wales Theatre! Amazing...enough said...It's a timeless classic, after all.

I would have loved to see the actual Julie Andrews in her youth play Maria, but then again, she's a legend!






Check out the parking rates for the Princess of Wales Theatre! Lol...Smart car gets half price...


Thursday, 22 October 2009

"I Promise I Won't Bug You Anymore"...


I am taking a course in Psychology of Intimate Relationships this term, and in it, we study the aspects of all forms of relationships, from close friendships, sexual relationships, to casual friendships that we encounter on the street. And I must say, it is perhaps one of the most interesting courses I have taken.


One thing which I found fascinating was the study of emotion and body language, which humans are said to be able to read very well. You know what Custom Officials study when deciding who to question and search at the airport? Body language, of course!



Which brings me to this post...

I was at the hospital today, and while bringing blankets to one particular old lady who was using her puffer, she remarked jokingly that "man, breathing is such a chore", to which I said "oh, put on your big girl panties and suck it up", to which we both burst out laughing...




It was a good idea to put a smile on her face, but a pretty bad one because she needed another three puffs after that!

She was smilling and thanking me for the warm blankets and after every request (which she thanked me profusely for), she would say "I promise I won't bug you anymore"...



And it was while I was filling the fridge, which was near her room, that I heard her crying in pain. That poor old dear was going through chemotherapy and was writhing in pain but she didn't want to bug anyone, not even her own nurse, which is one very sweet young thing. And I knew they had just given her painkillers when I brought her the blankets, but they were obviously not working.

And so I felt sorry for her and slipped in and sat with her for a while, and asked if she wanted me to sit with her till she fell asleep. It WAS part of my job after all, to keep patients company!



And you know what, she said "no, it's fine, but thank you so much, could you please lower my bed, I promise I won't bug you anymore"...

Ok, I know she said she didn't want me there, but Body Language 101 said otherwise...



I slipped my hand into hers and she grabbed mine back instantly, and this time, she said, "Thank You for sitting with me"...



Darn!

That $120 textbook was right! We read body language better than we know it. We just gotta trust our instincts better. I wonder how many times I've walked pass an old person who really wanted someone to sit with them but thought they were a burden, and I didn't trust my instincts, and instead spent my time doing other stuff?




Sunday, 4 October 2009

Easing Back Into University...




Gail and me: Two overworked and tired university students, out to get some fresh air...



I know I'm tired when my very small eyes are even smaller than they usually are (see above), and they're puffy...

I know other people know I'm tired when my professor suggests I skip classes so I can have the day to myself...



This is what happens when you don't get a full holiday like everyone else, and just when you were enjoying your break, you have to drag your bum back to classes!

Besides that, it's been a pretty fun semester so far. I'm enjoying my classes (can't say the same about the workload, but well) and even most of the assignment-contents, and heck, I found a job this time around.



It was pretty much the perfect job for me. I get to combine my experience contributing to the newspaper along with my volunteer work experience, as I know am an Outreach Coordinator for a group that does alot of well, outreach work for marginalised groups.

Just last week, I got to see the workings of the food cupboard, which I must say is a really swell idea. The cupboard feeds about, on average, 200 people in the community a month, and everyone is welcome. Some families get a weekly supply, while for everyone else, they are welcomed to drop by whenever the cupboard is open.



University events too sometimes support the program. For example, instead of charging a cover-entry to the bar, they might decide to one night do a 'bring-two-cans-of-food-in-exchange-for-entry'.

Looks like I'll have my hands full this year. But that's the point of an education right? To gain as much experience as possible! And staying busy's just the way I like it...;)




Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Meme: Save Yvonne's Sight








I was tagged by Aunty Maria of Tok Mummy to Save Yvonne's Sight. I have been ridiculously busy for the past two weeks; this will be a short post-the only reason I'm doing this is because I think everyone deserve's their vision and hearing! So people, feel free to pass this along, ok?




Yvonne Foong (go read her blog for the full story) has the very rare condition called Neurofibromatosis Type II (NF II), which should not be confused with NF I. NF II is an autosomal dominant condition that causes benign tumours to grow in her brain, spine and peripheral nerves, and is distinguish from NF I by the presence of bilateral acoustic neuromas (among others). Yvonne was diagnosed at the age of 16.



"Yvonne, who runs a blog www.yvonnefoong.com is the author of I’m Not Sick, Just A Bit Unwell, (picture), has been raising money on her own to pay for her operations, is losing her eyesight. The operation is due in December and once again she needs to raise funds for it. The cost of the surgery is USD44,000 (RM154,770) and the cost of her hospital stay for two weeks is USD915 or RM3219."

"She has already raised RM10,000 of this but obviously still has a long way to go. She's hoping to raise the rest by republishing her book I'm Not Sick, Just A Little Bit Unwell in English and Chinese.The books are now available in Malaysian bookshops and from her website store. She is also selling T-shirts at bazaars and via her web site store. You can read about her surgery and donate to her fund here."



You can also help by sending on this meme. If you do, please follow these meme rules:

1. Create a blog entry titled "Meme: Save Yvonne's Sight"

2. List three things you love to see. Add in the picture of Yvonne's book cover. The URL is http://www.yvonnefoong.com/images/banner/my-story.jpg

3. End with the line, "Yvonne Foong is in danger of losing her eyesight thanks to neurofibromatosis (NF).


Please find out how you can help her by visiting her blog at http://www.yvonnefoong.com."

4. Tag 5 blog friends. Be sure to copy the rules, OK?


5. If you have a Facebook account, please check out Ellen's new invention, a "feme" pronounced FEEM, a meme designed for Facebook here. And if you want to blog about NF, that would be great too!





The 3 things I would love to see are:

1) My family...

2) The smile on a baby, especially my dear Chee Keong...

3) A cure for movement disorders (a research interest of mine)...



The 5 People I Tag are:

1) The Razzler

2) Akmal

3) Kak Pi

4) Ae Mi

5) NightWing



Ok, done!

Friday, 4 September 2009

From Across the Island and Atop the Double-Decker Bus...



Ok, so I guess once again my blog was lying dormant for quite a while...I guess I was just too busy being lazy and watching Everybody Loves Raymond and all the other sitcoms!

It's nice doing that once in a while, you know?



I'm having a nice holiday at the moment, and am dreading the end of it. Am looking foward to my super-duper exciting classes that are beginning in slightly more than a week and to moving back to university next week and to all those glorious work I have to do and to all that staying-up late and those never-ending assignments (you can tell I'm just psyching myself up, can't you?).

Oh well, that's why I'm in Canada, aren't I? LOL!


Anyway, it's been a good holiday!




The group posing on Centre Island with Toronto Mainland as the backdrop...The tallest point is the CN-Tower...



My aunt took me to Centre Island, the largest of the Toronto Islands, for a weekend retreat during one of the weekends. In terms of how far it is from mainland Toronto, it is about 15-20 minutes by ferry, and was very picturesque, and was very much a combination of Pulau Jerejak (entertainment and sports), Pulau Mabul (beach housing and pier) and Penang Island (docks and airport).





From left: Marabeth, Ken, Me and Ee Lynn, aboard the ferry to Centre Island...



We spent the day walking and cycling round the island, and it was altogether a beautiful day, although I got quite a tan! Not my intention, I tell you...It took me a whole Fall and Winter to get rid of it!




Posing in front of Centre Island's Fire Station, while waiting for the QuadruCycle to catch up...





How do we move this thing? What? We ALL have to paddle?



There was even a rather hilarious moment when my cousin and I thought we were being chased by a flock of approximately 30 geese, and proceeded to run helter-skelter (eh, they can pinch, ok?), before we realised they were heading for the water! Oh, what a sight!




Same flock of geese, now dispersed, waddling calmly...




See the geese' feet up paddling? Cute!




Look ma, ladder! Lol...I love things that hang from trees!





After that, I went on a 3-day tour of Toronto city, atop a double-decker bus. Got an even worse tan!



Look, ma! Handsome man, 2 o' clock!




The tour of Toronto was awesome, actually. It was a hop-on-and-off tour, again, courtesy of my aunt.



Home of CP-24, a news channel, based in Toronto...



I seem to remember a similar advert in KL? Near a roundabout near University Hospital?





A pink cement truck!



Among the sights caught in Toronto, perhaps the most heart-warming was this pink-cement-truck. The city's cement trucks have been painted pink, in support of breast-cancer awareness! I mean I've seen tote-bags, and pens, and the whole paraphernalia, and even cooking pans and furniture, but a cement-truck?!?!?




Me and Marabeth, with Downtown Toronto as backdrop...



I went on it for all 3-days, and got to see quite a bit, everything from Chinatown, to Greektown, to Italytown, to Gay Village (yes, you heard me right; gay marriages are legal here) to the movie industry area, the Distillery area, and loads more. It was indeed eye-opening!


For example, I know where to go when I need to write my assignment on homosexuality and bisexuality in the winter.




The adverts are tailored to the needs of the community. Beer advert in the Church-Wellesley area, also known as Gay Village...




In between, I caught up with a friend from university who was in the city, the only friend I managed to see...




Me and Andrew...





And then I attended the Busker Fest 2009, a 4-day event in support of Epilepsy Toronto. There were fire-eaters, contortionists, puppeteers, vaudeville performers etc. My favourite was Dado from Germany. He was funny, and generous. He actually paid a kid who volunteered from the crowd, which I thought was swell, since he's a street performer.





Elvis Impersonator dancing with a child, at the BuskerFest...




The puppet troupe I volunteer with, well, they performed too! Not the team I volunteer with, but the Toronto division. I wanted to catch them, just to see how the Toronto-troupe do their acts, but the timing wasn't right...

All I know is we reach about 27 000 child yearly in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) alone!







Rainforest Cafe! It even comes with thunderstorms at regular intervals...



And I'm sure you know by now how much this little piggy loves to eat, right? Well, this short holiday alone, my aunts and uncles have taken me to eat just about everything. I've had everything from Malaysian, Thai, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Afghan, Indian, Italian, French, to 'Western', so my palate has been satisfied.


And what we couldn't get, we cooked.




Pineappple Pie!




Tried my hand at baking pineapple-pie (fatter version of jam-tart), pulut-inti, ang-ku (less colouring, so they're peachy-ku's), and also re-did my chocoloate-chip cookies, but added almonds and peanut butter chips!

I have a pair of river terrapins at home in Malaysia, named Ding and Dong...I miss them! I wanted a set of three (so I could call them Ding Dong Bell!!!), so when I made the ang-ku's, I made one with a head, legs and a tail, and called 'her' Bell...




Lol...




Introducing, Bell, the Peachy-ku (pre-steamed)...




Sigh...School starts soon...

Boohoo...



At least I had a good holiday (Thanks, Ah Ee's, Uncles and Cousins!)! I'm looking forward to seeing the rats anyhow...Lol...;)



Note: This blog will not tolerate homophobic, anti-homosexual etc comments...



PS: Next post! What Daphne's done to her hair! Muahaha...



Thursday, 20 August 2009

Of Broadway and Saying Goodbye...




Me and Christine...(We even have similar glasses!)



It is now the holidays! And I am enjoying it...


I said goodbye to my friend, Christine, just last week. Christine and I worked together in the Rat-Room, as we call it. We both were initially apprehensive about having to work with each other, but it turns out leng-chai-prof's (LCP) instinct's about our personalities were spot on, when he paired us together.

Amazing how he got it right, because we are surprisingly similar. We like the same types of food, we have similar pet-peeves, our social interests are similar, we coo over the same things, and we even like the same types of names. And we both love chocolate.

Christine's moving to Kingston--I'm gonna miss her.



In the meantime, the holidays are superb...How wonderful is it not to have deadlines or work? This is the life!




Jersey Boys!



My aunts took me to see the Jersey Boys, a Broadway production staged in the Toronto Centre for the Arts, last night. The Jersey Boys is based on the story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. For those going huh, who? Think of the song, 'Walk like a Man'...


Now, before anybody starts making comments that these singers are not from my generation, remember, I watched Johnny Mathis ;)


This time, no trouble getting in! No hassle about having to show ID...






Contented lot after the show...



We went in a group of eight, and were split up (we sat in pairs, in four rows, back-to-back), and the only complaint we had was this annoying woman who decided to be a self-appointed running soundtrack.

She not only sang along, she decided to outsing the singers on stage, and louder. I glared at her at every opportunity I got (she sat diagonally behind me), but she ignored me, and finally, during intermission, my friends and I staged a loud conversation about how annoying her singing was. And how we pay money to hear professionals and not someone next to us.



But I think the thing that clinched it was when my cousin remarked that they should have a show just for people who want to sing along, with karaoke lyrics on the stage, so they won't bug others. Lol...


My cousin and I are waiting for The Sound of Music to have student discounts (now the seats are still hot, so no students prices). Those Student Cards university students hold can get you places here in Canada!


Sunday, 2 August 2009

Celebrating the Anniversary of a Year Gone By...




Oh my gosh! In exactly a week from today, I will have been in Canada for a year...Yeah, you heard it right...A year!


My summer classes are coming to an end in a week, and as much as I look forward to it being over because I want a break, I know that every week that passes is one step closer to the cold returning. Summer is just perfect, because although hot, it's not as hot as Malaysia!


One of my professors, Dr. Liana Brown, treated us (her lab members) to lunch just before the weekend. It was nice meeting the other people in the lab. As much as I am looking forward to break, I know I will miss the labs for some peculiar reason, lol. And because this world is just sooo small ;), it turns out one of the lab members, Davood, happens to have studied in Malaysia for a couple of years (and he gives the thumbs-up for Malaysian food!)!




Clockwise from left: Davood, Andrew, Meaghan, Dr. Liana Brown and me...




Up close!




Sigh...As much as I miss family, home (my doggies, bed and Scooby-Doo pillow!), friends and food, I must say I am happy here--it's just a different world altogether...Thank heavens for that, otherwise I will be very miserable throughout the year!

Canada is really beautiful (except when they have garbage strikes!), and here's just a few snapshots to take you through the different seasons. Who will believe it's the same country?!?





Spring! In the park...




Summer! Otonabee houses the Psychology Department...




Autumn! Gorgeous view, ain't it? It's the West Bank of the university...




Winter! Brrrr...Canadian winters are brutal! The building in front of you is Otonabee, the same building shown in the Summer picture...




Wow, four seasons captured in picture...

In the meantime, my exams are this week, so I'll disappear for a while. After that, it will be a short break before I return to another 8 months of full-time study (whoa, talk about testing my stamina)...Thankfully, my courses next year sound interesting enough. Heck, one of them is the study and analysis of dreams (Let's see if I can lucid dream... ;))!


And I'm looking forward to Mother-Goose and puppeting again, that's for sure!





Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Pat A Cookie, Pat A Cookie!...



So what has Daphne been up to? Trying to be a housewife, that's what!


And am very proud to say there's been no disaster, yet...Lol...

Let's just say 3 people have been extraordinarily kind to me (2 of which happen to be my professors), and went out of their way to show their kindness (which I never expected at all). Touched by their gesture, and after discussing with mum about the appropriateness, I have decided to reciprocate by sending them a tiny 'Thank You' gift...


So what can a broke college student do, that is nice, and yet will work nicely for the pocket?

Bake! That's what...Lol...




Chocolate batter...Needless to say we found excuses left-and-right to eat the batter!



Eh, not bad lar ok? Our (me and a friend) first real attempt at baking from scratch, and we came up with a nice set of cookies, so not bad lar, ok?





Super-sinfully-chocolatey chocolate-chip cookies!




And the final product!



In the end, we had enough left-over for me and my friend to enjoy among ourselves. And heck, each 'pot' of cookies (see above) came up to like $4-5, which is great! All thanks to Dollarama, where you can get the pots, ribbons and and plastic wrap for like a dollar (highest would be $2) each!






And a tired Daphne goes to sleep on the floor...;)




And what do we do at the end of the day? Laze like a cat lor...Lol!






Thursday, 23 July 2009

"I'm Stupid; I Can't Even Feed Myself"...



People who know me well know there are 3 things which tug at my heartstrings, and which I have a very soft-spot for...

1) Children, especially the exceptional ones...

2) Animals...

3) Old people...



Today was hospital-volunteering day, and today, after I was done with most of my work, one nurse approached me and asked if I was busy because she needed a favour. When I told her no, she replied that she had a 'super-duper' job for me, if I was willing.

Sure, but what was it?



I had to feed a lady who was about 90 years-old, who was terrily miserable because she could not guide her spoon to her mouth and had made a mess all over herself and the floors when she spilled all her water and juice...

Uh-oh...

The moment I saw her, I could feel myself getting all sad.

Uh-oh...



We spent over an hour just to finish 3/4 of a muffin, and half a cup of yoghurt because it was mountain of an effort for her just to swallow...

The poor old dear kept saying thank you and saying how stupid she was that she couldn't feed herself because her tremors were so advanced (her hands were constantly shaking even when her hands were resting on the bed)...

And she held onto my free hand practically throughout...




Haih...I guess I always spend time in hospitals where I get teary-eyed. In Ipoh Hospital, it was all the special needs kids, over here, where more than half of the patients I come into contact with are very old, it's people like her who make me feel all teary-eyed.



But as much as I used to feel it was a liability, one nurse put things into perspective a while back: She said the one thing which makes me actually sit there is because I actually feel. So maybe my tears make me more effective.


I think she may be right, after all...

Cos I surely wouldn't have sat there for over an hour if I didn't feel sorry for that nice old lady...



Sunday, 19 July 2009

Of Summer, Rats and Stews...





From left: Me, Angie and Irene, at a sushi restaurant, treating ourselves after finishing a mountain of work...




Geez...This is not turning out to be the summer I thought it would be...I thought it would be lazing by the pool, sipping juices, reading some novel or two, watching Scooby-Doo, Everybody Loves Raymond, with my two feet in the air...





Instead I'm reading many books (none of which I actually want to read), about 10 metres away from the pool, and trying to make sense of a bunch of numbers and graphs I really don't care much for. The weather has also been a little temperamental, judging by the number of times I got rained on, despite checking the weather forecast...Truly Canada!



Despite doing slightly less volunteer work over the summer (schools are closed, for one, so no puppet shows), I seem to be a whole lot busier. Guess the whole compressed summer class is just taking a toll on my mental resources...



Lab work, although a whole new world, and alot of fun, comes with its downfalls as well. After a hullaballoo just last week, where I unfortunately, ended in tears in the lab (my soft spot for animals just could not handle the animal shocks*) and was subsequently removed from the lab for the day by LCP (leng-chai prof), it's turning out to be pretty interesting.

I guess LCP has different dynamics in the lab to handle when his assistants are females and when they're males. The females for example, name the rats ;) and coo at them, and they also get teary-eyed (I'm not the first, I later found out) when the rats have to undergo surgery, are the slightest bit uncomfortable, or when they get euthanised...



*The shocks, LCP has assured me are not traumatizing to the rat, as they have been passed by the ethics council, and because he himself, and all his assistants have to undergo the shock first prior to administering it to the rat (everybody says it feels like slight static)...






On a lighter note, I've found a new hangout in town (well it's not new, but I've never been there) that seems to work fine for having a cup of coffee, a pot of tea, and for my friends and I to just hang out all day reading and doing assignments. It's a cafe-of-sorts that always smells of fresh coffee and something toasting, which is fine by me!





Some kinda stew brewing...





I also seem to have perfected the art of cooking some kind of stew, and what goes into the pot depends on my mood. Lol. I don't even know what exactly it is called, but my Persian-Canadian housemate is enjoying it, and we have actually found a dish we both definitely agree on.

We both eat what the other eats, but we end up always having to compromise on one thing: Level of spicyness. It's always not spicy enough for me, and too spicy for her, so we end up compromising so it's at her threshold, but enough I can taste it!



I have already introduced her to Maggi's Chlli Sauce (and her family too, because she took it home with her, and now they're hooked), and imagine how funny it was when she came home from the weekend and brought another bottle to add to my stock (she was so excited, proclaiming she had a gift for me)!

Haha...Oh, how I miss Malaysian food!





Saturday, 27 June 2009

Individuals with Exceptionalities...




Picture taken from here



Hi everyone,

Sorry, I was down with some head-cold or some mild-grade flu for a while, and had to write my finals with it, so my blog had to take a back seat.



Anyway, I have a question...


When you hear the phrase 'individual with exceptionalities', what comes to your mind?

Someone with special needs? Someone who is gifted? Who is talented? Someone with retardation or disabilities? Someone with a chronic medical condition needing special care/adaptation?




To me, the term has always encompassed all the above and more, but I've come across many people who only associate 'individuals with exceptionalities' as those who are gifted.


What do you think?



*Note: I don't want to know what the textbook says about exceptionalities encompasses because I know what it says. I want to know what you personally feel.


Saturday, 6 June 2009

"Oh, the Little Girl in the Ponytail"...




This is the kind of rat I work with! Cute, aren't they? (Picture stolen from the web)



Phew...So once again, I have been horrible in updating this blog. I have been extremely busy because classes are running back-to-back, I've got two labs to run back and forth from, assignments are pilling sky high and exams are running one after another.

The perils of studying during the summer!



So, anyway, somebody asked me about the rats I worked with, and they're the Long Evans Hooded rats (see above). They're cute la...I'm not bluffing you wan!



I've been getting a nice tan, and everytime I talk to my parents over Skype, they remark how tanned I've become. Actually, it's not so much that I've become very tanned, it's more that I've become so fair, that now the slightest bit of sun makes me look very dark!



Well anyway, turns out, alot of people here think I'm a kid. I like it when people think I'm younger than my actual age, but when people think you're a KID, it's a bit too much...



In McD, while getting a Coffee, 2 weeks ago:



Cashier to Colleague: "Whose order is this, the coffee?"

Colleague: "Oh, the little girl in the ponytail"

Me: "Owww. I'm not a little girl"

Lady: "Oh, sorry baby"





In the hospital, volunteering, just two days ago:


Lady: "Honey, shouldn't you be in school?"

Me: "Oh, I don't have class today"

Lady: "Oh, but everybody has class on weekdays".

Me: "Huh? But I don't. Not on Thursdays, that's why I took this shift".

Lady: "Oh I get it, you're trying to finish your ^48-hour requirement"

Me: "Huh?"

*Blur*

Me: "Ohhhh" (Finally getting it) "Ma'am, I'm older than I look. I'm no longer in high-school"

Lady: "How old are you, hon?"

Me: "I'll be 24 next year!"

Lady: "Get out of here! You don't look a day over 17!"


*Smack head. She thought I was juvenile!*

^High-school students here need to do 48?? hours of community service (or was it 40?) to graduate. I can't remember the actual number she said^





I saw my professor immediately after that in lab, and the first question I asked her:


Me: " L****, how old do you think I am?"

L: "You are between 22-25"

Me: "Wow, you are good! How did you know??"

L: *Laughs* "I collect data for my classes. I know the average undergraduate student is between 19-26 years old"

Me: "Oh, I get it, so you gave me the mean age because that would be your best bet!"

L: "Yes, now you're getting the idea!"


*Figures, Psychology professors are experts in Statistics!*




Today, while doing assignment in the Peterborough Square with another Malaysian friend, this old lady decided to join us! She chatted with and decided to asked us about our homework. And then she asked us which high school we go to, and when we told her we didn't go to high school and that we were in university, she gawked at us.


Old Lady: "You two are in university?!?"

My friend, Irene: "Yes!"

Me: "We're in third year!"

Old Lady: "How old are you?"

Irene: "We're 23".

Old Lady: "Oh my God, you look like you're in high school".





Oh well! It's funny how people get our ages so wrong. But some people are aware that Asians do look younger than they actually are.


Cos one guy I bumped into in the hospital actually said to me: "You look tiny, but I'm betting money you're old enough to drink and do alot of not-so-legal stuff!"