CF log 04/08/17 (Fri) + happy friday!

Strength/skill

5 x 5 front squats [55.8kg, 60.8kg, 3x 64.9kg]

Power snatch –
3 x 2 [37.7kg, 42.7kg, 46.8kg]
3 x 1 [51.8kg]

4 x 3 snatch high pull from ground [3x 55.8kg, 60.8kg]

WOD

3 rounds –
10 front squats (clean from ground) [(135#)]
20 C2B
50 DUs

The front squats were DAMN BAD. First round was manageable… struggling a bit already. Second round was really a push and I totally felt like I was pushing myself damn hard to complete 10 reps at a go. And the 3rd round I just gave up and did 5-5 hahaha. Front squats killed me T_T If not I’d think the rest is quite manageable…? Thankfully only 3 rounds.


Anyway, feeling very happy this Friday haha! Cos I’ve completed the minutes for my weekly big meeting yesterday, hence freeing up my Friday :D The meeting’s usually on Fridays and it’ll be a mad rush to get the minutes out on the day itself.

Plus!!! Finally had the one to one session with my boss to talk about my current work. I’m quite happy that I managed to air all my grievances LOL. The whole “feedback” session was really just me complaining in a nicer manner :P He sorta explained why some things are the way they are too… but I just took them all with a pinch of salt cos I still feel like he’s not 100% trustworthy lol.

 

7 months on the job

I don’t know what’s wrong with me that I always end up in the wrong place in life. Once again I feel like my job’s not suited for me. Since grad, I’ve just not felt like I fit anywhere :( Perhaps I’m too idealistic, or too picky, or simply just not trying hard enough.

1.5 years in my first job, 6 months (or slightly less) in a PhD course before dropping out, and now 7 months into my ‘new’ job… I already feel like giving up.

At 26, I have not figured out my path in life; or found my place in this world. It seems like everyone can well survive without me.

In my current job, I was told that I’d be working with data. Even if not quantitative, qualitative. I had no experience in the latter (still don’t), but I said I’d try. I thought I’d have a role similar to my first job, but just more qualitative in nature; still dealing with large amounts of data, cleaning data, analysing data. Plus, my job title had the words “Analytics” and “Programming” in it. Sounds so”data-ish” right?!

But how wrong I was.

I ended up in a communications department. Due to historical reasons, the (newly formed) team I’m currently in was placed under this dept. Which is really quite ridiculous considering that we are supposedly doing behavioural insights (BI) work – something I learnt only after I landed the job. Somehow this point wasn’t brought up in the interview.

I was fine for say, the first 3 months? Because everything felt quite similar to schooling days in terms of the lit review we had to do to gather BI to help improve programming (yes, I finally got what the ‘programming’ referred to; nothing about IT). So I was like “oh cool, it’s diff from what I expected, but at least I get to use my school knowledge and skills more!”; since BI also has some elements of psychology (e.g. understanding people’s behaviour to nudge them toward certain actions).

But soon enough things started to get fluffy. Research was not as controlled as in the school environment. There was no library so the only articles we had access to were the free ones on google scholar. Many of our recommendations to improve programs were based off our own experiences/ from the top of our minds with tenuous links to literature; even though my direct supervisor emphasizes the need for our ideas to be “evidence-based”. So I’m not actually comfortable with the amount of fluff our work entails -.-

Recently, I feel that my supervisor is biased against me too haha. Like many new projects are being passed on to my colleague instead of me (some of which I feel that I can do it, and I’m a more suited candidate given my background?!). I understand that my colleague is generally a well-liked person, but still, as a supervisor can’t you put in some effort to show impartiality? Cos the biased treatment is really getting quite obvious. But I guess he is human after all.

I could rant so much, but given this public platform it might not be safe to say more :P

Anyway I’m finally meeting my supervisor one-on-one this week. He actually requested this to the whole team; that we take turns to meet him. Because appraisal’s coming up so he wanted to check in on our work/progress etc. Just as well, I could use this to clarify some stuff and voice my thoughts haha. Especially more now because there’s prolly gonna be a slight change in direction for our team and after he spoke to us about it, I don’t see where I can contribute; and even if I do, it will not be what I set out to do in this job, which was data work. So… we’ll see how it goes.

Goodbye 2016.

I’m probably two days late in doing this 2016 round up thing cos everyone seems to have already posted theirs on the last day of 2016 haha.

2016 felt like an exceptionally long year for me. I guess it’s because a lot has happened in that year. For one, it is the year I left my first job after graduation, entered and withdrew from a PhD program, and got a new job. It really feels like so much change in just one year.

(photo heavy post ahead!)

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Hello October. A little late though.

To be honest, life has not been very good. I thought this was what I wanted, but it doesn’t seem to be that way. Well, the problem is what do I even want? I am such an aimless, clueless soul :( And nobody likes people like that. Even I don’t.

I’ve felt quite unlike my usual self since everything started mid-August, especially in the first week. That week, I really felt like I was close to a mental breakdown or sinking into depression. It’s really not an exaggeration when I say I didn’t feel like eating, I didn’t feel like meeting or talking to anyone, I didn’t want to crossfit, I just wanted to lay in bed and sleep all day. Jokes that were funny to me were not funny anymore. It was so hard to even fake a smile but I tried anyway. Every little thing made me cry. I cried every day. I just felt like disappearing.

Well, things are slightly better now. I still feel like crying occasionally. It’s still stressful as hell, but I’ve learnt to take things easier. I’ve learnt to “heck care” whatever I can. But as I tell anyone who asks me to take a chill pill, it’s not that easy. Believe me I am trying, but even doing the bare minimum requires a hell lot of effort (that feels beyond me at times).

Everyone around me seems to be coping well in classes. But perhaps they are struggling too I don’t know. Even so, at least they are able to show their competency in class, in front of the profs. But not me :( I try sometimes but it’s hard. For some courses, I don’t even understand the material… I don’t know how people get it.

This is very very very different from the school and work life that I’ve known. I am really being pushed to my limits, and beyond. They say life begins at the end of your comfort zone, but I’m not sure if that’s my case now. I don’t exactly have a life.

Many questions swim around in my head every day – why I took this up, whether I’ll stay, whether it’s worth it, whether it’s right for me, whether I really want it and why, what do I want in life. These are actually – believe it or not – hard questions for me. I struggle to find answers. Yet they are really important; how I answer these questions will lead me to a decision, and some consequences attached to it. But either way, I’m not sure I can handle the consequences. It’s like a war in my head every day :(

School

It’s about 2 weeks till the start of school. But since about 2 weeks ago, I’ve already been making several trips down to SMU for various reasons. I’ve also started to receive “important” school-related mail from the faculty, which just adds to the reality that school is *really* starting now.

The frequent trips to school and the emails are – to be honest – stressing me out a lot. I know I’ve been wanting to go back to school for the longest time. But now that it’s happening, I sometimes doubt if it is the right choice? Perhaps it’s the program I’m in; it’s a rather unfamiliar field to me though it bears links to some areas of psychology (which I took as an undergrad).

I guess it’s also the level of qualification I would be graduating with. It’s not just Masters, but a PhD. In other words, it’s a research program. I am expected to be an academic or at the very least an independent researcher with an inquisitive mind, or a wealth of knowledge on a particular specialty area. And the program is training you for that right from the very start; so I feel like I am expected to already have a research interest that I want to pursue in the upcoming 4 years. One of the first questions that everyone – faculty members and students – asks is “What is your research interest?”.

The biggest problem here is, I really suck at critical thinking and asking questions; and I don’t feel like someone who can really be super passionate about something and be curious enough to keep finding out more. I feel like I’m more of someone who is just easily interested in… everything; whatever is new to me, I take an interest. How long that interest would last, or whether it would turn into something I’m passionate about is really questionable. This “trait” of mine (or whatever it should be called) is really not beneficial at all to this PhD journey that I will be embarking on; especially when I’m doing the program in an area that is not particularly familiar to me. How do I find an area of interest for research when I’m such a greenhorn and don’t exactly have the most curious mind (that researchers should have) around?

Of course with all these stress, I have doubted my acceptance into the program. Actually, even before all these; the moment I received my news of acceptance, I doubted. What the hell right haha, but seriously.

Some background on why I applied – It’s simple really; not any fanciful story about how I was soooo passionate about the field. I was just.. interested. My friend was the one who introduced this program to me, so I read up a bit and thought it sounded good, then went for it.

Anyway, my friend was also planning to apply for it for admission in the same academic year. Honestly, she had a much much better chance of getting accepted into the program. Her uni grades were top notch, and she graduated with her thesis in a very similar area to this program. She then continued working as an RA after graduation for her thesis supervisor, who knew profs in the faculty of this program and has name dropped her. Therefore, she has much experience and knowledge in this field, and at least one pretty strong recommendation! (We need 3 recommendation letters for this program application)

I on the other hand, had not as good grades (though still pretty decent), a thesis in a totally unrelated area and worked in an unrelated job. Heck, I didn’t even have a clear research interest (actually not even now)! My interview skills are like sh*t too (there are 2-3 interviews to get through. I had 2). Furthermore, in our personal statement (part of the application too), we also had to talk about our research interest a little cos we had to indicate which profs we may wanna work with and why; I just smoked my way through with a really short para (while my friend probably wrote a pretty decent idea of what she wanted cos of her experience in the field).

Oh, and the best part? My friend (one year my junior) and I graduated from the SAME MAJOR, SAME SCHOOL. What are the odds of a Singapore PhD program accepting TWO Singaporean students with such similar backgrounds?! (Just some clarification here – though same major, Psychology, we did our thesis in different areas of the subject. Hers is the one that is very closely tied to the PhD program subject).

So… how on earth did I even get accepted I really don’t know.  I kept wondering/telling myself that maybe it’s because they had lesser applicants this year… Or they made a mistake haha. Perhaps I was a “replacement” for someone who rejected the offer; who knows.

But nowadays, to make myself feel a bit better, I’m try to let go and let God. I tell myself that He has a plan for me – otherwise how could I have got in, against all odds (seemingly so to me)?? And perhaps He knew it was gonna be hard for me so he put a friend in the program with me too.. I guess I just have to really trust that He will help me through. I’m trying but it’s hard :( The stress and anxiety can really get to me, and all those thoughts that I’m just not good enough (e.g. ref above para).

(Ok I can’t really remember my main point of writing this post, or if I got out everything I wanted to say cos I had to go out in between and continue like hours later >< But I guess it’s more or less there; my current thoughts about going back to school… sigh)

JB day trip! :D

Took leave on Wednesday (earlier this week) and went to JB with Xuely and Jon.

26495846512_c6b1cebaf4_o

Gonna try to document as much as I can cos first ever time going there HAHA! We just kept eating (and walking). And it was really quite fun, esp with the company :) Though I kept getting judged by Jon the entire day tskkk. (Anny pls come back so you get judged instead T_T hahaha)

*Note: This post is really a long grandmother story lollol (~2000 words?!). I don’t even know if I will have the patience to read it myself all over again next time :X

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Otto Ristorante (boss’ treat!)

My boss brought me to Otto Ristorante for my lunch treat (cos of some good work done) :O I think it is pretty atas ^^”

There was a set lunch at $38++ which both of us got. It had appetizer, main & dessert + coffee/tea. He said I could choose an a la carte dish if i wanted; don’t have to get the set. But I think the set lunch is more worth it! I know it’s a treat, but still cannot be too much right…

On top of our set lunches, he wanted to order another appetizer to share. He asked the waitress to recommend and she said burrata cheese with parma ham; which I didn’t want cos it has ham! Cannot ruin my lent diet (pescatarian!) hehe.

I think my boss was a bit surprised I didn’t want it haha. I think he might have wanted to try that… oops ^^” And after that I thought it would mean no appetizer alr. But the waitress went on to recommend and eventually she mentioned a light appetizer with fish that thankfully was agreed on hahaha. Actually I really didn’t need another appetizer to share + didn’t want him to spend so much.. partly why I said no at first too. But since he wanted… ok then. I think the extra dish is at least $20+/30 man ><

(Pic from google)

This was the extra appetizer that we ordered! It doesn’t look exactly like the pic. But smth like that. Thinly sliced swordfish with some “sauce”. (don’t even know if the pic is swordfish heh)

The garnishes on ours were diff. Ours had strips of green and red (peppers & tomato??) haha. I honestly dno what it was garnished with. But some sort of veg I’m guessing!

It was really quite good tho I thought it was very salty when I first bit into it. I think it would have gone really well with the bread (below) tho! :D


(Pic from google)

This was the selection of (free) bread before any of the dishes were served. Reminded me of dining at Cut by Wolfgang Puck where a variety of bread was also presented to us to choose. Here, there was tomato, raisin, olive, foccacia and another type. I just took the olive one cos tbh couldn’t really decide haha.

Then our set lunch dishes arrived!

For appetizer, I had this ricotta cheese rolled up crepe thing filled with mushrooms; while my boss had a soup. My crepe was so rich and yummy?! So cheesey and the crepe was the kind that’s slightly crisp :D

Then for mains, boss got the pasta with arrabiata sauce while I got seared ling fish with green pea mash :) Fish was rly good!! A bit crisp outer layer but nice and soft inside ^^ And I think it is my first time trying green pea mash.. It was really creamy and smooth with quite strong pea taste (duh right haha)!! Not bad :) Nice dish overall!

And lastly, my atas looking dessert! So beautifully plated <3 they called it a vanilla parfait with etc etc (i forgot). All their dishes have such long names… either that or it’s in Italian haha.

But anyway, i figured that it’s a panna cotta. So milky and smooth! Actually the centre was a bit harder like ice-cream; but with the flavour, all’s good!

That pretty thing stuck on top of the panna cotta is a sugar structure. I tried to break it and some tiny bits flew off the plate O.O One bit even stuck to my hair… oops quite unglam. I think my boss laughed at me >< haha.

Anyway I only took a pic of the dessert cos a bit paiseh to take food pics like i usually do.. Everything also take heh :P Tbh my boss and I are really not that close at all! So I was actually feeling a bit awkward about having to go for this lunch treat. (He talked about it since last week. Then he asked me on Monday again but I had my own lunch; so he decided today.)

But I mustered up the courage (it’s really mustering up courage ok. Cos pple who take pics of food may be judged HAHA) to say i wanna take pic for dessert. Cos i guess it was pretty enough so it’s more justifiable haha. Then he also pushed his dessert (icecream) to me so i could take hahaha. I didn’t need to take his la. He could eat first. But since he pushed it away for me to take, why not hehe :X He still asked me if I was taking it together or individually. Then still asked if he needed to move some stuff away HAHA.

Then as we ate we talked. Mostly abt food; the kinds of food we liked etc. Then somewhere in the convo, boss said prolly won’t bring my other colleague (in the same team as us) to a place like this. Cos he prolly won’t appreciate the food as much hahahaha.

I mean this is not in a bad way la. Yknow how some pple are just not that particular about food such that food is just food, with some better than others that’s all.

I actually do agree w my boss; I think my colleague’s that kinda person :P But really, it’s not a good or bad thing. Some people just don’t take as much interest in food?

Then i thought: oops. Does that mean I give out quite atas vibes… or maybe I just come across as someone who appreciates good food la right heh :P

Was telling R about this atas vibes thing. And I said my mum ever told me I had some rich girl vibes. Then R said can understand why O.O OKAAYY haha. I was like then why no rich guys like me?! HAHAHA. He said cos my dressing cmi LOL. Which I don’t disagree cos I am really very lazy to dress up ^^” Eh I don’t even really like shopping for clothes! :P

CF log 17/02/16 (Wed)

Warm-up was foam rolling today. HOW SHIOK IS THAT HAHA. Fav kinda warm-up xD

Strength/skill

6 rounds –
0:45 HSPU
0:15 rest
0:45 DUs
0:15 rest

Every 2:00 for 12:00 1 p clean + 1 push jerk + 1 (squat) clean + 1 push jerk
[37.7kg, 42.7kg, 45.2kg, 46.8kg, 51.8kg, 54.3kg, 56.8kg (missed last jerk)]

WOD

3 rounds –
10 DB clean to thrusters [(12.5kg)]
24 pistols

Sposed to be a 10:00 AMRAP, but coach said she knows some pple will slack so she made it 3 rounds hahahaha. She knows us well xD I think I took 1-2min more than 10min to finish this :P I thought the DB cleans were so awkward hahahah. Like my motion didn’t feel very smooth at all!

(read more for some bitching :P)

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11 more months in 2016

It’s the end of Jan. Time flies; felt like just not too long ago we were all happy new year, looking back on 2015, and setting new year resolutions.

I have shared with one or two people, right from the beginning of this year (i.e. 1 Jan), that I was not looking forward to this new year at all. I think it’s safe to say that it is the first time in my life that I did not look forward to a new year :(

New years have always been exciting for me. I love the idea of new beginnings and starting over. I love the idea of having new opportunities and chances to change or do something new. Every new year just felt so… refreshing.

But this year, I really did not want 2016 to arrive. I foresee it to be a year of uncertainties; and I hate uncertainties. I thought it won’t be a good year at all, and how my Jan went has supported that statement – Jan has not been really great at all for me.

So much has happened in this first month. There have been family/relationship drama towards the end of Jan. And before that, my best workout partner left for France in the beginning of the month, so one less friend to hang out with for half of 2016 :( Work’s been busy, and I was stressing out over postgrad app.

Why I feel like the rest of 2016 will not be great at all

(WARNING: long, rambly, and incoherent post ahead)

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CF log 28/10/15 (Wed) + GRE test

It has been a super long day today. Cf in the morning, then studied/rested at home for a while, before making my way for GRE test. Then SMU PhD program briefing after and finally home again around 9pm D:

So, cf this morning –

Strength/skill

5 x {1 pause clean + 1 pause hang clean + 1 pause hang clean from power position}
[2x 46.8kg, 3x 51.8kg] –  ugh, forgot how many sets at what weight, but think got up to 51.8kg
4 x {1 push press + 2 push jerk + 3 split jerk} [37.7kg, 3x 42.7kg]

WOD

“Macho man”
20-min EMOM –
3 power clean [37.7kg]
3 front squat
3 push jerk

Was supposed to use an appropriate weight that is not too light and decently heavy such that we could still sustain 20 rounds of this haha. So I did 37.7kg (85#) all the way. Shared a bar with Anny, but after a few rounds, she added 2.5kg clamps too (so became 95#); I stuck with my 37.7kg hehe. Around the 12-13th minute, we started to slow down and run too much into the next minute; couldn’t both complete the set within the same minute. So we decided to ignore the EMOM and just keep taking turns to do (with almost no rest as though EMOM) till we hit 20 sets haha. It was really tiring. My legs felt tired and my lower back started to ache a little towards the last few rounds, especially while doing the front squats ><


GRE test

It was such a long and brain-draining process. Took like 4+ hours to finish inclusive of short 1-min or so breaks. I did not take a 10 minute break that was also provided actually haha. Cos wanted to just get the test over and done with. Seriously did have a mild headache after everything was over :/

They were so strict at the test centre??! You could not bring ANYTHING into the test venue, including water bottles. Couldn’t even wear a watch! I had my hair tie around my wrist and even THAT, they told me it should be on my hair. Erm ok. No idea how I can cheat with a hair tie around my wrist…. Oh, and the form of ID to be used is a passport cos it has your signature in it, which they need. Ok. But even my passport they had issues to pick?! Cos yknow how when you travel to some countries they give you a slip of paper instead of a chop?? I had one of those slips of paper glued onto my passport. When the person saw it (while checking my identity before going test venue), she looked at it for quite a while and was picking at it. I didn’t really know what she was doing then, so I told her that’s a chop thing but in paper form. Then she said, yeah she knows but usually not supposed to bring in any papers to the test venue… In my mind I was like WHAT, even travel slips also must ji jiao??! I bet while fiddling with it she was wondering if it could be taken out or something. But in the end the travel slip was left there la, nothing happened haha. If she actually told me to take it out just in case I get caught or something, I would totally roll eyes man!!

Ok, so anyway it was a computer-based test system… so scores were immediate shown (except for the essay) after the whole test was completed. I got a 158 for verbal and 166 for quantitative (both out of 170). Happy with the latter! But kinda just okay for the former haha. I really have no idea what is a good score.. cos I think the percentiles/averages change based on the batch of students taking the GRE or smth?? And I haven’t got the essay scores, which I think would not be very good. I’m really hoping I just get at least the average of 4 (out of 6)… Cos there were 2 questions to be answered and one of them I didn’t really know how to argue my stand cos I was thrown off by a word in the question, which I did not have a good understanding of. I actually inferred the meaning of that word from the essay question itself?!! Thankfully I inferred it sorta correctly… but my essay for that question, on hindsight, still sucks cos I really had little to NO points of discussion for the topic D:

STILL GLAD GRE IS OVERRRR. I REALLY NEVER WANNA HAVE TO TAKE IT AGAIN T_T and I hope I don’t have to.