Wednesday, 23 March 2011

15 X 20 = 300

"I wanna see your peacock."
- Lyrics from Peacock, Katy Perry -

My new lab project for the second half of this semester is awfully boring.

My prof is more concerned about the format of the report, rather then it's content. Trust me, it's worse than it sounds, I'm just too lazy to rant about it. 

Also probably because I already ranted about him to Kevin in the bus, so I managed to get it off my chest and not see the need of ranting here anymore. 

Anyway, my lab project is boring in the sense that, we have to wait 15 minutes for each reading to be taken.

Can you believe it??? Sitting in front of the machine, just waiting and waiting and waiting, and recording down some lame values every 15 minutes. We had approximately 20 values to record, which amounts to...

15 X 20 = 300 minutes = 5 hours of waiting time. 

The experiment had to be carried out over a span of 3 weeks, of which averagely 1.5 hours was spent each week sitting in front of the machine like idiots. 


Today, one of my lab mates cleverly brought his laptop, went to Youtube, and we all crowded round the only source of entertainment to be found in the entire laboratory. 

I saw the stupidest video ever.

Like seriously. 

The lyrics.

Are stupid.

And lame. 

Nevertheless, we had a good laugh about it.

Watch it here:

If it doesn't load, here's the link. 

After we had enough idiocy from Ms Black, we decided gay videos might help lighten the mood:


(See how I bolded, italicizedunderlined, and colored the "watch this!!" part? Seriously. Watch it.)

Okay, okay. You got me. This is.

Random blog post in a half-hearted attempt to revive my half-dead blog.

Can't blame me.

The semester is more than half over, and I have no idea what my core course is all about, let alone starting Tutorial 1.

Betcha can't beat me at lagging behind in studies. =D

Friday, 18 March 2011

Group 25

How can you solve the problem. When you have a problem with yourself.
-Ken Vin, Facebook-

I have had enough of my utterly stupid team member.

Hence, the following e-mail sent to my lecturer:

Dear Ms Patricia,

I am Rachel Liew Jia Ru, group leader of Group 25. I am having problems my team member, T. 

As the group leader, I allocated one subtopic for each of my group member to research on, and eventually send me a complete and professional report on their research, where I will compile them into a report, while I work on the Literature Review and History and Previous Works.

not only did not reply my e-mails, he also missed the deadline. After contacting him after he missed his deadline, he eventually sent me a "report" the next day, but to my horror, it was just one page of article blatantly copied 100% from Wikipedia. He did not even bother to edit it, it was just copied. he did not even bother to remove the hyperlinks. He also sent me a 20-paged pdf file full of math equations and jargons. He obviously downloaded the pdf file off the internet, and probably did not even look through it before sending it to me. 

Is that what a "complete and professional" report looks like? a page of Wikipedia and a 20-page pdf file full of math equations?

It was of course utterly unacceptable, as he obviously did not do any research and merely Googled and copied the first thing he saw. I sent him another email, asking him to redo his report. 

Today, he sent me his 2nd version, but also copied from Wikipedia, and also did not bother to remove hyperlinks. Then for the 2nd part of his "report", he inserted "screenshots" of articles he found online. He does not even bother to type anything, he just pasted the screenshots of the articles in jpeg format. This kind of work can be done by anyone in less than 5 minutes. Does he expect me to retype the articles out for him? Isn't it his job to do a good job on this? He obviously does not know what plagiarism is.

He obviously does not care, and I am concerned that his performance will eventually affect my grades as well and result in me failing this course. Please allocate a new group member to replace him, or at least I appeal to you to make a fair judgement when assessing our report. 

Thank you.


Rachel Liew Jia Ru

Thursday, 17 March 2011

FIFTY PERCENT to your finals.

Teamwork means "I tim, you work." 
-Ai Fern from Ee Ping, Facebook-

I am so effing pissed off.

Lecturers should allow students to pick their own group mates. What is the rationale behind randomly dividing students into groups and forcing them to work with complete strangers?

That by itself would be fine by me, if not for the fact that my group mates are all NOOBS.

First off, some background on the situation:

I'm taking this elective course, and for our project which counts 50% to our finals, students are randomly divided into groups of 3, and each group is supposed to work and research on a topic, and at the end of it, produce a presentation and a report not exceeding 100 pages. I, unfortunately, was grouped up with two other guys, both first year students: T from Kazakhstan (it's some Middle East country, I Googled it) and R from Indonesia.

Usually, I wouldn't discriminate people by their race or nationality; that's just low. However, I am NOT PLEASED with both my group mates.

Before I start my rant, you should know that I was appointed group leader. At first T was the group leader but 2 weeks later, he wanted out and asked me to take up the role of being the leader instead. I didn't want it, but seeing the (potential) incompetence of T (we had been communicating for 2 weeks now, so I had it in my guts he wasn't cut out for it), I decided it'd be best for the group if I took it. So as you read on, don't go thinking I'm being some meanie who bosses everyone around. I'm just doing my job as a leader.

Okay, back to rant.


Like, seriously. He speaks like this: "Rachel, errrr... I am... errr... you want to... err... need the report... err... by this Saturday, yes? I... err... am quite... err... busy... err... can you... errrrrrrrrr... give me... errr... a few more days?"

Like WTF man, he takes half a minute to say one sentence I could spit out in 3 seconds.

Once again, I am NOT discriminating people who can't speak English well, but SERIOUSLY.

IF he was your GROUP MATE.



And that project counts FIFTY PERCENT to your finals.

I assure you, you'd feel like killing yourself him too.

Half of the time, he does not understand what I am saying because I probably speak too fast or my English is too 'cheem'.

Trust me, I tried all ways. I tried talking slowly, I tried Singlish, I tried simple sentences, I tried broken English. It's like talking to a three year old kid.


For instance. I didn't go to China for my tertiary education for a reason. I CAN'T SPEAK CHINESE.

So anyway, I decided that since T obviously does not understand spoken English, I'd communicate with him via e-mail. I sent him an email telling him the topics that he had to research on, and I even gave him explicit instructions on how to go about it, and to give me a 5-page report on the topic. I gave him 5 days to complete it, till Saturday.

Guess what?

Saturday came and he did not reply my e-mail, and definitely DID NOT stick to the FREAKING DEADLINE. Come Sunday, I called him up and he gave me some excuse which probably meant he was busy. I can't be sure. More than half the time I didn't get what he was saying. So I gave him instructions to finish it by Tuesday.

Monday night, I received an e-mail from him with two attachments: a Word doc and a pdf.


Oh, how wrong I was.

I opened up the Word doc, and what did I see?

A page and a half of an article on the topic. The format and style written seemed oddly familiar. Not to mention there were hyperlinks EVERYWHERE.


Next, I looked at the pdf file. It was a 20-page full of math jargon, and the pdf file was obviously downloaded off the Internet. Did he really expect me to insert the entire chunk of 20-paged math equations into the report? I SAID FIVE PAGES, DUMBASS.

If I wanted information, couldn't I just have gone to Google Wiki and gotten the article myself? Would I still need YOU to do the research?

I don't believe it. Fucked up first year student who does not understand English, does not reply e-mails, does not adhere to deadlines, does not do his research, and apparently does not know that other people, namely me, can see through plagiarism and laziness as clear as glass. Especially when it is so obviously thrown into my face.

So I sent T yet another e-mail, telling him how his "report" was unacceptable and I told him to write me another one. Again, he did not reply my e-mail, and it wasn't until I sent him another one today that he replied. I gave him till Saturday. I hope he does not disappoint me this time.

I don't believe it. Even if he did send me his report this Saturday, he is still waaaay past the initial deadline by an entire week.


After much complain about T, it suddenly feels like R isn't so bad after all.

But still.

R is an Indonesian, also a first year student. His English is acceptable, so there's no problem there. However, being a first year, he apparently still does not understand the shortcuts and tricks of writing a report that compromises legality, but not quality. He insists on doing everything "right", even though he obviously has not been here long enough to know what "right" is. In other words, a perfectionist with zero knowledge.

He, similar to T, did not adhere to the deadline, but at least in the end, he gave me something of considerable quality. (By considerable quality, I meant horrible quality, but as compared to what T gave me, I think it was pretty impressive)

R also copied from Wiki (and also did not remove hyperlinks - seriously, what is it with people and not removing hyperlinks before submitting their works???) but at least he also got information from somewhere else, and at least he structured it in such a way that it looked like a legitimate report. Also, he gave me his references. Which is better than nothing, coz at least he credits other people for his work.

Of course, he made a grave mistake no university student should ever do (sadly, I also ignorantly made this same mistake for a period of time longer than I am proud of): Cite references from Wiki.

One. Should. Never. Ever. Ever. Cite. From. Wikipedia.

It's general knowledge.

Citing from Wiki is as good as saying "I know this because the wind whispered it to me." In the end, nobody believes you and you're just destroying your own credibility.

But whatever. At least he gave me something.


In the end, I'm the one compiling the entire report.

At least I worked my way around getting them to do most of the "research" part (pathetically), while I worked on the literature review.

Being a leader has it's benefits too, I guess.

Just not so much when your group mates are dumbasses.

The longer I stay in NTU, the more queer people I meet.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

not intended for show

You give them a deadline, but you hint that it would be preferable if they complete it BEFORE the deadline is due. Nobody EVER gets the hint.
-Rae, Facebook-

Random meaningless update to make my blog less dead than it already is.

Assignments, projects, meetings, and studies are keeping me down and whatever spare time I have left is used watching Criminal Minds.

Hence, the half-dead blog.

This semester is gonna be a shitty one.

Unrelated note: I suck at managing my money. I spend waaaay too much.

I miss getting paid $1200 a month for sitting around in the office listening to my iPod. =(


Bought 4 new snails + 10 shrimps 2 weeks back. Total cost: $30. Of which all died in less than 48 hours. Only one survived: A tiny red snail that cost 50 cents.




Some photos I took before they died (except for the red one, which is currently still alive and laying eggs all around):


Before they died. =(
White stuff is bread. NOT dead shrimp, like some people thought. 
Tiny admission: Uploading photos of my new pet(s) is not intended for show, rather, to make my blog seem more interesting, more colorful, and less dead. 

P.S.: Kevin's birthday celebration's long over, updates about it is still in progress. You should know I'm not the kind who's hardworking enough to upload photos online. I'm lazy like that. Photos coming soon (hopefully in the next post). 

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

As vague as I can.

We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others, that in the end, we become disguised to ourselves.
-Francois De La Rochefoucauld-

I'm supposed to do it coz its what my conscience, the society, religion, and family traditions expect me to do but then it is not shown to me how it is done properly and hence I cannot do it well but then in the end I am still told that I must do it even though I am not good at it because my conscience tells me that it is my responsibility to do it, and do it well.

I try to be as vague as I can, but I guess at some point, you can never keep it all in.

It's a miracle that I haven't gotten so mentally tortured that I grow up into being a psychotic, anti-social, mentally disturbed serial killer.