Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Where did I come from and where do I go: my 2017 journey and 2018 aspirations

Please allow me to return to this blog without explaining my absence for quite (more than quite) some time. This year, let me try to surprise myself of how much I could post on this blog and re-discover my habit and joy of sharing my experiences and thoughts with all of you. We are now two weeks into this new year of 2018, but I will start by summarizing and celebrating 2017.

2017 has been a unique year for me as it encompassed the ups and downs of my life in a meaningful day, though nothing too bad nor too good (so, don't worry).

- I retook my GRE and had a better score
- I went for an advanced leisure dive at Tioman: the second day didn't end well as I had blocked nose and couldn't equalize, hence failed dive
- Two of my friends and I started a 'Makan' group to savour good food while meetup more often: I consider this an honourable effort
- I attended an international symposium on Synthetic Biology and got to meet people of the field
- I went to three concerts: 1) Hans Zimmer vs John Williams 2) Coldplay 3) Yiruma
- I made my first very own terrarium through a department workshop
- I visited Fukuoka, Japan and went to Munich, Germany: Touring in Japan was eye-opening and pleasant (and hot). Taking entrance exam in LMU and did not pass through was an entirely refreshing experience and I got to visit a lab at Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry. First time getting an International Driving Permit (IDP) and transiting flights in two different countries: South Korea and Abu Dhabi.
- I actually completed the Inktober 2017 challenge (pat myself on my back)
- I visited National Gallery for two exhibitions: Joseon Korea and Impressionism
- I passed two grading and attained 2nd Kyu (Nikyu) in Shitoryu Karate. I was also given responsibility as Assistant Honorary Treasurer to mark attendance and collect fees for the club.
- I went to Taipei with friends and it was an eventful trip (even though it was just over a long weekend)
- I attended two classes during the semester: Physics and Biophysics. I learned a lot and also experienced presenting journal study in class.
- I helped out with publicity in the department: 1) Social Responsibility project on Mangrove cleanup 2) December issue of Biochemistry Buzz
- I made it a point to join the Saturday Kumite Training for the semester and actually did it (though being late for most of the time - need to improve): I learned to be humble and start from basics.
- I read 14 books out of the planned 10 books:

- I made, in total, 89 artwork.

Those are some summary and stats but most importantly, 2017 showed me how I am cherished and loved by those around me. I was reminded again and again during the year of generous and kind friends who listened and cared me, of family members who tolerate and loved me deeply and an affirmation from myself for who I would what me to be. And these are what I find the biggest catch of my 2017 year. I am grateful for all that and will carry these blessings into 2018 and years after.

In 2018, I am yet to form very clear goals but there are a few pointers as of now:
1) Learn and be a good scientist: be curious and learn new and different things, deepen existing knowledge and learn to do thinking, organize well and build a good character as a scientist
2) Read more: hopefully can get at least 10 books but I am looking more for the quality
3) Draw or Creative work: I would love to draw more, however, I would like to improve on details and the completeness of my artwork. So, I would rather I try things on and be patient with each of them rather than clocking in the numbers.

Other than that who knows what will happen? Let's surprise me and make it a good one! Cheers! 

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