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Comment on Scholar Glamorization 2nd part

March 18, 2009

First, I would like to thank junyu for sharing his or her opinion for the previous post. This post is my reply to the comment.

Some aspect of communication skills can be observed through interview, and hence I do not deny that scholars may have higher chance to be better than non scholar in terms of this. I have nothing against employer who tend to hire scholar over non scholar, since it is presumed that they are more likely to be a good communicator. It is the mentality that a scholar MUST be better than their peers in terms of communication skills and other things that I dispute. Of course, if the scholarship interview process is indeed flawless and the person maintain his abilities after years in university, then I might be wrong. However I am highly skeptical of this.

Regarding maximizing the effectiveness of a team…well, good communication skills doesn’t necessarily lead to maximizing the effectiveness of a team (though it is an advantage). Great leaders are typically good communicator (Then again, not all of them. That’s why we have CEOs and Entrepreneur who are hated by their subordinate but yet succeed in their business. But that is rare.), but a good communicator doesn’t necessarily imply that a person is a good leader.  I personally think that there are other dominant factors, such as resource and time management, problem solving skills  (the ability to handle crisis, interpersonal relationship, solve your employer problem, this I think is the no 1 factor). And can that be judged by interview?

From a pragmatic and economic point of view…university should produce more undergraduatres who will be good employee, like junyu said. Nothing wrong with this view. In fact I think that this is necessary for a society to progess and advance.

Just wondering what happend to the education and personal developtment part though. Nowadays there seems to be many people who enter university solely for a future job with lucrative pay. Again, I don’t regard that as a bad thing. It merely saddens the idealist part of me, which seems to be yielding to the more pragmatic side…:P

I digressed. Anyway, I apologize if I offend anyone, or if my points seem unclear or even fallacious. Yeah, I admit that I am not a scholar and I happen to be one of those who isn’t too good in communication skills :P. I love to hear others’ opinion though, so feel free to cricticize or commenting.


Comment on Scholar’s Glamorization.

March 10, 2009

While browsing through the “Nation Building in Singapore” forum post, I saw a thread which lament on the glamorization of scholars, and how it may discourage entrepreneurship. And obviously, his post was countered by the others for the following reasons:

1) Scholars are assessed not solely based on their academic result, but also some other vital skills that may be needed in entrepreneurship.

2) The GLC would provide essential grooming to the scholars to become an entrepreneur, should they wish to do so after the bondage.

I do not understand entrepreneurship to know what kind of people would succeed in it, or whether scholars are more probably in venturing into entrepreneurship and otherwise.

However, I would like to propose, that the glamorization of scholars, leads a small cluster of Singapore society to believe that scholars are definitely above non scholars.

I think this is what the thread opener concern with, rather than the possible decline of entrepreneurship.

I said small cluster, because this proposition is only based on my personal observation. Just a small cluster.

This group of people believe that the meritocratic and the interview system widely practiced in Singapore are flawless, or at least near perfect. And hence scholars are definitely better than non-scholars at least in some aspects, such as thinking skill.

Well, I tend to think that any system , provided it is done and supervised by human, cannot escape of flaws.

Interview performance is largely based on the charisma and the ability of a person to present themselves. And having the skill to persuade and influence others, are the criteria of whether a person is a good leader or not.

I am unable to think of a better system than this (due to my poor judgment skills). However, I think that a good leader is not only one who is charismatic and influential. More importantly, he must be able to handle crisis and solve problem.

And I guess it is indeed hard to assess this, because an interviewee may present “convincingly” on how good they are in problem solving, without having any real experiences. In crude terms, a person who can talk is not necessarily someone who can do.

Probably this is why I have seen scholars who likes to slack and perform very poorly academically(again, some, but not all. Some scholars are simply….formidable) , and doesn’t seem to have much thinking and practical crisis solving skills. (They are very fluent in conversing and charismatic though)

In addition, as a human, we always change, in terms of ability and personality. Especially university life, which introduce a lot of variable in a person’s life. A non scholar may improve, and eventually surpass those who are deemed to be more prestigious and more likely to succeed.

Insane rambling

March 3, 2009


What am I good at?

Do I fail as a society member?

Those are the two questions that I have been pondering for the past two years.

I wasn’t always like this : I used to think that I am good in most things, and inferior is never a noun to describe myself.

That was, when my world perspective was still constrained in a primary school.

As I grew older, I learnt the hard way that I am not always better than the others. I do not always succeed. And there are many things that I am never good at.

But still I had my pride, I wouldn’t admit myself inferior than anyone, at least in fields that I thought I am good at. (A personality that I had since toddler) That’s why I compete and compare myself with others. That’s why I hate losing, because that makes me doubt myself. Eventhough I have always realized that these are meaningless.

Eventually, I found out bitterly that I am a weakling in many fields. Human interaction, for instance. And eventually academic field become my last line of defense. I hoped, that despite my inability in all other things, I am at least good in one thing. I began giving up competing with others in non-academic field and admitted my weakness. But I still keep my pride. I mind deeply when I think that others think that I am inferior than them, even if admit the inferiority myself.

Even the last line of defense began to shatter since last year.I was well aware of this, and afraid. My self confidence gradually crumble.

What haunted me was the thought that I have never wished to face : I am good in nothing and good for nothing.

Probably I should digress before I continue rambling about this.


To learn and understand why the Laws of Nature works, is my passion that has persisted since childhood. That is one of the few things that I would work hard and sacrifice solely for the sake of passion, not competing with others. And I wish, that one day, like the great scientists whom biographies I have read when I was a child, I can make some contribution to the understanding of nature. Even if it is just a minor one.

The passion stubbornly stays though my self confidence began to collapse. Occasionally I remind myself, that this passion, is what drives me to NUS. Not because I want to be better than the others, or whatsoever reason like that.

But, would I really be able to do so? Especially when there are so many other people out there, whom abilities lie in the realms that I could never reach? Especially, when people having the equal or greater strength than me, are everywhere?


Sometimes I wonder why I would do what the other won’t to accomplish what I wish. My projects for instance, which i have spent hours and money more than my peers. Though, I could only admit in blush, that my efforts were rather inefficient.

Passion is what drive me this far.

But is it possible, that the main reason is, I wish to prove my worth? That I am not good in nothing?


Why, do I still feel the grief? Despite the fact that all these are meaningless, especially when all your life history will fade quickly to the oblivion after death, after the collapse of civilization, after our universe becomes nothing but empty space filled only with imaginary partcles?


For those who actually bother about me (whom I own a thousand thanks), I am fine. This is just one of my frequent insane rambling these days, and I need some avenue to express them. Sorry for troubling you guys with these rubbishes though 😛


February 8, 2009

Quote from

5 people I tag:
1. Shu Heng (because you’ll be reading this)”

You got a premonition? XD

Anyway, here’s my response:

Starting time:7:09 pm (Dinner Time)

Name: Khor Shu Heng
Sisters: Khor Shu Yan
Brothers: Khor Shu Neng (Not very much different right?)
Shoe Size: Erm…I never actually bother to remember.
Height: 172 cm

Where do you live: NUS at the moment
Favourite drinks: Bubble Tea
Favourite breakfast: Milo with Tuna Sandwich

Have you ever been on a plane?: A few.
Swam in the ocean: I am not good in swimming…
Fallen asleep at school: Never, and probably never will.
Broken someone’s heart: Not that I am aware of.
Fell off your chair: Several times.
Sat by the phone all night waiting for someone to call: Never, and probably never will.
What is your room like: Minimalist normally, Chaotic System when I am doing projects.
What’s right beside you: ESP1104 notes, my Leyden Jar and materials for my Daniell/Voltaic Cell.
What is the last thing you ate: $2 Chicken Fillet Rice at Jurong Point

Ever had chicken pox: Once
Sore throat: Quite often
Stitches: Rarely
Broken nose: No

Do you believe in love at first sight: I believe that is called infatuation, not love.
Like picnics: Would be nice if it is with family.

Who was, were the last person you danced with: My hall mate during mass dance. (Forced to)
Last made you smile: My Leyden Jar works!
You last yelled at: At my brother when he kept buggin me about STPM chemistry.

Today did you:
Talk to someone you like: Yes, friends.
Kissed anyone: Not, and virtually impossible to have one in the near future.
Get sick: Not yet
Talk to an ex: No.
Miss someone: Not today, other days maybe.
Eat: Yes. Speaking about this, I am feeling hungry now.

Best feeling in the world: When I achieve and create something.
Do you sleep with stuffed animals: In the past.
What’s under your bed: Paper boxes.
Who do you really hate: Over-playful people who never take things seriously.
What time is it now?: 7.25 am…I want my dinner…

5 things I was doing 10 years ago
1. Reading
2. Reading
3. Reading
4. Reading
5. Reading ( I used to read a lot)

5 things on my to-do list today:
1. Report for my FSE assignment.
2. Preparing for tomorrow’s LSM lab.
3. Finish Chapter 3 for MA1508.
4. Prereading for ESP1104 lecture 4.1.
5. Sleep.

5 snacks I enjoy:
1. Crackers.
2. More Crackers.
3. Different types of Crackers.
4. Crackers again.
5. Still crackers.

5 things I would do if I were a billionaire:

1. Give most of them to my family? I probably wont need that much.
2. Build a research lab.
3. Modal for research.
4. Necessities?
5. Can’t think of others.
5 of my bad habits:
1. Procrastination.
2. Extreme at times.
3. Wasting time.
4. Ignorant to surrounding and people.
5. Accidentally irritate others.

5 places I have lived/stayed a night in:
1. My bedroom at home.
2. My hostel room.
3. My friend’s room.
4. E3A Simulation Lab. (Five times)
5. Lounge in NTU hall.

5 things I will do after complete what im busy wif:
1. Thinking about the nature.
2. Plan for next action.
3. Thinking about what to do tomorrow.
4. Thinking about surroundings.
5. Thinking aimlessly.

5 people I tag:
1. Kok Xian (with Chew’s, that make it a double tag)
2. Alvin?
3. Xin Zhao?
4. N/A
5. N/A


December 1, 2008

/* I haven’t been blogging for a long time, partly due to the fact that I have become more cyborg like and got nothing much to write about, and partly due to my laziness and procrastination. For Levin’s sake I will add another post (since he complained that there are no one to tag. lol */

#include <stdio.h>

int main (void)


int i;

printf(“Tag \n”);


1.the last person to tag u is?

2) your relationship with him/her?
-Friend / His blog visitor

3) your 5 impression towards him/her?

-Deep thinker, Occasionally say things with very deep meaning, own me in Wei Qi, do crazy harmless stuff on occasion, overall….very Levin.

4) the most memorable thing that he/she ever done for you?
-lol Being a friend? That is probably memorable enough….i don’t look like a person who would have many friends.
5)the most memorable words that he/she has say to you?
-He told me once:”年轻人就是要做些疯狂的事情!”  Since then that become my excuse to do crazy stuff….XD

6) if he/she becomes your lover, you will…
-I will wake my self up from the nightmare…

7) If he/she becomes your lover. he/she has to improve on…..
-I don’t care, I just want to wake up… T_T

8 ) If he/she become your enemy, the reason is….
-Hmm…maybe he got offended after reading this post 😛

9) The most desirable things to do for him/her is….
-Yamcha at BBS mamak stall

10) Overall impression towards him/her is…
-Very very Levin

11) How do you think the people around you will feel about you?
-Serious, unsociable, expressionless…but nevertheless still a good source to get the sample solution for tutorials and assignments. XD

12) The character of you for yourself is?
-Cyborg version 2.0 with some bugs which cause chaotic motion in brain wave activities oftenly.

13) on contrary, the character you hate of yourself is?
-Hmm…laziness is my arch enemy….

14) the most ideal person you want to be is?
– Someone who can think wisely.

15) For the person who cares and likes you, say somethings about them.
-I appreciate everything that they have done for me. Without their care and support I would be much more lonelier in life.

16) Bra or panties?

17) Chocolate or ice-cream?
-Bar Chocolate, preferebly hard one.

18) 10 ppl to tag.
– Hmm…I only know two active blogger….so….N/A


for(i=0; i<=1000; i++)

{ printf(” You have been tagged!\n”);}

return 0;


40th IChO Training in UM

July 8, 2008

Jun Yan, my roomate during the IChO training has posted his experiences during the camp. I am inspired by his post to give a brief description on characters which he hasn’t covered in his blog.


Professor Dr. Gan Seng Neon – A very kind professor who is destined to pursue pure chemistry (you can find an inert gas in his name). He is specialized in polymer, a subset in chemistry that will bored many to tears, but intrigues him as “you can find polymer everywhere“.

Associate Professors

Dr. Khoo – A professor who is remarkable for his quotes. Below are some of the common one:

half -past-sixth” – 半桶水 in Mandarin. Having only a limited knowledge on a subject

“You think you know about atom? Let’s see how much do you know…”

We were questioned to death even for the 1st lesson on atom. His question makes us realise how half-past-sixth we are…

“A good scientist can explain a concept in very simple manner. A half-past-sixth person makes things complicated.”

“A decision has been made.” The most famous quote…(well, it is 100% our fault. Those who have been to the traing will know what I refer to…)

Dr. Sharifudin – A cheerful professor who taught us Quantum Mechanics. He has a tendency to slide while walking ( we salute him for his ability to balance himself well) His favourite quote : “Things are nonsensical in Quantum Mechanics.” He often demonstrates the application of computer software for chemistry in his class.


Dr. Hairul – Another young lecturer besides Dr. Cheryl. Taught us organic chemistry. Once, during our teabreak, he said, “If you are good in cooking you are good in organic synthesis, since the principle involved is similar.”

No wonder my organic synthesis sucks…


Goh Jun Yan – My roomate for one month. Have previous participant experience, and will be going to Hungary this year. Occasionally attempt to induce Gavin to take UMS medic instead of NUS pharmacy. lol

Azri – Another person who is going for 2008 IChO as well. Having a dark complexion, he is often mistaken as an Indian instead of a Malay. (One of the professors refer him as an Indian…) Live next door to me and Goh… =)

Cow, Pig and Sheep

June 29, 2008

“Many years ago, a farmer had 200 dinars with which to purchase 100 animals. Cows cost 20 dinars apiece, pigs cost 6 dinars apiece, while a sheep could be bought for a single dinar. Assuming that he had to purchase at least one of each of the three animals, and assuing that he had to use all of his money, how many of each kind of animal did he purchase?”

I came across this question when I went to Pustaka Mukmin to purchase some reference book. The author claims that no advanced maths is needed…but I seriously don’t have clue for this question. I will update this once I found the answer. (or if any reader manage to solve this)