End of term 1

This term was challenging and hectic. Did not have as much time as I liked to mull over my lessons and plan them. Seem to be rushing and preparing for meetings and reports. Had to motivate and convince people half the time and frankly, not very enjoyable at all.

Finally had the last lesson on Friday and all I felt was I had to prepare more next term.

Toe got badly infected. After a week of limping, went to see doctor and there is a name for this kind of infection which progressively became more tender and painful and start to ooze stuff out, something melanoma. Was a bit worried when ‘melanoma’ was mentioned. Doctor said that if the antibiotics do not work, lasering off the wound will be in order. He assured that it will be painful.

Founders’ Day was on last Friday, limped around taking photos and battling with the light. Was exhausted after a whole day of limping. A night outdoor concert, 2 very challenging conditions to overcome, must say that they pulled it off.

Had to give homecoming a miss as I registered for Prof Peter Ng’s talk at Science Faulty. “Life as a sanctioned professional killer”. Prof Ng taught me when he was completing his PhD. Remember being very impressed by the way he delivered his lesson (no reading from textbooks), showed us very interesting documentaries (Life On Earth and The Living Planet). The opening scene where Sir David Attenborough traced the origins of the Amazon River up the Andes remained etched in my mind. Of course the footage on the electric eel, the piranhas lurking in the murky Amazonian waters just fueled my passion for the subject. There was a time Prof Ng came back all tanned from Pulau Tioman and passed around a huge leech in a plastic vial. “Be careful, this fella has not been fed for a few days”. He also organised a trip to Lim Chu Kang swamp where all of us just collected specimens and had a good time trying to identify them back in the lab. Think my relationship with mangroves started then, after which I went on the do my honors project on the systematics of Rhizophoraceae.

Joined the NUS Bio Dept for my Masters and had the privilege of going back Tioman several times. Was very lucky to help with sampling and went on a few field trips, one memorable one will be to Natunas Island. Remembered it was right after the unfortunate Bali bombings. That was probably my first time going for a formal collection and I still try to maintain my eye for spotting herptiles.

Shan’t say much about myself teaching biology.

Oh yes, a day at home is really good.

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