Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The End of C2 & C4

My beloved C2 and C4 will be eventually sacrificed tomorrow.

C2 and C4 are my monikers for two of my remaining experimental rats which are still alive. Both of them should be euthanised by the end of January, but I somehow managed to keep them breathing until today.

Our Quality Assurance (QA) is constantly bombarding me with a barrage of questions regarding the fate of these two little mammals, which I love very dearly. I understand her predicament that we should adhere to our facility's policy at all times, but I just couldn't find the heart to do it.

Our Study Director (SD) has finally had enough, and he had ordered C2 and C4 to be eliminated tomorrow. I am seriously considering releasing them into the wild...but the consequence is bleak as well...I was told they would meet with even crueller fate. Being born and bred in lab, they couldn't survive even one day in the wild.

There's nothing more I could do. Farewell C2 and C4. You two will always be remembered.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Real Sunday

Today is the real Sunday, as opposed to yesterday's comical confusion. I had a sophisticated delusional sense of time nowadays...as every day seems to be the same day for me (for the moment, I work on weekends...that's why).

Tomorrow is going to be a hectic day, in fact it's going to be hectic for the whole week as critical phase of our experiment is fast approaching. Despite my tight schedule cramming me up into my office's corner, I managed to squeeze myself out (momentarily) just now to the nearest public library to find some leisure in the company of books.

There's no better way to free your mind from all the hassle of work than immersing yourself in a sea of books! I returned three books, received RM2.70 fine in return (I was late for nine days), then quickly setting my eyes on the shelf for any interesting book. 

My attention was fixed on one book...based on the title alone, I know it's going to be a good read. In all, I borrowed three books; one touches on the discussion of our religion, one revisits the dilemma faced by Malays, and the last one tells the story of Hang Tuah.

It's going to be a good read to distract myself from my work, I'm sure of it.

For movies, this is my updated version, published chronologically.





Have a good weekend. I'm off to finish my work.        

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Sun-Not Day

It's Sunday, meaning, it should be a sunny day. 

But right across my office's window now, I could see dark clouds gradually clumping together.

It should start raining anytime soon, I'm afraid. Possibly a storm.

The weather is extremely unpredictable nowadays...just now, when I went out looking for a new water heater, I was treated with an outrageously blistering heat, enough to fry my outer skin if it were to be left exposed uncovered. 

That's why whenever there was a traffic light ahead, I prayed there would be trees alongside the street...so that I could take a shelter while waiting for the light to turn green.

My hands are currently tied with endless work...it's tedious and unfeasible, but currently it's the only way to get it done. We still do not possess a working and functional computerised system, so it all should be done manually. By me. Alone.

Personally, my mind is both fuzzy and numb...thinking about so many things at once. Sometimes I wish I could turn back the clock, un-doing every stupid thing that I've committed.

But that's not how the world works. The clock will continue clicking...time will continually moving. We are either ahead of time, or time will mercilessly leave us trailing behind.

It's getting darker, and windier. A windstorm is coming. Hope it will wash away this gloomy mood of mine I'm currently in.

P/S (25/03/2017 5.41 P.M)
Just minutes after posting this, I realised today is actually Saturday, not Sunday. I must have been confused by the raging interchange of the weather. Not in the mood to edit or change the title or content of the post, so I'll leave it as it is, with this Post/Script as the end note. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Work is Love


A stack of unprecedented workload is raining on me nowadays, so I don't have much time on cyberspace, let alone on Pancasara.

But I still try to find time catching up on my readings...because reading and writing are what make me refreshed and feel alive.

My colleagues are having pregnancies at the same time...so I have to cover their workload for the time being. I am surrounded by young and expecting mothers in my workplace, and all of them are expecting their first child. 

So it's quite a bizarre situation when they are discussing their tales of pregnancy, while I'm sitting right next to them, drinking coffee. As long as they are not feeling uncomfortable with it, I'm OK with it.

Many interesting things happened this week...the urge to jot it all down is sky-high, but I have to finish my work first (it's Sunday and I'm here in my office). Life is going well at the moment for me...there are bumps ahead, but I'll try not to think about it. Let's cross the bridge when we are there. 

It's no point worrying about problems that you have very limited control of...this piece of wisdom I gathered after watching Passengers yesterday. 

So for the moment, relax and enjoy your work.  

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Movies





It's been too long since I last updated my movie collections. I rarely had time to enjoy a good viewing nowadays, but whenever that rare opportunity surfaces, I'll give it a good shot.

This is my stack of recommended movies for viewing pleasures...best enjoyed by those who craved a good story line with sprinkling of actions along the way.

The Wailing in particular, is packed with heavy stuff. Good and evil are harshly intertwined in this dark tale of horror. The ending will leave viewers with more questions than answers.

I'm off to enjoy my weekend. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Lesson from Ethanol

When helping my colleague to prepare disinfectant yesterday, I was ridiculed by her for not knowing how to prepare 70% ethanol.

It was not that I was ignorant; it was just a case of recollection. I last prepared ethanol myself almost two to three years ago and it had escaped my mind ever since. A little spark would help me refresh my weakened memory.

But no, it’s almost a capital sin for asking this little but significant question. Our custom dictates that it’s better to keep quiet and remain ignorant rather than opening our mouth and asking this supposedly silly question.

Throughout my learning years, and I perceive my whole life as a learning process, I regard knowledge as sacred. Every little thing that I have little or no information about, I will ask question and did a light reading. I did not assume something to be true unless after I gleaned a bit of information relevant to the subject first. Facts are very important to me and I hold it dear to my heart.

I noticed nowadays, our so-called experts are reluctant to admit that they were clueless about certain details pertaining to their subject matters, but they are quick to condemn other people who commit basic mistakes in subject related to their expertise.

Admit when you have no information or knowledge about something; it won’t lower your stature. Don’t deride when somebody is asking you a seemingly silly question; it won’t elevate your status.

Now hold on while I'm preparing my ethanol. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Thursday, March 9, 2017

A Better Tomorrow

Today is a lot of mess.

After (shamefully) skipping yesterday’s medical screening, I reported for work today with much derision.

It was a friendly derision, of course. And I didn’t take anything of it to the heart.

I had this fear of blood, or blood phobia, a strange kind of sickness, which greatly affected my chances of becoming a doctor during my youth (I was offered an interview to becoming a doctor by JPA back in 2003).

I never wanted to become a doctor by the way. I took biology in SPM just for the sake of learning. You were paid to study whatever subjects you wanted, so why dropped one important subject just because you wanted to be an engineer?

Biology is a beautiful field, filled with lots of intriguing truth of life. To sidestep biology is akin to ignore the bountiful knowledge of life sciences.

I was told I still have to attend the medical check up...much to my dismay. The last time my blood was withdrawn out of my body was in 2002, and I almost fainted. I remember one of my classmates looking at me, horror-struck, to see my face turning very pale.

All I know was that I was frightened to death as the blood was withdrawn from my left hand. 

That experience of horror still left a big mark on my memory up to this day.

For my next experiment, I was required to undergo a full health screening, complete with Tetanus jab and blood withdrawal.

So I could only run...but eventually, the truth hurts...I’ll have to face the needles.

On my way to IPS (Institute of Postgraduate Studies) of USM, I lost my access card.

My faithful plastic card holder was so old that it tore up at the bottom, resulting in my access card slipping away without me ever noticing it.

I searched the whole place twice without any meaningful result. It must be fated.

I already paid RM70 for the processing fee...and then I have to fork out another RM30 for the lost card.

Surely tomorrow will be better.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Tales From School - Perfume

Written sometime between September and October of 2016, this out of boredom short story is one of my string of essays chronicling my life as a part-time worker in a school's canteen during my sabbatical.

It was a very enriching three months experience, the one that I would never forget. The rest of the remaining essays would be published periodically, if time permits - Pancasara

Perfume

It was nearing 10.30 a.m., and I was waiting for the school’s bell to ring. My task was done...I had prepared almost 50 plates of rice for the school’s secondary student. It was surely tiring but I had come to like this work.

The recess hour was preceded by lower secondary (form 1-3) before their seniors (upper secondary, form 4-5) were given permission to eat. A ten minutes cooling period gap was squeezed between the two, acting as a buffer. 

Each day, a teacher was tasked to monitor all the students. Usually he/she will carry around a medium-length cane with them, for punishing purpose. Any student who dared to flout the law (e.g. still eating outside recess hour) had the possibility to be canned, although that possibility was slim. A high-pitch yelling from the teacher in charge would usually do the job.

The recess hour was like a refugee’s camp. Students went out all starving as if they had never eaten for years. They cramped the canteen’s selling area, out-muscling each other to get to the food first. Early buyer had the chance to choose the biggest fried chicken, that’s why they fought their way to get to the front.

Usually there were four people staffing the canteen arena...Ciktie, Kak Ani, Fahmi and me. I kept watch of the rice and drink section. I served them whenever they wanted more rice, or when they wanted to buy can/bottle drink.

In this particular case, a group of students came to us midway through the recess hour. They came in a group, not a rare phenomenon as students always walked together in groups. There were three to five of them. Not a single one of them said anything other than asking for rice.

What struck me as weird was the scent that emanated the area as soon as they approached. It smelled very nice...as if every one of them was wearing a perfume.

Fahmi also noticed this odd occurrence.

“Pasaipa semua wangi? Hangpa nak mengorat Ms Lau ka?” he quipped with his usual wit (Ms Lau, the discipline teacher, was usually the subject of ridicule among students, mostly because she was a strict teacher, partly because she was still unmarried at forty).

They didn’t respond to Fahmi’s question. They gave a smile and paid the price of the food in complete silence. This further invoked my curiosity.

It was actually a good practice to put on perfume while studying. Imam Malik, one of the four main imams in Islam, was said to put on perfume when he was preaching to his students.

I was thinking, they might be following imam Malik’s lead to better capture what was being taught by their teachers.

This group of students was our hope for a better future.    

It was not after an hour later that I found out the real answer.

Taking a short break after I finished cleaning up the dishes, I headed towards the toilet. In a turn of event, that same group of students was being reprimanded by a teacher after they were caught red-handed smoking in the toilet.

That perfume functioned only as a red herring to cover their act. They were smiling and had finally broken their complete silence earlier after being repeatedly pinched by the male teacher. 

My high hope on them earlier was fast becoming a comedy. But who knows what they might achieve in the future?