Saturday, January 02, 2010

The simple joys

The semester that was, was a test of survival. We passed.

(Photo by Thary.)

After the field trip to Port Dickson on 5 September (for Seaweed Biology and Ecophysiology of Marine Organisms), we desiccated some seaweed samples in an experiment. I remember seeing these petri dishes outside Lab C2.3 a couple of semesters ago or so; and now it was my turn to conduct the experiment.

Nowhere were the thoughts of growing older and the fear of the future more real than in Kuala Krau, on the Wildlife Biology field trip, 25-27 September.

Assigned tasks by Prof Rosli Hashim (who then disappeared for the day), we were on our own for the first time on a field trip. I don't know about all the others, but I realised then that this would be the pattern of the years to come should I remain in this discipline.

The trip to Sungkai on 3 October for Conservation Biology featured cameos from eye shadow, plastic-y hornbills and durians.

I photographed this seladang with my 70-210mm lens, on Ilford XP2 film. It's one of my least favourite films, simply because I don't really like the low contrast for which it is famed. However, in this shot the low contrast brings out a full range of tones in the foliage of the wildlife centre in Sungkai.

Thary remarked that the seladang looks artificial in this shot; one day when the seladang is extinct, our children will come across this photograph and never believe it really existed. It was probably just a cardboard cut-out propped up among trees.

Putrajaya Botanic Garden, Conservation Biology field trip on 11 October.

How on cengal. Like the mighty cengal, like the resilient rainforest, is the How Wan Cherng. Every semester there is a definitive picture of How; I'd say this was last sem's.

The tea company at the Shrew Seminar on 1 October. Prof Rosli Hashim, Prof Emeritus Dr Yong Hoi-Sen, Dr Manuel Reudi and, in the foreground, Dr Lim Boo Liat.

The Earl of Cranbrook was also present, as were Thary and How, the latter of whom attended the seminar by accident, having forgotten that Wildlife Biology class that morning was cancelled due to the seminar.

Late September and early October was a rather fruitful time in college; we had a field trip plucking and eating the rambutans from the tree growing next to Sahur.

Some said they were too sour, but I loved them!

17 October: we discovered the Bigfoot of Ikano.

19 October: Tim, Fit, Zilah and I attended the Merdeka Award ceremony at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP) in KLCC.

It was really quite eye-opening to see how they transformed the Ground Floor foyer of the DFP into a hotel-like buffet area, in less than 30 minutes as soon as the red carpet was rolled up after Najib.

A replica of the trophy.

It wasn't particularly a pleasant meeting, but the Experimental Theatre hand-over meeting on Wednesday 21 October was a landmark meeting (no pun intended) in a number of ways.

First of all, it meant we then had to deal with the contractor (Sunissa Sdn Bhd) for the ET Photo Shoot. But the meeting itself was quite interesting, as Fit and I witnessed first-hand how ill-prepared the University was for the commencement of the construction work. The architect, Mustapha Kamal, fired many questions at the Department of Asset Maintenance and Development (JPPHB), which were either unanswered or else miserably answered.

And this was the same JPPHB which made it complicated for us to gain access and permission to photograph the ET.

A couple of days later, Tim, Fit and I dropped by Italiannies for lunch after PKV, to pay a visit to Cassandra who was working there for a few months as a trainee chef.

It was the last day of the semester, and I had just received a prize for a photography competition; more on that later.

5 November. Ashaari, if I could say it again, I would say it in this one line:

"Compassion is about being merciful, for we have been shown mercy."

During the study/exam weeks, I had an unusual companion: a giant centipede which Alan spotted as we were walking down the corridor from the Bilik Bacaan.

I fed it a lizard on the first night, and crickets subsequently, but I think I have a lot to learn about keeping centipedes, as it eventually died. Perhaps it needed space? A cleaner captive environment (for I had not removed the remains of the dead crickets)?

We bade (small) Yee Siang farewell on 13 November; he's the guy holding the cake.

He is called 'small' because of his age, not his size. There was another Yee Siang in college who was a year his senior.

After the Ecophysiology of Marine Organisms exam on 16 November, I attended the talk by Dr Mahathir, organised by the Asia-Europe Institute of UM at the Nikko Hotel along Jalan Ampang.

Toh Puan Aishah Ong said it was a very nice picture of Dr M.

There were five of us from the Council who attended; Fit, Zilah, Atiqah and Nash.

Second mass outing at the DFP, after 2008's roaring Lord of the Rings success.

17 November: Igudesman and Joo's A Little Nightmare Music. It was a very good show, albeit rather short, unfortunately. It would've been nice if they'd extended it by 20 minutes.

Ah, the simple joys in life *wink*...

... like good friends...

... great drinks (Sarawak's legendary three-layered tea, now nearly everywhere in the Klang Valley)...

... and the best acronym for BFM (the radio station Business FM) yet.


Lish said...

uh..the first picture O.O

Mel said...

Hey I see that you know Samuel Leong too.