Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Big M

There's something to be said about living in a temperate climate during a certain phase in one's life. Especially when said phase involves hot flashes which occurs sporadically without any warning, making one feel like there is a furnace within one's chest whose heats spreads upwards & outwards & makes one feel like one is suddenly sitting in a sauna.

I am going to miss the winter.

Hormones are powerful things.

My internal thermostat as been reset to a temperature lower than previously. I used to be the one to turn up the temperature setting in the winter. Now, I am the one who turns it down, much to the dismay of my significant other & our two boys. I throw off the covers in bed in the midst of winter, whilst A continues to snuggle deeply within its warmth next to me.

My sleep pattern has altered, & sleep requirement diminished.

My taste in food has changed: I suddenly crave salmon sashimi where previously I would turn my nose up at it & push it aside. Similarly, I now love cold soba & choose this over hot ramen soup. Cherry tomatoes are suddenly delicious. Perhaps the Chinese theory of the balance between heatiness & cooling-ness has some meat to it.

Some of my friends are surprised when I tell them I am peri-menopausal. I am in my mid- to late 40's already, I tell them. Perhaps I should be flattered that they think I am younger than I really am.

As the bumper sticker says, "I'm still hot, but now it comes in flashes. "

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Impressions from China - Spring Fling

The magnolia & apricot blossoms are gone.

Apple blossoms are on the tree.

26 degrees Celsius today. Two weeks ago, it was 5 degrees.

Man, that was a quick Spring.

Friday, April 08, 2011


"Is it worth having a liberal arts college here?

THE deal is set for the Yale University and the National University of Singapore to set up a liberal arts college here ('Yale-NUS College gets faculty, alumni backing'; April 1).

But the question I want to pose is: Is it worth it?

The college will be offering a degree in liberal arts, which is not exactly a commercially viable qualification.

The fact is, to live and succeed in a competitive country like Singapore, there is more pressure on students such as myself to get a degree that will help us get a stable job, rather than something we would like to do.

The unfortunate truth is that students go to university for the degree, and not for the experience.

Also, the liberal arts 'scene' in Singapore is virtually non-existent. Students who want to actually apply what they learn in the programme will have to migrate to a country with more liberal arts opportunities, something conservative Singapore cannot provide.

Therefore, having a course that binds Western and Eastern cultures becomes moot.

Also, why not go straight to Yale, or any other university in a liberal arts savvy foreign country to study since they will have to migrate anyway? How useful will the students find this programme?"

I wonder if the author of this letter to the editor is being sarcastic or does it truly reflect the attitudes of the youth in Singapore today?