Friday, January 30, 2004

Improbable Possibility

Why does my life have to be so full of non-events? Everything seems to be an event, but then it turns out to be nothing but a figment of my imagination. Perhaps I am over-sensitive, maybe I think too much. Although I don't believe that thinking too much is a crime, it's certainly not doing me any good with my psychological health.

If somethings are not possible, why do I insist that there is a possibility? Am I destined to believe in the improbable possibility?

Valedictorian Competition!?

Yes, it was a competition. No, I didn't win. I had to present a valedictorian speech in front the panel of judges, and the competition was stiff. They were either really involved with student societies, or extremely proficient public speakers. This is not to give an excuse to myself, but it is true that the people chosen for the second round were definitely at a different class than I am.

No sweat, at least now I can enjoy my convocation coming June and not have to worry about saying the wrong thing in front of all the parents and friends. (this is when Evelyn steps in and say that I am engaging in cognitive dissonance.. *sigh*)

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Playing Catch Up

Oops, went overboard with the whole 'This is my last semester and I really don't care about my marks' idea. Regardless of whether I really care about my marks, the fact is that I need to PASS in order to get my degree. So it's back to working non-stop again.

Evelyn should be in Texas for her conference - haven't found a way to contact her yet, and no phone calls thus far. I hope everything is going all right with her.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Lesson Learned

Note to self, next time please make sure I write down all the assignment due dates to avoid the panic which I am currently experiencing.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004


Whoohoo, snowed in today.. no school. Luckily enough, I had an Economics test tonight.. guess it would have to be rescheduled.

I had a funny thought. In high school, I used to pray for snow days because essentially it's a vacation day. I get to go out with friends, and generally cause a havoc and the sorts. Now the first thing it comes to mind when I hear there is a snow day is, "YES! Now I can finally catch up on my school work and my readings!"

I lead a very sad life indeed. Haha.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference - Day 3

Barely woke up for the first keynote speaker of the day (already missed one morning seminar) after the night of partying. I had to wake up for this one though, because it's Frank Clegg, President of Microsoft Canada! He spoke about MS's vision for the future years to come, and how we are to be part of it. How do I become part of it? I applied to MS so many times, only to get turned down for an interview all those times. Ugh.

After lunch we had the second TechPanel for the conference, in which they discussed BioEthics that is currently a hot topic in world politics. They focused on the patenting issue of genes and organisms, which was very interesting. However, the moderator didn't seem to facilitate discussion between the panelists - their opinions are often disjointed and didn't really bring the true issue on the table. I was quite disappointed at the result of the panel.

The ThinkTank event that followed the panel was an interesting concept but fell short of my expectation also. The original idea is for a smaller group to discuss issues surrounding technology, and have the ability to speak with industry leaders for more insight. What it turned out to be was just them talking and us listening - just like a smaller lecture. There was virtually no interaction between me and other delegates at the table, which was something I had been looking forward to.

The conference ended with a banquet at the end, which was the usual affair and good times were had. I found that the most valuable thing at this conference is the chance to network, speak to different people from different schools, and get more exposure in the technology sector. I went clubbing with a couple of friends I met at the conference after the banquet was over, and bumped into a friend while she was clubbing with her co-workers. What a coincidence! Just to think how many clubs there are in downtown Toronto, and the chances of me bumping into somebody.. haha.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference - Day 2

The day started with a keynote speaker from Sun Microsystems, Glenn Edens, to talk about the merits of working in the technology sector. He had jumped from company to company, started his own company (Grid Systems), built the first laptop computer in the world. I wonder if I will be as accomplished by the time I'm his age?

After the keynote session, we boarded different school buses to one of the signature events of the CUTC, the TechTour. We had to choose between various companies or research laboratories to visit, and I chose to tour the Defense Research and Development of Canada. Not only because I always had a keen interest in working for the government (more like the Department of Defense), but it is not an everyday affair when you can waltz into their research labs and look around! It was really interesting to see that Canada is not that behind in our research capabilities, and I definitely saw some cool stuff like helicopter simulators.

When I returned to the conference, I attended more seminars regarding resume writing and job searching techniques. After which I met up with some friends and headed to downtown Toronto for a night out in the city.

Went to Alice Fazooli's for dinner, had some decent pasta (nothing compared to Gracie's) and a little bit of wine. It was getting late so we all went to the nightclub that the CUTC organizers had arranged - Joe. Now I was a little surprised because it was more rock music and less dance music, so I had no idea how to dance to 'rock'.. but it was fun times regardless. Had a couple more drinks, then one girl mentioned that she'd rather go to a real dance club. So we all left and went across the street to Money, and spent the rest of the night there. Didn't get home until 3am.. ugh.. last day of conference tomorrow!

Friday, January 23, 2004

Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference - Day 1

During the next three days, I'll be reporting live from the CUTC held in Toronto. (it's an early weekend for me!) Today was day one of the three-day conference. Even though the weather is less than optimal outside with the snowstorm, the attendance on the first day was really high. We filled up the entire ballroom! The day started off with a TechPanel discussing about globalization and how it affects technology innovation. It was really interesting to hear about globalization from a different angle.

The first seminar I attended was about Leadership. Personally there wasn't much to learn, since she talked about the usual qualities of a good leader. However, she brought up a good point regarding the difference between strength and talent. A talent is something you're born with. Strength is actually talent plus knowledge plus skill, therefore, you must keep working on your talent in order to make it your strength.

Lunch was the usual affair, the food was rather tasty for conference food. A featured speaker came and spoke DURING lunch. I barely heard him speak over all the utensils hitting the plates, and people chattering. Why didn't he wait until everybody was finished their meals before speaking!?

The second seminar was supposed to be online job applications and tricks to enhance my chances, but the speaker didn't show up until much later. So I went to the third seminar instead, which dealt with information security. A consultant from PWC showed us how easy it was to retrieve passwords, sniff packets.. etc. Not something that I didn't know already, and he didn't show anything too in-depth about the countermeasures.

The keynote speaker during dinner was very inspiring. It was Nancy Martin, the Operation Manager of GE Global Research in NY. She spoke about research that her team is conducting, and what the technology implies for the 21st century. Everything from renewable energy (hydrogen energy), pulse detonation engines, to molecular medication and cures for cancer. It really gave me an insight as to how the technology that I embrace everyday is useful in everyday life, that it affects people outside of the field also.

I'm going to get some sleep now, as the next two days will be packed with more seminars and keynote speakers!

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Fourth Year Design Project Symposium

C'est tout!! The fourth year project is finally OVER for good. The project that I spent over 16 months creating, developing, and pulling out hair, is finally over. It ended on a high note with a public symposium, showcasing all our efforts in the final year project. My seminar prosentation went well, especially when I invited two of the project sponsors to watch, as well as the project consultant. They seemed really pleased with our results! To top that off, I was interviewed by CKCO news and I probably was on the news last night. (too bad I don't have a TV, did anybody catch that??) They saw that my project was community-based, which is very different from being commerical-centric (like every other project). The reporter asked me a couple of questions about the system, how much work we put into it, etc. Well, there goes my fifteen minutes of fame. :P

Furthermore, our project was picked out as an example on the UW Bulletin today :
University of Waterloo Daily Bulletin - Wednesday January 21st, 2004

Check out the story titled "E&CE students show design projects", and check out the second bullet point. That's my project!! :)

Monday, January 19, 2004

Gone again..

Evelyn left this morning. Boo. :( It's always so sad when she leaves..

After a day of work.. now for a day of fun

Spent the entire Saturday working on the fourth year design project! It was awful - I literally spent 5-6 hours putting together our presentation video. However, I'm really proud of the fact that the video looks fantastic and now I know how to use Adobe Premiere :P

Today though, I met up with some friends for lunch. Someone inadvertently told me to meet at the wrong restaurant, which turns out to be owned by the same company but just different locations. It was okay though, we had a bit of a light chat over lunch which was good. It's nice to know that people still care even though you barely see them, especially when they called me to ask me out to lunch. I picked up Evelyn after lunch and played some MahJong (again!) with them. Lost quite a bit in the beginning, then won a couple of hands back. Somebody wasn't so lucky though.. hahaha.

Went to ToJ for dinner with Evelyn before she leaves tomorrow morning. It was really delicious, as I would usually expect from that restaurant. Met up with my friends again after dinner for a little bit of singing. Sorry people, I just had the urge. Sorry for keeping you guys out until such late hours (especially on the night before Monday!).

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Tired Week

This entire week had been pretty tiring - not withstanding all the work I put in for the fourth year design project. The good news is that it is ALMOST done. After the symposium next week, I can literally throw that off my priority list and never have to see the project prototype again. :)

Went out to dinner with Evelyn and Kim tonight, then they had their girl-bonding session while I went home to work on the project. It was all good though, since they really haven't seen each other in a long time and I had work to do anyway. Hopefully I'll get to spend more time with Evelyn this weekend before she leaves. :(

Thursday, January 15, 2004

CSA Dance

Now that was a fun night. Drinking with my classmates and chilling was some good times. Of course, I felt a little out of place since I'm probably part of the oldest crowd in the entire place. Maybe it's time I move on from this whole drinking-till-I-get-plastered thing.. :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Lack of Motivation (Part Deux)

So let me get back to the subject that I lack motivation. Perhaps I know that this is the last school semester before I complete my degree, so I have been slacking to quite an extent. It doesn't help that I have at most 3 hours of lectures a day. I wake up at unusually late hours (compared to previous years), show up at class, get home by 4:00pm, and I don't even know where my time goes after that. I *think* I spend it on writing my blog (ahem) or just mindlessly surfing the web.

Yes, yes, some of you will undoubtedly send me a friendly 'reminder' to organize my time better. I think it has a lot to do with my self-motivation, better yet, the lack of it. I get discouraged very easily these days - as in, if it doesn't work now, chances are, it will never work. What am I thinking???

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Yet another birthday party

Today (oops, Saturday) I went shopping with Evelyn for most of the day, bought a couple of things that I needed to bring back to school. She was supposed to join me at night for Lisa's birthday dinner, but she felt really sick so she went home to sleep instead. Arriving at The Keg, I was quickly reminded of how cozy that restaurant always make me feel. Lisa invited several of her close friends (I'm so glad I was invited) to celebrate her birthday over dinner. We chatted and had a great time at dinner..

Unfortunately, one of Lisa's friends got sick so we went back to Lisa's place, so that her friend could get some rest. The few of us wandered around her basement - literally. Until a couple of us had the urge to play some MahJong.. of course, being the birthday girl, Lisa won one of the most unlikely hands against all of us. Thank goodness we weren't gambling with real money :P

After a couple more rounds we took off to Marché for dessert, and when the clock finally struck 12 o'clock, Lisa's mobile phone kept ringing off the hook. I guess that's what happens when you are popular :) We took off at around 12:30am, after everybody had their share of sweetness for the night anddesperatelyy needed some sleep.

Friday, January 09, 2004


Evelyn is arriving in Waterloo soon to visit! This is truly exciting. :)

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

First Day of Class

Is it me or is the last term really that much easier? I went to two classes today, bought some textbooks, dealt with some administrative work, and went home to relax. Oh of course I handed in the report I was working on last night in the lab.

Or perhaps, this is just the calmness before a storm..

Monday, January 05, 2004

Day 0 of The End

Can you believe this? The school semester has not even officially started and I'm already in the lab! *sigh* This is definitely not a good start to the year..