Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Once a Maxwellian, Forever a Maxwellian

Kissing SMKRA farewell, I am now an official Maxwellian!!!
Actually the twins, Zi Qin and I went to Maxwell long before we were accepted there, participating actively in the Chinese Society. We were requested to do some souvenirs, ‘forced’ to represent the school in a Chinese Chess Tournament (we sucked in chess), and even been recruited to dance (we rejected the dance quest…phew…) Although it was quite tiring and time-consuming, we learned a great deal of things.
Today the front foyer and the car park were covered in mud. Some of the classes were flooded. Yesterday’s KL flash flood has taken toll on the school, being in the centre of KL and low lying comparatively. The formal first impression of Maxwell---wet.
The day went in monotone but I am feeling extremely overwhelmed. Today is a very special day, worth remembering and greatly appreciated, that the first time ever in my life, I am very very proud to be a Maxwellian.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Happy Birthday Grandma

Today we celebrated grandma's 70th birthday in Chan Kee (Hakka) Restaurant. Previously, grandma kept insisting indirectly that she wanted her birthday celebrated grander than before, since it is 7o. But according to Uncle Hing, this is very inpropriate because it was said to announce to Yen Lo Wang for the call for death. So also according to Uncle Hing, birthday this year must be kept normal and simple, in order to keep grandma alive and breathing for the next few years. So we ended up celebrating it as a simple family occasion.

The restaurant was plush, clean and grand looking. Too bad the only customers there were us and a family slurping rice quietly in the corner. Obviously we made the most noise there, talking and laughing, not bothering to keep our voices down. We ordered some Chinese dishes. Among them was deep fried fish, brinjal+long beans, lettuces, spicy pork with dried chili, tofu and lemon chicken. Well, grandma insisted on lemon chicken because it was her favorite dish. After that, we were full. Very very very full.

Next we went back to grandma's house for the 'cake cutting ceremony'. Haha. Sounds formal. But who cares about the process? Everyone's focus was on the cake, coffee tiramisu. Although bought from Orange Delight (not famous Secret Recipe) it was quite delicious. Initially the plan was to sing the birthday song together with Aunt Sin who was currently in Japan but unfortunately she did not online.

Grandma complained a lot that day, the deep fried fish looking ugly, the tofu looks too smashed, the lemon chicken was weird, the cake was half frozen....... Basically the food was not that nice but I did really enjoyed today because it brought our family bridged closer together. Another meaningful family occasion like this, I am sure grandma will be very very happy and will achieve greater health and longevity.

( upper row, from left to right) Huan Huan, Uncle Bang, Aunt Yin, Shuang Shuang, Wan Ling, me. (lower row, from left to right)Mum, Ken, GRANDMA!! (the focus), Aunt Ngen, Yee Yee

small cake, big crowd, hungry people.

overexcited on the cake.

Monday, June 4, 2007

To Believe or Not To Believe

I was always wondering about the lines on my palms being different from others. People around me have 3 distinctive lines on their palms, but I only have 2. I had the first 2 lines joined together, while others have two lines each starting and ending on the centre of the palm, and the third curved down towards the wrist. I had my third line correct.

My grandmother told me this is called 'duan zhang'. Direct translation to English means broken palm. According to the palmistry book my sister just borrowed back from the library, this type of palm is very rare. The joined line I had across both my palms are called the simian line. And it is supposed to mean that I am a potential genius and someone who is high in religious order. Weird, huh? I am neither.

Forget about this. I know I had to work to acheive, not just to believe in these things. My religion does not permit this. So I am still believing in God because I knew that He had destinied some greatness in my life, with or without my palms looking weird.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Piano Trial

I was freaking out about today’s piano trail exam, being unable to gain self control and throwing my temper to anyone around me. Yoong Sin and Zi Qin wished me good luck, and sent me to the pavement of the institution. I gulped. The time was 2.30pm. Another 30 minutes to death. I practiced in a spare studio but my palms became abnormally sweaty and my fingers kept slipping away from the correct keys. I gave up and waited. When my named was called I was already shaking from top to toe. But I braced up myself and strode into the room, bearing a black grand piano and a small desk, by it sat my examiner, smiling. I twisted my hands.

I started with the weakest part: scales and arpeggios. I messed up between staccato and legato. Then I sweated some more. Shaking, I tried. Then I missed the key. I asked the examiner again. She looked at me awkwardly and repeated. I tried again. But I got the whole thing wrong. I gulped twice, my hands felt like charcoal. The examiner asked me whether I wanted to continue. I nodded, and repeated. But the effect was even worse. In the end, I shook my head, placed my hand on the seat, and gave up. The examiner smiled again, pleased that the whole agenda had ended.

Then I played my pieces. I had total confidence of these three pieces, as I had put ample of time and energy practicing them, unlike my scales and arpeggios. It started perfectly okay, the tempo and the dynamics plus the emotions were present. It did not last long. I missed the third note of the piece. I paused and my confidence tumbled down. I was trembling and swallowing again. Then, I missed the dynamics and the details. Towards the end I missed a key signature. It ended like a pile of shit. The second piece was even worse. I missed all the important dynamics. To make the matters worse, my phone rang when I was approaching the finale. I freaked out and ended it simply. The examiner reminded me to off my phone while I fumbled with my pockets. I muttered that I have forgotten. I checked my phone. It was Shin Peih’s sms. The third piece I did it blandly. I did not master the centre part. In the end, I was disappointed.

My next test was sight reading, the nightmare of my life. I sucked completely in sight reading. I did not get the keys right, and towards the end I only realized that some notes needed to be detached. I ignored all the dynamics and Italian terms, not because I do not understand, but I had too much to cope at that moment. After that was the test on aural awareness. Singing the bass was a problem for me, as I could not even hear the bass. I just simply croaked a few notes. The chord part I guessed. Sight singing became a total mess because I became too involved with the treble part. I ended up singing the wrong part. At least the piece question I did it okay. After the piece I just blurted out everything that I have memorized. The examiner wrote something down and told me to leave. Happy that the whole damn exam was finished, I exited without asking questions.

To nobody’s surprise, I failed. 92 marks. 100 was the passing grade. I knew I did a terrible job. But I knew that I had an important job to do, to overcome my fear towards examinations. I know this phobia will cripple my future, and I had to find a way to gain self-confidence. I wished that I did not sweat and gulp that much during the exam, maybe then I can at least pass it. Now, I pray that I will pass the real exam, which is on 6 July. Friends, pray for me.