Waiting for my zipped JSTOR articles to upload to Mediafire because they’re too large to be attached in an email. I intend to scan through all of them, and actually read the relevant ones. I should really get properly started on my EE – will head to the library the next few days and immerse myself in my old, research process, and then make myself consolidate some presentable notes and send them to my advisor before he has a conniption.
Today I was listening to my News in Slow French (the slowness is very pronounced; the whole program sounds like it’s two French people talking to a retard child, which I suppose in this case I am) and to my great, almost wary surprise, I could understand most of the broadcast about Obama’s statements on Palestinian boundaries, a recent tornado in presumably the USA and the death of a president of some messed-up republic somewhere – okay, so I didn’t understand all of it, or at least not the details. But it’s progress! I tend to learn in tiny jumps like that – I’ve been listening to three hours of regular French news daily for the past week, on the train or while I’m testing electrical appliances at the Salvation Army, and it’s mostly three hours of background noise and the occasional word that I catch with no apparent progress, and today I realize I actually do get some of it, if I concentrate.
Been leafing through Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers during meals at home the past few days (surprisingly unsatisfactory; I’m not sure I appreciate my maid’s cooking all that much), and I was both inspired by and bemused at the chapter on the effect of centuries of Asian rice cultivation on our superior mathematical skills, in particular the part where it includes Singapore as an example of a country whose rich, long history of rice cultivation in intricate paddy fields has given us a headstart in modern math \o/ But the point about Asian concepts of hard work is certainly appreciable, more so now than I can remember having been in Raffles.
I did ninety minutes of vectors today! And read a couple of books (this amazing Italian cuisine book with glossy pages and pictures good enough to eat, one that’s essentially a long interview with Lee Kuan Yew, Neil Humphrey’s Farewell Notes from a Smaller Island, which wasn’t quite as funny as his previous two, I thought, and a few pages of a French novel about a disillusioned mother whose husband had just left mysteriously. And SuperFreakonomics, which, once again, made prostitution sounds like a wildly attractive career path) in and her focused blindly on their math and bio, and then took a three-hour nap on the couch. Dinner was amazing – her dad bought a whole salmon from a wholesaler. We had sashimi. Lunch was good, too.
I should also not forget to mention that has approximately 40 cats. And three dogs. Did I mention the FORTY CATS? I met but seven of them, and I was overwhelmed (but they were mostly affectionate and liked to rub their heads against my legs.)
i suppose every place has its charm if you’re not staying long. Sometimes, uncomfortably, I suspect that my love for Singapore is more that of a tourist than a local.