May (the Fourth)

It’s May again, the month in which I was born. More important than not, however, it’s a month to do “mid-year” evaluation of the “new” year 2017 (that is no longer new).

It’s May, and I am 21. It’s the legal age to vote in Malaysia, and the legal age to drink in the States. But it’s also a time to be mindful of what I do, not just to avoid questions on my maturity, but also to uphold my self-discipline and independence. I am happy to be able to ‘survive’ well (academically, I guess?) without being in the arms of protection of my parents, and able to mingle into the various circles of Canadian peers. The responses on suggests that my recent interpersonal interaction deserves at least a “pass”, but I believe that there’s more I can work on.

It’s May, a month described “mellow” in “I feel the earth move” by Carole King (yes I am listening to this, but it’s Olivia Ong’s version which I love more <3). It’s mellow because spring has completely replaced winter (though the fluctuation of temperature and the rain can be frustrating at times); cherries blossom together with different species of flower, and grass thrive on soil that was once ‘suppressed’ by the snow. It’s also mellow for me as this is not my study term; I can immerse myself in my graph theory research without the obligation of maintaining my grades, catching up my assignments, and cramming for different tests. The season of spring also marks the gaining of energy by different living creatures to grow physically and explore the wonders of the world, just like how I can explore my interests during this not-so-hectic term. This energetic sense has therefore led to the exploration of my first Hackathon, Datathon and other forms of programming, which I hope I will truly relish in.

First legit Python code produced within the Datathon! (Have been checking Stack Overflow like nobody’s business)


Cherry blossom in UW
Ohana means family. The parents are aggressive now!

It’s May, and daytime is getting longer. My originating from Malaysia and my obsession with numbers led me to the fascination in thinking how the sun rises early before 6am and sets almost at 9pm–so intense was the fascination that I scrolled through periodically to compare the ‘office hour’ of His Majesty the Sun at various place, and at different different timeline of the year. Behind this captivation, however, is the illusion of how “early” it is with the sun still up when it’s already 8:30pm. How tempting it is to keep procrastinating and delaying because “it’s still early”, only to realize that I have only two hours left between the darkening of the sky and the time I am supposed to go to bed. Sometimes I just wish that I have better time management to free myself from these illusions, and stay productive at all times.

6:30pm, rainbow taken from the Davis Center
Twilight at 8:50pm

It’s May, and I shall appreciate the opportunity to be in the world for 21 years. Appreciate the birthday wishes online that originates from different places like Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Ontario, Dublin, California, Massachusetts and Philippines. Appreciate my family who had a Skype chat with me on my birthday night. Appreciate my two buddies for bringing me out for a great dinner, surprised me with a birthday cake, and kept me delighted with the brother-like conversations (that lasted for two hours). Appreciate a friend who came to my office to wish me happy birthday, too. πŸ™‚ I should note on how I used to have this dilemma on whether to spend time replying each wishes online, but I did it nevertheless: it wouldn’t hurt to devote 30 minutes of my day to reconnect with my old acquaintances, would it?

The master who said his friend as master instead!
Another memories from IMO 2014, by a legendary friend at MIT (you know who you are πŸ˜› )
A birthday wish with my impromptu performance on “如燕” by Olivia Ong. I swear I have a better version after a few times of practice. πŸ˜›

(There’s another wish that came with my ugly photos, so it has been censored from my selection. Sorry bro.)

May the fourth be with you, work hard, and keep rejoicing in life.

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