“75 ppm”

I have been re-watching some lectures online because I have two quizzes this week (NTU records all of their lectures and posts them Blackboard, which is wonderful). I just learned that the PM 2.5 limit for air pollution experiments on lab animals is 75 ppm, but PM 2.5 levels in Beijing climb as high as 900 ppm!

Studying has made my day dreary. I have been trying to have a good attitude, but that has been difficult. I tried the Fish and Chips at the “Western Cuisine” stand in the cafeteria today and was disappointed. The most thrilling part of my day was finding a huge dead snail with a cracked shell… :/


Still raining in Singapore!


wheedle: to entice by flattery, or to coax.


The first word of the sixth chapter of my Water Supply Engineering book that I can’t seem to get past.

I am still so excited and overwhelmed to be living in Asia that concentrating is difficult for me. On top of that, I’ve learned so much more traveling, experiencing new things, and meeting new people that studying for this class seems like such a pointless burden. I also can’t put down the books I’ve been reading, and Duolingo has proved to be surprisingly efficient in teaching me German, so I’ve been excited to use it and have been practicing quite a bit.


My hall’s study and TV room.

Also, storms are still blowing over Singapore and they put me to sleep. The temperature outside went all the way down to 84 degrees today!

Gray skies over Singapore

Gray skies over Singapore


I have seen Black Violin in concert, but rediscovering them was nice.


Aureole (ah-ree-oh-lah): a radiant light around the head or body of a representation of a sacred personage


“Kopi, take away?”

I woke up early today so I could make it to the lab to run some tests before anyone else stole the machine that I needed. I was pretty tired all day, and spent quite a bit of time near the coffee (“kopi”) stand. Singaporean coffee is delicious, though. It’s a rich coffee with condensed milk rather than creamer, and it is wonderful. I look forward to waking up in the morning just so I can have the “breakfast set”, which consists of kopi, soft-boiled eggs, and butter kaya toast. Many of the food workers here are Chinese, and they sometimes get my order wrong. Often the worker will look to the nearest Asian-looking student in line to try to have them translate my order into Mandarin, and their request is usually met with an offended, “Yeah… I don’t know Chinese.”

Kopi and my new book, which is blowing in the wind a bit because it is finally storming in Singapore!

I have started reading Cormac McCarthy’s Cities of the Plain. The book is about the last generation of cowboys (early 1950s… more recent than I had expected). It’s rather dull, but I can’t seem to put it down.

I discovered a beautiful song this morning.

I have been trying to listen to music other than Indie, which I have been almost exclusively listening to for the past year. Today I have been listening to classical music, I guess that makes me cultured.

Someday when I have more energy I will tell wonderful tales of my travels around the world and rant about how Singapore kills souls. Today is not that day, I am about to pass out.

But, here is my new word:

decorous: in keeping with good taste and propriety; polite and restrained.

“Charlotte gave David a decorous kiss”



“Clay must feel happy in the good potter’s hand”

I have decided to start this journal for a few reasons, mainly because I’m at a time and place in my life where my thoughts are rapidly changing, so I’d like to reflect on my days. I am not only growing into an adult, but I’m also spending a few months traveling around Southeast Asia. Also, after four years of almost exclusively STEM courses, my writing and communications skills have gotten embarrassingly poor… I used to be a great writer, I swear. I have so many new opinions and ideas these days, but I feel like I don’t have the vocabulary or means to convey myself well and it is getting frustrating.

So, I will be forcing myself to post daily on this blog. I’ll be taking one photo each day, making note of a memorable quote each day, learning a new vocabulary word each day, and rambling on and on each day.

I will also be practicing German in Duolingo for a half hour each day. I’m aware I will never be fluent in German using this method, but I enjoy the sound of German words, contrary to the rest of the world.

I apologize in advance for anyone who stumbles upon this blog, because I am not creative and will probably bore you with my monotony, lists, and half-baked philosophies. When I am 30 I will probably read this and cringe, similar to how I cringe thinking of my 16 year old self identifying with Holden Caulfield. I hope that doesn’t happen.


Here is my first post, I hope nobody reads it. I wanted to make this private, but I will suck it up. No photo of the day today because my phone and/or computer won’t recognize the usb connection. I am too poor to have a data plan, but also my old data plan stressed me out too much.

If you were to see my photo of the day, you would see a photo of a book, White Oleander, open on a table outside of my lab at work while I was waiting for my supervisor to arrive.  I will not be writing about my internship in this blog, as it would be very easy to narrow down my lab and supervisors and whatnot based on a small amount of information.

I finished that book today, it was quite good. Google the plot. My favorite aspect of the book was not the plot, however. The book was written so poetically; it made me want to create artwork, read fine literature, smell fancy perfumes, listen to classical music, clip rose bushes, and do other snobby, cultured things.

The quote that precedes this entry was taken from White Oleander, and was spoken by the protagonist, Astrid, with regards to her mother’s life lessons. From a shallow perspective, I liked the quote because I like pottery. However, I also enjoyed the quote because I’ve recently been growing and have been shaping my life in a direction that makes me very happy. I have had an amazing opportunity to travel around Asia, and have met amazing people. My boyfriend is wonderful and brilliant, and has helped me develop into a happy, healthy, mature woman. I’ve learned new skills, gained new perspectives, had ups and downs through my teen years, and in general, I am pleased with where I am right now; I am extremely lucky in every regard, and am excited to live my life. If I die young people can use this paragraph at my eulogy, I guess.

I am tired. Here is my word today, complete with my own phonetics because I can never remember what the real symbols mean:

surreptitious (syrup-ti-shus): kept secret, especially because it would not be approved of.

“low wages were supplemented by surreptitious payments from tradesmen”