And yet another week flew by just like that …
Some of the free exercise activities offered to students. Honestly, I keep telling myself that I’ll participate in both Monday’s “Beginnger’s Yoga” and Thursday’s “Toning and Fitness Hour” classes but you know how it is like when laziness gets the better of me 😦 I really need to get my arse up and kicking!
Reflections: Personal Observations
1) One thing that I really do like about the environment here is that people tend to be very friendly on a casual basis and are open to meeting many new individuals- be it in class, or on the bus, or anywhere along the streets on campus. Warm and approachable, it always seems easy to strike a conversation with someone. Quite unlike the case in Singapore whereby we’ll most probably get “WTH!” stares and glares in return. Agree? Was talking to a couple of the locals here and what I found out is that people here often have niche friendships – classroom, student clubs, gym – that do not usually become deep, personal friendships. Sure, it might sound quite superficial but come to think of it, isn’t living in a society with generally friendly people who will greet and strike a conversation with one another a more beautiful place? In any case, people here are very open to making acquaintances and casual friends – it almost seems like everyone knows everyone and everyone’s always off “saying hi” to one another. And yes, as most of us know, facebook is the way to get connected with one another 🙂 and somehow, i hardly visit it cz it bores me lol.
2) It might only be an ‘on-campus’ thing but I do realised that there’s a significant no. of people here who would express their appreciation and “thanks” to the bus driver who drives them from 1 part of the campus to another. Be it an American or International student, many people have cultivated the habit of thanking the bus driver and I guess you can say it’s a way of making someone’s day.
3) Juliet calls it “the spirit of creative pursuits” … I guess, in a way it’s true. There are all types of majors available here – Comparative Literature, Classics, Women’s Studies, Music, Anthropology. Majors that are usually frowned upon back home cz they are apparently not as “practical and useful.” On a lighter note, people have a “let’s go do something” spirit – the hundreds of student clubs, radio talk shows, open mic night talent shows … all of which are evidence of a nurturing environment that encourages people to pursue the creative spirit hidden in them.
I guess it all boils down to the pace of life. It’s inevitable that life gets too easily stressed up when living in a highly competitive and hectic city. 1 main lesson taken from this trip is to truly have some time to enjoy life. To leave all work/academics responsibilites … burdens… problems aside just for a moment. That being said, I still want to say that Home is where my heart still belongs. Maybe, it’s cz all my loved ones and friends are there? Or perhaps, Im so used to and ingrained in the Singapore lifestyle?
4) Sports and exercise are definitely an integral part of people’s life. Here, majority of them love to exercise and are actively involved in an array of sports. Baseball, Softball, Football, Basketball, Ice Hockey, Volleyball and the list goes on… There’s a small gym right across from where Im living and it’s usually occupied with people working out all the time. A fairly common topic that people enjoy discussing is the different kinds of sports that they enjoy playing. Even fellow friends from Singapore are motivated and try to make it a point to either hit the gym or be involved in some form of exercise here. Yes, except yours truly, darn.
5) Seems like cam-whoring is a very Asian thing to do. Personally, I find it too weird and awkward to stick a camera into the face of a new acquaintance and most are stunned at the number of pictures that asians can take in a minute. Not a practice here, that’s for sure!
My weds afternoon date with both Elaine and Hua. Both of whom are probably some of the most geunine and sincere people that I’ve met thus far 🙂 More on them in future posts
Friday Club Night, organised by the Malaysian Student Association/Taiwanese Student Association/Japanese Student Association
UB True Blue Watch Football Game – UB vs CMU at D&B
(following 2 pics credit to google images. Not reflective of the UB vs CMU game).
Went for the UB True Blue Watch Game with Nicole.G (thanks for the ride, gal.) and Andrew.K ( Andrew teaches people snowboarding, & you bet that I would ask him to give me free lessons on it if Im still here during Spring Semester! ). Now, I can finally say that I know a little about the game and its rules. There were about 80 of us who turned up for this event to watch a live screening of the match (via internet). Pretty exciting too as the audience dressed in blue tops was extremely enthusiatic about supporting the UB team. Unfortunately, we suffered a gut-wrenching 25 – 27 loss to CMU. 😦
Volunteered for the Linda Yalem Safety Run 2008
Missing those days when I was an avid volunteer, I thus capitalised on this opportunity to volunteer for something meaningful on my short stint on half-way across the globe. By the way, do you know that UB students are required to commit to a min. of 10 hours of community service/semster though it ain’t compulsary for international exchange students? In any case, I volunteered as an individual (did packing of hundreds and maybe even a thousand goodie bags for runners on Friday and cheering on Sunday) though many joined as part of their groups/ associations ( read: many fraternities and sororities). But as mentioned, what I like is how welcoming people can be and luckily for me, Linda and her friends (Darwin, 2 Lisa, Patty, Ruth, Jeff and I can’t rmr the names of the rest) from the Asian-American Student Club invited me to join them. Had such a blast and fun time in that 2 hours cheering for the hundreds of runners. Runners from all walks of life – university students, Buffalo residents, families with children in tow, grandparents and elderly, people of all sizes, and my personal favourite – parents jogging/pushing the pram with their kids in it! Running 5km is already exhausting enough for me, talk about doing that + pushing a pram with a kid in it! Doubt that you’ll ever catch this rare sight in Sg!
I, for one, strongly believe that life is how we want to make it out to be – the decision lies solely in our hands and so, be active and pursue it when the opportunities arise. Don’t wait for dreams to happen, go out and make it come true. The most part of me wants time to go by slower so that I can have more time immersing in this new-found environment yet, the other part of me wishes for 12th dec to arrive so that you can hold me in your arms again.
ps: I’ve this crazy idea about extending my trip to early Jan for yet another adventure!