It's my 21st birthday today!

Before I get down to how it feels, I must confess I am taking a break from studying. I just had this urge to dive into vectors and vector space because I didn't understand it. I think because I only started really learning what maths was about in JC when I was more switched on I have to work through a lot of things people take for granted, when it comes to understanding how and why certain results are the way they are. So I'm slower but I'll get there and I'm actually switched on for once.

So let me regale you with academic things first.

Actually, nothing glamorous. 4 lectures today! 5 if you count the international relations one i attended for fun. The economics one was woefully boring for the first lecture, because it was woefully introductory, but I'm glad the pace quickened up for the 2nd one, and in a way (you get what you wished for, and more). He tried to inspire us by talking about world inequality and the wondrous appearance of wealth in the past 150 years, but we all knew that isn't what we're going to be doing, more like utility hills and consumption bundles and stuff like that. My course on internationalization of economic growth (economic history) has one of the most interesting professors so far (not that the rest of my lectures are that glamorous) but I like how interdisciplinary the whole thing is, transatlantic wind patterns, economically efficient diseases, and oh, what a sense of humour. maths went by in a flash and i don't think i absorb much in maths lectures. IR was drier than I thought it would be but it thought me one thing. Never, never be pessimistic in an introduction to anything. No surer way to switch people off. I left with the impressions well that the benefits of this discipline of international relations are marginal at the least (not making a normative judgement it is, but that was the tone I got).

Stats tomorrow! and ministry of sound haha. make up for the quietness of today.

Anyway, got the usual calls from family, well-wishers from Singapore, emails, smses, people who bother giving me cards at econs reception (thanks!). Even those who tried sending me lighters and failed, thanks! Mich (Tan) called me up and sang a birthday song for me, which I appreciated for all the embarrasment it probably caused her (then again, maybe she feels no shame.) Was a quiet affair (reminded me of Debi's 21st birthday) where Alex kept me company and we found excuses to splurge on eating and ice-cream in the bitter cold (we are masochists) at leicester square. Insa remembered too, and I'm just touched that all these new people are nice enough to wish me well. Another birthday spent overseas, it's been London, Bali, and Taiwan now for the last 3 years. They haven't been all lonely, there was always someone for me but of course it wasn't with everyone I would liked to have shared it with. (In fact, Bali was the most fun, but damn it had to get bombed again.) But what i learnt from the IR professor is to try to be positive. Any of you who've had the (mis)fortune of watching someone die may hope for some pearls of wisdom like "this is the most liberating experience, ever, death". Whether or not it's meant or not, it does give young boys and girls who're watching you hope and at the very worst you end up looking very macho or wise.

In the same vein, I must say turning 21 is a pleasure. Ignoring the things I haven't done, or my failings, or fretting that another year has passed, I guess I can look forward to my most fertile, productive years of my life. And for all those who've given me encouraging words along the way, I must say I'm starting to believe all your hype, and yes, good things come to those who wait! And I can safely say there's been a lot of that in 21 years, and a lot of good things too!

and looking at the buskers, (there was one playing "when i fall in love...it will be completely..."), and I thought, who knows the meaning of loneliness more than these free and sometimes homeless ones.

The vagabond who's rapping at your door
Is standing in the clothes that you once wore.
Strike another match, go start anew
And it's all over now, Baby Blue.

I love the way bob dylan is so big here. must be the recent bbc documentary

one more... for those turning 22... don't turn this way=)

Now Ophelia, she's 'neath the window
For her I feel so afraid
On her twenty-second birthday
She already is an old maid

To her, death is quite romantic
She wears an iron vest
Her profession's her religion
Her sin is her lifelessness
And though her eyes are fixed upon
Noah's great rainbow
She spends her time peeking
Into Desolation Row



Anonymous said...

Hey Jesse! Happy belated birthday! Did think of dropping you an sms but my perpetually-broke state means I never have any credit in my mobile. Hope you're enjoying London! :)
-Weng Yan

wendy said...

happy belated birthday!!!!!! the time difference got me a bit confused. i thought it was today. yours is 4th nov yeah?

anyway happy 21st! i'm going to be old maid soon. thanks.

have the best time ever! =]

Anonymous said...

sorry had no idea it was your birthday today. Hope you had a great day and best wishes for the year ahead! ministry of sound? sounds exciting!