after spending almost two hours in the band room, waiting, brainstorming and discussing with my music teacher about band camp, i left the school for cwb.

i am considered by most people, including myself, as pushy. it’s not something that i don’t admit.

i inherited the trait from my mom whose motto “i never take no for an answer” which has somewhat haunted me. i used to secretly hate my mother for this attitude but as i grow older, i cant help but find myself following in her footsteps.

and it’s not uncommon that you hear in success stories lines like this, “never doubt yourself.” “even when everyone else says no, you must believe in yourself” which seems to make my behavior almost saintly.

but i know there’s a fine line. ever since the onslaught of IB, i’ve kind of been the sole fighter for keeping traditions, going with past practices in club affairs, band affairs. and i’ve often found myself in multiple situations where all my friends have deserted me and i’m the only one going against the teacher. (today being a situation no different)

then i started considering whether i should just back off and start to learn to accept more that mentality that i once possessed. sometimes, we just have to wait for the right timing. force will only you push you so far with the whole world acting against you.

that’s about where my thoughts stopped because by now i had arrived in cwb and was sitting down for lunch in a Shanghainese restaurant.

all of a sudden, this random old man across me starts talk to me

“finished your exams?”


“what year are you?”

“last year of high school”

“choose your concentration yet?”


“good” (hands me a card)

( i lost the card. shiza. it’s sth like)

“Success or Failure: it doesn’t matter what has already happened to you. Make the best out of what you’ve got.”

then, he started on a lecture about life

“i had a friend who was a barrister and everyone respected him. but he wasn’t really happy. he also had a great hobby: photography. so one day, he quit being a barrister and started taking photos. he’s travelling all around the world and has his photos in a few magazines. and he’s still making a lot of money. the difference is that he’s a much happier person.

“why rush into a decision. you can give an A answer. why don’t you give it more thought and give a better answer that deserves A+. why are you rushing? take your time”

i mean this was frigging life screaming in my FRIGGING face to tell me to chillax. how could there be a more tangible, physical representation of GOD.

tbh, i was a bit freaked out by this old man. but somehow, i felt like that 0.001%, the part of the world that the this man was try to change, one by one. i felt i was special

and so the thought stops there. i took it as a sign to stop caring.

as of writing this post now, i’ve put my best foot forward, expressed my views and wiggled my tail as long as i could. The world doesn’t hear me? too bad then. (i guess i still have that willingness to give up. HURA!)

on the other note, chester made a statement about band members. he said that they join because of CAS. led me to think bout other incentives like the athlete scholarship that the school is implementing. not that i think it’s not good but i think (confirming the view of the TED video ofhttp://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_on_our_loss_of_wisdom.html ) incentives only decrease the purpose and meaning of our work. i’ve not received a single CAS hour from band since end of last year. i could have quited it all if i wanted. but it’s the sense of belonging of CDNIS and the music program has brought me that i wish to pay back for.

schools have it better because of the stronger sense of community and natural cycle of people that allows fresh ideas. but i postulate the reason for decrease involvement in sports precisely because of these incentives. return sports to its original form: a heart wrenching, heart pounding, panting, labored breathing activity human beings created where they could fight instead of a war. return music to its original form: a chance to create art.


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