I’m not sure that Morocco or France are my countries... No, my country is language. My country is a library. Have you ever felt utterly exhilarated just listening to someone talk? I was in a conference room somewhere in the basement of the Center for European Studies. Leila Slimani was in conversation with my Advanced Fiction … Continue reading Confession: “I Was Born A Writer”
Hello folks, we're entering week 4 of Junior Fall?! Summer feels like yesterday — banana shirt days in flip-flops, lounging in the shade reading novels, and smearing the ring of condensation on my fingers when sipping iced tea/milk green tea with golden bubbles/pineapple smoothies (happy sigh). My life has never been this routine and packed … Continue reading My Junior Fall Harvard Classes!
Working at CNN Fareed Zakaria GPS has been one of the most interesting internship experiences I’ve had. It has exposed me to the specifics of producing a show for air, what it’s like to work at a place like CNN, and the excitement of dealing with ideas, international news, and incisive analysis on a day-to-day basis. … Continue reading Interning at CNN Fareed Zakaria GPS
Saw a couple of tiny girls in Hongzi at Bugis today and suddenly remembered. Happy 102nd birthday, Nanyang! ❤ 一九一七八月十五，是宝贵的良辰。 在火药气味浓厚中，可爱的母校出现。 I remember those golden, burnt-edged secondary school days of folding notes and passing them with furtive glances in ordered classrooms when the teacher isn't looking; of six heads huddling over one glowing phone screen … Continue reading Ode to My Youth • 母校，生日快乐
Thank you, New York. Many things you were, but boring you were not. I will miss you. x Finished typing this list as I was standing in line at JFK — it's surreal how fast these two months passed (although there were patches when the days felt meandering and Mondays when I could not get … Continue reading Overheard in New York
Happy happy National Day, all my Singaporean friends! 🎂🇸🇬✨ It's weird how frequently I've thought of you, Singapore, in the day-to-day of my job. Like when the White House published a memo attacking China's developing country status in the WTO and the first thing my eyes were glued onto in the text (read here) was … Continue reading Happy 54th birthday, Singapore!
12:00am It's pouring in New York City. Curtains and curtains of rain in the darkness with speckles of light. Apocalyptic streets with the occasional yellow cab and barely any human alive. We are all drenched after dashing out from shelter in Central Park and scuttling up the restaurant's shuttle. And then in a state of … Continue reading A New York Sunday
Public announcement on the blog!!! : ) There's now a blog tab apart from Chronicle and Contact called... Academic 💙🤖📘🧬🌏 ...where I've pooled together the A-grade papers/creative coursework I've written for my Harvard classes. In short, I present to you the intellectual arc of my college career. There are some that I wish I could've done better, … Continue reading Tada! All my Harvard papers in 1 place.
🌟 07/10/2019 🦄 Just want to mark this date on the blog: July 10, 2019 (even as the minutes slowly tumble into July 11, 2019). If there's one day I want to carve into my memory from this entire summer thus far, it's July 10. It's the most exhilarating and stimulating day I've had in a … Continue reading A day ft. Jeff Zucker, Fareed Zakaria & Amanda Lee Koe
This marks the end of my third week in New York. Say what? It is true. This means three weeks of LIVING ALONE in the biggest city in the United States, actually WORKING eight to nine hours a day in a cubicle on the 21st floor of a massive glass tower, and actually being a … Continue reading Futuristic thoughts while grocery shopping
Read other From A Foodie installments: From A Foodie: Tasting Japan & Its Shokunin Spirit 🍙 From A Foodie: Tasting Taipei — worn, but lovely 🍹 From A Foodie: Singapore Chinatown Hawker Adventure!!! 🥟 From A Foodie: Favorite Eats around Harvard & the Best of Boston 🦞 Before you start reading this post, first play this song: California Dreamin' by … Continue reading From A Foodie: California Dreamin’
On May 31, 2019, I turned 21. The big 21 is sundrenched in Californian heat, pulsing in road trip vibes, and peppered with desert sand and surrealist tree-like cacti with muscled arms (think: the Whomping Willow in Harry Potter). Outside of the window are lonely gas stations, abandoned houses, and then a humongous pink ice … Continue reading The Big 21
Author's Note: Found this buried in my drafts from 2018. Just a random little story on the impressionistic, surreal flicker of a college encounter between a girl and a boy (and dogs). She met him in the dorm room with a slanted ceiling. It was a mixer of about fifty people, with a makeshift bar … Continue reading [Story] Dog Days Are Over
Hellooo May! My favorite month of the year. (Because it's my birthday at the end of it. Jk.) 😇 Since I'm flying from Boston Logan this Friday, the summer calendar is on the verge of starting. 120 days stretch out before me till September 3 when the Fall 2019 term starts. It's so surreal that … Continue reading (120) Days of Summer/Internship
Easter Egg: Screenplay at the end of the post. 🥚✨ ♪(๑ᴖ◡ᴖ๑)♪ 🌏 Harvard China Forum 💡 April 12th to 14th, Harvard College China Forum happened. Remember last year when I was the Programming Associate in charge of the Culture Panel (ft. Fang Wenshan 💕)? As the Programming Chair this year, I oversaw how my amazing team … Continue reading April is tough. And brilliant. ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ
Returning from Cairo, Egypt is like waking up from some hot, hazy dream. These first few days after spring break I fall asleep each night as though I'm drugged. My skin feels like papyrus, my eyes are always heavy. There is a residual kiss of the city on my forearm — dark brown tendrils, an … Continue reading Oh, Cairo
Brevity features short posts on the interesting, incisive, or inexplicably moving ideas I encounter at Harvard. It’s a record of the detail in those intellectual and creative moments, as well as an exploration of the curious questions that keep me up at the midnight hour. Here’s an honest snapshot of my mind. Sometimes, I realize how much more I have … Continue reading Brevity: Renaissance Woman
Today, I talk about one of the loves of my life: skincare. ✨ After more than a year of wanting to write this post, it finally gets written—yay! People have reacted with varying levels of curiosity and astonishment when they first hear about my daily skincare routine. I still remember my American roommates' jaws dropping … Continue reading Beauty Diaries: My College Skincare Routine
Belatedly, wishing all of you: Happy Year of the Pig!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ First things first, things that have served as brilliant reminders when life works weirdly: 1. Turn your FOMO into JOMO (Joy of Missing Out) — I would like to interpret it as loving yourself and realizing that doing nothing or doing less … Continue reading My Sophomore Spring Harvard Classes + Some Little Things
Author's Note: Here's the first short story I wrote in college. It's from 2017. I workshopped it in the first creative writing workshop I took at Harvard — thank you to Claire Messud and everyone else who gave me their precious feedback. The writing might be kitschy at parts and the style is also rather … Continue reading [Valentine’s Day Short Story] April, I Arrive on The Shores of Your Love
Before I get swept up in the semester, let me close the chapter of winter break. I'm writing down my internship thoughts in the polar chill of Cambridge, MA. January has ended. Everything's days and continents away. Did you do anything meaningful over the break other than drink bubble tea?Yes!! (Doing meaningful things and drinking … Continue reading Interning at Northern Light Venture Capital in China
Read other From A Foodie installments: From A Foodie: Tasting Japan & Its Shokunin Spirit 🍙 From A Foodie: California Dreamin’ 🌴 From A Foodie: Singapore Chinatown Hawker Adventure!!! 🥟 From A Foodie: Favorite Eats around Harvard & the Best of Boston 🦞 I ushered in 2019 in Taipei with my parents — the three of us … Continue reading From A Foodie: Tasting Taipei — worn, but lovely
Get off the old train, step onto the platform, merging into the stream of bobbing heads flowing along at the speed of a sweating snail. Squeeze past the human gantry, craning my neck for a look at the sky behind the canopy roof. See the miniature sky in the phone screens held up by the … Continue reading Sky Lanterns & New Year Resolutions
The countdown of days to the end of the year starts with a burnt nose. As I am steaming my face, eyes closed in bliss, my head dips too far down the basin—nose first. The boiling hot water scalds the tip. When I whip my head back up, there's a pimple-shaped red blotch on my … Continue reading 2018: An Autobiography of Seasons
Not winter, but always Christmas. My mom sweeps into the room and starts shaking me by the shoulders. She briskly turns off the air-conditioning. WAKE UP! she thunders. For the first time in twenty years, I know that Christmas starts with no immediate present to unwrap on the morning itself, and so I roll around in … Continue reading Another Christmas Comes and Goes
Author's Note: Hello loves, I'm currently in the midst of my final papers (two down, one more to go!) — here's the creative, futuristic piece that I submitted as my final paper yesterday for my History & Literature seminar on Speculative Fictions. The central conceit might seem speculative to some of you, might be eerily familiar to others. … Continue reading [Story] The Plato Act
Inspired by Sei Shōnagon's diary-lists in The Pillow Book. Things That I Will Remember Shivering as we tread the familiar path to Annenberg in the canopy of night. Everyone holding signs celebrating the declaration of their concentrations. Shimmery silver streaks, Trophy Wife and Sugar Daddy signboards, bare cookies, beaming faces, flashing lights, postcards sent into … Continue reading my pillow book: the pathos of November
BLACK SCREEN. FADE IN. INT. DORM ROOM - NIGHT Selina (20, Singaporean-Chinese) has both hands on the Mac keyboard. She is leaning forward expectantly before a desk piled high with dog-eared books, loose sheets of paper and thin notebooks with mythical, cartoonish covers. Cue music: something whimsical like Hisaishi's Nausicaä Requiem! something dramatically perching on … Continue reading I declared my concentration!
Remembering Louis Cha (Jin Yong), my favorite author, in the language I read him in. Today, he died at age 94. May he rest in peace. 今天，就让我难过一下吧。 六岁那年，爸爸几乎每晚都把我拉去公园散步。傍晚的树叶和微风很浪漫，是个听故事和讲故事的好时候。当时的我已经喜欢上了读书，但是天天手上捧着的都是西方读物：英国的艾尼德.布莱顿（Enid Blyton）、美国的《神探南茜》（Nancy Drew）、《甜蜜谷》（Sweet Valley Kids）系列，以及一箱又一箱的外国入门侦探小说。书本中的主人公虽然年龄比我长了几岁，但是都陌生的要死。他们需要喝下午茶，敢用姓名称呼他们的父母，出门要围围巾。 有一天我们又在绕圈的时候，爸爸通知我：“既然我们这几天散步你不愿意给我讲故事，那就我来。我来给你讲讲我最喜欢的。” 他选择了《射雕英雄传》。 说实话，一开始，我是很排斥他这个选择的。对于一个只背过唐诗、论语和三字经的我来说，中国文化是枯燥无味的条条框框。爸爸讲的那个故事的开端是一个臭道士，场景是一个年代久远的乡村，里面有一群叔叔阿姨天天在打架。我很不耐烦地威胁爸爸让他讲一个有公主和王子的故事，结果他告诉我这个故事里会有我这辈子都会想要的爱情。 他说的没错。 就这样，爸爸把这个故事的蓝图在我幼小的脑海里展开。我从不稀罕到走火入魔般地着迷。六岁那年，人生之三大难题如下：降龙十八掌到底是怎么打的？爸爸为什么不是桃花岛主？我应该到哪里去找武功秘籍好能称霸武林？但是，故事太长了，爸爸后来工作很忙，没有时间跟我在公园绕圈。我便开始去烦他，泪眼汪汪地求他继续把故事讲完。 他一指书架，对我说道：“都在那里，你自己看。” 结果是，我苦苦地啃了几个月，也没读懂。《射雕英雄传》分为了四册，我走到哪里都带着一本，搞得母亲对爸爸颇有微词。书中世界之丰富超过了我之前所读过的一切。里面形形色色的人和我有着类似的姓名，一样对长辈又敬又爱，年轻却充满了超越时代的侠肝义胆和令人动容的儿女情长。 后来，我慢慢长大了，却年复一年于这江湖流连忘返。在金庸的文字中，我似乎逐渐能从见自己，到见天地，却至今还是无法见众生。 现在，我二十岁了。我在新西兰出生，新加坡长大，美国读大学。从小到大，我在学府里读得最多的是西方文学，现在在哈佛主修的专业之一也是英语文学。至今，我读了荷马（Homer）、莎士比亚（Shakespeare）和简·奥斯汀（Jane Austen），也读了萨曼·鲁西迪（Salman Rushdie）、托妮·莫里森（Toni Morrison）和J.K.罗琳（J. K. Rowling）这些当代文学的泰山北斗。但是，至今，再也没有一个作家能让我如此留恋他笔下的世界，那些人的刹那芳华、仁义与柔情。 白马带着她一步步的回到中原。白马已经老了，只能慢慢的走，但终是能回到中原的。江南有杨柳、桃花，有燕子、金鱼…… 汉人中有的是英俊勇武的少年，倜傥潇洒的少年…… 但这个美丽的姑娘就像古高昌国人那样固执：“那都是很好很好的，可是我偏不喜欢。” 咱们就此别过，人生离合，亦复如斯。 金庸就是金庸。 四海列国，千秋万代，也就只有一个他呀。
The number of papers I've written this semester: 7. Words that appeared in my first 10-page screenplay*: Wong Kar-wai. Temple. Claypot. Kant. Fortune-teller. White peach tart. Mahjong. Wikipedia. Red Mansion Dream. The Gods are real. *If you are intrigued and would like to read it in exchange for giving me your genuine critique and constructive … Continue reading After the Darkness, A Meadow of Books
Author's Note: This short story was submitted as the final paper for a class last semester. The protagonist of this story is the act of writing itself. I am fascinated by the idea of the separation of the writer and the person into two selves, of the tension existing within the diasporic writer. Set in … Continue reading [Story] The Writer
I realized I'm almost through with September and have not talked about the biggest chunk in my sophomore life thus far—my classes! There's a reason why I've literally had no time to write about this. Life has been an absolute whirlwind. Here's a snapshot of the residential problems plaguing our suite of four: I discovered … Continue reading My Sophomore Fall Harvard Classes! (ft. Life)
At some point in your life, this statement will be true: Tomorrow you will lose everything forever. How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, by Charles Yu At the most random of moments, I consider my own mortality. One such instance was as I was seated in the cozy office of Professor Racha … Continue reading Confronting My Worldly Fears
TAKE ONE Here's how it happens: eyelids fluttering, an image rising, and a sudden plunge into the hot, wet mouth of memory. I'm walking on a boulevard and then this hutong catches my eye and before I know it I'm wandering down networks of neurons, lost. Or I'm talking to someone, laughing, and there's a … Continue reading Two Takes on My Harvard Freshman Year (My Year in Review?)
To the sunny island-state who fed me a diet of chicken rice, pineapple tarts, dim sum, herbal soups, bubble tea, zi char, and Pokka green tea, To the towering institutions, well-worn wooden lecterns, scribbled whiteboards, laughter-filled halls, bleary-eyed mornings before sunrise, and the strict, snarky but wise teachers who educated me, equipped my mind and … Continue reading Happy 53rd Birthday, Singapore!
Read other From A Foodie installments: From A Foodie: Tasting Taipei — worn, but lovely 🍹 From A Foodie: California Dreamin’ 🌴 From A Foodie: Singapore Chinatown Hawker Adventure!!! 🥟 From A Foodie: Favorite Eats around Harvard & the Best of Boston 🦞 Although my two months in Japan were ostensibly for Summer School (note the … Continue reading From A Foodie: Tasting Japan & Its Shokunin Spirit
She isn't sure what it is, the colors—Supreme red, the blocky black letters of Balenciaga, the wild marbled swirls of Dries Van Noten—sharpening like psychedelic blotches, the strap on her shoulder suddenly prickly and leaden, an indignant discomfiture that rises like a gorge in her throat until she furrows her brows and realizes with a … Continue reading [Story] Hills
When she trudges home that night, it’s forty minutes later, after two transits and twelve stations. She is about to turn left, head down the bridge, cross the crossing under a flickering street lamp and follow that path she has walked for twenty-one days when she notices the 7-Eleven store. Undimmed, the fluorescent white from … Continue reading [Story] 7-Eleven: A Summertime Romance?
Kyoto is one-hour strolls along train tracks, washed-out pink carpets hanging on strings, bottles of sake behind second-storey windows, two scrawny girls trying to catch a pale yellow butterfly with a net, watery rice paddies beside a parking lot full of Toyotas & Hondas. Kyoto is that moment my hair almost rustles as my bones quiver … Continue reading When In Kyoto ≧◡≦
Today I turn 20! I wonder how past birthdays feel like because this one feels very homely despite the fact that I'm in a country I've never been before. Last night, I was sitting cross-legged in a hotel room on the 46th floor of Japan's tallest building, wearing a dripping sheet mask, clad in Mickey … Continue reading From 20-year-old Me, With Love
Part I Typed on May 5, Sunday in the Canaday basement while waiting for my laundry (surrounded by the humming of the washing machines and dryers). Freshman year is ending, it really is. I can feel it in my bones. I'm flying off in four days; I'm done with three out of four of my … Continue reading Before It Ends (Part I & II)
I guess there's an untold side to every story. He handed me a Whole Foods bag. I took a peek and saw a glass bottle of red wine vinaigrette resting against some other random-shaped items. "There're some salt, olive oil, and chili," he said, "and chocolates." "Okay, I don't cook, but thank you, Prof." I was … Continue reading Quirky Snippets of An Untold April
Harvard College China Forum happened! 🌻🌻🌻 感谢你，哈佛中国论坛。这一年过得忽快忽慢，有时磕磕碰碰，但终归时常能让我深夜里兴奋得睡不着。从一开始担心文化分论坛一个演讲嘉宾都请不到，到奇妙地看到一位位重量级嘉宾加入，再到最后在Seaport会展中心看着座无虚席的剧场和台前分享的方文山、李路、童之磊、杨晖、陈楸帆和刘林老师，也许那一刻感受到的是几百人思想上的碰撞和略微不可思议的欣喜。这是一个有魔力的平台，吸引着太平洋两岸、各行各业的人才一起前来贡献他们对于这个世界的想法。谁能想到一年前在香港红馆《地表最强》演唱会挥舞着荧光棒、亲眼看到台上的周杰伦时泪流满面的我，一年后能有幸邀请到方文山老师出席文化分论坛？反正我一年前跟全家一起追着看《人民的名义》时，完全想也想不到一年后我能亲自与李路导演交谈。 作为大一新生参加哈佛中国论坛的团队是我2017年做的最好的决定之一。感谢向我强烈推荐HCCF的Zara Zhang学姐（who happens to run an amazing blog; she was also last year's Co-President）、整个Organizing Team （尤其是我所属的Programming Committee），以及热心帮助和引导我的每一位学姐学长。团队的力量真的令人震撼。一年前的我很青涩，但这一年来我学会了如何待人处事。这些点点滴滴我会放进人生的行囊里。感激每一次成长的机会和与我一同成长的你们。 Now, time for some life updates! It has been a week since Harvard College China Forum concluded at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston. Time has been hurtling forward since Spring … Continue reading To Harvard China Forum • 致哈佛中国论坛
Recently, my dad sent me this photo which expressively demonstrates my aggressive territoriality over a french fry (or my incurable love for food since I was a kid). When my phone ding!-ed and the screen lit up with this incoming message, I was in the midst of a rough week built up from a lack … Continue reading When Reality Beckons: Confessions of a Drama Addict
Pride & Prejudice | Starring Keira Knightley & Matthew Macfadyen | 2005 This review is full of spoilers. Gloriously, hopelessly romantic. Pride and Prejudice is the English novel that cemented my love for romance. It was my initiation into romantic literature, the etchings of a lifelong silhouette of Mr. Darcy behind all contours of romantic aspirations … Continue reading Movie Review: Pride & Prejudice (2005)
Happy Chinese New Year!!! 春节是红色的，是栩栩如生的剪纸娃娃，是在角落那只名叫旺财的小狗，是桌上瓷碟里的清蒸红斑鱼。 春节是金色的，是墙上倒贴着的亮晶晶的福字比划，是一双沟壑纵横的手递来的红包上的绵绵希冀，是财神爷爷手里滑稽的金元宝。 春节是蓝色的，是屏幕上的蓝光，闪烁着千丝万缕的挂念和祝福。我们抢着红包，发着表情包—最后，声音和指尖的温度都被传送到千里之外。 这些红色的、金色的、蓝色的，模糊而又清晰的点滴，跨过时差和海洋，温暖着我在异国他乡的心。 祝所有爱你们和你们爱的人狗年汪汪（旺旺）❤️
Brevity features short posts on the interesting, incisive, or inexplicably moving ideas I encounter at Harvard. It's a record of the detail in those intellectual and creative moments, as well as an exploration of the curious questions that keep me up at the midnight hour. Here's an honest snapshot of my mind. *** In contemplating topics as disparate and … Continue reading Brevity: Why Literature?
She works in a dingy pseudo-Chinese restaurant that dons several hats: a bar, a lounge, and a dance hall harkening back to the eighties. The interior is soaked in shades of reddish-brown timber. An earthy scent weighs on the entire ambiance—the glimmer from the gilded Buddhas and the gaudy frescoes gives it the air of a … Continue reading [Story] Why Believe in Fortune Cookies
A quick update on how the semester is swinging into action before I get back to my readings (I have to read around 70 pages of business case studies for SOCWORLD 49 by tomorrow, and both Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and Ulysses by James Joyce by this coming Tuesday). I have my class schedule for … Continue reading My Freshman Spring Harvard Classes
Dear You, what is art for? Last week, I was in Washington, D.C. with seven other Harvard students on a 10-day Wintersession at Dumbarton Oaks revolving around this topic: Culture and Power: Art, Philanthropy, and Diplomacy in America. In those 10 days, I've seen art like this: And this: Interestingly, this: But also this: Lastly, my … Continue reading Girl in D.C.