everyone remembers their first. it is one of those memories that remains with us no matter what lies ahead. the first time we ride a bike, the first time we enter kindergarten, the first time we are embarrassed. the first time we get an award, the first time we fall for someone, first time we hear a name, first time our heart break, and the first heal. we remember them all, because as insignificant as they may be, they matter.
our week 1 task is to outline a design for a process and plant to manufacture 5000 tonnes per year of powdered low fat milk from pasteurised, full cream milk. sounds simple, but there are so many factors to consider that leaves me (and many others) simply clueless. we head for ferranti building for the group discussion. it’s pretty cold to wait outside to slowly squeeze with the crowds through the automatic doors and through another door.
i’m under the group Lewis. there are nine of us, five westerners and four easterners; johanna, mike, jo, dan, nathan, hafiz, chard, fatin and i. i find jo’s accent really hard to understand, and after some time i just turn half a deaf ear when he’s talking.
we head to the Joule’s library. my student card is rejected because i’m not registered with the library yet. surprise surprise. i’m not that hardworking to enter the place that makes my brain feels like a peanut size. there are so many books, arranged in Dewey Decimal classification, which gives me a total headache – again – on how to look for the books. there is a particular book under the code 668.6 or something like that but the number ends at 620 point something.
i don’t realise there is a stairs to the upper level in the library, let alone know there is a computer cluster. in need of the internet connection and the help of my very best friend, i go back to weston hall. instead of getting started right away, i make myself a ham and fruits sandwich with some hot chocolate. why work on an empty stomach right? it seems really clear that the westerners dominate the whole process, leaving us to take whatever is left. fatin and i are in charge of energy flows and after five hours of researching – or trying to – we end up with nothing. i just did a simple Q=mcθ; it’s better than showing up empty handed. here’s the odd thing. i scribble, in my worst handwriting ever, and they praise me for what they thought to be the best among all.
I stand there flabbergasted, thinking there were being sarcastic, but their expressions show otherwise. girls have better handwritings, they say. Well, to be fair, they are right. cause johanna’s handwriting or draft is legible. it’s jo’s handwriting that gives me a headache, especially when i have to copy everything he writes. when he repeats the word, i can’t really catch it, and end up asking quiet nathan for it. boys can read boys handwriting, i presume. They are clearly surprised when i finish copying. Well, mike feels awfully guilty for being the one to ask me to write, but what he doesn’t know is i write out of guilt. it’s a guilt balance; the amount of guilt i remove is the amount of guilt he gains. see, application of chemical engineering into our daily lives. 😀
Caroline and i plan to do our grocery shopping at the Piccadilly mall but head off to Oxford Road with Matthew instead. i buy pasta, mee and tomatoes, and trick Matthew into carrying the “heavy” plastic bag. I feel bad later though. We later go to chinatown to buy some chinese stuff. i finally get myself a pair of chopsticks for only 25p a pair. poor sis is robbed out of 32p as the cashier mistaken her “laksa fried rice sauce” to be “chicken fried rice sauce”. I manage to reenter the shop (you don’t know how hard is it to find okay) i went yesterday to buy the mayonnaise for looh zhen. so in case i ever forget… this is how the shop looks like
I cut two plums, two nectarines, two apples and the remainder of the grapes into cubes (except the grapes of course). do you ever realise, when cut horizontally, there is a star in the apple? i read about it, and now i’ve seen it — so have you!
That night, when i am leaving the kitchen, the radio is playing a slow song that repeats the word “i wanna go home”. kinda sad really, and i let myself miss home for a while. i made a promise to myself to leave the past and the memories behind when i step foot here, and i’m not going to let some silly song tear me down.
except it does, anyway.