My Diary #047

Dear Tigey,

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.

~St. Augustine

Entry #047 (Apr 03 2022)

Table of Contents

Disclosing state secrets at…
ට  School
ට  Work
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #45
ට  Song of the Week #22
ට  Memory Snippet of the Week #29
ට  Dreams

School

I went down on Saturday this week for a “pre-departure orientation session” for my study abroad program, the first one they’ve held since 2019, which is a good sign that this study abroad semester is probably going to go ahead on the University of Alberta side of things. There were tons of people there, and I was surprised at first! But as it turned out, that was a combined group of all the people going on exchanges, internships, and summer programs, and we sat through a presentation on Risk Management and things to watch out for, before breaking out into three separate rooms (depending on type of program) for a smaller program-specific presentation and a Q&A session with our coordinator.

It was nice to finally meet our coordinator in person, and I continue to be impressed that he remembers my name and even remembered that we had met in person before, back in April 2019, when I was first investigating the possibility of going abroad to study. It’s been three years, wow. He did remember a lot of other students’ names too, though not all, but I thought that was impressive anyway — even in our smaller exchange group, sans the internship and summer program folks, there were still easily around 100 students. It really goes to show how much he cares.

Although I have been given an exemption from Singapore as far as I know/have been told, I am still waiting on my official papers for this, and I disclosed this to my target school, the National University of Singapore, as part of my application, which I finished this week. I had added a note to the NUS application that if they want to check with the government I’d be happy to provide them with relevant information to allow them to do so. Maybe they can help me figure that paperwork mess out…

Anyway, I took the opportunity today to talk to my coordinator here and let him know of that as well, and he said something that really raised my spirits — he told me to apply to Sophia for Winter again as a backup plan anyway, as the deadline for that application was May 24 2022 but he still apparently had plenty of space to send people, so even if Singapore fails I would still be able to probably go out for a year starting from the Winter semester. He encouraged me to do so even this weekend if I wanted to, and I think I will do just that!

I consider Singapore a 50-50 shot at this point, even though I’m all the way to the final stages of the application on NUS‘s side, so I was fairly happy about this backup plan, as this now turns my worrying scenario into a variation of the Rule of Two, although this variation isn’t quite how I described it in that very early blog post. In this case though, the Rule of Two applies by giving me two equally good choices, each at around a 50-50 chance of happening, and where which one will actually happen is mostly out of my hands and thus more or less left up to fate. When this happens, I believe and trust (and the First Rule of Success that I talk about at the very start of that article plays in here) that ultimately fate will select the “best” option for me. I am fairly sure Sophia will accept me if Singapore doesn’t, and I would be equally happy in different ways to go to either place, so I will let the chips fall as they may and trust that the path I will be allowed to walk will have been the better path.

I also learnt, very interestingly, that I am not limited to one study abroad year (two semesters total) during my time at the University. I was under the assumption that that was a limit. There IS an overall limit for transfer credits that I can bring back for my degree, but I don’t really care. Due to that, I was told that I could actually do multiple ones, even in back to back semesters (one starting after the other one ends), as long as they aren’t at the same University, and as long as I meet all the other requirements. Outside of things like money, and the credit transfer issue above, the biggest hurdle would be needing to be a full-time student during the semester just prior to making the second or subsequent application, but actually being abroad and being on an exchange does count me as a full-time student at the University of Alberta, so that was taken care of. This set off churning gears in my head. If the stars aligned, and if I felt like it, I could do both Singapore AND Japan for a YEAR each… hmm! And then go to Taiwan or Hong Kong or somewhere exotic like that, then a stint in South Korea, and then maybe take a year in Ireland or something, and then… I’d be broke.

It was fun to dream though, and it did open a potential future door for me, as one regret I did have about picking Singapore was that I thought it closed a door for me to ever go to Japan to study.

The scholarship coordinator, who was also the risk management coordinator and thus was giving that first combined group presentation, also said that most of us would not have received our awards/scholarships yet unless we were internship students, as those were leaving in May, whereas summer students were going in June/July or so and exchange students in Aug/Sep, so he asked for our patience.. but there I was, smug as a cat in my chair, because even though I’m in that batch not due until Aug/Sep, I said in my diary entry last week that I had received an award notification, and an email came in on Monday this week telling me just what I had received:

Dear Students,

This email is to notify you that you have been awarded The Sandy Mactaggart Award for a program in the 2022-23 academic year. The award cannot be carried forward to the 2023-24 academic year. The value of your award is $4,000 pending confirmation from the Student Awards Office.
 
While travel is currently authorized, suspensions due to COVID-19 are still possible and should be planned for accordingly. You are encouraged to delay travel arrangements and/or any decisions that have a financial implication until a time that your program is confirmed, or to ensure costs are refundable. The award payment will be made approximately two weeks prior to the start of your program, but if you are going in late April/early May, your award payment may be made near or just after your start date due to the timing of award processing. If there have been changes to your program plans, please let me know. 
 
Please complete and sign the attached acceptance form, and send it back to [email] by April 4th, 2022.
 
Let me know if you have any questions. If you need an official letter indicating receipt of the award for visa purposes, let me know and I can provide that, but it may take a week or two to complete and send to you.
 

Way, waaaay back in My Diary #001 and this Sophia University post, I had mentioned that I had also picked up a $4000 scholarship award there, and was very happy about that, considering that I am a mature student, out of student loan debt, with some money saved up from working, etc. That scholarship had expired because the 2021-2022 academic year ended without me being able to go abroad, so I had to reapply for it. I never linked that email at the time, and I will do so now:

Dear Students,

This email is to notify you that you have been awarded a Rod and Judith International Undergraduate Learning Award for a program in the 2021-22 academic year, pending confirmation from the Student Awards Office. This award can be used for either the Fall 2021 or Winter 2022 semester. The award cannot be carried forward to the 2022-23 academic year. The final value of your award will be $4,000 pending confirmation from the Student Awards Office.

Due to the uncertainty of upcoming programs, please do not make any travel arrangements or proceed with any decisions that have a financial implication until you can confirm your program will continue. No funding will be sent out in any circumstances until international travel has once again been authorized by the University of Alberta and the Government of Canada (unless travel falls under an exception). If travel is confirmed, the award payment will be made approximately two weeks prior to the start of your program.

Please complete and sign the acceptance form, and send it back to [email] by May 3rd, 2021. Further award and pre-departure details will be provided at a later date. If there have been changes to your program plans, please provide those to me.

Let me know if you have any questions.

The way the applications work, you don’t actually apply for a specific award most of the time. Instead, you apply once to a central pool of awards, and an awards committee will decide what and which you get. So I noticed that even though the amounts I got were the same both times, the actual award I received was different! Last year, it was the Rod and Judith award, this year it was Sandy Mactaggart. A list of scholarships can be found here (local) — wait, there’s a Wild Geese Travel Award?? That just sounds so awesome!

Anyway, the Rod and Judith one came with a stipulation that I had to write a 500 word “written commentary” about my experiences when I return, and this Sandy Mactaggart one this was no different — the acceptance form for both awards was nearly identical, and this thus is likely a requirement that likely applies to all scholarships/awards, and not just one or two. And you can bet I’ll have no issue writing that blurb. Anyway, I’m really appreciative of the award again, since it says on that above scholarship page that the typical award is $750-$3750. I actually linked this blog in my application as an example of my writing, I wonder if that played into it at all. Probably not huh.

I returned my library books while I was down at the University on Saturday (they were all due May 31st — despite not being completely done with my final essay, I am very much done my draft, so I figured I’d return it in case someone else needs the books!), and so I took a picture of this week’s library scribble board:

Uhm. Not quite study abroad pedigree, many of those answers. I also saw an ad based off of Wordle, which I thought was cute:

Until I noticed they typoed “receive”, but hey. Still interesting to see how far into society and culture the reach of that game has gotten.

Work

The main thing that happened this week — besides giving a workmate that I really respect and consider a friend (am I buttering him up?) the link to the blog, which makes 3 people from work that know about it and might occasionally stop by — was that one of the new hires on our team was announced to be leaving the team in mid April. Of the three new hires that we picked up late last year, he was the only one who was brand new to our team and our department — the other two had worked on our team before, so he was the “new blood” pick from the six applicants we had that made it to the interview stage. And now he’s gone, oops.

He had a good reason for it though, which had something to do with family immigration requirements, so he’s leaving for a better paying (what I believe is a) government job. Goes to show how little our current job pays us. He seemed to like us and we seemed to like him, so that’s a pity that he’ll be leaving, but I definitely wish him nothing but the best.

It doesn’t sound like our boss will be hiring to replace him until around the time I leave though, when he’ll hire for one-maybe-two, which I don’t agree with but suppose I can understand. This is due to (more/ongoing) budget cuts and my boss’s unwillingness to ever have to have the dreaded talk with a person telling them that they are going to be laid off, and some sort of pride about having been able to avoid that for the 10 years or so he’s been our team’s supervisor. I don’t agree with this for various reasons (you’re basically inviting a cut for our empty position by not filling it, which makes it an easy target, for one), but I do remember he was surprised to get 3 new bodies in late 2021 anyway. Not sure where he expects the extra 100ish tickets a month from that outgoing person to go though, even if we’re moving into what historically is our quietest 4 months of the year (mid-April to mid-August).

Oh, and our collective bargaining agreement for support staff at the University got officially ratified and accepted, no surprise there. We also finished out 2nd week of EDI training this week, and all I can say is that I’m glad it’s over. It kind of felt like I zoned through the entire thing, it was so uninteresting and the presenters so boring that even though I sat through it all and wasn’t trying to avoid it or anything, no sort of impression of any sort was left on me and I can’t even remember any specific part of the presentation any longer except for a good TED Talks video that we watched, and something about a Power Flower. It’s like a hazy ship that floated by in the mist. It kinda.. happened, and that was it. What a waste of time. Virtue signalling.

Life

Ah, life. Spring approaches, which means more daytime and evening walks. I took several trips to the mall and various stores this week, and a Little Miracle happened on Monday when I put on some music on my phone, paired with my Bluetooth earbuds, and walked for about half an hour to the two Asian supermarkets not too far from my apartment complex. I stopped by a Goodwill store in a spur-of-the-moment decision on the way there, then went ahead and leisurely shopped a bit in both supermarkets, barely caught a bus home. And then, once I actually reached my apartment, my earbud (I’m deaf in my left ear so I only ever use one in my right ear) ran out of battery and shut off the second I stuck my key into the keyhole of my front door. I had bought a new brand of shampoo and conditioner on the way (because my previous Tsubaki one had run out!), and I was feeling a little bad about it because they weren’t the cheapest bottles in the store, but that made me feel better for some reason, as though the gods were affirming that my journey was a successful one and welcoming me home.

I had an endocrinologist appointment over the phone this week, and one thing led to another, which led to me ending up with a prescription to try estrogen patches instead of pills. They’re interesting, I thought they would feel annoying at first but I can’t feel them at all once they’re placed on. The patches are really thin and light, like a really tiny, film-like saran wrap, applied with adhesive to an area on the trunk of the body, They have to be replaced twice a week, and I’m supposed to ensure that I place it on a different part of my body each time, and never use the same spot twice in a row, I suppose so that the skin can breathe.

My endo is also moving out of province in a couple months or something, so I guess the next time I get referred to one, it will be a new endocrinologist, my third one. Not that my current one was particularly useful. I liked my first endo and gave her a farewell greeting card during our last meeting, which made her VERY happy, even though I disliked her at first because was using wrong pronouns to refer to me several times in front of me when I was transitioning. But I learnt that I was her first transgendered patient, so I didn’t hold it against her, and she gradually got used to it (she changed to the proper pronouns eventually of her own volition, I never asked her to). But this current endo I don’t like because I feel like every single meeting I’ve ever had with her has been pointless. She generally just maintains the same prescription as before and even this time was very reluctant to make even the slightest change to my regimen, and she has never really given off the vibe that she cares, I guess.

Either way, I was happy to have estrogen again. I had run out of my pills about two weeks ago, and I don’t know if it was due to that or something else, but I was in a deep funk from about Saturday/Sunday of last week through Wednesday or Thursday or so, a kind of semi-depressive state that I couldn’t quite shake off for those few days. That being said, I know what actual depression feels like for me, and that wasn’t what happened this week. For me, it feels like there’s a “safety net” below my heart that prevents my medium-to-long-term average mood from falling below a certain level of “darkness”. This darkness is very different from the sadness borne from being upset at something or other in one particular moment or at one particular event.

Anyway, when I am depressed, that safety net disappears, and I plummet far, far down into the darkness. I’ve experienced this several times in my life, and for me, what worked to get me out of my last deep funk in 2015 when I was clinically depressed, was medication that restored this safety net. Without that net, being depressed meant being in that darkness for good chunks of the day every day, which sapped all my energy and willpower from me, kept me from wanting to do anything at all, and was a vicious, repeating cycle that left me tied down and floundering in that deep darkness. That was a darkness I never want to see again.

Enough dark matter. It is nearly the one year anniversary of the life diary section of my blog. I’m considering going back and “reacting” to my “one year ago” blog posts each week, once I hit the anniversary, but I haven’t decided if that’s worth my time yet.

There were a couple AuroraWatch red alerts this week, which meant a really high chance of seeing auroras in the sky, but the weather was cloudy and bad both times so I never saw anything. Too bad. Under the right conditions, I think I’d put on a coat and amble out to a nearby field at midnight to try to get photographs or a video.

Talking about videos, I tried to process my second largest video from my US trip this week (a 3 hour video) and it crashed 60% or so into the 23 hour process, which bummed me out a bit. Upon investigating solutions, I did find this site though and hopefully will have time to try that over the next week or so.

The Winter 2022 anime season more or less ended over the past week, and that also heralded the arrival of the new Spring 2022 season. There are way too many interesting shows this season though, and I could find myself watching something close to 30 new shows a week, a mixture of shorter 3-15 mins per episode) and longer (22-24 mins per episode) ones, which might be very bad because I don’t want to be completely consumed by anime this season since I still have many things I want to do before I leave for my study abroad trip. It also means the overall potential anime list is far too long to put into my blog, and doubly so since I’m probably going to end up dropping a handful of them. I’m fine with that since I mentioned in an earlier post that I track them over at MyAnimeList anyway.

I’ve been having weekly interviews with my Dad to try to record down his voice and memories, as I’ve mentioned several times now. While I am not going to publicly upload those voice recordings, a couple interesting snippets have fallen out of it, for example I learnt that we almost moved to Canada in somewhere around 1988-1989 or so, which would have meant that I would have left the country when I was 4 instead of when I was 14. Dad also received a couple offers to buy me from people that liked how much of a cute and vibrant little kid I was when I was young (not sure if tongue-in-cheek, he never explored the possibility any further).

And lastly, when my Dad visited Singapore at some point (in the mid to late 2010s) after I had moved out on my own and transitioned to living as a female, he visited a Buddhist medium who served our extended family, who neither he nor I had ever met (we had met a previous unrelated medium, who also had some interesting things to say over the years, but she had passed away in the intermediary years since we migrated), and who, without any sort of background knowledge, proceeded to tell Dad during his spiritual reading that he had three children, two girls and a boy. This startled both Dad and one of his sisters (my aunt) that was with him, especially since no one at all in our extended family in Singapore knew or even still knows about my transition, as my Dad has chosen to keep them all in the dark until or unless I ever decide to tell them. He had neglected to tell me that story until a couple of weeks ago.

Lastly, Kynji linked a couple tongue-in-cheek zodiac constellation astrological descriptions in Discord earlier this week from some random site while making fun of poor Mell, and she noted that specifically for my Pisces sign, in that above link, it mentions that we “[exist] in a distant, dreamlike space somewhere between planes of reality” and “stressed or distracted Pisces are prone to floating off into their own womblike fantasy world; this ephemeral quality is one of the sign’s most obvious hallmarks” and a few other things like that, and she said that that manifestation of the Pisces sign describes me to a tee. What a pleasant compliment! I like it and i will continue to float off like Clara the Jellyfish into my dreamlike fantasy void. In fact, along those lines, I also want to write silly 5-7-5 haikus each week, so here’s this week’s contribution, titled Clara:

Twinkle Stars, Twinkle…
Comet? No, that’s Clara on
A distant journey

Games

I spent the first part of the week playing Tales of Arise, getting past the second and third bosses while not really enjoying the gameplay (combat is a huge slog, bosses have far too many hit points and I basically have to learn their tells and then kite them on hard mode while my companions whittle them down slowly). The story is interesting but not as captivating as Tales of Berseria either, which is a game in or near my top 10 games list. The character interactions are pretty good though and have made me laugh out several times, even if I’m not a fan of the comic book style representation they use.

Sometime during the week, I also wandered into a phone game called Royal Knight Tales, an F2P gacha game which was notable because the writing and/or translations were so bad. The game itself is fine, a regular gacha with Princess Connect Re:Dive-style unit upgrading and some autobattle thing that takes skill and decision-making almost entirely out of the equation, making it largely a question of army strength versus opponent army strength. But the translations.. I kept on pushing ahead for several days just to be able to enjoy them. The voiceovers are in Japanese, and the alternate UI language offered is in Chinese, but the company itself claims to be based in Vancouver, so I can’t fathom why the translation is quite that bad. It feels like text was just machine translated from Korean or something, but I didn’t bother enough to dig further into it, except to note that I didn’t find any other international versions of the game.

Here are some choice translations and story screenshots from the game though:

I rest my case. I guess one can’t expect much from a publisher who adds “anime rpg mmo gacha impact” to their app store URL to try to draw people in using keywords and riding on the coattails of much better games.

Plushie of the Week #45 – Fake Jinbesan

Firstly, as a prelude to this article, re-read Plushie of the Week #41, linked over here. Near the top of that section, I mentioned that knowledge of that plushie, Jinbesan, was needed as context to another plushie, and that second plushie is this one, Fake Jinbesan. Fake Jinbesan, also known as Imitation Jinbesan, Imitation Child, or officially as Fluffy Whale Keyholder (or Fuwa Fuwa Kujira Keyholder), was picked up by my younger sister, Kel, in Nagoya, Japan, on October 16 2021. He cost 100 yen and was specifically bought from a 100-yen “dollar store”. Japan has several chains of these 100-yen stores, and she is fairly sure it was either from Can★Do or Seria, but I’m fairly sure it’s the latter one because this random tweet shows someone else with the exact same keyholder (and a different-coloured cousin!) and mentions that they were bought in Seria. So Seria it is.

I know that Jinbesan hates Fake Jinbesan, although the feeling isn’t quite mutual as I understand things. I asked Kel to contribute a writeup for the story behind the animosity, and she offered the following (describing it much better than I ever could, since this was a story that happened between her and Jon sometime while I was living on my own and they were living together with our parents, so I preserved her voice and tone here):

Also, here’s the luo so story of jbsan vs fake jbsan:

Jinbesan does not like fake Jinbesan. Not only is fake jbsan a fake whale shark, he also only has a bunch of phrases that he cycles through in a conversation. Conversations with him don’t go anywhere because all fake jbsan can say is, “Hello!”, “How are you?”, “I’m purple.”, “Sui sui sui.” (Sound effects of him swimming around – who says that anyway, jbsan thinks in disgust). Jbsan understands that some creatures need more time to develop and that one must not discriminate against others based on their ability. He has a big heart and he gets it. But what really gets on jbsan’s flippers are two particular phrases:

“I’m Jinbesan.”
“I’m a 10.”

The first one is straightforward because jbsan knows fake jbsan isn’t like him. There is only one jbsan, and that is NOT fake jbsan. “He’s not even blue!” says Jbsan. “And he’s not me! Doesn’t he have his own name?”

The second part is more complicated. See, jbsan overheard someone tell fake jbsan that he was cute, “A 10 out of 10!” When jbsan asked about his own cuteness rating, he was told, “You’re cute too! A 9/10!”

Now it was bad enough that fake jbsan stole his name. Now that little @&$* held a higher Cuteness Rating than he did? That would not do. So he whaled – er, I mean wailed about it and pouted and finally, finally, got his rating to…9.94 out of 10.

“What do I need to do to get 10 out of 10?” He cried.

“Well…” said the someone, “there can only be one ten out of tenner around here.”

A lightbulb went off in jbsan’s head as he looked at the fake whale shark sui-Ing around, then looked at the nearby dustbin.

Nothing happened that night because the plot was discovered and the two were firmly separated. Eventually jbsan did get round up to a 10/10 (albeit temporarily) due to his incessant sobbing, though he still doesn’t think highly of fake jbsan. At least disaster has been averted…for now.

Here are some pictures of poor Fake Jinbesan.

Top:

Bottom:

Phagocytes:

And a picture of him with his tag shortly after original purchase:

As you can see, he is literally a fluffy keychain. Imagine being jealous of and threatened by this little thing!

Song of the Week #22

Title: Luminary
Artist: Haruko Momoi
Album: Tsukune-chan no Flying Machine (2005)

This is the ending theme to a 6-episode half-length anime short that Satinel and I watched two weeks ago, on March 20-21. The show was pretty good, but this ending song I really liked, especially since it was catchy even for people who know little to no Japanese, with its “Twinkle Stars! Twinkle Stars!” chorus. It’s not quite a song in my top 20 anime endings or anything like that, but might eventually be, as I am rather fond of it, and the lyrics (to me) speak of two friends separated, with one of them taking a journey away from the other and reminiscing back on the time they spent together.

I decided to feature it here today largely to add context to the opening line of the haiku I wrote above, and because I have not so far featured a “newer” (to me) song that I had just encountered with little existing connotation and baggage, other than what’s in the lyrics and how I happened to like it. The full version of the song can be found here, but the actual video I’m linking in the Youtube panel below is the short version from the ending of the show, complete with animation and translated lyrics, so the meaning behind the song can be more or less seen as well.

Memory Snippet of the Week #29

My memory snippet this week is an archival scan and upload that I did of a camp that I attended in Grade 5, for which I still have the camp booklet from. See this link for the separate blog page where I’ve uploaded the scans.

This camp was a Chinese Enrichment Camp, held on March 13-14 1995, and attended by nearly all the Primary 5 (Grade 5) students in the four GEP schools in Singapore at the time — Raffles Girls’ Primary School, Anglo-Chinese School, Nanyang Primary School, and us, Rosyth School. (You can see the schools’ Chinese names in the top left of the front page.) I say nearly all, because there were some non-Chinese students in the GEP, or Gifted Education Programme, too… but I don’t see them in the roster list in the booklet, so they must not have come along. By and large there were very few of them though, Singapore’s main language might have been (and still is) English, but it’s dominated in most walks of life by the Chinese, and that included the number of students that made it on a year by year basis into the GEP. It definitely made it difficult for those that needed to study a different mother tongue as their second language other than Chinese, I’m not sure what language classes looked like for them. They definitely did not exist at Dunman, which was more or less a fully Chinese school, but there must have been Malay/Tamil classes in Rosyth, which was more mixed. Our two GEP classes at Rosyth included one Indian boy and one Thai boy. I just never thought about it back then.

Anyway, those people definitely didn’t go along to this camp, since they didn’t even speak Chinese. Or maybe the Thai boy did, if he studied Chinese with us, I don’t remember. I don’t remember all that much about the camp at all really, since it was 27 years ago now, and I was only 11 years old back then. However, I do remember that the camp was an overnight camp, and we were largely divided up into mixed-gender groups in order to do some team competition activities, and would come together occasionally for meals and at the end of the first night for some singing.

The book in general is a songbook that was used for that portion of the camp — everything from page 6 to about page 19 or so were songs that were sung during the evening, although I don’t recognize any of them offhandedly. However, the book also contains a treasure trove of other information — names of the teachers/facilitators on page 20, a schedule on pages 4-5, a Chinese name roster of everyone that took part as well as our animal groups on pages 2-3, and a list of camp rules on page 1. And then the cover has the date and name of the event as well as the four schools involved in this camp. It’s a well-documented treasure trove that makes me very happy!

Even now, I can only read about 70-80% of the pages without cheating and looking them up, and it’s far worse on the pages with people’s names, but I definitely don’t remember most of the actual events that took place. Page 5 has a note, for example, that 09:30 to 11:00 was reserved for Weiqi, or the game of Go, but I couldn’t tell you at this point if we were playing the game or watching a demonstration of the game.

But one thing that still sticks out to me was that singing portion I mentioned earlier, where we were sitting in a grass field facing a stage and which was MCed by some of the adult teachers. Apparently this took place between 8:45 and 9:45 pm on the night of the 13th. This particular event sticks out to me because I remember there being insects and the occasional bee flying around, and one even landed on my shorts once before hurriedly flying off again. I was too busy worrying about bees and trying not to attract them and only half-heartedly paying attention to the songs for most of that time, which felt like several hours. My class in Rosyth was 5D1, as you can see scribbled on the front of the book, and I also remember a girl named Kim from the other Rosyth class, 5D2, standing up in pain in the middle of the song session and being escorted away by a teacher — she had apparently been stung by a bee.

What is also interesting to note is that a good number of the people that ended up as my classmates in Dunman High for secondary school came from Rosyth, however a sizable portion of the remaining people who were not from Rosyth basically came from one of the other three schools here as well, so if I went ahead and translated all the names in the roster I’d probably find a lot of familiar names that I just don’t recognize in Chinese hanzi (character) form. I didn’t have that sort of patience to draw each character in Google Translate, however, but maybe someday.

Lastly, as you can see by the roster and the shape of my nametag, I was on the deer team, but what the heck were those nametags cut out of? It looks like some kind of Soft Facial Tissue box, with the word “size” in Japanese on the right side in the box. I wonder who got stuck with making hundreds of these nametags.

Dreams
Mar 28 2022

Dream 1

  • The end part of the dream involved me being in a house roughly modelled after our Edmonton 4012 house, but with different rooms. A school bus was parked outside the house, with a bunch of students and a teacher on board, and the driver was getting antsy, as we were going to an art gallery or something and he didn’t want to be late. I sent a couple younger kids (my siblings?) that I was living with up on the bus, and then ran out myself, but had to run back into the house because I had forgotten a few things, so I asked them to wait and the bus driver yelled out something about 3 minutes. I ran upstairs and fished through some drawers in a panic but couldn’t find the item I needed, yet it was something that I really couldn’t leave without.
  • I eventually found it, and while I had to leave a couple other things behind in a mess, I also grabbed an old cellphone and ran out the garage door, closing it behind me as I ran to save a few precious seconds, only to see the bus pulling out of my driveway and then out onto the street and around a bend. I couldn’t get back into the house as the door had now completely shut from the inside, and the phone I had grabbed did not have the phone number of my teacher on board the bus as that was on another smartphone still in the house, so I couldn’t even contact her. I slumped down with my back against the outside of the white garage door, not caring if my school blouse or skirt got dirty.
  • I then woke up upset and not wanting to write this dream down. I was also not sure if I had heard a loud noise of some sort from outside the apartment IRL or not, so I turned on the lights, walked around sleepily, visited the washroom, and then went back to bed while grouching a bit.

Dream 2

  • I was taking 5 University level classes in an unfamiliar school, and I and some friends were seated on the left side of a classroom with tons of occupied student desks, probably about 60 of them or so, arranged in a square grid and all facing the front of the room. A few Dunman friends were there for the start of it, though I forget who exactly. A girl was in front of me, another guy was ahead of her, another girl was behind me, and a guy was to the right of me. I knew all those four people, and a couple other students nearby, though most of the people in the class were people I didn’t recognize. I believe Allen, Zixiang, Kaiting, and Gillian were the four near me, but I think a couple others like Eisen and Leon also showed up through the dream.
  • The five classes I was taking included one on making video games, one on specifically making war video games, and one on math. The math class came first, and we were given a worksheet to complete as homework that involved us splitting into pairs and solving or restating some algebraic equations, that looked like physics equations, in a specific format. I wasn’t sure why he would give out homework that involved us splitting into pairs on the first day of school, when most people didn’t know each other, but math was my strong suit anyway so I started working on it, envisioning some sort of group homework session later on. There was a girl seated behind me and to the left who didn’t have a desk, and she requested that I not move as she used my back as a prop for her paper so she could write on it too. I found it funny and she was a friend as well so I was happy to oblige.
  • The next class was the regular video game class, and I don’t remember much about this period except that the teacher came in and the girl in front of me called out to a friend across the room with a nickname, something like “boy”, and the teacher caught on to that and said we were going to do introductions, and he would try to remember our real names instead of people who might have strange nicknames like “boy”. However, the person’s voice was fairly soft, and the ambient noise in the room loud, so her words were not actually heard by anyone further out than our two leftmost rows in the class, so everyone was confused by the teacher’s statement, including the boy himself. The girl in front of me was also curious, and asked me if her voice was THAT soft. I said yes.
  • The next class after that was the war video games class, and that started with a lot of people in the four rightmost rows either leaving the classroom to go to another class or standing up and kind of loitering around while new students also came in for this class, since it was some sort of elective. The teacher was a current or recent grad student, came in and introduced himself, and then started introductions again starting with our column. This time, the first four people in the column were girls I didn’t know, but the second and the fourth girl both introduced themselves as Jessica as well. The fifth person was my friend, and when it got to me, I coyly asked if I could also be a Jessica, since I was one, and the teacher laughed.
  • The introductions went quickly but were sort of weird because not everyone was part of the class. Eventually, a train pulled up next to the classroom, outside the door to the right, and a bunch of people filed out of the classroom to board that. In the meantime, the teacher was also opening up the dividing wall between our class and the classroom to our left, and he was instructing the new students to sit there, after which he closed off a dividing wall just past the column of desks on my right. He essentially reshaped the classroom since the class next to ours was empty this period, so I was now on the second column from the right instead of the leftmost one, and the four columns of desks past that were ceded to the train station.
  • He then started talking about video games, and he rummaged in the back of the classroom in a metal cupboard before coming out with a bottle of liquid that looked like either a window-washing or drain-clogging acidic solution. He said that most people thought bulletproof glass was the best way to stop an impact, and he held up as an example some glass that had been cracked from the force of a bullet but had held firm. However, he said, what most people didn’t know is that this liquid product was very popular in a European country (Germany? Russia?), and that if you coated a surface with this, it could withstand not only bullets but even tank ordinance. He held up some tank missile rounds to show the class as he said this.
  • Later on, after school, I was also at a train station heading home, and I had to buy tickets from a ticket machine. I saw the previous person had actually bought tickets but had left them in the dispenser — I looked at them, and saw that while they were a roll of 20 unused tickets or so, he had set the date to 04/03 on accident, which was probably April the 3rd, a few days from now, but I wasn’t sure, since they could have been March the 4th, which would mean that they were expired. Either way, there was a note on the tickets to bring them to the front office so they could validate them, and he must have decided not to and to just buy new tickets and not set such a near upcoming expiry date for them (they usually lasted for a month, which would have lasted until late April — I believe my dream actually managed to acknowledge “today’s” date as March 28th too). I set those tickets aside on top of the machine and decided to spend money on my own tickets instead of risking that front office as well, so I pulled out a cash card and inserted it into the machine.
  • At a later point in the dream, while still on the way home, I was in a car and about to drive it off a short ledge (about a foot high) and take a right turn into another street flanked by tall buildings. Someone was waiting for me at the turn to catch me if I were moving too slowly, but I could see on a minimap radar thing that I had that there were hundreds of NPCs of some kind filling the street on the right, but outside of my current field of vision. Oh well. I drove the car around the corner anyway and realized that they were pigeons — once my car turned the corner, the first half of them immediately fluttered up in the air in a tizzy, and the second half flew up and away when my car approached the halfway mark.
Mar 30 2022
  • I had one dream snippet where I was at home and for some reason or other was preparing to take a 10 hour dip in a bathtub. It was framed as some sort of voluntary punishment, perhaps even with a side of naughtiness to it, and even involved something about Satinel, acting as my mom, generating a list of tasks or something from an online site that had a Bandori flair, though the tasks involved mundane things like holding your breath underwater for some short period of time.
  • I arranged a number of things next to the tub to keep me amused while I would be in there — a couple books, my phone, a sponge, towels, and so on. It didn’t seem like I had to spend all that time in the tub in one go, it was more of a cumulative total.
  • I also went out into the main room at one point to look at Kel using the computer in the main room. She was copying something down from a website whose page was split into two, the top half had some sort of adult ad, in plain text, which she was ignoring while concentrating on copying the bottom half. I noticed Mom (in Mom mode) standing nearby and glancing down at the screen with a frown on her face, and surmised that she was frowning at the top half but not wanting to say anything, though the bottom half also was something that we needed to keep secret from Mom for some other reason. I distracted Mom and she wandered off to a separate bathroom from the one my tub was in, then I whispered to Kel that she needed to be more careful.
  • Mom also generated a Spotify Underwater-themed playlist for me with 999 minutes worth of songs, though when I played it without looking at the titles it turned into an AMQ sort of game where I didn’t recognize the first two songs, and recognized the third one but couldn’t place it since it was from some western movie or other I hadn’t watched.
  • Later on, I was at a small underground train station with a few friends, including Jah and Fames, and it was framed as the finale of a Left 4 Dead map. There were two angry tanks and a bunch of zombies beyond a doorway where the train tracks were, and we started firing at them so we could clear them out before the escape train arrived.
  • I got knocked onto a set of railway tracks that ran perpendicular to the train station where our escape train would be, and I thought it was over for me, but I realized I could just go to the far end of the platform and climb up again, and that would even give me some distance from the tanks. When I got up, I saw one of the tanks being handled by Jah and the other person in the distance, while the other tank had knocked Fames down and he needed help. I unloaded three clips of my SMG into the tank, downing it while it focused on Fames, and then went up to him to resurrect him, complete with a little circular progress bar as I helped him back to his feet.
  • The train station then began to shift back to normality. Our train hadn’t yet arrived, but regular people started to enter the station, and a woman even laid out several tables just outside the doorway we had first seen the tanks through, and started peddling items there. There were gel pens which were identical to the one I had received IRL a few weeks ago, though these ones were labelled as being made by a Justin (or a similar name) from the University of Alberta. It wasn’t someone I actually knew, though. There were lottery tickets, cakes, fruits, and more thijngs lined up on the table, and someone asked if she had vegetables too but she said she had sold out of them a little while ago.
  • I took a half-boiled egg and put it in the breast pocket of my school blouse, and then continued to browse the goods for a while but found nothing else I wanted to buy. When I took the egg out however, it was squashed and a little smashed up, and the woman offered a spoon and brown napkin so I could eat it on the spot. I paid her with a credit card, took the spoon and napkin, and moved to the other side of the doorway to start eating it. It had a crumbly shell and I more or less ate that too, along with slightly runny yolk that got onto my fingers a bit. There was a man seated at a long table and bench who was staring at me as I ate, in a way that made me uncomfortable.
  • Somewhere in this train station scene, there was also a monk that was looking for the lost members of his sect. He was the last one he knew about, but he was sure his brethren were out there somewhere. In the meantime though, while travelling, he had put on a monk cap belonging to another more popular sect just so that he would have a group to belong to and whom he could seek for help, even though that wasn’t his true home sect.
  • Snippet: Much earlier on in the night, I had a dream about a game of Heroes 3, though all I really remember from that is having three heroes exploring the area near my home castle. I was using two of them in a largely defensive manner, fighting any pesky enemy heroes that got too near to my castle, while the third was a summoned elemental genie unit that didn’t cost money and that I could just resummon if it dies, so I sent it further afield. It eventually did locate the enemy castle to the west of my own, though it ended its turn too near the castle and would probably have been killed the turn after if I didn’t stop the game right there.
Mar 31 2022
  • I just remember two train snippets — one was that I was lost in a train station and had to ask a security guard where the escalator to the correct platform for the Earth Line (aka Green Line) train was (it was on the east side of the station whereas I was on the west side), and the other took place after that, where I was travelling with someone else in a vehicle or two which had a top-down map view of the city, and we were trying to find the train station that I was lost at earlier, but we weren’t able to easily find it while we were being harassed by zombies or something that could defeat us if they caught us.
Apr 01 2022
  • I was staying with Mom, Dad, and my younger siblings in a hotel room, and for some reason or other I wanted to change hotels in the middle of the night. There was an adventurous feeling tied to that action, though I think there was a cost reason attached to that desire to change rooms too, and I even had a piece of paper with a cheap hotel’s name on it that allowed late night/early morning check-ins.
  • Dad didn’t want to change hotels, but Mom and Kel eventually changed their clothes and were ready to go out as well, and I argued that changing the hotel room would save us $150 for our final day on vacation here, so he eventually relented and said that he would go scout the hotel and see if they were open, while we packed up the luggage and waited in the room, so we wouldn’t be left without a hotel just in case they no longer had rooms, although I did point out that checkout for this hotel was at 10 or 11 am anyway so we could always come back if that happened.
  • We waited in the hotel room as he disappeared for some time, and I had some sort of interlude dream here involving computers, some people from my workplace, children who were interested in what we did for work, and a computer puzzle game I was playing at lunch but couldn’t complete because some people walked by and stood around behind me and I didn’t want to show them that I was playing a game on the computer even though it was during the lunch hour.
  • Anyway, that part of the dream eventually ended and Dad came back to the hotel. He said he had taken forever because the hotel I had scribbled down on the piece of paper only had that offer for a cheap room valid for the first two days since when I had received the offer from them, but four days had passed before we finally decided we wanted to change hotel rooms, so they no longer had a room. However, he had found another hotel nearby with a room at an equally reasonable rate, so he was willing to bring us there.
  • We agreed, but I noted that it had become dawn and so the mystique factor for moving rooms was gone. Still, our other reason for moving was valid, so we got into the car and he drove us to a hotel with a large outdoor area just outside of it, where many people were queued up on a carpet, waiting for elevators set into the outer wall of the building that would take them up to their hotel room. An elevator arrived as we were unpacking, and something like 40 people crammed into that elevator before it closed. We missed that elevator, but there was one right behind it at another elevator shaft, and we rolled up to the elevator lobby area and got into that along with one or two other people and a bellhop.
  • The bellhop had a pair of keys and had pressed the 6th floor button for a woman, before holding the door open for us to get in. Once the doors closed, Dad tried to press another floor button but it wouldn’t work, and he explained that he’d need to use his key (in a round keyhole next to a keypad) and enter a passcode in order to activate the buttons again. He did so for us. I mentally guessed that the passcode for unlocking the elevator pad was 6131, and that turned out to be really close, he said the number was 6140 or 6150 or something like that.
Apr 02 2022
  • I remember a food festival taking place in a wide-open elevator lobby high up on a HDB block, with passages leading off from the lobby to peoples’ homes, including my family’s. I rode an elevator up to the lobby with my sister, and we met our Mom and younger brother there. My younger brother was basically 5-8 years old and my sister was about 10-13. I playfully covered my eyes as I was approaching them, playing a game of “I can’t see you so you can’t see me — Out of sight, out of mind!” but that obviously didn’t work and I wasn’t expecting it to.
  • The festival itself was made up from a number of small food stalls selling all sorts of weird food. We chatted a while, then Jon said he wanted to get a 3-in-1 burger that was made out of 3 other burgers put together. He said that he had heard that it was really yummy. Dad came up to join us as well at some point, and he said he fancied some creamy dish that I had never heard of before. At some point, the rest of my family left, and I had to choose what to get and eat as well.
  • At this point, the dream turned into basically a Battle Royale map in AMQ, as I walked around the lobby using a viewpoint where I could see the festival stalls and my current location represented in a top-down view of the area. Round tokens were scattered all around the map, but they were all facing down, and thus had their contents hidden. As I walked near a token, I could flip it over to see what sort of food that stall was offering.
  • Snippet: I’m not sure where this fits in but I am sure that I met some friends at some point as well, and that they had some RPG combat skills that one of them used on someone else in a threatening manner to help me solve some other problem that I had in the dream.
Apr 03 2022
  • A few friends of mine from Dunman, Rosyth, and McNally were together with a bunch of other unknown students in a small high school building on a campus. We were being split up into different groups for our next class, a Guess the Song music class themed after AMQ, and our group was going to be headed off campus — out of the building, up a hill to the northeast, and to a building called Neutral 39. I couldn’t find it on my phone’s Google Maps at first, but Eileen helped me find it — the name of the building on the phone map was written in Chinese and the 39 part was obfuscated somehow so it wasn’t easy to spot.
  • While I was in the hallway by my locker, I noticed my left foot had a slipper on while my right foot had a tattered pink shoe, so I put down my bag, took out a pair of dark sneakers with bright pink laces, and put those on instead. While I was doing so, Mr Grosse came by and asked if we wanted to cancel and reschedule the next class because it was off-campus, he’d do it for us if we wanted even though it would inconvenience the facilitator who was going to be brought in to be the teacher for that class. I said no, it was fine in that case, and everyone else agreed with me. We left for the building, and I had climbed this hill before in other dreams so I showed off a few shortcuts along the way.
  • Once we reached the classroom, I sat down on a table in the middle of the class facing the front of the room, while a couple friends, Allen and someone else, sat to my right, so that our tables joined up 3 in a row with mine the leftmost one. We were the three top contenders in the music game for our group, and most of the other students took seats on chairs lined up against the back of the room. Besides them, there was a teacher at the front of the room, and Justin from McNally who was seated on a table on the front left side of the room, looking across the room at everyone else rather than at the projector and songs being played — he was a former champion or something and was here as a Teaching Assistant.
  • I ended up winning this match by getting the last two obscure songs correctly, I had 22 points compared to Allen and the other person, who both had 21, so I won by one point even though I thought I had won by two points as we were all tied at 20 each going into the last two and they didn’t seem to put in an answer for either one.
  • The facilitator then switched gears and told Justin that I had prepared some obscure, difficult songs for him to listen to in the past and she asked whether he still remembered any of their song titles. I’m not sure if this had actually happened in a previous dream or not, but in this dream, I “remembered” that he had talked to me about wanting to listen to some new music, and so about 3-5 years ago, I had compiled six music videos of odd, obscure songs that I liked into one video, and uploaded that video for him to view — the current facilitator was misinterpreting that video as a challenge I had made for him. Close enough though, so neither of us bothered to correct her.
  • I don’t specifically remember all six songs, however the first song was a (Something/Someone) no Uta, a Japanese song title that translates to English as (Something/Someone)’s Song. It was from some game or other. The third and fourth songs were versions of the same song, a Korean song sung by three magical girls, dressed up in colourful outfits as they rampaged through a street full of Japanese mafia, most of whom were standing around, plus two bigwigs who were resting with feet up on a table. It was a live action scene, very tacky, with vibes of the Samurai Flamenco anime, but it drew gasps of interest from the crowd of students at the back of the room. The very last song was a combat song supposedly from Tales of Berseria, except the onscreen video, while showing combat from that game, featured me controlling a scholar character called Tao from Atelier Ryza, who wasn’t really good at combat but tossed a pebble bomb at enemies who were swarming him. Of the two missing songs, the second and fifth one, one was a song from another game, and the other was a meme song that Mell had linked in Discord back when I must have been making the video, and which I had apparently liked, something about an underwater scene that might have featured crabs.
  • At any rate, Justin was only able to get one of the six songs, and I thanked the facilitator/teacher for playing the video and for Justin and the rest of the room for listening along, as I laid down on my arms on the table in front of me.
  • Someone named Padre then came into the room, claiming to be a former teacher and asking how many of us recognized him. A few people stood up, and I did as well, although he didn’t recognize me as I had gender transitioned. In the dream, he was a former teacher of ours from Rosyth though, so my classmates from Dunman who were also from Rosyth would have (and did) recognized him.
  • Editor: The slippers, pink shoes, and dark sneakers with pink laces are all shoes I have in real life. The Samurai Flamenco vibes from the magical girl song were likely due to similarities to the Mineral★Miracle★Muse girls from that show. Lastly, the Padre face that I recognized as a teacher was actually a priest who went by the handle PadreSJ, who used to be a guest on an online show named NSFW/Night Attack, and probably a few other names, which Jah and I used to watch when they were on a site named Twit.tv. Jah still follows them, though I don’t. But I liked him and most of the other hosts quite a bit. Still, I’m surprised my dream dredged up his name and face.

Previous Entry

Rosyth Chinese Enrichment Camp Booklet (1995)

Next Entry

My Diary #048

guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments