A Science Teacher for a Dad and an English Teacher for a Mum

I confess I grew up in a family of teachers. My parents are teachers; in fact, they met at a teachers’ training college in Penang some 25 or so years ago. So were my maternal grandparents. On my dad’s side are three aunts and a handful of cousins who educate for a living. As a consequence, I cultivated a healthy respect for the profession – but that’s not what I want to talk about today. Anyway, today I’d like to talk about how my parents’ chosen vocation helped me become the person I am today – an aspiring polymath.

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There’s Something about Snail Mail

Apparently I haven’t blogged in four weeks despite the promised weekly schedule. I’ve been behind for all of the tasks I promised to myself due to my involvement in the Vanderbilt Undergraduate Summer Research Program (VUSRP for short, you can either pronounce it as an acronym or an initialism; either way people won’t understand anyway) for the past four weeks. Actually, the research gig started a couple of days after I posted A Presidential Fascination, and I’ve been busy ever since.

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A Presidential Fascination

It has been more than a week since I left Washington, DC on the tail end of my six-day vacation to Chicago and DC. The last time I pored over some writing of this kind (I’ve written a couple of Goodreads reviews in the meantime), it was for the VUcept blog. In case you haven’t read it, click here. Which reminds me, I have another short piece I promised my partner a couple weeks ago and a draft to edit for a friend.

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A Guest Post on the VUcept Blog

Hello, 12-23 readers,

This week I would like to direct your attention to the VUcept blog, where I guest-post about being in new places and getting out of the comfort zone:

I believe that there’s no better time to go out there than the present. While I’ve had some uncomfortable experiences during our excursions, I feel that getting out of your comfort zone is a part of life that shapes you.

Click here to read the entire thing :)

Wishing you a wonderful summer so far! – N


As I Finish My Sophomore Year…

I’ve had a lot to think about lately. Mainly it’s just planning a week-long two-person trip to Chicago and Washington, DC. My friend Z, who goes to Notre Dame, wanted to go to DC for the first time and asked some of her Vanderbilt friends to come with her. I agreed as I didn’t have anything to do until my research gig starts on the 27th. Originally another friend did, too, but bailed out (not by her own admission) shortly after. Chicago was added to the itinerary, and the rest is history.

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Why I Want to Become a Professor

One of the things that motivated me to conduct research has a lot to do with how I was raised. My mother in particular would encourage her children to read, and to that end has spent thousands of ringgit on books for the four of us, as well as subscriptions to Time, Reader’s Digest, and Newsweek. Often I would be the one to read everything, as for most of my childhood I grew up with two brothers, with my sister born a week before my ninth birthday. It was through these books that I first became acquainted with the myriad topics and issues that people have discovered and discussed.

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