Sampling Frame

Out of all the sciences, my most favourite was Biology. Couldn't wrap my head around Chemistry or Physics for the life of me, but Biology brought me a strange sort of joy. Unlike the other two sciences, Biology allowed me to understand and make sense of the things around me that could be easily seen and discerned, and to look at my various body parts and think about them mechanically, like parts of a machine (or in my case, a very badly functioning one). I've been thinking about Biology again recently however because of a very silly reason: sampling frames.
Context: I'm taking Mixed Methods for research now over Summer, and I'm surprised by how much I'm enjoying it.
In my Summer A class now we've been doing a fair amount of work on different types of research methods (surveys, interviews, focus groups, etc.), and for the past week have been focusing on surveys. I can't say I thought very much about surveys before, but since encountering the material I realised I had learnt a bit about surveys before - from Biology class. There was a page or two on conducting population surveys of plants, and I remember reading about the different types of methodology one could use to count the flora (and maybe very small fauna?). One method however I remembered vividly, because of the image I had in my mind every time I read it: the random sampling frame. For some reason, I envisioned a scientist grasping a literal white coloured frame and tossing it around at random, and that image always amused me. Now donkey years later (maybe 10?), every time the term "sampling frame" is mentioned in class, I cannot help but smile and imagine someone throwing a frame around. 
It's funny what one remembers from school. 
In other news, I feel quite incoherent today. Today has been the 3rd time I've been to Columbia Health in the past 2 weeks. I'm very tired of being sick, would like to know what's wrong with me, and would like to get better. Thanks.

Unholy Mess

Half cause I'm just starting to move out and half because I'm still feeling sick and all over the place, my room has now evolved into an unholy mess. I feel great unease when I cast my eyes around, but I have no idea what to do. I could clean it up, but everything is within easy grabbing length. I could work towards reducing the amount of crap I have (an ever present theme in my life whenever I have to move), but the crap gives me some sort of comfort. I don't know. I don't feel very relaxed.

On the upside, I have decided to make teochew porridge with the canned fried black bean fish for lunch. I am really looking forward to it. Thinking about it makes me feel comforted.

Taking Ill

I don't think I've ever been so sick away from home before, and feeling so miserable to boot. I have not been able to sleep properly for the past 3 nights because I keep waking up feeling like I'm being choked and coughing like crazy. I saw the doctor on Friday, and he gave me a whole range of medicines for asthma, but somehow the symptoms don't seem to be getting any better. Meanwhile I've been taking almost any sort of medicine that seems like it'll help my symptoms, to the extent that I'm probably overdoing it.

I feel terrible.

Food Pictures

I seldom take pictures of my food unless they're unusual and memorable, but since I've been clearing my phone to free up space, I thought I'd post the pictures here.

The tastiest (and classiest) vegetarian appetiser that ever existed, as spreads for pita. Had this in Washington DC with Garam when we were there for the CIES conference in April.

Nicaraguan tamale which I bought from the world culture fair in the Zocalo in Mexico City. Was extremely large, incredibly filling, and very tasty.

Mole poblano enchiladas in Puebla. Would not eat again. Not a fan of mole.

Entomatadas con pollo in a small market stall in Oaxaca.  Loved it. Ordered it without knowing what entomatadas were, and because everyone in the stall couldn't speak English, they gave me a small taste on a plate for my approval first. Ended up talking in pidgin English and Spanish to all the patrons at the stall, trying to explain to them what Singapore was like. Was one of the must fun meals I've had.

Mexico Travels

From 14 to 21 May, I travelled for about a week around central Mexico by myself. I hit 3 spots: Mexico City, Puebla and Oaxaca. I decided that travelling for 8 whole days by myself is way too tiring for my taste, though I'm glad I did it. I saw Teotihuacan and Monte Alban too. I realised I haven't written about my travels in a long time and when I go back and reread my old entries, I like looking at the pictures most (HAH), so for posterity reasons I've decided to sit down and at least hammer something out.

First picture I took in Mexico, at the side of the Cathedral in Mexico City. Thought the statue looked bizarrely creepy.

Some sort of world fair thing that I visited in the Zocalo of Mexico City on my first day. Enjoyed it immensely, and even bought myself some Bandung from the Malaysia stall.

Funny smiling jaguar sculpture at the Museo Nacional de Antropologia. My favourite of all.

 Quetzalcoatl temple at Teotihuacan

Visitors sitting atop the Pyramid of the Sun, looking at the Pyramid of the Moon at Teotihuacan. 

The Zocalo in Puebla on a Sunday 

I kept feeling impressed by the relics I saw in the various museums [this one was Museo Amparo in Puebla]. How the hell did this "Personaje con mascara y serpientes en el tocado" from 600 to 900 A.D. not break?

 Santo Domingo Church in Oaxaca, also the site of the province's museum.

More funny relics in Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca. I like. 

And finally, Monte Alban, just outside the centre of Oaxaca. 

I am quite a terrible travel writer. I'm better when I'm writing about my emotions or something. 

Overworked Liver

I think my poor liver has been terribly overworked for the past week or so, since I have been stricken with with all sorts of strange and varying ailments (first sore throat, then lots of phlegm, then lots of coughing, and now a stuffed nose and slightly painful throat) and have been taking all sort of medicines to try and make them go away. So far I have been unsuccessful, and feeling not-too-happy as a result. It's hard to feel jubilant when I cough until I feel nauseous. On the other hand, at least it's been nice and cool for the past few days, giving me respite from the almost continuous heat exhaustion I've been feeling. I really am a canary in a coal mine. 

Themed Songs

Songs I have been listening to for the past week:

Tracy Chapman - Fast Car
The Cardigans - Communciation
Via Audio - Harder on Me
Jimmy Ruffin - What Becomes of the Brokenhearted
P!nk - Try

Paper Mill

I tell myself that I have done History papers all my life. That I can totally crank out a coherent 5,000 word historiographical essay in a matter of days [due: Wednesday 13 May 2015], because this is my jam. That History is my forte, and so is writing great History essays. But oh Dear God am I stressed out. Doesn't help that things have been weighing (as they do) on my chest, so that my mind is really only work 80% on this damned paper while the other 20% tries to make my body and emotions calm down enough to work [affect theory makes so much sense to me]. Wish I was a more functional human being with less Issues. Then maybe I could write this History paper faster.

On another note, this may well be the last History paper I ever write if I don't do a PhD. Not sure why I didn't think about this when I finished my undergrad. Possibly because I still wanted to do Grad school, and could not even comprehend studying for any degree other than History. Ooof.

I love History, but G8100y has taught me that there is no way in hell that I will ever touch Medieval history with a ten foot pole again. 

Changed Beliefs

After spending 3 years laughing at the Communist/Marxist booth along Houghton Street in LSE, I realised suddenly today that I am now a firm believer in the Marxist theory of education and the social/culture reproduction of the hidden curriculum. What a sea change. 

Gap in the (Musical) Literature

There needs to be a song written for people who have just started dating someone, but have no idea what's going on in the other person's head, or what the fuck is going to happen. Because I don't like uncertainty and would like a song to sing along to. 


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