Life after res—and missing it

Welcome to your new castle—or not.
Welcome to your new castle—or not.

Sitting comfortably in my chair in my new Ghetto house, I can recall the events of the past few weeks: the end of first-year exams, the frantic packing of the contents of my suddenly-enormous residence room before the big move, and, of course, the clouds of insects that provided free protein supplements to everyone on moving day.

Since insects do not really appeal to me as a meal replacement, I had to try to cook. My first attempt resulted in bitter garlic and vegetables. I burnt them blacker than soot, and quickly followed them with burnt rice. In hindsight, it was funny, but not immediately so for my friend, who had to pretend for my sake that the mess was edible.

I suppose that for a person who has not been anywhere near home for almost a year—which is how long I’ve been away from Singapore—you have to learn to be your own cheerleader and laugh at your own disasters. So I kept trying, and I am now a better cook. But I am still looking forward to ready-made meals in the cafeteria in the new school year.

After all, I am moving back into residence this fall, despite the fact that I am already looking forward to moving out next April, for good.

Why return to residence, you ask? First, I have a severe lack of knowledge about living in a house. Being in a house makes me jittery because I have lived in apartments all my life. So I figured it is probably a good idea to spend one more year learning about heating and other house care details before I actually move into one.

More importantly, though, living in residence provides more opportunities to meet very different people. Unexpected and interesting things happen when a few hundred strangers are thrown together in a building to live together for eight months—things that bind you to people you never thought you would meet, with their strange quirks. Residence provides a safe place to begin—or continue—exploring diversity.

In the meantime, all my friends in Kingston are invited to lunch or dinner. Nothing fancy, but these days, it’s a quite edible and well-balanced meal nonetheless. We can talk about all the different residential experiences we have had and those to come in the not-so-distant future.

Grace Soo’s spring term is currently ruled by two Psychology courses, her friends who remain in Kingston, and missing her good ol’ residence.

Made in May

  • Chanel no. 5, the world’s best-selling perfume, was launched on May 5, 1921 and changed altogether what it means to smell good.
  • May 15, 1923: Listerine was trademarked. In Jan. 2005, a Michigan woman pleads guilty to drunk driving after drinking three glasses of Listerine, which has an alcohol content of more than 20 per cent. Police find her blood alcohol level to be three times the legal limit.
  • Barbie was born May 9, 1958. For better or for worse—you be the judge—beauty has never been the same.
  • Velcro was trademark registered on May 13, 1958, to the dismay of shoelace and button makers.

—Compiled by Rosel Kim from, and MSNBC

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