My time is up (2): 苛求

Okay many people has been bugging for my second blog post. Honestly I think it is not very nice if I publish something and it causes a big woohah before the next JCRC is elected. SO I WAIT. 这一天,终于来了。

Today I am gonna talk about the perfectionist behaviour I have. Many people think perfectionists must be damn atas. YOU ARE WRONG HAHAHA. Observe your friends carefully lah:

You can drink three towers of beer, spur vulgarities in 4 dialects and skip all your lectures and still be a perfectionist. WHY?

According to Wikipedia:
Perfectionism, in psychology, is a personality trait characterized by a person's striving for flawlessness and setting high performance standards, accompanied by critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others' evaluations.

In its maladaptive form, perfectionism drives people to attempt to achieve an unattainable ideal, while their adaptive perfectionism can sometimes motivate them to reach their goals. In the end, they derive pleasure from doing so. When perfectionists do not reach their goals, they often fall into depression.

Okay clearly I didn’t understand that, so this is what I found elsewhere, clear and concise:


So these 6 years of Eusoff Hall life was a pretty good indicator of how PERFECTIONIST I am. I will just cite two examples.

1. The Eusoff Awards.

I wanted the Awards to be a solid one, because 2012-2016 is supposed to be the way I complete my university education (which obviously I didn’t, hurhur).

Recently I keep hearing about the term 历史定位  because of the Malaysian elections ("who-and-who is doing this because of an intended 历史定位"). Yes indeed, I think it is natural for humans to want to outdo their forerunners to prove a point. In my case, it was my decision to make this event happen in a hotel instead of NUSS. Don’t get me wrong, NUSS is a really good place (cheap beer) but I was looking for that 历史定位 for myself too.

The hardest part was of course making the money appear. I’ll save the details for the next time, but that was somewhat the reason why I am working in the financial advisory industry now.

And of course I couldn’t have run the show alone, I was grateful that my fellow JCRC President and Vice-President took their time towards the end to try to sort out loose strings which I have neglected. But I guess I was kind of adamant about having this event held outside NUS; many (including the Hall admin) had doubts initially.

反正事实胜于雄辩 。

Certainly I am upset I cannot graduate.

2. RAG.
I always thought RAG was a waste of time. And I still think so.

RAG is a classic example of “collective decision”—everyone hates doing RAG but no one has the balls to outright remove it. When it’s time for us to decide, someone will cite “tradition” and “spirit” as reasons why RAG should be kept, and then everyone falls silent after that.

言外之意,就是 bopian still must do lor. So I did RAG twice. Both times as costume designer, 2014 and 2016 respectively.

I have tried designing everything in Hall except costumes prior to RAG. It was an interesting attempt when I started this journey because the theme that year was ALICE IN WONDERLAND. The perfectionist in me actually went to the National Library to look at Alice In Wonderland photobooks and tutorials on sewing. I even brought my sketches to my OCIP trip in Israel so that I could constantly improve my designs during the month-long trip.

“alice in wonderland movie”的图片搜索结果
God knows what weird movie is this but the costumes were lit.

It was a tiring process because when I returned to Singapore I was OGL for three camps as well. It was difficult to manage time and I feel very apologetic about my comm members. Well honestly they were great and diligent workers, and I guess it would not be wrong to say that I was the brain and they were the muscles. However I don’t think it is very fair if they turn out to be the ones answering for my decisions. Details to be out in Post No. 5.

In summary, money and time.

So back to being a PERFECTIONIST. Each piece of clothes was detailed work. For example, the skirts that the girls wore (top left corner) were actually 3 layers of cloth, monochromatic shades of the same colour:
Inner, Outer, Sesh
Inner, Outer, Sesh
Inner, Outer, Sesh and
Inner, Outer, Sesh.

That is to say, every skirt was sewn three times, if you didn’t include the 松紧带. Tough work indeed.

The reason why we had three layers was because I wanted to make it appear flowy but I don’t want our dancers to 走光. So having three layers of varying lengths actually helps to conceal the safety shorts but also maintains its elegance.

The top for our mass dancers were togas and spag tops. The straps that held the spag tops up were made from wool yarns, tied into braids.

Oh, and we modified a corset for the Queen. 废物利用 at its optimal potential. And I did I mention, that the card soldiers each had a dedicated singlet of their own, with a corresponding number and suit?

Being a perfectionist, some of the cloth were quite atas because I bought them at Spotlight. I bought so much that I have VIP membership there, till today.

Quite obvious that I like my things done swee swee right? Well eventually we got a Gold award for the event, not that costumes play a very major role, but I guess it was relevant enough to our theme?

The following year was SG50, I was busy with my internship with Mediacorp so I wasn’t very involved with Hall stuff that year. We got a Silver award for RAG and it was quite disappointing because we expected to be better. Well of course external factors were the main reasons but anyway because of this “defeat” (因为输给别的宿舍,林北很不爽) I decided to take it up again in 2016. While this time there were less people involved, the work was far more repetitive and I faced a manpower crunch with only two members. That period was especially tough because of the Orientation saga and so both myself and one of the members were constantly being called to the Office for inquiries—where got time to make clothes?!

The theme for our performance was Robots vs Humans. Apparently the storyline goes that humans are overworking the robots and one day the robots got really upset they decided to 造反 and they won by making mankind their captives. The costumes for humans were easy, some kind of singlet like a vest with collars—it is just six pieces of pre-cut cloths sewn to each other. The tough part was for the robots.

Since I had no time, the best way to make the shirts ready was to use this idea of “personalise”. 这一招很好用,因为它给予使用者一种 ownership 的感觉,让他们愿意为此而付出。

圖像裡可能有10 個人、包括 Jamie Ng 、 Kenneth Phang 、 Jhoann Miyajima 、 Kullatep Mudyap Trakooltham 、楊晟以及 QiuGuang Ke、微笑的人、大家站著

These are the robots I was talking about, courtesy to NUS News.

So if you could see, that middle patch (with gears and all) were personalised because I let the dancers choose what are the pieces they want to sew onto their costumes. Basically we just sew the base vest and then they add on their own designs. 一个人选三片不同颜色的,自己缝上去,真的省了我们不少时间。

This middle patch thing had its origins from Qing Dynasty court costumes. The patch there, known as a Mandarin Square 补子, shows the rank of the official and is removeable (when you promote or demote you will change your square lor). Not bad right this idea?

“mandarin squares”的图片搜索结果
The green thing in the middle is known as a Mandarin Square.

It was really a few weeks without proper sleep. I’m quite a workaholic too and when I work I really don’t like to reply text messages. Obviously this has an impact on my personal relationships but well whatever, we achieved Gold award again. So if you can’t handle me at my worst, obviously you don’t deserve my best. Hurhur. (插入:希望你以后不会后悔没选择我~~)

These are just two “bigger” examples from Eusoff Hall that I can think about. In everyday life of course I have a lot more to share—I especially hate pair-work projects because most of the time I think the other party is stupid. I have zero tolerance towards mediocrity, especially when it occurs not because your IQ is low but because you are lazy or ignorant. 三日不读书,便觉言语无味,面目可憎。

Anglo-Chinese Schools have this motto which I like a lot: THE BEST IS YET TO BE. I would like to assume that the half-full glass is always half-empty, because it motivates you to wanna strive for the better. 谦受益,满招损。 It is hence important always stay hungry.

The cons of being a perfectionist actually, in my opinion, outweights the pros. That is because the only advantage of being a perfectionist is that your things are done swee swee, people praise you, and you will feel good for a while. 可惜赞美的话语是不会让人进步的,而且也不能当饭吃。


1. I expect too much from people. 俗话说「严以律己,宽以待人」,我不仅严以律己,我也严以待人。我实在没有办法接受别人不知道什么是 common sense,搞不清楚自己的职责,有时候真的觉得自己眼里容不得沙子。当然我对道德伦理上的事情不闻不问,因为是你的私事,但是工作上毕竟我们彼此有共同利益,我不得不鸡婆一下。

2. So I put my hands into everything, because I feel the need to KNOW. 我相信我有知的权利,有了正确的信息我才能更好的剖析局势,如果遇到需要纠正的事情我一定会亲自解决。

3. Then I start to not trust people with work so I do every shit myself. 凡是老子都亲历亲为,就是为了确保一切都按照牌理出牌,其实真的很累。

4. Finally you get jaded. 俗话说虎头蛇尾,正是如此下场。Once you get jaded you would want to pass the job to someone else. Step 1 repeats itself again.

There is a Chinese poem called 《可叹》 (“sigh-able”) by Du Fu, which has a line that goes 吾辈碌碌饱饭行, referring to people like us everyday eat shit sleep nothing better to do just bitch about people.

Now it’s my turn to bitch. Next post, about the realities of relationships in this world, through my experiences in the Hall.

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