Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Pursuing my own dreams...

I didn't mention what my dreams were in the previous post. It is to work in one of the National Labs and hopefully play a part of the 21st century equivalent of the Manhattan Project - Bionanotechnology?

I sometimes wonder if it is me wanting to hang out with a group of like minded individuals who dabble in (my related field of) science and engineering. Didn't have too pleasant memories in the secondary and JC days - if one read (and knew) too much beyond the required syllabi, he/she would get labelled as a nerd and be ridiculed. I am assuming this boils down to kiasuism; others think you (want to) know so much because of the exams.

I also thank JETRO and the old YAS program for giving me a chance to do (applied) research in Japan and Singapore, and thus deciding that those two places' work cultures don't really suit me.

With the institution I am in right now and the connections my advisor has with the folks in one of the National Labs, I think I am making good progress. Fortunately, non-US citizenship isn't an issue with most of the unclassified (i.e non-weapons) research at the post-doctoral level. :) I had already paid a high price to get to this stage though.

Of course, things could have turned out very differently. My US university applications (and the SAT I/II and TOEFL) were actually paid for by PSC (luckily these monies don't need to be repaid nor bonded).

For Basic Military Training (BMT), I was in a 'scholar' platoon (yes they really exist for guys they deemed to be potential bureaucrats), where the majority would enter OCS and many eventually became overseas scholars in the Civil Service and Statutory Boards.

Who knows. In a parallel universe I might have turned out to be a disgruntled scholar mandarin longing for the bond to end, only to see his other options fade away just as he was about to become a free man again. I should thank my parents for my independence, although ironically they would very much prefer me to be chained to the Sg govt.

ORNL
Home to one of the broadest and strongest programs in science and engineering.

4 comments:

smazh said...

You came to Japan under JETRO? Where did you work?

You were in a scholar platoon? Wonder what it's like to be in one of those...

In my case my parents never pressured me to become anything, besides not being lazy and studying hard. Pretty much pursued what I wanted, although that is still very vague...

ejl said...

my best friend is doing a Ph.D in nanotechnology at imperial college, and i think it has something to do with bio-science too, but i'm not too sure.

perhaps you might meet her at conferences someday.

Guo Xing said...

Freedom is good...glad that you are pursuing your dreams!

Cheers,
Oikono

Elia Diodati said...

I :heart: Oak Ridge too. The scenery is hard to beat as well...