Our Student Bloggers

AndyChenPictureAndy Chen
Hometown: Auckland, New Zealand
Favorite Foods: Sushi, braised pork, barbecued meat, fruit and Mum’s cooking!

Born in China, but raised in Auckland since I was one (and a half) – I’m a yellow-Kiwi. But unlike my brown-haired, wingless brethren, I have an affinity for flight and love nothing better than touching down in new destinations. When I was small, I hated leaving the comfort of my fantasy novels and video games, but now I aspire to be cosmopolitan – at ease with anyone, anywhere. As a firm advocate of reading between the lines, I’ll give you a few interesting facts and let you draw your own conclusions as to what sort of person I am!

I once splashed 18M hydrochloric acid over my front – my white lab coat turned brown but none of it touched my skin!

More of my life has been spent sitting in front of chess boards than sitting in front of televisions.

One of my favorite websites is Lesswrong.com.

I’m 18 years old and still resort to drawing stickmen.

If I could choose to be any animal, I would be a giant panda – wouldn’t it be fun to roll around all day eating bamboo?

Tara Dear
Hometown: Canberra, Australia
Favorite Food: Fruit! Of all varieties.

I’m not normally a procrastinator, but when you’re an eighteen-year-old embarking on your journey of self-discovery and identity, it’s a hard task to condense yourself into 100 words! Hi, I’m Tara =) I grew up in Canberra, Australia, and ethnically speaking, I’m half Singaporean and half British, although my hometown right now is a African village called Wulugu in the far north of Ghana. Ask me again in about six months, though, and I’ll be somewhere in rural China brushing up on my Mandarin before we begin our highly anticipated adventures in YNC! So one thing that won’t be changing anytime soon is that I’m a traveller: “the world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” I’m so excited to get started on our story when we all meet at last in July, because we’ll be writing a whole new chapter.

Carmen Denia
Hometown: Quezon City, Philippines
Favorite Food: French fries and sinigang sa bayabas

Hello! I’m Carmen – your everyday, happily old-fashioned nomadic geek.

Everywhere I’ve moved, I like to believe I’ve carried my love for the sciences, languages, and literature. I’ve also picked up along the way a passion for dancing, writing and empowering young people through education. My latest home is Singapore and if you live here, I’m probably that odd girl you saw patting stray cats or absentmindedly humming on the bus.

Even though I’ve been in two countries, nine houses, two student hostels, five schools, and four churches, I’m still greatly looking forward to my journey through the gap year and the four years with Yale-NUS! I hope you won’t mind travelling along with me through this new experience, one blog post at a time. ♥

Evannia Handoyo
Hometown: Jakarta, Indonesia
Favorite Food: Sayur asem (sour soup)

Greetings! My name is Evannia C. Handoyo and I hail from the beautiful and congested city of Jakarta. When I’m not busy practicing my waterbending skills, I like to read and eat. My passion lies in humanities and theater, and the development of Indonesia. My geography teacher once told me that just possessing knowledge is worthless without putting it into action, and that is who I hope to be: someone who doesn’t just have a brain overloaded with information, but who plays a positive part in changing people’s lives. At the moment, I shall keep myself busy learning, watching films, baking brownies, training dragons, singing show tunes and writing blog posts.

UntitledDylan Ho
Hometown: Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia
Favorite Foods: Vietnamese Pho

Hi, I’m Dylan. I was formerly from NUS High School of Mathematics and Science. If you can’t already tell from the long-ass name, we’re a nerdy school. And I’m a geek, nerd, and some say hipster. I’m very loud, and I love talking over writing. I’m a huge fan of games. I play any and all forms of games. I love organizing events for people and stuff. To my fellow YNC-ers, look forward to trivia nights, murder mysteries, mass games, and gaming tournaments!

I love new experiences and standing out, which is why I dyed my hair blonde. The world is too awesome to stick to the ordinary. Seize the day and go climb a tree!

Karen Ho
Hometown: Jurong West, Singapore
Favorite Foods: Char kuay teow, sushi, maltesers, sautéed mushrooms, bubble tea

So I’m Karen, the girl who’s overly enthusiastic and always late. In Anglo-Chinese Junior College, I was known among my classmates and in the Students’ Council for being a Saikang Warrior, for readily diving into any task. Superficial friendships don’t satisfy me; I love connecting with people on a deeper level. I have a passion for writing. I feel very deeply – everyone hurts in some way – I aspire to speak to people’s hearts through my words. My heart rules my head. I’m also constantly striving to make God my priority.

I guess I’m like a photographic mosaic of a vibrant flame burning the night away. You immediately see the energy and colourful spirit, but upon further inspection, you realise each pixel is a picture in itself. There’s a story behind each grain of blazing red and pitch black – the darkness brings out the fire. I intend for you to discover the subtleties of this collage; hopefully, you’ll identify with a pixel or two, and connect with the artwork. By the way, they all think I’m crazy.

Regina Hong
Hometown: Singapore
Favorite Food: Durian, dark chocolate, green tea

Local who is frequently mistaken for a foreigner due to strange accents in both Chinese and Hokkien. I attribute this to over-ambition in studying too many languages at once. Hoodies over dresses, science fiction over romance, cycling over jogging. The dubious ability to appreciate durian and dark chocolate is one of the few claims I can lay to being part of the Singapore food culture. Green tea is also a great weakness of mine.

Rocco Hu
Hometown: Sengkang, Singapore
Favorite Food: Smoked salmon

A ‘born-and-bred’ Singaporean who’s never fully at home at home, I seek escape in reading about strange people and places and constructing elaborate lies euphemistically termed ‘fiction’ and ‘plays’. I do guitar and soccer for fun too. The public infrastructure in Singapore conspires against me. I constantly hit my forehead head against low ceilings especially while alighting from trains and buses and am unable to manipulate my gangly limbs into the Hobbit-space allocated each person on public transport here.

I have an embarrassing confession to make. I’m intellectually promiscuous. As a kid I was fascinated with dinosaur bones and black holes, and so wanted to be a palaeontologist or an astronomer. In junior college, inspired by a superb teacher, I was positive I wanted to be a literary scholar. Near the start of my (mandatory!) military service I found a copy of Bertrand Russell’s History of Western Philosophy sitting on an aunt’s shelf and after completing it, decided I wanted to be a philosopher too. Now I’m leaning towards anthropology and general cultural-historical things. I rub my hands in glee at the prospect of regressing to the glorious dilettanteism that the two-year core curriculum allows.

Marcus Koe
Hometown: Singapore
Favorite Food: Chilli crab

So here I am and this is me. Actually more of who I think I am. I like contrast and it seems to have grown into who I am. I enjoy playing sports but am accident-prone. I have a science background but take interest in humanities. I get excited by logic but wear clothes that sometimes don’t make sense (to others at least). I revel in adventure and the outdoors but take comfort in air-conditioning with cups of coffee and tea. I love food but am extremely picky. I am a guy and… the contrast ends here. I don’t enjoy writing about myself very much because I never seem to get a grip on exactly who I am. I must still be growing I suppose…

Clin Lai
Hometown: Singapore
Favorite Food: Raw salmon

Hello! My name is Clin. I’m a student of Yale-NUS matriculating in year 2014. If there is one thing you should know about me, it’s that I’m an avid reader in a writer’s body. Talking to me while I have a book in hands has been described to me as talking to a wall, except the wall probably would be more responsive. I love stories, and one of my favourite activities is creating story plots from random words. My favourite food is raw salmon fish and I get random cravings for it. Like now. I live in the Eastern part of Singapore, which means I get to see the Sun probably a few yoctoseconds earlier than those on the Western side. Not that it makes much of a difference when it comes to waking up in the morning. I’ll leave you to guess whose car is behind me.

Theodore Lai
Hometown: Clementi, Singapore
Favorite Food: Soft shell crab! If not, classic shoe-string French fries. Bonus if they come topped with cheese!

I’m 21 and currently serving my National Service. I’m really into social psychology, moral philosophy and popular music. I have a great interest in how people think and behave in a collective context, as well as how culture and social influence can unconsciously change and mould our thinking. I have seen the Diffusion of Responsibility phenomenon take place many times, and am amazed by how people can change from altruistic to selfish simply because they are not alone. It’s observations such as these that make psychology so fascinating to study.

I didn’t do too well in secondary school; good enough to graduate, but bad enough to keep quiet about it. As with most students in my situation, I went to Nanyang Polytechnic and studied Information Technology. I wanted to go into game design for a while, but converted to social science after reading Malcolm Gladwell’s “What the Dog Saw”. I’ve been a passionate psychology dilettante ever since.

Music is a huge part of my life. Despite studying classical music since young, I really love 1960s and ’70s rock. I picked up the guitar and abandoned the piano and violin after listening to Led Zeppelin and have been passionately playing the instrument ever since.

I’m looking forward to contributing to this blog and hope my writing inspires others who love the liberal arts just as much as I do.

Al Lim
Hometown: Singapore
Favorite Food: Chicken rice, hokkien mee, ban mian, ข้าวขาหมู, durian pengat

I shan’t perpetuate the cycle of “non-conformity.” Hi, my name is Al Lim. If a Singaporean heard me say that sentence, they would instantly sniff me out as a foreigner. As such, a self-imposed adjective would be “hybrid.”

Essentially: I am half-Thai and half-Singaporean, a staunch Christian and an avid globetrotter. I also have a tendency to talk a lot. I left Singapore after the infamous PSLE and went on to Sydney. A culture shock would understate the extent of an accent barrier I experienced. In 2009, I moved to Fort Mill, South Carolina. Contrary to popular belief, I did not live in a hick-town full of hunters, monster trucks and NASCAR. Neither did I live in any sort of South that Flannery O’Connor fans would visualize. During my tenure, I did learn to speak Calculus, scream like Munch and ecrasez l’infame!

385252_10151384876101357_1500791459_nLim Yixuan
Hometown: Singapore
Favourite food: How could I choose? I love sushi, sashimi, nuts, (smelly) durian, pasta, Percy the Pig gummies, Subway vegetable wrap, anything cheesy, nothing deep fried, all things healthy.

Just as I can’t seem to pinpoint exactly what food I like, my life is a colourful mess of the things I simply adore and appreciate. I love to write, run, play the piano, sing, dance, connect with people, rock climb, innovate, travel, laugh, eat… Loving so many things in life makes me a very spoilt kid–I’m totally spoilt for choice as to what I want to do with my life.

I’m a child lost in the woods without a clear direction; yet I’m also a dreamer, standing at the juncture of an infinite crossroads. Standing there looking yonder, I am anchored at the same time by my conviction as a Christian and a desire to understand the world we live in and to live my life with wisdom. I believe that, to the tune of what Steve Jobs once said, looking forward we can’t see how the disparate events in our life make sense, but at the end of it all looking backwards we will surely see the dots connect. Here we go, into the Great Unknown!

profile pictureAleithia Low
Hometown: Yishun, Singapore
Favourite Food: Tangyuan (glutinous rice balls with filling), taohuey, cheesecake (I’m a dessert person)


I’m Aleithia, and yes, I’m Chinese. My general rule in life is to never stop wondering at everything God has so magnificently created – not just the awe-inspiring, breath-taking sights, but also (and especially) the little things that take you by surprise.

After living in Singapore for most of my life (apart from a three year stint in Nottingham, the land of Robin Hood), I am just beginning to discover the beauty of my homeland: the pathways that take me along canals into forests right to the seaside; spices wafting out of the warm, dark wood that panel traditional stores; shophouses that align themselves haphazardly along the streets; sunsets that fire up our concrete skyline; catching the singular 7am sunray that has made its way through the Central Business District in tired hands, rested on your lap in a taxi on the way to work.

I love literature. And art. How writers and artists craft their words and materials to create meaning and emotion that touch and challenge not just our eyes, but also affect our attitudes and mindsets in how we see the world. My favourite books, art pieces and experiences are ones that have forced (or gently guided) me to reconsider or re-evaluate my values and belief systems.

I’ll end off with this Roald Dahl quote:
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

Blog ProfileKevin Low
Hometown: Singapore, Singapore (A city so nice, they named it twice)
Favourite Food: Noodles, ice cream, sushi and fried rice

What person am I? Well, it’s hard to define/the masks that I wear upon this face of mine./Most of my personas are to entertain:/the actor, the joker, or just something my brain/pulled out of itself. So that’s why I said/it’s hard to pin down. I can say my head/has a terrible habit of thinking outside the box;/jumping from idea to idea, trying to outfox/myself. I like to create; there’s no better feeling/than crafting a city from ground up to the ceiling/with nothing but the half-baked bricks of thought/and the concrete ideas of things you were taught/in school. And I’ve realized I live to amuse:/I’m not one of those guys whose interest is booze;/because why swallow spirits when you can get drunk/from laughing at the one about the monk,/the pastor, and the rabbi who walk into a bar?/Why people pay money for drinks is bizarre./Slapstick is my cocktail; bad puns are my beer;/jokes are my tequila; innuendo, liqueur./And if it’s not very apparent just yet,/the English language is one of my pet/passions. In this lingual Circus of Words,/I play the ringmaster, herding the herds/of phrases and clauses into orderly lines,/to mix connotations and hint at the signs/of their multiple meanings. I can make the words dance,/cartwheel and somersault, juggle and prance/around on the tongue, to excite and delight./It doesn’t matter if it’s wrong or it’s write./It’s quite incurable; so if you’ve got the time,/you can actually read this whole write-up in rhyme. (Highlight this text.)

DSC_1012[1]Melody Madhavan
Hometown: Singapore
Favorite Foods: Japanese curry, dal curry, curry prawns, green curry, curry maggi mee… (the Indian side of me is prevalent when it comes to my tastebuds)

I’m Melody, your resident chindian hair-dye enthusiast, or the girl with strange clothing choices and a taste for loud music. Overly enthusiastic and gung-ho with a penchant for indulging in dangerous sports, I’m up for almost anything thrown in my way.

History is my pet subject – studying the causation and interlinking of past events fascinates me, especially in the context of  South-East Asia. We’re basically the result of political, social and economic impacts made by past leaders and events, both large and small – how amazing is that! My interests aren’t only limited to history though! I am really interested in philosophy, literature and astrophysics, so I’m definitely looking forward to getting down and dirty with those at Yale-NUS too.

I love music, books, movies and art, and hopefully via my blogs I’d be able to share (*cough* or indoctrinate *cough*) an appreciation for these beautiful things with you guys!

Thiel picture of me 2Michael Moore-Jones
Hometown: Wellington, New Zealand
Favorite Foods: Pretty much anything Japanese or Italian, but especially high-grade Wagyu and salmon belly.

I’m Michael Moore-Jones – a New Zealander who has grown up around the world. You can ask me what my interests are, and I’d probably reply “Why do you think I’m doing a liberal arts degree?”. But in saying that, I’m hugely interested in studying history and economics.

Technology in its broadest sense fascinates me, and I love working out how the Internet can solve everyday problems and desires that I have. With that in mind I founded They Don’t Teach You This In School (www.tdtytis.com), a website that helps people learn from the knowledge and experiences of others.

I write on my own blog, http://www.mmoorejones.com, often, so you can follow me there!

Abdul Hamid
Hometown: Bedok, Singapore
Favourite Food: Roti John, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (!!!)

I’m Hamid, and no, I do not dress like that when I’m outside. When not attempting to make myself sound older than I really am, I enjoy squirming at scenes of Chestbursters eating their way out of people (that Alien 1979 scene is concurrently the stuff of my childhood and nightmares). I realise there is something contradictory in that statement but there’s that mix of fear and fascination when I watch Giger’s creations. To prove that I’m just like everyone else I also enjoy drinking GongCha (bubble tea) and picking up random books from the library. Contrary to racial stereotypes I do not have the ability to play football, so do not ask me. Instead, ask me about drama and literature – especially local Singaporean offerings – and we’ll definitely have more to talk about.

Reuben Su
Hometown: Eastern region of sunny Singapore
Favorite Food: Wanton noodles with green chilli

Hola mis amigos! Mi nombre es Reuben.

My myriad of grossly time-consuming hobbies include:

Picking up elementary Español from Señorita Dora, hitting the ‘Next’ button on Perezhilton.com, awkward turtle-ing, attempting to cry to Adele’s “Someone Like You”, queuing for freebies, rapping to Nicki Minaj’s NSFW greatest hits, Youtube-ing Sun Ho’s greatest hits, competitive sleeping, forecasting thunderstorms and rain-dancing (NSFs, you heard me!), mulling over the sale section at Asos.com, binging on my maid’s keropok, telling people that they’re “born this way” à la Lady Gaga, accidentally dropping my iPods, running away from chin-up bars, nay-saying Scientology and whatever sorcery they ‘believe’ in,  taking long bus and train rides, sing-talking Ke$ha-style to Lana Del Rey, downing earl grey or taro milk teas (50% sugar level for good measure), reading ‘Now A Major Motion Picture’ novels, face-tweeting, hash-tagging, watching Kathy Griffin specials and hating on the Biebs.


Jared Yeo
Hometown: Singapore
Favorite Food: Anything with beef or salmon

Hi, my name is Jared Theodore Yeo. Born and raised in Singapore, I grew up in a rowdy home with two brothers. I graduated from Pioneer Junior College in 2009 and was a History Relief Teacher back in PJ in 2010 before my National Service. My NS journey was rather unique as I served as an Army Journalist. I ORD-ed in Feb 2012 and I’m currently working in Yale-NUS College as part of the college’s Year One Initiative.

My passion lies in history and politics – I am absolutely fascinated with the American Revolution and the Protestant Reformation, and my political idols include Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan.

I enjoy historical and war films and am a huge fan of American sitcoms. I love traveling, I live to eat and I bleed red for Liverpool.

You’ll Never Walk Alone!

One comment

  1. Hi! I’m a Yale undergrad and current intern for the Yale Alumni Magazine. The July/August 2012 issue features a profile on Pericles Lewis that I think would be great to include on your blog! http://www.yalealumnimagazine.com/issues/2012_07/lv_singapore.html
    and check out the rest of the issue online here:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s