In brief...

I'm a Nature-lover, aspiring conservationist, and wannabe traveller in search of outdoor adventure.
My interests vary from conservation to education to heritage to Nature (biodiversity & wildlife) to outdoor activities to life in general.
They occupy most of my waking moment.
Do read my blogs, follow me on Twitter (@jocelynesze) and friend me on Facebook (subject to my discretion). Visit my Nature blog, Nature Rambles, at http://natureramble.wordpress.com.

UPDATE 2 Apr 2017 - This site is no longer maintained, please visit jocelynesze.wordpress.com if you're interested in more recent writing.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

It's a quarter after one.

I am genuinely starting to get rather concerned about my lack of ability to sleep at night. It's been a long day, I've been so tired, and still, I get close to falling asleep, wake up for some reason, then can't get back to sleep. I lie in bed thinking about sleeping and thinking maybe I'm hungry and maybe I need to eat something, but maybe I'll fall asleep. I give up, open 5 doors to get to the fridge, a further 3 to the kitchen, then back through the 8 doors to my room (it's crazy, the number of doors we have). Then I sit in bed eating and wondering if I'll be able to fall asleep now.

Meanwhile, I'll do some background reading for my project, and hope I'll eventually fall asleep.


It's been a pretty good week though. Had a random camping night last Wed on Silwood grounds, then  lots of climbing over the weekend (6 hours on Fri and 6 hours on Sat). Doing science communication this week at the South Kensington campus, which has been pretty fun. Only complaint is the 1.5 hour coach ride to and fro everyday from Silwood Park. For some reason, it's just really tiring, though all I do when I get on the coach in the morning at 8am and 430pm is sleep. And the worst thing is despite how exhausted I feel (and look), I'm just not sleeping right now.



小幸运 - 电影《我的少女时代》主题曲
我听见雨滴落在青青草地
我听见远方下课钟声响起
可是我没有听见你的声音
认真呼唤我姓名

爱上你的时候还不懂感情
离别了才觉得刻骨铭心
为什么没有发现遇见了你
是生命最好的事情

也许当时忙着微笑和哭泣
忙着追逐天空中的流星
人理所当然的忘记
是谁风里雨里一直默默守护在原地
原来你是我最想留住的幸运
原来我们和爱情曾经靠得那么近
那为我对抗世界的决定
那陪我淋的雨
一幕幕都是你一尘不染的真心
与你相遇好幸运
可我已失去为你泪流满面的权利
但愿在我看不到的天际
你张开了双翼
遇见你的注定 她会有多幸运

青春是段跌跌撞撞的旅行
拥有着后知后觉的美丽
来不及感谢是你给我勇气
让我能做回我自己

也许当时忙着微笑和哭泣
忙着追逐天空中的流星
人理所当然的忘记
是谁风里雨里一直默默守护在原地
原来你是我最想留住的幸运
原来我们和爱情曾经靠得那么近
那为我对抗世界的决定
那陪我淋的雨
一幕幕都是你一尘不染的真心
与你相遇好幸运
可我已失去为你泪流满面的权利
但愿在我看不到的天际
你张开了双翼
遇见你的注定她会有多幸运

Never have I felt more glad that I spent 10 years tediously learning Chinese than when I'm here, and I can read and understand the song lyrics.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Praying for humanity.

So I was out of contact when the Paris news broke. I was on a camping/climbing trip with some friends in Dorset from Fri night till now, and didn't have any mobile reception at all (which caused other issues with my family, cos I forgot to tell them I might be out of contact and they got worried sick. I'm so sorry :( ), but one of my friends went to visit her relative on Saturday and heard about the Paris attacks and told us yesterday. Sitting under the open, cloudy skies, listening to huge waves crash right below us, feeling the sea breeze on our faces though, it's so hard to truly imagine what was happening in Paris, and in the rest of the connected world. And I promptly put all thoughts of terrorist attacks and hatred and unhappiness in this world out of my mind. Coming back online and onto Facebook though, I am immediately hit by all the posts about Paris, and about other unreported unnoticed attacks in Beirut, Baghdad, Syria and everywhere else in the world. And I am overwhelmed.

I feel overwhelmed by humanity, by humans. I went into London on Friday to meet some people, and as soon as I got out of the train station, I felt overwhelmed. By all the people. I looked at all the faces passing me on the street, about their stories, possible preoccupations, emotions. Everyone has a story to tell; you can't judge too quickly. Living in cities is so easily desensitising. You stop treating people as individuals, you see them as part of the scenery, or part of a category. Like the homeless on the streets. The banker-type. The tourist. Etc. I don't think I ever realised properly how flippantly we treat people in cities, having grown up in one. I guess being at Silwood was just that much more isolating (I'm interacting, seeing, walking past with the same few people everyday, no more than 50 probably), that going into the city after about 2 weeks, it was just too much, my brain was going into overdrive. 

While outdoors though, my mind was a blank. It was just so nice and peaceful and calming to be out there, without any external pressures. It's hard to even fathom the horrors that are going on. I thought, perhaps people wouldn't be so unhappy and violent if they spent more time outdoors. But then, if people don't even have basic comfort and security, being outdoors would be more of a threat and a fear. I guess I say what I say cos I'm in a position of luxury and privilege. I feel like there is nothing much I can do, physically, about all the wrongs that go on in the world. The only thing I can do is to pray. For those who died in the attacks, their families, and perhaps especially for those who perpetrate such atrocious acts, that they will stop. 

I know, but I just don't understand this world we currently live in, I don't understand the humans. I am naively still hoping for world peace one day, but meanwhile I am praying for humanity. For lives lost and lives still present.

Friday, November 13, 2015

sleepless nights.

I've had more nights having trouble going to sleep here than I've ever had before. Can't figure if it's because I'm underworked (gave up trying to keep to my 'proper bed time' of 11+/12 after a while) or because I'm having to feed myself all the time and so occasionally give myself crappy meals (like half a focaccia cos it was on sale, and yogurt cos I couldn't be bothered cooking at 8+pm), which means I'm hungry by midnight. It's really frustrating. I've been working quite hard this past week as well - it seems that week 6 is when work picks up a little more, or maybe it's just cos we joined the conservation science students on their course this week, and they get worked quite hard. A report to write up by the end of the day, and a presentation the next day, twice this week. Just annoyed that I can't sleep, despite being really tired the whole day (I was up since 7am to feed chickens). It's just frustrating that I'm tired right up to the point where I decide to go to bed, then lie there for hours just not sleeping. Really tempted to get sleeping supplements if this continues. Though I am now thinking maybe I really just need to feed myself better.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Half-term Imperial style

So it's the middle of week 5 of a 10 week term today, i.e. half-term.

Rolled out of bed at 9.30am to make pancakes with my friend for breakfast, before heading for practical at 11am. It's R week, and (almost) everyone hates it. I have to confess though, that I actually somewhat like it. I'm still struggling with some of the coding, haven't completely figured out how to get R to do what I want. But I do enjoy what we're doing, and won't pretend otherwise. Left practical early at 12pm to go for a cappella practice (yes I've joined the singing group here don't laugh), and after an hour and a bit, headed back to hall to make lunch. Got waylaid on the way back to help move wood for the bonfire (we're celebrating Guy Fawkes night on Friday; yeah it's a celebration of burning a Catholic and fireworks aren't the most environmentally friendly, but I'm just treating it as an English cultural festival). It was quite fun, though I almost scratched my friend's eye out >< Finally got back to hall about tea time, to eat my lunch (leftovers from yesterday's dinner). Chatted with corridor mates a bit, sent a birthday greeting to the people celebrating in the kitchen below us by lowering a piece of paper on a string, showered, did laundry, then sat at my desk to blog. Probably gonna do a bit more R before going for hall meeting in the evening (free pizza!).

It's such a stark contrast to mid-term at Cambridge. My first mid-term at Cambridge was definitely already quite bad (as a foreshadow for what was to come for the next 8 terms...). This is nice though, because I can take the time to hang out and chat with people and make friends without feeling guilty about neglecting work. It's definitely going to pick up pace though, especially once I've decided on what project to do.

The one thing I think has really been drilled into me over the past few weeks of lectures is the need to actually understand what is being done to data that produces the given output. Many things are a bit of a blackbox, especially models. You collect data, chuck it into some programme which models the data and gives you some numbers and figures in return. What seems rather heavily emphasised here is actually understanding what data has been used and if it's been validated, the methods for manipulating the data, models used, errors and uncertainty involved.

There's also a rather solid R grounding, in my opinion, with two weeks of R practicals. Back in Cambridge, I had picked up a lot of R on my own, while doing projects. We were taught the very basics, and everything else we just figured our own way around. Even with referencing software (like Mendeley that I use, or RefWorks etc.), we were never told explicitly what to do. And it kind of surprised me how many people got through undergrad without having come across these things.

Anyway, I should get back to doing some work.