Doing It My Way – Gaijinhan

Doing It My Way

Not Frank Sinatra-related but since we’re on it, let me do what I do best i.e. digress. When I first listened to Bon Jovi’s It’s My Life, I was curious who the people in the lyrics were. There didn’t seem to be any mention of the characters and suddenly it goes:

This is for the ones who stood their ground.
For Tommy and Gina who never backed down.

and:

Like Frankie said
I did it my way

I was thinking, “Who are these people?” Then, I realised Tommy and Gina are from his Livin on a Prayer and Frankie was Frank Sinatra who did it My Way.

Ok, back to the completely unrelated topic.

Recently, my friend’s company asked if I wanted to take the car film installation national exam. I asked him, “What’s the company’s stand on this?” The reason I asked was because this friend has been very very helpful to me and goes out of his way to assist me in ways that he didn’t have to and despite his busy schedule, he still does a lot of things to help me so I didn’t want to impose on them if my taking the test doesn’t benefit the company in any way. I had thought if the purpose was to help me get more points to qualify for the Highly Skilled Worker visa, then I would say no since the visa serves me no purpose anymore.

He said the company would want me to take the exam because there isn’t enough people doing it. So I said ok. He seemed a little sorry for making me do it and I told him there’s no loss for me in having another qualification. Who knows? Having the qualification could open up more freelance opportunities for me.

The exam, however, is for experienced film installers and not only do I not have enough experience, I do not have any experience. So it is necessary that I practice as much as I can and I did it twice so far. But now, the practicing space is being taken up by other urgent work, somebody took the car out to use for a couple of weeks, and the tools for practicing are not enough to go around. There’s supposed to be two textbooks for the test, and someone lost one of it so now I only have the other one. Wonderful.

Earlier, the chairman came and told me to practice applying on regular window panes, which I think is totally pointless. I’ve done the actual practice twice and I know where I’m weakest at, so I think practicing pressing the film against a flat window panel instead of drawing and cutting on a convex rear glass window, which is what the exam tests on, is pointless. I have an idea on how I should proceed with preparing for the test, and practicing on a flat panel is not it. It’s like practicing drawing a portrait when the test is about carving a sculpture.

I recall attending EL1101 The Language of Language in NUS and in the lecture, everybody was busily scribing everything the lecturer was saying while I was just sitting there, occasionally taking some notes. I actually never noticed that until one of my course mates who sat behind me came up to me after the lecture and exclaimed, “Whoa, you don’t have to take notes?” And I went, “What? I did take notes.” And she went, “No, you wrote like one sentence in the whole lecture.” Then she pulled out her notes: two A4-sized papers filled from top to bottom on both sides. I was befuddled and asked, “Did you write everything she (the lecturer) said?” Another friend who sat next to me during the lecture went, “Whoa, you can remember everything?” And I was like, “What’s there to remember?”

People have different ways of learning. Some people remember better by taking lots of notes. For me, as long as I understand the concept of one point that can lead me to understanding other related points, I only need to memo the first point. This is important to me. Because I suck at memorizing, taking a whole ton of notes is not going to help. That could be why I tend to ask a lot of questions because I have the need to understand something instead of taking things at face value.

I just hope the company can now just provide me with the necessary support (i.e. materials, tools, space) and let me do it my way. I know what I need to work on so trust me with my own management.

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