A passion above all else.
My foray into the web began with me making web sites in primary school. As guestbooks and page counters were the “in” thing to have, I taught myself Perl programming from a 1000-page book. Consequently, I flunked my exams because all my time was spent on the computer. Oh well, who needs geography, literature, and maths anyway. Wait, what?
So it turns out it helps to know some maths when doing a computer science degree. Oops!
Lucky - or not - for me, my grades were so bad that I was forced to take a diploma course in Electrical & Computer Control Engineering. This gave me a second chance at catching up on the basics that I totally didn’t understand in secondary school. Topics like calculus, matrices, FFTs - though by now I’ve forgotten probably 98% of the material.
I took up part-time work as a freelance PHP and ASP programmer. This was mainly so that I could buy fancy desktops in order to program even more!
As with most Singaporean males, I served two years in the army as a signals operator. Maybe all the time
I’d applied to the local university but it was turned down. As I was finishing up my two-year service, I decided to apply again. This time, I included my work history. Eventually, I was offered admission. Woo hoo !
I vowed to be more conscientious in my studies this time, and then promptly skipped classes for the first two years of my four-year Computer Science degree programme.
Thankfully, I returned in my third year… just in time to meet my girlfriend whom I would end up marrying!
As an undergrad student, things can get pretty mundane. I also needed some spending money. So I applied for several teaching assistant positions in the university. I ended up teaching Data Structures & Algorithms in Java, Software Engineering, Operating Systems, and the introductory Databases courses.
Still, with copious free time - as Duke University’s Prof. Frank Starmer would always joke - I decided to take on a different challenge. I read a course in law from the University of London, and somehow obtained a diploma in law before I graduated from university.
I picked up photography along the way, found that I was pretty good at football (that’s soccer to some parts of the world), played the tuba, piano, saxophone, and ukelele at some point.
But the one major change in my life was to return to the Church.
I was baptised a Catholic as an infant. Like all Catholic children, I attended catechism classes as a child, listened to nothing, and promptly stopped attending Mass the Sunday after confirmation.
But due to a combination of well-timed events, I ended up attended RCIA with my wife, and it was there that I began to experience the richness of the Catholic faith.
And I felt, for the first time in my life, a deep yet profound peace that I’ve never experienced - a peace the world cannot give.
I felt the eagerness of a child.
I wanted to be with my Father all the time. When I couldn’t be in His presence through the Blessed Sacrament, I was praying. In the bus, on the train, in the gym. I brought a rosary around with me all the time. I still do.
Love is infinite and boundless.
And just when I thought life couldn’t get better, God blessed my wife and I with not one, but three beautiful children! That’s also the interesting thing about love. It’s limitless. It’s not like there’s a finite pool of “love” and it gets divided among the people in your life. The pool never ends. You can never drain it.
Being a parent is the most exhausting role in the world. It is an awesome responsibility placed on one’s shoulders. Most of the time, we don’t know whether we’re doing it right. We place our trust in God.
But being a parent is also a perfect lesson in God’s love. For no matter how much we love our children, we can only imagine how much more God loves us. For the many times we feel helpless as parents, we are forced to rely on His grace and mercy.