Saturday, October 18, 2008


Earthworm 'eating' =)

I am Xueyuan, and I am pursuing an Honours degree in Life Science at NUS, in order to fulfill my childhood dream of being a Zoologist. I believe that every human being should have a raison d’ĂȘtre, and mine is to work with animals and nature, for the sake of animals and nature. As such, I have prepared myself by taking up an undergraduate research project, helping graduate students with their projects and doing extensive readings.

I also seek to develop myself in areas other than studies. In school, I have joined NUS Student’s Union (NUSSU)Rag and Flag as a dancer, TalentQuest, a national wide singing competition organized by NUS Science Club, as part of the programme organizing committee, and well as other activities including fund raising projects and print modeling.


Lyon said...

Hi Oxy,

I am not sure if we're wrong but everyone else. including me, are writing in passive form for the biodata!

Oh and I once dreamed of being a zoologist too! Maybe even be someone like Steve Irwin! But as I grow older, the reality gets the better of me... Now I only wish I will get to visit Africa someday!

Oxy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oxy said...

Hi Lyon,

I have seen both active and passive forms within our tutorial group as well as in other tutorial groups. I have no idea which is the correct form as well! Thus, I have randomly picked the active form =).

Why can't being a Zoologist be a reality? Yes, I wish to be able to work in Africa one day as well!

"Whatever you can do or dream, you can begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."--Murray

Lyon said...

Hi Oxy,

Because I think I won't be able to support my family and give them a good life if I am to become a zoologist... I plan to become a amateur photographer of the nature and wildlife during my leisure time (:

Oxy said...

Surprisingly, over the years,I have came across a handful of people, both working adults and students, who once dreamed to be a zoologist but have given up due to 'practical reasons'.

I guess it is a difference in value, but I always feel sad whenever I hear that. Why are people willing to sell the next 40 years of their lives doing what they do not love for the sake of money (or perhaps responsibility)? Is money really that important beyond meeting basic human needs of food, clothes, shelter and perhaps education for your children?

I may not be able to give my parents extravagant lives, but I deemed selling my life away for material 'wants'is too big a price to pay. Call me individualistic, call me selfish, I feel that people who desire leading extravagant lives should be willing to earn it themselves and not put the burden on their loved ones (for THAT is being selfish).

I truly hope that you are enjoying what you are doing now (I mean it), for all humans are only entitled to one lifetime to do what they deemed as important.=)

Lyon said...

Hi Oxy,

Bread and butter has always been an obstacle to the pursuit of happiness. No doubt it is sad that some people cannot realise their dreams due to this, there are always other forms of happiness to be discovered somewhere elses. In your pursuit of your dream, someone else has already made the sacrifices so that you can do what you want to do. It sounds cruel but it's the undeniable truth. How many parents out there are doing what they have dreamt to be in the past? But the parents are happy to see their children grow up and do things they like to do.

Everyone has different plans for their lives, as long as it's a choice they have made themselves, I guess it's alright.

And rest assured (sounds weird that I am reassuring you haha), that I am not someone who has given up on my dream by selling away the next 40 years of my life slogging like a dog, earning money in pursuit of materialistic desires. I am merely postponing the realising of it to a later phase in my life. When my chores and responsibilities are through, I would be off to chasing all the lions are elephants out there (if they are still not extinct by then and I am not too old to run). Meanwhile, I will just have to make do with planning for an exciting life after my retiry (:

And lastly, I do enjoy things I am doing right now because they are the choices I have made. I wish the same goes for you (: It's been a great time with you guys. In fact, this module has been a breather for me among all my dry core modules. Thanks for making the class enjoyable!

Pei Rong said...

Hey Oxy,
The Biodata is supposed to be only around 100 words right? I was surprised when I saw some of our classmates writing such long blog post.

Anyway, I think it is really fun and interesting to be a zoologist, especially for someone like you who loves animals.

Like Lyon, I once dreamt of being a zoologist. To be specific, I actually wanted to go China to look after pandas! I think they are really cute. I guess the chinese would not let an ignorant and playful girl like me to take care of their national treasure! LOL

You definitely have a great time in NUS! I admired you for participating in so many events. I can never find the time to take part in activities other than studying. I guess I have to plan my time more carefully!

I think your resume will be as interesting and "colourful" as your biodata!

weiren said...

Dear Oxy and Lyon,

I do believe each of you guys presented an interesting view about the issue of the "right" occupation. However, what probably did not occur to you guys is that we never stand in one ground for long (most of us at least).

I applaud each of you for the decision you've made, but ultimately, I strongly advise you to try something you really want while you can. Maybe because my parents have gone through times in their lives when they had wished they could have something else in their youth, when I told them I will be a zookeeper when I graduate, they supported my decision.

And a zookeeper certainly do not earn a lot.

Nevertheless, I know at the end of the day, if I have a family, I will need to get a better paying job and start slaving for the money. But I will not allow my youth to be enslaved by monetary prison when I know my rest of my life will be imprisoned by it.

I do agree with Lyon, the module is certainly a breath of fresh air. It has been a great pleasure interacting with you guys.

weiren said...

Hi Oxy,

Oh no, I hope eating worms will not be one of the criteria to pass one of those future LS modules I will be taking.

Jokes aside, I certainly do get a sense that your a passionate person. From the way you described your various ways to get to be a zoologist, you certainly have a clear sense of where you want to go.

However, it might take a little inference to get there. I thought if you had stated it clear and up front, it might be a bonus. But it's a personal opinion.

I certainly hope for you get where you set to go. Too many people never get to achieve their dream and knowing a person who does, never fails to inspire.


Oxy said...

Weiren: “However, what probably did not occur to you guys is that we never stand in one ground for long (most of us at least).”

I have been loving animals and nature since as far as I can remember. I have been watching documentaries ever since I was in kindergarten. I have decided to be a Zoologist, when I was old enough to start thinking about what I want out of my life. I have decided to be a Zoologist, and so I will be (regardless of how long it is going to take me, or how tough the journey is going to be).

Why not make being a rich Zoologist/Zoo keeper your new goal in life, after fulfilling your dream of being a Zoo keeper? I think that will inspire many =).

Oxy said...

Lyon: “In your pursuit of your dream, someone else has already made the sacrifices so that you can do what you want to do…How many parents out there are doing what they have dreamt to be in the past?”

I do not deny the fact that my parents have sacrificed their time and money to raise me. However, I also cannot ignore the fact that I have achieved (or am still working towards) many things that I want in life based on my own effort (and the help of people along the way). I do not come from a well to do family. I did not receive ‘head start’ in education like some of my peers (in terms of receiving tuitions or getting in renowned Primary schools etc). I did not receive any coaching or career advices from my parents. I had to transfer school and literally begged teachers, clerks, HODs and principals just to get the chance to take Biology in JC. I came into NUS on bank loan. To pursue graduate studies, I will need to fight for a scholarship, and earn money to pay for my bank loan at the same time.

I am not trying to whine or complain, what I am trying to say is that good things in life are not going to come easy for most people. How many people are willing to persist regardless of the numerous hurdles and brick walls that they will face in order to pursue what they want in life? I do admire selfless people who gave up their dreams for legitimate reasons, because I am unable to do that, but not the numerous people who gave up because that is the easy way out, using ‘practical reasons’ as excuses. How many parents have really dreamed and fought for their dreams?

Disclaimer: I am really not referring to anybody in particular; I am just speaking in general. No offense is intended to mine or other people’s parents, those are just my personal opinions and I totally understand that there can be opposing opinions which are equally true.

Oxy said...

Pei Rong:

Did you watch panda nursery on National Geographic? They filmed the development of 2 baby pandas into youth. They,including their mummy, are so cute!

Oxy said...

Pei Rong:

oh yes, I think it is suppose to be around 100 words. I saw some REALLY long posts too =)

Lyon said...


I have no doubt of your passion in being a zoologist. And I hope I will see you being one the next time I visit the zoo. Despite having many hurdles and obstacles that you have to overcome in order to realise your dream, at least you will be overcoming them with sense of satisfaction and achievement. Those people out there who have been doing things they don't enjoy and yet they have to do them because of legitimate reasons, they deserve the same amount of respect for having given up their dreams.

All the best to realising yours.

Yu Ming said...

Hi everyone,

Wow, I never would have imagined that so many people actually dream of working with animals for a living. I guess I am the odd one out for not ever wishing that someday I could be in the wild living with nature. What I do wish to say is that financial insecurity is usually not an issue. Whatever the job is, if we do it amongst the best, we shall be paid just like all the elites in other occupations. The irony is many who desert their dream often do not rise to the cream simply because there is a lack of passion for what they do.

P.S. I have not been to the Singapore Zoo yet, any chance I can tag along someday Wei Ren?

Tiffany said...

Dear all,

Wow, very interesting insights! Little did I expect that wanting to be a zoologist can trigger so many thoughts.

No, I am not here to say that I dream of being a zoologist. But rather, I liked what Oxy said to Lyon about someone else having made sacrifices.

Making money as first priority is what most people seek when they look for jobs. What kind of jobs can give me the best pay? This form of thinking is so inherent in our society that most people nowadays cease pursuing their dreams and settle for reality instead.

Well Oxy, I certainly hope your dream will become reality!

Hui Xuan said...

Hey Oxy,

seemed like there is a heated discussion here. I totally agree with your post that was made on October 20, 2008 5:48 AM. The situation you are in is exactly the same as mine. (:

But I was luckier, I managed to convince my secondary school to allow me to take biology outside school. Hence I didn't face a problem in getting into a biology class in JC.

I feel that if your passion really lies in something, no matter what, you will not give up on your passion.

For me, my first passion isn't life science. (I am not saying that I do no like life science. It is just that life science is my second passion.) However, due to the situation I am in right now, I have no means to pursue my first passion. However, I have not given up on my first passion yet. I am just putting it aside first. I guess this is the case for most people? Correct me if I am wrong. (:

All the best for you FYP and graduate school. (:

Wei Kin said...

Hi Oxy,

Surprised to see so many animal lovers in our ES2007S Group. Since so many of them have already commented on the whole zoologist issue, I think I will comment on something else instead.

The biodata was really well written and interesting. If it was for a resume to be zookeeper, it would be great, although I would make a few changes. I would include more things that are related to animal work and probably exclude things like Rag dancer, etc.

Of course, the biodata was not meant for that. I just needed something to comment on. :P

Angeline said...

Woah, very interesting discussion here! I feel that people have different ways of keeping or staying with their dreams. Some pursue their dreams, overcoming all the obstacles and all. Some look back in their lives and say "I have a dream like this before." But no matter which category you belong to, you will still be happy, because you have a dream. And it is always good to have a dream in life, isn't it? :)

Oh, and I think I would prefer to be with animals than humans. Just because humans think too much. Hahaa.. I wonder if anyone feels the same way as I do. :p

Sammy said...

Hi Oxy,
It is an interesting biodata, from which I can see you are really interested in what you are doing. And from the interview that day We had, I saw that you have many interesting experiences and the passion about the job. It will definitely get you a good job. :>

Brad Blackstone said...

This is a very good bio, Oxy. It paints a good picture of you. Thanks for all your effort. I hope you achieve your dreams!

Brad Blackstone said...

p.s. A bio can be of various types, as a number of people have said. Often a professional bio is strictly on a person's academic and job experience, but some include more personal info as well.

I didn't want to be too prescriptive about this assignment because I like to see people find their own answers and go their own way. That's the basis of learning, in my opinion!