During my education, from the times of kindergarten to the end of university, I could always say that I was a student. However, as work comes into play, along with hobbies and interests on the side, it is getting more and more difficult to describe what exactly it is that I do. I will have a go, though.
I’m currently working at the Australian National University as a tutor for the introductory computer science course. I have been heavily involved in planning, designing, and delivering the content of the course. I loved this job when I started it, because I frequently get to interact with keen learners whose excitation after mastering a skill is always addictive and very rewarding. I still love this job, but from a different perspective – I feel valued and that I bring significant value to others through my work. As such, despite difficulties and obstacles, I still enjoy every single second that I am working.
I picked up mountain biking a few years back, when I was finding it difficult to find my purpose in life. It provided me with amazing sceneries, beautiful weather, awesome people, and perhaps most importantly, a distraction from the tempo that I kept up while studying or working. I could embrace the nature on my bike, and be free from the reminders, emails, texts, and (some of) the duties that comes with life.
Then I thought – hang on a second, I’m not going very fast on the mountain. Why not try the road? So I got into road cycling, which is a related, but very different kind of cycling. Mountain biking is more for fun, whereas it is difficult (at least for me) to find the fun in road cycling. However I still love it. I love the speed going down hill, the suffering going up, the moments that I can’t clip into the pedals, and the intersections that I can’t clip out. In addition, I love my bikes. I just love it when all the bits, the hubs, spokes, rims, tyres, frame, derailleurs, shifters, cables, brakes, cassettes, and all the other bits, come together to make you go forward when you push the pedal down. It has always amazed me.
My road bike is the Canyon Ultimate CF SL 9.0, and my mountain bike is the Specialised Epic FSR 29er.
I used to do some snowboarding when I was in New Zealand, but haven’t really done much since I moved to Australia, despite lugging all of my snowboarding gears over here. It’s getting a bit expensive to get to the snow, so I opted for cycling instead.
I have been into photography since I was little. I remember the first digital camera we had – it was a Sony that took a floppy disk. You could only take something like 7 photos on it before running out of space, and the photos looked crap. But hey, you can read it directly on your computer, and that was revolutionary. I love photography so much that I have set up a separate site just for it – https://sxhphotos.net. Head over there to see some of my work, and a more details writing about my relationship with photography!
I also love cars. I don’t know much about them, but enough to spot an interesting (not necessarily expensive) one from a crowd. I currently drive a 2004 BMW E60 545i, with a 4.4L V8. The favourite car that I have ever owned was a 2010 BMW E82 125i, with a 3.0L straight 6 engine and a manual ZF gearbox. To this day I still regret selling it. I loved Top Gear when JC, RH, and JM were hosting it, in fact I frequently watch Top Gear in bed just before I go to sleep because I already know the episodes so well that I don’t have to pay attention to them to enjoy them any more. My dream 3 car garage would be: BMW M3, Range Rover Super Sport, and an Aston Martin Vanquish. Oh, and I don’t like Teslas.
I used to play the piano, pretty well actually, but then I moved away from China into various rental properties, which I found inviable to house a piano. I attained Level 10 in Chinese Musician’s Association’s piano … thing, as well as Level 10 in Central Conservatory of Music of China’s piano thing when I was 12.