A low-key return to blogging

It’s been an embarrassingly long hiatus, from which I had intended to return on several occasions. Alas! The unforgiving demands of adulthood always found ways to rain down on the blogging parade.

Exactly a month ago, I left the chaos and unpredictability of New York city to return to the hot, clammy tropical oven that is Singapore – where, fifteen years on, I am still worse off than a bright-eyed, just-off-the-plane tourist when it comes to directions. In that sense, I miss Manhattan’s orderliness of numbered streets and avenues; it was much easier to acquaint myself with my surrounding by searching for the street and avenue markers at the corner of every block. As for the climate, I have enough grievances about Singapore’s tropical humidity versus Manhattan’s “cray cray” weather to fill up an encyclopedia. I mean it snowed on the first day of Spring for goodness sake!

On the first day of Spring, it snowed for six hours straight.

On the first day of Spring, it snowed for six hours straight.

Like every other survivor of academia, emerging from graduate school with puffy eyebags, sleeplessness, and an insatiable caffeine addiction, there was a need to find gainful employment. Through a few wonderful contacts, things fell into place with ease and I started my real-life newsroom adventures at CNBC International at the start of this month.

The graduation ceremony was quite the spectacle!

The graduation ceremony at Columbia was quite the spectacle!

Fitting in nearly 30,000 people comprising graduating students, parents, family members, & faculty in the Low Plaza was quite the feat.

Fitting in nearly 30,000 people comprising graduating students, parents, family members, & faculty in the Low Plaza was quite the feat.

In honour of the graduating class at Columbia, the Empire State Building turns their lights blue every year. The best viewing sites include roof top bars like this one.

In honour of the graduating class at Columbia, the Empire State Building turns their lights blue every year. The best viewing sites include roof top bars like this one.

At Columbia’s famed journalism school, founded by Joseph Pulitzer, where the highly prestigious Pulitzer prizes are given out, the faculty prepared us for many things – such as writing breaking news, interviewing laconic newsmakers, lugging heavy video equipment in sub-zero temperature, or navigating the bureaucratic juggernauts that are government agencies among others. But nothing prepared me for the experience of being part of the news team that puts out a 3-hour live show every Monday to Friday, which happen to be a flagship program for CNBC. Or the fact that I go to office in the dead of the night and finish the day’s work by lunchtime.

Nothing was more beautiful than experiencing the first sun rise back home.

Nothing was more beautiful than experiencing the first sun rise back home.

Though I will terribly miss the beautiful view from my dorm room on 109th and Riverside Drive; overlooking the New Jersey, the Hudson River, and the George Washington bridge.

Though I will terribly miss the beautiful view from my dorm room on 109th and Riverside Drive; overlooking the New Jersey, the Hudson River, and the George Washington bridge.

In the one month I’ve spent here, I learned more about honing news judgement senses, working with 12th hour deadlines (read: less than five minutes before a video story is scheduled to air), and paying close attention to detail than in the 10 months at Columbia. That is not to say graduate school was a bust – far from it, Columbia was a lengthy exercise in personal and professional development to understand our calling better.

Speaking of personal development, there is a list of blogging topics which I have put on my to-do list with, perhaps, naive determination; one could hope at least two of the entries, one of which comprises doling praises to Chris “no longer the chubby guy from Parks & Recs” Pratt and the entire cast of Jurassic World, will get written and posted. Jury’s still out though.

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