少年杨家将 (The Young Warriors)

The weekend has been very busy. The week culminated in a small class test where we were forced to memorize definitions and then regurgitate fifty of them in half an hour. I must say that i have not sat down proper to memorize stuff since i was in high school, so the fact that i had to do this in medical school really horrified and disgust me. We had to attempt to remember word for word because our scripts were marked by fellow students. As we all know, students can be the most rigid of markers, any word out of place and you may not get the mark. Anyway, i was really angry. Remembering and understanding the definitions is one matter, committing the exact wording and phrasing to memory is another. I can do the former in a day, but the latter required an extra day of effort; precious time that i could have spent understanding other concepts. After the test i did see the logic in the professor’s insistence in such rudimentary methods, although i wondered if applying them instead of compelling us to regurgitate them would have been a more constructive way of learning.

On Friday it was raining, and i wondered whether soccer training was on. It was – i gained confirmation from one of the senior players. Except that only six of us turned up. The coach was missing and so was the captain. I was aghast, so much for team morale huh? I was bracing myself for another shitty useless training but the other more experienced players were clearly more dedicated. We did a lot of goalkeeping practice so i was really happy. All that helped in my match on the weekend; this time i played the entire match. Although we were thrashed, i was satisfied with my performance. I did not repeat any of my mistakes from the first match and i was proactive in fighting for the ball – that is there were occasions where i collided with the strikers in my desperate efforts to catch the ball. Once, the striker actually kicked my arm; i saw the pointed end of her boot coming and i could do nothing about it. I felt it connected and i honestly thought i fractured my humerus. I just earned myself a bruise, thank God. The second time another striker desperately tried to score but i was in the way, and i felt the impact in my gut. I think my years of martial arts training is paying off in areas i did not foresee; i came off unscathed.

I think we need more training as a team. We had perhaps 15% possession of the ball at best. Most of the match was played in my half of the field. I felt the only reason why i could perform well was because i had so many potshots taken at me that inevitably i had to be catching quite a few right? The converse was also true. On the fifth or sixth attempt by our opponents, i knew the tide will turn against us. It is a matter of probability. The more attempts you make, the sooner or later, one of the balls is going to end up at the back of the net. And it did; a total of five times. I was exhausted leaping around, diving and sacrificing body parts to get to the ball in desperate measures. But it was good fun and i enjoyed myself. Oh i have to add that i earned myself a yellow card in the second minute. I never knew that a goalkeeper could not catch a ball when it is outside the line of the penalty box at the sides? I saw our opponent striker broke free of our defence line and she was racing down the flank. I got to the ball first but since i did not know the rule, i caught the ball instead of kicking it out. The striker looked appalled. My defender looked apologetic, “Honey, you can’t touch the ball if it is out of the line!” Oops. Our coach had an indescribable expression on his face; my team had a good laugh about it in the change room. The referee looked sorry that he had to give me a yellow card.

I think the most significant part of my weekend was when i watched the end of my Chinese martial arts series. It had such a sad ending, i was actually tearing alone on the couch with my dog. What the heck right? Then my housemate came home and i had to pretend to be asleep in case she came to talk to me and hear the tears in my voice. She will probably laugh hysterically at me. I know my other friend was in disbelief when i told her. 少年杨家将 – it is a fantastic show, certainly one of the best i have watched so far, but my god, it is so bloody sad. I am thinking about it and feeling sad so many days later. Unbelievable.

Anyhow, here are the YouTube videos for the introductory and the ending songs respectively. Once i am over my sadness, i am going to find more new martial arts series to watch. Now, i should probably haul ass and get changed to go to the hospital. I may have to go into theatre; i hope i observe something interesting.

The most infamous scenes – the saddest, with an equally heart-breaking song to boot.

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