22 March 2010

He grows so fast

In general, an infant grows about a sixth inch a day. How is my son?

20 March 2010

Seeking silver linings while going through peaks and troughs

Life is indeed a series of peaks and troughs, and I have just experienced a lot in last two weeks. While every cloud has a silver lining, I wonder if some of them would show up to me.

05 March My son was born.

06 March My laptop kept freezing itself and therefore had to be forced quit again and again while I was busy preparing lectures for the next week in the hospital.

08 March My son was diagnosed with neonatal jaundice and thus had to stay for another two days in the hospital.

09 March The laptop couldn't even start up when I had to revise powerpoint slides for the next day's lecture.

10 March An Apple retailer in Taipei replaced the motherboard for me with no charge, because there was a design fault.

11 March My son was discharged after two days' treatment for jaundice.

12 March The DVD-ROM drive collapsed in the morning (No joking, the spindle did break). The retailer came to the university, collected the laptop and replaced the damaged drive within one hour. However, they charged this time, but fortunately the University paid it.

16 March I was told that the grant I requested for attending a conference in Philadelphia, where I would present a paper in a panel, was denied—seven days before flight.

19 March Another panellist's grant was rejected by the National Science Council, the same funding authority as mine—even worse, four days before the flight.

The panel we had been planning for since last June is falling apart now, as two of the four members of the panel will be absent. How could they send us such a short notice that we didn't even have two more weeks to seek alternative funding?

Well, it seems that my less-than-one-month-old son would like me to stay in Taiwan with him. Fine, then I stay.

06 March 2010

Music from mediaeval Moorish Spain for labour and delivery

(Ronne and Fanne)

I was with Fanne throughout the whole process in the so-called LDR suite, a special room which provides a home-like setting while being equipped with hi-tech monitoring and delivery devices. Labour, Delivery and immediate Recovery after delivery all took place in this room. We can also play any music we like (of course on CD, not by a live band) to create an even more living-room atmosphere.

As I had been playing lots of Arabo-Andalusian classical music for Fanne during her pregnancy, I thought it would be a good idea to do the same in the LDR suite. I chose my favourite album El Agua de la Alhambra by Eduardo Paniagua, an architect and musician specialising in mediaeval Spanish music.

What impressed me the most was a question the obstetrician asked when supervising the labour and delivery.

Doctor: What does the dad-to-be teach at the university?
Myself: Musical cultures around the Globe.
Doctor: Wow, no wonder, the music sounds quite interesting. Is it from Middle East?
Myself: Well, yes, in one sense. It is from medieval Andalusia, part of the Islamic Empire.
Doctor: Then the Moors must have played an important role in it... Interesting, interesting...
Myself: Definitely, definitely... (speechless)

The doctor certainly has a wide range of interests in addition to his professional knowledge. I love this LDR suite!

05 March 2010

Baby born at 16.54

Congratulations on my fatherhood and praises for my son.

Well done, my boy! You did follow my instruction and arrived on Friday rather than other busy weekdays.

03 March 2010


Hey kid, what do you mean by giving me such a v-gesture while overstaying in your mum's womb? Have you made up your mind when to come out?