Saturday, December 30, 2006

Recollections: 2006

  1. Blogging
  2. Out of my Comfort Zone
  3. Wearing a Different Hat
  4. Smell the Flowers
  5. By Default???
  6. The Withered Trees
  7. No rush, no rush...
  8. 22 March
  9. Wind Rain No Change
  10. SQ: Smile Quotient
  11. Charges for Water
  12. Points of View: 2 Stories
  13. Spastic Children
  14. When I see the airplanes land...
  15. The musical - Grease
  16. It's Monday... It's Midweek... It's Friday!
  17. My Mood (I)
  18. 1st September... Teachers' Day
  19. The Newspapers Distributor
  20. "Thank You" for giving up the seat
  21. Technology has created an impact on the way we teach and learn
  22. The GAP
  23. "Gracious Act" in #29
  24. "Gracious" Teachers
  25. Notre Dame de Paris (12 Nov 2006)
  26. 执著, 是为了。。。。
  27. Isn't that troublesome?
  28. The flowers bloom again ^.^
  29. 周處除三害
  30. Christmas... what it means to me
  31. Is "Queuing-Up" in Singaporean's DNA?
  32. There's a difference

Other Blogs:

There's a difference

Advertisement - is a channel to market a product, to bring across an idea. It appears in different medium, too.

More often than not, it will carry a picture of the product... and of course, the specifications, and sometimes, the cost, too... oh yes, pictures of satisfied users. Hardware - how's the product 'sold' in the advertisement? With the picture and its specs, right? All of us are so familiar with those of the telcos as well as PCs.

How about camera? Well, it has the advantage to 'tap' on this old saying "A picture speaks a thousand words"! However, the most interesting and tastefully advertisements that I see so far, is from the National Geographic. The duration spent on reading its advertisements (of similar or even the same product when printed in other places like the newspapers) is very much longer. There are more than 5 advertisements on the different brands of cameras in the December issue of the magazine, however, it's not tiring or one does not get bored when reading them all... Also realised something, all these advertisements are tied to the theme of the magazine - Nature, at least, that many used. It's not just advertisements, but it talks about the facts and information that one can draw from the pictures.

Another interesting one (in the same magazine) was that of the airlines. It brings out the 'socio-conscious' thinking that it promotes within its organisation. It does not just 'sell' the product - the flying service, but the value, the thinking, the culture that it hopes (or already) to achieve within its organisation. Though the advertisement, it offers the readers different perspectives. Or it's urging readers to see that they are different? Simple words, but powerful :D

Is "Queuing-Up" in Singaporean's DNA?

This strikes me when recently, it somehow becomes a 'pattern' I see while at public places here, in Singapore... or perhaps this aspect has drawn my attention as see more of the positive practice (behaviour) when I was overseas.

Within 6 months, have been to Taiwan, London and Japan - so, it's not just in particular to Asian society! As a traveller, though such local behaviour normally does not draw my attention, but probably because in these trips, I have the opportunity to move around in public transport, hence creating a closer encounter with the local people.

One thing common in all cities, where I draw comparison, is the public transport. Yes, the train - be it MRT, Underground, etc. Well, there are 'lines' on the ground to guide people. Indeed, in Tokyo, it's really just a line, without any arrows or regions, as we have here in Singapore. And mind you, the cities I am comparing are much more populated than Singapore. Certainly, the crowd in the stations are far worse. However, no matter how hurried they are, they queue! More importantly, they don't plant themselves right in front of the door, which is what we always see in Singapore! It looks like Singaporeans have no sense of 'directions'. We don't understand that fact that if there's 'outflow', there's no space for external entities to flow in! Such a simple logic yet we don't seem to understand. How embarassing!

Of course, another very different observation was keeping to the 'left/right' rule. It's so automatic... that the locals by default will make an immediate decision which side to take... what happens in Singapore? Well, just go to the MRT station and take a look... It seems like we've yet figure out where's our left or right! Another embarassing thing to sigh...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas... what it means to me

Christmas... what it means to me??? What it means to one who has no religious connection to the day?

I guess, it's a time to catch up with friends, to say 'hi' to someone whom we often 'claim' no time to talk to or have nothing much to update... It's also time to renew our friendship, to let our friends know that we remember them... and we bother...

I guess it's this little touch that sometimes warm each other's hearts, that makes the day of our friends... yes, something that is free, but powerful enough to brighten one's day :D

eCard has been a popular option to 'send' cards to friends... yes, still remember the year when the hallmark website was 'jammed'... yes, I like hallmark... I guess it's the design... and also its long-known name on the hardcopies - it's known to be a class by itself! But after a while, I realise, I find more through sending hardcopy cards... yes, sounds funny...

It's always very heartwarming to receive news, be it long or short, it could be just a couple of words, it could be long stories... from friends... no matter what, it simply tells, they remember me... and they bother :D

This was especially so in days when I was at Paro, where both email and snail-mail were not very accessible... a mail simply gave me a strange feeling that, at the moment, I was connected to the real world! I like snail mail because it's something I could touch and feel and keep... and yes, it's the personalised handwriting... I think it makes a difference!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


放这个话题,是突然有感而发的。 仔细想想,其实,亦有点滑稽。但,再想想,其实,并非,那是的的确确的, 是真实的,时实在的。

根据故事,他,就是三害中的最厉害的那个。但,故事也说,他,要改过自新,所以自告奋勇,要去为村民除害。他,做梦也没想到,自己居然就是三害之一。那, 刹那间,成了最残酷的事实!



然而,当身边的周处尽力去改善时,我们却带着怀疑的眼光,处处猜疑。。。 是否过分了些呢?或许,我们应该用较宽容的心去对“周处”吧!给予 “周处”一个机会吧!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The flowers bloom again ^.^

The hazy days are over? I guess... there's no more 3-hourly report on the PSI anymore.
There were occasional showers, rains, storms... these couple of weeks. OK, I'm talking about the real thing... apart from the metaphoric ones.

It's the day-in-day-out route... from Buona Vista MRT station, out to the overhead bridge... along the bridge, head down the stairs and the path leading to the office building...

Around the corner of the bridge is a tree that bears pink flowers. Just a couple of days ago, notice that the flowers were fully bloom! Wah! It looked so refreshing... and brightened the morning walk. Look further, other trees were also tainted with whites and pink! It's the blooming season again?

It's nice to slow down the pace once in a while, to enjoy the little joy of nature...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Isn't that troublesome?

Just an observation... at one of the bus berths at Tampines bus interchange in a weekday evening...

A woman in her mid-30s was carrying her little baby. 2 young girls - one who's about the age of 10, was trying to manage 2 bagfuls of groceries, another like a lower secondary girl was packing the baby trolly. Seated beside her was an old lady in her early 70s... (her hair was all white).

They were waiting for the bus... because of 'logistics', they did not queue up...

The bus came... everybody in the queue as usual boarded the bus... while the "troop" waited patiently at the side, until the queue of people boarded... they did not jump queue though one of the passengers signaled them to go up first... hm... considerate Singaporean...

When it was the turn for the 'troop' to board the bus, it's quite obvious that the young girls were very 'well-trained' in managing the props when they board the bus, and the old grandmother also very quickly found a strategic place to 'park' herself, and of course, the mother with the baby also got a seat very quickly...

On the other hand, I was thinking, why bother to bring the 'troop' out and having to go through all the hassle to manage them (the young children, the old lady and the bags of groceries)? Also, during such peak hours, it's common sense that one has to squeeze among the crowd and it's unlikely to get a seat on the bus... aren't these very troublesome?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

执著, 是为了。。。。

执著。。。 是绊脚石。。。
是执著, 还是固执? 只是一线之差。

是的,有人因为自己的执著,忘了身边的人,忘了别人的感受, 忘了顾及其他事物接下来所受到的影响吗?当然,也忘了无形中,对自己产生的负面影响,无形中的伤害。。。

包复什么?发泄什么?也要有个究竟。。。 无缘无故的, 算是损人又不利己,何必呢。。。

究竟, 最后的胜利者是谁呢?决对不是自己。。。
究竟, 最后的失败者是谁呢?决对是自己。。。 很肯定的。

当然, 受损的,不单自己,身边的人(被挟在中间的),受气的人,当然,还有因这一份执著而影响工作的进度。反过来看, 是谁不合作呢?相反的事,幼稚罢了。

吾并非那么所谓地宽洪大量, 但,永远得记得,要沉得住气。。。
觉得,用BLOG来‘发泄’也未必不是件好事。。。 至少, 不会伤害到别人,又能让心情好些。。。还记得有篇散文曾说:
Once there was a boy who had a very bad temper. One day, his dad told him. Each time he was anger, add a nail to the fence... on the first day, he nailed many. Gradually as the months passed... there were fewer and fewer nails being added to the fence... eventually, it came a day when he has nothing to nail. Daddy told him to remove the nail from the fence... eventually, the fence had no more nails... however, the holes left by the nails were unremovable... it reminds the boy how times he had hurt people around him... these holes were like the wounds created each time the person is 'knived'.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Notre Dame de Paris (12 Nov 2006)

It's great :D
Have not watched such an amazing musical for a long long time... that reminds me the days of the Andrew Lloyd Webber's musicals... Wah! The stunning vocal performances... 值回票价

Saturday, November 11, 2006

"Gracious" Teachers

过门也时客... This is a common saying... when Asians hold the belief that no matter who you are, as far as you come to my place, I'll still treat you with courtesy and grace, just like what I will when a guest comes... Thought this is one characteristics of a gracious society.

Indeed, we were (perhaps I was the only one??) caught in a surprise when we went to a school to conduct workshop recently... It's a customised workshop, requested by the school. So, we went... This was not the first time we conducted customised workshops... many times before that, and we normally would have a short chat with the head of department to find out more background on of the participants... that helps us to sharpen the focus of the workshop, etc... and of course, basic courtesy, know the name of the department head and of course, they also find out who we are, to introduce us to the teachers... as participants, though it's their homeground, they will at acknowledge our existence even before the 'show' starts...

Nevertheless, this time was really very different...

I was in the lab... the door opened... the lady (which I thought, and indeed she was, the head of department) said, "5 more mins and the teachers are not here yet?" ... then she closed the door again... probably went to get her teachers... Hey, I asked myself, when I found a stranger in the computer lab, I would have first introduced myself and ask who she is! Well, she did not bother... The door opened again, this time, thought my 'proactive' "hi" would have caught her attention... I failed. She closed the door... eventually the door opened and several teachers scrolled in... nobody looked up... hm... they seems have not noticed a stranger standing there... er... for a moment, I thought I was 'transparent'!

Oops! Are they (the head as well as the teachers) aware that first impression counts? They forget there's a guest... there's an internal customer... they forget the most powerful media is people - not just the public, but their colleagues under the same big umbrealla! Do they bother about impression? Yes, obviously, when one reacted to SC's remark on "@@ is very nice"... the immediate reaction was, "Yes, we know, so we must also be nice too....". OK, we got the message! Overall, I felt we were the unwelcomed guests... Moreover, we were taken for granted that we need the "job", as PD is our business... our valuable time can be more well-spent!

Little little things like respect and courtesy are missing from what we hope to see from our colleagues... indeed, saw some 'mirrors' of our NT pupils... looking at the marksheet while SC was going through some new skills and pretended could not catch up when it's her turn to do it! Doing small talks while supposed to think and contribute ideas in an open discussion... the most comical part is the "mice" starting behaving when the cat "came"... so ashame!

I think the impression counts... to repair this... it's possible, but difficult... a lesson learnt...

I remember what DD said, when we go to the school, it's not just for meeting or workshop, there're lots of other things we can learn... may be unrelated to our objective of the visit, but it tells alot... Thanks alot... I'll continue to keep my eyes wide open... to learn the not obvious.

"Gracious" acts in #29

This pair of teenagers caught my eyes... only recently... both times in bus 29.

The girl, around 18 and the boy, around 15... guess they are sister and brother... and one more assumption... they had never taken public transport? or many a times, they travel with their own private transport... They are loud... they speak very fluent english, just like any of our young teenagers, who forget there are people around them... in particular, her facial expressions were quick to disclose what she did not like... eg. being in a very crowded bus... when engaged in talking, she forgets to exercise civic manners and courtesy. The most interesting part is, how she stands in the bus... while everybody will stand facing the seats, and back to back, so as to optimise the standing space... she stands diagonally and tests her own standing stability while the bus moves!!!

Well, well... how far/long more are we away from the gracious society that we hope to become... with these kind of "well-mannered" and "considerate" youngsters in the breed?


(1) What RETREAT means to me/you?
This question arises when we worked on the RETREAT programme for the division this year.

What RETREAT means to me?
  • Since the days in Ngee Ann, the term retreat comes as a working session.. be it with the SCC or the whole staff. It's when we were out of the school premises where no one comes to disturb us... and we keep our focus in the discussion. It has always got to do with strategic planning among the SCC, SEM - sharing of key findings with the staff... what else?
  • Of course, we also include some elements of fun, such as ice-breaker games... however, the key is still serious matters... and nobody will question, why 'retreat' is not a 'retreat'?
  • There was once the SCC has it at the Club (just beside the padang)... there we were treated with a good lunch buffet... in a nice nice conference room... (just like a hotel)... these were the incentives....
  • There was another time we had it at Sofitel at JB... and the Orchid Club... well, we have the opportunity to smell the flowers and scroll a little while having breaks from serious matters... that's nice, isn't it... otherwise, there'll be calls from the office, meeting with parents, etc... all sorts of interruption...

What retreat means to others?

  • Came to know that not everybody have the same definition when we organise the Retreat for the division this year... I guess, to all EOs, somehow a common understanding of the purpose of retreat is there... as I guess that's what most schools do... However, to the non-EOs... it seems that 'retreat' is a retreat from work... no work... it's relax and fun...
  • So, that's the tricky part... especially when we were told that we are expected to tie the programme with the Work Plan Seminar 2 weeks ago! If the entire team is EOs, I guess it's so much easier, as all would have some idea the tone and nature of the occasion. However, with the non-EOs... to keep them involved and interested, without having serious matters... yet, to bring in some organisation directions... it's a tall order!
  • What we resorted to... work behaviour and mindset, rather than content, which is mainly dealt with by the Div 1 officers...

(ii) Why so pamper them?

Up to now, I still could not accept the fact that why we must cater chartered transport to people for any form of outing... it happens not just for SWC matters...

Perhaps I'm not the 'welfare' kind of people... Singapore is not that inaccessible! There's the MRT train, that's the buses, and there's taxis!!! It's a once-in-a-blue-moon thing... there are many around who drive too! So, why bother to charter a bus? Indeed, people take for granted that there's transport... and I believe many of them see it as an entitlement rather than a privilege... Do people appreciate that? I think many... but I can see many take for granted... they put forth the request but did not turn up... do they think "the organisation has the money... and it has to spend it, anyway???"

I was totally stunned when in one occasion, some members in the organising committee consider chartering a bus to 'bring the pupils' up the little slope (when initially thought of organising the event in the NTU alumni club!) It's ridiculous!!! The resources ($$$) can be spent in some other well-purpose areas!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Technology has created an impact on the way we teach and learn

{This is contextualised based on my perception @ NIE Paro one-and-a-half years ago}

Let’s ask ourselves the following:
Has technology created an impact in the way we live and the way we behave? We all agree that technology has caused tremendous changes to almost everything!

Let’s refine the question slightly:
Has technology created a positive impact in the way we live and the way we behave? Now, I guess it’s a “yes” and “no” answer.

Technology has opened up our minds to know the once unknown. Technology has provided us the convenience that we once could not imagine. Technology has closed the gaps between people.

On the other hand, do we realise that we have also taken for granted what it offers? We have become more dependent on technology. We can become quite helpless in the sudden absence of technology. For example, how many of us will think our FIT or EIT lesson will take place if there is a blackout in the campus?

For today, we will take a look at the impact of technology on matters close to us, that is teaching and learning?

Compare the days when we were in primary schools and now at the higher institution.

Let’s revisit our primary school days:
· What technology did our teachers use? Chalk and Board.
· What did we learn with? Paper and pencil. Concrete manipulatives such as paper cut-outs.
· The learning environment has changed, too. In the past, the playground, the garden or the forest were our classroom.

With technology, computer lab has become the learning environment where we look forward to have classes, the one where we “see” the world without having to step out of the classroom! It is free and it saves us the time to travel! The world has become “smaller” and more accessible!

With technology, the content we learn has changed. We are no longer confined to information communicated by our teachers, illustrated in the books. We hear news from the radio. We watched the latest development of technology through documentaries from the TVs. We seek information from the Internet!

The Internet provides a vast pool of information, so much so that sometimes we are overwhelmed because we simply do not know how to go about finding it! We require new skills to know how to compress loads of information into something concise and useful. We also have to decipher what’s presented is truth or otherwise. Learning has become an even more complex business!

How has technology improved the way we learn? Here are some illustrations:

The use of digital resources
o CD ROMs carry lots of information – exceeding volumes of books. Imagine a full set of encyclopaedia can be shrunk into a single CD ROM! In subject-based CD ROMs, it often comes with a self-check mechanism where pupils will get immediate feedback when they key in their answers to the questions, which I think all of us agree no teacher give equal attention to a class of learners learning at their own pace.
o In subjects like science, we all know that it is dangerous to carry out experiments to compare the reaction between active metals with water. One famous experiment is the reaction between sodium and water, which is highly explosive. With CD ROMs, it is no longer a risk or hassle to ‘demonstrate’ such experiments for pupils to observe what is impossible in the normal science lab.

The use of the Internet
o We learn from the internet things that textbooks do not tell because the prints have space limitation. Moreover, the information is current and we are kept up-to-date with the world. Imagine, without the internet, how many of us now aware that “Pluto is no longer a planet” but a “dwarf planet” now? It will take months and even years for such news to cross the seas and mountains.

The use of digital manipulatives
o These digital objects provide illustrations that we cannot possible do in a conventional classroom. It generates numerous examples to help reinforce concepts and skills. Digital manipulatives also enable us to deploy other strategies to engage pupils to learn differently, such as through discovery.

For example, in a conventional classroom, how is the “Area of a Triangle” introduced? The norm is to illustrate how it is derived from the area of a rectangle. This illustration only shows that it is true for right-angled triangles. How about any non-right-angled triangles? That is when technology makes the difference. With an applet (one kind of digital manipulatives), pupils can test if the formula is true for all types of triangles! This is something we cannot offer with a chalk board.

When teaching subtraction, with the help of an applet, pupils can visualise how one bar representing ten units can be ungrouped when is shifted from the ten place value to the unit place value, how the positive and negative numbers ‘cancel’ off each other. This is probably something we cannot demonstrate effectively by chalk and talk.

The use of audio and video clips
o The recording and audio features can be employed to enhance the learning of languages!
To improve reading skills (eg. the pronunciation of words and the emotion to bring out the context), pupils can have their reading recorded so that they can review their own reading skills and get feedback from their peers and teacher.

The above have clearly illustrated how technology value-adds to the current classroom practices. So, does that mean we are going to abandon the good old ways of teaching and learning? Or will technology eventually replace teachers?

The answer is “no” to an ‘extreme’ transformation.

The important point is we have to recognise the technology can do and how we can best harness it to improve the current practices. It should not be a replacement or substitute.

Imagine the day comes when we learn the different forms of landscape from the images and video clips and do science experiments through the virtual science labs in the CD ROM and the internet. Do you think we can apply what is acquired effectively in the real world?

Let’s draw the analogy: It’s like we watch videos and read books to learn to swim without going to the pool, are we able to swim?

Technology cannot replace the nature, the real experience. We need someone who scaffold the learning, to guide the thoughts while technology widens our horizon, enriches our experience and present unlimited possibilities to us, in a safe environment.

Because of technology, because of the internet, people from all over the world are connected. In the old times, we depend on postman to deliver our greetings, to communicate to people miles away. What happens today? At a click, our message goes around the globe in seconds!

With technology invasion, do we notice any changes to our behaviour?

Look around, how many of us possess a mobile phone? How many of us have an email account? How many of us have a television set or radio at home? We are surrounded by technology.

While using technology, our behaviour, our beliefs and our values have evolved too. How? Let’s bring ourselves back to our familiar environment, at this campus. Let us to ponder over the following…

· The computer lab is where the brain juices flow. Technology helps to gather ideas and put our thoughts together for our assignments. With the internet, our resources have become richer. We download images that are relevant. At times, we cannot resist but adopted well-structured phrases and paragraphs from the webpages and put them into our write-ups. Have we taken others’ effort for granted? Has it crossed our minds that we are doing the right thing?

· How often do we really spend constructive time in front of the terminal? Have we shifted our priorities because of the mere attraction of technology? Are there times that we are lost in cyber surfing and wonder away from the original intent of going into the internet to do some important research?

· How disappointed we are when there is no free terminal in the computer lab? How we reserve the terminals – through our friends? So, the first come first serve rule does not always apply here.

· How affected we are when our work is wiped out by the system? Curse and swear? What do we do when our friends offer to let us copy their document? We thank technology that enables us to modify the work with a word processing easily! On the other hand, do we realise that technology has tested what we hold dear? Our values. Our beliefs.

Technology has definitely changed the way we perceive things and get things done – for the better or the worse. Drawing from the good old saying, “Fire can be a good slave, but a bad master”. Similarly, technology does wonders when managed well. However, it is capable of drawing out the worst of us if it takes over the command.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

"Thank You" for giving up the seat

It's the first time, or I really can't remember when was the last time that I receive a "Thank You" when gave up a seat to someone in need in the MRT or the bus.

It's a pleasant surprise that today, the young mother said a sincere "thank you" when gave up the seat to her and her little daughter. Indeed, realised that she was trying to look out for a seat for me, in appreciation... and before she alighted, she signalled "returning the seat"... it's rare to find this kind of people around... isn't it? Often, we see people who received the seat would simply throw their bump onto the seat... some even without a 'cold' thank you...

OK, story has not ended here... remember the young mother leaving the train? Guess what? The moment she left her seat, a middle age man acted very swiftly... lightning speed!!! and sat onto that seat! OK! See another non-gentleman species in Singapore!

Well, another seat in front was vacant then... a young lady moved fast towards it.... but had the courtesy to ask, "Would you like to sit?" OK, since you bother to ask, at least... OK, I'm willing to let you have the seat... to reciprocate your courtesy...

The Newspapers Distributor

Some time ago, I commented about people form long queues to wait for the free newspaper (Today) distribution.

Not long afterwhich, another newspapers, 我报... also come into the market as a free newspapers... of course, there's another long long queue each morning outside and at the MRT station.

What's wrong with queueing up for the newspapers? Nothing's wrong... As long as there's something free to be given out, certainly there'll be people who are willing to spend time queuing for it... it can be 5 minutes, or it can be half an hour! Ridiculous! isn't it? People are willing to spend up to 30 minutes to queue for the free newspapers?

The yet more ridiculous thing is yet mentioned: The newspapers distributors are very abide to the clock! What does that mean? It seems like the scheduled time to issue is 7.30 am... so, even when the papers are ready, and the distributors are already there... well, it's 7.30 am... to be fair?????

Friday, September 01, 2006

1st September... Teachers' Day

This is a well-known story... a few years ago... have received it via email and also in printed forms... especially in times of Teachers' Day...

Like this quote:
There is a little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference.
The little difference is attitude.
The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.
- W Clement Stone

Friday, August 25, 2006

My Mood (I)


也许,是因为工做接二连三的来了,突然间,所有的日期,都排得满满的。有时,真的有快要窒息的感觉。天啊!这种日子, 基本上,看到什么, 都自然而然的,成了灰色的一片。

或许是心情的关系,平时稍微刺耳的话,虽不是直接的关系到自己,现在听了, 更不是味道。

明明士气已不理想,仍然有同事时不时因自己将快“脱离苦海”而 “自庆”,跟时不时地大声喊道,“反正只有那几个月剩了”。。。 天啊!难道在这了日子,真的那么难过吗?还是你因为个人的因数, 而把这里给涂上了一层厚厚的霜。有必要吗?也要别人尝尝自己那不开心地经历,活在自己得“不快乐指数”里吗?何必呢?

其实,想深一层,问题到底在那里呢?当然,有不同的因数。有的, 事掌握在我们的能力范围,是可以改的;有的则是在我们能力以外的。。。 譬如,他人的作风,他人的言谈肢举。。。 甚至他人的想法。。。 可是,为什么,我把“他人的想法”放在后头呢?因为,这是会随着时间,经验而有所改变的。。。它是会随着外界的冲刺,外界的各个因数而不知不觉,变了!

那, 以期作些损人又不利己的事,不如收拾一下自己的心情,找一些曾经有过的美好回忆。。。 哪怕那点点滴滴,积少成多。。。 那也不枉此行。。。 那三,四年,始终是没有摆过的,始终不是完全灰黑的。。。 同时,或许看看自己到底有哪些收获,或许,从中,你也认识了你自己倔强,偏激的一面呢?若没把这些“自我的认识”好好的运用,那将会是一种遗憾也。。。

Friday, June 23, 2006

It's Monday! ... It's MidWeek... It's Friday!


经常听人家说:“无惊无险,又过了一天“。 现在才知道是什么一回事。

第一次‘主持’训练时,因课题围绕在一个自己不是很熟悉的范围,所以在整个过程里,总是有点战战惊惊的,觉得时间十分的难过。 好不容易,结束了一天的训练。不知不决,有“无惊无险,又过了一天“ 的感觉。

现在,有时当工作繁多时,不只所措时,看看时钟,已经九点了,哇!还是快快收拾‘包袱‘, 打样回家吧!反正人人都说,“工作是永远做不完的,等天亮再继续吧!就这样,又“无惊无险,又过了一天“。

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Musical - Grease

It was rainy... it's been a long time since I been to the Indoor Stadium... hm... when was the last time I went? can't recall, but must be more than 2 years since... it's a talk? it's a musical? hm...

Indeed, I was a bit sceptical... after watching the West Side story, which was a disappointment... hm... coupled with my tired soul that I did not enjoy it at all... the first time having a dissatisfied feeling after spending that hefty sum of money. Oh yes, the pack of leftover sour fish saved my evening, kept me awake in the 2nd half of the show...

There's not much of spectacular props this time, but definitely better than the West side story. The songs bring back fond memories of the days in JC - when we performed the songs in the choir! The scenes just flashed across my eyes... yes, yes... those magic changes... the summer night... one more... the movie version, that I first saw when in Penang, with Ying Leng, Chay Eng and Gek Chew! Those were the days!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

When I see the airplanes land...

Today is the 1st time I have such a close encounter with the airplanes since I returned from Bhutan (not to mention the trip to Hongkong last year).

We were at the Changi coastal area for the Divisional's Gathering.

I think, now whenever I see the airplane lands, it comes with a different kind of feel (心情)- 游子归家的心情。 Especially when I see SQ... hm... being, I feel proud... the pride that I have, on what Singapore can offer...

Till today, I still remember what I concluded when I was at Bhutan, 还是家里好,还是祖国好。I'm proud of what we have, our achievements... though we're just a little red dot.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Spastic Children

It's the usual weekday morning... left the house for work... though heading a different direction today - for a lesson visit. Hopped onto Bus 81... I took the front seat as I was not too familiar with the area of my destination. That's also my usual choice - that I have a better front view, too.

As the bus just started to move... one teenager came over, sat beside me. Obviously, he has problem communicating... no, no... that's the normal reaction... why 'ka-ciao' me? There're so many passengers on the bus... he was trying to tell something with his two fingers... trying to utter a few words, but I could not figure that out at all! No, no... I don't understand... don't bother me, please...

Quickly, I shifted to the middle of the bus... but my eyes could not move away from him... yes, he's a spastic child... somehow, felt very sorry... could he be asking for some help? or he's trying to be friendly (Am quite sure he's not trying to be funny)... but, still could not pick up the courage to give him a chance to express himself, to try to understand him...

After a couple of bus-stops, he shifted to the back, and try communicating to a JC student, to a young child, and a mid-20 passenger... no, everybody responded like the way I did... for a moment, I realised that I'm so 'cold'... is the society that 'cold'??? On the other hand, am wondering if he is trying to practise what he learns in class - be friendly to people around him - however, it seems like our society is yet ready to accept people of abnormality in our daily life.

He alighted just before Meridian JC... still, I could not lift my eyes from him... yes, he was heading towards the centre... but I can see a smile actually appeared on his face as he walked towards the gate...

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Points of View - 2 stories

Story 1
  • a group of rabbits were travelling through the woods when two of them - Buns and Bunny - fell into a ditch. Both rabbits tried as hard as they could to jump out of the ditch. But the ditch was too deep for them to escape.
  • Buns, being cynical and pessimistic, was sure that the other rabbits would not help. But Bunny, a generally amicable and optimistic rabbit, was sure that they would.
  • Then all the other rabbits gathered around the ditch and began to shout and cheer the two rabbits on, as they tried as hard as they could to escape from their predicament.
  • Buns became discouraged and demoralised when he heard the shouting and cheering of the other rabbits, for he thought they were booing and jeering him. He gave up trying after a short while and never escaped from the ditch.
  • But Bunny became more emboldened when he heard the shouting and cheering, and he was sure that his friends were encouraging him on. Within a few minutes, he was out of the ditch - with a new experience.

Story 2

  • Two mice fell into a vessel of cream. Overwhelmed by the difficult tsk of getting out, the first mouse gave up and drowned. But the other mouse was determined to fight on, and started thrashing and churning as fast as it could. The milk soon turned into butter, and it climbed out.
  • Two mice, one situation, two different outcomes.
Stories extracted from the Straits Time, Saturday, April 15, 2006 (R25)

Yes, it's the points of view, which perspective we take, what we want to see, what we want to hear and that exactly shapes what appears before us. Just like the old saying, "See the Glass Half Empty? See the Glass Half Filled". Being Optimistic? Being Pessimistic? We have a choice :D

Recall another story, that I'll not forget, there's this man who's very positive. To cut the story short... One day, he was shot and when he was on the operation table, he told the surgeons to operate him as a living person, rather than a dead man. It's the thinking!

Very often, we were rather upset when things don't quite go well... even little things... missed the bus, missed the train, the door of the lift just shut when we were almost there... ok, who knows? Things simply don't quite take a better course though we tried quicken our pace... nevermind... as far as we try... who knows, we might have missed what we've just missed, we never know, the next could be better? ;p

Sometimes, we wonder why some people can be so picky over things... picky on us? (Rabbit BUNS will think like this)... or it's a means of driving us to do better, but probably in a less 'nicer' manner?

One of my good buddies wonder that how come sometimes our bosses may not seem to be bothered with what we are doing... there are two ways to look at it... one, yes, they don't bother... there's where one worries of the amount of support get from 'up-there'... on the other hand, it could be one that they're confident that things will be at the right place and therefore channel their energies to somewhere else that needed them more urgently? Of course, these 2 ways of looking at it will generate 2 very diffferent outcomes lah...

Friday, April 14, 2006

Charges for Water

This topic has caught my attention... it appeared on last week's papers, and it appears on this morning's papers again... that some restaurants charge glasses of water, while others provide it free... of course, the arrows all point at those that do not serve water free.

I'm indeed quite ignorant that there are restaurants that do not serve water free... ok, perhaps never been to those high high class restaurants before... But talking about water, I have another story... indeed, I pay for water even though it was available free... hahaha...

Click HERE to see the post on "Water... "

Indeed, it never never crosses my mind that I'm served tap water when out at restaurants, but anyway, I fully trust that water from the tap (in Singapore) is perfectly OK.

I still remember that many years ago, MacDonald is the first name that flash across my mind whenever I'm thirsty and need a mouth of cold icy water... though a small cup, but that's good enough... and of course, it's free! More importantly, I appreciate that small yet good service and thoughtfulness of the restaurant. Just a cup of cold water and it can leave a long-lasting impression.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

SQ: Smile Quotient

回家途中,正在听958。 刚好提到 “微笑情商 ”。 是新的一种理论,联想。作者谈到周围的人与人,人与事。 是的,只要我们稍微的留意。。。


很多时后, 我们都被都市的繁忙,快捷的脚步给冲昏了头。把脸部的肌肉都‘练’疆了, 有时, 甚至,忘了如何去表达那 ‘七情’! 当然,愤怒,急躁, 生气。。。 往往和都市的节拍,生活的紧张,都是息息相关的。

但是,有时,若是把节奏放慢一点,都关心一下周围,他人的感受, 自己先迈开第一步,给别人一丝地惊喜,一丝地开心,一丝的欣慰,亦可换到一丝的微笑,一丝地无声感谢,也回自然而然感染在自己的脸上。


You can Smile...
There are many troubles that are bursted like bubbles,
There are many shadows that disappeared,
When you learn to meet them, with a smile to greet them,
for a smile is better than a frown or tear...

You can smile, when you can't say a word,
You can smile, when you cannot be heard,
You can smile, when it's cloudy or clear,
You can smile, anytime, anywhere...

Friday, April 07, 2006

Wind Rain No Change

Okay, that's the direct translation from the chinese idiom, 风雨不改

It really 'impresses' me... every morning, it's always that two uncles who lead the queues - rain or shine... They're always chatting... smiling... Hm... seems no worry... and yes, they seem enjoying the wait... or they're so used to waiting that they decided that chatting is one of the best time-killer in the morning? or they're just making constructive use of time - to catch up with each other, to update each other with the happenings and encounters they went through the previous day? Hm... maybe they are very very good friends???

It's barely 7 am... then come a few followers after them... by the time it's 7.15 am, there will be at least 20 people in each waiting lines... the people queue up in an orderly manner... there's no 'discipline master' around to ensure peace and harmony in this group of people. Many of them just joined the queue... very few are like the two 'leaders'... they don't talk... they are 'individuals'... so what bring them together?

Just after 7.15 am... 3 men came... the usual three... they pushed their load up... stack the load slowly... there is no sign of rush at all! Hm... they take their 'own sweet time', surprising, in a quick pace society here, the people in the queue can tolerate with the slow motion... why? why they bother to wait??? It's not that they can't afford, but they wait... Hm... that's the only chance they can practise patience?

OK, this takes place at Tampines MRT station every weekday morning. "Wind, Rain - no change!" ... those 3 men were the ones who deliver the free newspapers every morning...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

22 March...

This morning... woke up... it's 22 March... the date looked familiar... but somehow could not figure out what's so special...


It's the date when I was posted out as a Trained Teacher! It was the date when I completed the 1st bond with the Ministry! It was the date that our class remembered and celebrated to mark the completion of the bond! :D

Looking back... how many of us are still in the teaching service? how many of us actually venture out to other fields? how many of us retreated to stay at home to mould the future of the nation?


No rush, no rush...

That caught my eyes last week... it was peak hours, around 7 pm, everybody's heading home... but the bus not too crowded... the last passenger boarded the bus... it's an old man, he boarded the bus, with the aid of a walking stick... he flashed the EZlink card at the card reader... having some difficulty, he moved to the seat nearest to the exit... and sat down...

So what???

OK, throughout the entire scene, the bus was not moving... so???? that's the difference! More often than not, the bus-driven will not take a second look after the last person boarded the bus... he will head off for the next stop... but not this one, until the old man sat down.

On the other hand, sometimes, just wondering... old folks with walking difficulties board the buses and started wondering... hey, why take the bus when you have problem lifting your legs or even walking (Ok, it's extremist thoughts)... or why pick such peak hours to travel? Don't you know it's rush rush hours? (er....) also, occasions when mothers who rush rush their young children up the buses during peak hours! Worse still, carry with them large bags and small bags... Hey, is that the best time???

... hm ...

Don't quite understand or figure out why??? or is it because I don't shop at peak hours, I yet have children to 'rush rush' around? Old age has not caught up with me yet??? Oops!!!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Withered Trees

It's by coincidence... that I sat on the other side of the train... it's pure coincidence that I lifted my head as the train headed Pasir Ris MRT station... The rising sun just brightened the skies, sending some mist in the air... that caught my eyes... the trees!!! the land area between Tampines and Pasir Ris is filled with trees... but the one caught my attention are the withered trees... or are they the old trees... They are not brown... there's no leaves... they are grey... they have only with them trunks and branches... they look old, dying(???).

We can find such sight in Singapore? I'm surprise!

By Default???

Sometimes, I wonder if it's our culture being "stingy"... stingy in words... stingy in expressing our appreciation or gratitude??? Or we see that we're being conservative? being humble? Hm... is that the Asian culture? or most people are handicapped in words? I just wonder!!!

A couple of mornings ago, was in the train, on my way to work. The train was very crowded, as usual, in a weekday morning where all heading to work. Then, an expecting mother entered and stood right in front of the passenger. As a good civilian and considerate passenger, he stood up immediately... next... she immediately took the seat, sat down... and sat her sight on the floor, not uttering a word... while he stood right in front of her...

Hey... just wonder... have we forgotten the 2 simple yet power words "Thank You"? On the other hand, the young chap may not be expecting a 'Thank You' 'cos he might think by default, that's what he should do... next wonder... did she think, by default, she deserved a seat, so what's there to thank? This set me wondering... Is that our socio-culture?

Monday, March 06, 2006

Smell the flowers...




其实,想想,那和我们平时做人处事的道理一样。有时,明明机会来了,可是,就是心不甘, 情不愿的,结果白白的错失良机。唉!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ an update on 13 April 2006

花又盛开了! 星期一,从地铁站走出来,还是照常的走着有着。咦??? 突然,眼前一亮,那不是盛开着的粉红色花卉吗?远远地,另外一棵上回没开花的树,也冒出了白白的花朵来争艳。



Saturday, March 04, 2006

Wearing a Different Hat...

5 January 2006...
It's is the first time I visited the school, with my new role as an ETO... The feeling is very different... Oh yes, those words are still in my head... I'm now going out as an ETO, How people see ME... a representative of ETD, someone from MOE... What I say MATTERS!!! I've never faced that much anxiety when I step into a school... the unseen load is heavy! It's so different, compared to days when I was the HOD in school and just waited to see what the ETD officer has to offer when he came! Well, it's the beginning... just the very very first taste... let's see...

Out of my Comfort Zone...

The 1st time I leave my comfort zone
2004 July... when I packed my bag and leave my homeland the first time... no, no... not as a tourist... but to carry with me some dreams that I hope to materialise...

I had asked myself many many times, I have been asked many many times, by different people... why? why? why?

So, what triggered that drastic move, that drastic change?

Am I tired of the routines that follow me day-in day-out that I have no control over? What kind of impact will I create, given the same set of skills and expertise when applied in a less advantaged environment? ....
The 2nd time I leave... Is that my point of no return???
1 Jan 2006 not only started as new year, but opens up a new chapter to my life journey, I believe... I once again step out of my comfort zone the second time...


The First Time I heard this word...

The first time I heard about this term was when I was at Bhutan! hahaha... from a place where technology has yet had a significant place in its people's daily life and heart...

  • The Mindset
    I was teaching ICT in NIE Paro... ok, the mental model of the locals was, I was suppose to be very IT-savvy person - imported from Singapore! [hahaha... but that's why I'm really proud of Singapore... it tells us that we have been successful in certain areas] Right, that's also one of the challenges I faced... to clarify their assumption - that I'm not expert in every field of technology - to open up their doors to more technology arenas... well, it's just like, a Maths expert in Statistics may not be well verse in Calculus!)... ok, isn't that one of the reasons I'm there, apart from those spelt out in the TOR?
  • Back to Blogging
    Thanks to Dr Soo, who's the volunteer specialist in the ICT project... he came in Dec 2004 to conduct the workshop on Database... there, the technology savvy him first introduced the word 'blog' to the local lecturers there... ok, I was among the 7 participants of the workshop.

    Hey, what was that??? I wonder??? Being away from Singapore for half a year, a new jargon came!!! Oh no!!! That's the difference of living in the mountains and in an urban city? I've lost touch to what's happening in Singapore! Oh no! I become a 'sua-ku' after 'elevating' myself to somewhere more than 2000m above sea level??? Shh...

    He showed us what his community of bird-lovers er... nature-lovers(?) do... they go bird-watching and put up the activities and pictures of birds, etc... There! My first encounter of the blog...

OK, I think it's just like any website... but possibly one that makes posting to the internet much easier... like a breeze...

I hear the word again!!!

Back to Singapore, since June 2005... started hearing more about it when at one time it made a hoo-ha in the news! The not so good ones... when a medium of good intent (I presume most, if not all, technologies started off with some good intention behind it, to make one's life or the world a better living place... a more cohesive community, etc...) was abused! OK, see it from another perspective... being borrowed as an alternative platform to put across one's voice in a less friendly manner... and yes, the 'subjectivity' comes in...

This reminds me of an old saying, that Fire can be a good servant, but a bad master... drawing the parallel... Blogging can be a good platform for expression and networking, but when misused, is a weapon that destroys and misleads

Am I going into it? When will I do it?
Yes, I'm going to involved in the delivery of the new module that uses the inquiry-based approach to the use of technology in maths learning. Exciting, I flipped through the course outline, the slides, etc... that Sok Hon has prepared... oh no! "BLOGGING"!!! It's a technology that the course will introduce the participants to, one of the tools that facilitate IBL... Why "Oh no!", 'cos till now I've not personnally go blogging yet... Am I the few left behind who has not catch up with time? How to do it? Is it difficult?... some of the questions that float to my head immediately... ok, I tell myself, don't worry, there'll be a way I will master this new trade... still...

There comes the day! 20 Feb... hahaha... the day I faced something that's totally alien to me! The announcement from Joy... all in the Section must start blogging... there's homework... to be 'submitted' through the blog!!!!

No, no, no... (Oops! remember DD reminded us not to use 'no, no, no...') we are not left there to figure out how to float ourselves... Joy gave us a very good start... guided steps... that's very very helpful to me, making my first step to create the blog... got it out on the very day, and emailed back the URL of my blog to Joy... Thanks, Joy... or... thanks to the new structure introduced in the PD Section, helping me to open the doors to blogging...

Figuring it out...
The next anxiety was how to go about posting and publishing in the blog... ok, self-learning is not that easy... it takes time explore and yes, must persevere! How to post the picture up? How to create hyperlinks to other websites, etc... still figuring out...

Hey, that's why the fun is, that's where the satisfaction is, when I LEARN it myself... now the next thing to look out for is how to make it more organised (the way I want...) and start adding other stuff here...

One Step Forward... (4 March 2006)
It has been the past one week when I tried to organise the blog... having too many things cramped under one page is too messy! Can't take it visually, personally...

What an achievement this morning, managed to create 2 more blogs and link them up nicely... standardising the look, insert a picture... etc... Hm... a pad on my shoulder :D

What a Day! (5 March 2006)
Went into the web to look at what I did yesterday... Wah!!! What a drastic change, compared to what I saw yesterday morning... Well Done... OK, I guess the next challenge is to sustain the kind of enthusiasm, to continue to come in to contribute and grow what I've started off with... Indeed, I thought, hey, it's quite a good idea to put down the Bhutan Adventure here... see, I've been toying with the idea of putting them in print... ok, hope one day will come when I can devote my time to do that... meanwhile, I think it's not a bad idea to have my ideas, my thoughts to be captured in the blog before they slowly fade..... away..... Cheers!

Counting my stock (14 Aril 2006)
It's been more than a month after 'engaging' myself with the blog... Yes, it's enomorous fun! Start seeing the power of blog!
  • An Expression Platform - realised that, unconsciously, have penned down a fair bit of thoughts in the blogs... it's where thinking flows... once start laying the hands on the keyboard... the fingers simply run...
  • A Journal - have started jotting down the little little sweet memories I had while abroad.
  • A Sharing platform - more for work... started using blogs to facilitate some of the workshops... thought it provides a transparent and unthreatening environment that encourages one to talk; of course, also using it as a platform to put up resources, unfortunately blogger does not have the feature allowing us to upload files.