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!