Monday, January 26, 2009

Cheating goes Digital

Chance upon the article: Cheating goes Digital (in the Edutopia website)

In the write-up, it describes briefly how students cheat in their tests, through digital means.
It even provides a link to Teachopolis where the reader could learn more ways to cheat:

What has the world become!!!???
In the write-up, some educators suggested how to prevent pupils from cheating - by "abandoning" some of assessment modes, etc. Well, seems like we are trying to eliminate as much likely channels as possible. In fact, just thinking... can't we fighting a losing battle? How would the digital immigration know the technology better than the digital native?

Indeed, what's more fundamental is the value, the belief of gaining through one's hardwork and effort. OK, some people may regard this as the stupid behaviour - one must think and act smart, right? Yes, agree that we have to think and act smart, but more importantly is to uphold one's value - integrity. One has to be able to distinguish what's right and what's not. So, it's critical to cultivate from young, the right value and attitude... and of course, in the progress of doing so, we need to have deterrants.

Photos, Photos, Photos...

In the recent UK study trip, we visited several schools. Think most of us were quite excited when walked into the kind of buildings that we couldn't quite find in Singapore. Some of them are very 'English'... as they were built many many years back... with bricks! Basically, the look and feel are very different from those in Singapore. Examples are the Harrow School and the Coleridge Community College in Cambridgeshire. Of course, the other type is the newly built schools under the BSF Programme. As a result, we snapped lots and lots of photos - macro or micro. Of course, the primary purpose of taking the pictures was to capture as much as possible for future reference.

Halfway snapping, I thought, hey, how would we feel when visitors who come to our school started to snap pictures in-discriminately... Do we like it? Hm... do we feel the intrusion to the school's privacy? As it's almost every detail being captured and exposed before the eyes of the strangers...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

友谊 - 是建立在?

是一位已经认识了十多年的一位旧同事,也算是老友吧! 在不少认识我们的朋友们眼里,我们是很好的朋友。我也不否认。因为,这也是我一直认为的。可是,已经有好几个星期没通讯了。到底发生了什么事呢?让我陷入了深思 - 到底,何谓友谊?到底,友谊是建立在什么“东西”之上?

以前同事时,谈得大多是学校里的事。当然,同事与同事之间的处事,学生们的好与坏。。。都成了家常话。常在一起合作,也谈得来。逐渐的,也熟络了,成了好友。即使到了不丹,也不例外。仍然抱持联络。当然,除了关心我的状况,也常让我知道校内的一事一物的状况。当让,时不时也帮忙处理一些有关校内的报告所以,所以虽然身在国外一年,对校内的人与事,仍是十分的熟悉。当然,即使在总部某事时,也许因为自己并不属于任何学校,因此,话题仍然常维绕着校内的人与事,时不时也给予一些看法与意见,还蛮多东西谈的。当然,回想一下,也许,我们的话题,其实也是蛮狭窄的 - 总是为绕着那两三人之间。反省一下,自己不觉中也成了长舌妇,有时也作出了不少有逻辑的假想去作出推理。天啊!当然,我也深知多一事,不如少一事的道理。不是事事都得说,一知半解的不可说,不了解不清楚事情的来龙去脉也不可批。



Saturday, January 17, 2009


Place: Holiday Inn Kensington Forum, London
Time: 6.30 am

First time went down so early for breakfast since arrived in London. The cafe was quite empty, probably because it's Saturday... most people would rather spend catch up with their deprived sleep... I was glad could wake up as early as I do back at home... 'cos that would mean the jetlag situation has started going off...

Sat alone at the upper section, near the toaster area... once in a while, there'll be people sending pieces of bread to the toaster... A thought simply crossed my mind... How has one's breakfast habit changed when overseas? Is toasted bread a regular item in their breakfast menu? Many of them looked so expert in handling the entire toasting process... hahaha.... so patient, no curious-look at their face... Or it's a novelty 'cos we don't have such huge device at home... and it's playtime? hahaha.... Our behaviour changes when we are subjected to a different environment.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

"Thanks... I'm OK..."

Time: around 8 pm
Place: Bus #29, setting off from Tampines Bus Interchange

Almost all the seats were filled... There came the last passenger - a young mother... on one arm, she carried the toddler (think barely over 2 years old), the other grabbed the baby stroller. She struggled her way up the steps up the bus...

One passenger offered help... but was rejected... anyway, she got a seat... near the entrance...

Just thinking... what made her travel on her own... having to lag all these things and go around by public transport like buses? She seemed to be very seasoned - from the way to organise the things and moving up & down the bus!

But does it really make sense to lag all these things to go outdoor and taking public transport like buses during peak hours? Simply can't understand the psyche of such people...

This is US?

This caught my eyes on the way home... I don't believe it's a non-local! Perhaps because of the gradual change observed over these years... sometimes, I really could not understand the psyche of the newer generations... (hm... referring to those after my generation)... the way they talk, the way they dress and the way they behave! One word to describe... it's so disappointing to see a growing number of such people around us!

Look that this... Dyed yellow locks... with a cap... a sweater that covered the neck and arms... but a jean short that barely covered the waist area... then all the way to a pair of flip-flops! What kind of dress-sense is that? It's not a matter of dressing for the ocassion or what... There's always what's appropriate for home and what's out there... though the island is small, it doesn't mean one should just treat everywhere like a home... Can't imagine when our small island is going to be populated with more and more such people!!! Is that uniquely Singapore? Oh no.... The island might be live-able, but it's not for visually live-able...

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Inconsiderate Audience

It's not the first time when I been to a performance filled with lots of children... the recent ones include the Nutcracker (in December) and Auto-auto - the Smashing Car Symphony (in June). Well, when the performance appeals to children... who else do we expect to dominate the audience? Nevertheless, none of my experiences is worse off than the recent one at The Cinderella.

It's the kid's behaviour that's disturbing? Yes and No... it started off with the kids! Of course! Who else will whine and threw tantrums in the middle of the show - so distinctively heard, apart from the singing! Using the newly bought 'Rat' to disturb the audience sat in front and beside him? Ill-mannered kids! That's the impression we immediately conceived. This started before the intermission.

Well, well... think about it... the kid not fully to be blamed... who would expect a look-like 3-year kid to be patient enough to sit through the whole entire show? It's singing and dancing... there wasn't much puppets or any cartoons at all? OK, except the two "talking" rats and the transformation of the pumpkin to carriage scene!

So, who's fault? The adult! The mother who refused to bring the kid out till the show almost ended, despite there were occasion calls for her to "bring him out!" from the row just in front.

Well, basically, audience here are very tolerant? Hm... yes, extremely tolerant to such inconsiderate behaviour... hm... very polite too... On the other hand, back to that mother... Didn't she has the commonsense and basic courtesy? She's not the only one who paid for $153 for that one ticket! Everybody in the audience were entitled to that space and comfort to enjoy the show!

Let's pray hard... hope that I'll not hear "cat cries" in April!

Cinderalla @ Esplanade, 3 January 2009

It's a well-known fairy-tale... ah! that comes with a fairy god-mother! Didn't know it's a Chinese fairy tale till today... all the while thought it's translated to the Chinese灰姑娘.

The start was really slow... somehow, it was not uplifting through Lea Sanlonga (ie. Cinderalla) tried to... from her dance-steps... Hm... guess it's the music... Overall, none of the songs left deep impression.. just wondering, what went wrong? Even 2 of its more popular songs (I guess, judging from the response of the audience) are not that well-known... Maybe because I had not watched any Disney Cinderalla production prior to this? Two songs that I could remember.... "Impossible/It's Possible" and "Do I love you because you are beautiful?".

Look deep enough at some of the lines in these 2 songs, they set me pondering...

"Impossible/It's Possible"

Fairy Godmother: Cinderella?
Cinderella: Who are you?
Fairy Godmother:I'm your fairy godmother.
Cinderella: How beautiful you are.
Fairy Godmother: I'm made of all of your most beautiful hopes and dreams and wishes.
Cinderella: Oh, Fairy godmother, I have only one wish just now.... to go to the ball.... and I know it is impossible.
Fairy Godmother: Impossible? Bah, what's a fairy godmother for?
Cinderella: To make my wish come true?
Fairy Godmother: If you wish it hard enough. Now let me see you'll need a coach, and four horses, and a coachman, and a groom.
Cinderella: Is it possible to get those things by wishing for them?
Fairy Godmother: Well, the sensible people of this world will say(sung) Fol-de-rol and fiddle dee dee and fiddley faddley foddle all the wishes in the world are poppy cock and twoddle.
Cinderella: (spoken) Aren't they?
Fairy Godmother: Not always. The sensible people will also say (sung) Fol-de-rol and fiddle dee dee and fiddley faddley foodle all the dreamers in the world are dizzy in the noodle.
Cinderella: (spoken) And aren't they?
Fairy Godmother: Not always, especially when there is someone who loves you to help you. Now, to work. For a coach I believe I see a pumpkin over there-- that'll do very nicely.
Cinderella: A pumpkin?

So, afterall, is it possible or not possible... sometimes, a fairy-tale wish could materialise... look around ourselves... look at ourselves! Sometimes can't help but believe that there's really this thing call karma...

"Do I love you because you are beautiful"

Do I love you because you're beautiful, or are you beautiful because I love you?
Am I making believe I see in you a girl too lovely to be really true?
Do I want you because you're wonderful, or are you wonderful because I want you?
Are you the sweet invention of a lover's dream or are you really as beautiful as you seem?

Am I making believe I see in you a man too perfect to be really true?
Do I want you because you're wonderful, or are you wonderful because I want you?

Are you the sweet invention of a lover's dream or are you really as wonderful as you seem?

Again, it's a matter of perspective? Because I believe that's why I see it? Or seeing is believing?
One scene that impressed me was the transformation of the pumpkin to carriage... ah! It's the lighting up effect... very fairy-tale-like... then it was followed by the very cartoon scene that traced its path to the castle.
Click HERE to see Cinderalla website

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Ushering into Y2009

Kind of exciting in the 'crossing over' to 2009... 'cos it marks a closure to what I was involved in the last 3 years, it also marks a new beginning... not only to myself, but also where I'm going to... to totally new school! Yes, not many get the opportunity to move into something brand new together with Time.

This is one of the busiest 31 December I had so far... apart from 31 Dec 2005, which I still remember I tried to finish the very last bit that I could do in the school before I left. Oh yes, still remember, I was one of the last to go... my camp-mate, Zubaidah gave me a lift...

Of course, history repeats on 31 December 2008. Although was only at ETD for 3 years, but the amount of work things to really clear was indeed much more... I guess, while in school, I had luxury to handhold my successor whereas this time, I faced the handing over a problem... oh yes, this time did it the hard way... did a 'clash course' for the 2 newcomers, which I hope (indeed had no choice) not to overwhelm them with loads of info. Nevertheless, circumstance had helped me to prioritise what to do in the 2 sessions. On the other hand, I was glad that the other project, PD Model, is taken over by Kevin who has been with the team since we started it... moreover, with his involvement in mp3, hopefully the team would benefit beyond what the project offers on its own (in terms of perspective).

In fact, for any handover, the most challenging part is how to do it smoothly, ie. all operations remain smooth in the absence of the ex-in-charge! Ah... there's always this saying... "No one is indispensible in an organisaton". Yes, agree... nevertheless, it's always a matter of having newcomers to "repeat" the same mistakes (because of the lack of guidance from a familiar hand) or take a longer route to reach the endpoint... wasting precious time and effort.

Back to what I was doing on 31 December 2008... Crafting email after email... on workshop requests follow-ups to Baseline Support Package follow-ups... though just that few words, but it really took hours to ensure proper closures and handover via the email... of course, some advices/suggestions which hopefully will help others to facilitate the necessary discussions. Certainly, the greatest "achievement" of the day was clicking the "Send" button at 2358h to send out the very last email... yes, as an ETO... Then and no more...

Yes, was the first time my eyes remain wide open... normally, I would be asleep then... it's not my nature just to stay up to join in the countdown... thanks to work... it's the first time I was awake and could send a message to a friend at New York, to tell him the clock struck 12 then... :D

Well, the whole of the new day was forwarding email from the lotus notes account to the new email account... yes, because work started as early as May... there were more than 1000 emails to browse through... just for that particular folder... yes, it's another achievement for today... getting that folder cleared... time is pressing... as don't know when the account will become inactive... so, will continue to race against time tomorrow and Saturday...