Sunday, February 27, 2011

Taking a Break...

It's the time of the year when people started planning for holiday... it's no different for me... When the travel bug bites... haha... no matter how far, or how short the trip is going to be, it's still a "sure go"! That happened in the recent years.

On the other hand, because of the tight schedule, which somehow, though there's a blackout period, it's getting shorter and shorter... it's scary isn't it? So, it's either plan the trip early or be prepared to stay in the island for that supposedly 'break'.

From the calendar, this March vacation is definitely a gone case... June? The supposedly 2 weeks (10 weekdays) has shrunk to 7 weekdays! The only period currently unoccupied is "9 to 19 June"! Wow! So, easy to remember! I was not so optimistic that it's easy to settle with any tour packages within this timeframe! Anyway, not trying means giving up totally! Well, still plan for it...

To my pleasant surprise, there was one that fitted in nicely! Though not the first choice (which is where CN and me wanted to go since N years ago... N > 4), I think I'm grateful enough to see I'm landed with somewhere far :) (though visited one of the places in the past 1 year...)

Just wondering... am I the 20,027th visitor to the NATAS fair?

It's The End?

This acronym "ITE" has been used to interpreted as "It's The End" for a looooooooooooong time... If I remember correctly, it was first talked about in Jack Neo's movie. Oh yes, only Singaporean would come up with such sacrastic, saddist description for the abbreviation for "Institute of Techical Education". The institute provides education for students (around the age of 16-18) who are less academically-inclined but benefits from hands-on programmes. In particular, a large number of the students are graduands from the Normal (Technical) stream.

I've no idea, in this globe, how many education systems started streaming learners at the age fo 12 and hence, that would largely dictates the 'specialised' system that they would go through... although some might end in the same destination, as those who are deemed to be more academically inclinded.

In fact, in Singapre, no matter what, meritocracy is highly still emphasized in our education system - that's why we are so used to use terms like "academically-inclined" to describe our learners. And of course, those who have demonstrated that they are more academically-inclined stand an advantage in the education system here. And certainly, this created lots of stress to the learners as well as their parents! Ok, to some extent, also their teachers! Well, it's just like wild fire that spreads so easily and quickly! It makes life much more competitive and competition begins since young. Sometimes, I just wonder, the young learners were 'automatically enrolled' into the competition. It's "By Default". They did not ask for it. So, this is 'life'?

Indeed, it's pretty sad that, in this society, people in general still look up to those who are academically strong; and often neglect reaction of the other group of learners. People, here, I mean, the general public, the general community; unfortunately, I think, also some educators! That makes me wonder...

On the other hand, I think, not so many of us, in particular, those who serve in the secondary schools, are aware that, many of these less academically-inclinded students did very well (in post secondary education... when they go to ITE)... and definitely, I think, the key to success comes through their strong determination and perseverence! I believe that this is something that many of their parents would not have anticipated that their children have gone that far! Look around in polytechnic, I think it's not difficult to 'hit' a few graduads who came through the Normal (Technical) stream, and more are moving towards university, too! In fact, it's heartening to hear that some of the first couple of batches of N(T) students even completed their university education... and at least one is planning to pursue her master degree!

Well Done!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Singaporeans are rare species!

Met up with Liping when she came back for a holiday break earlier this year... and amongst the many things we chatted, she remarked that we, Singaporeans are rare species!

The trigger of the topic was about the earthquake she experienced at LA last year; and she appreciated the fact that within a couple of hours, someone from Singapore called to check her safety, and it was an official from MFA... because she had registered at the website. She was impressed! Me, too! Wow! So efficient! Then she came, actually, to contact overseas Singaporeans is pretty easy and quick, because, as compared to any other country, there are only so few of us!

Moreover, the birthrate of Singapore has been decreasing... and how many "true" Singaporeans you could get on earth? Hm... while we know we have attracted many foreign talents to settle down in Singapore, "true" Singaporeans, here, I'm referring to those who by-birth, they are Singaporeans and they remain in this homeland... No many. It's only about 3 million! So, everyone of us is a 'significant' contribution to the population size! and hence, our 'market value' amongst the mankind has grown' too!

Well, this was brought to the table when having lunch with some ex-students, when one related her experience in China, the way her driver drove up the hill. Wow! Car-racing, hair-rising experience, haha... then she commented, she felt that the "life" in a huge country with huge population size did not seem significant at all! Ironically, the increase of a new life in such country would be significant. Hahaha... An interesting way of thinking :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lunch @ NYNY

Lunch @ New York New York at City Link... Nice ribs...
Wonderful company of Yuting, Kim Kwang, Suat Khim and Yen Yen :)
Oh yes... thanks for the tasty Green Tea cake, too :)
Enjoyed very much...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Today's Lunch

This is a modified version of the Hongkong styel "海鲜生面". Instead the Bee Hoon was nicely fried and it goes very well with the hot and tasty gravy...  :)



 这就是我“初九”的早餐  :-)

Friday, February 04, 2011

Chemistry & People-People Relationship

Posted the following question in Facebook (the Student account)... no response yet... I guess, maybe none could think of the possible solution yet:

There are 4 solutions A, B, C and D
A & B, when mixed in a beaker, remain as a mixture (A+B). The solution looked homogeneous.
  • When C is added to the mixture (A+B): Immediately, all 3 solutions are separated.
  • When D is added to the mixture (A+B): All 3 become one solution (mixture A+B+C) and look homogeneous.
What are the possibly solutions A, B, C and D?
Indeed, this analogy came about as I was reflecting on the complexity of human working relationships.

Imagine a team made up of 2 people. They were like solutions A & B. They worked together very well and the level of synergy was high. Naturally, the morale was high. They both co-exist as a homogeneous solution :)
(See the parallel?)

Now, came the 3rd person - which could be C or D.

C was the new addition to the team, which supposedly would bring the team performance and capacity to greater height. C came with the relevant expert knowledge and skills that A & B did not possess. However, because of C, the morale of the team deteriorate... Surprise! Isn't it? The team supposed to be stronger now! However, because of the personality and the lack of people-people relationship, the supposedly stronger team now could not exhibit or demonstrate the desired level of work performance! 

Whose fault? I guess that was the first reaction from most people, and next, they would probably be all pointing finger at C. Was that really C's fault? On the other hand, A & B might not be at fault too! So, what to be blamed? "Chemistry"?

Of course, the ideal situation is "D", someone who could immediately gel very well with the team and bring it to new heights? 

I think, most of the time, we look forward to ideals like "D" and we expect people who join the team would be able to "naturally" gel well with the existing team.

I guess the challenge is to turn all the "C"s into "D"s and for this to happen, possessing good people-to-people skills is important and it's one critical success factor.


~ 故事画面 ~ 
看到这个情景,是否历历在目?仿佛曾经身在其中呢? 大家的反应会是什么呢?
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