Sunday, November 10, 2013

A great way to complete the Journey :)

It has been a journey that's longer than expected, and one that I almost wanted to give up, not once, but twice. It's been hard to manage the demands (or more like my own expectations), when being torn between work and 'study'.

This was the last and final assignment (unless I did my tracking and calculation wrongly) to the M. Ed course that I got myself committed to it since 2009 July. I was hesitant, but took it up because of lots (not some, but really lots) of encouragement from a friend. But I must admit it's not a journey that I had committed myself to it totally; as I always telling my friends jokingly (actually, it's true) that I'm not the kind who like to be immersed in tonnes and tonnes of readings, especially the academic related stuff. It's torturous to me! Hahah... unappreciative brat I am, right? Having the opportunity yet being so unappreciative! There were also times when I wished that I could skip a week or two... know how stressful those weeks could be? Especially spending the entire weekend not doing the work, but attending lessons. However, I must say that, I enjoyed those weekend sessions. So, you see, how contradictory my reactions could be? It's the struggle that I had to manage. Maybe, if would have been thoroughly enjoyable the process if I were to take up the course after retirement? Hm... not a bad idea, but why do I need to stress myself over turning in assignments on time?

Anyway, I think I've closed the chapter with a 'big bang' (I think) that I didn't expect to! I did not (and never, since the start of the course) set high expectations to my assignment scores. Because I recognised the fact that what I get is what I sow; though each time I would painstakingly squeeze my brain juices to complete the task. I don't cut corners, unless we count borrowing my own experiences to pen them as part of my assignment submissions. Based on the feedback and score for this final assignment, I attained 100%, and the higher end of highest band of all the criterion! Of course, some would argue that most of the time, the lecturers are lenient. Hm... for some, it's obvious (whom I met in the past modules). On the other hand, for one who has explicitly articulated the expectations on how she marked by the criterion, and having achieved a not-so-good grade for the first assignment, I have confidence and trusted the standards she had set for the work quality. Hence, I guess, there's no other better ways than this to celebrate the chapter closure. Of course, I think, more importantly, I've lived through my conviction and what's written (in this assignment) was a true reflection of my belief and what I've carried out over the past few years. A pat on my shoulder for the good reflection I did; of course, not to forget the environment (in particular the people, who indirectly) that allows me to move along :)

Module: Pedagogical Engagement and Learning

* The maximum score per criterion = 7 points.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Teaching - a Job or a Profession?


Read the article in "TODAY" front page on 5 October 2013 (Saturday).

Here was my immediate thoughts that were posted in the Facebook that morning - I must confess, it's a reaction, an immediate reaction that I did not even wait for a second thought to come... perhaps the interviewees' comments really hit my hot button?
I guess, before making such comments, it's good to ask... Why, in the first place - one comes into this profession?
Well, there's a difference between seeing teaching as a profession or a job.
The formal goes back to the heart of education. If one goes for the 'potential' remuneration that one can get out of it, there are far more many other options.

Indeed, it drew some pretty interesting insights from a friends with different backgrounds, and all doing different things - their exchange of insights and views from different perspectives (extracted from the Facebook posting)

I think, well, eliminating the "background" - which was who made the comments, and simplify look at the "issue" for discussion - Tuition & Teacher - how these 2 are links.

The Need...

Like what's discuss, there's a supply because there's a demand, and the cause of this demand? Well, it goes back to not one, but several reasons.
  • For the high achievers, they (or perhaps the parents) want to see "tuition" (or enrichment classes) to 'stretch' the potential of their kids; or they are simply fearful that their kids will lag behind while everyone does the same except them? What's the motivation behind this? I think, only parents can tell (at least, that's what I think 'cos parents are the ones who have to fork out money to pay the fees!). How about the kids? Some of them are 'willing' participants of "tuition" for it gives them an edge compare to others - they are more 'knowledgeable' than their peers in class, and of course, that makes them feel confident, good and become even more motivated (as in the eyes of their peers, they are now 'smarter', in that sense).
  • For the lower ability students, the motivation behind the "tuition" is clear, at least, I think so, to level up their competency because they need extra help to catch up, to offer more guidance for them to understand and check their work. This is almost equivalent to the traditional remedial programme that we have in school.
I came across a few parents (in the past and now) who actually 'volunteered' to send their kids for tuition, hoping that this extra help would help their children to close the gaps. The most commonly cited reason was their kids needed extra help, and it's usually on top of the existing support programme that we are providing to their children.

My Belief...

Sometimes, I do agree that "tuition" could be helpful, when the child needs additional guidance when it's beyond the teacher's availability - time is usually the constraint, especially when the child really needed that extra help.

At least in my case, one of the challenges is to divide my time for the few classes I have as I wanted to customise the support programme. This is especially so when I've added constraints to the availability in the afternoon due to other admin duties. I don't believe in having remedial for more than 10 students at any one time. That is not giving justice to the valuable time I have in terms of the 'return in investment' (i.e. the students' learning experiences). The remedial time, I felt, is the time when the teacher could really diagnose the gaps and help the students to close it through clarification and possibly even through probing which sometimes could be pretty scary because that's where we discovered there were more gaps to close. See from another perspective, is it good that we are able to discover the fundamental problems that needed to be addressed to first, since it lays the foundation of what we want to build on?

Sometimes, some (including students and parents who do not have a better choice word to describe) did jokingly say I give tuition to these kids as it comes in various formats - one-to-one, one-to-two, or small groups of 8. Yup, that's the "tuition" that we can provide to our students in the school - and definitely, my invested interest is to make sure that my students really get what they need to know and learn.

I came across teachers who proudly declare that had to run remedial classes for more than 40 students. Well, I'm not sure if it's remedial class? or it's a re-teach, or more like a 're-play' of what took place in the class already? Is it effective? That's always the question in my head. In fact, I'm always doubtful about its effectiveness. What's the 'purpose' of the remedial programme? What does it really need to address to? Having more doesn't mean that you are benefiting everybody. Well, sometimes, I felt that it's doing injustice to everybody, the teachers themselves - in the first place, I wonder how he gives the necessary attention to the students' needs; and of course, the students' time - apart from doing more exercises, what else? if the teacher is not really available for one-to-one clarification?

I guess the only time when I call for such a huge group (i.e. to combine everybody from the classes) would be for mass practice or time trials, and definitely, it could not be regarded as a remedial.

Is the Need address the Need?

One colleague related an encounter - that a student who was already weak was attending tuition programme after school. What happened was, instead of having his doubts clarified, the child was given even more work to do, more practice. In this instance, I'm wondering has the tuition served its original intent? or is it working against him? I wonder.

Sometimes, parents asked should they arrange tuition for their children? Well, one advice that I usually give parents is, look inward to assess the root of the 'problem', why your child is under-performing? Is tuition going to address to this "problem" in the first place. This "problem" is not necessary being reflected by the results. For instance, if the child is under-performing because he has been indulging in gaming or other undesirable personal habits, then would tuition be the 'antidote' to the under-performance? If the child was always tired due to lack of sleep, and therefore unable to concentrate in class. Will packing him with tuition going to change his lifestyle? These are fundamental question that parents need to look into. Well, it goes back to parenting skills, isn't it?

Do you give tuition?

This is a question that some neighbours I was asked, once in a blue moon.

I did that when I was an undergraduate - for the experience. That was more than two decades ago! You won't know what it is like until you try it! That's what I believe. Of course, being an undergraduate, I did not earn good money. However, the experience is valuable.

In the first place, the pay came with a responsibility. It is the tutor's responsibility to level him/ her up, and you may not even know where the baseline is. Of course, if you get reasonable parents, it's easier to manage their expectations. However, there are also parents who would expect you to do miracles to the child, simply because they pay you to do so!

Since I started teaching, tuition is totally out. For I believe that it's my responsibility to give what's possible and available to those who are placed under my charge. If class time is not enough, then it's when the extra support that has to kick in to help the child. So, students in the schools would have the priority, in terms of my attention and care!

My belief, again...

I guess, it goes back to personal priority, accountability and more importantly, the belief and values that guides my thoughts and actions. So, I don't give tuition is not because I'm rich (haha... which I hope richness will come naturally). With the time I have, I think it's more worthwhile to see how else I could improve my students' learning experiences through personal development and exploration, rather than 'expanding my network of students'. Sometimes, I might seem to be a workaholic. On the other hand, the line between work and life sometimes become blur as joy is an element that sits on both.

As highlighted in a recent discussion, teachers' pay has been fairly decent in Singapore, for those who think it's not enough. Well, when would people openly declare "money is enough'? Hahaha... How much is enough is really dependent on the individual's "wants", I believe. Yup. It's not that I'm rich (second time saying this), but is about the "standards" we define for ourselves being "live-able". It's very subjective. I must say, what I have now, or what I'm using now, a lot are because of my "wants", to satisfy my desire. In terms of needs, basically I have what's needed. For instance, any 50-cent red pen is good enough for marking. However, I would look for a gel-pen that cost about $2 just because I like the 'feel' when the tip of the pen touches the paper. You see? When traveling, I would choose to go with a reputable airline because I think traveling is the time that I would pamper myself for some extra comfortable. Well, in actual fact, practically there are cheaper flights that would bring me to the same location. Right?


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Rise About the Crowd

In this article published in the Straits Times Recruit Section (C28), it pointed out several strategies to "secure" the next promotion.

Actually, take a look at it, it's not quite "strategies to secure promotion", but a list of desireable work attitude and ethics of one being part of the organisation:
  1. Be the best you can be
  2. Fill the gaps
  3. Ask for more
  4. Find a mentor
  5. Network
  6. Create your own niche
  7. Know your own value
  8. Be sensitive to office politics
  9. Embrace change
  10. If at first you don't succeed
On the other hand, on writing the article and 'start chewing' the elaboration, there are some assumptions and "don'ts" that needed to be looked into.

The greatest assumption is the alignment of one's goals, beliefs and values with the organisation's. It' is one important (and critical) element in the entire equation. If one joins the organisation with the 'ulterior motive' of just climbing up the leadership ladder, and hence 'forcing' oneself to reframe from one's beliefs (especially if it's very different from one's), life is going to be miserable... and of course, when things don't work out the way one hopes to see, then, be prepared to face the situation because of one's choice, rather than shifting the blame to others. That's going to be extremely miserable.

"Asking for more" is one thing that we need to be cautious of. Remember size of our 'plate' is limited. Do not be too greedy such that one (grabs) the best of every opportunity, yet the outcome of all the tasks are mediocre, or when one could not perform or give quality outputs, it reflects badly on one, too! It does more harm than expected. Pace ourselves and take time. Of course, I also came across human beings who take on anything that comes along and 'arrow' them to others. That's not the kind of leadership that organisations look for... So, one needs to know when is the right time to delegate, or when is the time to get the hands dirty, too. Those who move up the leadership ladder are leaders, not coordinators; though both have a common element of "accountability" or "responsibility".

The elaboration under "mentor" - well, when the 'connection' is well-utilised, of course, it would generate opportunities. It was linked to the "Network" - Basically, it's about making connections and work on relationships so as to 'board' an 'express train' to success? However, in the true spirit of mentor-ship, it's certainly not that case. One should look into developing oneself, rather than for the sake of addressing to the 'hunger of power and authority' (which is often the eventual goal for many).

"Know your value" requires one to have a fair assessment on oneself, and also to take into consideration the context that they work (the environment). A "tip top" performer in a laid-back organisation could be a "nobody" or "just an average" performer in another organisation. So, one needs to be able 'truthful' to oneself, rather than remain as the 'frog of the well', and start to wonder why one is not being 'valued'? Only with a realistic mindset then one would be able to decide how much more effort is needed and what else needed to be done in order to make the desired progress one hopes to achieve.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

When one leaves...

Recently, some colleagues left the organisation... coupled with the personal experiences I had (ok, three times in my almost 20 years of teaching career), here a summary of my reflections:

When individuals leave an organisation, they have a choice to
(1) leave behind excellent work that uphold good values & others continue to hold high regards and respect them (greatly) for the great things they did, remember their contributions and, what's more, what they did that generate more good stuff for the organisation to thrive.
(2) create damages and disappointments (and even let others felt betrayed) because they choose not continue to uphold the expected professional integrity for some reasons. Look at it again, it's not too late to learn the 'true' self of these individuals. It becomes good lessons for others, but would certainly tarnish one's reputation into thin air. Remember, Steven Covey cautioned us that it's not easy to build the emotional bank, but it could be gone overnight for some unwise choices?

What prompts an individual to make either of the choices?
For those who choose #1, it's an obvious reflection of one's qualities! They look beyond self, but the entire ecosystem, and certainly look into creating positive impact for others, making the world a better place.

As of those who choose #2, I would very much like to attribute it to one's maturity (which many a time may not the case, though it would be a good excuse) - 'cos that gives the room for improvement (subsequently) - for the better. Nevertheless, there are also individuals who are blinded by some self-generated hatreds & dis-satisfactions (ok, there could be better choice of words; however, that's the best I could find in my limited vocabulary). It's sad as it's about them blowing up their self-centredness which does nobody good. To think further, what would their love ones think of their actions if they were respected as role models?

I guess, we should always remember that the world is small... good "things" will "travel" far & would generate more good things... and damage made is not always contained within the perceived parameter, it travels far too, and of course would generate other kinds of effects and impact.

So, we have a choice, and we have to own the choice :)
Also, remember that our world is not just ourselves and the few individuals; it's much bigger than we think ;)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

"Perseverance" by Margaret J Wheatley (p95): Why Stay

I guess what's described at the beginning of this article echoes what our thoughts, especially when we are frustrated and sometimes depressed?

As highlighted in the 3rd paragraph, the answer comes from "Why are we here, in the first place?" Have we already made the significant difference or accomplished what motivated us to be here? Or have we been distracted/ blinded by the obstacles/ disillusions that were created by the 'blocks' that appear along the way? 

Hm... Food for Thought...

"Perseverance" by Margaret J Wheatley (p102): Choice

I wish I could be as zen :)
Occasionally, we are surrounded by bitter voices around.
Well, take this as a challenge like the sound described in the story.
It's a test to our steadfastness.
Stay focused... and focus on why we are doing what we are doing :)

"Perseverance" by Margaret J Wheatley (p89): Blame

The author started to claim it's a western culture, which I disagree... In fact, I believe, this characteristic of 'blaming' takes place everywhere, it's irregardless of culture, race or nation. It's a human nature? I think.
On the other hand, sometimes I think the environment plays a critical role in shaping the 'degree' of "blaming" mindset an individual has.

As pointed out by the author, "It's never just one person's fault, no matter how terrible or nasty they are." However, the author did not highlight the fact that the individual sometimes fail to see that they contributed to the outcome they face as well.

I think this has become prominent amongst today's youngsters who usually deal with just "You" or "Me". It's therefore important to 'train' our kids since young to cultivate a more encompassing mindset. That's part of the holistic development of a child :)

"Perseverance" by Margaret J Wheatley (p34,35): Righteous Anger

Some anger are 'well deserved', as pointed out by the author. E.g. Confronted by injustice & oppression, one will naturally feel the right to be angry. There are also people who are 'motivated' by anger - their sense of outrage seems to "energize" them and propels them to join ever more causes.

Well, well, this can turn out to be good, however, when it generates negative energy, it not only harms oneself, but also blinds and harms others around them. Anger clouds our perception; and often separates us from the solutions to the problems that makes us angry.

In fact, I'm "privileged" enough to have such encounter in this "life time". I could see the damage that anger did to the individual, and how the individual attempted to influence the perceptions of people around them! That's scary, but it's an eye-opener to see how "vicious" one can become!

As the author rightly concluded, "There's no such thing as righteous anger. Anger in any form only makes us blind."

Food for Thought...

"Perseverance" by Margaret J Wheatley (p83): Stupidity

I think what's written resonates with many of us, that sometimes we just want to pull our hair out because of some people's "stupidity". So, it goes back to the failure to "connect" - different "frequencies" - different values system, mindsets, norms. We basically cannot change as it's beyond us!

As highlight in the last two paragraphs, let's be patient with these people and yes, I agree compassion will have to come in, to pity those who are ignorant and lack of the ability to assess the situation around them and present their appropriate self :)

"Perseverance" by Margaret J Wheatley (p24): Never too late

What matters?
Persevere, and remain true to our beliefs :)

"Perseverance" by Margaret J Wheatley (p147): Five Strengths

They seem to be 5 different strengths... read closer, they build on each other to move to the next level as we seek deeper within our inner self... from basic to beyond-self...
Where are ourselves at this point?

"Perseverance" by Margaret J Wheatley (p127): The Path

How we grow... as we learn through our experiences and gain wisdom to build our inner strengths...

"Perseverance" by Margaret J Wheatley (p144,145): Fruition

More often than not, we aim for the end-product; guided by the notion of "begin with an end in mind". How often, we say we are happy to see our efforts bear fruits. 

On the other hand, as pointed out in this article, what's more valuable (irregardless of success or failure) is the process. The 'growing & ripening' process. 

When we succeed, we celebrate.
When we fail, how often do we remember to celebrate the learning gained through the process?

"Perseverance" by Margaret J Wheatley (p134): Groundedness

The fundamentals...

"Perseverance" by Margaret J Wheatley (p113): Experiments

What's the constraint? or... who manages the constraints before we can free ourselves up?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Holiday Indulgence

Watching Korea drama has become the 'latest' indulgence, however, it's limited to the holidays :)

It's pretty interesting to see how the Japanese and Korean have taken turn to be the entertainment scene/ landscape, at least in Asia... hm... so far, not aware of the influx from China... hm... probably because we have been 'immersed' in it already?

Undeniably, Korean dramas does have its magical elements... I think the look of the actor/ actress would be the first 'entry' point - if their look has not caught the attention, why one bothers to follow? Isn't that what the first survival element of this profession? Hm... We would have to recognise the fact that different kinds of look appeals to different kinds of audience. Basically, they are pretty and charming :) and their look is quite 'enduring'... over time... haha... (I would not have thought of using the word 'enduring' here!)

The other thing which I notice that fans look out for the kind of image their idols portray, that is "healthy" and "kind". Well, who is not attracted to internal beauty, and now what's more, it's both external & internal beauty that come together! Haha... Sometimes, I guess that's the 'image' that the artistes' companies would work hard on in order to open the market of their artiste beyond the country. One observation is, the role the actor/ actress play has a common trait to enforce the fans' liking of them: righteous, courageous and romantic :) Of course, "flowery" news could be damaging to the artiste too! Of course, not forgetting the storyline, too!

For example, since a couple of years ago, I started following 权相宇 Kwon Sang Woo 's dramas. Though roles he played has been pretty consistent in enforcing good image of a romantic guy. the story line has been quite different and varied - as such I would keep an eye on the latest drama/ movie, and I enjoyed; especially the more recent drama (2011) Dae Mul. Unfortunately, when I watch the latest drama, Yawang, it's like watching a 2-in-1 drama - from the "Cinderella Boy" and "Dae Mul"! Of course, the not too long ago news about the artiste for car accident had of course discounted their image, too. In another note, there were also artistes who ran into the less desirable news had got tarnish their image amongst their friends too.

On another note, last year, since watching "Can you hear my heart" another Korean drama, this actor金载元 Kim Jae Won caught my attention, too! It started off with the character he played, and coincidentally another drama started to run, and I followed... that's where I got to learn how he was like through the thoughts and sharing of his fans! Interesting... and it's the first time I started 'digging' the dramas that he played a role, dated all the way back to the ones as old as 2001! Interesting trace! That's where we see how a beautiful face turned into a charming one as one ages... and I think it came through the national service that he went through over the period of about 2 years. I can image how much the artiste company has put in to ensure their artiste maintain the popularity, as well as the effort that the fans put in to keep everyone in the loop of what he does... basically, there's at least one posting everyday! Really want to salute these fans! Of course, have to thank these fans for uploading the clips of the old dramas that has enabled me to catch up with the my new idol's past projects :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

14 February 2013

Here's the pleasant surprise that awaited me when I arrived at my work station in the morning. Coincidentally, all belong to the same "category" - Food! haha... Still have no idea whether they came from 3 different people or 2 or 1? Really appreciate the thoughtfulness... probably the secret guardian(s) had read the crystal ball that it's going to be a busy day (which came out to be true) and these would feed me well for the day :D

I could not resist, and these two pieces of cakes became my breakfast (II)! Unfortunately, by the time I notice the piece of sweet biscuit underneath, I could not figure out the words... It's a pity... Anyone can decipher? Well, the sweetness stays :) Thanks to ....

And of course, the sandwiches from mum became my lunch :)

Here's the other one that saved my day after my meeting that ended at 7 pm! Without this, I would probably have to re-sort to cup-a-soup... Nice pie with a taste of sweetness.... Thanks to ....

BTW, I'm still taking time to eat the cookies :) Thanks to ....

My collection of Doraemon has grown!!! Thanks to .... for the cute one!

Here's the first Dorae-mi! Cute cute... that makes a good combination with the Doraemon (above)! Thanks to ....

The day concluded with the nice ice cream cake at home.... er.... don't count the candles ;P

Apart from the 'concrete' items above... There are virtual ones! Thanks for all the birthday greetings from friends around, be it they are near or far :)

Of course, not forgetting the songs that are still ringing in my ears...

Thanks to everyone, for making the day a memorable one!

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Change is Constant

This is the first lesson I learnt in the recent trip to Chiang Mai.

Frankly speaking, though Thailand is one of our neighbours (geographically), it's only second visit to the country. The first visit was about 20 years ago, I think, with Chai Noi, Teck Siew and hubby. It was a short one in Bangkok. Shopping and eating were the key items in the itinerary then. We visited a couple of temples. What stayed in the memory was "traffic jam" and "steep steps" beyond imagination (when I was almost stranded in one of the temples)! Haha... There was no opportunity to really interact with the locals as much as this time, so was the culture!

If I recall correctly, "Change is Constant" was something that ex-MM LKY forewarned the nation about the need to be adaptive and sensitive to changes around us so that we can keep up to the changes and stay ahead of others - that's for survival! While many a time, back in Singapore, we jokingly talk about having to manage the change, it's more towards our reaction to changes rather than it's a culture. On the other hand, this trip, having immersed in "the way" how things work out in an international conference, I was surprised that this applied to plans even for big events like this! Interesting! Maybe, such comments only come from people who live by highly structured routines? Hm...

The programme changed... and it was certainly quite different from what was emailed over sometime ago. In particular, my slot... haha... anyway, it was a blessing in disguise :) But I guess the one who worked hardest were my Thai counterparts. The first time I met them, immediately after hopping into the car from the airport to the hotel, I was informed of the change in the itinerary. After lunch break, there were updates to what I was told. Haha... that's when I appreciate technology, where I could just ask for the latest copy of the programme to be emailed to me whenever there was any update. Along the way, there were changes to plans; ok, plans that were not critical... but I learnt to adapt, which reminded me of times in Paro :)

Of course,  another lesson learnt is to "be prepared"... especially in times of uncertainty; it's also coupled with assumptions made and being unfamiliar with the context. The assumption, based on almost all conferences that I attended to-date, that a keynote would be 'solo'; so here, with 3 names on placed under the same item, my assumption was, it's a panel discussion. Fortunately, I dd not take the risk and the last minute decision to come up with a presentation was the right move! Of course, this built on the work done over the past couple of years :) So, no effort is too little effort; anytime, the effort paid off :)

All in all, it's an opportunity to 'sharpen' my adaptability :)
I survived :)

What's the Motivation behind this?

I guess this notion of 'chasing' KPI that are not meaningful has been quite distant to me... and no wonder I responded with surprise when something along that line surfaced in a recent discussion. Actually, the discussion did not talk about the KPI, but it's about an 'initiative' that created "KPIs" for many to fulfill, and eventually evolved to become an 'exercise' that lose its meaning to many (because of the way it was driven).

We know that educators are very well supported by the Ministry of Education. Agree or not? One can easily made a comparison with countries in the region. MOE is far-sighted and recognised, way ahead of many, the importance to provide resources, in a large scale, to teachers in Singapore. While 'centrally' it started with its eduMall (long long ago, that evolved into eduMall 2.0, then ICT connection, and now integrated into OPAL), it gives schools in the zone to develop its one resource repository, in the spirit of bottom-up support to teachers as well. Of course, this good intent was supported by many... nevertheless, the coin has 2 sides, while it encourages educators to share their ideas (actually the more the merrier), it also created 'pressure' whereby some institutions set targets in terms of the number of learning materials to be put up. There it goes! We know what happened when numbers just went up and there is no quality control unit to take care of the standard or quality of materials put up too! I'm not saying that the materials put up are of low quality, but the point is, the quality of materials spans across a wide range! We have many good materials (I believe their are exemplars), but we also have materials that have much more room for improvement.

In fact, one way to find out if the material is of certain quality is through the number of downloads. I believe there were materials that sat in such repositories and no one had ever even open and view the file! So, that speaks volume.

Back to the discussion, one of the members spoke about encouraging colleagues to refer and download the resources in those repositories. I was surprised! Because as I draw a parallel to what was prepared by the MOE, why this repositories (when it was not QC-ed at all) as compared to one where the quality was assured?! Is it because of ignorance? or was it because the institution has already contributed a significant number of resources that are awaiting for 'visitors' to patronise (and download)? OK, I'm just making ungrounded second guess... I did not bother to clarify the intent, because in the first place, I did not see it being meaningful to direct others' attention to resources that are  not QC-ed, compared to one that has been 'rubber-stamped' as 'quality resources' that we are proud of...

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

First Blog Post in 2013

I didn't manage to pen down my thoughts to conclude the year before 1 January 2013 00:00.
From another light, I've started penning down my very first post in 2013 just minutes after 2013 00:00

Yes, I'm still awake at this hour... quite rare for an earlier bird like me :)

Well, I'm not alone... a look at the 'chat' box in the school email... these are the people who are still wide awake! Well, there could be more... those who are 'hidden' secretly :P

What are they doing? Hm... I don't know... about work? Hm... I was kept awake because of work too! Yes, I was trying to beat an extended deadline! Haha... and the submission got to be online. So, I hit the submit button at 23:59. Wow! This time sounds familiar? Oh yes, it's the deadline that I used to give to students for online submission of work! OK, like it or not, it's 'karma' or in worse off term, a 'retribution'? Hm...

Have 'crossed' over from Y2012 to Y2013. So, is it the time to celebrate? To celebrate that Y2012 is over? or celebrate that Y2013 has arrived? #iwonder.

Popped into the 2 Facebook accounts... it's not difficult to identify those who are still "alive" at this hour.

Let's see what the youths today got to say? They are welcoming the new year!
In particular, I like the what Adil said... it's like he has been waiting just for that moment to 'become' :) In other words, there's a 'target' or something to look forward to... 

While there are so many from the youths, the number at the other Facebook where the adults are certainly reflect a more 'mature' view of life... many were looking back and wishing for the better in the new year. So, naive or not? The youths only look forward. Or it's simply because the adults are the more "worrying"/ "concern" lot who wished the not-so-good things shall be left in the past year? Hm... Interesting perspective, isn't it?

Y2013, to me is kick-started by a pleasant surprise from Bhutan. Yes, it's a present that's 可遇而不可求。It's exciting to talk and certainly rare for 2 different persons from 2 time zones talking to each other, with one still lived in Y2012 while the other already stepped into Y2013.
Thanks to Phuntsho!

Bhutanese Time
Singapore Time

Well, hope that more pleasant surprises along the way.

In fact, to look back, Y2012 was a very tough year when I fell? No, I dived (with the impact) into the deep valley that I could not see light... It's a very tough year... with more than 50% of the time depressing. It was emotionally draining as well. Yes, it was... so much so that I wanted to skip not just days or weeks, but years!!! It was also a tough year that I face to face with harsh reality... It had been emotionally and mentally challenging! Basically it was not a good year.

Oh yes, I brought a decision over from Y2011 that led me made a decision (to some extent, was driven to made such a decision), changed the decision (because I was reminded of the larger purpose that probably worth the risk), and now, still unsure if I've made the right decision (which I think 2013 will tell me more).

On the other hand, not to overshadowed by the dark clouds and storm, I had my blessings to count too! I must be grateful to have good people around who attempted to encourage me and shower me with little present surprises in those no good days! Heartfelt appreciation to the people around me! Definitely, the awards and promotions had brought cheers to me, these were affirmation of the hard work put in, accumulated over time. They came in timely to lift up the days a little, though sometimes I made myself to think twice, if these are really things to cheer about.

Well, Y2012 is now the past... receiving the PRESENT Y2013 :)