Wednesday, June 17, 2015

RSVP redefined in today's world

It's an interesting observation - how online social media environment and culture has changed practices that have been in practice for decades!

Click HERE to read original document.

In fact, when asked "RSVP", we would normally indicate the host our attendance to the invited event. This information is certainly very useful (in the past) when we could use the number for preparation. However, today, the online social media has changed the entire 'ball-game'. It could be used as a moral support to the organiser of the event, but not necessary attending.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Waste no more food

Source: 16 June 2015 联合晚报

This is a great way to remind food wasters! Basically, it's about educating food wasters by heightening their awareness.

Sometimes, we simply could not stop ourselves from being 'greedy' when the situation permits.
I'm not sure if it's the Asian mentality? or it's just the "Chinese" mentality? or simply because we have yet heard of similar reports of food wasters in the other side of the globe?

In Singapore, we faced similar problem - not from the "chinese" as this was an issue long before the chinese started invading. It's our local people who possess the "kiasu" mentality, thinking of stretching every single note or cent - to make the money worth. It was so serious that the restaurants here introduced "fine" as a penalty. Well, it works here, in Singapore! Don't forget, we earned our reputation as a "Fine City" long long ago, so the approach to 'fine' was not new to many people. However, "fine" only imposes as a deterrent. It had not educated people or raise their awareness about the impact of their action. That's why I like the Swiss' approach :)

Monday, June 08, 2015

Holiday is for...

In Singapore, it's not new to find the wide range of activities that are available to engage children during the school holidays. It's not surprising to find pages of advertisements on programmes to engage children.

During my childhood days, I looked forward to school holidays because that's when I could laze around... and take my own sweet time to complete any holiday assignments (that I could vaguely recall there was any of them!). Well, getting the opportunities to watch TV programmes in the afternoon and 'extended' play hours were what we looked forward to during the holidays. Going for tour was not common those days. Computer games were not in existence.

Well, some parents would have commented that those holiday time were gone to waste as I was not 'purposefully' engaged, or put my time into good use - to learn a new skill or do something to enhance my learning. Anyway, those were holidays that I guess children would look forward to! That's when I could really unwind and re-charge. Okay, I only came to understand what "unwind" and "re-charge" mean as I grew older, when I had been increasing deprived from my school holidays - when I had to channel time to prepare for exams, complete assignments, and these days, to clear my backlog markings, carry out planning, etc.

On the contrary, these days, the range of activities to engage children has expanded! Not just what parents would "design" and "do", but also lots of service providers are leveraging this golden period to devise a wide range of academic and 'character' related programmes to the attract parents to send their children to participate. Well, these programmes are devised accordingly to today's needs! While vendors would have carried out the market research to identify the needs so that their supply would meet the demand (hence a worthwhile investment at their end).

With the population becoming more educated and there's a larger portion of parents who are more 'affluent' (and can afford to spend more.. and would not feel too much a pinch when it comes to spending on their children), the types of programmes have evolved too!

Some of these would include: Tours are no longer just a means to unwind - there are travel agencies that draw up educational tour itinerary where parents and children would be immersed in some learning journey - to parents, that's definitely a 'draw' - how intensive these types of tours are? I don't know. Well, I guess there are pros and cons. I just wonder... parents can just make any trip educational without formalising it. Learning could be more personalised and seamlessly weaved into the journey if parents do some carefully planning, especially in this technologically advanced age! Well, I believe, with the intensity that is certainly much lower, it would help to make the trip a more pleasant, personal and enjoyable one :)

Boot Camps and Workshops are not new these years! Singapore is well known to the world for its fantastic education system. It is also known for its competitiveness to be enrolled in the 'desired' programmes and schools! These structured programmes are not only meant for children at critical years that we previously assumed to be (Primary 6 and Secondary 4), but also increasingly common at junctures where children are to be 'readied' for Primary Schools (Primary 1), sitting for tests to be potentially shortlisted and enrolled into gifted programmes. You name it, you would definitely find 'takers' to run such programmes. Of course, to some, it's 'catch-up' times! there are also clash courses to help children to "level up", to close their learning gaps so that they could catch up with others in class. These courses are definitely not cheap to go for... not just the amount of fees to pay for, but also in terms of the children's and parents' time.

Going around Singapore actually could be a great way to 'spend' the holiday. Indeed, we are pampered with so many options out there... While we often look outwards (beyond the Singapore shores), there are numerous places that children can go and learn more about the small island that we call home. Museums, Parks, Zoo, Gardens, etc. Even a slow walk at some heritage places or zones could be interesting too. These places are easily accessible, and the beautiful part is, we can make multiple visits over time (and over the years!). There is no need to learn everything at the same time. Take our time to learn about the country that we call ourselves citizens to this place. In fact, many of these places organise activities for children during the school holidays, too! Bravo to the effort put in by these organisations to make the holiday educational yet fun to children!

Well, there are of course a lot more things to do during the holidays.... e.g. catching up with readings (not referring to school related reading) and revisiting some habits that we might have forgotten :)

Well, well... I guess, this is only when I start to appreciate my profession in the non-work-related aspect, i.e. when I could have a few days of the school holidays to do something that I could hardly carry out during school term, too :)