Sunday, January 30, 2005

Let's talk

In case my blog fans had been wondering what had happened to me, I had a restful weekend. Tried not to think about work. Went to the Gym for a workout in the morning, put in about 2 hrs worth of pumping irons, and I am rewarded with sore arms, a bad knee and an overinflated ego. At least I am not having this sagging breasts whcih looks a bit like chicken down with bird flu. But then again, i am so glad that I have my full afternoon just lying on a comfortable bed, let the time passes by as I watched the two lizards on my ceiling mating.

Let's talk about drums!
In school a percussion group known as the Rhythm Masala came over to the school to give a spirited performance. It was great and what was better was when they invited the teachers to play on stage. "Urged" by our screaming fans and egged by the rest of our colleagues, a few brave souls ventured to the front of the stage. Don't let the confidence swagger bluff you for we are never comfortable about performing in front of a live audience. Well most of us are happy just amusing ourselves in the confines of the staffroom or merely banging the tables in utter frustration. Anyway the valiant ones are: Ms Yvonne Ng, Ms Indran, Ms Tan, Ms Teo Jin Ling, Mr Teh, Mr Francis Yap and myself. Not that we are really musically inclined say for some of us, but the moves were pretty easy and dummy proof. You hit twice on one drum, then thrice on another and then just continue the repetition. Not so bad. Good for stress release they say. What a great opportunity for me to release my pent up stress and frustration in a violent outlet of banging the drums like a mad man. It was a great performance judging from the response from the crowd. Now we know why people get the adrenaline rush from the audience... We didn't really know how world class was that (1st world, second world, tird world or developing....:P) But i ended up with two bruised thumbs due to my over zealous attempts to keep up with the tempo. If there are any spelling errors, it is not because I am too lazy to look up in the dictionary but because my two deformed thumbs are crying for some reprieve from giving the thumbs ups. Anyway I have suggested that the percussion to be placed a one discreet corner for teachers and students alike to drum their stress away. Maybe it will drum up the results.. I hope.

Let's talk about self awareness camps!
They say that the class take over the character of the form teacher. I agree wholly. My form class is fun loving, noisy, cute and an eager zest for anything academic. They also have this "kiasu" cannot lose attitude and the want to be the best in everything. Sometimes it become such a reflection of me that i have to really sit down and reflect (pun intended) about myself. I guess the present predicament that the student faced is also a show of me not able to prioritse. To me all I have to say is that soemtimes I feel that the class don't know when to prioritise. The most important thing up on our head is of course self awareness camp followed by Chocomania. I rememebr tellign the class what I mean by high priority and high urgency and people sometimes get caught up by the small things. DON"T SWEAT OVER THE SMALL THINGS because it si not worth it. I feel that taking the classs to a higher level is a more important thing than say winning the CNY. Let any other class who wants to win for once for GOD's sake. Let's not be too anal about this but I think it is important that we get our priorities right because in life there will be always tings that we need to worry about but then again ask ourself will u really remember the CNY deco as much as soemthing that will help to change the wholeperspective of the class?

Let's talk about gambling!
I am now typing this at my in laws' place at Jurong and just came back from a walk around the pasar malam. came along a small little Singapore Pools shop and overheard this conversation between two fellows. One of them was in the shop near the ticketing counter trying to write down bet for the soccer matches tonight and there was another one, a boy about 14 year old ( how do I know... he barely reached puberty..) just outside as though it was an evil thing to walk in the shop or there was this no under 18 allowed talisman somewhere in the shop. I was at first proud of the boy for not getting himself involved in betting when i heard this

boy: oi which match you going to buy har? buy 20 dollars for me
man in shop: got money or not?
boy: I returned you when I win, sure win one
man in shop: but I not buying for myself , aiyah never mind I buy for you
boy: wait wait wait, u not buying, then maybe something is wrong, I don't want to buy liao
man in shop: don't be a sissy lar, i buy for you.
boy: wat happen if chelsea win more than 3 goals har, then I lose money....

from that point onwards I decided to walk away. first of all, I am saddened by the fact that the boy's friend is encouraging the kid the vice of gambling and secondly how can the boy be so stupid to believe that he will win. If things are so straightforward I won't be writing teaching as my profession but professional gambling and of course being able to feed my family and others and even call the 1900-donate hotlines whenever needed. seriously when I was talking to some of my girls about the recent issue or hoohah about the casino, I told them that I am a neutral, not really acidic or alkaline about the casino stuff. But I had to say that although the casino can generate income for singapore, there are still alot of inmature singaporeans which still need to be "spoonfeeded" by the government. But of course the skeptics will say that there will not be maturity if the government continue to be so paternalistic. I guess that this issue of responsibility is a question of the slipping slope and your guess is as good as mine. Wanna bet on this?

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Today Tuesday

Monday passed by without a time for me to catch my breath and i was left with absolutely no time to catch my breath. eight periods one after another and then had an enjoyable meeting with my class committee girls, well if you consider a 2.30 -6.00 pm marathon meeting interesting, my poor committee members had to skip like lunch/teabreak/early dinner? Then again seeing ele trying to dig out the scraps of the loveletters from the bottom of the container was an amusing sight (sorry ele, couldn't resist taking a dig, sorry for the pun!) I was really exhausted, if you considered the fact that I am still trying to recover from the super duper flu bug and then I have a terrible night because some idiot forgot to put some newie gadgety stuff to silent mode and it keep ringing and ringing the whole bloodly night.

Anyway back to the chocomania and of course all these things that are happening in class. I really have to admire the class committee for relly trying their best to try to unite the class and most importantly trying to run the show. I know I re-elected them. This is a trying year for all the 44ians and I have to say it is really not easy for the class committee to please everyone especially if everyone try to get their way.(Let's put it this way, not everyone is happy about the PAP, ask Dr Chee...) But from my conversations with them, I can sense that they are genuinely concerned about making the class the best class and I really feel that it can be done. I think we firstly need to dissociate ourselves with the "100% refractory" stuff. Why?
1) it is embarrassing when you people say that we are 100% refractory but have absolutely no idea what it means?
2) you choose it because it look cool but but have absolutely no idea what it means?
3) the class are so disjoint and lack unity and and you people have absolutely no idea what this means?

Chaos within unity or unity within chaos. Chaotically united or Unifying chaos, No matter how you see it, as disparate entities or unified body, the choice is pretty much yours. I absolutely love it when my girls claims that they are the most united class. I think it is fast become a farce... You can emphasize that it is all about unity but heck! Have you really think about that when you

1) choose to do what you want without considering what the rest wants?
2) choose to ignore what is to be done because YOU don't like it THAT way?
3) choose to keep quiet and let the rest run the show because YOU don't even care?
4) choose to complain but not taking a stand about it because YOU feel that you are not part of it all?
5) choose to ignore all this because YOU can't be bothered about your friends in class, you don't respect them, and you don't want to help them?
6) or given a choice you just want to migrate to another class because you can't see yourself as part of 4/4?

As you could see, the choice is always yours! Don't blame others, Don't point the finger at others. Are you one of them who is guilty of any one of those that I had say above. A class is never about "I" it is about "We" and if you can't see the simple logic behind it, I guess that just make you a lesser person. Because noone lives alone, the world doesn't revolve around YOU. The success of the class come from everyone, not just the class committee, not just because of a couple of voices who want things to be done in that way, not just about a couple of complaining voices who just refused to take up a stand, and definitely not about the silent majority who just goes with the flow! If I could have things my way, I would walk up to the person in class and just trash it out, why wait? why keep the negativity? and why hide? I can be totally open to talk about my feelings to others and I believe the class can do that. Why hide behind a veil? why sit at a corner? why just shut up?

I believe that the class has potential, and up till now I still believe so. I am very sure that my girls will rise to the occasion but to succeed, the class spirit have to be there. Will it be a case of unfulfilled potential? I sincerely hope not. I don't want a class spirit that switches on and off when a BIG event come about, and definitely not one when a BIG VIP come along. If you coul see things in the spirit of the class and in the spirit of unity, it would make you people a great bunch to be with and a great bunch to teach!

And a side note there were 3 absentees today,all from the back of the class, I guess that is where the source of the bug is coming.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Friday, January 21, 2005

If things haven't been bad enough

Can the CNY please come, cos I am really stressed up to the brim. Talking about my family committment and of course all the CNY buying of goodies and f course the academic work I am giving my students and the one that I am absolutely trying to rush through for my Master assignment and I am like on the verge of a mental breakdown. Add the unexpected present that my form class chairperson had given to me which required me to go for an urgent jab on Thursday so that I can get back on time to teach my afternoon A Maths lesson and that's about round up the week.

If you don't understand what I am writing about, don't worry, it is either you are too thick to understand, or it was not meant for you

It seems like yesterday that I thought things given to me were better, at least better thean the last one I had, and I was in a stage of pretence where I could actually move a little further and a little bit better, but then I was just living in a warplike space where things don't seem to be like that. Perhaps the revelation I had after yesterday was that I am starting to see things beyond the rose tinted glasses, i thought things were not meant to be this way, it was supposed to be better than what I have expected. But my hopes were high and I failed to see things beyond the beautiful picture that I forced myself to see. I was utterly upset at the development of things. Maybe I should have just perseverve on last year and not so nonchalant and I could have done something about it, but then again would I have made the difference I wonder? A lot of things have to be done, and I am suddenly overwhelmed by the things that I have to and must do. It was going through the same things which I did 2 years ago, it was painful and most important it was tiring, it was really tiring. Things in parts can be mended, if efforts is made and of course Care, Compassion and Concern

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Listen to what they talk

Why Men can't listen and women can't read maps. Now I really understand the long sigh my wife gave yesterday.


This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

If she is getting dressed, this is half an hour. Five minutes is only fiveminutes if you have just been given 5 more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

This is the calm before the storm. This means "something," and you shouldbe on your toes. Arguments that begin with 'Nothing' usually end in "Fine"

This is a dare, not permission. Don't do it.

This is not actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement oftenmisunderstood by men. A "Loud Sigh" means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you over "Nothing"

This is one of the most dangerous statements that a woman can make to aman. "That's Okay" means that she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

A woman is thanking you. Do not question it or faint. Just say you're welcome.

Cheery and Cheesy

I am glad I am almost through this week unscathed. The 2 hr Contact time was quite a mouthful - in the sense that so many new things for the teachers that we were literally opening our mouths in wilderment. It was mentally exhausted and I am just typing whatever that is coming through my mind and channeling it to my fingers through the keyboard. Well I have to say that this week so far, lessons had been pretty fun though I am up to almost-the-brim with my essay preparation and of course the tons of marking which I had masochistically ( if there is a word for that) gave to myself. I am always feel that teachers are one of the wierdest beings around being the way we try to so hard to lighten our workload and yet at the same time, that sense of responsibilities will be so much for us to be BC therefore we ended up BGL. But then again, it is old news if I don't pass a comment about teachers and the tons of stuff to do that i feel like a grumpy old man.

I seriously doubt I can finish my assignment on time. Guess I have to ask for an extension soon. The essay is due after self awareness camp and I am sure I will be so mentally and physically tired after that. All the literary vomit and the critical appraisal of the different literature is really giving me migraines. I have been trying religiously to do my essay every weendend but it really need a hell lot of discipline. Let's cross our fingers that this weekend would be a fruitful one for my assignment.

There seems to be a hidden undercurrent in the class today. Something is not right... got to resolve it before it become really a nerve racking problems. As though I don't have enough of that... SIGH.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Landom Thoughts

The whole weekend was over in a daze. More like I was sleeping through it. Saturday, tried to wake up at around 7 am to do my long overdue, trying-to-motivate-myself Masters assignment but the spirit is not that willing but the body is like "hell no". I was literally in and out of dazes and was trying to keep my guilty soul awake as my diligent wife was frantically busying herself with the tons of housework that was piling over the weekend. That's the lifestyle young couples had, DINK (Double Income No Kids) but damn plenaty of housework. You can't imagine how much stuff is stacked up over the period of 6 days. The washing machines work overtime ( We had two by the way) and the folded clothing were left in the guestroom on the nice comfortable bed which acts as a makeshift wardrobe. Not that i want to "dry dirty linen in public" but really there are just so much things to do. And I am still putting in time to communicate with my students to tell them the little time I had is used to inform them what is happening to my life.

Sickening things had been happening to things and people around me. A colleague and close friend just got knocked down by flu a couple of days back* and the best part was that he was supposed to go for an anti flu jab or something before he go for his reservist training in Thailand in a week time. I shuddered at the thought of our defenders of the country so sicky. Is it then possible that the war will end not with us defeated by the enemy but by the flu bug. But then a again that is just some random thoughts I had. Another young female colleagues seems to have aged a couple of years over the past few months. She was all bubbly and her eyes seems to sparked. Now it look like 2 flickering candles burning on their last drop of fuel. I had a friendly conversation with her on the way to our classes and I express my shock at her loss of vibrance and "youth". She lamented that she feel so tired and drained and of course she had not recovered from the flu which was spread by you-know-who. Sad to say our conversation did not last as she was doing her shuttle run ack to St rap when she realised that her ever-declining memeory had once again failed her and she need to get some stuff before doing an olympic timed sprint to St Michael where her eager hyperactive class is anticipating her presence.

*And what were you thinking when I say about sickening things? You sickening soul!

Another sickening thing that happen is the stupid car scratches I had on my new car. Yah you heard me right. Man I am so pissed. what have I done to deserve this, too hard on my students, too many enthusiastic attempts at sacarastic remarks ( which by the way I am so good that Ms Yap actually got me a deck of playing cards which had insults on every single one of them,; she said that without a shadow of a doubt that was my X mas present when she saw it at Times Bockshop) or just some green eyed singular testicular monster who couldn't stand the sight of a light metallic blue lancer at the neighbouring carpark? Or was it due to the stupid merger of media corps and media work that got retrenched employees so pissed off that they started venting their frustration on my car? Sorry to be so worked up on a non-animate possession, but this is like the most expensive toy I had so far, (ther than my home if you know what I mean) and it hurts a little to see it kena "bullied" by people other than me? But then again I should be lucky that my car was not swamped by the tsunami and I should be so grateful that things are actually still in one piece - land is land and water is still in water... Let's all be thankful of the wonderful things we had.
Students had indicated through smses and mails and slights that they were not really happy with the ratings I gave. Suddenly I feel so "Simon Cowell"ish. Let's put it this way, I don't write to please , just to piss. I guess the chemistry need to be work out in some way or another and I can see that the momentum is coming back. At least I had quite an enjoyable class with my form class. Crazy bunch though, with the new hairstyle and the hyena like laughter and of course the cannot sit still shuffling the legs and the pilates- inspired lotus leaving sitting position.
I had to start preparing for my essay. I got to start marking the test, I got to strat becoming zombish... Damn... What a way to start week 2.

Friday, January 07, 2005

F week

I had survived the first week in school. All I feel is that my rest in the holidays was in vain. I really feel so tired after this week. This year 2005, meant that I had taken on more responsibilities which include :

1) Being a Sec 4 form teacher - the admin can kill. Not forgetting the self awareness camp

2) Being the track and field teacher in charge again... well so glad that there are two able colleagues to help me, else... sigh

3) 4 preparations of lessons - sec4 history (for my one and precious class), sec4 social studies, sec 4 add maths and sec 3 history

4) my two Masters assignment which are about to be due. And the best part is that I have not started on it...

I must say that this week is a litmus test for all my classes. Let me give them a preliminary grading( still subjected to changes)

And (drum roll......)

Sec 4/1
Rating: A2
As usual, self motivated and studious, there is absolutely no problem going after work, or should I say no problem as ALL hand up work of highest quality. Need to speak up more though.

Sec 4/4
Rating: B3
Surprising unsatisfactory considering the chemistry that we had. As usual, the jokes and laughter are starting to fill the class and the chronic "forget-this-forget-that" syndrome is agian present. They had also got onto the wrong foot or feet (for some teachers) and that is like the first week of school. And to top it up, the same endemic problem - the lack of focus. Let's cross our fingers.

Sec 4/7
Rating: B3
except for a couple of jokers who forget to bring their book and stuff, the class is surprising subdued. Maybe the colourful and playful people are in Sec 3 again or in 4N or had move on to an outside career of stand up comics. Still don't look settled down and all geared up to go.

Sec 4/8
Rating: B4
Come on, what rating can I give if almost one third of the class were being lectured by me standing outside of the classroom, and that is my first lesson with you guys. Particpation seem minimal. Still need to work harder though I can see that soem of them are starting to settle down

Sec 3/2
Rating: A2/B3
Funny bunch but just too serious. Maybe we need a couple of warm up sessions

Sec 3/4 and 3/8
Rating: A2
Absolutely hilarious bunch, can joke, can have fun and most important know when to be serious and settle down to do work. A few colourful characters stand out. But still too early to tell.

As you can see, I can be a bit mean and stingy with my comments, but there is really little for me to judge but with the little it may not be fair. I certainly hope that my assessment is partial and incorrect.

I need to rest, it is 1140pm.

Monday, January 03, 2005

F day of school

It is the first day of school and as usual the monday blues. My mind doesn't seem to be wanting to do anything academic though I also understand that the girls were also busy catching up with others on what they have done during the holiday or maybe what they didn't.

Things are going to be quite different this year. At least there is now a greater sense of urgency as the O levels will be coming sooner before you know it. I guess this is a great motivator especially for those who had been really bochup last year.

I am having a headache now... School induced? Maybe, but I am glad to be back.

Getting a new haircut.......... $7
New shirt which matches my surname.......... $29.90
New Pocket PC and repairs to my laptop........... $700
Seeing the surprised look on 4/4 when they realised I am their form teacher again......... priceless

There are things money can't buy, for others there is Mastercard :P

Corny jokes aside, got tons of work to be done and tons of people going after me for holiday work which I promise, and yet failed to do.

Welcome back!