Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The one when my students came a-visiting...

It has become a yearly routine for my form classes to come over to my house to "bainian" and of course "rip" the poor teacher of his month worth of salary :P
Anyway this year, I decided to do some "strategic" planning and allocated them in batches so that my small house will not feel like a furnace and I will also have time to interact with them..

Anyway will update more when I can find the time... yah time is fast becoming a luxury.....

Just some pictures for 4/4 and yes this bring back a lot of memories.

Monday, January 30, 2006

The One about CNY eve

It is the time of the month again. Chineses New Year. The fate of time has been good to us, we get 4 days of holidays instead of the obligatory two and a half.

This year we ushered ( Yeah!) in the year of the dog and say bye bye to the year of the chicken. And every year it is the same old stuff, CNY reunion dinner at my parents' place, the last minute cleaning and scrubing of the house which often leave me totally flushed! (well what do you expect if you try to leave a whole year of cleaning for this special day...? Ha just kidding) Nonetheless, my wife and I did spend some quiet moments "fingering", "licking" (talk about hygenie), putting things where it supposes to be. Even though it is a painful process, we still have to do it. And yes incase you people are getting the wrong ideas, we were busy putting money into the ang pows. There were the A category - meaning immediate family members, the B category - close relatives, C category - other relatives, friends, and students and D category - others that do not fall into the first few categories. We debated over the amount to put for each category as we put the crisp new notes into the the empty ang pows. Yes it is another year again...

Yes CNY is here.

Friday, January 27, 2006

The One with the CNY

CNY in a new school

so different

a weird feeling

I missed the mass....
The One with the Fighting and Caning

Reality strike early, week 4 of the school. I got a rude shock when I found myself caught in the middle of a fist fight between a couple of my upper sec students. Shocking? well... maybe, all this while, I have been teaching girls and the most extreme I had seen is catfights... actually bitching was the most I have seen and heard. Thus it came to me as a shock that they were actually doing the “Rocky” tango right before my very eyes.

Surprisingly, I have to be really macho about it and literally stand in the line of the fistfight. Like a traffic policeman stopping the whole proceedings, I risked getting my face smashed up in the middle. It was to my relief that the boys stopped or I will literally be manhandled....

I have to say, being totally "virginal" about this, that I was a bit unsettled by the incident and it was difficult to continue with the lesson with the rest fo the class. I guess there will be more of this little experiences now and then.

On a side note, as I was walking back to the staffroom, I witnessed the caning of the student in front of the class by the Principal. It is unsettling, it is sad. I have this awkward feeling and something stuck in my throat. I am glad that the long hols are coming....

Monday, January 23, 2006

The One about kena-ing tomorrowed again!

Thanks again for those who read the entry on the prenatal class. Seems like it strikes a chord with the parents to be. Thanks again. And now I can say.... I kena tommorrowed!! :P

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The One about the Internet

I remember during RMUN 2005 IJ was performing something controversial during the fashion parade. Got this. Quite funny but a little controversial. Enjoy....

Have a good week ahead...
The One about going to Prenatal Class

My saturdays are now spent more constructively

Other than spending time on the net surfing porno educational websites ( for teaching and learning), I have embarked on a new profession - the one of being a father. My little Vernice is coming soon in May and Mummy is worried that Daddy woould not have the necessary experience and knowledge to look after Mummy during her pregnancy and Vernice when she is born. As Kiasu parent ourselves, Mummy enroled us for this 150++ ( GST included) course which hopefully would make us better parents and for me a better supporter during my wife pregnancy

I have to admit that I am a pretty aloof daddy, other than serenading my baby girl with my incessant snoring at night and helping a little wee bit more in the housework. My guilty conscience forced me to drag my ass to accompany my wife for this workshop.

Scehduled at an un"appealing" time of 3 -5pm, it was no wonder the Zzzz monsters were tempting me. As we were ushered into a comfortable air conditional room where the environment more than induced me into my deprivated mode, all I see are different types of couples. There was one whose husband was apparently trying to clinch a multi million dollars deal and was too busy to attend the session.( I actually pity the wife) There were also a couple of lovey dovey couples who were more busy "touching" each other ( No wonder the baby). But most of the husbands seen are a disinterested lot who seems to be more willing to catch up with their afternoon naps than to be in the realm where time stands still .

The psychotherapist conducting the session is a nice, friendly lady ( I am obliged to say nice things as she is my wife's colleague :P) who addressed the needs of the 9 couples in the room. From swollen ankles, to bad joints, to backaches and tired muscles, she handled the situation well. There was also a massage session where the husband ( ie the non-baby carrier) got to help the soothe the aching muscles of the mummy.

The lesson instructor showing Mummy how to lie properly to keep baby comfortable

Stand up Straight... Sedia-a!!

I succumb to the temptation of the Zzzzz monsters as it approached the 4.30 mark. I must say that is is really difficult for me ( ie keep awake since I have only slept on an average 6 hours per day the whole week) and even more difficult for my wifey who is carrying a "football" around. I can't say I would be looking forward for the next session. But will definitely try to keep awake then, which means I got to sleep early on friday.


This post has kena tomorrowed. Yeah!!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The thing about what happen in class today...

A causal comment when I was teaching the chapter on Russia brought me to this man "Rasputin". For the histo-phobe, Rasputin is a colourful character in History, a known womaniser and drinker. Anyway the discussion inadvertently veered to the concept that girls usually like "bad boys" 男人不坏,女人不爱. The example inadvertently veered towards the fact that female girls always have a crush on guys who are a bit on the "naughty" side... a bit of the leather jacket, a tattoo here and there, some bulging muscles, a harley davidson and of course with a "could care less" attitude to match. I brought out the example that this account for the reason why school girls have crushes on PE teachers, partly for the bulging muscles and the athletic body. No students would have a crush on a History teacher who come to school all covered up ( long sleeves, long pants and stuff).

But I reassured them maybe behind this cover, I could be hidding a 6 pack abs. And I received hysterical laughter.

Guess Yishun Town kids and IJ girls do have something in common..... :(

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The one with the little time to spare

The thing about being a teacher in this school now is that i am hidden at the very corner in the staffroom.

My life had been generally undisturbed, which I tried to occupy myself with things to do, from marking to preparing lessons to basically daydreaming.

I find myself more and more an office rat, not helped by the fact that the cubicle looks like a small enclosure for the "visit-the-zoo-animal" But then again, it do have some benefits as I like to just do things at times alone.

Lunch so far had been a small key if not no affair. Gone were the day when I can saunter to the canteen or even go out of school to "ta pau" stuff back. It just feel too tedious to even make the trip out. In fact time really flies and before you knew it, it is around 5 plus in the evening when we pack and wait for the next schooling day in great anticipation.

My first pile of marking has come in and the signs are not good. I guess this is what they mean by a "C"ulture shock. But again I have no complaint. My challenge now is how to help and motivate these kids.

Ominous dark rings are all over my eyes.... I need to start sleeping well and early, and that means at humane hours like 11pm or 12am

Just want to end today post with something that I remembered about IJ :)

Thank you, Lord,
for the trials that come my way.
In that way I can grow each day
as I let you lead,
And thank you, Lord,
for the patience those trials bring.
In that process of growing,
I can learn to care.
But it goes against the way I am
to put my human nature down
and let the Spirit take control of all I do.
'Cause when those trials come,
my human nature shouts the thing to do;
and God's soft prompting can be easily ignored.
I thank you, Lord,
with each trial I feel inside,
that you're there to help,
lead and guide me away from wrong.
'Cause you promised, Lord,
that with every testing,
that your way of escaping is easier to bear.
But it goes against the way
I am to put my human nature down
and let the Spirit take control of all I do.
'Cause when those trials come,
my human nature shouts the thing to do;
and God's soft prompting can be easily ignored.
I thank you, Lord,for the victory that growing brings.
In surrender of everything
life is so worth while.
And I thank you, Lord,
that when everything's put in place,
out in front I can see your face,
and it's there you belong.

Friday, January 06, 2006

The One with the first week in school

I survived the first week of school...


I am sorry that I an not able to blog as often as I like but I am really tied down with work. The first few days were a total blur - an avalanche of paperwork and the unsettling change of a new environment.

Morning assembly was entirely different from that in IJ, but i would say more organised and regimented. However I missed the hymms that I had gotten so familiar and the daily reflections. Suffice to say, the temasek greens was a big change from the navy blues which I have been seeing for the past 5 years.

All of the sudden I feel like one of the blur 12 year olds who step into the school for the first time, badly needing an orientation, getting to know the teachers(colleagues) and yes orientating myself to find my way to class. It was difficult especially when I tried consciously to remind myself not to greet "Good Morning/afternoon girls" but I still ended up doing it, thus getting sniggers and giggles from some of the students. It was also a new experience in the ears when you hear the oh so familiar "cher" which I thought I would never hear on me.

So far i had met all my classes including my form class (yes, I had a sec 2 form class) So far my impression of the students had been good. As for my form class, they can be quite a cute bunch but then sometimes they can be mischevious. But then again this is after all the first week. Horns may grow...

Changes had indeed been unsettling, but getting into the groove of things, I am glad that I had taken that dreaded step out of my comfort zone. I know there are also people out there who faced the same type of problems as I do and let me assure you, I am literally in a similar boat. I do understand how you people feel and sometimes it is comfortable to even hid in your little corner and moan. However in life there will always be change. In fact the only thing that will remain constant is ironically change itself.

I look forward to all these new challenges with relish and I hope I can do what I had done in IJ - continue to nurture and impact the lives of students. If I don't blog often, maybe you could send me a friendly sms or email - I could have been buried in the piles of work that I am supposed to do :P