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Monthly Archives: September 2011

back home at 11 and am doing some reading.

ive been trying to follow the bukom fires and im wishing i had real time updates, but it seems the only source i can refer to is my friend whose husband is on standby for activation for fire fighting at bukom. it seems there might be 8 casualties as of 11plus…. and media’s report is only till 7pm…

an oil refinery on fire. how do you even stop that?

  • i tried to google to find the latest news, and ended up at stomp (which i rarely read, and now realise there’s alot of paparazzi news) where i saw this article about students trying to suffocate each other. for whatsoever reason this gets them excited, if the sch/parents dont get to the root cause of them having such an interest, this could potentially develop them into psychopathic serial rapists/killers/sadists who will crave for more and more gruesome ways of getting excited.
  • also came across this article on SIM’s orientation games where the ice-breaker games seemed too ….. shall i say….. against appropriate male-female sexuality?

alot of orientation programs do encourage activities to increase the comfort level of both genders, but this is way too out of line i would say…

on NEA’s website, they have put up tropical storm/typhoon warning with this chart.

it might be a sumatra squall. and that means major rain clouds, really fast winds, and very heavy rain. thats a deadly combination.

if you were a destitute under a weather like that…. imagine the agony.

i did want to find a video on a squall in singapore, but ended up finding this time-lapse video of a thunderstorm instead.

  • the boat crashing- mersing incident has got my dad more worried abt my future dive trips. i mean, road accidents happen everyday too… so. but still, adrift for over 20 hours is a sick feeling when in the water. i remember when we were bobbing on the water waiting for our boat to appear and the waves were coming in. there’s no words to say how scary it’ll be if there were no boats nearby, at night, when you cant see anything clearly apart from lights from afar that you cant distinguish, and worst part is, you dont even have a BCD. i hope they find the other 2 ppl asap.
  • on other news, im wondering how hiring more dolphins care takers would help the dolphins feel less constrained in the marine theme park in RWS. how? somebody explain to me how more trainers care-takers will be able to substitute the lack of social interactions of dozens of dolpins of the same pod in the wild. or how that can substitute the distances they can swim at such speeds. or their natural instinctive hunting-feeding habits. how? someone please explain. worse still, Mastercard is giving discounts for RWS. now i need to stop using Mastercard, and i dont have any VISA card. i must spend some time this sat to write to Mastercard.
  • on a related note, IM SERIOUSLY EXCITED to meet Ric O’Barry next tuesday! totally excited, that it can probably overdo the fact that my students’ N level maths paper 1 would end just hours before before the dialogue. :DDDDDDDD there’s NO WAY im gonna miss this!
  • i have also yet to post about my thought on the Biodiversity Symposium. Ive started on it, but havent had the time to pen my reflection. but honestly, it was a really informative session and with so many new collaborations formed, i’m really happy i went for it! ive not written the paper for the NSS conference in oct either. thats in 2 weeks time and i only have 2 sundays to get the paper done. argh!
anyway, it’s 1230am now and its been a really long day with lesson ending at 1. and IP coaching from 130-330, 330-500, 600-800, followed by 20minutes of rest/sleep and work until 2245. i did bring home a stack of practical worksheets that i was supposed to mark, but, im really tired and i think ive worked enough to enjoy some well deserved sleep dont ya think…
goodnight world. and i really pray the bukom fires will be put off. i really do.
 
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Posted by on September 29, 2011 in i-Typical

 

12m deeper at Dayang

i can hardly believe that it was only last weekend that i went back to dayang again. ha… its been a long week, and i cant deny that ive been wishing i was back on an island again! Dayang again though, would probably become boring.. but still, it was lovely..

the familiar cookhouse

and the lovely coconut trees

i was nervous before my first dive, but got used to it once i was in the water. before our 3rd dive, rain clouds started appearing. wet and windy = bad combination! it was sooooo cold, we hugged ourselves! of course, those who smoked, smoked…. urgh!

lucky the winds cleared the clouds and before long, we were back underwater. one of the interesting parts of the advanced dive course is the night dive. i did bring my cam down. and yep, i didnt manage to capture anything. haha…. but i must say it was an amazing experience. we turned off our flashlights. and imagine being suspended in complete darkness with no sense of direction or security! it was darn scary ok! but you know what, you swing your hands and what do you see? luminous plankton. seriously. i remember the experience, and im still smiling! :)

here’s a video of me attempting to capture that, but, nothing was recorded. gotta experience it on your own. lovely luminous green plankton. :) lovely!

its a different experience when you are underwater. the sound of bubbles regulates your breathing as you glide along the sea bed. its a different world. one that sometimes i wish i didnt have to surface up to! haha… but then again, staying underwater too long got my skin crinkled up and peeling!

anyway, i was still experimenting with my cam and these are some of the pictures i loved. enjoy!

2 goby fishes

dogfish (i think)

batfish

clownfish!

giant clam

feather star

nudibranch

coral clams

seastar

fanworm (and the bright blue thing is a christmas tree worm)

my instructor with the batfish (alot of noise, but i love the angle)

and the rest of the photographs

marine worms

cushion star

seastar

seastar hiding under coral

fish going into hiding

nicely camouflaged fish

fishes i dont know

dont know what this is

sea cucumbers

egg cowrie

underwater plants

we had cleaner fish following us around…

check out the video!

what i miss most? the sound of bubbles underwater.

the leisurely finning underwater.


(and thats my instructor)

and waking up to this. :)

it was once again a fantastic experience. even though being in salt water for so long made my skin feel sticky and hair just impossible to handle, i still love it. and i cant wait for my next trip. now that i can dive to 30m and do night diving too, i cant wait to explore the underwater world! En is planning a trip in dec to derawan, and im considering joining him….. but errrr…… cant decide until i know my plan for next year. :)

till the next trip!

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2011 in i-Dive, i-Happy, i-LiveMyLife, i-Marvel, i-Travel

 

my prayer tonight

Dear Amma,

i asked myself this question yesterday. “which is more important? family or students?”

the answer was obvious. family.

so why am i not spending equal (if not more) time with my family than i do with students?

on monday, when i called my mom and told her i wasnt going home for dinner, she rebuted, “work, home, work, home. is this life?” i kept quiet. she was pissed at me. but i really had work to do that i couldnt just not do. and my colleague couldnt understand why being so old already, i still feel the need to inform my parents what time i was going home/whether i wanted dinner/etc. well, my mom’s not a teacher. she doesnt know how much work we do behind the scenes, and quite frankly, no one who’s not a teacher would know. but i know she’s lonely and sad. should i wait until its too late to spend time with her? why do we always assume that our loved ones will be there tomorrow?

today, i go to school and return the horrible prelim papers. after i return the results, i see some ppl smiling as they walk out of the classroom. the class MSGs were 6.1 and 6.5 respectively. i dont understand how they can smile, when a few of us were close to tears in the staffroom. at a total loss of how to help those who dont bother abt helping themselves.

i know i told myself to get pumped up and face this term with the most energy i have. but, seemingly, trying to remove the frown on my face is sapping my energy dry. and yet, i have to dig the deepest ive ever had to find the energy to have IP coaching from 3 to 6pm everyday from monday to friday and until 12pm on saturday. even i think its ridiculous and i dont know why im doing it (i just think thats what im supposed to do). while the students might not realise that this means that i actually have to start doing my own work after 6pm, i find myself questioning why its so important that i try to improve their grades.

i never wanted to be one of those teachers whose ultimate aim was to have the best MSG for herself. but you know what, if the collective results of students with PSLE T-score of 230+ produced a fail grade of 6.1, something is wrong somewhere. and i know its not because i didnt do enough. because a class of students with PSLE T-score of less than 190 produced an MSG of 4.3 at the same stage last year, for a set of paper that was slightly more tricky and difficult. and yet, on friday, there is going to be a slamming session mtg for us to explain what went wrong with the prelims, and i cant say anything else except the fact that i didnt inspire them enough. (but, my teachers didnt need to beg me to study. i knew i must study because its my future.)

Amma, im tired. in the end, i know ive done everything within my ability. its tough to carry on when only one party is trying and the other isnt. its tough to carry on when ppl think the results are bad because you didnt do enough.

but i will push through this year. even if everyday is a struggle, i wont give up.

and so here is my prayer.

please give me strength to pull myself together because there are definitely students to deserve my attention. these kids have tried, are trying, deserve my attention to move them up to the next grade.

please give me the mental resilience to pull through all the disappointments. for those who really dont care, i dont see the need to care.

please give me the ability to teach then in the easiest possible way for them to learn. maybe i didnt teach well enough. but this 1 mth is the last chance i have to ensure that they know everything that’s going to be tested.

please give me energy to handle 4 more weeks of 13 hrs of work in sch and 3 hrs of work at home. im going to be out of sleep and moody. and maybe just angry at anything else other than what im supposed to do. just these 4 mths. after that, im converting to one of those ppl who knows that family always comes first and if the students dont study hard enough, its their loss. i dont need to sacrifice family and personal time to beg ppl to study.

please teach me to be patient with those who couldnt be bothered previously, but are not starting to wake up.

please create a miracle, because thats what they need now. perhaps a wake up call. or an inkling of an interest to have an aim.

thank you.

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2011 in i-Pray, i-Sad, i-Teach, i-Wish

 

my lunch time wishlist

so here i am at the staff lounge, eating my lunch, wondering how im going to survive the next 50 days….. and here’s what comes up…

Mares Cruise Roller Bag (~ SGD 230)

 Suunto Stinger Dive Computer (~ SGD 730)

Dive Rite Travel Exp Wing (~SGD 445)

ScubaPro Thermal Tec 3MM (~ SGD 300)

 

awwwwwww…………. money money money!

gtg work! chao!

 

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2011 in i-Dive, i-Want, i-Wish

 

Life is a verb.

have a great weekend!

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2011 in i-Want

 

cant think of a title for this post

a couple of articles were brought to my attention recently. one was an article by CNN on what teachers want to tell parents. i agree with most parts of the article. well, actually, i dont disagree with anything to be frank. ive been blessed to work with the parents i worked with over the past 5 yrs. my babies’ parents are so concerned abt their child that they are willing to listen and try and propose ideas. and we worked together so well. at the end of the 5 yr relationship, i actually wanted to write each parents a personal letter, together with a photo of their child at sec 1 and one at sec 5, stating how proud i was of them. of course, i didnt get round to it, and it’s too late to do anything now. but, its true. the child benefits the most when both parents and teachers work together.

along the same lines, a parent write in to question the rationale of setting exam papers. to be honest, when i start to set papers, i tell myself ‘kill ‘em!!!” but hmmm…. in my defense, my questions arent out of syllabus. my bio qns connect different topics together. my aim is to get students to see that you cant learn bio by segregating the topics. everything is interconnected and thats the beauty in bio. one affects the other, etc. but till today, i just cant get students to understand that the reason why blood must reach all parts of our body is so that glucose and oxygen can be diffused across to all the cells for respiration to take place so that energy will be released for the cells to sustain their activities. cos if not, the cells will die, which means the tissues will die and eventually the organs die and there wont be ‘us’ anymore. (whats so hard to understand abt that?) of course, i tweak the question and asked why it was impt that there are coronary arteries going to the heart. one student got it correct. the rest? couldnt connect circulatory system to respiration to tissues/organs.

this other article mentions a jaywalker who caused a pile up along PIE. ive had 2 accidents since i started driving. one was my fault. the other wasnt. and might i add that i am still a little pumped up abt having heavy vehicles on my left side. thank God i didnt kill anyone. i recall telling my colleagues how freaked out i was abt driving, knowing that controlling a vehicle with my very own hands could possible cause the lives of others. till today, i tell myself, dont get complacent. to be honest, sometimes, you just want to go faster so that you reach your destination faster. when i told my then instructor that i find 60km/hr the most comfortable speed for me, he replied, “thats what you all will say now. but once you get comfortable, 100km/hr also not enough!”. you know what, thats true. but, impacting a person at that speed, ha…. its no joke. its a regret you wouldnt want to have. so….. it pays to be safe.

as i was charging my cam for my weekend trip, i realised i hadnt transferred photos from its internal memory. seeing them again, brought a huge smile! i cant wait to wake up to this sunrise again!

and i cant wait to hit the waters again!

but i need to study and i need to pass them my knowledge review tmr. tmr is gonna be a study session.

and it does feel like the more i read, the more inconfident i become of my ability to make it out alive again! this weekend, there are over 50 ppl. a little too many for my liking. so he asked whether i wanted to go for LOB instead. i told him, i wanted to finish this course first. well, so few ppl can fully understand the beauty of the underwater world. its not nearly as satisfying as walking through that tunnel at underwater world. watching sea turtles paddle by. fishes with magnificent colours follow you. corals of all sorts of formations. all the evolutionary marvels of the marine creatures that have so much history, far more than those on land…… i just feel so inadequate that i cant name the species! (crap! more things to study!)

september is still a month of nerve wrecking days, for reasons which i cant disclose yet. ive never felt this horrible abt a september before. haha… but i watched Soul Surfer today, and there’s this part where Carrie Underwood says, “so you see how hard it can be to make sense of things when you are looking at them, really close. the same thing’s true in life. so if you guys are dealing with anything thats just too hard to handle or doesnt seem to make much sense, get a new perspective.” well, new perspectives can be hard to accept once your mind is fixated on one thing. suddenly disappointments seem to become a way of life. but, you know what, we all live to wake up the next day because of something called hope.

when you look at such a place and realise, “there’s so much life in there. can you take it all up in one breath?”

when you look at such a place and realise, “the world didnt form up in a day or a week or a month.”

when you look at such a place and realise, “you will reach the end, but only if you never stop walking”

so, while we question ourselves now and then, all the whys and all the meanings to the whys, sometimes, its all abt just doing the best you can. that has to be the greatest dedication to yourself isnt it. because doing anything less just because you are angry with everyone else doesnt do you any justice. :)

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2011 in i-Reflect, i-Typical

 

it is what it is

quite a few things going on with me right now and i dont quite know how to segmentise it. its the first time in all my 6 yrs of teaching that i actually didnt arrange for anything to happen during the one week holiday. all i want to do is slack at home. not even go out, just slack at home. so when i see a familiar (yet unwanted) number ringing on my hp, i wait and wait, and ponder if its ok that i dont pick it up. avoiding is not going to make anything go away. but thats what i want to see happen. i want certain things to disappear. and thats making me feel guilty. i start to doubt myself as a person with the correct values and attitude. or character, for that matter. while many ppl go overseas without feelings of guilt, im scolding myself for arranging a dive trip this weekend. and i wonder why (it is the hols afterall). i went to pick up the new dive manual today and the familiar ocean scented smell of the wet gear reminded me abt how much i want to go under again. it feels like the one place where i dont remember why im feeling like my life is in a total mess. and im pretty sure its not a novelty thing. diving is a lifestyle….

i cant seem to move forward or make any plans. like right now, all the things i need to do/want to do are like stars in the sky. there are so many dots are out there and i cant seem to connect them in a way that makes sense at this point. i have been feeling lost. angry at myself for feeling lost. angry that i have slowed down on my running/swimming regime. angry at myself for recently remembering things that i decided to let go off (i dont want to go back to that place i was anymore. i just dont.). i feel restrained that i cant really show or tell my thoughts to anyone cos everything is still undecided. i need to settle one thing at a time, and i must make sure i dont fall apart cos i still want to finish each year feeling dignified that i didnt screw up. yet it feels like i still havent gotten control of my life after learning how to rebel. lol. once you get to that point where you feel that everything else, other than what you deem is impt, is not impt, you’ll rebel. and thats not professional cos rebelling is so addictive. and it gives you an excuse to not do things that should normally be done.

it seems like im making my own rules and yet i dont have a sensing where the directions will lead me to. my current ability to do things seem far away from my own expectations of myself… where is that girl who went in with so much drive and motivation to do what she loved. im tired. though sometimes you yearn to hear the words, “you can do it girl!”, i know thats not going to make much of a difference. the strength to pull through always comes from within.

perhaps ive taken up too many things. being involved in actual outfield research, preparing for presentation at a symposium, writing a paper for a conference, starting to give more importance to my dreams and personal well being – i mean, no one has any right to say i cant do all these because it is my prerogative. but i mean…… something has got to give way isnt it….. and it cant be work. and it shouldnt have to be family. so, im not accepting any more committments outside cos this is the most i can go. so, thats it for this year. but yes, i still need to fight through this year. drag my dead-weight body to work everyday and still deliver my best cos my life is just one life. at work, i got 200 lives to answer for. so… once again, im pushing myself. and counting down too.

26 days to N level maths
30 days to end of year exam
42 days to O level sci pract
56 days to O level sci exam

all that ends in less than 2 mths……………….. i have got to do it.

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2011 in i-Reflect

 
 
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