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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Let go; Move on.

stumbled upon this article.

it is good read, and it is absolutely true. Cheers to the new ‘me’. :)

10 things you must let go of today.

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2011 in i-Reflect

 

National Education 101: Deepavali Special

1) Deepavali is not Tamil New Year. Tamil New Year is celebrated on the 14th of April each year, and no it is not a public holiday because not all Indians celebrate Tamil New Year.

2) Deepavali is a Hindu Festival, not an Indian festival. (yes, there are Indians who dont celebrate Deepavali, most commonly because they are either Muslims or Christians/Catholics)

3) Indian describes a race whereas Hindu describes a religion.

4) Indians can be from various religious groups such as Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, bla bla bla, or even free thinkers. Hindus can be from different races, eg: Chinese Hindus, Eurasian Hindus, etc.

5) Tamil describes a language. Not a race nor a religion. (though in the Indian community, we often use in another context, classifying the subgroup of the community by asking for the class of language such as Malayalam, Hindi, Tamil, etc)

Let’s look at how race, language and religion can be used in sentences.

For example, “this Eurasian man spoke in Tamil.” In this context, the word Eurasian describes his race, and the work Tamil describes the language.

Another example, “this Indian man celebrates Hari Raya”. In this context, the word Indian once again describes his race and the word Hari Raya implies that he’s a Muslim.”

PS: no pun intended. :)

Enjoy the holiday tomorrow (except the O and A level kiddos, please study instead! you can have all the holidays you want after your exams!)

To all Hindus, Happy Deepavali!!!! Enjoy!!!

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2011 in i-Laugh

 

and so it comes down to this…

1) monday is O level English. many of us are finally getting a breather. we ran like mad for the last lap, panting and still going on, thinking that we were going to collapse and still going on, starting to see spots and still going on. and believe me, boy was it hard for both the students and teachers. but we managed to get there. i had this countdown thing on my hp….

well, O level sci pract finished yesterday. and now O level english is starting. one by one, the grad class teachers are going to be relinquished of their duties. and so it comes down to this. 2 weeks of O levels, and then prom and then goodbye to yet another batch of kids. whom im sure will become really great ppl someday. :)

2) i was looking through my photographs on my hp. and this one was 18 days ahead of the start of Os (which is 24th oct).

you know how some subjects can be taught it chapters/compartments. well, for many subjects though, the chapters are just a fragment of the big picture. during one night study, i drew this diagram for them, and they were shocked that i could merge DNA with digestion and circulatory system all in a single concept diagram.

hmmm… i was shocked that they still saw it as 3 different chapters. blood connects all parts of the body.. digestion releases the soluble food substances that travel in the blood that connects all parts of the body. and these soluble food substances are then assimilated when the respective cells require the soluble food substances, for example, when making new proteins.

so you see, some subjects just have to be learnt at a whole, but because we have to teach section by section, sometimes students tend to think that the chapters arent linked. but they are. and i always LOVE to see that expression on their face when they finally ‘get it’. :D i hope they did. :)

3) at some in term 3, i also took this photo of a post it pad containing the stuff i decided to write down to remind myself… after cancelling most of it, i still havent done some.

 

the year is ending and at today’s mtg, they gave us the dates for the CCA AAR, CCD AAR, EOY AAR and staff mtg dates. for the rest of the year (i think. i wasnt paying full attention. ;p) and i havent even done some of this yet… my table is in an absolute mess now. but i havent done anything to it yet cos i dont think its going to make much of a difference. the whole system of things is so messy now, that i hardly get time to sit down at my table.

its all in a day’s work. but you know what, we are all packing our belongings soon cos we’re having a reno for the staffroom. so in the end, it doesnt matter. throw all those documents you thought you’d use, but hadn’t used in half a decade. so many times when teachers clean up their place, they find students’ work dating to 10 yrs back… haha… i better get rid of things soon!

4) we went to a nursing home today. i hate going to nursing homes/old folk homes because it makes me feel really guilty abt what im (not) doing for my parents. i forgot abt that, and chose to still go for it, instead of a scenic walk through hortpark.

an indian lady i was speaking to drew this.

some others were playing ‘fishing’ games. tears welled up a few times and all i could think abt was me feeling really scared that my mom would one day be like one of them.

their thought processes reduced. asked to draw, and a pre-schooler drawing emerges from the white board. the kind of birds i used to draw in primary 1 art class. the kind of tree, the same kind of front porch, the walkway and the sun. it feels horrible to reach that state. i wouldnt send my mom to a elderly home. while i myself think that i wouldnt think much of putting myself into one, i still wont want that to happen to my mom. i hope she stays healthy forever. forever. forever.

and yet it comes down to this in the end. we will probably reach that stage one day where we have to wear adult diapers. where we have to be restrained on a wheel chair cos otherwise we’ll topple over. where staff nurses have to clap excitedly when we fix a jigsaw puzzle…….. when that day comes, i hope i’ll be able to take things positively. and that is why living life to the fullest means alot.

5) the email ive been waiting for the whole year has finally arrived. and when i feel like saying what it is, i’ll tell the whole world. but for now, ive got a gazillion things running through my mind. fear, apprehension, excitement, thrilled, $$$$$$$. im going to breathe my concerns out tonight. tomorrow, i’ll start working things out. stepping out of my comfort zone. but that is what it has come down to. realising my dreams to live my life.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2011 in i-Typical

 

Protected: SDTs on teachers day and parent meeting day

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Posted by on October 20, 2011 in i-Angry, i-Blabber

 

Nature Conservation for a Sustainable Singapore

Nature Society (Singapore)’s Conservation Conference took place on sunday.

this conference was a series of paper presentations, and i wasnt even ready for mine, finishing up my presentation when the first few speakers were sharing. wow…. im amazed with myself sometimes.

it was great to hear ppl’s views on how biodiversity can contribute to singapore’s sustainability.

some of my take aways are below.

The mangrove tree Bruguiera hainesii is critically endangered (which puts it in the same category as pandas). and Singapore is home to 4 of these trees. 2 of them are at tekong. in comparison, the whole of vietnam only has 2 trees of this species. i was actually shocked to hear the numbers. im not really a plant person, but when numbers are brought out, it strikes you that FOUR is a really small number.

someone also spoke abt invasive alien species, with the albizia tree as an example. it is a really fast growing tree. from a seed to 7m high within a year, to 16m within 3 yrs and 33m high within 5 yrs. and to think that some trees dont even fruit until a decade later. so while this tree, being non-native, and having not a very strong trunk system, tends to break off easily during thunderstorms, and have even caused damage to vehicles parked nearby as it falls. still, the arguement is that this tree is home to some species of birds that take refuge at its canopy, nesting.

someone also briefly mentioned abt a causeway link between 3 of our southern islands. i seem to have heard it before, but im not really sure where it stands at the moment. i’d think that while it allows more ppl to know know abt the islands we have (cos i just found out that some of my colleagues didnt even know pulau hantu existed, and i thought that was one of the more common islands. some didnt know abt bukom until the shell fires.), increased visitorship to these islands, if not monitored carefully, may increase stress to the marine life. i mean, there will probably be broadwalks constructed and guided tours, but… you know…

well, more presentations focussed on the ecological sustainability of Singapore’s biodiversity. i was inspired by all the records and all the work done by so many ppl. and like the previous symposium, i had some ppl approach us to find out more abt what they can do for the horseshoe crab project after my presentation. and it was really encouraging.

im not much of a sociable person, so i still kinda felt more comfortable talking to ppl i found familiar, but i think, meeting ppl is a skill i got to learn because networking is soooo important. sharing of information and knowledge and ideas and etc is so important in the nature circle. im inspired and i have a whole new perspective on symposiums and conferences. these are where ppl of similar interests gather to share their views.

must commend NSS for coordinating this conference and doing a great job.

ps: something made me reaaaaaaaaaally envious though. i wish i had gotten that $700 Leica Binoculars in that lucky draw!!!!!!! i want!!!!

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2011 in i-Bio, i-Learn, i-Marvel

 

nature enthusiasts gather at 3rd BioD Symposium

the third Biodiversity Symposium happened at NUS on almost a month ago.

it was my first time being surrounded by so many ppl who were all experts in their field… it was an amazing sharing session with many experienced people sharing what they knew. as nostalgic as it was going back to NUS, i actually really enjoyed the short 10-min straight to the point presentations we had throughout the day!

Ria’s to-the-point presentation was so impactful, no one could say there was no marine life in singapore. you can hear her presentation here, at 24 minutes into the video.

I CANT WAIT FOR THE NATUAL HISTORY MUSEUM TO OPEN!!!! singapore’s very own! :) the presentation on the natural history museum can be heard here. its the first 10 mins of the video.

and there were many other presentations that were to informative. the coral spawning presenter’s ‘sex and the sea’ was also interesting.you can hear the presentation here, at 25 minutes into the video.

the presentation on the new eco-link linking the central catchment area to bt timah great and we learnt about the effects of fragmentation. we learnt of plans for sungei buloh (i had mixed thoughts abt that though…)

the dialogue sessions after each segment of presentations were really really good. people asked questions, many people answered each others questions with an aim to share ideas and clear misconceptions. but what struck me the most was that there really really was a lack of importance given to TRUE biodiversity lessons in schools. the gap is too wide and between primary schools where biod is introduced and university.

seemingly, this symposium was brought together within a couple of months. but so beneficial it was, there were so many questions raised by ppl who genuinely wanted to know more / make a difference.

new knowledge gained, new ideas forged, new possibilities of collaborations.

after the end, we had 2 ppl who came up to me to ask abt volunteering and collaborating with us on the horseshoe crab project. perhaps that is why presentations are so important. it allows different interest groups to know where the others are doing. spark off more interest and ideas and they can work together. it is so interesting how sharing of information can interest potential collaborators and ppl who can give ideas on how to further improve a project. im glad i presented. and i was really pleasantly encouraged. :)

got to commend NParks and NUS on setting up the third biodiversity symposium.

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2011 in i-Bio, i-Marvel

 

“Dolphins are always smiling; it is nature’s greatest deception” Mr Ric O’ Barry

many many months have passed since the campaign went public. on Sunday, Ric O’ Barry touched down at Changi Airport to spend a few days here explaining the need for the campaign and hoping that RWS will at least have a chat with him. on tuesday, ACRES arranged for a dialogue session with him. well, the truth is, as excited as i was, having this wonderful once in a lifetime opportunity to meet this man, i knew we were gathering for a very sad reason. and just like what was mentioned during the Biodiversity Symposium, the target audience we would have loved to see wasnt there. members of the public who dont know what this issue is all about should have turned up. fans of RWS who wonder why some of us are petitioning for the release of the 25 miserable dolphins should have turned up. but yet again, it was those who didnt need convincing who turned up.

many of us have been writing to RWS for replies addressing the concerns we have over the plight of the remaining dolphins. Ric wrote a letter too. not one, not two. and yet, RWS claims they never received the letters. ACRES wrote in to RWS asking for a mtg. RWS declined a mtg with him, saying it felt no need for a debate. well, we know they have something to hide because they refuse to alleviate our concerns by answering the questions.we know they have something to hide.

ACRES has evidence of how dolphin training is happening in the tiny enclosure before it is brought to RWS in 2012. this is what RWS needs to do to train the dolphins before they appear in front of the millions of inhumane audiences who smile at them being tortured.

dolphins are social creatures. once again, i say, they NEED vast oceans to swim the distances and at that speeds. they do flips and turns and blow bubbles and play with things, but NOT at the instruction of the trainers who refuse to feed them unless they do the tricks. they are deprived of the sounds/currents/interaction they get in the wild. “the primary sense of dolphins is sounds. putting them in a concrete box is a sensory deprivation” they said there will be no dolphin shows, but they said there will be exercise sessions for dolphins which the visitors to RWS can see. why twist words when the ultimate objective is still to get ppl to pay money to watch dolphins? so tell me which part of dolphins shows does not reek of animal cruelty? “Why would they go forward with such a bad idea that is so obviously wrong?”

Even CNN covered the news.

yet RWS does not want to reply to the concerns raised. why hide if they are sure that their cause of captive dolphins is for education and conservation is ethical? “Real education is about knowing all the reasons and making an educated decision” so here’s pleading RWS to have a discussion, learn the concerns and consequences and make the right ethical decision.

ppl did ask whether dolphins stand a better chance living longer when kept captive. well, the reply was that if you were to be stuck in a room (you cant leave, obviously) with food delivered to you everyday. you would survive. there’s no question about that. surviving is not an issue. but surely you’d want to go out for a walk someday. talk to friends perhaps. enjoy the wind. so, “dolphins may survive in captivity. but its not about the quantity of life.. its the quality of life that matters.” 

and for those who think that they might never have the opportunity to see dolphins upclose. well, there are ALOT of animals you might not get to see upclose he said. does it mean that everytime you want to see an animal from the wild, you got to capture it and bring it down and cage it up and exhibit it? ppl got to learn to curb their demands. there has to be a balance between interest and what can be achieved. a positive example of how wild animals can be enjoyed is whale watching. it seems that more money has been made from whale watching tours than killing whales through all the years of history.

dolphins are one of the most intelligent animals and they should NOT be kept captive. it is pure animal torture and is totally unethical. Ric described it as one of Nature’s Greatest Deception, that the dolphins are always appearing as though they are smiling. but in fact, they are under alot of stress. stress that could lead them to death. and 2 have already died.

RWS has already made alot of money in the first half of this year (S$500m if i remember correctly), and they made this much without having the dolphins around. and they will continue to make this much without the dolphins. they dont need the dolphins to make money. so i think now it is just a matter of who wins this fight. and we need help. staying silent does not help. if you understand the situation and realise that captive dolphins is pure animal torture, then speak up.

1) write to RWS (politely) and ask them to release the dolphins.

2) boycott RWS

3) spread the word to ppl you know, make them understand.

4) post on FB, take the photo petition, sign the petition

5) follow the website for latest updates

do something (legally of course).

MasterCard which had announced discounted prices to RWS has taken it back. and has said that it does NOT support the marine life park at RWS.

“one brick at a time” said Ric. and we hope that too. as consumers, if we refuse to pay for the ticket to the MLP, they will lose money and be forced to reverse the situation. we do have the power.

please help to support the cause. dolphins are meant to be in the wild. it makes no sense that ppl can sit at seats and clap at dolphins being tortured. please spread the world.

RWS, please let the dolphins go!

*the bold statements were said by Ric O’ Barry and Louis Ng

 

the following are media coverage of the Ric O’Barry’s Visit

Asian Scientist

The Online Citizen

Yahoo News

Pets Magazine

Singapore Press Holdings

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2011 in i-Cry, i-Pray, i-Sad, i-Twinge, i-Wish

 

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