Friday, October 31, 2008

Insights to Singaporean Teacher in Mini Bikini

The New Paper covered a story on the Singaporean primary school teacher blogger "Gwen" who posted photos of herself in mini bikini at her blog. This stirred up a debate in online forums on whether it is right or wrong for an educator to post such pictures.

According to I.Z. Reloaded, there was a NTU Assistant Professor who also posted bikini photos of herself in her blog. Although both "Gwen" and this NTU A/P were prompt to erase their blogs, their photos were already in circulation.

I remember my primary school teacher asking about our opinion if we visit bars or pubs and see our teachers in there. Her argument was that as an educator, there is an unmentioned obligation to keep an image that is appropriate for a role model.

I agree with her views. As educators, it is undeniable that students would tend to look up to them and subconsciously treat them as role models. When educators reflect a character that is in big contrast to how they carry themselves in school, a sense of betrayal and disappointment occurs in students.

It is true that teachers should also have a private life of their own. However, they are still bounded by the factor of accountability to parents. Nowadays, students spend more time with the teacher than with their parents. If parents need to set good examples for their children, teachers must set even higher standards. But what is good and what is bad?

Indeed this is debatable. Cladding bikinis cannot be said to be good or bad -- it's a freedom of choice in this free society. But if we were to consider the culture, then there might be a social norm where various behaviours are judged. Singapore is still a conservative society, and Confucian values give teachers greater pressure to conform to code of conduct.

I believe the infusion of younger teachers would gradually change the dynamics of education. Teachers just have to continue to be conscious of their private lives in the meantime...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hari Raya Aidilfiltri Youth Reception @ Eunos

26 October 2008
Auditorium, Eunos CC

More than a hundred Eunos residents celebrated Hari Raya Aidilfiltri together. As early as 7pm, residents arrived to interact with one another while eating some light snacks. The set-up of the reception had a slight romatic touch with candles.

The Guest-of-Honour for the event is Mr Lin Tze Kin PBM, Chairman of Eunos CC Management Committee.

After he delivered his speech, the dance group from Eunos MAEC performed Malay Dance. Hip Hop Dance followed up next.

Singer Irwin Kesuma delighted the audience with his voice and guitar performance.

The organising chairman, Zul, explained the meaning of Hari Raya Aidilfiltri to the audience. The audience was glued to the presentation as they anticipate the quiz that comes after it.

The rest of the audience were also rewarded with prizes for sitting on the Lucky Chairs.

At 9pm, everyone enjoyed buffet dinner together.

Today was also Chee Lee's birthday. We actually wanted to bring the cake and get him up on stage as a birthday surprise. In the end, we decided to celebrate in our usual hangout - Mac!

Friday, October 24, 2008

NUS Safety & Crisis Planning & Management Workshop for Student Leaders

24 October 2008
9am - 1pm
Office of Safety, Health & Environment

The morning drizzle did not affect the attendance of the Safety & Crisis Planning & Management Workshop for Student Leaders conducted by the NUS Office of Safety, Health & Environment.

The trainer has rich experience in this field of knowledge and shared many instances where lives and injuries could be saved. It was heartening to know that NUS is the only university in Singapore that conducts safety workshops for students. And only in NUS, there are AEDs planted all across campus!

We were divided into groups where we formulated safety plans for a given activity. During the presentation of the plans, the trainer asked questions on safety issues and triggered our minds to think of solutions.

I hope to apply my new knowledge in the future activities I'm organising or participating in.

Safety - Leave no man behind

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How You Can Get Free Publicity from the Media for Your Event

22 October 2008
Amphiview, OnePeople.SG Building

The special PAYM session for YEC members, titled "How You Can Get Free Publicity from the Media for Your Event" was conducted by Ravi Veloo, Managing Director of The Media Campus. He was previously a journalist with Singapore Press Holdings and had been awarded with Journalist of the Year from Press Foundation of Asia as well as Feature of the Year, Special Award of the Year, Headline of the Year among two dozen awards from SPH.

Ravi started by getting us to find out the unique things about the person sitting beside each of us and capture them using a reporter's mindset. Through this activity, Ravi taught us the various news angles that reporters are looking out for when sieving through the thousands of media release requests.

There were group discussions to brainstorm about creating powerful headlines.

Overall, the session was very interactive and we enjoyed hearing some experiences of Ravi when he was a journalist. Perfecting Media Releases isn't that difficult after all!

Brace Yourselves for the Storm

22 October 2008

As I open my eyes gratefully to be able to see the morning sun, the grimy economy news in The Straits Times didn't bother me much. The reporters seem to be copying and pasting the same bad news everyday for the past week. The difference perhaps lie only in the company/country being inflicted with the bad economic flu.

After collecting a deposit from a client and processing his printing job, I received a couple of calls regarding request for quotation for various printing jobs. It's that time of the year again. So little wonder why I would get such a shock later in the evening.

It's totally unfair that Lin Qiang already started receiving "Navy News" Magazine. I didn't even had one before enrolment!

After a healthy dinner with a hilarious slapstick movie "The Big Hit", I went downstairs to attend my RC meeting. Over the next 2 hours, the topic of an adverse economy popped out from time to time. One member said that companies are starting to tighten their belts and retrenchment would definitely start next year.

After the meeting, the coffee shop discussion couldn't escape the mention of the economy as well. People from different industries and various walks of life painting the gloomy picture for the coming months or even years. That's when I got a shock, not a very big one but it definitely had its impact.

I remember some wealthy soul mentioned that recessions are periods when the riches in the world are redistributed. As we tighten our belts, we should start thinking of how we can leverage on this impending crisis since recessions don't come so frequently and hopefully this will be the last to come!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Koh's Wedding @ Grand Hyatt Hotel

19 October 2008
Grand Ballroom, Grand Hyatt Hotel

My fellow RC mate, Mr Koh invited us to attend his son's wedding dinner at Grand Hyatt Hotel. He catered two buses to ferry the Eunos residents, mainly Eunos Zone '3' RC members and Senior Citizen's Executive Committee members. At 7.15pm, we left Eunos for the hotel. Mayor Zainul Abidin Rasheed (Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs) also attended the dinner.

Grand Hyatt looks really grand. I especially like the style of decoration, using black as the main colour, rather than the usual white. For instance, the table cloths, napkins and even the waiters' uniform were all black. The black combined with the candle lightings create a warm atmosphere.

Each table had a bouquet of roses (real ones!) and lining the aisle were stands of fresh roses with candles.

The gift was a keychain, consisting of a couple donning traditional Chinese wedding costume.

I felt a little uneasy when they kept changing plates after each course. Think of the amount of soap and water wasted... Anyway, got myself a glass of red wine. Overestimated my capacity and ended up getting giddy after the first glass.

There is a saying that goes that if you want to find out the different character of the people in a department, ask the toilet cleaner. And of course, if you want to check out the quality of a hotel, check out the toilet!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

PCF Eunos "Sports Rock" Graduation Concert 2008

As early as 8.45am, kindergarten and nursery boys and girls from PAP Community Foundation (PCF) Eunos donned their performance outfits and went on board the bus for their special day. The bus left for Nanyang Polytechnic where the graduation concert for the students was held.

Students and teachers at the holding area for final preparation

Following the proud achievements of Singapore in the Olympics and Paralympics, the teachers decided to make the theme of the concert "Sports Rock". All the performances would fall in line with the theme.

The Guest-of-Honour was Mayor Zainul Abidin Rasheed (Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mayor of NorthEast CDC District & Advisor for PCF Eunos). Prior to his arrival, parents and guests were shown a video on the rehearsals of the performances. The students that performed during the Eunos Metta Charity Dinner showed us their power.

After the Advisor of Graduation Concert, Mr Abdul Aziz PBM gave his welcome speech, Mayor Zainul, who just returned from a trip to Kazakstan and Moscow, shared his experience on the importance of education and human resource. He had been to NUS in the morning to attend the conferring of doctorate by NUS to SM Goh Chok Tong.

Next, the Mayor presented graduation certificates to the students.

The performances for the concert were choreographed by the teachers and performed by nursery and kindergarten students. There were 2 student emcees with the event emcee. These 2 students could read off the script and impressed the audience.

Are You Ready for This?

Short clip on the performance:

Aerobics Dance

Kungfu Panda

Ballroom Dancing

Get Your Head in the Game

I Don't Dance

Cup of Life


The finale song was "Can You Hear Me" by Enrique Iglesias.

Parents were eager to capture the precious moments which would be the beautiful memories of the young PCF Kindergarten graduates.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Love Quote

Crashed into the Politics and Government of Singapore lecture by Prof Bilveer Singh and was enthused by his rendition of the electoral politics of the island-state.

During the break, he showed the students some inspirational slides. One caught my attention.
"Love is not about two people looking at each other,
but both looking in the same direction."

It's a simple quote that sinks deep in a sea of meaningfulness. Having a political scientist talk about Love could be quite tormenting, I guess. So luckily no one seemed to step in to start defining Love and debating on the "who gets what, where and how".

Two people looking at each other is an infatuation, puppy love, short-term ecstasy. It's when both of them look in the same direction are we then talking about real Love. Going in the same direction and overcoming obstacles.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Having a Tree named after Us

14 October 2008
After recycling my old mobile phone in NUS, I finally received an email from Nokia notifying me of the coordinates of the tree that is named after me and Baohui!

Amazing. I'd be looking into how I can work with Nokia in my neighbourhood. This certificate really cheers me up.

Later in the night, Lin Qiang showed me how our plant looked like using Google Earth and did a screenshot at it.

And this Planting Certificate marks the 200th post of my Blog.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Temple Dinner @ Charn Mao Hern Kew Huang Keng (葱茅园九龙皇诚敬会)

12 October 2008

Charn Mao Hern Kew Huang Keng (葱茅园九龙皇宫) hosted a temple dinner and invited Eunos CC, so I tagged along and attended this wonderful dinner.

Lanterns covered the ceilings at the temple, illuminating the temple and giving it a grand look.

The emcee for the event is Lin Ruping (林如苹), a veteran Getai host as well as a TV actress. Singers presented their vocal beauty before the auction was held.

A large portion of the auction items were wine. There were 2 special items - a lion dance figurine and a dragon dance figurine. The money generated from the auction for these two items will be used to fund the respective groups for their coming competition. The price went to more than S$3,000. I felt puzzled when a red packet, containing lottery tickets, had its auction price upped above $1k!

After the auction, Ah Nan (阿南), Wang Lei (王雷) and Lin Ruping dominated the stage with their humorous performance and songs. They derived some jokes out of the death of Lin Li (林利) in a way that generated cheers and applause. Managed to record a video through my mobile phone, a song they sung together with another Malaysian singer.

The last performer was a very young girl who sang a song from the movie "Money no Enough 2", which I have yet found out the title. Nice rendition of the song though.

Earlier in the day, saw a funny scene. This photographer took a long time to get his desired shot of the CCTV camera. The battle of the lenses:

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It's Final. I'm Lost

12 October 2008

Grandma looked great today when I visited her. She usually would have her eyes closed when she's not feeling good. But today, she opened both her eyes wide open. Naturally, I felt calm and comforted to see that.

I don't know why but everytime I come to visit, my Aunt and the maid would repeatedly ask Grandma who am I. It's been a long time since she could figure it out. The very last time someone mentioned my name to her, she remembered and then gave a warm smile.

Today, when Aunt mentioned my name, Grandma could only repeat and then went into a blank stare. Is it painful? Definitely. I kept my big smile on for Grandma until I left.

Come to think of it, I am no longer myself ever since Grandma became unwell. My Life went into a topsy turvy. I can't figure out how I landed up where I am without the guidance of Grandma. No, Grandma did not advise me what to do, but she definitely is the beacon of strength and hope for me to do anything.

I have indulged myself to work for the large part of the day since 2 years ago. Many friends would scratch their head as to how I juggle studies, relationships, grassroots, volunteering, blogging, work, and many other activities. This had distracted me from whatever needed to be distracted.

In Political Science, I always enjoyed the notion of a "void" or power "vacuum". Without Communist ideology, what would fill the void in the minds of Chinese? Without communicating with Grandma, what would or had filled the void in me?