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Friday, December 30, 2005

Perhaps it was due to school reopening jitters.

Perhaps it was due to exhaustion after a long day of painting banners.

Perhaps it was due to the news I received yesterday.

Anyway, I had a rough time last night, tossing and turning in bed, trying my utmost to sleep but to no avail. The last time I checked my handphone for the time, it was 5.15 am.

Yes, I slept at 5.15 am last night.

Perhaps it was because I was thinking too much. It was no use trying to quieten the hyperactive brain of mine. I tried coaxing my brain cells to cease all activities but somehow I failed. My brain cells were overactive and firing like mad last night as I looked in envy at my brother who was already deep in slumber.

Perhaps it was the serenity of the night that allowed me to ponder clearly over the path I am going to take next year. There were probably too many things on my mind but the stillness of the night was surprisingly therapeutic and allowed me to reflect comprehensively. I was (and probably still is!) someone who can think, work and study better at night.

I have never felt so lost yet so sure that there was a purpose in my inability to sleep last night.

Perhaps it was the still of the night that was reassuring. I felt totally relieved when I woke up at 10 am this morning, knowing what I am going to do.


Looking back at my entry in Dec 2005 last year, I decided to relook my resolutions I had set for myself.

Remember these?
My resolutions for 2005:
1) I hope to complete most of my work in school instead of bringing them home. This is so that I can spend more quality time with my family and friends.

Not really fulfilled. Need to work on this resolution in 2006 since the new school is so much closer to my home.

2) Learn new strategies on how to make my lessons more exciting and experiential for all my new angels.

Haha. I would say this year has been good in terms of innovative teaching and learning. Together with E, we tried to make EL lessons more fun for the angels. However, I am still not satisfied. More work on this next year, with emphasis on Maths lessons since I would be taking on more Maths classes next year.

3) Allow students to take up more responsiblity in their own learning(Still thinking of how to do this).

I think getting students to take responsiblity in their own learning is not an easy task. I believe it's painful for the students in the beginning but I always emphasize on the fact that students need to take control of their learning.

4) Get a new hair cut.

Done this so many times. I guess 2005 is memorable because of this.

5) Lasik my eyes (Still deliberating whether or not to perform lasik).

Postponing this to 2006 as I am still waiting for an ideal moment and for the price to go down even further. I really hope I don't chicken out on this!

6) Exercise more to get a trimmer and leaner figure.

2005 has been a year of sloth for me. I believe I have put on quite a bit of weight. Come 2006, more exercise for a healthier me! I don't believe in dieting and abstinence of food at all.

7) Learn to relax and not over-panic.

Probably after 3 1/2 years of teaching, I have learnt to be more patient and react calmly to situations. Perhaps after dealing with 1001 emergencies, the other situations seem so trivial in comparision.

8) Relate more to students on a personal level.

I hope I managed to do this, especially to my angels in my home class, CO, the classes I teach. This is something that only these angels will know.

More resolutions for 2006:
1)Put God first, all the time, anytime, everytime.
2)Focus on improving my teaching pedagogy.
3) Value-add to students' learning
4) Keep my tresses long.

For my blogders, I hope 2006 will be a year of transformation for you.

For my angels, I know you are no longer angels from 1E1 and 1E2 so I would be doing some spring-cleaning to my links, so let me know if you want your blog page to be linked to mine. Put in your best in whatever you do.

Happy New Year!

A sleepless Nana signing off

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Spring Cleaning and books
I have been going back to school these 2 days for 2 reasons.
1) To attend Staff Meeting
2) To unpack my boxes and decorate my table.

Yes, you have not read it wrongly.
I decorated my table. Some people may find this ludicrous but decorating my table is a yearly ritual I take personal pride in. Since I would be spending at least 50% of my day in school, therefore having my personal space makes a difference to my teaching life. What can be more aesthetically pleasurable than to have my favourite items to ogle at while at work? Haha, don't misunderstand. By this, I am not talking about the male teachers. I was pretty satisfied with my work this time round. Of course there were some boo-boos when the plastic wrapper I had brought to school was way too small for my table. I then went round the school like a mad woman, hunting for a 1-m long plastic wrapper. I only found it when I went to the shops situated opposite the school.

Since you are at my blog, I shall let you have a sneak peek at my table in Staff Room 5.

Remember this? A picture of my table last year

Tata, my masterpiece after 2 hours.

The mighty transformation

Here's what I have on my table. These are the things I absolutely adore and cannot resist!

We have Mango models strutting their stuff

MAC postcards and of course, reminders that God is working in my life

Gorgeous, right?

Anyway I have been doing some reading this holidays so I decided to put up some books I have read.

The boxed set I wanted

I wanted these but they turned out too dear for my wallet so I ended up with the version below, at $23+ instead.

The cheaper version I bought

Are you creative?

A pretty inspiring read.

Timeless Wisdom & Foolproof Strategies for Making the Most of Life's Challenges & Opportunities

For me to recharge and prepare myself for 2006 and beyond!

The course I attended earlier this month Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Hi everyone

Merry Christmas! May all your wishes come true.
Enjoy the remains of the holidays! *evil grin*


Monday, December 19, 2005

Of Leadership and Integrity
I was reading the article on the NKF fiasco reported by HC today. I must admit that the article was brutal. Brutally honest. In fact, all the facts were laid out one by one, stark naked on the many pages of The Straits Times. In disbelief, I read about one ridiculous justification after another from the old NKF. It's sad how an abuse of public funds can occur unnoticed. LA study trip(What study trip? To study can-can girls you mean), first class air tickets, gold-plated taps, encashing unused leave, inflation of subsidy claims, getting NKF to pay for wife's cashcard? All these and more are ridiculous!

It's simple ridiculous how a leader can assume a leadership position, given top-notch responsiblities to handle millions of dollars and yet cannot showcase integrity. How can one abuse the trust of the public by lining his own pockets? Indeed, I always believe that integrity and leadership should go hand-in-hand. They are not two separate entities. Imagine a person who is extremely capable, can help raise the company to the next level but short of a clear conscience. I shudder just imagining the possibilities.

I believe that one should always hold on to the values and integrity. For without these, the person would only be an empty shell. I guess this article is a wonderful reminder to each and every one of us that we should lead a principled life.

Think about what I just wrote.

A disgruntled Nana signing off

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Indulgence...is Bad!
It's been pretty long since I last updated my blog, considering that it's the holidays and that I have so much time to blog. These last 5 days have been spent on feasting and indulging myself.

14th: CO chalet & BBQ

It was a great bonding session for all CO members and teachers alike. The chalet we had was Changi Aloha Chalet B, which had an open veranda, loads of space to run around and was only 400m away from the sea. Set in an idyllic location, everything was almost perfect with the exception that the chalet was a mosquito-infested region! No kidding here. The minute one remains still, the bloodsuckers will land on one's skin. As a result, we armed ourselves with mosquito coils and repellant. We wiped the repellant shelves clean of repellant. I can almost see the shopkeeper grinning from ear to ear after our purchase. Anyway, the climax was when a rat ran into the chalet at around 3 am in the morning. As I was trying to sleep on a bed, I was shocked to hear screams of "Rat, rat" from the living room outside. I was pretty curious and wanted to take a peek but decided against it as I was afraid that the rat would dart into my room instead.

15th: 2E7 BBQ at Pasir Ris Park

I would definitely say that the 2E7 was a definite success. You must be wondering how I was going to eat any BBQ chicken wings the next day immediately after a BBQ. Well, I didn't know myself. However, I must admit that the BBQ was extremely well-planned, thanks to F and S. The chicken wings the students bought from NTUC were extremely well-marinated abet a bit on the saltish side. As I even told some of the angels that I could chew the wings right to the bone. Yup, it was that delicious! I am really grateful that the angels took care of the BBQ entirely, buying the ingredients, co-ordinating the BBQ, booking the pit, starting the fire, cooking the food... I was greatly impressed that everyone chipped in to help, be it to start the fire, toasting marshmallows on a tiny pit or even to keep the fire going. I must say these angels have grown so much within this one year in terms of maturity and taking on responsiblities. In my heart, I was deeply touched. Sadly, the only things lacking were the other members who could not make it to the BBQ.

16th: Steamboat Dinner with family in celebration of Dad and Mum's birthdays

Having missed Dad(8th) and Mum's (10th) birthday celebrations, we(the family) decided to come together for a family dinner that Friday night. Being the only child that is working, I was the one to give the treat (not that I mind, of course!) We shelved our original plans to go Tung Lok for a simpler, cosier restaurant near East Coast Road. We invited Mama Poh and C along to share the joy. Surprisely, the dinner turned out to be pretty affordable. It merely cost $100+ for 7 of us when I had intended to fork out $400+. I guess Dad saved me some money. Thanks Dad!

18th: X'mas gathering at Auntie Mary's place

Wow! Auntie Mary(a church friend) seems to surpass herself each time I visit her for Christmas. I was rather taken aback at the amount of food as I stepped into her front porch. It was pretty amazing(and still is) what she and her maid could manage to cook up in a day for 30 people. It was culinary heaven and the sight and smells of the food held me spellbound. We had steamed assorted vegetables, chicken pie, seafood pasta with generous portions of prawns and mussels, turkey with cranberry sauce, potato gratin with cheese and bacon and stolen.

Mama Poh brought along her signature honey-baked ham, a whooping 8.9 kg's worth. It was a sight to behold, the ham i mean. I have never in my life seen such a huge ham before. A 4-kg ham can last my family for 3 months but two-thirds of the ham were devoured in no time at all by the hungry adults. I bet it took a lot of effort and strength to whip the ham into shape. I heard that Mama Poh didn't even have the strength to lift the ham from the pot. It must have been a work of love, I believe.

I felt that I was abusing my already stretched tummy when Auntie Mary handed me some tiramisu that was almost impossible to resist. Earlier, I helped to decorate the tiramisu with strawberries so I guess that was my reward for my hard work. Even before I finished the tiramisu, Auntie Joyce handed me a slice of decadent, extremely sinful triple chocolate fudge cake. By then, my stomach was so bloated but I managed to make space for this i-wonder-how-many-calories slice of fudge cake. I saw some apple crumble and ice-cream but my poor stomach was too abused to take any of it.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

To Touch and be Touched
Here's a poem I wrote for my 2E7-ians when I was at TECC some time back. It is specially dedicated to my 40 angels in 2E7. I put it up some time again but removed it as I thought it was pretty mushy. Anyway, I thought the angels deserve the accolade so here it is again. From the bottom of my heart, I present A Dedication to 2E7

A Dedication to My Home Class 2E7

It’s amazing how we much we had transformed.
From the time we first met
41 strange faces (including mine)
Met each other for the first time
Discomfort and silence occupied the entire room.
This did not last long.
Soon, unfriendly stares and awkward smiles
Were replaced quickly by laughter and comfort in each other’s presence.
It’s truly amazing
How we fought
How we encouraged each other
How we bonded together
How we bickered
And made up.
How firm friendships were forged
And how much you held fast to it.
I saw a tinge of sadness
On the faces of many on the last day of school.
This goes to how much 2E7 meant to you.
As much as it meant the same to me.
While I was the encourager in the beginning
I was much encouraged by the level of maturity of many in the class.
As much as I was the teacher,
You made me feel young again (I’m not very old anyway).
Ever-inspired by your readiness for actions,
Your zest for learning
And your zeal for life
I was ready to fight the battle together with you this year
To help pave the way for your streaming.
Each individual is unique and gifted in his own way.
Perhaps this is the reason why the class is so special.
I love to inspire this class
For it first inspired me.
It’s sad that I would not be seeing most of you next year
However, when our paths cross,
Do not forget to say a warm hello or give a silent wave
For memories of you 40 angels will be deeply etched in my heart.
These indelible memories will never be forgotten.
2E7- Thank you for the music!
This music will never fade….

It's About Time
Wow, it has been a month since I last blogged. Honestly, as mentioned in my last blog, I have kept myself busy attending courses and keeping myself occupied with lots of shopping, making jewellery and of course have loads of fun meeting up with friends. I am now on an official shopping ban after the endless warehouse sales that I have been to (Giordano and Loreal) and being tempted by the luxurious MUST-BUY giftsets by MAC and Laneige. I casually mentioned the idea of a make-up ban for 1 year to my brother in the car last night. The conversation went like this:

Me: I think I need to save more after having spent so much on make-up this month. I am going to put myself on a 1-year make-up ban!!!
Bro: Are you sure you can resist the temptations?
Me: Hmmm 6 months?
Bro: I don't think that is possible. *he sneered*
Me: Well, how about 1 month then? *in total desperation*
Bro: We shall see about that.

So there you are, I currently have a 1-month make-up ban. So dear friends, if you see me looking wistfully or longingly at any make-up items, kindly whisk me away from evil temptations before me.

Here are some of my creations from a glass workshop I attended last month. We had to learn to cut pieces of glass using the tools provided. I especially like the glass work on the 3 dolphins.



The Finale

Some glass work

My glass work

A close up

My stained glass creation Posted by Picasa