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Sunday, July 29, 2007


Indeed this year has been a year of blessings. To be able to receive blessings is a blessing by itself.

This year alone, I have received some full-sized beauty products merely by registering online. In disbelief? Let me show you some products I got:

Around Chinese New Year, I scored a Fancl Beauty Concentrate which costs a whopping $100+. I probably won't pay so much for something of this nature in the stores but since it was free, it was worth giving it a try.

It didn't do very much for my fine lines, but it did keep my skin taut, firm and well-mosturised for 2 months. For a $100+ product, I was not impressed.

The next 3 items I received were from a Woman's Weekly Nivea hamper. They consisted of a cleanser, mosturiser and some spot corrector serum.

In a Popular bookstore lucky draw, I won 2 free tickets to the Transformers movie which brought back truckloads of nostalgia.

A month ago, I received another full-sized product from this Japanese product, proclaiming to be an all-in-one product. Although I am usually sceptical of such claims, a free product usually means that I will use it willingly. The packaging was well-thought through but it's nevertheless a good marketing gimmick to make the consumer feel important. Anyway, this product costs a whopping $69 at Guardian.
After giving them some feedback online, guess what? They sent me another gift to thank me. Talk about good customer service. I think the Japanese win hands down.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Staying Cheerful
Reviving an old post (which was not published quite some time ago) in November last year. Sounds contradictory to my previous post? Well, it is (Since this was written some time ago). Anyway it was a reminder of this verse 'The joy of the Lord is our strength'.

Sometimes it's tough to maintain a positive disposition when everything is piling up. Most of the times I try to force a smile and try to sound cheerful. This act itself makes me feel joyful.

Just the other day, a student I met was commenting that it's going to be tough for CO to get Gold for SYF next year for the choice of song is rather bizarre. My response I gave him even took me by surprise. This was what I told him, "As long as we do our best, does it matter whether we get a Gold or not?" I believe this was the exact response I gave him.

Students being students, most of the time they only view the end results as crucial. I don't deny that. I do that all the time as well. Very often, they forget the number of hours they put into training, their perseverance, their hard work, their successes and even disappointments along the way. These setbacks and successes help make them a stronger and more resilient person to prime them for the battle. Even adults feel that way, let alone students.

I love the words from The Three Kings "When the time comes, WE FIGHT!" Indeed, every single day is a battle for all of us. Who doesn't battle the constant stress at work? Who relishes the sarcastic 'friend' who is ever ready to pounce on you for every slip of the tongue? Who enjoys being critised and critiqued all the time? In reality, these words are neccessary evil at times. Very often they allow us to reflect and grow, though these words hurt like pins.

Don't lose hope.

Don't lose heart.

When the time comes, WE fight.

Not you, not me, but we are going to do it together.

Eight months later

Trying very hard to keep up the smiles. ;)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Being Different
I'm totally exhausted and overwhelmed with all the things piling up this term. Despite having being in service for 5 years, somehow, I still lack the survival skills a good teacher needs, the inability to refuse someone who asks for help in some form and of course, still grappling with the relentless marking and endless meetings week after week after week.

Yup, I'm TIRED. Tired of all the nonsense I'm facing at the moment. While teaching may not be the most tiring job on earth, it may still remain as the most strength-zapping occupation ever. In comparison to my peers, I don't see them slogging at their computers after work, still furiously marking and keeping themselves awake at the stroke of midnight. Maybe it's just me? The perfectionist at work. If not for the grace of God sustaining me spiritually and emotionally, I probably have succumbed to temptation and would have thrown in my letter of resignation a long time ago.

Teaching to me means so much. So much more than a mere job. So much more than just trying to bring out the best in my angels. To me, teaching is a calling. Sometimes I wish I have a bottomless heart so that I can provide all the love, care and concern so many of my angels need. Sometimes I wish I have more time for lesson planning and exploring lesson ideas instead of having to slave over mindless and pointless meetings and committees. Sometimes I wish I can spend more time listening to students who need someone to speak too. Sometimes I wish I am not so affected by what I see, hear and feel. But the truth is, I am. I am just as vulnerable as you are.

I distinctly remember a close friend's husband, J, trying to dissuade me from entering the teaching profession. I was a lot younger but ten times more naive. This was the conversation in the car:

J: Are you sure you want to be a teacher? Teaching's not as easy as it seems. I have friends who quit teaching after 3 years.
Me: I've never felt so sure before. I want to be a teacher.
J: You're still young. Why not consider going into teaching after trying something else?
Me: That's precisely the point. I'm young. If I find teaching unsuitable for me after 3 years, I'll still be young when I exit after my bond.
J: Eh...you don't look nor behave like a teacher.
Me: That's why! I want to be a different teacher.
J: How different? Like GTO?
Me: Yup, something like that or even more. I want students to know that there are teachers who are different. I want to zoom into school on a Harley, make students love their lessons and change the stereotype of teachers.

Looking back, I was seriously naive. After all, how different can one be? After 5 years, I'm beginning to feel jaded, cynical and deeply disappointed. By selfish students. By unreasonable parents. By what I had set out to achieve. By what I have not achieved.

Now, I no longer feel the desire to want to be different. I no longer have the energy to throw starfish back into the ocean. I don't feel different from others at all.

Now, I'm just one of them. Just doing my job, staring vacantly into the distant, dreaming of riding on my Harley. Maybe one day, I will dare to be different so that I can break free from the chains of homogeneity.

One day.

I'm going to be different.

Monday, July 02, 2007

I Proclaim Friday DONUT DAY
Sincerity is when someone offers you a donut from Donut Factory. Yup, it's exactly what I had been lemming to try for the longest time ever, having read so many reviews from the magazines, newspapers, friends etc.

Photo taken from K's blog

The Peanut Butter-Chocolate Donut I ate

Last Fri, my cravings were finally satisfied when K came back to school, branishing her box of 12 donuts, claiming that they were only for "selected" people. Amazingly, I was one of the 12. Perhaps it was because I popped by the canteen at the right time. Anyway, thanks for the effort, K! I'm really appreciative, not because the donut was from Donut Factory, but because you spent 2.5 hours queuing up for them and taking the effort to bring it down to school for us. I certainly wish there are more angels like you around.

At around 1pm, another colleague offered me another donut. This time round, from Krispy Kreme. A student bought 6 boxes worth of donuts from Hong Kong. I had a glazed donut with an unknown filling.

Anyway, thanks for the donuts! I love them...


More pictures of puppies I hear? Here you go...