Archive for February 2008

The Leap Years

February 29, 2008

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What if you could only see someone you love only once in every 4 years? Will you continue to keep to the promise of meeting on that day every 4 years? Will you eventually get tired and give up?

Thank you TSL for inviting me to watch the Singaporean film, The Leap Years, with her and GK tonight. What a special and memorable way to spend February 29th!

Perhaps one of Dr Catherine Lim’s more noteworthy works, the tale tells of how a young couple, after being together just 2 hours on February 29th 1988, spent the next 12 years of their lives waiting to be reunited permanently with each other.

Amazingly, their two brief meetings over 8 years allowed them to develop a strange yet unbreakable bond which time was unable to chew away.

Unlike many other movies, it’s the the plot of The Leap Years and not its leading characters which captivates the audience. A simple story of a couple who kept their promise to each other. A tale of faith and trust. An adventure of love found, lost and recovered. A lesson on patience, intuition and following your heart.  

It’s a refreshing and unusual local film with stellar performance by the cast, especially Wong Li Lin and Vernetta Lopez. Grunt and bear with Qi Yu Wu’s awful English and the various minor loopholes in the plot. You’ll be pleasantly surprised, amazed, touched and engaged by the storyline. You will wipe away some tears.

Watch it.

OK?

Happy birthday, Mamee!

February 29, 2008

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It was Mummy’s birthday yesterday. We celebrated it at Crystal Jade Shaw Centre and brought home a Green Tea Red Bean cake from Four Leaves to share with everyone at home.

My aunt and I chipped in $100 each to buy her a new Nokia mobile as her birthday present. Her colleagues bought her flowers, ice-cream and Brand’s tonics. Mummy was especially chirpy and happy on her special day and she truly deserved all the special treatment!

Mummy is my favourite chef, my preferred travel companion and room mate, my shopping buddy, my huggy soft toy, my fashion and beauty consultant, my mentor, my role model, my chauffeur, my teacher, my discipline mistress, my nurse and a great woman who endured 9 months of waddling, 4 hours of pain, decades of time and money to make me who I am.

Thank You and Happy Birthday, Mamee!

Love from your bratty daughter.

Top of the world

February 28, 2008

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Dedicated to Miss W, who’s going through a rough time.

Such a feelin’s comin’ over me
There is horror in most everything I see
All the rain in the sky
Give me tears in my eyes
And I won’t be surprised if it’s a dream

Everything I want the world to be
Is now upside down especially for me
And the reason is clear
It’s because you are here
You’re the nearest thing to madness that I’ve seen

I’m on the top of the world lookin’ down on my own body
And the only explanation I can find
Is that I’ve been possessed by a strange demon called STRESS
Your negativity’s really doing me in!

Something in the wind has learned my name
And it’s tellin’ me that things are not the same
In the leaves on the trees and the touch of the breeze
There’s an endless sense of hopelessness for me

There is only one wish on my mind
When this day is through I hope that I will find
That tomorrow will be entirely different for you and me
All I need will be mine if you were gone

Get out of my body! I want my life back!

Yesterday

February 28, 2008

Holiday, all my troubles seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay
Oh, I believe in holiday.

Suddenly, I’m not half the woman I used to be,
There’s a shadow hanging over me.
Oh, holidays please come quickly.

Why they had to leave they don’t know I wouldn’t say.
They did something wrong, now I long for holiday.

Yesterday, work was a different game to play.
Now I need a place to hide away.
Oh, I believe in holidays.

Mm mm mm mm mm mm mm.

Kung-fu fighting

February 26, 2008

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 Everybody was kung-fu fighting (hu-hah!)
Those cats were fast as lightning
In fact it was a little bit frightening
But they fought with expert timing

Heng ah! Only the first three lines of Kung-Fu Fighting happened in class this afternoon. And yeah it happened as fast as lightning. The boys were settling into class noisily as usual, and I was setting up my laptop when suddenly I saw a tall Malay boy holding on to one of the Bengs.

“What’s going on?” I asked as I saw the Beng moving quickly toward a quiet Chinese boy with a clenched fist. Thank goodness the tall Malay student did not loosen his grip on the Beng, and he even persuaded Beng to go back to his seat. I thank my lucky stars.

We ended up talking about anger management. It was quite good timing since that was the topic we were supposed to be discussing anyway. I asked them how they handled stress, anger and disagreements, and not surprisingly, their answers were either FIGHT or FLIGHT.

“Fight! Fight! Fight!” the class chanted after the Beng moved back to his seat. “Stop it, you guys! Tell me one fight in history which could solve the problem,” I asked. No answer. “And now give me an example when a disagreement was resolved because you swept it under the carpet.” No answer.

After the lesson, the quiet boy stayed back to talk to me. He was full of grievances. He said Beng has been teasing him since term started and he couldn’t take it anymore. The bullying was causing him to lose sleep and concentration. His huge tears began to roll down involuntarily.

I let him unload his burden by pouring out his woes. He wiped his tears onto his sleeves. He said he wanted to change course, quit school and leave his CCA (Beng was in the same CCA).  I said, “He’s someone you hate, and you’re giving him the power to make all the important decisions for you?! Are you kidding?”

But it’s true isn’t it? We grant people who hurt us all the power to ruin our days, disrupt our sleeping patterns, wreck our appetites. We give them the power to psycho us into making choices we normally would not. We give them the power to affect how we feel and what we do. We give them the power to take away our joy and happiness.

But why? Why do we tend to get caught up in negativity? Why do we waste our tears and effort on those who are undeserving? Why do we let horrible people get us down? Why don’t we ever cry in joy that we have friends and family?

He left for home after the cathartic session. I hope it’s made him realise a few things, cos I sure did.

Sandwich and Milo

February 25, 2008

When I was in Cardiff, I would pack my own sandwich, fruit and drink to school so that I could save some lunch money. Eating out was costly, because a sandwich from the school deli was easily S$4.00 and a hot meal would cost S$9.00. A bottle of coke would set you back by $2.40.

I usually had a ham or egg sandwich with English mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise. For fruit, I would bring along an apple or a banana. And I would have a tetrapak of orange juice.

I had this for lunch every single day without fail. Even on Saturdays and Sundays, because I would be at the 24-hour computer lab working on my thesis. I didn’t have a laptop or internet connection at home. It’s a wonder how I survived!

For the past few weeks, I have only 25 minutes for lunch on Mondays due to peculiar timetabling. This means I would be stuck in class upstairs from 0830-1600, and have to stuff my face quickly in the classroom at lunchtime. I have yet to kill the timetabler, which trust me, I’ll definitely get round to when I have a bit more time.

So, it’s back to packed sandwiches and tetrapaks again. I have been having tuna sandwiches and milo for the past two weeks. Today I had to gobble down my food in front of some students who arrived early. Very unglam.

I would prefer to sit down and have a leisurely hot meal to unwind, but this arrangement, though against the Employment Act, has me reminiscing the good old days as a fervent student. Oh, I just aspire a life in academia!

PSP – Poor Social Progress

February 24, 2008

Teachers, is your most hated gadget the PSP?

Well I know it is for me. I have gradually developed such an intense hatred for this sickening device that I even loathe all the people whom I see playing it on the MRT, on the bus, at the shopping mall, anywhere. I just can’t stand the sight of it.

My class was interrupted one day when a form teacher and his student from the previous lesson came in all sweaty and panting looking for the PSP he left in the classroom. We spent 15 minutes searching everywhere and emptying students’ bags but it was nowhere to be found. That’s also when I discovered just how many students own and bring the device to school. About 10% of the class.

Quite possibly, one of my boys took it, told me he had to go to the loo and then ran off to hide it in his locker. I have no proof, but I don’t know how else it would have disappeared.

I wish the school could ban students from bringing or playing the PSP. What the hell – why doesn’t the Singapore government ban it? Just like how we banned the chewing gum. Simply because it’s a nuisance and does nothing for our kids or the society.

It’s a nightmare trying to stop students from playing it in class. And they are simply amazed with me because I recognise they are playing the minute I see their heads hanging down.

But duh! These gadgets are really doing the kids’ heads in. They don’t realise it doesn’t take a genius to know they are doing something underneath the desk, and what else could it be apart from PSPs and mobile phones? Dictionaries?

You know I wouldn’t even be so mad if they were reading newspapers or comics, because you can actually learn something from them. But PSP? It just ruins your eyesight and retards your intellectual development.

I don’t know. Maybe that’s part of the reason why the gadget generation is so poor in human communication and social skills, understanding and appreciation of art, history and literature, and are so uncouth and uncultured.

But they have strong thumbs: an absolutely useless skill which they spend every waking hour training for.