Archive for April 2008

Yes but no but yes but…

April 30, 2008

I prayed and hoped so much that this would happen.

I put my heart and soul into doing it, and into showing what I’ve got.

I wanted it. I prayed every night.

And now it happened.

And suddenly I am overwhelmed by terror and anxiety.

Suddenly I am afraid and unsure. I want to run away and not face it.

I should have listened to R.

“Be careful what you wish for, because you may get it.”

Arrrrrrrrghhhhhhhhh.. howwwwwwwwwww?

Update: Just got off the phone. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Stay tuned.

Stickers and syringes

April 29, 2008

A few weeks ago I started a reward system for that difficult engineering class which made me cry every lesson. You’d think that at 17 and 18 years old, kids won’t care so much about collecting stickers from teachers anymore, but we are so wrong! Kids are kids and kids luuurve stickers big time! (even the Ah Bengs!)

Each week, I assessed the students’ behaviour based on the Terms and Conditions listed in the reward card. Then, if I find that the student has really tried to follow the rules, I would give him/her a sticker. An accumulation of three stickers entitles them to a Mystery Gift. The next three stickers they accumulate get them a second Mystery Gift. And then, if they do well enough to get the last set of stickers, I would take them to Swensen’s.

It was a surprisingly good lesson I had last week. Students were generally pretty hyped up about this sticker system because I was going to give out the first Mystery Gift. Barely thirty minutes (as compared to the usual 45 mins) into the class, I had the whole class nicely seated in their chairs.

Somebody’s mobile phone rang. “Oh oh teacher, he didn’t switch off his phone. No sticker for him.” One boy came late. “Oh oh teacher, he’s not punctual. No sticker for him.” I smiled at how cute they were at taking this system seriously.

You wouldn’t believe it, because I didn’t believe it. We started on our assignment. It involved writing two pages of job application letter. I didn’t know how they’d take to that much writing. Oh but lo and behold, they actually sat down and did it. There were even quiet moments in the otherwise crazily noisy class. All were writing, thinking, carefully putting their letters together.

I thought they wouldn’t be able to do it and wanted to give them an easier version of the assignment, but I am thankful that I was too lazy to create that version. Why was I silly enough to think they could not do it? Why didn’t I realise it was a question of ‘would’ and not ‘could’?

Later, I gave out the Mystery Gift – syringe-shaped pens bought from Bangkok. They were very well-received. Many of them don’t bring pens to class so I hope by giving them a pen with an interesting design, they would not chuck it away like any other. 

Those who didn’t get enough stickers to exchange for the pen crowded around my table to plead with me. I told them if they wanted it, they had to follow the rules. I hope this would motivate them to want to do well in order to collect the stickers.

I know the miraculously good behaviour may be just coincidental or one-off but at least now I no longer have the urge to vomit everytime Thursday comes around.

The heat

April 28, 2008

Paralysed me

Willed me into inactivity

The burning sun

34 degrees

Welded every joint together

Unable to think or function

Or even move an inch

I just laid there

Handicapped by the afternoon heat

The humidity

The dense air

My head heavy and empty

My eyes fought and fluttered

But gave in to drowsiness

Can you keep a secret

April 27, 2008

Were you ever betrayed by friends or even family members who can’t keep secrets? When I was still in the PR agency, I was hurt when I found out my ex-colleague failed to keep my plans about furthering my studies to herself. She even went on to tell my ex-bosses, who later came to question me.

Why do we share our secrets with others if they are meant to be secrets? Aren’t we shooting ourselves in the foot? Why can’t we just keep things to ourselves? Why do we get angry when we tell someone something and s/he in turn tells somebody else? Why do we tell people, “eh keep it to yourself ok?” if it’s something not meant to be told?

There are too many rumours and secrets circulating around the workplace. People get hurt when you don’t tell them your secrets or when their secrets get passed around like a glossy magazine.

Why keep secrets?

Everyone should just issue daily press releases to each other on their plans, history and updates. That way the trashy ones won’t have any exclusive stories or gossip to cover.

Either that, or don’t even trust anyone. Zip your mouth.

I like boring

April 27, 2008

I spent my Saturday wrapped in my flowery sheets, cuddling my superduper smelly 15-year-old bolster (I’ve given it a new checkered cover), holding my hair up with a polka-dotted hairband, daydreaming in bed with my eyes closed, or reading with eyes wide open.


Home therapy

April 26, 2008

The Girls’ Home moved to Macpherson some months ago and today was their official opening. I was initially reluctant to go in this blazing heat but decided I should show my support. I arrived in the middle of the worship session and was immediately greeted by a loud “Jiejie!” from one of the girls, JiaJia. Seeing how happy she was to see me was already well-worth the effort.

Later I was moved to tears as I watched them sing on stage and pray with the guests. I am happy to see they have come this far despite their struggles. I am especially proud of Dee, one of our ex-Sports Management student who was once a victim of abuse but now works full-time at the Home to help organise different sports classes for the girls.

They showed me around the Home and took me to see Doctor Fish, which come up to feed on the dead skin on your hands and feet when you put them in the water. I had a go at this hand spa therapy. It was pretty cool, knowing you were providing food and getting a beauty treatment in return! 

I also got to meet Waffles the Rabbit, who looks exactly like the brown bunny I wanted to keep. Oh he is such a gentle bouncy Peter Rabbit lookalike the girls kept.


I had a unexpectedly pleasant morning, much to my own surprise. It just made me realised how much I’ve missed out during these weeks where due to laziness, I’ve been out of action.

Grandma’s remedy

April 25, 2008

I came home last night deadbeat and had to lie on the sofa for a few minutes before heading upstairs to my room. Grandma asked me what was wrong. I said I was tired. I felt listless and running out of steam.

This evening, I came home and Grandma made me American ginseng (yew sim) soup with wolfberries. It’s supposed to boost my energy levels and help me keep an alert mind. Homemade hot broths and watery porridge are my comfort foods.

Nothing soothes me more than a piping hot bowl of bittersweet herbal ginseng soup, made with Grandma’s love and smells of home.