Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Two sides of a coin

My mind is clearer now.

I just read an article at the Review/Forum section of today's Straits Times (ST). Its about American individualism, generally called Democracy. Now I'm a bit lost and confused on who to side you see. Its Communism VS Democracy again. For me, Singapore's style is king. In between. I have shown some resistance against democracy mostly because I feel it breeds selfishness, but I really failed to see the other side of the coin. The article aptly termed it 'DIY'ism. Do-It-Yourself. Then I realized, that this individualism also breeds self-reliance and resourcefulness (as a reult of self-reliance) which has actually spurred America to be the most innovative and inventive country in the late 20th century.

In fact, a few days ago, a futurist also interviewed by ST shared his opinion on American education. Where the weaker students are often left to fend for themselves while brighter students are given the best resources and most attention to nurture them into the great minds of today. Creativity and Innovation is most often emphasized in class. Meanwhile in Asia, the school is more 'communist' in a sense that weaker students are given extra help, and stronger students 'obviously doesn't need help'. Syllabus is memorized and crammed, knowledge is power. Both these types of education have merits and weaknesses.

Just thought I'd share my view on this because I'm quite interested in this topic.
Examination breach for pic

Monday, 28 June 2010

Before it starts, before it ends

This should have been posted yesterday?

I don't know, I've been avoiding responsibility lately, I tried to bring myself to study but only managed a small portion of my syllabus. (Argh I sound like Rifdi's blog =X) I think maybe I should drop core geography... I don't know what to do, I think I at least need a tutor. I love geography just as I would history but in a different way. I just can't find it, that spark that managed to life my CH grades to A2. However for core geography, I'm missing something that allows me to think clearly, logically and not panic, I used to do that for CH, but one day I don't know, I just sort of found ENLIGHTENMENT SIOL. Yeah something like that. I can answer all the geography questions in class. I don't know, I think I got bored of the subject! T.T I'm lost and tomorrow school starts... For the first time I finished all my homework super early. (I had a schedule and stuck to it...oh and I thought we had to go back school for fourth week)

BTW I didn't post it, but I went out with only my younger brother to Raffles Lighthouse for my dad's company's family day, it was kinda fun, wish my dad had followed though. I won a prize for a drawing contest (Lol!) For once I didn't feel like I NEEDED to do anything, so art just came naturally... They should try that in AEP more... Too bad it was raining (EXCUSES FOR BAD PHOTOGRAPHY). And people were actually laughing at my jokes, you know, not just the majority kids screaming around, some teenagers who were practically sulking the whole way also did it. I think its kinda disrespectful to sulk and be apathetic like that. I mean, your there, why not make the most of it? At least they came though, I heard one of my dad's colleagues mentioned that his children didn't want to come cause they had some 51' inch television set at home and a plethora of video games. But you know, I think those more or less supplement and not supply your entertainment or leisure needs. Cause when it comes down to it, I'd choose friends and family over them any day.

Navy blues? A Landing Ship Tank faces and ventures into wide expanse of open sea.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Family comes first

This post was meant to be up yesterday. I'll explain later.

The choir is like a family to me. (Or am I just saying that to fit the title? lol)

I woke today feeling estranged, I hadn't thought about handover in quite some time. My mind automatically switched to ISG. The last time I might lead my section. My father drove me to school as usual. As I crossed the PE department, there was a weird look (or so I thought) on everyone's faces as I walked past them towards the field. Sigh, somehow I knew Alif would shave without us. Thought he was being a bit extra cause well, it wasn't a committee thing anymore, its just an Alif thing now. Lo and behold, Rifdi would follow. We played our sports soon after without a hitch and had a lot of fun. Felt guilty I missed the soccer match where Altos played Sops cause I was playing badminton with Kenneth, Eugene and Isma Harif in the hall which was addictive haha. Anyway, I had played for all the Alto games, and I thought soccer was the sport I would be least helpful anyway. I scored twice in basketball, 6 times in badminton (one set only) and thrice in captains ball, so I felt accomplished by the end of ISG. I tried to cheer the altos up though we lost nearly every game against the sops. Sigh, Jon Lo wasn't really helping haha. Well, I'm sure everyone had fun.

Handover. I don't know, I still feel absolutely weird, detached. Its like my resignation hasn't sunk in yet. I felt that Rhapsody was sort of a closure to me. Technically if you close something twice you'd open it. lol, just a weird analogy. Well, as expected, announcing the ASL for alto was met with reserved applause, I think its quite clear no one knew who Hung was. I hope I didn't make a bad choice. It left me hanging even more. A sort of "what have I done?" feeling. Before I knew it, it was over. And there I was, my collar feeling very very empty, badge-less. Went out with the ex-chairman/ex-bass section leader, chairman, records manager, vice-chairman, Assistant soprano section leader, student conductor/tenor section leader, ex-ex student conductor, ex-ex secretary, ex-ex bass section leader.. Err yeah, I think that's all of them. That's where it happened. Aaron, "I really miss talking to you guys"... That's when it sunk in. My heart was a mess with thoughts and feelings. I'm going to miss all of you.

That wasn't the end of my day. Alif initially invited us to go watch Toy Story 3, I obviously turned them down, not just because I was attending my Brother's commissioning that evening, but because, I didn't want Alif and Gang to make jokes and screw up an innocent show for me.

Nope, I rushed home to shower and change and get ready for my Brother's commissioning as a naval officer. Haiz, I don't know if he knows, but I miss him at home. That's sort of why I look forward to the weekends, when he comes back from camp. I like sleeping in his FengShui filled room though lol. In the car, got a chance to talk to my brother's old friend Kenneth who used to live a stone's throw away from us. I remember when I used to get really excited when he and Hui Neng, my brother's other best friend in primary school and whom also lived very close came over to play. At that time, I was excited to wow them with my impressive Halo and gaming skills, you know, like any kid would; to impress your elder brother and his friends. Now, I've grown and am more independent. (hmm a bit egoistic there) So instead, I had an intellectual talk with him in the car. I wonder if he was surprised. Actually, he had a big impact on me. I actually have a new resolve now. He confirmed my handover by talking about my next path in education. He told me, RJC. And he had a lot of good points. Including one I never thought about, connection. The people in RJ may one day be the presidents, the CEOs the ministers that I KNOW if I go there. It has a lot of benefits haha, it seems like corruption but thats not really the point. The point is that, since they know you beforehand, and in school they've seen you work hard and have the capability, they might just hire you because they can trust you, as they've seen you work in a project for school before you get it? So its not favouritism so much. Plus Jia Lok seems to be aiming for there! That's always a bonus, having Jia Lok around haha. Don't know if I stand a chance though, I only can minus 2 points for CCA. So my resolve for O levels has strengthened. Anyway back to my brothers commissioning

Of course, the usual marching and pledges which by the way were awesome, I couldn't capture all of them so I'll show you some snippets. By the way, this the first time I using the video function on my D90, so the camera work is UBER noob. Video quality isn't that good after uploading onto youtube (private viewing)

The National Anthem, in contrast to how most schools sing it haha.

The tossing of hats, now official graduates. They played lady gaga songs after that what the.... lol

After that we had dinner with a lieutenant (Lief) colonel. BTW in case you don't know: 2nd Lief (My brother) ---> Lief ---> Captain (My father) ---> Major ---> Lief Colonel ---> Colonel ---> Full Colonel ---> Brigadier General ---> Major General ---> Lief General ---> Full General ..... Eh Marcus correct me if I'm wrong lol

My brother, the naval officer. I can't tell you how proud I am...

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Gaming is more than fun

You see, I like games that actually help in other ways most of the time.

A study conducted by a university in cambridge found that Runescape players work harder and are more patient. (Source: Wikipedia) I even met a singaporean player who got distinction in economics for his A levels playing Runescape to test economic theories because of the elaborate market based system. And for those of you from VS who took the Chemistry prelim, you would have known copper and tin make bronze if you played Runescape. Yes there is fantasy, but thats understandable or it wouldn't be a game anymore.

Age of empires and mythology thought me quite a broad range of history and to learn to like it even. You see, in age of mythology, if you click a unit's info icon, you can read the history of that unit. For instance, clicking on the hoplite: "The predominate Greek soldiers of antiquity was the Hoplite, named after the great round shield he carried into battle...In battle they would close with the enemy as a pushing wall of shields..." Each building or character has about a 150 word paragraph on its history or legend.  I'm not saying everyone who plays the game will get smarter about it, because its different for everyone. For some, its just a game and don't even care about the story-line. For others, they are unable to tell fact from fiction.

Now to sim city 4. Sim is short for simulation, which is what the game really is about, a city simulation. Some can even argue that it isn't a game. The lucky thing for me was that I picked this game up at the start of secondary 4. It did quite a bit of wonders for my human geography. I found that I was more interested and engaged in class than most others. Although I did not fair well in major examinations (I think i have a time management problem), I could score quite well for the class test and projects. Why? Well, Sim city 4 is pretty realistic (being a simulation). Although you seem to be in control, a lot of things are happening in the background of the game. The time frame is also pretty realistic, (don't expect to build skyscrapers overnight). It taught me too, that many cities start as dirty dingy hell holes and that making money while providing civiv services is seriously difficult. I can't elaborate too much (or it will take me forever to finish).

Which is why I'm getting concerned at the plethora of games nowadays that aren't putting games in a good light. Games like left 4 dead 2, red alert 3, Starcraft 2, etc. A lot of parents are concerned when their children game, and I can understand why. Thankfully I can convince my parents it isn't a problem for me. When I play those games, yes it is fun, but I don't know, I just feel empty inside. I know it sounds super cliche but its true. I don't feel satisfied at all, like these games are surface level, no depth, nothing. Its an empty sort of fun. That's why I usually only play these games with friends.

BTW, you can tell those that are photoshopped and those that are pure photography by looking at the label of the post. Removed, examination breach

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Double post! Singapore: HUMAN TRAFFICKING?

Just yesterday, a small article cropped up that the US has put Singapore under her Human Trafficking Watchlist. I am quite interested in reading these small articles, because if you stick close to them, especially those with underlying tensions and escalating problems, they may turn out to be a front page headliner in just days. For example, the Gaza strip blockade and Red Shirt Protests.

Well it certainly seems I'm right, because today, a larger article has been put up about our response, which has certainly surprised me and is begging for me to change my view of how Singapore handles foreign affairs.

When I first read it yesterday, I was quite taken aback. Singapore and Human Trafficking??! What the hell? Seriously, I really never had any thought on an issue I never thought existed! When I think of the word human trafficking, I think of slavery. Closest relevance in Singapore I can think of is illegal prostitution and well, corrective work orders lol. In fact, me and my dad had a good laugh.

Today however, I am ASTONISHED. At Singapore's response! I can't tell you how appalled I am. I always thought Singapore, a small and vulnerable country (aptly put across by Mr Khoo, my humanities teacher a 1000 over times), would take the stance of the UN or bigger states even if she is against them. This has certainly given me something to think about.

Singapore is now ACCUSING the US of making a report that is 'a political ritual rather than an objective study'. I will write a few excerpts from PGA8 of the Straits Times today, June 16 titled "Human Trafficking: S'pore tells US to put own house in order". Sub header: "Foreign Affairs Ministry points to problem of illegal workers in US". "An American report accusing Singapore of not doing enough... has been lambasted by the Singapore Government" "In a blunt rebuttal, a ministry spokesman said: " How, for example, can the US rank itself in Tier 1 when it is well known that it has been unable to stem a flood of illegal workers, many if whom are trafficked by organized criminal gangs?" " HOLY SHIZZLE. Nice one Singapore.

I don't know if the newspaper is exaggerating, but it already has enhanced reliability, the fact that 90% of our trade is with the US and that we depend heavily on them for our economy and military stability in the region with China. I am equally appalled that this 'is not the first time Singapore has spoken up against the US State Department's report'. I really can't tell you the whole thing, I really hope you read it yourself.

I don't know what could happen, I'm both pleasantly surprised that Singapore isn't just 人云亦云, following the crowd because she is heavily export driven and depends heavily on diplomacy, but also afraid that Singapore might be starting a similar US-China tussle that could threaten our ties. However, after discussing with my father, he did point out something. The US need us too.

Singapore, right smack in the middle of two huge muslim states, at the heart of the SEA region and founder and big supporter of ASEAN. Plus, a well-known link between Asia and the West, the US do need us. They need us to stabilize the region, because Malaysia and Indonesia could turn anti-US anytime for their war against terrorism that has killed many innocent muslims in the middle east. They need us to mediate US-China relations, because we are closely linked to both. They need us for ASEAN, especially in their bid to get Myanmar to change. Hearing this from my father, I'm less afraid now.

This has got me thinking to, to a recent but less reported visit by an Iranian economic minister to Singapore. Where Singapore actually urged them to follow UN sanctions and rules on nuclear arms. When I heard it, I thought "Oh no what have you done now Singapore, he came here to do business and you tell them off for their nuclear program." Face Palm. But now I realize, Singapore is more matured than that. She is more stoic than that. Yet another event! When Lee Kuan Yew blatantly told Japanese reporters they need new blood, younger people, and that Japan has made some huge mistakes about how extreme their pure Japanese stance is, and so on and so forth, which I thought were very courageous remarks. Nope, Japan didn't get angry, they respected us.

All these made me realize, we ain't no pushover. Y'all.

I think this is very very fail, but I just want to put it up.

World Cup to me

You know I don't usually watch football. However, I still watch and read about the world cup, since I was young in fact. I rarely follow the clubs and all that. The clubs don't mean much to me. I prefer to see politics (even though fifa prohibits it) and patriotism. So I watch the world cup. I really ain't sure why people watch the EPL and what not, they are not fighting for anything but money to me. Loyalty? Oh please, they just get bought off here and there.

Nothing much interests me in the big games, though games with the underdogs do. Yup, as I've said, I usually support the underdogs. Here's what I feel bout some of the matches. Sorry those of you who don't like soccer T.T, but this is more than soccer to me.

South Africa VS Mexico (1-1) Of course I have to comment on the opening match, especially with South Africa, the host in it. Plus, I actually watched the first half on channel 5. Pity South Africa missed five consecutive corners. I missed all the goals cause I went to bed!!

South Korea VS Greece (2-0) I was really confused who to root for. Greece, one of my favourite ancient civilisations with rich mythology, but has a debt crisis. South Korea, asian favourites, but tussling with her neighbour. Since I didn't subscribe, I had no idea how the match went. But definitely happy for the asian team. After all, I like ancient, not modern, greece.

USA vs England (1-1) ROFL LOL OMGOSH FUNNIEST EPIC MOMENT EVER. I didn't get to watch it but my elder brother came back from camp so he showed my on youtube Robert Green's (Englands Goalee) comedic moment. Maybe it was a representation of how BP leaked oil; so he leaked the ball in. I rooted for USA believe it or not, because they were underdogs here, and frankly I don't like rugby, so I hoped they would support soccer more with this upset to England. I loved to see the fans on the news cheering for their country, true patriotism.

Germany VS Australia (4-0) Wow! Stunning, organized demolition of Australian team. Rooted for Germany because of their bid to clean energy (Thanks Hendrik for letting me know), and caring for the Euro Zone. Just awesome.

Japan VS Cameroon (1-0) Honda scored! Luckily Toyota didn't play, he might have sprinted to fast and hit the post cause of faulty brakes (Zing!). Rooted for Japan, sorry Africa, Asia comes first.

Netherlands VS Denmark (2-0) This is just to let you know I am still absolutely confused between the Dutch and the Danes? I really had no clue what the hell was going on. Where is Holland?! Isn't Denmark part of the Netherlands?! Also confused about Sweden & Switzerland. I used to be confused about India and Indonesia lol.

Brazil VS North Korea (2-1) OK THIS WAS THE MATCH I WAS WAITING FOR. As I've said, I'm supporting North Korea for the World Cup. Why? Cause they are the ultimate underdogs who can surprise anyone. This score proves it. Looking at the Fifa website, about 90% of the comments were like: I expected Brazil to score 5-0 or North Korea played with heart and showed Grit. Even Fifa put it "North Korea made Brazil work hard for the win" I don't know if its politically incorrect, but it makes me swell with pride. I just hope their Glorious Leader Tze Yang Kim Jong Il, who is a big fan of soccer, doesn't announce they won as propaganda. What a shame!!!! They have to be in the group of death! 2-1 is very amazing to me already. Brazil is ranked 1st in the world cup, and DRK or PRK is 105. The fact they can actually SCORE and hold Brazil to just 2 goals! This is true North Korean spirit. Even one of the comments on Fifa was BY A SOUTH KOREAN and said "Amazing job Korea! You've inspired us all. We are with you in spirit. From South Korea" I wish this were so outside of soccer. It really is true that the world cup brings different people together. I sincerely hope and have faith that North Korea will enter the group of 16.

Filtering again. Sorry Marcus! I'm a photoshop noob and succumb to cheap tricks =P
Examination Breach, photo removed

Monday, 14 June 2010

Odd Monday

They say Monday Blues, but I usually get it on Tuesday. Some sort of delayed reaction. However, today was an odd Monday. Its like a transition.

I've finished all my urgent homework and I feel lost. Should I start studying? I once went two weeks for night study in sec 3 in july and burnt out by CA2. I now understand how all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. I just couldn't concentrate during the final week to exams. My mind kept wondering around since I already studied everything there is to study and could only wait to utilize and practice examination skills.

I can't study continuously alone. I burn out as quick as ethane. Now I work one hour, play one hour and it sort of works. Don't know if I should be concerned, will my urge to play and slack escalate? It usually does when I have nothing urgent to do. No goal in mind, no clear instruction. That was always my problem with AEP. No one tells you exactly how to start, you just wave around in the darkness by yourself. I usually get lost.

I don't know if this is dangerous, writing about politics. I wish they'd make it clearer what freedom of speech means. Well I'm not saying anything Racist, so its a start. If I get into trouble, Jia Lok please bail me out lol.

North Korea: A case of bad parenting?

Frankly, North Korea, an all along closed country since her formation is as inexperienced in handling foreign matters as a baby handles its food. So North Korea can be likened to a self-aware and intelligent baby. Babies throw tantrums. They hurt not only the people around them but also hurt themselves. Why do they throw tantrums? They want attention. Sometimes they also feel wronged, so they want revenge. The Cheonan Incident could be both.

So how should a parent deal with a tantrum-throwing baby? Hit it with a stick and say naughty naughty? Not this one. This one isn't scared of your stick, your stick is far far away with the father. Plus, this one has his own stick. Not only that! The father is a new generation parent, he doesn't want to use the stick. He doesn't have time to scold the baby harshly, he has trouble at work.

What about the mother? Nope, she doesn't want to scold the baby too. She wants to be fair, after all, its just a baby. Don't hurt my baby! she says. You can't blame her. She is a first time mother after all. Never mind the baby is sucking up my milk, its her precious baby. The father might even leave her if not for the baby. At least give me a chance to investigate what happened.

Who else is there? What about Grandpa? He can't, his sick, old and in turmoil right now. He can't really make up his mind right now. He really needs to get some new blood at the hospital.

So the baby and his elder brother are left to squabble. Elder brother was hit in one of baby's tantrums. He doesn't like it. Nope, not one bit. What an annoying brat. Pay-back time, he thinks. Lets piss the baby off more! Lets watch him cry out in protest and make remarks like 'if you don't stop I'll hit you!' as I shout mean words at him like last time!

Did you guess who is who and what is what? Highlight the following for the answers.
The stick: Nuclear weapons
The Father: USA, currently dealing with the oil spill at home and trying to get nuclear powers to disarm.
The first-time Mother: The new emerging superpower, China. Wants to stand by the baby, doing their own investigations of the incident. Feeding resources to North Korea. Unbeknown to most people, North Korea is a possible buffer to the USA siding South Korea and Japan, furthermore, since the USA needs China to condemn the baby too, it can used as a levy to take of pressure on Tibet and revaluing the renminbi for example.
Grandpa: Japan. Under political turmoil because of sudden PM resignation. Cabinet full of old-timers, they should look for new blood (younger politicians) to lead and to revitalize the economy
Elder brother: South Korea. Displaying provocative behavior by re-introducing loudspeaker propaganda aimed at North Korea. North Korea threatening war.

Should South Korea be blasting propaganda at North Korea again? Isn't this sort of acts done DURING ACTUAL WAR? Will this really solve the problem? Why not act like a proper elder brother and be patient, and talk to him. North Korea is not a baby, though inexperienced in a modern fast globalizing world, they are intelligent and self-aware, doing what is necessary to survive. Am I siding North Korea? No way, but I'm not siding South Korea either.

The Helix, stylized. Removed. Sorry

Friday, 11 June 2010

The short (like me) double post

Woahz! I am double posting because I forgot to mention one big thing that's starting today. The world cup! You know, I don't watch soccer, but that's quite a bit of politics in this and I am quite interested who will win. So who am I supporting? The underdog of course! You know I always like to support underdogs. Who is the underdog? North Korea. Yesh, hope they pwn Brazil lol. Quick fact, they upset Italy 44 years ago 1-0. Who knows you know? The shadow knows. (mad tv spoof of mindfreak inside joke)

Do you know why I don't just put pics on facebook? Cause one, I can't, theres an error that occurs when I try to upload. Two, I have a flickr account, yes flickr is actually a photosharing website. Not facebook. Although I don't update my flickr often. Three, I have this blog! Private, and neat.

Domestic politics

Hmm, I prefer to stray away from this topic. Why? Well for one thing, I think Singapore, especially her governance, is awesome. Secondly, negative comments should be taken to Hong Lim Park lol. Of course, I'm not downright going to oppose certain policies, in fact, I don't need to, because even if you think your SS textbook is pure propaganda, there are facts, and it is a fact Singapore is prosperous and is open to feedback (in legal manners). So don't just act smart and call everything that says our country is good as propaganda, because propaganda means lies.

I'll ATTEMPT to write in proper paragraphing to improve my english, and in the future, my GP. Of course, a blog can be informal so contractions and lolz will be common too. Here goes nothing...

Singapore should push one step ahead of catching litterbugs

Very recently, a series of environmental problems have plagued Singapore's green city reputation. Most obviously, the oil spill and the rapid increase in the number of litterbugs that have even caused the National Environment Agency (NEA) to change some of its policies. Although the oil spill's short-term effects have been widely mitigated by the NEA's quick response to the crisis (unlike British Petroleum lolz), experts here have warned that long-term problems may arise. Similarly, the rising number of litterbugs is also a long-term problem because eco-tourism makes up a large portion of our tourism industry. However, instead of meting out more (Corrective Work Orders)CWOs and changing the location where the offender has to do it, I believe the NEA should go one step ahead and tackle the wider issue. Going green.

Firstly, on small scale. Singapore has been pushing for her general public to reduce, reuse and recycle. However, have the endless campaigning been effective? 90% of our recycled waste are still done by industries and companies but not the general public. What's the problem? To me it is unclear, I mean I'm still pretty young. However, I can tell you that some parent's are not setting very good examples.

Some Parents are skeptical. This means they do not believe in energy-saving bulbs or new technology that pledge efficiency and cost-effectiveness. They brush it off as marketing ploys. Since they are the decision makers in the home, thats one strike for going green.

Some Parents couldn't care less. It's not surprising that some of my friends say things like 'Who cares about Global Warming, we'll die before that.' I still believe that they are just joking and are better than that. What is surprising is my parents. One day we went to Challenger as a family to buy a new router. My father was carrying a bag that was perfectly in good condition and had plenty of space for a router with only some stationary inside. Even if he didn't want to put the router in, my arms were free and I am not handicapped. His usual excuse was that he forgets to tell the cashier he doesn't want a plastic bag. This time I interjected and said we don't need the plastic bag to the employee. Lo and Behold my father said nevermind to the employee so obviously he put it in. His excuse this time: 'I like the plastic bag.' After endless argument, I realized my father was just like my friends but I don't think he was joking. Is is due to the fact that they are older and are therefore less concerned about the next generation?

Another case is when parents, like my mother, brush off attempts at going green as futile. I once had a few metal drink cans in my hand and was looking frantically for a recycle bin when my mother told me it was troublesome. She 'explained' to me that one metal drink can ain't going to do much. Well excuse me for trying then! Hasn't the story of how a man tried to save thousands of starfish on a beach been told endless amount of times? Is it wrong for me to at least try and recycle instead of just saying 'it won't do much anyway'. In this case, my friends are no different and are definitely not joking when I ask them to recycle the plastic bottle instead of throwing them into the bin just like that. They say they don't give a dam and are too lazy to walk to the recycle bin in our canteen, less than 100m away. In this case I take the bottle and recycle it myself.

However, my school has displayed a sense of responsibility with the prefectorial board undertaking a project to recycle all the plastic bottles that students whom are going up to class after recess are carrying. Awesome. I hope other schools are doing similarly green activities.

Secondly, on a large scale. Nearly 25% of Denmark's energy consumption is Wind Energy (2nd Largest in the world). Nearly 80% of France's power is Nuclear energy. I'm not saying Singapore should build a Nuclear Power Plant on Pulau Tekong. We are also generally shielded from any significant source of winds by Malaysian and Indonesian mountains. I applaud Singapore for her efforts into looking at mini generators. I am well aware of her limitations in terms of land space. Solar energy will not be very cost-effective because of Singapore's rainy weather and the high cost of Solar panels. I am suggesting, we don't have to be like other countries!

New technology by a certain company I shall not reveal has come up with a CO2 scrubber that reduces emissions on ships by 70%! It uses a lot of energy but isn't this what we've been looking for? It is so relevant to our global position as an international reknowned port.

The fact of the matter is, Singapore has a long way to go if she wants to contribute to international green efforts and truly live up to her name as a 'green city' and catch up to developed countries like Germany in going green and even developing countries like China (Whom recently overtook the USA in terms of %GDP invested in green technology). So go ahead and catch those litterbugs dirtying the public and our reputation, but remember the bigger picture.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Teaching is a noble profession

My blog existed on the basis that I remained emotional and had a lot of problems I needed to share in real life. However, times have changed and I have found good friends that I lean closer to now, and maybe I have become a bit more sociable (lol). So my blog has to re invent itself to survive. Just like any developing nation turning into a developed nation, economies will stagnate if the country does not undergo reforms to suit changing times. In Singapore, we moved from agriculture and primary industries to labour intensive industries (because of the post-war baby boom) then to capital intensive manufacturing, meanwhile also increasing enterprise and services by attracting foreign talent and MNCs. Now, some of these options are not viable because Singapore has a declining birthrate and cannot compete with China in terms of labour market. For us, the next step is clear ------ towards a knowledge-based economy.

For me, this blog will slowly turn to relating on current affairs (which I can rarely share in real life) and daily activities.

Teaching is a noble profession. When I grew up, I was blessed with wonderful teachers in Primary School. This was even enough to set my mind to become a teacher. I love to teach, and sometimes it is apparent in non-academic areas.

Kung Fu Chaos. Remember that game X? Yeah, I sort of thought you didn't I? Made you go through all those training modes while I gave some tips and hints. Haha, don't know if you consider that teaching. Halo too?

In class, when someone calls for help or says he doesn't understand something out loud, I leap into action! lol Most of the time, these people took it as a means to show off. I don't know, maybe its partly true, but I wouldn't shrug off a lesson or two if it helps, especially if your friend is teaching you.

Then, when I entered secondary three, I met my wonderful class, who didn't see me as a smartass anymore, because they were good in other fields, or perhaps their just better people altogether. When I taught them things, they'd politely say thanks and we both benefit. (Sometimes I find something I don't understand either, other times I just feel happy for the thanks.)

There's another person whom constantly asked for my help, Shi Xian. Really nice guy, so willing to learn and is always grateful for your advice...  I hope one day he can teach me because now he sort of thinks everyone is better than him, which definitely isn't true and I want him to see that. Outside of studies, I also taught him a bit of table tennis with Marcus (Liu) too.

Recently, I 'retired' from my duties as a section leader in choir. I really really enjoyed teaching, just to see my section learn so fast and develop (in terms of character) and bond together as a section warmed my heart. To a lot of teens, this is all mushy mushy stuff but its true. I love alto.

I've always tried to root for teachers, even when the rest of my class don't. Does it make me a teacher's pet? Whatever it is, I've toned down and is more willing to see and not deny that all teachers have weaknesses. But no matter what, when students co-operate, learning is always more efficient to a large extent. Class is also more fun.

For me, it is the duty of students to do their best to listen to the teacher even if they do not like them. In any case, talking behind their back is also equally bad. My class is awesome because we co-operate no matter who is teaching us. When we are unhappy about teaching methods, we voice our opinions and give feedback, and believe it or not, the teachers are making every effort to change for our class to.

The environment is so open and friendly. Unlike in secondary 1 & 2 when students basically didn't listen or co-operate in defiance just because they didn't like the teacher. What kind of crap is that? I think it doesn't help anyone. In fact, I think its pretty immature, acting like spoilt princesses. (A term coined recently in the newspaper for a different meaning).

Yes I know, some teachers refuse to change. Does that mean we should refuse to change too? Are we in control of our class? Do we determine what the lesson should be? Ultimately, the teacher, no matter what, is of higher authority and changing them shouldn't be through hostile acts of defiance and hate, but through gaining respect from the teacher by giving him or her the same respect, and slowly suggest and give logical feedback where he or she has faults. I mean, are you going to quit your job if your boss sucks? Its unfair, but sucking up is the first step to change in an ancient Caste system.

Do you like my paragraphing? Does it help?

Coffee. 2 times writing speed. 4 times more alert. 2 times more likely to go toilet. I don't see why not.
Yes its done by me. Yes my photoshopping is getting better.