Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Local movies

Robert de Niro & Elmo

Julia Roberts & Elmo

Cookie Monster - C is for Cookie

Andrea Bocelli & Elmo - Time to Say Goodnight

Natalie Portman & Elmo

Elmo & The Goo Goo Dolls - Pride

Norah Jones - Don't Know Y

Yo Yo Ma & The Honkers

Cab Calloway - Hi De Ho Man

Madeline Kahn & Grover - Sing After Me

Joanna Wang - True

Joanna Wang - I Love You

Spandau Ballet - Communication


It is with bitterweet emotion that I graduate from NIE with my Diploma in Education (Credit) tomorrow. What might have been was not to be - and that's that. I have to trust God that this is for the best. In a way, I'm glad the decision to crossover is not mine to make - God's made it easier for me somehow.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Racial Harmony Day football tournament

So much fun! My team played 5 matches, won 0, drew 1, lost 4, scored 2 and conceded 7 but we enjoyed it all the same. We even managed to salvage the draw against the eventual champions.

It was obvious the teams were not exactly on an even keel but we never gave up and I almost scored one of the goals of the tournament. A chest trap to control a defensive clearance, a run towards the defender before pirouetting 360-degrees Zidane-like away from him but my hurried snapshot was parried away.

Saturday, July 26, 2008



Dormitory: Dirty Room
Schoolmaster: The Classroom
Elvis: Lives
Clint Eastwood: Old West Action
Western Union: No Wire Unsent
Desperation: A Rope Ends It
The Morse Code: Here Come Dots
Slot Machines: Cash Lost in Me
Conversation: Voices Rant On
Heavy Rain: Hire a Navy
Tom Cruise: So I'm Cuter
Mother-in-law: Woman Hitler
Funeral: Real Fun
Snooze Alarms: Alas! No More 'Z's
A Decimal Point: I'm a Dot in Place
Statue of Liberty: Built to Stay Free
Eleven plus two: Twelve plus one
David Letterman: Nerd Amid Late TV
Debit card: Bad Credit
Presbysterian: Best in Prayer
Astronomer: Moon Starer
The Eyes: They See
Election Results: Lies! Let's Recount!
The Earthquakes: That Queer Shake
Eleven Plus Two: Twelve Plus One

Thursday, July 24, 2008

He who has a why to live can bear with any how. - Friedrich Nietzsche

This is SO applicable in classroom management and discipline, as well as so many other things inherent in teaching.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Why Men Are Happier Than Women

If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah.
If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla and Four-Eyes.

When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each throw in $20, even though it's only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.
When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.

A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need but it's on sale.

A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel.
The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items.

A woman has the last word in any argument.
Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.

A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.
A successful woman is one who can find such a man.

A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.
A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, but she does.

A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the trash, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.
A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.

Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.
A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.

A married man should forget his mistakes. There's no use in two people remembering the same thing!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dark Knight

Plot: Batman and Gordon find alliance with a newly appointed DA Harvey Dent to stop a vicious killer with a warped sense of humor known only as The Joker, a threat to both the good, and the evil of Gotham City.
My take: Watch this for Heath Ledger's final performance as the manical Joker. The plot was engaging enough till the end, with a stellar supporting cast featuring the likes of Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and even Chin Han (Masters of the Sea) and Edison Chen! Apart from Batman's perpetual hoarse throat, watch out for the Joker's pencil-disappearing act.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

NDP 2008 MTV

Someone commented that our NDP 2008 MTV is very similar to a Japanese TVC. Judge for yourself:



Email said:
"if you notice something, our NDP video this year is a rip off from a Japanese TVC about this child thinking differently drawing a whale while our NDP version is tis girl drawing a star! what a shame!
First we have a MDA rap, next our NDP video actually rip off from another country's TV. How embarrassing."

My response was rather fervent:
"Rip-off? Spread the shame? I think that's quite an unfair statement to make. Having been involved in planning for NDP 04 during my NS days, I can tell you that original ideas are hard to come by. Instead, the effort is made to scour the globe for ideas that can help meet the objectives. If you look at the entire NDP 08 video, the classroom scene is just a small part of the whole thing.

To say that it's a rip-off, I think, is an insult to the effort that the Committee has put in to celebrating the nation's birthday.

My suggestion is that, instead of sitting in your armchair and commenting, get off your seat and contribute to NDP in a more constructive way. Then, perhaps, will you appreciate the thankless task that is NDP planning.

Please put yourself in the person's shoes before passing off callous, thoughtless statements, and think about the value it will add in people's lives before you click Forward.

Aaron Wong
MCM '03
NDP '04 Show Committee, PA to Chairman Show"

Some alumni replied with sensible responses, meaning I had to retract my words. Among their salient points, the fact that there is nothing truly orignal in the world anymore, merely adaptations and modifications, and that the NDP 08 people were merely (to use an MCM example), changing every third word to avoid plagiarism because three words in sequence is plagiarism. It's no crime by the letter of the law, but it goes against the principle of it:
"I really don't know guys. It was a tough day at work, and I guess my response was a little too fervent. Apologies there, Chee Kaur.

In any case, there may have been factors we were not aware of and will never know. Basically with something as big as NDP, I'm assuming the Chairman would not have allowed it if he knew it were plagiarised. He must have been kept in the dark somehow.

In my opinion, they found a good idea, used it, and probably hoped no one would find out. Pretty naive perhaps, but they could have gotten away with it if not for FMS-ers snooping around. =]

The thing I'd have done differently is probably cite the source of inspiration somewhere and make relevant changes to it so as to protect myself. I guess now they need to face the music, if only for taking someone's great idea, and perhaps passing it off as their own. Sounds familiar?

Lastly, I'm not a journalist, but perhaps still think like one. =]"

My final response:
"I think they found a really good idea. I'd use it too, if it was the best I could come up with. Most people are concerned only about the end result anyway, and don't care how you do it, as long as you get it done. That's work, guys. But the lack of citation was quite dishonest, and they should be accountable for that."

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Or Pre-Army Depression Man.

No lah, I'm sure Seng can handle it, but I believe every pre-NS send-off from now on should be like tonight's. It was just a time for him to enjoy our company and what we had to say about him, and only we got the saboing, which was pretty mild. Moreover we learnt so much about him too.

Well done Angela & Jas. =]

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Malaysia Boleh!

They've outdone themselves again - this time with three New Paper stories in a row!

1. They've suddenly sprung a surprise and relaunched the white cards again. The Johor immigration department was contacted and, get this, they directed the call to the checkpoint. That's like, hey PM, I have a question about Singapore. Oh here, talk to my MP. ?!?!
Immigration oficer Shahrul Nazrie (poor soul) said that he didn't know why the white cards were being introduced, and that he was just following instructions from the Putrajaya immigration department.
That's right, make a decision, but don't tell your people why.
Finally, to all you white-card hoarders - bad news - it might not be the same white card.

2. Malaysia's Women, Family and Community Development (hmmm, no mention of men, there) Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen has suggested castrating repeat rapists.
The female minister did clarify that she was advocating more research in this area. Yes, Dr Ng, castration DOES prevent rape. No need to risk any male guinea pigs for this one.

3. Finally, a non-Muslim reporter in a knee-length skirt was barred from Malaysian parliament after guards objected to her attire. She was sent home to change to pants. Hello, we don't even do that to children nowadays.
Those who failed the "skirt test" were told to pull their skirts down a bit. Another reporter was sent home for having too-tight pants.
Some female MPs were spotted in similar attire but the guards didn't stop them. Their explanation? "We can't tell them off as they are MPs."
A Malaysian minister promptly over-declared: "To me, as long as you don't some dressed in only your underwear, I'm fine with it." Anything except underwear, you say?
Jan 22 2008, 2259hrs
Malaysian bureaucracy's finest hour.

Singaporeans do not need to fill out white cards on entry to Malaysia because, wait for it, they've run out of them. Apparently they decided to start a new system, as yet unnamed and undescribed (or indescribable), but have not bothered to inform, errr, anyone at all. Some officers stamp the white cards, and some don't.

Mr Johari of the Johor Immigration said that Singaporeans would still be asked the location and duration of their visit. I quote, almost verbatim: "It would be quite troublesome for our officers to keep asking them for the location and duration, so we may get them to write this on little pieces of paper, but it's not confirmed yet."

Whoa. Like such a groundbreaking decision. So you replace the white card (a form) with a piece of small paper (another, albeit smaller, form). Apart from this lunacy, everything else is status quo, of course.

How do you change the system and inform no one? How do you remove the old system without the new one in place, and tell no one? How do you all that, and stil not be sure about what to do with little pieces of paper?

Am I the only one who doesn't get it?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

NE Show

It wasn't that bad after all and - dare I say it? - I actually enjoyed it. Weather was more or less perfect with little sun except during the waiting at the beginning, a stiff sea breeze and not a hint of rain. I got to know my students a lot better, my colleagues a little less so, but all in all it was good fun.

I learnt a little lesson about the deployment of toilet passes from last year's NE Show batch, took some photos with Iskandar's camera (which he'll pass me a copy of) and basically just took in all the sights and sounds. I exhorted those around me to sing the national anthem with the same vigour on Tuesday morning but I somehow don't see it happening. =]

I think once will do for me, though.
01 Jul 2008, 2222hrs
Having managed to siam NDP in NS, it's all coming back to haunt me now.

Have to being 5 Joy to the NE Show on 5 Jul. Yes, that's my Saturday burnt. I'll be baking it the sun and broiling in the humidity from 1pm to 10.30 at night - and that's just a conservative estimate.

Please pray for good weather on 5 Jul, otherwise we'll need to come back on 6 Jul. Pray for nice fluffy clouds to cover the sky but no rain too. Perfect.

Thank God 7 Jul is a holiday. =]

Monday, July 07, 2008

Milkha Jeev-singh

'Kota Baru bans noisy high heels'

I'm beginning to suspect certain states in Malaysia are run by aliens. Check out this insightful article in The New Paper:

"Authorities in Kota Baru have banned Muslim women from wearing bright lipstick and noisy high-heeled shoes to work. The ban will enhance thir dignity and prevent them from getting raped, Bernama said."

The government went on to say, kindly, that they may wear them if the heels are padded with rubber. A RM500 fine awaits any violator.

Ban, ban, ban. Fine, fine, fine. Is this the only thing they know how to do? Oh wait - that's the island down south.

But seriously, I agree that heels are noisy and irritating, but to say they facilitate rape? Unfortunately, such sweeping and extreme statements are already commonplace.