Archive for the 'school' Category

shaolin and wudang

So the annual Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) results were released last Friday. As expected, there was an explosion of PSLE and secondary school selection threads on the KiasuParents forum. Read some of them today, and this really amused me……

Someone, on choosing between Dunman High and Raffles Girls’:

This is an easy one to me.


Being a Rafflesian is one of the best things that you can get as a Singaporean student. The only other comparable one is to be a HwaChongian. They are like the Shaolin and Wudang in Singapore’s education system.

from here

those were the days

Was at the MRT station near my house this afternoon, when I spotted a young man in a Tiffany blue tee emblazoned with these words in bold black:


arrange by colour

Israel is 以色列 (Yiselie) in Chinese. 以 (yi) can mean ‘by’; 色 (se), ‘colour’; and 列 (lie), ‘arrange’.

The very first time I encountered the term ‘以色列’ was in a cloze passage from a Chinese exam paper in primary school. I did not realize that it referred to a country and simply thought that it meant ‘arrange by colour’. Which did puzzle me a little bit, as that intepretation did not seem to fit into the context of the entire sentence. I only found out what it was quite some time later. :)

the power of social capital

Once upon a time, I looked at my boss’ list of Facebook friends, and noted, with some admiration, that it was full of doctors, lawyers, civil servants, academics, and other movers and shakers of the like.

Then I looked at my own, and realized that it was exactly the same.

And that is, perhaps, one of the most best legacies that attending a top school can bestow upon you…… yes, the power of social capital……

the solitary diner

Took leave yesterday and today. Somehow found myself at my alma mater National University of Singapore (NUS) this afternoon. Since I hadn’t been to Cedele for quite some time, decided to lunch at the Cedele branch in NUS.

280513 5

It’s a tiny outlet in a bookstore called Bookhaven, which itself is in the recently completed NUS University Town (a pretty cool place in all, if I may add!). (I was curious about who operated the bookstore, and later asked the cashier, who told me that it was run by the NUS Co-op.)

Continue reading ‘the solitary diner’

nothing gold can stay

I first encountered this poem while reading The Outsiders by S E Hinton, which I did for English class in Secondary 1……

Nothing Gold Can Stay
Robert Frost

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.

mr taxi

Looking back, I guess I was a pretty good university student…… I never skipped any lectures, although admittedly I was often late for many morning classes. :P

Once in the first semester of my first year (late 2006), I was late for a 10 am tutorial, so I decided to cab from Clementi MRT and ended up taking a taxi with an equally tardy schoolmate, a tall Chinese guy. The very first time I shared a cab with a complete stranger!

During the ride we didn’t talk at all, but I noticed he was reading some Geog level 3000 notes. As we were reaching our destination, the AS3 building at Arts, I wondered how to broach the topic of payment. At that point, he coughed, so I looked at him, and he dropped two $1 coins into my hand, which was half the fare.  Somehow, I found his actions rather amusing, and can still remember clearly what he did, although I can no longer recall what he looked like at all.

NB Title of this entry was of course named for the catchy Girls’ Generation song Mr Taxi – you can watch the music video here!

5.30 am

Daphne Whatsapped me at exactly 5.30 am this morning, which I assume was when she woke up for school, and that she didn’t stay up till then instead. :P

When I was in junior college, I woke up at 5.30 am to get to school by 7.30 am every day. Sometimes, when I passed a certain neighbouring block on my way to the MRT around 6 am daily, I would see this little boy sitting at the void deck, presumably waiting for the school bus. He looked like he was in lower primary, and judging from his uniform, he was probably studying in Nanyang Primary or Pei Chun Public.

It just so happens that neither school (two of the ‘better’ primary schools in Singapore) is anywhere near my estate. So whenever I spotted him, I always felt a frisson of sympathy. He should have been still in bed at that hour, even if only for a little while more! I chose my school, and getting up early was par for the course, so I couldn’t complain. But I was quite sure that he didn’t choose his!

That was nine years ago, so the little boy is probably in secondary school or even in a tertiary institution now. Occasionally I wonder how he turned out. Hopefully well. Am I the only one, or does anyone else think about the people they encounter, even for a fleeting moment – how are they now?

don’t stigmatise academic successes

I like this letter, published in today’s Straits Times Forum Online, as it echoes my views……

Don’t stigmatise academic successes

FOLLOWING the Ministry of Education’s decision to discontinue the practice of naming top students in the national examinations, one wonders if this cosmetic move has yielded significant changes or improvements in attitudes (“The going got tough, but they got the As”; last Saturday).

Even if the move is meant to be purely symbolic, it has been a half-hearted endeavour to broaden the definitions of success, and by extension reduce the purported disproportionate emphasis on grades and results per se.

Vis-a-vis sporting and artistic achievements, for instance, I find it strange that we have no issue celebrating the successes of athletes and artists who have excelled in their respective fields, but are uncomfortable with naming top scorers. Is the act of naming top students detrimental?

Continue reading ‘don’t stigmatise academic successes’

primary school leaving examination

And so the PSLE results were released this morning!

How exciting!

I received mine 13 years ago!

Time flies!

caught on camera

‘I never watch them. I can’t stand my voice. I cannot change the channel quick enough’

Actress Michelle Pfeiffer on her own movies

The Straits Times, Life!, 16 August 2012, page C8

This quote reminded me of my Chinese classes in Secondary 2. My teacher, 陈老师, divided the class into fixed groups right from the first few lessons and often got each group to act out various parts of various 课文 in the textbooks, which usually resulted in the rest of the class exploding in mirth.

Sometimes we would go to the Cyber Learning Centre, where our Oscar-winning performances would be recorded on video. Later, she would screen the video recordings for our viewing pleasure. Whenever I saw myself onscreen, I had to hide my face, because my acting was completely cringeworthy and my voice, super shrill. Haha.

I think 陈老师 was one of the best teachers I ever had. :)

how many jc students does it take to change a light bulb?

A joke, which plays on local junior college stereotypes, that has been floating around cyberspace for quite some time……

Q: How many RJC students does it take to change a light bulb?
A: 4 whole faculties. One to design the new bulb, one to
manufacture and test it out, one to write a proposal on it and one to market it.

Q: How many HCJC students does it take to change a light bulb?
A: The whole school. To compete with RJC.

Continue reading ‘how many jc students does it take to change a light bulb?’

something that amused me greatly

Have been tracking news of my alma mater’s impending move in the local press. Read this article by Matthias Chew in the Straits Times last month, and was greatly amused by the time I reached the end of the article……

Current and former students told The Straits Times that being separated only by an overhead bridge would help the two schools to develop a closer relationship.

Fifteen-year-old Samantha Yeo, who is in Secondary 3, said: “It will be really good because it will help the Raffles family have a stronger bond.”

But closer bonds may also be forged in a different way.

Continue reading ‘something that amused me greatly’

missing maf

Missed my JC’s Mid-Autumn Festival (MAF) celebrations, held on a Sunday this year, by accident.

My JC classmates had messaged me via Facebook to inform me that the event would be on 16 September, and I briefly glanced through the messages and thought that that day was still a long time away. Then few days ago, I remembered the event and thought 16 September would be this weekend instead.

So 16 September came and went, and I only realized MAF was over when I checked Facebook and saw that people had posted stuff about it!

Haha sigh, really getting olddd……!!! :P

fear not to grasp what fortune sends

On Facebook, many of my fellow alumni have been posting links to articles similar to this one and expressing varying degrees of sadness. I understand their feelings, but at the end of the day, this is life and change is the only constant. I do feel a little melancholy myself, but I think that this is going to be a really exciting time for my alma mater as a new chapter in her history is going to be written!

And so I posted this quote on Facebook, something to keep in mind when my alma mater eventually makes the big move:

I remembered once, in Japan, having been to see the Gold Pavilion Temple in Kyoto and being mildly surprised at quite how well it had weathered the passage of time since it was first built in the fourteenth century. I was told it hadn’t weathered well at all, and had in fact been burnt to the ground twice in this century.

“So it isn’t the original building?” I had asked my Japanese guide.

“But yes, of course it is,” he insisted, rather surprised at my question.

Continue reading ‘fear not to grasp what fortune sends’

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