PaperBloomsSG Workshop 1

Today I taught a friend and her 2 friends how to make the basic ranunculus and a pompom. It went pretty well!

Time management was always my issue in teaching but I didn’t expect my workshop of the planned 2 hours to go beyond the buffer of an extra hour and stretch to 5! We were all in need of major stretching by the end but the joy of seeing a pretty handmade product is priceless.

I really enjoyed setting up and prepping the materials and equipment. My sweet spot, perhaps?

Maybe my years in teaching was meant to culminate in this. I still love preparing English resources too though.

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Dyslexie

Why don’t phone makers create a theme in the OS where everything is presented in this wonderful font called Dyslexie?

I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to read when the letters jump or don’t make sense – where it’s hard to locate the next line or recall what the last word you read is.

Having taught for a couple of years, I’ve seen how Dyslexia in students causes them very real stakes – a boy capable of intellectual rigour, being streamed to a stream that doesn’t challenge him enough in his mind, but challenges him thoroughly in his processing of information that comes on worksheet after worksheet.

What a wonderful thing is ‘reading’ was not just ‘reading’ – but more focused on what one does with the information presented – whichever way it is in. Maybe one day, P2 Comprehension will be in audio form – not as an ‘access arrangement’ but as an alternative – it could be a choice before taking the national examinations. And students all get to read on the screens and answer them there – and the student with Dyslexia can just click on the audio button and seamlessly listen to the text.

Read has been transformed and I am one who has benefitted greatly from audiobooks (thank you Libby). I go through a book in 2-5 days – as opposed to how little I read when I was younger (the pivotal years where stakes were high). But it’s not too late.

Oh what audio books could do for those who struggle with reading, one way or another.

Reads

I’ve been reading ebooks and listening to audiobooks intensively in the past few weeks, all thanks to Libby. I’ve gotten through many titles, including:

  • Designing Your life
  • In Order to Live
  • The Kinfolk Home
  • Grit
  • A Pale View of Hills
  • 1Q84
  • Quiet
  • Good Morning, Midnight
  • Northanger Abbey
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People in a Digital Age

Creating insta stories of noteworthy ideas and quotes has become quite a habit and I’ve gotten so much good stuff I just need to share.

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Quiet
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Quiet
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Quiet
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Good Morning, Midnight (I totally thought it was good morning good night for the longest time.)
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Designing Your Life
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How to Win Friends and Influence People in a Digital Age
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In Order to Live

 

The Power of Introverts

As I write this, I’m listening to Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. It’s an insightful read (or listen) on how introverts can and should be valued. It strokes my ego in ways that could be totally factual. I’ve always wondered why I prefer to ‘shy away’ from crowds and prefer not to make small talk, even though I have learnt to do so.

I love people, yet hate them. I don’t like isolation but like being alone sometimes. Doing my own business at home hasn’t been entirely easy. I look forward to my scheduled social gatherings with my close friends, like never before. I make sure I don’t go overboard and yak non-stop when Immanuel comes home from work.

I’m still listening and it’s still good but does get dry at times. Introverts or extroverts – everyone is woven intricately and differently.

But one fun fact that I got was that Pixar’s campus is really cool and seems to satisfy both personality types.

Rainbow colours everywhere

I went down to a centre for a volunteer interview today. After how the previous interview panned out, this went very smooth. While I know it’s for a volunteer position, I don’t take it lightly.

I’m looking forward to have some mornings occupied with meaningful activities – the way I designed my life to be.

Though I told the coordinator that I’d want to commit for 3 months for now, if this suits my new rhythm for the year, I’d gladly extend the stint.

Side note: a little walk in the market near the centre landed me a suitable toolbox for the flowers.

What am I about?

I don’t know yet. I’ve had a few glimpses of what I am about, and a little clearer of what I hope to be about, but the journey ahead is still pretty long. And I need to remind myself that there’s no hurry to be completely sure of what I am about yet.

I love how this appeared in two of the books I’m reading now. Stay the Path, and the one here, The Last Arrow.

Changi Airport / Staying the Path

I love this place. Changi Airport has been a huge part of my life. My memories of it as a child aren’t that clear. But the memories I have of it when I was still in Anglican remain vivid.

I remember dashing into the train after school at Tanah Merah, and doing silly things at quiet areas with my friends. Lying on the stairs, pretending we were mannequins are among the many things we did there as teenagers. Many of those spots and now gone but I’ve kept some in photos for my personal viewing pleasure. Camera phones had just come out then and though the quality isn’t good, it’s at least a preservation of the stupid things we did.

I remember studying at the airport. McDonalds, TCC, viewing galleries, Burger King, staff canteens, and I’ve lost count. All the food options made it so convenient. Students in Singapore study here all the time. It’s the one airport that I’ve seen people actually come all the time to do non-airport things. As an adult, I spent countless nights here marking assignments at Krispy Kreme and again, the viewing gallery.

I remember all the flights in and out of the country. The several short trips with my friends and the rare long one to Italy. I remember crying the entire flight back from Paris, and leaving with joy in my heart for my honeymoon in Japan. Trips are always something I look forward to but coming home to the warmth of Changi Airport cushioned the disappointment of coming back to real life in Singapore.

I remember all the good meals I’ve had with my family at the airport – from fast food, to cafes, to ramen, sushi and tonkatsu, to hawker fare, to Penang cuisine, and our ever delightful Aston’s. It’s the one activity that we all enjoy and living near the airport made it our favourite ‘mall’ to go to.

As I write this, there are countless families hanging out here, children running around or scooting while parents watch them knit these memories into their childhood.

Today, the airport has served as my place of refuge again. I come here whenever I don’t know what to do (both in the lost and bored sense). I brought a book that Immanuel got for me from Hillsong. Bobbie Houston’s Stay the Path. I listened to the audiobook before but as I’m reading it now, it seems pretty fresh to me. Which should be a sure sign that I should terminate my audible subscription.

I love how Ps Bobbie talks about being convicted of who I am, where I’m headed, and what I am about. Because these are the exact questions I’m trying to answer in this season. Through journaling and blogging, I’m hoping to pick up the many pieces of my life – scattered thoughts, rushing too much too fast in my career, and the next transition I’m facing. By no means do I consider myself a leader, but I do desire to be a servant. Many times I’ve struggled with pride and self-righteousness, and beating myself hard over things that don’t even matter to others. With 90 years left, I want to live my life clearly. I may not always have clarity, but I want to be clear about the person I am about.

And that bit on ‘what compels you’ got me. To know the things I stand for and care about, and know the things that I can let go. Not everything is meant to be put in such deep focus, and for me in this season I know my focus isn’t working in a school and teaching large classes, and handling all the responsibility that they zap my energy, drain my mind and take time away from my family. Did I do exceptionally well? No. I’m not on that track. If I wanted it, I guess I could slog even harder to get it. No guarantees though. But I think I did a fairly good job, considering that my rankings were decent. I genuinely cared for some students, got along well with my colleagues, and did many things for the school. But none of what I did compelled me.

I enjoyed parts of my job but rather than energise me, I was perpetually drained. One can get drained on a job but I couldn’t deal with being drained and being in front of my students. What a role model I would’ve been if I continued next year?

I made the decision to leave now so I wouldn’t have to find out.

So many thoughts on just the first 2 chapters. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of it.