Special Watch

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Hi hi,
Skool kamp is almost over. Half a day more to go. Feeling tired, but I thought it was wonderful to leave the indoors and embrace the outdoors. Am roasted under the cruel sun but it felt great to be outdoors again.

Something of a great embarassment is how some t'chers behave. For eg, while the kidz are eating cabbages 2 meals a day for 3 days, the t'chers turned up their noses and ordered Mac etc, and eating in front of the kidz some more. Ah, how demoralizing it must have been for the kidz. The food was not that bad. But yet, adults are complaining louder than the kidz. Sigh.... where is exemplary leadership. And yet another eg, while the kidz are going all over with area cleaning or other activities, t'chers are either gossiping away or sleeping in the bunk. Yep, we tell the kidz they are not the only tired ones and no matter how tired they are, they still have to carry on with the activities. But where have all the t'chers gone? We were constantly reminded by the commandant that we need to be with them, although there are instructors to run the show. I admit at times I do feel redundant since instructors are there, but it is a good opportunity for us to gel with them and observe them. Sigh.... How convincing can we be if we are not walking the talk?

Okie, what have we done for the kamp? Kayaking (and against the current too); cycling (I was with this gal who had problems controlling the bike but she did not give up trying); orienteering at P Ubin (where my group of kidz led me on a wild goose chase going in the wrong direction and because I am a t'cher with integrity :P, I did not correct them until much later on, hoping they learn from their mistake); CIP at an eldercare (where my kidz did a good job in engaging the elderly in simple action songs and dances despite not preparing them in advance and they brought lots of laughter to elderly there), high elements (where I see the levels of concentration they exhibit when trying); and learning journeys in Kampung Glam and Little India (where a kid describe the fragrance of spices as 'maggi mee' smell). The kidz are not perfect. But they showed such co-operative behaviour and such enthusiasm that I was touched by them. :) But unfortunately, none of them are from my form klass. If not, I am sure I would have gotten to know my kidz even better and they know me a little better too.

And this kamp involved the entire skool. So, it was a feat that things can run rather well. There were minor hiccups but that is understandable for something as great a scale as this. And yes, I do love kamps.


Sunday, March 04, 2007

Simple joy

Hi hi,
These past 2 months have been really draining. Although the recording sessions and intensive debate training have ended, I have accumulated so much work that by the end of last week, I have still not cleared them. And coming week is camping week, so it is not possible to catch up with work as well. Sigh... I sometimes wonder if my friend's comment that I do not know how to manage my time is a fact or an invalid opinion. There is a chance that she is dead right. But to make myself feel better, I would rather embrace the opinion that we are truly overworked and that we have no time to manage in the first place. Ah, now I feel better.

When one is exhausted, all kinds of negative thoughts come flying in. I had no energy to shut them out, let alone the energy to even try to make myself happy. So, migraine became my companion. I succumbed to flu, 2 days's MC in Jan and 2 more in Feb. Sigh... But last Thurs, when I went home with knit brows and a migraine, I suddenly saw light. We know ourselves best. We know what makes us happy. We know what lifts our spirits. With my last bit of mental will, I successfully pushed all unhappy thoughts away. And the very next day, my problematic kidz were not so problematic after all. And for the first time in many weeks, I am happy with my job, with my kidz (problematic or not), and happy with basically everything. A positive loop has set in. That's how it should be. :) So, I have learnt how not to allow anyone or any incident to get to me. :) We do have the strength to conquer challenges, and not let them conquer us. Just find a way to unleash that strength.

A meeting on Fri also spurred me on the direction of building rapport with my kidz. Something to improve - give them all individual attention when possible. It only takes that one t'cher to touch them, for them to become motivated. And when they are motivated, they can make miracles. :)

And since the coming week is camping week, despite piling work, I gave myself the weekend off (ah, no March hols for me so this serves as my hols). So, I put aside all work, and made dumplings for my family. I learnt it from Chinese colleagues. :) Yep, time consuming job, especially when I was the only one chopping up the ingredients and wrapping it with dough, but I thoroughly enjoyed the process, and of course the eating bit. Have not felt so happy for a long time. Such sweet happiness. :) Reminds me of the time I came back home after spending 3 weeks in Nepal. I almost cried in joy when I turned on the tap and see clean running water.

So, I wish everyone happy always, especially friends who understand my lack of time for them. :)