February 12, 2006

Making a Difference…

Filed under: 心痕 — by Yilise @ 4:21 AM

Now Playing: Bless the Broken Road – Rascal Flatts

Mom forwarded me a mail today that I want to share with all my teaching friends out there (of which there are many!)

I would like to share the following excerpt from New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s speech at the commencement of Williams College on June 5 last year.

It goes like this: ‘The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued this way: ‘What’s a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher? You know, it’s true what they say about teachers: Those who can do, do, and those who can’t do, teach.”

To corroborate his statement he said to another guest, ‘Hey, Susan, you’re a teacher. Be honest, what do you make?”

Susan, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness, replied, ‘You want to know what I make? I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could and I can make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall in absolute silence.

‘I can make a C-plus feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor and an A feel like a slap in the face if the student didn’t do his or her very best.’ Susan continued, ‘I can make parents tremble when I call home or feel almost like they won the lottery when I tell them how well their child is progressing.’

‘Gaining speed, she went on: ‘You want to know what I make? I make kids wonder, I make them question, I make them criticize, I make them apologize and mean it, I make them write and I make them read, read, read. I make them show all their work in maths and hide it all on their final drafts in English.’

‘Susan then stopped and cleared her throat. ‘I make them understand that if you have the brains, then follow your heart. And if someone ever tries to judge you by what you make in money, you pay them no attention.”Susan then paused. ‘You want to know what I make?’ she said. ‘I make a difference. What about you?’

Yesterday was the release of the ‘O’ level results… my first batch… the overall results weren’t good and I was kinda disappointed by a couple of my kids that I spent a lot of time on when they didn’t score distinctions (actually I should be glad that they managed to pass at all!). But in the afternoon amidst walking around the school attending to various CCA matters, I was stopped by several of my ex-students… saying simply, “Thanks, we scored A1”. One kid that was very worried about his results last year called out to me from the 3rd floor when he saw me walking back to the staff room, “Laoshi thanks! I got my A1!”

In actuality… I don’t think I did a lot for these kids… they worked hard on their own for their own results. I simply answered questions and talked to them when they lost confidence. But perhaps in my own little way of giving them that extra bit of time… I did make a little difference… and that makes all the difference in the world to me when I see them….

Reading the above passage, I don’t know if I make all that much difference in my kids’ world. But I know I do make them read, read read. *grins* For many of us who are in the teaching line… its often tiring and tedious and never-ending….but one thing it is not… it’s not thankless. Especially when you see that little bit of difference you make… Here’s hoping all of us remember that in the daily grind of our life…


Draining week…

Filed under: 碎碎念,心痕 — by Yilise @ 4:16 AM

Now Playing: Dancing Through Life – Wicked Soundtrack

Had an extremely busy and tiring week…. The bones are now aching in a show of defiance against the torture I subjected them to…

Monday’s Jazz and Merengue got me home at an hour of 11 meaning I only managed to fall into bed after midnight, muscles burning from the two hour exercise…

Tuesday was dinner and play Long House with XP. We stayed for the post show talk with the director and playwright… thus I again got home at 11…

Wednesday, my Lion Dance had a outside performance at MICA in which we completed the seemingly impossible feat of carrying the drum and drum cart up the lorry by again roping in my poor ex-students… and after which was a swimming and sauna session with Mom which was satisfyingly hot and strenuous… the good thing was I got home early and was in bed by 10.

Thursday, an unusually stretched out pilates session and an extremely fulfilling dinner with JX after…

Friday is the first 2nd level U&I class… and Vincent was out to prove the difference between 1st and 2nd level by teaching 5 complicated sequences in which I’m starting to realize that my shoulders are in actuality not mine at all….

Saturday is my ambitious day to watch 2 plays in a day, Mahjong Eclipse and the Last Night of Jin Taipan, the latter ending at the hour of 11… with much delayed shopping done in between, exercising both the body and mind with the bonus of the wallet……..

And now we are at Sunday… with my essays yet unmarked and the common tests papers coming in tmr….

February 11, 2006

华裔 06

Filed under: 戏痕 — by Yilise @ 2:33 AM


从开场时,金大班首次现身,在夜巴黎舞厅的门口一站,应该是惊艳,却只见一个徐娘半老却非风韵犹存的女子做作的摆pose。接下来和童得怀的骂戏,原是我 很期待的一场戏,刘晓庆演来泼辣有余,却少了金兆丽的那一股锐气,十足象个泼妇骂街。最后那三声“哼”更是可笑,这就是金大班的狠辣气势?

台北夜巴黎的戏还看得下去,至少刘晓庆把金大班的苍凉与看尽风月的冷眼演了出来。但上海百乐门的那几场戏却真是让人失望。十里洋场的头牌舞女打扮 得那么媚俗已让人无法忍受,再加上女主角夸张的演绎,我真的看不到一个聪明伶俐,风姿绰约的金兆丽。更加看不出这女子凭什么成为上海的当红舞小姐。金兆丽 虽性格爽朗善良,但也八面玲珑,手段厉害。否则如何能在歌舞场中打滚二十年?听到台上的金兆丽的嚎哭时,实在忍不住皱眉,因为真的与我在小说中读的金兆丽 相差太远,再年轻的玉观音,也不该那样嚎哭,骨子里的坚韧要强不容许她下这个面子。


不过下午的《非常麻将》却真的很精彩。三个演员与饰演的角色已成一体,丝毫没有演戏痕迹。剧本也让人回味无穷。这部戏有《等待果陀》的味道却没有《等》剧 的沉闷与乏味,可以说是这次的华裔我看的三部戏中最好的一部。《长屋》剧本可还算扣人心弦,但演员的功力毕竟还是差一截,演员始终无法融入角色。尤其竟然 还出现忘词的情况,实在很难原谅。不知何时,新加坡的戏会有人艺的水准?

February 2, 2006

Pre-CNY days

Filed under: 碎碎念,心痕 — by Yilise @ 7:30 AM

Typing this in school now in between marking journals that I have to finish in order to return my class tomorrow so that I can set homework for the weekend to give me more marking to do next week…. Ha…it’s a vicious cycle. (also in between of being called out by students for various misc. items including arrangement of tables and chairs…)

The week before CNY celebrations was not a good week… Besides been in charge of wushu which has two, TWO performances on the day of the celebrations itself meaning the entire week is taken up by rehearsals both dry and wet, I’m also unhappily in charge of the decorations meaning the week was spent running around the school monitoring students hanging up the various lanterns and red cloths, not to mention looking for poor students to hang the stuff up itself. Therefore, for the duration of the week, I was running around in between both rehearsals as well as wherever my students are hanging up decorations!

As if this is not enough, one of my wushu kids twisted his knee on Tuesday and I had to send him to the hospital…(I had to attend a meeting on Tuesday too so it ended up I was supposed to be at 4 places at the same time?!) And all kinds of misc. stuff was stirred up too because of this incident (accident reports, talking to coach, talking to parents etc etc etc), all adding to the whole cauldron of stuff on my already too full plate…esp since my poor kid is rendered immobile… thank goodness he is still in good spirits. He’s really a good kid.

Seeing the week as thus, I’m proud of the fact that I still managed to exercise nearly everyday. Jazz on Monday, swimming on Wednesday, pilates on Thursday and U&I plus salsa on Friday. I managed to complete the full schedule! On such a week too!

In the end, Friday’s celebrations turned out well. Both the lion dance and wushu performances were well received and I got a lot of compliments from other teachers despite the hiccups beforehand. Thursday’s rehearsals sucked so much, the kids were all tired out from training non-stop since nov and horribly dispirited by Tuesday’s incident. I was all ready for an awful performance, but they bucked up on the day itself… They are such a good bunch… the decorations were all up and ready… thanks to some of my ex-students who happened to be hanging around when I was desperate for help… and they did so without complain. Rewarded them all with goodies which are really not enough..

But I was all ragged by this time… after the celebrations and visiting my student in the hospital… so needed a break. Discovered that I forgot to bring suitable exercise clothes for U&I, so decided to go shopping at Seiyu. Wanted to buy suitable slacks and exercise tee anyway (being substituting shorts and t-shirts). So it ended up my new year clothes are exercise slacks and tees… haha..,

Met Sher for lunch and we had waffles. And she gave me such a sweet pressie! Its one of a kind and has a very special meaning for the both of us. We talked about how we don’t meet up as often anymore… leaving us all nostalgic for our uni days..

Watched Memoirs of the Geisha… it really followed the book… know that some of my friends don’t like it.. but I found that all that I didn’t like about it are points that I didn’t like about the book too… the abruptness of the ending twist being one. It kept all the parts that I liked about the book and the scenes are pretty, so it was okay. The three actresses lived up to the hype too so I’m not disappointed. Looking forward to Pirates and Casanova though. Also contemplating watching Brokeback again especially since its not going to be cut at all.

And that’s the Pre-CNY days….

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