心语迹痕

August 21, 2006

Tis’ Life…

Filed under: 碎碎念,心痕 — by Yilise @ 2:04 AM

Had an extremely packed but fulfilling weekend…

My weekend started early on Friday night when I met up with Xuan for a quick dinner (p.s., there’s this mini bistro at Raffles Marketplace that sells quite yummy Saigon Baguette, refreshing filling and crispy bread, but must tell the girl to slice it else its very hard to eat) and the play, Salsa Salsa Salsa. I guess Homesick set quite a high bar… found Salsa x 3 slightly lacking with its choppy scenes and flubbed lines… still, for a first long play and the ability of the young playwright to get into the mind of 4 old ladies, its still a commendable effort.

Brought my students to Hwachong to attend a JC Seminar by NUS on Saturday morning, really enjoyed this outing. There was one lecture that was particularly interesting but that’s not the highlight. It was like a mass reunion, meeting up with my secondary school, jc and university teachers! I even met several ex-classmates-turned-teachers that were also bringing their students to attend. Caught up with kapoh who’s retiring end of this year… its sad… as he said, from next year onwards, when we step into the LEP room, there will be no familiar faces anymore… Also chatted with my uni prof who gave me several good suggestions on where to do my ma course. All the familiar faces made up for the slowly becoming unfamiliar campus… the two wings and canteen didn’t change, but the auditorium is one unfamiliar place… although one of my jc teachers commented that its actually deteriorating already…. Makes me feel old…

Rushed down afterwards for Belinda’s last jazz class… and probably also my last jazz class for awhile. She’s so sweet… and I’ll miss her so…

Went for a swim afterwards before salsa. Today is the complicated move that I remembered from Jan, didn’t help that I felt really tired…

Woke up at an unearthly hour on Sunday for the wushu competition… Reached school at 720am and the sports hall at 8am. Spent the whole day there as my kids’ last competition was at 4pm. Spent so much time and effort on this competition, both preparation and competing itself but it was all worth it, my kids did really well! We didn’t expect a single medal considering that we are so new and it’s an Open Championship. But we won 2 golds, 1 silver, 1 bronze and two placings of 4th and 5th. Really not bad at all for a first time try at the Open Championships! They are so moved that they actually cried on Saturday on winning our first gold. My sec 1s were in disbelief most of the time. Am really proud of them.

Went for dinner with my mom and dad after the competition at Sakae… I’m not spending enough time with them really… with my busy schedule… so was happy at the chance to spend some quality time with them.

Marked like mad for the weekend… have so many classes of essays, tests, letters and exercises that I’m slowly being flattened… Promised my Sec. 3s that they’ll be able to know their test results on Monday so was hiding in a corner at the sports hall on Sunday between my kids’ competition events to mark and stayed up last night to finish marking another class of essays. Will probably stay up tonight as well…. It’s the Annual Never-Ending Non-Stop August–October Marking Season again…. From CA to End-of-Year- to Mock Exams….

And so is life….

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August 13, 2006

Another weekend’s here…

Filed under: 碎碎念,心痕 — by Yilise @ 6:55 AM

Now Playing: Under the Weather – Kt Turnstall

It was a good week, partly due to the fact that there was only two days of school. Had quite a packed week though, but did mostly stuff that I liked doing and was doing for myself. Spoiled myself on Tuesday and Thursday and spent time with myself. Spent a lot of time with my family as well. Went to the gym with my mom on wed, and spent the day at home afterwards with my dad watching tv.

Met up with Lin on Thursday, with the both of us so busy, it was the first time we actually met up since the hols.

Watched Eleanor Wong’s Campaign on Friday after a extremely busy day at school. It wasn’t as good as Homesick, but it was still good. Guess it wasn’t personal enough for me. Watched it with Shuhui and Qinyu and we went for dinner/supper afterwards.

Took my kids down for translation competition on Sat morning to Changi. (got such a shock at the location when I first found out). I have really good kids for translation, it’s a competition that requires a lot of work and they are all so busy and piled up with work, yet they never fail to deliver. Even my backup who is even busier and won’t even really be taking part in the competition still did her work. I don’t know how we’ll do, but they have already done well for me and I’m so proud of them.

Went for Belinda’s jazz class afterwards and was so tired I lay down for a short nap since I was early. Went to the gym to swim after the class before going for salsa.

Yesterday night was a quiet night at union, but danced a lot; many friends turned up and had quite a good time.

Going to spend a quiet day today at home… woke up at 1pm! Finally going to get some marking done after the rude awakening that my class is due to write their 7th essay when I haven’t even marked the 5th and let them write their 6th…. I am so behind in my marking its slowly not being funny anymore…

Got two lovely presents this week…. A parcel from P which always brightens up my day with surprise postcards from DC where he stayed for a month and couldn’t find a single thing suitable for a memento and a sweet surprise from Lin of seaweed in the shape of animals she bought awhile back when I was feeling low. Feel so loved….

When I turn out the light, you’re out of sight
Although I know that I’m not alone
Feels like home…

August 6, 2006

Weekend…

Filed under: 碎碎念,心痕 — by Yilise @ 3:56 PM

Had a full day of exercise on Saturday… counted when I met Eugene for dinner… it was about 7-8 hours! But somehow I’m not really aching anywhere today which is very good news. Muscles were screaming the whole of last week when I just started my exercise regime after joining my fitness centre. Hm… perhaps my body has adjusted to the change.

Yesterday was Vincent’s last class… quite sad… I’ll miss him so, he’s really the best instructor I’ve had… the one that can really motivate me to do the best I can. It doesn’t help that my other favorite jazz instructor is also leaving… Originally joined my fitness centre hoping that it can replace the jazz classes, but after taking one bodyjam class (supposedly the class that can replace my jazz classes), I’m starting to realize that its not quite the same thing… contemplating to try out O school… although how I’m going to be able to fit it in my current schedule is quite beyond my concept.

But I don’t regret joining my fitness centre despite the exorbitant fees…. The service is great and I still do like the classes, especially Body Balance. And for all that Body Jam lack in technique, it’s still a good workout. And so is Body Combat. And I love the saunas and steam rooms at all the clubs and the fact that I can shower and get my hair dry when I get home. Plus the view over the pool at One George St is absolutely gorgeous.…

All the exercise I’m doing is making me feel much better… somehow its clearing my head and I don’t feel so tired all the time so much… maybe because I don’t think so much when I’m doing the classes so my brain can finally take a break…

Woke up late today thou and decided to skip the morning body jam classes I was planning to take… after 6 days of exercise this week and the 7 hours yesterday, I guess I deserved it.

Watched Children’s Letters to God in the afternoon at the SRT. It was something different from Homesick on Friday… it had a certain innocent quality about it and yet something wise…the questions and the answers… I liked the songs and the actors are refreshing. Sometimes, perhaps we do need to see things from a different perspective… and a child always seems to see things clearer… with less distortions.

Met up with Dr. Lin for dinner at the Book Café and we had a wonderful chat… We always have so much to talk about and our conversations can range from academia gossip to thoughts of life…

All in all… it was a fulfilling weekend…

August 4, 2006

Homesick

Filed under: 戏痕 — by Yilise @ 5:24 PM

Just watched Alfian’s Homesick today and I have to say, for the first play in the inaugural Singapore Theatre Festival, it really set a high standard. It started off on a quirky note and somehow managed to keep the light tone through out the two hour play that handled almost all the difficult and often controversial issues that barrages all S’poreans… from stayers and quitters to racial discrimination… making us see and reflect on all the issues in a different light…

When I said I was going to watch Alfian’s new play, a friend said something about watching another gay play… well… she was wrong… If anything, Homesick proved Alfian’s ability to write beyond gay issues. Homesick is the quintessential Singapore play… it is essentially Singapore condensed into two hours. And that is such a rare thing. For a quality Singaporean play about Singapore…

Homesick reminded me of why I go to theatre… not just for entertainment and relaxation from musicals like Cabaret (which was a really good broadway-quality show) or to be moved by touching storylines… but to feel. Homesick did that. It dug deep within and resonates… and I saw little bits of me and the people around me in all its characters… for a first time, I saw Singapore on a stage.

A story about a family of five children and the fact that all five are scattered all over the world…. And the way each of them love and hate their home and their nation…the bitterness they feel towards the country they grew up in… the issues they brought up striking a chord each time…the fact that we are living one man’s dreams… and in that case what happens to our own dreams? The way we are seeking our roots and where should those roots be? In China or in Singapore? Are we first Singaporeans or Chinese? And what do we call our culture? The way that we somehow can never face the fact that someone in our family married someone of another race… and the way no one wants to live in S’pore their whole lives…

Its no secret that I’m not planning on living in S’pore all my life… and the play actually invoked all the feelings I have for this nation… love, belonging, resentment, indifference… and the truth that nothing can change the fact that I grew up here and this is where all my childhood memories are… I was born here and grew up here… I studied and lived in Bukit Timah…I buy groceries from NTUC and used to spend hours in the bookshop at Beauty World… I spend my weekends in Orchard and City Hall and I go to Kwan Im Temple to pray for safety and good results… hope and nostalgia…

This is where my memories are… in this country with all its idiosyncrasies that I cannot stand and in two hours, Aflian somehow managed to sum up all my feelings and when it ended, I felt the pain behind my eyes from tears that won’t fall when something deep within really hurt…

For all the hype on the controversy of the play (esp. the L word that took a hold over the after show q&a) , I see Homesick as a play about a home. About people that after and under everything, is simply seeking a place within their family… a place where they are accepted and loved. Essentially and deep down, that’s what every character in the play wants…. And what we all want. In the Playwright’s Message, Alfian talked about the true meaning of “homesickness”… of how it is possible to feel homesick without leaving your home at all… and our dual feelings about Singapore…

For all that Singapore is… an accidental nation that sometimes cannot even decide how old she is… with its shifting identity and groundless roots… it is still the place we grew up in… the place we know better than any other in the world. And in that, it is irreplaceable.

No matter how we hate it often and love it rarely… and how we resent it like a child resenting its mother… we cannot deny the umbilical cord that connects us and how we can never really cut it.

This play doesn’t really change anything about how I feel… but it does make me think and reflect deeper… and most importantly, it touched something in me…

After all, what is home? It’s not just a nation. It’s not just a house. Yet, do we abandon the nation and the house? What are we really attached to? What are we homesick for?

I’ll really like to recommend this play to every Singaporean… its not a perfect play, there are still some kinks in it (Patrick’s about-turn decision was too abrupt and made the ending a little too pat, some characters are under-utilized and slightly cardboard ), but overall it’s an excellent play. Alfian’s words held a grace and sensitivity as always. For a rare play that is wholly centered on Singapore… it’s amazing. For an ending where almost everyone leaves in the end…it is actually unbelievable truthful… Its something we can be proud of.

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