Donna and the pink jungle

Donna could not sleep the other day and wanted to go to the “papa room”- my study room. I kinda stayed up with her and in my lame attempt to make her lie down (to sleep la), I tried to introduce a jungle scene in my room. Within minutes we whipped this scene out with my quilt (the grass patch), her pink blanket (the sky) and chou chou (the rock).

When we pull the blanket over ourselves I began to understand the story of Totoro, Donna’s favourite cartoon. In a split moment the world consist of just Donna and papa, she began to count the stars (star prints on the blanket), she saw the shadows made by moving tigers, the hidden trunk of an elephant, even dolphins! At this point, the grass patch became the ocean bed and stars in the skies somehow morphed into starfishes…

In that short but precious moment, I don’t feel like a papa anymore, in fact it seemed like she was bringing me through an exciting adventure- to show me things that I can never see.

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Are we really boring?

Just came back from Hong Kong not too long ago dog tired. It was supposed to be a break, you know.. taking a breather from the ever stressful pace of living here but it turned out to be the other extreme. I was really tired- not from work but shopping and eating till wee hours in the night. There’s such a zest of life (perhaps my friends over there may not agree and moreover I was there as a tourist). I came back to Singapore with ONE burning question- why does our shopping centres close at 9 or 930 when there is still such a large crowd?

I can’t help but to wonder if it is due to a standard practice that has already expired. I wonder how many standard practices do we have that is no longer relevant. Have we ever question why are we still teaching when our students can find everything on the web? Have we ever ask ourselves why do we need to go to an office for work when we can complete the same task more effectively at home? Have we ever question why are we doing what we dislike and not doing what we like? Maybe we can blame it on the single-season weather here that takes away the very natural influence of climatic variations- that make us boring. Are we merely going through the motion of standard practices and doing thing because our grandma says so?

I hope we can question a little more- and not spend the last 10 minutes before 6 to wait for the clock to strike 6. Just go la!

Thank you

So simple yet so difficult to articulate. I’m not sure if we are too pragmatic or what, perhaps its my education as a designer that we are so used to pinpointing other people’s shortfall here and there. Even comments on Facebook are full of complaints (check out those by my students…)! If we are to intentionally post something nice, I think this world will be nicer.

Its the time of the year that we set aside some space to ponder. To give thanks for. Often we give thanks for the more important things like our promotion, bonuses, great friends, mentors, sound government etc., but things that are ‘normal’ we usually take it for granted. Such as the roof over our head, the air we breathe, the fact that we are alive, our 5 senses and that God is good, no matter what.

I am most thankful this year for you. I think you’re the most accommodating companion anyone can have, you held my hands when I was a nobody and till today when I’m still a nobody, you cling on to me. I look at nature and think that God is awesome. I look at you and think that you are a million times better than nature. Because of you, my impression of God is magnified.

I love you baby, thanks for being by my side.

Lessons from Toby: Coo coo soon no more…

I ponder much when I’m out of Singapore. The past few days in Hong Kong had been great but what I missed dearly are the cooing sound (or melody, noise, songs whatever) made by my 3 months old little Toby. Did a google check and realised that this stage last only but for the next few weeks before he acquires a new sound- thereafter this cooing melody will not be heard again. Donna, my 2 years old daughter will never coo again.

It is so important for us to get our priorities right. To know what matters and what not. There are moments we have right NOW that are precious- moments when missed will never come back again. Honeymoon period between a courting couple, savouring a hot bowl of soup made by our mums and cooing sounds from little Toby.

Take a sip of coffee you drink everyday. Hold it in your mouth a little longer. Let the bitter-sweet lingers a while more. Don’t drink out of an addiction or gulp down your dose to get back to work. There are so many little things in life that requires time for us to enjoy.

For me right now, I wanna come home to the sound of cooing Toby- not SCV.

To all Papas out there, come home early.

Lessons from Donna: Have we lost the guts to take risk?

I have a 2 yr old daughter. She knows no limits. She draws circles on paper and calls them Papa, Mummy and Toby. She doesn’t care about what you say- her circles are self portraits of her family. Yes she will learn but how quickly are we to “point out her mistakes”? Shame on us to present to Donna her first limitation.

Do we still dare do what we like or what God purposed our lives to be? Or are we flowing with and following the back of others. I question less as I grow older. Shame on the worldly system that presents countless limitations that silence me.

We are born different. Be different!

I love you Donna. Explore the world God created. Not the world man made.

Who cares about f=ma?

Have you ever question that out of the 40 friends you have in your secondary school class, how many of them are applying the concept of f=ma, integration or differentiation today? As an educator, have you ever question how many of your students actually requires the concept of “dirty green ppt” in their future? I’m not sure if we are doing things for the sake of doing things, or should we be bold enough to correct what may seem illogical. Your students are not going to be teachers like you, you know? 🙂

Educators need to rethink about our role in the society or we risk losing ourselves to it.

Take myself as an example. The Singapore employment system does not allow me to practice what I teach- they call it moonlighting. But isn’t it such an amusing thought that I have to impart my PAST experiences, to kids of TODAY- in order to prepare them for the FUTURE? Some things just does not make sense! Yet we have to live by it. It is this system that governs our society, to give it credit, it is this system that brings us to where we are- a first world economy. Systems and societies are complex concepts. What worked for the past may not be relevant anymore- yet how many of us are holding dearly to this false sense of security.

We need to think.

We need to question.

Hello wake up!

Our calling is not as sacred as we think we are.

Unless we choose to evolve with our society.

Who cares about f=ma?

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Mark 8:36

I do not know what got on to me that I decide to blog. Wonder even if this will last. Kinda wimpy thing to do, I thought to myself aways especially when most of the blogs I came across are written by mums and their thoughts on motherhood. I recently chanced upon a post by a mum that really shook me- not much because of her content but the purpose behind her content, it ended with Mark 8: 36. The verse shook me! Literally. I ended the day with many questions- am I gaining the whole world yet losing myself? What a disturbing thought. It is time for me to take a step back and look at my life as a third person. Like how I always look and think about the lives of people around me.

I stay in Singapore, awesome place to live in. Safe. Awfully safe. You have to give credit to a sound government. You have to admit that even though the idea of identifying scholars at a young age of 17-18 years old to prepare them to run this nation seems flawed, it is the still the best possible way out. (I pity such scholars at times- have they at some point in time been like me right now, being hit by Mark 8: 36?) What am I doing? What have I been doing? Am I really that great? Is this my purpose in life? Am I going to continue to live out my life the way society planned it? Have my life been switched to AUTO mode without me noticing? Scary. I thank God Mark 8:36 hit me now- when I am 31, instead of 81. I need to step out of this AUTO mode. What am I doing with that breath of God that He breathed into my being? Am I fair to Him who gave me life?

I write now, not because I want to, or it is in fashion. I think I just need to.

At least to remind Donna and Toby that society does not rule their lives.

God does.