Saturday, February 05, 2011

Chinese New Year 2011, Day 3

Family portrait with the in-laws. This shot follows an annual ritual of dressing in our new year finery and descending to a dimsum restaurant for morning 'tea'. Taking a similar shot every year is like a record of how much we've grown over the past year. And with the amount of food consumed during this period, the annual rate of mass increase has to be pretty significant.

The lucky dimsum restaurant selected to host our carnage this year is Mandarin Court. Enjoyed the spread here because above all, there was no trace of the oily flavour that tends to taint the deep-fried dishes and makes me feel sick after. It may have been pricey here, but the food went down easy. Good choice. 

Friday, February 04, 2011

Hornet buzz

Being a superhero is easy. You either need a lot of money and a media empire or technical wizardry and kung-fu. Or preferably, both. So, Britt Reid (a.k.a. The Green Hornet) provides the resources and big-picture inspiration while Kato (a.k.a., Kato) builds the toys and brings the kung-fu smackdown. Egro, outlaw crime-fighting duo with 'normal' powers fighting for justice.

The comedy isn't in fighting the bad guys, but in the background bickering between Reid and Kato over the nature of the partnership, who has the better plan, who gets the credit and of course, who gets Cameron Diaz. Just another day in the office.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

NYeDC needs you!

Proud of NYeDC for taking the initiative to volunteer an item for today's campus CNY celebration concert.

Serendipitously, it was a tactically wise move because it coincided with our one-and-only CCA bazaar (a.k.a., recruitment drive) for the newly-arrived J1s. Due to time constraints, the few aesthetic CCAs allowed to perform at the bazaar were those participating in the SYF, so we wouldn't have been allocated a slot. Besides, performing a theatrical piece would have been pointless in a noisy atrium space with a free-flowing itinerant audience.

But playing on the hall stage, we had the entire J1 cohort as a captive sit-down audience. Being miked, we were totally audible -- right down to the disparaging remarks against a popular EPL club that we engineered into our script for shock value. Kids did well to keep the energy consistently high, hitting their marks and getting the appropriate responses from the audience as expected. I will always say a couple more rehearsals on-site would have covered a few more sins. But given our prep time, I believe we did the best we could.

With the full attention of our target market, hopefully that'll translate to a better impression of us and our capabilities, and a stronger recruitment for the club. Funding's down this year, so we really need the numbers for a more advantageous bargaining position during next year's budget review.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

My poor, starving child!

Kindergarten food concern
STI, Feb 1, 2011

I AM a parent of a child (congratulations on your contribution to our local population. You're still short of 1.1 children to reach the ideal replacement rate, however) studying at Radin Mas PAP Community Foundation kindergarten (can the activities at kindergarten actually be considered 'studying'? I remember the plasticine molding, the messing around with finger paints, the running around and terrorizing my fellow kindermates as my primary function in life back then. Can times really have changed so much?).

I thought schools in Singapore are trying to promote healthy eating (Ooh, a Bandwagon+Appeal to Authority combo attack! Nice one!), but my child's school serves mostly biscuits during snack time (aren't biscuits a legitimate form of snack food?). And each child is given about six pieces each time (Q-tip gets five every morning. Sounds fair to me).

Given the duration of four hours in school, how filling can the six biscuits be (spoiling his appetite for lunch is not a good idea, according to the Surgeon General)? If it is not biscuits, it would be a hotdog bun (but no hotdog? That's a violation of human rights!). Occasionally, they are given cake (Marie Antoinette would approve!).

A few parents checked with the teachers and the answer they were given (wait, what was the question?) was that the general election (GE) was coming (well, it is rather early in the year to expect Santa Claus). The room with a pantry and a stove has been locked up for some time because of the GE (we're a corruption-free society. We don't want our election officials helping themselves to kindergarten food while on duty, do we?), so they have not been able to cook macaroni, which is what the pupils got to eat at least once a week before (first, you complain that six biccies a day aren't enough; but you'd rather feed the kids macaroni once a week? Hmm... I suppose that would save some washing-up time).

I hope the relevant authorities will look into the healthy eating habits of pupils (or maybe they could improve campus security, what with all these parents trying to break into the kitchen looking for macaroni, and all).

Cecilia Teo (Ms)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Pigeonholing people

Crash course in DISC profiling. Was quite resistant to it 'cos I don't like pigeonholing people. Trainer did say, however, that depending on context people's behaviour will change. For example, if the situation is competitive, my compliant 'C' side pops up cos I tend to follow the rules. Whereas if there is no competition, my inspirational 'I' side takes over as I enjoy the silly fun of the activity. So now, supposedly, I should be able to identify similar traits in the kids I 'mentor' within the narrow contexts within which I interact with them, and respond to them according to their DISC needs.

But what's interesting about the DISC workshops the kids will be attending is the training they will undergo in decision-making and conflict-resolution skills. Think I can ride on this initial groundwork and incorporate them in GP since these skill sets coincide quite nicely. The cognitive domains (Yikes! I should wash my mouth out with soap and water for using such language!) may be different, but the processes and the results are pretty much the same.