Category Archives: Words to Thyself.

double yew tee eff

Had a bad day in school – spent the day wondering why I’ve been this aimless and why I’ve been wasting my time in this place for this whole year. No purpose, no aim.

When I finally left school, I thought – I need a drink.

So I went to the Starbucks within walking distance, and ordered myself an iced coffee. The weather has been too hot.

While I was waiting, a colleague excitedly texted the group saying, “Meeting for XXX day now! at XXXXX location!”

double yew tee eff.

I had left school already and I really didn’t remember any prior information about said meeting. I ignored the text, got my drink and got onto the bus. Checked my phone again. Saw a missed call from a colleague. Decided to call the colleague back and told her I was unable to make the meeting because I’ve already left school. Then I asked her if any prior notification was given. She mentioned an email from someone else. So I thought I must’ve missed the email and apologised profusely.

I checked my email after the phonecall, wondering how on earth could I have missed such an email (I usually don’t miss such emails). I couldn’t find any.

I couldn’t find any emails about meetings happening on 3 October. None, nada, zilch.

Thanks for making my day a lot worse. Thanks for making my day suck even more. Thanks for making me feel guilty about missing a non-existent email.

double yew tee eff double yew tee eff.



Truly distraught.

Today was one of those horrible school days.

The kind where you wished you were anywhere but in this environment. The kind where you wished you never ever ever moved.

Today was supposed to be the last teaching day for the non-graduating classes. I should feel a sense of relief on this day, and I usually do. I didn’t feel that today. It always felt like my engine never started for the year. It felt like I’ve been leading a soul-less life for the whole year.

I was very troubled by some of the things my colleagues were doing today. In my own mind, I was thinking, “How bloody lazy can you get?” Yet I’ve learnt my lesson from the earlier part of the year, I’ve been burnt and since I have told the school that I’m not leaving as yet, I’ve also learnt to keep my mouth shut.

I didn’t realise how much I have been looking for straws to clutch on, until this afternoon when a miscommunication occurred between a friend and I. He texted asking if he could pick up some stuff we ordered together for the Leaguers. Without hesitation I agreed gleefully and rushed home to ensure that he could come by to pick it up. Through all that texting, I thought he wanted to pick it up today, when he actually meant tomorrow and he didn’t make it clear as well.

Imagine my disappointment when he called and clarified that it was for tomorrow.

No wonder I had that strange nagging feeling when he kept saying that he could come by because conduct grade meeting for him would start only at 4plus and he could afford time to come over from the north. I vaguely remembered conduct grade meetings were always held on Thursdays. Now we know why.

Throughout today, I was so looking forward to meeting with him, even if it meant it was only for a very short while. I needed him to help cheer up my day because it had just been so horrible. I thought I could push such days to the back of my mind, I thought I could make it go away by itself. It’s just hiding far back, waiting to surface at the wrong moments.

I fear such days would continue to pile quietly and one day everything would erupt again. I thought I could just let it go, but apparently I can’t, as much as I try.

我最近真的很累。It has been too emotionally draining recently, way too draining.

The only thing I look forward to, are my Sec three kids. The school will probably take them away from me after the exams, in name of rebanding and reshuffling of classes. When they were whining at me today, asking if I will teach them next year, I couldn’t promise them anything at all.

My only only hope would be that I can assume FT-ship of them next year, as I’ve requested to take these kids for form class next year. That hope is faint, and I wouldn’t know until the end of the year, when the new school year starts again.

I can’t wait for this dark period to be over.


Leaving. Farewell. Passing.



There are so many ways to describe one’s leaving. Leaving can be defined in many different ways.

This week, we lost someone dear to our hearts.

This week, the family has been in a crisis.

This week, I took to cooking like a comfort blanket.

We became emotional support for one another.

Continue reading

It’s been a while.

We learn to pick our battles everyday. Even with kids, we learn to pick our battles everyday.

Continue reading

When an ex-student makes your day.

When an ex-student makes your day.

This helps to pull me through trying times.
All I want to, is to teach – to be in the classroom with the students, imparting knowledge and life lessons. Telling them there’s more to life than just grades and Olevels.

Oh how I wish.

I miss this, wayy too much.

I started tearing this evening, as I read this thread.

Geeks alert!

Geeks alert!

I truly miss this too much. How we can go off on a crazy tangent, be geekily crazy and have so much fun. I admit, I miss my colleagues so badly, it really hurts. FML.


I am very free on Friday. Yes this Friday. I end school at 12:30pm and I’m determined to leave school by 1pm, especially when it’s not my remedial week.

Here’s the confusing bit.

When I say “I am very free” – I mean I have absolutely nothing on. The boy is away on reservist and he is not available till Saturday afternoon. So my Friday afternoon, evening and night is FREE – like a bird. On one hand, I have the urge to call a friend, go out and paint the town red (in my own very lazy way) – but I don’t know who to call. On the other hand, the temptation to just go home and sleep the day away is there, largely.

I feel a little sad that I don’t know who to call up and say, “Hey Friday night dinner & drinks?” Along the way as I grew older, I just drifted away from people in general. The main reason why I’ve been feeling so hesitant about calling friends out – I haven’t felt social in a very long time. I feel awkward in social situations nowadays, except for Ling and Shu whom I see on a rather regular basis. We just had brunch at Symmetry just two weeks back, to celebrate Ling’s birthday and the food was amazing! And we’re meeting to cook next Monday evening at Shu’s place (it helps that she stays one street away from me).

I feel like there’s this unexplainable wall of communication, that I worry the chitchatting will run dry after an hour and we’ll sit there awkwardly wondering what else to talk about, aside from recent events that happened to both parties. It has happened during the school holidays before when I know I should call friends out to go out, walk, chitchat and catch up. Then I consider the possible awkward scenarios and I talk myself out of meeting up with friends. In the end, I either stay at home with a good book and read, or go out myself with my camera and wander about for a few hours before I go home.

It almost feels like I’d rather be alone, than to be out with friends. I think I over think the situation. It’s probably not half bad as what I envision it to be, but I’ll mull over the days when we used to be so much closer. Some days, I wonder all my friends went. Of course, I blame myself for neglecting the friends due to work, and spending more time with the boy. Of course, it’s not as if I can rewind time and change things, but I feel hesitant taking the first move. I worry.

And so I worry. And I continue to worry until the very day, where I’ll probably just decide to 1. stay in with my book and talk to the boy over the phone, 2. go out myself, hit my usual favourite spots (cue Kino, Esplanade and the likes) and go home thereafter.

I really don’t know what I would like to do this Friday, and I am extremely confused.


(unofficial) last day.

Today is my unofficial last day.

I posted this on Facebook,

Today is my (unofficial) last day at Riverside and it was a quietly emotional day. I’ll miss my dear friends, colleagues and students. Everybody has been wonderful and I have learnt so much from colleagues, friends and students alike. So much memories have been created and I know I will remember them for a very very long time. May we (friends, colleagues & students) all stay in touch for a very very long time.

Special mention to the Justice Leaguers (Thomas Chen, Nora Bella, Gillian Lim, Zack Hussain, Nurul Fairiz Abdellah, Yao Shuohan) for being there all the time for me – the good times and the bad times. And of course, the 3 ladies along the same aisle – Lee Peici, Xiuhui Wang – love you girls so much. And of course to the so many other good friends – many many thanks for everything.

To current/ex/graduated Riversidians – you know I <3 you, and will always wish the best for you. Do yourselves proud, and hope I’ve taught you well. :)

It was an extremely summarised version. It’s kinda hard to encapsulate everything in a simple Facebook status update when there’s so many things to say to different groups of people: the extremely close friends, the good ones, the colleagues and of course, the students.

The heart feels extremely heavy.

I could say I brought this upon myself, but this day will come – the day of closing that is.

I could’ve been lazy and quote inertia for the rest of my life. I could’ve said, look all my friends are here, I’ve got a great staffroom environment and the kids are pretty awesome. I could’ve just stayed here all my life and be comfortable, be really comfortable since I like the efficiency here and that everybody gets things done.

However, I could feel the current environment suck my passion away. I’ll think of a grand plan, then think about the school management and then give up on the grand plan without even asking or trying. It didn’t used to be like this – I used to bring ideas to the table eagerly, thinking that the school leaders would consider them. That was when I was young and naive, fresh. Soon I came to realise that my ideas were being shot down without reasons given. They were shot down because some of us felt that the kids will never be mature enough to complete/conduct our ideas with them. They were shot down because someone else always felt that their ideas were always better than ours, and he/she didn’t properly consider our ideas thoroughly. I never had the chance.

Slowly I found myself thinking like them – that horrified me. I didn’t want to turn into another educator who concentrated on efficiency and forgot about the students. I didn’t want to give up on my ideas entirely and become puppets of the administration – I want to educate my kids on everything and anything, not just my subject content. I want to educate my kids on how to manage the risks and dangers of life and little intricacies, not to overprotect them and hide them in my arms, shielded away from the dangers. I want them to be ready for what they could be in for when they grow up, not to learn the things we used to do 10 years ago.

I don’t want to be a outdated educator – I want to be able to keep up with my students, no matter how old I could be.

To achieve that slowly burning away dream, I had to do something difficult – to leave my comfort zone and find that right environment where I can do what I set out to do, so that I can do right by my students. I didn’t want to lose myself in the sea of puppets. I didn’t want to work under uninspiring restrictive heads.

Of course, I knew I could quote the “distance and travelling factor” to the school management. Underneath it all, everybody knew the actual reasons. One colleague came up to me and said quietly, “It’s never about the distance, isn’t it.” I nodded quietly. Some colleagues came up to me and lamented the loss of a good teacher (me) and I took their compliments quietly.

On my very last day today, I spoke to one of them for a very long time. She has the same dreams and she agrees completely about my view of the school management. She voiced them before I said anything about my take on them. I wish I had the chance to talk to her earlier about such issues. She made me realise that there are people like me out there, in the current environment. She made me wish that more of us would speak out like that – but I think under such leaders, it’ll be hard for us to speak up.

One colleague (who grumbles way too much about the environment) once said, “If they are all shitty environments, then I’ll rather stay in a shitty environment with my friends.”

I say to myself, as a permanent reminder to myself for the rest of my teaching career, “I will want to look for the right environment where I can grow as an educator, alongside with my students. There will be that right environment for me out there. I just need to look for it.”

Fleeting thoughts.

1. My toe is swollen (banged up, thus it swelled). 

It all happened when I was trying to avoid a cockroach (I fear them to death) in the master bedroom toilet, on Sunday evening when I was home alone. I jumped in fear and landed hard, and wrongly on my big right toe. So actually, the base of the toe is swollen and I find it hard to walk.

I just had to be doing N levels invigilations this week as well. Woe be me.

I wonder if it’ll heal in time by Saturday. I have a wedding dinner to attend and I would very much like to wear heels.

2. My Sec 4 students can sniff out chocolates like hunting dogs.

Roo’s post on chocolates (technically it was just one line) reminded me of how my Sec 4 students sniffed out chocolates quickly, even though I brought the chocolates up quietly to the library for distribution. I didn’t say a single sentence when I walked in to the library, where they were quietly doing their revision. It was meant to be a reward, as the whole class scored 80 and above (can you believe it?!) for their second round of Prelims. Of course, the kids paid more attention to my movements and the item I was holding in my hands. Tried to hide it behind me but some of them were seated behind the teacher’s desk. Everybody had a good laugh of course.

3. It’s friggin October!

Yes, the second day of October and am feeling terribly uninspired. The tiredness has stretched itself to the maximum and even though the work to clear has depleted by a huge amount and I do have time to do other things (e.g. play Torchlight 2) – I can’t seem to garner enough energy to install the game and play.

On another note, I am so going to miss having computer games talk with Tom and SH after this year.

On another note, this means that I am going to have a change in environment soon and I still can’t quite figure if I should be happy or sad. Probably a mix of both, but worried about fitting in. I’ve always had issues with the worry of not being able to find a nice group to hang out with. I’ve been wondering recently if the posting was a right move on my side. What’s done, is done though. I can only move ahead and hope for the best.

My toe is really annoying me. I ponder on the possible things I could do right now – grade the projects while watching Survivor, work on the graduation cards, or install Torchlight 2. I’ll work on the HRC comments tomorrow in school, plenty of time to do that since the EOY exams officially start tomorrow (we’re away behind other schools, most schools are already in the thick of exams. we just finished our last day of lessons today. bah.)

I could just play Diablo 3 though. Hmms.


Something that I’ve been guilty of not doing.

I was watching the following video, while trying to figure out how this new beta worked. Instead it guilted me into writing this post.

(If anyone reading is interested in the beta, leave a message – I’ve got 4 invites left. 1 invite automatically went to the boy, thus 4 left.)

I know I haven’t been expressing myself enough. It’s always the same excuse – that dreaded four letter word – work. Sadly, it’s haunting.

While I was watching the above video, the wheels in the head were churning:

  • Could I use it in the classroom?
  • How can I use it to engage the students?
  • Could I use it to make the subject matter less boring and stuffy, and get them to like the subject content and making it familar to them, ala instagram / tumblr the material?

Can you imagine – this tool’s main purpose was for expression, and I attempted to convert it to something possible educational? At one point in time, I was considering using it as a method for presentation of content. (While typing, I am still contemplating.)

The wheels wouldn’t stop spinning, until another thought surfaced.

What about my own expression? 

I barely blog nowadays. I’ve been thinking, and thoughts have been random. However, since work took over the bulk of the mind, I’ve never quite allowed myself to blog, or play serious games. A thoughtful blog entry requires time and effort to craft, serious gaming requires alot of time – time that I’m not sure if I can actually relax and allow myself to let go and have fun.

The constant guilty feeling always stay at the back of the mind. That is not a nice feeling.

Watching tv  is alright, because each episode is time-limiting i.e. each episode could be 20 minutes long – I could still do work after that. I do know it’s pretty impossible if I start gaming and get carried away. Thinks about those times when rambly and sodiume went off adventuring in the virtual world. We never quite managed to come out within any time frame we gave ourselves.

How do I actually allow myself to just let go and blog, or play games? The urge to blog has decreased minimally. When the thoughts come, I usually shove them to the back of the mind, until they eventually disappear and leave no trace. Tonight’s different, because there’s clearly nothing urgent and I’ve got the whole of tomorrow morning to work on the work in school because MYE has started.

I can’t quite figure out if it’s the school environment that causes me to behave this way, especially when teachers have never-ending amount of work and marking to do. We bring home work way too often for my liking, or we stay in school way too long to finish up work. Or could this just be my natural behaviour and attitude towards work in general?

I’m still trying to figure this one out. Hopefully, eventually, I’ll figure something out.

In the meantime, I’ll see if The New Hive can open up expression doors for me, and make me take time out for the self to express, like how I used to.