Wednesday, October 29, 2008

the demise of morals.

"i don't understand why they (young people) don't just ask their parents for money."
- some NTU girl, straits times 27th oct.

i was super appalled when i read the article. it was a piece about how the young people are not bothered by the current economic downturn. this young 20-year-old undergrad carries a $4000 LV bag among other branded goods. and sighs her way through the interview. when asked about how she felt with regards to her friends who have to work part-time jobs to earn extra cash, she sighed and told the reporter that line.

wow. every few years the young people of singapore will stir up some elitist comment like this and make me wonder if we are all forgoing our morals and integrity for material things. the last one i remember was the daughter of the MP who snubbed a jobless singaporean and asked him to get out her "elitist, uncaring" face. or something like that.

i got to thinking about my own set of values. and how it came about. i have done my fair share of sins when i was young. but ever since coming to know the Lord, i have set my values and morals on the Word of God. well it's a learning curve and a work in progress. but i'm thankful for this set of values that i have and try to abide by, for i know you should never look down on those who are "lesser" that you are. even if you do not have to work to get a nice LV bag because daddy pays for it, you should never tell your friends to ask their parents for money. money their parents may not even have for themselves.

humility is a hard thing to practise. and it's an even harder thing to learn. as educators, we are responsible for our students and to impart in them the knowledge that they need to go out into the world. to run the race with them and help them through every breathlessness, fall, sprain, stitch, pain and victory. but when it comes to the affective domain, how do we teach humility? empathy? creativity? loving kindness? care? honesty? integrity? how do we ensure that our students don't grow up to be soul-less, mindless thieves who don't give a crap about how other people might feel?

i know some are inclined to push this huge and heavy responsibility to the parents. and i do agree that parents play a very important in shaping their children's character from young. but does this let us teachers off the hook? don't think so. out of 24 hours, a child spends a third of it in school, under the care of teachers. so better share this responsibility. i don't quite like teachers who like to push the blame around, blaming everyone but themselves.

well this is such an incoherent post. well all i wanted to say actually was about that girl. and how i'm so sad with the demise of the moral values of our young people.


alright, the US elections provides me with endless entertainment and some of it is super hilarious, and some, really sweet. (: i'm almost halfway through obama's 2nd book and he's a great writer (much better than i am, as evident from this post).

and more than that, he's a great speaker and debater. i watched the final debate, and the final question on education. and he summarized his education plan in 5 points, elaborated on each point, then summarized all the points before his time was up. mccain tumbled through his incoherent points. during rebuttal, obama took mccain's incoherent ramblings, extracted out his main ideas, and did a similarities and differences comparison between his own education plan and mccain's ramblings. within minutes. and i was like WOW. he's super smart and a good talker. sounds like president josiah bartlet of the west wing huh.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

beyond what i am able.

on a ferryboat
en route: bainbridge island to downtown seattle, USA
may 2007

another trying week gone. and the Lord has graciously kept me and answered my desperate prayers for strength, wisdom, perspective and stillness. though i still get nerves for presentation, i can rejoice in the Lord's goodness and His presence.

i wish i could learn how to sail. there's something exciting yet therapeutic about hauling those ropes and tying knots and seeing the sails get caught in the wind. something about getting your sails to that prime position for the wind to carry your boat. something like of all the things we want to control, ultimately it is letting go and letting God lead us to wherever He has planned for us to go.

another week starts. less hectic, but still stressful nonetheless. looking forward to December while i prepare my heart for christmas and reflect on the year. and how comforting it is to know that.

"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man;
but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able,
but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."
1 Corinthians 10:13

Monday, October 13, 2008

beauty in the chaos.

the sun casts its beautiful colors before it retires for the night.
simei, singapore

sometimes i get pleasant surprises flipping through old, uncategorized photos. like this one. and it reminds me again of the goodness of the Lord, and the promises He gives, from day to day.

"Blessed be the name of the LORD
From this time forth and forevermore!
From the rising of the sun to its going down
The LORD’s name is to be praised.

The LORD is high above all nations,
His glory above the heavens."
- Psalm 113:2-4

Friday, October 10, 2008

learning to breathe.

it's really nice to laugh again.

a long lunch with mr. v, mr. d, mr. j and ms. c led to 2 hours of laughing and getting-to-know-one-another and just chatting about life.

watching my favorite shows online again.
s offered great lines for rob lowe's character, sally field and calista flockhart.
set up a series of big arcs for the next 9 episodes in the first volume of the season - yay more flash forwards and new powers.
grey's anatomy
continued its soapy opera, which is my guilty pleasure.
continues to make me laugh and intrigued by the cases (which is amazing: the endless supply of amazing radical out-of-this-world medical mysteries).
private practice
is something i'm watching 'cos of addison the character and tim daly the actor. (:

i miss lost.

and the thing that makes me laugh these days: tina fe*y as sarah pa*lin. tina fe*y has the best and most spot-on impersonation of the veep candidate and she's hilarious! watching her exaggerate every wink, silly, dumb-"blonde", incoherent, incompetent, answer-evading move of sarah pa*lin is hilarious. she even talks like her and has the same twang. which i find the most annoying. tina fe*y is so gifted she totally deserves her Emmy.


well school is turning into madness. i'm trying to stay afloat in the midst of all of it. i am consciously reminding myself that my strength is not enough and not perfect for this, and by His grace and love, that my weakness is made perfect in HIS strength. and that wisdom is more important now than ever.

strength and wisdom. the subject of my prayers of late.

i just finished writing an article on Trust for the ypg website, and i'm very glad i did it. through the writing, i find myself even more convicted in my trust in the Lord that He will see me through my days. and these days are times i need it more than ever.

next week is madness week. i have something due EVERY DAY of the week. be it presentationS/teaching/assignmentS. and i know the only way to go through it and do it well is to keep my eyes, ears, heart and mind on the Lord and His Word. (:

mel shared this verse with me and i truly found it encouraging, so it shall be my verse of the week.

"I would have lost heart,
unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.

Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!"
- Psalm 27:13-14

Thursday, October 9, 2008

an open letter.

Dear McCain/Palin supporters,

please stop your personal attacks.
please stop your racist remarks.
please stop thinking that oba*ma is a terrorist.
please stop shouting "treason!" or (ob*ama is a)"terrorist!" at your rallies.
please stop pointing fingers at your fellow countrymen.
please stop laughing at someone (bi*den) who lost his family to an accident and choked up while speaking about it at a national debate.

and elisa*beth hasse*lback: you need to learn to control yourself on TV and stop trying to talk louder than 4 other ladies. your show is NOT a shouting match or an obam*a-bashing/anti-ob*ama republican convention.

you all need to stop before you turn this campaign into a racial bloodshed of hurtful words, ideas and violence. this is not world war III.

a concerned citizen of the world.


was reading a Newsweek article written by the dean of LKY school of public policy: how the american presidential campaign is the most undemocratic election around. because the 200 million odd voters vote for a president, he and his administration and policies will affect the 6.6 billion people living on this earth.

talk about irony.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

the realization.

today i got the most hilarious text from F.

"How an airhead like Palin gets to be VP candidate is beyond me. Geez talk about clueless."

here's to hoping she gets bombed by Biden in the VP debates happening in less than 12hrs.


i really don't get it: why americans don't understand that if they do not help their banks tide over this financial crisis, they will suffer even more in the long run, even more than subprime and rising costs of living, when the economy cannot be recovered and we slip into another Great Depression.

considering how much money you have let bush spend in the middle east, fighting 2 futile wars and losing thousands of lives, this bailout plan is peanuts. just pass that da** bill and save your banks. and stop bickering for goodness' sake.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

when time resets.

in last week's season 5 opening episode of grey's anatomy, a car accident in a freak ice strom in seattle left 3 women shattered. one had to admit to her best friend that she has been sleeping with her best friend's husband. that cheating husband lost his ability to speak. the 3rd one lost her husband and she herself suffered a huge brain injury.

her brain injury now permanently resets her memory every 30 seconds to the time before the crash. every 30 seconds she asks her friends what happened, because she doesn't remember anything after the accident.

for awhile, her friends told her,
"you have been in a car accident."
"where's my husband?"
"he died."

until one time one of the doctors replied differently.
"he's on his way to the hospital. he's coming."

and for the next 20 seconds, she is happy. even when the truth is far from it.

and i got to thinking about time and memories. memories that we have is what makes life meaningful. purposeful. meredith grey's mother was afflicted with Alzheimer's disease, and was trapped in the memories of her youth. she barely recognizes her own daughter, alienates everyone in her life. and i wonder if that is living.

this woman has her memory reset every 30 seconds. and even when her husband is dead, this information will only make her sad for 20 seconds. and now for the rest of her life, she has to be taken care of by other people till her brain is corrected, or till she dies.

and it reminds me that our human mind is central to all things. the way we live, think, act, behave, play, interact, love. the human mind has invented, engineered, created the things around us, gone to space, split the atom, harness the power of the sun, extend life expectancy, made cars that go at 300kmh, trains that travel at the speed of sound, sent probes to the far reaches of our galaxy.

yet it is also simply the gateway to a relationship with God and salvation, and also the gateway to sin and the clutches of the evil one. the mind is the mastermind behind man's sinful nature - tearing apart the world that He has created and falling away from the love of His Creator.

if our mind is at the crux of our living and existence, and when it is lost altogether, are we still living?