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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

To the Form 5 Batch of 2014

My apologies of putting this up slow. All pictures were taken using Samsung Galaxy Note 3. 

How's life a week after SPM ends? Surely you do enjoy the tremendous surge of freedom as soon as you put that school uniform into that laundry bag for the last time, isn't it? Some of you have begin to discover your next journey, some have worked part-time, while some have set their next journeys.

Just as I have written a message to the 2013 Graduation Batch, now here are my words for you.

In the beginning, as a fresh teacher from the job factory (university), I knew I have to quickly identify as many students as possible when I began teaching. Hence, I had to be interactive and friendly to the ones in their white-green/ white-blue uniforms in case I was called to teach more classes. As a result, I gradually recognized students from all forms.

However, your batch was the most difficult one to be identified, most probably was due to the lack of chance to enter your class. I found it difficult to memorize names in the beginning, and there were even two Joshuas. I was even worried if I got both of their names messed up. There was even an "election" during your Form 4 year and I had one big headache in choosing the right person since I did not know the candidates' attitudes.

Thank God that as time passes by, I began knowing more about this group of friendly yet quiet bunch of people. The gateway was through 4 Adam Smith. When I first stepped into their class, everything was passive and quiet. The word "passive" became my description for this class, but slowly, I saw something different. If one walks into a closer relationship with them, you will see a hilarious side of them. Not matter how serious I wanted them to be in preparation for their examinations, they follow the lessons with their funny side, or course.

Of course, in exchange with their casual approach, they indirectly trained me to be a better Jay Leno or Jon Stewart (Google them in case you don't know who they are, okay?). Jokes can somehow come out from my mouth without me realising it sometimes. 5AS has also trained me into dealing with a class with multiple level of capabilities. They maybe quiet, but they have potential.

I do have wonderful moments with this batch. The funny atmosphere with 5AS, the hospitality shown by the students in 5N and 5T, and some great moments ahead - I really cherish them a lot.

To those who are choosing their university courses, here are some tips:

1. Know your interest. 
You need to identify what are your hobbies and interests. Do you like photography? Do you love counting money? How about drawing and designing? Once you know what you enjoy doing, you will be more confident in taking a course that you will enjoy.

For example, if you feel excited whenever you read about cars, why not you give a try in mechanical engineering? Every car needs maintenance and upgrades from time to time. If you are enterprising enough, you can capitalize on that fact to earn money and help your society members to ensure a safe ride home.

2. Know your strength. 
Never, ever, waste a good talent. If science is your game in class, why not consider taking it to a higher level? You know, engineering and medical fields do promise a good living despite the painful roads ahead. Same goes to those who are creative in arts. Designing and interior architecture can be your next road.

3. Ask your seniors. 
Yes, your seniors have walked that journey not taken by you yet. University life is not a walk in the park. You need to learn how to live independently, and this includes BUDGET. Learn about the living costs (not only tuition fees), the accommodations, the environment and the place where you wish to study before you even go there.

4. Pick up a CAREER-BASED degree. 
Medical, pharmacy, journalism, education, engineering, culinary arts, law, design, architecture - these are some examples of a career-based degree. This is a necessary step in determining your degree course, otherwise nobody wants to hire you if you get this step wrong.

For business, you need not a specific degree. All you need instead is an enterprising brain, good quality in leadership, a network of partners and customers, and good marketing and communication skills.

Last but not least, I would like to thank all of you for colouring up my life in school and sorry if I did hurt you during the process of teaching and learning. Since I'm still new at this school, I have a lot of blank space for students, and I'll write your names on it. (Yes, I'm listening to Taylor Swift's Blank Space).

Sunday, November 30, 2014

More pictures from my Samsung Note 3.

It has been a tough semester for me, and eventually work is still ongoing. Now that work is dominating my life, of course blogging will more dormant to me. However, it will not die out.

Nevertheless, these are some photos which I have taken from my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 throughout the latter part of 2014. I do love the camera, but I am aware of better camera phones from Oppo and Sony, especially when their products are released this year to the smartphone market.

Well, things are getting obsolete at a faster rate these days.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

You Are Nothing But . . . . . . .

It was a busy weekend last week. As I returned home being worn out in mental fatigue, words and thoughts mentally built up randomly in my mind like bubbles emerging up in boiling, hot water. Next came these lines, that would eventually formed a poem. It surfaced as soon as I ponder on my working life, alongside my peers around the world.

You are nothing but.....

You are nothing but a conduit
The hands and legs of a system
The binary codes of a programme
Day in, day out.
You are worn out.
Your entire muscles and bones fully tested to their limits
Your mental sanity and nerves struggled firmly against gravity.
You are nothing but a conduit.
You have no choice but to submit.
You have no choice but to endure.
You have no choice but to ignore.
You have no choice.
Don't break the silence.
Don't quit the hamster wheel.
Run. Work. Rush.
Stop thinking.
Stop complaining.
Stop wishing.
All is well. All is fine.
Get busy. You are a conduit.

Disclaimer: This poem is basically a reflection on how my peers and I are currently moving on their lives. I am 25 now, and being in the mid-25s means some of us are already working. The chances of sitting down together with our teenage or childhood companions continue to shrink as our lives are getting busier and busier with endless work. This has nothing to do with my own working life. I'm blessed with a good and supportive network of colleagues and working/learning environment here, despite the busy lifestyle that I have to go through. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

"Saving The World"

The long writer's block is cleared away once again. Altough there are many matters for me to keep up, the sense of liberation never fails to occupy me alive. And more importantly, keeping the catharsis alive.

In the meantime, while moving into my gap of liberation, came a Facebook status that caught my attention. And it went something like this:

"When you are college students, you always talk about saving the world, but after you have graduated, you all will think of owning it."

My fingers stopped scrolling down the news feed for awhile. And to relate it back to reality, I would say it's a tragedy.

Perhaps we have been influenced much by our childhood heroes since the days we began to toddle around. You know, Superman- that guy who always wear his underwear outside his pants, or even the hideous Batman and his Batmobile marvel.

Well, that was just two, there are many more like Captain America, Ultraman, Spiderman, Iron Man, whatever men that exist in the list of superheroes. No doubt we have grown up with them, watching them fighting and winning against the antagonists and villians. Victory or defeat, we kept cheering the heroes, for they are always the good guys.

From ambition to self-image

I remembered during our university days, we often were given the exposure of real life scenarios, and our lecturers engaged us to give comments or ideas on how to solve that highlighted issue. We were given all sorts of situations, from issues of injustice, war, abortion, euthanasia, politics, and poverty to huge world conflicts. We would debate them seriously in our classes and online forums, countlessly forming our opinions and arguments either to sort out solutions or lifting up fingers against who we think was responsible for the chaos, as if we were the judge in the court of public opinion. Those days, those issues got the classes going with opinions from various sides, both in polite and harsh forms.

And if communication was not friendly enough, there came along some ad hominem threats where people would attack the person rather than his or her opinions.

At those moments, everyone was so hyped up in saving the world. Their hearts were poured up with these values that some would keep that passion burning into the strange world of activism. Others would carry it moderately into their own life principles.

But in the end, despite the blazing desire, it's all talk. Only conversations for the grades. Once their academic timetables are over, they return to their own selves, walking back to the circle of reality, being part of the dominating culture of capitalism and consumerism.

In the end, it is all talk. It is all for the sake of their image. And everyone is doing that. It's all about self-development, the game for everyone to compete on who is more righteous.

You speak against poverty and yet you ignore the beggar on the streets? You condemn materialism but you still follow the latest material trends? You despise the past Communist leaders and tyrants and yet you behave just like them when you are in a position of power? You are calling for love and peace but speaking for a system of competition and survival of the fittest? You shout against injustice but you ignore the news of impunity?

In the end, all it seems is everyone now focuses on climbing the career ladder as we all are seeking greater heights in income-earning. I don't see it as a fault here because like it or not, living costs are higher and everyone of us have to earn more. Fear of scarcity is the reason why all of us have to be on the hamster wheel all day long.

And sadly, this becomes our main priority. Nobody seems to care about the injustices that are around. And those who are upset are reduced to armchair critics and keyboard warriors.

The focus now is to work. We have no time to look at what matters more. We can't afford to do that thing we did in college anymore.

Sad reality, isn't it?

At least, to me, I hope I can play my role as an educator well so I can at least inspire some to have that "save the world" mentality. I still feel that this form of awareness is still crucial, albeit the fact that this sense brings the perception of hypocrisy to many.

Just a thought from the corners of my mind.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Some Pictures From My Note 3

Having the revival of this blog, I have decided to publish something about the evolution of smartphones since last year (2013). At that moment, my iPhone4 that served me humbly for three years began to disappoint me due to the insensitive home button, therefore I decided to retire it for good.

Or is it? It is still serving me as an iPod Touch.

And here, I would like to say, how magnificent camera phones have evolved since last year. If you own a smartphone model which was released from 2013 onwards, nevertheless to say, spending your cash on the phone will be more worth it than using them on a digital camera. We saw brands like Nokia, Samsung and HTC rallied their way into the camera phone arms race.

Anyway, I got my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 in December 2013 as a self-reward in surviving my first year in working. Its 13 megapixel camera is quite good, providing the fact that it supports photo editing apps.

Pictures are randomly picked from my gallery list. they were edited using Samsung's original picture editor, Photo Editor Pro and Pixlr. 

Second Quarter 2014


Alas. It is now 2014. Walking through a series of life's roller-coaster can be adventurous, but moving through them is like driving to territories unknown. Tidal waves can be rowdy, the roads can be bumpy, but somehow this is life. 

It has been almost 22 months after I put forth my most previous blog post, and certainly, there were many stories being untold here. Yet, the author would have to move on as he is now occupied with thousand tonnes of jobs. 

And yes, I am officially employed with one of the toughest jobs in the world - teaching. 22 months ago, I was just an ordinary university student who wanted to make an impact for the world, and now, I am in that path in accomplishing that in the field of education. Indeed, this job is truly an uphill learning experience, for I never expect a complete embrace towards such a busy environment within. 

In line with this new chapter of life, a new overhaul on this blog shall take place. 

I will no longer share as many photographs as I could during my student days, however, this page will be my cathartic notebook.