Train your mind to see the good in everything

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When you are trained and conditioned to spot mistakes in your students’ sentence structures, spelling, content relevance, behaviour, attitude, attire (…the list goes on) every single day, there is a tendency to forget that there are more to them. I am guilty of pedantically focusing too much on my students’ language abilities and their attire at times.
At other times, it feels completely justifiable because some people are just evidently irresponsible, imcompetent, immature etc… It’s so easy then, to perceive and treat them as a summation of their faults and bad qualities.
This serves as a reminder for me every single day – to see the good in SEEMINGLY incorrigible people and in seemingly horrible situations. And to notice the good even in myself.

Lonely/Alone

We are afraid to be seen alone because it might give the impression that we are lonely losers. The phone and ear pieces come in handy at this point – a false fortress we build to guard against our own insecurities. “Hey I still have friends, look, I have so much to do over social media! I’m not lonely!” as we gobble down our food, avoiding eye contact because we fear looking into the eyes of pity.

Perhaps we are actually more afraid of the thoughts in our own mind, for they are scarier than the labels people put on us. Our thoughts that delude us into believing that being alone equates to loneliness. Our thoughts that delude us into believing that people are judging our loneliness when in fact, no one even cares.

15 Lessons From “Inside Out”

Mummy Priscilla

If you haven’t watched Pixar’s latest movie, “Inside Out”, and is planning to do so, please DO NOT read this yet. I don’t want to be a spoiler. This is only for those who have watched it or have no intention to watch it at all. After reading this, you might just watch it anyway.

Okay, enough with the confusing talk.

For the record, I love love love love luuurrrrvvveeee “Inside Out”!!!! In fact, to me, this is probably Pixar’s best work yet!

Before the movie was released, there was the building up with all the brain teasing, curiosity tickling trailers. Phoebie watched the trailers and fell in love with the movie months ago. She started counting down to the movie ever since. Even though the show premiered in the U.S. in June 2015, it only came to our shores here in Singapore on 27 August 2015. But you know…

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Uptight

You say I’m uptight but it’s from the noose you have tightened around my neck with your callous words.

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Relationship Goals

Cloud Thoughts

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I feel very eerie about this notion.  I love my husband, so much.  I love being married, so much.  However when I see “#relationshipgoals,” tacked onto a clip of my husband and I dancing, or in the comments of a posted picture, I shudder down my spine.  I am flattered, however I also want to grab the person by the shoulders, vigorously shake them, sit them down and then lecture them for at least 3 hours about our story and struggles.  Keone and I are married and share a career.  We are with each other almost every second of the day.  We feel very blessed because we realize it’s unusual to share a career and our lives totally.  We did not plan this.  I never imagined myself ending up with a Filipino, Christian, half-jock dancer.  Never.  It simply happened that way, it happened at the right time, and for us…

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Teaching, Part III: 3 Things I’ve Learnt

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Why do all good things come to an end? Back in 2007, Nelly Furtado posed this question in her hit single, and back in 2007 I was supposed to be a secondary one kid in St. Andrew’s Secondary School (SASS). I was in Perth, Western Australia for the whole of 07’ and I came back in 2008 as a Sec 2 kid to the open arms of SASS. It was the beginning of a long and fruitful journey that led me back to where I started. And so it was, that on January 2nd, 2015, I returned as a relief teacher to the very same school that raised me. Two and a half months passed, and on a warm Friday morning I stepped into St Andrew’s Secondary School as a teacher for the last time.

Before I start going full sentimental with the goodbyes, I’d just like to…

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Valuing Education

THOUGHTS FROM A STARFISH

Education

As I ploughed through thick textbooks over the weekend in preparation for my MBA assignment, I realized how much pressure I was putting on myself to want to learn as much as I can.

It reminded me of my undergraduate days where I would fill up every single minute outside of classes either finishing up the tutorials, reading, or just ploughing through the library, aisle by aisle as I pulled out books that were outside of the reading list. Either that, or I was busy earning a living to pay for my tuition fees.

The knowledge I gained then intrigued me. I read about the philosophies of Hume and Kant. I’d read about ethics and controversies. I’d battle in my brain about issues relating to abortion and euthanasia. I’d reflect on societal issues and its effects and influences. I’d practise reading phonetic symbols and develop language theories. What I was…

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The Gift of Sight

THOUGHTS FROM A STARFISH

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“Treasure the gift of your sight,” our visually impaired guide wisely advised as he thanked us for allowing him to serve us for the evening.

Two hours back, he had led us into a pitch-dark dining hall for our dinner. The tables were turned at Nox, where the visually impaired led those of us with perfect vision to our seats.

“Here’s the back of your chair,” he said as he held my hand and guided me towards it. Once seated, my friend and I were told where our utensils and glasses were.

The room was in complete darkness. Perhaps the only light I saw were the little red dots from the air-conditioning units. I could not see my friend at all, and for a moment I felt alone.

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Enjoy the Ride

THOUGHTS FROM A STARFISH

Sunset

“Enjoy the ride,” my friend would tell me, as if knowing that I may forget to do that at some point – and quite rightly so, because sometimes I get so engrossed in what’s to happen (or rather, what I want to happen) in the future, that I forget to appreciate the present.

At 38, I’ve just begun to realize that life is a journey, one filled with ups and downs, twists and turns, and more often than not, unplanned situations more so than planned. Still, for as long as I can remember, I have been that willful girl, determined to plan the future the way I wanted it panned out. Until some months back.

I can’t quite put a finger on the turning point, but it was an enlightening moment when I felt that it didn’t make sense any more to be angry that the future wasn’t panning out…

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Singapore Cries

THOUGHTS FROM A STARFISH

Rembering Lee Kuan YewWe’ve been crying. I have. Every day since I learnt of the death of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, in fact – which is odd, since I have never met the man, nor encountered him in person. Still, I cannot help but shed tears, like many others have.

It wasn’t as if we didn’t anticipate it. Mr Lee’s health was fading over the recent years. But perhaps some part of us wished he would be with us for a while longer. We wanted very much to see him at this year’s National Day as we celebrate Singapore’s 50 years of independence. Or perhaps some of us wished this leader, who has been the guardian of this little red dot, would never leave.

But people do. That is life.

We cry because of a sense of regret, for not showing our appreciation sooner to the man for his vision and gumption; for…

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