Saturday, June 20, 2015

Thoughts

I have transferred data from my old phone to the new one. These are thoughts gathered from the past.

3rd Feburary 2015

Random thoughts..

Penning my thoughts for future reference. A leader's ability to interact with every individual and make them feel valued is a tough skill to master. It takes a great deal of effort to provide positive energy in a group. What makes this task tougher is the consistency required to do it on a daily basis and  maintain this posture even under duress.

Conversations should be beyond small talk. But even small talk is an opportunity to show others one's ability to show that care and concern and to make the other party feel valued. This is done by remembering minute details of the other person. Beyond that, as individuals, we often take existing relationships for granted, engaging in meaningless conversations, I am guilty of that...

Goals. Losing sight of them results in unnecessary energy spent to re orientate one's self. Set goals and reflect upon them.






14th  April 2015
What does the night and day mean to you?

Day is filled with warmth  and light, intense rays of sunlight illuminates the joy and positivism in life.

The night is dark. Accompanying it, is silence and tranquility. The night is peaceful. The opportunity to reflect arises.




Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Tribute: Our Forefathers

Mr Lee Kuan Yew (16th September 1923 -23rd March 2015)

With every other Facebook tribute and messages to praise and acknowledge his legacy, I feel the urge to write something. Caving to social pressure is distasteful but I will do it. I grew up idolising this man. I fear that my tribute wont do justice.
I read books about Lee Kuan Yew. The Singapore Story : Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew , From Third World to First: The Singapore Story, The Hard Truths, Men in White and One Man's View of the World.
My understanding of Singapore's development was viewed through his narrative. His books or books about him were my first insights into Singapore's journey and the individuals who like him, had a crucial role in shaping Singapore to what it is today. Those books inspired a sense of mission in me, that my choices and my life should be dedicated to the betterment of society.
It feels so surreal to be constantly reminded that his indomitable will has left us. He outlived his peers and opponents; defying odds and rumours to appear before us on constituency lunar new year dinners and national days. Mr Lee's presence provided that sense of reassurance; providing comfort to Singaporeans with the knowledge that the face of the Singapore success story is always there with us.
His team, the Old Guards set sight on a future far and beyond. A grand vision that required dedication of a lifetime, not to be hindered by demands of free speech from democracy activists nor the Chinese educated who've had a different Singapore in mind. However there was a price to pay. It is the Machiavellian side of him never quite resonate with me however someone had to do the dirty work for the sake of progress. As much Mr Lee was the face of Singapore's success, he was also the target man for criticism and controversial issues. For the sake of progress for millions, he gave up his reputation. He never hesitate to cross lines to get the job done. He was a man's man.
I selfishly hoped for a public holiday to be declared, I knew it would be unlikely. A day off to commemorate the loss of the man whom we knew as our founding father would be inappropriate for he would claim sole credit from his team and that of the millions who've had a stake and played vital roles in Singapore's progress. What we have is National Day, a day to commemorate the achievement and progress made due to the dedication and hard work of a generation of people determine to survive and prosper.
Much of the tribute from traditional media has been focused on achievements and special emphasis on Mr Lee's instrumental role in developing Singapore. To a certain extend i feel that this disproportionate attempt to give him credit for everything he had a hand in would do injustice to others who have played a greater role in their respective area of work.
The petition to rename Changi Airport to Lee Kuan Yew International Airport is ridiculous. Singapore unlike other countries such as United States is a tiny nation with only a single airport serving tourist hence the name Changi Airport would be synonymous with Singapore. To name it after Mr Lee is unnecessary. The older generation of politicians might have had their own motives for wanting in on politics, however we can't deny that they have dedicated a lifetime of work and values imparted to cultivate the institution and system that belongs to Singaporeans which would last long after they were gone. As Mr Lee once said and I quote :" This is not a game of cards, this is your life and my life! I have spent a whole life time building this up and as long as I'm in charge, no one will tear it down!" The emphasis on ' I ' was not about Singapore being Mr Lee's personal playing ground but rather sacrificing a life of enjoyment and comfort to shape Singapore's destiny.
The emphasis of a Malayan Malaya then only serves as a reminder of what our forefathers fought for. The best tribute we can give is to take up this responsibility and take control of our future like they did. Mr Lee's passing like Dr Goh Keng Swee and Mr S. Rajaratnam is a reminder of how individuals have a stake in society and the significance difference we can make in shaping our destiny if we take the first step.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Diary Entry 26th Aug 2014

I've had a couple of meaningful conversations today. First with Martin from training branch; spend time reading his thoughts and trying to understand him better. A good conversation partner but i dont know his character too well just yet. Met his friend from acsi too. His friend is currently in 4SAB. This friend shared stuff that concerned SAF on a bigger picture and with that i could draw links from the smaller details part of our ns life to the broad defense policies we subscribe to. For others it maybe a perspective of just how an organisation works but it was a transformer that linked little details to macro level policy making.

Eg: feedback system for ideas to improve SAF. Martin's friend suggested a method of using certain functions of microsoft excel such that the few people in charge of managing thousands of reservist men would have an easier time and make lesser mistakes. Why was that idea important? Because reservist men do not want to waste time and at times they are posted into camp only to have their time wasted or clerks missing them out due to sheer amount of data and lack of manpower. To provide reservist useful roles or in official terms "gainful employment" is important so time and resources do not go to waste.


Towards the night, i went back to camp and conversed with yew sheng on topics from STW gossip to our lives. When i first met yew sheng, he reminded me of dh with his incessant ability to joke around. That got my attention and he did provide much required comical to the boring atmosphere of in a lifeless place. When i tried to get to know him, he portrayed himself as an individual who was self centered and had no purpose in life. We got out of AISCC together to make better use of our time and of course due to medical reasons.. Despite the weeks joking around and trying to get to know him better, he was an ice wall somewhat stonewalling me. It wasnt until 16th Aug when we chose to do sentry duty due to the Tank BMR that the wall came crashing. We spent hours joking and conversing. We broke most barriers and discussed of a fantasy society dominated by females whom are physiologically unchanged. We shared details of our hopes and dreams, that of the past and future. He was contented leading a meaningless life and i tried convincing him to get out of it. Gladly when i met him earlier tonight, he was beaming to me how he decided to make better use of his life. To me that was all it took to justify why the effort spent into this friendship was worth it. From time to time he provided me with sincere advice and i thought i ought to do my part in this friendship , he was cynical from his experiences but i wanted to show him life was more than that. I told him how i was upset not getting a place in NTU SSM and how i lost focus on my way ,yet i wasnt disheartened because to me it dont matter where you start, what matters is where you finish. I shared with him my fears of moving up the social ladder but he advised me to take it as it comes and not think too much. The conversation ended somewhere much later with trash talking. But as the night came to a close, what i felt was a beginning of a long lasting friendship.

I did question from time to time if OCS was better. I assumed that a better calibre of individuals would be present and with the amount of planning done i would perhaps improve intellectually. But my experience so far as a specialist to be though started off poorly, slowly gain traction to becoming a fruitful experience as the days passes by and friendships are cemented. Perhaps  what yew sheng said was correct : " We have all the time in the world as specs(OOC) , they(officers) rush to complete training and just rest, where got time for all these?" Maybe he is correct, maybe its a flawed perspective. Nonetheless i've benefited much from my invaluable experience in NS.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Basic Military Training

As an individual with experience in leadership roles as well as regimentation, adapting to BMT wasn't difficult. However, I had issues with accepting being punished for the mistakes that others made despite giving my best efforts. I was about to learn in the following days what it mean to be a recruit in Taurus Company. Every individual that makes up T-Coy is only as competent as the weakest individual. Because a single mistake by a soldier could be possibly amplified, resulting in the Army failing its mission. Whenever punishments are meted out, we do not have the luxury to whine about it. As recruits we can only work together to prepare forthe worse and pray for the best. But to be a leader,competence and being able to endure suffering with peers aren't enough. To influence peers or any other individual, a leader has to gain the respect of his men. As a buddy, i learnt to look out for my buddy and allow him to have faith that i got his back for the entire duration of BMT. As a section mate, i learnt to respect every one of them regardless of their strength or weakness. More importantly, i learnt how each individual in the section could be motivated to contribute their strength to the section. Discipline is an essential factor that sets apart the most successful individuals from individuals who have the potential to succeed. Despite being a disciplined athlete, i have been unable to translate that discipline to my daily life. It has been extremely rewarding for me to be able to wake up early in the morning and change my lifestyle habit due to the regimentation of our conscript army. The desire to excel propels me to stay alert despite being in the state of constant fatigue. It motivates me to constantly give my best and prepare for the worst, accepting whatever command or decision my superiors have in store for me. Even as i constantly hear stories of commanders being biased, i remind myself that professionalism is a core value of the SAF. Professionalism is a value of great priority in my personal life. Professionalism translate to treating each and every individual equally despite their performance. It is not of great difficulty to have empathy for my platoon and section mates, however to have empathy for someone who constantly cause the whole platoon or section to receive punishments is tough. Being rational and professional forces me to constantly reassess my thoughts and potentially every decision i make. Despite learning this concept prior to my enlistment, it is during the confinement week that i manage to apply what i have learnt. BMT is tough, but in T-Coy, it is brought to a whole new level. However as a recruit, i am fortunate to possess the necessary skill set and prior experience that allows me to to apply what i have learnt and beyond that, putting me in a position where i can share my knowledge and experience and guide my peers who lack it. My objective was to experience BMT; but after my first 2 weeks in T-Coy, my new objective is to win the respect of my section and platoon mates.

Monday, June 3, 2013

31May2013

Its been awhile since i last posted

Today has been pretty eventful:)

Went for NS Medical checkup today. During one of my last stations, i was told by the medical officer that i had to go to the National Heart Center for a 2-D ECG scan. Apparently it is to understand if there is anything severe due to abnormalities from my ECG scan. 

I met my mum for lunch and we headed home. We discuss about this and we got kinda worried so we dug up the family history and death certificates yet we're still unsure if i have any hereditary cardiac conditions.
It certainly is pretty worrying to have an abnormality given my previous participation and achievements in Track at a national level.


While i was at CMPB, my mum met the college counselor and mentor during the biannual PTM. She came home worried and had a talk with me about my options and the possibility of failing to get into either NUS/NTU. I kinda brushed her off impatiently claiming to have knowledge of this possibility as previously shared by the school college counselor.

As the frustration and tension rose, i sought to calm down. Aided by the silence of the night, thoughts began to flow through my mind. When was the last time i have gave in my all and lived up to my potential? When i was younger i actively volunteered in school events and my CCA scouts. However crunch time came where my friends decided to leave scouts at the point in time where given our abilities, knowledge and potential we could have work hard towards securing the top scouting honor that would be a giant boost not only to the portfolio but character building.

In the midst of this action, i insisted on joining track and field for reasons which i can't remember. I was keen on running, it felt natural to me. With a stroke of luck i manage to qualify for the finals on my first race at the nationals. That was the first time i had no fear in running, the fear of defeat , the champion's insecurity none of that to obstruct me mentally. Those then were unknown emotions. I met a brilliant coach along the way, despite his questionable character he lived up to his role as a professional beyond my imagination. He would be one of the best coaches i ever met, leaving a deep impression in my mind and setting exceedingly high standards for future coaches whom i would compare with him. As i started winning, i gain pride. Pride came with arrogance and fear of defeat as well as insecurity. These emotions coupled with my nature to over think, i was my emotional obstacle. As time pass, fear coupled with ill discipline result in disillusionment of my dream of becoming a national athlete.

Its been a long time since i actively participated in activities of a diverse nature be it in scouts, track or any others. Its been a long time since i lived life to the fullest, giving my best to every aspect of my life...

It was there and then as i felt the emotions flowing through me when i realize this; perhaps this news are a sign, a sign of a lack in progress in my life as well as how fragile our lives are. All it takes is an unexpected disease to strike me in the heart, wiping out all the goals and dreams i've ever had. This perhaps is a timely reminder for me to take charge of my life, to work hard and press forward with all my goals and ambitions.

Surge forth, press forward , move along and don't stop.. or your life my might just end before you see through these ambitions:/ 




Thursday, March 28, 2013

Appreciation, hunger games

I'm an idealist by nature. But circumstances forces me to open my eyes to the pragmatic world.
I have spent a good deal of time attempting to be pragmatic..

Pragmatism is like reality slapping you in the face, bringing about a usual dose of negativity and depressing thoughts. 

Spent a great deal of time thinking over the smaller yet nonetheless important aspect that affects daily life, my future and my idealistic beliefs->grades. I start to worry if my actions are enough to fulfill my dream.. I have to start doing more and stop thinking...


And the grades start the snowballing of thoughts, which universities to attend, which courses to take, which jobs to go for, and of course how to raise a family should that job fail to provide financial security. 

Back to the grades. Work Hard. 

But one well done math test sets of a week of complacency and ill-discipline..

Consistency is the key .


Rushed through reading the trilogy : Hunger Games

This book sparks of the desire in me to spend hours on it. A well written book from a female perspective which provides a truly sensational and gripping details of war scenes and emotions of an individual through an harrowing experience. At certain periods through the story, i couldn't stand the draggy details that These very emotions draw me into the story but the overarching theme of war pulls me back into reality..

I chanced upon a documentary about United States's Operation Iraqi Freedom. The documentary starts off along the lines of ' controversial war which leaves many questioning its purpose a decade on'

Despite freedom citizens of the tyrannic rule of dictator Saddam Hussein, Iraq has barely form a stable,function government. However, the threat of civil war breaking out between the Shia and Sunni.

Hunger Games demonstrated the devastating impact in a gripping tale that would engage and captive audience of the younger generation. 

Operation Iraqi Freedom is a real life situation which reminds us of our privileged lives. Whenever news of a civil war or the likes of Operation Iraqi Freedom hit the headlines, its inevitable to question why do we have the opportunity to lead a decent life while others struggle to survive in harsh man-made conditions.

The striking difference between Hunger Games and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Hunger Games : When the war ends->A republic is formed, a tale of horror is preserved in the mind of the narrator and those who lived through the tough times. But, it is light and a tale of hope and new beginnings at the end of the dark tunnel

Operation Iraqi Freedom : When the war ends->Unrest and sectarian violence exists in the midst post war recovery efforts. A civil government is far from being elected as citizens struggle to survive  daily.

Occasionally i get upset and depressed after fretting over my life in the future. My possible career paths, possible financial stability, or even the university i will get to attend or not given my poor grades..

Looking at the world around.. Its a blessing that i even have the opportunity to be educated. 
And i just can't help but appreciating what i have and take a different perspective towards life.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Procrastination and excuses

No more excuses.

For countless of times i have given up on myself believing that i lack the ability to perform on the track.

That is a lie and the time has come for me to prove myself wrong. 

Stop looking back and asking what to do now

In fact i know everything that i have to do.
 
Discipline isn't the only thing, i'l muster the courage to face myself again,

And so let the battle begin!


Round 1 : Training for school x-country 

shall update weekly!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The trip to Maxwell Food Centre:)

Heading towards maxwell food centre, i couldn't take my mind of the tantalising food that i was craving for. But with the recent change in my perception towards food, i have decided to take a bold step towards trying food that i have yet to try.

I bought some fried banana fritters as well as fried sweet potato dumpling.

The fried potato dumpling looks something like that
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_II8xB8Ke_u4/R1n7LcnCJWI/AAAAAAAAEXw/zbT_pYWKb5g/s400/Ball.jpg

Anyway the interesting part of the trip wasn't all about the food.

I decided to interact with the store owners. I commended them for mastering their craft to produce delicious local snacks. I found out that the store owner of the fried sweet potato dumpling has been selling her craft for 27 years.. Within half an hour more than 2 dozen of the sweet potato dumpling of different flavours were sold, each costing around 60cents. Most customers ordered around 5dollars worth of snack.She said that if the food wasn't nice she wouldn't sell it, she only work towards making good sweet potato dumplings. And unfortunately because of the queue i had to cut her off even though she was really interested in sharing more about her life stories..

What is intriguing is the fact that comparing students from the school that i attend to hawkers who are relatively successful in their trade, majority of the students tend to accept mediocre work while these hawkers dedicate their life towards making delicious and great snacks for the rest of the population.
Of course experience is a key factor towards one's mindset. However i believe that hawkers of the older generation lack the opportunity to receive formal education yet they are able to cultivate an intrinsic motivation for their craft. Being a hawker, one can argue that the business would bring in loads of money. But honestly, being at your store for the most part of your life and sometimes even during holidays? That takes more than money to motivate. After all, most hawkers require the support of regular customers and if the food isn't good or excellent, who bothers to return for more? Its their mindset towards pursing excellence in their craft that students of our generation should learn. It irks me that fellow students and sometimes even myself tend to accept mediocre work when we are capable of achieving greater heights. Sadly i squandered my high school life away... But I would still acknowledge that i have received priceless education in the 6 years.

Beside pursing excellence, I believe that all these hawkers want are customers who appreciate their craft, and perhaps once awhile engage in conversations with their customers and share their stories with someone.

I'm really glad that I dropped most subjects in the last year of high school. I would not be bogged down by the numerous assignments that I have no interest in. I'm glad to be able to take time off and experience the simple pleasures in life. I remember questioning myself what was the purpose in life when i was feeling depressed and perhaps now I have an answer to my question. Appreciating things,enjoying the simple pleasures in life, sharing and spreading the joy to others :)






Sunday, December 23, 2012

orientation

life is comparable to a game.
But they aren't the same.

In high school, students are nominated to be student leaders, taking up positions and expected to perform during their term. However my experience in high school has shown that there are too many incompetent people being in power. Competent people stay at the sidelines to observe and analyse the situation.

Orientation..

Student leaders from the school i attend are task upon the great duty of planning and executing orientation.
I am a part of the executive committee in charge of planning and executing the whole orientation. The whole process begins with the selection of the overall in charge /OIC. For my batch, we had members of our committee arguing and taking stabs at each other, fighting just to be the overall in charge. That took a week...   At one point, we had to come to a vote. Some wanted to abstain from the vote but i didn't. I guess its just my character to do what is necessary to move on when the situation becomes threatening in its own context. I felt that we won't move on hence i chose a side. Comparatively, our predecessors never had a need to argue and attack each other's character for the top spot. Everyone were agreeable.. I simply couldn't understand why is it hard to see the big picture where every position in the executive committee matters..

But that happened months ago....

Our next step was to decide the theme and storyline for the whole orientation. I am certain no one would be willing or rather few would be willing to sacrifice a great deal of time just to sit down and come up with ideas. But in my perspective, a great deal of time is required to come up with an engaging storyline and theme. Of course there is the spontaneous factor where ideas come and go...

There and then was our first mistake.. We left the storyline to one person and we assume he would just get the job done.....

The next part was the splitting of workload and committees. There was an option provided to all of us.. We were given the option of stepping down and not be in charge of a committee. But i decided to go along with my ego and i chose to be in charge of the decorations for orientation.

I had no background experience in decorations and i thought it would be an interesting challenge. However besides the planning, i had to manage a research project. My decorations were to be based on the storyline and theme which is magic.

I held meetings but they were fruitless...
I came off not as a confident leader with a plan in mind but rather a clueless soul trying to delegate my workload.. I failed to come up with ideas, and i expected my team members to be able to...

To be able to execute any event of any scale, one has to first have an idea of what is to be done : Vision.
With vision comes the planning. The planning would include precise descriptions of what is to be done, how it would be done and what is required. The fatal flaw is often to plan and act at the same time.

I panic when I accepted that my members and i weren't able to come up with concrete ideas and i had no clear direction of where everything was going. I seek assistance from a teacher from another committee..
I accepted his words and started executing his ideas. I failed to have a clear plan of what had to be done. I excluded most of the ideas suggested by my committee members. The clear mistakes i made obviously shows my incompetence.

Now i am in the midst of finishing the decorations for the orientation. But it is meaningless to even finish them for there isn't a clear purpose in doing what i do. I must face and admit to my mistakes..and definitely face the consequences of my failure should there be one.

Besides that, there are clear obstacles encountered by a few of the other committees. Some lack purpose in their activity while others failed to have proper planning. From my perspective, this is a losing game we are playing. The consequences would be being unable to orientate the new students to be part of this school.
A losing game has many factors including mistakes which can be learnt from and capability of those who are playing the game. I am suggesting that we are part of a losing game not a game we lost. We can try to salvage whatever that is left from the lousy actions decoration committee has taken under my leadership and we can still make the orientation a success. But in doing so, the student leaders have to understand the clear purpose behind executing orientation. No matter what their role is each and every student leader is essential to the cause of orientating new students into the school. There is a need for everyone of us to bear in mind that whatever we do, we are assisting new students to fit into a new environment and the key to that is empathy and interaction. I have failed in my current assignment to create a reliable prop in facilitating the orientating of new students however i hope i will be able to inspire the rest under my charge to execute the orientation to the best of their abilities.


i am expressing thoughts of an ideal situation, this will only be meaningful if i am able to lead through my own example and show others how best do play their role to make the orientation a successful one.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Tears

Tears flow like the river
but even rivers dry up.

The damage dealt, the hurt caused.

Multiplied over the years, it fail to cease.

Pain and hardship endure over the decade.

Injustice and prejudice befall upon the innocent.

Incessant grievance turning into vengeance.

It pains me to see you casting yourself down the path of hatred and vengeance to air your grievance..


Monday, November 12, 2012

Miss Clutch

This ain't the first time. And I believe it might not be the last time

At the most important point in time where I needed help but I won't ask for it.

My actions portray a lost cause, but there was hope.

Time and again you stepped in, only at the crucial moment.

Had you not step in, I wouldn't have bothered.


But what was the purpose? To get me started or to play your part.

Your methods, i question them. But the results justify the means.

Honestly it doesn't matter, for you have accomplished both.

Time and again when i have given up, you never did.

I pushed you away, and you came back stronger.

And for that you have my gratitude and utmost respect.




Saturday, September 29, 2012

departing as equals

Its pretty upsetting to witness the old having to send off the young...

I can hardly empathize with the pain and losses felt by a husband who just lost his wife..

I can hardly empathize with the sorrow and amount of mental will to keep on living after losing one's husband and daughter...

i suppose no one will truly understand unless they themselves have been through the ordeal..


The journey continues..

Something came to my mind..

I remember reading from JK Rowling's Harry Potter series something to do with death.

In the series, a folk tale was mentioned about how 3 brothers were able to get an item each from Death (entity) The youngest brother request for an object that would allow him to live a long and happy life, after which he departed with Death as equals.

I guess in our context to depart this life with Death as equals, it would mean that one has prior knowledge before one's own departure and he/she has made adequate preparations before departing from this life.

More often than not people do not have the fortune of knowing when they would depart, much less having the luxury to put personal affairs in place..

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

the little things and the big things.

talking and talking.

Rap songs.. naively believing it was just bout being gangsta and stuff..
-looking at it from a different perspective.

little observations in life.
somedays i rather sit out and stay by the side observing the things around me.
Logical deduction has always appeal to me.
I am gaining interest in making observations from the sideline as compared to participating.


Being prepared.
Doing your best
Doing your duty to god.
Keeping the scout law.

Honestly, these words never conveyed much meaning. They used to be just mere words.

I remember a scout senior, X who was with me on a trip to malaysia. Interestingly, X was from Muar, different part of malaysia from where we were at.
(Backdrop : Late night, shitty tent with huge ants crawling all over. We ended up moving to another spot. Oh wait we didnt, we were lucky.. anyway....)

We started discussing about a fellow acquaintance, being younger i was curious and i always wanted to know more. X knew what he meant when he was raising points about that acquaintance. I was yr1 and X was yr 5. The acquaintance was same age as him. I heard every word then, i forgot what he said but if i did i guess i would understand the message he was trying to convey and the context. I could barely understand what i heard. On another occasion, i remember asking X, why do you join scouts? HE said something about the activities...

That aside, i am willing to take a risk and make an assumption.(Not a wise move to assume.... but ah well) I believe perhaps, when he explained to me his reason for joining was because of the opportunities to participate in uncommon activities, i could understand. But the values part, at that time i probably wouldn't be able to grasp it. I am willing to assume that X join scouts, to take on an adventure that would mould his character and improve him as a person. That of course wouldn't be understood unless someone been through the process and feel the change in him/herself.

(Diverting alittle)
This reminds me of how scouts used to have seniors who cared about the values imparted, the adventure spirit. I don't know how scouts have been coping for the past year but i made myself a commitment to assist them in time. I sincerely hope that scouts do not lose the tradition of providing the best opportunities for a youth to enrich his or her life as well as moulding them into better people. To those who volunteered to join scouts, i am impressed by the level of commitment and your maturity.

Now Y is our scout troop leader. An efficient and dedicated taskmaster. He imparted many values and positive traits for us to pick up. Through the various activities Y had organised, i am proud to say i was and i am a scout. I may no longer be part of the cca but it has a significant place in my heart. I am talking about things which are beyond reminiscing about the memories. All the camps, all the lessons learnt, all the activities has moulded me to become a person with stronger character. Reflections were also an integral part of scouting. It was the transition between receiving feedback and improving in terms of executing actions as well as in terms of emotional intelligence and gaining experience.Reason? Y takes the step to inspire and influence individuals, we were willing to listen to him and he was more than willing to share his views and his experience with us. I feel indebted to Y
Yes, i did forgot what all these meant to me, till recently..

Be prepared
Doing your best
Doing your duty to god
Keeping the scout law

I participated in TYA recently with many individuals from the same institution. These people were people who are mere acquaintance, at the furthers end of my social circle. But, the event has brought me to see the better side of them and i am proud to say i am impressed. After Project Sugar trip, i committed myself to make the effort not to judge people and let their actions provide me with a better understanding of their personality and character. The people who volunteered in TYA did not disappoint me.

Our role was to provide manpower under the subset of logical support. (We were suppose to set up game stations and take them down for the whole program) I decided to just go with the flow and take action if there was a need. I am glad yet again i was provided the opportunity to lead a small group of 6 with the task we were assigned to.

The day started with transporting logistics to the stadium's grandstand and the games would be held on the track and the field. It was followed by a prayer session. Honestly i felt some points made in the prayer session were within our intervention unlike weather which would require divine intervention. But besides that i could understand their approach, short opening prayers were occasional in scouts but scouts believe more in being prepared and doing your best.

The leader of the TYA program seem to lack the foresight to handle the organisational level of the event. I guess he tried but it could have been done much better given that if job scopes were clearly defined from the start. Nonetheless our lack of initiative to know our stuff before hand was also a partial cause.

The first half of the day was basically used to prepare for the activities that would take place during the second half of the day. I was constantly asking the person in charge for more stuff to do. I got the idea that since we were here to help so why not maximize everyone instead of letting people sit around. And there were occasions where the timeline of job scope for us volunteers was not defined so basically from time to time we were useless. The preparation at an earlier stage was direct execution without planning. The later part was better...

Before lunch we were split into 2 groups, after lunch we settled in our groups. I took charge of the group and ensure that everyone in our group knew what would happen for each event that would take place in the afternoon. My biggest flaw was not taking the initiative to know the events a day earlier...
 (Being prepared- FAILED)

Anyway, the planning went on smoothly except that i missed out one event. Thankfully i had my team to cover my back! (Unexpected but really grateful and impressed.)So i tried taking charge for  3 out of 4 events just that we only manage to execute 2 events due to unexpected but perhaps avoidable delays.

The event i left out during the planning, i decide to let the group member who knew what was it about to lead the group. I decided immediately that il just sit back and follow because that was the most efficient solution. And honestly i am pretty impressed by the result, yet to give due credit.

I am not sure how my group members feel and what kind of impression i left behind. Perhaps things would different if none of us held a leadership position at all. But then again...holding a leadership position means nothing if you fail to perform when required to. This event reminded me that the team was the reason i succeeded in executing my job and the events smoothly.

This event reminds me that the people around you who play an integral role, a leader without followers stands a higher chance in terms of failing to achieve what he set out to do.
This event brought about certain traits. The part about doing my best and being efficient. The part about staying calm and solving the issue at hand and reflecting later.

I reflected on this event and yes, this event brought out the best in me, the best that i have yet to feel and see in a long time...


Be prepared
Doing your best
Doing your duty to god
Keeping the scout law


Thought the last one lacks a certain amount of relevance but i view it from a perspective that these are values, values and beliefs that i would like to hold on to and use it to live my life.
Of course the would be many interpretation to doing one's duty to god. Ans i shall not elaborate on mine

I have a burning question which i have yet to answer...
Perhaps working from within the organisation, it is likelier for one to be blinded by certain things because i feel like a lost sheep in terms of being a house leader as compared to helping out at TYA where i had full control and i understood what i was doing....

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

...

Sometimes i wouldn't complete my work, sacrificing grades for an average amount of sleep. Yet you, like many others would rather do the opposite, sacrificing sleep for grades. You would stay still early hours in the morning in an attempt to finish. I am not sure if you do, maybe yes maybe no. But it really hurts me deep inside just knowing it. Most of the time i really wish that i am much more academically inclined such that i would be able to provide timely and valuable assistance whenever possible.

I try my best to provide any sort of assistance, yet sometimes it comes to a nought... I feel helpless, useless, unable to render assistance.. It hurts me to know that you have to sacrifice sleep for grades, it hurts me even more to know how i am unable to ease you of your burden..


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

enlightenment

this is the first of a series of enlightenment in my life..

i am glad for what happened, the tears were worth , the time was worth.

the happiness cant exactly be describe, it can be felt though

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Silly me..

Silly me silly me..

Ah well all the unnecessary and pointless dwellings..

Well anyway orientation is on first week of January and orientation planning will begin soon.
I am pretty excited about orientation, have to commit to it. For the past 6months to a year, i have yet to commit myself into major projects. This semester, Academics at the top and there is ARP (advance reserach project) , will have to do my best for house, and there is track and orientation.

For academics ; the desire to excel just like performing in track.

For ARP ; more independence and a wonderful learning experience ahead. Must be more receptive of information provide.

For House ; the commitment!

For Track ; the procrastination!


For orientation ; Do not be too quick to judge, do listen to everyone and stop interrupting people.



Sunday, June 10, 2012

post sugar big summer trip

We just had an orderly session of listing out ideas clearly about what we think we can work on for say an End of Year Sugar trip. Is remains unconfirmed if the trip will involve the Vietnamese side, but i hope it does. Then again, it is still a little far from now to decide as those will remain as tiny details, but IMPORTANT nonetheless.

When we are overseas, we can hardly do without the help of locals unless we have been in that place for a certain period of time such that we are already localised. Through talking to others,i myself have also come to realise the importance of bilateral ties, why our government has done so much to improve ties with other countries.

I come to understand the difference in culture, culture as in mindsets of people from a different country. I use to think culture refers to the food, the clothes and practises and all that little little details. But in fact it is the mindset, the way of thinking that sets people apart. After all, the tiny details are influenced by the way one thinks.

We came up with many great ideas
-reaching out to companies for sponsorship
-Charity dinner with auctions
-Rehabilitation programme, get kids back into society and work so they can contribute to the shelter they were from.

Smaller ideas like
-raising funds
-providing materialistic items

I like the way ideas flow and people working on them together, improving it.
Realised that when planning, no doubt the Vietnamese side are more conservative in the sense that they would stick to their capabilities and limits unlike us where we seem more daring to go beyond boundaries, after all we have been exposed to the belief that nothing is impossible.

Yes no doubt these ideas are hard to achieve and there are many steps ahead of us, but i believe if we are committed we can bring this organisation far , and years down the road we can look back and say we have done something to improve the community. Of course it would be better if we can get others to continue where we left off. I would like to see that project sugar accomplish the goals of having such a programme for children to give back to their shelter as well as hold annual charity dinners say in a decade, yes i will remind myself to work on that, Year after year.


This feels like a life changing moment , an opportunity to give back, to do what i can and put in m y heart mind and soul to improve the life of others who are less fortunate.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Back in Singapore

I havent blog in the past 2 days, these are my thoughts.

They say we will forget the things we have done together, they say we will go back to the old ways, become tourist in third world country. I beg to differ, yes with adequate time, it is likely that we will change. However we wont know if it will be for the better or worse. It is impossible to forget the times spend together, the jokes shared. I would say at the moment when volunteers interact with each other during the little time they have while trying to make the children happy, it creates a bond between each other amidst doing something in common.

Many bonds forged, many values learnt.

Personally, i feel that the trip should always remain independent from the intrusion and interference of a school and its discretion. More often than not we have been put out of harm's way by our parent's, by the school, by people around us. The decision to stay up late during the trip was unwise and naive, it is a risk that shouldn't haven been taken for it would have been much worse. Then again, i believe through what had happen, the group of us manage to reflect the issue and learn from it. That incident made me comprehend how certain systems of managing people work, and also how it takes great skill to manage and leader people for one is constantly threading thin ice. Every word and action matters of a leader matters.

Through this trip, i made many friends and i gain insightful knowledge about HIV/Aids and how to handle it from a social point of view. There are two ways to look at this trip, the personal growth and experience and the   understanding of HIV and the willingness to do more in terms of volunteer-ism.

Not much more thoughts left, i just want to apply the lessons i learnt. This is a refresher course for me, the answer i have been seeking for to certain questions. It feels like god given, the enlightenment and the light shining on the path towards a brighter future.

Certainly there is no never ending banquet, and all good things must come to an end. However for me, every end is a new beginning thus we should cherish the moments we have had, keep it tight with us and look ahead. When the sunlight shines upon my cheeks tomorrow, i will start afresh.


There are many pros and cons when organizing and executing an independent project.Like Yong Kiat said, he is taking lots of risk just to bring students out of the country to a foreign land which does not guarantee the safety of the students. With the school heading the project instead of Sugar being an  independent project, no doubt the amount of risk would be minimized as the school refuses to take unnecessary risk that would harm its reputation. However, lesser risks would translate to the constant effort of removing harm from our path. How are we to learn and stand up from our fall when we do not even have the  chance to fall. So much for schools preaching on getting up when you fall and learning from your mistakes?...Also, we have to consider the delicate relations with the Vietnamese side. More often than not it makes us realise that without the Vietnamese volunteers, we are pretty much useless when we are in Vietnam, thus we tend to go an extra mile to improve relations. Considering the school is in charge of the trip, would we still make the extra effort to improve relations? would we still see the need. I am impressed by how a few members realised the importance and took the initiative to lead the effort of improving ties with the use of personal messages.

Organising each trip from scratch requires large amount of effort from those who are involved, thus there are greater emotions attached to the result of the programs during the trip. It takes skill and eye for details as well a great amount of connections and knowledge to organize a trip. Had the school been involved in the trip, who would organise the trip? who would plan the proposals? I guess i am having a prejudiced view for now. Will consider participating in the school's cip trip to Cambodia.

Also, sponsorship is an important issue. We receive great help from the adult lady who came with us, and also my scout leader who help us with logistics , providing them at cost lower than market price. Yes, no doubt that the school would be much more capable in terms of acquiring sponsorship. No doubt that it would be better to have the school be in charge of the trip because there would be greater amount of credibility with regards to sensitive issues, eg safety and what not. Yet, i still stick with my view that the trip would lose certain amount of fun and experience if the trip is to run under the discretion of the school and the teacher in charge.


Will be participating in a trip organised by the school, must reflect on it.

Hope to attend Sugar Big Summer Trip 2013!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

second last day

slept at someone else's home yesterday. His parents were really nice, the funny part was when his dad sneaked up to thank us for saving him. One of the vietnamese buddy allowed me to stay at his place because my homestay buddy was busy. So this guy's dad told us he did something with his friends and his wife was angry, but she calmed down when she saw us. Being a gracious host, she treat us as though we were her own son. This morning, we had some sort of tom yam beef noodle. It was really nice and refreshing, not too spicy, just alittle sour and with lime added in, it was just simply delicious.

Had amazing race around the city. Was average in terms of gameplay, but being in a different country for the first time, i have to say its a unique experience especially when crossing the roads in Vietnam. Had a quick lunch before heading for binh Thamh market or something. Not sure about the name...

After 2hours of bargains and goods purchase, i would say i picked up a few valuable lessons. What values can we learn from bargaining?

-Be firm, being firm and decisive with the price you offer gives you an advantage in Vietnam, if you can hold out long enough, they will lower the original price or accept your offer, example something that cost say 200,000dong offer between 100-120dong.  and stick to it till you get a reasonable price.
By jumping around with the prices, the store owner knows that they can rip off you, thus not decreasing the price.

-Humility
high ego will cost you money, every successful bargain should not raise one's ego. Be confident but not cocky.

Will be having some sort of formal dinner later, if i am not wrong my homestay buddy would be ordering a suckling pig for me.. ahhh apparently it cost around $60 so really good chance to enjoy..
Reminds me of times i spent with my mum,the bargaining and enjoying good food.. ahhhhh well gotta try and bring my mum to Vietnam someday.