Sunday, August 29

Z-Pop Concert: 28 Aug '04 - The entry stamp of the Concert (on my arm). Packed full with fans, I didn't understand more than ½ of whatever songs they were singing (in Chinese)!

Wednesday, August 25

Am I a guai kia? You decide.

Haven't been posting regularly for quite a while already... been so caught up with my own activities. Everyone (except those who are obviously not interested in their studies) has visually and mentally been challenged everyday - with the regular mock tests, remedials and self-study. Getting good grades seem much easier said than done; they don't come without diligence and discipline to study hard and study smart. Yeah, and if you've been having that impression that I'm the kind of "guai kia" who goes home everyday just to study and that I'm getting very good grades throughout this year, you've terribly misunderstood me. Honest - I'm the type of person who really can't sit still, like for more than ½ an hour, or else I'll easily get distracted. I do not study much AT ALL - I spend more time doing my homework than studying (because I think slower and thus need more time to answer a certain question than the average student). My grades are neither that good; in the first place, they were NEVER among the best (yeah, only in Primary One or Two, but that's totally a different story). Guess what - my mid-year exam grades were shocking, perhaps more to you than to me - I held the notorious "pride" of one of the last few positions in class, and was very near to the middle of the Secondary 4 Express cohort in my Level Position. There, what did I tell you - I was NEVER the smart kid you may have thought me to be. So, am I a "guai kia"? You decide.

Friday, August 20

A Dog Named Sex

Just a joke I found online... males (and maybe even females!) - don't get too "excited"...

"A Dog Named Sex"

Everybody who has a dog calls him "Rover" or "Boy". I call mine Sex. Sex has been embarrassing to me. When I went to City Hall to renew his license, I told the clerk I would like to have a license for Sex; he said he would like one too.

Then I said, "But this is a dog." He said he didn't care what she looked like. Then I said, "You don't understand. I have had Sex since I was 9 years old." He said I must have been quite a kid.

When I got married and went on my honeymoon, I took the dog with me. I told the clerk that I wanted a room for my wife and me, and a special room for Sex.

He said that every room in the place was for sex. I said, "You don't understand, Sex keeps me awake at night." The clerk said, "Me too."

One day I entered Sex in a contest, but before the competition began, the dog ran away and a contestant asked me why I was standing there looking around. I told him I had planned to have Sex in the contest. He told me that I should have sold my own tickets. "But you don't understand," I said, "I hoped to have Sex on TV." He called me a show-off.

When my wife and I separated, we went to court to fight for custody of the dog.

I said, "Your Honor, I had Sex before I was married." The judge said, "Me too." Then I told him that after I was separated, Sex left me. He said "Me too."

Last night Sex ran off again. I spent hours looking around town for him. A cop came over to me and asked me, "What are you doing in this alley at 4:00 in the morning." I said, "I am looking for Sex." My case comes up on Friday.

Wednesday, August 18

Final Decision

I'm retaking my MT 'O's. Not going to be studying THAT much but focusing more on the rest of my other subjects. I'd be grateful even to get an A2 or B3 (something better than my current B4 grade) - at least that's a point or two lesser. It's stressing to realise too that it's only a few weeks to Prelims and - (gosh!) - only less than 3 months to the 'O's. I guess everyone's feeling at least a bit more afraid now that the exams are so near. That's why we tend to be more fidgety in class, and perhaps much more relaxed as well - play more, slack more. Yeah and just before it comes to the actual exams, getting back nerdy again.

Sunday, August 15

To retake or not to retake?

That is the question. Maybe I should try to get a grade better than B4 by retaking the end-year MT 'O' Levels. But then again, there's 1 whole book more to study (not to mention that I've forgotten many Chinese phrases after the May exam). And there would be around 8 more other subjects that I have to take as well. I have got a few days left to make my decision. It's confirmed that the higher grade out of both the 2 results will be taken, so many people feel that - since there's THAT chance, we might as well just take in - in the hope of getting a better grade. As for me, I really don't know. I really DOUBT I will get a higher grade. It's not that I'm pessimistic or what, but hey I gotta face it - I don't remember much about what I have studied for Chinese, especially after the May exam, so how good will you think I will fare this time around if I take it? Anyway, I'm still discussing with Mum and we'll perhaps make "the decision" quite soon.

Thursday, August 12

MT 'O' Level Results - A Flop & A Failure!

No, not for me, but for the school. The overall MT results of the graduating batch of students were HORRENDOUSLY TERRIBLE... below National Average by a rather HUGE percentage. Terrible, terrible. Even for me. Only got a B4 for my overall with a Merit grade for the Oral Examination. Right now still thinking of whether to retake the End Year MT Exam in the hope for a better grade. The mood in class today after recess - SOLEMN. Dreary and dull, tears flowed rather freely (though not abundantly) as the results were read out one by one. Tears of joy were absent; tears of sorrow were rampant whether they were expressed outwardly or deep inside our hearts. For those who got A2, it was sickening that they could have gotten an A1 with five or less marks. Those who had failed had to accept the fact and probably work harder for the End Year Exam. It was a moment in time when everyone (almost!) realised that all these years of studying (since Primary One) were for a better career, a better future prospect and all in all a better lifestyle to support one's family. There were a handful of students who really wanted to clinch that A1 grade - for they wanted to go to the Junior College of their choice - others just wanted to count MT in as a subject for their L1R5/L1R4 and just had to get that distinction. Overall, it was a wake-up call for everyone - time was limited and the work to be done numbered by the masses. As one classmate put it, "This year's our one and only chance to do the best that we can achieve - lose it and you'll regret it - so work hard!"

Tuesday, August 10

Councillor Collaterals 2 - Councillors as Healthy Influences

In my second article of Councillor Collaterals, a brief and undetailed collection of articles all about councillors, I intend to explore whether it is a possible and realistic to be role models of the school population - healthy influences to their peers.

If you have not known yet, the school's councillors are perpetually regarded as the "cream of the crop". This is a terribly untrue statement! Although its meaning implies that councillors are the "best selection of the student population", using the phrase on them exaggerates the myth that councillors are "goody-two-shoes students that suck up to their teachers' demands". Often, the purpose of even using the phrase is defeated. What else do the rest of the students feel but neglected and prejudiced?

Yes, certain councillors ARE well-behaved students with good conduct and satisfactory academic results. However, you can't expect ALL of them to perform up to your expectations - FACE IT! Some of them were chosen outright because THERE WAS NO OTHER CHOICE to pick other students (refer to my previous article: Councillor Collaterals 1). One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel? Perhaps, at least in the eyes of most teachers. They expect councillors to be the BEST, the MOST WELL BEHAVED in the class, etc. (all the good qualities). Guess what? They often fail to see that many a time, COUNCILLORS have to meet certain standards, COUNCILLORS often are the first to get reprimanded for a job poorly done, COUNCILLORS have to answer for many of their wrongdoings more than a normal student, COUNCILLORS have to struggle to balance their commitments as a councillor (duties) and a student (studying). Not to mention the requirement of them to be ROLE MODELS to their peers?!

Wake up! Wake up! Teachers/Heads-of-Departments who are reading this - wake up! COUNCILLORS ARE STUDENTS! YES, they are to be treated slightly differently as compared to normal students because of their "title". But NO, never pick on them as if every minute offence they commit is wrong. YES, they have to meet your expectations which are higher than that of the normal student. But NO, never compare them to ordinary students in the "bad" sense that the student is better than the councillor. Well, you might as well transfer the "title" of "Student Councillor" from the councillor to the student! Comparing students, like a mother comparing her child to the child's better-behaved cousin, only serves to DEMORALISE the student further and eliminate more and more opportunities for the student to show what he's capable of. YES, councillors CAN be role models to their peers, by correcting them when they commit offences breaking the school rules, for example. But NO, not all councillors are up to the task of doing so. As you know, some councillors even commit MORE offences than the average student.

I guess it all boils down to how councillors are selected to become councillors. You select a boiled seed and plant it in infertile soil - no amount of water or fertiliser will ever cause the seed to develop. Similarly, selecting a student that's not up to the job of being a councillor and placing him in the "impure" school environment, hoping that he can change it for the better - is USELESS - no matter with how much support. Know what, ordinary students CAN be role models as well - after all, some of them do not "expose" their good side until they are slightly older (considering that they were chosen in Secondary 1 - an often unfair time to choose councillors due to their new environment and not being adapted fully to it yet). That it why some students are still given the chance to be councillors in Secondary 2 or 3.

Hence, having councillors as role models is impractical. Instead, students should learn from even ordinary, non-councillor peers. These average but outstanding individuals would perhaps better influence their peers as compared to some "black-sheep" councillors. The fault partially lies with the systems by which St. Hilda's Primary School is run as well. As most St. Hilda's Secondary School students come from the primary school, a heavy responsibility is bestowed upon the primary school to ensure that their students are more of QUALITY than QUANTITY, to ensure individuals that are easier to "handle" when they enter the secondary school.

In my next article of Councillor Collaterals, I will explore the feasibility of the impartation of the school's core values from councillor to ordinary student.

Tuesday, August 3

"Knocked Out" & Rantings

Been "knocked out" rather often these few taxing days - not literally but mentally. Not enough sleep, I guess - lack of interest in the subjects taught as well. I get kinda bored to death by certain stuff in Maths and Science, yeah, two branches of study I rather dislike. In the first place, I shouldn't really take on so many Math and Science-related subjects when I'm not even good or interested in them - it's like fitting on a pair of socks too large for your feet! I don't even wish to pursue anything related to these two fields of study - though their pay may appear prospective - it's a job that I have a passion in that I feel is equally, or even more important than a job that has a high pay accompanied by work you DREAD. Anyway, the school's having such an IMPRESSIVE number of ½-days this month of August - the long National Day Break, the celebration of its 70th anniversary and Teachers' Day. Yeah carry on having more and more ½-days and the only event the school will be CELEBRATING next year is the release of FANTASTICALLY HORRIBLE results by the graduating batch this year. Think otherwise for all anyone's business EXCEPT mine - it's already known that there's NOT EVEN ENOUGH time to complete the syllabus and there you go - more celebrations even though the Mid Year Examination Results were DISASTROUS?!