Monday 23 September 2013

Saluting the true superheros in our society

| |
Have you thrown your tantrum when you can't hear what aging parents were saying? How about being pissed with being blocked by a standing music fan in a concert?

What if one day you wake up from your sleep, your world turned into a state of pitch-darkness? What if you had involved in an accident and lost your limbs? (choi, touch wood). Would you blame the whole world about your calamity? Or will you do something about it and be an inspiration to others?

I was watching a documentary show about the disabled in Singapore and it had once again touched me deeply. 

Somethings we had been taking for granted day in day out may not be easily accessed by a minority of the population in this part of the world.

Yes, today's post will be about our superheros in our society - The physically disabled group.

What touches me most are probably the determination behind these group of superheros.

Take a local inspiration, Dr Yeo Sze Ling, as an example. She contracted glaucoma when she was only 4. Her nerves were damaged and as a result, she had lost most of her sight.

Not giving up in life, she studied even harder and was given a scholarship from National University of Singapore(NUS). She went on to graduate from NUS with excellent results. She proceeded to take her Master and eventually got her PHD that was funded by A*STAR graduate scholarship.

So where is she now? She is currently working as a researcher at A*STAR. 

Wow, what an extreme success that is! She had done what most of us could not achieved. As such, she was named in the National Day Rally by our Prime Minister. She is indeed a superhero in her own ways. She had conquered her disability and also did the impossible. 

All those would not have been a success if not for her hard-work and determination. So, for the rest of the students reading this blog, there is no shortcut to success, hence start working hard.

The next hero that I will be introducing is no stranger to you. He is Nick Vujicic. You may not have listened to his inspiring talks, but I am sure you have heard this name or maybe have browsed through his book, "life without limits"

I had the privilege of attending one of his talks and i was greatly moved by him. Unlike Dr Yeo, Nick was born without any limbs. The only limb he has is his little leg which has 2 toes. He introduced his left leg as the "drumstick". Mind you, his "drumstick" is fast as lightning. There was this part where he invited someone up the stage and challenged him to answer some questions. The catch is, the person who buzzes in 1st will have the 1st say. To our surprise, he had aced every single questions by buzzing in 1st. He went on to give encouragement to the guy, saying it's not because he is slow, just that he had the opportunity to practice for a longer time.   

He went on to talk about his life experience which left the audience with buckets of tears. He mentioned that there was a period of time that his peers were making fun of him, he wasn't angry with them, as he understood they needed more help than him. That's true, i wonder if his peers made it big and as famous as him now? 

Not too long ago, Nick was happily married and his wife gave birth to a healthy son. 

When he 1st posted his photo of his son, many crude comments rushed into his facebook page. However the majority of the netizen uphold justice and the critics left shortly. 

I have learnt much from him. It's not about what you don't have that you need to worry about, but not using what you already have. God is fair, he gave everyone equal talents and gifts. What you doesn't practice will eventually be taken away from you. 

You may think you are already quite perfect, lacking nothing, that's good. However, can you do more for the society today? 

In my previous few posts on individuals in the featured section of my shared blog, they have a common goal. That is to be bringing an impact to the people around them. 

Everyone of us does have some stories to tell. Some is happy, some is sad. Let us turn whatever that is negative and turn it into a positive. 

Even when bad things happen to good people, you can be assured it is for a good reason in the end.

With that, I am signing off now.

Have a great week ahead. 

Read More

Thursday 12 September 2013

Farewell my friend - Adrian Dhanaraj, Singapore ex international soccer player

| |
Received a news that one of my secondary school classmate, Mr Adrian Dhanaraj had passed away last night.

Adrian was only 29 when he left us.

A recap of his soccer career

in 2002/2003, he 1st got into the Young Lions team and he was a regular player for the 1st team. He went on to represent a string of other clubs including SAFFC, Geylang United and Gombak United.

He had also earned 2 caps for Singapore.

Adrian was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes. He had fought a good fight against the cancer, it is indeed Singapore's loss that a talented footballer had left us.

Back in school, he was always the soccer captain, deciding who to play and who should be benched. He's always cracking jokes on the side but when it comes to playing football, he is just amazing. He can dribble the ball pass 5 players and get the ball to the back of the net. It is no surprise that he eventually played football full-time.

Was also glad to see him commentating on the Lion City Cup and offered his views on EPL news as a football pundit organised by MioTv.

Rest in Peace my friend.

Everyone who knows you will know you had been a warrior all your life.

His wake will be held at the Singapore Casket, level 5 from 2pm onwards today, with the funeral scheduled for tomorrow.

In remembrance.

Read More

Tuesday 3 September 2013

Featured - Interview with the teacher and cosplayer Part 2

| |
Previously, we share on Peijing, the cosplayer, today we will introduce Zheng Guo, Peijing's husband, an awesome teacher, mentor =)

Witcast would also take this chance to wish Zheng Guo a happy birthday!!

Witcast: Share with us, whats your motivation to be a teacher? Is this a childhood dream?
ZG:It was not a childhood dream per se. But I remember when I was in my secondary 3 and 4, I had this form teacher who really cared for the class and really stuck with the class. I will never forget how in her own discomfort, and in the face of 40 frightened youths, she climbed on the high beams of the obstacle course in punggol outdoor camp, and perform the tasks, despite her having a fear of heights.
I was deeply moved by her dedication to stay connected with my class and her passion for the the subject (she was teaching history =o). And that was what ultimately got me to start considering teaching because I wanted to impact and change lives as much as my previous teachers did.

Witcast: What do you expect of your students? How do you connect with them?
ZG: I expect my students to understand their boundaries, and that sometimes no means no. I expect them to know when to do what. I believe these are important values that they need to learn in important social and emotional formation years of their live. Never mind if they do not perform academically, but the most important thing is that they have the skills to ultimately become a person that they are proud in the 20-30 years to come.
I connect with them by being true, and never hiding anything. Inside the classroom, they are my students, but they can be my friends when they out of the classroom. But over and beyond all this, I believe students truly respect a teacher that is understanding, but never compromising in their character. Therefore, I believe in going the extra mile, and constantly finding a need in students' life and trying to meet it if I can.
Witcast: Parents - Are they a pain or gain?
ZG: If we can win them to our side, they are definitely a gain. All parents want to see their children excel. As long as we can show them that what we do is for the good of their children, they will turn around to our side and support our course. While there is no reason for us to override the parents' wishes of their child, but there should be no reason for us to be allowed to be abused by them.
Witcast: What does it take for a teacher to succeed in their classes or even their expectations for their students?
ZG: Preparation. We must never under prepare for a lesson. If we want a lesson to work, we must research, and prepare such that we can cope with any situation that props up. And when we are very familiar with our material, we can then tailor it to suit the different needs of the students and the environment.
An uncompromising attitude is one the ensure students meeting our expectations. We must stay firm and strong on what we said. For example, when we say we want an assignment to be handed in by a certain date, we abide by that, and mercilessly (yes mercilessly) mete the appropriate consequence to the students. This would make students understand the results of their actions and at the same they will try their best to meet our expectations. I do not expect my students to perfectly meet them, but I expect my students to try their best.
Witcast: Where do you see yourself in a couple of years?
ZG: I see myself as a more skilful and a competent teacher.
Witcast: What makes you want to teach and keep teaching?
ZG: I will never forget how it feels like when I walk out of a lesson at the beginning of my teaching career. I was trying out something new on my students and the lesson went really well, the students enjoyed the lesson. but what really touched me was the fact that they actually learn something that day and it showed in their assessment.
Their joy they found in learning that they have learned something new is what makes me want to teach and is what that will keep me going.
Witcast: What if one day you realised you have nothing to teach?
Find something new to teach. There is always something that these students don't know. Even until today, there are things that I don't know. While I live, I learn.
Witcast: Is being a teacher tougher than being a learner
ZG: When you are a teacher, you are responsible for a class of 40 people's learning. But when you are learner, you are responsible for your own learning, which will ultimately impact your class of 40.
Witcast: What is your definition of a mentor vs a teacher? So which one are you?
ZG: A teacher makes use of every opportunity to impact lives. A mentor deals with you personally and making sure your development as a person is holistic.
I see myself as both. Because of obvious reason I cannot be a mentor to everyone. But I am a teacher to all, a mentor to some.
Witcast: What if you have students who gave up on studies or students who thinks that they are smarter than you?
ZG: Its not a what if. Its an I HAVE.
There must a reason why certain students give up on studying. Which means we need to find out why and try to answer those questions and solve those problems.
It is never a wise choice to try to outsmart the students. If they think they are smarter than you, leverage on that ego, and get them to solve problems that are bigger than them for you. They will then realise their limitations and will come around.

Witcast: Do you interfere with your student's personal life?
Witcast: What is your message to aspiring teachers?
ZG: Teaching is a calling. Its is a responsibility. But there is nothing that can beat a smile on your student after they have discovered the joy of learning.

With that, we end this special 2-part series of the teacher and the cosplayer. We hope you have enjoyed reading this just like how we enjoyed interviewing them.

God bless!
Read More