October 31, 2009 0 Comments

I have been looking forward to painting. Have no idea why, but painting feels liberating. Time suspends as one unites completely with the act of the art.

Love the idea of putting colours down, perhaps for no other reason than sheer enjoyment. To see the peachy orange against pale yellow and pink, swirling and dancing.

The colours rejoice as they flow across the surface, in hues and shades, in dainty exuberance.

As their serenity washes over me, I feel like I'm in a place where sadness and real life does not exist.


A Long Time

Inspired by O'keffe's art, I decided to try painting with oils again, after a 3-year hiatus.

It was a simple oil painting, with abstract, mellifluous colours. Nothing to 'boomz' about.

But I did love the gentle swirling colours. The fields of blues, shades of yellows and the peachy orange.

Lots of flaws, nothing that will stun people into silence and lots of room for improvement. I'm planning to paint much more often, to answer the silent calls within.
Was writing to numerous schools, offering myself to be a relief teacher. I love the work of guiding students to greater understanding about the world. After all, the Latin etymology of 'educate' means to draw from within, to bring forth and out.

Strongly against the mindless dumping of knowledge into a child's mind. Learning should be and can be fun.

Just yesterday, the two cousins I am tutoring gave separate feedback that they could solve their O level maths questions. Their joy was palpable. I shared in their happiness, glad that I could be of service.

Someone told me that I would be drained if I were to try treating each student as an individual, to attempt to structure each lesson such that it's both enjoyable and enriching. In my youthful idealism - for youthfulness it is! - I replied that at least I'm striving for an ideal. To set a higher goal and fall short is far less shameful than to lower my expectations and meet it.

And, thank goodness, I chanced upon another teacher, one who told me that there would always be detractors in whatever one does and so long that one places the welfare of the students foremost in the mind, one can't go wrong.


An Adjective for a Rainy Day

October 27, 2009 0 Comments

Silvery droplets fell.
No umbrella, no raincoat,
wasn't prepared,
and didn't care.

Raising both hands,
with upturned palms,
I hummed.
Rain, rain go away,
come again another day.
When it continued,
pelting down,
I smiled.

People shivered beneath shelter,
people hurried past,
all trying to keep dry.

But there wasn't this need.
The taste of rain on skin,
the music of thundering clouds,
and the sensuous caresses of the wind.

Ah, there isn't a need to resist Nature.


Images from Kusu

October 26, 2009 0 Comments


Art Singapore 2009

October 18, 2009 0 Comments

I went for this exhibition quite recently and was impressed by the standards of those commercial pieces. Really breathtaking works, inspiring and innovative.

My friend commented, pointedly but aptly, that it puts the Art Buffet @ SAM to shame.


Two Doves Amidst the Forests

October 11, 2009 0 Comments

Love this watercolour work that juxtaposes abstraction and realism. A lace-like network of yellow and royal blue, creating a mesmerising background for the two lovebirds.


Tutoring and Friends and Money

October 03, 2009 0 Comments

I can't really recommend students to my friends who want to moonlight as tutors.

From the way they say it, I can't help feeling the sole reason for tutoring is Money.

Tutoring feels as though it should be a much higher calling, the privilege to assist people to grow and discover knowledge within himself, the opportunity to grow and develop alongside the student.

I'm an idealist, with romantic thoughts of how education should be like.

While I recognise the need for material wealth to survive in this materialistic world which judges everyone in a material manner, I am disturbed whenever I hear of people who teach because 'the money is good'.

Money should be the second, third, or even the fourth priority. But, it should not be the first and the upmost. The students and their well-being should be the first and foremost.


A Need for Self-reflection

October 03, 2009 0 Comments

I was kind of surprised by the dedication that one of my student has been showing.

Reason: He's a Normal(Academic) student, with a complicated family background. His mum doesn't have a steady job - due to her laziness and overwhelming wish to depend on others- and his dad suffers from a debilitating long-term disease.

Many nights, I tossed and turned on bed, trying to come up with pedagogies that would interest the kid and yet bring the content across.

I called his relative to understand him as an individual. Teaching couldn't adopt a one-size-fits-all approach for it undermined the individuality of the student. It always seemed sad, the way kids nowadays were treated as statistics to raise the profile of their schools.

After much debate and discussion, his relative recommended me to approach this delicate student gently. To guide him along firmly but fairly; To share stories of hope and optimism; To be patient and understanding.

So glad that he was responding to my concern. On Saturday, I received a message from him, wishing me a fruitful Mid-autumn Festival.

Just a simple message and I could feel myself melting from the warmth ignited within.

How I wish students would understand what these little gestures mean to their tutors!

Genuinely glad that he's taking ownership of his studies and working diligently for his O levels. And realised that I should abandon my urge to pigeonhole people into their education streams, to forsake the subconscious idea of treating them as faceless extensions of their curriculum.