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Give Me One Reason
Tracy Chapman & Eric Clapton

Saint 2.0

Friday, October 31, 2008
Heroes Season 3 Screening Party | 11:50 PM

I made a difficult decision.

I chose not to watch it online before its official release in Singapore.  How my nose did not bleed, my face did not turn blue in exasperation or that I did not suffer sleepless nights knowing fully well that the season has begun its run in the States and thus is available for view online, baffles me.  I guess the endless errands around the new pad and work kept me really distracted.   

The way I see it, I guess this invite to the Heroes 3 Launch Party was kind of a reward for my patience. 

Anyway, the event was held at Golden Village, Vivocity. 
Each patron was given a goodie bag containing some real cool stuff (you'll find out what's in them in awhile). 

The party area consists of 2 sections.  At the left section, there are displays touting "Heroes" facts in fonts so tiny that you have to get up close and personal to them in order to decipher the text.   Fortunately, you have helpful dolled up Claire lookalike "cheerleaders" who do not hesitate to come up to you to talk you through the event.  The other half is where the food is located.  I was too hungry to wait for the party to begin so I took my diner at the food court instead.   Just before the screening began, there was so much food leftover, save for the finger food, I gather that everyone had their fill on their own before they arrived. 

Throughout the party, there is the very lovely emcee, Vivien something from VH1 or some cable channel hosting the Mimic Hiro's "Yataaa!" contest.  Although the crowd was lukewarm in showing their support to the brave participants, she was bubbly and enthusiastic throughout.  Her comments were totally positive even at most ludricrous comments. I thought she was really professional in what she was doing.  At one point, she had to hoist up the top of her dress in full view of the public - which I thought was more hilarious than slightly embarrassing.   But I like her.  

In addition, this weekend, being the Halloween celebrations, a second contest was also held to select the Scariest Villain.  There are makeup artists where guests (whether they are participating in the contest) can approach for a temporary tattoo or a villain makeover.  The crowd support dwindled from lukewarm to almost pathetic.  Despite it all, Vivien was on her toes and high heels all the way.  By the way, the participants all get a limited edition of the Heroes comic while the overall winners get an iPod each.  I would have participated in both contests if I was not feeling so tired and I was with some crazy company.   

The movie screening was an all out StarWorld publicity event.  A galore of advertisements, sprinkled with statistics that reek with self accolades, bombarded the patrons before Heroes 3 came on.  Well, watching 2 episodes of season 3 on the huge screen more than made up for what we were subjected to prior the screening.  

I was not totally blown away by the plot.  I guess the wait and the overhyped publicity had raised the bar of expectation so high that I wanted more.  Nonetheless, I like where Tim Kring is going with the characters of Heroes.  This season appears to be a lot darker than the previous two, promising more action, twists and suspense.  Would I continue to follow the series on telly?  Totally! 
I took the train back to my new pad, having no excuse to drive as I live just a three minutes' walk to the MRT station.  No, Hiro did not appear in the cabin to relay some bleak doomsday message regarding the future.  The is my third ride on the MRT after a very long time and to be honest, I rather like the freedom of not having to endure reckless drivers, red lights and heavy traffic.  I am also doing my part by cutting down my carbon footprint!   

I think I'll do the reveal of the contents in the Heroes goodie bag another time.  :)



villians | 4:51 AM

Heroes Season 3



Thursday, October 30, 2008
Lies | 5:19 PM

As doctors, we're trained to be sceptical because our patients lie to us all the time. The rule is : every patient is a liar until proven honest.

Lying is bad, or so we're told, constantly from birth. Honesty is the best policy. The truth shall set you free. I dropped down the cherry tree - whatever.  

The fact is, lying is a necessity.  We lie to ourselves because the truth, the truth freaking hurts.

No matter how hard we try to ignore it, or deny it, eventually lies fall away. Whether we like it or not.  But here's the truth about the TRUTH - it's painful. So, we lie.

Dr. Grey Meredith
Grey's Anatomy

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008
bubble | 10:19 PM

Around the new pad...

This lighting feature was something I'd come across in the magazines and that I'd wanted to have in a place of my own.   Fate has it that I should stumble upon it along the lighting galore of Balestier and what more, at a great bargain!    As such, it's a piece of me I'm proud to show off to all who drop in.  



Heroes Preview | 4:26 PM

I just got a call from Ripplevox.  

I'm getting a pair of free passes to the launch party cum screening of Heroes 3 at Vivocity!  

A W E S O M E!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008
5star | 11:14 PM

Around the new pad...

This image caught my attention my attention the moment I saw it a few days ago.  Yes, I have procrastinated for so long as with many things (including updates here) because my priority now is my work, packing and unpacking, housework (yes, however unfortunate this may sound.  Actually I quite enjoy this bit for now) etc.   I thought the symmetry was rather pleasing to look at.



Monday, October 27, 2008
hooked | 11:29 PM

I was supposed to head out for some errands for the new pad but I ended up glued to the google-box instead.    I was catching up on my recordings when I came across 3 great episodes of Grey's Anatomy, Season 3.  They feature Grey's near death encounter and the theme of alienation and isolation.   Now I truly understand why some television series make you weep with their realistic and poignant plot and narration.   

I have to get my hands on the DVDs (original of course!) of all 4 seasons soon but I'm so broke now.  I guess that'll have to wait.  Sigh.


Thursday, October 23, 2008
me?! | 11:04 PM

Thursday Edition

A student got bored during the recent art examination and drew this caricuture of me.  Well, who could resist taking a picture given the kid's friendly gesture.  Haha.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008
home | 10:25 PM

Sheryl Crow

It's nice to have your own home. I'm still settling into my new pad. Many thanks to some of you who still drop by regularly to minimal updates.

It's nice to come home once in awhile. Hope you stick around often.



Tuition Results | 9:00 AM

Tuition Results #11 Term 4 2008
Final Year Exam Results 2008

I am very pleased with my students' results (at least those who have informed me so far)!  


Calvin Chan (S3Exp)
- B3 - 65.5% 
- above top class average (64.9%) and level average (approx 61.3%)

Edwin Chua (S3Exp)
- B4 - 64.5%
- above all other classes' individual average and level average (approx 61.3%)

Kwek Ming Sheng (S3 Exp)
- B4 - 62.2%
- above all other classes' individual average and level average (approx 61.3%)

Although the above 3 boys are scoring B grades for English, we need to look beyond the absolute marks and compare them against the class and level averages to get a more accurate assessment of their performance.  The fact that they had scored above their class/level average indicates that they are performing way better than most students in their class/level. 

Fong Geng (S3 NA)
U - 42.9% (MYE 2008) --> Grade 4 - 62.7% (FYE 2008)
Fong Geng has never passed any English test/examination since the beginning of 2008. 
improved by 2 grades or 19.8%.

Jaagmeet Singh (S3 NT)
U - Failed (Term 3 Common Test 2008) --> Grade 3 - 65.8% (FYE 2008)
improved by 3 grades.

Caleb Ong (S2 Express)
- B3 - 68% (Final Year Exam 2007) --> A2 - 70.0% (FYE 2008)
improved by 1 grade.

Samuel Tan (S1 NA)
U(ungraded) - 28.7% (Mid Year Exam 2008) 
--> Grade 5 - 51.2% (Final Year Exam 2008)
- improved by 22.7%.
- Samuel has never passed English since primary school. 

Keith (S1 Express)
- D7 - 49.6% (1st Combined 2008) --> C5 - 59.9% (2nd Combined 2008)
improved by 2 grades.

Xue Yu (S1 Express)
- C6 - 54.2% (MYE 2008) --> B3 - 66.7% (FYE 2008)
improved by 3 grades.

Chen Kwang (S1 Express)
- C5 - 59.2% (MYE 2008) --> A2 - 73.8% (FYE 2008)
improved by 3 grades.


Conelius Loo (S2 NA)
- 82% (A1)
- highest in level  

Thiru (S2 NA)
- A2

Still waiting for the results of other students to come in...  

Scroll down to view the results of my tuition students since 2006.

If you need help with English or English Literature, do drop me an email at stanleyah@hotmail.com or call me at 93388547.


1) The English Conundrum
English, like other languages, is organic in nature. Yes, it is comparable to the growth of a plant or animal which takes a long time to show signs of change. It is unlike Mathematics or Science where memory work and intensive drill and practice can bring improvement in a matter of 2-4 weeks. In other words, one has to be patient to see improvement in English. Unless the student plays his/her part by putting in daily efforts to read widely (comparable to the daily watering of the plant), it usually takes months for improvements to take shape.

Two biggest hurdles exist for many students who wish to improve his/her English proficiency:

(i) Fail --> Pass
For students who wish to cross from the Failure to the Pass realm, mental and emotional barriers exist on top of their very weak foundation. Daily reading and regular review of past papers are absolutely necessary to grow their fragile language foundation.

(ii) B (60-69) ---> A (70>) grade
This is where tenacity comes into play. Besides close supervision, regular readings of advanced materials, knowledge of common themes and regular application of good writing techniques will plant the student firmly in the realm of the A(bsolute). Many students think that one cannot study for English - that is absolutely untrue.

How do teachers judge students' performance?
Because of the unique organic nature of languages leading to possibly slow progression, keep in mind the following 3 factors when assessing a student's performance. This is especially helpful to buffer the low morale of weak students.

How much improvement is considered acceptable?
From a teacher's perspective, any improvement is a good sign. A 2-grade jump from the previous is considered significant, especially for weak pupils.

How about that extremely low grade?
Apart from considering improvements made, we need to keep in mind that a low grade does not mean that all is doom and gloom. Compare the grade with the class and level average, if they are available. As long as the student's mark is above the class/level mark, his/her performance is considered acceptable.

How about maintaining the improvement?
The biggest challenge to any student who has just displayed significant improvement is to maintain that same grade in the next test. No one wants to be compared to a 1-hit wonder singer who is unable to maintain his/her record sales with the next hit/album. For that weak student, if no improvement is made but the grade is maintained, that is a positive sign itself.

2) About Me
I am a trained teacher for both primary and secondary school levels. Having taught in Singapore primary and secondary schools for the past 7 years and tutored for the past 12 years, I now freelance as a private tutor and part-time relief teacher in secondary schools.

Below are the results of my tuition students since 2006. If you need help with English or English Literature, do drop me an email at
stanleyah@hotmail.com or call me at 93388547.


Stanley Ho


Tuition Results #10 Term 4 2008
English Preliminary Exam Results 2008

I'm truly thankful for my graduating students' Preliminary Examination results.

Isaac Cheong (S4Exp)
- C6 (55% - Common Test, Term 1 2008) --> A1 - 76.6% (PRELIM 2008)
- improved by 5 grades
3rd highest in class of 43

Ng Tai Jun (S4Exp)
C5 (56.2% - MYE 2007) --> B3 - 67.2.0% (PRELIM 2008)
- improved by 3 grades

Stanley Tiong (S4 Exp)
- E8 (44% - MYE 2007) --> B4 - 63.2% (PRELIM 2008)
- improved by 4 grades

Daryl Pung (S4 Exp)
- D7 (46% - MYE 2007) --> C5 - 59.5% (PRELIM 2008)
- improved by 2 grades

Atticus Yeo (S4 Exp)
- C6 (51.5% - MYE 2007) --> C5 - 55.7% (PRELIM 2008)
- improved by 1 grade

Isaac Choo (S4 Exp)
- C5/6 (2007) --> B3 - 66.6% (PRELIM 2008)
- improved by 2/3 grades

Sankar (5NA)
- D7 - 47.0% (FYE 2006) --> C5 - 58.1% (PRELIM 2008)
- improved by 2 grades

Paul Ng (5NA)
- D7 - 40.0% (Common Test, Term 3 2008) --> B4 - 64.9% (PRELIM 2008)
- improved by 3 grades

Ameer (5NA)
- C6 (52.5 - Common Test, Term 1 2008) --> B3 - 68.5% (PRELIM 2008)
- improved by 3 grades

- highest in class of 20
- 2nd highest in level

Aaron Ang (5NA)
- D7 (failed - Common Test, Term 1 2008) --> A2 - 72.4% (PRELIM 2008)
- improved by 5 grades
- highest in class of 37
- top in level

Note :
Some students scoring the weaker grades are dyslexic. Without naming them, they have made great improvements, in my opinion, given their struggle with language!

If you need help with English or English Literature, do drop me an email at stanleyah@hotmail.com or call me at 93388547.

Tuition Results #9 Term 2 2008

Updated 22/5/2008
English Mid Year Exam Results 2008

My students improved leaps in their English!

Isaac Cheong (S4Exp)
- C6 (55% - Common Test, Term 1 ) --> A2 - 73.5% (Mid-Year Exam - MYE 2008)
- improved by 4 grades
- 3rd highest in class of 43

Ng Tai Jun (S4Exp)
C5 (56.2% - MYE 2007) --> A2 - 71.0% (MYE 2008)
- improved by 3 grades
- 5th highest in class of 40

Daryl Pung (S4 Exp)
- D7 (46% - MYE 2007) --> B4 - 61.3% (MYE 2008)
- improved by 3 grades

Atticus Yeo (S4 Exp)
- C6 (51.5% - MYE 2007) --> B3 - 66.2% (MYE 2008)
- improved by 3 grades
- 3rd highest in class of 36

Stanley Tiong (S4 Exp)
- E8 (44% - MYE 2007) --> B4 - 63.4% (MYE 2008)
- improved by 4 grades

Aaron Ang (5NA)
- D7 (failed - Common Test, Term 1) --> B4 - 61.0% (MYE 2008)
- improved by 3 grades

Ameer (5NA)
- C6 (52.5 - Common Test, Term 1) --> C5 - 58.8.0% (MYE 2008)
- improved by 1 grade

- 2nd highest in class

Feng Shi (4NA)
- D7 (failed - Common Test, Term 1) --> B4 - 62.2% (MYE 2008)
- NA student who sat for 4EXP paper 2008
- improved by 3 grades

Kwek Ming Sheng (3Exp)
- B4 (61 - Common Test, Term 1) --> B4 - 61.0% (MYE 2008)
- maintained

Edwin Chua (3Exp)
- C5 (55 - Common Test, Term 1) --> B4 - 64.3% (MYE 2008)
- improved by 1 grade

Lee Chi Han (1D)
- D7 (failed - Common Test, Term 1) --> C5 - 59% (MYE 2008)
- failed English since Primary School
- improved by 2 grades

Caleb (2D)
- B3 (68% - Final Year Exam 2007) --> A1 - 75.0% (MYE 2008)
- improved by 2 grades


Tuition Results #8
Term 4 2007 Updated 18/12/2007

My English N Level students did well!
1) Sankar - A2
--> this is an incredible feat for him who has bordered between passing and failing all the while!

2) Ameer - A2
--> well done! I expect an A1 for your Os!

3) Keith Leng - B3
--> he could've gotten an A if he had been more regular and focused.

Thanks guys, for the early Christmas gift! :)


Tuition Results #7
Term 4 2007 Updated 24/11/2007

1) Kelly Chan (P4) - 81/100 (Band 2)
Term 1 - 60+% --> Overall - 81%

= improved by almost 20%!

2) Keth Chan (P2) - 45/50, 90% (Band 1)
previous tests 65-75% --> Overall - 90%
= improved by almost 25%!

3) Isaac Choo (S3) - 64% (B4)
Term 3 - 55.5% (C5) --> SA2 - 64% (B4)

*more than half his class failed SA2.
= improved by 8.5%!


Tuition Results #6
Term 4 2007 Updated 19/10/2007


1) Caleb Ong (S1) - 73/110 (B3)

- highest in class! (according to his English Teacher)

2) Pei Rong (S1) - 60.4%
Common Test 1 - 29.5/50 (C5) --> SA2 - 60.4% (B4 - rank top 10 in subject)
= improved by 1 grade!

3) Edwin Chua (S2) - 64%
CA1 - 60.5% (B4) --> Overall 64% (B4)
improved by 3.5%!

4) Calvin Chan (S2) - 69.5% (B3)
CA1 - 63.8% (B4) --> Mid Year 66.1% (B3) --> CT2 - 67.1% (B3) --> SA2 - 69.8% (B3)
= improved by 1 grade!

5) Ming Sheng (S2) - 61.4% (B4)
CA1 - 58% (C5) --> SA1 - 60% --> SA2 - 61.4%
= improved by 1 grade!

6) Nicole Li (S2), China student who joined a Singapore school in Term 3
Failed MOE entrance tests (Secondary 1 Express standard) twice
--> CA2 - 50.2 (C6) --> Overall - 51% (C6)
= improved by 2/3 grades and maintained! - an impressive feat for a foreign student!

7) Daryl (S3) - C6
MY2006 - D7, FY2006 - C6 - MY2007 - C6 --> SA2 2007 - C6
improved by 1 grade!

8)Tai Jun (S3) - B3
Common test 1 - D7 --> common test 2 - B3 --> SA2 - B3
= improved by 4 grades!

9) Feng Shi (S3) - 59.6% (C5)
Mid Year Exam 2006 (Fail) --> SA2 2006 (Pass!) --> SA2 2007 - 59.6/100 - C5 (met expectations of C grade for a foreign student)
= improved by 2 grades!

SA1 - Mid Year Examination Paper (1 & 2 combined)
SA2 - Final Year Examination Paper (1 & 2 combined)

Literature (SA2)
1) Caleb Ong (S1) - 76% (A1)

2) Pei Rong (S1) - ? (?)

3) Calvin Chan (S2) - 77% (A1)

4) Edwin Chua (S2) - 67% (B3)
CA1 - 56.8% (C5) --> CA2 - 64.2 (B4) --> SA2 - 67% (B3)

= improved by 2 grades!

5) Zachary Foo (S2) - 75% (A1)

CA1 - 60.4% (B4) --> SA1 61.0% (B4) --> CA2 - 70.4 (A2) --> SA2 - 75% (A1)
= improved by 3 grades!

6) Nicole Li (S2) - 74% (A1)
China student who joined a Singapore school in Term 3
CA2 - 53 (C6) --> SA2 74.0% (A2)
= improved by 4 grades!

I am still waiting for some students to give me their marks and some of the above to update me with their specific marks...

Tuition Results #5
Term 3 2007 Updated 17/9/2007


Fabulous news!

S4 English Preliminary Examination Results
Leslie of 4ST scored A2, beating even those who used to get As in his class! When he came to me for help with English, he was just passing his common tests.
Mid Year 2007 - 54/100 (C6) --> Preliminary Exams 2007 - 70.09! (A2)
= improved by 4 grades!!

Lee Peng of 4SA scored B3, a 3 grade improvement from his Mid year!
Mid Year 2007 - 56.3/100 (C5) --> Preliminary Examination 2007 - B3
= improved by 3 grades!

Jingxi of 4S1 scored B3 - Mid Year 2007 - 57.8/100 (C5) --> Preliminary Exams 2007 - 67.6! (B3)
= improved by 2 grades!!

Well done dudes!


Tuition Results #4
Term 3 2007 Updated 11/9/2007


1) Kelly (P5) - 40/50 --> A =
maintained A

2) Pei Rong (S1) - 48/50 = 96%
Common Test 1 - 29.5/50 (C5) --> CT2 - 96% (A1- highest in class and level!) =
improved by 4 grades!

3) Caleb Ong (S1) - 35.5/50 --> 71%
(to check extent of improvement)

4) Edwin Chua (S2)* - 65% (CA2)
CA1 - 60.5% (B4) --> CA2 - 65% (B3) =
improved by 1 grade!

5) Calvin Chan (S2) - 67.1%
Mid Year 66.1% --> CT2 - 67.1% = improved!

6) Nicole (S2) - 71%
from failed MOE entrance tests in early 2007 --> MY2007 - 51.4% (C6) --> Term 3 CA - 71% (A2) = improved by 5 grades!

7) Daryl Pung (S3) - 31/50
MY2006 - D7, FY2006 - C6 - MY2007 - C6 --> CA2 2007 - B4) =
improved by 3 grades!

8) Tai Jun (S3) - 34/50
common test 1 - D7 --> common test 2 - B3 = improved by 4 grades!

9) Feng Shi (S3) - 63/100
Mid Year Exam 2006 (Fail) --> SA2 2006 (Pass!) --> Mid Year Exam 2007 - SA2 & CA2 (B4) ------ E8/D7 --> B4 = improved by 3-4 grades!

10) Cleon (S3)* - 27/50 (CT2), 72/100 (CA2)
Term 1 CA1 - 42/100 (E8) --> SA1 - 54/100 (C6) --> Term 3 CT2 - 54/100, CA2 - 74 (A2) = improved by 6 grades!

11) Shaun Lai (S4) - B
Term 1 2007 - 43 (E8) --> Mid Year 2007 - 65.8 (B3) --> Preliminary Exams B3 = improvement by 5 grades maintained!


Tuition Results #3
Mid Year Examinations 2007
6) Kwek Ming Sheng (2Exp)
Term 1 2007 - 58 (C5) --> Mid Year Overall 2007 - 67.5 (B3)
--> improved by 2 grades!!!

An underdog is defined as a person, team etc that is weaker than the others, is always expected to be unsuccessful, and that is often treated badly.

This time round, the underdog students truly prevailed over their challenging circumstances!

1) Feng Shi (3NA)
Mid Year Exam 2006 (Fail) --> SA2 2006 (Pass!) --> Mid Year Exam 2007 - SA2 (63.1/100)!!!!!
- E8/D7 --> B4 = improved by 3-4 grades!

Keep in mind this Chinese student joined the Singapore school system only last year!

2) Nicole Li (2NA)
Like her compatriate, Feng Shi, she came from China and joined her Singapore school in the middle of Term 2. She came to me with only a Primary 3-4 standard of English and had a lot of difficulty understanding Primary school comprehension passages and stringing together proper sentences for her compositions. Having failed numerous entrance tests with the MOE and schools, passing the Secondary School English Paper was therefore an impossiblity.

Nevertheless, her SA2 results - 51.4/100!!!

3) Sankar (4NA)
Final Year 2006 - 47.0/100 (D7) --> Mid Year 2007 SA2 - 63.8/100 (B4)
--> improved by 3 grades!
We expected a C6/5 but Sankar delievered a miracle, beating more than 3/4 of his classmates and emerged top 10 in his class for English.

4) Kelly Chan (Primary 4)
She came to me in Term 1 scoring only 60odd% (C/B grade)
--> Mid Year 2007 - 60/80 = 75% = A grade!!
(note - highest in level = 64/100!)

5) Shaun Lai (4NA)
Term 1 2007 - 43 (E8) --> Mid Year 2007 - 65.8 (B3)
--> improved by 5 grades!!!

The rest of you (my students, that is) - remember to photocopy your result slip and bring them when I next see you!

More exciting updates later!!


`O' Levels 2006 Tuition Results #2
Thank God again for great results and improvements once again!

(in name-alphabetical order)
Daniel Tay - A2 - up 5 grades since Prelim Exams 2006!!

Elvinder - B3 - improved by 4 grades since Mid Year Exam 2006!

Jeriel Goh - B3 - on target :)

Jonathan Neo - A1 - upped 7 grades since Mid Year Exam 2006!!!; the ONLY A1 grade in 5NA!)

Jun Liang - B3 - improved 5 grades since Mid Year Exam 2006!!

Konrad - PASS!!! - improved by 2 grades from E8 within 3 months (your struggle to pass English for the past few years is now history!! Well done!)

Maduan - B3 - improved by 3 grades in less than 2 months (WOW!!!) since Preliminary Examinations 2006!

Nicholas - B4 - improved by 2 grades since Mid Year Exam 2006!

Ryan - B4 - up 2 grades since Preliminary Examinations 2006!

Thanks guys for working hard and for bearing with my nagging. Your efforts certainly paid off!


Tuition Results 2006 #1
Latest update:

My 2 PSLE kids just received their results recently.
Well done guys!

Name/Grade attained
Leonard - A
(I knew you could get the A!)
Sheng Ming - B (you've come a long way since making that pass! Scroll down to see how much he has improved!)

Check out my other tuition kids' amazing results (SCROLL DOWN).


29 Oct 2006

12) Daryl (2Exp)
Mid Year (D7) Fail --> Final Year (C6) : Pass!
--> Improved by 1 grade


26 Oct 2006

Hey hey hey! I recently compiled the English results of my tuition kids who had updated me with their exam results. Here's just some of the amazing scoup!

1) Jonathan (5NA)
Mid Year (E8 ) --> Term 3 Common Test (D7) --> Prelim (B3)
--> improved by 5 grades

2) Elvinder (4 Exp)
Mid Year Exam (48/100) --> Term 3 Common Test (25/50) --> Prelim (B4)
---> moved up by 3 grades

3) Ryan (4 Exp)
Mid Year Exam (53/100) --> Prelim (B3)
---> improved by 3 grades

4) Junliang (4 Exp)
Mid Year Exam (E8) --> Term 3 Common Test (C5) --> Prelim (B3)
--> jumped 5 grades

5) Poh Heng (1 Exp)
Mid Year Exam (D7/E8) --> Term 3 Common Test (22/40) --> Final Year Exam P1 (Pass) + P2 (30/50)
---> improved 2 - 3 grades

6) Alex (1 Exp)
1st Combined Marks, CA1 +SA1 (51.4%) --> 2nd Combined Marks ( 69.0%)
--> up 3 grades

7) Satya (1 Exp)
1st Combined Marks (67.1%) --> 2nd Combined Marks (71.3%)
--> improved 1 grade

8) Jack (1 Exp)
1st Combined Marks ( 69.3%) --> 2nd Combined Marks ( 70)
--> up 1 grade

9) Feng Shi (2N)
Mid Year Exam (Fail) --> SA2 (Pass!)
--> improved 1 grade
Note : This is a great achievement for a foreign student from China who just joined the Singapore school system at the beginning of this year!

Other Schools
10) Sheng Ming (Pri6)
PSLE Prelim1 P2 - 38.5/95 --> PSLE Prelim2 P2 - 64.5/95
--> a 27.40% improvement

Best Overall Achiever...so far
11) Daniel Tay (4Exp)
1st Preliminary Exams (D7) --> 2nd Prelim (B4) ---> 3rd Prelim (A1)
--> blazed up 6 grades

Well done guys! I'm really proud of you!



Monday, October 20, 2008
kwey chap | 7:52 PM

So they say when you see a long queue, the food must be good.

Upon a student's recommendation, I asked along a friend to try out this famous Kwey Chap store in Toa Payoh.  WARNING AHEAD : Hunger and profuse drool guaranteed!

Unless you dig innards, you don't know what you are missing in life!

The meal at $8.50 for 2 persons is not pricey at all.  



Saturday, October 18, 2008
closer | 7:44 AM

At the end of the day, when it comes down to it, all we really want is to be close to somebody.  So this thing where we all keep our distance and pretend not to care about each other, it's usually a lot of bull.  So we pick and choose who we want to be close to.  And once we've chosen those people, we tend to stick close by. No matter how much we hurt them. 

The people that are still with you at the end of the day - those are the ones worth keeping.  And sometimes close can be too close. But sometimes that invasion of personal space - it can be exactly what you need.

Meredith Grey
Grey's Anatomy



Wednesday, October 15, 2008
smothered | 11:53 PM

Back in primary school, I used to score second highest in Chinese Lanaguge for the entire level.  This was thanks to my mom who would always encourage my interest in the language by bringing me to Popular Bookstore at Brash Bersah Complex or the now defunct National Library at Stamford Road.  When I got to secondary level, my interest for the subject was totally smothered by boring teachers.  In fact, I began to dread studying for Chinese for my O Levels.  I eventually got by with a B grade.  Thereafter I totally detested the subject at A Levels and I was just relieved to be able to pass it.  Interestingly, that experience had significantly shaped my teaching life - I made a decision never to be that boring teacher ever.  Moreover, I pray that my own children (in future perhaps?) would not be 'tormented' by indifferent teachers.           

The above thought came to mind while I was relieving a class.  Most of the kids were rejoicing over the fact that they had performed poorly for the same subject. In fact some of them boasted their single-digit marks by announcing them to their classmates and myself.  When I asked some of them how they had fared for other subjects, I discovered that most of them were in the red too.  My heart became heavy when one boy told me, "Sir, I don't want to be retained."  

I am not a full time teacher anymore and I don't even teach academic subjects in schools now.  I felt a little disturbed by the above encounter because :

1) a lot of kids who come to me for tuition have either failed their English or just passed.  Whenever I ask them if they are given remedial lessons in the school they come from, I am frequently told that they have none.  One of them, a secondary school student, with a primary school level English competency, mentioned that he had never been remediated by his teachers in primary school at all.  How did students like him slip through the cracks for so many years I wonder?

2) lazy students aside, are teachers bogged down with so many duties that they truly do not have time to perform one of the most basics in teaching - remediate weak pupils?  I understand that predicament, being one anvil in the MOE machinery myself before.  However, that was one aspect I refuse to compromise then.  Perhaps that's just Darwin's survival of the strongest at work in today's competitive education system - a daunting truth and pill that is hard to swallow?

On a positive note, I came across this other student from the same class doodling away.  He's slightly austistic by the way.  There and then, I was totally impressed by his skills and so I told him that I like his drawings a lot. He beamed this smile which told me that appreciated the affirmation and that which also made my day.  



Tuesday, October 14, 2008
costly | 3:06 PM

Tuesday Edition

I missed a turn to my workplace and ended up on the PIE expressway leading to the east.  In my effort to reroute back to my destination, I was slapped with 2 ERP gantry charges - $0.50 and another $3.50!   

What was I thinking?!!!  It must be the result of sleeping only 4-5 hours daily  due to all the work and shifting of stuff to my new pad.  ARGHHHHH! 



Monday, October 13, 2008
games | 7:16 AM

A good basketball game can have us all on the edge of our seats.  Games are all about the glory, the pain and the play-back play.  And then there are the more solitary games - the game we each play all by ourselves.  The social games.  The mind games.  We use them to pass the time, to make life more interesting, to distract us from what's really going on.

There are those of us who love to play games.  Any game.  And there are those of us who love to play, a little too much.  

Life is not a spectators' sport.  Win, lose or draw - the game is in progress - whether we want it to be or not.  So go ahead.  Argue with the refs.  Change the rules.  Cheat a little.  Take a break and tend to your wounds.  But play.  Play.  Play hard. Play fast.  Play loose and free.  Play as if there's no tomorrow.

Okay.  So it's not whether you win or lose.  It's how you play the game, right?   

Dr. Meredith Grey
Grey Anatomy

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Saturday, October 11, 2008
Lazy | 10:55 PM

I have real busy adjusting to my new pad and intensive work commitments (my tuition kids are all having their finals or national examinations!).  You know the usual - moving furniture, boxes, packing and unpacking them, fussing over minor defects around the house etc.  And it is NOT over yet.

I guess moving out has its perks and its lows.  One of the latter, much to my amusement, is breaking the basic law when doing laundry.

This was one of my favourite tees from a long time ago. Before I reduced its status to that of a rag, I decided to take a picture of it.

A few days later, in a hurry to fill up my washer, I threw in the whites into the drum with other coloured clothes.  The outcome was obvious.  My whites, including my socks, turned blue all over (You have to click on the picture to see the bluish tinge clearly).  The culprit was the plant dyes used on the pillow cover which I had gotten while trekking in Vietnam a few years back. 

Given that this was my thrid time operating the new washer, I decided to be more forgiving towards myself.  

To look at the incident more objectively of course, apart from being careles, I was just plain lazy.  :) 

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Friday, October 10, 2008
dismantle | 11:25 AM

Friday Edition

One of the perks in teaching is that you meet really awesome students who go the extra mile to lend a helping hand.   Thanks Daryl!   

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008
cool hands | 11:25 PM

I saw this on a classroom wall while I was on duty.  



Monday, October 6, 2008
parking ticket | 10:05 AM

I was at Ikea yesterday.   

I assume that the parking lots for trolley is just a Singaporean obsession with orderliness.  

To my readers who are overseas, is it like this in your country's store too?



Sunday, October 5, 2008
Chasing Cars | 2:07 PM

Snow Patrol

Human beings need a lot of things to feel alive.  

Family, love, sex.  

But we only need one thing to actually be alive.  We need a beating heart.  When our heart is threatened, we respond in one or two ways.  We either run or we attack.  There's a scientific term for this - fight or flight.  It's instinct.  

We can't control it.  

Dr. Meredith Grey
Grey's Anatomy (Season 3)

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