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Friday, 28 February 2014

Parent Volunteer

My girls have been asking me if I could be a parent volunteer at SCGS since they were in Primary 1. However the nature of my work doesn't really permit me to be a regular parent volunteer so I never became one. 
Recently, Marieann has been asking me again if I could be the parent volunteer for her school field trip to the Singapore Science Centre. This will be her last year in SCGS Primary. I guess it will be a good memory for Marieann that I was with her on one of her school field trips. So I agreed to her request. 
Marieann was very happy when she confirmed with me today that I will be the parent volunteer for her Science Centre field trip. It seems her form teacher (my former colleague) was glad too. I told Marieann that she better hope that I don't lapse into "teacher" mode and start scolding the girls when they misbehave at the Science Centre. Marieann had a most horrified look, probably half regretting asking me to go! LOL. :P

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Atypical Response

Juliane had another fall in school (she is getting quite clumsy :S) yesterday during PE lesson. Her PE teacher wanted to inform me about Juliane's fall. Before her teacher called me, she asked Juliane how she should address me. 
I thought the normal response from my daughter, or from any daughter on how to address her mother would be, if the parents are still married, "Mrs So-and-So" or if it's single parent, it would be "Ms So-and-So" or "Mdm So-and-So". 
Instead this is my daughter's response to her teacher, "Since my mother has a PhD, you call her Dr Wong." 
Well, it is not wrong in what she said but it just not the typical response... Perhaps she is proud of the fact that her mother has a PhD lol.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Welcome to the Club!

My good friend and colleague had his PhD oral defense this morning. It was a "full house" as in all the chairs were occupied and extra chairs had to be brought in (about 20 people in all, excluding the panel of examiners). Some were his supporters (like me lol) and some were there to listen to his topic. His presentation lasted for 43 minutes and the Q&A lasted for 50 minutes! He answered all the questions very well. He also gave answers to comments even when the answers were not needed! He was definitely in survival mode and on auto-pilot haha. The panel only took a minute to discuss the outcome of his oral defense. He passed with no further amendments! 
Before oral defense: Tensed, going through slides again one last time
After oral defense: RELIEVED! HAPPY! :)
Welcome to the club, Dr Dennis Kwek! :)

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Internet Security

My Norton Internet Security is expiring in two weeks' time. Should I try something else like McAFee or Kaspersky? Just wondering... 

Monday, 24 February 2014

My Path is ...

Freeing! This is so me lol.
Your Path is Freeing
You are the type of person who needs a ton of space. You need the freedom to do things your own way.
You prefer a path that you carve yourself, especially one with infinite possibilities and routes. You don't want to feel constrained.

You are highly independent and even rebellious, but you don't like confrontation. You're more likely to passively resist someone or something.
You hate to be rushed, and you prefer to take the time to savor life. You're too busy enjoying life to draw attention to yourself.
The Archway Test

I do need some space and freedom to do things my own way. I need my independence. I will be passively  rebellious when constrained because I dislike outright confrontation. However the day that I do confront you, it will be ugly, very ugly. 
Unfortunately, I am feeling constrained and restricted at work now. :(

Sunday, 23 February 2014

First Aid Kit

I have a first aid kit at home. It was 2-3 years ago when I bought it.
Recently Juliane had a nasty fall in school. It was only because of her fall and I tried to dress her wound at home that I realised some of the medical supplies in the kit have expired in 2012/ 2013. Oops! :S
It is good to have a first aid kit in the home, however, it is also good to check it periodically in order to replenish supplies as well as to throw out the expired ones. :)

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Staff Lunch 2014

Today is our organisation's annual staff lunch, 11am-3pm, Mandarin Orchard Hotel. This year's theme is Travel Around the World. The organising committee was dressed as stewardesses and pilots. It was kind of cool. :) Some of the tables were dressed in national costumes of the country which they have selected to represent. It was a riot of colours. 
As usual, I arrived early (perks of staying just at the edge of the city), just 10 minutes before 11am and immediately qualify for the early bird gift - a SIGG water bottle. Not bad at all lol. :) I took a couple of photos with colleagues and friends while waiting for the ballroom to open.
Photo with colleagues (me in cheongsum :P)
My table 22 was right near the stage and right next to the VIP table (consisting of all the deans and director) - the result of me submitting the names of our table in early, actually within an hour when registration started! :P 
My lucky Table 22
Photo with colleagues
The usual speech given by the director, then followed by the award ceremony. After that, buffet lunch commenced at 1pm. The real exciting event was of course the lucky draw lol. Our table consists of 10 people. However, only 4 of us were present - 1 had resigned, 1 had just given birth (ahead of time), 1 was recovering from illness, 1 had family emergency, and 2 couldn't make it (forgot their reasons). Guess what, 60% of my table won a prize (and half of them weren't at the staff lunch lol)! How lucky is that?! :P Oh, I didn't win a prize this year. Apparently I have used up my luck when I won the 2nd prize (a 41" LCD TV) a couple of years back. So I am accumulating my luck again haha. :P
Our director, Prof Lee giving his last speech to NIE family as he is stepping down in June 2014
My colleagues and friends, together since 2004/2005
Photo with Prof Lee
The staff lunch ended right on time and I took a couple more photos with colleagues. There were 64 tables so it was hard to look for colleagues and friends. :P

Friday, 21 February 2014

Let It Go

Here are my favourite music videos of the song "Let It Go" from Disney's Frozen. Enjoy! :)

The Original: Let It Go - Idina Menzel (original version) (uploaded by disneyanimation)

The International: Let It Go - Multilanguage (uploaded by disneyanimation)

The Korean: Let It Go - Hyorin (Korean version) (uploaded by LovelyHyorin)

The African: Let It Go - Alex Boyé (Africanized Tribal Cover) Ft. One Voice Children's Choir

The Classical: Let It Go/ Vivaldi's Winter - ThePianoGuys (uploaded by ThePianoGuys)

The Hokkien: Let It Go (Hokkien version) (uploaded by Lim ZiQiang)

Thursday, 20 February 2014

PhD Dry Run

I attended a good friend's dry run for his PhD oral defense. Good stuff but overshot the 40 minutes time frame by 20 minutes. Need to cut down a few more slides and talk less lol. 
It was almost 2 years ago when I had my Phd oral defense but I could still remember the sleepless nights, the anxieties before the defense. Not something I would want to go through again. So I can totally feel for my friend. 
Good luck, Dennis! You are always the most articulate among us. :) You will do fine! :)

Wednesday, 19 February 2014


I feel privileged to have been able to listen to two assessment seminars/ talks by two important names in assessment. :) I have been so caught up with the mundane, sometimes brainless but time-consuming admin work that I have not been reading up on my research interest recently. I am really glad for the time-out to listen and learn of their insights about formative assessment and self-assessment. :)

Tuesday, 18 February 2014


Just cannot get enough of ThePianoGuys and their beautifully played pieces of music. Here are two that are a rearrangement of pop song intertwined with classical music. 

Titanium/Pavane - David Guetta / Faure (uploaded by ThePianoGuys)

Secrets/ Beethoven's 5 - OneRepublic / Beethoven (uploaded by ThePianoGuys)

Other videos that I have posted of them:
ThePianoGuys - A Thousand Years
ThePianoGuys - Bourne/ Vivaldi
ThePianoGuys - Cello War (Star Wars Parody)
ThePianoGuys - Rolling in the Deep

Monday, 17 February 2014

Korean Love

Juliane is really addicted to Korean programmes. She watches tv programmes like Running Man (Korean variety show) and Superman Returns (Korean show). She is also currently watching K-dramas (or Korean dramas) such as Prime Minister and I with English subtitles every Monday and Tuesday and Glory Jane  the rest of the week. She sometimes speaks Korean words which she learnt from watching the K-drama. She has also been pestering me to bring her to Korea for holiday. We think in her previous life, she might have been a Korean haha. Maybe should let her learn Korean as a 3rd language lol. :P

Sunday, 16 February 2014

The Past Month

It has been a month now since my new FDW has been with my family. 
She has been hardworking, willing to learn and quick to learn, efficient and has shown initiatives in doing things. Her behaviours in the past month has proven that her past 3 employers were indeed the problems, not her. We are happy with her and likewise, she is happy working for us.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Eat, Drink & Relax

That's theme for tonight's dinner organised by my godsister (she's goddaughter to my parents since she was 3 or 4 years old) and her family. :) It has been years since her mother has had a dinner party for close friends and family. The private dinner event was held at Salta Argentina Restaurant. It was a buffet with the dishes customised. The grilled meat dishes (chicken, lamb, beef) were pretty tender and juicy (heard so from others who ate beef and lamb :P). Loved the grilled vegetables and sausages too. Totally loved the chocolate and caramel cake! :) There were plenty of red wine and champagne going round for those who drink and juices for the non-drinkers. 
Our table! :)
It was good catching up with my godsister, her husband and her family as well as my former Chinese tutor. :) It was indeed eat, drink and relax! :) 

Friday, 14 February 2014

14022014 Double Love: Yuanxiao Festival & Valentine's Day

Today is the last day, the fifteenth day of Chinese New Year, also known as Yuanxiao Festival (元宵节) which is akin to the western Valentine's Day (for the Hokkiens, it is also called Chap Goh Mei). Today is 14 February and it is also Valentine's Day. It is therefore a double Valentine's Day. :)
Happy Valentine's Day and Yuanxiao Festival!
Singapore Botanic Gardens celebrated the double love with Cupid's Night Out. My mother and Juliane first went over at 5+pm to watch the love song performances. Below are photos taken by Juliane.
Love in the air balloons and Horses to celebrate the lunar new year
Band Stand where the performances took place
One of the swings provided
More swings! :)
At 9+pm, Juliane and I went to the gardens again to catch some of the performances. We also managed to deprived a couple of one of the many swings that have been placed around the band stand for this special double love occasion. It was quite fun to sit in the swing as well as depriving a couple of the swing lol. Yes, I know I am "evil" haha. Juliane was also going round to pick up some of the fallen frangipani flowers which all happened to fall close to the other swings lol. Guess with our presence, the 6 couples around us were very well-behaved, no public display of affection at all haha. :P It was a cool and breezy night and so it made our enjoyment of the evening even greater. :P A friend on Facebook suggested Juliane might as well point out the relationship between frangipani flowers and pontianak to the couples while she was picking up the flowers lol. That's evil haha :P
The CNY decor at Green Pavilion
The lights on the trees
Lots of people having picnic and enjoying the night, the performances and breeze at the Band Stand
The full moon just behind the clouds
Frangipani, clouds and moon
The Heritage Museum
We strolled home close to 11pm and cooked tangyuan to celebrate Yuanxiao Festival. :) The full moon on Yuanxiao Festival (15th day of CNY) and eating tangyuan also symbolises family togetherness
It is one of the most memorable Yuanxiao Festival and Valentine's Day (combined) ever! :)