Friday, December 30, 2005
Never really managed to put it to practice until lately.
I went swimming this morning. Haven't been swimming for almost 6 months. Last time I touched the pool waters was in June, Lifesaving Course.
Swam the 16 laps warm-up routine Uncle Patrick always made us do. In 20 minutes! Man, during Lifesaving I could do it under 11. And I already felt tired after that.
Swam 20 more laps, freestyle. Wonderful to feel the good pain in those muscles.
And then, miracle of miracles... I decided to relax! Just to enjoy. Just to go to the side of the pool and be content with closing my eyes and resting my head at the side of the pool. To hear the "waves" of the swimming pool hitting the pool side. To enjoy the bits of sunlight creeping pass my eyelids. To thank God that I could find the time to swim a bit, relax a bit.
That was a really wonderful morning, Lord. Thank you!
If you really think about it, life is just a journey. After the whole thing, at the end of this long day which we call life, all those who believe will make it to heaven. And then all that we ever did on this earth will not in the least compare to our heavenly inheritance. So often we do things because we want to achieve something. And after we have reached that something, we want to achieve something else.
So terribly rarely do we sit down to enjoy what we have achieved. Then life passes us by and we look behind us, wishing that we could live that life again. But nobody can live life again. You live life now. And you must enjoy each and every passing moment, for that is how God intended it. He came to give abundant life, whereas the evil one comes only to kill, to steal and to destroy.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
In AJ, we'll be setting up Christian fellowship/ cell/ ministry (there's no name yet) afresh next year. Personally, I believe that it'll be an uphill battle. Secular school. The more organized a cell, the easier it is for it to be perscecuted. But then again, if our Daddy in heaven watches over us, who have we to fear?
I have this not-so-closely-related relative who has 4th stage cancer. I asked my parents to bring me along on the next visit so I can share Christ with her and her family. But I don't really know her. So it's going to be a bit touchy (if we even manage to arrange a date to visit her, and she lets us). But if you really think about it, hell is worse than death. The possibility of offending the person is a small risk to take, in comparison with the possible returns of a soul.
A rainy day, with a fog thick enough that you can't see past 50m. 10m in front of you you see a man. He's drunk and he's walking on the railway track. You hear the piercing sound of the train's horn getting louder.
And the man's still staggering down that track. Happily. Beer bottle in hand. Drunk. Lost in his happy world.
Would you not as a simple human being shout and scream and wave and try to get the man off the track? Or if the train was still some distance away, and you were strong enough, would you not push the guy of the track? I know I would at least shout to tell the man to get off.
For if the man does not get off, he will surely die.
And surely, the risk of the man being irritated with you, turning you down, even chasing you away with violent fists, of him being offended with you. This risk. Would you not take it? To save a life?
And perpetual torture of the soul is far worse than death. And we all know that.
Why then, Lord, is it so hard?
Give me boldness to fearlessly proclaim your word, Lord God. But I must remember that it is your Spirit, and not my lips which will melt hearts of stone. For I am just a humble servant declaring his King's word.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Childrens' camp was wonderful. I think I didn't do too good a job as a main teacher. Thank God my assistant teacher Phoebe (but I think she was really doing the main job throughout) covered for me all the time I wasn't around. I received a lot from the Lord too. Learnt so much. But I won't post it up just yet.
YPM camp was pretty physically exhausting. Thank God I got through. I think my mental exhaustion (after the ODAC Instructor Camp) got in the way of me thinking clearly or leading effectively during some parts of the camp. I still have a long way to go as far as leadership is concerned. But I thank my Lord that He gave me a terrific group. Zero problems. Excellent attitude. God-seeking hearts. And a wonderful assistant leader (Sandy) who once again covered up a lot for the fatigued, ever-busy leader. And a good group mentor too. (Caleb Koh). He took note of some areas where I could improve and told me in an encouraging manner, even though I was obviously under-performing.
Also I thank my Lord for all the wonderful bros and sis throughout these 2 camps. Caleb Lim, Joseph Tiew, Samson Hu, Daniel Ong, Daniel Yim, Daniel Li, Gideon, Jia En, Phoebe, Sandy, Siew Ho, Guang Hao, Dickson, Wang Xian, Joshua Ho, James Ow Yong, Gabriel Lee, Samuel Chao... oh dear, the list could go on forever.
21 to 24 December is my kayaking 3-star course. I'm an okay kayakist. Couldn't paddle straight once, but now I'm pretty ok. All the rolls and all I haven't mastered yet, though. Don't think I'll go for assessment though. So that'll make me a 2.5 star kayakist.
Seeking God daily now.
I realised that for the past year I have not been a faithful steward of my studies. Not that I copy or anything... sometimes I just don't do my work. And being pretty thick skinned, it doesn't hurt my pride to tell the teacher straight... and they just shake their heads. Nope. My attitude was all wrong last year. This year it'll change. I will study hard. I will be a faithful steward of my studies. I will do what matters first.
I have to get my studies right in the year to come.
So help me God.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
I'll make an update within 5 minutes.
Just back from an ODAC camp. Quite refreshing. An instructorship camp. Sports climbing yesterday morn. Then navigated Singapore urban area for 15 klick with an approx 15 kg pack yesterday. Today was an approx. 18 klick kayaking expedition I think.
Lots more outdoor stuff next week. The kayaking 3 star's been packed into 4 solid days, so I'll probably be a little sun-kissed by then.
Childrens' camp last week was simply wonderful. God's annointing upon the place. The way He put lives in my hands for me to touch and the way He sent lives to touch me. People like Joseph and Caleb and Daniel Li, Daniel Ong, Daniel Yim, James Ow Yong, Jon Ho, Jia En, Phoebe, Gilbert.... the list of bros and sis go on.
Next camp's tomorrow. I'm really really looking forward to it. Yet I wonder if I am ready for it. But right now I just see it that I'm going and I'm gonna let my Lord handle all the rest. Partly becauuse I'm super tired.
Done in 5 minutes.
Monday, December 05, 2005
Couldn't go for camp briefing because of Standard Chartered Run 10 klick (which by the way, we did at so slow a pace that I didn't even come close to panting- easier than 2.4 sprint!!).
Didn't go for tonight's meeting in church because my mom forbade me. And it's my fault, being 17 already and piling up so much homework along with camps and stuff. Like my mom put it, "You take on so many camps and activities. So you've got to make sacrifices." True.
So tomorrow morn I'll make it early to camp.
Your humble servant is here.
Do whatever you want Lord.
Refine me, use me. Change me and use me to change others.
Here am I Lord. Not worthy to even untie your sandals. But only say the word, and it will be done.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Like when you enter the principal's office because he wants to see you. Which I've done only once in my life so far, and no, not telling why he wanted to see me.
Next Tues (29 Nov) odac
Thursday- service learning
Friday- odac (ASEAN Scholars' Orientation, infamously known by the acronym ASO- which sounds like...)
Saturady- Morning SAT test, evening YPM
Sunday- Standard Chartered 10 km run (think prob go there and be a slow poke. Fatso like me cannot run too fast. haha.)
Monday- 3 star kayaking
Tuesday (6 December)- Childrens' Camp begins. 4 days 3 nights of fun and challenges and God's loving kindness.
Friday (9 December)- Childrens' Camp ends
Sunday- 3-star kayaking
Monday, Tuesday - much needed break chiong* homework
Wednesday (14 December)- YPM Rezolution Camp
Saturday (17 December)- Camp breaks
Sunday (18 December)- 3 star kayaking
After that, unknown.
Being busy is sometimes good. Gives you no time for the luxury of worry.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Signed up for this with faith that there'd be no ODAC activity. In the end ODAC got cock up in planning. Haha.
A glance back at this year.
Start of the year was pretty good. I walked close to God. Even though I didn't go YPM for first half a year, up till June, I enjoyed God's close presence. I got my lifeguard cert... which was why I didn't go YPM. Culture shock too in AJ. Girls and all. (Girls you ask? Well, I was in a guys' school for 10 whole years. Didn't really realize girls existed. Apart from the normal stuff we can't do in a mixed school- like taking off our shirts in the middle of the field, or changing in class, or the practical jokes in boys' schools, some too disgusting to mention (but fun!!) there was the worst part. TALKING to a girl. Now that took me some time to get used to!)
Then somehow after June, there was a roller-coaster period. Back to God and then turning my own way. Back to God then turning my own way.
From maybe October onwards till now, it's been pretty bad. Either you could say I've been thirsting for God or you could say that I'm far from God. Not sure which one myself. Probably the latter.
So, are church camps meant to be a booster jab for a spiritually ailing man such as I?
If God is the God of only church camps, I would rather be struck dead.
I have faith that God is not the God of only church camps, and I'm seeking Him desperately now.
Of course half my life I've been seeking God desperately.
What more to say?
Oh yeah, thanks for listening.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Forty matryrs "History knows them as the 40 martyrs of Sebaste. They were soldiers in the famed Twelfth Legion of Rome's imperial army, around A.D. 320.
One day the captain informed his troops that Emperor Licinius had sent down an edict commanding all soldiers to offer a sacrifice to his pagan god. Forty of the soldiers were followers of Christ, and they refused. The emperor decided to make an example of the soldiers, so he marched them onto a frozen lake and stripped them of their clothes. "Renounce your God and you will be spared from death," he told them. Not one man came forward. Throughout the night the men stayed together, singing their song of victory: "Forty Martyrs for Christ."
When morning came, 39 of the men had frozen to death. The one survivor recanted his confession of faith. The officer in charge that night had been so moved by the scene that during his watch he'd come to Jesus, so he broke rank and walked out onto the ice. Stripping his clothes he openly confessed his faith in Christ. He refused to renounce his new faith. When the ordeal was over, the Roman soldiers carried 40 frozen men off of the ice.
Would I be the 40th soldier Lord?
Right now I fear that my faith is running low.
Or would I have the courage of the 39 men and 1 captain?
Sunday, November 06, 2005
God, what do you want me to do?
Went FCBC today. Caleb found it good. I found it ok.
Then went back to church and talked with Samson and Amelia. Was pretty good, I feel. Thanks Samson and Amelia!
And so my life continues, a search for God. For answers to tough questions.
And it goes on
Sunday, October 30, 2005
I thank God for my family. My mom, my dad, my grandma during this period of time. (bro's at camp)
Fell sick on Wednesday. Got a fever that night. Struck so quickly that I didn't even recognize it at first. I'm not often sick, you see.
Thursday, Friday, today. Still struggling with this sickness thing.
I know I ain't really sick. Just a bit. Yet it feels bad. Wish I was up and about and running again.
Taking part in the Standard Chartered Marathon. 10km run. Know it's nothing much for many people, but 10km would be a little milestone for me.
Prayer-fully I recover by then.
Was running 4 klick 3 times a week just before I got this. Not a lot too, I know, but quite an achievement for me.
Now I'm sick.
Must discipline myself to rest and recover.
CLAO exam on Monday.
God help me.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Was reminded of His power today as I did my QT.
My Father flung the starry host into their place
My Father made the sky
and the earth
and the trees
My Father made the clouds
and the sun that peeks through it
My Father created the birds
and the ants
And if my Father can do things so mighty as this, and with such caring detail create even each ant with 6 legs, no more, no less, then He must be powerful.
And if my Father sent His Son to die on the cross for me, then He must care for a wretched soul like me.
And if He cares for me, and He is infinitely powerful, then I figure that I have nothing to fear.
My God will provide.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Received my promo results.
Econs History C maths O E O (hey, it looks like 2 eyes and a nose.), clao B4, GP C5.
And btw, the History's E is 46%, which means 2% less and I'd have had to fight for conditional promotion.
I'm not too sure bout why I got such results. I studied... perhaps I didn't study consistently enough? Perhaps I didn't study smart enough this time round?
Whatever the case, I am not defeated. As far as I can see, I will not be defeated as long as my God is not defeated, and my God will never be defeated.
And that being said, I still am seeking God desperately.
Right now in ODAC, real busy. Got certain issues and all. Everyone's tired.
In school on Monday , as far as my class was concerned, it was like a battlefield, where more than half the soldiers were bleeding... wounded. Some were walking wounded. Some were still talking, crapping around with each other... usual stuff... as if nothing ever happened. Some were still bleeding... I have no idea whether they'll live.
And there I stand too. Carnage all around me. I'll live. Live to see another day, fight another fight.
I, a mere man am in no position to challenge my God.
Isaiah 40:13- Who has understood the mind of God? And who has instructed Him as His counsellor?
But I have no idea what is going on around here.
Very meekly. Very tiredly. With nothing more to lose than a life... for I know that life is but a mist here today and gone tomorrow, I come to God.
Perhaps one of my favourite one-liners.
"God, so how huh?"
Monday, October 17, 2005
ODAC stuff, PW stuff all comes crashing in.
Worse than I thought.
Did PW from 8:30 this morn.
I took a 3 hr break at like 7
Now is 11:54 p.m.
Doing some ODAC proposal
How much longer can this go on, O Lord? Sooner or later I'm gonna become a person walking around half-dead.
And, for the record, I'm not satisfied with my relationship with you too Lord
Tomorrow night got discipleship some more.
Receiving most of my promo results too
Eh Lord, I'm damn shag liao*
Saturday, October 08, 2005
He rescues those who are crushed in Spirit
The righteous man may have many troubles
But the Lord rescues him from them all
He protects his bones
not even one of them will be broken
Evil will slay the wicked and the foes of the righteous will perish
But for those who seek refuge in the Lord, there is no condemnation
As a deer longs for a stream of cool water,
I thirst for you, the living God.
Day and night I cry, and tears are my only food;
My heart breaks when I remember the past,
Why am I so sad?
Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened,
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
More of you where it came from.
My soul cries out for fresh annointing. Fresh fire.
Hear me O God! Turn not your face away from me.
Mighty fulfil-er of promises. Deliverer. Saviour. That's what you are Lord.
If your word says that I can run nowhere from your Spirit, and that darkness is as light to you, that those who seek you will surely find you when they seek you with all your heart. If your word says that O God, why do I still feel so lacking-of-your-Spirit?
The world has many attractions and each one of them calls out to me.
But I yearn to return to your sanctuary to behold your beauty.
Surely you will grant me that request O Lord.
For your presence in my life is more precious than the life itself. Yes, take everything else away but pour out a double portion of your Spirit upon me and I will be content.
For my life is just a passing shadow, a breath of air. A mist that vanishes. And what am I before you O God? A mere maggot. For man is a maggot compared to his Creator.
Surely you, my God, who hast brought me thus far will not now withold your Spirit when I plead with thee for it?
Search me, O God, and know my heart
Try me, and know my thoughts
And see if there be any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
-Psalm 139: 23-24
Saturday, October 01, 2005
I know it's God because those are the things that I prayed for, and He provided.
Lest I later forget and boast.
On a lighter note. Haven't posted anything bout this week yet.
The funniest moment this week:
-Discipleship on Tuesday night. Caleb, Joseph, Lowell and I. We were reading Samson's ahem*'s blog on his laptop while he was out of the room getting something. Then we clicked on some Yahoo News bout "Hurricane Rita" just before Samson came back into the room.
Samson: What you're looking at?
Lowell: Hurricane Rita
Samson sits down at his laptop. Checks history. But I already deleted the blog page from history.
Samson: Aiyah, you all cannot find anything on my laptop lah!
Then Samson fiddles here and there. Found out what we'd been looking at. Cuz I overlooked the little toolbar at the top. Didn't delete the address from there.
Samson: Orh, so you all look at her blog right? Think you all can hide from me is it?
Lowell: Huh? Hurricane Rita got blog meh? - Today I saw a man in my path. I couldn't stop.
Laugh laugh laugh.
Then we admitted lah, cuz it was pretty obvious already.
Caleb: And the best part is that... <>
Laugh laugh laugh. Caleb laugh loudest. I cannot stop. Laugh non-stop for 5 minutes. Laugh until cannot breathe. Laugh until I can feel my 6-pack coming up again. (So hor, thanks Caleb.)
Then we all laughed again.
Effectively using up most of the discipleship time crapping.
Did a spiritual gifts test. Thought it might not be accurate, in that such things cannot be tested using a limited human questionnaire, pretty interesting.
-My exorcism 0, as expected.
-Tongues (11) actually higher than interpretation of tongues (9)! Guess I should use the gift of interpretation more for God.
-Celibacy 7. Jiak lat. Bit too high. Wanna get married and have kids one leh. Heh heh. Somebody celibacy very low... wonder who hor? Actually 2 people, I think.
That's bout all the interesting stuff.
Continuing to study for promos!!
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Should I post something up....? Guess I should. Here's an essay that I wrote not too long ago for an NUS Essay Competition. I wrote more for the experience than the prize... if you're wondering.
WARNING: THOSE STUDYING FOR EXAMS. DON'T READ THIS IF YOU THINK THAT IT'LL SET YOU OFF THINKING ABOUT THE FLAWS OF THE EDUCATION SYSTEM. AND DON'T SAY I DIDN'T WARN YOU!
People are born geniuses, but a formal education ruins the genius in most of them. Comment. By Foong Tai Yong
A genius is one who has extraordinary intellect and thinking skills. For example, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew is a genius in the area of political administration of a nation. Mahatma Gandhi is a genius in peaceful revolution. Warren Buffett is a genius in financial investment. A genius by this definition is not one with a high intelligence quotient, but a thinker. He is not just able to dream, but also able to do. The formal education I refer to is the highly structured, government-regulated path through primary school and tertiary education. It is meant to increase the value of a person.
Any normal person with an average intelligence has the potential to become a genius, but formal education ruins this genius in them. In the first place, formal education was never designed to bring out this genius in most people. It is a highly flawed system that attempts to make important what is measurable, instead of measuring what is important. It teaches the problems of our world today, but does not offer the solutions. It ruins the innate potential of each person to think and be of benefit to society. This essay will first show the suppressive origins of education and go on to discuss the numerous flaws which have caused the death of genius in most products of formal education. Then, it will show why current formal education is by itself impractical to the needs of present times and why it has not been revamped consequentially. Lastly, it will examine what can be done to bring out this born genius in people.
Formal education was designed to make people think less. It originated in Prussia, in the early 19th century1. Its objective was to build up a strong Prussia after its humiliating defeat by Napoleon Bonaparte. It was meant for the aristocratic class to suppress individual thought and produce a subservient force of soldiers and workers for Prussia. Soldiers and workers who thought too much would question the policies of the nobles and had to be checked. Formal education succeeded in its purpose. It destroyed the genius in most Prussians enough to make Prussia strong and united. But today, Prussia is no longer existent. The Prussian-era way of life is extinct, and so are its goals. Thus, the root of formal education is also obsolete and must be radically changed if it is expected to produce thinkers to tackle the issues of today.
Is modern day formal education different from the past? The answer is no. Not so in redundant structure and goals. A formal education still bears the following traits: a set syllabus, testing based on a single “one-size fits all” policy, and a feeble attempt at preparation for the working world. These traits are the reasons as to why formal education ruins the genius in most people for they cause people to think less. This essay will now discuss these three main traits.
Firstly, a set syllabus is flawed. Adhering to a set syllabus allows one’s education to be shaped by what someone else wants one to think. A set syllabus leaves no space for pro-active thinking, as Dr Edward de Bono2 put it. All it teaches is reactive thinking. This means that students are taught to criticize what is given to them to examine, instead of being given an allowance to explore new frontiers and formulate solutions to come up with positive changes. It is thus no surprise that many citizens are only able to criticize the government without offering solutions nowadays. After all, students are thought to criticize within the set syllabus, instead of thinking out of syllabus. This is why few critics are able to produce constructive criticism, which leads to the labeling of thinkers as negative, something which will be discussed later in this essay.
Secondly, testing is a flawed method to assess the intellect and thinking skills of people today. This is because testing is based on the fallacious assumption that all minds are alike, or should be programmed to be alike. Because all minds are alike, this assumption reasons, we are then able to assess the intelligence of everyone using the same system. We know that this is not true. One’s value should not be determined by how conformist to societal norms he or she can become, as in the days of Prussia. It should be based on the intellect and the level of thinking a person can operate on, the genius which can contribute positively to society. A single intolerant and rigid scale, as writer Aldous Huxley put it, sacrifices the interests of individuals for the average student.
Thirdly, a formal education is but a feeble attempt at preparing students for the world. This misconception is one that has been recognized by numerous educators, such as Robert T. Kiyosaki3 of Rich Dad Poor Dad fame. The great irony is that education is meant to prepare individuals for the working world, when in fact it does not. Students are taught to accept syllabus content as fact. They are labeled as less academically inclined if they are unable to regurgitate and analyze their knowledge of such a syllabus in written tests. A business-inclined student able to strike excellent deals and lead important negotiations might not have the stomach for sophisticated economic text. Yet this same student would not be able to pass his exams without memorizing numerous economics theoretical concepts which are very irrelevant to the real world of business. The genius for business in him will be ruined by a formal education, unless he is able to see that not doing too well in economics as a subject does not equate to bad business acumen.
With its numerous flaws, formal education today is by itself impractical. This is not to say that a formal education is worthless. A formal education does have many plus factors. It teaches reading and writing skills so essential to human relations. It places students in a classroom and allows students to interact. However, it simply does not bring out the full natural individualistic potential in most. Formal education thus kills the genius in students. They are taught not to think, but to accept. They are made not to formulate their own ideas, but to study the ideas of others.
Yet another reason for its irrelevance in today’s world is its zero tolerance for mistakes. Students are taught to avoid mistakes at all costs. The effects can be stifling. Formal education is structured in such a way that a minute error can impact the life of a student negatively. In Singapore for example, entry into junior colleges is based on a point system that allows a difference of two or three percentage points to be magnified into a grade difference that decides whether that person is good enough for his desired course of study. This no-mistake mentality spills over into working life and causes executives to be afraid of the possible consequences of mistakes, destroying the genius in them to innovate. Warren Buffett, a genius in investing, supports the stand that one does not need to be right many times in one’s life to succeed, for he states that twelve investment choices in his life have made all the difference4 for him. He accepts mistakes as the necessary stepping stones to success. How can one possibly learn without mistakes along the way? Students are taught to avoid mistakes by sticking to common accepted answers. This unconsciously discourages them from reaching their fullest potential, regardless of what the formal education system claims to want to achieve.
Why then do we still use a flawed educational system as the basic foundation for modern society? There are two main reasons. Firstly, governments are reluctant to encourage thinkers, for governments in general have had a history of bad blood with thinkers. Though many claim to want their students to “learn”, most also retain a dominant hold on education.
Certain critics have attributed this to a fear of geniuses that question policies and demand change. This is not unfounded. For there have been numerous cases of such thinkers causing great disruption. Thinkers and writers such as Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels have caused untold chaos with thought regarding communism, for example. However, by allowing the continuation of a system of formal education that does not encouraging thinking, the governments are losing out on harnessing the full human potential of its citizens.
Secondly, improvements to formal education have only addressed the symptoms, not the roots of the problem. Measures such as electronic-learning or advanced memory techniques, which occasionally have the educational community taken by storm, are inconsequential. They simply and conveniently build upon the rotting foundation of a Prussian-era system’s needs. Students are still not taught to think. If students are not taught to think, they will never acquire the fullest intellectual and thinking skills possible.
What modern day governments and educators should realize is that the present formal education is heavily flawed and based on obsolete objectives. If they want any improvements in modern society, as they so claim, they have to start this with a crucial revamp of the education system. They must review traditional methods of testing, a set syllabus and change their system to prepare students for the real world.
One plausible solution is to set up an independent body comprising the geniuses of today’s world and a few national-level education policy-makers. This body would be commissioned by the government to spend say, five years examining plausible solutions and new policies to encourage such thinking. They would gather the opinions of teachers and students in the process and also draw on a wealth of personal and professional experience.
It is an irrefutable fact that the formal education was created by imperfect humans and is therefore imperfect in nature. I am not suggesting that the above suggestion will create an utopian education system overnight. But it will enable the government to take the essential first steps to creating a new system which can better serve the interests of both government and society. The present form of formal education has never before been revamped on such a scale as to mend its error of being unable to bring out the genius in people. Perhaps it is time to do so now.
The present formal education system has numerous flaws. It comes from a redundant system stemming from an obsolete purpose. If governments want their citizens to become thinkers and challenge policies in a constructive manner, they have to allow the born genius in people to flourish. They can do this by teaching them to really think. Formal education by itself is redundant. What students become is affected largely by what formal education puts in them. We should work towards the nurturing of geniuses in society. The production of the next Lee Kuan Yew or Mahatma Gandhi or Warren Buffett should not be considered a random act of nature and left to chance. Put fear of failure and mindless following into students in their youth, and they will grow up to become afraid of failure and non-thinkers. Put encouragement to try new things and real thinking skills into them, and they will grow up to become innovators and problem-solving thinkers.
Quoted in essay
1. Rick Gee Compulsory Government Education, Origins and Solutions. Available at http://www.strike-the-root.com/columns/Gee/gee8.html
2. Dr Edward de Bono. Teach Your Child How to Think. McQuaig Group Inc., 1992
3. Robert T. Kiyosaki. (General views found in works such as Rich Dad Poor Dad and Rich Kid Smart Kid)
4. Robert G. Hagstrom. The Warren Buffett Way. John Wiley and Sons Inc., 1997. Forward by Peter S. Lynch
Not quoted in essay
5. Capitalism and Education, A Communist View. Available at http://www.plp.org/pamphlets/education/teachers.htm
6. Idea Group Inc. Facilitating the Online Curriculum. Available at http://www.idea-group.com/downloads/excerpts/1591401364E.pdf#search=
7. The American Heritage Dictionary
Monday, September 19, 2005
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Be by all my Christian bros and siss too. Teach them how to study, how to manage their time. Open up knowledge and understanding of all literature and learning to them, just as you did in the days of Daniel (Daniel 1:17). For everything that we don't know, you do. Trigo, integration, elasticity of DD and SS, Cold War, SEA History... what is that to you? It does not confound you like it does us. It is as clear as day to you.
Lord, you stretched your hand over the Red Sea, and it was parted. Now I ask and pray that you stretch your hand over our little Red Sea of bloodied exam scripts, and bring us through.
And, let us all peacefully and soundly in your arms.
In Jesus's name, amen.
P.S. Funny how I always start with a post and end with a prayer.
Sunday, September 04, 2005
Presence of God there.
Was kneeling there in front during altar call.
Received quite a bit from God.
(But hor, heh heh heh. I'll just put a brief outline here.)
1. Received this word that I should claim righteousness. It's the devil's lie that we can't live righteous lives for God. For sins which hinder my relationship with God, I need to claim righteousness. That when I recover from them, I need to have the faith that I'm not gonna fall again. That there doesn't need to be fear of the devil in the presence of God. (One thought tickles me, guess the devil's been reading my blog too, knows that I'm seeking God. Wants to try to put obstacles in our path. Well he's not gonna succeed!!!)
Read on. This one quite interesting. Thought so myself.
2. God gave me this mental image. This thought. Not a vision, but a clear mental image. Of God going before me in battle. This is what I pictured: from where I was standing, all I could see was this rider on a horse. That's God. And God's carrying a sword, and He's going before me in battle.
Let me check ESword. Ah there:
Isa 42:13 The LORD goes out to fight like a warrior; he is ready and eager for battle. He gives a war cry, a battle shout; he shows his power against his enemies. Yeah fits that description. Just like that, the mental picture.
And God slays all my enemies. I don't have to lift a finger. Doesn't matter whether or not I can overcome my enemies by myself, because my God can!
The word God gave me was this: That as I go out into battle, He will slay all my enemies. All that I will come across are the carcasses and corpses of my enemies on the battle field. And I will trample over them.
Then after that went with Caleb Lim and Samson Hu into a room and shared and prayed. Thank God for these 2 bros. (Samson's the dai kor -big bro, though he's smaller in size than all of us in the discipleship group, he's really the spiritual giant amongst us). Lowell and Joseph too. haha. Joseph's getting bigger sized than me.
Prayerfully I'll be able to attend Children's Camp this year, as well as the YPM camp. 2 fantastic God-annointed events. Both special in their own way. Children's camp cuz I love children, love teaching children, love blessing and being blessed by them, and cuz God shows me so much through the eyes of His blessed young ones. YPM camp cuz God will work through that camp (I KNOW, not just believe). And I know I'm gonna receive lots from Him if I go. 2 life-changin' events, no exaggeration.
Now must tackle promos.
No fear in the presence of God. God will bring me through promos and to all bros and siss in Christ reading this, He's gonna bring you through too! Jing Jie, Mei Yan, Jie Hau, Wan Lin from school. Caleb and Lowell, God's gonna bring us all through beautifully.
Saturday, September 03, 2005
Help me leh, God.
Tried to find some ppl to chat with me tonight. Nobody seems free. Feel kinda lonely right now.
Wanted to run today. but it rained. So just went for a walk under shelter. heh so sheltered we are as S'poreans. Could walk for like 500m under shelter.
Will try to run at 7 a.m. tomorrow.
Very simple one lah. Just 3 klick only.
Getting fat. Losing my packs. They're disappearing already. Arrr.
Used to be so fat I couldn't see my toes whenI stood straight and looked down. Then went very tough on myself and ate chocolates and ice cream and all that stuff like only once in 6 months. My record was no ice cream for 1+ years.
Muahaha. Getting fat again. Will go run. will go run.
And I WILL study too. God help me. Give me the strength
Was praying in tongues just now. Bout promos. Interpretation: "I bind you, spirit of fear and spirit of doubt. God is going to bring me through."
hey. Mei Yan's free to chat. yay.
In Caleb's words.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Makes for an interesting read.
There was once a piece of wood. Nothing special really. Just a piece of timber taken from the forest. This piece of wood had been lopped off from a great timber tree by a master carpenter. That had been a week ago. Now the piece of wood lay in the carpenter's house, on the working table, wondering if the master carpenter had forgotten it.
"What am I doing here?" the piece of wood wondered aloud. "It'd have been better for me to stay attached to the great timber tree. Life here is boring. I'd rather be used for firewood than stay here for eternity."
As if on cue, the master carpenter entered the room.
"Don't worry," said he. "I have a purpose for you. I picked you from the great timber tree, you of all the other branches. I have a plan in mind for you. Trust me."
As he said these words, the master carpenter took out a chisel and a saw.
"Now. I know this is going to hurt. But if I don't do this, you will never become more than a piece of wood suited for the fireplace."
And he began sawing and chiselling at the piece of wood.
Chisel. chisel. chisel. saw. saw. saw. The piece of wood, brave at first, was now yelping in pain.
"Oh stop the pain, sir! Just throw me into the fireplace."
"Not yet, not yet. Trust in me. I know what I'm doing far better than you do."
So the piece of wood gritted it's teeth throughout the pain. All of a sudden the master carpenter stopped.
"That's enough for today."
The piece of wood lay exhausted, too tired to move for days. Than one day he picked himself up and looked around himself. Stretching around a little, he felt a lot better. As he examined his body, he could see why. The master carpenter had chiselled and sawed off all the bulky wooden twigs that jutted out of him. Moving around the house, he studied the other pieces of wood, and he despised them. They were nothing compared to him. The master carpenter had chosen to work in him, not them. The thought resounded in his head as he nodded condescendingly toward the other pieces of wood.
The master carpenter was watching each and every move of the piece of wood intently. The piece of wood knew it, and did not exactly feel bad at his actions. After all, the master had chosen him. The master had a plan for him. He was special. Of course he had the right to despise, look down upon, and pass snide remarks at the other pieces of wood.
But the master carpenter knew just what to do. One day, he put a shiny mirror, the type that could be found easily in any home’s dressing table, on his working table. And he positioned it in such a way that the piece of wood could get a clear look at itself.
And the master was right. The piece of wood did get a glimpse of himself. And what he saw shocked him completely. Why, he was far from perfect! The master carpenter’s work in him was distinct enough to be noticed. But there was still so much to be desired! And in the time that he had been caught up in pride, he had actually started to decay. Part of him was falling apart. The decay was spreading.
“Now you see what I want you to see,” said the master carpenter gently. “Come back to my working table. There’s still much to be done.”
Thought of writing a conclusion as I read this. But oh well, guess it's only better that I don't conclude this story. Cuz this work is still a loong way from being complete, till the day of Jesus Christ my Lord!!
From: Tai Yong
RE: Remember who you are
Don't go around living your life as if you are superior to others. Stop judging others. Do you not remember who you are? You are a sinner snatched from the gates of hell. The only reason you are righteous is that God has given you that righteousness, and not by your works, but by grace.
Who do you think you are to judge others? You hypocrite. Look at the log in your own eyes!! First take out that log and then you will be able to see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.
But all hope is not lost. God forgives. And you are forgiven. Remember that.
As for your sins. Galatians 5:16. Live by the Spirit so that you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Galatians 5: 24-26 He who belongs to Christ Jesus has crucified the sinful nature along with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited. Envying and provoking each other.
And to end off, remember that religion that our God considers as pure and blameless is to look after orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
P.S. Remember to go for a run, fatso
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
You know I'm tired.
What now, Lord?
What happens when a servant of the Most High God becomes tired spiritually, physically, emotionally?
What happens... ....
It's so familiar, this tiredness.
So familiar, this ol' frustration. Frustration with schoolwork. Frustration with friends. Frustration with systems, with everything that's standing between me and a good rest.
Are you there?
Yes. I know you'll bring me through. Perhaps that's all that I need to know.
I somehow wish I owned an old cottage on a tall cliff extending into the clouds, where there is just God and me.
Then I'd go out each time I feel frustrated, stand at the edge of the cliff and shout from the bottom of my lungs... heh. That's the thing with HDB flats, can't shout when you feel frustrated. Most you can do is hold a pillow to your mouth and give a muffled shout, which doesn't really feel like a shout.
Till the day I own an old cottage... well, I suppose I'll have to carry on.
Correction. God will carry me on.
Thanks for reading, y'all.
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Just to share.
"So then, anyone who hears these words of mine and obeys them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain poured down, the rivers flooded over, and the wind blew hard against that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on rock. "But anyone who hears these words of mine and does not obey them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain poured down, the rivers flooded over, the wind blew hard against that house, and it fell. And what a terrible fall that was!"
God has given us a lot. Sometimes it's a position, sometimes it's a talent. Whatever it is, God must still be the rock on which we build our houses. All that He has given us must never ever become our foundation. If we take refuge in things such as the past successes in our life (and they are God-given, mind you), then it is as good as building our house on the sand.
There is no substitute for God.
"Do not judge others, so that God will not judge you, for God will judge you in the same way you judge others, and he will apply to you the same rules you apply to others. Why, then, do you look at the speck in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the log in your own eye? How dare you say to your brother, 'Please, let me take that speck out of your eye,' when you have a log in your own eye? You hypocrite! First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will be able to see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.
This one who doesn't know.
But as of late, I've been that hypocrite there. It's good to question and all, but I have logS in my eyeS. I know that. So many things. I know I shouldn't judge.
I'm super super skeptical at times, super super cynical. heh. My discipleship group knows that.
Suppose God will change that at his own time.
For now I'm studying.
Studying studying studying.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Been busy with Econs business project. Which is an optional project in my school, for which the objective is profit maximisation and 10% goes back to the school. This one's crazy, cuz we were informed only on Friday that our proposal was accepted. Started on this Monday. Doing some auctions, personalised tee shirts and coconuts. Coconuts saw me and Firdaus (my business kar-kia) shouting in the canteen. Something like LAI AH LAI AH!!! SWEET SWEET COCONUT!!!! $1.50 $1.50!!!!! Very buay pai seh of us to do this, I know. But we really enjoyed ourselves.
Been busy with emceeing for Council and CCA Heads Investiture. Had to piece together a script last week. (eh, not emcees' job to write script y'know). Got back an accepted version only this morning. Then me and my co-MC, Chen Yu did emceeing today, the real thing, mind you. Heh heh. Really disorganized, the planning of the council investiture. Even the GOH wasn't assigned anyone to guide her around. Then after that this teacher came to me asking me why I'd left out presenting the GOH a souvenir in the script. Turned out that it wasn't even in the script. But all that being said (and I'm NOT complaining), the councillors are nice people. Enjoyed working with quite a few of them. My old comrade-in-arms Andrew and Wen Jie. Vincent, Wen E, Yvonne, Rahul.... dah dah dah. So many of them.
Been busy with schoolwork. C maths especially. Far behind in terms of assignments. Just pay almost full attention in class. Know it's not too good of me... heh. At least I don't lie. I tell my C Maths teacher straight that I don't do her assignments, when I don't do them.
Been busy with project work. Written report coming up soon. Workshops and all that stuff.
Been busy with people-stuff. I guess God's shaping me up in this area. I'm not a peoples' person, but I believe God knows that and is doing what He knows is best. Meetin many new people. Working with them. Having conflict with friends over certain matters. Seeing the ugly side of people. And thank God, seeing the good side of many others, when the going gets tough. Getting to know my current friends (especially ODAC) better, meeting up with old friends- Montfort people, meeting ancient friends (haha was walking home when I saw my old friend Li Ru. Haven't seen her for like 2 years! Which is a mystery to me, cuz she lives in the block next to mine... suppose our lifestyles and timing very different).
And yeah, now it's time for QT with my Lord.
Lots of matters to settle with my Father in heaven. Lots. Lots I want to talk to God about.
gtg gtg gtg.
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Initially wanted to complain. But in place of that:
Do everything without arguing or complaining, so that you may be blameless and pure. Children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation in which you shines as stars do in the universe.
Went to YPM today.
Felt a bit disconnected, but oh well.
Was being kinda cynical again. Analytical rather. My question:
How come the youth, when they go out to makan, are not evangelizing? Why don't we just take a few minutes off (Perhaps the half hour we take to make up our minds) to share Christ with some people across the street. There are so many unsaved people? Ok fine. Maybe it's too hard. But when we eat, is it too hard to do extremely simple things like thanking the aunty for cleaning the table, handing her a tract and asking her to visit us?
And yeah, I admit. It's hard. I tried inviting this hawker uncle to church. (He picked up Caleb Lim's wallet, so we struck up a conversation). the uncle ended up telling me to ask all my friends to eat at his coffeeshop. Told me his Sundays were busy- business is best on Sunday.
Right now it's 12:04. Means it's a new day!! What am I still doing awake? Typing out some emcee script. I realised lately that God's been letting me have chances to do lots of stuff. Emceeing for 2 events, doing an econs business project, which you get to keep 90% of profit earned, 2 essay competitions of 2000 words each, an NUS Chancellor's Quiz preliminary round... etc.
Just means I got a lot lah.
And that's on top of studies and ODAC.
...One part of the day I can't live without is QT. Turn off my hp. Spend a half hour with God. Nobody else. Just me in my room. Bible. Guitar. (as a sidenote, I don't sing well or play well)
Need to study for promos... thank God too for a supportive Mom and Dad.
Bro just booked out from OCS. yikes* They got books to study in there too. Came back talking about homework. yikes* yikes* yikes*. Thought NS was without books. Which was why I looked forward to it. I know it's tough, and I'll probably find it tough then, but right now some stuff in NS seems more rewarding than right now.
But right now also quite good lah. So many many friends. Very busy only.
Some time back I made the choice that I did not want to compartmentalise God. I think God should be a Christian's entire life, not just part of it. Anyone who says that God is a part of his or her life, or a big part ought to think again. God should own our lives. Be everything our life is about.
hee. A bit disorganised, this post.
But I'm tired physically now.
Caleb thinks I should get a tag board. yawn*. Should I? guess so. Some other time.
Right now its Econs, C maths, History, emceeing.
hahahaah. One of my 2000 word essays is about education. heh heh heh. Gonna write some super super super negative stuff about formal education. Gonna find some stuff to blast it as much as I can. Nvm that that one's going to be submitted to NTU. Let those there enjoy. (heard some uni lecturers criticize the system too... think Samson told me)
buay buay. night night.
---------Running after God. Trying to at least.
Friday, August 12, 2005
Sometimes when you fall you wonder whether you'll ever get up again.
Sometimes you don't even feel like getting up.
But then if God has provided in the past, then He will provide for the future. And all the strength I need will come from Him alone.
Just as an encouragement to all. If you've fallen lately, you're not alone.
Me too. (which is kinda obvious)
And I know (not just believe) that God's gonna raise us all up again. Blind faith, it seems at times. But well-placed faith, I know.
I need prayer for: schoolwork & victory over Satan & more friends... especially Christian friends in school.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Yeah. Christians are supposed to bear their cross daily. I know my Lord went through far worse.
I also know that the Devil has a fire brigade, which goes into action each time a Christian is on fire for God.
So much knowledge.
Knowledge alone isn't going to help... total reliance on God is. And that's the tough part. The irony. The toughest part is the easiest part.
God says, "I will save those who love me and will protect those who acknowledge me as LORD.
When they call to me, I will answer them; when they are in trouble, I will be with them. I will rescue them and honor them.
I will reward them with long life; I will save them."
Saturday, August 06, 2005
Each morning I wake up to the crazy ringing of my alarm clock. (It's not the newer beep-beep-beep type, but the old crrrrrrrriiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnngggggg type of fire-alarm alarm clock.), reason being that this kind of clock can literally make you sit up in bed and make sure you wake up (the newer type of clock doesn't always succeed in waking me up... figured that I can sleep real soundly).
The first thing I do.
Is to pray.
It's not a long "O-God-you-are-so-great-today-is-such-a-good-day-I-feel-blessed-to-be-a-Christian-and-I-look-forward-to-today" prayer, but a short "God-I'm-so-tired-bring-me-through-this-day"
As I walk to school past the neighbourhood park I do that too.
I pray "God this week is so long. Mr so-and-so is giving me so much homework. Please help me to finish it"
As I get on the bus I pray.
And I ask for help yet again.
Yet it has now occured to me, after many many days that I have not said one thing in the morning.
And that is "thank you Lord", with a heart that truly means "thank you"
I never thanked the Lord for the hand that reached out to switch off the alarm clock.
I never thanked God for the body that sat up straight in bed.
I never thanked God for the legs I had as I walked to the bus stop.
I never thanked God for the small little flowers, the trees, the grass, or the fact that I could see them all.
I never thanked God for so many things...
Never even thanked Him for bringing me through the last day, or the day before that, or the one before that.
Dear Lord God.
Thank you so much.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
A passing thought:
In these years of youth, I know that I don't even know myself well enough. God knows me better.
In the process of drawing near to God...
Looong process it is.
Friday, July 22, 2005
Who am I, that you would choose to forgive me despite the magnitude and sheer number of my sins?
Who am I, that I should even deserve to live and dwell in your love?
Who am I, that I should grumble and complain each time trials come my way or forget about you Lord, when life becomes so enjoyable?
Who am I to look upon another man and think of myself better than him?
I am only a man.
But yet you have adopted me into your house, Lord.
Friday, July 15, 2005
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Physically of school. Coming close to failing and failing subjects. ODAC life. Which has meetings like 4-5 days out of the week and can sometimes last till 8+ at night in school. Trying to finish homework (not so much because I would really want to, but because I'm failing those subjects.)
Mentally of school. argh. Keep telling myself I'm not a quitter. Feel like giving up sometimes on all my schoolwork and doing haphazard work for ODAC. But then again that wouldn't be keeping true to who I am or honouring God. Feel very pissed with friends and family members for the slightest things. Thank God I've been able not to show it at all and still treat them nicely. But it's so pressurizing right now that such simple things become strenuous.
Spiritually of a lack of quality time spent with God.
And life goes on.
P.S.: I need a bloody break. And to stop being so bloody tired. And to stop using the word bloody.
Bloody bloody bloody bloody bloody bloody bloody bloody bloody bloody bloody bloody bloody.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
What I'm about to say next.... I really don't know whether it should be said. I don't know who reads my blog... but hey, I've got nothing to hide.
In ODAC I've been feeling kind of under-valued. I didn't get into excom, for one. Perhaps it was because they did the peer appraisal way before I managed to really settle in and be myself in ODAC. I feel that I did manage to perform when I was given positions of temporary leadership, though the peer appraisals were already completed by then anyway.
Perhaps it's because I've always been accustomed to 2 things throughout the last 2 years of my time in Montfort. 2 interests which I truly enjoy (and I know how much I enjoy them now since I haven't been given the chance to do them lately)- leading and teaching.
I love to lead. I love to organize things, to work the group mechanics from the top. I love to learn from such a position. I learnt from my formulative years in Montfort NPCC what it takes to build a strong team- similar values, different personalities, different strengths, one direction.
I love to teach. It's a joy to see people learning. Whether it's teaching NPCC drill, or leadership skills, or physical instruction, or campcraft or sometimes teaching the junior lifesaving class, or the little I know about playing the guitar... it's something that makes me happy.
So far I haven't really gotten the chance to do that in ODAC. Leadership... they say that everyone gets to lead. Everyone will have their turn sooner or later, the excom is just the skeleton.... they say that not all the good people get to join the excom, that they need strong instructors as well. They say that having all the stronger members inside the excom will lead to a dysfunctional ODAC 22 com.
Ok. So I supposed I'm one of those picked to be left out. (ODAC 22 com consists of 17 members. Of which 9 are in excom).
I'm not trying to blame anybody. If anybody is to be responsible, it'd be myself. During the first 3 months in the 2nd term I wasn't really myself. Couldn't really clique with many people. Felt very left out and isolated (I guess it showed), which made me even more left out and isolated. No thanks that certain members come from the same class and I'm the only person from my OG and my class and my Secondary School in ODAC. No thanks also that I was over-cautious and didn't want to get myself emotionally hurt, that in Montfort it's so different because you spend 10 years in the same school and there's an unspoken form of communication and understanding amongst everybody.
I'm not trying to complain either. It's just how I feel.
I know God's in charge, that ultimately, nothing will happen unless He allows it to be so. I don't know why things took such a turn... it feels strange to do more following than leading... (but then again you can learn different things when you follow).
Academically, I ain't doing too well either. Got a D for Econs and F for C maths ( think I mentioned it somewhere).
But then again I still have so many friends... my classmates... ODACians... church friends... ol' lifesaving friends... ol' Montfort friends (who still are so warm whenever I see them on the bus or anywhere else)... ol' NPCC buddies. I have a great family, comfortable and abundant life... All is not lost... in fact nothing is lost; I just didn't get something I hoped for. So much God has given me.
I choose to give thanks to God in my current circumstances. It's a choice. I just can't see ahead. Feel like a blindfolded man being led across a mountain edge. But then again I KNOW that God is with me. Though I can't always feel it. I don't know where my current situation will lead me... all I know is that God promised that it'd be something good. (Romans 8:28), that He's going to make it work for good for me.
1 year ago I made the choice not to become a CI in NPCC. My bro advised me against that. Advised me to become a CI and not join ODAC, cuz ODAC was really not for me.
Well. I decided to do things I'd thought of doing for a while back then- go learn lifesaving and join ODAC. Decided not to join ODAC since it would really do no justice to NPCC (wouldn't be able to spend so much time with them) and myself (hey! I need to study). I knew that ODAC wasn't going to be too easy... that I should expect the unexpected.
It appears that I'm sort of living out my decisions. But I must not forget the most important factor- God.
Heh. Chinese AO oral this Wednesday. Pray for me people.
*Tai Yong has left to do homework*
Friday, July 08, 2005
Over training (staleness, over fatigue, chronic fatigue, over training syndrome) is a rather usual problem among athletes. The physiological homeostasis of an over trained athlete's body has become disturbed. Regulatory mechanisms of the body can not return back to the balance during the one or two days which is a normal recovery time.
At first the over training state can be mild, and if an athlete rests, his body recovers fast. Later it may be more severe, and an athlete will be exhausted. The exhaustion is typical for experienced endurance athletes, who usually react in this way. Overtraining-like states can also be induced by mental, social, economical and environmental stress. These factors together with physical training cause total stress which influences on the body.
Highly motivated athletes have to keep in mind that the balance between training, other stressors and recovery has to be right, i.e., they have to periodisize their training in the right way. If there is an uncompleted recovery time after exercises, fatigue starts to accumulate and after a few days or weeks symptoms of over training with a drop in performance will arise. As a result, recovery may take weeks or months.
Signs and symptoms of over training vary from athlete to athlete. The symptoms and signs are due to changes in the function of the autonomic nervous system, hormonal status, immunological parameters and other physiological and musculoskeletal changes of the body. Typically, an athlete feels tiredness and fatigue and notices a drop or stagnation in performance despite of continuing training.
Examples of psychological and psychosomatic over training signs and symptoms:
depression, fatigue, irritability, bad mood, anxiousness, confusion, excitement, desperation, lack of concentration
unwillingness to train
feeling of inability to go on training
Examples of physiological over training signs and symptoms:
increased resting and sub maximal heart rate (resting heart rate can also be decreased in over training state)
decreased maximal heart rate
loss of strength
increased illness and injury frequency
loss of co-ordination
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Doing ok. Still alive.
Back to school. Common test results don't seem to be too good. Promos in October.
Spiritually a bit dry right now.
In ODAC I didn't get any excom posting. Good and bad. But the main thing is that God allowed it to happen and all things work together for the good of His people. (Rom. 8:28).
Just to let all out there know I'm still alive. Still soldiering on.
Monday, July 04, 2005
Psa 139:2 You know everything I do; from far away you understand all my thoughts.
Psa 139:3 You see me, whether I am working or resting; you know all my actions.
Psa 139:4 Even before I speak, you already know what I will say.
Psa 139:5 You are all around me on every side; you protect me with your power.
Psa 139:6 Your knowledge of me is too deep; it is beyond my understanding.
Psa 139:7 Where could I go to escape from you? Where could I get away from your presence?
Psa 139:8 If I went up to heaven, you would be there; if I lay down in the world of the dead, you would be there.
Psa 139:9 If I flew away beyond the east or lived in the farthest place in the west,
Psa 139:10 you would be there to lead me, you would be there to help me.
Psa 139:11 I could ask the darkness to hide me or the light around me to turn into night,
Psa 139:12 but even darkness is not dark for you, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are the same to you.
Psa 139:13 You created every part of me; you put me together in my mother's womb.
Psa 139:14 I praise you because you are to be feared; all you do is strange and wonderful. I know it with all my heart.
Psa 139:15 When my bones were being formed, carefully put together in my mother's womb, when I was growing there in secret, you knew that I was there---
Psa 139:16 you saw me before I was born. The days allotted to me had all been recorded in your book, before any of them ever began.
Psa 139:17 O God, how difficult I find your thoughts; how many of them there are!
Psa 139:18 If I counted them, they would be more than the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.
Psa 139:19 O God, how I wish you would kill the wicked! How I wish violent people would leave me alone!
Psa 139:20 They say wicked things about you; they speak evil things against your name.
Psa 139:21 O LORD, how I hate those who hate you! How I despise those who rebel against you!
Psa 139:22 I hate them with a total hatred; I regard them as my enemies.
Psa 139:23 Examine me, O God, and know my mind; test me, and discover my thoughts.
Psa 139:24 Find out if there is any evil in me and guide me in the everlasting way.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Monday, June 27, 2005
Didn't really go as expected. The 4 of us coursemates screwed up a bit here and there. Until the examiner became a bit expected, cuz we weren't used to his style of doing things.
But we passed.
We still passed.
I'm a bit surprised because the examiner was scolding us, telling us some story of some other examiner who passed a class and then the people in that class became lifeguards and weren't competent and the examiner ended up in jail.
Then after a half hour plus of chiding us and scolding us and telling us our mistakes (but hey, to his credit, he's really doing his job), he suddenly went,"ok, but I'll pass you anyway".
I have so many people to thank. Coursemates Andrew, Zu Quan, Ken, David for acting as my victim... most of all Uncle Patrick and Damien, my coaches, for teaching me how to really save a life. Even if the victim is your father or mother he or she will still grab you and struggle for air. He is desperate. Never take a victim from the front. Go behind him. Restrain him. If he struggles let go. Your life is more important, no use having 2 victims in the end. Stay calm.
And then there're the lessons they taught me about endurance. I'll remember Damien's continuous lap swims. 100m. Rest a few seconds. 100m. Rest a few seconds. 100m. Rest a few seconds... 5 times or more. Or the warm-ups. 16 laps in 4 strokes. Warm-up only. Aack. Then there's the time we were doing endurance training on NEW YEAR's EVE. Pretty inexperienced lifesaver back then. Indoor temperature was 25 degrees celscius from my house. It'd been raining the whole day. So the water was even colder. 20 degrees maybe? I still remember that particular scene (and feel cold when I do).
Drizzling. Water friggin cold. Uncle Patrick goes,"哎呀， 水不冷啦。水那么烧。哪里有下雨？ 雨是假的啦！Go swim your laps." (Translation: "Aiyah, the water is not cold lah. It's so hot. Raining? The rain is fake) And so we swim and swim and swim. 水不冷. 雨是假的.水不冷. 雨是假的.水不冷. 雨是假的.
Not that these people read this blog, and though I've thanked them personally anyway, I still have to put it up here as well, cuz I know that it's not because of just myself that I am able to do what I can today. "No student is better than his teacher but when he has finished his course of instruction he will be like his teacher". I thank God especially for letting me have such fantastic coaches. I know that I'm not too good a swimmer, even after much improvement (I only picked up a reasonable freestle early this year).
(I got 2:43- which is just an OK timing for the item (time limit is 3:15) where we start fully dressed. Then we see a drowning victim, have to remove clothes, tell bystander to call for help and plunge in, sprint 50m then tow victim back 50m. ) Heh. I can't even plunge properly at that. (so I have to make up by trying to swim faster). But still, with all this learning and all these teaching I know I can save a drowning person.
I did have the option of going back to take higher awards, like AM (Award of Merit), Bronze Cross, Senior Resusc or even up to Instuctor or Teacher of Lifesaving. I've got something like the O'levels of Lifesaving, the BM (Bronze Medallion. NOT the swimming bronze award), (which technically is valid for 3 years, but I know the lessons I've learnt will stay with me for much longer than that, many thanks to my coach and heee my parents for paying the fees). But the thing is, I've set out to do what I wanted to do, admist a tight schedule and simultaneously taking Kayaking Star 1 and 2. I might continue another day, but not now.
Must go back to YPM already. Long time. 6 months? And it's study too for now. Priorities :God, Studies, ODAC and physical training.
Going back to YPM!! Sonic Edge thing right? Yay. Might be bringing a couple of non-Christian friends along.
Common tests start tomorrow. Pray for me, anyone who might be reading this blog. And oh yeah, if you're reading this, whoever you are, thanks for reading this blog. Often wonder who reads it, if anyone at all. (I know my bro reads this and so does Pam, but don't know about anyone else).
Friday, June 17, 2005
Spending 2 weeks to sit down and study. One BIG misconception about me as of late is that I've been spending lotsa time studying.
The fact that I managed to pass my last Common Test, albeit with borderline grades is something that I thank God for. Sincerely couldn't have done it. Spent minimal time studying.
Sitting down to study.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Spending 2 weeks to sit down and study. One BIG misconception about me as of late is that I've been spending lotsa time studying.
The fact that I managed to pass my last Common Test, albeit with borderline grades is something that I thank God for. Sincerely couldn't have done it. Spent minimal time studying.
Sitting down to study.
Monday, June 13, 2005
My expe leader-ing (if I may put it that way) on Thursday was much better than I expected. Miraculous, in fact. Learned a few lessons here and there, that being my first time as an expe leader in the first Sea Ex for my batch. But paddling on my part was much better than the previous day. Thank God. Credit goes to my bro too, for telling me how to use sweep strokes for a dancer.
****apology for technical kayaking lingo****
Kayaked around 30 klicks, I think, which actually isn't very much (I think) as compared to the pros out there. But quite an accomplishment for the boy who couldn't kayak straight.
Oh yeah, one funny incident. (Joke's on me)
Context: Practising of kayak-to-swimmer rescue. Kayaks on beach. Victims (simulated, of course) approx 50-100m out.
Tai Yong pushes kayak out to sea, and starts to paddle, to save victim.
20 seconds into kayaking, Tai Yong swerves to avoid person to starboard (it's actually his fault that he got so close anyway). Unfamiliar with new kayak. Capsizes.
Tai Yong starts towing kayak back to shore, while other kayaks begin to rescue their victims.
Tai Yong's victim: Help! Help! (in between gagging laughter) My rescuer is capsized!
All(I'm convicned) other rescuers begin to laugh. Some can't stop laughing even after 10 minutes after I've rescued my victim. Everyone's laughing. I'm laughing too.
Been a busy 2 weeks. REALLY need to sit down and study. Lord, grant me the ability to do so.
Time to sleep.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
God help me.
Why the fuss?
Cuz: (excerpts from explanation on MSN to a friend)
"Cuz hor, it's the first ODAC sea expedition for our batch. Don't wanna screw up. I have no prior experience and I ain't too good on the new kayak. And it's 10 kliks and I've never gone 10 kliks before and I never gone through the route we're going before."
"Logically by human definitions I should be terrified."
"The last time I kayaked (on expedition) my ODAC teacher called me a terrorist, cuz I was swerving dangerously off course. Looked like I was going to bomb an oil refinery to the right."
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be afraid. For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
2. Must give credit to Glenn Li for some quote I used for one of my posts. The one about constipation in the mouth, diarrhoea in the brain. And yes, I am heavily influenced by his blogging style, I think. One of the first few blogs I ever read.
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Went to AB camp at AJC (Alpha-Bravo camp; school's leadership camp. Collaboration between Council and ODAC). I thank God for every single one of my camp group members.
The first day was kinda boring. Lotsa physical exercise (which wasn't actually as tiring as it was meant to be, I guess. Probably because of all the rigours of NPCC in the past and lifesaving and ODAC now).
Just did lotsa regimentation stuff. In AB camp they try to make it UG style, so it's slightly reminiscient of NPCC, but then you can see that most instructors are acting; nice people trying to be strict. What made me really enjoy the camp was the people around me (my group members, and my instructors)
***hee. Am I making any sense here?***
Somewhere within the first day I made a prayer. Asked that God taught me how to enjoy myself in this camp, and to trust in Him. Small, seemingly insignificant moment which I believe influenced the rest of the week.
Went to Sentosa for "Island Training", which is actually a bit like an adventure race. Quite fun, I would say.
That was pretty much the entire day. Went back to school to do "reflections". The instructors blinfolded us all on the way back to school from Sentosa, then brought us back to school. Told us it was an "undisclosed location", then made us reflect blindfolded on the day's happenings and ourselves, before untying our blindfolds and making us write about it.
I knew it was school for 2 reasons. 1, I know that they'd never dare to bring us out of school, cuz it wasn't written on the consent form and they wouldn't take the risk. 2, I could see nicely beneath my blindfold.
Haha. Soo funny. Just went along with the thing and pretended like I didn't know.
Wrote reflections. Slept.
Had some activities in the morning. Then left around lunchtime to prepare for ODAC expedition.
Made a detour to Hougang Mall to buy some Repolyte (replenishes body salts when body starts to cramp up) and Calamine lotion for a friend, as well as my lunch and ICE CREAM.
Saw my old NP juniors.
Reported back to AJ around 7. Packed stuff. Got briefed, then left school at 11 with a approx 15 kg bagpack.
Monday, June 06, 2005
Hopefully, I'll be able to find some time to put up my experience on this blog. Really was beautiful. Had a camp in school, went for an overseas expedition (scaled a 1010m mountain and trekked up a path next to a waterfall). Then came back to S'pore, did PW (Project Work), went church and then lifesaving this night.
Thank you Lord.
Let my life be all about you, Lord. For when I choose to put you first, not try to solve things myself and decide to enjoy myself where I am, simply because I know you're in charge, you give me immeasurably more than what I ask or hope for.
How awesome are the works you have done in the life of such a sinner as I, O Lord. Awesome.
Saturday, May 28, 2005
Friday, May 27, 2005
Peace... is the presence of God.
Sometimes wonder how many people actually read this blog more than once.
Need some close friends here in JC. REal close friends. Already I know so many people. But I pray for some close friends in JC.
He who has God and everything else has no more than he who has God and nothing else at all