Monday, 30 April 2007

My nursey Coco

Last night, as I was reading Psalm 23 to Coco, she flipped the page and it cut my finger. I shook my finger vigorously to relieve the pain and was howling in pain. She ran to get me a plaster and came back to the bed. While she was peeling off the plaster, William looked at her and said,"I'm also in pain." Without a glance at him, Coco continued peeling the plaster and dismissed it with a nonchalant "Don't bluff." William and I laughed.

Coco brought home her first Chinese test paper in which she got 29.5 out of 30. The half mark was due to her carelessness in placing the pitch mark. She could have even copied from a hanyu pinyin listed in the paper but I guess she just overlooked it.
She had told me that she 'checked' her paper after completing it. I'm very impressed I must say. Most children do not know what it means to 'check your paper' even at Primary 3 and she already understood the meaning of checking her paper. I think she's really intelligent - compared to, and definitely more so than, her mummy.

I was, actually, it's 'am', starting to worry about whether she can get into GEP.
I'm quite sure she's fine with English. She's already reading books that are beyond P1 and can read words like 'astonishment'. So I've no worries about her English vocabulary.

I'm worried about her Maths though. She's not a Maths person and I think it's fairly clear even at this stage. Although she's not weak in it, but she doesn't exhibit the similar level of intelligence she has for English in Maths.

I really hope she can get into a GEP class because I want her to get into the Special stream at secondary level. Do I sound like I'm mad or obsessed with academic performance? She's only started her Primary One and I'm thinking about secondary education. Well, I think it's really important how one fares at the foundation level because it has an impact on one's future.

I'm also worried about the school actually. I've heard so much about how elite or top schools load children with homework, but it's quite the opposite for her school. There's extremely little homework! And I think the standard, say for the Chinese test, and the worksheets given to them in class, do not even match the standard of the assessment books I bought. How can I not worry? Even neighbourhood schools have tons of homework. And it's on a daily basis. But her school doesn't give homework frequently. At most one or two-page worksheets once or twice a week. I find that very strange!

I hope the school knows what it's doing. More than forty percent of their PSLE students go to Special Stream. It's just about the highest percentage among the top schools. Although they don't produce the top scholar for PSLE, they have at least ten students who get more than 260 every year without fail. So I'm really hoping that the school is on the right track. (Still worried)

Sunday, 29 April 2007

Miss Coco

I miss Coco.

My father took her back to his place. In any case, I needed time and space to study for my exams.

When she's not around, I drink bandung to make me feel like she's with me.

It's only two days that I haven't seen her, but I miss her.

My Visual DNA

Friday, 27 April 2007

Here's Coco with her beloved friends on her birthday in class.

Why I want As

Perhaps to some people, I may come across as being hard-up for As. But I seriously don't think there's anything wrong with that as long as I get them through my own effort.
I want As becos I want a second upper. And I want a second upper becos I have a child to support. I've learnt that I can't depend on men, no matter what they promised you, no matter how rosy a picture they paint you. This is my child. If I don't support her, or if I don't have enough money to support her, I can't count on William to do it. I need the money that comes with second upper honours. I seriously need it.
There're some modules I don't mind not having As, but some people seem to think that I want As even when I don't deserve it. Like the Language Testing module, I'm not looking at an A bcos I got a B for my first assignment which makes up 30%. I've already given up hope on it. I'm happy with a B+ for the second assignment, but my friends seem to think that I'm disappointed with it. I'm also happy with the grade bcos the good ones in the class also got this grade. I knew that I can't do too well in the module becos the exam only constitutes 40%. I tend to do better in examinable modules that has a large percentage based in exam. 40% won't change much. And most important of all, I am quite lost in this module. I don't understand the concepts. It's not only applicative, but alot of memorisation and thinking-on-the-spot.
I'll give priority to my Written Discourse since that one is more likely to get an A-, and I prefer this module. It's memorisation based which suits me fine. :)
I'm stressed tho. Language Testing mainly. I hope to manage a B+ for the final grade. A B- or C would pull my overall grade down alot.
I need to get about 2 or 3 more As to kind of secure a second upper. Even if I don't get a second upper, I would be at peace with myself for the grades I've gotten. At least this time round, I can tell others that I've given my best. And this is my best. I've always been a lousy student, always aiming for a pass. I remember how I aimed for C6s at O level and Es at A level. It was a miracle that I had a C6 for Maths becos I thought I would fail it - I've flunk Maths since Sec Two. I had to count my blessings that I got Es for History and Econs. If not, I wouldn't even have been able to enter NIE. I've scraped through exams after exams, aiming for just a pass. I don't want to waste my life continuing to ask and try for the minimum. Most important of all, I got a child. I need her to be proud of her mother.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

An email that was never sent

It occurred to me that I could write an email to him yesterday. I started typing. I felt that I had said everything on my mind I wanted him to know. But just about I was going to wrap up the email, it rained, thundered several times and the power tripped! Couldn't believe it! The whole email was wiped out!
There was no way I could retrieve it. I didn't save it as a draft. When I tried typing in a word document, I realised I couldn't go beyond the first line. It was a very emotionally loaded email and I just couldn't go thro the same ordeal as I typed the email again.
Like what one of the chatters said, perhaps it's a sign for me not to send the email.
I wish we could talk without having him getting all emotional and flared up, but it's like it's not going to happen. I just feel that I can't talk to him about money matters anymore. Perhaps in time to come, he'll see that I'm serious about saving up for Coco.

Friday, 20 April 2007

The last call

I'm finishing my CCS 403 assignment, due on Monday. It's the last assignment of the semester as well as of my stay in NIE. A little melancholic - not about finishing the assignment, but it marks the end of my campus life and the start of teaching.
It's supposed to be a 4500 word report. I've already exceeded it by a few hundred and I'm not done yet. It's just typical of me - always exceeding the word count.

Coco's 7th Birthday

It was her birthday yesterday. Got a fright in the morning - I forgot to put a Chinese storybook in her bag for Silent Reading. I was worried that she might get punished on her birthday. The last time she didn't have a Chinese book, she was asked to stand while the rest of the P1s and P2s were sitting, reading their books. When she came back, she told me she hid behind her friend so that she didn't look conspicuous. She told me that another P1 friend told her that she could also stay in the toilet until Silent Reading was over.
I've always felt that it's so silly to put a child to shame just because he didn't bring a storybook, but well, it's what's in the system.

Anyway, back to the birthday celebration.

I bought some metallic balloons and inflated them while my father tied them together. After putting up some basic decor, preparing some agar agar and sandwiches, we waited and waited and waited for the rest of the family to arrive. They turned up at about 8pm.
Coco was more anxious to open her birthday presents :-) She kept asking me if she could open her birthday presents after the birthday song was sung, after cutting the cake, after eating a few mouthfuls of bee hoon.

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Direct translation

I'm trying to get Coco to speak more Mandarin becos the last I heard from the Chinese-cum-form teacher, she uses 'body language' to communicate with her Chinese teacher. It's like a slap in the face for me.

It's interesting the way she looks at Chinese. I'm constantly amused and amazed by the way she perceives it. She often does direct translation from English to Chinese eg. we were playing pick-up-sticks and she exclaimed,"I saw this one '动上'!" with '动上' meaning 'move up' literally. Another instance was when she tried to tell me "Only a few children can (do the dance steps)". She said,"而已很少 (Only a few) ..." I find it hilarious. Altho '而已' also means 'only', but it usually comes at the end of a statement. The correct one to use was '只有', which means 'only' but it comes at the start of a statement.

My secondary school days

This morning I dreamt of a secondary schoolmate. We were once friends when we were sec one and I had thought we were the closest within the clique. But she ended up hurting me by gossiping about me. In the end, the whole clique kept a distance away from her.
I went to read thro my autography book. I feel so ashamed that my friends had lots of praises for me and most thought that we were very close. On the closeness part, yeah, I was close to quite a few people at different stages of my secondary school life. The closeness was genuine and they would just share about what was going on in their lives with me. I had also went thro quite a few things with different friends. It's more of the comments. I don't think I'm as friendly, nice and sweet as I was. My niceness is seen as foolishness and my friendliness is seen as a mask with ulterior motives underneath after secondary school. It makes me reflect on why human beings must become more unnice as they grow older. Shouldn't we be more human towards one another as we get to know the bitterness and trials of life, rather than trying to harm one another and busy protecting ourselves from the attacks of others? It's really quite sad.

The dream makes me think of contacting some of my secondary school friends to check out how they have been. But as usual, William doesn't think it's a good idea. He feels that it's inevitable that we'll start to compare our marriage, our jobs, our qualifications and all. And they might make me feel lousy about myself if they are not doing well. I'm not sure if this could turn out to be true. I'm contented where I am and at most I would feel envious and happy that my classmates are doing better than myself. But like what he says, I wouldn't want to meet up old friends if I'm not doing well in my life. It'll only make me feel lousy about myself. I certainly don't want to do that to any of them.

Another problem is they know my ex. I'm not sure how much they know about what went on between me and him, so that raises the problem of how they might look at me also.

It's been a long time - 15 or 16 years. I wonder how they've been and what they are doing. I wonder if any of them had tried contacting me for a gathering or something of sort. For the number of times I had shifted, none of them would have been able to get in touch with me for sure.

The dream also makes me think about how important a secondary school is to one's future. And what determines where we go for a secondary education is our PSLE results. I'm glad that Coco will not end up where I was altho she certainly needs more hounding in her Maths.

I can't seem to recall who or how my secondary school Maths teacher is like. But I remember the geog teacher, Mrs Yeo, who couldn't wait to see our downfall, and wished that we would all end up as road-sweepers, the lit teacher who didn't teach us how to answer lit questions. We didn't even know that lit is about taking a position on something and defending it with evidence from the text. I flunk my lit becos at the last few periods she had with us, she told us the marker wants to see that we know our texts very well. I don't know about the rest, but I interpreted it as "reciting the whole scenario as required in the question". If I'm not mistaken, the whole class failed lit badly - even those who used to get B3 or A2 for the school papers. It's only in my pre-u days that the history and lit teachers told us that we need to answer to the questions, keep referring back to the questions, and giving evidence to support our stance.

I'm more than contented actually for where I am today. I never imagined that I could get a degree in my life. And NIE had given me the opportunity to get one. It's natural for me to feel grateful and want to do my best in the studies. I really feel ashamed for the times I couldn't do well in my studies, particularly the times at SIM. I feel that I've let my parents down very badly. This is one of the major reasons I want to get a second upper for my degree - to do them proud and to let them feel that I'm not at the bottommost of the pit of stupidity. I also need the money that comes with the degree to repay my parents. They've given me too much - for a person my age. It's embarrassing - definitely shameful - to have been supported by my parents for more than 30 years.

Monday, 2 April 2007

Cloud of shock

Throughout the weekend, I was like drifting in and out of reality and dream, in a state of shock that is still waiting to be appeased.

I couldn't believe what his mother had said and vice versa. I don't understand why he had to lie to us. Up till now, he doesn't want to come clean. And he's been really mean to me, hurting me using words. I don't want to talk to him. I don't want to make excuses for him. I don't want to give him more opportunities to hurt me. Now I understand why I look badly in his parents and grandparents' eyes. He's been feeding them with ideas that I forced him to extort money from them. How could he do this to me? How could he use me for his own benefit? What do I mean to him, really? Does he even realise he's hurting me? He had been too considerate before marriage for me to think that he doesn't. Why did he marry me?

I want to believe that he does love me. If not, this marriage is just a sham.

7 dreams

I had the wildest number of dreams last night. It was sorta a series of dreams, yet had characteristics of their own. It was scary.

The one that really got me was I dreamt that I woke up to find my ex lying beside me. It was a horrible feeling. It was something that I couldn't even face in the dream. I dashed to the kitchen and got a call from Chujuan, that she was in a similar situation except that the one she wasn't ready to move on with was her boyfriend.

Suddenly, I realised I was holding onto a handphone that I didn't know how to use and received a call that William was trapped in a kfc outlet at 3 am, helpless and wailing. Somehow, after some messy fights with the guy who locked him up, I rescued him and we tried to take a ship cum plane to Taiwan which detoured to another country that I can't recall and then to our final destination, the States. We were thrown into the sea and had to grab onto this huge anchor which was supposed to throw us back to the plane. Bel was an air-stewardess on the plane and she smiled ever so sweetly to me. Then it became a ship. Bel was on a stage, wearing her sarong kebaya and giving out some Miss Singapore's certificate. She was as beautiful as she was. The ship was huge and my bro-in-law and fifth sister owned part of the ship. There were lots of rooms that I explored.

When we were walking on a street in the States, I was back in some familiar place in Singapore, and people were taking photos at some graduation ceremony. I saw Xiaofu in his convocation gown, and congratulated him. I wondered when my turn would come.

I was woken up by Coco in her bid to ask me to go MacDonald's for breakfast, but I felt horribly exhausted, as if I had been to alot of places and never rested. It's awful. It's things like this that scares me into not wanting to sleep. I can't control my dreams.