Month: April 2008

Good Luck for the Exams!

May God bless all my little ones with the power to succeed

In this their shining hour and their time of utmost need

May knowledge, wisdom, memory combine to weave their spell

And gracious luck smile down upon the ones I love so well

Your pens will race ahead, I pray, your thoughts will all be lucid

Your answer will be perfect because, quite simply, you produce it

And when those scripts come in I know that each and every one

Will inspire me to have my say: good job, my dear, well done!

Here’s wishing ALL of you the very best for your exams. You’ve done the work. It’s time to put your best foot forward and show us what you’re made of!



Our Deepest Fear

The speech delivered by Timo Cruz (Rick Gonzalez), the insecure troublemaker whose life is turned around in Coach Carter (2005), was written by inspirational author and lecturer Marianne Williamson. It comes from her 1992 book A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles.” You can find it quoted all over the Web, but here’s the text:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Mrs V’s blog is 1 year old (and some thoughts on blogging)

I was just looking back at some of my old posts and realised that I started this blog exactly one year ago. This is a really exciting milestone for me, because when I first started blogging, I had no idea how to go about doing it. It was one of you who put the idea in my head, and I must thank you because this blog has given me a great deal of fun. It’s also come in pretty handy for uploading resources related to the lessons so that everyone can have access to them.

On this first anniversary, I want to reflect on blogging etiquette. I get the feeling that some people treat their blog as a diary where they record their thoughts. I used to keep a diary when I was your age in which I wrote down all my feelings and my deepest, darkest fears. I never had time to write in it when I was happy, because I was too busy enjoying my life. It was only when I felt depressed that I wrote. So if anyone had read my diary, they would have thought I was mean and vicious and desperately in need of Prozac. But the point was that no one was meant to read my diary. It was private. And so I could shed my negative thoughts and emotions onto its pages, and then close the book and step back into life, refreshed and ready to face the world. The problem with using a blog for that purpose is that you end up showing the whole world your negative feelings as well.


Don’t get me wrong- I am not saying that we always have to act happy in front of the world, but I don’t think we need to advertise our faults either. Sometimes if we stand on the mountaintop and shout out all our fears, we wonder later- when we are feeling stronger- why people doubt us. It is because we have forgotten about our moment of weakness and moved on. But when you make your fears public, you can never move on. People’s perceptions of you are changed, whether you want them to be or not. I don’t know about you, but I would rather be able to control which parts of my character I show to whom.

I don’t mean this to be a diatribe against blogging in general. Obviously I don’t think it is all bad, or I wouldn’t be doing it myself! But I think there are certain rules we should set ourselves, and try our hardest to follow them.

What are some of the rules you follow when you blog?

World Food Crisis

food-crisis-and-social-unrest– The article

world-food-crisis– The powerpoint presentation

Here is the article, as well as the slides that I used for the lesson, in case you missed something. I hope that you found the activity useful. I also hope that after this activity, you will be able to approach news articles with a view to picking up not only vocabulary, but also critical thinking skills. There are many ways in which you engage with the language, in school and out of it, and I hope that as we go along, you will see more and more ways to merge the skills that you pick up from each language use context.

Talk with your friends about the burning issues. Write in a journal about your view of the world around you. I guarantee results.


Debate Finals 2008

Tomorrow’s the day! And I’d like to take this opportunity to wish Giselle, Jane, Kar Leong and Zahin of 3E1, and Jessica, Nicholas, Carina and Sheena of 3E3 all the best for the debate.

Just to remind everyone, the motion is: Singapore cannot excel in competitive sports without foreign talent.

It would be good if everyone could think about it, not just the debators, because a thinking audience is an engaged audience. Come question time, I am hoping to see a lot of participation from the floor.