So there was this card.. wishing me a happy birthday.. with a single signature on it – “Geoff”.
Geoff simi lang? Where this guy come from? I know him meh?
So I tore it up and threw the pieces in the plastic bag.
A few cards later, Geoff appeared on another birthday card, this time accompanied by “Suguna”, “Sharanjeet” and “LCP Leow”.
(In memory of the, eh, happy days with 121 Squadron, RSAF.)
Decluttering is a bit hazardous. The dust and cobwebs, yes, but also the possibility of throwing away things which shouldn’t be thrown away. I almost kena. This class photo, taken when we were in primary 5 and I had a moptop, was when we had a very young and very chio form teacher. I think her name was Ms Chan.
The recycling bin downstairs, which was almost empty at first, ended up almost two-thirds full. It was a close shave. I was approaching hoarderhood.
Inside the plastic bags (see? they’re good for something!) were phone bills from 2006 and insurance premium reminders from 2008, countless cards and such from people I know and from people I am not sure I know (who is Huihui??), salary slips (which made me sad) and letters of pay increment (among which was a congratulatory one offering me a $100 raise because I had just completed my diploma in special education, which meant my salary almost hit the giddy height of $2,500.. after almost 3 years of being a sped teacher), a payment invoice to me from some company called LEAD for some freelance assignment on storyboarding lessons for primary level (and I wish I have some idea what it’s all about), and so on.
But I’m sentimental.
These I cling on to – though they’ll probably not see the light of day again for decades to come, if ever.
[Image description: A photo of some items artistically arranged by yours truly in a huddle on a bench. These include two cassette tapes of albums by Zhou Hui Min and Nirvana, a floppy diskette upon which “Alvan’s backup files – Essays (school stuff)” is scribbled, an old-school plastic laminated IC with a super-cute photo of a younger me, a student’s bus pass dated 1990, an airforce shoulder lapel with the words “Singapura”, and a yellow SAF mobilisation sticker with the words “Flight Zone”. No, I also dunno why there is a place for airforce people to desert.]
With the closing of the Singapore School for the Deaf, us alumni and ex staff have sailed off to the land of nostalgia. There, we dug up a treasure trove of scanned black-and-white and sepia and yellowing photos from the faraway 1960s to the why-does-it-seem-so-faraway-now 1990s.. together with digital camera pictures from the early 2000s.
And here’s one of my favourites among the photos I took about 15 years ago. This was during something called Spark C, of which I have the most fleeting memory. I know it’s called Spark C (whatever that means) only because my ex told me so.
Now I think about it, my weekends during those SSD days were darn happening – seemingly every other week out to museums and nature reserves and centers and galleries and fire stations and NE shows (not really much fun for teachers – we were too preoccupied jaga-ing the kids and keeping their souls intact), performances because my class kena the ‘touring dance troupe’ assignment one particular year, rock climbing and baking workshops and camps and.. assorted head-scratching stuff (“Why are we here? Hold on. Why am I here?”).
Some things, I guess, only make sense with the passage of time. Sometimes, very much later on.
I think I’ve found my calling.
I should be an illustrator!
Ok, ok.. and probably starve.
[Image description: A projected image on a whiteboard shows an apple on a chair, which is next to a book under a table. On the table is a hand-drawn picture of a running mouse. If, by now, everyone is wondering what this is all about, three words suffice: Lesson on prepositions.]
Kudos to Ms Denise Phua.
In an era when changes are accelerating towards light speed, there’s a time for bold thinking and action – and the time is yesterday.
It’s not too late to start tomorrow though.
Her other speech calling for abolishing the PSLE is so logical and sensible and doable and necessary that you know it won’t be taken up by the current administration – and it wasn’t.
(I know I give off that particular whiff. I mean, my ‘political’ posts tend to attract a certain chill and responses galore – ok lah, not the latter. All I can say is, I’m not anti-government. I am pro-Singapore, just like many other people who do not always agree with the policies and ideologies of our ruling party, and who, in fact, vehemently disagree.)
The short film, The Silent Child, has won the Oscar for best short film (duh). To be more precise, the Oscar for best Live Action Short Film. All I need is to find a way to actually watch it. Hint, hint, nudge, nudge to my ex in the film business (sort of).
Here goes the synopsis from the official website (which, sorry to say ah – needs some copyediting!):
“Set in rural England and Inspired by real life events. The Silent Child film centres around a profoundly deaf four year old girl named Libby who is born into a middle class family and lives in a world of silence until a caring social worker teaches her the gift of communication.
When fresh faced social worker, Joanne turns up we see Libby transform. This once withdrawn four year old suddenly feels connected to the world and over a short period of time Joanne and Libby’s relationship blossoms.
An insightful short story, inspired by real life events, observing one of the loneliest disabilities and the avoidable struggles that deaf children face.”