Monday, June 22, 2009

A confession: Trapped in a world of Self-Deception

This entry is dedicated to a special Angel- BH.

Dear me

The Petronas Twin Towers of in KL. 4 am on a cold Tuesday morning. A cluttered mind.

Think God has put this work trip for a greater purpose- not so much to mediate the tension at home but for you to take time to reflect, and plan how you should be a better person. You have been terribly 'lazy' and an irresponsible soul have you? You do realised that the you have unknowingly fulfilled the lust of the flesh. What has gone into your mind, resulting in not looking after this body- yes, lazy and self-indulgence.

Mo Mo wrote about his attempts to reach out to the lost souls. You were humbled in your deepened understanding that love and forgiveness go hand in hand. Thanks to an Angel- BH, you realised (and thankfully admit) that you have long forgotten the sweetness of truth- God's words. Face it, for the past months, you have lived a lie- a self deceiving illusion that you still know the truth. Honestly, the indulgence of your life- internet, food, sleep, and even work, have made you become more estranged from the word of our heavenly father.

BH's sharing of his divorce led you to realise that you need to start taking charge again. You don't need an Adam Khoo- you need to go back to God's words! The growing pride so silently creeped into your life that you thought everything was fine. But wait, your family relationships took a strain, and you even lost consciousness of watching your eating habits. These were clear signs that something is not quite right- something inside you. The little sins that so easily slipped into your life had become a heavy burden. For example, the slip of the tongue with an easy curse coming out were granted an OK. That led to conveniently finding more excuses to "fulfil the lust of the flesh" (Gal 5:16)

You yearned once again for the promise of being able to "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with teh yoke of bondage" (Gal 5:1) At the heart of it all, you are humbled to know that the Father beckons to draw you back, to enjoy his forgiveness, and restore the relationship with Him.

At the departure gate on Sunday, the tearful beast in you was shouting out WHY IS IT THAT EACH TIME BEFORE I TRAVEL, THERE WILL BE SO MUCH UNHAPPINESS AT HOME? Think, it all started with a major breakdown with your father when you left for Hawaii in Sec two. Then the spiral cycle seemed to repeat thereafter. Perhaps, the emptiness of leaving home and stress of being all alone accounts for part of the reason. You felt so upset that you felt hypocritical to profess that you miss your family. Yet, you were really a good husband and father, the least you could do was to be a better help to your tired companion.

Right... so you questioned the value of LOVE. Rightly so. What should love really should be? Did you really "walk in love, as Christ also hath love us" (Eph 5: 2) Thank God you were humbled when you challenged your 'loving' assumptions - by the benchmarks spelled out in 1 Cor 13, clearly you were in a state of self-denial.

Love is patient; love is kind and envies no one. Love is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude; never selfish, not quick to take offense. There is nothing love cannot face; there is no limit to its faith, its hope, and endurance.

At first you blamed SA Tan. You claimed it was his way of disrupting my preparation to lead worship. (thank God you didn't give in and walk away that Sunday morning) The blame game is always so easy- just point your fingers. But the Spirit was gentle to rebuke and used the song 'People Need the Lord' to remind you that - YOU need the Lord. Interesting too that the sermon reminded you that when God binds a man and a woman in marriage, the Word remains in them.

As the sun is about to rise, you realised that you do cherish this moment. May you always remember that just as our Father extends his arm of forgiveness, may you never forget Paul's invitation to "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." Gal 5: 16

Thank you for being honest and courageous


p.s. The pic was specially selected as a reminder that the sting of hurt to your vain ego during YOGOC wkshop. LOL!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My Paper Presentation "Incorporating Thinking Tools to Enhance Facilitation of PBL"

Friday 12th June 09-
Random Thoughts on my very First Paper Presentation

In preparation:

First paper presentation- Incorporating Thinking Tools in PBL. Republic Poly's PBL conference on What are we Learning about Learning. Revisited the slides at 3am in the morning. Added TLLM's PETALS to provide context. Helps a little to add some credibility to mention that this was a refined work building upon my Masters project.Re-capped what Irene and I have envisioned to do with our paper. Included thoughts on future steps with currrent research projects with NHHS on metacognition. Irene's lovely slides saved the day.

Stress and Tension:

Very mind boggling experience presenting to a sea of researchers. Attending the earlier concurrent sessions were not exactly most ideal in preparation for my own session. Indications by senior management of Temasek Poly's, RP's SPAS, Australian's school administration attending my session of course, added to the stress level. Was highly critical and skeptical of some presentations. Validity and Reliabilty issues. Rita Roop was definitely one good cheer and a good dose of encouragment! Other presenters' weaknessses = my strengths/ For fear of 'difficult' questions- maximise my 25 min sharing so that less questions could be asked? Almost freaked out when I only prepared 40 copies of my presentation handouts. Student assistance helped print 30 more. My tag with the following - Ministry of Education, Singapore - definitely did not help. A Bishan Park Sec principal said, "I have been waiting for your presentation so that I can use it with my teachers". Glad that the two presentations before me were not too bad. Glad that I inserted a nice photo of me and josh with my email address to 'cushion' any difficult questions at the end. Doesn't help being the final presentation of the day. Encouraging email from Sue: "It will be great! Enjoy!!!!"

The Moment:

Took to the stage - trying to look confident. My jokes went "plapped" - prob too 'localised' for an international audience. Could not understand what the Indonesian was asking. Intended some long pauses during the presentation just to see the reactions of the Think my energy and enthusiam helped to wake up some of the sleepy heads. Was wondering: what on earth was she busily writing even though she had my slides. Glad that I pre-empt with statement: these are my thoughts as a practitioner with much room for further research. Plan to maximise my sharing was great. TIMES UP placard was flashed repeated when I was on slide 20 out of 28. First comment from audience: "Thank you for the very rich sharing...." Question One: Would you use all the tools in one go (my immediate thoughts: was that a trick question?) Question Two: Does your tool give everyone a fair chance to contribute. (glad I gave an anecdotal reply with how the affinity diagram gave a introverted student a chance to tell of his story) One of the toughest questions: Can your thinking tools be used for RP's 'One Day, One Problem' model? (definitely food for thought)


People rushed forward to ask for a copy of my soft-copy slides. To give or not to give? I wished they engage me with more "tell me more about your ideas" question. The Australian P asked, are there more tools? The Malaysian presenter asked, how up-to-date are your tools and which of these were more business related? Another comment: "it would have been even better if your session was for a longer workshop so that we can learn more about the tools." Natasha- An old long-lost classmate came forward and waited patiently for me. Sue commented ang mo asked "so where is the control group" (my response: ??!!*)@I#@)$)_@). A fitting compliment: A very thought provoking piece with some nice contemporary ideas. Felt a sense of "lost" and "wonder" Got a sms from Irene: How goes?

Wasn't it a delightful experience?