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13 April 2019 @ 11:57 am

2k18 semi-month posts roundup:
Wow, I did 5/24 posts that was supposed scheduled for last year.
The keyword is 'supposed' though, so it really is up to me in the end, and having these simple timelines to follow gives me lesser to think about after that, rather than tiredly chasing after it.

It's my fourth year on it and I still love this project though and come back to it from time to time, no matter how busy I am. It's just like some games tht I've played, years after years I go back to it, then do something else again. It also gives me a sense of unrestricting structure that I can get back to when I want. And I like continuity and sustainability unless it gets overwhelming for me. And knowing me especially how and what I've done to get overwhelming factors out of my life, I can trust myself on this at this current moment. My commitment is getting lesser but I feel happy and flexible with it and it gives me something to go back to when I want to just post something again.

Just to give an update of my life,

  • I'm still recording my work hours since starting last year, although I'm not or have yet to count them and add up this year. I don't find an urge to know, but I just like that data.

  • I recently cleared my Gmail of years of archived emails, about a thousand, that I always thought I had deleted long ago. Turns out they are still hiding somewhere. It felt tired but good at the end of the day, and I also changed my phone app setting such that now they are directed to the 'real' trash folder instead.

  • I've started trying to stream actual TV channels on my iPad. It does help me sit down and do work with something to unwind and accompany amidst the silence and restless butt lol.

Current Music: Playing Jean Paul Sartre's NO EXIT play on my iPad side-screen
17 November 2018 @ 09:04 pm
40 Years of Stanford Research Found That People With This One Quality Are More Likely to Succeed
by James Clear

In the 1960s, a Stanford professor named Walter Mischel began conducting a series of important psychological studies.

During his experiments, Mischel and his team tested hundreds of children — most of them around the ages of 4 and 5 years old — and revealed what is now believed to be one of the most important characteristics for success in health, work, and life.

Let’s talk about what happened and, more importantly, how you can use it.

The Marshmallow Experiment

The experiment began by bringing each child into a private room, sitting them down in a chair, and placing a marshmallow on the table in front of them.

At this point, the researcher offered a deal to the child.

The researcher told the child that he was going to leave the room and that if the child did not eat the marshmallow while he was away, then they would be rewarded with a second marshmallow. However, if the child decided to eat the first one before the researcher came back, then they would not get a second marshmallow.

So the choice was simple: one treat right now or two treats later.

The researcher left the room for 15 minutes.

As you can imagine, the footage of the children waiting alone in the room was rather entertaining. Some kids jumped up and ate the first marshmallow as soon as the researcher closed the door. Others wiggled and bounced and scooted in their chairs as they tried to restrain themselves, but eventually gave in to temptation a few minutes later. And finally, a few of the children did manage to wait the entire time.

Published in 1972, this popular study became known as The Marshmallow Experiment, but it wasn't the treat that made it famous. The interesting part came years later.

The Power of Delayed Gratification

As the years rolled on and the children grew up, the researchers conducted follow up studies and tracked each child's progress in a number of areas. What they found was surprising.

The children who were willing to delay gratification and waited to receive the second marshmallow ended up having higher SAT scores, lower levels of substance abuse, lower likelihood of obesity, better responses to stress, better social skills as reported by their parents, and generally better scores in a range of other life measures. (You can see the followup studies here, here, and here.)

The researchers followed each child for more than 40 years and over and over again, the group who waited patiently for the second marshmallow succeed in whatever capacity they were measuring. In other words, this series of experiments proved that the ability to delay gratification was critical for success in life.

And if you look around, you’ll see this playing out everywhere…

If you delay the gratification of watching television and get your homework done now, then you’ll learn more and get better grades.
If you delay the gratification of buying desserts and chips at the store, then you’ll eat healthier when you get home.
If you delay the gratification of finishing your workout early and put in a few more reps, then you’ll be stronger.
… and countless other examples.

Success usually comes down to choosing the pain of discipline over the ease of distraction. And that’s exactly what delayed gratification is all about.

This brings us to an interesting question: Did some children naturally have more self-control, and thus were destined for success? Or can you learn to develop this important trait?

What Determines Your Ability to Delay Gratification?

Researchers at the University of Rochester decided to replicate the marshmallow experiment, but with an important twist. (You can read the study here.)

Before offering the child the marshmallow, the researchers split the children into two groups.

The first group was exposed to a series of unreliable experiences. For example, the researcher gave the child a small box of crayons and promised to bring a bigger one, but never did. Then the researcher gave the child a small sticker and promised to bring a better selection of stickers, but never did.

Meanwhile, the second group had very reliable experiences. They were promised better crayons and got them. They were told about the better stickers and then they received them.

You can imagine the impact these experiences had on the marshmallow test. The children in the unreliable group had no reason to trust that the researchers would bring a second marshmallow and thus they didn’t wait very long to eat the first one.

Meanwhile, the children in the second group were training their brains to see delayed gratification as a positive. Every time the researcher made a promise and then delivered on it, the child's brain registered two things: 1) waiting for gratification is worth it and 2) I have the capability to wait. As a result, the second group waited an average of four times longer than the first group.

In other words, the child's ability to delay gratification and display self-control was not a predetermined trait, but rather was impacted by the experiences and environment that surrounded them. In fact, the effects of the environment were almost instantaneous. Just a few minutes of reliable or unreliable experiences were enough to push the actions of each child in one direction or another.

What can you and I learn from all of this?

How to Become Better at Delaying Gratification

The studies above do make one thing clear: if you want to succeed at something, at some point you will need to find the ability to be disciplined and take action instead of becoming distracted and doing what's easy. Success in nearly every field requires you to ignore doing something easier (delaying gratification) in favor of doing something harder (doing the work and putting in your reps).

But the key takeaway here is that even if you don't feel like you're good at delaying gratification now, you can train yourself to become better simply by making a few small improvements. In the case of the children in the study, this meant being exposed to a reliable environment where the researcher promised something and then delivered it.

You and I can do the same thing. We can train our ability to delay gratification, just like we can train our muscles in the gym. And you can do it in the same way as the child and the researcher: by promising something small and then delivering. Over and over again until your brain says, 1) yes, it's worth it to wait and 2) yes, I have the capability to do this.
17 November 2018 @ 07:49 pm
The Akrasia Effect: Why We Don’t Follow Through on What We Set Out to Do and What to Do About It
by James Clear 

Why We Make Plans, But Don't Take Action

One explanation for why akrasia rules our lives and procrastination pulls us in has to do with a behavioral economics term called “time inconsistency.” Time inconsistency refers to the tendency of the human brain to value immediate rewards more highly than future rewards.

When you make plans for yourself — like setting a goal to lose weight or write a book or learn a language — you are actually making plans for your future self. You are envisioning what you want your life to be like in the future and when you think about the future it is easy for your brain to see the value in taking actions with long-term benefits.

When the time comes to make a decision, however, you are no longer making a choice for your future self. Now you are in the moment and your brain is thinking about the present self. And researchers have discovered that the present self really likes instant gratification, not long-term payoff. This is one reason why you might go to bed feeling motivated to make a change in your life, but when you wake up you find yourself falling into old patterns. Your brain values long-term benefits when they are in the future, but it values immediate gratification when it comes to the present moment.

This is one reason why the ability to delay gratification is such a great predictor of success in life. Understanding how to resist the pull of instant gratification—at least occasionally, if not consistently—can help you bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

The Framework You Need to Beat Procrastination

Here are three ways to overcome akrasia, beat procrastination, and follow through on what you set out to do.

Strategy 1: Design your future actions.
A commitment device is a choice you make in the present that controls your actions in the future. It is a way to lock in future behavior, bind you to good habits, and restrict you from bad ones. There are many ways to create a commitment device. You can reduce overeating by purchasing food in individual packages rather than in bulk size. You can voluntarily ask to be added to the banned list at casinos and online poker sites to prevent future gambling sprees. I’ve even heard of athletes who have to “make weight” for a competition choosing to leave their wallets at home during the week before weigh-in so they won’t be tempted to buy fast food. The circumstances differ, but the message is the same: commitment devices can help you design your future actions. Find ways to automate your behavior beforehand rather than relying on willpower in the moment. Be the architect of your future actions, not the victim of them.

Strategy 2: Reduce the friction of starting.
The guilt and frustration of procrastinating is usually worse than the pain of doing the work. In the words of Eliezer Yudkowsky, “On a moment-to-moment basis, being in the middle of doing the work is usually less painful than being in the middle of procrastinating.” So why do we still procrastinate? Because it's not being in the work that is hard, it's starting the work. The friction that prevents us from taking action is usually centered around starting the behavior. Once you begin, it's often less painful to do the work. This is why it is often more important to build the habit of getting started when you're beginning a new behavior than it is to worry about whether or not you are successful at the new habit. You have to constantly reduce the size of your habits. Put all of your effort and energy into building a ritual and make it as easy as possible to get started. Don't worry about the results until you've mastered the art of showing up.

Strategy 3: Utilize implementation intentions.
There are hundreds of successful studies showing how implementation intentions positively impact everything from exercise habits to flu shots. In the flu shot study, researchers looked at a group of 3,272 employees at a Midwestern company and found that employees who wrote down the specific date and time they planned to get their flu shot were significantly more likely to follow through weeks later.

Fighting Akrasia

Our brains prefer instant rewards to long-term payoffs. It's simply a consequence of how our minds work. Given this tendency, we often have to resort to crazy strategies to get things done. But I believe it is worth it to spend time building these commitment devices if your goals are important to you.

Aristotle coined the term enkrateia as the antonym of akrasia. While akrasia refers to our tendency to fall victim to procrastination, enkrateia means to be “in power over oneself.” Designing your future actions, reducing the friction of starting good behaviors, and using implementation intentions are simple steps that you can take to make it easier to live a life of enkrateia rather than one of akrasia.

17 November 2018 @ 06:16 pm

Arkasia (Greek): the state of mind in which someone acts against their better judgement through weakness of will

Doing something you wouldn’t normally do. That is, knowingly putting something off, even though delaying it will make you worse off. To begin with, the confusing thing about procrastination is, it seems we are avoiding unpleasant tasks. In fact, indulging in procrastinating generally doesn’t make us happy.

Where does procrastination come from?

Procrastination often comes from feeling that we have so much to do that no single part of the to-do is worth doing. Correspondingly, the more unsettling question is, “Is it worth doing anything at all?”

As an illustration, it’s easier to process concrete, rather than abstract things. Thus, the immediate hassle is very tangible, compared with uncertain future benefits.

How can you become open-minded about intangible tasks?

For one thing, make acting feel bigger and more real. For example: Spend a moment painting a vivid mental picture of the benefits of getting something done. On the positive side, this can be enough to get you unstuck.

3 Steps to defeat procrastination

Step 1: Design strategies to change your behavior either by reducing the obstacles or the effort needed to start. All in all, find ways to automate your behavior beforehand rather than relying on willpower in the moment.

Step 2: Make starting easier. First, it’s not doing the work that’s hard, it’s starting the work. In general, once you begin, it’s usually less painful to do the work. To put it differently, make it as easy as possible to get started. Then, don’t worry about the results until you’ve mastered the art of showing up.

Step 3: Make your goal specific and doable. Making specific goals positively impacts everything from exercise habits to brushing your teeth. How can you transform feeble intentions into effective plans for action? Ultimately, the answer is make your plan specific and actionable.

For example, stating an exercise goal this way, “I will exercise for 30 minutes on [DATE] in [PLACE] at [TIME],” has been shown to make you 2x to 3x more likely to succeed.

A final thought

From time to time, procrastination can go too far. But, it won’t help to wallow with disgust over your failure to start a task. Accordingly, remember that the right kind of procrastination can make you more creative. After all, thinking more slowly, instead of using the first, or easiest solution is often the key to success.

In everything I do, I believe in challenging your current behavior to power up your life. The way I challenge your current behavior is I first explore what is agitating and exasperating you. Second, I observe how you act. Finally, I pinpoint what excites and motivates you to change. Ultimately, I support you to create a health and wellness plan tailored to your circumstances and strengths. I just happen to offer an approach that is easy to get started as well as keep up. Want to start?

27 May 2018 @ 04:07 pm
Carmen Carrera is just... beautiful.

(May '18 full-month)
15 April 2018 @ 03:09 pm


23. You procrastinate.

“Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off til tomorrow what you can do today.” – Lord Chesterfield

Procrastination is an endless spiral into frustration. The more you do it, the heavier your load. It’s like trying to run a marathon while picking up rocks along the way. Eventually the stress gets too heavy.

You should finish projects and drop those rocks so you stay light and able to maneuver through your day without dragging 20 other projects you have put off behind you.

(April '18 half-month)
10 March 2018 @ 08:24 pm
"My sense is that human beings who have spent some time making peace with death are much more grounded, more open to life, and less vulnerable to fantasy-based, destructive or at the very least unskillful and fragmenting spirituality."


People should be coming to terms with me coming to terms with the end of life. But I know, it's one thing to come to terms with your own, and it's another to come to terms with those of your most treasured people.

And I still don't know what wrong with my mum today. I have a hunch but i'll keep it to myself. I'm left alone for the whole day so... yah.

P.S. I realised I missed out on doing a roundup of 2017's semi-month posts in my first 2018 semi-month post. I did 11 posts last years, less than half of 24 posts that 2017 semi-months' posts can maximise. Guess this shows how busy I am. Let's see what happens this year.

(Feb '18 full-month)
13 January 2018 @ 04:21 pm
I'm just so fucking sick with electoral fraud.
Presidential Selection.
Mdm President.
Rigged systems.
Polluting our country's name.
Devaluing one's name and innate worth.
Non-Tan Cheng Bock.
Scaredy asses.
Things that taint 2017 political climate.

I have no trust in the government. Reeking of men-sheeps-omegas who laugh in hopes of following others. Arrest me. Rig your system to put some crime on me. You will get your karma, and I will get mine. So be it.

P.S. I can feel that Mister Chan Chun Seng is going to be the next Prime Minister. I can feel it in my bones just like how I could feel that Mdm Halimah Yacob was going to take over. It was an open secret, can it be labelled a secret even, and this time it will be an open secret again. Such a shame. Both candidates are amazing or at least decent. It's sick how much you want things to go your way, whoever is the unsaid alpha of the government pack, to compromise our democracy, and how disgusted we are as a citizen group with you.

(Jan '18 half-month)
28 December 2017 @ 01:12 pm

"Mottainai attempts to communicate the inherent value in a thing and encourage using objects fully or all the way to the end of their lifespan. Leave no grain of rice in your bowl; if a toy breaks, repair it; and take good care of everything."

I think I possess this concept. I've finally and unintentionally found the word to describe my way of life.

(Dec '17 full-month)
11 December 2017 @ 10:32 am

Erm the way you wrote it was rather inaccurate, in the part where you sound like you were implying Samantha left Theodore because she fell in love with 641 other people. The OSes just all left together, it's not a result of her liking other people, and for Samantha to only be speaking to him before they all left together shows the strongest connection is with Theodore still. Given the time when he went to find Amy Adams straight after and the same thing happened to her, I implied that the departures all happened at the same time and Samantha was only concerned with speaking with Theodore.

(Dec '17 half-month post)
Current Location: Bed
Current Music: Mum's snoring
28 November 2017 @ 01:56 am
Ok I kind of figure out the type of kurtis that I might like:

Anarkali (not to complex designs)
Indo-westerm (maybe)
Jacket style (that particular one)


(Nov'17 full-month post)
07 November 2017 @ 08:44 am

Only when I have time to rest and relax do I realise how much I hate this job. I'm left with myself and some random shit to do, and I know that despite some happy times, I just want to be alone. I don't want to be here anymore.
10 October 2017 @ 08:57 am
When you don't even want to stay for the few hours you have at work.

When you are just getting by.

When you just want to leave.

When you just want to leave everything behind.

When you realise that things at home are not smooth as well.

When you want to stop everything.

When you want to hide, leave, and dissolve into nothingness.
I took a long time to figure this out, I was just stuck in the I-know-Ive-seen-this-face limbo until one fine day it came to me and I was like, "OMG MUM SO HE LOOKS LIKE WANG RENFU DON'T YOU THINK?!!?". Surprisingly, my mum was like able to point it out like it was a very apparent fact. As usual, it took an even longer time for me to blog this. Trust me I already have more look-alikes piled up to be written.

Like even the role that they play in their groups, the most/more verbal one with variety flair. I got reminded of Renfu's debtes when he used try to come up with witty ideas on shows lol when I watched this:

Come on, they looks like brothers. For the first time, let's do an actual comparison table of random facts that I'm more into:

Name Zax Wang Renfu Boo Seungkwan
Place of Birth
Taipei, Taiwan Jeju-do, South Korea
Age of Print/
Date of Birth
37, 1980.08.28 19, 1998.01.16

Which means that they are 18 years apart. :O And when Refu debuted in 2002 at 22, Seungkwan was 4 years old. Ok, that puts it in perspective, it's not so bad, at least he was born already.

(Oct '17 half-month)
Current Location: Teens React to Riverdale
Current Mood: okayokay
02 September 2017 @ 12:21 am
Basically I've had my eyes on this for quite a while, I don't know, 4 years? But Chome on iPhone crashed and I haven't opened it again till this year, where I try to clear (delete, read, or do something about it) more than 99 tabs to now 5. Mwaha successful. I see this tab as one of the first few, and my purpose of writing about this product that I have not tried before is to keep some information on it in case I want it in the future and I can look back, or in times when I totally forget about its existence (very plausible since this already happened until I chanced upon the ancient tabs).

I don't think I need the product now actually, I'm very content with my volume with the deep cleansing of my scalp with the Melaleuca shampoo + my way of washing hair. I mean I welcome new volume but the method's effects of the product and is still within what I can try to generate..

"FOR BEST RESULTS: Lightly sprinkle on to roots and massage into scalp for instant root volume. Sprinkle throughout hair for added overall texture. Be careful, a little dust goes a long way!

Kaolin: Adds texture and hold
Potato Starch: Thickens and adds volume
Tapioca Starch: Thickens and adds volume
Corn Starch: Adds body and hold
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice: Adds moisture and soothes hair and scalp"

                             (Credits: Crystal Valentine B.)

I mean the roots are definitely up, which I'm really grateful for to achieve with what I mentioned previously at least sometimes. I mean I can recommend to people but I'll really rather introduce deep cleanse. Cool anyway.

I packed my room today. It started with packing the Teachers' Day gifts, then I went on to try to rearrange/stack things up neatly again to make space, then get bothered with trying to find a replacement door bell and finally succeeding with a abalone shell (praise my determination and and resourcefulness man), throwing some parts and wrappers away, and then drawing, picking it up after like years? Love this.

(Aug '17 full-month)
Current Location: In my room
Current Mood: calmcalm
20 August 2017 @ 06:12 pm

I really need to have a stronger sense of urgency, to get things done so that i'm not in a limbo state. Ultimately, I don't do those things simply because they don't matter to me, and I don't give a shit about it if someone else doesn't give a shit about it. I'm chased for things that have no worth to me, not even when it gives me money. Money never mattered actually, and that's a common 'motivation' that doesn't even work for me. I'm like back to my JC days, where nothing I do matters because it takes away any enjoyment that I've placed in life, no matter how much time I'm placing on enjoyment in life. Fuck it really, I'm not even working for myself anymore. I don't look forward to school like in Uni days, where I'm doing meaningful things for myself. I want to do meaningful things for other people, but not when I'm hunted for it. I want to do it at my own pace.

(Aug '17 half-month)

Current Location: My room
Current Mood: blahblah
20 July 2017 @ 09:11 pm
“In a world full of fear, be courageous. In a world full of lies, be honest. In a world where few care, be compassionate. In a world of phonies, be yourself. Because the world sees you. The world hopes for you. The world is inspired by you. The world can be better, because of you.”

—Doe Zantamata

30 May 2017 @ 11:32 pm

This photo was taken at a transition period of my life, when I sough relief in my long trip to Korea. I wasn't there for an exchange, I wasn't there to work, I was there simply because I wanted to - too long to call a tourist, yet too short to call a resident. To me, the photos seemed like a reflection of my life at that time: it's was a blur, I can't see clearly, but I know there's light somewhere out there waiting for me.
Taken at Samcheonggak, 2011.

(May '17 full-month)

09 April 2017 @ 04:06 pm
Update disclaimer: I can't believe I have to put this. These are quotes taken from many different people who have voiced their own personal opinions and experiences on the internet with regards to the industry, in case anyone didn't realise even until reading it to the end. I did not write any of these. It normal to see quotes that are conflicting because different people went through different things and see from their own points of view, or at least as comprehensively as they can. Please be less personal when reading because we are not here to compare who has the worse experience or situation, because we are here to emphatise and hear different voices. Seeing one quote from one quoted person that you disagree with doesn't discount anything from you.

"You are so right. My failed marriage is my own doing.

Because I don’t know how to manage my time,
I don’t know how to do my work properly,
I don’t know how to mark the piles of pupils’ work during the official working hours,
when all I was doing then were admin work,
when even during my pathetic free periods,
I was doing relief teaching, counselling, attend meetings, entertaining parents, or attending to other non-teaching related matters.
Also, I was so incompetent till I ‘forgot’ to have my meals properly,
and I deserved to have my health affected.
Because of all my inabilities as a teacher in Sg then,
I had to bring the papers back home to do.
Before I can even do that, I had to take care of my kids,
take care of my household chores (*ex didnt believe in getting a maid),
after kids went to bed, whipped out the pile of papers for marking,
ex went to bed without waiting for me to ‘take care’ of him.
So in a long run, his emotional needs were taken care of by someone else.

So, tell me, are all these my own doings?
Yes, I made a choice.
A choice to be a teacher and I paid a price for it.

The teachers voicing out here,
are asking the MOE to take away all those non-teaching duties.
They are not here to compare which occupation is more overloaded.
Kindly bear in mind, our passion in this occupation, is to TEACH."

Others are overworked too, but let us not miss the point here. Teachers are critical in shaping future leaders and generation; which includes our children, grandchildren. Are we not bothered that teachers (generally) that our children are being taught by, are unhappy and stressed out?! Or are we too selfish to even think of that?!"

"That is why I left the teaching profession after more than a decade. Teachers who want to teach are not appreciated. Teachers are jack of all trades but master of none. They have to be an event manager, surrogate parent, counsellor, etc. When they are appraised, it’s taken that they should be doing well in the classroom because that is our ‘core’ business. So how to differentiate one from the other during the ranking session? It boils down to all the other non-teaching duties one performs. So one can be teaching a non-examinable subject like DnT or Art which has little marking and has plenty of time to perform non-teaching duties, he/she will standout cos the things he/she does is visible. Another teacher has plenty of lessons to go to and have no time to wayang so he/she is considered as not contributing to the school. When ranking comes, the teacher who teaches only will be ranked lower. This EPMS thing is full of nonsense."

eachers not just have to teach but have to manage all kind of rubbish administrative matters, what is this? They are human not robots, my goodness, please bear that in mind."

"I totally agree that our local teachers are overworked. It’s so hard for them to have a work life balance. When I read the articles posted earlier in May, I felt for them. My wife works as a teacher too."

There are so many burnout beginning teachers in schools."

In general, workers other than teachers will have at least 1 hour of lunch break to enjoy their lunch while at the same time, have a chit chat session with their colleagues. However, teachers can only have lunch during their free time. The fact that we can hardly find time make us even want to even skip our lunch or to delay it like till 3pm at times and I think this is not very healthy in the long run.

Public seems to have this belief that when teachers dont teach, they should be free.I think its a joke. Let me list you a FEW, we as teachers have to set exam questions, have consultation time with students we need to ask questions, remedial lessons in smaller groups for those students who need more attention than the rest, other CCA admin duties esp near competition periods where we have to attend meetings, submit entries for the competitors, work reviews which is like 3 times a year which I feel its excessive and creates unnecessary burden, Civics lessons which we need to prepare, attendance taking, writing peer lesson ob forms and PPCR for documentation, meetings like SPA, SGCs, PWs in JC which in fact is not our expertise for some teachers and to handle that, we need to spend A LOT OF TIME doing our homework in order to provide the best to our students and all these are done on top of teaching our core subject and marking. Dont you feel its so scary?? We are not robots. We also need time to rest and for those we are teachers like me, I believe you can agree that for a teacher who puts in effort to teach a 2 hour lesson, you just feel so tired taht you dont even have the energy to talk to your friends. But still, you cant take a break because there are other things that you need to handle.

To teach effectively, we need to have time to reflect and think about ways to teach the students, in a unique and interesting way. However due to those ambitious policy makers, poor teachers have to suffer with those enormous workloads. thinking that since we are being paid and therfore, we should just accept whatever it comes along."

"When I was in NIE, my lecturer told me she resigned from teaching because of the marking. That scared me. She had to mark in the weekends all the time. And my other lecturer told me to say “no” at times, otherwise we’ll end up burned out."

To those who ask teachers not to complain, try teaching in singapore first before making your comments. Most went in with interest and passion but became disillusioned by the system. To the geek who loves programming (and claims his job is tougher than teaching), its just you and your computer you are facing. Try facing a class of children and teenagers daily and dealing with demanding parents."

A female colleague of mine lamented that she has spent her youth giving her life to the school, and to her HODs and principal (who only use her for their own career promotion). She is now past 35 and single. I think there are many like her."

Who knows? Maybe in the future, teachers need to stay back longer, because the syllabus is getting harder and they have to teach until the students understand in time for the major examinations like PSLE, O and A levels. Besides acedemic achievements, I feel that it is also important to let us have time to ourselves, especially the teachers. MOE, please look into this."

As an ex-Primary School teacher myself, I can fully identify with the stress that teachers undergo. Teachers are indeed an overworked bunch of people who are expected to juggle many (in fact, too many) roles at the same time. It is only a matter of time before the physical and mental strain smothers the passion for teaching that most fresh NIE grads started out with. I personally have seen talented & dedicated teachers who end up suffering from burnt-out and some of them even slip into a circle of depression or develop psychiatric disorders which they are still trying to recover from even after a prolonged period of time.

For myself, all I wanted to do was just to teach and have more time to nurture & communicate with my pupils, especially the weaker or troubled ones who needed more attention. During lesson time, I found myself rushing from one class to the other and on days when I had to stand in for teachers who were on MC, I couldn’t even find time to catch a breather. I just hoped to have the after-school hours to myself so that I could finish up the marking which was very time-consuming,set practice or exam papers, have time to prepare for lessons and think of creative & fun lessons to enhance the learning experience for the pupils. However, such precious time were often taken away from me by meetings (to plan for events such as visits from some big-shot, sports day, etc.), CCA rehearsals in order to aim for an SYF medal, administrative duties which includes stock-taking etc. and a whole host of other activities.

In order to bring about effective changes which will improve the work-life balance of teachers and allow them to develop into better teachers, maybe MOE policymakers should try their hands at teaching a full load for a term(which should certainly include English as Composition marking is an experience not to be missed)complete with all the MOE initiatives (acronyms which I have already forgotten), events and the whole works. Only then will they truly understand first hand how tough it is to be a teacher. Maybe then they will think twice before launching the next Initiative which more often than not, fails to address the root of the problem but instead, serves to add on more workload to the already heavy burden that teachers nowadays are made to bear.

Until then, I will be sticking with my private sector job which allows me to relax after work and during the weekends, instead of ploughing through stacks of compositions."

"yes…teachers do overworked…a few of my friends are teachers… and always have to work at home.. Poor Work Life Balance… this is why many teachers nowsadays are switching career paths… with the kind of pay working these kind of hours…who wants to work??? own family also no time to manage where got time and energy to nurture our next generation… the main focus has been drifted away to nurture the students which they have to learnt the values and academic achievement in schools,instead of doing those non value added/non productive stuff such as administrative works which is time consuming and energy draining…"

(This is for that one "Presidental Award" principal whom I will always be reminded of as cunning, ambitious and inhumane.)
Ambitious principals = extra ‘bright’ ideas/programs/initiatives to win multiple awards in order to raise their profile, get more funding, just see the banners fluttering around the schools. You’ll get my drift. The victims? teachers and students of course. Worse.. while performance review is supposed to be 60% on your teaching, and 40% the other duties, in actual fact it’s more like 20% and 80% respectively."

Yes, every job has its stresses and long hours. But while engineers, accountants, lawyers etc spend their long hours, they do not need to spend an iota of emotional energy on others. Teachers have to be consummate showmen to motivate the students to pay attention and learn. Try doing it 4 times a day to different audiences. And what if there’s ill-disciplined children in class? We’ll need to scold, cajole, threaten, punish etc. whatever that works. and later counsel the students. And in neighbourhood schools, many of them have reasons for their bad day, and you feel for them."

End of the day, in order to cope and preserve our sanity, teachers end up taking short cuts. Many times I’ve gone into class for a lesson, preparing for it while I’m walking there – more impressive than Chinese poets having to compose their poems within whatever number of steps they take. We get students to mark their work. We distance ourselves emotionally and some times physically and are soon not there for them to talk to. Why? Those who have counselled others will know. One session will zap the energy out of you. So, we quit. We quit because this was not what we signed up for. We were wasting energy and time doing what we felt was not core. And the scary thing is, what I’m sharing is not even the full story."

hose MOE policymakers are scholars. Their jobscope is to dole out policies after policies. To make themselves look good on paper. It’s an open secret that in most govt boards, they really don’t have the substantial groundwork experience to have empathy for the people who will be affected by all their idealistic policy-making.

I for one, seriously think our education system needs a big review and revamp. Teacher-student ratio definitely need to be more conducive to learning. How about school hours? I think we can look to other countries’ models and learning systems. How about introducing more technical/specialized schools like back in the day? Or how about implementing a uni-style of learning/teaching? Where TAs help out in the work for the teachers, and the teachers/lecturers themselves conduct several lesson timings throughout the day? How about not giving much homework but timely projects/presentations and lessons are more for class discussions? The education system should start being flexible and offer varied options. Why don’t the policy-makers start cracking their heads and take in all these constructive criticisms before this issue and people in this industry reaches a tipping point?"

"Many times, we are always told that school needs come first. Then, when are our needs met?"

As a young teacher, I feel betrayed by the Ministry. All the advertisements on smiling teachers and pupils are just bollocks. As a teacher, I am underpaid, unappreciated and definitely overworked. I have allowed three years of my youth past me by, slogging my arse off, meeting deadlines and pleasing everyone else except myself.

At the end of the day, if I am lucky, a Performance Bonus which they dangle like a carrot in front of me, just to spur me to do more work.

The whole system is draining the patience and most importantly passion in us teachers. One day, you will realise that all your good teachers are gone and you will only have yourself to blame."

"As a young teacher, I feel betrayed by the Ministry. All the advertisements on smiling teachers and pupils are just bollocks. As a teacher, I am underpaid, unappreciated and definitely overworked. I have allowed three years of my youth past me by, slogging my arse off, meeting deadlines and pleasing everyone else except myself.

At the end of the day, I get a measly email thanking me for my effort (usually by the Principal and the HODs), or if I am lucky, a Performance Bonus which they dangle like a carrot in front of me, just to spur me to do more work.

The whole system is draining the patience and most importantly passion in us teachers. One day, you will realise that all your good teachers are gone and you will only have yourself to blame."

(I hope this doesn't hapen illogically and unreasonably, but if it's me, I may react in the same way honestly.)
" The principal wondered out loud to me as to why I wasn’t upset like my other colleagues who had lost their bonuses. I told her that it was just money and I will not rush out of her office crying like the others. I quit as soon as I finished my bond. Till this day, when I dream that I am still teaching, I wake up in relief that I am now free from the nightmare of teaching. In order to make life better for teachers, MOE should look into the quality and character of the principals as a well balanced principal who believes in the right values will inculcate the right working environment for happy teachers."

Teachers, NEVER ever sign up for half-load scheme or be flexi-adjunct. Most schools have no idea what on earth that really means. They will end up giving you 80% load or even full load at 50% pay. At least 3 of my colleagues learn it the hard way.

If you want to spend more time with your kids, this is how you do it; do a half-assed job and get a ‘D’. A D-grader full-time teacher will earn more than a flexi-adjunct teacher or a C-grade teacher on half-load.

If you already thinking of half-load or flexi-adjunct, why you care so much about the D-grade?

95% of all unhappiness in the school can be traced to the teacher’s fear of the ‘D’ grade? If she not scared of D, she would have long ago told off the principal or HOD for unprofessional conduct or unreasonable demands on the job."

MOE has overworked teachers and has short-changed their youthful energy and spirit, riding on the mantra that this job is a calling. Over the years, they’ve remove your pension and replaced it with CONNECT PLAN. The CONNECT Plan is not meant to replace your retirement as it is heavily reduced. They removed your pension and REPACKAGED it into a heavily reduced CONNECT PLAN (reducing cost for them in the expense of your welfare) and now tells you its an incentive for you to stay longer in service. HOW DEVIOUS IS THE GOVERNTMENT INDEED!"

My advice to teachers. Take the D and earn cash outside. Don’t depend on the PB and leverage on a second income. You will be pissed initially but then you’ll be happy because the control doesn’t work on you as you are NOT IDENTIFIED with their cunning way of getting you to be a hypocritical and pretentious money luster. It takes courage to have a work-life balance in MOE schools but it’s courage that is worth investing it for a healthier you. Don’t worry about labels. You spent more time seeing the kids than your HOds or Ps. The kids are a better judge of your performance. Keep your conscience clear."

I’m an intelligent teacher. And I love to live my life intelligently."


I happened to come across lot of teacher’s feed back on their long working hours, no time for family situation. I feel really very sorry for them, I am an IT Professional i work very long hours. But still i feel sorry for the teachers bcoz they are the one bringing up the nation’s young generation. I feel they should be a very good state of mind to bring up their students. If some one mind set is in Toxic, they spread that to the students, it would never bring an atmosphere of high quality education."