Life long sharing . . .

Archive for January 2013


Was marking Ying’s Chinese comprehension exercise. Couldn’t help burst into laughter when looking at her answer for question No.3.

It’s a poem, describing how a mother share an umbrella with her daughter (the author) in the rain.


The umbrella is above my head,

The rain drops fall on my mother’s body.


Question 3. The mother used the umbrella to give shelter to the author, but she didn’t take shelter under the umbrella, letting the raindrops fall on her body, this is because the mother _________________.

A. love the author

B. like to get wet under the rain

C. didn’t bring umbrella


And Ying said, the mother likes to get wet under the rain.



This is the 改正错字 book for Std 2 that I let Ling use, the same series as recommended in my post: 改正错字 last year.


On top of the exercises as in book 1 (section 1: choose the correct word to fill in the blank, section 2: identify and correct the wrong word 改正错字), for Std 2, I found a pleasant surprise. They added a new section, section 3:vocabulary practices for those words that look similar or sound similar.

IMHO, this is very helpful.



Now a bit regretted not buying two copies. (another one for Ying’s turn). Will check it out at Popular this weekend. Hopefully still have stock. Bought them two years back.

[Update: please click to download: Chinese2_1.pdfChinese2_2.pdfChinese2_3.pdf ]

Some part of his booklife, Peter Buffet told story about his father Warren Buffett, and the below story is kind of become the thing that will always show up in my mind whenever his father’s name is mentioned. A man I salute (together with Bill and Melinda Gates) of their 大爱spirit.

On a trip to China with Bill and Melinda Gates, my father was struck by the untold thousands of people working in factories and fields – people who, because of the particular system they had been born into, would remain in those humble roles for their entire working lives. How many potential entrepreneurs,  inventors, and innovators might be buried in those ranks ? Or, as my father put it, “How many Bill Gateses might be laboring on that hillside? “

And also something to learn from this great man on parenting,

One of my father’s often-quoted tenets is that a parent, if he has the means to do so, should give his children “enough to do anything, but not enough to do nothing.”

After finish reading the book “Life Is What You Make It”, life

I salute Peter Buffett’s mother even more.

My mother, who was never shy about letting people know where she stand, had a bumper sticker on her car that said NICE PEOPLE COME IN ALL COLORS. 

Far from dividing people, my mother believed, religion should make people allies in their shared quest for meaning and transcendence.

Of all the ways in which my mother impressed upon me the value of education, maybe the most profound is this: She taught me that everyone had a story worth listening to. This is another way of saying that everyone has something to teach.

In my mother’s generous view, if anybody deserved good fortune, then everybody did. And since, in real life, the good luck obviously wasn’t shared out equally, then maybe this whole notion of “deserving” was fundamentally flawed.

My mother had a saying – practically a mantra – that sums this up. She used to tell me that I could be whatever I wanted to be, but not do whatever I wanted to do. In other words, my aspirations could be boundless, but my behavior was subject to right and fitting limits.

Ling’s school is implementing single session now.


In brief: Std 1 – 3, 3 days study from 7.30am to 3pm.

Std 4&5, 4 days study from 7.30am to 4pm.

And Std 6, study 5 days from 7.30am to 4pm PLUS Saturday morning half day !!

After experienced it for two weeks, I must admit, I made a mistake. Single session like above is a no-no for my girls. In fact, I want to tell everyone loud loud that it’s not fit for anyone.

How can we ask children in lower primary to study more than 8 hours a day, with a 30 minutes lunch break ? Even an adult are shielded by labour law to work 8 hours a day, and most of us has a minimum of an hour lunch break. Some more under the hot afternoon sun, plus all the constraints like no talking in class, must pay full attention, sitting still… etc.  A parent said, we adult can’t even sitting still in an aircon room for 8 hours, how can we ask a child to do that in a hot classroom.

And my girls couldn’t finish their lunch, (actually most kids are like them) They are in such a rush, rush to find a seat (the canteen is very crowded), rush to grab their food, and rush to go toilet before the class starts again…  all must be completed within 30 minutes.

Heartache now…

Some said, they will get adjusted and get used to it later. No, the thing is, why we want them to live like that? It’s very not healthy. Lunch is an important meal. All this rushing, and skipping proper lunch, are very NO GOOD for health. Why we want to create a system like that ?  It’s so wrong.

Ya, I know, if the Headmaster read my blog, he will said happily, “If you don’t like the school, we are glad to help to transfer your children out.”

… what should I do now…


Once I was very down, with all pessimistic thoughts in my mind, and my dear sister came to tell me this story. I wish I can re-tell the story as good as my sister. She is a good story teller.

Ajahn Brahm who admired Ajahn Chah very much and came all the way to Thailand hoping to learn from Ajahn Chah. He followed the rest of the monks travelling deep into the rural area where Ajahn Chah was staying and giving his teaching. On one occasion, he was hospitalized with typhus fever. He was so ill that he couldn’t even walk without support.

In his dire condition, he heard that his most admire teacher Ajahn Chah was coming to visit him. Ajahn Brahm was so thrilled and thought that his teacher was coming to comfort him and give him moral support.

But contrary, when Ajahn Chah visited him in hospital and saw his condition, Ajahn Chah famously said, “You’ll either get better or you die.” and left.

Hearing this,  Ajahn Brahm was able to let go of the body (放下)and enter samadhi. And he recovered.

p.s. dedicating this to CP as well.

I came across this in Peter Buffett’s book: “Life is what you make it” and would like to dedicate this to all good teachers especially my father.

Taylor Mali, a poet and teacher who has taken it as his mission to enlarge upon the dignity of teaching. ….

In a dinner party attended by members of various proffesions, inevitably, at some point the conversation turns to earnings, and an attorney in the gathering asks the teacher what he makes.  Mali brilliantly turns the question upside down, as this excerpt will attest (The entire poem can be found at

     You want to know what I make?
     I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could …
     I make parents see their children for who they are and what they can be…
     I make kids wonder,
     I make them question.
     I make them criticise.
     I make them apologize and mean it.
     I make them write, write, write.
     And then I make them read.
     You want to know what I make?
     I make a goddamn difference! What about you?


January 2013
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