Sunday, February 28, 2010

one task too many

i was driving home on the expressway this evening & the wife was relating some new personal problems arising on her side of the family. i must have been quite engrossed because before i realised anything, i have already missed the exit by a good 10km!!

yeah, you're right - it was a personal problem of such severity that BOTH of us missed out on the exit!! but then as i reflected upon myself, i realised what they said about men is quite true - meant, we can't do 2 things at a time.

ah ha, no wonder i couldn't talk to a patient & do an examination at the same time, neither could i watch TV & surf the net simultaneously. & it just dawned on me why i normally don't talk when i drive. good thing it's just an exit i missed. those recent fatal crashes into the back on stationary vehicles on the hard shoulder of the expressway.....could the drivers be talking on their mobile, or changing CDs, or just munching on potato chips?

obviously, the word "multi-tasking" doesn't exist in our vocabulary & (sigh) i am living proof of that.

this is also why i avoid talking to my surgeon friend when he is operating - how many medical litigations have we heard of, or read in the media already??

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


it stands for Reality Outside Classrooms. it's part of an enrichment program that the school organises for the secondary students, the objectives of which include providing learning experiences with global perspectives, building team spirit by working with students from different classes & integrating learning across the disciplines and across domains.

i saw it as an expensive a unique overseas study trip.

she's elected to go to cambodia (phnom penh & siem reap) where the students will interact with under-privileged kids at orphanages, carry out community service in villages & learn of the rich & somewhat ugly history of the country. remember the killing fields?

in a way, i am glad. after all those years tagging with us wherever we went, she's finally braved herself to travel with her peers. she's prepared to fly on her own. i wonder if Isaiah had this in mind when he wrote:

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

here we go again.....

another bird-brained unique idea is hatched....

the education minister just announced on TV (also read here) that a new english curriculum will be tried out on our guinea-pig students implemented next year, with emphasis on language arts & phonics.

who is going to teach the new curriculum? our local teachers, a large proportion of whom can't string together a decent sentence in english;

& who is going to train our local teachers to teach in english? overseas masters teachers, whose payroll will be expensive & who remain a stop-gap measure, & local retired teachers.

will our students and teachers be ready for this, esp when they collectively didn't take english in maths & science too well?

yes, i hear you moan : oh no! here we go again....

Saturday, February 13, 2010

the real killer?

we've always thought, & been taught, that heart disease is caused by stress, high blood pressure & high cholesterol. it seems that it's only part of the story.

ladies & gentlemen, we have a NEW killer. well, actually it's not new but it maybe the REAL killer.

news reports are just filtering through that arteries are narrowed as a result of inflammation &, amongst other causes, the main culprit could be sugar in the blood. read here for a quick overview & here and here for more comprehensive reports.

closer to home, sugar-sweetened soft drinks may be implicated as a cause of pancreatic cancer. (read here)

although these reports have not been validated by peer-reviewed medical journals, perhaps these could be taken as cautionary tales. consider this as you down that can or packet of the sugary stuff this festive season.

blessed new year!

But the fruit of the Spirit is .......... self-control. Against such things there is no law. gal 5:22,23

Friday, February 12, 2010

dive! dive!

i guess it's a matter of time before a problem cropped up on our 1st submarine (read here). it seems that the diving mechanism is faulty & now it can't safely submerge. the service contractor has been summoned to fix the fault which will take weeks.

i would suggest a quicker solution - call in the masters of diving.....

starting with cristiano ronaldo...

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

2nd opinion

when we go shopping for, say, an electrical appliance, it's customary to go to a few shops & enquire about the price, free gifts, delivery date, after-sales service, etc. because naturally we want the best deal. or, to put it in another way, we desire more for less. that's understandable.

it's the same with doctors. if you are not particularly familiar with any physician, you'll probably go from one clinic to another to get the best price for the treatment, the most patient & understanding doctor whose clinic nurses are the most polite & the medical centre with convenient & preferably free parking. that's perfectly understandable, too.

sometimes there is a twist. let's say you have chosen your doctor & has been receiving treatment in hospital. after some time, you think, whether correctly or not, that you're not getting the right treatment. then you ask for a 2nd opinion, which is absolutely within your right. as it turns out, this 2nd doctor is much younger, less experienced but certainly more energetic with lots of new ideas.

unfortunately, his treatment runs counter to the 1st doctor's.

sometimes patients put us in a difficult position, although they don't realise it. there's no right or wrong answer to this predicament because medicine is not an exact science & many grey areas exist. what are the 2 doctors to do? more importantly, how will this arrangement benefit & not disadvantage the patient?

again, i fear there are no right or wrong answers

Monday, February 08, 2010

yet another U-turn

isn't it typical?

last year, science/maths in english, then in bahasa.

muslims can't attend black eyed peas concert, then allowed.

planned to filter internet, then backtracked under public pressure.

last week, government doctors service to extend 5 - 10 years, then announced tonite maybe it'll be reduced to 4 years?

we malaysians are a confused lot, aren't we? no wonder we're not only not going forward, we've even regressed!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

worlds apart

poor kid.

this 18-yr-old student, riding pillion on the way home from tuition, fell from the motorbike & broke his leg. we struggled with him in the OT the whole afternoon yesterday - fixed the fracture & stitched up other parts as well, but not before losing over a litre of blood.

he's not a pretty sight. which is quite ironic because he reminds me of P, who could well be a figment of my fertile imagination. 

riding pillion on a bike is not something P would relish. pampered from young & used to having her way, not for her are the sun-baked nor rain-drenched travel on vehicles having less than 4 wheels. you're more likely to find her sipping designer lattes in air-con comfort & dreaming of porsches. P's probably smart, so she studies in a private college & doesn't need tuition in the 1st place.

oh yes, a flame-red ferrari would do nicely as well, thank you very much, even better with the top down.

for every student lying in a hospital bed from a road traffic accident, i wonder if there exists someone like P in a parallel universe?

give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, 'Who is the LORD ?'
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.
prov 30: 8,

Thursday, February 04, 2010

the student becomes the teacher

the coming lunar year of the tiger is heavily promoted on tv. so when this chinese character came on-screen today, i tested the boy & asked what the character was. nonchalantly, he said, "hu."

i said it should be pronounced "fu", since i remembered from young that the tiger was called lao fu. hmm, i thought, his school must be teaching him wrongly. he insisted that he was right & i insisted i was. so we checked the dictionary, & guess what?

i stand corrected & that's when i realised all these years i've been calling the tiger by the wrong name. i shook his hand & congratulated him for doing well.

& that's when i ate humble pie  the student became the teacher.

Monday, February 01, 2010

catching up in s'pore

30 days is a long time.

so, we spent the weekend at The Little Red Dot to catch up with the girl. besides Add Maths, dull hostel food, & over-emphasis on co-curricular points, i think she's just about getting the hang of things.

had dinner at newton...

attended church at acts centre, a branch of st andrew's, in bkt merah. the pastor's son led worship.

got a couple of packs of wine at NTUC......
yes, packs that look like shampoo refills. it pours from a tap.....

& would certainly make great presents.
**thanks keropok man for the tip**

oh, yes, traffic was so smooth, i must have missed this signboard....