Box 7: HERITAGE TRAIL

For the task of the heritage trail, I decided to go on the Balestier trail as this place holds a special place in my heart. My grandfather actually grew up in balestier and he had a very tough childhood so walking around the balestier trail with him and hearing his stories really got me closer to him and understand him.

We first went to find the heritage board to find the locations of the heritage points

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Next we went to the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall.

Completed in 1902, this double-storey villa was bought by rubber magnate, Teo Eng Hock, for his aged mother. It was then named Wan Qing Yuan to symbolise Teo Eng Hock’s hope that his mother would enjoy peace and happiness in her twilight years.When Dr. Sun Yat Sen chose Singapore as the nerve centre of his revolutionary movement in Southeast Asia, Teo Eng Hock offered the place to Dr. Sun Yat Sen for his revolutionary activities. It was in this very villa that Dr. Sun Yat Sen shared his revolutionary ideals with his Nanyang supporters. As the headquarters of Dr. Sun Yat Sen’s Chinese Revolution Alliance or Tong Meng Hui in Nanyang, Singapore assumed a pivotal role in the 1911 Revolution. Loyal supporters of Dr. Sun Yat Sen, including Singapore pioneers Teo Eng Hock, Tan Chor Lam and Lim Nee Soon, provided invaluable support in the form of fund-raising and dissemination of revolutionary principles and ideals. It was in Wan Qing Yuan that Dr. Sun Yat Sen planned three of his 10 failed uprisings, prior to the successful Wuchang Uprising in 1911. This memorial hall pays tribute to the vital role played Singapore and Nanyang in the 1911 revolution.

Next we walked along the streets and looked that old shop houses that was conserved. Looking at them i noticed how detailed they were and how beautiful they looked. The nostalgic feel from all the houses made me very happy.

These traditional shophouses were developed in 1928 and restored in 2000.They were designed to have a style that marries the east and west. The walls feature moulded designs made to recall classical architecture but at the same time, these moulds were of chinese dragons and bats believed to be guardian warriors by the entrance of these shophouses.

While walking through, my grandfather showed me the house he stayed at ( which now became a church)

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Next we found the water kiosk

In the past, the provision of water was an act of charity for the poor labourers such as drivers for horse carriages or bullock carts, rickshaw pullers and other workers toiling in the area. This service continues to be provided by a local temple and charitable organisation called Sian Tong Lian Sin Sia. One kiosk will contain water while the other contains a tea called Su teh believed to relieve the effects of heat.

Finding out about this actually surprised me. In the past people were so generous and cared for others compared to now where most people are selfish and care for themselves. Honestly, where did the kampung spirit go?

The next station i went to was Kim Keat Road where traditional bakeries and coffee shops still stay.

This bakery is also is also known as Sweetlands confectionary. For over 50 years, This bakery has produced bread loaves for coffee shops and provision shops all across singapore. For decades, households would obtain their coffee from suppliers such as Lam Yeo Coffee Powder which opened in 1960.

Next we went to look at pre war terrace houses which one of them was so happen to be the first house that my grandfather and grandmother ever rented together (the one my grandfather is standing in front of)

In these side lanes, visitors will find two rows of terrace houses built in 1920s and1930s. What sets these houses apart is the way they were arranged to follow the roads’ gentle ascent up the hill, creating the pleasing effect of unbroken slopes.

And lastly, Balestier Market.

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Built in the early 1920s, Balestier market provided local vendors with a permanent place to sell their produce. The original market was actually open aired but the roof was only added in 1925. During the second world war, the market served as a centre for distributing food rations.

I really enjoys going through the whole trail and seeing things from the past. It made me realise how far singapore has progressed as a country and gives an extra hope for the future. I really hope these will be preserved for a long time.

All the Love , M

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Box 6 : What? We kinda caused the haze?

We are all familiar with the haze that first emerged in 2015 and draped over the air, causing health risks and disrupting daily activities when it got bad enough. Indonesia has more than often faced the end of pointed fingers and blame for the haze. And yes, while the haze was originally caused by illegal agriculture fires due to the slash-and-burn practices in Indonesia, we, Singaporeans are not as much of a bystander as we like to think we are. One of the major reasons why the haze emerged was due to the uncontrolled expansion of palm oil and paper plantations, a product which the people in Singapore buy almost everyday, for uses like cooking oil. The government had announced that up to six Indonesian companies were suspected of contributing to the haze pollution and had delivered a clear message to everyone, be it Singaporeans or foreigners, that if they had violated the country’s laws, and if those laws allow the government to act within ambit, they will take the law to its full extent. The Transboundary Haze Pollution Act (THPA) had went after those six companies and issued notices to them, having them to explain what steps they were taking to put out and prevent fires on their land but only two responded. The other four did not. It was said that the director of one of the companies has left the country but is required to return, and if he does not, it will be counted as a violation of the law and will be arrested upon entry and can be detained in Singapore. Enough of all the politics, moving on to how us Singaporeans can help to fight and prevent the return of haze.

Simple day-to-day activities can also contribute to haze, like grocery shopping. So, we can play a part by knowing what products not to buy, especially products that are linked to companies contributing to haze in Indonesia. First: avoid tissue paper brands like Jolly, NICE, Toply, Livi and Paseo as they are not environmentally friendly. Second: when buying vegetables, avoid going for the pre-bagged ones. Unless the packaging can be completely justified and recycled into something useful, there is no need to purchase items with the excess packaging, the more the packaging, the more the waste in form of rubbish and fuels used to make them, which will affect our environment and the air. Third: regarding paper products like tissue paper, look out for the FSC ‘tree checkmark’ logo on the packaging as that logo indicates that these wood-by products have been derived from sustainable and trusted sources that do not use slash & burn method. One such product would be the Kleenex brand, which are all FSC certified. We do not have to be an official of the country to make a change for the environment. We are the consumers, and without us purchasing from them, the business would not survive. So all we have to do is change out consumer demands and those companies will start listening and catching up with the trends of our interests. It’ll be a slow start, to get everyone on with the plan, but as long as a few of us start changing, there’ll be progress. Supporting eco-friendly companies is one way to help out.

With just a little bit of change we can make such a big difference, so why don’t we?

All The Love, M

Box 5: $5 Challenge

I Did the $5 Challenge on 16th June 2017. The days Leading up to 16th of june i actually followed my grandmother to the wet market near my house to plan the meal i was going to prepare on the day. With the measly $5 i had, i made a deal with my grandmother. As she bought the ingredients enough to feed a family of 7, I offered to buy some of the ingredients off her huge pile and she would charge me according to the amount i bought off her.

so i bought 1/4 of a broccoli which cost me 50 cents

half a chicken breast which costs $2.50

a cup of rice which costs 50 cents

and $1 for any seasoning i used to cook with.

typing these out, i realised i was overcharged but its too late to argue with her as the payment was already made. I looked through recipes that i could use with this very limited ingredient list and found some good recipes.

For the chicken, i made a simple cream garlic sauce and cooked it with the chicken. I added 1/4 of a cup of heavy cream, 2 tablespoons of chicken broth, 1/2 a teaspoon of garlic powder and a tablespoon of parmesan cheese with a sprinkle of oregano. Whisked it over a low heat and when it was thickened, i added the chicken to cook together. Later, when i tasted what i had cooked, i regretted not adding more garlic powder or salt as the sauce wasnt salty at all ad tasted slightly bland.

For the Broccoli, I melted 25g of butter on a hot sauce pan and added 1/4 cup of milk. When it started to simmer, i added some shredded cheddar that my grandma had in the fridge and mixed it in till the sauce thickened and mixed evenly. I boiled my broccoli in a pot for about a minute and took it out to mix with the sauce. As my grandma had some excess sliced carrots, i used it to add extra colour.

For the rice, i used the rice cooker to cook it for about 20 minutes. While waiting, i had some extra chicken that i didnt use so i made a batter made up of flour, egg, salt and pepper to dip the chicken in and fry it.

When everything was cooked, i took a plastic container that my family recycled and packed the food in. Happy with i cooked, i prepared myself for the day out.

To keep within the budget of $5, my friends and i decided to visit the art exhibit at the National Art Gallery as it was free for us. We spent about 4 hours there before coming out for late lunch/early dinner. My friends went to a nearby food centre to buy their food while i ate mine. To be honest, i was pretty impressed with my cooking skills as the food tasted better than it looked.

I felt this challenge was a good way to teach me how to manage my money and to teach me that good food didnt need to be expensive and we can cook it at home too!

All the Love, M

Box 4: Global issues

Looking through the global citizen website, i came across the article “The First Portion of Trump’s Border Wall May Bulldoze a Wildlife Refuge” which made me very angry. As girl known to love and have a soft spot for all animals, reading this pushed every single one of my buttons. Amongst the many unnecessary and, frankly, childish actions that Trump has pulled ever since his squabble over the Presidency seat, the idea of building a border wall has got to be one of the dumbest. The construction of the wall, which would begin as early as Winter in 2018, could destroy or damage natural habitats and even go as far as to threaten the Wildlife Refuge that compromises along the US – Mexico border. More than 100 animals that are listed as endangered, threatened or candidated for protection, like ocelots, grey wolves and jaguars, could be affected by Trump’s pathetic ideal of “Making America great again”. And the numbers don’t stop there, at least 400 species of birds, 450 types of plants and around half of the butterfly species found in North America is homes to the refuge. At this rate, with a child for a president leading the nation, the future for the already dwindling wildlife puts them on a faster path of extinction. As an animal lover, it makes me positively livid to know that the already endangered animals will be put at more risk, simply because Donald Trump wishes to continue the blind admiration and praising from his crowd, instead of actually trying to lead the nation. Not only that, with his great dream of building the wall, which costs a baffling budget of $21.6 billion US dollars to build, he claims that Mexico will be made to pay for the “badly needed border wall”as stated on his twitter. Hate to break it to you Mr President, but you’re just making yourself sound like a broke stoner promising to pay his weed dealer by next week and no one is buying it. This plan of his has so many holes, it may as well be a net to try and fish back all the lies he’s told. Does Trump not know of the damage he could cost to the homes and lives of these animals, or does he simple not care in hopes to satisfy his desires. Or maybe he does know the potential of this wall, and is simply carrying on with it, while making extinction and disruption of the balance of the food web, which would cause long-lasting damage to the biodiversity. I fear and worry for those animals that would unknowingly be caught up in the plans of man when they have done no wrong. These animals have lives, families and a history as much as we humans do, and because of the selfish, simple and childish thinking process of Trump, they may face extinction of their species.

All the love, M

Box 3 : Trampoline Parks In Singapore

As one of the boxes, I decided to create my own. Looking through a list of activities teenagers enjoy doing, i came across the trampoline parks in singapore. There are a total of 5 in Singapore. Bounce, Amped, Skyhigh (closed) , Katapult and Zoom. I decided to do a box comparing the different Trampoline Parks. However i will not be doing one on skyhigh as they closed down before i could try it out.

Bounce: 

Cathay Cineleisure Orchard
8 Grange Road, #09-01
Singapore 239695

This Trampoline park was the first one that I went to was ‘Bounce’ with my cousins. What i found different about Bounce, compared to other trampoline parks, is that they have a mini ninja warrior station where the obstacles are almost identical to those in the popular tv show “Ninja Warrior”. That area is called X-park. for this area, you would have to wear sport shoes. However for the other parts of the park, you will be required to remove your shoes and wear grip socks. Also there is an obstacle at Bounce called the Leap of faith, where individuals would climb to the top of a very high platform and jump off it. Don’t worry, before you climb up, a harness would be attached to you for safety. At Bounce, i realised that they have a more colourful theme compared to the other trampoline parks. I really liked the whole atmosphere of the park and the staff there were really nice and helpful. However, one advice i would give is to call the park to ask if there would be any birthday parties hosted on the day you would like to go down. This is because on the day I Chose to travel there, a party was being hosted so most priority was given to the guests of the party. Which meant that if we were at one of the obstacles and a group guests wanted to use the area, we would be told to move to a different area. So that’s the only downside of my experience there

Amped:

200 Jurong East Ave 1, Yo:Ha, Singapore 609789 (Level 2 Sports Hall)

This was the second one that I went to. I  went with my friend Ellysa (the girl that i pushed in the picture below) to this park as my cousins were not available. This park was actually pretty small compared to the rest and it looked a little older too. However they did have a hanging rope area where people could try to climb which other trampoline parks did not have. the staff there were really nice and taught us some cool tricks while we were there. And one thing extra that was good was that with every hour you pay for, you will get a free bottle of ice cold water which other trampoline parks make you pay for. When i went over to this, i actually had a hard time finding the building itself so do the necessary research before going down.

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Katapult:

81 Lor Chencharu, Singapore 769198

The third one i went to was Katapult and again i went with my cousins. (below is a pic of me and my cousin jumping into a pit) The whole park itself was very bright and was pretty cooling. The surrounding area outside the park however was pretty desolated and empty. It is easier to access this area with a car as the nearest train station was pretty far away. The park itself isn’t that big but its not really small either. They have a free fall section whereby an individual can fall or jump of from the second floor. They also have a tightrope section were we can try to walk across from one end to the other. The free fall section requires a minimum age of 18 so sorry kids. In general the park was pretty fun however it didnt feel as it there was much activities we could do and we got bored pretty fast.

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Zoom:

200 Pandan Gardens,
#01-14
Singapore 609336

I have saved the best for last. ZOOM PARK !!! This trampoline park is the biggest in singapore and in my personal opinion, the best. The place was HUGE and had many different sections. Which included a runway trampoline, a dodgeball area, a basketball area, a rock climbing wall, a professional trampoline section, and the whole area is covered with trampolines. Although the area is extremely hot, they have powerfans to cool you down and a free flow of water to drink. Also, there is an airconditioned cool down room where people can go in to cool down and relax or parents to go in and do some work while their kids are playing. There is also a mini cafe there that sells snowcones and some food incase we get hungry. The staff were also very friendly and patient with the kids that were there. AND since i went on a tuesday, there was a promotion of unlimited hours for just $25. In the picture below is me and Ellysa looking very tired after 6 hours of jumping.

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All the love, M

 

 

Box 2 : Acronyms Galore

For this box, I chose to interview my best friend on the the Acronym “ITE”, also known as Institute of Technical Education. Many people in the older generation tend to say that ite is a dead end and that there is no future coming out of ite. However i disagree and decided to interview my friend on her opinion on this. I chose her for this interview as she is from ITE. so i would be able to get a better insight on the school.

” Many people say that ITE is a dead end. What are your thoughts about this?” I asked her this question and this was her response.

“ITE: or more commonly known as It’s The End by many locals. The end of the tunnel, the final stop. “If you get into ITE, your future is screwed, you might as well start working at McDonalds”. But I say, nah .

In fact, ITE has changed over the many years. Our facilities are up to date, we have a rather pleasant learning environment and contrary to popular believe: no, not all of us students are learning about IT.

I’m close to 7 months into ITE College West and I can honestly say, if given a chance, would I want to give O Levels a try or stay in ITE? I’d gladly stay where I am. It’s a whole new start, we learn new subjects, adapt to new environment and we get to branch out to others. It’s refreshing compared to having to go over the same subjects for 5 years.

But of course, like any other schools out there, there is no lack of stress. (I think it increased with my time here). Apparently no matter which college we go to, there’s always an abundance of stress.

But, to make up for that, the people here are pleasant, and although intimidating (Considering I have a rather short height), they are just like the rest of us.

And, yes, although there were rumours and comments about our foul reputation, I say that give us a chance. Don’t group the rebels as the mistake of the whole school. The mistake of one does not define the image of a whole. Our number of piercings does not define us- I have 9 but I still have problems ordering my own food without getting horribly scared. The tattoos they have does not define them, a Friend of mine may look intimidating, but she has a flower tattoo and I think that just about cancels all assumptions. Our appearance does not define us.

So when people say that ITE students are gangsters, I’ll say, we’re really not. We’re just like everyone else.

It’s not the end for me here, rather, I’d say it’s the beginning of a whole new experience. It’s a new place, I can change however I want to be perceived as. A goody-two-shoes, an emotionless rock, I can be anyone I want. (Although I kinda already have those 2 traits)

But anyway, point is.
Nah.
It’s not the end, it’s just the beginning.”
ITE is never the dead end. Its a place of education that produces just as many talented students as any other poly or JC. We need to educate the older generation about the changes of ITE. It isn’t the same as what they knew before. ITE students should not be discriminated just because of the mistakes of others and they deserve just as much respect as any other student. People may think that it is easy to do well in ITE but it honestly isn’t. They have the same number of projects as Poly and they too need to maintain a GPA. They deserve support too. So give it to them.

All the Love, M

 

Box 1 : Can I change ?

As i was looking through the 7 boxes i had to do my CA1 project, i came across the box “can i change?”. I thought this shouldn’t be hard but boy was i wrong. Researching on it, there were 6 stages of change. So in this blog post, i will share with you my 6 stages of change and the struggles i had dealing with them.

For the subject of my change, i chose FAST FOOD / PROCESSED FOOD.

Fast food  is a part of everyday life. In this day and age, everyone is always rushing to go somewhere or having to be on time for something and many times, we barely get the time to eat. And fast food is what’s most convenient but that is what is making lots of unhealthy. So to challenge myself, i am putting myself through the 6 stage change.

Stage 1 —> Precontemplation

This is the stage whereby the person who is going through the change doesn’t think the problem was even an issue in the first place. Looking through the different types on precontemplation, i believe i am a resigned contemplator. By definition, Resigned precontemplators have given up hope about the possibility of change and seem overwhelmed by the problem. Many have made many attempts to quit or control their drinking.

i felt that i was a resigned contemplator as previously, i have made efforts to try and give up fast food but tend to fall back eventually. At this stage, i felt that this process of change was going to be easy but yet i felt that i would most likely give up half way.

Stage 2 —> Contemplation

This is the stage whereby individuals are willing to consider that they may have a problem and gives a slight hope for a change. however, in this stage, individuals are still very resistant and tend to not have full commitment to the change.

At this stage i was actually starting to believe i could give it a try. I began googling the negative effects of fast food and what i found actually surprised me. I knew fast food was unhealthy because of its high fat content but i was surprised that there were other negative effects.

1. It can cause memory and learning problems

2. Increases the risk of dementia

3. Lessens its ability to control appetite

4. It can cause chemical changes that can lead to depression

5. It makes you impatient and can cause uncontrollable cravings

Stage 3 —> Determination.

This is the stage whereby the individual is prepared to go through the changing process and agrees to the fact that they need to change. i knew that this change was necessary for my heath and for this project thus i was willing and determined to change and go through the stages.

Stage 4 —> Action

it is during this stage is when plans are implemented to to carry out this change. for my plan, i made meal plans on what i was going to eat the next day. i would work with my grandma to plan meals as my grandma is a health fanatic and only allows home cooked food. For the first week it was easy but the upcoming weeks tested my ability to control my cravings and my consistency to keep up with the plannings. there were afew times where i would be tempted to buy a burger but with the help of my family, i was able to overcome it.

Stage 5 —> Maintenance.

After 3 weeks of stage 4, i finally arrived at stage 5. this stage is when the individual has made progress in their change and has moved on to the maintenance stage. This is when the habit of the change has been set and the continuation of the change is necessary. normally it will take 3 –  months for stage 4 to be completely implemented but due to time constraint, i chose 3 weeks. During this period is when the individual needs to surround themselves with temptation but be able to reject it. At this stage, eating healthy and avoiding fast food became a habit for me and even the thought of fast food made me gag.

Stage 6 —> Termination

This is the last stage of the whole process. This is when there is not any worry of giving into temptation and falling back into bad habits.

Personal thoughts

Throughout this process i have made a lot of improvement in my health and lifestyle. so much so that my cousin actually decided to go on this journey with me to improve her lifestyle choices as well. I feel that anyone that wants to change something in their life should go through these 6 stages as it will help them gain the change they want to achieve.

All the love, M

What is the best part and hardest part about term 1 ?

Honestly the best part about AEC is the blog posts. A place where I can express my thoughts without hearing the opinions of anyone else except my own. Not having to change how I’m supposed to feel depending on who I’m with. My little escape from reality like a book basically. A place where I can be myself without the need to adhere to society’s standards. I like how AEC makes us think, reflect and determine what we think. 

However the hardest part of AEC is keeping up with the weekly posts. With everything happening around us such as MST and CCA it’s a serious test of our time management skills. And sometimes I really have almost no opinion about the topic so it’s hard to think of what to write.

But overall AEC is interesting in its own way and it’s a module that allows us to express ourselves.

All the love, M

What kind of parent do I want to be? Why?

To be very honest, I want to be a fun parent. My child’s number one person, best friend and funniest person they know. I would want my child to enjoy my company and to trust me with anything.

I wouldn’t want my child to ever feel like she is alone. I don’t only mean physically, i mean emotionally too. I will never want her to feel alone even when i’m standing right next to her. I never want her to be in a situation where she will have to wait till everyone goes to bed before she allows herself to cry. The type of cry that burns her throat because she was trying to hold it in that badly. The type that makes her want to scream but she has to hold her breath and grab her stomach just to keep quiet so i wouldn’t know. I do not want her to plaster a fake smile on her face when she is around me just so she can hide the pain she feels. I want to be the type of parent that she can run to when she needs to put her guard down.

I want to be the type of parent that will be there for my child when she needs me there but at the same time allow her to grow up. Allow her to fall down but be there to help her get up. I want her to live her life to the fullest. To have memories when she gets older to laugh about and cherish. I will be protective of her and be strict when it’s necessary but i will never want her to feel suffocated.

Basically i want to be the mum that my child would want to be when she gets older.

All the love, M

SPEAK TO SOMEONE WHO KNOWS YOU FOR AT LEAST FIVE YEARS. HOW DO THEY “IDENTIFY” YOU? YOUR THOUGHTS?

I decided to ask one of my best friends this question ‘How do you identify me?’. Her reply gave me a mix of emotions and even almost brought me to tears. Normally a reply to this question would be short and simple but the fact that she gave me a long paragraph shocked and touched me. This was what she said … “At first, you would come off as any stereotypical basic girl. But after knowing you for a coming 5 years now, you are so much more than just Basic. Michelle is a paradox. She can be as clumsy and have the impression of a bumbling carefree girl, yet she contains wisdom beyond her age. She’s more than just basic, she’s a whirlwind of energy, capable of bringing a storm in her wake. she hates and loves fully, she wears her heart on her sleeve yet she doesn’t trust easily. She is fire, wild and untamable. She protects those that are dear to her, and burns those that provoke her wrath. Michelle is a Princess and a Queen, the world is her runway. But she rules her subjects with love and care, people crowd naturally to her aura. In these 5 years of knowing her, I have seen her flaws, her strengths and different sides of her. Yet there is still so much more to learn of her. She’s loyal to a fault and gives one too many chances, but once the limit is crossed, she is merciless. She is her own garden of roses, beauty beyond words but wit as sharp as thorns. And she’s the best thing that happened to me”

At first all i could think of was “woah”. Even though I have read that message just about a dozen times, it still surprises me that all that was written about me. To be very honest, i always thought that i was a horrible friend or at least a boring one. Someone that people will only call if they need something. Someone that gives terrible advice. Someone that will never leave an impact on anyone. I guess that is why reading that brought me to tears, it made me realize that perhaps i’m not just a person people will easily forget. Maybe, just maybe, I am actually able to change someone’s life. I think I needed to hear that from someone important and dear to me. It at least convinced me that perhaps this life of mine is worth living after all.

I just realized that my first ever blog post is so deep but hey at least its a good way to start right?

All the love, M