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I can still remember the reactions of my classmates when I told them I am going to complete my test quickly and go to meet my idol. I was in my early 20s, when meeting my idol was more important than my university test. Anyway, I did complete the test, I just left early. Also, I made sure that I did well in other assignments and final examination so that the final mark of the subject was not affected badly.
That was the decision I made. After so many years, no one remember which subject or what mark did I get. But I remember the experience of the long queue and the warm smile from my idol.
Thus, when my student told me, she “sacrificed” the Chinese language CA2 examination to try to complete for an arts project that she cares a lot; I was not shocked at all.
Nonetheless, I would like her to understand some important points in making a decision:
1. One must be ready to take the consequences
She failed her Chinese language CA2 examination. Even if she got 100 marks for her Chinese language SA2 examination, she would still need to face the music as overall she still fails the subject.
2. One must consider the priority
Her other classmates were focusing on the examination rather than the arts project. Different people have different priorities. I will not say that she made a wrong decision, but I want her to consider the following:
(a) What is the percentage of the marks of the arts project go to the final mark of the subject?
(b) Likewise, what is the percentage of the marks of the Chinese language SA2 examination go to the final mark of the subject?
(c) Which subject do you put in more effort? The one that you are weak at or the one that you are good at?
The answers are obvious. We put in priority for higher percentage of the marks that go to the final mark of the subject and put in more effort in the subject that we are weak at. You may have different point of view, which leads us to the third point.
3. Worth it?
In the end, she failed her Chinese language CA2 examination and did not complete the arts project. Also, the arts teacher has decided to extend the due date to one month later. What has she gained?
For my case, I gained the experience that I cherish for the rest of my life, it was an once-in-a-lifetime experience. I won’t regret it and I can show my children and grandchildren of my idol’s signature. Most important of all, I did not fail the subject.
For her case, I do think that it is too big a sacrifice. Things have happened, I hope she learn from this incident and make better decision next time.
August is a month of celebration for Singapore.
Happy Birthday, Singapore!
Selamat Hari Lahir, Singapura!
As I am learning Japanese, I would like to wish Singapore a happy birthday in Japanese too:
(If you would like to use the Japanese phrase to wish your friend a happy birthday, you may use お誕生日おめでとうございます or お誕生日おめでとう depending on how close you are to him / her.)
爱就一个字 is a touching love song. Though it is a love song, it is the theme song for 宝莲灯 (Lotus Lantern), which is based on the love between a mother and a child. The lyrics is simple and keep repeating. The big picture of the song is a boy (the child) uses his love, action and persistence to find his mother.
张信哲 (Jeff Chang) sings the song. He is the Prince of Love Songs (情歌王子). Thus, a song sang by the Prince of Love Songs is inevitably a touching song.
Disclaimer: The lyrics of the song is for learning purpose.
我想你 身不由己 每个念头有新的梦境
# 两个人相互辉映 光芒胜过夜晚繁星
我想你 鼓足勇气 凭爱的地图散播讯息
% 爱就一个字 我只说一次
* 爱就一个字 我只说一次
Repeat # % * % *
Chinese Language Learning Corner
- 天空 — sky
- 乌云 — dark cloud
- 蓝丝绒 — blue velvet
- 美丽 — beautiful
- 翻山越岭 — climb over mountains
- 无心看风景 — not in the mood to enjoy the scenery (because I have an important mission)
- 我想你 — I miss you
- 但愿 — hopefully
- 忘记 — forget
- 永远 — forever
- 保护 — protect
- 全心全意 — wholeheartedly
- 爱就一个字 我只说一次 — Love is a word (就 is used to emphasize), I only say this once.
- 你知道我只会用行动表示 — You know that I will only show (my love) with actions
Hope you have learnt some Chinese words while listening to the song. No matter you are singing this song to your parents or your significant other, this song certainly makes them feel loved. Enjoy!
Our family does not celebrate any special occasions. The reasons are:
1. My parents are not well-off
2. My parents appreciate family time at home rather than having fun outside (which is linked to number 1)
3. My parents want the children to excel in studies.
As a result, if I have good results for the year, the whole family can go to the hawker centre to have meal. Even though it is only at the hawker centre, we (the children) are excited about it.
I am a picky eater. Every time I go outside with my family, I order the same dish. My mother saves all the trouble of asking me what I want to eat. The dish is Char Kway Teow.
You may see different spelling of the dish because it is in Hokkien (one of the Chinese dialects). Kway Teow is flat rice noodle. It is white. In Chinese language, we call it “河粉”。Char means stir-fried. Thus, Char Kway Teow is stir-fried flat rice noodle.
The white rice noodle is stir-fried over very high heat with light and dark soy sauce until it becomes dark colour. It is commonly stir-fried with egg, prawns, cockles, bean sprouts and other ingredients. Different countries may have different variations. I like the Penang variation where only the white rice noodle is used. The Singapore variation is stir-fried the white rice noodle with the round yellow noodle.
The reason why I do not like the Singapore variation is, I do not like to eat round yellow noodle. My friends have suggested me that I order “Char Kway Teow without yellow noodle” when I am at Singapore. But, isn’t it weird? Char Kway Teow means stir-fried Kway Teow, I do not ask for yellow noodle!
Char Kway Teow is best to be stir-fried in pork fat, which makes the dish smells good. Beware though, the dish is high in saturated fat. When I was younger, I ate some of the pork fat pieces. Now that I am older and more health-conscious, I still prefer those stir-fried in pork fat, but I choose not to eat the pork fat pieces.
I love Kway Teow. Thus, I love Kway Teow soup too, another dish that uses Kway Teow. Kway Teow soup is healthier, plainer in taste and less oily. I normally have Kway Teow soup when I fall sick or when I want to have something light.
I love Kway Teow! By the way, my father loves the same dish as me 🙂
Note to myself
Time spent: 30 minutes of continuous writing with picture.
Chinese Language Learning Corner
- 饮料 — beverages
- 冷，热，温 — There are hot and cold beverages. 冷 = cold and 热 = hot. If you want something in between hot and cold, you can use 温, which is warm. “请给我一杯温水。” = Please give me a cup of warm water.
- 咖啡 — coffee
- 茶 — tea. Some common tea drinks that you may hear are (a) 绿茶 = green tea, (b) 中国茶 = Chinese tea, (c) 奶茶 = tea with milk, (d) 凉茶 = “cooling” tea, this is herbal tea in general.
- 薏米 — barley. Barley is famous for its “cooling” effect on the body. Thus, if the restaurant does not have 凉茶, you may want to try your luck at 薏米.
- 加奶 — 加 = add, 奶 = milk. 咖啡加奶 = coffee with milk. You may notice that coffee with milk and tea with milk are said differently. Though 茶加奶 is correct, we are more used to the term 奶茶.
- 糖 — sugar. If you want less sugar, you say 少糖. A cup of coffee with milk and less sugar is 咖啡加奶少糖.
- 口渴 — thirsty. “我口渴了，想喝点水。” = I am thirsty, I want some drinks. 水 is water, but it is also used to refer to any drinks unspecified.
- 冰 — ice. 咖啡冰 or 冰咖啡 are both acceptable for a cup of coffee with ice.
- 汁 — juice. As long as the fruits or vegetables can be squeezed into juice, you just add the name of the fruit or vegetable to 汁. (a) 橙汁 = orange juice, (b) 苹果汁 = apple juice, (c) 萝卜汁 = carrot juice
- 酒 — alcoholic drinks in general
The vocabulary can be used when you want to order a drink. Enjoy the language and the drinks!
Q: Jeff drives at the speed of 50 km/h from destination A to B. Jackson, who departs 30 minutes after Jeff, drives at the speed of 70 km/h from destination A to B. Both Jeff and Jackson reach destination B at the same time. What is the distance between destination A and destination B?
A: At first glance, the students may question whether there is an answer. Although the speed and the time are given, the time is not the time taken to travel from destination A to destination B.
No worry. The distance travelled is the same for Jeff and Jackson and we can use this information to solve the question. Please note that the unit for time is minute, converting to hour, it is 0.5 hour.
Let’s take t = time take for Jeff to reach destination B.
The distance travelled for Jeff = speed x time
= 50 x t
The distance travelled for Jackson = speed x time
= 70 x (t – 0.5)
The distance travelled is the same,
50t = 70 (t – 0.5)
Solving the above equation,
50t = 70t – 35
t = 35 ÷ 20
= 1.75 h
From the speed triangle, distance (travelled by Jeff) = speed x time
Distance = 50 x 1.75
= 87.5 km
Checking the answer
The distance from destination A to destination B is the same. Thus, the distance travelled by Jeff and Jackson should be the same.
Distance (travelled by Jackson) = speed x time,
Distance = 70 x 1.25
= 87.5 km
1. Look for all the necessary information in the question and use all of them.
2. Speed is a simple concept. Thus, questions about speed are normally combined with other concepts, for example, circles. Other than the speed formula and the unit conversion, the students must be prepared to use other concepts to solve speed questions.
After the students learn time and length, the next concept they learn in Higher Primary school is speed. The length is equivalent to the distance travelled.
The formula is
Speed = Distance ÷ Time
To help the students to remember the formula, a speed triangle is taught, as below.
Taking the example from Counting Length, if I cycle to school at the speed of 15 km/h, how much time do I need to reach school?
From the speed triangle, time = distance ÷ speed
From the figure below, the distance between my house and the school is 180 m.
Please take note that the unit for speed is km/h and the unit for distance is m. Thus, the first step is to convert the two different units to the same unit.
1 km = 1000 m
15 km = 15 000 m
With speed = 15000 m/h and distance = 180 m,
Time = (180 ÷ 15000) h
= 0.012 h
= 0.72 min
= 43.2 sec
Speed is a simple concept, once the students remember the speed triangle (and the speed formula) and familiar with unit conversion, the answer is somewhere near 🙂
In our daily lives, we travel by cars and public transport. Use the speed concept in daily life and maybe the student can manage time better too. Enjoy your learning experience!
1. In Secondary school, the students will learn the term “velocity” in Physics, which is speed with a direction.
2. (a) Take note of the unit used. For distance, common units are km and m. For time, common units are hour, minute and second. The units used for distance and time determine the unit for speed.
(b) Be fluent with unit conversion for distance and time.