English Teachers Are Happy To Share

English Teachers Are Happy To Share

Random Thoughts by Pauline

July 15 2014, Tuesday          

 I never know "detachment" is a virtue until I attended the workshop entitled "The Virtues Project - the Singaporean Experience" delivered by Dr. Phyllis Chew, Professor of National Institute of Education, Singapore. She explained with stories how the 52 virtues can help create caring campus and kinder children. Because of time constraint, she could only elaborate on several of the 52 virtues. 

One of the stories went like this. Dr. Chew had a doctoral candidate who kept postponing the completion of her thesis. It had been close to 5 years already.

Dr. Chew asked her to withdraw and yet she pleaded for half a year more saying that her child was taking up too much of her time. That had been the reason presented all these years though her daughter was already 10 and there was a domestic helper around. Dr. Chew asked us which virtue could help her. I looked at the list of 52 virtues and asked if the virtue of "detachment" could. I was right. It was like an awakening – very often we are depressed, distracted or disorientated because we are too attached. Our body and soul are into that something or someone. We grasp it or him/her as though there would be no tomorrow if we let go! We lose objectivity. Then it’s time to back off a little to give ourselves and the people around us a chance. The virtue of detachment can be helpful. 

All the participants of the workshop agreed that they would not only try to implement the Virtues Project in their schools but would also apply this positive mentality to their own lives as this can bring about peace of heart and energy to move on. If you want to know more about the Virtues Project and the 52 virtues, please visit:http://www.virtuesproject.com/education.html

Random Thoughts by Pauline

July 2 2014, Wednesday  

To tell or not to tell

 I am that kind of person who writes own feelings all over the face and verbalizes thoughts without modifications. Of course, experience has taught me hard lessons that I cannot simply pour my heart out to anybody anytime anywhere I happen to be.  I have to practise euphemism and delay criticisms preceding each negative comment with two compliments etc. I think all these are absolutely necessary when it is professional relationship we are talking about. 


But then when we are among family and friends, we become relaxed and less tactful assuming that we can be our true selves. When friendship develops, conversations become more personal. Words become more direct. Do we still have to decide what is to be said and what not? These days, with the widespread use of the smart phones, sharing has become more than just chit-chat. Messages, photos and videos are posted on the Facebook. We used to say “I am telling this to you only!” We might have to think twice. When friendship falls out, secrets might be broadcast for the whole wide world to know! 


Maybe we should re-visit George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four written in 1949 or The Truman Show, by Andrew Niccol written in 1998.