One storm and broadband service got disrupted for 4 days! Having spent a decade in IT with engineers deployed into data centres to fix problems like this, I’m sympathetic when problems like this occur. The outage did not infuriate me so much as the service provider’s failure to inform its subscribers that we could fall back on the trusty 56k modem dial-up. They went ON and ON about problems that were outside their control due to “external factors” when in fact they should have given us a solution (in the process flooded my mailbox with the same PDF press release about 20 times!). Given the circumstances, 56K dial-up was extremely workable for web browsing, instant messaging and emails and I discovered by accident that I was able to get back online on my laptop’s modem! Were we supposed to know that? Some things never change!
↑ click on image to view full size
Life goes on, broadband or no broadband. Over the weekend, I had 5 kids from my son’s class over for a school history project. As an unofficial member of the team, the addition of my daughter brought the group to 7 (3 girls and 4 boys). My son, Jamie, in his usual absentmindedness forgotten that his classmates would each find their way to our residence instead of meeting at IDEAL Cafe at the Oil & Gas Discovery Centre. So we waited at IDEAL and waited … until we decided to grab a bite while waiting. At this point, a quick call home confirmed three members had turned up at the house and here’s Jewel counting tiles as she strolled back and forth the walk path of OGDC.
© Jan Shim Photography
It took a while before the kids pulled themselves together and settled in some pattern that could only be described as organized chaos! It was an opportunity they could learn a thing or two of each other outside of school compound and seeing them try to pull resources and a table-full of materials together to start work. It’s equally interesting to observe how two of brightest girls in Jamie’s class handle the boys who including Jamie were easily distracted and sidetracked by anything and they (the boys) were playful and lacked the discipline to get things done like the girls. Way before we had kids, parents we knew had long established and proven beyond reasonable doubts that girls are just adorable and special like that while the boys are simply and in many ways ‘out of control’ when you put their peers together. Nevertheless, boys will and forever be boys! Heaven knows how I must have driven my parents up the wall at times. I might even have been one worry after the next in many instances.
[More pictures in SCHOOL PROJECT 2008 Gallery]
Certainly there were colours and also very colourful moments when 7 kids of similar interests and hormones got together. When it came to being photographed, I’d have to say these were some of the more behaved kids I’ve had to photograph in a while.
It didn’t take much effort to round them up for lunch. Free flow of home cooked spaghetti bolognese with Raguletto sauce with added sausages and minced beef along with fish ball as a side dish easily got them to stuff their face with. Atmosphere in the kitchen was bustling mix of cutlery noises and indistinguisable kiddie voices from talking with their mouths full.
Young, free spirited and innocent, the team was in high spirits and made my Sunday interesting and fulfilling.
There were moments in the kitchen and at the workplace where I had a chance to talk to them individually to understand how they cope with school work, studies and exams in general. As parents we’re constantly looking for answers to problems we face with our own kids as far as school is concerned.
More pictures of the kids at work can be found in the SCHOOL PROJECT 2008 Flash Gallery. Children have a great propensity to absorb things they pick up like a good sponge but they lack the knowledge and experience to distinguish between right and wrong.
As parents, we all want what’s best for them and last year I introduced the UNIQUELY SINGAPORE MONOPOLY to them and surprisingly, they picked it up quickly and in just a few weeks, their understanding of money, passive income from property rental and value of properties shot up! That showed it’s never too early to teach kids about money—a subject that has for decades taught in school in the guise of Accountancy. Take a look at my October 2007 article TEACH KIDS MONEY AND PROPERTY OWNERSHIP. A well designed game like this stimulates the minds and provokes thinking and thanks to iconic attractions in Singapore, the names and locations such as Singapore Zoo and MRT are second nature to them. Familiarity cuts down the otherwise steep learning curve as an original Monopoly board game would be.
- ICONS OF STRENGTH AND PURITY More images from OGDC