Dreams

The hubs must have been really impacted by the video post on Sir Ken Robinson because shortly after, I received an email from him (Snippet shown below).

He sent me the poem by W.B. Yeats (mentioned in his post):

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread upon my dreams.

And then the following words:
Blah..blah…blah……..
My dream is to allow you the luxury to pursue your dreams.
I’m happy when I see you focused on the goals you have set for yourself.
Happy when I see you exploring and pushing your limits. Learning more about the things you can achieve all the time.
I’m happy that you got the chance to run in NY.
Happy that you have your own kitchen and can bake and cook when you like.
When you talked about your school experience, my heart leaped for joy.
Happy when you were so naturally at ease around the other Singaporeans.
Happy when you saw yourself more and more involved in Park Street.
Blah..blah…blah….

I was touched when I received the email because he is a man who allows and encourages me to pursue my dreams.

When we were dating, I was crazy about triathlon and spent hours training. He understood my passion and waited for me to go back from training before looking me up. He gave me words of encouragement when I was exhausted and fearful of races even though he thought it was crazyof me to do that. The best part was he went to the races with me, some overseas, and waited hours for me to complete the races. And once, he worried himself sick when I didn’t come in during a transition ( I Did Not Finish for the Bintan Tri).

Being a married woman, I suddenly turned domestic and my interest in baking and cooking grew. I toyed with the idea of taking up culinary education in Boston and in the famed Le Corden Bleu. YOu know what? He didn’t disagree but asked me to consider it carefully. He was supportive of the idea, knowing how passionate I have become of baking. Of course, I was also practical and thought the cost of the education was too much of a financial burden for us. But the fact that he was willing to live my dream was …truly admirable (for a lack of words).

Though I am not going through formal culinary education, I am living my dream. The hubs bought me all the cooking and baking equipment that I need and was always so supportive of me when I wanted to buy cookbooks.

You know what? I wake up each morning, not dreading because I am ready to test out recipes and savour the fruits of my labour. The best part, of course, is to share with the one who made this possible.

Thank you for allowing me to live my dream.

Honeymooners class: Lesson 3

The most important characteristic of a marriageable person is the habit of happiness.

This week’s topic focused more on the individuals than on the marriage as it is our attitude that will determine whether we and our partners “live happily ever after”.Happiness in marriage has everything to do with will.

I must confess that I was a bit affected when we went over to J & H’s place for dinner. Their apartment overlooked the Charles River and the whole place was carpeted. Another couple lived a few streets down and theirs was a new condo with gym facilities and a heated pool. When I heard that, my heart was complaining, “Our place is the worst. The flooring is bad, has no facilities and so small!” I was comparing and started to put a little blame on the hubs for not renting a nicer apartment (when I told the hubs about it, he shared that he was indeed worried that I would think in that light!=p)

I have fallen prey to the developing of a negative mind-set, blaming my unhappiness on things the hubs does or doesn’t do and in this case, his renting of the studio apartment. But very quickly, I realised I had to stop that unhealthy thought because in actual fact, our studio apartment IS cosy and warm and I have a wonderful kitchen with all the equipment the hubs has bought for me. So, why am I complaining?

It’s an endless game of chasing more things, better stuff and I think the key is contentment – that, in every situation, you appreciate what you have and the people who are relishing the moments with you.

I have, at that instance, changed my attitude and I found myself being able to enjoy the company of the new friends. Had I dwelt on the initial thought, I would be miserable throughout the evening.

It is thus vital that couples find the right attitude in spite of the conditions they find themselves in. Easier said than done? I think it is possible if we make the effort to programme our mind to magnify the positives rather than dwell on the negatives.

The good news is…the bad news can be turned into good news…when you change your attitude! ~ Robert H. Schuller

We went on to talk about the saboteurs of a happy marriage, namely self-pity,blame and resentment. I shan’t elaborate on these but will leave you with a quote:

If you expect perfection from people, your whole life is a series of disappointments, grumblings, and complaints. ~ Bruce Barton

Fried Radish Cake (菜头粿)

Craving hawker food, I decided to attempt to cook fried radish cake, following the recipe from Rasa Malaysia. I couldn’t find chai poh at the Asian supermarket and had to do without. I did, however, add bean sprout as this was a version I had at a restaurant before coming to Boston. The recipe did not call for soy sauce but I added since mine was rather bland.

I found my carrot cake could have been better with more eggs and more chopped garlic cloves since there wasn’t any chai poh to add to the flavour. It was a pleasure cooking it nonetheles!

                    
                    

The ingredients needed to cook

Eggs over the radish

Oh yes, the wok arrived today! I must remember to do a initial cleaning and seasoning for the carbon steel wok. But I must say I don’t think I have done a good job. Oh please, dear wok, don’t disappoint me?

                 

Here’s what you need to do to season the wok.

I made a child cry.

I left the school, feeling all shitty.

It was my second time and today, the teacher, Ms H gave them a test to evaluate the students’ understanding of what they have learnt for Math. Then she passed me one sheet, “Pls help P with the reading of the questions.”

So, there we were, outside the classroom. I was to read the questions to P and she would attempt the questions. I knew it would be difficult but I was NOT prepared to deal with discipline issues (as a volunteer, I was not to do the work of the teacher in terms of discipline).

P didn’t know her counting well enough. She would either double count or miss a number. She interpreted the two questions on each page as one and got frustrated when I told her about that. After attempting two questions (which took a mighty long time and yet not accurate), she became fidgety. I tried to ask her to explain her thoughts. She did but I was lost. I couldn’t make out her understanding, going back and forth about addition and counting backwards. What was she really thinking about?

In school, we were all trained to comprehend why our students did the various methods and with P, I was baffled for a while. I couldn’t understand where she’s coming from but there was one thing I was certain – she treated each question as an addition question and she used whatever number she could see and try to make her own sense of it.

With her restlessness came poor sitting posture and behavioural problems. I told her off nicely at first but decided that being firm was the way to go. Besides, I shouldn’t differ from what Ms H preached in the classroom. My rules should more or less parallel hers.

When she lay on the chair, that was the last straw. I gave her warning before standing up and walking back to the classroom, “You can continue to do that but I’m going back to the classroom.” She teared.

I suspect there were a few issues with P but I didn’t have her background and couldn’t come to any conclusion. During reading, there were also some problems with the behaviour of the pupils but none too serious that would warrant any disciplinary action.

I left the school, feeling really bad. A lot of questions lingered in my mind. 
Was I too harsh? Was I doing things that were not right in their culture? Would the students only be learning those topics for Math for the whole year? Those ONLY?  Is their language ability at that level? Serious?

I think I am having culture shock. If I were Ms H, I would be panicking. I wish I wouldn’t make comparison but inevitably, I did.

I am thinking of making more trips down to the school. My current frequency may not be helpful enough. Oh, I need to weigh the pros and cons.

And on the way home, a man passed by me, with his pants unzipped, showing off his THANG to all. Oh, my goodness! I don’t really appreciate it, thank you very much.

Now I wanna cry. =p