So much to do, so little time

This week is the last week of the fasting month and I am so stoked that Eid is almost here.
As usual, it has been really busy. I cannot wait for the fasting month to be over so that I can start drinking tea again. I have really restricted from consuming caffeine this month. The last time I drank tea was actually a few days after into the fasting month.

I met my baby cousin on Tuesday after such a long time. I have really missed her a lot. And I am thankful that she did not forget me. Also, on Tuesday she turned 6 months old. I cannot believe how time really flies by. Before that, I was actually over at Grandma’s house putting up the Singapore flag outside the window before I walked over to meet my cousin. Also, in behavioral science class on Tuesday, I watched a documentary on how people in countries like Sierra Leone have very limited healthcare. In fact, there is no clean water to drink too whereas in Singapore we have so many things readily available. I saw many different stories and comparisons. By the end of the documentary, I was crying. I really wanted to do something in some way that would make a difference in the lives of these people.

On Wednesday, we had a math quiz which was scary for me. I made a lot of careless mistakes. I am just hoping that I pass at least.

On Thursday morning, I finally, finally got back my presentation marks after living in suspense for 1 week. I saw that I had scored the same marks as I did for the first presentation. I really need to make more eye contact and engage my audience more when I do presentations next semester.

On Friday , we did basketball for sports and wellness class. It was really tiring. But I somehow miraculously managed to get through it. When I got home, it was 1pm so I took my shower and did my prayers after that. Is as done by 2pm so I had to hours until my next appointment. I decided to bake up a batch of sooji for my grand aunt as a present for my grand aunt who will be going back to India next week. It did not take me that long and I was actually done baking and cleaning in 1.5 hours time.

Have a nice weekend and have a blessed Hari Raya

Lesser burden now

This week has been a scary, scary week. Lots of tests and examinations. I had bio online quiz, I completed the last journal for behavioral science, I submitted my math project, I had my English show and tell and the last assessment for personal development. Did I mention that it is also the last week of hip hop class?

The assessments went well. I do not know the marks for some of them but I am not too worried. While for those marks that I do know, I am not giving up just yet. There are a few more assessments to go before all the marks are rounded up and combined to 100%.

The bio quiz was open book so I scored full marks on the first attempt itself, but I still wanted to test myself and went on to take another 2 attempts without referring to my lecture notes. I of course did not score full marks. This means that I have to work a lot more harder than I thought.

The behavioral science reflection journal was my last journal for which I scored an A. Although I want to write more journals, I do feel a lack of inspiration of things to write about. Maybe I should wait until next lecture and then write something. I was also finally done with the Maths project and I am so relieved because I really did not think that I would get to this point. The project was to investigate the relationship between simultaneous equations and matrices. I have never done anything this complex but thanks to my teammates, Lestor and Joel, we managed to pull this off.

Now that the first Maths project is done, we can move on to the next project which is to form inequalities and solve it. We have already discussed the project but still have 3 weeks to submission, so we are in good shape.

My show and tell went well I suppose. My classmates were so interactive and supportive so it definitely made me less nervous. But I really need to control myself and not laugh so much especially when I am trying to make a serious presentation and make sure I can get my message across the audience. I choose to talk about single versus co-education. I chose this topic because I felt really strongly for it. Sometimes having choices does not cause any benefit to us and this was the case of having both types of education. People were give the right to choose but did their choices really help them?

My favourite presentation of my classmates would have to be Chengyi’s presentation of going vegetarian. I feel really guilty that a life has to be taken in order to fulfill the need for supply and demand. But I still cannot live without meat, so I am going to try my best and make better choices. Maybe try to be vegetarian on some days or maybe try and incorporate more vegetables and less meat in my meals.

My personal development presentation went well. We actually had to a skit on anger management and then do a PowerPoint presentation and suggest ways to control anger.

The skit was actually based on an argument Elaine had with her teacher claiming that the teacher was too biased and always picked the same student to answer questions. I played the role of the student who always answered questions. We were all trying our best not to laugh but we could not help it. We are horrible actors.

The PowerPoint presentation was actually okay only. Our tutor then offered us more tips and advices and we re-doed everything. But it was actually worth it because it looked so much better in the end.

It was also the last hip hop class while I am sad that it has come to an end, I am happy that I learned a few things. I learnt to be more flexible because hip hop is all about flexibility. Next week, we move on to basketball. I really cannot believe that in a few weeks it will be the end of the term already. How time flies.

After my family broke fast yesterday evening, my mum, sister and I went to Redman to stock up on our baking supplies since my mum has volunteered me to do all the baking for Hari Raya/ Eid this year. We ended up spending quite a lot because we plan to make goodies for our house, my grandma’s house and my aunt’s house.

Today, we baked and baked. We first made sooji, which is a small cookie made from clarified butter and icing sugar. We decorated each cookie with a small glacé red cherries.

Then, we went on to make pineapple tarts. We cut out the shapes and placed pineapple paste in the center and baked it. Since, I neither eat sooji or pineapple tarts, my grandma did the taste it and they actually came out well.

Tomorrow we plan to make Baklava, which is a Greek dessert of many layers of phyllo dough then some nuts and more layers of phyllo dough on top. It is baked and then eaten with a drizzle of honey, cinnamon and orange juice sauce.

Also, we will be making kunafe which is an Arab dessert of many layers of shredded phyllo dough sprinkled on top are nuts and cheeses and baked.

Hope the baking goes well tomorrow.

That’s all for now. Have a great weekend!

Should secondary school students take up part-time jobs?

These days, as the holidays roll around, many post-secondary school students take up part-time jobs in a bid to learn more about life in the real world. Some feel that this is a good measure as the students will learn to be more independent, start saving up for future investments and might get bored at home without a job. However, I feel that taking up a part-time job is not necessarily important as students might lose interest in their studies, they do not really learn financial independence and there is easily a lot of work to be done at home.

People feel that students these days are becoming more anti-social because they are always meddling about with their handphones and not socializing much. I agree with this point. Hence, they feel that these students should take up a part-time job as they will get to learn to be independent and will even improve on their social skills as they will be exposed to people when tackling customers. When students start earning their own money, they will be able to afford the things that they want.

Although I agree that this will make the students’ lives better, they might slowly start to lose interest in their studies. When money becomes tempting, students begging to forget their previous role as a student. Being a student, you were able to explore so many things with the knowledge they had absorbed. The same thing happened to me when I took up a part-time job at my Granddad’s restaurant. The money became tempting and all I could think of was how to make more money. I started putting in extra hours and decided to forgo preparing for secondary 5.

I would rather students stay home after exams and start preparing for the year ahead instead of working. The reason is that these days there is a lot of competition and if students are not well prepared enough, they will be trampled on and be left behind in class against students who do prepare for the year ahead adequately.

Some people argue that taking up part-time jobs is beneficial for students as they can start saving a small portion of their salary for future investments like an university education. They claim that this way students’ get to learn the fundamentals of financing.

I strongly disagree with this point. Students will not be able to save much out of their meager salary since most students end up working as a waiter or waitress and the hourly rate for these jobs is $5. They will need to pay for transportation and their own phone bills among other expenses out of their own pocket. Whatever they are left with is very little to survive. Even if they are left with something, they might or might not splurge it on a pair of sneakers or brand new headphones unless they have really good self-restraint.

Having a job might not teach these students to save as they have to pay for other necessities too. Some who totally do not have the habit of saving, would have blown away the money. Hence, having a job might not make students’ more independent and ‘adult-like’.

After exams, students’ days become empty as now they need not study, juggle CCA, family life and friendships. Hence, to keep themselves busy, people suggest taking on part-time jobs. This way they will not coop up at home and feel bored.

I strongly disagree that taking on a job will erase their boredom. There is easily a lot of work to be done at home. If they start on the chores at home, they will not be just sitting idle at home relying on a maid. If they do not have a maid, one should not expect their parents to come home exhausted from work and clean up after them. After all, we should have some responsibility too. Also, if there are not that many chores at home, they can enrol in classes like baking or dancing offered by the community club. These courses do not cost much and students get to learn a new skill.

Students should recognize that a job will not chase away boredom. Helping out at home and perhaps learning a new skill will make their family members proud of them.

There is absolutely no reason for students to take up jobs unless their family is not doing well financially. They should enjoy their roles as students and take on jobs later on in life.