Monthly Archives: September 2006

Why Sandra is awesome.

gratia plena says:
they’re quite poser but i keep reading their blogs. why oh whyyy

crystal meth says:
cos u have work to do

gratia plena says:
hahahaha

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WHEEEeeeee!

Just because I haven’t been blogging about shopping doesn’t mean I haven’t been. Obviously. *grin* Ever since I rediscovered Singapore’s unbeatable prices (okay so M’sia & Bangkok & HK & Taiwan have cheaper stuff….) one third the pound!!!! *GASP* I’ve been on quite a roll. Very bad. But I’m actually amazed and delighted at the yummy things you can find at the unlikeliest places. Am also quite conflicted about the whole fashion and its seasons thing. Singapore doesn’t have seasons. So does that mean I can eschew that theoretical cycle altogether? I’m inclined to think so…after all, neutrals and darker richer colours may be well and good but I’m still a primary colours girl at heart…I just can’t give ’em up. And my beloved flowers too. Eternal summer.

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115928958640047708

In one of those moods where you want to write but you don’t know what to write about. Because although your mind is an absolute zilch, it’s lovely and quiet and dark and the world is still and people are getting ready for bed and the only sound you hear the the clickety clack of your own fingers on the keyboard. It’s been a year since I left for exchange and sometimes I honestly feel as though it couldn’t have happened, that it must be some strangely prolonged dream. It’s literally a world away and the memories don’t quite fit in here- so i relegate them to folders labelled “Prague” or “Spain” that I haven’t quite bothered to sort out yet. I’m itching to go again. And it’s only been a few months. Is the human spirit ever settled? Ever content? There’s much to be loved in the world- out there and down here.

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Sasu has a friend.

I bought the coolest new necklace made from cut-out brass plates- It has a tree with a cage dangling from one of its branches and there’s a little bird dangling just in front of the cage! Which means it just escaped! But returns occasionally to its friendly abode. (har har) As usual, I’ve named my new feathered friend- I always name things- his name is Basil. *grin* I’m so pleased with myself right now.

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IJ

Last sunday, I read Lifestyle’s article on exorcism with some satisfaction seeing as how the journalists had finally decided to ask a qualified and well-informed member of the clergy about the esoteric rite- rather than depend on less than dependable secondary sources. However, once I turned the page, my spirits dissipated into utter dismay and rage on the “Alternative Singapore” article, typecasting IJ girls as easy with the opposite sex. My reactions, superfluously explosive as they seem may be more justified upon knowledge that I was 10 years an IJ girl, as were my mother, godmother, aunts, grandaunts and grandmother. Tongue in cheek or not, it was definitely uncalled for, and I fail to see the relevance of including my alma mater with the likes of “aunties”, “ah bengs” and the rest of Singapore’s supposed (notoriously outrageous) denizens.

Yesterday, the Chairperson of the IJ Alumni (of all 11 convents) wrote back. I will type it out here because I think it is a well thought out response and will help assuage the wounds of all those who were similarly angered by the aforementioned article. Thanks, Aunty Donne.

Lifestyle article cast aspersions on IJ Girls

I am the chairperson of the Infant Jesus Board of Management of 11 CHIJ Schools.
I refer to the article published on page L4-L6 of Lifestyle of The Sunday Times
(“Alternative Singapore: The Encyclopedia”; Sept 17) where the authors indicated
their desire to present “overseas visitors” with an “insiders’ Guide to help
them get the most out of their stay”. They have therefore “come up with (their)
own counter-culture compendium of nuggets” which will “initiate you to the local
hybrid lingo”. I note that the article was written “tongue-in-cheek”.

I
am concerned and dismayed that the authors have elected to include in their
“compendium of nuggets” their definition of “IJ Girls”, together with other
commonly used words within the local Singapore community.

My concern
lies in two areas:

– Was there a need to tarnish the image of thousands
of students, past, present and future, including girls as young as six-plus
years old in Primary One, with an image that they are “allegedly easy when it
comes to the opposite sex”?

– Was there any need to associate your
improper definition with an inappropriate caricature and a picture of IJ
students in uniform, taken out of context?

There are currently about
16,000 pupils in our CHIJ Schools aged six to 16 years of age. The first CHIJ
School was founded 152 years ago, which means that thousands of young women
would have been educated in an IJ School. The wholly inappropriate description
has swept through a large swathe of innocent pupils and ex-pupils.

The
recent coverage of Mrs Elizabeth Choy was very tasteful. Your readers may wish
to know that Mrs Choy was an “IJ Girls”, having schooled at a CHIJ school from
1929-1933.

Other IJ Girls include Singapore’s Ambassador to the United
States, Prof Chan Heng Chee; Members of Parliament Mrs Cynthia Phua, Ms Ellen
Lee, Dr Fatimah Lateef, Ms Sylvia Lim, Ms Jessica Tan; Executive Director
(Unifem) Ms Noeleen Heyzer, IJ Sister Cecilia Chew, IJ Sister Daniel Ee, IJ
Sister Christina Joy and IJ Sister Maria Lau, just to name a few. I wonder if
these women would appreciate being described as “allegedly easy when it comes to
the opposite sex”?

The authorship and publication of such an article
cannot, by any measure, be accepted as a “tongue-in-cheek” article. It was an
ill-conceived idea and done in bad taste. It has caused much distress, pain and
embarrrassment to women, of all ages, that hail from our CHIJ Schools. We do not
condone your publication and take strong objection to the aspersions cast upon
IJ Girls.

Donne Marie Aeria
Chairperson
Infant Jesus Board of
Management
CHIJ Schools

Postscript: I acknowledge that there are instances when IJ Girls in uniform misbehave in public areas and believe me I have told them off more than once. But such black sheep should not be seen to be the standard amongst the rest of the students. Don’t we always sensationalise the bad and keep mum about the good? The IJ Sisters have devoted themselves unswervingly to the mission of educating the poor in Singapore. They gave up valuable land near Orchard Road to set up their main convent in Toa Payoh and in other suburban parts of Singapore. They chose to remain autonomous when they were offered Independent status so that students would not have to pay exorbitant school fees. As a result, we cannot run our schools independently of the Government and have been forced, of late to increase our intake of Normal (Academic) students, from a single class to two- a 100% increase. Respect, not disdain, is deserved.

Please feel free to copy and paste this article on your blogs or pass it along via email to increase awareness.

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An Old Fashioned Girl

I was clearing out my drawers just now to make room for new junk. It’s really full of nonsense, some good, some gross (like battery fluid at the bottom) and some totally useless. So I chucked the useless things and the gross things. The only problem is what to do with the good things which are pretty useless themselves. A lot of it is rendered priceless by time, scraps of memories on paper, faded ballet tickets, negatives of us in uniforms still, bits of doodles and poetry scribbled dreamily during chinese period. I can’t bring myself to throw these away…I’m really a hoarder at heart. Then I started reading the blank books I kept as journals before the age of web logs…it’s surreal reading the things you’ve written years before, especially since I used to write letters to “myself in the future”, inspired no doubt by Anne of Green Gables. I feel a bit displaced now, out of time, axis a-kilter. But it’s cool…I recognise myself, I remember the girls I was once, that still are part of me, that all gaze out of these eyes.

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Boh Pa Kay

Tim told me what it means…”not counted” or “don’t count”…I thought it meant “not up to scratch” and used it with great relish just now. The feeling of smugness at my mastery of Hokkien has now fled and I’m all out of context. Ah well…

I love today….looovveee it. I’m so schweepy (because I slept at three- way past my bedtime!- and had to wake up too early for mass) But I don’t feel like sleeping just yet…it’s warm out but cool here in the shade and the ceiling fan is making comforting scrapy sounds…the air is so bright…I feel like I’m being coddled in swathes of glowing white silk. I had some tea with Mar…Jour de Fete from Betjeman & Barton. It smells lovely, warm and slightly spicy…perfect for autumn afternoons like this one. I miss the four seasons…I can’t decide if I’m just deceiving myself but it does feel like autumn doesn’t it? In a tropical way…the blooming jacaranda trees mark the hottest point and herald the end of summer.

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