Month: February 2007
Today is a happening day.
After school, a couple of us went to the C block to catch some smokers inside the 3rd floor girls’ toilet following a tipoff. We heard that at times, boys were seen coming out from the girls’ toilets and God knows what they have been doing inside?
We splitted into two groups and went up from different staircase hoping to corner them but still, we were too late. When we opened the door, the toilet was heavily filled with smoke but the people inside had already gotten rid of their ciggerate butts.
We didn’t managed to catch them in the act and we can’t prove that they smoke so we proceeded to every classrooms along the C block to inform the teachers about it. It so happens that the teachers were our very own SC teachers Mrs Foo and Mr Ang and this make our work alot easier.
They conducted a spotcheck and Mr Ang uncovered some ciggarettes from a Minah in his class. She was getting defensive, claiming that the ciggarettes doesn’t belonged to her and coming up with all sorts of lame excuses trying to get herself off the hook. Her attitude was terrible and it’s hard for us to believe that the cigarettes doesn’t belonged to her. She even had the audacity to try snatching the ‘evidence’ back from Mr Ang‘s hands!
Mr Ang handed the ciggarettes over to Mrs Foo who was supposed to bring the Minah to see her Section Head. Perhaps due to a guilty conscience, the Minah abruptly turned and walk away. Zarina ran after her and the Minah started yelling colorful expletives at her. In the end, the both of them were engaged in a yelling session while Haida was caught in the middle trying to stop the fight.
At this time, there was already a crowd of kaypohs filling up both sides of the corridoor egging on the fight.
Keith and I immediately brought Zarina to one side while Faith and Haida pulled the Minah to the other side. While waiting for Haida to settle the Minah, another fight almost broke out between Adam and a group of Ah Bengs who had been watching the ‘fun’ earlier on. We had to bring Adam away from the Ah Bengs who keeps challenging the SC.
A girl also started shouting awful names at us along the corridoor. I don’t really blame her, but I feel sorry for her. That’s all.
Then, poor Boey was being challenged to a one-to-one fight because apparantly, someone in the crowd felt hurt over how Boey looked at them. Again, I had to pull Boey away.
Strangely, the whole time I was busy pulling and dragging my Councilors away from trouble. Almost all the Councilors who went up to the third floor kenna-ed something except me. Was that because I looked like a bouncer?
After everything ended, we returned to the SC Room to talk about what has happened earlier. Then, we went to canteen for lunch and we discovered that the Minah has actually bought her other Minah kawans to wait for Zarina.
As we were in a group, the Minahs didn’t dared to do anything except watching us from afar.
They sat down at another table but we ignored them and took our own sweet time to eat and talked among ourselves.
The Minah and her kawans finally got tired of waiting and left while shouting gibberish which only themselves would understand.
It’s funny how teenagers nowadays are so easily fired up and resort to violence over the slightest thing. Now, this is really stupid. So what if they gets to beat the pulp out of someone? So what if they win the fight??
We know who they are and we know which class they are from. Furthermore, the school also have their records. Did they think they can get away with it??
It is really tough being a Student Councillor. Sometimes, we get threatened at and ridiculed by the students but we are only doing our jobs what!
Why make things difficult for us?
I’ve got a pleasant surprise when I opened the letterbox this afternoon. I’ve gotten the EAGLES Award again!
The theme for this camp was ‘Stars‘ and we were assigned into groups of around 6 – 8 persons. Each group was named after a star and my group’s name was AQUILA. My group consisted of current councilors Sera, Wah En, Zijian and two probation councilors Ifa and Weiting.
Initially, I felt a little lost being relegated as a camper because I felt weird being away from my fellow EXCOs who were in other groups but as we played along, I realised all my worries were unfounded.
Sera‘s been a spontaneous team leader while Wah En and Zijian displayed great leadership too. As for the two probations, Ifa is outgoing whereas Weiting is a little more on the quiet side but nonetheless, it was still a joy being in the same team with them!
Someone glued their knees and palms together…
WQ demonstrates how to ‘beg’ for ang pows…
The first day was quite hectic as we go about planning our individual group’s performance as well as the EXCO‘s surprise performance for the Grad Night. Then, we had our wet games at the field where we got all wet and dirty. Water bombs and flour were literally flying through the air like missles and everyone were running and screaming, trying to dodge.
I was lucky not to kenna any flour but I’m half wet. After the game finished, we let the members bathe first while the EXCOs clean up the field of the plastics and flour. Halfway through, we started spraying water at each other and we had so much fun!
The next program was the Grad Night.
We had our Grad Night at the canteen. There was plenty of good food to go around and we had a enjoyable time watching each individual group performing. Some groups sang while some groups dance. My group danced cha cha (Yes, I danced cha cha!) but, I’ve only learnt that a few hours ago prior to the performance! Haha, just imagine an elephant dancing can already…
This was the 3kg Banana Cake from Royals.
The 15th EXCOs with TK and Mr Chua.
Our sumptious dinner
‘Mummy’ Nisha made a special appearance!
‘Sister’ Gina came too.
So did TK!
After the Grad Night, we had Nightwalk.
The EXCOs were put into the same group and we started off the game first. We were blindfolded and in a human chain, we were led around in circles at the carpark and later on to the field via the Cobra Cove. As I’m the person in front, I had to lead the people behind me through the difficult ‘terrain’ with only a rope to guide me.
The air was chilly and I felt a little refreshing down there as the bushes brushed between my legs. The ground in the field was very uneven. There were many times when I almost lose balance and sprained my foot!
As we finally completed our Nightwalk, the clock almost strike twelve. Exactly one year ago was the time when the 15th EXCOs stepped up and hold office. The silence of the night was shattered as we sang a birthday song to ourselves at the top of our voices to celebrate our first annivessary.
The night sky behind the games area…
We lie on the ground behind the games area, totally exhausted while waiting for the rest of the groups to finish their Nightwalk. We stared at the sky and for a while, nobody said anything. We just enjoyed the breeze that’s gently caressing our weary minds and tired bodies. Then, we started reminding each other about the jokes and embarrassing situations we’d created inside the SC Room and the pranks we used to play on each other during our late meetings.
Being the ‘tiniest’ EXCO, Azizah has naturally fallen prey as our victim most of the time. It was really a memorable experience for us so as to speak!
The first day of the camp eventually ended with a debrief with Mr Chua and the 16th EXCOs till 2.30 AM in the morning!
The second day was much simpler. In the morning, we played a ‘find-the-clues-and-form-the-words’ game. We were shown a series of photographs taken around the school and we had to find out where the place was and we had to go there to find a random word which we had to form into a sentence.
The moment my group have gotten two of the words which was ‘Keeping’ and ‘Beginning’, I have already figured out the answer as I realised that was the slogan on one of the posters in the SC Room. Many people might not have paid much attention to the poster but I have already spent three years here and every details in the SC Room is at the back of my hands.
The answer was:
Coming Together Is A Beginning,
Keeping Together Is Progress,
Working Together Is Success!
Thus, my group solved the problem though we didn’t had all the clues. This goes to show that it pays to be observant to minute details to the things around you!
After the game, we had the prize giving ceremony for the Best Group, Best Leader, Best Camper, etc we officially break camp. The Probation Councilors were released but the current Councilors still had to stay for our AGM where the 15th EXCOs had to report to the rest of the members of the activities which we had done for the past year and being the Honorary Treasurer, I too had to present the Financial Report about the club funds.
With that, the 15th EXCOs had finally handed over everything to the 16th EXCOs.
At the end of the AGM, Mrs Foo came talked to me and she put her hand on my back and go round in a circular motion. She reminisced about the times when we were at the Kota Tinggi Camp 3 years ago while undergoing our Leadership Training. At that moment, flashbacks from the past came into my mind and I just couldn’t control my tears anymore.
The times I had in SC has realized my potential and given me the opportunity to rediscover myself. I’ve done things I never knew I could do and it has made me a more confident and stronger person.
The 15th EXCOs really treasured the times we had as this is our last and final camp in school. This is especially so for Haida, Khai and I because in the history of Bishan SC, we were the longest serving EXCOs. We were already EXCOs when we were in NITEC followed by the next two years of HNITEC. I heard it was a bold move made by Mrs Foo as NITEC students were never considered for EXCOs positions.
I’m really grateful to Mrs Foo for taking such a big gamble by believing in us and for showing us the guidance and concern which she has shown us through the years.
Being an EXCO wasn’t a bed of roses and it sure isn’t as simple as it seemed on the outside. Members would never be able to understand the stress and difficulties we faced everyday however, the setbacks that we encounter has also trained us to be stronger in times of adversity.
Whenever members run into problems, we have always tried our best to help them and everything we did is for their best interest however, we can only do so much for them. There are times when our kind intentions are not being reciprocated but it’s okay, some people just had to learn through the hard way.
To quote WX, “You know when you were young your parents often told you “don’t play with fire”, but you still went ahead anyway, curious to find out whether the mesmerizing little dancing flame would softly tickle your fingertips? “
I had to admit that, I was very guilty of it myself when I was younger and how I could empathise with, then, that good advices are always turned to deaf ears.
That’s no stray, she’s our ambassador of love
By Joyce Lim
A MONGREL has managed to do what grassroots organisations, religious bodies and Government organisations have long strived to achieve: A common bond, a warm sense of belonging and harmony among neighbours. Blackie the stray has become a pet – and passionate – cause for a residents from 11 blocks at Yishun Street 81. They are a diverse lot – young, old, married, single, – from all races and religions.
Alas, today, the last day of the Year of the Dog, brings news that Blackie‘s days may be numbered. Blackie has been living in Yishun Street 81 for the past three years. In that time, she has touched the lives of many of the resident there so much that she has brought residents from 11 blocks together to fight to keep her alive.
Last week, someone complained to the authorities about the four-year-old dog. And so Blackie may now be put to sleep. That has marshalled the residents from Yishun Street 81 into action. First, a resident took Blackie to a kampung in Lorong Buangkok, off Gerald Drive. Then came the petition. Residents gathered the signatures of 76 people living in 11 blocks in the estate to stop the authorities from taking the dog away. They wrote to their MP, Ms Lee Bee Wah, to intervene. A resident, Madam Dulcie Lim, 59, described Blackie as their ‘ambassador of love’.
HELPED THEM BOND
‘Before, I didn’t know many of the residents here,’ she said. ‘Most of us kept to ourselves. But Blackie has helped us break the ice and even bond with each other. Isn’t that what our Government always wanted to achieve? ‘Blackie has done so much for this neighbourhood. It is not fair that she has to leave this place. We all love Blackie and we want her back.’
In the letter to their MP, the residents wrote about how Blackie has become an integral part of their community. ‘We sincerely hope that you, our good MP, can understand this strong bond we share with this very special dog… spare the neighbourhood the heartache of losing this dog,’ the residents pleaded with their MP.
Blackie, who is known as ‘Xiao Hei’ (Mandarin for little black one) was found abandoned at Yishun Stadium three years ago.
A resident spotted her and brought her to Block 825. That became Blackie‘s home. But last week, the Centre for Animal Welfare and Control (CAWC) of the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), received a call from Ang Mo Kio-Yishun Town Council about two stray dogs in the area. On 8 Feb, the CAWC team checked the site and spotted Blackie. Five residents spotted the officers from their flats and rushed down to save the pet. Fortunately, she was not impounded that day.
AGAINST HDB POLICY
The residents were told that Blackie cannot be kept at HDB void decks as it is a public place. Under HDB policy, Blackie is too big to be kept in a flat. HDB residents can keep one dog of an approved breed such as Silky Terrier or Maltese because they are smaller and more suited to living in flats. Said a resident who wants to be known as only Priscilla: ‘We were so worried that the AVA officers would return for Xiao Hei. So for the time being, we’ve housed her in a nearby kampung.’ The 52-year-old housewife said: ‘I’ve known Xiao Hei for three years. Every day I would buy $2 worth of roast meat for her from the market. She is a good dog and never bites anyone.’ Added Madam Lim: ‘Blackie is very friendly. She even shares her food with the stray cats. ‘I’ve seen how she would let the cats eat first. When she feels that they have had enough, she would shoo them away and eat her share.’
A resident claimed that she saw Blackie trying to save a kitten which had fallen into a drain. Madam Hasmisah Mohd, 42, unemployed, said: ‘I heard a kitten crying for help but I couldn’t find it. It was Blackie who led me to the injured kitten inside the drain.’ Ms Joyce Koh, 31, another resident, said: ‘Whenever she saw my car driving into the carpark, she would run behind my car. She would then wait for me to park and walk me to the lift.’
Poly student Ashwin Gunapathy, 19, said that there are more than 70 residents vouching for Blackie. He said: ‘We want her back in the neighbourhood and we are all willing to put our names down to apply for a licence so that she can stay here.’
He was among the 30 residents who met this reporter at Block 825 last Monday. Madam Juliana Tan, 53, said: ‘I lost one of my daughters over a year ago. She was 28 when she died of a blood disorder. ‘I used to be afraid of dogs, but I don’t know why I started talking to Blackie about my dead daughter. I was mourning and Blackie gave me solace.’ Madam Tan lives with her younger daughter in a three-room flat.
A couple, Madam Soh Oi Chue and her husband, Mr Tang Yeo Soong, recalled how Blackie would accompany them to the market. She said in Mandarin: ‘At 7am, Blackie would be at the foot of the block, waiting for us. ‘She would follow us to the market where we would buy her her favourite duck’s neck. I miss Blackie terribly.’ Mr Tang helped to bathe Blackie and clean up her makeshift home daily. He said: ‘Our three children have already grown up. Blackie is like our little daughter. Some of us even chipped in to have her sterilised.’ When Blackie was knocked down by a car last December, it was Ashwin‘s father, Mr Gunapathy, who took her to the vet.
The fees came to $200. He also helped move Blackie to his temporary home. The New Paper team tagged along with a few housewives last Wednesday to meet Blackie in her new home. She wagged her tail and ran towards the housewives when she saw them and jumped on them. It was a touching scene. Madam Lim said: ‘We call ourselves the desperate housewives. But we are not desperate for men. We are desperate to save Blackie.’
Home for Blackie might be answer
SHE was pleasantly surprised when some residents asked her to help save a stray dog. ‘I believe what they told me is genuine. Apparently there are people who want the dog and some who don’t,’ said Ms Lee Bee Wah from Ang Mo Kio GRC. ‘We’ll handle this the same way as we have handled stray cats. We will do a survey to see how many residents want to keep the dog in the neighbourhood. ‘If the residents feel so strongly about keeping the dog, we will be able to find a solution without breaking the law.’ Like finding someone who lives in the vicinity to take in the dog, added Ms Lee.
Mr Madhavan Kannan, head of AVA‘s Centre for Animal Welfare and Control, told The New Paper that they are unable to acede to the residents’ request and have advised them to find a home for the dog. ‘The residents may keep it in boarding farms at Pasir Ris Farmway or Seletar Farmway till they find a home for the dog,’ said Mr Madhavan. For the purpose of rabies control, AVA impounds dogs found wandering in public places. Mr Madhavan said: ‘Although some dogs may be tame, there could be times when a dog can turn aggressive and may attack another person’s pet or children. ‘There are also people who fear the physical presence of stray dogs at the common areas of an housing estate. Some people are also disturbed when dogs come close to them and sometimes sniff.’
Since Blackie is not allowed to roam freely in public areas and she is considered too big to be kept in a HDB flat, would Ms Lee then consider building a shelter for her at the void deck? ‘I don’t rule out that possibility,’ she said. It will all depend on the survey results which her committee members are helping to conduct.
Or rather, should I say that the bunny’s out of the hat? The bunny that I’ve kept hidden inside my room for a week has finally been discovered by my pop while I was still in school yesterday. When I got home, my pop immediately jumped on my neck saying that my room stinks and reminded me about my asthma.
Surprisingly, he stopped at that and did not went on further about asking me to give the bunny away. There is no violent disagreement from him pertaining to having one more bunny in the house and IT’S A MIRACLE!!!
Well, he didn’t really agree verbally to to let me keep the bunny but then, he didn’t disagree either? I’ll just take his silence as a consent. Now, I can finally let the bunny out openly without fear of being discovered.
In the meantime, the search for a good home is still on, however, I do not rule out the possibility of adopting her for myself that is, if, the pop doesn’t raise any objections.
This is really a very tame bunny. She comes when called and follows me (most of the time) around the house. She’s more like a dog than a bunny. Even my own bunny doesn’t do that!
I make one, nice anot? Got leaves one somemore…
The whole lot of orh-leng-gees…
Here’s wishing everyone a very Happy New Year and good health for the year ahead!
How much she is that doggy in the window, the one with the waggely tail…
“Can we take it home with us mom?”
“How much is that doggie in the window?”
“For you lady it’s fifty dollars” says the shopkeeper.
“So expensive” says Mom. “Oh well, I guess it’s something for the children to play with over the holidays.”
“A home at last”, thinks Puppy to itself.
“What’s that on the carpet?” yells Dad.
“Where are my sneakers?” says Son.
Chewed sneakers, a puddle of pee on the carpet, a steaming brown pile of something in the corner, whining and crying from Pup…
“Put that thing outside” yells Mom.
“I thought this was going to be a great place” thinks Pup, shivering and wet outside. “Everyone is screaming, yelling and kicking me, I just needed to pee!”
“Put that dog on a chain” yells Mom, and leave it there.
More whining and crying from Pup.
“Shut up! Shut up!” yells the family and the neighbours.
Days later, peace and bliss reigns once more in the household, kids watch video games, Mom and Dad go about their lives. Life has got back to normal for the family.
“Anyone seen the dog?” asks Dad. “No? Well, put some food out the back, it will come when it’s hungry. Did it eat its last meal? Stupid dog, doesn’t know when it’s well off.”
Tired, cold and hungry, Pup finds itself in the back of a truck and then at the Animal Shelter.
Pup thinks to itself, “This is better, food, water and no kids to pull me around and a nice warm secure place to sleep. Heaps of company, I want to stay here forever”.
It’s Xmas holiday time, the Shelter is overloaded, too many dumped and unwanted dogs.
“Hello Puppy” says the friendly vet. “Now, this won’t hurt a bit, just a little sting.”
“Night night Pup” says the attendant for more times than she has wished to utter those final words, as she cradles the puppy against her. “Off to the Rainbow Bridge”.
Family at home. “I wonder what happened to that nuisance Puppy. It was a real pain in the neck, all that mess” says Dad.
Peace reigns within.
Mama Yu gave this to me when I was in the staffroom yesterday. She called me over to her desk and said, “This is for you, and I wish you a Prosperous year ahead…” It is actually a piggy container filled with fruit-shaped candy inside. Cute hor? I can’t bear to eat it!
I’ll miss you, Mama Yu!
Our dinner during one of the many EXCOs meeting inside the SC Room at 6 PM. Mine is on the left.
I’ve been doodling during Auditing class again…
We managed to sell everything and raised a total of $245.30. Thank you to everyone who supported us!