Week 7. When Mr. Ryan told us that this is our last reflection assignment, I was disappointed. Honestly speaking, writing my reflection each week has been something I’ve looked forward to. I am really not lying. ☺ Don’t know why, but sometimes, even when I am waiting for the bus or just looking around, I found myself observing things that I can reflect on. There is just so much to say, so much to discuss, so much to think about.

Here’s an example. About a week ago, I was waiting for a cab on a Saturday evening. A little boy behind me, say 5 years old, was telling his dad about how beautiful and big the moon was. As I looked up, all I saw was round, white lights. I thought he was just being silly, thinking that the light was the moon. But, as I moved along with the queue, I saw what I might have never realized. The big and beautiful moon hanging brightly in the night sky. So this what the ‘silly’ kid was talking about. Being taller than he is, I could not see what he saw, and quickly dismissed him as being ignorant. Now, who’s the one?

Then, a few days later, at the bus stop, I saw some of my primary school juniors being so ecstatic over a little sick lizard. I thought that it was just so lame. Come on, its just a scrawny, helpless reptile, why care so much? But as I remembered the cab queue incident, and looked again at the girls laughing and screaming like they’ve never seen a lizard their whole life, I thought to myself: am I missing out on something? Is there some quiet laughter in me that has been so cleverly hidden in the past decade that I forgot how to laugh it out? Or, have I lost that child-likeness, where even the littlest thing in life makes my day? Ok, many say I’m just like a kid but that’s not the point. I am matured. Very matured, in fact. ☺

Thinking about it, it seems like I’ve packed my backpack and left the Teletubbies or Sponge-bob Square Pants world for good. However, if given a choice to live my life once more, I would not opt for that. Yes, there are regrets along the way and I wish I could undo my past mistakes at times, but as I look back, everything seemed planned. I can’t undo, but I can repent, can’t I?

And since I would not want to live my life again, I can’t go on lamenting about the past and complaining about the future, right? So what I’ll do is treasure what I have and the people around me, and live a life I’ll not regret.

And to show that I really mean what I said, I thought I’d just write a short reflection and thank you note to all in the class for being who you are. Please bear in mind that I really mean what I say and it all comes deep down from my heart. Oh yes, and no gossip intended, its all the great stuff about you guys. The names are in order as shown in my blogroll.

I met Ben in the selection interview and I must say that it was an experience of a lifetime. He behaves totally differently as of now and he is really not the Ben we all know. Sometimes, thinking about what happened that day still makes me want to laugh. But it was fun, really. And just on the first week of school, Ben and I were lost in bus 154. We had to walk a long distance (in my opinion that was long) to find the bus that will lead us back home. But what made me remember that day was that Ben purposely walked an extra bus stop down to the stop where I could take my bus. Thanks Ben. I might have been lost that day! He sure is a thoughtful person.

The first thing I remembered about him was when he told me the names of the people in class when we played our first game in storytelling class. I was completely lost that day cause I can never remember names! Oh yes, and he offered me sweets! Thanks! Bryan, I must say, is a responsible guy. Shall not go into details of my statement though, cause this is the Internet! Talking to him on the phone at times is fun too, and like I told Bryan, I might not be able to give you suggestions but you bet I can listen. Bryan is also one that makes all of us laugh in class. The open joke that he is Ben’s boss is funny enough!

Eugene might appear quiet at times but, haha, he says the most unexpectable! Those who were watching the hospitality film can all vouch for that, right? I remember that while watching the film, there was something wrong with the vcd. Eugene volunteered to borrow the remote control for us and sat beside the vcd player to help fix any problems. Thanks! It was really appreciated, really. And oh yes, all the girls in class will definitely remember the times when he will hold the door for us.

Jacky is also termed as our class’ Vanness Wu, a famous Chinese singer/actor. But he hated the fact though. Wonder why. Jacky is a nice person who tries his best not to freely use bad languages, especially in front of the girls. He’s also a sentimental guy. Looking at the way he treats his hand phone shows it all. And Liqing, Shu Hui and I would all have to agree that Jacky is a fun person to go shopping with. Oh Jacky, your future girlfriend might just love you a lot for that. Haha. Once, Shu Hui, Liqing, Jacky, his friends and I were out till quite late at night. He actually offered and did pay part of my cab fare despite me rejecting it. Aw, that was really sweet of you.

It’s really fun having JJ in class, although it might just be for one semester. Thanks a lot for collaborating our storytelling PowerPoint notes together and sending it all to us! And also thanks for giving me so many silly tips for my interview, like encouraging me to talk crap. And, wishing me all the best for it. Oh yes, he always willingly and enthusiastically offers to send me songs although I have more songs than him! Haha!

I remember him as the matrix guy! On the first day of school, Josh enthusiastically greeted everyone. And, just in the first week, he organized a birthday for those whose birthday was over! That was really the first step in helping the class bond! In class, Josh talks a lot and during lunch, he does the silliest things! Hey Josh, thanks for your enthusiasm. Thanks also for sending me so many songs, and helping the class even with minor things like filling the pail with water and changing PowerPoint slides!

Although we only see Kim in certain classes, I was grateful for her enthusiasm when she agreed to play the Angel And Mortal game with us! Thanks Kim! She also has a heart for some of the classmates!

Liqing calls me Pomelo and always never fail to give her friends a hug each day! It really brightens up the day, with her smiles and hug! Thanks Qing! Qing is always active when it comes to class gatherings! Oh, and each time she takes a photo of the class, we can all count on her to send it to everyone! Qing also likes to organize outings for the class, like the candle talk we’ll be having in Rein’s house and the overseas trip! Cool thing!

Rein is my dear friend! She’s always early, and I can look forward to see her in cheers should I reach school early! Rein is such a sweet, sensitive girl, but perhaps I can’t state my reasons here too. Oh and I must say, Rein is really good at editing and technical stuff! I remember the time during our MacBook training; I bombarded her with a thousand and one questions on what to do. However, she patiently and graciously taught me how to do it all! Aw, thanks!

Sharkardada is here! I remember her on the very first day of school (induction day). She gave me a long lecture on how to watch people and tell if they are lying or not! Oh, and as it was raining that day, she shared her umbrella with me as we walked from block 52 to the Atrium! And her acting is great! Yup, when she was born, I was, erm, still liquid form! (Our open joke)

Oh mar kao! I always will remember her saying that and its really funny. Her laughter indeed cheers all of up. Although I missed my bus once while talking to her, it was interesting listening to her stories!

Shu Hui
Ah! My pretty and beautiful sister! That’s what we call ourselves don’t we? And everyone would just have to agree! Haha! It’s definitely fun talking to her, be it on the phone or on msn. She has definitely been an encouragement to me! Thanks a lot for helping me print my assignment. And when I need someone to tell stuff to, you bet I can count on her!

Shu Jun
Meow! She loves that! It appears everywhere, be it the pod cast or PowerPoint presentation! The random girl! We were in the same team for the interview and she first came to talk to me! And indeed, she provided me the encouragement I needed most that time! Thanks! She is someone I totally relied on during the first days of school!

I always remember taking the same bus as her when we go home! And during the trip, there was never once a moment of awkward silence! There is just so much to say! And she enthusiastically takes notes for us as we discuss our storytelling proposal!

I remember sharing the umbrella with her in the first day of school and we ran together for shelter. Hardworking girl! Keep it up.

And last but not least, Mr. Ryan
Like I mentioned in my earlier reflection, what struck me most was his sincerity in getting to know all of us personally in the beginning of class. And sometimes, he may seem like a man with such great background. Traveling around the world and easily getting a job in a place he likes. But when Mr. Ryan revealed his past to us that day, he nearly sent tears down our eyes. But thanks Mr. Ryan for being so open to us. Also, starting class 15 minutes later indeed help us get some food before we begin 3 hours of class. Otherwise, there might just be 16 skeletons walking out of class at 4pm each Friday.

One last word. As I write my reflection on the people in class, my purpose is really thank you guys for being you. As I look back and see time fly (like how we can never return to our childhood), I have learnt to treasure the friends I am blessed with. And please do not feel complied to leave a comment because I’ve already met my objective of the reflection!

Cheers to all, my friends!



Last week, everyone in class had to write a 1000 word essay on political apathy for our IS module- which (bet you’ve guessed it) nearly made us ‘die’. Upon doing my research, I thought that while the Singapore government made a lot of effort to encourage young people to be involved in the nation’s politics, many still remains nonchalant.

So, for this week’s reflection, I’ve decided to write a little short essay or so called speech to arouse young Singaporeans to salute our nations past achievements. But, I’ve got to first state that an essay I wrote last year inspired this weeks reflection.

Here goes…

“Singapore is moving on to her 41st birthday this year! Singaporeans of different generations have gone through thick and thin together in the forty years of independence. We shared the same tears; the same smiles, laughter and pride, and picked each other up when we fall. Even as we make a step further to the 41st year of the birth of our nation, let us not forget the trails and difficulties our dear forefathers faced in making what Singapore is today.

In the years before Singapore celebrated her first birthday, the British who colonized Singapore was defeated. Japanese troops entered from Malaysia (then known as Malaya) and conquered our country. They performed barbaric practices on loyal countrymen, like forcing water into a prisoner’s mouth and tossed infants through midair and pierced a sword through them. Chinese men were selected from villages, and family heard no more of them. Wives lost their husbands, children lost their fathers and sisters lost their brothers. Instead of enjoying lessons like we do in school now, students in the past were forced to learn Japanese (not willingly like in Ben’s case) and had to salute to Japanese soldiers. Everyone was made to adopt and practice the Japanese culture and pay respect to the Japanese king. Lives under the Japanese were tough and torturous, but if there was one thing our forefathers did, that was not to give up on Singapore.

Through suffering, people built goals and dreams for the nation, held on to hopes and strived onward. Alas, the long awaited day finally arrived. 9th August 1965, Singapore blew her first candle on the birthday cake. Flags were raised, songs were sung and people worked hard, hand in hand to build our Singapore.

Now, in the 41st Anniversary Celebrations, Singaporeans will sing National Songs that symbolize economic success and tolerance among different races and religion. Welcome, my fellow classmates, to the 21st century Singapore, a country of hope, peace and a future.

Singapore was once just a vision of our ancestors. With their blood and sweat, they made their dream come true and built our present home. As Singaporeans, we must never forget our past. Even with obstacles placed before us, we must work together to overcome it and reach the place where we belong. We live in the reality of our forefathers’ dreams, but lets not put an end to these. Continue to strive, children of Singapore, and colour our dreams with vibrant colours. Live the lives of our ancestors learn our history. Together, let us not allow our age, religion or race affect our decision to make Singapore a better place. Every youth plays a part; everyone makes up the 4 million strong Singapore.”

I hope that by reading my short ‘speech’, people will be interested in my nations past and future! While I must confess that the political situation in Singapore don’t affect or interest me much, I do hope that I, together with many other young Singaporeans, will nurture the interest of our country’s politics.

So, fellow classmates, lets flip open to the Straits Times today and read all about Lee Kuan Yew!!


Everyone has likes and dislikes, don’t they? For example how Shu Hui likes her sampan (a Malay small boat) trips, how Li Qing likes to set up mass conversations on msn, how Ben likes to wear his jacket even on a hot and humid day and how JJ likes his dear. Ok, that’ll better be love!

As for me, I like planes. Airplanes. I think that each different type of planes have their story to tell, a story precious to many individuals. And since this is a story telling class reflection, I felt it apt to talk about the stories left behind planes as they trail across the sky.

I must admit, though, that I know nuts about planes. What kind of plane models is there, the history of planes, the technical details about planes–what are these anyway? I only know that there are two types of planes: the passenger planes and the fighter planes. And based on there two facts, I found them interesting and thus my reflection.

The passenger planes and the fighter planes. To me, they represent woman and men respectively. Let me explain!

The fighter planes are made to protect the country, the nation, and the people. They are there to serve at the front line and risk damage for a cause. These planes move fast, and are strong to begin with. Here to protect, here to serve. Thinking about this, isn’t that what men are supposed to do? Aren’t they also supposed to protect their family and friends and serve their country too?

When I see a fighter plane fly swiftly across the sky and leave a trail of white clouds behind it I would stop and take a second look. How strong this plane seems, ready to face all challenges before it. And as it flies steadily across the sky, it reminds me how man in particular should live. Holding on to a certain believe and purpose, he strives forward. But why man in particular and not woman? Yes, woman must have her purpose too, but other than that, she has a husband to follow and obey. So, the man is the one who leads his family and the one who protects his country.

And what about the trail of white clouds that follows the fighter plane as it dash across the sky? While men have to be strong and lead many, he also has to leave something behind for us to follow. Not just to lead, but teach others how to follow and obey.

To me, this is the beauty in the way men are made, different from women. Like the fighter plane, they have to protect and sacrifice, lead and learn to teach.

As for the passenger plane, they are made to serve. Carrying hundreds of precious lives in them, they shoulder the responsibility to help these people reach their destination. Made larger and move slower, they seem more gentle too. As the pilot flies the plane, he flies it with love, love for each and every passenger in it, love for his or her lives. Just like the woman, part of her responsibility is to serve her husband and nurture her kids. She bears the responsibility to teach her children the meaning of life and nurture them as they grow each day.

When I admire a passenger plane stride pass the sky, I look with wonder and adoration of the number of lives in it, and the great yet humble responsibility it carries. Each passenger has a story to tell. Perhaps one of them is on the way to his/her child’s graduation in the UK. Or perhaps some others are on their way to a wonderful family vacation together. Or maybe one passenger is on his/her way to begin a fresh new career overseas. Maybe there is a couple on board, looking forward to a priceless time together as they begin their new phrase of life.

As the passenger plane flies across the sky, she never knows the stories she carries inside her. Just like when a mother nurtures her child, she does not know what her child will be like in the future. However, she does have the responsibility to teach her child the right way, praying for the best.

So, the passenger plane is like a woman, with the noble responsibility to teach her children and lead them to where they belong.

However, planes are planes, machines are machines. And human are human. While we cannot use these machines to compare with humans totally, I think that there are many similarities we can draw and learn. We are not machines after all.

So don’t you think it’s just so amazing, the way men and women are made, so similar yet different from each other? We all bear different responsibilities, yet deep down inside we bear the responsibility for each other.

The men leads while the women follow. The men protects while the women nurtures.


While writing my week 4 reflection, T1B2 has already completed 5 weeks of school! And I must say, I really like the school and my dear class! We have the really crazy people, like Benedict, Joshua, Jacky, Bryan, Shu Hui, the lame ones, like Ray, JJ, the sweet and lovely ones, like Liqing, Kim, Seri, Rein, the quiet and mature ones like Eugene and Thombaline, and the hardworking ones like Sharkadada and Zelda.

We were complete strangers on the 15 of April (which happens to be Jacky’s birthday) yet friends on the 16 of April. Now, we are pals, buddies- we are one! And I believe that we did not meet by chance, but there is a plan for all of us. A big and beautiful one. The Storywriter made us meet for a reason! This is exciting! Like written in our friendster account, “because of who we are, we make things happen”.

Why did I mention this? Because just last week, we did an assignment in class where we had to make two individuals whom our friends spied on, meet. They were complete strangers, yet in our story, the individuals will come know each other in some way or another. And a story, a planned story, develops. Just like our story. T1B2’s exciting story.

The PowerPoint presentation was another interesting thing we did on week 4’s story telling class. Why? Because we could watch our friends present! Ok, maybe for Joshua, the fun part was presenting. Then, he can show of his hidden ‘talent’. (You know why the word talent is in inverted commas don’t you?) Kidding. Back to the point, doing our own presentation has its benefits. First, we will definitely understand our research topic very well. Simple and complex plot- I know what is that! Second, with our friends’ understanding of a certain topic and Mr. Ryan’s explanation, we can indeed learn more. Two similar yet distinct reasoning on one topic. How interesting can that be!

And I think that Aristotle is a remarkable man! Whatever he has penned down thousands of years ago is still being studied today. If my essay is read three years later, I will indeed be glad, not to mention thousands of years!

One interesting thing I learnt is that spectacle (special effects in a story) ranks the least important in the factors of a story, and I agree with the point. I am not saying that I do not enjoy and appreciate spectacles. In fact, these are some things that immerse me in the film. With high and improved technology, special effects make things seem as if some things really occurred. Take the film Spiderman 3 for example. Most would have to agree that the special effects created for sandman was remarkable. It looks as if he was real! However, how did that contribute to the overall storyline? What values did that bring across, or what conflict did the effects cause? Did the way sandman was evolved contribute to the message of the film? I should say no.

Like what we learnt in class, the purpose of a theater in the past is to bring across religious message to audiences. Now, the theater’s purpose is to convey the filmmaker’s and societies certain believes and values. Thus, spectacles would only contribute to the excitement and entertainment level of the film, but does not help much in bringing across the film’s intentions. A two-hour film, which consists only of special effects and no strong message, will not be worth watching, will it? So, what I’ve learnt is that while spectacle is indeed entertaining and enjoyable, what is most important in a film is the story and values it brings across.

That’s all for now! Bye!

Signing off,
Pamela Soh


The past 3 weeks of school has been really exciting! I like my new classmates and I love the modules we are having!! We have: storytelling techniques, film introduction, studio production, photography, art and design, individual and the community and last but not least, contemporary issues. Cool huh… It’s always exciting to go for classes everyday. Perhaps it’s because I like this course, and that is why I am here right now, enjoying what I am learning. Seriously, if not for Film, Sound and Video, I really do not know what other course I’ll take in polytechnic. I did not even select any other course for the JAE. Thanks to God that I was selected for FSV☺ Yippee!!

Anyway, Storytelling Technique classes have been terrific in the past 3 weeks! There is so much to learn. Just last Friday, we learnt about who wrote the first story and people’s observation skills. The two parts I liked most was first, when we get to hear others short stories and talk about it and second, when we got to work in groups to answer questions. I think that discussing other student’s stories and sharing what we feel about the story helps a lot. In a sense, we get to know the student’s and teacher’s opinions of the story so that in future, we can either learn from them or avoid their past mistakes and improve together! Isn’t that amazing? I think so too! One interesting point was when Jacky commented that Jun Jie could use an exclamation mark instead of just a full stop to portray his character’s feelings and thoughts better. What occurred to me was that even simple and basic punctuation mark could change the story as a whole. That’s indeed a point to note. Thanks Jacky for the comment and Mr. Ryan for coming with such a way to conduct the class! Also, working in groups to learn a lesson doesn’t just help us understand the lesson’s objective, but how to work as a group as well. Yes, my dear T1B2 has indeed been very united as a class even though we have known each other for only 3 weeks, but we haven’t gotten a chance to work together as small groups. Discussing lessons in groups of 3 of 4 have indeed allowed me to get to know my classmates whom I don’t really talk to better. Also, we don’t just copy the notes, we present them. That’s the fun of it all. Although I must admit that it wasn’t easy, my group (Liqing, Bryan, Eugene and I) struggled a lot!! Hahaha. Wait and see the fruits of our labour.

In class, we were also taught about observation skills. Ben and Seri were asked to describe what the other party wore today. Unsurprisingly, Seri bet Ben! Congrats Seri!! It was really fun listening to how they described each other and I bet the class had as much fun as I did. Wow, it is indeed true that girls observe better than guys. Speaking of observations, after class on Friday, I have been trying to be more observant to my surroundings. While on the bus today (Monday), I tried to look out of the window and see things which I have never observed before. I must admit, it can get tiring after some time.

I’ve completed the ‘stalking’ assignment halfway, with another target to go. I never knew we could know so much about a person just by sitting and observe her. Can’t wait to ‘stalk’ my second target!

That’s all for now. Reflection for week 4 coming up! Well, that would be, of course, after week 4.


Why did Tom throw the clock out of the window? Because he wanted to see time fly! Ok, not funny. But my point is, time do fly. Really quickly, in fact. It was not long when I wrote my first reflection, and now I am onto my second! This is fun!!

In class, Mr. Ryan talked about why people resist change and I was so excited to find out why. Perhaps that’s because I am someone who is quite lazy to change… Anyway, he mentioned that people resist change because of the fear of the unknown. Remember during the first lesson, some of us had to read our short story and other classmates will comment on it? I read mine, and some useful comments were given. However, back home, I wanted to edit my story yet was quite reluctant to do so. Why? As I thought about it, it could be because I did not know how my story would turn out after editing. What will it be like? Will the story improve much? How am I going to change it? The fear of the unknown. How true. However, one lesson I learnt is: dare to change, for it will make things better. Well, I believe my short story made more sense after changing it!

During lesson, we watched 2 short films, The Secret Heaven and The Call Home. What I particularly like about the film is that they both touch on issues Singaporeans can relate well with. Lets start with The Call Home first.

The Call Home is about an Indian national who works in Singapore as a worker. He decides to call home one day, yet lies to his wife that life here is good, so as to avoid unnecessary worry. I think this short film talks about conflict mainly between man and self. Comments were that the first half of the show was quite boring as there were no conflicts of any sorts. I have to agree. However, what I thought made the beginning of the film boring was that there were no dialogues too. While the director might be trying to show the change in the character’s behaviour and values, I thought that it would be more clearly and powerfully portrayed with dialogues. Picture paints a thousand words, true. But it is words that tell what the thousand words really are. Interestingly, while this film talks about an Indian national’s internal struggle, I thought that we could well relate with this film because we too face such struggles. Do we sincerely tell our friend that his/her art piece is terribly ugly so that he/she can improve? Or do we tell him/her that it’s ‘beautiful’ so he/she don’t have to worry so much and feel good. Sounds familiar?

The next film is The Secret Heaven. It talks about a little girl who thinks that death is the only way out to avoid piano lessons. I can relate so well with her! In the past, I was also ‘forced’ to take up piano lessons too. Thankfully, death wasn’t my option, failing in my piano exams was!! Haha… Anyway, I liked the way the director build the hatred for piano lessons in the little girl’s mind and when she realizes that ultimately, death is the ‘only way out.’ Using many tight close up shots amplified the girl’s inner feelings. However, as Mr. Ryan mentioned in class, the director did not fully explain how the conflict between mother and child was settled. Audiences only know that the poor little girl had to give in to her not-so-understanding mother eventually. Still, I liked this film as we can see how this little newcomer on earth, faces with the reality of pain and unfairness.

Till we meet again!

Signing off,
Pamela Soh

Week 1 Reflection

What actually is story telling I asked myself. As I think about it, it seems that almost every thing we see around us has got to do with telling a story! A kindergarten child comes home excitedly to tell his/her mum all that happened in school is story telling. A young teenager complaining to his/her friends about how much homework students get in school this days can also be story telling. A mother warning her child the dangers of jumping on bed are story telling too. And an old grandparent telling his/her grandchildren about life in the past is also story telling! Wow, story telling is for every one of different age, background and mutuality. Perhaps that’s why people always seem more interested to listen to a juicy story rather than just listen to facts (though I cant deny its importance).

The reason I can say all I said above is because I love stories too!! While I was in secondary school, writing essays was my favorite homework. Narrative essays in particular. I just couldn’t wait to know what we’ll have to write about! So when I knew that we have to go for story telling classes, I was equally excited.

Class started quite differently. Instead of having just an introduction of the lecturer, there was an introduction of the students as well! Mr. Ryan went the extra mile to try to get to know us more personally and I was truly amazed by his sincerity. Tell you a secret, ok, an open secret. I myself am not too good at remembering people’s names, and the game we played to introduce ourselves kind of forced me to memorise my classmates’ names! Haha…

Anyway, the main thing we learnt today is about writing stories in a visual voice rather than a written one, and in a 3rd person and presence tense method. To make it simpler for me to understand, I think of it as watching a show and describing everything that is happening at the instance, including the sights and sound. Sounds right? For example, Pamela is typing her reflections for Story Telling class, on her new, white Mac book. She is thinking really hard, frowning, and can’t wait to continue with the next few paragraphs. Pamela is so involved in typing that when her mother comes into the room, it took her a few seconds to respond. All she hears are the “tap tap tap” on her keyboard. Now, Pamela thinks that she should return to first person ‘narration’ and continue with her journal.
I’m back!

One tip that I found particularly interesting was “ don’t stop for the night if you have no ideas for your story!” In secondary school, I would stop for a nap if I can’t find any ideas to continue my story with. Perhaps I hoped to dream of something that I can write about… (just kidding) Anyway, just last night, I was trying to re-write the story we did in class on Friday. At a point of time, I did not really have a good idea for the story and was so tempted to jump onto bed and sleep! However, Mr. Ryan’s tip flashed across my mind and thus I continued with my story. Guess what? I managed to finish it that night and am quite satisfied with the story! Application.

Hope there is something to learn from my reflection:)