Wednesday, May 31, 2006

a few problems

for one...tranport fares have been adult for me...
for the past 5 mnths
and the worst thing was -
i didnt know about it

till a few weeks ago
realised that i've been paying a LOT for my travelling fares
went to check - alas! it's true!

i dont believe it...
$$ have been draining from my mom's bank account
to reduce the hustle of putting in $20 into the card every other week, my family decided to trust smrt and do giro instead to make matters easier and simpler.

so i decided to approach station staff with the problem
they smiled, and when i asked whether a refund is possible, they smiled again and said yes.

but i got a shock when a call came few nights back
they said that i cannot get a refund
its a lot of money
my parents did a calculation, came up to over $200, that is because i argued that i couldnt have been $500 which my mom still insists it is!

they told me that
'we've made an announcement, publicly, that all students are to extend their ez-link cards at transport stations from...may not get a refund after jan....'
i was shocked

firstly, i didnt hear whatsoever about any form of announcement, whether was it through sch or through posters because i never saw one...
maybe im not observant
maybe im ignorant of the things around me
but in the first place
whose job is it to make the announcement evident and easy to be noticed?
whose job is it to make sure that I got to know about such an announcement?
so if any stupid ignorant, unobservant student were to not know about this - i for being one - for till the end of the much would these students be paying excess without knowing?

seconldy, its not so much for the money in this case. its about integrity. i feel that i've been robbed of my $$, imagine trusting my sch with giro, and they siphon $$ from my account like nobody's business without informing me first.for this then how much trust should i put out nxt time?

i say its a grey area in the system of giro. the transport ppl may have not been aware of this problem. the thing is that its difficult on my part and my parents to check our account deduction every month and keep track because i do travel a lot and we assumed that its because of this that deductions have been a lot. we were not aware of this error. how then should we be better informed? that we keep track? then we might as well not have giro in the first place!

the thing was that i was aware that transport was deducting adult fare during february because my friends pointed it out to me. they told me to slot it in the machine to extend it. so i happily willingly did as told. and the machine did say that they'd extended the card. so i walked off happy, thinking that i've saved my parents some trouble.

little did i know that this problem would pop up again now...5 months after i've successfully 'extended' my card

i insist on the refund because,

firstly: i am a student, and i have the right to travel as a student, and pay fares of a student

secondly: $$ was deducted behind my back, and if were to continue to trust our transport system, i wish that we rectify this matter immediately

thirdly: it was tranport's responsibility to make it easily and more evident about the compulsory extention of the cards. if i had known about this and not extend the card, i would have taken full responsibility and instead try to pay my parents back for my mistake and error.

i hope with these 3 reasons, i will get my refund back. it is impt
i would write to ST forums if necessary and fwd this to CASE.

thank you.

Monday, May 29, 2006

CAS - Creativity, Action & Service

Alright there comes a point in time when
things dont always work the way i think they should work
perhaps its because im just fussed up over the whole CAS porfolio-ing
and start whining...
but what ever it is, im just gonna express my unhappiness
at CAS

CAS stands for Creativity, Action & Service
As a student of the IB (International Baccalaureate) Diploma Programme, we are required to fulfill a minimum of 50 hours for Creativity, 50 hours for Action, and 50 hours for Service - a 150 hours in total.
And upon completion of a certain project which encapsulates a certain mumber of hours for each category (CAS), students are required to submit a report and a proposal to obtain approval for the number of hours clocked in. Portfolio-ing includes a log of every single activity done.

now let me air my views, im not happy about 2 things about CAS, but perhaps it would be difficult to change...

Firstly, i feel that the sole purpose of the CAS is to ensure that all IB World students are involved with meaningful activities outside curriculum. This is to enrich the learning experience through community involvement projects, organisation and planning for camps, learning a new sport, teaching a new sport. Im not saying that these are redundant and we should do away with them. Definitely not coz i find these activities interesting and character-developing. What i am trying to say here is that there shouldn't be any recording of hours required.

Its like we have to account for every good deed we are doing - every single hour of it. Its like helping an old granny over the road and taking credit, accounting for it in a notebook. This defeats the whole spirit of community service itself! which is to serve others, not because it concerns hours and criteria, but rather the deed itself which makes life more meaningful.

A student once asked about whether he could complete the whole CAS thing within half a year and slack off for the rest of the years of the IBDP. The teacher sternly replied 'no you cannot! you are defeating the whole purpose of the IB CAS program! You are expected to complete these hours over the length of 2 years to ensure your continual involvement in activites outside curriculum hours.' What i have to say here is that, you see - students now see CAS program as an hours-completion assignment rather than meaningful hours of activity.

The thing about our school and its nature is that most of the students are constantly involved in projects, planning sessions, CCA (Co-curricular Activity) involving sports and games, clubs and societies, performances such as Centrestage requiring more than a month of careful planning and that most of them usually meet the criteria quite easily. However, these students complete these activities without logging in hours because in the spirit of the activity itself, hours do not matter but the work done itself. And it seems that at every end of the term, students are stressed over remembering how many hours they did, and how to split specifically those hours into CAS which is simply too tedious.

I say, we do away with those hours. i say yes to portfolio-ing of activities and obtaining a reflection from each activity done. I feel that this is more in tune with the spirit of CAS, rather than just simply an hours-completion assignment.

The second thing im not so happy about is the unclear line drawn between what is considered CAS, and what is not. For example, there is the question whether service hours should be awarded (why is this word here???) to students involved in Centrestage - a fund-raising activity for the school. Some teachers felt that service hours should be awarded to students doing Community Service, and not this form of activity. But in the first place, these students put in a lot of sweat and blood into getting this together to raise funds for the school, and this IS service to the school, and hence shouldnt there be NO question whatsoever concerning whether these students deserve (why is this word here???) service hours. They are working in pendulum with the CAS spirit, doing this outside the box of normal curriculum.

I say we need to define more clearly what is CAS hours awarded to. Another example would be students who come down to school the whole day to plan out an activity or a camp. How should these students divide the time up into creativity, service and action since the activity itself does involve the action of the students practicing the activities planned themselves, service to the school by facilitating such a camp, and creativity involved in planning such activities. That is what i mean...all 3 of CAS are involved at almost every point in time. How should we, as students, know how to divide it? divide it into 3?

Well, expression is only superficial if nothing gets done
i hope someone would read it and help US ib students sort this out.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

council thoughts.

today had council meeting
now's quite late so i'll be brief.
found out a few stuff so i'd like to share some with you.

k...the executive committee of the student council was named today at the meeting. those in major positions are

president: arthur
vice-president: vantok
vice-president: hansheng
secretary: john loh
secretary: dickson
treasurer: matthew mun
discipline: alistair
events: jj
welfare: tp
PR: josh hoe

haha im VERY glad that these are the people that will be spearheading the 1st ever student council at acsi and im sure that they all have the capability to excel and get the job done...TRAIL BLAZE! =)

well i would like to clarify a few things:

council selection - this was done really manually without any references or vetoes or preferences by the staff who selected the council members. the votes were all of what decided who are in the student council. found this out...was curious therefore raised it today at yup. at least i was reassured about this by the teachers in charge and i think that i will hold their word to it coz the way they said it they really meant it no reason to doubt them.

i hope that clears out some doubts about how ppl got into the student council. members got in entirely by votes. votes were counted twice to make sure.

exco was selected by purely the members of the student council. we each had 10 votes and we had to vote for 10 ppl in the council which we thought would be good for the exco. the minimum votes each student in the exco got was 15 and the highest was 29. bear in mind that total ppl in student council is 32. therefore i would say that this allowed the teachers to gage who would be supported well if voted into exco. therefore i would say this is one of the fairest way to select the exco. yup!

congrats art! always knew you could do it! have much faith and trust in your leadership and im sure that we'll be the trail blazers leaving behind the most amounts of star dusts for years to come. looking fwd to working with you and the council members.

installation will be held monday term3 week1...

thanks ppl for much support of the whole electoral process! glad it went smoothly and i think that you ppl voted very fairly and just. =)
i will promise you that council will be as you expected. we have a lot to do...standards to set. pray for this first batch of council members. they need a lot of support and encouragement. pray for strength, guidance, and wisdom. =)

haha gonna study for JUNE man...hey guys! this will be the easiest exam in the whole of our IB life...lets score well when we can! study and enjoy after! =)

any problems? and questions? leave comments. tag. thanks!


Sunday, May 07, 2006


finally, after almost 2 weeks of campaigning and 1 week of oEp, the council results are finally out. and im glad that i've made it. right now, the thing for me to do would be to start immediately working on things current to our everyday life in sch.

at the moment, the newly elected council members are adjusting to their role as student council member, as well as sorting out who should run for the ex-co positions. give us some time to settle down. we promise that your votes would not be a mistake.

a few issues i would like to discuss in this entry of mine:

i understand that there has been some bitterness of certain individuals that have been voted into council, and raised eyebrows as to who have gotten in. i would like to say that i too have been surprised by the team that the sch has compiled for us. but i assure you that the people who have been voted or chosen to join the council all have potential to do the job for you.

another pressing issue that i would like to address would be the issue that many of the students who have won their seat in council are those that were in the previously known oC or Orientation Committee. there has been much resentment expressed by a large no. of students towards this results.

i would like to say that yes, the oC had some advantage in the council elections as they had Initial B (orientation 1) as well as O2 (orientation 2) to prove themselves that they are worthy of their seat in council. however, these are the students that have volunteered to work for the school during the nov/dec holidays, returning back to sch on numerous days and attending meetings to ensure orientation's success.

i would not hide the fact that i too was an oC member, but i would like to say that working with the people in the oC has showed me much about the capacity of their ability to work and i would also like to say that they will not disappoint you by being in the student council. having worked with the school during the initial few mnths would have seasoned these bunch of students to work more closely with the school, and built their understanding of the school system as well as how it functions. i would say that the small no. of oC members in council will contribute to the school and do their best in serving you for the rest of their term in council.

the question of elitist must not be left out since some of the student population still feel the presence of the elitist group, much of it coming from the oC as well as the sC. i would like to say that my position as a student council member is that the council will not form an elitist group that divides the student body. i hate the fact that there has been such labelling of certain students present in the school as it gives rise to the problem of cliques found in schools and in our everyday lives. but i do see your concern and i would like to say that my being part of the student council will not be one of superiority or anything special. being given this position does not make me any different from the responsible students of the school. we are one, not 2 separate bodies. i promise to watch out for any bunching formed amongst the student council members, and if ever so, point it out to them.

however, i would like to assure you that the students elected into council have been, somewhat carefully chosen by the school. these are students with responsibility and an attitude to work for you, and not form a group which is more superior than other students.

i know i have not solved the problem of this view on the newly elected sC, but i hope i've been reasonable, and said my piece without the air of pride OR defence because i am will not tolerate pride or fake words with fake intentions.

i think that the council members have been elected in for a purpose. it comprises not only of oC members, 1st intakers, as well as 2nd intakers. i look forward to working for you and the school and i hope that you, as the part of us in the student body will work with us to make school life, ib life, a worthwhile time in OUR lives.

thanks to all who voted for me! =)
i will not disappoint you!

i realised that my past few blog templates have been slightly hard to read therefore i decided that since content is more impt than blog design, i've decided to change the template to a more legible one.