Saturday, July 30, 2011

Relink Me

A New Link...

Oh dear...
They say I talk too much, upload too many photos, not savvy enough to resize my photos... even blogger says it has to cut me off...

An angel came along ... not my daughters but someone close enough whom I can consider as one.
The name of the game is not the challenge but the solution. Solutions are many but you take those you are most comfortable with; so here I am with my solution... Thank you Pam.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Whetting Your Appetite

Falling in love with English gardens.
Dad says many of his clients love to have English gardens as part of their landscape.
It is only a dream; it can never thrive under the tropical heat and humidity.
So, one of the best things that can happen to you is to savour in the blooms which survive so naturally and beautifully in this temperate land.

An English garden which seems to need so little care ; imagine the amount of effort we have to put in here to persuade them to live... one week maybe.

This species just grow so naturally outside an apartment in Kensington...

So neat and pretty; a delight to the eye and you never seem to have enough...

Look; they are everywhere, the periwinkle ; it's at a park near Soho Square...

Petunias of different shades in a pot; they are so beautiful you are afraid to touch them lest they die...

In the countryside along Wiltshire, this is a common sight; you want to live there for them..

Daisy, daisy will you marry me...

Roses and daisies when combined is a sight to behold...

So sweet the pink roses that it's natural to fall in love with them... falling in love.

Lavender so purple and pretty...

The poppy is a common sight here; they are not here to kill but to add beauty...

What's this ? But it is pretty...

Ma, take a shot please; I love the flowers; who wouldn't ?

I simply cannot resist a shot here. The beautiful flora makes the daily walking pleasant and remove all tiredness. The cool weather adds further pleasure and you only want to go on and on. Each time you come to a spot like that above, you pause, gaze at them, turn your head in all directions and agree that it is it : they make your day.

It's lovely to be here in the UK...just for the flowers; believe me.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sally Port

A beautiful port.
Dad said he must see Sally Port again.

Walking round Portsmouth we noticed that the livelihood of the local folks has everything to do with port ; fishing, trading, tourism, transportation...

Isn't it pretty? Sally Port is sweet and quaint. Look at the display of pots; so inviting and it is even more attractive if you peep in. Have tea...

Dad related that Portsmouth positioned at the southern most part has always been connected to emigration and immigration ; the British were known to have left the shores of England looking for greener pastures in America and Australia. In Sydney when we visited it in 2008, we were shown the place near Opera House where British convicts were sent to... they could have left through Sally Port.

Below the statues was a written reminder of the legacy left behind by those who left the shores of England for America ; nostalgic. Somehow sometimes in one's life there is a need to leave the homeland for survival. So we can safely say America is connected to UK through blood ties?

Along the port underneath the fort, we noticed that many openings were sealed.

However those that were opened have lovely scenario beyond the opening...

A lovely flint-stoned filled beach. Sun bathing is popular and the locals never seem to get enough of the sun; I take an umbrella everywhere to avoid the scorching summer sun...

We climbed a flight of stairs in search of a better view of the port...

Dad said he used to visit the spot...

The fort was once used as a spot to encounter the enemy; the structure told me so...

The place brought back memories for dad; he said not much change but noticed a few new tall buildings in the far end...

Beautiful, clear blue skies and seas; so pleasing to the eye...

So this photograph will be remembered...

Strolling further down the quiet town, I saw an interesting building...

I went closer and it read : Portsmouth Sea Scouts Headquarters... I thought Sophie Lau would be excited about it. She was crazy about scouting activities in her school days.

Indeed it was a pleasant morning walk along this still and west country place; the flowers are incredibly beautiful...

The girls holding tight to a used 'cannon' probably of no use today but only fit as a decor item along its street. When will their stories end? So many challenges they face; and they become mine at times. I pray for God's favour to be upon them as they mature into useful beings.

Sally Port; a point to reminisce.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Treat

A past, present and future connection

When you become a feeder school to a local tertiary institution of higher learning, you are highly esteemed by them.

Taylor's has long been associated with the students of Seafield and historical achievements have been achieved through this partnership. Many Seafieldians have walked past the gates of Taylor's and have today emerged as professional and successful individuals. Strange that my spouse should have his pre-u education at Taylor's and later to find his 3 daughters going through the same gate before embarking on university degrees. Grace went through SAM and IMU, Esther through their architectural diploma and University of Melbourne and Sara through A levels and the University of Reading; all semi products of Taylor's. In a way, I am grateful to the opportunities created through the programmes.

Taylor's has long been contributing to education through affiliation with local schools. So today the staff of Seafield were given to another treat as were given a session on "creative teaching" by the head of Design Department, Mr. Kenneth Tan.

Mr. Tan is an eloquent, patient and knowledgeable speaker.

Taylor's was gracious for she provided meals too at their beautiful, local campus. The teachers were delighted for they had a choice of meals and drinks after been given a free ride there. What great hospitality; no wonder their school of tourism and hospitality today has a student population of 3000.

The teachers were eager to learn. You see it on their smiley and eager faces. But what was going to be taught?

After listening to Sir Ken Robinson, we were further made to understand that students who can't sit still in class may not necessarily suffer from anything except out of boredom and insufficient stimulation. That introduced us to the notion of creativity.
In summary, 4 facets of creativity were touched.
  • Fluency
  • Flexibility
  • Originality
  • Elaboration
Fluency allows varied solutions to a challenge. Problems are solved not only in one manner. Try as many and use the most appropriate for the occasion. Teachers teaching maths and art must allow more than a method to achieve the goal?

Everyone was asked to form patterns out of the circles. Any form as long as a theme is made. Fluency is for the best of varied approaches.

Flexibility is applied with a condition : no breaking of rules.
So the teachers were asked to fold a piece of paper into quarters, then to divide it into 3 strips.

Tear the strips into 3 equal parts and there is a limit to its tear about 2 inches above the end of the paper. The rule is to hold 2 ends of the paper with your fingers and be creative !

She did it ! No rules broken and yet the task is achieved. It is typical of this teacher. She doesn't break rules and still manages to achieve her task in her work.

So delightfully she received this gift for her creativity. So we teach children to achieve task without breaking rules .

So how do you be original in your creations?

Cloud shape. Design 4 patterns to denote 4 different types of vocation.

That's an ice cream cone; so ice cream vendor !

If it is star shaped; it is the sheriff ! What else?

Flags in different banner shapes !

Hearts. A matchmaker agency, heart surgeon, emotional consultant...

This is the winning work. A triangle shape forming vocations for a mountaineer, archaeologist, billiard player and a camp director...

Doris, Doris, Doris ... creative ! Maybe we play the game with the students in school and they might just outshine all of us.

So now you talk about originality and elaboration ! Talk about combinations of ideas and elaborate on them.

Combine list A and B and come out with the most outrageous ideas of the best creation. The scale of difficulty has climbed up... bloom's taxonomy.

Use Mas to carry durians to international markets. China, Korea and Japan now import durians from Malaysia. If MAS cannot beat AA, carry durians instead? The teachers are bold!

How about the banana shape combined with Mas and footwear expert Fung Keong ?

The mangosteen with Maxis; i phone ... winning streak !

Devi, though quiet is surely imaginative and became the winner. Now I know the potential in her.

Some ideas her can be patented...thanks to the creativity of teachers ! When I casually asked Kenneth about the level of creativity of the staff on the Likert Scale of 1 - 5 he quickly said at least 4! Seafield is creative !

In between the sessions as I walked around the campus, I couldn't help but notice creativity displayed !

It looked so familiar. Yes, back in mid 2005 I remember Esther doing stunts like that in her course.

I went to them and asked : Are you architectural students ? Yes ! Yes ! ... I knew it. Nothing but sense, creativity and ideas; loads of it for the course.

I was told by the excited Esther last night that Bakita, co- designed with colleagues while working in ArchiCenter was highlighted in the local Architecture Magazine. She was elated. Now more for the days to come...

She leaves for Melbourne to day again for her final lap... gruesome 6 years. But may all that she has learnt bring her joy and contentment. The course has taught her creativity, endurance, patience, determination, and caused buckets of tears and sleepless nights. Architecture is surely not for the faint-hearted.

May the good Lord's presence go before you and bless your work.
Go Esther go... mama is with you !

Taylor' connected with my past, present and future.
Thank you for a day of knowledge, food and hospitality.