Tag Archives: education

World Book Day: Dressing up as your favourite character

On World Book Day on the 5th of March this year, many schools in the UK had a ‘non-uniform’ day, and children were encouraged to dress themselves up as a character from a book that they love.

Many children dressed up as characters such as Spiderman, Batman and Superman, Ironman, Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, Dracula, Wally, or Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.

Normally my son doesn’t like dressing up as other characters, but this year, he decided to dress up as his favourite character, The Doctor. The Doctor is the main character from the television show Doctor Who, the longest running sci-fi series of all time. He is an alien who travels in a time machine and fights aliens and visits new worlds. The show’s longevity stems from The Doctor’s ability to change his appearance, with every version (or incarnation) being completely different from the last. There have been 12 Doctors. Continue reading

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Sex education for teenagers

We have a keyring in the shape of a sperm at home.

My 14-year-old son came back from school a few weeks ago after a day’s sex education and drug education. The sperm keyring was a freebie to all children.

During the sex education, all boys and girls (aged 13 and 14) were each given a real condom in a sealed package. They learnt together in the same class, learnt how to tear off the sealed package gently, hold the condom the right way, and put it on a realistic erect penis model.

The teenagers also learnt about STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases). They were shown graphic images of the effects of the diseases such as chlamydia. Teenagers were also told to make choices in life about whether they think they are ready for sex, and try not to succumb to peer pressure. Continue reading

12 Reasons Why You Need Lorelle’s Blog Exercises for Your Blog

The Teachers’ Day in Singapore is on the 6th of September this year. In China, since 1985, Teachers’ Day is on the 10th of September each year. Distinguished Chinese essayist and philosopher HAN Yu (韩愈) from the Tang dynasty explained the roles of a teacher in only six Chinese character, in his famous essay, “On the Teacher”(师说).

The roles of a teacher by HAN Yu, in my translation, are to

  • Guide students, show them the direction (传道, literally, spread the ‘Tao’).
  • Impart knowledge to students, to improve their abilities. (授业)
  • Resolve the students’ doubts. (解惑)

In my blogging existence, I follow the guidance from the best teacher, Lorelle. Since I’ve done 40 posts inspired by Lorelle, I would like to give you 12 reasons why you need Lorelle’s Blog Exercises for your blog. Continue reading

At 30 – a milestone to set my site goals

This morning, I woke to find that my mother-in-law had just subscribed to my blog.

My initial response was: “Oh no! Have I written something that my mother-in-law shouldn’t read? ”

No, but a brief moment of panic was my natural reaction. Actually my very first post was inspired by my mother-in-law. I shouldn’t have panicked. I sent her an email to thank her for her subscription.

I should not have worried about my close relatives reading my blog. I never use my blog to write anything that I would regret in real life. Most of my friends don’t know that I write, and those who know are not regular readers. Who do I write for? My blog is a welcoming, open cafe, which attracts a like-minded audience, who indulges in the comforting aroma of freshly brewed fine tea from China and the grinding sound of dark-roast coffee beans from Italy. They stay because this cafe with a difference suits their temperament. Continue reading

What I have learnt from your comments

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When a flash of orange light appears on my WordPress notifications menu informing me of a new comment, it always excites me.

Imagine my joy when the comment is more than a friendly nodding: “Nice post!” “Thank you!” These brief comments are equivalent to the British weather talk with a stranger: “Lovely, isn’t it?” The encounter is friendly, but it lacks substance.

I wrote Oriental and western views on postnatal confinement two weeks ago and the comments I received were fine examples of how interactive comments inform, educate and entertain me. Continue reading

Hearing my voice from my quotes

When I was in Year 6 in the south of Malaysia aged 12, it was a tradition that school leavers would write their mottos to one another in a little notebook. Everyone would buy at least a notebook for the teachers and friends to write messages in. Shops were full of pretty leavers’ notebooks for boys and girls to buy, and most of the notebooks had cute adorable Japanese cartoons on the cover with beautiful embellishments.

"There are foxy women in the sky."

“There are foxy women in the sky.”

Teachers would write words of encouragement such as “Remember to continue learning, ” or a famous slogan from Chairman Mao, “Work hard and make progress everyday.”

However, we precocious 12-year-olds would write something more profound and abstract. We dished out mottos and quotes that we considered smart. The popular rhyming quotes in Chinese that I received from my 12-year-old friends included:

  • “There are foxy women in the sky; there are jinxs in the earth. Please be aware who your friends are!”
  • “A dragon gives birth to a dragon; a phoenix gives birth to a phoenix; the son of a mouse will dig a hole!”
  • “A mountain will fall; water will flow away; you had better rely on yourself!”

Continue reading

I swim and I blog: where are my nutrients from?

I wrote Share your fear in late June as my first blog post responding to Blog Exercises set by a stranger in the USA called Lorelle. Now I have a staggering collection of 24 blog posts (including this post) from these exercises completed in the past 45 days. You’ll see my full list of the 24 posts at the end of this post.

Lorelle on WordPress logo At the same time, I deleted about 24 old posts from this blog.  This is my Yin and Yang approach: I added a well-written post, which I had poured my heart into writing, and I deleted a limp, floppy old post, which was re-blogged or written in haste.

One of my achievements in the process was my creation of a massive Table of Contents with Lorelle’s guidance. This table helps me see my strength, weakness, goal and hit-and-miss attempts in writing.

Continue reading

Must all boys love Lego?

My son Ben doesn’t like Lego. I used to be quite upset about it.

I wasn’t the most confident new mother when my son was small. Who was? I learnt from parenting books and middle-class stay-at-home mothers that Lego toys were brilliant, and “all boys love Lego,” so I bought him some Lego bricks with joy and played with him.

Roman Banquet Lego Model: in City Museum, Winchester

Roman Banquet Lego Model: in City Museum, Winchester. Roman Banquet was built with 75,000 Lego pieces.

Apparently building Lego toys would boost a child’s maths skill, improve his spatial awareness, and his understanding of fractions and division. Playing with Lego could also foster a child’s physics and engineering skills. Playing with Lego could develop a child’s fine motor skills, high-level problem solving skills, planning and organising skills. Of course I wanted my son to be a scientist, an accountant, an engineer, a heart surgeon, and the youngest Mensa member ever. (Mensa: The High IQ Society) I wanted my son to play Lego.

I bought my son a Lego set, Lego book and some cute Lego model for Christmas, however, he did not open the Lego set for 3 years. He told me he could not see the point of building Lego toys. He had no passion for Lego.

I do compare parenting. I visited a friend whose lounge was turned into a Legoland. They built sophisticated inverted roller-coaster, with motorised chain lifts and working gates. They also built suspension bridges and Technic jet planes. On one visit, we were warned not to knock over their roller-coaster that had taken them 5 days to build. Continue reading

My Site Table of Contents – I did it!

This page is updated regularly. Old posts have been deleted. Posts are re-organised. 

For the most up-to-date Table of Contents, visit this page.

I’ve taken up Lorelle’s huge challenge, Blog Exercises: Organise Your Content, to organise all my posts on this blog. I’ll explain in my next post the sweat, tear, and joy of completing this task. I’m keen to find out what you think of the outcome. Would you like to try organising your site too?

This task is never going to be perfect, but I’m willing to show you my attempts, my progress, or my failure.

Site Table of Contents

This Site Table of Contents is a microscopic view of my 195 blog posts published on Janet’s Notebook from 5 April 2012 till 27 July 2013.

It covers stories of my life before the UK and my life after living in the UK since 1996. It covers my hobbies, my identity, and my thoughts on history, language and cross cultures.

It depicts my life in the south of England, my family with a son with pets, my local community, and my moments of glory and sadness.

It also reflects my love affairs with WordPress, and how my life has been enriched and transformed with WordPress through this brilliantly supportive and engaging community. Continue reading