the starfish story

the starfish story, aka Sara and the Starfish, was an adaptation of Loren Eiseley’s work. an adaptation via is as follows:

“Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”

“I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said,

“It made a difference for that one.”

160511-starfish_David Quitoriano
(photo credit: David Quitoriano)

culture is …

“a culture … is a set of mental constructs that may serve to guide or justify conduct between people, and to tell them how to use things … it may also tell them how to get from what is to what should be; that is, in one of its aspects culture is a plan for coping with the world.” (Bailey 1992, as cited in Becher, 1994).

Bailey, F.G. (1992). Anthropology. In B.R. Clark & G. Neave (Eds.), The Encylopedia of Higher Education. Oxford:Pergamon Press.
Becher, T. (1994). The significance of disciplinary differences. Studies in Higher Education, 19(2), 151-161.

(acknowledgement: Brian Nelson)

time is like liquid in a bottle

time is like liquid in a bottle.
liquid is not too compressible (cf. air).
if a bottle is already filled with Coke to the brim, there’s no layman way to introduce (choose any favourite drink, e.g. Pepsi, 100-Plus, Kickapoo, 佳佳凉茶, whatever)


to introduce (insert favourite drink) into the bottle, some Coke must give way.
to introduce new practice into any teaching and learning context, some old practice must give way.

time is like liquid.
time is incompressible, and limited.

2016 is here

another year has passed, and 2016 is here. managed to grab 2 clean shots as the clock stroke 1200am. shared the purple-greenish one on fb, and uploading the other here:


looks like CNY came early from this shot. wishing one and all a Healthy and Blissful 2016, 平安喜乐 (:

happy children’s day

Happy Children’s Day to all who celebrated Children’s Day on 1st October when we were in primary school, and young at heart of cos! found this recently when clearing things (aka rubbish) at home 😛

Ang Mo Kio North Primary School Children's Day Gift 1983
Ang Mo Kio North Primary School Children’s Day Gift 1983

… that was when i was in primary 2 *wow*