2018 Week 16 Update

Another week has gone by and we’re at the last week of April.

I have been in a bit of a funk this week and it’s taken me almost the whole week to come out of it. But I am fine now, hopefully, this feeling of wellness lasts longer this time around.

Othe than planning our June holidays, I’ve done nothing much this week. We’re planning a driving holiday to Malaysia.

Have a wonderful week folks!

 

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Water: The Driving Force of all Nature

quote-the-wars-of-the-twenty-first-century-will-be-fought-over-water-ismail-serageldin-54-11-05

“The wars of the twenty-first century will be fought over water” – Ismail Serageldin

Water, the one thing which human beings can’t survive without for long. The natural resource which, for centuries we have taken for granted and abused mercilessly and one which is precariously close to depletion if we are not careful.

map_showing_global_physical_and_economic_water_scarcity_2006There is a global water crisis going on and challenges to government and non-governmental bodies trying to fix the situation include water scarcity, water pollution, inadequate water supply and the lack of sanitation for billions of people in less developed countries.

Water and related to it, sanitation is an essential human right and so to bring the world’s attention to this dire situation, so that our children and their children have access to a resource which is essential for the survival of the human race, 22 March has been designated as World Water Day.

waterday-logoWorld Water Day is an annual observance day on 22 March to highlight the importance of freshwater. It is also used to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. World Water Day is celebrated around the world with a variety of events. These can be educational, theatrical, musical or lobbying in nature. The day can also include campaigns to raise money for water projects. The first World Water Day, designated by the United Nations, was commemorated in 1993.

UN-Water selects a theme for each year.The theme for 2018 is “Nature for Water” to encourage people to “look for the answer in nature”. Damaged ecosystems affect the quantity and quality of water available for human consumption. Today, 2.1 billion people live without safe drinking water at home; affecting their health, education and livelihoods. Sustainable Development Goal 6 commits the world to ensure that everyone has access to safe water by 2030, and includes targets for protecting the natural environment and reducing pollution.

The UN World Water Development Report is released each year around World Water Day.

Here in Singapore, most schools celebrate the day by teaching water conservation to the students. For example, some toilets are closed off and students are forced to use a limited number of toilets, or water force is severely curtailed. This is so they get how important water is.

watersavingOn our part, as individuals, we can also take small steps to help conserve water.

  1. Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. Don’t let all the water go down the drain while you brush! Turn off the tap after you wet your brush, and leave it off until it’s time to rinse.
  2. Turn off the tap while washing your hands. Do you need the water to run while you’re scrubbing your hands? Save a few litres of water and turn the tap off after you wet your hands until you need to rinse.
  3. Fix your leaks. Whether you go DIY or hire a plumber, fixing leaky taps and pipes can mean big water savings.
  4. Take shorter showers. Our shower heads can use as much as 15-20 litres of water per minute. Speed things up in the shower for some serious water savings.
  5. Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap. Collect the water you use while rinsing fruit and vegetables. Use it to water houseplants.

How do you conserve water? Please do comment and share your tips to save water so that we pass on a better earth to our children than what we inherited!

 

2018 Week 12 Update

Another week and we’re almost at the end of quarter 1!

I spent my weekend debating internally whether I should deactivate my Facebook account or not. With the Cambridge Analytica fallout, I am now rejoicing over my decision not to be all over social media and keeping a very low profile. While I did not deactivate my FB account, what I did was spend some time removing apps which had permission to access my account. I have a decent score of only 11 apps in the last 9-10 years, including WP, so yeah, I’ve gone and deleted everything from Facebook. I guess I am lucky that I am so paranoid that I almost never sign up with FB and always sign up to any apps or websites using email and this has, to a large extent protected me.

I’m also using this as a teaching opportunity to show GG & BB how social media can be dangerous, if not used properly. And also using this as an excuse to unsubscribe to all the newsletters and spam email that seem to proliferate and choke my inbox.

What steps are you taking to protect yourself online?

2018 Secondary 3 Week 9 Update

We’re almost at the end of term 1 of the school year and I feel that time is just running fast and before we know it the children will be giving their O levels and thus ending their school journey!

BB’s common tests start from tomorrow and I have really no idea how much he has prepared for them. I can and do keep nagging constantly, but at this age, most of it goes in from one year and goes out immediately from the other ear, with nothing actually being heard! I don’t want to push him too much because he is in a hormonally charged, sensitive age, but I can’t leave it as it is because the marks he gets now will pretty much determine his future, especially in the grade-obsessed nation we live in.

GG will go for her adventure camp tomorrow. She is quite ambivalent about this whole camp. She says she does not like outdoor activities too much, but I really doubt her claim. I am sure when she comes back, she will be full of stories about the fun she had with her cohort.

The next week is school holidays with GG’s choir doing a public concert, so that’s something BB and I will be going to support her. We don’t have other plans for the holidays, so need to think of something the children can do.

Have an awesome Sunday!

 

2018 Week 8 Update

I really enjoyed writing my blog post on journaling last week as this is exactly what I do each week in these posts!

Last week was quite hectic what with a principal’s tea session and then the parent support group meeting at BB’s school. At the school with the principal, most of the parents at BB’s level were from his classmates class and all of us had one over-riding concern, which was the lack of a proper lunchtime for the children. This class, as well as the pure science sec 4, who have the longest days because of the number of subjects they take, don’t really have time for a proper lunchtime, even when they finish the day close to 4 pm. The school has now assured us that they are working on relooking at their timetable for the next term, especially for the day they end the latest where they can incorporate a lunchtime into the daily timetable.

We also had a talk from one of the outreach people from a local polytechnic on the options available to students. Both BB & GG don’t want to go on to a junior college just because they will have to do two more years of the mother tongue, which they don’t want to do; hence the decision about moving to a polytechnic and then to university. While I didn’t really learn a lot, it did clarify some of the doubts I had and hopefully, this decision is a good one for both children.

We’re looking at ending  February and starting March later this week, may this week and the month of March be awesome to everyone!