Just what goes into the bags or resides on the desks of our school’s Discipline Masters and Mistress? We peek into the bags of Mr Tan Boon Poh and Ms Amelia Heng (Year 5-6 Assistant Department Heads, Discipline) and pay a visit to the desk of Mr Joseph Wong (Year 1-4 Discipline Master).
Joseph Wong’s Items
‘When asked what do I carry in my bag, my instant reply was: I don’t carry a bag and if possible, would love to go everywhere empty-handed. So what you see are just some everyday items which I have on my desk.
‘I am a bit of a neat freak (though my family members and colleagues will probably tell you that it’s an understatement) so there aren’t that many things on my desk as well. I find this sign with the traditional chinese character for the word ‘to listen’ very meaningful and have been using it to illustrate to my students the art of listening. The word ‘listen’ is actually a combination of a few other Chinese words. To listen, you first need to use your ears (耳) but just by doing that alone is simply hearing and not listening. There must also be eye contact (目) at all times and one listens with the heart (心) and with respect treating the speaker as though he is the king (王).
‘The other item which has been with me for quite some time is this worn-out pencil case that says ‘I am a good guy’ on one side and ‘I am a bad guy’ on the other. My students have grown to understand that the pencil case reflects the mood that I am in on that day and this is dependent on the state of cleanliness and readiness of the class.
‘The two colourfully hand-painted pebbles are used as paper weights and as I love greenery, serve to have a calming effect on me while the two stuffed toys are special gifts from my children. I also found this small, rather handy world globe at a Sentosa gift shop which is quite useful in my teaching of history as well. Finally, tea is my preferred choice of beverage and I drink all kinds of tea though recently, I have taken a liking to coffee as well.’
Tan Boon Poh’s Items
‘I really have nothing interesting lah. Most of it is either sports or tech stuff. I have two phones, one of which is a XiaoMi RedMi Note 2, which I use as a phablet for light reading and entertainment purposes on the way to work. I prefer a phablet as I think it’s less bulky than a tablet, but not so small that I have to strain my eyes to read stuff.
‘My Ajay Earphones for iPhone were bought secondhand from Ms Ma Jialin who stopped using them after she moved on to an Android phone.
‘Nim Jom Pi Pa Gao herbal syrup is another mainstay because I have to raise my voice at the students so much. I also do a fair amount of sports, as you can see from my training attire and running shoes. I’ve been gravitating towards barefoot movement recently, as you can tell by my Vibram FiveFingers running shoes. It’s a bit uncomfortable at first but once you get the hang of it, you will run with a mid-foot stride that’s supposed to place less stress on your knees.
‘I’m also biased towards the idea of minimalism, which is why I went for this pair of Tarahumara sandals. I always joke that it’s from IKEA, although it’s not, because I bought them online, and I had to assemble them on my own, punching a hole in the rubber area and putting the string through.’
Amelia Heng’s Items
‘Mine is fairly similar to Boon Poh’s, but I think the difference is that I’m even more of an exercise freak.
‘I’ve had my Merrell Trail Running Shoes for some time now, but unfortunately, I’ve had to cut down on my running since I sustained a stress fracture. Previously, I embarked on three runs a week, a long one of about 18km and two shorter ones of about 5-10km. Additionally, I also do some cross-training.
‘Yes, I do carry around a grapefruit, which is my breakfast for certain days in between classes, and I have a mid-day snack with one of those energy or health bars.
‘My table is very messy, though, so I can’t show you guys anything from there HAHA!’