Just a really quick note as I need to seriously sleep. My body is screaming in protest even as I am typing this out.
Basically, I went for two days of the Arts Education Conference which is also in collaboration with the 9th Asia Pacific Symposium on Music Education. For this event, there were so many people who turned up early on the first day that those who were late could not sign up for the workshops, but instead, they, like myself and my colleague, had to attend other presenters’ research papers. Because there were so many people, Republic Polytechnic (RP) was chosen to host the event. The grounds of the place are huge as it is also one of the newest polytechnics built in the last ten years. Anyway, it was my first time at RP and also, my first time traveling to Woodlands so early in the morning (my colleagues and I met at 7:15am at the MRT station near my home).
I particularly like the keynote address by Singapore’s very own composer/song-writer Mr. Dick Lee, who very candidly gave us a semi-prepared speech on his formative years in music; like how he started on the piano was thanks to his mother winning a lucky draw, how he enjoyed writing stories a la Enid Blyton, how his first taste of success came about when he was rejected from a talent competition, how his first successful composition was done a la Elton John, and how he basically rose to fame when he was supposed to be studying fashion in London instead of performing music in pubs and clubs with a Londoner friend. Basically, his message was that for a budding musician, maybe it would be good to emulate his/her favourite music style, and from there create his/her own identity, and also remembering his/her roots, which he felt that many modern young Singaporeans lack.
I had also enjoyed Prof. Lucy Green’s lecture on Informal Learning. What I had learnt that day made me want to apply it to my daily work; it empowered me, especially when she presented her findings that the students could actually learn when left on their own. What she basically did was to allow a group of students to choose their own agreed piece of music and then perform it live. Along the way, the students learnt how to create the music and sound effects. The teacher acted as a facilitator throughout the project. Yes, the initial part could be chaotic but by letting go, the students are allowed to learn in their natural manner. I am raring to go try this out! Excited!!
So, that very much sums up my two days at the conference.
This evening, Thursday, I went out with two other girlfriends to try this newly launched Whipped Cream Flavored Vodka by Pinnacle, at the Alleybar (Emerald Hill). What really caught my attention on the publicity poster were the words ‘candy buffet’. Let me clarify one point – I am not much of a sweets/candy person, but I was seriously interested in how a candy buffet would look like, which turned out to be not that great after all. It was a small rectangular table with a white table cloth and blue sweets and jelly beans, and other blue and white confectionary. Yes, you might had guessed the colour theme of the event, no prizes here: blue and white. Anyways, for $20, we got 6 shots of the new flavoured vodka, and you do the math, how many each of us took? And then, wait for it, the management was offering the same thing as tasters, for free! We girls were like, “Shoots! Why did we pay for it when we could had gotten those shots for free?” Oh well… How would we have known that they would serve those same shots? Anyway, the new Whipped Cream Flavored Vodka came with whipped cream on it in the little glasses. On our initial round, we asked for 3 with the cream and 3 without. We girls mostly agreed that the cream helped to take away the too-sweet of the vodka. For me, as it was my first time taking vodka shots, I actually preferred the ones without the cream. On the whole, I do not like vodka; i had a taste of it when I was quite young and well, the initial taste stayed with me since then: bitter. Anyway, since one of us were actually allergic to alcohol, but she still drank those 2 shots, we got another 8 shots for free. Myself and the best friend each downed 4 shots of the new ones. Now, my friends got red in their faces quite easily after taking alcohol; we call that the Asian flush, but it is quite normal. As for me, I am actually quite the opposite; my face remains the same even with alcohol, and actually, that is quite scary. I cannot tell whether I have enough to drink. I just have to know when to stop, provided I do not get drunk first.
At the end, we left at about 10pm. In nightlife terms, it was actually still early but being the responsible adults that we were, and still are, we had to go home, have a good rest before reporting for work the next day. We were still sober enough to take the MRT and get ourselves home without causing any trouble. It just that I was a bit foggy in my head after that 6 shots and a pint of Heineken in total, but it was nothing to what a bottle of good old mineral water could do.
Will I do it again? Hmmmm… I will have to think it through carefully.
Photos: Mr. Dick Lee addressing. Alleybar promotion poster.