Thursday, October 16, 2008
The Story at LIANHE ZAOBAO
This news report is from the Zaobao paper edition of October 7 2008, page 9. The interview was conducted over the phone with Zaobao's journalist. I spoke in English and whatever I said had to be translated into written Chinese for the report here.
Zaobao's veteran photographer, Gary Lau ,drove over to my home to capture some shots of me at my blogging station. I told him, " Btw, Gary...you look familiar to me. Now where did I meet you in the past?" ( In the course of my working, social and sporting life...I have met thousands literally, over my lifetime.)
As a photographer he remembers things better than most.
After a few seconds, he said," I think I covered you for some sports interview."
Over the years, I have given quite a number of interviews, so which one, I wondered.
Then he added," Hwa Chong! You were the Head of Sports there...right?"
Me: " Yes, now I recall. We met not once but a couple of times!"
Part 2 of the " Dinosaur" story continues from here.
By 17th November 2005, I was discharged from Changi Hospital, with my right leg in a cast. A pair of crutches accompanied me home. My dear wife D2 was busy getting me a wheelchair. Other members of my family came over to comfort me, including my 2 grandsons ( only two then). What a sight it must have been for them to see me in such a state, so different from the
"giant" they have known and loved.
It was not easy for me at all during this entire period. My wife was working full time. We have been living on our own without any domestic help for more than 12 years now. We do most things around the house ourselves. When D2 left for work early each morning, I was all alone. But never once did I complain or grouch about the condition I was in to anyone. If anyone could survive alone, with such a physical handicap in place and in such trying circumstances...I determined that would be me. Keeping in contact with all my friends, colleagues and others was critical to me. I still had the laptop from my school and kept in touch by email with everyone.
But by the end of November, that laptop was returned to the school....as I was retiring from service in December 2005. My only contact with the outside world was through the phone in the day. When D2 returned from work, I could access my mail using her laptop. That was when I learnt that my MOE email account would be cut off sometime in January of 2006 since by then I was no longer in service. And with the ending of my account, all the data in that account will be erased. I simply could not allow that to happen as I needed all the email addresses of my contacts and important documents within.
Thus, by January 2006, I made arrangements for a computer system to be set up ( as shown in the photo ) and got my daughter's help to start my own Gmail account, transferred all the data to this new account. With the computer set up so nicely and conveniently, and with so much time on my hand, I began, for the very first time, to check out, explore and discover the various programmes available on the computer itself, from GOOGLE, and some from YAHOO. I spent much more time on the computer than on watching TV ( only the news and some sports ). I read a lot in the past. Have my own library on many different subjects. However, I discovered I could read most things from the internet itself. In the days, weeks and months ahead, I discovered that through " GOOGLING" I can learn almost anything, search for any topic or subject with just a few simple clicks here and there!
I have discovered a NEW WORLD out there! And all on my own to boot!
Let me illustrate.
Painting was something I was quite good at but never was passionate about.
On the other hand, I love cartoons but had not much talent for this art.
By GOOGLING, I found numerous sites that teaches you step by step how to draw cartoons.
Next, how to draw faces.
And next, how to draw portraits from photos.
I began to try out some of these superb free online lessons...in just one day. Guess what?
I had not only surprised myself but others when they saw the end results!
Some of them are now in frames hanging on my living room wall.
Basically, my transformation from an IT and computer illiterate began when I first discovered the art of FOCUSSED GOOGLING. Notice I said "Focussed" not just ordinary Googling. Then I learnt how to use numerous applications that are available on the internet and on Google to enhance my increasing skills. I made lots of mistakes while adding or trying out this and that...but simply learn from them and kept going.
My immobility, due to the Achilles Tendon rupture, kept me home mostly...at the computer. With no danger from the very harmful complexities of acute embarassment and being viewed by some previously as"backward,a piece of"deadwood"and such derogatory terms [ these terms were actually used by some unthinking individuals who I will never name... to save them from their own embarassment as "educators" ]....I felt perfectly at ease in taking the time to "use the computer itself", with all the unending tips,guide notes, instructions available to "teach me".
It was as if I had a personal I T tutor or coach 24/7. Beat that!
And the BONUS...no one to criticise or scold me for any mistakes!
Of course, there are a few mostly minor drawbacks.
There were hurdles and obstacles along this self-made learning journey.
Some things took much longer to work out like my recent Youtube video uploading breakthrough.
But when I had actually succeeded that 1st time...I felt like I have conquered another summit.
Exhilarating! Who would understand.?
So, the foundation for my "transformation" was laid in 2006....and dramatically took a sharp upward curve in January 2007.
For me, this unfortunate accident had turned out to be a Real Blessing in Disguise!
Still much more to come!