Wednesday, 17 April 2013


13 weeks of classes have gone pass in a flash. I vividly remember being late on the first day of class. When I got in, everyone was doing the bingo sheet and I was lost. Aster was the first person to approach me and explain what was going on. I slowly opened up to the rest and got to know more about the people in class. If I remembered clearly, it was Jie Ying who won the ultimate prize.

After a few weeks, I was tasked to present a peer teaching lesson together with Aster. Our topic was on resume writing and cover letters. That was one of the reasons why I chose to enrol in this course. I know nothing about writing a resume or cover letter. Luckily, Aster was a graduating student and she thought me most of the stuff. From someone who knows nothing about writing resumes and cover letters, I am proud to say that I am able to write an effective cover letter and a resume now. I think the concept of peer teaching was rather effective. Not only did it allow students to internalise useful materials such as survey methods, resume writing, it also gave students a platform to present what they have learn at the same time. Albert Einstein once said: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”. I guess my classmates have done a very good job with regards to peer teaching as everyone was able to deliver their materials in a simple and concise way, which I enjoy learning from.

The next milestone event was the time where we had to assume multiple roles and react during a given situation. I guess that was the point where everyone agreed that I have a talent for acting. I was so into my character that my partner thought I was really angry with her. I soon became the actor of the class. Whenever there was a need for a character, like a principal, I was first on their mind. I hope that cheered the class up and made everyone’s time in class more memorable.

The last highlight of the course was the oral presentation and proposal writing. Personally, I enjoyed the whole process from the start to the very end. It was as I completed an actual project and sealed the deal.

This course not only taught me how to speak confidently in front of crowds in all sorts of situations, but also taught me how to craft documents that are important for my career in the future. Personally, I am someone who is keen towards learning things that are beneficial and applicable in the future. I feel that education now tend to focus more on academic performance rather than important skills like communication and interaction. What is the point of having a near to perfect score when all you can do is regurgitate and memorise textbook answers?  A computer can easily do that. Something that cannot be replaced is the element of personal touch. Imagine you are a boss and you are to choose between two proposals - one has been communicated to you via email because the guy is inadequate in face to face interactions, while the other is constantly physically present to explain and clarify your doubts on the spot.  If I were you, I would definitely choose the latter for his sincerity. Furthermore, any queries will be addressed immediately compared to the first person using email.

I might have digressed a little but what I am trying to say here is that, effective communication allows ideas to be communicated easily and effectively. My biggest take away from this course is that I am now more confident of presenting in an organized, structured and effective manner in front of crowds in any context.

Anyway, this last part of the post is dedicated to Brad. Thank you for being such a wonderful teacher. You are the coolest teacher I have ever met in NUS. I really enjoyed myself during the whole duration of the course. Your feedback help me improved tremendously since day 1. It is a bitter sweet feeling knowing this coming friday will be your last ES2007 class. Sad because the course has ended and no more lively lessons. Happy because I was fortunate to be taught under you. I am sure everyone in class will agree with me that this is one of the most fulfilling class that they ever enjoyed. I hope that the class have gave you many fond memories that you will remember. With that, I end my post with a big shout out to everyone! A very big thank you to all of you for making me look forward to Tuesdays and Fridays despite them being my long day! All the best to those who are graduating and good luck to those who are still studying! ((;


  1. Hi Jack,

    It was really heartwarming reading your post.
    You're my first friend in ES2007s too! and definitely one of my best partner in class. Remembered how we did peer teaching and the acting session without any prior rehearsals or meetups. Simply base on trust and the chemistry between us. I really enjoyed working with you for the chemistry. Somehow we were able to integrate effectively :)

    You have taught me a lot from the way you present as well. I was really impressed by your final oral presentation. having been through peer teaching with you, I see how you have changed in the style of presenting to cater to the audience, with your wit, humor and style. Keep it up. You are naturally good on stage, and I believe you will be able to shine brighter in your remaining semesters in NUS. Don't forget what you have learnt and apply them when the time comes for you to apply job and when you have to do your FYP poster presentation.

    You will look back and smile when the time comes. :)


    1. Hello Aster!!!

      I am glad that we remember each other as our first friend. I got to agree with you on the chemistry part. I think we are reaching the stage where "we fake it, till we become it".

      All the best for your future endeavors and good luck on finding your dream job! Continue your passion to travel around. Someday, I am going to do the same ((:

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  3. Thank you, Jack, for this highly detailed, comprehensive reflection. What it lacks in conciseness it makes up for in passion. As I read I could feel your enthusiasm for the various tasks under discussion. You also offer an analysis of each topic that is often insightful, for example, when you deliberate on the value of peer teaching.

    Since within the parameters of this post assignment there should also be a learning experience, I will add that there are a few instances where your enthusiasm overwhelms the clarity in writing. For example, in the final paragraph, you write that "effective communication allows ideas to be communicated easily and effectively." Well, yes, but couldn't this idea be put forth more cogently, without repeating the "effective" bit?

    But this, too, is a digression, my friend. What I really like in this post is that I see the same "commitment" that you brought to every task that you worked on this term. You have, in a very real sense, energized me the reader in the same way that you did when you presented in your proposal talk. You engage us with your "personal touch," a special dynamic that makes it yours and not someone else's. And I appreciate that precisely because you are NOT a computer and I can feel the sincerity of your ideas in this post's tone, in its naturalness.

    You've been a major player in our class this term, Jack, offering views and insights willingly, providing moments of humor when levity was just what we needed, and I thank you for that as well.

    It's been great working with you, and I wish you all the best in your future!

  4. Hey Jack!

    I have to say you were definitely the best actor in our class! It was great watching your impromptu acting! The methods used in this class were very effective in reaching its goal. I can safely say that all of us would, now, be able to write good resumes, cover letters, and have surely improved in our presentation abilities. The whole journey was memorable and very enriching!

    Enjoy the rest of your time in NUS!

  5. Thank you darsha!I hope you have learn something from this class as i certainly have. I hope my acting did help to liven the class! All the best for finals!