Monthly Archives: February 2013

Project Educating Young Minds (1/100)

Back dated entry from Early Feb 2013

Hello all! Welcome to my Inaugural entry on Project Educating Young Minds!

My name is Charlene!

I have taught in a formal classroom for 3.5 years in Singapore* and I have been a private tutor for the last 11 years. I’ve also spent 6 glorious months caring for a newborn which has greatly inspired me to explore a career in Early Childhood Education. He’s my precious little nephew Isaiah and he motivates me to read books related to early childhood.

IMG_0048 IMG_0048 Screenshot from 2013-01-11 19_50_49 Screenshot from 2013-01-11 19_47_12

I  also love being an educator. (Different from being a teacher, more about that next time!)

I think education is vital to any person and I’m grateful for the opportunities that education has brought in my life. I’ve had some wonderful and inspiring teachers who have shaped and encouraged my growth and it’s my hope to be inspirational like them!

I’m currently residing in NYC. I moved to the city after being engaged (and soon to be married legally!) to my American boy. He’s a software architect by training and is painfully smart and introverted.

I intend to go into graduate school (still deciding among a few in NYC) majoring in Early childhood education in Fall 2013/Summer 2014.

I have an honors degree from the National University of Singapore** and a post graduate diploma in Education from the National Institute of Education in Singapore.

In this entry, besides giving a brief introduction of my background, I would also like to share with you something I read in the NYPL  today. It’s a book by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, titled, How to talk so your kids can learn – At home and in school.


One of the most important things that sunk into my head today was this quote:

“How parents and teachers talk tells a child how they feel about him. Their statements affect his self esteem and self worth. To a large extent, their language determines his destiny!”

I think it strikes home to me because I feel as a teacher, there is so much I can do. A successful education needs 3 partners: the teacher, the child and most importantly the parent.  If you think about it, the parent should be the primary care-giver who spends the most amount of time with the child. (In a lot of cases it’s not like that anymore, sadly.) So when you send your child to be educated, it’s very important that both sets of adults must sing the same tune and be a TEAM!

I’ve met many parents who have (in sheer desperation) come to me and said, “You are the teacher, tell me what to do.” While I totally empathize with the parent, I also feel that as the child’s parent, it is partly your responsibility that you have hit such a brick wall. As a teacher, I long very much to help you, but there is a limited set of things I can do. I would love to be a superhero and save all the wayward children, but unfortunately the parent card trumps it all.

Anyways, speaking of teams, I think its crucial that both parties (the parent and the teacher) create an environment of positivity for the child. The age group that I’m interested in researching is between 0-6, which is the age when children absorb everything around them like sponges.

In that aspect, I’m very interested in American style parenting and teaching, where praises are generously lavished on children.

Comparatively, Asian parenting is much more critical and almost shy of praise. I’m more inclined towards the former, primarily because I was schooled in the latter and didn’t enjoy it all that much. 😛

Anyways, I find this very  interesting because Singapore is ranked 5th in the global education rankings while the USA is ranked 17th. (click here for rankings) ***

So I wonder, is too much praise detrimental for children? The truth is probably more nuanced that this simple comparison and a mixture of many factors probably affected the rankings above.

Nonetheless, I still feel that it’s important to create a positive environment for the child, especially at a young age, because it empowers them and increases their confidence, which is vital in their development in later years. Little children, with all their innocence, have not been tainted with disappointments, hopelessness and failure.  Using the correct language with them will greatly inspire them to go beyond their pre-existing capabilities.

* Pearson report of 2012, ranks Singapore as the top 5 in education (
** NUS ranks as the top 25 universities in the world (
*** The study, carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), combines international test results and data such as literacy rates and graduation rates between 2006 and 2010.A wide range of education inputs, both quantitative data — such as spending on pupils and class size — as well as qualitative data — such as level of school choice — were examined along with numerous potential outcomes ranging from development of cognitive skills to GDP growth. 

Project Grateful COMBO EDITION!!!!

24th-26th Feb 2013

111-113TH DAY

Feb 24th: Brooklyn Nets Vs Memphis Grizzles

So Kris’s parents (I now call them Maaaaa and Pop!) are in town chilling with us after the wedding so we took them sight seeing.

So today I’m grateful for going to yet another NBA game, I’m liking those professional basketball games I’m tellin’ ya!


Hee Hee. Kris’s dad is a huge sports fan, so he was very happy. However, like Kris he’s very even keeled and you couldn’t see the enthusiasm, if you didn’t know him well. Very interesting to see how Kris is really very much like his father, but yet very similar to him Mom in other ways.  I would say that Kris is an even mix between the two.

We walked around Brooklyn/Williamsburg during the day and passed by Borough Hill where all the Hasidic Jews were celebrating Purim. It was very interesting to see such a different culture. I wasn’t so pleased when I saw a sign that said, ‘Women’s entrance’ on the backdoor and the Men’s on the Front Door. But every culture is different, who am I to judge?

I’m just glad I was born a woman in Singapore!

Feb 25th: Central Park/Ichiro Sushi/Salmon Fish Dinner

Today we relaxed a little, (Kris’s parents) They went to the Museum of Natural History in the morning  and then we had a nice walk to Central Park before going to Ichiro Sushi. I forced/coerced them into suggested Sushi because its my favourite foods. I’m happy that they liked it after all!




Then we came home at night and I made them a nice dinner. My own mother would be pleased that I’m carrying out my daughter in law duties dutifully. She has been asking me if I do take care of my in laws when they are here. I guess in the Asian culture, it reflects badly on the parents if their daughter doesn’t serve their in laws. Haha. I’m so glad I got American parents! No expectations of servitude whatsoever!!!!! Then again, that’s a very antiquated way of thinking even in Singapore, most modern parents don’t expect that anymore. Or so I think!

Feb 26th: Laundry + Chillax day


I just got back from the train station after sending my new Maaa and Pop to Penn Station. It was wonderful having them over and I’m glad we got to spent lots of time wandering along the streets of New York together. Its a lovely city, I’m falling in love with this city a little more everyday!

I’m so grateful to have such a nice home in the city!!!! You know how you sometimes get to a place and after a while take it for granted? Well every so often you have guests that come here and be so amazed at the view and the city that I’m reminded of how lucky we are to get this opportunity to live here.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I’ll get to live in an apartment so high up, in downtown Manhattan, that I get a totally unobstructed view of the Statue of Liberty.

What can I say? My husband is very capable!!!!

Feels awesome saying that I have a husband! I have came up with several names!

Hubba Hubba




Shall end of the entry with our wedding cake pictures!






Our very yummy Red Velvet Wedding Cake!


Cake cutting ‘ceremony’


Me ‘bullying’ my new husband!


Project Grateful 365: Grateful for the first day as Mrs Beevers!

Day 110 : Feb 23th, 2013

How does being married feel? Well pretty much the same, except that now I can say I have a husband officially.

Next week we can get our papers filed and then we can get the GC moving, how’s that for  a healthy dose of romance? 😛

Anyways, feeling this and that is less important than the vows and commitment to one another to make the marriage work.

IMG_2165Us @ Museum of American Indian

(My in laws went with us too but they are too shy to be featured on my blog)

Project Grateful 365: Grateful for marrying the love of my life


22nd Feb, 2013

Grateful for marrying the love of my life

A long time coming, we have had to wait almost an entire year before we’re going to sign on this dotted line!

It’s going to be a solemn quiet affair, just us and his parents. No big poofy wedding dress, no huge banquet hall with 1000 guests nor huge extravagant ding-dongs. It’s going to be private, exhilarating and the happiest day of both of our lives.


MY ODE to Kris

Kristopher Beevers is the love of my life

He’s kind, funny (to me only,HA!) , extremely intelligent and more importantly one of the most genuine persons; I’ve come to know in my life.

He’s my soul mate, my lover and best friend.

He makes me a better person, without being judgmental or overly harsh.

He makes decisions together with me, filled with patience, respect and fortitude. (sometimes he tries to be all control freak about it, but AHA! He has met his match, I’m equally control freaked!)

So therefore collectively as a couple we learnt tolerance, patience and graciousness. 🙂

He’s my partner in life, a person I trust with all my heart and love with all my soul.

I’ll carry your heart gently in my hands for the rest of our collective lives together, just as you would carry my heart (and sometimes my bag) for the rest of our lives!

Happy marriage to us MY LOVE! 


Project Grateful 365: Grateful for not having to plan a complicated wedding!

Day 108



So last night, over Mexican food, Kris and myself wrote our vows together. (Actually we modified the traditional ones) It is very simple and meaningful but most importantly we drafted it without much difference in opinions. YAY US! 

We practiced our kiss this morning and NOW!!!!!!!!! We’re all ready to get married tomorrow!

THE KISS (heh!) is going to be something chaste and simple, but sweet and adorable, like US! 

Kris’s parents (well soon to be MINE too!) are coming this evening and 4 of us are going to troop to city hall tomorrow to get legally married!

A little bummed that my own folks can’t attend, but such is the reality of a international marriage/visa restrictions. However, I did have a traditional chinese tea ceremony and little party for them, so that’s the best I can do really. Hopefully my best is enough for them! 🙂

I’m sure it is! :)))))

Project Grateful 365: Grateful for being a housewife

Day 107: Grateful for being a housewife

When I first got this role and introduced myself as one, you could practically see the thought bubble of people going, ‘Oh, that’s all’, ‘Oh, she must be dumb then’, ‘Oh, what a useless waste of life’, ‘Oh, she must be one of those who marry rich men.’

Right now, I just don’t give a s**t. People are entitled to think whatever they want, judge me however I want. But hey, sticks and stones can break my bones, but words (and maybe thought bubbles) can never harm me. Unless I let them.

 I wondered, if it was more me than them at first tho. I personally didn’t want to assume that role, I had lots of resistance and deep anger towards the VISA process for subjected me to “FORCED HOUSEWIFE SHIP’. HAHA

But you know what? NOW I’m JUST LOVING it.

(Hear Hear Kris Beevers!)

There is great joy in having a nice warm loving and CLEAN house.

I like giving Kris and myself a welcoming home to return too, when he has had a tiring day and relaxing in our own space.

He comes back whiny and tired and there’s always someone willing to listen to him (nag sometimes, but mostly listen) and prepare a hot and yummy meal.

I’m refreshed and rejuvenated at the end of the day, and so can be a cheery (MOST days) person for him to return home too. As opposed to having two stressed out and tired people having take out together. So I say we both have it good. 🙂

At the corner of my room, lies a cute lil boi and a cute lil doggie! (Digital photo frame, super cute)