Monday, April 30, 2018

Random story: Liu Bang and investment world parrallel?

See if u can tell what I want to say about investment through the historical or frictional event about Liu Bang.


When the Qin Dynasty main forces are engaged by Xiang Yu elsewhere, Liu Bang managed to take HanZhong, the capital of Qin Dynasty. The rebel's puppet Emperor made a pact with all fractions of rebels that whoever conquer HanZhong would be the King of HanZhong.

Liu Bang took the City, but didn't claim the throne of the king. He followed the advice of Zhang Liang and pretended that he sealed the treasury of HanZhong and kept everything intact so that he could pass it to Xiang Yu and let him decide who to be King, and what frief the different rebel warlords should get.

Xiangyu gave him the outlaying area of BaShu, the misunderstood area that is thought to be underdeveloped and useless strategically.

There are plenty of calls for Liu Bang to claim what is rightfully his. But he went on to BaShu with many deserting him because BaShu is really a far and exiled place. Whoever was left are the most loyal to him.

Everwarlords that participated in the rebellion had a whale of time as they get their due rewards. Even surrendered generals of the late Qin Dynasty were given important area to governed and the surrendered commander governed HanZhong.

Everyone thought Liu Bang is finished.

We all knew how it went in the end.


One of the greatest Commander of Liu Bang is Han Xin. At his low, he even crawl underneath the legs of Xiang Yu.

Not that everyone didn't know of his capabilities. Xiangyu's advisor ask Xiangyu to give him a important post or kill him.

Xiangyu did neither and he deflected to Liu Bang. When Liu Bang needed him to finish off XiangYu, he bargained to be made a king too. Which Liu Bang knew he had no choice but to accept.

When Liu Bang became the Emperor, his top 3 commanders had different fates, Zhang Liang left quietly, Xiao He continue to work wholeheartedly and even pandered to Empress Xiao to survive and he survived well. Han Xin is one that didn't enjoy his good fortunes for too long.


So, draw your own conclusions, and have fun

Wednesday, April 11, 2018





Friday, April 6, 2018

A delusional teaching journey

Years ago, I wrote about a delusional investment journey. It is one article that I faces up to my inner demons regarding investment. Nothing much has changed or perhaps a lot has changed after that, I am very much at peace now as compared to years ago in terms of investment. In terms of portfolio size, investment strategies, etc, I would think the changes or improvements are incremental or insignificant, but it just felt different, emotional no more big roller coasters. Yes, I banging my head on the wall for selling my winners too early. But I couldn't explain it clearly, it still very different from the earlier years of investing. I thought I will write about my inner demons in teaching too.

Of Learning, marks and achievements

Truth to be told, I want all of it. But while they are not mutually exclusive, the area of overlap is overstated

In fact, I think my concern or apprehension about my KPI and hence my pupils' mark have a direct bad impact on MY care and patience for kids. Mindset become too fixated on the components and less on the encouragements and causes of learning deficiency.

Also, given my position as a middle manager,. how do I lead with convinction if there is no track records.

Hence, although the big exam is half a year away, and I think I am finally connecting even with my last reticent pupil in putting in efforts and being focus in work, I am still not at peace.

At one end of the spectrum, I am very happy with what I have achieved. A improvement in attitude in learning for almost the whole class as compared to a year ago, the exemplary cases are really communicating with me in Chinese, which I thought is really important in learning a language. For the first time, I tried to get pupils to record their reading and oral topics and WhatsApp me instead of using any online platforms. The reason is simple, I can listen to their work using my phone anywhere anytime and I can give feedbacks to them in a timely manner. But 1 unexpected benefit also happened. I manage to convince the pupils to communicate with me by typing in Chinese. I also finally find the time to find out more about the challenges they are facing when doing their work and encouraging them to continue.

This to me, is already learning.

But since I came back from my 4 months course, I think my self-awareness and accuracy of assessment of pupils proficiency in exam has increased too. All of them except perhaps 1or 2 will still fail their PSLE if they take it tomorrow and 6 months is hardly enough given the low entry level.

I must say it bothers me a lot. Just yesterday, I reminded myself that even if they fail, because Psle still work in a aggregate score style, every marks count and they might still be better off for whatever improvement and learning they get.

But, the next thought that flood my mind immediately is my KPI and how do I face my department teachers.

My colleague encouraged me, said that I have the courage to take the weakest of all, and should cut myself some slack. But nope, I still fear my KPI.

Doing the right thing about learning or tangible marks. I have 3 pupils who should rightly be streamed to take the subject at foundation level.

I didn't recommend them at all. Each for different reasons, one of them I think he has quite a good foundation in the language, at least in the spoken part of it,he just need to focus and should be able to cope. I am right,he is coping well and is not the weakest in class, but I dun want to go into his writing which would most probably be the weakest link if he fail.

The other 2 are really weak. But one really tries very hard to do all my work and I hope he dun give them all up. He is applying my memory techniques very well and remember a lot of the recently taught words and even oral samples and templates, but is struggling with the assessment at P6 level.

The other is unmotivated and is also weak,but I notice he learns fast, is witty and grasp concepts quickly when he is focused. I had a heart to heart talk with him recently and I finally see a change of behaviour but I am.not sure if that will last.

The rest of my pupils are not clear-cut cases to be learning the subject at foundation level but almost all of them have their struggles .. some.mentally and emotionally have barrier to speak up, some are scared off or scarred by writing ...

I thought I perhaps only had 1-2 pupils who if they continue their good work, has a good chance to.clear the exams. Well, by KPI I am.suppose to have only 1-2 failures ...

Through the learning lens, I perhaps should not be too hard on myself. The weakest of them all are now trying their personal best (not exactly hardworking) to do their work. They are reading better and understand how to read and understand  a notice (vocabulary limited in this genre).

But is this learning enough to clear the exam or translate into tangible marks, that I am not sure.

I am also not too sure if there are better pedagogy or resources that I could have mastered that quicken their learning curves.

I ask myself had I let those 3 to just take the subject at foundation level, (I dun have to recommend, I just need not to oppose, perhaps I could have been able to focus better on the others?)

I could have also recommend those botherline cases into that stream and they can be spared the misery of writing ...

So, now u see, there are plenty of inner demons voices questioning if I had make a right choice.

I told my pupils that we should not take the easier way out, even if u fail, u would still have learn the language at a higher level, and also learn the value of resilience and overcoming handicap.

I wonder if I have been too idealistic? Since importing talents to win competition is permissible, exporting weakness to the right program is ethical ? I have a pupil taking the subject at foundation level due to other valid reasons although she is one of my beer pupils last year. It is a breeze for her now. She still come join me in the morning sessions, but she will just do her own work. Sometimes I ask her if she would like to join in with the rest in the reading exercises etc, she would refuse. How do I define "better off"

Feeling tired ... Especially when there are so many things taking time.away from me with my pupils.

I also wonder if I have been just finding excuses to justify my incompetent to produce results.