Better late than never but….received word that I passed my final exams in December 2016 while I was holidaying in Bali and I was over the moon. Time flies! With UNISIM being renamed to Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) and some people have been asking me more questions about my time in UNISIM/SUSS, i decided to finally answer these questions before I will finally close my chapter of studying for almost 3 years in this school. (Yay!!!)
My schedule/Mods in UNSIM/SUSS
I’ve attached them below as a table but it came out a little….. messy. My comments are in the last row. Here goes!
Essential Academic Writing Skills
Attend the classes if you have no idea how to reference APA format essays.
Managing Your Personal Finances
I heard this was this easiest “math” Ucore/elective, which is why I chose it.
The Law and You
Accumulative class test where scores are graded, this module left me very stressed because I was always rushing to finish my paper. Only take it if you are able to score well in examination based questions.
Read the book of Dorian Grey, loved it. Hated the other prose book, was too deep to analyze for my liking. No examination but required lots of reading.
Introduction to Psychology 1
Common theories that were tested:
Piaget’s children theories
Sigmund Freud’s theories
Pavlov’s theory- Classical conditioning
How all these theories can apply to the individual at a certain life stage. Use them to apply to specific life stages in a correct manner.
Introduction to Psychology 2
Human Growth and Life-Span Development (Birth to Adolescence)
Human Growth and Life-Span Development (Adulthood to Old Age)
I enjoyed this module so much because I have always liked sociology and the way the world works. It paid that I had a very good lecturer as well who was very passionate in what he taught. Fun to do the TMA’s and try out experiments on your own. The questions they usually ask also talk about how to have a ‘fair’ social test for all.
The slides I got from class were not as informative as when I attended the lesson. So attend the classroom sessions and make notes. At the end of the semester try out their exam questions, as their testing material was not as straightforward, it was hard to spot questions.
Introduction to Social Work and Social Services in Singapore
Read the textbook, no matter how boring it can get. Nothing can substitute this as this module expects you to know what resources/initiatives/existing services that have been done out there in Singapore.
Legal and Ethical Issues in Helping Professions
Remember the 7 ethical principle screen and the tiers. Remember how to elaborate on these tiers and apply them to specific situations.
Biological Influences on Human Behaviour
Memorize the PNS, CNS.
During my time, this was an open book examination. Prepare beforehand your notes, print out all the answers and questions from past year papers to see the trend. The question sometimes sets out to trick you to prevent people from “copying” blindly from their answers. Eg: You wrote in your notes to answer “how does a receptor work when Susan touches the hot plate?” but the question asks, “Does the PNS or CNS become affected when Susan touches the hot plate?” Hence always read the question carefully before answering.
Social Work Practice and Skills Lab I: Working with Individuals and Families
Study the study guide for the main topics, then go into the textbook for specificity.
Social Work Practice and Skills Lab II: Working with Small Groups
Study the study guide for the main topics, then go into the textbook for specificity. For this module, also remember the different skills to manage small group discussions, eg round robin ,controlling a person who likes to “reign” over attention and topics etc.
Semester 2.2: •
Research Methods in Behavioural Science
This was fun! You get to design your own research from scratch. Take note how to always make it a “fair” test. Ensure confidentiality, how you calculate the results, PDPA, previous methodologies from similar studies help to substantiate your point too.
Social Work Practice and Skills Lab III: Working with Organisations and Communities
I had to write a report on an organization, its organizational skill and people etc. It was quite labour intensive but would be good to write about your own organization if you are in one, if not talk 3to someone or conduct a visit on your own, if the school d4oesn’t arrange for a visit for you guys.
Children and their Issues
Victoria Climbe’s case of child abuse
(I’m not going to lie, I did badly in this module and it was one of my greatest disappointments, I spent 6 hours on this essay and I don’t know why I got a 50+ or less) so I have no idea up to date what I did wrong.
Understand what it means (ADL)
Know how the CPF system works, especially for retirement (including eldercare)
Know some theories of ageing, disengagement theory etc.
Apply to real life examples
Social Work Practicum and Field Seminar 1
Attend your compulsory classroom lessons, because you need to produce an MC if you are not around
Listen to your classmates, because their presentation will help you understand the community resources that each organization has
Hone your social work skills through practicum with your supervisor
Families and their Issues
Where and how to get help
How to apply to a real life setting
Social Work in Healthcare
Know how the CPF system works on a whole, specifically medifund and medishield
Understand how other countries are handing healthcare
Remember that healthcare is the basic need of an individual/self
Apply to real life setting
To all those who are taking your social work degree now, all the best in your examinations! Being on the field so much helps you realize how many people fall in between the gaps. It might seem very tough now, but once you’re done with that final paper of your last semester and look back, you’d realize how far you’ve come- despite being a great scheduler and time manager of your own life, lol.
Looking forward to seeing all you future social workers on the ground!
Saved on my camera roll during exam period!
Ben Brought over macs and we studied together
Last minute revision an hour or two before the papers
Unisim/SUSS Library Study Cubicles
Saved on my camera roll during exam period!
My practicum class sessions!
Highlighters and study guides became my best friend
Studying Through the Nights
A gift from my Colleague Jean upon my “unofficial graduation”
The first social work related course that I took 🙂
Grace presenting for her finals!
Saved on my camera roll during exam period!
AMK library with Claire, became a favorite haunt to study at
Submitting my Internship Practicum Report!
My final presentation on my case during practicum!
Coming back to write on this space strangely feels more and more foreign, especially when I’ve not written in quite a bit.
Work has been pretty swamped, the issues the seniors face get more and more daunting as their generation gets left behind amidst the fast and furious rise of technological advances as they fight to hold on to what they knew. One of my cases flew a very long , long kite that I ran so hard for, making me feel like a complete and utter gullible new bred physco. I come home to so many thoughts a day but I try to keep them contained as I head to bed each night.
Social work doesn’t get easier sometimes, especially when sometimes you feel extremely lost at what to do. But I guess that’s the challenge too, because one shoe never fits all.
In the meantime, despite my rantings and ravings of work- I would like this to be a space for leisure and thoughts. I’ve always thought that writing would be a skill to pen down all my thoughts into a space- as well as to improve my writing and command of the english language since I started blogging when I was in secondary school. Work aside…
I was sick for the last 1.5 weeks with a on/off fever and cold, flu and sore throat and boy was it terrible. The first doctor I went to gave me a day’s mc, told me to rest and gave me the common pills (paracetamol, cough syrup). I dragged my body 5 days non stop to work and finally on sunday Leon dragged me to the clinic. Guess what? I learnt 3 things that day.
1- the first doctor was a quack.
2-I was suffering from a viral throat infection and needed antibiotics to clear. The second doctor told me I should have been prescribed antibiotics the first time to clear it and
3- I was blessed to have a doctor who kindly told me to take rest in bed and gave me a whopping (1+2) 3 MC long rest. Well, his drowsy medications were the way to go, and I did nothing but sleep the whole 3 days.
Aside from that…. I also finally completed both my Basic Theory Test (BTT) and Final Theory Test (FTT) at Ubi last week finally Whoohoo!!!
With theory out of the way, I can finally just focus on my practical lessons and hopefully finish soon with a driving license. For all those who asked why I chose school to private, I’ve come to realize that I really work and learn better by structure. Without it, I crumble/become lazy/make excuses and also I really wanted to start as soon as possible and finish without keeping to my private instructor’s schedule. Also lastly, no one could recommend me private instructors for my school’s centre. So eventually, I decided to swap from private candidature (which i signed up for when i was 18 lol) to school.
Just a side note for those who didn’t pass the BTT or FTT the first time, I would really reccommend you guys to take the e-trial tests that they offer because the questions are exactly/close to what they’re going to test you. The Etrial test gives you a total of 12 speciment papers to try and each session lasts about 45 minutes. You can try as many as you want and at the end of the paper they let you review your mistakes.
Because of the etrial tests that I attended (I attended all 3!) I passed the first time for both BTT and FTT and it was really worth it! Was really happy and pleased that I didn’t have to do it all over again because honestly I forgot how hard working and studying was especially when your motivation to do anything after work is just a -1000000.
And yes I opted for a class 3A autocar license because I think I will be a bad driver and my sister told me most cars are auto now (i hope?) so I decided to just opt for the easier option, as everyone says.
The weekend was one of the last few things I’ll have left to enjoy, really because I’ll be working all saturdays on the month of May. I’m dreading it not because of the scope, but more of the fact that waking up at 5.30am on a saturday morning feels terrible, especially on a train from east to west. But! I shall look at it with another fresh perspective that perhaps, if I did indeed never have to work on saturdays, I would never appreciate free saturdays as much as I do now. See that’s the thing with entitlement, I suppose.
This weekend started off great. I’m still nursing my cough, but it is a lot better as compared to when it first came about. The coughs sometimes keep me up and wake me up at night still, but it’s getting progressively better. I woke up on saturday morning and shortly after Leon came by and told me to continue sleeping, because he wanted to do his own things and make himself some leftovers for breakfast. I lazed around and watched some korean drama and was pleasantly surprised when he came in with a bowl of piping mac and cheese just for me (my favourite!!! ah!!!)
Yes been watching the korean drama “heal me, kill me” but so far, nothing beats “innocent defender” ever. HA YEON AH!!!!!!!!!! (You have to watch it to get the same feels i’m having right now as I yell, CHA MIN HO!!!!!!!!!!)
By the late afternoon we made our way to Leon’s grandma’s place to have dinner with the family to celebrate Uncle & Auntie’s birthday (their birthdays are 3 days apart) and Alicia brought us to Hai Di Lao @ vivo City. It was my first time there and I was SO impressed by the service.
1- though the wait was 1-3 hours long, we were given tables, seats, snacks, fruits, drinks, ice cream (free flow) at no cost at all.
2- They had gelish manicure service and a playpen/area for children.
3- They are right smack in the middle of vivo so you basically can just walk around when you’re bored.
4- They provide you with bibs, plastics for your phone (in case the soup drips on your phone) and a screen wiper for your phone. They also provided me rubber bands for typing my hair so I could eat.
5- They have a bar with seasoning and their fruits are free flow.
6- Their soup was excellent. We had the tomato soup and the chicken broth. Both was so good.
Leon didn’t let me buy any gifts for his parents. When I asked why he said, “No. We don’t do that. Don’t be weird.” #thebiggestirony
Sunday morning rain is falling………… (I wish)
Woke up at 6.45am to the alarm and then asking other people to check if it was raining because I was praying it would be the perfect excuse to sleep in. But it wasn’t *inserts cries of despair here* and so, I trudged to the park for a morning run. Not going to lie to you, the first 15 minutes were quite torturous.
As the sun rose the heat was more intense but I tried to listen to music and tune my thoughts elsewhere. I’m happy to say I managed to finish a 4km run that very morning. Celebrated by eating breakfast at Ya Kun and then later in the afternoon going to meet the boys at Jalan Kayu for our usual prawn mee session.
By the way, I’m very disappointed that Blanco has increased their prices from the old price of $4 a bowl to $5.80 within the span of less than 2 years. But selagi remains the same which we love, as well as the old school otah that we go to and not to mention, my favourite Jane’s cake station chocolate cake that I love. Yes! the 4km was worth it hur hur hur.
Not to mention, had no monday blues this weekend because my monday was a team bonding event in the morning at Clay Street!!! I finally got to make my own mug since the last time I made my own mug when I was in Primary two yay!! Can’t wait to see how it comes out after they fire the clay up. So excited!
Last but not least, I’ve been hooked on this FREE game called fun hospital. Remember the game theme hospital as a kid??? This is pretty much the same concept. building, running and hiring and firing people etc. I love it.
Okay spent almost 45 minutes crafting out this post because my pound class at the CC got cancelled again (3 times within the last 5 sessions) and I’m extremely frustrated because I paid $60+ after $30+ sg credit waivers. I think maybe I’ll just sign for a monthly gym pass to the public gym next time because it’s so annoying when you hype yourself up for a class and then they decide to cancel the class and send you a sms only 15 minutes before it starts…….
Teared up when oldies like the scientist, fix you, yellow and paradise came on. Though we only managed to get the cheapest seats ($78+4 Booking fee) it was well worth the view. Leon brought Binoculars so we could see Chris Martin up close. The whole concert was like a dream. After the concert, we ended up at brotzeit with beer and wedges- the perfect post concert combination ever.
Saturday morning/afternoon- slept, slept and slept
Woke up in the evening for a massage session with Auntie Helena and Leon, who then brought us out for dinner at Uncle Leong’s @ Punggol for crab bee hoon. BEST BEE HOON EVER. Made a joke of Leon @ Leongs. It’s been a long standing joke at work from my colleagues that Leon is the owner at Leongs because of the similarity of his name. Lol lame, I know. But still made him pose behind the signboard anyway.
Sunday morning: Day didn’t start out as planned. Leon got a ticket parking. We drove to balestier only to realize we forgot our bibs- and ended up driving back to the east to get them. Arrived at the starting point >35 minutes into the race but long story cut short- we did it!!!!!!!!
Yay to 10K at #2xucompressionrun2017 *pops confetti*
This was by far the best week of 2017.
I couldn’t be more thankful and blessed with the care, concern and love from the people around me. This was a reminder for me to be grateful in times of doubt and adversity, and also to always, always- choose happiness.
Nine times out of ten, an argument ends with each of the contestants more firmly convinced than ever that he is absolutely right.
You can’t win an argument. You can’t because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it. Why? Well, suppose you triumph over the other man and shoot his argument full of holes and prove that he is non compos mentis. Then what? You will feel fine. But what about him? You have made him feel inferior. You have hurt his pride. He will resent your triumph. And –
“If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
It was quite some time ago that I wanted to share what my external supervisor had told me over the course of my ten week practicum with her that not only resonated so well with me but left me truly inspired by her. During our weekly two hour sessions, we toiled through concepts, process recordings and practical skills. Very rarely did we touch on personal thoughts, opinions and life- keeping it strictly professional.
There was this one moment where we made some small talk after the lesson had ended. She had gone to the washroom and I had to show her the way out of my office. I asked about her four year old who was now in kindergarten. She smiled and shared that her daughter was struggling with her upcoming birthday party’s choice. In local kindergartens in Singapore, some of them have a service whereby you can pay the childcare to celebrate your child’s birthday for you. “It’s usually a sum of $400, where the school will get their school canteen to cook for the children in the class something special, a birthday cake and some goodie bags for your child and his or her classmates.” She explained.
I went on to listen to her story. She shared that from the previous birthdays they had, her child’s classmate’s goodie bags included a watch that when a button was pressed-would flash cartoon characters like Spongebob or Dora pictures on a wall. It was not appealing to her as a parent at all. “$400 is a lot of money.” she chimed as I nodded in agreement. “I can’t imagine what a four year old would do with such a watch!” She laughed.
She picked her daughter up from school one day and decided to touch on this topic with her. “Mummy can use this $400 to help some poor children in Singapore.” She said. “You don’t need any new watches, right? The children you will help struggle with books and uniforms for school.” Her child was obviously adamant and disappointed, as it was indeed her birthday money. But because she had already promised her child, she told her daughter she would give her time to think about it but remained firm that the choice would still be hers- whether she chose to have a party or not.
“Wow.” I said in awe. It must have been difficult as a parent to do something like that. “Did she understand where you were coming from?” I asked. My supervisor explained that she had used simpler terms to her and told her that if she wanted to donate this money to the poor, her organization had a carnival where they will allow her to sponsor the cotton candy & popcorn machines. She will be allowed to serve the candy & popcorn to the children beneficiaries she meets on that day, should she want to donate that sum and give up her birthday party.
A week later- they were crossing the road together hand in hand, just like any other day- when her daughter turned to her and said, “You know what mummy? I’ve decided. I’m going to give my birthday money to the other children!”
I was truly inspired by such an act of parenting. It is extremely rare these days that we hope to instill such thoughts or actions at a child’s expense. It was even more heartening to think that with such a heart of a 4 year old, that such love would be this inspiring.