100 Days of Fitness

8 February – 18 May, the 100 days that literally shape myself.

I embarked on a 100-day fitness journey earlier this year to kick start a few of the New Year resolutions that I promised myself.

It took me a month into the year to finally embark on the journey. For a person who has been

Let’s look at my past ‘track record’.

2011: 

2012:

 

2015:

I’ve been plaque by obesity since young, which I didn’t really bothered until recent years. As I grow older, I become more concerned about the number on the weighing scale and, most important of all, how I look overall.

I’ve always wanted to go on a fitness journey since last year so I finally find the opportunity to get it going. 8 February marks the first day of my post-Poly life after submitting my last assignments the day before. I decided that I shall start slow – with a 100-day fitness routine to build the base for my long-term fitness plan in the future.

Of course, that 100-day fitness plan that I embarked on didn’t really turn out to be full workout mode. That means, to be frank, I didn’t really exercise and workout every single day. There are rest days, there are cheat days. But all in all, the thing that stayed constant throughout is my total calorie intake – which I set not to exceed 1, 500kcal. I went on to remove fast food and sugary drinks from my meals to ensure that what I put into my body will not jeopardise the effort that I’ve actually put in.

This 100-day programme was also planned in a way that it compliments my race training for the 2 half-marathons that I took part in in the first half of the year (Sundown Marathon and 2XU Compression Run).

In order to jot down a ‘complete report’ for my programme, I decided that I shall combine my relevant Dayre posts into one long omnibus blog post here.

It is very important to take photos of your progress throughout a fitness journey. So, this was taken prior to 8 Feb.

DAY 1 – 8 FEB

Started out the entire programme with a 5KM run with Vivian on a rainy Wednesday evening. Since it was raining, we didn’t get to run around the usual route around Marina Bay, but instead at the 100Plus Promenade just outside the National Stadium.

Featuring my fitness partner right from the start.

This marks the first ‘healthier meal’ after those binge eating throughout the Chinese New Year. It took me months after the commencement of the programme to realise how important it is to have a balanced diet. I’ll elaborate more on what I’ve learn with regards to dieting later.

DAY 5 – 12 FEB

Apart from just running, I also make sure that I build muscle mass. By adding muscle into your body, it will help to increase your metabolism – which means your body tend to burn more calories on its own when you have more muscle mass. I hadn’t been to the gym for quite some time prior to 12 Feb and I feel so lousy after each reps. The core strength was not there and out of the sudden, I feel weak.


But I understand one thing is that, even Arnold Schwarzenegger started out somewhere. No one is strong from the start. The only few things that are between my current self and the self that I aspire to become will be perseverance and effort. The sad fact is that no one can do it for me, it is up to me to make that break, to achieve what I’ve planned for myself. I round up the gym session with a 5km jog that evening to take advantage of the cool weather that is outside.

That’s probably the last time I combined core training and race training in one evening. Here’s another that I’ve realised over time: Focus and concentrate on one thing at a time. There’s no point dividing my energy to different training, it will just make you more tired and reduces the entire efficiency of your workout.

DAY 12 – 19 FEB


Day 12 was the start of a more serious race training regime that I put myself through. By then, it was just 5 weeks before Sundown and I was kind of worried that I might not train my physique and stamina in time for the race. New milestone achieved! I finally managed to push myself to run/jog non-stop for a good 12km within 80mins before spending the next 20mins walking the remaining 2km to cool down.

Progress pic after 15 days.

DAY 29 – 8 MAR
One month into the programme.

It wasn’t easy maintaining those weight. I remember I deviated from my diet plan for one week back then and my weight went back to 70kg. I admit those are some moments throughout the entire plan that actually caused some inevitable setbacks. It demoralises me a little because for so much that I’ve put in – my heart, my sweat and my time, there are actually possibility of it being undone just because of my indiscipline.

I recalled that this was the period in which I was down with a middle ear infection. I had to minimise on my exercise routine because I was afraid that sweat going into my ears was going to further implicate the infection.

As long as I got a little better, I returned to the gym and the road as well to resume my trainings.

DAY 43 – 22 MAR

Closing into 50% of the entire programme, I finally get to see some legitimate improvements. The ‘abs’ are showing, despite me having to do some flexing. Although there are still visceral fats – which I haven’t got rid of it even up till this day – I still find pride in the kind of improvement that I see on myself as the days passes.

I remembered how I used VSCO to enhance my photo a little because that perfectionist mentality in me was not that comfortable with the idea of posting up my progress picture (which requires me to bare the top half of my body) onto Dayre – even though it’s only followed and, most probably, read by my closest allies. I have never been satisfied with how I look, even though that can sound superficial.

Unlike others who have unwavering motivation and determination, my progress is slower and henceforth, pale in comparison.

DAY 46 – 25 MAR: SUNDOWN MARATHON 2017

Throughout the 45 days of the programme, it was not all just about gym-ing, weight loss and reducing visceral fats. Like I’ve mentioned earlier on, the routines actually form part of my training ahead of 2 half-marathons.

The big night finally arrived on the 25th of March.

Donning the race bib with such a nice number combination, 23450, I presumed that it would be a lucky race for me. My definition of a ‘lucky race’ would mean that there will be chances for me to outperform my past self and clock my personal best (PB).

This is not the first time that we ran together in the same race. Alright, maybe with the exception of Kishan. He was already running at the half-marathon level while we were challenging ourselves over at the 10km category.

Running 21 is, no doubt, totally different from running 10. It requires more than stamina and speed. At some point, you will realise that pace and speed will be at the back of your mind. Those would probably be the secondary thing in your mind, especially when you are a leisure runner and that the idea of half-marathon running seems rather new to you. As you cover beyond what you’ve tuned yourself to run, the exhaustion and the diminishing will to continue running will start to take over your mind eventually.

It is the battle of perseverance and how your body responds to the long duration of physical activity. Viv and I considered ourselves to be more race-fit as compared to the rest. We had been preparing ourselves physically and mentally week in and week out.

Despite it being the second half-marathon that I’ve attempted, it was still inevitable that I am feeling nervous. Signs of regret can be

As I sprinted past the finishing line, I was so relieved and that sense of accomplishment was real. Despite that, it still an easy race because 1) I was running on a full bladder, and 2) I had a stomachache halfway.


It’s a sub-3hr in terms to moving time (which means I deducted the time I’ve spent during in the toilet). It was pale in comparison if I were to pitch my own timing against the majority of the runners. My official net time was 03:06:34, as reflected on my e-certificate. Nevertheless, there was an improvement from my previous 21km (Army Half Marathon last year). I managed to run/jog for a good 15km before I started walking. I could remember how I actually struggled after the 10km mark during last year’s AHM. A 30-mins improvement is really something to cheer for.

DAY 50 – 29 MAR

After 50 days of trying to get myself into a fitness regime, I was finally halfway through. The progress had been slow but at least results are gradually showing. For the past few days, it seems that my weight is stable at the 68-something region so it has been a morale boost for me.

 

By Day 50, I realised that work out alone is not adequate. There is a saying: “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet”. Giving your body the correct nutrition is as important as conditioning your body in the gym. I started out going all out with a low/non-carb diet but as time goes, I realised that I get a little lethargic – less tenacity than I used to prior to the addition of the diet plan. No carb diet is not sustainable at all because carbohydrates are the nutrients that provide our body with energy. Without enough carbohydrates powering your cells and bodily functions, it is inevitable that one will lose their energy fast.
I brought back carbohydrates into my diet slowly. It wasn’t any kind of carbohydrates but whole grains. Wholegrains contains Vitamin E, selenium and phytic acid which help prevent blood vessel damage. The fibre found in whole grains will also aid in making you feel full, hence reducing risk of over-eating.
I think I will elaborate on whole grain diet next time.
I eventually opted for a low-calorie yet well-balanced diet because the most important thing is that I’ll have to give my body the correct nutrition to compliment my workout routine. Fitness is more than a programme for better well-being, it’s science and it’s art. I am still learning about the importance of nutrition and the science behind nutrition and exercise as I work towards my long-term fitness goal.

It is true to say that exercising may well not be the most difficult part of the journey, dieting is. There are many times that I make to control myself to not eat those things that I love. Looking back at my past eating habit, it kind of evident how I allow myself to end up in the unfit state.

But then again, the stricter your diet is, the more it will fail. The more you restrict yourself, the more you’ll crave for the thing that you want to it, and as the craving builds up, there will be a high probability that you will binge eat and undo what you’ve worked so hard for.

Hence, I gave myself leeway – or what they call it ‘cheat meal’. Once or twice every week, depending on my active level that week, I will allow myself to eat whatever I’d like to have – be it BBQ or non-whole-grain carbs or even process food. The only thing that stayed constant is the amount of sugar intake.

What’s a better way to keep track on your calorie intake than doing meal prep? Meal prep, to simply put it, is to prepare your meals way ahead so that you wouldn’t need to think of what to have that week. The calorie counter is clearer and more controlled when you cook your food by yourself. Hence, for the next half of the programme, I decided to try out meal prepping and I admit, I did have fun doing all the research, grocery shopping and cooking. Yet, it can be quite time-consuming at times so after the programme ended, I just try to meal prep as and when I am free. The rest of the meal I’ll just make do with what my family has cooked and just replace my rice with my oatmeal.

DAY 54 – 2 APR

One week after Sundown, I put on my running shoes once again to compete in my second half-marathon of the year. I think I went a little nuts when I decided that signing up for two half-marathon back-to-back (I mean, week after week) was a good idea.
I had not actually recovered from the previous run and I hadn’t been going for a time trial or anything in between these two runs. I thought me condition was going to be real bad because 1) The recovery run that I had three days before 2XU was horrendous; 2) I am never a morning runner. Flagging off at 0515 for me was just too early.
Surprisingly, I managed to keep my pace for the first 13km under 7 mins/km (roughly 8.5kph). Although I was 2 mins away from clocking a 10km under 1 hour, but today’s timing is already a PB, so I’ve nothing more to ask for.
I’ve also managed to push myself to run for 17km consecutively, a feat that I still looked back at it with awe. As I grow into more of a frequent runner, I suspect that I might have developed ‘runner’s diarrhoea’. I don’t know if that actually makes sense but for the two races that I’ve went, I ended up with stomachache halfway through. I had two toilet breaks at Sundown, the second after slowing down due to the pain in my abdomen at 12km. At 2XU, I had to relieve myself after the 17km mark.
I planned to walk of 2km before completing the race running.
That’s when all good things come to an end. I wasn’t that sure if I’ve actually over-exert myself for the first half of the race but my stitches acted up when I was about to resume my run at 19km. I eventually took a deep breathe, held my hand against my abdomen and completed the race with a final 100m sprint.
Started the race well but didn’t do myself much justice towards the end.

Didn’t get to run with Kishan because he was running with his army friend so I went to find him after my run for this photo. He was another one who ran 2 21km over two weekends and I think it’s already an incredible feat for the both of us because we only started running over the past few years.

Yapz, be proud of your boyfriend.


One race, a few PBs:

– Fastest half-marathon.
– Fastest 10km during an actual race.
– Longest continuous run: 17km.

I realised a thing about long distance running is that, one you started walking, you might never put on that pace again once you resume. Fatigue tends to get the better of you and you start to lose all the momentum.

Kishan and I were like saying that we are going to take a break from all these running. Meanwhile, I gave myself a few days to recover before heading back to the gym at the end of the week.

DAY 68 – 16 APR


It was less than a month to Graduation and I was trying to make sure I grind enough to make me look more presentable on that very special occasion. I stared into the mirror, as I always do to check on my ‘progress’, I could finally see some ‘abs’. Although it was made possible with the good lighting in my parents’ room, I couldn’t help but felt rather proud of how far I’ve come.

Of course, it wasn’t all smooth – that’s one thing that I’ve to really point out. There were multiple occasions that my self-doubts clouded over my mind. I became more sensitive towards the numbers – on the weighing scales and on my food diary.

I tried to make sure that I kept within a certain weight range so that I could be classified as ‘acceptable weight’. No one could really understand how is it like to be labelled as ‘overweight’, and worst still, ‘severely overweight’ for a good decade of your life. Many people came out with campaigns or what sorts saying that be confident with how you look. I used to be that kind of people. Perhaps not accurately true. I was more of having a care-less attitude towards my own weight and physical looks. My lack of physical activities up till 2013 showed how lackadaisical I was towards any attempt to get myself in shape and healthier state.

Indeed, a person doesn’t change overnight. There are many factors contributing to the change in my attitude towards fitness. I think being fit is something more than the ability to be gungho in anything physically straining or to have abs. I am guilty of the allegations that I’ve just put forward. Being fit is more of getting your body to function healthily and hence to lift your confidence.

DAY 82 – 30 APR

 




DAY 94 – 10 MAY

How my basket looks like during most of my grocery shopping during this period.

Another 6 days to go.

DAY 100 – 18 MAY


Day 5 (First day at the Gym) vs Day 100.

Not saying that there is really some major transformation like those you’ve seen in fitness magazine or motivational sites but as I look at my progress, I am glad that I actually made the effort to step out of my confort zone

100 days passed by rather quickly and I kind of feel a little sense of achievement here. Although I didn’t actually work out every single day throughout the duration of the programme but in these 100 days, I’ve already worked out more than my past 5 years combined. Exercising slowly becomes a habit and I no longer felt obligated.

There are many ups and downs during this journey, just like the fluctuation of my weight. I’ve been ranting a lot about it on Dayre with regards to my weight issues. But this is one of my struggles – together with my lower body problem (how I got so frustrated with my broad hits and the fat deposit along my thighs).

By Day 100, I managed to weigh in at 66.8kg. I was around 69-70kg 100 days before. Weight dropped but I think I’ve actually gained some muscle mass along the way so the programme has been a successful one.

Reflection
The entire journey, like I kept reiterating, was never easy. There are times I felt happy because my form improved (either in the gym or running) and my weight dropped. But there are also times when I got very emotionally affected by the dropped in form (especially after not gymming for a while) and during times when my weight increases (usually after feasting or when my body resumes its water retention after my runs). I know this entire thing should be a healthy one, but I need to admit that it does affect me mentally sometimes.

But eventually, I learnt that these are just part and parcel of the process. I can’t possibly ensure everything suits my plan. At the end of the day, as long as the results are visible, nobody actually cares what happened during the process.

It’s just like life. In life, there are many expectations people have on you. At the end of the day, people are just going to judge you based on whether you’ve exceeded, met or do not meet the expectations. Not many people will be interested in the process (although I still take time to blog about this). And what should you do? Like fitness, you just have to continue working hard, keep on trying – if this doesn’t work, try another way. Take my diet plan for example, it no-carb diet doesn’t work in the long run, research and develop a new kind of diet that suits you and your activity level. Staying consistent is key, but of course, you’ve got to improve yourself along the way. Lay out a plan for yourself (like my diet and exercise routine) and force yourself to meet your own expectations first. There is the ultimate goal but to reach goals, you need steps and these small milestones can be your steps.

Throughout these 100 days, I’ve really learnt a lot. I’ve definitely become a stronger and more confident person than I was before (knowlegable as well, given a number of readings and research I’ve done). I became more disciplined as a result.

I couldn’t have done it without support from my friends as well. Viv, Yapz and Wanz. They’ve been motivating me via verbal means and/or physically as well. It gave me the strength to perservere on despite those few times when I almost wanted to give up completely.

Although 100 Days of Fitness ended a month back, I’ve continue to pick myself up from where I’ve left. Fitness is not just a 100-day goal or programme, it should be a lifetime one. I admit I am starting to get rather lax in terms of gymming and running, but own time own target. Fitness should add positivity to your life, not more burdens.

Nothing You Do In Life Will Be Wasted: Jaime Teo

(Image: DBS)

Speaking at the premiere screening of the latest episode of Sparks, former beauty queen Jaime Teo urges youngsters to seize every opportunity that comes along the way.

“It’s all life, just be the moment and enjoy it. You never know when is going to put in need in future. And even if you don’t, so what? Enjoy it! Don’t keep thinking that ‘No, I don’t want to do this.’ It’s never like that, it’ll come.”

Jaime has previously co-founded cupcakery chain Twelve Cupcakes in 2011. Baking is her hobby outside of her entertainment career. If anyone requires real-life substantial evidence on how you should pick up a few skills and knowledge along the way, Jaime will be our best example. Indeed, you will never know when your expertise will come in handy. Life is unexpected and having an expanded field of expertise will definitely pay off well into the future.

She elaborated on what her co-star Nathan Hartono, who rose to prominence last year after coming in as runner-up at the Sing! China competition, had said.

Recalling upon the series of events that lead up to his current success story, he shared how he managed to go from winning a competition organised by local magazine Teenage back in 2005 to making his mark on the international stage some 10 years after.

“The best strategy I’ve found over time is: don’t wallow, don’t be bitter, just keep your head down, keep working, and inevitably you are going to get better in whatever you do. The opportunities that come will become better and better.”

Exercise To Be Strong 

Jaime and Nathan sharing about successes. (Image: DBS)


Jaime, also an avid fitness enthusiast, recalled how she managed to carry a 35kg luggage up a flight of stairs when she returned from one of her holidays. “I told my mum, you know, this is why I work out. I couldn’t have done this a few years ago,” she revealed.

She added that after embarking on her fitness journey, she felt like she became stronger. “I don’t want my body to just be slim, I want to be strong and the thing is that when my body becomes stronger, it became it is not so important to me the number on the weighing scale.”

Many people, me alike, will have the tendency to overlook the benefits of getting fit. We all have the perception that the number on the weighing scale defines whether you are fit or not. It does not seem to be the case. Throughout my fitness journey, it is inevitable for myself to get overly self-conscious over, so much so that there are times when I came close to become bulimic (Thank God I have yet to become one). The whole point of getting fit is to be healthy and that means putting yourself through monstrous and food depriving diet will defeat the entire purpose. Strive to have 3 balanced meal per day, after all, you need the energy that will help you last through the day and your every workout. I need to admit that I am guilty of going on a crash diet that makes me feel kind of weak and somehow screwing up my entire energy-producing mechanism in my body.

I think Jaime’s words really pulled me back to reality and make me realised that fitness is not a short term plan but it’s a lifelong one. That being said, it has to be sustainable. Crash diets are never sustainable.

Both Jaime and Nathan will star alongside Adrian Pang, James Yang, Jamie Ha and Darren Tan in the mini-series that follows a group of young bankers as they navigate work and personal lives. Nathan playing as the young version of Adrian’s character, Chester. This latest episode will see us go back in time with Chester, to when he meets his first clients – a young couple (portrayed by Darren and Jaime) who owns a small bus company. It also gave a narrative on how he, guided by values he holds close to his heart, stands with the family through thick and thin.

Sparks Episode 7: Stand By Me is now available for viewing on YouTube. You can click HERE to watch.

The British Way Of Making Politics A Little Less Boring

 

BUCKET WHO?: A candidate with the name ‘Lord Buckethead’ contested the seat at Maidenhead against Theresa May
(Image: AP)

The British are known for their humour, evident from famous sitcoms like Bottom (love that TV series because there’s a character named Eddie Hitler), Blackadder, Yes Minister and of course, not forgetting Mind Your Language. For me, I get my dose of British humour from inside Westminster, where debates between members are far more interesting that the one over at Clarke Quay.

As the UK Parliamentary Elections concluded last Saturday, with the country looking set to be governed by a minority government, we look at the lighter part of the entire campaign which will give you the impression that there are so much more than casting a ballot.
THE RETURN OF LORD BUCKETHEAD
YOU SEE ME DAB, YOU HATIN’: Lord Buckethead dabs as he awaits the results with the other candidates.
Only in Britain…our current Prime Minister, Lord Buckethead and Elmo standing for parliament #GE2017 pic.twitter.com/uLAF0joog1
— Sheetal Parmar (@SheetalParmar) June 9, 2017

Lord Buckethead is simply the candidate with a bucket headgear and no one really knows his real identity.

However, it is no secret that Lord Buckethead contested twice previously, once in 1987 against then-PM Margeret Thatcher (Finchley) and in 1992, against the then newly appointed PM John Major (Huntingdon). The Gremloid party candidate received 131 votes against Thatcher and 107 against Major.

This time round, he received his highest ever votes at 249, which he took to Twitter to gloat a bit.

249! A new Buckethead record! Something to celebrate, eh? #GeneralElection17 pic.twitter.com/cCx7Utc8EL

— Lord Buckethead (@LordBuckethead) June 9, 2017

Well done, Lord.
THE OFFICIAL MONSTER RAVING LOONEY PARTY
VOTE LOONY: Leader of the OMRLP, Alan “Howling Laud” Hope
 
You saw that correctly. The Official Monster Raving Looney Party was founded in 1983 by English musician Screaming Lord Sutch. He was succeeded by Alan “Howling Laud” Hope in 1999 when he passed away.

Hope stood for elections against a series of high-profilers, including David Cameron (Witney) in 2010, Boris Johnson (Uxbridge & South Ruislip) in 2015 and Theresa May (Maidenhead) during this election. He was previously the Mayor of Ashburton in 1998.

Despite calling voters to “vote for insanity”, there are actually times when their policies eventually became part of UK laws. One, for instance, is the liquor law. Previously in the UK, 24-hour drinking wasn’t legal (sounds familiar?). The party campaigned for all day opening of pubs in the 1980s and then all-night opening in 1997 when the former became a law in 1995.

The party was a campaigner for animal rights as well, hence their call for pets passport to be introduced in the 1983 elections. The policy eventually came into existence in 2001.

Well… Not all crazy ideas are insane.

You can view the results of the rest of their party candidates HERE.

ELMO TAKES ON THE PRIME MINISTER(S)
ELMO LOVES YOU, BUT YOUR VOTES MORE: Elmo returns to the ballot again after losing out to David Cameron in 2015.
(Image: Getty Image)

Another figure who stood alongside Theresa May definitely attracted some attention. Elmo.

You must be thinking why would there be a candidate putting on an Elmo costume and standing for the election.
He wasn’t there without any personal agenda. The man behind the costume, Bobby Smith, is a father rights activists. The father-of-two wanted to change the law with regards to the equal custody of fathers in the family courts after his own experience. He previously ran under the Give Me Back Elmo Party banner in 2015 against former British PM David Cameron at Witney, garnering 37 votes.

He ran as an independent candidate this time round after his party was deregistered last year, receiving 3 votes, which he claimed not to be from him nor any of his family members.

Watching UK politics is like watching The Noose but with more reality element to it. It’s time to make Singapore’s politics more interesting.

Oh wait.

NTU Is Now The Best University in Singapore

OVERTAKES: NTU overtakes NUS in the latest World University Ranking (Photo: NTU)

According to the latest World University Ranking conducted by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has now overtaken the National University of Singapore (NUS).

The ranking, taking into account of the academic reputation, citations per faculty, employers reputation, faculty student, international faculty and international student, has just been released this morning.

NTU scored a total score of 92.2 points, moving up 2 positions from the ranking last year to just right outside the Top 10. On the other hand, NUS scored 90.5 points, dropping from 12th to 15th, yet outperforming other prestigious universities in the likes of Yale, John Hopkins and Tsinghua.

NUS Continues To Score Well In Academic Reputation

(Image: NUS)

Despite losing out to NTU this time round over the overall scoring, NUS retains in 100 score in terms of their academics reputation. NTU scored 93.9. However, NUS did not score as well as NTU in the field of citations per faculty with the former scoring just 66.2 and the latter with 83.3.

Both local universities scored 100 for international faculty.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University and Harvard University remains in the Top 3 positions. The Australia National University and China’s Tsinghua University are the other universities from Asia-Pacific to be ranked within the Top 25 list.

You can view the full ranking here.

Best Teaching Job In The World? S$7,000 per Month To Teach One Student

(Image: Richard Webb)

A job that pays more than S$7,000 per month is currently vacant and authorities are seeking someone to fill that position online.

A listing on the Scottish government’s career website myjobScotland recently caught the eyes of many. The only primary school in Forla, Shetlands, UK is looking for a Head Teacher. The incumbent Jayne Smith will be departing the school after 3 years, a decision she made last October.

In an interview with BBC Radio Scotland, she agreed that her successor will have to be ‘really resilient”.

We want somebody special who is coming in enthusiastic with new ideas who is going to love living on Forla.

– Ms. Jayne Smith

By living on Forla, it means that residents will have to risk being cut off from the rest of the world. There have been instances where, according to Ms Smith, no plane or ferry arrived at the island for three weeks.

Not a bad idea especially when the world is getting more f***ed up day by day.

As the job descriptor describes, successful applicant will have to fulfil a 35-hour work week over a period of 39 weeks per year. He/she will also be entitled to 8 weeks (pro rata) paid holidays during school holidays and a 3-bedroom residence on the island.

Forla Primary School currently has two students, but one of them is leaving for high school in mainland Shetlands in the upcoming term. That left the school with only one student.

It has been reported that the post has interested many people from all across the globe, with job applications coming from as far as Azerbaijan and South Africa.

WHERE IS FORLA?

(Image: Promote Shetland)

Forla is located within the Shetland Islands, north of Scotland, with the size of roughly 12km2 (roughly the size of Sembawang). With a population of just slightly over 30, it is considered one of the most remote inhabitable British islands. The name ‘Forla’ derived from Old Norse language, meaning ‘Bird Island’ – which kind of makes sense because it seems to be more accessible to the birds. That being said, it is the home to the world’s largest colony of Great Skuas.

To put it into perspective, Forla is roughly 32km away from Shetland mainland, more than the distance between Woodlands Causeway and Marina South Pier. In turn, Shetland is about 965km away from London, and about 14 hours of boat ride from the nearest British ferry terminal on the island of Great Britain.

Although it may seem far away, its distance from London is roughly the same as compared to the distance between Milan and the British capital. According to their tourism site,

SEALING THE DEAL: There might be more seals than humans over at Forla.

Singaporeans with relevant teaching qualifications (aka B.Ed or PGED and full registration with General Teaching Council for Scotland) and tired of taking care of spoiled urban kids are interested can submit their application via Jerry Edwards at jerry.edwards@shetland.gov.uk.

Application will close by 6am on 9 June (Friday) Singapore time.

Unleash Your Creative Talents with Singapore Monologue Slam 2017

The Singapore Monologue Slam (SMS) returns for its second edition in September. Being Singapore’s first monologue competition when it hits the town last year, this edition of SMS will feature a value of more than $30,000 in prizes!

The competition is open to all 13 to 35 years old residing in Singapore. Organised by Method Productions, the organisers hope that through SMS, it will provide opportunities for local young actors and writers to showcase their skills in front of a live audience and a jury panel from the film and theatre industry, hence promoting creativity.

For a registration fee of S$30, participants are entitled to personalised consultations and masterclasses – conducted by the acting coach and director from Haque Centre of Acting & Creativity (HCAC), Kamil Haque. Kamil  These pre-competition events held at HCAC will gear participants up with the necessary skills and, needless to say, confidence to perform their very best work when the competition starts on 21 September.

The SMS is our way of empowering young people to express themselves and pursue their creative dreams.

– KAMIL HAQUE


REACHING OUT TO THE COMMUNITY
As part of the newly thought out initiatives, the finalists of this year’s competition will have a chance to take their monologues on tour in different venues across the country. That means, you will have the chance to showcase your talents to the rest of Singapore! You might be the next Lim Kay Tong, Selina Tan or Adrian Pang and be the next shining star of the theatre scene.

WATCH & LEARN: Kamil Haque will be providing complimentary masterclass and consultations to participants.
(Photo Courtesy of Method Productions)
THE ALUMNI: Participants from the inaugural SMS last year. (From left: Hilmi Shukur, champion Sunita Chiu, and Brian Nai)
(Photo Courtesy of Method Productions)

SPOTLIGHT: 2016 SMS Ambassador, Shrey Bhargava, returns at a guest performer to showcase a monologue when we were there.
(Photo Courtesy of Method Productions)

SPECIAL RECOGNITION
This edition is also aimed at recognising as many deserving actors as possible. The Special Jury Recognition Award will make its first appearance this year to reward well-performing actors beyond the highest scoring participant.

Public who are interested can click HERE to sign up now because there are only 10 slots left (out of the initial 60 slots)

Of course, if you would just like to head down to the competition venue to watch the performances, ticket fee will be at S$25 ($22 for early-bird). $50 Festival Pass is available if you like to attend all three semi-finals.

Semi-finals will be held from 21 – 23 September, culminating in the Grand Slam on 24 September.

IN SUMMARY
Registration Deadline: 30 June, 2017
Fee: S$30
Preliminaries: 21-23 September, 2017
Grand Slam: 24 September, 2017