Thoughts: A lecturer’s take on Stress Management

A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked, “How heavy is this glass of water?” Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g. The lecturer replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it.”

“If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm. If Ihold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

He continued, “And that’s the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on.” “As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden.”

“So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down. Don’t carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow. Whatever burdens you’re carrying now, let them down for a moment if you can.”

“Relax; pick them up later after you’ve rested. Life is short. Enjoy it!”


And then he shared some ways of dealing with the burdens of life:

  • Accept that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue.
  • Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
  • Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
  • Drive carefully. It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.
  • If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
  • If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
  • It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
  • Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won’t have a leg to stand on.
  • Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.
  • Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.
  • The second mouse gets the cheese.
  • When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
  • Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
  • You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.
  • We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.
  • A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

FASS staff finds Supporting Students at Risk Seminar beneficial

The first Supporting Students at Risk Seminar for FASS was held on 18 March 2010 at the Central Library, in conjunction with the inaugural exhibition by The Society of Social Work on the theme: “Trapped by Situations, Freed by Your Actions”.

On one hand, the exhibition highlighted the concerns and challenges faced by the disabled, the mentally challenged and victims of abuse within the family setting. It consisted of a static display of artworks and posters, a series of movie screenings, talks, workshops and interactive sessions. On the other, the seminar addressed concerns frontline staff may have in identifying and referring students at risk within the faculty and university.

Indeed, coping with university life and studies can be a trying and stressful time for some students. Frontline staff who are in frequent contact with such students are in an excellent position to render help as early as possible.

Dr. Rosaleen Ow, Department of Social work, said, “The seminar was helpful in knowing exactly how and when we could engage Counselling and Psychological Services (CPS). Although trained in social work, we need to be clear about the boundaries between academic support and providing counselling services to students, to avoid possible conflict of interest and biases in grading and appraisal. The seminar provided avenues for discussing actual scenarios, and useful tips on how to link students with varying degrees of social-emotional needs to CPS.”

FASS staff at Supporting Students at Risk Seminar

Representatives from four departments attended the seminar. They were: Social Work, Japanese Studies, Philosophy and Southeast Asian Studies.

The seminar covered the following areas:

  • Emphasising the relevance of being aware of and responding to students who are potentially at risk
  • Clarifying key risk indicators
  • Outlining how a staff member can respond to such students
  • Knowing where one can seek assistance within and outside the university
  • Highlighting the need for self-care

“I found the seminar very interactive and useful for frontline staff in identifying and responding to students at risk. I would highly recommend the seminar to my colleagues,” said Ms Anjana, Department of Philosophy, who felt better equipped in assisting students at risk after the seminar.

If you would like to us to organise a customised seminar on Supporting Students at Risk for your department, please email or call 65167274.

By Ignatius Pang, FASS Student Support

Parlez-vous Français?

by Student Blogger Denise Lee

French aficionados, listen up. The NUS French Club may be just the club for you.  Open to students from all Faculties with or without any French background, the club seeks to promote l’amour de la France – the love of France. Calvin Yeoh, a second-year Business undergraduate and present President of the club shares “Our purpose is to bring the beauty of French culture to anyone and everyone in the NUS Community who may be interested in knowing and experiencing more about French life – through its people, language, food and arts.”

french club infusion 2010

Following a recent membership drive, the club now boasts _ members, most of whom hail from FASS.  Movie screenings and interactive French table sessions are some of the regular activities organised by the club. Well-established with an active committee and membership, the present NUS French Club is a far cry from what it used to be like when it first debuted in 2007. Then known as NUS Francophile, it started as a playful idea toyed by three European Studies majors Song Yen Mei, Luo Chun Yin and Faith Tan during their idle hours. The group of friends had often revised French together and ruminated on activities that could help them assimilate the language and culture better. After rounds of lively discussions and several consultations with their French lecturers, the NUS Francophile eventually came into fruition. However, the nascent stage wasn’t all smooth sailing. Faith, the founding Vice-President recalls the club’s trying early days, “It was a very humbling experience when we first started. Our first French Table had like… three people on the first day and seven people the next; Movie screenings, though a little more popular were difficult and expensive. I recall several times when I felt like telling Chun this is it; I don’t want to do it anymore.” During the club’s infancy, the trio ran into problems with manpower, time and money. Armed with tenacious grit, the girls ploughed on, conducting publicity talks at French lectures, sponsoring food at movie screenings and making publicity bookmarks by hand.  Their efforts paid off and the club started to see a steady attendance at their events, reaching the pinnacle of success with the formation of a full-committee. In 2009, they attained club status, leading to the name of the club as it is today.

 Fast-forward to the present and club is going on strong. With the aid of their lecturer-in-charge Ms Malwina Baranska, the club organises activities on a regular basis. The top draw of the club membership is the French table sessions where members get to interact with native French students, putting their French communication skills to good practice. Being a member of the club has other privileges too, such as the entitlement to special discounts at movie screenings.    Benjamin Fu, a second year undergraduate and member of the NUS French Club relates “I join the club for a simple reason: French is cool! I love French language and culture, and I’d like to promote them to my fellow schoolmates. As a former committee member of NYP (Nanyang Polytechnic) French Club, I gained some experience and I’d like to bring them to NUS French Club. This is where we can make friends, chat in French, watch movie in French, cook in French and have lots of fun!”

french club vday movie screening

french club vday movie screening2

Past events of the club include a Valentine’s Day Movie Screening at NUSSU’s brand new student lounge at YIH. Ticket holders were treated to some light snacks such as muffins, chips and chocolates, as they watched “La Science Des Rêves” (The Science of Sleep). Last December, the club organized a French pique-nique at the Botanic Gardens where members bonded over classic French fare such a baguettes, brie and blue cheese, accompanied with French dessert wine (le vin), bien sûr! A French song item was performed by an exco member and French board games were introduced.

french club picnic event2

french club picnic event

Looking ahead, students can expect a series of exciting events from the French Club. These include yet another round of French Table set in one of Singapore’s many established French Restaurants where students can indulge in authentic French cuisine while basking in the company of fellow Francophiles. Special set-menus will be catered at student-friendly prices. Come April, an April Fool’s Movie Screening will be held, featuring a classic French comedy titled “Le Dîner de Cons” (The Idiot Game), which will be screened on campus free-of-charge. Back by popular demand, the club will be having another French Picnic @ the Park, held at the end of the semester when students can kick up their heels and chill over cheese, wine and other French goodies. For details on these events, check out the club’s website at Alternatively, you can look up NUS French-Club on facebook. Be sure to stay updated with the latest on all things French, and as the French say, Vivre la France!

Life is like a box of chocolates- a welfare carnival from FASS-NUSSU

The NUS Students’ Arts and Social Sciences Club and NUSSU Welfare proudly presents:

FASS-NUSSU welfare carnival- thumbnail

This carnival brings together components from NUSSU Welfare’s Canteen Competition, Feedback Wall and stage and booth games, student vendors selling their wares, and the charity cell from FASS and other faculties, big companies like NUM and Jasina.

In essence, the carnival aims to be a one-stop, all-encompassing student-centric event that caters to a wide variety of social needs and preferences.

Imagine this analogy: In a box of chocolates, you get chocolates of various sizes, shapes and flavours! This is reflective of our NUS campus. Within one institution you can find students of different races, backgrounds and ethnicities. Truly, you never know what you’re going to get in this cosmopolitan, multi-dimensional melting pot!

Because Life is like a box of chocolates indeed. =)

You too can be a part of this event! Come down to the Central Forum on Monday and Tuesday, 22 and 23 March 2010, between 9 am to 6 pm!
Warm Regards,

Fern and Daryl
Project Directors
Life is like a box of chocolates!
FASS-NUSSU Welfare Carnival 2010

Proudly brought to you by the NUS Students’ Arts and Social Sciences Club and NUSSU Welfare!

Click here to see a larger version of the poster!