Cassandra’s High School

For those of you who’ve been waiting for my update on whether Cass passed the high school entrance exam that she sat for last Saturday, the answer is a….

No.  She’s not going to the high school of MY choice…

but…

she’s going to the high school of HER CHOICE as she PASSED the entrance exam! 😐

And I guess this is also the high school of God’s choice as I’ve been praying fervently to ask Him to get Cass into a high school of His choice.

Is this a cause to celebrate yet? I’m not too sure.

Yesterday when Cass’ friend informed her via Whatsapp that her name is in the freshman list, we were both floored.  Initially Cass was ecstatic. Then when the reality sank in that she’ll be going to this school with a tough dual examination system, she couldn’t decide if she should accept the offer as she’s not the studious nor disciplined type with the exception to novels. Thick books especially appeal to her! The thicker it is, the happier the girl is.

Actually I was quite confident that she would pass the entrance exam as she’s been in the top class throughout her 6 years in a Chinese primary school. But whether this school suits her or otherwise and whether she could persevere for 5 to 6 years in the school (depending on whether she’s taking UEC / Form 6 in Senior 3), this looks iffy. This high school was ranked as one of the Best Schools of Excellence by the Education Ministry in 2015.

Students at Chinese independent schools still sit for all national examinations such as PMR and SPM. The subjects are taught alongside the school’s own Chinese syllabus, and teachers dedicate lesson periods to teaching the government syllabus too.

Cass has until next Thursday to decide if she really wants to get into this high school that she’s worked quite hard to get into. She filled out the tedious online application forms and emailed the high school herself as I told her that if she really wanted to get into this school (which is not my choice), she’d have to submit the application herself.  Registration fee must be paid by next Friday failing which the seat will be forfeited and given to a student in the long waiting list.

The only pull factor for Cass to want to get into this high school is her best friend and other good friends from her class who are also accepted into the school. She wants to be with her good friends since Primary 1 throughout her high school years.

This girl really needs to pull up her socks if she’s decided to get into this school. The school has a system that compels the student to repeat the entire year if the student’s average mark is below a certain grade.  Usually those who are dealt with a letter to repeat the entire year will leave the school and apply for a transfer to a public school in order to progress to the next grade.

So our littlest rascal has her first important decision to make that will affect 5 years of her life in high school. I hope she makes the right decision and my only hope is that she will be very happy throughout her high school years.



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Innovative Workout Techniques To Remain Fit

Attending gym sessions is not always the best idea in your schedule when you decide to work out and stay fit. During the global pandemic, when most gyms are closed, your motivation to exercise diminishes quickly. However, you need to keep yourself fit and healthy to function correctly or face issues like laziness or obesity. Going to the gym is also not that inspiring, as you tend to get bored with the same routine without any innovation. To face this challenge, you need to have a workout schedule that you can use at home without going to the gym.

Going to the gym is indeed one way to stay healthy and fit; finding the time to do so is the tricky part. When you work during the day and need a relaxed time in the evening, you find it hard to motivate yourself. Home workouts give you enough time luxury than gyms as you have a scheduled time for everything else. You can take out a significant portion of your time after completing daily routine activities. Here is a list of some innovative workout techniques that you can apply at home during isolation.

Chair Squats
Let us face it; squatting is not easy. Mastering the form of squat takes time and is an exhausting exercise if not done correctly. However, the point remains that squats have a considerable effect on the strength of your legs, calves, thighs, and gluteus Maximus. Squats are also good for the core, helping your body keep a stiff balance between the upper and lower part. The addition of a chair adds to the correction of posture while giving you enough support to provide maximum effect. Stand with feet hip-apart and knees inside your toes and slowly lower yourself. Keep the torso upright and contracted while pressing your knees to stand back. Repeat this procedure for 2-3 sets with 8-16 reps each. The chair will keep your weight from concentrating on knees and supports your entire position.

Stairs Climbing
Nothing offers good cardio than climbing the stairs. Anytime you take an elevator, you do your body a favor. Besides cardio, stair climbing is also suitable for burning calories, producing endorphins, and improving overall heart health. You can use stairs at home or a climbing machine for your procedure. Climbing machine workout will give you a better chance of mimicking vertical stairs and work towards your major muscle groups simultaneously. An added benefit of the climbing machine is that it burns calories in less time than treadmills or exercise bikes, thereby increasing your metabolism. Vertical climbing machines offer a challenge to your body and push it to the limit. Your body will thank you for the work you provided and better blood flow to the body.

Box Crawl
Box crawling is yet another innovative yet easy exercise that most people discard from their daily routine. What they fail to realize are the effects it has on the body that enhances its core strength. The routing is simple, get on all fours and lift your knees slightly so that your hips elevate marginally higher than shoulders. Take support from the balls of your feet and crawl forward. Step with your right hand and left foot and then left hand and right foot. Additionally, crawl in a box formation with two crawls in each direction: forward to the right and then back to the left. If done right, the box crawl provides equal distribution of effort to the body’s upper parts for strengthening.

Sidestep Squats with Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are essential equipment to give your exercise an added layer of tension. The resistance you face makes you put in more effort and increases your endurance and strength. While standard and chair squat mostly target your Gluteus Maximus, sidestep squats with resistance bands targets Maximus and Minimus. Stand on a resistance band with a medium tension and hold it with both your hands. Keep the pressure on the bar, and take open your legs far complete. Start squatting and keep the stress on the band. Repeat it for 1-3 sets of 16 reps each.

Leg Raises
Leg raise is a simple and highly effective exercise for strengthening thighs, hips, gluteus, and core. Stand with your legs slightly apart behind a firm chair or column for balancing. Raise your leg slowly to one side and keep your back straight. Repeat the process for 10-12 times and then turn around for the next leg using the same procedure. It is a simple exercise that you can do anytime and needs no special equipment.

Acro Yoga
Yoga is a good exercise regime that couples the effects of meditation with workout efforts. Acro yoga combines traditional yoga with acrobatics and healing arts in one package. This fitness routine requires two persons, one of which acts as a base and the other as the flyer. The bottom has to lift the flyer in the air and hold them. It gives them an effective workout for arms, legs, and abs. The flyer has to maintain a yoga position while in the air. Both the partners receive considerable stretch and thrust for maximum training for the whole body. If working solo, use support equipment that works as a base while continuing with your flyer role.

Final Word
Fitness is an essential point of keeping oneself healthy and active in life. Besides the ones mentioned above, variations of different exercises can significantly change your body while keeping your mind sharp. Remember to keep a balanced diet with your routines to keep yourself energized and healthy.

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