Sunday, January 07, 2007

Five Things about Ivan Chew (that you might not know)

When Filipino Librarian tagged me for a "Five Things" meme, I didn't really feel like taking it up. However, I realised that of the five bloggers he tagged, I was the only non-Filipino. I felt I had to respond (as the Chinese like to say, "Give him face").

I wanted to share how I didn't want a dog (but agreed to get one anyway); how I wanted to be an artist when I was younger; how I came to be a librarian -- but I seem to recall that this particular meme required me to share things that others do not know about me/ I've not blogged about yet.

Had to think for a bit (opened-ended memes are tough, but a good exercise in writing it seems). So here goes:

1) My first pet was a stuffed dog I named "Snow-paws". I know technically it's not a "pet". It wasn't alive. But I was only seven. It was real to me. One day I came home from school and couldn't find Snow-paws. Searched high and low. My grandmother said she threw it away. I cried and I screamed why. I hated my grandmother for that. For a day or two.

2) My first experience of death was when I was about 10. My grandmother passed away. I learnt what pain felt like. The kind that hurt really deep. But thanks to my grandmother, I also learnt how one could die with dignity. She had told my siblings and I that when her time came to pass, we should feel happy for her. That might have been my first philosophy lesson. We still cried anyway.

3) I almost drowned when I was eight or nine. Fell into a pond at Toa Payoh gardens. Couldn't swim. Saved by my father. He jumped in to rescue me. He lost his wallet. I couldn't stop crying. More out of embarrassment than fear. I remember a nice lady. She gave me some tissues to dry myself. They weren't enough. Mother bought me a set of dry clothes at OG (a department store nearby). A week later, my father took my siblings and I to the public swimming pool. To teach us to swim.

4) Three weeks into National Service. I was 19. Basic Military Training in Pulau Tekong. Family-visit Day. My parents came to see me. I cried. I thought I wouldn't, but I did. My Platoon Commander (PC) had warned that those who cried would sign 3-weeks of extra Guard Duties. My PC came over to meet my parents. He saw my tears, I was sure. At evening roll call, my PC asked the platoon if anyone cried. I kept my mouth shut. My PC didn't say anything either. I guess he was once a recruit too.

5) I've won some trophies and medals in my younger years. Sporting events and art competitions in school. The most memorable was one particular match, where I didn't win a medal. At a Karate Tournament. A sparring bout. Halfway through, I was two points down. Three points and I was out. I told myself the fight was not over. I thought I'd be nervous, but I wasn't. I fought back a point. And then two. I was even. Time was almost up. He came at me fast. Front kick. Training took over. No time to think. Block-sweep-counter punch. The match was mine. But I lost the next round to another guy. A black-belter. I was out of the tournament. No medal for me. Didn't matter. I didn't let myself down. And I didn't cry in this one.


Who can I tag for this one? Let's start with Cool Insider (whose PC crashed so he can't blog)...

... I need four more people. OK, I had such a kick reading the recent posts from the Kankakee Public Library staff blog, so I'm tagging Mitchell Haug (who has something to say about televangelists), Vicki S. (who's raised on Saturday Night Live), Allison Beasley (who shows us just how much they value their IT guy), and Nick Garcia (who has a long post on Happiness).


  1. Anonymous5:31 am

    looks like we have something in common beyond our profession. except that you knew you were drowning, i didn't. we should probably go swimming the next time we meet =) [ifla 2008 in montreal?]


  2. Anonymous9:28 pm

    Reminds me of the time I did not even notice my son struggling noiselessy in the shallow end pool right in front of me. My attention was on the other 2 further out - with floats of course. What a scare.

    Thanks for sharing the 5 things.

  3. Anonymous9:52 am

    That's interesting! Didn't know you could do Karate...

  4. Anonymous11:19 am

    I still hold my stuff toy "Doggy" every time I watch TV and go to bed! He has been with me since I was 11 :) Is it a common habit among the librarians? hehe. Kitty

  5. Anonymous11:25 am

    Hey, I didn't know that you are a such a cry baby ...

    Anyway, I cried too when I was moving out from home. :)

  6. Thanks for all the comments. Yeah Herry, I was a "new age sensitive guy" before they invented the term. Except that during my time, one tried hard not to show how new-age one was, LOL.

  7. Anonymous1:20 am

    y didnt u die.u noe y u have to write "Five Things about Ivan Chew (that you might not know)" bcos u r such a loser n u noe u have no substance YET,U R SO thickskinned...(erm thanks 4 ur comments this shows that u care) guts to face critics huh?dont bother to reply.....cos im juz expecting same old "answer"to my only true comments amongst the "comments disrespect to those who adore rambling librarian...pls wake up

  8. Why, thanks anonymous. I didn't know I have adoring fans! Wow! LOL.

  9. It's funny how someone can talk about having "no guts to face critics" when he/she chooses to remain anonymous.

    Local heroes like Ivan and MrBrown have their names in public view, champion causes and create positive change in our society.

    Before we look onto others, we should look onto ourselves. Who have we helped today?

  10. I don't think the anonymous commenter understands the concept of the meme ;)

    I personally don't understand why people who choose to make comments like that don't have the guts to say who they are. [tsk!]


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