Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Alphabe-Thursday Letter S /New Zealand ShakeOut earthquake drill

The  drop, cover and hold drill is for us to drop to the ground, cover our head and drop like a turtle. I practise the drill of going under the table a lot. The students especially the little ones fit under the table easily. But for me, it is extremely hard.

When ever I read about a turtle, I remember my late colleague. I posted this in another blog.

This post is dedicated to the memory of my friend and fellow teacher Mr. Lee Yew Hang.

Yew Hang joined my school when we were in our sixth form. I was an arts student and had been in the school since form 1. He was a science student, and we never talked. Partly because the Arts students and the science students didn't mix, and also they were in the new building. They were smart scientists, doctors, engineers to be and thought that we were stupid. We thought they were communists as most of them came from Chinese schools.

When I was 19, I went to teach in Kai Chung school in Binatang. Yew Hang was already teaching there, and he took care of me. He invited me to join him and another teacher Mr. Chieng to have our lunch in a restaurant cum coffee shop.

His desk was in front of me in the staff room.  A kid was playing with this terrapin and I commented how cute it was. He gave it to me and I was showing off the terrapin to Mr. Lee and boasted that my charm had cast a spell on the boy and he was besotted by me.

I had to go to class and I had no cage.  Stupidly, I thought, if I turn it upside down, it would not get away.  I left it on my desk.

Of course, when I came back, it was gone. I accusingly/jokingly asked Mr. Lee if he was jealous of me and had taken the terrapin away. He kept saying, you are so stupid. Of course it will run away. I argued, how could it turn itself over?

I looked all round for it, surely everyone knows that turtles and tortoises are very slow. The school was surrounded by a swamp. The walls did not go completely to the floor. The brave critter found it's freedom by crawling through the gap.

He left the school at the end of the year to be trained as a teacher, and I went to Canada. We never saw each other again, and I had never been back to the school since.

Whenever, I see a photo of a turtle, terrapin or tortiose, I think of Mr. Lee.

The sad thing is after I found many of these students on Facebook, I also found some sad facts. Mr Lee,  died a few year ago, he was just about 50.

These students in the photo, was it you who gave me the terrapin?

Alphabe-Thursday Letter S for Shakeout.

Today, at 9.26am on Wednesday 26 September [9:26-26:9]*, more than 1.3 million people will participate in the New Zealand ShakeOutearthquake drill, the first ShakeOut drill held nationwide in any country!
Whether you are at home, work or school join in and practice "Drop, Cover and Hold"—the right action to take in an earthquake.

While earthquake hazard varies from region to region (see below), all of New Zealand is prone to earthquakes. You could be anywhere when an earthquake strikes- at home, at work, at school or on holiday.
New Zealand ShakeOut has been created to help people and organisations get better prepared for major earthquakes, and practice how to be protected when they happen. Everyone will practice "Drop, Cover and Hold"—the right action to take in an earthquake.
New Zealand ShakeOut also provides a fantastic opportunity fororganisations and businesses to examine and review their own emergency preparedness arrangements. Families and householdscan create, review and practice their household plans.



Reader Wil said...

New Zealand is a very beautiful country, except for the earth quakes. It reminds me of Norway! I wish I had emigrated to Norway when I was young.
Thanks Ann for telling the story of the turtle.

Esther Joy said...

My younger sister was in Christ Church, New Zealand just a day or so before the earthquake. I have never been to New Zealand, but would love to visit. My family has relatives in Australia, so New Zealand would make a good stopover!

Heather said...

Thanks for sharing the turtle pictures. Very cute!

Jenny said...

I always love your stories!

You have had so many interesting people in your life.

I think it's splendid that you share these memories!

The turtle pictures were perfect illustrations!