Daniel Bennett Article

Meet Daniel Bennett, a professional footballer who mainly plays center-back and full-back. Originally from England, he now holds Singapore Citizenship under the Foreign Sports Talent Scheme (FST) which was given to him in 2002 in order to play international football for Singapore. At 41 years of age, shuttling between Singapore and England, he holds valuable experience of what it’s not only like to be a professional footballer but what it’s like to play in a team in which the members are different than you and what it’s like being a long reining member of the team.

Let’s learn more about the man who currently holds 137 caps for Singapore, therefore holding the national record for the most international matches played. Bennett is no foreigner to Singapore. He moved from England to there and for a majority of his schooling life, studied in the United World College of South East Asia in which his father was a teacher turned headmaster. Bennett had controversially or boldly stated that UWC had zero impact on him as a footballer. He then later pursued an honors degree in Sports Science from Loughborough University. Admirably, he then did a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) online,

To follow his football career we would have to follow and list the many clubs he’s played for in Singapore and England. From what he’s told us, his football journey started at the young age of 12, playing for Tiong Bahru, a district in Singapore. Additionally, he played for the local team when he was at uni. Bennett has been playing for over 20 years including playing 2 years in Division I for England and has played for Singapore more than a hundred times.

Bennett gives a little insight into his hectic training schedule. He trained for a prolonged career and was required to train 5-6x week. Sometimes, he would have a double session which means he would have two separate training sessions in one day.

Bennett had a lot to say about the differences in England and Singapore when it comes to football. Bennet prefers England due to the level of fi football there. He says that everyone’s for themselves and “they have a desire to be the best”. In terms of resources, England has better resources and love for football as most people in Singapore prefer or only watch the premier league rather than what’s actually going on in Singapore.

However, what’s really interesting is everything beyond this general knowledge of who Daniel Bennett is. He’s one of the few people who has managed to bag a prolonged position in a football team despite his age. Bennett faced a lot of jealousy from his teammates. He tells us about how that, along with his ethnicity, make him a tough competitor with the newer, younger additions to the team who were mad about having a “foreigner” in their team. Unfortunately, or luckily for Bennett, he saw his relationship improve with the players as he, in the words of Bennett, went down a “downward spiral”.

He also speaks to us about the nerve-wracking wait of The Contract. Now, every footballer signs a contract in which it states the number of years that one will play for a specific team which is normally 1-2 years.  If you’re good enough, you might get your contract renewed and Bennett weighs in about how he’s been very lucky to have his contract renewed despite his age.

But now, Daniel Bennett, the famous footballer, is, in fact, a senior associate realtor, a job route he followed at the age of 35. He said he quit football as a full-time job in 2018. He told us about the shift between jobs and admits that it’s hard sustaining one career. But luckily for Bennett, his job provides him with the flexibility of managing a job and his position on the Tampines Rover team. Despite his life being in Singapore, he currently resieds in Johor with his wife.

He hopes that Singapore would place more importance on football, especially in terms of funding and organization. Like most Singaporean sports players, he sees National Service as an obstruction. National Service requires all male Singaporean citizens, first hand and second-hand permanent residents to be drafted at 18 till 20, and they are liable to be called back for a maximum of 40 days of National Service every year until the age of 50 years (for officers) or 40 years (for others). This poses a huge problem to those who have contracts lined up for them to join teams or have matches to play and poses as an obstacle for youth players. Furthermore, he hopes the career path and hobby of sports is more widely accepted by parents who encourage their kids to follow their dreams as he recognizes most Singaporean parents to favor academics. Lastly, he hopes to see more passion for the in Singaporeans for Singapore’s national sport – Football.

 

Face to Face with Mother Nature: My Life as an Underwater Photographer and Journalist

Al Hornsby is a special guest that some of us had the opportunity to meet with. He’s a well-known diving and wildlife photographer, dive industry executive, author and environmental advocate.

He says his love for the ocean started at the age of 12, where he learned to dive at Guam, where his family had just moved. But he says his love for all things flora and fauna is thanks to his dad. He tells us the tale of how he once went to the beach and into the ocean and how everything just clicked.

“From then, I knew what I wanted to be doing”

How he then realized that’s what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. However, at that time, it was unusual for one’s profession to be just about capturing the wonderful and majestic creatures below and above the ocean.  Usually, you would see writing accompanied by it, in magazines, documentaries, and newspapers. This led him to take up creative writing and photography in college.

“There were not a lot of divers back then but there were writers, filmakers and photographers who dived and started talking abut protecting these beautiful animals and I decided that I wanted to do. So I studied creative writing and photography. So I moved to from Atlanta [where he finished high school and college] for diving”

As mentioned, he writes along with photography. He says “There’s a power in writing. Not only can you feel and experience, but you can also choose what you want the reader to feel and experience, too.” And as if this the session until now wasn’t intriguing and interesting till now, he informs us that upon encountering an animal, he can already see a story starting to form

Hornsby’s photography and magazine assignments lead him to encounter all kinds of animals. From great white sharks to the tiniest little fishes. From big, grizzly bears to elegant deers, he captures them all. On seeing the few photos out of the many, many he’s taken over the years, there was one question that was looming above the class like a dark cloud.

“But isn’t it dangerous?”

“I don’t think I have ever felt unsafe around any of these animals.” Silence. “[Animals] are curious, but accepting. As long as you respect them and the territory they’re in, they’ll respect you back’

That piece of advice, no matter how minuscule it is, was impactful. He, in a couple of sentences, told us that at the end of the day, animals are like us. They have feelings, too. He didn’t come off in a preachy, vegan, kind-of-propaganda way as he tells us to respect animals they’ll respect you quite back. The whole session with Al Horsnby left me leaving the room, rethinking all of my plans for the future. Will my plan for the future spark as much joy for me as photography does for him?

 

 

 

 

The best fight I never had: A Boxer’s Response to Racism

Sanjay Perera, or as his students call him, Mr. Perera, is a history teacher at the United World College of South East Asia, Tampines. Through humor, he retells the riveting incident of his encounter with racism.

Being ethnically from Sri Lanka and living in London, it would be no surprise to anyone that he would be an ethnic minority, unfortunately causing him to have his fair share of racist looks and comments thrown his way. Especially in the ’90s in which equal and human rights weren’t as strong as they were today and causal racism was perfectly fine. He spoke about repressing his culture to “fit in”. He presents a non-biased, calm aura as he recognizes that most insults aren’t targeting the individual but rather the ‘thing’ they represent, be it ethnicity or a political party. Elaborating on this fact, he takes us to Portsmouth, England, 1993, where he’s studying at the University of Portsmouth. At a time like that, it could be inferred that the number of people who were ethnic minorities was inversely proportional to the number of ignorant racists (although the root cause of racism is ignorance).

Now that we have the setting, all we need is the person. Mr. Perera describes himself as Captain Jack Sparrow, recounting how he had half the weight and double the hair. Double the hair, in this case, does not mean your usual “head full of hair” but rather hair that reached his back. He casually throws in a slight mention on the gold hoop earrings that he once dawned.

Ok so, they’re at A Bar. It’s the bar people would tell you to not go to, but he says that’s the thrill of college. There’s no parental supervision. No one should be able to tell you what to do. So, he, along with his college level boxing friends, went off to the bar. This is where the incident takes place. It was clear he was different and people responded that way. One his way to get drinks for his friends, he states a white man that was just “like a bald Harambe” glared upon him like he was a cockroach. It was clear this man did not like Mr. Perera. Fast forward a couple minutes and Mr. Bald Harambe says “I’m going to kick your teeth out, you black bastard”. It was clear this man wanted to fight but luckily the bouncers hired where stronger than this man. Unfortunately, the bouncers were technically required for what happens in the bar, not outside, so when the White Man said “let’s step outside” Mr. Perera knew he had to act quick. He said he had 3 options. 1) Wait for his boxing team friends, who already could see something going one 2) punch this man that’s double the height and weight and hope for the best or 3) let out “a cheeky comment” and then hope for the best until his friends came over. He opted for the third option.

“I’m sorry, what did you say?”

“I’m going to kick your teeth out, you black bastard”.

This had not only caught that attention of his bulky boxer friends who had formed a protective circle but the White Man’s friends, as well.

“I’m black?”.

Laughter erupted. He saw the once-bald Harambe now deflate into us. Into a human being. Upon leaving he left us some valuable advice. He said that upon looking at the incident now, it was very dangerous and he’s lucky that they all left safely. Adding on, he said that we shouldn’t prioritize our ego than what’s practical and we should always just walk away from a situation.

A Life Time of the Beautiful Game: the Ups and Downs of being a Professional Footballer

Meet Daniel Bennett, a professional footballer. Originally from England, he now holds Singapore Citizenship under the Foreign Sports Talent Scheme (FST) which was given to him in 2002 in order to play international football for Singapore. At 41 years of age, shuttling between Singapore and England, he holds valuable experience of what it’s not only like to be a professional footballer but what it’s like to play in a team in which the members are different than you and what it’s like being a long reining member of the team.

Let’s learn more about the man who currently holds 137 caps for Singapore, therefore holding the national record for the most international matches played. Bennett is no foreigner to Singapore. He moved from England to there and for a majority of his schooling life, studied in the United World College of South East Asia in which his father was a teacher turned headmaster. He then later pursued an honors degree in Sports Science from Loughborough University.

To follow his football career we would have to follow and list the many clubs he’s played for in Singapore and England. From what he’s told us, his football journey started at the young age of 12, playing for Tiong Bahru, a district in Singapore. And for those who are into the more technical stuff, he plays center-back and full-back.

However, what’s really interesting is everything beyond this general knowledge of who Daniel Bennett is. He’s one of the few people who has managed to bag a position in a football team despite his age. He tells us about how that, along with his ethnicity, make him a tough competitor with the newer, younger additions to the team. He also speaks to us about the nerve-wracking wait of The Contract. Now, every footballer signs a contract in which it states the number of years that one will play for a specific team. If you’re good enough, you might get your contract renewed and Bennett weighs in about how he’s been very lucky t have his contract renewed despite his age.

But now, Daniell Bennett, the famous footballer, is, in fact, a senior associate realtor. He told us about the shift between jobs and how his job as an associate realtor provided him with the flexibility of managing a job and his position on the Tampines Rover team.

He hopes that Singapore would place more importance on Football, especially in terms of funding. With no hate towards Singapore, he told the avid listeners about how England placed more importance on resources and how much more football is valued in England. Additionally, like most Singaporean sports players, he sees National Service as an obstruction. National Service requires all male Singaporean citizens, first hand and second-hand permanent residents to be drafted at 18 till 20, and they are liable to be called back for a maximum of 40 days of National Service every year until the age of 50 years (for officers) or 40 years (for others). This poses a huge problem to those who have contracts lined up for them to join teams or have matches to play. Furthermore, he hopes the career path and hobby of sports is more widely accepted by parents who encourage their kids to follow their dreams as he recognizes most Singaporean parents to favor academics.

It was a pleasure to get such detailed, insider information on what the highs and lows, ups and downs are of being a professional footballer.

 

 

Omer & his cousin

When talking about Autism, we all have these wrong preconceived notions and misconceptions. Luckily, many of these misconceptions got cleared when I, along with Miss Markham’s English class, got the opportunity to interview Omer who has an eight-year-old cousin with Autism.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is on a spectrum – some cases can be severe while some aren’t. Autism is basically an untreatable, chronic condition that’s a developmental disorder and creates difficulties with the ability to interact and communicate. Most people know about Autism and it’s characteristics but only have surface level knowledge on it and – if they haven’t met someone with this particular condition –  have certain stereotypes and fixed thoughts on people affected with it.

Through a brief interview with him, he single-handedly shattered most stereotypes while talking about his cousin. He tells us about a typical day he would have with his cousin: breakfast, a therapy session (“would you say these sessions are helping?” “I mean, I’ve definitely seen some improvement. It’s slow but it’s there”), come back home and would be off to another therapy session. Omer describes his cousin’s disorder to be somewhere on the third, and last part of the spectrum. The severe section. But, and here’s easily the most impactful thing out thing one can get out of this interview, that does not hinder or affect their relationship as much as people would think it does.

As Omer puts it, his cousin stays in his “little bubble” and therefore does not respond to social cues well and therefore a little more effort is needed to break through that bubble and to do so requires patience, perseverance and personal space which are all the three things Omer obeys and it has definitely paid off. Omer ensures his little cousin is in his comfort zone and that in no way will he feel uncomfortable with Omer.

When asked about what he wants people to know, he told us it’s unfortunate that the actual word ‘autistic’ has so many negative connotations and is being used as an insult which is truly demeaning to those who have autism. On a more positive note, he said that Autism should be no reason to lack a relationship and one can overcome all difficulties if they really try to and that a positive relationship with an autistic person is possible.

 

my language world

My journey first started with Telugu ( తెలుగు ), my dad’s mother tongue, spoken in Hyderabad. With my paternal aunts and family fawning over the first female–and still the only–child. instead of growing up with one, two three, I grew up with ఒకటి, రెండు, మూడు. Being born in Singapore to an Indian family meant that Telugu wouldn’t exactly get me as far communication wise. So English was introduced along with Hindi, as an ode to the language both my parents speak and as national duty to their country.

My condo and kindergarten has mainly Asian people meaning caucasian people were a rare sight which accents and traditions different than ours. Bollywood movies were more familiar and watched than the occasional Hollywood movie while Hollywood tv shows were, for some reason, banned to me by my mum so my exposure to the “outer world” really was limited to India and Singapore, but I didn’t mind.

Since I learned to speak all the way up until grade 3, I sported a patriotic Singaporean-Indian accent thanks to my Singaporean teachers, friends, and family.

When I arrived at UWC, I only then saw a wide variety of ethnicities, but not culture. I would see Indians who weren’t Indian and had no connection to their culture and tried to disassociate themselves from their background. Slowly, I did too. Enter mid-grade 3, I speak like everyone else and less like me. The identity that I was once so proud and fond off soon started to fade away. In addition, my teachers were mainly Australian or British, making me speak with a somewhat American accent minus the ay sound in a word like mayn, or claess.

Grade 5. Epic Arts came on their annual trip to UWC and for the first time and we got to interact with them. The whole class sat down with the two Epic Arts people – whose name I now forget – and they assign everyone a sign name. I still remember mine. It was the letter R being shaken while moving it down. Fascinated by how a sign name was assigned to represent a person, I searched up the alphabet. I remember my table partner (who left later that year) teaching our k1 buddies the alphabet in Sign Language. That was the tipping point in which I decided to learn the whole language and with a few breaks, I’ve now been learning ASL though youtube and an online school for the past 4 years.

Often times when practicing for a Spanish test, I would learn the sign and the name in Spanish at the same time. I still do and during oral exams, I’ll be seen doing “weird motions” with my hands as I speak, giving me the weird habit of fingerspelling or signing alongside conversations

It remained that way until grade 6 when all of a sudden Akshay Kumar, one of Bollywood’s esteem actor, arrived at our school. Suddenly the hidden Bollywood obsession I had seemed to make me different and more unique and something to be proud of. Slowly, my connection to my culture started to grow back again. I didn’t fight or suppress the accent. I embraced what was special to me.

My idiolect consists of a mix of Singlish words (mainly the word aiyoh at any time of even the smallest inconvenience), fandom words (e.g – I ship them!, what a cinnamon rollhead-canonau (alternate universe)fan-fiction), and ‘stan’ twitter language (e.g – shister / sister sometimes combined or left alone with shooksnapped (or any word starting with s), stanskinny legend, sisteaicon, skinnier than Mariah, shade). 

My accent changes at school, becoming more American and at home, it flops back into an Indian-Singaporean accent

I got the Singlish words by being around Singaporeans and watching Singaporean tv shows a lot. The fandom words come from me being a geek and (loving Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Hamilton, The selection and a bunch more other fandoms). The ‘stan’ twitter language mainly came from scrolling through Instagram and seeing this new way of communicating and decided to try it out ironically but that ended up backfiring as now it’s stuck with me.

My texting idiolect is a whole different thing. My texting comprises of the use of no capital letters, commas in the place of ellipses, the use of sksksksksk when actual words can’t represent what you’re feeling, a combination of capital and lower case letters to MoCk SoMeThInG along with ‘1!!11!1!’. If I’m trying to indicate something important, there will be grADUAL capital letters and if I’m trying to emphasize something, the letters will be s p a ce d out.


how does english mis/represent and in/exclude?

English brings together people who can speak it or who want to learn how to speak it. English, even though it’s considered the global language, can indicate if someone is from an english speaking place and /or if english is their first language by their accent/dialect, grammar and idiolect.


Who owns English? As times advance, our dependability and time on social media increases, random people are becoming more influential as singers and authors who, in my opinion, used to “own” English. As more concepts get introduced, more words get introduced. For example, as feminism become very popular and almost a trend, the word “woke” was introduced as ‘to be knowledgeable about real life issues. In that sense, people who are not only influential but has contact with large masses of people, the more likely they are to “own” English. Another example is previously people would text ‘I don’t {…}’ or but as one person starting replacing “I don’t’ with ‘ion’, more people started using ‘ion’ while texting. So in conclusion, who “owns” English? People with influence and it changes due to new concepts and ideas becoming more relevant

the peak of my hs life

sooo the first, and easily my best, week of hs. starting next week, its all gonna go downhill from here. trust me, im probably right. i mean like,,, study?? eat?? studystudy?? eat?? i cant starve for that long. e.g, i saw a bunch of lucky ms students (*SiGh* the good ol’ days) eating food and i cried a little on the inside. atleast we don’t have to walk up allll those stairs but also, rlly no. i’d rather eat more and walk up more stairs than walk up less stairs and eat less. burn more than you eat -> cal👏o👏rie de👏fi👏cit -> -losing weight

words

so i speak 5 languages. 4 actually, because the 5th one is asl, or american sign language and one can’t exactly *speak* sign language. but anyway, i decide to find my favourite,,, well, one of my favourite (i’m rlly indecisive whoOps) words in each of the 5 languages i know.

so in the order of languages i know, let’s start w/ my mothertongue. telugu, a south central-dravidian native indian language, spoken in where i’m ethnically from; hyderabad –

now, i learnt this language alongside english while growing up. one of the most spoken languages in the world and mainly india, hindi – titli (tit•uh•lee). titli means butterfly and idk why i like the word. maybe it’s because the softness and gentleness of the word represents the grace of a butterfly but like i said, irdk

english – lollipop

spanish – hablaba. so this one is almost a pun, kiinda. bc hablar means “to speak” and hablaba is the conjugated version in the imperfect tense which means “i was speaking”

asl – uhhh so there are alot of signs that i don’t even know about but maybe my favourite sign is ‘soda’ which is when you form the left hand into an “o”, bend the middle finger of the right (open) hand at the large (2nd) knuckle and stick it (the middle finger) into the left “o” and then remove the finger and slap your right palm over the hole.

*ik it sounds,,,looks(?) rlly weird but incase you didn’t understand, here’s how it looks like –> here

//// a promise to me //// do hw on the day its give out lmao (or don’t do it if they wont check it)

*you use words for hw, so technically it’s related