Earth Day celebrations by ICCS begin with Maxine Mowe delivering our talk, “Life and Trash in the Sea”

Earth Day falls on 22nd April 2012. and ICCS Otters will mark the date with a few simple contributions. Two talks will be conducted before Earth Day, while a third talk as well as an Earth Day cleanup the week after.

For the first of three talks, I roped in Department of Biological Sciences graduate student Maxine Mowe. She is an effervescent sort and once I learnt she was alumni of Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ) Toa Payoh, , I was glad to have her go back instead. Despite a busy schedule, she agreed readily.

She had a great time, but she did have a bout of nervousness the night before!

Speaking for the planet

Maxine Mowe reflects:

“Going back to give a talk in the very school that I graduated from thirteen years ago was surreal and nerve-wrecking at the same time.

When Siva first asked me to give a talk about marine life in Singapore and the threat of marine trash, I was excited. For this is a topic close to my heart since I was eleven and here was an opportunity to share this message with IJ girls of that age. It was a simple one caring for the environment is important to protect what we have and maybe even regain what we have lost.


Facing a crowd of 1,000-plus little IJ girls in uniform, I couldn’t help but feel happy and excited! During the talk., they were so responsive that their yelling of answers and excited chatter had me wait on them a couple of times. All this reminded me what it was like to be their age again.

I engaged their attention by asking them questions and they thought about those, and got involved with responses. I was very impressed at the level of understanding and the compassion these little girls had for the environment, especially when I showed them pictures of how our trash is harming our marine life.

Maxine enthralls

IJ girls agog, listening to their super senior!

I bring my own bottle!

Maxine with her former teachers

The icing on the cake came later – I was told by one of the girl’s grandmothers (an ex-teacher of mine) that hr granddaughter, upon questioning, shared the take home message of proper trash disposal and telling others not to litter. I sure was glad the message got through!

Strolling in to this school to tell little girls to care for the environment may not be a big occasion to many people. I on the other hand, had come from this school and sat in these halls. The importance of the occasion was clear and even made me nervous the night before. It was indeed a momentus occasion to deliver this one talk about marine life.

It could shape their future thoughts and actions, and is huge for me to be able to do this., and I was happy to contribute to this effort for our planet!”

“Once an IJ girl, always an IJ girl!”

“Thanks for the opportunity Siva!”

Not at all, thank YOU Maxine and Happy Earth Day!

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