Exercise 1 : The Self Inventory

This exercise will help you explore your own life issues and identify your personal themes. These exercises work in tandem with the development of your artistic voice as a story teller/director and can help you focus your sources or inspiration and topics when developing your story ideas.

Memory represents a change in who we are.

Our habits, our ideologies, our hopes and fears are all influenced by what we remember of our past. Below are some of the memories that I had as I grew up.


  1. A transfer from Madrasah (Islamic school) to Polytechnic
    I remembered the first day of school when I alighted the bus, I suddenly felt out of place. I was quite lost being surrounded by a pretty different environment. What left a deep impression on me was the group of students shouting vulgarities casually.
  2. Caring for a sick pet
    I used to have a tabby cat who was very active and lively. Even if he was sick, he showed no signs of it. The time when I was told that he had a kidney failure, I thought he could easily pass through it. However, I had to witness his health depleting until he was very skinny. I was quite traumatic when I saw him suddenly gasping for air as we were enjoying the morning breeze by the gate. I felt helpless as I cried for my mom, until he made a loud shriek and stopped moving.
  3. Best friend’s engagement
    My best friend and I had been friends for almost 15 years now. We were always joking on who would be the one to wed first. When she got engaged, I was the only one from the class to attend it as I promised her to keep it a secret from the others. I was proud and happy to be able to be by her side and witness the blessed day.
  4. Moro Island
    My ancestors on my maternal grandmother’s side were from Indonesia, specifically an island called Moro, Riau. Although the island was not like what you would imagine (soft beach sand, clear water, amazing nature view), I was proud to have it as part of me. When someone asked about my childhood memories, that was the place I could relate to.
  5. Adopting my first kittens
    Almost three years ago, I adopted a pair of black kittens from a family friend. Although I was annoyed at them for making so much noise and urinating everywhere, they never failed to brighten me up with their ridiculous antics. They have turned my impression on cats 180° as I used to hate cats.
  6. First stage show
    I was part of a Production Crew during my Polytechnic days. On my first official show for the Polytechnic’s Dance concert, I was in charge of playing the music and screen graphics on cue. It was a big event as people paid to watch. During rehearsals, I was really nervous and confused when the Stage Director was directing. I almost cried when I made a mistake. However, on the day of the real show, everything went smoothly to my relief. I felt a sense of achievement as we celebrated.
  7. Night walk
    I had attended a freshmen orientation camp from Temasek Polytechnic’s School of Design. It was not a surprise if the committee members had organised a scary night walk. However, I was not expecting it to be that scary. As design students, they were really creative at creating the ‘ghosts’, the graphics, the sound, the atmosphere etc. They were very realistic that I shook with fear. Some even cried halfway through the event.
  8. First job interview
    You tend to get really nervous when it comes to your ‘first’. I was called down for an interview during my internship. It was my first official job. The night before, I had prepared myself with all the possible questions the Director might ask. Even when I was climbing the stairs to the office, I was mumbling to myself. To my surprise, the Director was very friendly that I completely forgot about the answers I prepared.
  9. Mother’s major surgery
    A few months ago, my mother had to undergo a surgery involving a wall tumour on her left chest. I thought it would just be normal surgery but when I realised that it was near the lungs and heart, I knew it was going to be major. The night before the surgery, I had spent most of my time with her as she was really scared. She kept saying things as if it would be last day. Those words made me scared as well. I waited patiently at the operating theatre for 10 hours until the surgery was over. Although I was sad to see the tubes attached to her body, I was relieved she was recovering well.
  10. My favourite band’s concert
    I had begged my friend to attend a concert with me. It was my first concert so I did not want to feel lonely. I was completely wrong. Even before the concert started, the atmosphere was really hyped up that I felt so thrilled to be there. As the band members appeared, the stadium was filled with screaming fans. I could not help but laughed. My heart was thumping against my ribs as the loud music boomed into my eardrums. I even forgot that my friend was with me.

From the list I created above, I would have categorized them into the following sections;

Culture Shock

1.   A transfer from Madrasah (Islamic school) to Polytechnic

7.   Night walk

 10. My favourite band’s concert

Preparing For The Worst

2.   Caring for a sick pet

 9.   Mother’s major surgery

A New Beginning

 3.   Best friend’s engagement

5.   Adopting my first kittens

 8.   First job interview


2.   Caring for a sick pet

 5.   Adopting my first kittens

6.   First stage show

 9.   Mother’s major surgery

Different Expectations

2.   A transfer from Madrasah (Islamic school) to polytechnic

4.   Moro Island