The Naked Truth & Other Sluggish Affairs Recapped

Date: 2 October 2009 (Friday)
Venue: Civil Service College
Participants: Nature guides and prospective nature guides
Facilitators: Ria Tan, November Tan and Chen Jinwen
Guest Speaker: Toh Chay Hoon

With a title like “The Naked Truth and Other Sluggish Affairs”, you know you can expect a workshop filled with either laughter or ennui.

Not surprisingly, it was the former that featured prominently throughout. Jokes (only a few R-rated) abounded and the antics of sporting participants acting like slugs provided much cause for joy.

Before the workshop began, we were intrigued by a variety of clay sea slugs modeled by the guest speaker, Chay Hoon. To the non-initiated, many of these slugs looked like other-worldly creatures, or “something my cat threw up”. But they were just a few examples of the fascinating marine life found in Singapore and the rest of the world.

Is it just me, or do they really look better than the sushi?

As always, November started the workshop with a short presentation. Chay Hoon then introduced us to the world of sea slugs. We learnt to differentiate sea slugs from other confusing creatures, identify them, and understand their various behavioural traits. It was a very informative session, though at the end we all wished we were out on the shores instead, so that Chay Hoon could expertly point out those miniscule slugs that few human eyes can see.

Paying rapt attention

The learning over, it was time to put our knowledge into good use. First up was the Slugs Charades! This was the opportunity for us to get wild, literally, and behave like slugs do. It was well taken, as many of us unleashed our primal side, and displayed our rhinophores and aggressive sluggish behaviour.

A slug with 2 human cerata

Scary slugs terrorizing their innocent counterparts

Finally, we concluded the workshop with groups ‘guiding’ some feared kinds of visitors. Amidst the annoying shrieks of pesky kids, and strange questions from aunties and uncles intent on getting their time’s worth, we managed to convey the message of conservation and appreciation of Singapore’s biodiversity.

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