Tuesday, October 26, 2004

There. Presentation made and one more pressure item is now off my list. 'sif and Kareen had suggested I talk about the video-making project, but I found I had less to say about that than about the download-neighbourhood-map-and-explore-area-on-foot exercise of this year. The presentation was about sharing thoughts and ideas about the "teach less, learn more" concept and I thought perhaps a negative example, i.e., how NOT to do it, would be a better learning point for all the teachers attending the sharing session.

It turned out to be a much smaller event than anyone expected, even to the organizer's surprise. Bad time of the year to organize an inter-school do. Everyone's busy with exams and other things. Yesterday, I was told to prepare for an audience of 30, which seemed ok as that will be about the size of most tutorial groups next year. Today, Thad and I arrived at the appointed time (though I had the honour of being designated last speaker) and no one else apart from the organizer was there. Eventually, 12 to 15 people arrived to hear the 5 presentations from 2 primary schools, 1 secondary school, and yours truly.

The first primary school presented twice, including one Prize Winning initiative for teaching language using DVD movies. The other primary school presented their idea of using games (Boggle, Scrabble, Pictionary...) in the teaching of English.

When it was my turn to present, my audience amounted to a grand total of 10; one group had to leave due to prior commitments. Guess I'm still not ready for prime time national reach yet. Still, what was left was a comfortable tutorial size.

The next challenge was how to eat all the food that had been catered for 30+? Ramadan didn't help the situation much. We ate what we could, said our thanks and goodbyes and waddled off for home, decision being that the remaining tea would be distributed amongst the school's students who will return in the evening for self study as they prepare for their 'O's.

June bought a brain teaser from the pasar malam downstairs. Messing around with shapes and patterns should keep her occupied all night. The sales guy kept pushing the idea that solving the puzzles doesn't require much effort; only observation, analysis, working with possibilities and "understanding the question." This guy should come and teach GP with me.

Just received 2 consecutive phone calls:
Cat Auntie's out of a job again so we assured her we'll be going downstairs soon to supplement the strays' dinner. Mom called with info that my Grand-Uncle has passed away, wake to be held tomorrow evening, Friday evening and funeral Saturday morning. Grand-Uncle takes a wealth of Singapore's oral history with him. Hope his work with the National Heritage Board would have preserved some of his personal memories for us.

Off to feed cats now!

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