Saturday, July 10, 2004

Rooftop BBQ with NYeDC Posted by Hello

The rest of the crew -- havin' a great time! Posted by Hello

Thanks guys for a long-overdue get-together. And thanks to Yee for offering this most unusual location for our BBQ. A large gutted house, a makeshift rooftop bbq area, a georgeous unobstructed view of South and West Singapore, a skyful of stars and a bunch of excitable kids telling spooky stories by candlelight all add up to an entertaining Saturday evening.

It is heartening to see our juniors and seniors mixing so well together without inhibition. The juniors are an animated lot and it will be interesting to see what we can do with them by next year's Drama Night. I think including some of them in our SYF production was a great idea: everybody working on the same task rather than subcontracting separate tasks to separate groups.

Thanks 'sif for getting everything organized. It was supposed to be a party where everyone gets to hang out and have fun, but I acknowledge that for the organizers it's work as well making sure everyone has a good time. From communication, to administration, to logistics, thank you for so ably putting it all together and in such a short time too.
It's tough getting back in gear for the regular term activities. Looking at the MY results, there's still a lot of work to be put in and everyone has to be involved in making the effort. Since the time we started in year 1, improvement has been steady but we've reached some kind of plateau at this point. If we can just push a little harder at this pain barrier, things should start becoming more pleasurable. OK, that sounds a bit vague.

What I mean, O virgins of writing, is that I believe everyone I teach is capable of writing because they enjoy writing. Else they won't have blogs and journals and stuff. The skills in blogging and in essaying are the same -- language, subject content, analysis, structure -- are the same because we are aware of our audience, and we write for them even as we unburden ourselves of whatever's inside us by writing about it. The only difference is that in essaying, the audience is slightly different and hence the product must adapt. Either form, the audience still hopes to be entertained and as a bonus, enlightened. It's this difference that seems to be causing the bottleneck of ideas flowing into the essays and I hope we learn to adapt to this difference quickly.

4 or so months to pass on my skill in bridging the gap between informal and formal writing, a skill I am particularly proud of and has served me very well since uni days (go check out the link in the sidebar for a glimpse at the campus). With the combination of abilities in discussion, research and essaying, I could afford to be the laziest student on campus, a major procrastinator of work ('rah, bow to my prowess... whenever you can get round to doing it), still have a good time doing whatever I wanted and still graduate with some decent credits. I may not be the best teacher (I know I'm not, seeing how lazy I am) but I have something you all will want, so come and get it. I'm not selfish about things like this.

When people see good results as a side-effect of the person they develop themselves to be, instead of the main target and focus of their lives, then education actually starts making sense.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

The people who live in Woodlands are so lucky to have Causeway Point, particularly if it's within walking distance from their front doors. There's so much variety of things to look at and lots of space to just walk through. June came home raving over the fish & chips from the food court last week, the night she went to watch the Moscow Circus without me (apparently I didn't miss much, she says). Taking advantage of a relatively free evening, I accompanied her tonight for a rather generous helping of fish & chips each for dinner. I must say the Australian style of breaded fish is a tasty alternative to the British battered style, which is unhealthily filling. The chips are ordinary French fried potatoes, plenty enough in quantity to be highly satisfying. They gave ketchup, tartar sauce and a slice of lemon for each dish, but I felt that something was missing -- yup, a dash of vinegar just for a little extra kick. We also ordered a side of NZ mussels, served battered and they were very fresh. Yummy. June remarked that if we lived in the area, we'd walk over every night for dinner. Then we'd get really fat from being spoiled for choice over the many interesting food varieties around the place. Now, that struck a chord. Before I left the house, I grabbed my old belt -- the one I wore during York U days -- and to my horror, when I put it around my waist, the end of the belt couldn't even touch the buckle. In the last 12 years I have gained at least 10kg. Back then I was working out quite regularly but I could never gain the weight I wanted to bulk up properly. Now I'm at the weight I wanted, but the shape just isn't there any longer. It's not to say that we never get what we want, it's just that more often than not, we don't get everything we want at the time we want it. Crap!

Whoa! Totally stream of consciousness entry. No paragraphs, not counting this one. Never said I'd set a good example every time, did I?

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Don't mind me. I'm just celebrating the end of my marking of the MYE compre scripts! YES! I DA MAN! My brains are scrambled, I've depleted 2-and-a-half brand new red ink pens, I've spilled blood all over numerous scripts, and my pets are getting bald with all the pet therapy they've been providing me with. Hey, even if you have just one pet, you can cope with a lot of stress. Unless it's a goldfish. Petting living, breathing, warm fuzz (no, I wasn't talking about that -- behave yourself!) makes all your troubles disappear, possibly faster than alcohol does. Sorry, asthmatics, you'll just have to settle for a stiff crotch, 'scuse me, I mean scotch. Or a really big inhale of your inhaler. Or something. Wha? Oh, nothing, I'm just delirious, 'sall... 'gnite!

Monday, July 05, 2004

Just made it onto campus to continue marking. Happy Youth Day! No Q-tip in tow because I'm bloody late and there's no time to get her ready. I can't afford to lose any time now, except maybe to make a quick blog entry. Heh.

You can guess why I'm late. The Greeks 1, the Portuguese 0! Watched the match through half-closed eyes and saw Charisteas head in Greece's and the game's only goal on the replay. Good for the Greeks! The underdog wins this one.

Well, what should you have expected from the guys who sailed across the sea, whacked the general of the greatest army in the East, burned down his hometown to the ground and toasted marshmallows in its embers afterwards? And they did it this time without a wooden horse too! Thanks to the civilized game of soccer, Lisbon should be safe from razing -- as long as the England fans have gone home already.