Friday, November 12, 2004

Went in to college and it's still a madhouse. Staff still busy with assessments, but there is an excitement in the air, like we're working on our own time, free and easy, and we're all upbeat because we are already in vacation mood.

Met Pete along with the other NYeDC advisors to work on next year's budget. Pete has some really good ideas for the club, and it's gratifying to know that he is on the same wavelength as me regarding the club's future direction. While we're budgeting for 2005, our plans extend to 2006 where we might just see a difference in the nature and operation of the club. A new professionalism will be the name of the game, and I hope we're not being too ambitious about it.

Picked up NFSU2 and while it is a free-to-explore city to drive around in, Exploration Mode is only our interface to finding races and upgrading and modifying our cars. The actual races are still on rails, but this way it seems to be the best of both worlds. Freedom to choose whatever you want to do, yet when the choice is made, the path to the objective is made clear, without getting lost in a mass of further choices. A lesson for us in education, perhaps?

Leaving the house soon. My brainwave for tonight: watch a late screening of Shark Tale which we will time to end so that we can catch The Incredibles immediately after. Animation double-bill. Be back soon!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Happy Deepavali, y'all! Took advantage of the public holiday to sleep in till about 9am. What luxury. Didn't really do much after that. We were quite bored facing the prospect of spending the day in front of the TV (and Watson, respectively) so we explored Ikea which was crowded like they were giving stuff away for free or something.

The first sight that greeted us was this long line of people loaded up with armsful of merchandise waiting for a taxi. The line stretched beyond the DIY hardware store on the ground floor, and loads of other shoppers pursuing other objectives packed out the place.

Of course we had to go against the current, entering at the POS and work our way backwards to the cafe where we rewarded ourselves with the usual, Swedish Meatballs and deep fried chicken wings. With the meatballs swimming in thick, creamy brown gravy, cranberry sauce on the side and 'taters for padding; and hot, juicy, oily crispy chicken, I'm not entirely sure the meal was healthy, but we were disciplined. No dessert.

We bought 6 packs of curtain rail mountings which we'll use to support the curtains June brought back from BKK. We also bought a plastic wall-mounted container, which I believe June will stick a fern into someday; and a length of Christmas tinselly stuff to make our place look a little more seasonal.

Christmas will be here soon! Yay!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Ahh... testimonials finished and I don't have to carry this guilty feeling around any longer. Let's see, in 03A2 there are some musicians, a couple of performance artists, an artisan, a pastry chef, a [media] critic, a number of athletes, a couple of teachers, and a few others who haven't quite found themselves yet. Have fun guessing who's who.

Next on the agenda: devise a mime demo for Connie's performing arts um... thing at the Esplanade Library next week; begin an e-project for English Dept; start training NYeDC for next year's Drama Night; and maybe someday get around to clearing my desk of junk and trash too. No rest for the wicked, eh?

Oh, the new staff posting to NYeDC is official. Cara's gone (Ministry); and Yee's gone (Library and Pre-U Sem need him too badly). Meet the new head of NYeDC (yipes!); and joining me are Mel and Peter K. Amongst the 3 of us, I hope at least 1 of us can be the organized, adminstratively inclined one. Guess I'd better start brushing up on Producer skills then. Sigh.

Wanted to check out the PC game shops this evening 'cos I heard NFS:U2 has been released! I hope there's going to be a completely driveable cityscape this time rather than a city-on-rails like it was before. *I checked: "Free-Roaming City," I guess that means yes; hurrah!

PC shops around the Yishun, Bishan area just aren't up-to-date though. I think I'm going to wait a week, then get NFS:U2 together with HL 2. Won't that be a blast? Watson needs a serious workout. Neopets games don't do his capabilities any justice.

Sleep tight, folks. For me tonight, I know I will.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

College is still buzzing with activity. The J1 tutors are still hard at work with PW assessment and the word, 'vacation,' still doesn't mean much to anyone. And here I was, expecting to find a little peace and quiet to get my testimonials out.

Testimonial survival tips:
Look up the central database of comments that other tutors have written about your students.
Also look up the database of CCA records and PFT results.
Locate relevant info, copy, paste and edit as necessary.
Recall events or impressions of students that are not recorded anywhere and use this info to 'customize' each testimonial.
Where info duplicates, copy, paste, edit as necessary.
For 'difficult' individuals, save them to the last. By then there should be sufficient material from which to copy, paste... you get the drill.

Will my testimonials be ready by the new deadline? Hell, yeah! They won't be works of art, but they're honest, unbiased accounts put together from many different viewpoints, so they should be quite objective too.

Had a big scare looking at my invigilation schedule today. 3 hour paper and it looked like I was going to be relieved for only 20 minutes. That seemed quite inhuman, and I began wondering how a eulogy would sound like for someone who had died of boredom. "Ave Caesar, morituri te salutant," I silently acknowledged the Chief Invig. Fortunately for me, I had misread the schedule (it was a confusing piece of paper) and my relief was for 80 minutes in 2 separate blocks. Sense prevails!

Monday, November 08, 2004

Maybe next time I'll opt to invigilate at AJ, not because there's anything wrong with YJ, but because more of the people I hang out with have gone there (at least I think so). There's little advantage as far as commuting time is concerned and it's really dull just getting the day's duty done, then not even a sociable lunch to look forward to after that.

I wanted to go back to college to work after duty this morning, but then it looked like it was about to rain. I couldn't get a cab as it seemed to be that time of day when everybody else wants a cab too, and so I got lazy and went home instead. Thought I could work just as easily at home as in college. Uh huh.

I want a real vacation.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

I mentioned I needed to get started on my testimonial writing at least a couple of weeks back, but as of last Friday's deadline, I still haven't got them done yet. With so many other more immediate concerns to deal with, it's hard to see how testimonials that will be distributed next year can have much priority. Good thing the deadline has been pushed back to a later date; time is still on my side.

Anyway, I've been sort of working hard on them this weekend, and stressing myself out choosing the 'right' words to say what I feel about 03A2. Partly it's because I'm such a perfectionist when it comes to writing that I feel the compulsion to make a simple letter of reference sound 'good.' Then I get frustrated and discouraged when the words don't sing. Paralysis sets in, and I'm back to the Neopets website again regaining satisfaction by achieving easier goals (I won a 2nd place trophy for Meriball, imagine that!).

This attitude isn't helping me reach my deadline, though. I have to remember that it's more important to state facts that will help a potential employer make a decision rather than blow people away with literary flamboyance. The testimonials are about my students, not about me.

Right. Just the facts, then.