Thursday, March 10, 2005

I really have to apologize for being a rotten GP tutor and Civics tutor to my current yet soon-to-be-disbanded CT. Ever since the Chinese New Year public holiday there has been a weekly disruption to our timetable: experiential learning, KI course for me, release of results, and PW course again for me, so in reality my CT has yet to truly experience what GP and Civics tutorials are like. So much for their 1st term preview of JC life. My other 2 tutorial groups seem to be enjoying themselves for the most part, but my CT... sigh. I just haven't been there for them, I feel.

Today I abandoned them again to attend a briefing by a Cambridge marker on the new look PW will have this year. Less rigid in structure, more open in interpretation of the question, less quantity of research material required (no more overstuffed GPFs), but higher level and quality of in-depth analysis required by each member of the PW team. Assessment criteria has now been condensed even further and a few redundancies have also been eliminated.

There is of course the group assessment, but individual accountability seems to be this year's emphasis. Another small step in the right direction as far as intention goes, but a human resource nightmare since instead of keeping an eye on 5 project groups we PW supervisors are now chasing up 25 individual students multiplied by the number of PW classes we're assigned (2 for most of us). It's going to be an interesting year.

After the briefing, we adjourned to lunch at the Annalakshmi. This restaurant concept is very special. The menu is an all-you-can-eat Indian vegetarian buffet with quite a variety of rice dishes, veggie curries and gravies to savour, fruit and pastry desserts, juices and hot beverages, and all for the price of... well, you decide. All proceeds from whatever patrons decide to give go directly to charity. This business model sounds like a recipe for financial disaster, doesn't it? But the establishment is already in its 19th year and looks to be still going strong. I love the concept: eat as much as you like, pay as much as you like. If you want to try it out, it's on the 2nd floor of the Excelsior Hotel. Use the mall entrance, not the hotel entrance. Really, here you have nothing to lose (the food and ambiance have quality), and a good cause to support with your contribution.

And I got my first parking fine today too. I parked at the National Library parking lot, which is just a short walk to the Excelsior, but I didn't read the parking rates carefully enough. Here, parking is $1 per half hour, not per hour as I have gotten used to. For parking 1 hour more than what I paid for, I now have to pay $12 in fines for my misdemeanor. I am a criminal!!! What will my mother say?

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