Friday, October 14, 2005

Trying to pack too many things into a day shows its effects the next day. I promised NBS to design the signboard for our booth at today's campus open house, but by the time I'd got home last night, my mind was almost a complete mind-wipe. I couldn't think past the fatigue, and in the end in my somnambulistic state I came up with a total piece of crap which we just had to make do with. That was disappointing.

Guess that pretty much sums up the rest of today as well: NBS and I trying to promote the New Subject, but few prospective JC1 students seemed interested. Those we did talk to had the look of deer caught in headlights; helplessly staring wide-eyed while a torrent of unsolicited information about some esoteric new OPTIONAL subject comes barreling down their way driven by some obviously demented teacher whom they are too polite to cut-off in mid-lecture.

Kids, they just want to know if the subject is easy to score in or if they can slack their way through it. They don't view their subjects as life-changing experiences. We'll let the marketing department know ASAP.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Preparing for college open house tomorrow. Have a table for displaying books and flyers and hoping to interest some little children in the New Subject so that some might actually consider taking it next year. NBS and I will be manning the desk and maybe answer questions about it as best as we know how.

Also for the open house, I worked with the Drama Club this morning on a rip-off from Quidam's interactive mime segment. Simple plot involving (what else?) a love triangle, as demonstrated by our members, then the challenge will be to get audience "volunteers" to recreate the scene and embarrass themselves at the same time. This game will run for 3 slots during lull periods in the programme, so at least things will still look busy. We've only had a couple of runs-through today and we're already on tomorrow, so wish us luck!

And, at last the men beat the ladies' team in a friendly petanque match-up this evening. Anthony, Eddie and me took on Vicki, HB and June and narrowly scored our 13 points first. Anthony's penultimate ball was a wild, high lob that sent us all scrambling for cover, but he made no mistake with his last ball. Game! Yay! Too bad Vicki was actually playing with an injury, but we'll take the victory anyway. Ha!

Finally, let's congratulate Amy on the purchase of her new pearl-white 1.5l Suzuki Swift. It was both fun and an honour for Anthony and me to play a role in your decision-making process. Can't wait to ride in your new baby when it arrives!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

It's that time of the year again when the JC2s get thrown out of the nest and are now flying on their own. No more being bogged down by the time-table; college rules of punctuality and dress; and the constant haranguing of tutors demanding homework and assignments. They are free to negotiate their own schedules with their tutors, terrorize their tutors with "another practice essay to mark/comment on," and basically catch up one-on-one with everything that had already been presented to them during the previous 18 months.

At this time of year, it's great to be a JC2 tutor as well. We get to see students who really want to learn, and are anxious enough to finally start asking real, practical questions and actually pay attention when we tell them things. We also get to design our own consultation schedules and tailor them so they suit our natural biorhythms as well as those of our students, rather than be at the mercy of a timetable designed around logistical constraints instead. Once independent,rather than put pressure on tutors to teach, the students have to put pressure on themselves to study, which is the more ideal educational scenario.

Never thought I'd sing an ode to being a JC2 tutor. But I'm a JC1 tutor this year, and I'll be Productively Working until term ends. How the Wheel of Fortune has turned.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I sent a letter to the traffic cops a few months ago appealing against the "inconsiderate driving" charge they filed against me. My appointment to set matters straight with them was this morning, at their HQ in Ubi.

The officer handling my case explained to me that although a truck had right of way, I had shot out into its lane causing it to "jam brake." So, really, I had done something clearly dangerous, though it was fortunate that no accident occured. But considering my extenuating circumstances, the officer offered me a reduced charge of "failing to give way," effectively reducing my demerit points from 9 to 4 (>50% discount!) and a small reduction in the fine incurred as well.

It wasn't the best case scenario I had hoped for, but it's better than nothing. So now I'm living with a total of 8 demerit points, including the 4 I chalked up earlier this year for "crossing a double white line." 8 points to remind me to be more careful on the road. Sigh.

Monday, October 10, 2005

When I mark stuff, I sometimes encounter ideas that I find interesting. Today an essay triggered an X-rated thought which I'd like to share, but only to those who willingly and of their own accord click this link. (To avoid any misunderstanding, NO kids under 18, please).

Edit 01:
Going car shopping is lots of fun, especially if you aren't the person buying the car. I won't say who the prospective buyer is yet, until things are more firmed up at least, but we shopped around the Ubi area looking at Toyotas, Suzukis and eventually a Mazda.

It's fun because we got to poke around the cars on display, comparing the aesthetics of design and comfort. Besides, driving around in a showroom car comes with the excitement of parting with a huge amount of cash and selling your life away knowing you get a nil return on your investment.

Because of budget constraints, we limited our shopping to Toyota's Vitz and ist, Suzuki's Swift and Mazda's 2SP. For the moment the preference looks biased towards the Swift with it's responsive engine, compact shape, leather interior and clean dash; though where the 3 of us disagreed on was the choice of colours which to me just aren't inspiring. We also test drove the 2SP with it's more powerful engine and sports tranny, but for it's current price it doesn't seem to come with enough bells and whistles to be attractive.

Well, tonight our prospective car buyer must do the math and ask more questions. Hmm... to be able to consider buying a new car; it's a situation to relish. Yes.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Check out my new desktop wallpaper:

Day of physical rest, as it should be. Time to catch up on my marking of exam scripts (I'm so close to finishing I can taste it!) and some neglected household chores as well.

Probably catch some CSI on AXN in a few minutes, then turn in for an early night. We're looking at another mad week ahead. Better rest while we can.