Saturday, January 07, 2006

Got rained out of our blading plans. At least we had a nice kaya toast breakfast with JY at J8, though blading was out of the question. Met Chewy who was at J8 too, accompanying two of her students who were participating in the 93.3FM DJ audition today.

By about midday it didn't stop raining, so June and I abandoned everyone to go for lunch. Thus we were not around when JY decided to take a shot at the auditions herself. Definitely an interesting development here. Maybe we're witnessing the start of a dramatic career change for our good friend? We'll see, when the results come out next week.

Hard to believe but about year ago, I attended my niece, Rachel's, 1st month celebration; and today, she's already a whole year older. Happy birthday, little Rachel!

Friday, January 06, 2006

The obligatory dance party to mark the end of O1 week. Posted by Picasa

Wonder if we'll ever see the kids this lively again? Posted by Picasa

Council puts the "hop" in hip hop. Posted by Picasa

Whoa! Who put the lights back on? Posted by Picasa

Nearly killed a motorcyclist on my way home from the party. Stupid idiot went straight on a turn-left lane while I was turning left from the adjacent lane. Good thing I took the turn slowly while he charged straight across my grille, else I'd still be scraping bits of him off my radiator right now. Imbecile.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

JC1 Orientation activities take us to Sentosa today. Posted by Picasa

After my recce of this place on Tuesday, I just had to come back with more people. Posted by Picasa

Spent the day on O1 duty on Sentosa in the bright sunshine... rain... sun... rain... The weather couldn't make up its mind at all. Must have been quite frustrating for Amy and her crew to decide between dry and wet weather plans. My sympathies.

I appreciated the outing despite the weather. It was a refreshing change from the usual routine of the curriculum. And June could join me outdoors too -- on what might be the last few days of her involuntary "extended leave" from work. She got a job offer while we were sitting on the beach. The job pays slightly less than her old one, but she likes the location and the change of industry. The news boosted her spirits tremendously and the Billabong outlet got a happy shopper as a result.

Back to the old grindstone tomorrow. TGIF.
Gosh. Mei's comment raised my eyebrows a bit. If after spending 2 years on GP and not knowing what its purpose is, then that really is my fault for not making it clear. I'm not making that mistake again with my sole GP tutorial this year. For the record, the purpose of GP (as I define it) is as follows:

The GP student should learn to...
1. Observe things that are not right in society/the world.
2. Empathize with the situation.
3. Seek to understand what’s going on (from different points of view).
4. Evaluate the situation from a socially responsible, moral/ethical basis.
5. Make decisions to initiate/facilitate change for the better...
6. in a respectful, yet authoritative manner.

I think most of the problem is that I/we tend to focus almost exclusively on step 6 -- which is where the essay and the comprehension exercises actually fit in -- while conveniently forgetting to train students in the previous 5 steps beforehand, where the meat and potatoes of GP actually are. See what happens when we all focus on working for grades instead of working to develop the self as a person first?

Sorry, guys! Thank God you all passed anyway, despite the oversight, eh?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Subject combo talk for KI today must have been quite funny to watch if a movie camera had been pointed at the audience from behind my shoulder. Apparently, when I start talking about something I've prepared, I can seem to go on forever. I had been given a 10 minute slot, but my spiel ended up "way over the time limit" according to official feedback. The camera would have picked up lots of hand signals from the peanut gallery where the staff were sitting as various colleagues would have been gesticulating frantically for me to cut, cut, cut it short. But wrapped up in the excitement of having a cordless mike in my hand, and focused on the crowd of newbie students, I kept going like the Energizer bunny.

Scary thing is, I may have oversold myself and KI. At the Q&A session, a lot more students approached me with questions about the new subject than I was prepared for. There is a limit to the number of students I can take on, though I didn't actually mention this because I wasn't quite sure I'd interest enough kids to even come close to it. I hadn't thought of the possibility of an oversubscription, yikes! Well, until tomorrow's subject selection exercise, I shouldn't speculate. And I hope that whatever I promised them today, I won't let them down if and when they do sign up.

Joined Vince and Amy in the evening on a final recce of Sentosa before the College descends upon it en masse on Thursday. We needed to see what the condition of the beach was like after the big new year's eve party. We also needed to get entry tix for a small hoarde of kids and staff in advance. Actually, that was Amy's job. I think Vince and I were just there as comic relief.

Had a good dinner at the Sakae Sushi on Siloso Beach. On weekdays, when there isn't much crowd, the conveyor belt does not function. Sushi is made fresh in the kitchen and the salmon sashimi was very fresh. Wasabe was a little flat, but the meal was enjoyable nonetheless.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Guess everyone's busy gearing up for the new term. Me too. This year, I'm taking on KI, what I used to call the New Subject in these previous pages. My first duty is to inform the new batch of J1s about this new option they have in tomorrow's subject combination talk, and hopefully -- if I don't scare them off first -- NBS and I will have some students to teach this year.

I've generally drafted out what I want to tell the kids, so since I've put some effort into the text, you might as well read it too. Click here.

'Cos it's new to me, I'm open to guidance in the instruction of this subject, so feel free to comment and let me know what you think, 'k?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The gas burner gets a workout at our Yishun Dam cookout. Franks 'n beans, scrambled eggs, Spam, corned beef and pork, and assorted junk foods on the menu. Posted by Picasa

Q-tip makes friends with Celine and CW. Posted by Picasa

What we think of Ribena-Smirnoff! Posted by Picasa

Didn't we do this at Rach's place exactly 1 year ago? Posted by Picasa

It only takes a spark... Posted by Picasa

Somehow, pyromania and celebrations go hand-in-hand. Posted by Picasa

Happy New Year, Q-tip! Posted by Picasa