Saturday, March 17, 2007

Our move towards developing clean energy and the attempt by investors to buy over and redevelop the Goodwood Park grounds. These two stories on the ST cover today tell me one thing: no one gets rich using their own money. The clean energy article says that applicants will get funding for their research amounting to millions of dollars. The Goodwood Park article says a little-known investment company will "work with property giants -- from Singapore and HK -- to fund [the project]."

To get rich, we have to convince other people that we know how to spend their money better than they can. So to those of you asking how to scrape up enough capital from your meagre savings to start your own company, the answer is, you don't. Leave your own money alone, go borrow from other people get others to invest in you instead.

Or you could just be satisfied with your "steady" income. That's what kids train for in school, isn't it? Do your job, get a grade. Do a lousy job, get a lousy grade and probably a scolding as well. Ahh... the life of a salaried worker.

Friday, March 16, 2007

The word "wireless" is a bit misleading. What it means is that the mass of intestines connecting devices to each other is hidden away, sometimes not very skillfully either. Anyway, I have successfully made my house into a wi-fi hot spot, and hopefully that will make my wi-fe think I'm a hot spot too.

As usual, my problems boiled down to something inconsequential that I either did or didn't do. In this case, it was because I was using the wrong passcode to log into my own system. Having to remember so many passwords will eventually addle the brain. Duh.

Glad I still had time to go cycling at ECP with Amy, Belinda, JY and HP. 1 hour of physical exercise clocked in for the week. Wayne joined us for dinner, a carnivore's delight, at the ECP food centre. As JY said, it was good to get out and be silly with people after so many days of being cooped up, considering this was a holiday week.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Don't be surprised if I go offline temporarily. I'm attempting to set up a wireless network at home, but so far the process has been driving me nuts! I'm following the manuals step by step, and so far I've been very successful at setting up the cable modem and apparently, the wireless router. The fact that I can use my laptop to make this entry shows how amazingly successful I've been so far.

Now, why won't my desktop work??? Gaaaaaa!!! (and before you ask, yes, I did get a wireless adapter for Mr L33t).

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A new study shows that exercise and smarts, particularly memory, are closely linked. The Greeks and Romans already knew that: "mens sana in corpore sano," a healthy mind in a healthy body. This means mandatory PE lessons for KI students! Let me go talk to Head PE to make the arrangements... heh heh...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Amy's suggestion to catch a movie a day is wonderfully optimistic and deserves a big grin. It's great to aim high, though the reality of our situation is that we really are swamped with work that demands our attention this week -- either deadlines that must be met, or face the prospect of an insurmountable backlog when term begins again next week.

Nevertheless, today we put her audacious plan in action. HP had a coupon for a 1-for-1 deal on the mixed grill at Billy Bombers, Cathay. The meal plus a side of coleslaw fed 4 of us, Amy, HP, Josh and me, quite adequately. Cost effectively, too.

After lunch, we watched "The History Boys". It was somewhat lighthearted, though not quite the comedy that the promos promised. 3 teachers tutor 8 promising young lads in the Oxford/Cambridge entrance exam History paper. Each teacher provides a different perspective of History and the boys struggle to make sense of it all. Much of the time, the boys don't see the point of some of the learning activities -- including improvised role-playing in the French language (even though they don't require French on the exam), singing silly songs, memorizing copious amounts of recitation, and opening up in free-for-all debates with no resolution. But they engage in the activities anyway, motivated as they are because they really are bright kids.

The boys also hit the library often, borrowing armsful of dusty old books to write essay after essay which get critiqued not for their knowledge content, but rather for the banality of their presentation. After all, the kids know their stuff, but they need to use their knowledge to intrigue the top brains in the top colleges in the UK if they are to stand a chance of getting in.

It turns out that through all the work the boys put in, they do become smarter than their teachers, and accomplish that which their teachers could not do -- read History at Oxford/Cambridge.

Of course, there's a little more excitement in the plot, but all I could focus on was how much I want KI to run like this History class. Activities function to practice and apply the knowledge the kids bring into class with them, and not merely teach for content sake alone. The onus is on the kids to do their research and their readings, to come up with questions to ask and debate over, and to decide what the agenda for the class will be for the day.

The movie wasn't so inspirational as it was a glimpse into what things could be like. The boys aren't perfect, and neither are the teachers, but they believe in the big picture and find a way to work together for the same goal.

Not sure what the rest of the week is gonna be like, but today's programme was a much needed morale-boost in its novelty. Much appreciated!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

How did a little old lady end up at the AMK-CTE turnoff knocking on car doors and asking for help to get home? It was quite surreal watching her and her umbrella practically wandering along the turning lane in the twilight, knowing that eventually it'll soon be my turn to be thus supplicated.

And so it was that I opened my driver's side window and asked her what was up. She had overshot her bus stop and had no idea where she was. Fortunately, she didn't live too far away. With my sis-in-law at a loss to interpret her strange dialect, the old biddy handed over her i/c to show us her address. Cross-referencing it with the street directory, we figured out she lived at AMK Ave 10, just a U-turn away from the big intersection where we were.

Thankfully, she recognized her block when we pulled up to it. It was quite a relief seeing her totter home. Better a short detour than to be left forever wondering whatever happened to the crazy old lady we left stranded on the side of the road, and feeling guilty if something untoward had happened to her.