Friday, November 20, 2009

So slow!

Network seriously lagging at home. Web pages are taking, like, forever to load -- if at all. Hello...? Testing... testing...!

Edit 01:
Finally couldn't stand the lag and called Starhub's helpline. Very patient service as Technical Assistance talked me through the diagnostic procedure. Despite long pauses in between instructions as I connected and re-connected cables and waited for a test file to download, there was always a calm, reassuring voice at the other end of the line telling me the next step. And this was already close to midnight, mind you. Someone was available even past midnight to entertain my queries.

Didn't get immediate results, but the problem at some point seemed to correct itself. But they promised me they'll still keep looking into my original complaint so that it doesn't happen again.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bouncing back and forth

Technically, I have not been compelled on pain of death to appear on campus on a daily basis while on exam duty. Nonetheless, it has been necessary to be on campus anyway because there's still work needing to be done, regardless. The year may be grinding to an end, but it hasn't ended yet; and there's the pre-flight checks and prep for next year as well. What? You think school "just happens"?

It makes a difference, though, when Management removes the "compulsory" label from the usual punch-in punch-out routine. It's a move that shows the value of trust over control; that we're there not because of someone else's say-so, but because we recognise that our responsibilities are indeed ours and so we do what we can to fulfil them.

Don't feel sorry for us if you see us bouncing back and forth between our campus and the exam venue (which is on some other campus). We're ok with that, really.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The show goes on

Negotiations for a new instructor for NYeDC went well. Met prospectives at Sleek Espresso Bar over tea and cake, and it's great to see a familiar face whom I'll get to work with again. Also, we have been commissioned to work on comedy next year, taking a much needed break from the hyper-emo stuff that Drama Night has come to be identified with.

I think we've got the right people to put together a great show with lots of laughs. We'll be banking on our new instructors' forte in physical theatre, and we'll have still have Tina as overall QC. Now to find a suitable script and get the show on the road in six months.

... no pressure.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The end is here

The old morality conundrum about who deserves to live or die from among a crowd in a lifeboat cast adrift with limited resources plays out in "2012". Out of 6 billion people, only 400k can be saved, so who gets to go on board before the grand extinction event occurs?

When it all comes down to it, humanity is but a representative mix of people of different abilities and talents. The smart, the rich, the artistic, the organizers and planners, and the determined with the chutzpah to match. Framing this cross-section of personalities are cold practicality that makes the toughest of decisions and compassion, yin and yang in perfect balance. It may not be entirely realistic, but it makes for satisfying storytelling anyway.

We also get to see how people will do whatever it takes to ensure the children are the first to be rescued. Self-sacrificial acts abound, though sometimes the choice is only between a rock and a hard place. And often, there is no chance at all. It wouldn't be a disaster movie otherwise, and in this one, there is no stopping the destruction of ol' dependable terra firma itself in its entirety.

The destruction on screen is at a scale never seen before in special effects. The magnitude is truly awesome as the earth's crust breaks apart in city-block sized chunks. It's a jaw-gaping spectacle as a tsunami engulfs the Himalayan mountain range and washes away a whole monastery perched on one of the higher tips. The whole effect plays on our sense of scale such that a whole building or structure that looks imposing close-up is a mere insignificant speck at a great distance away, and that distance is required to view the devastation Armageddon brings.

But placing the camera at this distance would not cause us to care what was happening if we didn't have Jackson and his slightly dysfunctional family to root for. This was the fatal flaw in "The Day after Tomorrow" in which the plot was too tightly focused on the fortunes of just one family group, but thankfully, there are lots more story threads and lots more points of view to observe in 2012. And miraculously, the loose ends do tie up at the end quite neatly so happy ending after all, such as the circumstances allow.