Saturday, December 05, 2009

Anne's turn

'Tis the season for weddings. It was Anne's today at the illustrious St Iggy's. Compared to the uncomplicatedness of Lynette's, Anne's was a traditional Catholic mass with the full works, right down to the communion. Traditional has its own charm too.

Because of the time of year, I saw more students than staff in attendance. Shoutouts to Faith and Clara: so happy to see that my ex-Presidents are doing well for themselves. On the other hand, it's quite a downer that apart from Gerald and me, no one else from dNYel could attend. Ha. As soon as we are free from the fetters of the timetable, we're all out of town.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Aggregation, not aggravation

Went for some IT course on campus, not knowing who the instructor was going to be. I was under the impression that it was some vendor making a quick buck running courses for teachers on vacation. Imagine my surprise when I walked into the com lab a little bit tardy and met the Shambles guru himself, Chris Smith, face-to-face. Wow. If I had known earlier, I might have signed up for one or two other modules. This one, as it turned out, I was somewhat familiar with already.

The course was about using Internet apps "to save time", and most of the stuff he was showing us were things I am currently using, like subscribing to RSS via a reader or aggregator. From the the number of blogs I'm following, I always get to read the latest entries on a single page in my Google Reader. I get my fill of the most up-to-date web comics on PageFlakes. Yes, I suppose it would be more convenient to stick with one aggregator, but I find text works better on the former, while graphics stand out more via the more visually impactful layout of the latter. Of course, I didn't know what Chris was up to when he got us to sign up for a Netvibes account, so now I have another PageFlakes-like app with pretty much the same functions to play with.

What that all boils down to is that I don't have to go trawling laboriously through every single blog or other content provider looking for new and interesting stuff every day. All I do is subscribe to each site's RSS feed, and anytime the site gets updated I'll be notified via my Reader. So because stuff comes to me now, I need hunt and gather no longer. I have evolved.

Turning my personal fun and games into something useful for the classroom, RSS is also a great shortcut for monitoring each student's subject blog. Say I have about 70 kids to supervise, I'd go crazy clicking 70 blogs daily looking to see if they have done their homework. Instead, I open my Google Reader and only the blogs that have been updated show up automatically -- while the rest is silence. That's just one small example of what I can do with RSS to make my life easier.

What we are ultimately doing is managing information overload. I'm in the midst of learning how to do exactly that using the tools and the skills that allow me to access all the stuff I like to immerse myself with on the 'net -- that will hopefully aid me on my journey to become a better, smarter person. I'll have to figure it out fast, 'cos that'll be what we'll be teaching our kids from now on, and there's no better subject than GP to do it in.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Media balance

I am so glad the "MDA ensures 3,000 hours of wholesome TV content every year". At least the little kiddies' moral and social well-being has been properly taken care of. Goody for them.

But what about for me? Why is my TV still devoid of the remaining 5,760 hours of unwholesome content that they've promised? Fine, we have programmes like "Cosmo & George", "We are R.E.M.", "First Class" and "Polo Boys" but, please, could I have some quality unwholesome content too? :(

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Revelling in the rot

These past few days have been ill-spent in indolence and self-absorption. Not doing anything to help humanity nor lifting a finger to save the world. The world can take care of itself for a spell, and no one said I was indispensable. So I've just been revelling in the rot, allowing the ol' brain to decay, letting everything go back to tending toward entropy. I'm tired of fighting, tired of thinking that I'm so important. I'm quite obviously so not. What I want is to continue spending the next few days content to nurse an icy umbrella drink in one hand while slumping comatose in a deck chair on a white-sand beach. No responsibilities, no obligations, it's all me-time.

I'm sure there's an off-button to the guilt, though. Don't just stand there -- help me find it!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Pole position

This FT debate is getting out of hand. This is surely the beginning of ethnic discrimination policies coming to pass. Look at this headline: "No poles for driving test". What? Anyone whose surname ends with _ski shouldn't drive, is that it?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Nice nuptials

Congrats to Lynette on the occasion of her wedding at The Fullerton! The ceremony opened in formal military style with the couple making their entrance under raised sabres. After a smartly efficient common law service, another little Miss of my acquaintance became a Missus. How quickly they grow up.

This is my table. As it turned out, I got to share it with Lynette's jie mei (bridesmaids). Yes, THE most in-demand table of all if I was a Wedding Crasher. Lynette was wise to put me and Josh (and Jenny and Gary) at this table 'cos since we're already married we would have no cause to accost the ladies or otherwise distract them from their MC duties. We did manage some polite small talk, so the table atmosphere was still quite warm and cordial throughout.

A pleasant, polite affair with everything running smoothly, on-time and according to plan. The experience Lynette gained planning this year's TD dinner must have helped her a lot in pulling today's event off without a hitch.