Thursday, February 28, 2002

Bored now...

Huh, I just realised that I wrote at the same time last week as well. The only thing is that I'm actually still in school. I've had two meeting back to back and am totally exhausted. But I have tuition later. Tuition was supposed to be yesterday but believe it or not, I was even more tired yesterday and there was no conceivable way that I was going to sit for two hours correcting errors of past tense and present tense. Can't!

The O level results were out today. It's sort of the School Cert- Year 10 sort of exam, except that this is a Cambridge based exam. It was EXACTLY 10 years ago that I was in this position and I was basically scared out of my mind. I had terrible dreams. I dreamnt I got 69 points. I neither got 6 or 9 points so oh well. I also remember that I had loads of ice cream the night before as well, just to take my mind of it.

I really don't ever want to be in that position again. The O's and then the A levels, not so funny. Especially now when it's all harder and much more is expected out of you. I wonder what will happen when Bruce and Beth ( my nephew and neice) or even my own children go to school. It's just so harsh.

This week has been so bad. The tests have come in and I'm just swamped with marking and on top of that, I've had to set the re tests since 2/3s of the level flunked my history test. Bah. It wasn't even that hard. Some teacher and I were discussing today that what we remember from our school days is very different from what it is like in school here. We came from the supposed good schools and it is rather unfathomable that some of the kids here have no clue what past tense is. So, to me, I can't understand why the kids don't understand their history. I was dressed down for thinking that because "not everyone lives and breathe history". Well, that's true. I forget that there are people out there who have no idea what the west wing is and cannot understand how a girl can enjoy Tom Clancy novels. My only explanation is that I grew up with 2 brothers and I think until JC I knew more about cars and guns and tanks than I did about makeup and all those teeny bopper boyband like people.

I just found out last night that Daniel liked Rap. I had no idea that he even listened to the stuff. Shows how much you really know about a person and I lived with the guy for 2 years. Oh well. Anyway, in order to show that I DO take an interest in what he likes, I tried to name so Rap groups and I could only come up with Mr " M-C Can't touch this- hammer". I was duly enlightened that he was from the late 80's and early 90's. Well, excuse me for having better things to do. Hee. We have come to the conclusion that between Daniel and I, we will make a brilliant GP (General Paper - it's sort of current affairs-ish) teacher. I know that there was a House Committee for Un-American Activities in the US in the 50's and Daniel knows the television is the opium of the masses. Does anyone know who said that? We haven't been able to figure that one out.

I have got a new mobile phone cover. It's supposed Japanese anime character who is apparently very bizarre and deranged. Trust me to be able to pick them out. Anyway, when I message in the staff room, the whole staff room can hear the clickety-click of the rubber padded keys. That plus my powderpuff/powerpuff screensaver is my effort to just have a more flippant life outside school.

I have been desperately trying to get my classes to be more creative. That is such a chore. I have adopted this thing from F.R.I.E.N.D.S where Phoebe was angry at Ross and she couldn't remember why. So they invented this game where you are asked questions at a rapid fire rate and you answer the first thing that comes to mind. So I asked my classes questions like who was the character and what was it doing and wearing-that sort of thing. One class had hilarious answers like "dog dreaming of suicide cos the owner had dressed it in hello kitty pants" or " there was a clown who wanted to be an elephant and got too much water up his nose that it came out of his ears" Strange bizzare things like that which were funny and kept them interested. Unfortunately, most of them couldn't do that. I'll give it another shot tomorrow. They either give me boring conservative answers or gross immature answers that have to do with excrement, sexual orientation and underwear. I swear, these kids need to have more serious things on their mind. I guess that's why I never fit in in school.

Oh well, it's time to head off. I have loads of marking to do and there's this sense of quiet desperation creeping over me but I'm hoping to get through it by this weekend. Wish me luck. Can't week for the holidays. I more week to go!

Later now

Ondine tossed this thought in at 16:07

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Wednesday, February 20, 2002

We're in the business of whoring...

Okay, don't be too surprised. It's an aberation that I'm able to write today. Daniel's asleep and I'm bored stiff of marking essays I don't understand, let alone know how to correct them. There are a few gems of mistakes like " I was at the anal camp last year" or " I would like to be a pilot so that I can feel the wind in my hair" or " I was born in the 19th century" . Uh huh..and these are the good ones. Sigh.. I spoke to a teacher today who said that if you taught these classes for too long, your brains turn to mush. It's true. They don't know what I'm talking about when I pronounce " Math" with the "TH" instead of "Mats" which is how they pronounce it.

Daniel's colleague has made a somewhat astute observation about teachers. That we are like whores. Hang on, there's more. We are whores; prostitutes of education. We get used and dumped when we are of no more value and when the kids meet us on the streets, they shy away from us as if diseased. More so, if they are with the significant others. How true. The kids I teach are rather ungrateful at times and insolent at others. But I think it's a social thing more than anything else.

I have been made more and more aware of the politics of the staff. I want very much to stay away from it and be immune from it. "Water off a duck's back" that shall be my mantra.

I saw Kate and Leopold over the weekend. It was terrible watching Meg Ryan. Someone please slap her silly. Whiny, brattish and a forty year old foot stamper. I'm a foot stamper, well, sometimes, but then again, I'm not usually allowed to get away with it. The only saving grace of the movie was Hugh Jackman. I'm a sucker for chivalry and he with the horse and the Sir Stamford Raffles / Victorian garb (depending on where you come from, delete the inappropriate analogy) just do it for me. I have told Daniel that I would very much like him to wear tails when we get married. But he thinks that counts as cruel and unusual punishment, especially since he's built like a rugby player/swimmer. His best friend, Jon, has also voiced concerns over my choice of their formal wear because Jon is rather sumo-esque. He did say that he would concede if I let him name my first born. Well, for those of you who don't know Jon Lee, he would like to name his daughter Lily Lee Li-Li. So, there is no way I am letting him go near any of my children.

We are thinking of going back to Melbourne in June. I think the both of us share the same sentiments, that we have to touch homebase. And Melbourne is still homebase to us. We haven't quite worked out our finances yet, but we're going to try very hard to make it there. Singapore is fine. Slowly, we're getting used to it, but there are still quite a large number of kinks. We have been told to go look at flats and go buy one soon as the property market is slowly recovering from the rut it has been in for a while. I don't think either of us is ready for that. Like I said to my mom, last year this time, I was trying to figure out where Monash Clayton was. Now I'm supposed to understand the very complicated process to buy a flat? Nope, not ready yet. Definitely not. Even getting married is still a rather strange and foreign concept that I can't quite grasp.

I shall go off now in search of food. It's going to be a long night. I have tuition and then I'm off to meet an ex lecturer of mine.

Later now.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 16:17

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Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Gong Xi Gong Xi

Today is the first day of the lunar new year. That means a great rush to visit family and hopefully get some loot out of it. For those who don't know, the tradition is as follows. You give tangerines or mandarin oranges (in pairs) to relatives (older than you are and married) and in return they give you an "ang pow" (a red packet with a token sum of money). I have heard of ang pows that have thousands of dollars inside although I haven't personally seen one yet. Anyway, ang pows only last till you get married so I suspect my loot collecting days are numbered. Well, maybe one or the most two more sessions of it before I start having to give it out to people when the "young uns" start shoving oranges in my face and starring at me intently.

That day will come but till then, I still have the ability to collect loot. We're planning to use this loot to finance a little holiday mayhaps to Bangkok or somewhere close by. I am so in need of a holiday. Daniel has started teaching as well and we see each other alot less now. It hard because I have a hard time being polite to stupid bosses at work and am always in need of being hugged and taken out for pearl tea. OH!!! I have learnt how to make the pearls in the pearl tea but I think I like it when other people make them for me. There you go, that princess streak is out again. :)

It's been a while since I've wrote. Primarily because I don't have a computer at home and the one in school takes 5 minutes to load hotmail. I can't imagine how long it would take to load this page builder thing. Anyway, I've gone on a school trip with my class where they were supposed to learn more about native Singapore heritage read Malay heritage. It's a big thing now especially in the wake of Sept 11th and the fact that it has been revealed that Singapore had an Al-Qaeda sect or something and they were planning to blow up key locations in Singapore. So, since Singapore is multi-racial and has a large minority of Malays read Muslims, there is this renewed push for racial tolerance and harmony just in case people go around accusing every malay of being a terrorist. It's been made worse by some Muslims trying very hard to exert their identity and having their children wear headscarves to school (It is a rule that in national schools, you comply with the school uniform and nothing else). The issue has made CNN and BBC because the kids have been suspended due to the failure to comply after ample warning.

Sigh, the world is getting out of hand.

On top of that, our ex president Ong Teng Cheong died this week. I have never personally met the man, but he was very much involved in the urbanising of Singapore. On top of that, he was a humble man, with no airs and always came off as sincere and intelligent at the same time. I have a great soft spot for him as well because he was the patron of the Singapore Dance Theatre and anyone who supports dance is okay in my book.

Well, more relatives have arrived and this lot, from what bits of conversation I can hear floating up the stairs, speak Chinese. God Help me... I'll try to get back on again later.. If I can't, well, that's all for now and I'll try and get hold of a computer some time soon.


Ondine tossed this thought in at 18:08

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" Far in the stillness, a cat languishes loudly"