Thursday, April 29, 2004

Shared Values

We are:
Guided by Integrity
Focused on People
Empowered by Passion, Purpose & Drive


I just could not resist this.

All 120 of us had to sit together in a sub Artic temperature room for 3 hours to come up with that. That's our creed. That's what we stand for and believe in.

Guided by Integrity
Focused on People
Empowered by Passion, Purpose & Drive.. Right. I sure am... Empowered by a passionate disdain for being stuck here, for the purpose of serving out my bond and to please my parents (yup.. focused on people here) and Driven to great depths of insanity by the inanity of it all.


While marking some of my kids' work, I found this...

We're talking about globalisation and a homogenous society. They're using the English Premier League as an example. So they say this...

There is definitely common ground to be covered by both parties. Soccer represents the same passion, purpose and drive in its native Briatin as it does in Singapore

It shows a few things.

1. Indoctrination of those shared values work
2. My students have limited vocabulary.


Ondine tossed this thought in at 10:28

0 thoughts...

Cute Japanese Wallets

Some people are bag people, some people are shoe people, some people are even clothes people.

Clearly, I'm a wallet person.

At every Mango sale, I buy myself a new wallet for $19 and then proceed to use it till the next sale where my whimsical nature will have caused a perfectly working wallet to be relegated to the wallet drawer to hold foreign currency. And if it's lucky, it gets picked to go overseas with me.

And last evening, I discovered another wallet shop, in Wisma- a shopping mall in the city. Pretty colours, antique designs and the down right quirky with Stila like girls drawn and little diamante studs. Very tempting...A Mothers' Day special where you buy two wallets for like 30% off.

But my preservation skills have kicked in. They're the only thing that has kept me from having absolutely nothing in my account. Everytime we're about to go away, or have big insurance premiums to pay out, this switch goes on inside me and I just stop shopping and feel no intense need to.

Even this morning, when I realised I don't have very many work tops and non too exciting that I want to put them on, it didn't make me want to go out and shop- which in some strange way, makes me sad.

On a separate note, you know how the smallest things are supposed to make your day? Well, my wonderful bath essentials used to. I used to wake up in the morning and look forward to taking my shower. My face wash smelt divine, of grapefruit, orange and mango. My shower gel was equally yum-some...It used to be enough.

Now, it isn't. I drag myself out of bed and proceed to lie on the floor, pretending to myself that I'm going to do sit ups, but end up dosing for more of ten minutes on the floor. Then I lumber over to the bathroom and find walls to prop myself up while I struggle to brush my teeth and mistake toothpaste for face wash. I did wonder why my face was all tingly one day.

I hear it's a symptom of a being a teacher in the second term. The exhaustion mounts and there's no outlet till June. So I'm snappish, don't feel like I get enough sleep and have angry dreams which include dousing Daniel with water.


When will this end?

Ondine tossed this thought in at 08:19

0 thoughts...

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

The New Aged Woman

I think I'm caught in between.

On Sunday, I had entered into two debates of my own, with two women of two entirely different generations.

The motion for the first was This house believes that cloth nappies are far superior to commercial diapers.

I was on the side of the opposition. My honourable opponent's substantive was two tiered.

She defined nappies as rectangular cotton pieces of cloth that were held together by a big safety pin with a pink rabbit at the top of it.

Diapers were defined as expensive plastic underwear looking things that were costly and could be found in supermarkets under the brand names of Pampers, OkMAMA! And Huggies.

Her first substantive was a benefit argument- in which the baby would be happier and rash free in cloth nappies.

Her second substantive was on the more practical aspect of the issue where cloth nappies cost less than diapers for the sheer reason that you could reuse them.

As opposition, the onus was on me to take down the case.
My first contention was that while it could be true that the baby would be rash free, it was unlikely due to the non-absorbent nature of cloth nappies. Further more, the non-absorbent nature of cloth nappies would cause the mattress and the sheets to be soiled as well. This would not do well for the baby, seeing that it would be uncomfortable and probably itching from potential rash.

My second line of contention lay in the case that nappies were cheaper than diapers. Yes, the opposition does agree that a bag of a hundred nappies cost less than a 48 pack of diapers. But think of the great amount of washing that is necessary and the water used. Water has once again gone up in price, as has electricity used to run the gigantous tumble dryer needed to dry the millions of nappies the baby will go through in a day.

The Point of Information here was that all the nappies could be piled up and then washed in one go and could be dried, naturally, in the sun. My defence was, imagine the smell! And to soak it till it was ready to be washed? A pail of water that slowly becomes a swill of excretion and urine, sitting in the utility area? I think not. And to dry all those pieces of cloth? Who has the space, in those tiny units they've stuffed us into?

The opposition's case is that while diapers are expensive, they save time and hassle. With a new born crying the house down, who has time to wash, hang/dry them and then fold them, while breast feeding, battling with mothers who will insist on forcing traditions like not bathing for a month (!), washing your hair for the same amount of time (!!), eating pig trotters (yuck!) braised like forever in vinegar (double yuck!!)?

And, having a baby on expensive diapers will be further incentive to toilet train them as early as possible so as to wean them off the non-biodegradable saviours of mothers' lives diapers.

Furthermore, after having squeezed something the size of a melon out an opening the size of a lemon (unless there was surgical intervention- to which the proposition is also against but will be left to a later debate, time and place yet to be arranged), the name of the game should be anything to keep the mother happy. Like it or not, post partum depression does occur and to have to deal with soiled sheets, clothes (baby's, mother's, father's, grandparents', aunts and uncles and possibly maid's), furniture might just exacerbate the situation. Better to have a nice smelling house with clean furniture and a baby that is not in the danger of leaving a big wet spot on you when you just want to get a whiff of the baby smell from the top of its head.

So, in the spirit of trying to keep the mother sane and actually willing to go through the entire rigmarole all over again, this side of the house champions the use of diapers and thinks them far superior to cloth nappies.

The jury is still out on this one and I suspect the debate has been called to recess until the practical implementation of nappies or diapers is called for, sometime in the distant future in a galaxy far far away.

The second debate I somehow got myself into was

This house does not believe in taking vitamins

This time, I found myself on the side of the proposition.

After defining vitamins as little capsules of supplemented supposed goodness that make your pee turn bright yellow, I launched into my tirade of why.

If an individual ate healthily and had more than the required servings of fruit and vegetable and even calcium, there is no need for the diet to be supplemented since all the required nutrients are present.

And the second point was that the popularity and widespread availabilty and variety of such vitamins is a relatively new market created to cash in on the increasingly gullible educated elite who believed everything doctors, researchers and well, basically anyone in a white coat expounded. My question is, were there not healthy cancer free people who lived before the creation of GNC and how did they do that?

If we believed that vitamins were the only way to go, are we really just going out there to say that the poor, who cannot afford the extremely pricey mysterious bottles of magic pills, should just get sick and die? It cannot be that we were manufactured with the premium version of" Fortify with vitamins for a longer life" or the discount version, "Vitamin option not included, shorter lifespan expected" - but buy 9 and get 1 free!

The opposition saw it fit to not pursue the argument and conceded the debate, not because she was convinced by it but more to preserve some sort of peace. I suspect also she is just biding her time and one day, I'll find a very expensive pack of vitamins in my bag. Well, then I'll look forward to the entertainment of bright yellow pee.

So, two arguments, one fought in an attempt to go with the times and embrace commercialism scoffing the traditional and more economical way of doing things. The other, sticking stubbornly to the belief that two papayas, a cup of yoghurt, fish soup and a big plate of vegetables and ample sunshine is sufficient as daily bread instead of buying into Lingzhi, Gingko, Vitamin A,B1 to 12, C, D, E, F, potasium, calcium, iron and folic acid is required over and above my daily diet and once again, I'm not even pregnant!

I did feel bad though, arguing so much with people older than I am and sticking to my views. Some call it standing firm but I think it's been agreed, my middle name is Stubborn.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 08:18

0 thoughts...

Friday, April 23, 2004

A Whole Lot of Broccoli

To Dan's great horror, I accidentally bought $9 worth of broccoli. I really didn't mean to. I was just buying enough broccoli for dinner tonight and to make vege pasta sauce tomorrow. Unbeknownst to the tired me, I piled up 1.35kg worth of the fake veg at the cashiers. Sigh...

Today was another leave at 6 pm day. It wouldn't feel so bad if I didn't get in at 7.30 am every morning and to top that off, I didn't even teach today.

My debaters are prepping for an International Human Law- International Criminial Court debate tomorrow and they really don't know their stuff. Well, off the cuff, I wouldn't either but I'm not the one who has to stand out there and speak for 8 minutes about it. I do sympathise deeply with it.

You know they're in trouble when they ask if Qumar and Kundu are examples of where IHL couldn't work because the morality of the law does not supersede the law of the land even if the law of the land says it's right to execute an adulterous woman. So yes, that's the dire state of the team and I worry for them as they debate tomorrow.

Five kids, four of whom hardly know what a Point of Information is, going to get eaten alive by teams coached by ex World Schools Debaters. Don't even think of pointing a finger at me and saying "but you've gone to World Schools..." It's akin to the Wong Li Lin story although I know where fact ends and fiction begins.

For those who don't know, Wong Li Lin is a local celebrity. When she first became famous and did the usual rounds in magazines and the press, she kept reiterating that she was a trained ballerina who had just returned from the Royal Ballet School, so balletomanes who knew a little, but not alot thought the world of her seeing that no one native dancer from Singapore has ever been to the Royal Ballet School. Not for a moment did they stop to think, if she had gone to such a prestigious school, why wasn't she in any sort of dance company? Why was she acting in these B grade local dramas? You don't get your toes bashed in and your ego pummelled for 3 years to do drama serials. The secret is that she didn't go to London to study ballet as a professional course, she went and did it as a teaching course. Anyone with an elementary certificate could do the latter.

So, the moral of the story is, it doesn't matter where you've gone, it's what you went there to do. I didn't go to Stuttgart to debate, I went there to judge- with much difficulty, so I'm not going to even claim to konw how to help these kids. All I can do is make it a little easier for them by having them know that it's ok if they screw up as long as they learn something and perhaps buy them McDonalds for breakfast. :)

Ondine tossed this thought in at 20:04

0 thoughts...

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Right Brain, Left Brain

According to this quiz, I'm 70% right brain.

If I preferred
a) Working in groups instead of on my own

b) Abstract and fantasy art as opposed to realist and photorealistic art

c) To speak my mind when giving other people opinions, only to have to soften the blow by adding fluff round it

d) To be late all the time, instead of trying occasionally to be on time

e) Remember someone's face faster than name (although I'm not certain about this)...

I would be a total right brain person, instead of a 70-30 right brainer. But it seems true enough.

I do enjoy focussing on images (hence TV!), have problems spelling and finding words to express myself and reading into how things are said more than what is being said (hence Dan's accusation of me being oversensitive).

It's a nice quiz to do especially since I start teaching psych on Monday and I haven't a clue what I'm going to do.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 22:16

0 thoughts...

The wonders of technology

SMS conversation between my brother and I.

Bro: What are you getting Bro for his birthday? New phone? New PDA?

Me: He's got an All in One

Bro: What's an All in One? Handshoe. Agh! My dumb phone can spell handshoe but not handphone

Me: Phone, Camera, PDA, Paperweight... All in One

Bro: Really? What he get? 02? Black Berry? A perv got sent jail for a month for sticking a camera phone up a woman's skirt at Raffles City. Woman caught him but couldn't recognise her own underwear. Wanted to laugh so badly.

Ah... the dignity required of our legal system... also..

The advent of technology and the continued blurness of some of my species. I did have visions of all the underwear in a line up- full frontal, side from left and side from right.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 12:19

0 thoughts...

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

London Bridge is falling Down

At 1530hrs this afternoon, part of the Nicoll Highway broke into two. I got 10 SMSes about it in the span of my 120km/h dash to the airport to pick my brother up. One of them read: If you're on Nicoll Highway now, get off it! Part of it's collapsed. Right and I'd still be alive if I were on it now...or wouldn't I be the one sending him the message?

Anyway, it was due to a gas explosion apparently where they've been building our new train line. Not a good start especially with four people still unaccounted for. Yikes... I ran the quarter marathon on that bridge a couple of months ago.

Channel News Asia is running a live feed on what's going on and for some bits, they're actually using MMS pictures that eye witnesses have sent them. Ah... the advent of technology.

We're going to be in that part of town in a bit, hopefully it won't be too congested.

To make matters worse, the 35 degree heat has given way to thunder and overcast skies. Hopefully the rain'll hold out till they find the missing people.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 17:51

0 thoughts...

Monday, April 19, 2004

Tug of War

Tug of War

In my excitement about having run again in a very long time, I forgot to add that I was part of the tug-of-war team against the Student Council. I felt it was quite inconsequential seeing that no matter how hard I yanked, I just got dragged by the rope- an act of utter futility.

Apart from very sore arms over the weekend, I thought all was good. Until I woke this morning, and got out of bed. It felt like someone jammed a very very big needle into my lower back and hamstring. Every step I took was sheer agony but I thought it was one of those things that would go away.

Unfortunately it got so bad, I had to ask someone else to go to the canteen and buy me breakfast because I couldn't think of leaving my desk. The wise thing my colleagues advised me to do was to get the hell out of school and mozie over to the doctor.

That I did. The diagnosis, a strain on my lower back that was wreaking havoc on a nerve, hence the intense pain in my hamstring, hip and knee. But for $30, I also got a whole lot of nonsensical advice thrown in.

1. After weighing me and certifying that I'm the lightest I've been since 1998 (this is a doctor I don't go regularly to), he went on to tell me I had to lose more weight! On hearing that I was 3 kgs lighter last year and how everyone was worried, he remarked that I should try and get back to that weight!

- The man is MAD! I have anorexic tendecies and the mentality of a dancer, that's why I complain about my weight. This man is a medical man and he's telling me that I need to lose weight? He has the soul of a cruel ballet mistress in him.

2. Go to the CDC website and read up on the advantages of folic acid.
- When I gave him a puzzled look, he told me that I should start taking folic acid now. I told him I wasn't intent on getting pregnant anytime soon and he said I could get pregnant by accident today. Having said that, he launches into this whole tirade about how since I'm married, I shouldn't even consider aborting the baby and it would be dangerous for the baby if I hadn't started on folic acid. He also confided in me that his goal in life was to reduce the number of retarded babies born because he's seen how they break marriages up.
- All of which, good advice in small doses, but all in a shot, the man needs a chill pill!

3. I should stop dancing and start swimming because my weak point is my back.
Told him dancing strengthens my back and he blinked disbelievingly at me and told me swimming was better.

4. This wasn't advice, but added to his kookiness. He asked me how many kids I had and when I said none, he said "But you're married!"- ahh? So? Oh ye who is like , my mother, my mother in law and my sister in law.

The website by the way, if you need to learn about the advantages of folic acid is just in case.

So, strange doctor. Same one I've been going to since I started skipping school in college and needed an MC. Methinks it's time to look for a new doctor.

Anyway, I'm supposed to be on bedrest today so I shall give up my seat and move over to the bed. I wish I brought my laptop home, then I could do all this from my bed. At least it's cooler there. The weather is unbearably hot. The car was like an oven after being left for half an hour in the partial sun. The only advantage to that was that the hot seat acted like a natural heat compress on my very sore back!

Technorati Tags: ,

Ondine tossed this thought in at 01:12

0 thoughts...

Friday, April 16, 2004

Running Free

I ran the 4 x100 (well, actually, the 8x100) today, for the first time in 10 years.

It felt wonderfully liberating.

It was the college Sports Day and our department, on my egging had decided to sign up for the 8 x 100 relay. Much as I wanted to run, I had my reservations. Thing is, I wasn't sure if I remembered how to sprint anymore. I mean, I can run... I can run at the beach, I can run for the bus, I can run to catch the kids when they're up to no good and I can even run across the road. But could I sprint? I didn't remember, having not run on the balls of my feet since my last race at the Nationals in college ten full years ago.

To make matters worse, we went to Swensons for lunch and we had a huge lunch, thinking that we had to build up strength for the race later. So, we had burgers and KW and I had a huge chocolate ice cream thingy after that. We were all feeling very pleased with ourselves and then we get this frantic phonecall from another runner of the department who was near hyperventilating since the race was about to start and we were no where in sight. That filled us with major panic seeing that we were all sleepy and up to our throats in ice cream!

I don't think I've actually broken so many traffic rules in so short a period of time as I did trying to get back to school in record speed. I'm also quite certain it didn't help with the digestion of the copious amounts of ice cream and oil we had just consumed.

But strangely enough, the minute I got onto the track, I knew what to do. It felt like something from deep inside me reached out and took over. When I got the baton, I just took off and never looked back (that, is a cardinal sin that some of the student athletes hadn't yet learnt). Anyway, we won the race with about 50 metres to spare but better yet, it brought back wonderful memories of running that I had suppressed for the longest time.

Competitive running had always reminded me of the great disappointments in my life. Losing my first serious race at the finish line, tearing umpteenth muscles and having to be sidelined, one of my best friends becoming the next best thing because of the opportunity that arose when I had to sit out, the same friend making it to the national team while I was at physiotherapy. So yeah, I never wanted to go back to it after college, I washed my hands of it and started dancing. Something I could do from scratch with no one expecting anything from me.

Since entering teaching, I've been toying with the idea of helping out with the track team but I've always managed to tell myself I couldn't do much and I didn't like the hours. But today, while watching the kids struggle out on the track, and running myself, I realised that little fiend in me with wings round its ankles is still dying to go out there and still relishes the thought of competitive running. Maybe not my own because I'm old, injury proned and well, let's just say, not all the demons have been put to rest...but of helping others race better.

One of the Phys. Ed teachers asked me about it and I said I would think about it. She asked what my best event was and I sheepishly replied the 400m. She commented that it was a hard race to run and I agreed. I told her something I've always believed to be true. Somewhere after the 200 m mark, when you've got about half way to go and your lungs are about to explode and your legs are about to give out under you, your mind asks you this question "to go on or to give up" and it is at that precise moment whether you win or lose the race for yourself. More times than not, I think I went on, but for the times that I gave up at that point, I think I should get into this and teach these kids that by going on, despite winning or losing, they'll be able to live with themselves and hold their heads up high. And also, perhaps, their husbands will call them jockettes one day. :)

Ondine tossed this thought in at 19:13

0 thoughts...

Dream Anthology

Strange Dream 1:

YM had just given birth. But it wasn't a regular baby. It was a litter of golden labrador puppies.

Strange Dream 2:

Danrolled off a parapet and was hanging on for dear life. And me with the pathetic arm muscles, leans out and heaves him in with superman strength.

Strange Dream 3

I'm in my mother's bedroom talking to her and she's getting dressed and I realise she's really thin and she's actually YM's mother but then the voice is my mom. And she offers me 2 packets of sliced dried mushrooms and a packet of air dried apple. I reject the latter but can't remember why.

So, YM thinks I should go for some sort of psychoanalysis. Don't think it'll help. Think they'll just tell me I'm crazy and well, I could live with that. :)

Ondine tossed this thought in at 10:29

0 thoughts...


Did I ever talk about how much I hate lizards?

When I was little, while waiting to go for a piano lesson, a lizard scampered out from the piano book that I was holding, wee weee weeee all the way down my leg. From then, I have disliked lizards.

And there is a mommy and baby lizard that lives in my kitchen.

They must sense my aversion for them because they lay in wait for me. I blame Dan, who has no problems with lizards, as well. He's not very good at throwing out the trash at night and last night, there was a basket that used to contain grapes left on the kitchen counter and this morning, the lizard was in it! And me, without my spectacles, was uncertain what it was and lifted the basket to examine it closer. I know the lizard was unawares that I was going to pick up the basket because it leapt right out! Onto the kitchen counter and then onto the floor! Much as I wanted to scream, I didn't since Dan was still asleep and would have thought there was an intruder in the house, although that wasn't far from the truth.

Two days ago, when I opened the bin, the same one sprang out of it and skittled under the couch. I swear, it lays in wait for me. *shudder*. I'm very careful about the sink now because once, I ran water into the sink and there was a big ass one in there, the mother I suspect and because it was wet, it couldn't quite get out which strangely enough terrified me even more. That time, I did scream, and scream and scream and scream.

Eeeeeeeeeekkk.... shudder... shriek.... bugger... why can't it be like Melly where there were NO lizards in the house. I don't care if they eat bugs and mosquitoes, they're cold, they're clammy and all they have to do is run down my leg once and I have a phantom lizard shuttling up and down my leg for days!..

Dear Mommy and Baby lizard,
Please find another kitchen to hang out in, I'm neurotic enough as it is without having to deal with you guys.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,
The one who fears reptiles/amphibians/anything cold and clammy *Shudder shudder*

Ondine tossed this thought in at 10:16

0 thoughts...

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Typing Bling

I can't see a damn thing now since I've taken off my lenses and as yet, have no specs. I'm supposed to go to sleep because for some reason, this has been a really exhausting week, but I'm waiting for Dan to come up from putting parking coupons on the car. Well, my brother's car that we have for the next few days while he learns to crew a yacht from Langkawi in Malaysi a to Phuklet in Thailand.

It's really fun rocking up to school in a car that size and there have been plenty of times where I've wanted to justs gently nudge the students who are blissfgully unaware of this monstrosity of a motor vehicle behind them. Unfortunately, I worry that I may have a law suit on my hands as the power of a 2 litre turbo engine may do more than nudge the kid down. It might actually mow the kid and turn them into road kill. :)

Tomorrow, my department has conned me into running at the staff race for Sports' Day. I jsut hope that I won't fall down and hope that I remember how to put one feoot infront of the other and propel myself forwarde.

Dan's beack so now it's time to go to bed, finally, typing blidn j just instn' the way to go.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 21:22

0 thoughts...

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

A little bit of Australia

I was at the Australian International School this afternoon to judge a debate. Two things struck me.

- The Gurkha guards standing outside the school with the MP5s strapped round their fronts and a kukri (?) where a night stick would be for a regular police officer.

That was when it struck me that I was in no normal school and this was no normal time we live in. I've been talking about it quite a bit with my classes. The climate of fear that pervades our society. How much of it is real and how much of it is carefully constructed for political gain? And at that, whose political gain? Ours? The US'? Most of them aren't ready to handle these sorts of ideas yet, it's alot of leading them to the answers or the questions rather and sometimes, they still don't get it. For the rare ones that do, that look of revelation on their face when they realise that the lead story isn't the most important thing that's happened today, but that it is the one that is chosen to be most significant- it's priceless. They should do a teacher version of that mastercard ad.

The makeup used to hide the fatigue before going into class- $50
The soap to wash off the ink on your hands- $ 5
The marker pens you use to fling at errant students- $3
The look on their faces when they realise their world is much larger than they originally thought- Priceless.
For everything else, there's Mastercard. :)

So anyway, the Gurkha guards... way cool. I used to go to school with their kids, since my school was near their camp and boy, were these kids strong. I still remember being held up by the collar by one of the Gurkha girls, just for the fun of it. And the boys, who could run miles without batting an eyelid. They were awesome. I still remember their names even, Raj and Kishore, the guys, and Denysa the girl. I wonder what's happened to them now. Word is the boys cannot join the Gurhka contingent since they were brought up in Singapore and Denysa, last I heard, she had to leave school to go back and get married. An alien concept to a 15 year old.

So that's the first thing that struck me today.

The second thing..

- The Australian Internationl School is HUGE. It's even laid out differently from our regular schools. You walk in and there's a receptionist and if you followed the signs, the principal's room is the furthest down the corridor. It seems to be run more like an office than an educational institution and I don't mean this in a bad way. The schools try to have organisation, but when you look at something like that, you cannot help but feel that the school's effort at trying to professionalise its image is slightly amatuerish.

The homerooms were wonderfully decorated. The one we were in was a history one and it had all the "Enlist! Uncle Sam Needs You" messages put up on the wall and most importantly, they were cool as in airconditioning cool. Heh, in that way, I'm much like my students who when asked to state their ideal classroom experience talked about airconditioning. It is true that Singapore really needs to be ten degrees cooler and I think people will be more amiable if that were the case.

The heat these days is just unbearable. It's hot at six in the morning and it just gets warmer through the day and it's muggy. How did people live without airconditioning? It's unfathomable.

It would be nice to be able to send my kids to a school like that, clean, small class room numbers, a cool uniform with a hat (- They'll hate me for it!) and Gurkha guards at the door. But seeing that the fees are as high as local univesity fees, I don't think so.

As it is, I'm happy that I got my reimbursement from Stuttgart is in. That's how dire money is.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 22:29

0 thoughts...

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

While I was waiting

Since Dan is finishing up Blade, I figured I'd do this test that was on JNet's Blog.

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, find line 4. Write down what it says.

- (Although there are no really clear criteria for making such measurements, some rough estimates can be provided on the basis of such facotrs as) hormonal levles, glandular secretions, musulature, neural development etc...Penguin Dictionary of Psychology

2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can. What do you touch first?

- The wire of the phone that hardly rings. And when it does, it elicits puzzled stares from us as we try and figure what in the world that noise is!

3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?

-The O.C. Chi chi to the max

4. WITHOUT LOOKING, guess what the time is.

- 1830 hrs

5. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?

- 1832 hrs. Heh.

6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?

- Loud explosions from Blade watched by Dan and a noisy crow outside

7. When did you last step outside? what were you doing?

- Coming home from school about half an hour ago.

8. Before you came to this website, what did you look at?

- Blogging

9. What are you wearing?

- Ummm...

10. Did you dream last night?

- I dreamt YM gave birth a litter of adorable puppies.

11. When did you last laugh?

- When I got the weird phonecall from Dunman High. (Read previous post)

12. What is on the walls of the room you are in?

- A clock in a shape of a stylised sun. Lights from Ikea that blew the transformer twice in as many months and hooks for clothes.

13. Seen anything weird lately?

- Not since the ARS van (see previous blog) but I did hear something totally weird just now. A pregnant colleague annoucing unabashedly to the whole staffroom that she had the fastest tongue this side of the staff room. She was talking about licking envelopes, we heard it as something else.

14. What do you think of this quiz?

- Fun but I live for the inane

15. What is the last film you saw?

- The Prince and Me. :) Julia Stiles was cute, The Prince was mighty cute, the plot, they tried to do too much, but it was still fun.

16. If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy first?

- A pretty Nine West Beach bag with 3 other little bags in it, in pink and white with the matching shoes to go with it. But that's the top of a very very long list.

17. Tell me something about you that I don't know.

- I have a telepathic connection with birds

18. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?

- The weather in Singapore. 10 degrees cooler than today would be good.

19. Do you like to dance?

- yes :)

20. George Bush: is he a power-crazy nutcase or some one who is finally doing something that has needed to be done for years?

- He's a power crazy goof ball who is desperately trying to fit into Daddy's shoes.

21. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?

- Kayla Aerin Tan Chng Fng (hee hee...) and a second would be Chloe Alexis Tan Oo Oo (Put the Chinese names together and you spell my very very tiresome chinese name. Hee hee.

21. Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?

- Immanuel Gareth Tan...same androgynous and extremely painful Chinese names?

22. Would you ever consider living abroad?

- It's not a consideration, it's a definite yes.

Dan's ready! Gotta go!

Ondine tossed this thought in at 18:26

0 thoughts...


ARS stands for Ancestor Removal Service. I saw a van yesterday with that painted on its side. I half expected to see, in smaller print- Dead Man Walking. Heh.

Anyway, it's only the 4th Tuesday of the term but I'm am pooped. There's been so much to do in school, I can't remember what it was like to be able to blog in school. I know... welcome to the life of a full fledged teacher. :) Technically, I'm not one yet since I don't get a confirmation letter till goodness knows when, and then I finally get my last increment of this scale, which will probably amount to like $15.23 or something like that. But I do have a full load. One year old teachers-that's what we're called to make us sound infantile, cute and in need of nurturing, are technically supposed to get 3/4 s of a load. Unfortunately, last year's O level batch far surpassed their senior years and produced an unprecedented number of distinctions. That being the case, the college is bursting at the seems trying to accomodate them.

I just got my classroom moved again because the timetable has yet again been fiddled with. So, my class is roomless since its previous room of occupation was the Literature room and a Lit teacher has unashamedly commandeered it without even a peep to me. Bugger. The only reason why I'm not making a bigger fuss about it is that everything humanly conceivable and doable should be done to save Lit from the sorry state that it is in now.

The other strange thing, but not so much annoying as it was amusing, that happened today was a phonecall I got.

Me: Hello.
Her: May I please speak to MADAM Ng please.
Me: This is MS Ng speaking.
Her: Oh. Hi Ms Ng, I'm calling from Dunman High School (one of the top schools in Singapore).
Me: Okkkkk.....
Her: I was just wondering if you were interested in relief teaching at my school during Term 4.
Me: Excuse me?
Her: Oh, don't worry, it's the GEP classes for Sec 2 and 3. And you will teach English and Lit.
Me: Right..... Well, I would love to...
Her: Oh Ok!
Me: No... wait, I wasn't finished! I would love to, but I'm now teaching at a JC.
Her: Oh, but will you still be there in Term 4? It's still a long way more to go..
Me (thinking the exact thing... who calls for relief teachers so early?): Well, I would think so, seeing that I'm bonded for 3 years...
Her (the light dawning): Oh!!!!!!!!!! You're a full time teacher.
Me: That I am.

When are these phone calls when you're back on vacation, in dire need of money and have your parents breathing down on you to find a job? My colleagues made extremely helpful suggestions like I should go on MC and go teach there for a term. I get paid more and I have less issues to deal with...Sounds like a good deal although not exactly doable.

We're going to Hard Rock for dinner. I'm hankering for fajitas and iced tea. I'm also hankering for sleep and a pair of specs, but we can't all have our druthers.

My spectacles made a spectacular protest of being abused a few days ago. It's been years since I've changed it and even though the lens has popped out a couple of times as a warning to me, I've ignored it. So, on Good Friday, the left lens made its leap of death from about 5 and a half feet up to land on hard concrete and bounce down ten steps announcing its suicide with a defiant shatter. So for the past few days, I've had to work my contact lens overtime and hop into bed the minute I take them off seeing that the world is a wonderful blur to me otherwise.

But I have to bide my time till Friday at least. Damn those multi coated super high index glare reduction lens.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 18:02

Monday, April 12, 2004

You know you're famous...

When you acquire yourself a stalker.


I've put my cat to sleep because twas the only way I was going to get some privacy and space. Not only do I have to deal with angsty, self-righteous teenagers as part of my job description, this particular one seems to have invaded my non-work time and space and I'm pissing mad about it.

Now that she can't go round chasing the cat, she's found my old Cat House to stalk. Although the comment she posted up there was inconsequential and stupid, her arrogance laced with condescension and her self-evident ignorance has finally managed to tip the scales. No longer am I just annoyed and irritated by the minor inconvenience of moving an entire blog page somewhere else, I'm ready to slap people and yell at them. I'm ready to fling plates at them and unleash the sailor vocabulary of swear words that I know upon her its full glory.

I'm damn sick of this.

To be continued. Too pissed off

Ondine tossed this thought in at 23:28

0 thoughts...

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Visiting the Dead

I'm not being flippant. That's what we did today. It was the first time that my family's done it for my grandmother. So, my mom and two aunts were there, as were some of my cousins.

It's still weird. I always thought that I was weirded out by this visiting the tablet thing because it was Dan's late grandparents and all, it was weird today too when it was my own grandmother. I have a thing against funerals, wakes, and all things dead. I mourn, I grieve and I remember. It's a personal thing. I always thought the whole going to the cemetery and talking to the grave stone thing was very television- lately, Smallville. But I saw my aunt do it just now, to my uncle's tablet and my defence mechanism was struggling to kick in and allow me to roll my eyes.

I don't mean to be disrespectful. It's just something I never did when I was young. I understand why we should do it, so I go, but to feel totally comfortable about it? Don't think it'll happen soon.

Perhaps it's my own way of avoiding my greatest fear- which is death. Not my own. I don't care if I died, but of the people round me. I guess that's why my greatest nightmares are of Daniel dying. He keeps accusing me of killing him, but people say your greatest fears and insecurities show up in your dreams, so there you go.

It was nice though, that my grandmother's niche was in Block 2 and at 220. It's easy to remember. She lived for the longest time at 22 Wilkinson Road and all of us lived there at one point of our lives or another. Although the years before she died were hard on everyone, she had dementia and would occasionally berate my mother of not being ready for school and she called me "Clarissa"- Clarissa's my cousin, I kinda miss her.

She was a cool lady. We always had good food and ice cream in the house. She would eat durian for all meals and drive my mother insane because she would fling her medication out my window, causing my silly dogs to go after them and be loopy after that. But she was a really kind lady. My mother told me about how she pawned her jewellery so that she could get my mom a cake for her 16th birthday. And when she found out that my then, now ex boyfriend was going away to study, she asked me why wasn't I going along. When I told her my parents didn't like the idea, she scoffed at it and implied they were hypocritical and quipped " but I let your mother join your father and they were pen pals!" There you go, a hip grandmother.

I wish I learnt more from her though.

- I would have liked to have learnt more Malay

- I would have liked to have learnt how to cook like a true Nonya

- I would have liked to have heard about her stories of the war years.

Unfortunately, I was far too preoccupied being a know it all teenager and young adult and now I've missed the boat.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 18:27

0 thoughts...

Protective Custody

I have put my blog in protective custody. Students have found out about my blog. That doesn't bother me so much as one particular student finding out about it.

She seems to have developed an obsession for all things me and has proceeded to stalk my class' forum page in an attempt to find out about it. My class being guileless, somehow or other let on about my personal blog and she's been taking things personally and flaming it.

I'm sick of putting out fires and in an effort to protect my privacy, I decided to move the blog and to give it a new identity. I don't know how long it would be safe for, but to prevent her from prying into my private world, I think it's worth it.

So, this is an effort to give my blog a new lease of life after having put the cat to sleep, rather reluctantly I might add.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 10:59

0 thoughts...

Counting the Chickens Before they Hatch

I spent the whole of yesterday trying to set up this new blog because I've always loved blogspot much more than Live Journal. The final push came when Daniel got his own blog on blog spot. So I decided, this was the way to go.

Armed with a wonderful title, well, wonderful to me anyway, I started and for some reason could not get more than one post up at any time which annoyed me to no end. I'm hoping I've broken the curse.


30 Jan 2004

Ondine tossed this thought in at 10:00

0 thoughts...

Easter's Come Early

The chickens have hatched. I finally got this up and running after a whole ton of false starts and I'm sure more blindness in my already legally blind occulars.

I've decided to move away from water_sprite, although I do quite like the truncation of it. Sprite-not the soft drink, but the wood nymph. In this case, the water nymph. I still like water sprite, but I found chanced upon this line somewhere and fell totally in love with it.

Far in the stillness, a cat languishes loudly.

The imagery that it conjured in my mind was a beautiful one, like those coffee table books of the cats on the Greek Islands. Mmmmm. So there, the rationale behind moving away from the well known water sprite- whose name, by the way is Ondine. Ondine was a water sprite that was playful and teased men. But the men who crossed her, she would kiss them and cause them to suffer and die. My kind of gal.

Well, yesterday, apart from trying desperately to set up this blog, I finally managed to go running and run 6 km I did! Yay me! The strangest sight I saw at the beach was a chicken, chasing a kitten. I always thought it was the cats that chased the birds, but well. Indignant for the kitten and my penchant for the feline species, I chased the chicken. It must have been a sight.

Human chasing bird chasing little cat. Go figure.

Today's the beginning of the long weekend, which brings about much joy. Like the ability to set up this blog.

Time for class so I shall come back later and tinker with my new toy. Hopefully it doesn't go boom!

30 Jan 2004

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:59

0 thoughts...


We just watched the Last Samurai and now I would like to learn Kendo. They taught it at Melbourne Uni. One more reason to go back to Melbourne. For the longest time, I couldn't figure why they were sparring with wooden sticks. For the longest time, I was ignorant.

It was a beautiful movie.

Subtle in many ways. The Japanese are a stoic race. No wonder Dan loves them. I have always been ambivalent to Japan. Perhaps, it was a mixture of my grandmother telling me stories about how Japanese soldiers fed my uncle and learning about their atrocities through my history courses. When in doubt, ignore. That's what I did.

I did minimal amounts of Asian history and what Asian history I remember was from this course entitled "East Asian International Relations". I recall the Japanese defeating the Russians in the Russo-Japanese war and starting the domino effect which eventually led to the fall of the Romanov dynasty. I recall the Boxer Rebellion. Not much else I'm afraid.

Although the Last Samurai is an Americanised and a much glorified view of the last days of the Samurai, the show has its merits. It reminded me of those lessons that not everything modern and advanced is good, that there are ways that we should remember and continue. I often scoffed at things my parents made me do, as I grew up. But now, I see the merits in what they have taught me, as their parents had taught them and I see my brother teaching his children. And I understand. We live in a time where we as a society face a crisis of identity and going forth, relishing all that is bright and glittery, relinquishing that which is well-worn and faded, would be a mistake.

It is for the reason, that I still hesitate to bring up my children in a western country- much as I fear that the education system here would be the end of them. It will be that much harder for us, to teach them in a Western country, the values that they must have. This is why, despite my great inability to speak the Chinese language, I am determined to teach it to them. There are just somethings that cannot be replaced or replicated.

When I was first told that my civics class was one that would take Higher Chinese, I balked. It would be akin to an infidel leading a crusade (Excuse the strange analogy, but it was the first one that popped into my mind). But I have come to respect them, because of the respect they show to us. I do not force them to thank me, I do not believe in that. But yet, at the end of every class, they come up to me and thank me. Of course, there are some values they have that I am determined to break. The inability to question what is painted in seemingly black and white and the rote acceptance of what is right.

Some may say that is where the conflict lies. Yes, that is where the challenge lies. In my interview for the humanities scholarship at 16, I was asked what I thought of the influx of all things western. My juvenile answer was straightforward, but something I still believe today- we keep some and we lose some- it's a matter of keeping what we deem important and throwing out what didn't work in the past but was kept for posterity. I still buy that.

Daniel said that at heart, I'm a traditional kinda gal. Maybe I am. Maybe all those years of Western schooling has opened my mind enough to see that not all things old and Asian are bad. Or maybe that revelation just comes with age. Whatever it is, I'm glad to be that kinda gal.

30 Jan 2004

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:58

0 thoughts...

This House Believes that Law Breakers Should Not Be Punished

That was what I had to sit through this morning, beside a colleague who probably spent the night out drinking and forgot to change his clothes. There is nothing I like better than to smell the smell of stale alcohol on someone's clothes. So forget politeness, I sat behind for finals.

I realise that I am getting the hang of this whole debate thing slowly. I actually managed to think of a case set up for this motion, plus I actually found flaws in logic, something I've been finding hard to do, since I was like 2? Yay, you learn something new everyday.

Coincidentally, the Straits Times had 2 articles to do with this motion. Rehabilitation vs. Retribution. Which do we put more weightage on. Rehabilitation includes counselling and wearing a neon green vest and picking up rubbish in full view of the rest of Singapore. Retribution means, they get sentenced and punished according to the severity of their crime.

My brother had this theory. When he was a prefect in school, detention duty meant spending an hour yelling at the detainees and basically scaring the beejeezus out of them. But he always said, it never worked for the hardened rule breakers, but it worked for those who were on the border line- those who were considering a life of crime. They would step away from the edge, away from the bright lights of the many shoplifted lava lamps, having been gently coaxed by the excessive yelling and the chair throwing of the power hungry prefects.

The point is rehabilitation will work with those who are yet to be hardened criminals. But even then, there has to be some sort of retribution meted out. The current buzz in the education community is the 26 year old teacher who was getting far too friendly with one of his students. 16 times at that. Now, how do you rehabilitate this sort of guy? How will the family of the get closure if he's counselled and then set free to prey on other teenage girls? I mean, Hello, sending her flowers and jewellery? He knew what he was doing.

On the other hand, one does wonder about the law that protects those who are underaged-statutory rape. Is there no culpability on the underaged girl at all? Should she get away scot-free? Some say that the memory of the experience is punishment enough. But is that true for all? I know of a friend who's neighbour- up for scholarship and a total nice guy- met someone on the web and started to get to know this girl. This girl said she was 18 and he believed her. At the end of it all, they had sex and she ended up reporting him to the police. He was arrested because she was 15 and he had committed statutory rape unknowingly. His scholarship got revoked and his mother who was a high powered, getting to the top, civil servant refused to have anything to do with him. My friend's aunt had to bail him out. There are girls out there, who don't need the law's protection. In fact, other people need to be protected from them. Of course, the holier than thou people would say that, well, that guy shouldn't have had sex with her in the first place because it was wrong and so it's his fault. But I mean, GET REAL! It's going to happen whether they like it or not. People have sex. We just need to make sure that the right people are protected and I think the statutory rape law sometimes protects the wrong party.

No doubt, the majority are innocent. But Daniel did make a good point about it- it should come under the umbrella of rape, if the underaged was unwilling.I guess the problem is how does one know if the underaged was willing? And that's where it gets iffy. So we err on the side of caution and sometimes we destroy unknowing people and allow the real menaces back into society.

That's a depressing thought. But like any debate, one can prep and look at the case from every angle, examining alternate set ups, but there will still be flaws and there will still be loopholes. All you need will be people smart enough to spot them and take full advantage of it. Only in reality, people get hurt and it's no longer called a point of information.

1 Feb 2004

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:57

0 thoughts...

LiveJournal vs. Blogger

It seems that even though blogger has the prettier layout, it's not as problem free as LJ. Dan and I have been experiencing weird happenings with blogger and we're not pleased. Meanwhile, my right leg's fallen asleep and my throat's sore from eating peanut butter. Mutter.

3 Feb 2004

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:57

0 thoughts...


I get this email, ordering me to download a patch from Microsoft. Apparently, there's a hole in my computer that hackers can access and steal vital pieces of work like lesson plans and lecture notes. But I don't know how to do it. So Dear Mr Hacker, enjoy those notes on gender but I apologise that my discrimination ones aren't complete yet. I just haven't had the time and I didn't know you were coming.

Last night was really annoying. No matter how many different ways I said please to my computer, it wasn't doing what I wanted it to do. I did everything, short of throwing it out the window. But today, in school, my blog loads fine. Something is amiss with the home computers. Maybe they need the patch a little bit more. Nicotine patch, that might work.

We had a dog at assembly this morning. It was a great dane like dog, apparently, some Ridgeback. I have in my head the Norwegian Ridgeback but I'm fairly certain that was a dragon called Norbert in Harry Potter. My colleague thought the same thing. This is the level of attention that tutors pay to assembly annoucements even though I really really liked the dog. One more reason to get a house.

Daniel's new suggestion is to have one kid and one dog. And tell the kid that the dog is his or her sibling. Hmmm, the smell, the noise, the mess, the toilet training and on top of that, a dog? We'll see. I'm less inclined to have one in Singapore, because it's hot and the dog will smell, so no thanks.

Today's a non day for me. No teaching, some meetings and debates later in the day. I should start preparing my work for the next 2 weeks, so that when T comes in to sub for me, he'll know what to do. Ok, to do that now.

Meanwhile, I shall day dream about having a house in Melbourne, with a dog named Rover in the garden and a Land Rover in the Garage. Heh

4 Feb 2004

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:56

0 thoughts...


My posts sound dog like today but they're doing the hide and seek thing again. Grrrr...

4 Feb 2004

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:55

0 thoughts...


And now, the computer's fine again. This is seriously iffy, which I have heard is the name of a cat. Cats, something else that I really really would like in the house. But there's too much fur. Wouldn't a fur coat be nice for Stuttgart?

Hee. Stream of consciousness.

4 Feb 2004

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:55

0 thoughts...

Playing Truant

Bet that you had no idea that teachers played truant too.

I'm supposed to be at debate training right now. The school one, not the one with the national team. Anyway, being locked in a room with 12 apathetic people with the over powering smell of whiteboard marker is enough to drive anyone insane. And I'm anyone.

What to do what to do what to do?

I guess I should get back. Here's to another half an hour of mind numbing and intoxicating fun.

4 Feb 2004

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:54

0 thoughts...

Hoboken, N.J

I was just reading the New York Times this morning. I've finally gotten round to getting it emailed to me everyday. Whether I have the time to read it everyday is another matter. Anyhow, there was a little side ad, for the house of the week, in Hoboken, New Jersey. "This picture perfect unit offers a 1/2 bath with a tile floor, a full kitchen with new high-end appliances, a tile floor, and a separate eating space, and a living room with a fireplace, hardwood floors, high ceilings, and a lot of open living space. One floor up your wooden staircase you will find 2 nice sized bedrooms with a lot of closet space and a full bath. Next up to the private roof deck with new trek deck and roof." Sigh.

How nice.

I'm not saying I don't like my house now. I do, although I would like more wardrobe space if I could. However, Dan thinks thinks it's a matter of me buying less clothes. Crazy man.

But just looking at the ad reminds me of what it would be like to live overseas. No doubt we lived in an apartment in Melbourne, we've seen some very nice houses. Not going to happen anytime soon. I shall just make myself miserable by looking a real estate ads of other countries while I sit in a cramped workspace. Apparently Singaporean workers have something like 2 sq.m less of work space then the average office worker in other industrialised countries.

But I can't complain. I have a comfy chair and a lap top so I'm happy.

What I do have issue about is the number of parents who clog up our streets by sending their precious darlings to school. Every morning, the front and end part of my journey to school is hampered severly by traffic jams. A stretch that would take me 1 minute non-peak, takes me at least 6 to 7 to clear in the mornings. And no matter how early I leave for school, I am always late. The poor merc takes the heat for that. Sometimes I worry that the engine will fall out of the car on the expresseway.

I know it's hypocritical for me to complain seeing that I got sent to school all the way till uni and even when I first started teaching. But really, have these people ever heard of car pooling? Or sending their kids in earlier? At half 7, just before the bell is about to go, the queue to get into the carpark is the longest ever. And if they are so concerned about getting their children to school safely, why in the world do they drive with such great wrecklessness? Every morning, my heart leaps into my throat at least twice as some blind and unaware parent hurtles toward me with wreckless abandon!

Hello, HUGE car approaching, STOP line at junction, you do not have right of way! And chances are their little Japanese cars will crumple upon impact with my old German tank. Heh.

Off now. There's a class I should be getting to, sometime this year.

5 Feb 2004

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:53

0 thoughts...

The Mystery of the Missing Sweaters

I have missing sweaters. Five of them. I am far from pleased. In fact, I am quite distressed. Four of them are Mango and one's a Melbourne Uni sweater, which I love. All of them are lost, as in I can't find them and I have no idea where they are. My house is full of cupboards but most of them are empty and none of them contain said sweaters. So where in the world are they?

I have some theories.

1. The chambermaid who cleaned our serviced apartment in Melbourne stole them. Plausible, but it doesn't explain the disappearance of the Melbourne Uni sweater which I know I did not bring to Melbourne last year.

2. The maid that comes in twice a week to clean the house stole them. Not plausible because all winter clothes were under the bed and you need to be Xena to be able to lift the damn thing. Plus she works for my mother-in-law so she would be shooting herself in the foot if she was.

3. They are somewhere in Sixth Avenue. Dan's old house. More plausible than 1 and 2 because it might surface the beloved uni sweater.

4. They're still at Kembangan, my parents' house. Not as plausible, because I just went through what was there last week.

5. They mysteriously vanished into the sweater dimension where they're hanging out with other sweaters and comparing colour, weave and design. My uni sweater would be left out because it's utilitarian more than pretty. The Mango ones, I don't worry so much because they're pretty enough to hold their own ground.

6. They just went poof, never to be seen again.

Part of me does wonder why I'm so attached to these missing sweaters. I think it's just because I believe in giving all my clothes a chance and I practice proportionate exposure with them. On purpose, I will wear clothes I haven't worn for a while, because I feel that I haven't them a fair chance to show the world how nice they are. I'm one for the underdog of clothes. That's probably why I'm late for school every morning. Standing in front of the wardrobe trying to decide which top and skirt deserves the day out today.

And these poor sweaters who are lost, who's going to do that for them?

Come back, Sweaters! Come back!

6 Feb 2004

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:53

0 thoughts...

Idol vs Protector

One of my friends had this ultimate personality test on her blog. These tests aren't exactly accurate, so says the psych graduate inside me, but they're fun to do anyway. Hmmm, I'm either a protector...

The ULTIMATE personality test
brought to you by Quizilla

...or an idol.


The ULTIMATE personality test
brought to you by Quizilla

Funny. All I had to do was change one or two answers and my personality's totally different. Bizarro world. Only nice thing, the nice Buffy pictures. So which am I? I like to think I'm abit of both. I think when I'm feeling particularly nurturing, that's the protector part of me. When I'm feeling all dressed up and ready to hit the crowds, then that's the idol aspect of me coming to the fore.

But right now, I feel neither, sitting here in my night clothes, feeling all beat up from last night's debates. There's no glamour in sight, neither is there a bone in my body that's ready to deal with anyone's problems. That's why I haven't looked into the newspapers today.

I had to judge 3 debates last night night, one after another. By the time the third one came about, I was ready to turn around to tell the audience to shut up or die. Two top schools, one all boys and one all girls, trying to outcheer one another. Let me just say, girls' idea of cheering is to scream as loud as possible. Very very painful on the ears. And these boys and girls, whose schools shall remain anonymous, were shamelessly flirting with one another! No daughter of mine is going to that school if they're going to behave like that. Although something tells me that even if they did, I would never know about it.

Well, we'll let Dan handle that, since he really really really really really wants daughters. *shudder*

I should really go running today. I leave on Tuesday and I will not be able to run for 2 weeks, unless I'm willing to die from hypothermia. "Singaporean Jogger turns into popsicle on Stuttgart Streets!" with the byline "What in the world possessed her to???". So, I should. But like I say, I feel pretty much beat up from last night and later this afternoon, I have to pretend to be grown up again. I have to meet the parents of my students, who will ask how their child is doing in their first month in college. To which, my mind will be rapidly processing, "whose parents are these? What does their child look like?" *click click click*

So much to do. I need to start thinking about what to pack for Stuttgart and what I need, apart from lots of money. Sigh. I'm too broke for my own good, plus I feel the incessant need to shop. It's time to make a list.

7 Feb 2004

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:52

0 thoughts...

Parent Teacher Dialogue

Half way into the principal's introduction, I felt the urgent need to pee. Damn the 2 cups of ribena this morning and the large iced lemon tea that I had on the walk from the train station over to school! By the time I felt it polite to get up and leave the room, I was walking funny from waiting too long to pee. Urgh! My colleagues noticed and all laughed at me. With colleagues like that, who needs enemies!

Anyway, it turned out to be a non-event for me because the parents of my students did not come in search of me. I was actually relieved. Being the civics tutor of a class that does higher Chinese, I can imagine that most of the parents speak the language to a certain degree of fluency. Me, not so much! Thank goodness for my foresight at the beginning of the term to tell my students very unashamedly and with hair wrenching desperation that they were to, under no circumstance, speak Chinese in my presence. They, in turn, told their parents that their "ang-moh-fied" read anglofied civics tutor spoke no Chinese at all. That probably explains their non-presence. So, I stood in the corner and observed the extreme Singaporean-ness in them as they rushed for the tea that was provided and actually ate and used the same pair of chopsticks to pick up food from the trays. It was then that I made a mental note, not to eat anything off the tray. Thank goodness for the lack of appetite that I have been having the last few days. It was also somewhat unpleasant to see parents talk to teachers with their mouths full of cake. The sight of an open mouth filled with green cake is just a revolting sight. No wonder our students have no sense of social etiquette or grooming. They had no one to learn it from. *shakes head disapprovingly*

I had also to resist the urge of going up on stage to tell the string quartet to sit properly while playing for the audience. Such beautiful music from these girls who seemed unaware that their knees were not placed together. I suspect they thought that since they had shorts under their skirt, it was fine to sit any ol' how. *tsk tsk*

And the ironic thing is that some of these girls come from schools whose school mission is to " produce ladies with dignity and poise" Where's the dignity in sitting with one's legs splayed? Hmmm...

7 Feb 2004

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:51

0 thoughts...

I am A Shoe

Ballet Shoes
Ballet shoes- beautiful, graceful, and creative,
you enjoy dancing writing and music. You are
often very poetic and sometimes dramatic. You
keep to yourself aside from a few close friends
that you can relate to.

What Kind of Shoe Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

And what kind of ballet shoe am I?
Soft shoes- Bloch
Pointe shoes- Gamba

God, I miss dancing.

9 Feb 2004

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:51

0 thoughts...

Much Ado About Nothing

In less than 24 hours, I will be on board a plane bound for London and then Stuttgart.

And I am too exhausted, after the day I've had, to write anything.

But then again, I know, that if I continue taking the 5th, my actions will be misconstrued.

So let's see.

First thing this morning, I get a message saying that my blog's been flamed by someone who seems to hate me and all I stand for.

Ok, so there are people reading my blog. That's a good sign. So I go take a look and realise...

Woah! This person really does hate me. My sweaters, my great dickens-like expectations of my students, my penchant for ditzy-ly packaged makeup, my overseas education and the fact that I drive a beat up old Merc. Everything. And I don't even know this person.

Well, shoot me for a) impeccable taste in clothes b) a deep-seated belief inside every student I get is one that wants to learn, c) enjoying the ditziness that is accorded to me by sheer fact that I am a girl, d) being daring enough to give up the safe route i.e. history or pol-sci honours to go abroad and pursue another degree that I knew little about but wanted more than anything to learn about e) that my parents in law were kind enough to give us their ol' jalopy that would take me from place A (home) to place B (School).

It's wonderful to be able to incite these feelings in a person whom I've never met or even heard of.

So, why take the posts off my blog?

Is it because I delete comments which displease me (sic) ... out of spite? guilt?

Short answer, none of the above. I deleted them because they were anonymous. It's a matter of simple courtesy. If what was said, was really and truly felt, why hide behind anonymity? Why not dare to put your name behind it?

Then I get challenged.

"you constantly anguish about the lack of discourse/creativity around, about complacency etc but when push comes to shove, you are no better than the rest, are you? "

Ok, before I go on, if I had a red pen, I'd strike out "about" write "prep" in the margin and proceed to fill in the correct preposition. Sorry, occupational hazard.

Anyway, where was I?

Well, I never admitted to be better than the rest. So, I'm stumped. But then again, unlike the current generation of young adults, mine was not the generation that had to be explicitly told that discourse was good and creativity was the way to go. We just did what we did everyday. We had good fun and we had passionate arguments. And when those arguments got too heated, or too stupid, you stepped back. Because one, you don't want to lose that friend over some dumb debate over whether Kennedy was a lout, or two, you don't fight stupidity with greater stupidity. So you concede, in order to save face. Not your own, but the one who thinks that Elvis has two heads and visits Vegas every third full moon in a leap year and twice on Sunday but only when the Pope was in town.

-Done to death by slanderous tongue was the Hero that here lies-

So there.

10 Feb 2004

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:50

0 thoughts...

Enter Sandman

I have officially four hours to sleep. In other words, I'm screwed tomorrow because I still have a whole host of things to do.

a) Finish writing my lecture entitled "The Angst of Youth" which should not be a problem since in the last 24 hours, I have been presented with an avalanche of raw material to be used, courtesy of She-troll.

b) Speak to a student who is suitably concerned about which overseas uni to go to, seeing that she realises how the local university wants to teach and show her how to be creative and open-minded

c) Have college publicity material sent out to overseas universities so that one day, our students may benefit from an overseas education in college- our first step to creating type of clogs!

d) Change Singapore dollars for ill-proportionate Euro dollars

e) Pack- despite the loss of previously mentioned sweaters and the inability to travel light.

f) Hang out with he-who-shall-not-be-going-with-me-and-will-therefore-be-slightly-lonesome.

g) Post credit card bills and birthday card so that immigration will allow me back into the country.

h) Get some sleep.

10 Feb 2004

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:49

0 thoughts...

Y is where Z is

Yes, this is the reality that I am in now, for the next week anyway.

Anyway, hello all, from Stuttgart where the temperature today is a barmy 0 degrees and the sun is out. It's my first opportunity at the computer, so what do I do. Write to the husband who is down with flu and feeling strange in an empty house, check my work mail which has like 50 messages unread!!! And go look at the blogs that I miss reading.

I must say that in the past week, I have suffered severe withdrawal symptoms. From...
a) Dan
b) the computer and my blog
c) hot soup.

Stuttgart is nice, but it's an industrial town, so there's nothing much to do, although we did go to some duke's old castle and that was way cool. Broad swords and amoury that were on display, and history of this region from the time of Caesar. Cool. But I must say that the Germans are a very military race. All their history revolves around war, decapitation, blood and gore.

It is a strange feeling to be in a country or city where the only sign I have seen in English is "we love sex and the city!" Says a lot doesn't it? It's also a city where all the cars you see on the road are cars that would be labeled as expensive and mid-range continental cars in Singapore. Very Very affluent society here. People shop here more than they do in Singapore judging from the streets at the mall on Saturday afternoon. I haven't made my contribution to the German economy yet, we'll see nearing the end of this week.

So, the all important question... Am I enjoying myself? Well, I like being in a foreign country but it's strange being here without Dan and having to share the room with a bureaucrat from the ministry. One, I'm not likely to cuddle her, two, she speaks funny and three, she has no sense of humour, whatsoever. Also, there're just somethings you can't say to a stranger. You can't be irreverent because she might report you to the higher powers and you can't steal her socks because well, they're her socks! The debates, well, they're interesting. These kids are so invested in what they're doing that when they lose and you have to tell them why, they look like they're going to kill themselves. The Singapore team lost yesterday, in a match that they shouldn't have and they broke down and started crying. It's hard when you put your heart and soul into it and somehow or other it just isn't enough. I remember crying everytime I lost a race and it's the same here. To them, it is the end of the world.


Ok, any post about a foreign country isn't complete without a list. So here goes.

1) The toilets here look like they could swallow you up when you flush.
2) Stuttgart is in the Swabean area of Germany- anyone who knows what that means, is welcome to explain it to me.
3) ALL food is salty here. Salt is in excess everywhere you go.
4) They drive on the wrong side of the road here
5) Buildings and schools are drab and colourless. Very utilitarian- the adjective, not the philosophy.
6) Kids are kids everywhere. We have a whole host of chaperones who are chaperones because they get to skip and entire fortnight of school. And they have the perennial love hate relationship with janitors. Some things don't change, regadless of language, race or religion.
7)Hot water cost 2 euros in the hotel. Hello! It's negative something out there, at least give us hot water!
8) Everything said aboutGermannefficiencyy is true. Clockwork- the trains, the trams and room service comes in a split second after you hang up with them.

So there, my list, not the most entertaining, but seeing that the keys in the keyboard are all over the place, tough! My fingers ache from being contorted into different positions.

More interesting one later, if I can once again get access to a computer and if the keyboard isn't so funny!

16 Feb 2004

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:49

0 thoughts...


is where I am today. It's a good hour out of Stuttgart by train but well, it's pretty and there are castles on hills. Exactly the way I remembered Europe from 20 years ago!

It just struck me, I was in Europe more than 20 years ago. Shit, I'm old. I know that also when I got introduced as the esteemed adjudicator from Singapore- Mrs Ung! Emphasise the U. Anyway, I'm hiding now while the teams are prepping for their improptu round in about half and hour. We have a holding area, but it's filled with loud opinionated people who love to hear themselves talk and instead of trying to compete with them verbosity and outright arrogance, I'm hiding. Call me chicken if you want to, accuse me from retreating from discourse, but really some battles are just not worth fighting especially when the exact reply they deserve is "shut the f%&k up!".

I think it's in the blood of debaters, that they think their view is right and they have every right to grab every moment and just bulldoze. One thing I've learnt about debaters is that the most difficult thing to do is with them around is to get a word edgewise into any conversation. Student debaters and ex debaters are all the same, except student debaters, you can still push around and make them listen with that evil eye that I am known for. Ex debaters, by virtue of being ex debaters, have egoes the size of houses and it is just impossible to go up against them. They're arrogant, presumptuos and think there is no one greater than them and they could organise things better than the poor overworked organisers here. And might I add, the most arrogant ones seem to come from a country that shall remained anonymous but is way up north and is apparently neutral in most things. I think they think they have much to prove and overcompensate by making huge asses of themselves.

Now, not all are like that. I had the most delightful conversation with the Slovenian team this morning, on our long train ride in. And I must admit, I learnt alot from talking to these 17 year olds. Well, the first thing I learnt was where Slovenia was. Pardon my ignorance, but at least I admit it. Anyway, these are kids that had to pay most of their way here, whose eyes bugged when I paid for my apple juice and Ricola drops with a 50 euro note because they'd never had so much money in their hands before. These are kids who remember what it was like to be part of the Yugoslavia that broke up and experienced first hand, Serbian atrocities and Milosevic's policies. There was so much to learn by just listening to them talk about their country and they talk about it with such hope and pride that it will succeed. They speak with such knowledge and depth about what has gone on in their country and the issues the country is facing. I am in awe of these 17 year olds who want so much to debate that they would do anything to be at the World Schools.

Same with the Korean team. No one told them about the competition, no one was willing to pay for their passage into Stuttgart or their registration fees, but they came anyway. They had no training and no resources, so they wrote to Singapore and asked to borrow our training videos. They came, trained, watching one video of one debate match, knowing full well they would lose, but they came for the fight nonetheless.

If nothing else, I will take away from this debate humilty that, there are people in the world, so passionate about things that they are willing to leave no stone unturned to find a way to fulfil their dreams and passion. And I am touched by that.

Well, it's almost time for me to go and judge the next round, Slovenia vs. Ireland. It's going to be tough for Slovenia but it'll be interesting to watch how they go about the motion This House Believes that the music industry should be held responsible for its detrimental effects on the youth.

Then, it's another 1 hour back into Stuttgart. Let's see which country I get to learn from this time round.

17 Feb 2004

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:47

0 thoughts...

Stuttgart- London- Singapore

That's the plan for today!

Yay! I get to go home today. It's been a wonderful experience here, learning so much from people, from the championships and from just being away from home.

What have I learnt... let's see.

1. I learnt that Slovenia is not part of the former Czechoslovakia
2. I learnt that top Latin American students get offered places in American schools as part of an effort to help Latin America emerge politically, economically and socially.
3. I learnt that the South Korea team learnt how to debate by watching one debate training video
4. I learnt that Stuttgart is part of the state of Wuttemberg which is in the Swabean area of Germany.

5. I learnt that politicking exists the minute a function or an event has more than 10 people.
6. I learnt that the flip side of German efficency is German INefficiency, but you need to organise an event for 500 people over the course of 2 weeks to see that clearly
7. I learnt to judge at Worlds. I am now a full adjudicator for the world schools debating championships and if you talk like a teacher, no matter where the kids are from, they respond to it and listen.
8. I learnt that Canadians think they have something to prove- being so near the US and are almost equal to the Americans in arrogance and excessive self-assuredness
9. I have learnt that toilet paper is prettier in Strasbourg, France, than it is in Stuttgart. It's a lighter shade of pink there and it looks like badly recycled kitchen towel paper here, if you're lucky.

10. I have learnt that I don't work well without Dan. Not so much that I stop functioning, but it's just lonely when you have no one to turn around to and make the most inane of observations. And that there's no one to comfort you, when you're cold, miserable or sick.
11. I have learnt that I cannot live without chilli. Having discovered tabasco at breakfast one morning, I have proceeded to douse all my food in it for taste and that fiery sensation in my mouth.

So there, it has been a learning experience. Now, for the 17 hour flight back to reality with the onset of a cough and a cold. My room mate is concerned that I might be picked up as a potential SARS case on my stepping onto Singapore soil. I told her they were more worried about the birds.

Now to go sit on my suitcases and zip up my bags. See you back in Singapore.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:46

0 thoughts...

Hit By A Truck

Not literally, but that's how I feel right now.

Jet lag + cough + cold + strange bout of nausea + dizziness = Hit by a truck

So, I'm back to 32 degree weather. I'm not minding it as much as I thought I would. I think I was just relieved not to be cold anymore. Two weeks of being cold regardless of the number of layers you pile on is just not funny.

Next year, it's Calgary round the same time. Everyone says it's ten times colder so now, I'm ten times more reluctant to go although I don't have much of a choice in it. But I have a year to anguish over it so I shall vent in moderation for now.

Anyway, I'm glad to announce that the house is still standing, despite my reservations about Dan's housekeeping skills. Well, there were some minor bits, like shoes that were being aired before I left, still being aired- I think they've acquired another layer of dust on it. There was also the incriminating evidence of the playstation 2 and joystick out but well, a guy has to entertain himself. And the case of my white underwear turning a pale shade of blue despite proud exclamations over his blog that he'd learnt to separate colours from whites. It must have slipped through his very stringent sifting, separating process.

Feel extremely guilty now because I'm supposed to be delivering a lecture today. But the truck's thread marks are still pretty visible on my being and I don't think I'm going to venture further than Holland Village today. Dan asked me if it was possible that I was pregnant last night and in the words of Jed Bartlett from the West Wing " Now that’s a thought that’s gonna fester.". In my opinion, it's a statistical impossibility but weirder things have been known to happen, so this truck feeling had better disappear fast or I'm going to be in for a major wig out.

Good thing about being home today, I can finally clear up the mess that I brought home with me from Stuttgart. Shopping there was dull, now, shopping at Heathrow was another matter. In less than an hour, I did damage to the tune of 100 pounds. There goes the grand visions of an austerity drive. And yesterday, I managed to convince Dan to buy me a ring that was going for $200. I get to collect it on Saturday. So, I have new clothes, some more make up and a new ring. Yay me. Not so yay for him. :)

Well, off now. A girl's gotta eat, regardless of the gnomes having a grand time cartwheeling in the tummy.

25 Feb 2004

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:45

0 thoughts...

Home Stay

I've been home the whole day. Right about now, I feel the need to burst forth and breathe air in the open. I'm not good at this. I'm not good at being sick at home. It was okay when I was asleep for those few hours this afternoon, but now, I'm restless again.

Dan thinks I need to learn how to do nothing. But it's not within my constitution, sick or not, to not do anything. I tried to watch Charmed this afternoon, and either I've grown up a lot in the weeks between the last season and now, or that it's gotten so bad that I can't bear watching it. I mean, hello, Valkyries that looked right out of Xena? An evil whitelighter (angel-guardian like person who looks after the Charmed sisters), it's getting too lame even for me and I used to watch it just to see what the 3 sisters would wear. With every episode, Alyssa Milano seems to get more and more tattoos on her body and seems to wear less and less clothes. *Yawn*

It seems a sad state when there are less shows to watch. Once upon a time, there was Buffy, Angel, The West Wing, Friends, CSI, Charmed...Now, it's whittled down to just The West Wing and CSI since Friends is in its last season, Angel too, Buffy's finished and Charmed's condemned. What will we do for entertainment? God forbid, read a book?

Speaking of reading, I subscribed to the Economist and Newsweek at the beginning of the year in an attempt to keep myself up to date with global affairs. My ignorance had come very much to the fore when I was helping with the World Schools team and I'd decided to take my ignorance to task and read these news magazines. Unfortunately, I've been away two weeks and I have 3 copies of Economist not yet read and one copy of Newsweek. Newsweek is much more palatable, albeit American-centric, but the Economist is better for information and opinions. At least there's colour now. I recall how we used to get photocopied articles of the Economist in college and had just taken for granted that it was in monochrome because it had been Xeroxed. My horror, when I actually picked up a real copy of the magazine and realised that in its original state, it was in monochrome as well. Think it was one step above the plaintive cry of a child when he/she realised the book he/she was reading had no pictures.

I brought Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan with me to Stuttgart and I haven't finished it. It's not a difficult book to read but I think the whole First Wives Club-women's independence- female solidarity- Steel Magnolia thing is just too much for me to handle. I don't buy into feminism nor do I subscribe to the notion of patriarchy wholesale, so reading anything in such extremes just annoys the heck out of me. Maybe I should just stick to my news magazines. At least, then I just get angry at ol' Dubya, that's clear, that's straightforward and it's cathartic in a bizarro way.

The O level (Cambridge Ordinary Level Exams- equivalent to Year 10 exams) results are out on Friday, which means my classes will be on tenterhooks tomorrow. Time to break out the comfort food-ice cream and chocolate which I am well armed for since I brought back kilos of chocs from Germany back for them. I think it was all a grand divine plan for me to be this ill when I got back, otherwise there would be no chocolates left for the kids and they'd be jittery and hysterical and I wouldn't know what else to say to them except that on the night before my O level results were released, I ate four Hazelnut Ice cream bars and a bag of chocolate chip cookies and proceeded to dream that I got 69 points. At that point in time and as a 16 year old, I had no clue as to the sexual connotations behind it. But I did know that if I got 6 (which is a perfect score) or 9 (not so perfect but acceptable), it was fine, but if I got the sum of the two numbers, 15, I was screwed and destined to be in a mediocre college. Thank goodness that did not happen.

Poor kids. I feel so sorry for them. The balance in their little worlds revolve around the aggregate score that they see on their slips of paper. It's no use telling them that after a while, no one really cares what you got for your O levels, but being tunnel-visioned is part and parcel of growing up so I shall allow their indulgence in their self- inflicted and perhaps also societal-inflicted hysteria. All I hope is that my good kids stay put and the ones who can't be bothered, find somewhere else to slum. It's not the perfect attitude for a teacher to have, but sometimes you help those who want to be helped and those who don't want to be helped, all you can do is wish them luck in which ever path they choose to follow.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:45

0 thoughts...


My comments have disappeared. So has Dan's. The little elf that's stolen them, please return them to their rightful owners. Unless you work for trolls, then well, never mind.

25 Feb 2004

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:44

0 thoughts...

Big 5

A few weeks ago, every teacher in my school had to undergo this personality test thing. It's called the Big 5 Psychometric Profile. It tests Openess, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Negative emotionality. The debrief for it was while I was away, and today, being my first day back at work, I saw my results.

It cracked me up!

Here it is in a nut shell. I'm moderate on Openess, Medium on conscientiousness showing that I'm a balanced person, high on extraversion, low on agreeableness and high on negative emotionality! So, I'm a down to earth person who is able to balance work and play well, enjoying the company of others and apparently overbearing, pretty much a reactive challenger that is rude, hostile, self-centred, easily discouraged, prone to depression and conflict.

Some of it was spot on, like me being discouraged quite easily and worrying excessively. But somethings were way off. Me? More likely to get into conflicts than most??? Hello??? I was the one who refused to bit when that she-troll kept flaming my blog. And sufficiently reactive and interested enough to do well in customer service???? What? Me? Right... I ran, the minute Threez mentioned NuSkin to me!

And oh! Me.. the extravert, the centre of the party whose sociable personality is hazard prone and something of a threat in an environment where safety is a priority. Uh huh. I'm about to jump out of a plane without having tested the chute on my back.

What a load of crock!

I'm very amused though, especially because of the many years of psychology that I've done, that have basically told me that the flaws behind these tests are that when the person using it knows why the questions are angled the way they are, they become invalid. They are also subjective because they depend very much on the mood of the person that day. If you're feeling particularly antagonistic that day, your results will tend to reflect that since you're more likely to respond more aggressively to the questions that test negative emotionality.

So yeah! I'm eagerly waiting for Dan to come back. T has already seen it and has cackled quite a bit. It's quite interesting having him in the office because some hungry for scandal people are beginning to keep their ears peeled on the conversations we've been having. I'm tempted to give them something to talk about though.

Dan's back and is mocking my results. He says he doesn't need no personality test to tell him that he's married to someone neurotic. Neurotic's good. Keeps them on their feet.


Now that I've been gone for two weeks and have only returned today, I've come to realise school never changes. Absolutely nothing. The students, if anything, are slightly more annoying- although I must admit, some of it must be stressed induced by the fact that tomorrow, the O level results come out. The teachers, well, they're still stressed and caught up in their little worlds, bitching and blowing out of proportion things that don't usually matter a great deal to ordinary people outside the confines of what we call school. I think teachers live in microcosms where even though everything is scaled down, we see it as a real thing.

I suspect that's why alot of people eventually leave teaching. We realise that our worlds become too insular and that we do a whole ton of rinse and repeat. Kids come and kids go and ten years down the road, we're still where we are whilst the kids we taught are the owners of some chain of restaurants and driving cars that we can only yearn for. No doubt, there is a sense of pride that we helped get them there. But what about for the us? You don't grow very much, all that crap about going on course to enrich oneself, well, it's crap. I think those old teachers that stayed in the service, I guess they never saw it the way we see it now. Perhaps, there was less ambitiousness then. And the ones that felt restless but could not leave and could not exactly figure out what was bothering them just became grumpy, school marms that the kids loved to hate. I think my generation of teachers are just more articulate in expressing and acting on our disilluionment and cynicism. And I think we dare to dream further than the conventional stable rice bowl nonsense. So there.

Having said all that, I haven't felt the full force of it since I haven't been teaching long enough. But I can see where all this will head. As it is, I get the occasional bout of restlessness and depression because I'm not doing what I was meant to do and what I'm doing now feels meaningless and the students won't give two hoots years from now about what a topic sentence actually is. I can't do things that I don't care about and are meaningless to me. So far, teaching still holds some sort of challenge because I have yet to complete one complete tour. But I know once I start repeating myself, the restlessness and the craving for me interesting avenues will cause me to resent what I'm doing.

So that's why it's also quite strange that my personality test I'm only modestly ambitious and likely to be comfortable with routine. I have the attention span of a gnat. Now, if the personality test had that as a descriptor, I could so totally buy into it.

Telling me that I'm comfortable with repetitive type work involving attention to detail is so far past the line, you can't even see the line anymore. Might as well be Chandler

Chandler: Eight and a half hours of aptitude tests, intelligence tests, personality tests... and what do I learn? (he taps the results and reads them) "You are ideally suited for a career in data processing for a large multinational corporation."

26 Feb 2004

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:43

0 thoughts...

What type of animal will I turn into?

You'd turn into a Snowleopard! Like a snowleopard
you are quiet, shy and not seen much and find
it hard to talk to people, but dont really mind
being by yourself. However once you have gotten
over your shyness and are relaxed you are so
different it can be scary! You have a few close
friends who can grasp your strange ways. You
are generally laid back but when you get angry
you get angry and can be very vicious and a
force to be reckoned with, though few people ever
see this.

What animal would you turn into?
brought to you by Quizilla

Just wondering if the school hadn't paid tons of money for the Big 5 Profile, whether using these tests would come up with the same type of answers. The scary part is probably, although you won't have the standard deviations and means and significance values to make it sound important, pompous and convincing. But you do get nice pictures from it. :)

Ok, list of strange food that I wanted and subsequently ate yesterday and today.
1. Dim Sum
2. Japanese food
3. Half a tub of Walls Chocolate Heaven
4. 2 digestive biscuits
5. 2 ham and cheese sandwiches
6. 1 deceptive looking piece of fried bread that I thought was a croissant! Not pleased
7. 1 hazelnut wafer
8. 1 hazelnut merci chocolate bar.
9. 1 cup of soup which turned out gross so yuck.

And I haven't had lunch yet. I think I'm making up for all the time that I wasn't hungry in Germany. Food glorious food. Erm, except fish. Someone in the staff lounge had brought fish and rice to school and nuked it. She proceeded to regale the greatness that was the selar fish (some sort of fish, native to our waters), while I gagged, held my breath and thought how much the staff lounge smelt like my cat after we fed them fish. Bleargh..

27 Feb 2004

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:42

0 thoughts...

" Far in the stillness, a cat languishes loudly"