Monthly Archives: September 2008

Structured procrastination

It seems that the best way for a procrastinator to do work is indeed structured procrastination, as linked to by Cuifen more than a year ago.

Right now I’ve got a reflection task due tomorrow, and am obviously wasting time blogging right now, but I’ve also completed two tasks that I’ve been meaning to do this whole week (with one more to follow). But of course, by delaying the reflection task till the very end, doesn’t that put me in the danger of missing the deadline entirely? Possibly, but the said assignment is only two pages long and doesn’t really need much (if any) citing, so I think it can be completed quite quicky.

Hopefully.

I think this might be my most productive weekend for quite some time now, I’d better start structuring my procrastination a little more wisely! =P

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Re-closed doors

So I didn’t get it.

I was somewhat disappointed for awhile, but I’ve got over it. Staying in education isn’t actually terrible to me, and has actually been my preferred choice all the while, just that I’d have liked to experience work at another ministry for a bit. Oh well, no matter.

A little (philosophical?) pondering that arose from this – is there any point in trying to interpret the things that happen to be signs from higher powers? I’ve so often heard Christians advising each other to treat miscellaneous events as directions/hints from God, but every event can be interpreted in a multitude of different ways! It seems to me that people tend to interpret events in ways that tend to agree with their preconceived notions of how things are, and if that really is the case, is there really any point in doing so in the first place?

Near-amnesia

I just accidentally deleted all my handphone reminders. How was I to know “Delete all notes” referred to your entire calendar’s, and not that day’s, notes? =O

So I’ve just wiped out all the little landmines of reminders I’d set for the next few weeks (or more). The homework-related ones aren’t that bad – luckily I’d inputted my deadlines into Google Calendar. Other things like maybe social commitments, or little chores I need to do, I’m less confident of reconstructing (I have a terrible memory). Hopefully I don’t miss too many things in time to come!

Is this what amnesia feels like? Probably not, but it’s my closest experience to it so far, I think!

Buy and sell

I just sold my camera for S$270. That’s only about 60% of what I’d paid for it, but it’s still money, and far better than the $0 I’d have got by hanging on to something I wasn’t really using.

I’ve actually been reselling my (more expensive) old stuff for quite some time now, I guess I first encountered eBay when buying/selling vintage toys back in my JC days, haha. After awhile I figured that some of my belongings could still fetch a pretty sum when sold off, and I could get some pretty good deals on used items. While I understand the insistence on buying new items sometimes (for example, I generally prefer a new laptop since it’s something I will use very often), I’ve probably saved quite a bit on tech goods (like computer parts) by selling and buying old stuff.

I think the second hand market is really a good way of cutting expenses, actually, as well as cutting waste – reduce, reuse and recycle! It’s a pity many people don’t seem to be aware of the option, or are simply unwilling to expend the extra time/effort.

(Well, it took me weeks to get motivated enough to list my camera for sale, so maybe I’m not one to talk!)

Networking

I’ve never been a fan of networking – I’m not really one for small talk, and it just seems like too much of a hassle meeting and interacting with new people just for the sake of expanding your contact base.

So when I went to the York alumni reception tonight, I wasn’t really expecting to meet anyone new. I was rather prepared to just stick with the people I knew and enjoy the free food, but somehow I ended up talking to some people I didn’t previously know, and actually found it to be a rather pleasant experience! I guess it helped that so many people I talked to were educators, present and future ones. They were also all rather chatty, so there weren’t any awkward pauses or anything. Perhaps that was because we didn’t really talk for all that long, but I also imagine that the sort of people who would go to an alumni reception would be more eager to converse.

I also met one of the current deputy headmasters of RI (where I’m hoping to go back and teach at). I chatted with him briefly, and it was interesting to see someone so eager and genki about the education scene, even after rising up the ranks. He’s not even that much older than me, actually, maybe 8-10 years my senior? Hopefully I’ll still be that enthusiastic about the service then!

So I guess this is the most career-relevant instance of networking I’ve achieved, and it’d happened quite completely by accident, as well as rather painlessly! I’m actually rather rather hopeful for a proper York alumni with the occassional meetup, suddenly meeting other alumni from different batches doesn’t seem such a painful thing anymore…

Come dream with me tonight

I recently mentioned The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin to some friends and decided to look it up. I remember really liking it when I watched it so many years ago (here’s the theme song – it might jog some memories), but the thing with children’s shows is that, well – they’re children’s shows. No matter how fondly I remember them, they tend to be somewhat disappointing when revisiting them as an adult – as was demonstrated by Transformers and DuckTales (yes, I’d tried watching them more recently haha).

Teddy Ruxpin’s apparently a little different since it’s highly serialised (as opposed to the standalone episode style), so it might be a really pleasant watch, but on the other hand it seems to be chock-full of the over-simplistic morals and storylines which now rather annoy me =P

I guess I’ll try see if I could preview the series first before actually considering the DVDs, haha…

edit: I managed to find the first episode somewhere online, yeah it’s a bit too kiddy at this age. I wonder if I should just leave these old shows alone, they seem to be always better in memory than upon rewatching?

This continental drift

For the longest time I’ve been wondering if there’s any way to break that seemingly never-ending cycle of “continually floating closer to some people and drifting from others”. In fact, back before I’d made up my mind on which university to attend, it’d been on my mind too – I wonder if this had been a major factor in choosing York, in the end?

Something I vaguely remember covering in my degree was the concept of establishing common ground in communication – I can’t remember the specifics, but it seems to me that’s definitely something you share less with people you don’t hang out around anymore. It saddens me, seeing people I used to get along swimmingly turn more and more into strangers, knowing that there’s still much (hopefully) mutual goodwill but there simply aren’t enough commonalities in your life to converse about anymore, but now I’ve come to accept it as simply part and parcel of life.

Can it actually be fought, though? If you agonise through some painful hit-and-miss attempts, will you discover some previously hidden common ground? Or is it better to just let communication lapse, and silently go on with life? I’ve been going with the latter option as of late, but a part of me simply refuses to believe that’s the best option.

I thought I’d learnt to deal with it, but I guess you’re never done with learning, are you?

Superstition

Baby’s birth cert reverses parental joy

To my horror, she was given the number T08-XX444X. As Chinese Singaporeans are aware, the number four suggests death, and implies misfortune.

I appealed to the ICA officer, also a Chinese Singaporean who understood my discomfiture. But she firmly rejected my plea because rules were rules, I was told. Subsequently, I appealed to a superior officer and waited an agonising week, making several calls in between, only to be given the same answer.

“These superstitious yokels!” was my first thought upon reading this. Then I realised that this was a new father we were talking about. Presumably someone relatively young. My goodness, these people actually still exist in this day and age? I don’t know whether to be agonised or amused…

The embarrassing past

I’ve been informed that apparently this page can be found quite easily if you were to google my full name. The content is highly embarrassing (woobie-lovers rejoice!), but at the same time is highly amusing, so I’m in a bit of a fix whether or not I should get it removed (in case future students start stumbling upon my shameful past) or not (because it is simply hilarious).

I’ve actually stopped being a SingNet customer for almost a decade already, and am a little surprised the website’s still up. I guess that’s what happens when you itchy-finger go design webpage when everyone else was doing cool things like… err, being cool, whatever that entailed back then.

Some tidbits I gathered after doing a quick tour of the defunct website…

  1. Ailin would be delighted to note that I’d described myself as ‘possessing a large nose’ almost a decade ago.
  2. Apparently I was quite good at generating high-scoring narrative essays back in the day (although I sometimes pilfered the storyline from short stories I’d read), no wonder I want to go back and teach English!
  3. I’d actually plotted out the backstory of an entire game series. Probably inspired by Jiunwei, I’m a little sad that I never actually got started on attempting game design at all though. On the other hand, I’d actually written a short story based on that backstory, the standard of which I doubt I can duplicate now.
  4. Interestingly I’d described myself as ‘officially Roman Catholic, disagree with some beliefs, but definitely Christian’ way back then, which is pretty much my religious stance now – only I’d thought I wasn’t all that definite back in 2000!
  5. The mysterious jeeraffe makes an appearance (and is kind of explained) on this page.

I usually have no qualms leaving my old web footprints online (like my old blog posts), simply because I know I’ve changed since then, they help remind me of what I used to be like back then, and most importantly – I don’t mind (and rather enjoy, actually) laughing at myself. Such self-depracating humour might not exactly be the best thing for building student-teacher respect, however.

So, should it stay, or should it go?

Traditional Chinese in Singapore

I saw this sign at the HarbourFront MRT station today. I’ve actually been meaning to improve my mediocre Chinese – I even try to read Chinese blog posts I come across! Anyway, so I rather instinctively made the effort to read the multilingual sign and was startled to see that the Chinese line was written using traditional (繁体) characters.

I tried to rationalise this, and automatically concluded that they were trying to cater to the increasing number of Chinese nationals that now populate the island. Moments later I remembered that China’s actually using the simplified (简体) characters that they teach in Singaporean schools, so this wasn’t it. I highly doubt that the sign was designed to cater to the Hong Kong and Taiwanese population either – some how I don’t think they’re all that numerous here? I could be wrong, though.

I ended up concluding that the person who designed the sign probably chose the traditional font by mistake, perhaps he was educated using traditional characters and didn’t notice there was anything amiss. Any alternative explanations, though?