Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Tougher To Become A Teacher Next Year

The News Straits Times carries this article today and what caught my eye was :

the focus would be on critical subjects such as Mathematics, Mandarin, Physical Education and English, for which there was a shortage of teachers.

So what happens when you don't have a 'critical subject' option?  Switch?  ICT is not on the list so now I am imagining an ICT optionist learning how to throw a javelin so he can switch options.  Hmm, the way you grip the javelin is actually similar to the way you grip the mouse.  Just change the angle... and the javelin goes between the index and middle finger.

Well, whatever it may be, there will no longer be guaranteed jobs for teachers beginning next year (and in fact, some graduates are already hanging around...). 

Friday, May 12, 2006

Eight Signs You Need To Grow Up

1. You blame others for the mess your life is in.
Don't like your life? Fix it already!
2. You take out your frustrations on others, especially those with less power than you.
A bully, plain and simple.
3. You judge people by the stuff they wear, the money they flash...
First impressions are important but shouldn't stop there.
4. You think too much of yourself
Guess what, your feelings aren't the most important thing in this world.
World's spinning... watch out or you'll get left behind!
5. You look down on others for whatever reason.
Today's loser can be tomorrow's winner. The final judgement only comes when you check out of this world.
6. You have a bias against others; whether colour, creed, preference or just appearance.
Keep an open mind... Life's best revenge is to make you fall in love with that man you just rejected for his appearance (after which he doesn't want you anymore!) or have you meet that woman you dissed for her background in an important boardroom somewhere...
7. You don't do things because you are afraid of what people may think.
Up to a point, people's opinions matter but not so much that you paralyse yourself.
8. You choose friends for what they can give you.
And what happens when you can't give them what they want?

I am still finetuning this list... suggestions welcome.

Brother n Sister J

Found them. As colourful as ever.

How Do You Like Your Cage?

Was sitting in front of the computer, looking at the monitor. So early in the morning, so quiet outside... and I thought of two friends from the past... a brother-n-sister pair, long out of touch. They belonged to a time when I needed nonjudgemental company, company to soothe and yet poke fun at my straitjacket conventionality. I was in turmoil then, under pressure to conform and yet desperately rebelling. But all around me were the trappings of demanding society; my job, my family, my relatives... The nonstop mantra was 'Conform Conform Conform..' My only escape was the night. But even then I only really let myself go when I was with them. And even then... not really. Control was such an issue with me. And they were so much younger than I was. And as I was about to fly off away from my 'cage', Defere came into my life. And so I traded my potential freedom for a different sort of freedom within a cage I wanted. That cage, this cage I am in now, put me squarely in the 'normal + 'conventional' world I was so desperate to escape. But Defere made it all worthwhile. And now Dylan too...

Now I realise that whatever cages we are in, what matters in what's in our minds. For we are never truly free and outside cages. The cages can be monochrome blacknwhite, psychedelic strobes whatever... but still cages all.

So I suppose the question for anyone would be "How do you like your cage?".

Fix-It Mom

I was sleeping fitfully, throat burning and head aching... when I felt someone hugging my legs. I opened my eyes... it was Dylan. He looked at me and smiled so sweetly, so trustingly.  I just knew he had an 'accident' and was waiting for me to make things all better.  And so at 2 am in the morning, I got up and bustled about while telling him to TELL me... don't just look at me and use his big expressive eyes.  Yes I will normally know what he wants (moms' telepathy?) but when I'm sick, telepathy not so effective.

That made me wonder how such a 'little' creature can change my life so much.  My priorities are all listed out beginning with DYLAN.  Defere comes a close second ... and jostles for first place sometimes.  And I REALLY know for the first time how mothers can kill for their children or be killed.  Scary?  Not at all.

So after Dylan's all comfortable and as sweet-smelling as his breath, he lies down on his pillow, tucks his little hand into mine and goes to sleep.  But of course now I'm awake, first thing I do is get a mug of java.  Now I can't sleep.  So I go on the net.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Pride And Prejudice and Its Ilk

I finally had the opportunity to watch Pride and Prejudice (Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen) last Monday. 

Well, it was a holiday and Dylan was sound asleep at an unusually early time (thanks to his workout in the swimming pool!). The VCD was a bit jumpy (thanks to same little boy) and I had to polish it a bit on my jeans.  But when I managed to view the film in two stretches from start to finish, I was left marvelling all over again at how well Jane Austen can put a story of human relationship together.  Yes, I know... it wasn't her book.. it was a flashy movie garnished with beautifully dramatic characters and glorious scenery... but it was still her story.  Knightley gave a pretty good interpretation of Elizabeth Bennet's sense of independence and of course, Macfadyen gave just enough smoulder to his enigmatic and yet vulnerable Mr. Darcy.  I'm glad there was no hint of wimp.  Too many wimps in today's world...
My favourite book of Jane Austen's genre is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and still remains Jane Eyre but Pride and Prejudice comes a close second.  Hobbling behind is Sense and Sensibility.  But it needs to be stated that Shakespeare's works have no comparison, as far as I'm concerned.  Every time I read his words, new meanings and understandings leap out and I see different colours and shades.  Every time.  Not many authors have that capability.

Of course the cinema helps a lot... it is amazing how easy it is to teach literature in class if a particular tale has a film counterpart.  I was almost afraid to show the BBC version of Macbeth to my class of randy Form Four students...the Lady Macbeth was a bit on the lascivious side.   But they seem to have survived the exposure pretty well. 

Well, all I can say is... give me more Keira and Matthew!