Heard in my office over the past few weeks (somewhat paraphrased):
When you go to India, you have to suffer with the ah-neh smell.
I only want to take photos of pretty, skinny Chinese students (for a wall supposedly to showcase our students having fun in school).
The problem with the school is how it’s full of Malays. They cause most of the problems in school.
When people online talk about the discrimination they face in Singapore’s society? Here are the responses:
1. But that happens to me too!
2. But it’s true!
3. But what about all these other marginalised people?
4. Oh look! It’s the Race Card + bonus bootstraps.
Oh and look what’s in the Wall Street Journal?
Dear ST Online,
I pay good money to be able to access you online. I don’t grumble at the lack of proper links in your articles online. I don’t complain when you automatically bill me again to extend my subscription. I don’t make noise when you fail over and over again to send me whatever free gift you have promised me.
But that you are hoping to make money from ST online, would it hurt you so much to ensure that I can log in with minimum of fuss? Isn’t it annoying enough that I cannot keep myself logged in since I cannot use my ID on multiple computers at the same time? Now I am having constant timeouts when I log on. And it’s not one time or twice. Every single day I try to log in, I suffer from your incompetent website.
So thank you for charging me money for nothing.
For the best part of my working life, I’ve loved my job. I’ve enjoy being with the children, I’ve enjoyed planning lessons and carrying out and I’ve enjoyed belonging to the school and its community. But I think I’m slowly falling out of love with my job. I suppose one could call it a mid-life crisis (or quarter-life crisis, depending I guess on how long I live) but I’ve a lot more doubts about being a teacher than I did before. Perhaps I was less experienced then, more naive and full of self-belief. Nowadays, I find myself wondering if I am a good enough as a teacher and now that I hold a leadership position, I’m also fretting about being a good leader. The thing is people say I’m a more than decent teacher and while I don’t believe I’m completely awful as a teacher, I’ve always taken other people’s comments with a handful of salt. I have a nagging suspicion that people say that because I’m a nice and responsible person and not because of my spectacular classroom skills. Also, teaching is tiring and I’m tired of my whole life revolving around my job. It’s a little bit ridiculous that I work in the evenings and I work on weekends and when I’m not working, I’m either thinking about work or feeling guilty that I’m not working. There are so many things I cannot do because I teach and recently, I wonder if it is worth it. It doesn’t help that the higher you get on the career ladder, the more you realise that your philosophy of education doesn’t mesh with what is really happening and the thinking behind it.
I still like teaching and I still very strongly believe that teaching is an incredibly meaningful job. I still love the English language. I guess I’m tired and a little bit disillusioned, both with myself and the job. So I’m counting down to the December holidays and hoping that the break will do me good.
Reading Yaw Shin Leong’s blog post about loansharks and how they harass people who owe them money brought back memories of when my house was splashed with blue paint (and it was quite a nice shade of blue too). Actually, due to my laziness, the blue paint is still on my gate. The paint that seeped through the gap between my door and floor however took me a good hour plus to clean off.
If you’re wondering if I owed people money, I don’t. Nor does anyone in my house. It’s actually some chap living on the 4th floor (as stated quite clearly on my lift landing). For some reason, the runners decided to hike up several floors (ok, they probably took the lift) to my floor and decorate my home as well.
According to Yaw Shin Leong:
However of late, they seem to have ventured beyond harassing borrowers’ households by splashing paint on borrowers’ neighbors’ households too.
I suppose that’s what happened in my case. Although I’m not too sure about the reasoning behind this. I mean what was I going to do? March down to Mr 4th Floor and demand he pay back the money? It’s not going to be much use if Mr 4th Floor has no money is it? Or maybe I was to offer to pay on Mr 4th Floor’s behalf? Yeah that’s going to happen. Or perhaps I was to enact my own vengence on Mr 4th Floor and splash some (more) paint on his door. Who knows? The loansharks left no instructions.
So I just scrubbed off what I could as I cursed under my breath, made a (pointless) police report – which led to a most on-hindsight-hilarious conversation with the investigating officer and my life went on as usual. Even the blue paint on my gate no longer bothers me. My mom even suggested we just paint the gate blue.
I’m hoping the runners come by and help us with it.
Anyway, Mr 4th Floor? I hope you paid off your loans already, for your family’s sake if not for your own.
EDITED TO ADD: Fuwell has very nicely called me to make things right. Hopefully all will be fine and my graphics card will work properly. I thought of deleting this post but since I wrote it, it’s probably not in good form to delete it. So I’ll just put it under a cut instead.
The ST is becoming increasingly annoying and tiresome as the GE looms. Today’s Prime News are all about how wonderful the Budget is. And I’m betting there will be more stories about how great Singapore is in the weeks to come.
From today’s ST:
Unlike in many other countries, there are also no huge disparities in facilities and teaching standards between schools in poor and wealthy neighbourhoods.
I don’t know. My neighbourhood school does not have a indoor sports hall, has a school hall with poor ventilation and is incredibly warm (imagine when they take their exams) and too small for all the students, has a staff room not big enough for the staff (we sit at desks, not cubicles), has stairwells that are so badly designed they are flooded when it rains.
In all my years of teaching, I’ve never really disliked a student. Sure, I find some of them annoying and a number of them make me angry constantly, but I’ve always managed to find something to like about them.
However, this year, for the first time, I am finding it very difficult to find anything to like about my student B. Now, I understand that they have had bad experiences with the school – some of which the fault of the school. While I had no part to play since I only just started teaching him this year, I am sorry they had such difficulties with the school and I admit (to the parents as well) that we could have done better. That isn’t why I am finding it hard to like the student.
What I am annoyed by is how the student takes whatever happens in school out of context and gives his parents a completely different impression of what is happening in the classroom. For example, one of the teachers reprimanded the class for talking as he was trying to explain something. He said something about how they need to work harder and concentrate more if they wanted to do well in their examinations. That teacher was accused by the student and the parents of looking down on him. Similarly, I know that this student feels like his parents prefer his sibling to him and that he hasn’t been able to live up to his sibling’s successes (going to a good school etc) and so when he told me about his future dreams, I mentioned that he should make choices based on what he wants and not because he feels a need to be like his sibling (since his dreams seemed to be following in his sibling’s footsteps). Apparently, I made fun of his dreams and look down on him as well. Also, despite the fact that he has never shown an ounce of responsibility and treats everyone as if they are not worth his time, he accuses the school of being corrupt because we do not give him leadership positions.
And the list goes on.
Essentially, I am having a hard time seeing the good in him. I know that he isn’t all bad but he just rubs me the wrong way.
I’m a bad teacher aren’t I? Oh well.
HDB Lady: Hi, you were supposed to come down today to select your flat.
Me: Er yeah, we’re not buying one anymore.
HDB Lady: Oh. May I know why?
Me: Yeah, I got dumped.
HDB Lady: erm *long pause* …. ok bye.
In other news, I retrieved my SDN password and am now ready to go see what all these single activities are about.
1. Intent doesn’t matter. Words have meanings and if you hurt someone, you hurt someone.
2. If you hurt someone’s feelings, don’t tell them their feelings’ aren’t hurt. You may think it’s silly but don’t dismiss how others feel.
3. Racist jokes perpetuate the culture that it is ok to make fun of people because of their race, which allows the entrenchment of racism in our society.
Naming of bread unfortunate
POPULAR bakery Bread Talk has named a bread “Naan the Nay”, which mimics an insensitive allusion to the way Indians speak.
What is there to stop people of other races from starting to call other food items with similar insensitivity?
I had thought only children called each other such politically incorrect terms while at play. For a popular food outlet to resuscitate such names is unfortunate.
So much for ending 2010 on such a high note. 2011 has been kinda sucky so far. I’m just hoping that this means things can only get better right?
For those in the know, I’m not angry at anyone, especially not him. Certainly, he didn’t set out to hurt me. Perhaps life has been too good for too long and it’s now time for a little suffering. :)