Wednesday, January 25, 2006


So frustrated with all sorts of people.
From the unreasonably demanding (what do I owe you anyway??? I am the one doing you a favour, don't push your luck too far!) to the uber-thin-skinned-cannot-take-stress-at-all kind.

Hello, I am not a very stressful person ok?
Ask anyone.
I AM nice. 我是好人。

Perhaps that's precisely why people behave this way to me. I am TOO nice.


Monday, January 16, 2006

The ridiculousness of political correctness

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: October 01, 2005
RE: Christmas Party

I'm happy to inform you that the company Christmas Party will take place on December 23, starting at noon in the private function room at the Grill House. There will be an open bar and plenty of food We'll have a small band playing traditional carols...feel free to sing along. And don't be surprised if our CEO shows up dressed as Santa Claus! A Christmas tree will be lit at 1:00pm. Exchange of gifts among employees can be done at that time; however, no gift should be over $10.00 to make the giving of gifts easy for everyone's pocket. This gathering is only for employees! Our CEO will make a specialannouncement at that time!
Merry Christmas to you and your family.

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: October 02, 2005
RE: Holiday Party

In no way was yesterday's memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees. We recognize that Chanukah is an important holiday, which often coincides with Christmas, though unfortunately not this year. However, from now on we're calling it our "Holiday Party." The same policy applies to any other employees who are not Christians or those still celebrating Reconciliation Day. There will be no Christmas tree. No Christmas carols sung. We will have other types of music for your enjoyment. Happy now?
Happy Holidays to you and your family.

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: October 03, 2005
RE: Holiday Party

Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous requesting a non-drinking table ... you didn't sign your name. I'm happy to accommodate this request, but if I put a sign on a table that reads, "AA Only"; you wouldn't be anonymous anymore. How am I supposed to handle this?
Forget about the gift exchange, no gift exchange is allowed since the union members feel that $10.00 is too much money and executives believe $10.00 is a little chintzy.

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
To: All Employees
DATE: October 04, 2005
RE: Holiday Party

What a diverse group we are! I had no idea that December 20 begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating and drinkin during daylight hours. There goes the party! Seriously, we can appreciate how a luncheon at this time of year does not accommodate our Muslim employees' beliefs. Perhaps the Grill House can hold off on serving your meal until the end of the party- or else package everything for you to take it home in little foil doggy baggy. Will that work? Meanwhile, I've arranged for members of Weight Watchers to sit farthest from the dessert buffet and pregnant women will get the table closest to the restrooms. Gays are allowed to sit with each other. Lesbians do not have to sit with Gay men, each will have their own table. Yes, there will be flower arrangement for the Gay men's table. To the person asking permission to cross dress, no cross-dressing allowed though we will have booster seats for short people. Low-fat food will be available for those on a diet. We cannot control the salt used in the food we suggest for those people with high blood pressure to taste first. There will be fresh fruits as dessert for Diabetics, the restaurant cannot supply "No Sugar" desserts. Sorry!
Did I miss anything?!?!?

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All F*ucking Employees
DATE: October 05, 2005
RE: The F***ing Holiday Party

Vegetarian pricks I've had it with you people!!! We're going to keep this party at the Grill House whether you like it or not, so you can sit quietly at the table furthest from the "grill of death," as you so quaintly put it, and you'll get your f***ing salad bar, including organic tomatoes. But you know, tomatoes have feelings, too. They scream when you slice them. I've heard them scream. I'm hearing them scream right NOW! I hope you all have a rotten holiday! Drive drunk and die, The Bitch from HELL!!!!!!!!

FROM: Joan Bishop, Acting Human Resources Director
DATE: October 06, 2005
RE: Patty Lewis and Holiday Party

I'm sure I speak for all of us in wishing Patty Lewis a speedy recovery and I'll continue to forward your cards to her. In the meantime, management has decided to cancel our Holiday Party and everyone can simply work for a change.
Happy Holidays!

Timetable woes

My timetable for this year sucks bigtime. =(

Monday - end at 530
Tuesday - end at 5
Wednesday - end at 1
Thursday - end at 430
Friday - end at 4

Of which 2 days are spent just sitting around waiting for ONE lesson that begins at 2 or 3 pm but yet I have to report to school at 730am like all the other teachers.
And another one day is packedpackedpacked with 13 periods.

This is really the suckiest timetable I've ever had!!

Sigh.. what happened to free time??

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Movie Review: Coach Carter

Ok, don't laugh, I know I'm watching this waaaaaaaaaaaay after everybody else.. but still..

Coach Carter is such an inspiring show! It's like the French movie, Les Choristes that I watched some time long ago.

In both movies, the protagonist teacher makes a difference to the lives of the students by bringing out a passion and a spirit to excel in them. Along the way, the students learn to respect themselves and others, eventually becoming not only better basketball players or singers but better people. Even though there's the obligatory 'down in the dumps' portion where the coach gets fired, he has inspired his students to believe in his cause and in themselves so much that they carry on his legacy and his ideals.

It seems so amazing and idealistic to teachers immersed in the gritty reality of dealing with one problem student after another. But is great to see this reminder that teachers really can make a difference and be an influence because of their strong belief in their students.

Of course, the ideas carried across are not ony applicable to the teaching profession. Any good leader would want to do the same. The better leader is definitely the person who starts with the worse-off team and motivates them to gel together and believe in themselves, rather than the one who starts with people with a great attitude already and yet does not develop their character further.

I really hope I can do so with my students and my ushers. To be a person who causes them to believe in themselves and the God-given abilities and talents placed in them. To develop character, moral fibre and self-respect so that they will stand strong in tough times. To, by the administration of discipline and systems, cause them to gel together and work towards our common cause. To impart the vision we are working towards so well that they will continue to work towards it and further it even when I am no longer there.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

World of Meetings

You can tell my life isn't too interesting nowadays huh.

830-10 Meeting 1
1130-1230 Meeting 2
1300-1330 Briefing 1
1330-1630 Meeting 3
1630-1700 Meeting 4

That just about sums up my day.
Insert life in between the slots. =(

Thursday, January 05, 2006

World of Passwords

Grouse list!

1. MOE has SO many different portals and systems! Too many by (n-1), where n is the actual number of portals that exist.
2. Each of them uses a different user ID and password! whoohoo! Like, why not just use my IC number for all?? Not different variations of my name!
3. Have intelligent requirements. Please. If I need to use a system once or twice a year or on an ad-hoc basis, WHY have a requirement for password to be changed every month?? Is it such a matter of paramount importance to national security that I need to apply for courses to take over the year?
4. Or, at least, synchronize the timings for the password changes. Each portal has different requirements. Why can't they just appear all together, at once, delivered to my email inbox once a term or something?? How to remember which portal I have changed, since when??
5. If the entire education system has been on holiday since November, ALL of us will have expired passwords right?? So DON'T block people from these portals because "passwords have expired". Sheesh.

Bah to the online portals..

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The institution of our Institution is gone!

Gone is the revered Stall 2 of the Hwa Chong canteen, whose irascible and unchanging proprietor sold exactly the same food at exactly the same prices in 1996 and in 2005.

I'll miss the chipped orange plates that certainly never seemed to change, the old square-tipped chopsticks that were cream-coloured before anyone ever thought of colour-coding chopsticks, the 80cent beehoon with carrot, cabbage and egg shreds, the $1.50 horfun with starchy sauce, orange-coloured fishcake and egg sliced so thin it resembled tissue paper.

It was the food of my youth, the sustenance we survived on for all our VNR saturdays.

Darn, why does the only constant of the world have to be change?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I hate miscommunications

Paint a target board on my face, and make sure you aim darts from right, left, above, below and center. While we are at it, slap me a few times too.

IT'S NOT MY FAULT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thrice this week. Already. Sigh.

I will take the scoldings and accusations that I am doing the wrong thing or that I do not know what I am doing.

But I don't feel it's fair: All I know, is that I am doing exactly what I have been told. By an authority I respect.

Fortunately, I am an S as well as a C.
And this will boil over in time...

In the meantime, let me try and find a better way to do things..

3rd Jan 2006

Three days into the new year and the first day of school, and I'm plugging myself back into the skip breakfast-drink milo-skip lunch-be hungry routine as if I'd never had a holiday.

Ah well.

In the light of the new-year-new-beginning spirit, here are the fluff resolutions for 2006:

- Lose weight.
- Earn more.
- Spend less.
- Clean room.
- Clean desk.
- Learn cooking.
- Learn housekeeping.
- Learn organization.
- Do not cut hair on a whim. Ditto to dye, rebond and highlight.

Which I hope I'll keep, sometime, somewhere.

Never been much of a person for symbolism and doing things "just because". I doubt I'll do these on a yearly timeframe, but just as and when. I live in the present.

The more serious resolutions are still being privately promulgated, and probably won't appear here. It seems my love of some privacy has not yet been lost. =)

Have a good 2006.