Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Monday, May 28, 2007
Last week was a crazy end of term. Last you heard I had exam papers to mark, then it was Sports Day, then Parents' Meetings, then training days, then Thailand.
Well I got them marked in time for Parents' Meetings but they were crap so I had to go back over them and give everyone some more marks. Don't worry I maintained the integrity of the mark scheme, I only gave them extra marks if they'd written on lined paper and put their name.
Singapore is not renown for its athetic prowess and neither is our school. But it was fun in a school spirit kind of day. I was timing races, lane 6 was my lane so there was plenty of action. Then there was the blue ribbon event of the day, the Teachers' Race. It took the form of an 8, yes 8 leg relay so I decided I could run 50 metres ok. I was the fourth leg on our team and when I got the baton we were in the lead and when I passed the baton we were still in the lead. What happened afterwards was nothing to do with me. The guy on the 5th fell over because he was running round a bend. Well you know that can be tricky, especially at the high speeds he must have been running. And he does have a Jon Regis kind of build about him and not that Brendan Foster ever thought he might fall over, but the 'tight inside lane' was always a concern. So anyway, he picked himself up and carry on like the pro he is. I think we might still have been able to win, we had the PE teacher on the last leg and she was in her spikes so she was bound to be fast. She was. However the dropped baton on her changeover was not so we lost. But just to reiterate, it was not my fault.
I saw around 60 parents in one day. This was over my preferred ratio of none, but it was ok. My trick of having marks on my laptop was clever. Only one interview was less than good but I kept smiling and even said 'thank you' at the end. There was one really nice one that I had to do with a boy who was terrible at the beginning, in terms of behaviour, effort, work, everything. But by the end he was one of the best in the class, he totally turned it around. I got to tell his mum that and best of all she brought him so I got to see his face as I said it.
I picked the ADHD training, the woman taking it was brilliant. Then in the afternoon I did Video Editing. Maybe I should do video blogs now? I really wanted to do it to see what was involved so when I set projects I know if students do them on video I know what's involved (which would be not a lot!) but it was kind of fun actually, but very fidily.
So with all that last week I hardly had time to get ready for Thailand so I spent Saturday getting stuff, marking those papers again then we heard that night that Thailand maybe isn't the best place to go right now, so safety first, we're not. Sunday was spent, not packing, but calling students, writing emails and I worked on an alternate plan for the 10 days I have before I go home. I will let you know in due course no doubt but if it all comes together, it'll be good!
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Ha! Yeah right. It was with a happy heart that I palmed off my last class with a video, 'Alexander'. Dull, dull, dull. Even Hollywood struggles to make it interesting.
Anyway it's now time to switch to a subject I obviously know even less about (if that were possible); the History of Singapore.
Oh except I have 3 classes worth of exam papers first.
My cup? It runneth over.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Extra excitement because everything was wrapped up! Oooh tension!
Easter chocolates and jellies (v. tasty), a handmade card (v. pretty), spectacle wipes (v. useful), tissues (v. handy), nail buffer (v. girly), flip flops (v. essential), OK magazine (v. nice), Vaseline with SPF15 (v. indispensable) and the pièce de résistance:
A granny rain hat!
V. styling I think you'll agree! (and I'll thank you very much for not putting this as your album cover on your Bebo Stolen Photos Ross! Although, that said it might be marginally better than the one there at the moment!)
All this meant I didn't even mind having to get up at a decent time on Saturday to go to the Post Office to pick it up because it be so big it didn't fit in my mailbox. Well, as Father says, if something's worth doing, it's worth doing right!
Monday, May 14, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
But then mail merge thought it would try and play funny buggers (again) by adding 7 decimal points to selected and, indeed random, marks.
But I can tell that once again I was the victor! You can try mail merge but you will never defeat me!
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
In my defense though, I think need that extra bit of adrenaline in order to get stuff done quickly, and paradoxically, done well (well better than you'd think). If I have too much time to do things, I second guess myself and indecision prevents me from being constructive.
I just wish that I wouldn't try to work at times when it is clear I'm going to get little of any value done.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
As the class were leaving, they were talking about where they were headed to next. Without getting into specifics one of them talked about how the next teacher didn't really have control of the class and that they'd hide under desks during the lesson.
Astonished, I said 'Can you imagine if you did that here?!'
The reply? And I quote:
'They wouldn't even try, they'd be too scared!'
Monday, May 07, 2007
But the end did mean that I was able to sync and download some new music and podcasts, which I haven’t done since it started. There wasn’t even an April 07 playlist!
And for all of you worried about the memory problem, I fixed it. I am a computer genius. Ok, only in that I can search the internet and find a website that told me exactly what to do step by step.
Anyway, on May 07’s is:
- I Can’t Stop This Feeling I’ve Got – Razorlight (I think I should have just bought the album. Although I don’t like In the Morning so maybe not.)
- Signal Fire – Snow Patrol (I used to not be fussed on them, although I am definitely not fussed on Spiderman 3.)
- Home – Daughtery (This is the music that’s played when they get kicked off American Idol. Depending on who it is and whether they cry, I usually cry.)
- I Don’t Like Mondays – Boomtown Rats (I don’t either Bob. Everytime I hear this though I am reminded of the Tori Amos version that was used in the West Wing. Brilliant.)
- The Story – Brandi Carlile (This was a free download a few weeks ago, I got it, then never listened to it until I heard it again in a Grey’s Anatomy. More good TV music.)
I hope you are having a nice Bank Holiday. I told my classes today it was a Bank Holiday at home, and one boy said ‘when in Rome, Miss’.
All things considered though, I'd rather be in Belfast today. I don't know anyone in Rome for a start.
Friday, May 04, 2007
Does one handed typing increase the chances of Carpal Tunnel Sydrome because I'm using that hand more or does it decrease by half?
I spent a good portion of my time walking to the various departments I needed to be in. I walked past this one. I have no clue what this even means but must be important because it needs a hotline and two pager numbers.
Green bruise aside, is it just me or does my thumb looks deformed?
Apparently I am a typical scaphoid patient, in that the ‘break’ is not obvious, and today the doctor told me that they are 60% sure that it is not broken. Yay! But as that means it’s 40% broken, I get to wear a splint.
This be it. I’ve never seen Silence of the Lambs, but this kind of moulded plastic reminds me of it.
Getting it was actually quite cool. I was sent around to the ‘Rehabilitation Centre’. I had to wait until they were back from lunch, so sat outside for about ten minutes reading a poster about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I had spent a large portion of my day waiting outside rooms, so when they did come and open up shop I thought I knew what to expect; a little room with a bed and a roll of tissue on it.
Wrong. It was a veritable school Technology department with machines, materials, and glue guns. This is the woman melting the plastic before my very eyes.
It’s nice to have the use of my fingers but amazing how much you need to bend your wrist in order to use them, like tonight I couldn’t hold a fork. At least there’s no chance of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome while this is on. In my left hand anyway.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Isn’t funny how quickly you develop preformed sentences to answer the same general question? I have a load of them. Anything to do with my degree is answered with ‘International history, law, economics and politics’. Anything to do with last year is ‘Western North Carolina, kind of event planning an international conference.’ (Depending on the questioner they might get the added word ‘Methodist’).
Today I added to my repertoire ‘I fell on wet, muddy [this makes it sound less like they were newly formed steps that now have an imprint of my butt and I believe the mud to be the reason for the slip, not the fact they were wet] concrete steps. I landed on my butt and hand, breaking a bone here [I point to the approximate place on my right hand with my middle finger of my left]. The bone is tiny, about the size of a cashew nut, but it seems it’s quite important to thumb movement!’ [I think the uptone at the end makes it sound less serious, more like I'm laughing at the situation and that I am ready and indeed eager to move on. Or in words, 'laugh along with me why don't you? Oh you were laughing already, it's me joining you in the laughter'.] Seriously, I must have said this about thirty times today.
I am quite looking forward to tomorrow, not least because the cast is slowly crumbling (although this is fun to pick at). I blame the humidity as I have been meticulous in keeping it dry, what with my carefully selected plastic bag sans air holes and hair tie to keep the shower spray off it. I’m kind of hoping that the new one will maybe be smaller and allow my intact fingers to move. Today I must have poured three times the amount of shampoo on my head. Is it possible that I lost some nerve cells on my head in the fall? Seriously, I had no clue there was that much there. I could have slipped on the overspill and that would hurt my all too delicate tailbone.
On the upside, I am getting the chance to watch my West Wing DVDs that I brought out. This should please David, as when I return in June I can leave them for him. Although I imagine Karen will be less thrilled. Sorry.
I don’t envisage going that far this weekend. I’ve noticed a certain amount of pity in people’s faces. (Much like the time I got on hit in the face by a tree Jaime and I were trying to cut at camp. I had the biggest bruise on my chin. I decided people thought I was a victim of domestic violence, that’s what their faces said anyway). So instead I will work on a way of freeing more space on my computer. Apparently I have 364MB, which is just enough to show as a black line on the pie chart. I have gone through the rigmarole before and taken off photos and unused programs. But now it is clear it’s the music that needs to go, deleting Word and PowerPoint files will do nothing to help the situation. So if anyone has any clue how to tell iTunes that the music is now coming from an external hard drive instead of My Music without deleting it all, that’d be super. Before I do anything I need to back up a few things onto CD. It’d be a tragedy if I lost all that country music.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
After that it was time to listen to Chris Moyles. There was a story on Newsbeat about fast walkers, the fastest are in London, Belfast and Glasgow. I love Dominic Bryne, but he lied today, he said the fastest walkers were in Singapore. Lies, all lies. People here shuffle along.
Anyway, here’s a collection of photos for you, now that I have time to blog.
My new classroom display. This one will be up for a while.
The other half. I particularly like the photos on the right, although I've noticed they cause students to daydream.
The end of Chinese New Year. A sad sight, like old Chrismas trees.
The Pope was at the St. Patrick's Day Parade.
As were Storm Troopers. Not sure how they managed to get themselves invited! Who knew they were Irish?!
This man was trying to do his Tai Chi when my class, on their Geography fieldtrip, arrived at the look out post and disturbed the peace. We got dirty looks which I'm pretty sure weren't part of hid inner peace routine.
When Jud's friend was staying we got a cablecar to Sentosa.
Then we went to Raffles Hotel. A relic of auld decency and the place to go for a....
Singapore Sling. Aww, my left hand is intact.
Time for 'Ellen' now.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
I went back to hospital today because my back was so sore. But thankfully nothing else was broken. I’ve been off school the past two days, well today was a holiday anyway, but I’ll be off tomorrow again. I really don’t fancy walking up 6 flights of stairs to get to my room!
Right now it’s my tailbone (it should be noted that my pain comes from the first reason they give, not the second) that hurts the most. Sure the cast is annoying but at least it doesn’t cause me to scream when I stand up, sit down, turn over in bed, or bend down.
However the list continues to grow of things I cannot easily do with one hand:
-Scrape a plate
-Get toilet roll
-Dry my hair
-Straighten my hair
-Put my hair in any fashion ( pony tail, bun, anything)
-Cut my food with a knife
-Open a jar
-Cut an orange into quarters
-Get toothpaste on my toothbrush
-Get dressed and undressed (underwear is near impossible!)
Thankfully Clare and Derek have been providing me with a meals on wheels service so I haven’t had to try and cook. Goodness knows how I would injure myself if I had to do that!