Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Brought To You By The Letter "M"

'M' is for Mission completed - Master Assignment

I can finally heaved a sigh of relief and show the sign of victory when I am typing this blog ( Sorry got to wipe off the silly grin on the face) After a couple of months (actually effectively about 3 intense weeks) of serious trepidation, perpiration and constipation, my "master"piece is finally ready. It is high time actually. Got to rush it before the deadline of 1 July 2004 to Sheffield. Thank God for email and the DHL!

A colleague once told me about his experience ( make a guess who he is? *grin*) He made a scathing attack on pseudo academics like me and claim that writing an essay is just copying from one book to another and of course adding references, no big deal about it. When I sought his professional advice, he shared a "painful' experience where he wrote an essay on "Jazz Music" which he claimed without using any reference and all "in his own words", he got a D. I laughed so loudly that I almost fell off the chair, though I have to save my work before I actually do that. Anyway it is quite a relief, now I will just have to wait for my next study school in september to start... and then the whole thing starts again argh....

'M' is for Maths

The holidays assignments was a huge disappointment.. only a handful from the classes handed in completed work. It is upsetting to say the least that there were some who can give me all sorts of excuses for not doing them. I must say that so far the girls had been dong their work and I hope my benevolence in giving them an extension will ensure that the assignments will be handed up.

Much of the following article was written some months back and was relegated to the deepest darkest recesses of my hard disk. It complained, it cried and it howled as it dragged its ball and chain. Actually I forgot all about it until I had the chance to relate this story to some people I know. Looks like the story isn't the only thing that has been gathering the proverbial dust... Expect a proverbial ending.

'M' is for Money and Madness

If you haven't already noticed, the world has gone mad. Why would you pay a lot of money to sip a tiny cup of coffee that takes forever to prepare (ironically called an espresso, you know, as in express-o), take it out of a perfectly good air-con environment only to sit in the humid heat of Singapore and get an overdose of cigarette smoke ?

You could get the coffee (by some other but no less colourful names) at a local kopi tiam! The coffee would be so black that it would sneer at the text on this page. It would be so strong that it would walk across the table and slap you on the face before jumping back into the glass! There would be more in the glass at a fraction of the cost and you could do things in a kopi tiam you wouldn't be caught dead doing elsewhere, e.g. pouring the coffee into a saucer and hitching your leg up on the seat. If you had a white singlet on, you could roll it up above your belly. And it's al fresco some more!

I am also reminded of a billboard outside an eatery along Orchard Road that offered a healthy lunch of salad for $20 al fresco. Hmm, charge a lot for very little and prevent you from sitting in the restaurant... a very good idea indeed. Speaking of good ideas, some "clown" had a good one recently.

'M' is for Mrrors on Reflection

As a teacher, I had the opportunity to interact with colleagues and students, and to share with them the highs and lows that life had to offer. Although as a result of me writng my essay for my master, I am literally facing the computer every day and night. With computers you generally don't get the fickleness that is life but they do have a way of being "human". They can ignore you (hang), get sick (virus infection) or put you on a guilt trip like a woman (error messages you don't understand and make you feel that you have done something wrong). Now that I have the attention of both sexes, allow me to lead you back to the main story...

I think being "away" from people for the last few days (my mind was on my essay anyway... it is another person u see in class teaching the students :P ) has made me more aware of the way people behave. (Either that or I am misanthropic and just critical of people in general.) It may seem strange but look at it this way: you often have to walk away from a problem to gain a new perspective on it. This is akin to the way the proverbial guru sits atop a mountain so as to gain pearls of wisdom even though he is miles away from the sea of humanity. You don't have to be part of something to be able to identify with it. This may seem contradictory but that is the logic behind why Roman Catholic priests can counsel married couples on relationship problems and also why we need not smoke/take drugs to know that they are filthy habits. I consider myself an interested observer of humanity and while some of what I see saddens or frightens me, there are things that amuse and intrigue me. What follows is a bittersweet episode.

I was on a bus enroute to Orchard Road from my home to the National Institute of Education ( Now at the unearthy place near the tip of tuas!). I ventured to the back of the bus in an effort to exorcise the "ghost" that lives there. Apparently the other passengers thought I was not an effective talisman and stayed away. However, there were two youngsters seated below me (I was standing) who were oblivious to the "ghost", to me and to the rest of the world. The girl sat by the window while the guy was right underneath my nose. Speaking as loud as he did, it was difficult not to hear what he said even though I was plugged in to my favourite MD player. The guy was telling the girl about a relationship he had in his "younger days" (:P I imagined him hitting on the pink bundle in the next crib at Kadang Kerbau Hospital!). He had the annoying habit of starting every other sentence with "And then, after that, after that...". You might think I am exaggerating but I actually took note that he did! It was my way of amusing myself on an otherwise uneventful journey. Or so I thought.

I forgot about him after a while despite his Jackie-Collins-meets-Days-of-Our-Lives type narration but he was not to be ignored. He decided to comb his dyed-brown hair with floppy centre-parting (a la Leonardo diCaprio). He lovingly stroked and combed his hair while continuing with his story. And he did so while using the backside of an audio CD as a mirror! When he finally put the CD away, he turned to his companion and asked her if she had a real mirror. When she asked him why his CD wouldn't do, he replied that it wasn't shiny enough! She offered him a tiny mirror in a lipstick case. So out came the orange comb again and he began moving the mirror this way and that as the bus swayed to and fro. In my opinion, his hair didn't look any better or worse for the treatment. But it must have been comforting for him. It was comforting for me when he finally stopped. It was even more comforting when he did not proceed to carry out other forms of personal grooming in public.

So what's the deal here? What meal am I going to make out of Mr/Ms "Annoy-mous" simply leaving not-so-flattering remarks on the tagboard? Force them to watch "William Hung in action" on vcd with their eyes wide open until they screamed for mercy? To be continued... check back soon. [cue: cheesy music)

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