Sunday, November 19, 2006


The climax of my working year has passed, and I'll be drifting to the year end in considerably more comfort than I have been recently. The past week has been a little bit of an exhausted blur. For the third time, my expectation of exceeding 20 classroom hours in a week have been thwarted, but only just. I taught for 19.5 hours, losing 2.5 hours to cancellations, and another half-hour to a change of day. To be honest, I was thankful for those losses on the Friday, where a scheduled 7 hours shrank to 4.5 hours. I was rather ragged at the end of those 4.5 hours.

But that is work, and with it out of the way for the time being, it is about time that I focus on the month and a third till the new year. My goals are:
  • to rekindle my walking in preparation for Trailwalker next year
  • to finish Ideas, which I have finished but for the last 130 pages and read A Brief History of Nearly Everything
  • to sharpen up my chess so that I'm at least moderately dangerous
  • to tidy up the garden around Xin's house
  • to manage my money well
  • to get back into a healthy life routine, like I was before

Fortunately, harvest time is approaching steadily for the vege garden. Lettuce has already been harvested and some small heads of broccoli have also been taken. The peas and beans are flowering beautifully and just need a hard-working kiwi bee to pollinate them.

And after our house regains its sense of order and place, I want to get back into have guests over.

Monday, November 13, 2006


Excuse my german. Today was the culmination of the last month. And I'm shattered. The presentation went off passably. There was the funny moment when the screen automatically went up half way through the presentation. It was put together largely within the last week and a half. This last 24 hours have been rather exhausting. But it's a Monday, and Mondays are the first day of the week. I'd better have a good night sleep.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Well, the week wasn't quite what I expected. The intense Monday and Tuesday left me shattered on Wednesday morning but I was saved by an unusual number of cancellations. My Friday, in particular, dropped from 6 hours to 2 hours. Although it is disappointing in that I was completely prepared for all those classes and I lose some potential income, it does give me more leeway time-wise in the coming week as I already have a class plan for all of the cancelled classes. This week is looking to be a quieter week in terms of lessons but will be the time when I'll be applying myself assiduously to the side-project.

Other auspicious developments are in my garden. There are little heads on my broccoli (I'm salivating at the prospect) as well as caterpillars on the broccoli leaves, which I left to the mercy of the neighbourhood's avian gangsters. The peas are growing onwards and upwards and one of the once small tomato plants is starting to look rather like a strapping adolescent.

After several months of nothing my volunteer work for the Volunteer Stroke Scheme finally got underway three weeks ago. Unfortunately, a lot of what I learnt has already been blown away by the gusts of work and other bits of life. I finished the course when I was still living at Mum's house!

One of the fascinating things about the stroke victims is the words that there are recurring words and phrases that come out meaninglessly. My person says'good, good, good', 'and all of a sudden' and 'buh-buh-buh-buh-buh' whenever he is trying to put a sentence. The latter was interesting because I heard one of my students at FPH says the same thing when he was searching for a chinese word for something (he is learning Chinese). It seems that some phrases just get frozen in your mouth. What words and phrases would be the words you are left with?

The sheer frustration of someone with a stroke is probably the thing that strikes one the most: How hard it can become to express yourself when something like that happens.