the account of my DipABRSM piano performance

"Some people want it all, but I don't want nothing at all!"

It was twenty to nine and still nobody came to usher me into the exam room.

"Is the examiner here already?"

Just as I was about to peer out of the door, the lady with big hair came and asked for my program notes.

"There you go." I handed to her two copies of my program notes.

The door suddenly opens and a tall man beckons me to enter.

I entered, shook his hand, didn't quite get his name, and quickly made my way to the piano seat, adjusted the height, placed my hands on the piano.

The keys of this piano is hard.

He told me to warm up. I did a couple of nonsense playing. Warming up wasn't going to calm my nerves so I asked if I could go ahead.

"Plis du" he said.


I played.

The biggest mishap was the second Scarlatti piece, which I replayed from the beginning - with permission, of course. He graciously allowed, thankfully.

I was so close to running over to his table to grab my books! Playing from memory does help with interpretation and focus, but not when you're close to a nervous breakdown.

Fast forward to the last part of the interview.

"Is there anything else you would like to add?" asks the examiner.

"Is this a trick question?" I thought to myself. "Excuse me?" was my response.

"Oh, is there anything else you would like to say that we did not discuss earlier?"

If I started yapping again, he'd get really technical like how he got with Scriabin which left me plummeting with such great speed that even Scriabin's theosophy inspired Mysterium won't be able to handle.

"I have nothing else to say." I smiled at him but refused eye contact.

"Have a nice day then." He started leading me to the door.

I noticed a long contraption which I realized was a recording device.

"Thank you"

"Thank you"

The door closed behind me.

i took me a couple of weeks

it took me exactly a couple of weeks to realize what my students were capable of. well i did have a presumption of their writing level before i entered class, but i guess this week really confirmed all my doubts. just revamped the whole course outline. at this point i really don't know what to expect from my news writing class.

i'm finally teaching an international group this semester - composition 1. those students scare me.
the other day, i sort of 'swore' in my class. i was giving them a test, and i told them that i don't like cheaters and they get an instant F from me, i said it like this, "I don't mind effing you." Two students laughed. only two understood what effing means. I shouldn't have said it, i know. but it just shows that out of my 31 students, probably only these 2 know how to use english in a cultural context.

my piano exam is in about a month. i've been playing the songs for so many years i really hope i pass, with flying colors, god-willing.

my new canon ixus 130is SD 1400

recently purchased a camera... here are some pictures which the camera took

low light mode

miniature effect

fish eye effect

normal portrait mode


hello there

my blog posts are so randomly far apart from each other that all the post titles are "hellos." confessions yet again, teachers - we have so much to do (a truthful claim mind you) but we, like our students procrastinate too. i must say i took over three months to finally take a peek at an intensive course i taught back in my homeland (guess what i'm teaching one more in a couple of weeks... but i'll get the grading done on time this time around).

i turned 24 a couple of weeks back... had some friends over. it was sad - sad that i had to spend an hour thinking of who to invite... i want to think that i have many friends, but it seems like as the years go by, they all leave to venture out of MC/AIU, out of Thailand! just a few of us remain here - those who spend years completing (probably because of procrastinating) but also those who decide to relocate and find employment in this beautiful land of smiles (I am a prime example). the party was a blast though... and i got presents! :)

that was august

september was a drag. everyday i wished the days would fly by. there were the final projects being turned in, University QA....oh university the QA!

The QA team needed to interview faculty members to establish faculty satisfactory level as well as to have an insight into how the teaching environ is here at AIU

I was giving a final so I was a little late for the interview
Daron walks in hastily, then sits down. An old guy on the opposite end ignores him, continues speaking in Thai to the Thai faculty. He then turns his attention to Daron. Daron doesn't smile, instead maintaining an unmoved composure.

Old QA Guy: Hello
Daron: Hello
Old QA Guy: Please invite yourself! (with a wide grin)
Daron: Silence (grins back)
Old QA Guy: Invite yourself!
Daron: thinks.. invite myself?
*Mr. E [Lecturer at the psychology and education department] elbows daron and whispers: introduce yourself!!!!
Daron: [grins widely, rather foolishly] OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

looking forward for tomorrow, going to bangkok to have my piano dip mock exam with some japanese person then meeting up with the gang for some retail therapy.

another day at the office

confessions of a teacher

i have procrastinated work yet to be marked (since May)

i'm tired and overworked. yesterday, some of us teachers from the department went out for a community service teaching english to adults who never completed highschool. we arrived at the hall, waiting to receive instructions such as where we will be teaching our particular language skill... nothing for the first hour. they told us that the students would have breaks in between, but they didn't tell us when to stop and when to start... there was a schedule faxed to us, but everyone was doing stuff according to their own time. i enjoyed the food they gave to us though, at every break. my first scone wasn't that great - it had crab sticks in it. so much for telling them we were all vegetarians.

back to marking :)

Jessica Simpson flip flops!! California has such weird & nice things.


i was supposed to refill my phone today for my internet package, which i did. unfortunately, unbeknown to the fact that my internet package got canceled, i ended up topping up too much for nothing. i called dtac and asked them "why didn't you notify me that this particular package got canceled?" no response. Can you register me with another package. many responses. so now i have a lot of calling credit which i have no use for. thank goodness it expires march next year.

anyone wants me to call them? :)

never for a second

never for a second think that you have an extra second to spare... i canceled all my piano lessons today and had them postponed to thursday, needed a few hours to breath through the stress of QA, editing two newsletters, choir practice, piano practice.

my mom got my rooms new curtains, very classic look compared to my trashy room LOL yuck

can't wait for the weekend, will be at a beachhhhhh!!! woohooo!

hello hello

I can proudly say that I did not PURCHASE anything for MYSELF after my one-night trip to Bangkok. We had a little gathering at Amy's superb serviced apartment yesterday evening. Half the evening there was spent at the pool with pals Deanna and Chervie.

It's funny how people let go of themselves after a certain point in time. Some let go after marriage, some after a particular age. It's like, "Oh, I'm married, I don't have to care how I look. I'm married..."

It's almost August. Funny how time flies. The first semester will be over soon. I'll be turning 24 in about 5 weeks. I'll be 24! What did you do at your 24th birthday?

My Caricatures by ArtMindedGuy

Drawn today

Drawn circa two years ago


when you have big classrooms. you need to be oh so patient. even in situations where it is overwhelmingly appropriate for you to raise your voice and question your students, you should stop right there. turn on the hazard lights. look to your left, then your right. look under your table if necessary. make sure you don't have any demons lurking underneath it all. once you have time to recollect your thoughts, and thought long and hard on what to say to your students (we should learn from the Japanese and Koreans on how to appreciate silence), smile to your student and simply nod (in approval or whatever interpretation this paralinguistic feature calls for).

i should have done what i wrote in the above. teaching is not an easy job. it sends you crashing down at times, making you wonder what kind of a human being are you, but it also elevates you beyond cloud nine when you realize that you have changed A student.

The Week that Flew By

These pictures encapsulate not the whole week, but the three hours spent at the church preparing for tomorrow's VIP Sabbath. First up is Daniel Kopp, a German friend whom I haven't seen for quite some time (as in the whole week). I was glad to see him. He has a new hairdo. Where did he get this new hairdo from? From the same barber/salon where the two of us got our hair trimmed, he got compliments, while I got told that helicopters will be able to land on my bald head in ten years time. Next is a picture of the church's good ol' piano. Love the touch. But wish someone could tune it. I wasn't playing it the time the picture was taken. I did manage to sneak my foot in. Third is the ancient bass guitar that has been around since I got here 6 years ago. A red Yamaha with slightly rusted strings, amplified by a recently purchased Shure wireless !@##$%@ -> I don't know what they call those things. After practice, we walked back. "We" = Deanna, Ivonne, and I. Played around with our shadows. Always good to see your shadow. Would be strange if we didn't have any. Then played around with the shutter and the lights. Took a few glamor shots of my baby (second last). Finally, laid on the couch and snapping away at the fan. Really nice and useful fan, I must admit.

stop telephoning me

eh eh eh eh eh eh eh eh eh eh stop telephoning me eh eh eh eh eh eh eh
sometimes I feel like I live in Grand Central Station... The homeless would know how it feels sleeping in a train station... or probably if I contextualized it to where I am right now, it would be best to ask the guards who manually lower barricades to block off the road when a train passes by Muak Lek.

Melody and yours truly trying to look our bestest. I've thrown hotness out of my vocab. I'm trying to ditch "man" as in Yeah Man! and guys as in You Guys! I'm getting stares from fellow colleagues at my work-environment.

My Dad just returned from China, with many 'secrets' unraveled. I should go visit my relatives there one day. I may turn out to be a long lost relative of some famous emperor. To celebrate my Dad's comeback, we went out for a meal. We were at this place where a few table away from us sat a group of Farangs from MC. We were giggling away listening to them attempting to order in Thai. They managed beautifully.

Fried Fish in Coconut Milk + an assortment of herbs, woodchips and whatnot.


That was quite some time off I took from blogging. Once you start teaching, once you are bounded to restrictions and beliefs and taboos and what-nots, blogging gets pushed back to the bottom of the pile of essays you need to correct before the end of the week. I'm thankful for this job. However, I just want to say that having more than 150 essays to look at per week isn't so enjoyable (although I love teaching). You objectivity disappears by the time you correct essay #3.

The first semester is coming to an end real soon. Can't wait for my upcoming 'holidays.' Excited for this year. Will be doing lots of travel.

By the way today, after dancing a fit with Janelle in the car while waiting for her parents to come back from the market, my car refused to start. Too much Beyonce. Another thing to be grateful for is the kind hearted people of Muak Lek who willingly jumpstarted my car back to life. You probably won't get this in Bangkok, even if you do, you're heck of a lucky person.

What Goes on Before

Talent Night 2010

Media People & the Decorator


Two of my English classes had an exam each today. Students, no matter how much you prep them for something, they will always try to find a minute detail that was 'apparently' not in the prep sheet. I don't know what to make of this, I simply ignore their rants. I jogged for about 10 minutes today. It was short, but sweet and sweaty. Ran downhill to the office, then ran uphill back home. Did a little slide show for class tomorrow, read a little phonetics, played a little piano, played a little bit more piano, had snack which was a combination of PB and J (awesomeness) + yogurt + a shot of sprite + 2 spoons of ice cream. Now that I've showered I'm ready to slumber. Made myself an ice-cream float, yesterday, that is. Enough sugar for the week. I might over-indulge. Time for my eye-cool-pack for nodding off.


I slept in today. Not because I wanted to, but because I had to (couldn't sleep the night before). Woke up and there was an omelet and pancakes for me (thank God I live with my parents). Practiced piano - had my mom observe me from behind so she can scream at me every time i get tensed. Oh yes, btw, I started lessons again. I'm taking lessons from the Robinson School of Music with Ms. Erica Tang. First things first, I've got to learn how to relax and properly channel my energy to the keys.

I went for a hair cut too. Guess what the hairdresser said to me (in his broken yet legible English)
Hairdresser, "You know, in ten years a helicopter can land on your head."
Daron, "smirksgringiggles (how am I supposed to respond to that?)."

I came back, and washed the car. So what if I shed some head hair within the next decade. I won't need to find any more excuses to reveal flesh :)

Later that evening, met up with Deanna and Ivonne. We went to the Valentine's program at the tennis court. Saw some games, but got distracted by the presence of many friends. Friends. They're the greatest. Have lots of them.

wondering why i haven't been blogging?

I was saving up the hype and excitement for my new family member, MY BABY!!! :)


Not a recent photo. But it was taken not too long ago during my one week stop over at Sabah last December.

guess the pile

the marked and the unmarked.

the weekend

The light in your hand

The view from my tent

face in the sky

a jump from the waterfall.

I was gone for the weekend.

Behind the Painted Veil

Sometimes I wonder who am I hiding behind my face? Thanks Dee for the pictures :)


Sometimes I wish we could just bring our beds with us wherever we go.

fading beauty

you step out into the open and you are greeted by a yellowness strewn about on dried cropped grass

you wonder how long the color will last... until oxygen consumes its beauty



anyone remembers that story about a moth engulfed in the flames of the candle?


Day 20. I just noticed. It's January 21, shouldn't I have 21 days?

Tonight we did another take on WORDS. We did it two years ago. PERIOD. Tonight we did a much better version of words.

Featuring: The Apple and the Blackberry. Edible Technology.