American Horror Story

One thing horror shows do to you: they introduce likeable characters who are at the same time eye candy, then they kill them off. This will, after all, keep you glued to their show.

Christmas Shopping and I

I typed in the title to this post and headed to the shower to work on my muse.

I got out of the shower. No inspiration transcended - probably too distracted shaving my neck - most feared part of my body.

Drove for two hours this morning to get to Korat for some much needed Christmas shopping. I'm already spending so much this past few months-getting back to school, looking for a place in BKK, so this Christmas shopping is totally called for. I mean, you'd still go even if you had 0 Baht left in your account, wouldn't you?

Got to The Mall Korat just as it was opening its doors. Love getting to malls early because you get to choose where you want to park.

When I got there I wasn't quite excited as I would be. The Mall looked, plain - there were no festivities, even the Christmas songs playing over the loudspeakers didn't get me into the mood. The annoying high screeching voices of Thai promoters made it even unnerving. The store where I usually bought jeans had all black/gray jeans. What happened to blue?!

Things did start looking up when I got to Boots. FCUK, again, is having a sale. Everything was buy 1 and get the 2nd 50% off. I helped myself to some FCUK toiletries. Wanted more. Decided not to.

Thought of what to get for friends, wandered into Sizzler for lunch, then went to the Export store. Came out with six clothing item, of which 2 were allegedly meant for my younger bro, but we'll see how that goes :P

Still I didn't get anything for friends. How did I end up so self-absorbed in this season when it's all about giving and sharing?

I haven't shopped for six months. That's why.

Have I Gone?

Like a moon that wanes and waxes, so is the posts on this blog. It has been quite some time since I posted anything up on this blog. I haven't totally disregarded this blog, actually I've revisited old blog posts through the many months of absence.

I will be registering to start living a double life soon. How I wish it was similar to that of Sydney Bristow's in ALIAS. For me, I'll just have to settle with being a mediocre postgraduate student, and teaching full time at the same time.

I've found a place Bangmod on a street called Pracha-Utit. It's a sports mansion, being the only accommodation outside the university area which provides actual sports facilities, albeit at the minimal side.

I'm actually very excited to begin this new venture. I do not know how I will cope with the commuting I need to do, being a student, and being a teacher. But I know I can. Perhaps blogging will help me, in a way, a place where I can vent. I'm sure I'll meet some peculiar characters as I did when I was back in graduate school and college many years back.

Well for now, I bid you adieu. But do expect more posts from me!

I

It's a quarter after 8, I'm a little bummed and I don't want to work... (sing this to the tune of Lady Antebellum's Need You Now)

It's the last day of the school break, not that we teachers had any break. I accomplished only half of what I wanted to do. Today's Friday. Bleh. Rebecca Black, your song is stuck in my head.

Clean Yourself Up

So I awarded an "F" to my student. He wanted to petition for a change of grade. How did he do it? He came into my office yesterday reeking of alcohol. He was also smoked with cigarette fumes. Way to pass college.

common question

"Daron, when are you getting married?" Is a common question I have been getting recently (playing for too many weddings in a year).

I used to get livid when someone asks me this. But I don't see the point in getting frustrated (woohooo I'm maturing :p)

The next time someone decides to ask me that question, I'll say, "Oh didn't you know? I have a wife a three kids back home."

Bare Minimum

I woke up this morning, fed my cat, prepared lunch, opened my email. Apparently I won a green card lottery. I don't remember signing up for any. I did some research on Google (just to confirm my suspicion and of course to educate myself) and found out that that if ever anyone wins a green card lottery, he or she will have to deal directly with the embassy instead of USAFIS. Bleh. Sucky scams.

I was quite surprised to find that the email listed my house number. Hmm. Probably I should start keeping my info on the internet to a bare minimum.

The Morning After Friday

The Morning After Friday.

I woke up this morning and went back to bed. When will I ever have those days when I can just laze around doing nothing, or if its too much to not do anything, then when will I ever have those days when I can just laze around reading a book.

I recently purchased (hopefully not an impulsive buy) a Samsung Galaxy Tab. The lady at the counter installed a tonne of games into it which I later deleted. I am not a big fan of games... UNTIL I STARTED ANGRY BIRDS - I have had two late nights since getting this Tab for my Bday. Bleh.

Every morning I have Angry Birds outside my window. All sorts of birds have been domesticated to frequent my backyard. Thanks to my Mom and Dr. Chew and his wife who has always intentionally stuck bananas on tree branches for the birds to eat. They're so noisy in the morning, like Angry Birds. I wish I had a pig to throw at them.

Adios

Rain rain go away

Had countless meals with friends last week.

Yesterday, I finally found my favorite Thai dish at the university cafeteria! Khao Soi! It's like laksa, but with a Thai twist. What was initially a trip for some buttermilk buns turned into a heated frenzy of slurping this spicy Northern Thai delicacy! Totally recommended :D

I'm kinda stuck in the office. It's really pouring out there. I have to run up to the music room in a bit to give a make up piano lesson to a student who has been consistently missing classes.

Grading some papers at the same time.

dumbing down

looking for the perfect evaluation tool for a large class is painful. i'm teaching a same general class for the third time in my two-year teaching stint here. my assess my students by seeing how much they can transfer what they have learned in new contexts... in other words, i'm testing similar principles but using different linguistic items

the two previous classes i taught found this type of assessment fine. it is my present class that really surprises me. perhaps it is because the two other classes before have been with me since they started their beginning course in general english. this third group is new to me. they've had two different teachers prior to me. and the ways the other two different teacher used were different... actually the first one is similar to how i teach, very communicative and in line with the direct method, the second teacher, however, did a lot of grammar translation with a direct method twist... making the students prone to memorize instead of understand.

i spoke to my supervisor, and she advised me to go ahead and drill them more, perhaps considering dropping creative language output from the students' side.

i've never taught in this fashion before. i am going to go ahead with it. i learned chinese with this method many years ago. bleh.

Who's Got Your Back?

A group of students came into the office today to share their concerns with me. They were unable to follow the classroom's progress. I asked them whether I spoke to fast. They told me that I spoke slow enough, but it would probably help if I wrote what I spoke on the whiteboard. I agreed to that.

They added that the previous class (I'm teaching the second level of an English class) handled tests very differently from what I am currently doing. They would have had a similar practice, or rather a mock test before the actual test. In other words, they were being drilled and prepared for the impending evaluation. I've never thought of doing that before for my personal opinions regarding tests. But maybe this is a 'wake-up' call to rethink of my teaching/evaluation strategies.

I'm glad the students came to see me. At least they came to tell me the problems they face at the very beginning of the semester. Rather than waiting till the end of the semester for me to find out only after they have completed the evaluation.

Teachers, we're the ones who have to watch out for our own backs.

Lantana Hotel, Pattaya for Fiona's Bday

Last weekend a group of us went down to Pattaya to celebrate Fiona's birthday. We've been doing okay so far in birthday celebrations. It all began with sisters Deanna and Fiona's birthday last year. This year we did a big one for Deanna and Big Mama, and for Fiona, we actually left Bangkok! The next birthday would probably be a trip outside of Thailand :)
The Birthday Girl, Fiona, wore matching purple earrings :)
The awesome bed. It was still rather hard. I found out only after doing a jump and diving straight into it. I sometimes forget that I'm skin and bones ... and fart.
Old School Telephone still works!
The room was nicely furnished. Though the walls were a little too creepy green, the hotel definitely bumped the standard of the things you find in here. We thought we got an ipad too (look at the black folder thingy on the vanity). Roy was amazed at how silent the hairdryer was. Plus, everything in the minibar was free! It should be anyways, it's 4000 Baht per room (we got a good deal though :P)
The bathroom. You could actually see the outline of the person inside. I wasn't too excited about this. Especially when someone stood in front of me while i was seated on the throne doing my business.
Not a lamp I'd die to have but something I would like to see in my room :)
Some random stools I thought you'd find in Loft or Propaganda.
I think we were on the good side of Pattaya. It was less trashy and perhaps due to the major hotel chains on this stretch, there were less third-raters roaming the streets. There were still some though. In the evening while walking to Fiona's third surprise (she's so lucky she had three!) A farang walked by us and a lady boy marched him/herself up to him and started grabbing him all over. Plain disgusting. Pattaya is like someone's dream which went awry. Like the pyramids that were built to withstand the sands of time but ended up being swallowed by the element it is in.

Vientiane Kitchen & Sweet Dreams at Lub'D

My Taiwanese friend Bill paid me a visit a couple of weeks ago. He flew in from Australia while his girlfriend flew in from Taiwan. Since they wanted the authentic Thai experience, I, with the recommendation from my friend, brought them to Vientiane Kitchen.

From what I gather from comments posted online, this establishment has been around for quite some time now. They did mention that if you wanted to try Thai-cooked seafood, this is the place to be.

Located at Sukhumvit 36, this quaint restaurant is about a 10-minute walk from the Thong Lor BTS. It is behind a new apartment building. This wooden structure does give you a feel of how it is like in the Isaan area. As with many other Thai restaurants (even here in Muak Lek) they had a tree growing within the restaurant which had decorations dangling off from its branches and bark.

Since I don't take seafood, I had a plate of Kau Pat Kai which was excellent. Coming from Malaysia, we prefer fried rice which still retains the taste of the wok. Vientiane Kitchen really blew me away with the rice. I read in their website that they have live music and dance. I was a little worried if the syncopated Thai Luk Thung would batter our ear drums. However, I was rest assured with the band's choice of traditional music, one of the many was performed using bamboo instruments. Back in Sabah we call these Sompoton, they're basically brass-like instruments made of bamboo.

Just before we left, the dancer emerged. She was graceful and was very friendly to us when we left the restaurant.

My stay in the evening was at Siam Square's Lub'D. My friend and I have been wanting to stay at this place for a long time now. We discovered this chique-backpacker-boutique hotel a couple of years back. At that time they only had the one in Silom. This new one at Siam Square was recently opened.

It is conveniently located at the National Stadium BTS. Checking-in went smoothly. I did notice at the front desk that even the hotel patrons were allowed behind the desk, where all the money are kept... or perhaps one of the ladies behind the counter was dating a farang hulk.

The room was really cute. I don't know how else to describe it. What I found interesting, aside from having to shower in a communal bathroom, is how other restaurants/shops advertise themselves in the room.

I was fortunate to get a 50% off from the original price, which was 1800 Baht. Despite the modernity seen through the design and layout of the premises, I don't think I'll see myself coming back here. Unless it is with a group of friends and a whole bunch of us rent out the whole dorm. For that price, I would rather stay at my regular 24Inn and have my own bathroom. My stay there was nice. It was rather noisy after midnight, though, with all the 'backpackers' hanging out at the lounge 3 floors below me. Yes, it was THAT loud. Plus, the early wake up call from the construction site right next door and the election campaign happening right at National Stadium. Not forgetting Starbucks who mixed my order up and did not give me my decaf caramel macchiato.



24Inn

If you find yourself looking for a place to crash in Phrom Phong Bangkok, look no further!

24Inn is a boutique hotel conveniently located steps away from the Phrom Phong BTS and the Emporium Shopping Mall. I've stayed here twice, once in December 2010 and another time in March. Phrom Phong is an area where you would bump mostly into Koreans and Japanese. Perhaps the concept of this hotel came from the two major expatriate groups in this area: small, convenient, and cool... like the capsule hotels in Japan :P

The reception service has been great (the times I've been there). Even for a small hotel, there was a bellboy who came to bring my bags to my room. I tipped him, of course, with my dashing smile and a note of 20 Baht.

The bed is awesome, there is a safe in the room, there is a tub with a huge rain showerhead. There is cable TV with Chinese, Hindi, and English as well as Thai channels. During my two stays at the hotel, I didn't hear the traffic noises from the streets outside nor did I hear anything from the passing sky trains. This, you will experience only if you pick the superior rooms, as I did (1500 Baht a night). The standard room faces the street. I've never stayed in these rooms so I'm not sure how high the noise level is (room costs between 1200 - 1300 Baht).

There is a huge variety of food available around this area. As mentioned, Emporium is right next door. If you're craving for Starbucks or something along that line, there are many restaurants in Emporium, from Greyhound to Burger King. There is a 24-hour Subway across the street. All you need to do is get on the BTS Phrom Phong Station and exit to the other side of the road (if you're scared to dart across Bangkok streets). There are also pushcarts and hawkers right outside Emporium and 24Inn. Right next to 24Inn is a 7-Eleven. There are also a couple of bars along Subway, Dubliners, Robin Hood. Along this stretch, you would also find a second hand bookstore: Elite Bookstore. They have recently renovated their space and the books look more stable now (I've entered the store once and tipped over a tall stack of books).


Absurdities

Frog Porridge anyone. Saw this billboard somewhere in Damai while on my trip back to Sabah last May.

Absurdities.

Absurdities is when you walk to your office, and you see two students trying to open the main door to the faculty on a Sunday. They know it's a non-working day. There are no lights in the faculty building. It becomes even more absurd as I approached them:

Daron: Hello, can I help you with something?
Girls: We want to send our homework (in Thai)
Daron: To which teacher do you need to send your homework to?
Girls: Mr. Somporn
Daron: Oh, his office is not here, it's at MC Mart
Girls: Oh, do you have the key to his office?
Daron: !@#$!%^%^&$%&$^?????????????

My face was a mixture of perplexity and suspicion.

Absurdities is realizing that that the radiator is leaking - two months after you sent the car in for an engine overhaul and a new radiator. It becomes more absurd because we don't drive the car regularly.

Absurdities is when my neighbor's male cat comes to harass my Milky Way (my female cat), not knowing the Milky Way has been spayed.

Hats in my Wardrobe

This is my hat collection.

1. The Straw Hat: I bought this back in 2008 before leaving for Australia. There was a market fair of some sort in between Siam Discovery and Siam Paragon.
2. Brown Fedora: I bought this last year May at a J.C. Penny in Cali.
3. Brown-checked Cap/Messenger Hat: My mom got this from me while holidaying in Kunming, China.
4. White Cap/Messenger Hat: Weekly purchase from the forever-on-sale Cotton at Jesmond Shopping Center, Newcastle, AUS.
5. Black Cap/Messenger Hat: Got this from Burlington Coat Factory, Cali.
6. Black Fedora: Given to me as a gift prior to leaving Aus for Thailand.
7. Black and white-checked Cap/Messenger Hat: Bought this from an H&M, Cali.
8. Kungsri Ayuddhya Cap: Stole this from my Dad.

approaches and methods

it's interesting how we try our best to have exact definitions. in today's class we were talking about the differences between approaches and methods. i had a whole load of answers for that thanks to the textbook. then my student asked me, what is the difference between objectives and goals, and what about aims? i couldn't come up with a good explanation. i simply said they mean the same.

stephen krashen defines acquisition and learning differently. someone should come up with specific definitions for goals/aims/objectives

i was pretty stoked with how my nursing classes went this week. we talked about the phrasal verb, 'used to.' i decided to speak really slow in class and they did understand more. i started doing this for my international classes as well. hopefully they will learn better.

a friend of mine recently said to me that i've been blogging for the longest time. i actually HAVE been blogging for the longest time, ever since my moving away from malaysia to thailand.

i was just quickly browsing through the posts looking for a long lost picture... and saw that i've been quite profane in some of the posts. i was pondering whether or not to delete them... just in case some deranged student comes after me... i hope they would cut me some slack...i was once young too and i think i am allowed to be crazy :)

some special photos

fun facts: did u know that the during the first three years of college, i highlighted and dyed my hair orange, purple, and brown?

i think i look cute here with my blue camouflage

replaceable

I love my job despite the amount of stress it entails. Especially the next few days before our faculty submits our QA reports.

i am a little freaked out at the moment. i am replaceable. i've never been jobless. how does it feel being jobless?

two rhapsodies

I always have an inclination to perceive rhapsodies as songs which are happy and exciting. Brahms' opus 79 is definitely none of adjectives mentioned. Agitated and stormy describe it better. My first piano lesson, after a six-month hiatus, was an interesting one. I've got an Indonesian teacher this time, he's a new teacher who recently joined our faculty. My previous teacher had returned to New York and have since relocated to Arizona to be a full time mom.

I've had three piano teachers before this and I must say that this is the most expressive one, which really did push me over the edge to do better. At one point, while teaching me about weights and touch, he suddenly dropped his arm on the piano. I try to be reserved when I'm at work or in class, so I did the same but ten times less energy... more like a shy and controlled drop of my arms, which the teacher disapproved. He promptly lifted my arm, told me to play dead, and dropped it hand-down (i guess face-down wouldn't work here) on the keyboard. (I was apologizing to the piano in my heart).

That was what happened this afternoon. The morning was a different story. My favorite class for this semester is the 4-student Development of Language Teaching Methods class. We've only had four classes but I know this will be my favorite due to the small number of students :P (all my other classes consist of 30 or more students). One remark that one of my student made, in response to my discussion of linguistic awareness, was that Americans are smarter. I did ask him to repeat what he said to confirm the statement he had made. He did. I tried not to be angry and asked him to explain why. He then went on to mention that some of the missionaries that he knew and some of the university faculty on campus knew how to speak more than one language.

I don't think 'smart' is the correct word to use. Many Asians can speak more than one language. The student who made that statement speaks three. It seems the notion that the farangs know better is still very widespread not only in Thailand, but in Burma as well (this student comes from Burma). I, of course, am not making a generalization. I do believe that there are those who view everyone as equally capable beings. This reminds me of a statement made at a conference I recently attended, where the speaker mentioned that the Thais need to be educated to not simply hire a farang backpacker off the roads of Khao San.

summer time

the sun keeps creeping in earlier than the day before.

i did my run this morning under the full glare from the eye of the sky... there were less joggers on the tracks this morning but it seemed like the neighborhood dogs have gathered for a quite important discussion.

thinking of how i should go about the day. i'm not quite sure if the materials i have for my 11 am class would interest the students. i'm having my first piano lesson again in 6 months!

read a chapter from luke today. lesson learned today: don't test god. that has been a struggle.

new day of the semester

getting sick on the first day of school isn't fun.

i've been unwell for the past few days and today was the worst. probably due to not being able to sleep the night before. i did go to my classes, only to quickly drive back home to lay my exhausted body on the bed. the doctor said i'm too tired and hadn't had time to recuperate (jumping straight into school) i was charged a hefty amount for consultation and the meds... my mom bought the same meds i got from the pharmacy for about 1/8 of the price i paid

only in thailand can u easily get medication over the counter.

nothing beats delayed flights and rudy customers

i've had to bear with long flights but nothing beats my recent trip back to thailand. what was supposed to take about 7 hours turned into a 24 hour nightmare.

i left home at 2:00 pm

the first leg of my journey started it all. i was on a flight bound for KL. halfway into the flight, the plane had to return to KK. there was a pregnant woman who was experiencing some complications. to top that off, there was a severe storm which left the plane rattling and the cabin pressure drop erratically. in kk, stupid passengers couldn't stop themselves staring at the lady in pain, they even took pictures, with flash

i got to KL at 9:30 pm, thinking i still have enough time for my 10:10 pm flight to bkk. however, my bag took forever to appear on the carousel.

once i got the bag, i went to talk to an airasia staff, who directed me to a counter, which was empty. i went to sales, i lined up, a malay lady with a hijab who was behind me, walked up to me and asked if she could go first, i rolled my eyes at her, ignored her and went straight to the counter, the sales guy directed me to an unmanned service counter at R68, then i went to the domestic departure gate which had an airasia staff who told me to return at 3:30 am.

i went to starbucks had the largest mocha caramel (decaf of course) and sat there for an hour, decided to go to the air asia hotel after some coaxing from my friend. got to the hotel, and it was fully booked, went back to the terminal and tried to sleep like everyone else, but how could you in a 24 hour airport with passengers coming through, music playing, renovations going on...

at 3:00 i went to the service counter, stood there for a bit, then went back to the seats, went back to the counter again at 4:00 and another lady joined me. a math teacher who was so surprised to find out that i am working in thailand. finally a dude appeared at the service counter at 5.

got the third flight out to bangkok... meant i had about 5 hours to burn. went back to sleep. woke up an hour later, self checked in, went to starbucks again, and checked my baggage in...

after much waiting, i finally left, that was after a 20 minute delay to my flight, yet again. the plane landed at 1:05, but i got out of the terminal at about 1:30, a little part of my bag broke, got into the trainlink, and made it to v. monument, just to miss my 2:00 van. went to pizza company and had pasta, chicken wings and a huge pizza. left at 3:00, and there was a van leaving!!!!

got back home at 5:30 pm

Land Below the Wind

I wonder why Sabah is called Land Below the Wind. Is it because the wind of progress totally misses its point - blowing above the land instead of blowing through it?

I've been back in my tanah air for the past week. It's been a pleasant trip I would say, the most pleasant was me taking the van down to KK - which I haven't done since High School 8 years ago. I walked the waterfront area of KK, stopping by malls and taking pictures.

One of the highlights was me stopping by at Tong Hing, an upscale supermarket at the end of Gaya Street. As I walked into the premise, the guard stopped me and asked me in Malay, "Boy what do you want?" I was flabbergasted, quiet. I pointed into the store and he retorted, "Oh, I thought you were going to go upstairs."

creak*

my favorite things #2

packing and going on a trip!!! will be in bangkok for a applied linguistics seminar! then off for a weekend partay for d's bday bash

my favorite things #1

weekly updates with my cousin in japan. :)

shall i propose to you

writing a research proposal is very much the same like thinking of the most romantic/persuasive way to propose to someone. first you've got to determine the best time to propose - a period where research in the particular field which you are interested in is "hot," then you have to actually write your research proposal - think of words which will convince your partner to say "yes!" This you'll have to do with literature review and research methods and the significance of the research and the duration - which all equates to how long you've been dating, what you will do to be a better partner, why the two of you should be married, and how long you two plan to be married??!?!?! ahaha

if the research supervisor a.k.a. your future partner likes you then you're ready to go.

lost in sathorn

i was lost for 40 minutes in sathorn trying to look for the malaysian embassy. i had just finished scouring for books at the Thailand Book Foundation where I got a couple of free books for the office.

After I left the foundation, I made my way to silom with my GPS, I was walking and walking... the GPS telling me where to go. I'm pretty sure the GPS gave me the correct directions, but I was the one who was beginning to get confused. I ended up at some shopping mall where I saw Daiso. The Daiso I've been looking for about five years now. I had a huge "Ahah!" moment when I saw the store. Despite that, I don't remember coming to Silom, but I must have if I was in the store :)

Anyhows, I got tired of wandering around trying to figure out where Sathorn road is. I finally decided to take the MRT (Subway) to Lumphini... for 15 baht. I should've just took the subway when I got to the station, instead of walking around like a lost puppy. I got to the Lumphini station in less than five minutes and in about ten minutes I was signing in to enter the Malaysian embassy. So, I went straight to the counter, the lady looked at my copies and told me that I had to provide my own photocopies. I told her I came here to do the same thing and your office did the photocopying for me, and I'm paying 200 baht per copy anyway so what's the problem now? she said no, we have to photocopy the docs ourselves, she pointed out where to photocopy so i went there, did the photocopying. I hurried back to the embassy, and went straight to the counter, and there was another lady attending to attending to us. She looked at our docs and started telling me that the office only certifies documents which are issued by the government, which in my case would be only my passport. I think my exasperation was obvious as cynical smile was starting to form. I told her again that I got these same documents certified at this embassy before, to which she did not have a reply. She just told me that for my thai docs i need to go to some thai office, and i can get my australian docs certified next door at the aussie embassy. i said fine whatever. then she smiled at me... and said, do you want us to certify you passport? it's 200 baht each you know? since you want 2 copies it'll be 400 baht. At that time, I wanted to give her a piece of my mind, i came to the embassy wanting to certify 12 copies of transcripts, diplomas, and my TOEFL result and she is asking me whether i had enough dough in my pantry?!?!?!?!??!?!??!?!??!?!?!?

I got my docs certified and went to the australian embassy next door.

Rigorous security check, i went to the third floor of the very nice ozzy embassy, the carpet was so soft!!! only to find out that to certify true copies would cost 930 baht. I left.

I'm gonna do it in KK in May during my holidays.

april

it's been quite some time since i blogged. much has happened since the last post. wait. oh. nothing much happened since the last post.

was at a pre-wedding party last night. i drove a pick up truck and a van last night. something hit the wall i won't mention what but if u follow my twitter you would be able to tell.

bronxzoocobra is hilarious...

one more day for the last summer session. i'm excited for that.

going to koh samui first week of may, so i better start working out to look awesome for that trip.

fundamentals of speech

first day of classes are the hardest... as a teacher you have got to sell it

first day of speech did go quite well, except for some of the confusion between sections... i could see that some of the students had the "why am i taking this boring class" face. one of them even came up to me and asked to drop, i signed without hesitation, only to find out later that she was dropping because she had taken the class back in high school... there you go, high school pride, still shadowing their first day of uni. sad? i don't know, i hope she doesn't kick herself for dropping, this IS a five-week course, and it is rare that we offer this speech class in five weeks = five weeks - getting over something you dislike so quick is a blessing, in my opinion.

can't wait for the weekend...WILL BE IN BANGKOK WOOHOOOO!!!!

grade defense and animals around the house

this morning when i opened my curtains i saw my cat bringing in a dead bird, i told my mom and dad and my mom quickly went out to take pictures

just last week seyha brought an injured owl to dr chew but he wasn't in, so he came over to show us the owl. don't worry we didn't feed the cat to the owl.

grade defense tomorrow, it's so funny how we pop by each office to ask if the grades are ready... i took comfort in knowing that some of my colleagues' grades aren't done - this means all of us can plead with our boss for an extension :P


the end of 2010-2011

this weekend marked the end of the 2010-2011 academic school year. i've been teaching at this university for four semesters now! summer session will be starting in two days and i'll be teaching speech, please sign up! :)

we just had the last leg of the graduation weekend. comparing this year's graduation with previous ones, i dare say that all the services began ON TIME! time management has really improved this time around.

as usual , i played the piano... gave students rhythm to walk to while they march in with their regalia and heads held high... probably not so high because if they did have their heads held high they would have seen me nodding at them, trying to get them in sync with the rhythm of the music i was playing... man they marched in so slow i was actually complaining aloud - loud enough for the rest of the faculty behind me to hear and snicker away....

one of the graduate's family came and her brothers stayed with me over the weekend...her older brother was my senior at college years back when i was doing my undergrad... he's a budget hotel owner now and a budding entrepreneur... he left a gun with me (those air guns...fake won't kill unless u load them with metal bullets...dunnolah...)

anyways, here are some pictures from the grad... these are all perspectives from the piano (sound so intelligent and sophisticated kan...HAHA)

graduands being attentive

this is the yamaha i play

us faculty members can have fun too u know!

a department group picture (i'm second on the right)



:p

i will never ride a roller coaster

toast

so yesterday i sat for my toefl.

after the exam, what did i do? shopping of course!

i bought a suit (yipee!) which unfortunately needs some alteration (boohooo!). the only place i could find a suit that fit me perfectly was at H&M... i would travel to the nearest H&M outlet if given a chance (the nearest is in HK~*)

before i went on my shopping spree, my parents and i went to eat at sizzler's. the watermelon shake was a let-down (this was at future park). so far, the only sizzler's which can serve a decent watermelon shake is at major ekamai. go there for watermelon shake. we ordered our food but our butter toast never came!! it never came!!! fortunately, they were serving spinach soup at the salad bar so that kept my mouth shut. i did give them some trouble when i paid at the counter...i was asking, "why didn't my toast come?" "tum mai kanoompang mai ma?" the lady was like, "really really? jing jing?!?? i can get them for you now!"

of course, i said, it's okay...mai mee pen ha.... pls okay pls.


today i gave my second last final exam. english composition 1. funny how just the previous day i was tested in english and today i was testing 30 people for english composition 1.



i'm gonna go make some more music on my piano :)

beware of the deceitful tongue

i had a shocking revelation today. i didn't have an epiphany. rather, there was bad news. it so bad it made me mad.

i've got this friend who has been hanging out with another person who has a really REALLY clever mouth. this other person is well versed, garnering him many adoring fans.

but my friend, who has been in awe of this other person, has taken it a little too far.

basically he destroyed his own reputation that he has built here.

what a waste.

pic fix

they brought sheep to the Christmas Party last year

but this poor sheep got left behind :(

the remains of the mosquito i killed

guess what i saw at Tesco Lotus: Sabah Vegetable!

for those who do not know, Sabah Vegetable is the super delicious sayur manis

cute cat keeping me company at Sifa restaurant

libel

sabah culture is really interesting. we have a mix of different races. a steady migration into the land below the wind has been seen for the past decades.

some nationalists/conservatives may observe this as a threat to the locals. i'm sure this phenomenon is affecting sabah in one way or another. one 'effect' which i am really interested in is how language is changing.

language. a tool for communication. a physical act which we use to channel our opinions. sabah may be experiencing a language shift, but we can't say for sure until proper statistics are published. shifting to the more dominant language: malay, makes it easier for people to communicate. for people to communicate facts. for people to communicate hearsays/rumors/fibs/bullsugar.

i think if i were to list down ONE factor which causes me to not want to return to sabah, is the misuse of language to misrepresent a person. i wish i could sue sabah for libel.

vday

happy vday everyone!

today i celebrated vday by giving a final exam to my news writing students.

yay