got off to teaching today. there i was worrying about my first class, and when you walk in and everyone stares at you, i guess that settles it. move into gear... and just let fly.

it's amazing how catholic catholic high really is... they do say their prayer at morning assembly and do their bible readings and everything... well, but ask the boys who were sleeping if they got any of that... to me it felt a bit weird, being a catholic, i didn't realize when i was in st michael's how the other students must have felt as we were singing hymns and all, it always felt a little bit sweet to me and i think (though it brought back nostalgia) that maybe it's not such a good idea to do it in the morning. there is no harm to exposing non-christians to christianity (i mean, after all, just take it that people are telling you a story about people named jesus and john and so on, so it'll be fine. I was wondering though, why few of us people, for example, attended schools where they would teach us the hadith and Koran. By the way, I have to mention this cleric that they brought onto BBC hardtalk the other day. He was unapologetically unpolitically correct (double negative! , in the sense that his remarks were of the sort like : "oh, all britain should live under the syariah, britain is a zone of struggle because there are still unbelievers, and I refuse to condemn my Muslim brothers who blew themselves up because I would never condemn a Muslim brother). Now, I wish I knew something more about the religion, but, apart from the outrage which is to be expected from the comments (the host was exasperated, and frankly, amused, one of the few epidodes where he probably couldn't see eye to eye with the guest), what is amazing is that they brought this radical on tv, and this radical was willing to speak his views on it. Before you condemn that, you can condemn him for his views, maybe question the BBC for allowing him to broadcast them, but I really relished the opportunity to see this guy talk about his views. It shows the problem there is, that there exists all this radicalism, and before we hide behind a wall saying, oh "muslim doesn't condone this, muslim doesn't condone that", it was good to hear from someone, who is reflective of why the problems begun in the first place. Listening to the fiery rhetoric, you'll know that for every person, or 10, who has a moderate view, you'll always have such extreme views, and it would be good to know what those views are, and how to shut them up.

back to school, yes. after the initial fascination with my name (always gets them), got on with it. Now, the kids were really eager and enthusiastic. Well, there were those who would doze off (am I that boring!), but no, what I mean is I expected worse. I quaked in my shoes expecting troublemakers who would challenge me, walk out of class, make fun of my clothing etc. There's always a smart aleck in the class who mimics the difficult things you say, answers all the questions overenthusiastically. For the rest, well, it's not easy to get people to speak up individually (in a coherent manner). They love shouting out things in groups, but as 13 year olds, when you single someone out to speak they're often so goddamn shy, and they may have the damn answer in front of them but they're a bit scared, still. But really, these people are really rather bright to begin with, they'll grow bored to death (I thought) if I persisted with sticking to the syllabus would half bore them to test. I did try to fulfill my obligations (go through answers and all), but really, it wasn't capturing them, and hopefully the multimedia and my computer helped, because kids are really suckers for video and pictures (who isn't). Tried to get them to speak up as individuals, some were game, the shier ones really are still shy, and there's a lot to learn! But they're only sec 1, so cute! and when they greet you, wow really power trip xia. Haha and I didn't realize there are so many Indonesian students who study here and thankfully, they happen to be some of the brighter ones.

I watched seven swords too, after a long hard day (only 3 periods of teaching!). No before that I reached the visa centre in a fluster (the buildings are so tall in shenton way!) , I was really really on adrenaline, no lunch, and hated waiting, I tried to frighten the officer with all my documentation (see, so much paper, I can't have forgotten anything!) I thing I irritated her with my overzealousness (quick quick need to eat no sleep), and I'm not a very nice person sometimes when I'm like that.

I rushed to PS for the movie, and yeah I love listening to martial arts stories told in series of 4 words (I mean proverbs lah!) So elegant... and the horses and the landscape. No really hot chick, but when you see the hero/heroine get cosy in the depth of some snowstorm to retrieve some sacred sword you get hot in your pants and think (after a long hard dya like this, I would just so love to collapse in someone's arms). But of course in every show people get sliced to bits/die and reality sets in, but it's a happy ending. and it reminded me of the girl I met on 170 the other day. She was studying English (vocab cloze i think, it was quite amusing to see the different definitions of butt : cigarette butt, butt of jokes, which she translated as ??????, i hope the chinese works now. ) did anyone teach her what a butt was? haha. but yeah I was so moved when she saw a fellow person from hubei, and they just talked, and i thought, man this girl is a long way from home, studying english, trying to make it as whatever she wants to make it here in s'pore. and seemed so lonely, and you know, i'm a sucker for these kind of moments when people recognize each other and make it all so much bearable.

Irritable during French, not really concentrating. but it's nice people see you're visibly tired and make allowances for your sour face and ask about you. and i wrote to my cousin, and she's telling me about romania, and what she thought of her life thus far, and it did give me food for thought and i'd be lying if i wasn't influenced by what she thought. and if i could distill everything, if i could find one thing good about all this moving and everything, is that i have this feeling, now, that je ne voudrais jamais reste comme je suis. No, it's not how I want to think all the time, but it's how I feel now. A rolling stone.

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