Tuesdays are toughest

PSY607 Advanced Stats class

Aside: Apologies for the earlier protected post. Something happened last night where a few of us ended up being unintended victims. I’m not posting it publically so that the purportrator doesn’t get any more attention than he/she deserves.

The day started off at the campus StarBucks where I bumped into a Singaporean friend getting his morning fix. He asked if I was planning to go anywhere during the winter break and I replied indicating that I was planning to visit San Francisco for the Macworld Expo. “Macworld?”, he asked, obviously puzzled what it was about. “It’s the annual pilgrimage we geeks make to pay respects to the Lord “Steve Jobs” and to restore our spiritual Apple faith,” I calmly responded, without breaking a single sweat. Little did I know that there were more ears tuning to our general direction than we realized, affirmed only by muffled chuckling around the coffee shop.

Trouble started to rear its ugly head once he mentioned he had four exams on one day and how he was having difficulty moving their dates around. While some professors gave him a flat out NO, one of them actually told him that since he knew the exam date in advance, he could simply study ahead of time! Makes sense, though it seems to me that my friend really intended to have the “pain” dispersed rather than altogether on one day. 9.27am and by this time, I had to run for my first class of the day…

An unintentionally funny professor, a confusing mash-up of formulas and an overly caffinated student (me) made for a very “exciting” time in Advanced Statistics class this Tuesday morning. Thinking about the mindblowing class happening 7pm later that night didn’t help with my lunchtime appetite either. The only solace I have, believe it or not, is work. Work at the Educational Technology Center is about the best thing next to butter.

If I have to feel a sense of pride on a tiresome Tuesday, it had to be the fact that I’m making a difference here at the ETC. I really enjoy what I do here, which includes reviewing new technology for educational use, producing instructional guides for using various hardware/software and working with faculty in building interesting projects. Best of all, I seem to garner respect for what I do and how I do it. The staff seem to love me and the faculty (at least most of them) seem to like working with me. Right next to me is my colleague Chris Barr, a media artist of the AvailableOnThursday fame and one whom I constantly banter with on new project ideas. He’s always working on something new, which spurs me to challenge myself with online community projects of my own.

In any case, since you’ve made the effort of reading this post thus far, I’m letting you in on a little something I’ve been working on. It’s not done, but I think it’s fairly useful if you want to find out how Singaporeans in America are doing. It’s called what.isthereason and I’d like you to have the first look. Carpe Diem everyone!

8 thoughts on “Tuesdays are toughest

  1. Great Job there on the conglomerate site!!

    In view of the growing network, I shall brush up on my Singlish, Hokkien, Bahasa, Teochew, etc and smoothly incorporate the English language into my entries. Attempts to educate my Eurasian children Singlish have failed miserably. They can’t even grasp the concept of “lah” in their conversations. Very poor thing. Have to rely on TalkingCock for me singlish fix.

  2. That’s an interesting case MaverickMerlion… maybe we could start a podcast teaching people how to speak Singlish, or you could have your kids listen to the ever popular Mr Brown Podcast. 🙂

  3. What a contridiction to our (at least mine) Singapore upbringing, where Singlish was discouraged. Prim and proper English was emphasized instead. What would my past English teachers think of this undertaking.

  4. Do note that Singlish is a defining characteristic of Singaporeans. For economic reasons, we are taught proper English, which makes sense. Still, it doesn’t mean that we can’t keep both modes of English close to our heart. If we’re re-learning Singlish, it is really to remember our roots! 🙂

  5. Aiya…bad english as our roots?
    I beg to defer on that thought.
    Singlish probably brings something familiar to a transplant. Especially being away for an EXTENDED period of time from other Singaporeans (or non-Americans for the matter).

  6. Dear merlion, my friend, you’ve been brainwashed to think Singlish as bad. There is not such thing as a good or bad language per say, just as no one has the right to say English is the best language in the world and everyone should speak it. You’re right to say it does bring something familiar back to us living abroad, but it’s utility extends to an efficient combination of languages back home, including English, Malay and Chinese. In fact, I think it’s more like a native dialect, just like Hokkien in China and Cantonese in Hong Kong. I kind of embrace it because when I go home to Singapore and I speak in Singlish, I feel uniquely at home. 😛

  7. Obviously we are of a different generation. (hahaha)
    I dont know which primary or secondary school you attended.
    In my golden days, Singlish was highly discouraged in schools and at home. In those days, Singlish was considered improper language then, things must be different now.

    Sheesh I feel really old.

  8. No, we’re not. Singlish is still discouraged by the government through our education system. TV programmes like the Ra Ra Show and Under One Roof had to cut down on the Singlish as well. What I am talking about here is deciding on your own what’s truly right. It is understandable for the government to deem Singlish as bad since it would be more attractive for other countries to do business with if everyone here spoke good English. That’s an economic justification. Culturally speaking though, Singlish is very much our own language, which when spoken, is a strong identifier of our Singaporean-ness.

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