Making my way through Asia (and grad school) one adventurous step at a time.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Adventures in Abayas...

I can tell it's the end of the semester, and I'm feeling a little more time to relax after (most of) my paperwork is done. I polished off a new book First they killed my father in less than a day. The biography of a woman who was 5 years old when Pol Pot evicted the citizens of Phnom Penh was heart-wrenching, but worthwhile reading before my trip to Cambodia.

Now, I've moved on to Price of Honour. While it's not a book I would normally pick up, it seemed to fit at this time. A few weeks ago, my cousin's husband posted a link on his facebook page to a National Post series. Maybe some of you have read it. It was a series by Danielle Crittenden, who decided to dress in conservative Islamic dress for a week. I found the articles interesting, since I've also wondered what it would be like to spend my days wearing an abaya. (After reading the articles, I think I'll stick with hoopskirts and bonnets if I have to choose.) Anyway, after reading a western woman's perspective on being veiled, I thought it would be balancing and prudent to get an insider's perspective. So far, although we haven't actually gotten to the veils yet, since I'm only in the first chapter, I feel I've learned a thing or two.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Adventures in New News...

1) Re: Adventures in Theories that Should Be Explored. December 11, 2007

Glasses don't make you dumber. The crossword puzzle was easy to finish. I was just having a plain ol' idiot moment (hour) when I couldn't find the right files.

2) Re: Adventures in the Curve Balls of Life. December 14, 2007

All seems to be well for the moment. The university has assured us that our contracts will be renewed for March, but it's unlikely any new contracts will be offered in the future. Still, a year to prepare is better than 2 months! Whew.

3) MY FRIEND LIAM GOT MARRIED TODAY!!! He and his bride both looked fantastic and radiant. It was the first church wedding I've been to in Korea, and was a really great bilingual service.

4) I think I'm coming down with my annual 'End of Semester and Merry Christmas' cold, so I'm going to make myself a cup of tea and head to bed.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Adventures in the Curve Balls of Life...

I love/d my job. I really do/did. I like/d my students, my schedule, my apartment, the campus, and the people I work with. As far as quality of life goes, my job here is pretty fantastic. That's why it came as such a shock this afternoon to find out that I won't have a job here much longer. For some reason, the powers-that-be at the university decided that the students here no longer need English Conversation classes...and canceled our entire curriculum. If the University doesn't need English conversation classes, it certainly doesn't need English conversation teachers! Anybody wish to gainfully employ a travel-hungry Canadian, and her petulant cat?

I'll let you know how things develop. I might be back in Canada-land sooner than anyone expected!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Adventures in Theories That Should Be Explored...

Hypothesis: Glasses make you look smarter, but act dumber, so your 'smart/dumb' ratio remains the same.

Anecdotal Evidence: Subject A is usually reasonably well organized when it comes to work-related matters, and meticulous in her record keeping. Subject A bought new glasses at noon today. At approximately 7:13pm, Subject A put on the new glasses to finish the days allotment of paperwork. Subject A was perplexed to find that none of the changes she had made earlier in the afternoon had been saved. Subject A assumed that she (while wearing the glasses) had forgotten to save the changes - which would be very unusual. Subject A then spent an hour re-doing the changes, saving frequently with fervent vigour. Upon completion of the days allotment of paperwork, Subject A discovered that she was working with the backup file on her PC, not the working file (where she really had saved all the earlier changes) on her flashdrive.

Conclusion: Glasses, because they suddenly make things easier to read, make your brain lazy. Your brain thinks "Hey, this is easy! Wow, I bet every thing's easy now! I'm going to take a little vacation! Those glasses are great - they can do everything!"

Applications: Subject A is going to pour herself another cup of tea, and get as far away from the computer as she can.

Further Research possibilities: Subject A is going to wear the glasses while doing her daily crossword puzzle. If she can't think of the answer to 64-down in a reasonable amount of time, the hypothesis will be supported.

Adventures in Aging...

I knew the day was coming. I've been waiting for it since grade one. Finally, after squinting my way through 300 exams, I decided it was time to get myself a pair of spectacles before I have to fill in my rosters for 300 students. I posted this picture, with a little bit of glare off the lenses, just to prove there are lenses in there. (Unlike the glasses I convinced mom to let me wear to school in grade one.)

I also got myself some new pens to fill in the rosters with. (I think the fact that the idea of new pens and fresh paper exhilarate me either means I'm a teacher at heart, or I have some issues I need to work through.)