Something to consider, given the circumstances

28 10 2009

Erica Jong once wrote, “Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.”

As I’m sitting at my desk staring at my dissertation, which is nearly but not quite finished, I am depressed by this thought especially given everything that’s been happening recently. Why is life so contradictory?



Mere observations for now – written earlier

25 10 2009

I’m in Beijing for the weekend for a professional development workshop. Although I’m not a counsellor of any sort, I’ve learned a lot about how to counsel students in a specific, solution-as opposed to a problem-based way. Counselling is fascinating: establishing trust with students (the “clients”) and guiding them towards finding answers for themselves is enormous.

As I’m writing this, I just overheard a snippet of a conversation between the counsellor in front of me. The snippet was, “That’s what she said!”

Hahahahha! I mean, I by no means endorse jokes or funny, well-timed interjections of that phrase, but that was high-larious!


The workshop has been really interesting, is all I’m trying to say. I’m just surprised by the observation that so many teachers in international schools around Asia move around so much. Sure, there are people who stay in the same school for years and years, but they are more of an exception rather than the rule. How I envy the freedom of moving around like that. I wonder whether I would ever be at that place myself. Maybe in the future.

But the question is, do I want to continue in the field I’ve chosen?

We’re driving through the suburbs now. The houses are incredible – it’s like this is not China at all. Although it’s hardly surprising.

The workshop was good all around and I learned a lot about focusing on the solution rather than the problem. On the one hand it makes complete sense, but on the other, it’s hard to establish that mentality as so much of it is ultimately relational when it’s a student and teacher talking.

I was able to get it into practice a little last week though, and will be sharing about this with the other teachers during a faculty meeting at some point. Ahh, it could be so good to have all teachers equipped with skills for counselling.

Formal observation tomorrow

22 10 2009

It’s my first formal observation tomorrow since first joining this school going on 2 years ago. It’s been a learning curve and a half as I’ve got used to a totally different style of teaching than I was used to (for 3 whole years), and learned more about the value of presence and authenticity over action (at times). That being said, I’m nervous and excited about tomorrow’s lesson all at once as it’s going to be critiqued (what on earth is Bloom’s taxonomy, anyway?;)) and it’s my Advanced Composition during the last block of the day, which could go somewhat wrong… but then again, the topic is one that is interesting to me: family stories.

The premise is that we all recall a relative whose actions have somehow been significant to us. We all recall how the person did the thing they’re famous for (it’s the one thing that every one returns to during gatherings like Chinese New Year or Christmas, and which causes embarassment for the active party, and general merriment and high hilarity for the spectators), what happened, who was there, and just why we recall it even now.

So, as an example, I’ll be talking about my brother and what our childhood was like. In particular, and episode from when he was in primary school, and my mum had just had about 8 inches of her hair cut off. His first words to her, after having hidden from, were, “Mummy, you so ugly!”

Ahhh, the memories. I’m looking back on this particular story with no small amount of nostalgia, given what our relationship has been like over the past 3 years now…

On another note, I’m heading to Beijing for a weekend workshop on ‘brief counselling’. I have no idea what to expect, although I am looking forward to it quite a bit.

Impending heartbreak

18 10 2009

He said today that he’s more of a burden to everyone, and I told him that he was wrong but I can’t help but think that he’s giving up. I can’t think what I will do when that happens: I will not.

There are so many things worrying me right now, but I cannot think of this; I cannot prepare myself for the inevitable. I cannot.

I know nothing about cars

14 10 2009

I was on my way to work when 2nd gear broke down for me. I drove the whole way in 3rd and may have killed my car as a result. It’s at the garage, recuperating… I suck.


To completely change the subject, I can’t wait until this dissertation is over and done with. What I could do is really work on it, instead of procrastinating and blogging about how much I want it to be over. Instead, I spent 4 hours this evening with a friend, playing with her son and generally just catching up. 4 HOURS. It was good though; I’m getting close to forgetting what it’s like to have friends that aren’t a decade younger than me.

I have to admit though that I’m starting to feel a little guilty about not blogging on a somewhat-regular basis. Of all the semi-resolutions I made at the beginning of the year, this is the only one that I’m even moderately working on. What is the deal about resolutions that they’re so easily abandoned? What is the point of them?

Obviously these questions are more rhetorical than anything; I just can’t understand myself sometimes.

And then there’s the irrational mood-swings I’ve been having lately. If I were older, I’d just use menopause as an excuse. But of course I don’t even have that. Jeeez.

Ticking away…

5 10 2009

For a while, my baby clock has been ticking.

Actually, I reckon it all started when a colleague who had been assigned to be my mentor became pregnant with her first child after literally years of trying. Around that time, I started to notice people’s babies, and started to secretly coo over chubby cheeks, pudgy thighs, and those somewhat ridiculous things people call “onesies.”


The worst thing is just how… cute they are. I can visualise the warmth of the little body that would go into the onesie, all snug and comfy, and then I just about melt inside. I do what every woman does upon seeing a tiny baby: I coo.

Yes, that’s right. I coo. I go, “Awwwwwww…?” – with the rising intonation that implies, how precious!

And I don’t even know why.

I’m a little scared.