What a Joke.

A few days ago I was told that the people at HR (or whatever other department it is that looks into all this) say that sending people for training will “boost [staff] morale.”


Since when?! Who did the study that came up with that conclusion? Nonsense.

I’ve never heard anyone say sincerely that they’re excited or happy or eager to go for training workshops. Especially not those that last for more than a few hours. Even just a two-hour session makes most people sigh in dismay… Those that go on and on for two, three, four, five days? Those just make people drag their feet to work and silently detest the upper levels who are convinced it’s helpful.

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Old Inspirations

When I was last back home (for CNY), Mum had some of her old school books out and I flipped through them, feeling very nostalgic because I’d read the stories in them soooo many times. Some struck me more than others because I saw the pictures and remembered immediately how they made me want to draw characters like these:

A pretty fairy! (And I think it’s this one that made me draw draping sleeves like that for a long time after.)

I think this lady was supposed to be Spring. Loved the hair. And oooh, I never noticed the bunnies in the background before! :P

Side note: I’m blogging so little nowadays… Partly because I’m aware that I now teach in a place where the students half exist in the online world and for all I know they like to look up their lecturers online and might discover my blog, so it seems a bit unwise to talk too much about my job or my life. (I’m a private person and don’t really like everyone to know everything about me.) Need to watch more movies so I can talk about those – that’s a safe topic. haha

Turning 30 in Singapore

I decided that I wanted to do something really fun for my birthday for once (haven’t had a really really fun birthday in years, sadly – it’s always just “nice” or “okay”) so I took myself down to Singapore and rustled up my Singapore-based friends, who, fortunately, were nearly all available to entertain me that weekend except for Jo and Ian.

Arrived on Saturday and went to the Night Safari with Janice and Candice. It was quite fun! (Singapore’s animal-based attractions have yet to truly disappoint me. I really liked the Singapore Zoo, I thought the River Safari was interesting, and I thoroughly enjoyed the S.E.A. Aquarium on Sentosa.) Not good for photography, but still fun.

I only got two semi-decent pictures all night, and the first was this one of… I forgot what. Some sort of mountain goats?
(This was the first picture I took – at the start of the tram ride.)

We did the tram ride first, then waited for the 9.30pm Creatures of the Night show (I thought the show was just okay), after which Candice and I took the tram halfway and hopped off to explore one of the walking trails before getting back on the tram again to complete the circuit and get back to the entrance.

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KL Converge 2014 – Day 2

When I heard about KL Converge 2014 (described in The Sun’s article as a “multi-platform creative industry conference and exhibition is premised on the convergence of communications, broadcasting, digital technology and creative content like films, animation, music and drama”), I admit that I wasn’t interested until I looked at the talks available and read the speaker profiles. Words and names like “Star Wars” and “Finding Nemo” and “celebrity photographer” and “VFX” and “Hollywood” have a certain magnetism about them…

After some headache on my side, I contrived to rearrange my Thursday classes so I could attend the second day of the conference, which had the most interesting talks. The first was the one by Roger Christian, who worked on the original Star Wars and made many of the sets and props – including the lightsaber. *_*

The talk was titled “The Road to International Cinema” so I thought he wouldn’t be talking much about Star Wars. But he did :D (I guess he’s well aware of the fact that his Star Wars credentials are everything to most people…) The main point of his talk was that you should persevere in your passion and don’t give up even if you can’t “make it” in mainstream cinema.

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Geek Credit: +1

It often pays in small ways to be the geeky sort and to be teaching college-age students who are voracious consumers of the media.

One of my classes today had to form their groups for this term’s assignments and gave me group names that were just… Numbers. “One.” “Two.” “Three.” Until six. Disappointed by the lack of imagination, I said, “What?? Fine. I’ll name the groups.”

The end result was this:

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Most Amusing Conversation in Japan

When waiting for my mother to try on a dress in a department store in Kyoto…

Salesgirl, to me: 旅行ですか? (Are you on a trip?)

Me: はい、そうです。 (Ah, yes.)

Salesgirl: えぇ!わかりますか?!(Eh! You understand [Japanese]?!)

If she thought I didn’t understand Japanese, why speak to me in Japanese in the first place? lol.


Getaway Soon, Thank God.

It’ll probably be pretty hot – but not as hot as it would be if I went in late July or August. The weather forecast seems to predict quite a bit of rain in Tokyo though. I can’t decide which I’d prefer, sun or rain D: (Maybe sun… I can’t take many photos if it pours incessantly. On the other hand if it’s baking hot, I’ll just be running for shelter from the sun anyway. Gah.) I’d really like to go in autumn, winter, or spring one day…

I’ve been pretty sick the past five days. I came down with flu, fever, sore throat, and a bad cough, and then got gastric-y due to eating too little. Spent most of the last 5 days sleeping and sleeping and coughing and sleeping and being thankful that my classes now are just consultation sessions and lab tests so I don’t have to talk as much. Though I’m significantly better today, I’m still having bouts of severe coughing and some remaining tummy queasiness. Pleeeeasseee let this all go away by Friday. *looks up at God* (I’m doubly worried because on my last few trips abroad over the past few years, I fell ill without fail – I was sick on my last Japan trip 2 years ago, I was sick-ish in Wellington last year, and also in Sydney. Can’t remember if I was ill in Germany. Maybe not. I was even sick in Langkawi!! That’s not “abroad” but still. :( I don’t seem to fall sick in Singapore though… But anyway, being sick two weeks before another trip abroad makes me worry that I’ll be even more prone to falling sick on this trip >_< )

勘弁してくれよ*, germs and immune system. :(

I was thiiiiis close to wanting to just call off the trip because I’ve had endless issues with it thanks to… stuff. And teaching four overlapping terms from September until now is really tiring; I don’t know how some people do it. I’m not a naturally exuberant person and having to put on a happy face and dig up energy from nothing for so many classes can be very tiring. And to keep doing it without apparent end… @_@ I’m fairly sure that on some level this is not good for anyone’s mental health in the long run.


* 勘弁してくれよ = give me a break

A Nice Message

The education faculty students had a booth up for the past week where other students could write appreciation notes for their lecturers, and the notes were collected and delivered today – Teachers’ Day – in brown bags with an apple in each one. I got three notes, the nicest of which was this one:


I’m kinda surpised because of all the modules I teach I would have assumed the most fun was the illustration elective class, but it came from a student who is taking one of my other modules. I doubt if all the other students agree with this one student, but it’s nice to know at least one thinks the class is fun. hahah

Fb Groups Now Have Cover Pics

Since I suddenly had some free time to spare, and since I discovered that Fb groups can now have cover pics as well, I did this for my 3 degree class pages this sem:

I also decided to put the announcements into graphic form for the first two groups (didn’t have any announcements this week for the last one). Partly because I felt like it and partly because I’m convinced 50% of them don’t read announcements or reminder notices if I just type it out. So, fine then, time to put design skills to work and force them to take notice of the notices. (For now I think this works because it’s such a novelty. If I do it the whole term through they might just get too accustomed to it and ignore it anyway. Hmm. Maybe I’ll do it only occasionally…)