I can't really afford the time to write this, but I feel bad for not writing in several days, and I've got several thoughts just bursting to get out of me, so I'll sacrifice the half hour and write it anyway. Besides, those student essays I was grading have managed to irritate the hell out of me and it's best that I take a break from marking before I savage anyone else's literature grade.

The past few days have been pretty much a routine of wake up, head to work, grade essays without being distracted by the internet (though the latter has proven far too attractive, which is why I haven't worked through the pile of essays as fast as I'd hoped), come home, grade more essays, sleep. I took a break from it over the weekend, but that was because I had work to do for my Monday night IR class. The coming weekend will probably be spent likewise and will be extra unfun because I have double the amount of reading this time and a book review assignment to prepare. Whee! I'm determined to get through marking by tomorrow for that reason (40+ scripts to go).

The above paragraph is probably fairly boring to you non-teachers reading this, so I'll move on.

On Monday morning, I tried to find a quicker way to work while driving from my husband's school to mine --- and wound up on a merry adventure indeed. Those of you who aren't familiar with Singapore can skip the next paragraph; those of you who are can read on and cackle with glee at my folly.

My husband's school is at Bartley Road/Mount Vernon. My usual route is to drive straight down Bartley-Braddell, then take Lornie Road to Adam Road down to Farrer, then take a right onto Commonwealth Avenue to Ghim Moh where my school is. Last week, instead of taking Lornie Road --- which is really difficult to filter into once it's jammed --- I took Thomson Road (is that what it's called?) past Mt. Alvernia Hospital to the PIE entrance at Catholic JC, took the PIE to Adam Road and proceeded as usual from there. On Monday, I got too ambitious for my own good and wound up taking Mount Pleasant Road instead of joining the PIE, thinking it would enable me to skip the PIE slowdown and head straight for Bukit Timah Road, but I forgot that Mount Pleasant only exits on the Stevens Road side onto the PIE itself heading East, i.e. the way I would go home! So I take the PIE to Toa Payoh, turn off there and make U-turn back to take the PIE heading west (towards school), only instead of getting off at Adam Road, I decide for some whacked-out reason to take the Eng Neo exit after it instead, which put me smack at the tail-end of a jam all the way down Eng Neo to Bukit Timah Road, from which I turned to Sixth Avenue and joined a lesser jam up to Holland Road --- and finally made it to school at 8:00 am. Which is not too bad considering all the petrol I wasted.

Needless to say, from now onwards, I am resigned to driving my Bartley-Braddell-Lornie-Farrer-Commonwealth route. We do, however, set off at 6:30 am instead of 15 minutes later, because that does make a significant difference in the amount of traffic I have to contend with along the route.

Whew. I got tired just typing that.

I'm trying to think of some other exciting things to write about, but my life has been sadly excitement-less this week. What makes it slightly more stressful than it already was (and those of you who don't roleplay online can skip this paragraph) is that the Search committee I'm working on needs dragons desc'd and finished by next Wednesday, i.e. two days after my book review assignment is due. I'm leading one dragon team and working on another, and I haven't a clue where I'll squeeze time in to work things out. I suspect I'll get very little sleep this weekend.

All this work is catching up with me, you know. I was completely knackered after class today --- classes resumed and I taught the first four periods of the day, 8:00 am - 10:30 am --- and all the coffee, tea and sugar I imbibed didn't seem to help. So I took myself down to the canteen for lunch, which also failed to revive me, then went up to the staff lounge to sleep. I curled up in an armchair and had the best sleep I've had all week. Maybe that's a magic armchair. I didn't honestly think I would be able to nap effectively because the staff lounge is usually quite busy during lunchtime and there are lots of people wandering in and out, eating the lunches they bring from home, and talking on the two phones we have in there. But I leaned over and was out like a light, and when I popped awake 45 minutes later, I was more rested than when I got up this morning after 8 hours of sleep. Go figure.

So then I dutifully went back to my desk and marked some more. I thought about going home, but I seemed to have found my groove, so I plugged away at it for several hours before leaving.

I'd write about something else besides marking, but I have to confess that I've not had many deep thoughts lately. I'd like to write about my colleagues, but I don't want to turn this into a bitching forum. That's unhealthy and just Not Nice. I don't mean to imply that I have awful colleagues --- on the contrary, this school is one of the best places to teach in all of Singapore --- but some people's idiosyncrasies just get to me after a while, even though I can live with that since they're thoroughly professional folks in every other respect.

Tonight, Terz and I are going to Charlie's, which is this casual eating place at Changi Village that serves lots and lots of international beers. We get a lot of varieties in Singapore as it is, because the local ones (Tiger, Anchor and Raffles) suck rocks, but this place is par excellence in casual dining/beer-drinking and they don't charge fancy prices for it either. It makes the 45-minute drive (even from our place, and we live in the East!) worth it. We're going with some friends from his work and my work and some other miscellaneous friends --- probably ten people all in all, which is a nice number. I just hope the weather isn't ferociously hot. Charlie's has al fresco seating only, so it can get brutal if it's one of those still, airless nights. What I wouldn't give for a balmy breeze from Hawaii right now.

I fully intend to come home and finish up 15 more scripts before I go to bed. If I don't, please hit me with a big stick. I used to be so organized in college --- could do a million and one activities and still have my homework in on time --- but this whole juggling act with graduate school, peak marking season at work and Search building up to a head is really wearing me down. I guess I should've gone to grad school while I was younger and more energetic.

I'm going to post this now, then zip out to pick Terz and do the Charlie's thing. I haven't even checked my e-mail today!


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