This will be a short entry, because I'm pooped and I have little to report, as it were. I'm not sure why I'm pooped, that's the thing. I've been getting decent amounts of sleep, I haven't had to teach a class in close to three weeks, and I've been on top of my marking quota (by the way, I made a mathematical error in the old journal entry --- it's actually 250+ scripts in 16 days, not 228 in 9 days). I think it could be my growing frustration at inept student scripts, particularly when I know I reiterated certain ideas in class, and it seems that all those important ideas just flew clean out of my students' heads at some point between the lesson and the examination. Bah. I still feel misanthropic when I pick up my red pen to inflict sarcastic vengeance upon the examination scripts, but I think I got most of it out of my system yesterday.

I think what really makes me nervous is that I'm the only teacher teaching The Scarlet Letter and I'm afraid that my misplaced enthusiasm or cockiness will result in noticeably poorer results on that paper in the November examinations which will haunt me for the rest of my life and drive me further away from teaching. I probably won't be in this school come March (when examination results are released) to either bask in the glory or suffer the wrath of good or bad results respectively, but I don't want to have done a shitty job. I like the book and I don't think teaching it was a bad idea --- but that unerasably (I know that's not a word, but I can't think of a better one) Singaporean part of me still worries about examination results and school rankings and the fact that I'm currently the only local and non-white teacher teaching the Humanities programme students (it's a special programme in my school).

Of course, the true 'teacher' part of me is appalled that I'm worried about examination results when my gut feeling and casual comments I've overheard from students should assure me that teaching The Scarlet Letter was in no way a bad idea, remote as it might seem from Singapore experience. It's not remote, by the way. Singapore is intensely puritanical, minus the Bible bits. My favorite quotation from the novel that applies to Singapore is that both Puritan Boston and Singapore are "communit[ies] which owed its origin and progress, and its present state of development, not to the impulses of youth, but to the stern and tempered energies of manhood and the sombre sagacity of age; accomplishing so much, precisely because it imagined and hoped so little."

Okay, I just digressed to spend about ten minutes struggling with Dreamweaver, trying to resize frames. It's oddly not as intuitive as it sounds -- either that, or I was really going about it the long way.

I think the other reason I might be feeling pooped is 'cause I've been driving to work everyday this week. This is not normal for me. My husband usually takes the car and I get a ride with my colleague. However, her husband is currently out of town and she doesn't drive, so I've been driving instead and picking Terz from work in the afternoon (also because since my students are currently in examination mode, I don't have classes and my schedule, barring the odd invigilation of an examination, is pretty much up to me). But driving to work is taking its toll on me. Singapore drivers are horribly rude. Throw in the added stress of morning traffic and things just get worse. And I'm not even driving on any major highways! I also don't really have any alternative route that I can take to get from Terz's school to mine --- there's a big old reservoir smack in between, see, so I can't drive in a straight line or anything. And of course, I have to contend with the idiocy of parents at not just one school, but two. No wonder my I'm a grumpy old misanthrope this week.

I'm sorry if I offended any parents with that last sentence, but in my experience, any parent who's fighting rush hour traffic to get their precious kid to school --- a kid who is usually asleep in the back seat or staring catatonically into space rather than engaged in conversation with their sacrificial parent, by the way --- is going to pull all sorts of stupid stunts. Already Bad Singapore driver + morning traffic + stress of getting Hope of the Future to school = Really Bad Shit in front of schools all over the island every day. Bah.

Okay, I need to just end here and go to bed, because clearly my fatigued brain cells are taking over and this entry is going nowhere. Suffice to say that I am entrenched in marking, mildly stressed by the fact that a major online roleplay event is happening sooner than it's supposed to (and than any of us like) which means a bit more of that work next week, and hoping that my colleague's father's condition has stabilized because his family called and summoned him precipitously to the hospital this afternoon, which is generally not good.


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