Monday, August 28, 2006

It's All Coming Together

Remind me again why the school I chose just had to have too many goddamn stairs. O_o At least buildings in UP had a certain logic to them: all stairs at the corners, one flight after the next, just as all good buildings are supposed to do. Not this rabbit warren of red tiles and white stripes that turns here and there, unbelieavble corners that simply run to dead ends, and short cuts that dip here and rise there, a seemingly endless series of horizons.

Went to school earlier for lunch with Andi at the Grinning Gecko, and we agreed to hit Orchard this coming Friday, a concession to a month of behaving ourselves and not indulging in visions of shopping insanity. Thankfully, I may be able to control myself this time, having indulged myself last weekend. And besides, the projected expenses are kind of overwhelming already: I have an appointment with the eye doctor tomorrow to deal with the developing astigmatism in my left eye, and then I believe I need to get myself a cheap bookshelf already, and a TV table, and throw pillows for my floor - I eat dinner while watching TV, which means that I need something to sit on. ^_^ Thankfully, I'm already done with purchasing my books for school (finally!) - got my copy of J.M. Coetzee's Life and Times of Michael K, Merle Hodge's Crick Crack, Monkey, and Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children. I also got myself, though it's not part of the reading list, a copy of the third edition of Introduction to Literature, Criticism, and Theory, which is one of the better books of literary theory and criticism, which talks about everything there is to know about literary theory without going into jargon but at the same time, it doesn't patronize the reader. Now all I need is The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, and I'm all set. ^_^

I'm also preparing on laying the groundwork for the research papers I'm doing this term: it looks like I'll be focusing on issues in Southeast Asian young adult literature and the problem of modernity, and the historicization of speculative fiction in Southeast Asia as well - well at least that takes care of two modules; now I only have to problematize my paper in my poetry class. >_< Still, I'm already seeking initial backing for these topics, so that I can start researching already. (Remind me next time to go back to creative writing - literary studies is already the far side of the academe. Still, at least it's good that I'm getting somewhere. Always keep your eye on the goal, so they say.)

I've also signed up for a volunteer program at school, under the i.Care Program of the International Student Services arm of the Office of Student Affairs. They have this program called Conversation Exchange Corner, where English-proficient students volunteer one hour once a week to help international students practice their English oral communication skills. It's kind of cool that they actually have a program that will assist the students that need help with their spoke English, and at the same time, refrain from the program being set up as a classroom-type thing, and from becoming didactic, since the volunteers are also students as well. What really made me laugh earlier, during the briefing, was when Miss Ruth, the program coordinator, said, "...oh, and please refrain from becoming too aggressive when it comes to encouraging your Conversation Buddies to attend certain religious groups. We've already had some complaints from students who were being coerced into becoming converts to certain religions by their Conversation Peers." I love Singaporeans and their strong sense of propriety. ^_^

Sat beside a cute Australian guy earlier as well - his name is James and he's taking up his Masters in Public Policy, and he's a certified professional diver. *swoon* No wonder when we were asked to pair up and to find a Buddy whose schedule matched ours, most of the girls converged around him. Last I saw, he was handling around six or seven Buddies - all girls, all no more that perhaps seventeen years old. Talk about woah.

I, on the other hand, was partnered with a cute Vietnamese girl named Kate (well, that's her English name, anyway), whose first observation was, when I told her I was a graduate student, "You look so young! You look like a [undergraduate] senior!" Yep, I get that a lot. Especially when I'm wearing pigtails, which I am today because of the heat. Anyway, our first session is on Wednesday afternoon, which is good because I need to be in school early anyway for the class field trip. ^_^

Anyway, the week looks good. It's shaping up rather well - which I'm hoping will help get into a mad rush of writing. The Spec Fic Antho deadline is only a couple of weeks away, and I want to get something out that I can be properly proud of. ^_^

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