Life Notes - April 4th, 2008

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April 4th, 2008

12:24 am
I am so late, but good Lord, I've just discovered how easy it is to incorporate Adsense into a Blogspot layout. I don't think Malaysians were proudly proclaiming their opinions with all those 35,000 blogs. I think they were grabbing money.

Doesn't matter if the total amount will only lead to several dollars and cents at most, and that advertising via blogging is on its way downhill (see, those text ads were brilliant for the first several months or so -- and once they lost focus, they became as annoying as any ad would be). Hey, boleh belanja minum kopi, ya know what I'm saying.

It's the Kacip Fatimah of the 21st Century, folks.

And call me an elitist or an idiot (aren't they one and the same?) but I'm sitting this one out, people. Money's not to be despised, but I prefer doing it with a little bit of style.

(I've got nothing against Nuffnang and Advertlets, just the scramble to get whatever bit of cash they can dish -- and that counts for [b]Adsense, too)

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02:28 pm - Teaching
1. I have a blind student
Teaching him is like learning how to see the world in different eyes. I am grading him on Hamlet entirely now, because Keats and Jean Rhys have proven to be too visual.

I watch him work with a computer, playing only with cues on a world driven by icons and their placement on the screen, working with nothing but the sound of his keyboard and voice recognition. He asks me how is it possible to play a ghost on the stage, and that is when I realize that he has no way of realizing that a ghost is played by a white sheet draped over the actor. He does not notice the ghost in Hamlet. He notices Marcellus seizing Hamlet in Act One.

Maybe James Joyce and Milton are difficult only because those with sight have never learned to see the world in a different way.

2. After three years of teaching, I think I've finally arrived at a teaching technique that works
Unfortunately, it may be a while until I start teaching literature again, especially literature at a university level.

First two years: bumbled. Had no idea what a pain grading was going to be.
After a while: focused on grading.
Third year: Learned that the most important thing about teaching is deciding how you want to grade your students from the very beginning of the semester. Set questions for students right from the beginning. Give students those questions. Direct all classes to the answering of the questions.
After: Realized that sessions became extremely one-sided, with me giving input and not much output from students. Conrad Zaar on LJ reminded me that the function of a literature classroom is not to dictate values, but to help the student examine them.
After, proposal: Possibly, give students a broad theme to work with and a body of various texts to base their essays on. Spend tutorial sessions with them by discussing the angles they have taken in their essays, and how they choose to support it.

Here's hoping that I will teach again.

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08:53 pm
I had this dream while taking a nap in the evening.

I was in a shopping mall, a place entirely white to give the illusion of being chilled, with light blue lighting. I was hungry. I was looking for a restaurant, and found one: a very upscale, expensive, and very fashionable one, which had several patrons in it (being dinnertime) and sold ice-cream in some kind of glass for alcoholic drinks. I knocked into the back of a very tall man.

The mall was so big that I needed to use a -- whatchacallit, those things in airports which are like flat escalators -- to get from one place to another. There were not many shops open, though. I woke up very shortly after, partly, I think, because I was genuinely hungry.

Waking up in the evenings always makes me think about life and its briefness. So much of our perception of reality is based on the perception of our senses, and our dreams can emulate those perceptions pretty well.

When I woke up, my housemate was preparing dinner, and outside, the sun's setting shine hit the water vapour in the air and the entire world was bathed in a glow of orange, as though we were all living in slightly dated photographs.
Current Music: Shakira, Alejandro Sanz -- La Tortura

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11:55 pm
Dear world, do you know what I am feeling right now?

I feel as if I have lost something important inside me, something that is difficult to be returned.

And that was Livejournal. It's so, so, so hard to undo a habit -- a way of life -- of more than five years. So, so hard. I really feel as if I'm cutting up a little bit of myself. Shifting from Livejournal means shifting from your set and steady audience. Even my writing quality changes. Who am I writing for now? Who am I writing to? What am I to write now? How can I write and still be true to myself, while still fulfilling that important part of writing that writers themselves do not wish to acknowledge, and that is no act of writing can be fulfilling until it finds a willing audience? I've only just received praise for my outlook into Singapore only recently; could I still be capable of producing something like that outside of Livejournal? Look at this journal! Look at my scribbles on Scribbld! I can't seem to come up with anything as brilliant (or so my readers claim). For several days before this I had felt as happy as the smiling Sugino on the Smile!Smile!Smile!Tactics! image I posted recently, but when I shifted home, suddenly, something struck me.

I felt lonely.

That, I expected. I just didn't think that loneliness impacted one's writing so much.

But thing is, I'm tired of getting screwed over by LJ over and over again, even if it isn't much. It's the small irritations. They build up. I'm tired of hearing of one next policy or another that I find wrong every few months or so. I've moved and I've come back, and then I moved and then I come back, and when I come back I find some reason to move again. I can't say that any attempt to move is permanent, but.

When I pulled up the Update page on Livejournal? I typed a little, and then stopped, because I didn't feel like going on typing. I have no idea if this is due to discontent with LJ or because I very consciously care to present good writing before a readership (and I don't have one here -- yet. I don't really want one as of yet), but I stopped, and I closed the window.

Here am I, typing, a girl on a soapbox all alone. I'll have to get used to this feeling.

Not as bad. Not as tough as people like Mistressrenet, who pulled the plug on her LJ completely and kept her word good. Ah well.

*sits on soapbox*

Edit: I'm also nervous about the poetry workshop that will happen in a few hours' time.

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