What are you teaching our children?

I work at a teaching center, putting me in a position where I can easily spot the issues that plague the children who come in…

Even here at an extracurricular tutoring center, many of them don’t get the attention they need, and there are various reasons for that. They’re shy and don’t speak up, we sometimes lack a number of people to attend to the children during rush/busy hours, family/learning issues, etc. etc. The list really does go on and on.

Let me put it this way: a majority of the teachers focus on the superficial problem, instead of delving deeper into the why and how. I can’t tell you how sick I am of watching teachers simply giving answers to the children, instead of encouraging critical thinking and mapping out a solution map to serve as a guide or base for future similar issues.

Today, a girl came up to me with a few math questions she was having trouble with, and I instructed her to redo the problems on a separate sheet of paper, then bring it all up to me for me to check. I promised her that if there were further issues, we would work it out together. She followed my instructions and without working the problem out for her, I simply went over every step she wrote down and discussed the areas where she made mistakes. It’s not that hard.

She realized her mistakes quickly, and she wasn’t hesitant to ask me why and she quickly worked out the how after the second problem.

It’s not just about rereading a paragraph or redoing a problem; it’s about looking for signs, at the finer details, and asking the right questions to gently guide them in the general direction.

Right now, I’ve got only two words for you: incompetent teachers (will fuck people up).

The most important thing we’re supposed to teach them is how to find answers, and not memorize answers from old packets and transfer them onto new packets. If I were a student, I’d beg my parents to let me leave, because tedious work + uncaring teachers = all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. (In my experience, boredom seldom leads to any good.)

Sigh. Maybe I’m just too picky? Maybe it’s something we can’t ever change?

I don’t know… I don’t know, man.

Video

Love not lost

I will always tear up whenever I hear this song. Cloud Atlas is an underrated movie, and yes, I’ve put the blu-ray and soundtrack on my wishlist for Amazon, and hopefully I’ll remember to buy it before school begins, because I need this song.

Within the chorus of sadness, there is a sliver of fragile hope…

Aside

J-Pop Summit

(This post is long overdue. I will get on my knees and apologize. m(_ _)m)

They were so wrong when they said that about 5,000 people would attend the Ramen Festival in Japantown.

There was no way it was only 5,000 people. Although I felt that there were more people on Saturday than on Sunday, there was definitely more than 5,000 people in attendance. I’m assuming that a huge group of people went through the hell that is San Francisco traffic on Saturday, and didn’t want an encore on Sunday. I went both days, with different groups.

On Saturday, my dad gave me a ride after my orthodontist appointment in Cupertino. I left Cupertino at around 10:20am, and arrived in Japantown at approximately 11:40am. It actually wasn’t bad, but consider this: we were probably in SF from 11am, and it took us over 40 minutes just to get to Japantown. My dad, usually calm and composed, became rather irritated towards the end of the drive, and I was really glad that a friend offered to give me and another friend a ride on Sunday, because my dad would’ve definitely refused. (At this point, I’m not sure how willing he would be to take me back to SF for anything other than appointments.)

Saturday was rather eventless. I mean, there was a lot of people, but what my friend, Lydia, and I did was just walk around. We bought onigiri from Nijiya Market, and hogged a table near the fountain (the group of tables near the West building entrance). Oh, we had green tea and red bean ice cream, and I bought SAO 14 from Kinokuniya, but that was pretty much it. Our other group of friends finished eating, and we headed back to a friend’s house and played Super Mario Bros. on the Wii for the rest of the day (it was actually really brutal, 4p. Mario Bros was not made for 4p. We fucked each other up so bad, I think we were ready to strangle each other.) Oh, and we saw No Face from Spirited Away. And we saw someone puke. Whee.

Sunday, was interesting.

So a friend drove another friend and I to Japantown, and while the driver friend was parking, his transmission failed on him and he backed up on a motorcycle, knocking it over. We meet up with two other new friends, and then we find out that we were 30 minutes early, since most things in Japantown doesn’t open until 11am on Sundays. (By the way, we saw Itano Tomomi, and I’ve got to say, her voice is strong. It’s just, the Peace Plaza probably isn’t the best place to hold any type of concert. I don’t know if it’s just me, but maybe she wasn’t feeling well? Seems like girls in girl groups are always getting sick, so hopefully she was fine.)

We were in Maido for about… an hour? An hour and half? Not sure, but I did come out with some beautiful stationary, since the two friends who came with me will be my new penpals.

Two pads. I don't think I bought enough...

Two pads. I don’t think I bought enough…

wpid-20140720_203422.jpg

Okay, I sort of regret buying this, but it was $8, and J, a penpal since March, always send me letters written on cute stationary… I couldn’t help myself.

Then we headed over to Kinokuniya for a while, before another friend joined us. (Side note: he also took 4 years of Japanese, and is planning to take the N1 in two years! I’ll be taking it this year. Another manga + anime lover!) And my friend N, being the goddammnit-over-the-rainbow-awesome person she is, got me this without my knowing:

Sideways. Oops. Too precious!

Sideways. Oops. Too precious!

We later ate at Suzu’s downstairs, where two other friends joined us. One of them turned out to be a middle school friend, and while he couldn’t remember my name, I’m just happy that he recognized me at all. It has been over 4 years…

After 2+ hours at a tea shop in Sunset, we eventually all went home, fucking Sundays.

That was, without a doubt, one of the best days since I came back from college.

And fuck me, but I left Kinokuniya without a Pixar postcard box, and well, lets just say that I got revenge this weekend…

Aside

T-2.5 months

Can you believe it? It’s been a month and a day since I came back, which means that in 2.5 months, it’s back to fulltime schooling for me.

(And this is when people tell me that I really need to relax, because there’s so much time left, but I must say this: I’ve tried.)

This Friday marks my first day of therapy back in the Bay Area, and I’m somewhat scared. The therapists, they don’t judge you and they don’t make you do anything. But after every meeting, I always find myself locked in my mind, facing the demons who usually deep in my heart. After that’s done, I’m usually emotionally worn out for the week.

(The receptionists who scheduled my appointment for me suggested group therapy, and I am absolutely terrified that I might really be persuaded to make an appointment for one…)

There’s financial aid to be dealt with, preparations to be made, and there’s only 2.5 more months!

I actually haven’t even secured an off-campus apartment, although I’ve got a double reserved on campus. I don’t know my roommate and suitemates, and I despise living on campus (the food is so goddarn expensive, and it’s not even good most of the time), so I’ve asked an upperclassman to look out for good deals in the area.

All I want are quiet and respectful roommates who would be interested in a few rounds of Smash every now and then, and lots of cooking. Lots.

Video

Give Love

I’ve been obsessed with this song, even worse than I was with IU. (I’m so glad this is on the Xbox music app, or else I really would’ve ripped Microsoft’s throat open.)

I wish everyone a great start to the week! Smile more, because the world will smile with you.

With that said, I give my love to…. Germany!

Win that match! Help me get my money! (I may or may not have bet some money…we’ll see.)

Status

Distance

Let me go.

I’m tired of saying “I’m fine” to you when I’m really not, and don’t ask me if I’m alright when you’ve refused to allow me share my problems with you. I’m not alright, and you know it. I’m also tired of getting “Nothing” when there obviously is something. I’m not going to force you to share anything you don’t want to share, but don’t keep turning around and calling me “insensitive” when I’ve tried to be open and active in keeping you happy.

You’re right, I’m always wrong.

I will leave you, because I’m not good for any of us, never will be good enough.

This is no one’s fault; it’s a simple matter of compatibility, and ours is a single digit on a 100 scale.

I’ll not burden you any further, I promise.

Wherever you’re planning to go, I can’t follow you, and you need to understand that I wasn’t born to follow you. I am different, and it’s not my burden to change just because you want a different me. That’s not me. That’s someone else, and I honestly have no idea where he/she/it/they are/is, but I wish you the best of luck.

I don’t care anymore, because if you’re going to try to see only the parts of me that you like, then you might as well not be seeing me at all. Don’t make threats, don’t make empty promises. Just give me your blessing, and let me be happy.

You told me that you’re not into the “touchy-touchy” things, and declarations of love were never your forte, so don’t expect any of that from me. I crave touch and words, and growing up with you, who never did give me much of that, I’ve been deprived of that for too long.

You tell me that I should read your love from your actions, and that you love me through the care you give me. I can feel your love, and all the worries you have when you’re making dinner or doing laundry. But you’ve avoided discussing what I would like instead of things, food, money… and I can’t help but wonder why you always avoid the l-word, and anything close to it.

Even in the house, we walk our separate ways: I stay in my room, you stay in the living room, and father stays in your room.

When I bought my Surface, you said, “You’d better pay me back, buying so many things!” I don’t take those as jokes: if you tell me that I should pay you back, I will. I’ve heard it so many times, I now think about how much making a sandwich costs to you, and how I should pay you back.

Perhaps I’m asking too much. Too much individual time has molded me into something that you cannot comprehend, and the clay has hardened; I cannot change who I am, unless you break me.

I’m sorry I’m such a disappointment, and when I am bigger and stronger, I will not allow myself to be a burden to you. I will ensure that we’ll never cross paths, for you to never hear my silence again.

That, I can promise.

And even on rainy and stormy days, I will not be thinking of awkward silences and “could’ve”s, but listening to the gentle pitter-patter of rain and snuggling into my warm covers, glad that I allowed myself to be happy.

Either accept me for who I am, or let me go.

Leave me alone.

 

James, James Bond

Bloody hell, said M, not the smooth and quiet one, the one who barked out orders to shoot her own agents, the one with (somewhat) warm eyes and more ferocity than all of the 00s combined.

When she fell, they all held their breaths.

007 is still holding that breath.

————-

After the Skyfall incident (not the official name of course, 007 would rip them apart for that), most MI6 employees avoided Bond. Hell, even Medical would hesitate to stop the man from walking out with critical wounds. The news would travel to Tanner, who would either send Moneypenny or go down to Medical himself. In worse case situations, M himself was forced to babysit 007 into resting.

On the first anniversary of Skyfall, 007 disappeared.

No one cared much; agents needed time alone, and in 007’s case, a lot of time. Everyone expected a few weeks of absence, and M ordered 006 to stand in for 007 (“Gladly.” Ever the loyal friend, 006).

M nearly spit his drink when 007 walked in on a Friday evening, looking rather satisfied and holding (bless my soul, thought M) paperwork.

“007.” Better put the drink down.

007 gave him a slight nod, before dropping off a stack of what seemed to be a combination of reports and equipment damage forms. “M.”

Still stunned, M asked tentatively, “Christmas, 007?”

A corner of 007’s lips twitched upwards, and he replied with, “Something like that. I was… well persuaded to complete some paperwork to keep the executives satisfied. Wouldn’t want Q Branch to stop supplying me with shiny new guns, do we?”

M hummed absently and waved a hand towards the door. “Have a good evening, agent.”

“Sir.” With that said, 007 sauntered out of M’s office, and smirked at an amused Moneypenny, who was on her way to report to M.

She handed a budget report to M, and was walking -escaping- to her desk outside when M called out from behind.

“Ms. Moneypenny?” Ah, shit.

“Yes, sir?”

“Why is there an authorization from Q Branch for a DB5 when none of our current or pending missions should ever require one?”

Swallowing slightly (this was M, after all), Moneypenny turned slowly and tried her best to not grin. “That, sir, you’ll have to ask Q directly.–“

“Here for reporting, sir.” Cutting in smoothly, Q strode into the room and walked past Moneypenny, stopping in front of M’s desk. “A week earlier, 007 broke into my flat for unknown reasons and triggered some of my traps for intruders. Luckily, I was already on my way home, and deactivated the alarms before any permanent damage was done. He had minor carbon dioxide poisoning and a handful of small burns on his hands. He may or may not have guilt-tripped me into the DB5.” As an afterthought, he added, “Sir.”

M sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose, leaning back in his soft office chair. “Let me get this straight: 007 is getting a shiny new toy because he nearly died breaking into your flat.” The what’s wrong with you lot was unsaid, but Q and Moneypenny, who was trying very hard not to laugh, heard it loud and clear.

Q suppressed a yawn and said, “Yes, that’s right, sir.”

M stared at both of them for a few, long moments before dragging a hand over his face. “Understood. Dismissed.”

“Yes, sir.” Moneypenny had her lips pressed tightly together while Q just snorted lightly under his breath.

They politely closed the door, but M could catch Tanner’s choked laughter before the door clicked shut, and the sound of Bond’s leather shoes clicked softly amongst the fading footsteps.

M put his head in his hands and sighed heavily (whining is unacceptable for someone like him, and this was MI6, someone could hear).

Her Majesty’s finest, they said.

———————————————————

Don’t ask, I don’t know how this came to life, but it just happened and I am definitely not going to be writing a series anytime soon. (Better take that DC story off before I get rage mail.)

Not beta’d at all, and unless there are any glaring errors, I’m probably not going to revisit this. (If there are errors, it could be the work of Windows RT’s autocorrect.)

I still prefer Judi Dench, but it makes me giggle every time when I think that Voldemort is head of MI6 now. Voldemort.

We are so fudged.

Status

Key word: Trying

Reorganizing your sleep schedule is a painful process… at least, it is for me.

I’ve been trying my best to sleep before 10pm, and waking up at 6:30am every morning.

See, I have to leave the house by 7:30am to go to my morning class, and while showering, eating, and packing within 30 minutes is normally manageable, I am, for the lack of a better word, laggy in the mornings, and I tend to trip on nothing and burn my toast.

In an effort to not make my dad wait, and to have better sleeping habits, I’ve been sleeping earlier, and waking up earlier.

Sleeping early is actually a lot harder than I expected. I get home from work at around 7, 7:10pm, and after dinner (plus some organizing/cleaning), it’s already 8:30pm. I’ve got enough time to relax for a bit, then it’s shower time and bedtime.

No, I don’t really have weekends because I work on Saturday and do homework on both Sat. and Sun. Medical Terminology, my Wednesday night hybrid class, is turning out to be a lot of work, about 30+ pages per week.

My life is a lot more boring than most expect it to be.

Only things to look forward to next week:

  • Festival in Japantown (anyone want to meet up? J-Pop Summit, they call it, but my friends and I are going for the food)
  • ^ (Which means no work on Saturday. YAY!)
  • Friday gaming with friends
  • Orthodontist visit on Saturday morning – time to torment the dentists. (I’m joking; I really don’t do anything to them, and they’re nice people. I think.)

In about 15 minutes, I’m going to have to bike to Foster City, and I really don’t want to go to work.

But, money! Need to pay off this Surface and my bike. And my IKEA desk that cost $400. GAH. (I did some calculations, and I think if I only spend $200 this entire summer, I should have enough to pay my parents back for the three things mentioned above. Hopefully.)

Over and out!

Love and Disappointment

(I’m really glad that my auntie and uncles don’t know this site, because this is probably stuff they don’t want made public.)

My Dad’s going through a series of frustrating legal paperwork, along with his three other brothers, to sort out my grandfather’s will. My dad and his third brother was supposed to each get half of a house that my grandfather owned, but now, due to greed and bad intentions, the house is instead being split into eights.

My dad = third brother = each 3/8

The two other brothers = each 1/8

They’re having these problems because my grandfather forgot to remove my late grandmother’s name from the ownership of the house, so it’s a lot more complicated now.

This bit of news traveled to the eldest aunt on my mom’s side, and she, being frail and prone to sickness, became paranoid about it all and asked her husband to include her name in the ownership of the house.

(To elaborate, she’s scared that she’ll pass away early and he’ll marry someone else and not leave anything for their children. First, my uncle is not the type to do that, and he loves his children and wife a lot. Even if he were to find someone else if anything happened to my auntie, he’d make sure that what belongs to his children, will go to his children.)

I think if I were my uncle, my heart might’ve shattered.

Being with your spouse with over 30, 40 years and not being trust enough to leave a proper will for his darling children and grandchildren… I would’ve been cold with disappointment.

My dad made a really good comment: “If I were him, I’d just say, ‘Take it all.'”

They have each other’s hearts, but he doesn’t have her trust.