Still on the face on the earth

A brief update.

NIE holidays started two weeks ago, so I’ve suffered two weeks of fully-paid work-free existence. It’s a difficult life, and it’ll remain this way until next year. I’m not sure what the hell I’ve done with all that time — my personal holiday projects haven’t gotten off the ground, I haven’t really drawn anything new, and I don’t really have that many equally-free friends to hang out with — but, yah lah, it’s been really rather enjoyable.

Let’s see. I watched a bunch of movies:

  • Wallace and Gromit: Excellent, will probably watch it again when it opens Dec 29.
  • Serenity: Excellent, pity it’s not opening here.
  • Hong Kong animated movie McDull: Absolutely freakin hilarious. I laughed so hard I actually had trouble breathing at some point… but what the hell was going on with the plot?!
  • Will be watching Potter movie tonight. It seems awfully trendy to dislike it, so yeah, it sucks giant lumpy wizardy ass.

Also, I interviewed at the old JC and was offered a place to teach there. Previously, the secondary school (I’m not naming them just in case it offends anyone in HR, but it’s really not hard to guess) had also offered to take me in, so now I’m a little torn between the two. What I’ve thought about:

  • Curriculum: The JC Physics curriculum is naturally more challenging, and hence more interesting, than the secondary school one (which I’m already quite bored by, after all these months of training). Also, the lecture-tutorial system seems a little less repetitive than teaching the same thing over and over again in class (I could be horribly wrong on this one). However, the revised JC system also means I’d be way out of my league when it comes to some of the pure Physics content in the H3 modules, such as nuclear and modern Physics.
  • Subject: I’d definitely be teaching Physics in JC. In secondary school, however, I’ve been recommended by my former Computer Science ECA teacher (who moved there from JC after Computing at that level was abolished) to help her develop the Computing syllabus there. It looks interesting enough — they learn a bunch of web design stuff early on, then move on to robotics and .NET programming. Classes for graphics and computer game programming are being developed, too. I’d spent nearly two years assisting in the introductory programming course in university, so all this sounds fun.
  • Exams: No standard nation-wide terminal exam in the secondary school. Less pressure? A school where one can aim to provide a proper education not bound to the shackles of how many A1s one can produce? (Only being mildly sarcastic here.)
  • Colleagues: I don’t really know the people in the JC department I’d be working in, but there are peers already teaching there and I’m sure I’m not the only ex-student from my year who’ll be going back to teach. I’m on pretty good terms with whatever secondary school teachers are left after so many years (wah lau, old already), and I’d feel a little bad for my old ECA teacher who seems very enthusiastic for me to take over from one teacher who’s leaving in June (in time for me to come in).
  • Students: JC kids, being older, could be less bratty and a little more interesting to teach. Also, with only two years of students, I shouldn’t have to teach across different levels, which would allow me more focus in developing my lessons.

So… yeah. Any input on the matter will be appreciated.

Also, more Chicken coming soon. Really.

3 thoughts on “Still on the face on the earth

  1. I think it’d be really challenging to start your own CS class in the sec school. But of course that depends how liberal the school admin will be in letting you formulate the syllabus. I thought CS as it was taught where we came from is wonderfully exciting and eye-opening, and it’s really worth giving these kids a taste of how empowering and intellectually stimuating it really is. Teaching them the latest and the coolest programming languages would be fun and all, but I think if you could incorporate some theory in there, that’d be great too. Like explaining how PageRank works, the concept of NP-completeness, computability etc… it really brings another dimension to the subject.

  2. Where do you want to be further down the road, say, 6 years’ time? And would anything you do now in teaching make any difference to that destination? I guess if not, then it’s just whatever’s more interesting to you. Perhaps like what DY suggests above.

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