Sunday, March 30, 2008

We're changing the name of the cat

Now that we've had our cat for several months, we've realized that he's been misnamed. The SPCA called him Zorro on account of the furry black mask he has around his eyes. You can see half of it in the picture. However, the Zorro of movies and storybooks was full of daring-do and action. Although our cat catches more than his share of geckos and bugs, he's not full of the more famous Zorro's zip. In fact, he spends most of his day like he is in the picture -- napping. Even when he craves attention, he doesn't murmuringly mew something sweet that would cause a girl to swoon. Instead, he meows insistently and flops at our feet. This is why, we've decided that a much better name for him would be SLEEPY PUDDIN' or PUDDIN' for short.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

New position for me in 2009

I learned at work that next year I'll be given a new job in addition to my teaching. In 2009 I'll be the Materials Developer for a pre-matriculation course for Chinese (PRC) students. It's a huge undertaking because the course has 800+ classroom hours over a year and a half. As a comparison, a standard semester course has only 48 classroom hours. Fortunately, the course has been running for a number of years already so I won't have to develop everything from scratch. I'll also have 3 rather than 4 classes to teach. The pre-matriculation course begins January 2009 but I'll no doubt be very busy in November and December so those in the US can expect to see Leo and I this summer.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

I can stay in Singapore forever

I love Singapore but I was unsure if Leo and I could stay here after I finish my current contract. When I first arrived last July, rentals had begun to skyrocket. Although my work gives me a housing allowance, it only covers the cost of renting a furnished room. With the help of a real estate agent, I managed to find a nice, furnished and undervalued apartment that is affordable. Unfortunately, the apartment is far from the university so I have a 90 minute commute one-way. It was also sold to developers a few months after I moved in, which means that we would have to find a new apartment by June. I had been lucky to find the first apartment and now Leo and I had to find a new one with the same amount of money and even more expensive rentals.

A few weeks ago, I got a surprise letter from the university which increased my housing allowance by almost 75%. Such a godsend! We'll be able to pick and choose exactly what features we want. I can be near the university and Leo can have a tennis court for his work. The university will give this allowance for 9 years. By that time, we'll be able to save up enough to buy a condo.