An eventful Saturday

Sat Oct 08 2016

I woke up at 8:30 a.m. today and did a bit of Problem Set 4 in CS50. Then I went to teach the C4C P5 class (Dylan, Gao Hong, Audrey and Gillian). Last week, I taught them lessons 1 and 2 (the input and print command) and this week I taught Python Turtle.

I have reproduced my message to the C4C P5 group here, as it nicely sums up how the lesson went:

image posted by zhengyang

just to add a bit of context to Zheng Yang's post, and a post-mortem of today's lesson:

I have been teaching them Python for two weeks now according to my curriculum. Last week they learned four main things:

  • the print() function,
  • the concept of variables,
  • taking user input with input() and
  • type conversion.

We spent the first ~45 minutes of the day on recapping those four things. Then we moved on to the next lesson, which is drawing with Python's turtle module.

The kids were all able to grasp the concept of the turtle very quickly— this bolsters my confidence in Turtle as a teaching tool. And the photo by Zheng Yang is the Chinese character 易 done by Audrey and Gillian. I think it is very nice.

Overall, all the lesson objectives were met and I was pleased with the progress of the lesson. Audrey, Gillian and Dylan were focused and well-behaved, Gao Hong not so much (but still relatively tractable). I would like especially to commend Dylan, who went to the library to borrow a book about Python programming on his own accord! Very pleased with his interest and I feel that given his young age, he will be an accomplished coder very soon as long as we continue to stoke his interest and challenge him. Maybe it's not too early to think about his DSA.... 😂

One last thing —thanks to Zhen Yang and Poe for coming today. I hope to see all you guys again next week!

I met Mrs Hauw after the lesson. She had approached me earlier this week to offer me an internship at Iglobe once I finish NS. She said on Telegram that the internship would take about 6-8 months and I expressed this concern to her. Whereupon she said "Since when I said 6-8 months? I told you Yau Xuan interned for 6 months, you only need to do 4 months"...which was weird.

I had some other concerns but she waved them aside... I told her that I had to apply for scholarships whereupon she said "Aiya your scholarship need to apply full time meh?" or something along those lines. She mentioned that she had already received applications from undergraduates. I asked her how I would represent skills that are non-credentialed (i.e. basically all programming skills) and she said that it will show in the interview. I then asked "Then do I have to do the interview?" and she smiled and said "I already interviewed you already what."

She gave me some more tips about writing the CV and told me that "there's no such thing as modesty" when I said that I was reluctant to put non-credentialed skills on my CV.

If I have read her correctly (and I could be wrong...) she is basically saying that the CV is a mere formality and she already wants me for the job. But either way I have to write a CV and make it a good one since this CV isn't just for this internship application, it's for all subsequent applications so best to bite the bullet and do it now.

I feel like I have a strong focus right now--tech, and teaching tech. I am fortunate to have free rein over what I can teach the kids. That gives me an advantage over others who may not be as focused in their CIP. But more on strategic CV writing in a later post.

After C4C and the meeting with Mrs Hauw I went to the gym with Chew (Delta Gym) and both Chew and I failed all our lifts. It wasn't even a good fail it was a totally embarassing fail... like 2 reps and can't push any more kind of fail. Meh.

The joosy part

Here is when the really joosy part comes in. So after gym we called up Nauxiy and asked him to join us for dinner. We agreed to meet at Star Vista.

At Buona MRT, while we were taking the escalator down, Chew pointed out to me an old Indian man who looked like he was stuck on the escalator. From what we could see, because he kept moving backward, it looked like his leg was stuck in the escalator! I quickly ran down only to see the guy walking backwards, barefoot, like it was the most normal thing in the world. He was facing the "right" way (that is, the normal way) but walking backwards. I must confess that I was completely taken aback as I had no fucking idea what he was doing and I just stood there not knowing what to do... until some guy came behind me and pulled the man off the escalator. One uncle asked him "Are you drunk?" and he mumbled, grinning, yes I am very drunk. Thank you very much. The uncle asked him to take the stairs and I watched him climb up the stairs barefoot (his slippers were upstairs with another Indian man, his friend probably).

Until now I still don't know what he was trying to

I had actually thought of pulling the Indian man off the escalator but I was afraid that he would stumble and fall and really get something caught in the escalator. I think this shows that my decision-making capability needs work though I had no idea that he was drunk as I haven't met many inebriated people before. Maybe if I had known I would have acted faster. As it was I just stood there like a fucking idiot lol.

The even joosier part

Then the even joosier part. We went to EighteenChefs (the Western food place run by an ex-convict that specially hires ex-convicts to give them a second chance). The food there was quite affordable. There was this NSF promotion where baked cheese rice is only like 7.50 and it tasted pretty good.

There was this large group of students (I think eight or ten people) who were seated opposite us. I had my eye on a thick one (hehehe). We were discussing whether they were poly or uni students but anyway they finished and left.

The waiter, this short guy with big round glasses and a full sleeve on his left arm, went to separate the tables and clean up. I saw him take a phone from the chair and grin as he walked away. I made a throwaway remark "lol the waiter just took someone's phone". I didn't think anything of it as I assumed that he was just taking it for safekeeping.

After like ten or fifteen minutes Thick and Thin came in looking very anxious. They asked the waiter whether he had seen Thick's phone and the waiter put on a very concerned face and said no, whereupon he started putting up a big show looking for the phone under the table and asking them to call the phone. His wayang was so good they should have given him golden horse! In fact it was so good that I was gaslighted. Although I had definitely seen him take the phone I became not so sure. But nonetheless I walked up to them after the waiter had left to presumably look for the phone and asked them "You guys are looking for your phone right?" and told them "I'm pretty sure I saw one of the staff take your phone" whereupon they asked me, quite naturally, who was the staff member. Again although I was quite sure it was that guy, I was i) gaslighted and ii) did not want to accuse someone wrongly so I said that I wasn't sure.

Then because I was so gaslighted I actually went back to my table and asked the gang whether I had actually seen the phone being taken? And thank god I had made that throwaway remark earlier because they confirmed that I had did indeed said that and something as specific as "the waiter took a phone" is quite reliable.

After five to ten minutes of what must be unadulterated panic felt by the girls, they managed to get a hold of the manager who told them that he would go and check the CCTV. After he went in he came out, returned the phone, and told them that the phone was found outside but to give them their phone number as he wanted to conduct an "investigation". I wasn't smart enough to read the subtext but someone told me that the manager said "outside" to safeguard the reputation of the restaurant and in actual fact (of course) it was found in the grubby pockets of that fuckin thief. Thus vindicated by this fact, I felt secure enough to tell Thick and Thin that I was pretty sure that it was that waiter who took the phone. (And apparently Nauxiy said that the waiter gave our table a really dirty look). The girls thanked me and left. Nauxiy finished his waffle and we left. 江山易改,本性难移!

What could I have done better?

I'm in two minds about this incident. On the one hand, I think that I handled it okay compared to the drunken Indian man incident. But maybe I could have handled it better? I played it too conservative and Bayesian and kept saying that I wasn't sure who the waiter was. But maybe I should have just walked up to the waiter and told him something alpha like "brother, I saw you take the phone, give it to us there's no need to call police". (And also I could have walked with them more all the way to help them solve the incident instead of returning to my table). After all, it was a public place, I was bigger than him and wearing a singlet. But of course these are things that are really l'esprit de l'escalier... you fantasise about how you would have done it in the cool and ALPHA way but in the real world when it happens you're bo ji and do it the humji way, very 婉转!! And this 婉转 way definitely caused the girls some unnecessary anguish. So I have to train myself to be a more alpha man and don't be afraid of confrontation like a pussy.

I think that is the takeaway.

The other thing (and this one I think it's a real pity) is that I didn't get Thick's number 😂😂. We were joking about it on the train like "since the manager asked for her number you should've asked for her number too" but more and more I'm thinking that maybe I should have done that... hahaha. After all you did a good deed so that's social proof that you're a Good Person so why not capitalise on the fact that you did her a huge favour and she has a good impression of you to get to know her better right??? Of course (as nauxiy rightly pointed out) that diminishes the goodness of the Good Deed but fuck it, I don't live to do good deeds but we literally live to get our dicks wet.

Also like neither of them thought Thick was chio so again i was mocked for my low standards and unorthodox taste. But there was a very cute girl wearing a white dress and a choker (apparently that's very hot to the two of them) and we all agreed that she was chio.

Anyway, that was my eventful Saturday.