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Site Diary Entries - 2 September to 30 December 2004

30 December 2004

(Updated from 27 December 2004)


... to the 120 000+ people who lost their lives in the earthquake in South Asia. May the world's thoughts be with those who lost their lives, and lost who lost loved ones, and may the people who have loved ones missing be reunited quickly


CBC Canada Coverage (30 Dec 2004)


UNICEF: Canada | Hong Kong

Salvation Army: Canada | Hong Kong

Red Cross: Canada | Hong Kong

CARE Canada http://www.care.ca/


The marking meter has also been downgraded to a normal post status, for removal once this is archived.


Marking Meter - Current and Imminent Marking
GenE 167 Interim Reports 100%
ECE 150 Graded Assignment 2 100%
ECE 150 Midterm Exam 100%
GenE 167 Technical Memo 100%
GenE 167 Final Report 100%
ECE 150 Graded Assignment 3 100%
ECE 150 Graded Assignment 4 100%
ECE 150 Final Exam 100%



25 December 2004

Merry Christmas everyone!!!


Hope everyone gets tons of presents!


21/22 December 2004

Somewhere over the Arctic... 8 hours into a 15h 10min flight direct from Toronto to Hong Kong (12629 km) -- Flying over the Arctic (not quite North Pole, but very close to it) at 10544m above sea level, travelling at 909 km/h.


I'm flying on board an Airbus A340, which I have to say is extremely cool - everyone gets their own little personal TV and from rows 18 and forward, you get a 110 V power outlet! Which means I've been working on my work term report for the past while and keeping myself busy with the movies (so much less boring than all the other flights I've been on). Let's see, I watched an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, an episode of "Extreme Engineering 2" (Discover Channel stuff), Bourne Supremacy, A Shark's Tale, and Princess Diaries 2, and now in the middle of Hero. Time for a few more movies before leaving this plane :P


The one piss-off is that the flight information display system mysteriously stopped working in the middle of the flight (I had to get my PTV rebooted since it froze... and it still doesn't work - and btw, it's a Linux system - I've got the photo to prove it). No worries, the flight info is still displayed on the large screens ... actually, no, they're just maybe 17 inch LCD monitors that come down from the celing.


But overall, I think this is one of the best and least boring flights I've been on... ever. It means I can get a heckuva lot of work done (wrote 5 pages of my WTR) while watching movies. It's great!


Now if only I could get into business class :P


There are also tons of empty seats on the plane... I can count maybe six of them just by putting my head up.


The scenery outside... well there is no scenery. However you do discover soon that the Arctic doesn't get too much sun in the winter. We flew north for quite a while and at 11am local time over somewhere in the arctic, there was only a small glimmer of sunlight.


Man, I also feel pretty overdressed. In Waterloo (before I came out) it was -32 degrees C, and factor in the windchill it was a bone numbing -40C. Toronto wasn't too much better, -32C with windchill when I got there 9pm on Sunday night. Last time I checked, temperature in HK was 20C -- i.e. a SIXTY degree temperature differential (counting windchill and all that). My aunt's car -- well we needed to warm it up something like 30 minutes before it would get warm enough to take gloves off.


So this morning I got up at 5am, drove to the airport, and I got there by 6:30. Flight departed at 10:00-- only about 20 minutes later than scheduled. Not bad at all.


Except for aiport security, that is. Mind you, I don't mind them being thorough, but it seemed like they were waving their metal detector batons really slowly, and that they were VERY slowly checking through baggage. It was slightly outragous seeing that it took me 25 minutes to get across... with 6 people in the line I was in.


So, in a few hours we'll be landing, and I guess by the time anyone gets to read this I'll be in Hong Kong! See ya there!


17 December 2004


Finally, after marking all 352 exams (well, a couple of questions of it) worth a total of 40 out of 200... possibly more because I marked some extra questions too. I think I may have marked 50-70 marks out of 200 depending on the exam paper that was being marked.


Boy, it's a relief. Now, packing up the place and preparing to get back to Hong Kong! See ya all there!


13 December 2004

On the home stretch!


So far I've marked 200 of the exams (out of 350-ish), and 30 assignments out of the ones I received (I still haven't counted, but this time the pile seems awfully thin)


Now I'm contemplating how to get out to Toronto. Anyone getting driven out and want to offer me a ride? I'll treat you to dinner or something ;)


But yeah, just getting ready and packing up stuff now.


MSci was an annoyingly long exam... I wrote 20 pages! But hopefully I'll get a decent mark out of it after bombing (well, sort of) the midterm. During the 40 minute mark or so, some idiot pulled the fire alarm, and I'm sure that a whole bunch of people lost their trains of thought (as well as those who probably talked with their friends and thus got a higher mark). So hopefully my thoughts weren't too affected by it. But at least we were allowed to continue. If they based my mark solely on the midterm... uggh. Rescheduling it would have sucked too.


And then there was the invigilating of the ECE 150 exam. Not the most pleasant 3 hours of my life, because I swear I was getting a headrush from keeping my head low for too long. Lots of people asked questions -- most of them intelligent thankfully, but there were the odd jackass questions that inevitably get asked. (What is this doing? How do I reference those parts of the array? No, I don't understand how to access this point, how do I access it?) -- I CAN'T ANSWER THOSE! SO STOP ASKING!


(Dave later commented that I had already made extensive comments on his exam paper, in green, as I was doing with other people who asked questions -- a lot of highlighting of words and apparently one line was underlined four distinct times)


Oh well, enough of my speil.


I'm going home for Christmas! I'll be arriving in Hong Kong on 22 Dec at about 2pm. Call me at my home phone number (I'll inform everyone of my mobile number when I get it)


Okay, better get cooking dinner :P I'm hungry


3 December 2004

Well, done the reports for a week now... but now I'm doing the ECE 150 Graded Assignment 3. So wow... that's insane.


So much has been going on for the past weeks. Studying for my MSci exam, helping others with 150... argh! One week left.


Work term almost over ... it's so shocking that I've been working 3 months already! But it's cool that I've seen so many people go from knowing (almost) nothing about programming to knowing a lot and learning.


Well, gonna go to bed. (it's acutally Thursday night)


12 November 2004

74 reports @ 30 mins / report ... = way too much marking...


9 November 2004

Insane marking in progress...


Oh, by the way, UW was ranked #1 overall in Canada! Woot. Went out to see the speech, but the pizza loving hoardes took all the pizza before the WEEF TAs had a chance to get to them. Well, some of the WEEF TAs.


Meh. Pizza isn't something I insanely like anyway :P


30 October 2004

Remember that you should set your clocks back one hour at 2:00am on 31 October! Yay, an extra hour of sleep!


25 October 2004

A late night post. I got this from one of my students in ECE 150 :D


Pretty accurate, except for the frowny face. Except for when I'm pissed off. But then again, I'm pissed off easily, especially last week when I was sleeping really little marking the GenE 167 Reports.


Nehhh... back to studying. Still, I'm pretty impressed about how accurate this drawing is... haha


23 October 2004

Finally! Finished those GenE 167 reports... all 74 of them.

Now to mark the midterm, the ECE 150 Graded Assignment 2 (handed in on Monday), the Midterm (written on Thursday night), and the Technical Memo (handed in on Friday at 5pm).


And I've also got an MSci midterm on Monday. Gotta get cracking!


17 October 2004

Man, this marking never ends.

For some reason, the past week was amazingly long even though it was the week after Thanksgiving (i.e. there was already a long weekend... so Tuesday, I think that was the first day in a long time I left before 5:30. Then Wednesday -- practice midterm. I left that day at 10pm from the university. Thursday - there was an extra help session from 7-9pm, but I ended leaving at 11:30pm. Wow, that was insane.


So lots of marking left. Hence the new "marking meter" above.


*phew* lots of work! Plus an MSci midterm the week after, and Thursday is the midterm for ECE 150. So... this coming week promises to be a lot of marking too...


2 October 2004

Capture the flag! ... except that I pulled my leg by pushing myself too hard to catch someone (I caught him though!) and a branch hit me in the face while I was chasing someone through some trees, and I slid down the hill leading from Grad House down to DP.


Baah, whatever - it was fun. We won! By default, but we won nonetheless :) Pictures of the winning team soon.



28 September 2004

So... I've been duct taped to a wall. Part of the EngWEEK competitions.


I believe that if they hadn't take me down I woulda stayed up there for aaaaages. Thankfully, a tutorial was straight afterwards, so they HAD to take me down.


Hooray for Team TA! Uhh... no, I didn't have a wedgie because the foot and arm braces held me up enough such that there was no pressure. But as soon as they cut the arm and foot braces...

So that's Strick, Geoff, Zac, Eddie, Andrew (on right) and me. Taped to the wall.




17 September 2004

jasonpang.net is the first item when searching for "Jason Pang" in Google! So cool


This was news -- I was told about this today at about 11pm, and it was so cool seeing jasonpang.net first!


So, first week as a TA was pretty neat -- been meeting lots and lots and lots of people -- and of course, getting to know everyone is a challenge. I'm in the process of trying to memorize at least 100 names by the end of next week, but this looks to be an impossibility -- i've gotten maybe about 20 names this week and actively forgetting them. For any frosh reading this website -- uh, if I haven't gotten your name down yet, please give me some time!


Office hours are anytime when I happen to be in the office, which is practically all the time.


So, work goes on. It's been a great experience so far, save for the one experience where I was arguing with a SyDE TA who thought I was frosh and tried to kick me off the podium. So now I'm well known among them because apparently I was having the "discussion" at the podium -- with the microphone on. But whatever, it's been a great week, and I'm not going to let something like that get me down!


Well... sleep beckons...


12 September 2004

"I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will fight to the death your right to say it." - Voltaire.


I think that's an important thing to keep in mind when people vote in the HK Legco General Election. While I am a registered voter, the inability for me to cast an absentee ballot upset me - after all, I am entitled to vote and most places holding elections have a mechanism for being able to vote while absent from the country. Oh well, next time. I suppose it doesn't make sense economically to allow absentee ballots - but then again, isn't that a small price to pay to allow more Hong Kong citizens to vote for who they want to govern the place they call home?


Just some thoughts on the election, and what I think is really at stake: freedom of speech, and rule of law.


Rule of law is something that has survived the 1997 handover. Thank goodness Article 23 did not pass in Legco last summer - otherwise I probably would not be able to say the preceding statement with a straight face. Article 23 is an important piece of legislation I agree, and every country has laws against sedition and subversion. However, such an important piece of legislation cannot be hidden away from the public during drafting, and must have support from everyone that this will eventually govern. Hammering through the legislation would have been a huge mistake, and I'm glad that it was stopped before any further damage was done.


One must really think about whether or not free speech is really being protected in Hong Kong. After all, the canellation of Storm in a Teacup was very shocking to me, especially since it was one of the most listened to radio shows in HK. Certainly, in any other place, nobody would ever cancel a contract prematurely - someone making so much money would be clung on to like a golden egg, and other stations would be intent on snatching up Albert Cheng. But this is not the case - and it begs the question -- why?


This doesn't seem to be an isolated incident either - other incidents of other prominent people being unable to speak up prompt fears that freedom of speech has been eroded in Hong Kong, and that we are losing our right to say what we want.


Free speech isn't something to be taken lightly. It's something that Hong Kong people have a right to and something that we must protect. At this moment in time, it's seems to me that free speech isn't being protected or valued as much as it should be. Free speech has what made Hong Kong different from the rest of China, and what allowed us to succeed under British rule.


I hope that all my fellow Hong Kong citizens vote wisely. It is our success, our freedom, our way of life at stake. The world is watching us now - to see if we really want democracy. If everyone votes, that in itself sends a message loud and clear, and would be a victory for the Hong Kong people in itself.


2 September 2004

I remember their first visit to KGV in Year 6 - leading them around the school, showing them around the KGV campus, and trying to explain what these things they were doing in Science were. "You'll learn in Year 10," was the response they got from me.


Then the first day of Year 7. Scared, nervous, shocked, tense. But hopefully, we helped them to get to know each other and lead them through the first few weeks of high school life.


Okay, maybe us peer support leaders didn't save them from ALL the horrors of high school, but at least we were able to let them laugh out at some of them. And sometimes, you had to let them fall a bit before picking them up and making sure they're okay. But it's all good, since now they're here:


Year 10. Oh, the horrors!


Of course, I'm talking about the Peer Support Classes that the Class of 2002 took through the Peer Support programme. And now they're Year 10. Three short (long, depending on how you look at it) have passed, and now it's that next step up to the dreaded GCSEs. Okay, dreaded might be pushing it, but it was a lot of work (at the time). So today was their first day.


And the year that we steered through the Year 8 Happening - now they're in Year 12 - A Levels! How time flies.


*sob* They've all grown up!

(gee, I wonder in a few years when they graduate out of KGV - what will I say then?? -- keep reading jasonpang.net to find out, i suppose!)

(And I just noticed that it's as if I was talking like a proud parent.)


Good luck to everyone on your new endeavours, whether you're at KGV, away from it at a school far, far away, going into uni, working a co-op job, etc. I wish everyone the best of luck for the coming year. And for everyone else, don't feel left out - I wish you all good luck too, in whatever you're up to at the moment .


And as for me, I'm going to enjoy the rest of my 3 week holiday until the 7th, when I have to report to work as a TA at the good(?) old(?) University of Waterloo.


Linwing: good luck in Chinese U!


(Pssst... Class of 2011 in 7H - watch out for one crazy peer support leader!)



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