Monday, May 22, 2006

Art and parking. It's not all about parking. There is art too.

I went to Vince's parent/teacher conference today because this is
the last week of class before summer break. All is well with Vincent.
His sharing is better this term than last and he still can't stay in
the lines while coloring or follow dotted lines – which is OK
by me. His comprehension of Chinese is vastly improving. He has no
trouble understanding the teacher – whatever question she asks,
he understands and answers in a mix of Chinese and English. He likes
Chinese class and sits and listens carefully and seems to take in
most of it. That's great to hear since he still won't speak a word to
us. I think improved understanding of Chinese is allowing him to
interact better on the playground. All good stuffs.


I was a little worried when Vince started his nursery school that
he might get his originality squashed a bit. In Singapore, they place
a lot of emphasis on doing what the teacher says to do and following
by example. But one look at Vince's art and also comments from his
teachers confirm that his creative juices are still flowing.


In one painting, the kids were suppose to used paints and sponges
to make a painting of a house. Every painting that was hung up showed
a sun and a house in bright, bold primary colors. However, Vince's
had a blue circle in the sky and when the teacher asked him if the
sun was blue, he just replied that it wasn't the sun, it was the moon
and proceeded to mix paints and colors to make a swirly night scene.
For another lesson, they were learning the names of shapes in
Chinese, so they used cut up rectangles/squares/circles to make
another scene. The teacher again encouraged a sunny day/house scene
and you can see that all the kids followed her instructions except
Vince who made this jumble of shapes depicting, rather abstractly, a
jungle gym where all the pieces are flying everywhere.


My strengths and talents are so different from Vince's –
it's interesting to see how he does things so differently than me. I
definitely would have followed the teacher's instructions, but I
would have tried to make the “best” picture in the class
– perhaps unoriginal, but I would have made sure the sun was
placed in exactly the right place and the roof and door on the house
would be perfectly centered. Jeremy says that he's more like Vince.
How much of the teacher's instructions can you disregard and still be
within the bounds of the assignment?


Oh, and if you can stand more parking problems...


Today I had to drive downtown to get a prescription filled. The
doctor's office is right on Orchard Rd, the main street in Singapore,
where everyone goes every weekend to shop and eat. I was filled with
trepidation, even thinking that I'd take a cab from Edda's school
instead of driving, but I figured I need to slay this fear by facing
it. So I studied the map and prepared myself for battle.


Everything was fine until I got to the parking structure. I got to
the entrance OK and I saw a sign that said car lift this way!
Jeremy and I had talked the night before that there was probably
valet parking I should take advantage of that and so when I saw the
sign for the car lift I figured, Hooray!, someone's going to park my
car for me. Yah! So I pulled into the garage slowly and I saw the
elevators and a guy standing next to the car elevators and I'm
driving towards him in a friendly manner and he's gesturing wildly
pointing – go the other way! But how could I be going the wrong
way? Aren't you suppose to park my car? Then I slowly realize there
is a line to get on the car elevator, so I maneuver my big car to get
in the back of the line and I realize with a huge sinking feeling
that I'm suppose to drive the car onto the freaking elevator myself.
Ack! I don't want to get on the elevator. I want someone else to park
my car! Please help me.


DSC02961


So it's my turn to get on the elevator. I pull in. I turn off the
engine so I don't gas myself. I see the buttons on the wall. OK,
floors 4-8 are parking. Floor 4 is full, so I push floor 5. Doors
close, we rise to the 5th floor. Doors open. I drive out,
there is one parking space left near the car lift, but I don't
realize that it's the last parking space on the floor so I drive into
the garage. Behind me a Mercedes comes up the lift and takes the last
space!!! Arg. Now I'm stuck on this tiny floor with 20 parking
spaces, all full and I have to figure how to get to another floor.
Turns out, you have to back into a space in front of the lift to call
the elevator back to the floor. So after about eleventeen attempts, I
back into the space, I wait for the elevator to come, I'm hoping I
can push the button to the 8th floor, but of course, the
elevator takes me straight out to the first floor exit. Sigh.


I exit (at least my first parking attempt is free! Free! Free!)
and I circle the block and try again. No problem this time, I press
the 8th floor and the floor is relatively empty, so I
park. That's pretty much the end of the story. I got to pay $6 to
have the privilege of parking my car in the nerve wracking manner and
when I told Jeremy about it he said, “Oh cool! I've always
wanted to park in a lot like that.” Sigh, almost gave me a
heart attack. Needless to say, I got enough medication to last me for
months so hopefully I'll never have to park there again.

3 comments:

Old Donald said...

Neat. How is driving on the wrong side of the road also? :P

Rena said...

I would not bother to use car in that condition. Cab or bus is much better way to save energy and to save the enviroment as well.

Doris said...

The wrong side of the road is OK, I'm getting used to it. I do tend to drift to the right while I'm driving and when a sign says to keep left, I move to the right. Other than that, it's been OK.