31 December 2009

What year-end surprises

On the last day of 2009, I received two official papers, one in the morning when I walked into my office and the other in the late afternoon just two minutes before I shut down my laptop and said 'see you next year' to my assistants and other colleagues.

The morning paper informs me that my proposal for an industry-university collaboration project has been approved and TWD 2 million (USD 62,000) will be granted by the University to recruit more full-time research assistants for my database construction project.

The afternoon paper confirms that my postdoctoral contract has been renewed, with a pay rise.

Taiwanese people believe that children always bring their own fortune so that parents will have necessary financial resources to raise them up. Although I was a bit disappointed when I came to know it was a boy, not a girl as I wished, well, I believe he will be a source of strength and confidence for me.

Adiós, 2009.

23 December 2009

A tight daily schedule for a weekday

It's been two months since Fanne and I moved to our new flat. In order to look after pregnant Fanne and the expected baby, I conduct my weekday life according to a strict daily schedule.

06.45 Leave my four-poster bed without any hesitation

07.00 Cook breakfast

07.20 Have breakfast with Fanne

07.45 Wash crockery, cutlery and pans, as well as clean the kitchen

08.00 Empty rubbish and recycling bins

08.20 March to my office with my chin up and shoulders back

08.50 Have a cup of Lipton Yellow Label

09.00 (a)Make simple facts more complicated in my office so that they become esoteric and understood by only a small number of people with compartmentalised and specialised academic knowledge; or

(b)Explain complicated matters in an effortless during lectures in an undemanding manner so that students will never learn know enough and I remain authoritative

14.00 Figure out if I have had lunch and, if not, feed myself and then keep working on the aforementioned task (a) or (b)

18.00 Return home in an anxious fashion

18.30 Have a cup of tea made from Taiwanese loose-leaf green tea which was brewed in the morning and left unattended during the day

18.45 Cooking dinner

20.00 Welcome Fanne back by giving her a tepid greeting, and then serve and dine with her

21.30 Wash crockery, cutlery and pans, as well as clean the kitchen, again

22.00 Embed myself firmly in the sofa, watching Japanese drama on TV and reading whatever printed publications at the same time

23.30 Shower myself with chilly water to remind myself of my existence

24.00 Call the day a day and enter my four-poster

This is my weekday life and life will go on.