My First Presentation

Today I (jm) went back to the British school I visited last week with my boss to give a presentation about going to college in the US.  It was fine, but I think the only person who was really interested was the guidance counselor.  I did get the usual few questions about scholarships, which was to be expected, but I never know what to say when people ask about sports scholarships.  I assume that they’re pretty hard to get in the States, and that it would be even more difficult if you were halfway around the world where various coaches couldn’t come watch you play.  I also made a very silly mistake- I handed out this glossy magazine/brochure thingy to the kids before I started talking.  Not good.  That meant that there were lots of whooshing sounds while I was trying to talk as everyone browsed through it instead of listening.  But they were still much better behaved than all the kids I taught last year in New Haven.

I think the most fun part of the day was the trip.  First off, I got picked up at home by the driver our office uses (yes, that probably will be the only time in my life that I get to write that I got picked up by a driver), and we didn’t even hit traffic.  The school is in a really pretty area with lots of foliage around, so it was neat driving out there in the early morning when all the mist was still hanging around.  It reminded me of when we went to Borobodur, except that my glasses didn’t fog up when I got out of the car (it was slightly less humid).   Last week we took a detour on the way to the school to drop off the boss of the office, so I got to see a different route this time. (As an aside, it’s very funny here how all the Malays at the office call him "boss". Not "the boss", or his name, just "boss".  I like when I overhear conversations that go something like this: "Where’s boss?"  "I don’t know. Has anyone seen boss?"  "Oh yeah, boss is at a meeting.")  On the way back, I saw a very interesting cemetary.  We were going by it pretty fast, but I think I saw some Chinese characters on some of the tombs.  It occured to me that I’ve never seen a foreign cemetary (except in Europe, which doesn’t count).  It was one of the most colorful places I’ve ever seen, with monuments painted green, blue, orange, and red.  It was much more attractive that the usual lines of drab, grey stones in the US.  We also passed a Land Rover dealer on one of the main streets, not noteworthy in itself, but they did have this crazy, nearly vertical concrete ramp which almost looked like it was meant for rock climbers.  They must drive the cars up so that they can show off how "rugged" they are.  Great, so you can buy it and drive it off the lot onto the major highway around the corner.