April 15, 2003

Bulk view

Personal stuff

This is, after all, my journal. Not a strictly utilitarian and
informative blog, but rather a site where the usual M-x remember’d
stuff might find itself interrupted by a cat story or, in this case, a
lot of mumbling…

Sleep. I should probably sleep.

Employment stress

My mom and I had a somewhat stressful discussion about the vagueness
of my employment. To wit: I know that I am going to teach, but I
don’t know under what terms or even how much I’ll earn. (Whoever goes
into teaching for the money is nuts, but it would help to know how
much rent I can afford!)

I guess what stresses me out is the fact that at 10:37 PM in the
evening, I can’t do anything to improve the situation, and all these
questions are making my department seem so bad. The CS department is
really nice (although a bit disorganized), although yes, I’m somewhat
peeved that they can’t really bend the rules for me. <wry grin>
Case in point: after bugging the finance department for a little over
a month, I’ve just recently been told that faculty housing is going to
be nearly impossible for me to get because I already have housing in
Manila. Makes sense. In fact, I felt somewhat guilty about having
stayed in the dorm for so long, taking up a slot that may have let
someone from the provinces study in Ateneo instead. The main thing
that stresses me out, however, is the possibly firm stance my parents
might have on the necessity of on-campus housing.

My mom seems to be softening a bit – she was offering to help me
search for an apartment or a ‘bedspacing’ arrangement. However, this
didn’t prevent her from checking with another school that was looking
for teachers (an IT school – I want to teach computer science, not
information technology!), which of course completely freaked me out.
I spent the next half hour having a nice good cry with my kitten. I
really, really want to teach in Ateneo because I’m more used to the
school culture and I’ll have a better chance of being allowed enough
latitude to experiment and possibly make a difference. I _hope_ my
parents won’t make me choose another school, but if they express
strong disapproval…

Another source of stress is the vagueness of the terms of my
employment – aforementioned lack of information about such basic
things as salary and job expectations. From the way things have been
going around the department, I’d probably do more than your typical
fresh-grad teacher. Me? Typical? But how does one consider these
atypical things, then? I already do the work gratis, but it would
be… somewhat nice to be appreciated, or… at least meet someone
else who is as into these things as I am.

Maybe I should just set my sights on the Most Outstanding Junior
Teacher award. I’ll need a lot of luck and practice to get that.

My mom basically thinks that they’re taking me for granted. I’m
supposed to be the best in the Philippines, but there’s a very, very
fine line between asserting that I deserve more than this… and being
completely annoying and arrogant.

All I really want to do is teach. And learn. And have fun. And help
other people learn and have fun. Not necessarily in that order.

Mental note: Be much more assertive.

How assertive can I get, anyway? <wry grin> I can’t very well
threaten not to teach in Ateneo, because everyone knows I really want
to do so. I guess the better approach would be, “Wouldn’t that be the
professional thing to do?”

Or something like that.


Update: Okay, now that I’ve gotten my employment jitters out of
the way, I can concentrate on preparing for class. =) I really, really
love our school.

Wearable computing position in Ateneo! =D

On the Compsat2003 Yahoogroups, Cha Gascon has this extremely wonderful post:

A Call for Applicants

The department chair of DISCS, Dr. Mercedes “Didith” T. Rodrigo,
is seeking for an undergraduate student, preferably not a senior, who
is willing to dedicate his/her time and effort to undertake a
designated task. That is, to search for wearable computing gadgets,
paraphernalia and related technologies here in the Philippines and
abroad (something like the wearable computer gadgets that Sacha Chua
has, featured in the poster of “Reboot” Compsat Launch Party),
which may have relevance in computer science, technologies that may be
of use with the department and the students and has potential for
further research and development. This is an official position in the

Must have the following:

– internet access (to research wearable technologies online)

– know-how in online ordering / purchasing of computer gadgets

– compare prices, recommend products and technologies

– willing to compile reports, price comparisons and summaries

– willing to do extensive canvassing of wearable gadgets and

technologies, where and how they could be bought here in the
Philippines and abroad

– willing to go shopping!!

The chosen one will receive a salary from the department however the
exact price wasn’t disclosed to us.

Interested applicants may email me at cha_gascon @ yahoo.com. Please
include your name, contacts, how you could be an asset with the
department in relation to the task stated above. Apply ASAP. Email to
me, not to the egroup so as to avoid inbox clutter.

Wonderful wonderful wonderful wonderful wonderful wonderful wonderful! =)
I am sooooo excited. =D

Voice-only apps without speech recognition

On the wear-hard mailing list, uberborg Doug Sutherland mentions

Developing Voice-only Applications in the Absence of Speech Recognition Technology


Caiviar is an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System based on CAPI.
It runs on Linux and Windows systems, and supports Text-To-Speech
(most notably Realspeak and Festival), multithreading, Barge In,
3 Party Conference, G3 Fax etc. It has a very simple interface,
allowing fast creation of Telephony applications, like e.g. Voiceboxes,
Authentication systems, automatic Callcenters etc. Languages supported
include Java, C++ and Perl. The source code for Caiviar is freely



The S-Files

If it wasn’t obvious by now, the SFiles mailing
list is pretty dead. I’ll be merging those into my planner archive
Really Soon. =)

So, Dominique Cimafranca, rest assured that the messages in the
SFiles archives – and this website – are meant for public
consumption. If you’re into browsing through other people’s mail,
might I recommend Griffin and Sabine by Nick Bantock? ;)

Curriculum Review

Make schedule from syllabus – a rough estimate of what we did last time.

Two spreadsheets – week day topic subtopics labs, homework, projects

Note to self: We really need to keep better notes about teaching. I’ll
have an expected schedule, actual schedule and comments.