I am grateful for the additional time prior to the beginning of school to properly plan and set up the room, but due to my expectation that today I would be in Singapore getting my visa, the only objective on today's agenda was to complete my bulletin boards. Once that was complete I spent about an hour perusing through the textbooks and materials from IB, but prior to knowing how quickly the students will take to the material and the way in which they respond to my constructivist style, it's difficult to make specific plans. Consequently, I got to practice what I've heard people often do at their jobs, shirk. After about an hour of online Catan, another hour of law school research, chatting with other staff members, and an extended lunch, it was only 1:30. I don't really understand how some people do this on a daily basis?! Wouldn't you get bored with life?! Or perhaps I'm now starting to understand how Rick Rolling and other things along those lines can go "viral"...
In another completely unrelated topic, I think Jakarta has a lot of potential to be a very green, sustainable, urban area. While those who have been to Jakarta (or simply read my posts regarding its disparity and smog level) might find this hard to believe, the city's latitude coupled with it naturally containing many of the elements that will restrain American cities and suburbs from having as fluid of a transition into 21st century necessities. While tropical latitudes previously stunted economic growth due to less-productive, high-yield agriculture and the prevalence and destruction of diseases, thanks to advances in medicine and technology tropical locations should at least be on an equal playing field with higher latitudes and potentially come out ahead because of greater environmental stability (annually relative) and ability to reliably count on green sources of energy. Additionally, thanks to the ability to grow on the shoulders of world-wide technological development, the city has the potential to solve a lot of its problems by hurdling intermediate, developmental steps. For example, when much of Africa did not have access to telephones, governments and businesses were able to install cell phone towers rather than spending hundreds of millions on traditional telephone lines (the most famous example of hurdling technologies).
Regarding intangibles, Jakarta has a lot of "third spaces." A third space is somewhere other than a person's home or workplace where they're able to spend a considerable amount of time. Effective third spaces are imperative for community to be built while still respecting personal space, however, if they are not proximate or accessible, then too many resources will be expended thus not "greening" a city. This is the problem facing many urban and suburban areas in America, but "thanks" to the rapid expansion of Jakarta, more traditional suburbs have been absorbed within the greater metropolitan area. This has fostered dense construction, which allows buildings to "share" energy rather than losing it, but has not stripped away regional identities, thus enabling for the preservation and inception of meaningful third spaces. Consequently, if Jakarta is able to develop a Singapore-style mass transportation and infrastructure, it could become an international model for greening cities.
Also, this serves as a general warning. Do you notice when you're leaving people, they often give you messages to give to someone else? Whitney tells you, "Give my love to Klaus." Do you mind that? What if you don't see Klaus, what are you supposed to do with Whitney's love? Can you give it to Songky? And what if you give Whitney's love to Songky...and then you see Klaus? You can't really give Klaus Whitney's love because you've already given it to Songky. But what if Klaus is gay and really wants Songky's love and not Whitney's? Are you to be the love arbiter? And what form does the love take? Are you to risk giving them a tongue kiss when you pass on their love? or just a hug? or are the words enough? Or will Klaus already have assumed you've given Whitney's love to Songky since you've developed a reputation for being so loose with people's love? Or what if you're not instructed to give their love to someone else, but rather their regards. What happens if you give their love? Say for instance Whitney instructs you to give her regards to Songky, but you only give him her best? Or could you upgrade it to her love? What if you're currently at odds with Songky? Could you completely disregard the message or would that be larceny of Whitney's regards? All of these factors have caused me to develop the over-arching rule that I will no longer be the courier of anyone's love, regards, wishes, best, hellos, remembrances, howdies, or hugs and kisses :). (My utmost to George.)
(Also there were no pictures in today's post because of the sloth-like interweb here at school.)