the view from the tower

arcite's day

Monday, May 30, 2005


At the police station a voice behind mirror glass said 'Your ten o’clock appointment is here.'
'Just relax, let your fingers go soft, don't press. I'll roll your fingers for you.'
A non-sworn employee. On every finger a celtic ring. Glasses, warm smile. I’m on the sixth floor of the police station. It looks like a comfortable corporate workspace, say Telecon House.
'You want me to sign that the photo's a true likeness?' she asked.
'But see. The name on the Singaporean form says Arcite Palamon. But the name in the passport is Arcite Palantine Palamon. It has to be exactly the same. Do you want me to insert the middle name on the form?'
'No, that'll ruin the form. Just write my full name on the sticker on the back of the photo.'
We forgot about the full name. Always the curse of the proper name and the signature.
'I bet it will come back now.'
At least it didn’t cost me $35.

...arcite at Monday, May 30, 2005...

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Tomorrow, after having my fingerprints taken at the Police Station for the police check, I start five weeks teaching at The Final Academy, a decile 1 school located somewhere in on the greater Kapiti coast. A 'decile' rating is based on the average income of parents: Decile 10 is the highest. There is no decile 0. The majority of students at the Academy are Maori/Pacifika.

When people ask me about where I'm going for TE and I tell them that I'm off to the Academy they say "oh, you drew the short straw!" or "that will be interesting!" as if I'm going to Bedlam. Whether or not this is racism or just a frank reaction, I don't know. I know the region. My first school was low decile and I basically found teaching there to be quite rewarding compared with the previous teaching experience at a higher decile school.

...arcite at Sunday, May 29, 2005...

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

I'm a little under the weather today. Many Wellington schools have been hit with a stomach bug and yesterday I came down with one of the strains. I had a long sleep. I was a bit disapppointed that I wasn't able to go to the dress rehearsal of Maui as I'd paid my $10 and was very keen (the regular student price is a wopping $48 or so--so I guess studying Performance Arts does have some perks). I'm skipping today's classes.

I am of course way behind with my work. Instead I fiddle with poetry. I sent some off for the poetry competition that I won last year though I don't feel that these are as strong. I've been listening to too many editors and over-editing. The next batch should be longer poems. And I'm working on the sequence for the as yet untitled book.

I'll have a little rest and then start on my last Art History assignment. I'd forgotten how boring some assignments can be. While my classes at university weren't a complete success I do remember students telling me that they never found my assignments boring. If only I could say the same about social studies.

...arcite at Wednesday, May 25, 2005...

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Light, light everywhere--
then night & lamentation

Wiesel's Night: Horror, lamentation, a pit of burning babies. The total destruction of god. The total destruction of the good. The ground? The ground is where they burn you. But some still give you their bread. Where do we go after that night? We need the ground more than ever before. The sky is silent. Here is the cost of killing the good. But there's not so much argument as floating words, words that float like smoke from a furnace: horror, lamentation, kaddish, furnace, crematorium, Daddy.


Going up the Porirua area for my next teaching practicum.

...arcite at Sunday, May 22, 2005...

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Poetry Society AGM is tonight. I've been asked to read a few poems at the open mike session (I never read my poems in public unless explicitly asked to do so). So I thought I'd read the poems that are due to be published but haven't come out yet: 'chance meeting' and 'nanosphere' as well as 'Murray' (for sentimental reasons and because many readers seem to like that poem: I doodled it in about 30 secs).

I can't seem to concentrate at all on my studies so I look over the poems I'm reading tonight. I actually bloody like them for a change. I realise that I've been spending a lot of time trying to polish a number of poems that basically aren't very good when I should move on. This is the first year I've really taken writing poetry seriously and I wonder if other novice poets fall into this trap.

Now back to those, wait, I forgot to tell you all how much I've fallen in love with cooking this past month. Do you know how much time you can spend cooking? Tonight I'm making cannelloni: I cooked the tomato sauce last night.

Now back to those, wait, I forgot to tell you that before attending The Cherry Orchard I popped into a record--ahem--CD shop and listened to New Order's new CD (great P. Saville cover) and the track 'krafty' sounds nothing like the killer song sent to me by Nuncle Brittle. And I read that the Brian Eno song 'King Lead's Hat' is actually an anagram of 'Talking Heads' which made me think of titles, anagrams, spacing: There is a light that never goes: "out!"

Now back to those assignments...

...arcite at Thursday, May 19, 2005...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

I enjoyed The Cherry Orchard last night. I knew very little about the play as I've never read Chekov. There's so much activity: characters trouping on and off-stage, silly jokes, silly characters who say one thing and do another, all absurb and strangely familiar. There's a full copy of the Dominion Post review on the Circa site.

According to the The NZ Herald professor Snook warned graduating teacher trainees about going into teaching. Gee, I wonder what our graduation speech will be like?

...arcite at Wednesday, May 18, 2005...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Didn't get the job.
Going to The Cherry Orchard tonight.

...arcite at Tuesday, May 17, 2005...

Monday, May 16, 2005

Good news.
The keys were at college.

But I'm afraid all my poems were rejected by PNZ--there were even a few typos in there (as usual)! But he did send some good detailed comments--God, he scribbled all over the poems. Never mind, I'll try again later this year. What a laugh. I'm going over to the School web site and then I'm going to get ready for my job interview. I've handed in my assignments at Te Coll and feel oddly relaxed.

And I've bought some bread from Bakers' Delight.
You all take care now.

...arcite at Monday, May 16, 2005...

Sunday, May 15, 2005

lost my keys

job interview on monday

above my ears
finally streaks of grey


on the stereo

chutes too narrow. the shins (x10)
forever delayed. manic street preachers
red light syndrome. pluto
under the influence. morrissey
rubber soul. the beatles
a decade of hits: 10cc (last live tracks stink)
yoshimi verses the pink robots. the flaming lips
after death hotel. the auteurs
the slider. t-rex. (x2)
out there a minute. sun ra (totally nuts)
crestfallen (brittle lemon compilation)
seven worlds collide. neil finn and friends (a lot more refreshing than I expected)

key songs: all the things that i’ve done: the killers. holiday: green day. the dark of the matinee: franz ferdinand. if i was a rich girl: gwen stephanie. ordinary world: duran duran. young pilgrims, mine’s not a high horse: the chutes. annalisa: PiL. battery in your leg: blur. lady: t-rex. motorcycle emptiness: manic street preachers. lsf: kasabian

...arcite at Sunday, May 15, 2005...

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Cassini finds a new moon.
an arc ○ tan trick mash ine


the sky is empty

...arcite at Thursday, May 12, 2005...

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

I have a job interview with the liberal co-ed high school on Monday. So fingers crossed. In the meantime I work on numerous assignments--all of which I will probably hand in late--and book an appointment at the Central Police station to have my fingerprints taken.


Because to be registered as a teacher in NZ you have to have police checks. As I've spent three or so years out of the last ten in Singapore I have to prove to the Teachers Council that I'm not a criminal on the run. And in order to do that I have to ask Singapore Police to vouch that Arcite's been a good boy. And to do that the Singapore Police want my fingerprints and a small administration fee.

It's also somewhat amusing to me that my appointment for fingerprinting is scheduled on the morning of the first day of my last teaching practicum. I guess I can get time off school to go and be fingerprinted. I also wonder who will take my prints: will it be a man or a woman? If a woman then what will she look like and how will she look at me? Will she have to have regulation hair? And how long will the ink stay on my fingers and what will it smell like? Will the colour of the ink match the colour of the police uniform or any of the blues or blacks in the room?

Ok, I have to go to class now...

...arcite at Wednesday, May 11, 2005...

Sunday, May 08, 2005

And here are the Nebula Winners named last weekend, full details at SFWA:

The Nebula Award® Winners:
Novel: Lois McMaster Bujold for Paladin of Souls

Novella: Walter Jon Williams for "The Green Leopard Plague"
Novelette: Ellen Klages for "Basement Magic"
Short Story: Eileen Gunn for "Coming to Terms"
Script: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Bujold's all well and fine but I find it hard to believe that she's written something better or more original that Down and Out in the Magic Kindgom. Of course, I'll have to read the winner to find out.

...arcite at Sunday, May 08, 2005...
Last night we went to Indigo for the first time to see The Salford Lads Club, NZ's own Smith’s tribute band. The set was different from their last Wellington concert we saw at The Bodega. I can understand why Indigo is so popular—it has a balcony for the smokers that overlooks Cuba Street. The band played for hours and we lapped up the silliness. A fantastic concert was had by all.

I finally sent out those poems to PNZ. I dunno...I left the 'Murray' poem for now as I don't think that the ed's going to go for it.

...arcite at Sunday, May 08, 2005...

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I have 20 mins before I rush to be bored stupid in my social studies class. Ho hum. Tomorrow, I'm handing in my CV to a local high-school as a job's just been advertised. I spoke to the HOF today and arranged a meeting.

I just finished Hone Tuwhare's wonderful Sap-wood and Milk. Such a strong, confident, playful, not too cool voice. Anger tempered with play: the shock of the Vietnam war, the excess of it (there's a line something like "Dominate? Man, they could buy and sell us!")

As well as Hotere's illustrations there's a wonderful 11 point Century typeface that I want. It's more a 'print font' than the screen calibrated Century-gothic you get in Office. I feel like playing with fonts, learning them like the old days in design.

Nearly finished them poems for PNZ...

...arcite at Wednesday, May 04, 2005...

Monday, May 02, 2005

Back to school: seven hours of time-wasting classes when I want to work on my job application for a teaching position at a nearby co-ed. Still, the lecture this morning on teacher registration was useful. I have about 5,500 words worth of assignments due in the next two weeks. Nothing very challenging but a bit of a waste of time really. Never mind: 4 weeks of college, five weeks on my last teaching practicum, then a week back at college and I'm free. At least I have Word-Girl's help: she worked on my CV yesterday afternoon while I cooked tonight's dinner. The application's not due for a week so we have a bit of time. And I've popped back this lunch-time for a snack and a blog and I'll put the dishwasher on. Hope Tyger and Roishan are having a good day back at school.

...arcite at Monday, May 02, 2005...