I met a group of my colleagues at a café off campus today. We met to collaborate about teaching the writing composition course. We have a common textbook, but everyone uses it differently and has different goals. We at least needed to have a consensus as to the main goals of the course, that are naturally closely related to the content and methods of our teaching.
It was good to see people who have returned from the summer break. We had some small talk but soon got down to business. After exhausting the topic to everyone’s satisfaction, however, we had fun catching up, talking about our work life and kidding around. We said what we would not say on campus and in front of staff with authority.
Generally, our foreign teaching staff are not keen on collaboration. Other departments, with cultural roots in societies that are more oral and that like community collaboration, meet regularly. Our Euro-American-Anglos tend to be fearful and protective of their own ideas and domains. Too bad. Fortunately, though, some personalities are more open and sociable.
Today has seemed excessively humid, making me feel lethargic and heavy. Waking up at 4:30 did not help me. I have felt foggy-brained and doped up all day.
I still went out to do my work out, regardless of this feeling. With less energy, though, my workout was less strenuous than usual, although I nevertheless completed the routine.
I looked around campus to see what damage the floods had caused, and to check out the current status of the main campus road. I wrote a message describing the conditions as I saw them to a few of my colleagues, so I have just cut and pasted my own quote here below.
The main campus access road is open but under repair from level 1 (lowest, below the bus terminus). The shuttle buses are operating and using this road. A large section of a retaining wall on the far side away from the campus collapsed and is under reconstruction. A back hoe is there and big boulders are on the side of the road. All the top layer of paving from that spot midway up the road down to the gate has been removed. There are pot holes. It looks like the ticket booth is functioning. Some sections of the cobblestone sidewalks are damaged, as the stones/brick got washed out of place. In general, the sidewalks are now uneven as many cobblestones/ bricks are sunken and some portions need repair.
On campus, here's what I saw. I only looked around all sides of levels 1 and 2. The first level garage (E building) under the lower plaza got flooded and water was still being pumped out when I was leaving campus around 3:30 today. However, the garage is open. It looks like some indoor flooding occurred throughout E building, from the run-off from level 2 down the stairways and through the drainage holes on the lower plaza, which is the roof of the garage. The student cafeteria, utility rooms, the convenience store, and probably the food court experienced flooding by the looks of it. The food court was open for business, though.
Some sections of the landscaped slopes between the levels slid, leaving mud and debris below. On the back (southeast end of the slope between the gym and Trinity; a couple of chunks slid down. One section beside the library also collapsed. A front section (north east) at the entrance to the bus loop and lower garage also fell. Behind the campus. The creek on the south side, behind Trinity and the dorms, did overflow and the area around has fallen branches and piles of mud and debris, but a good culvert running along it on the campus side took a lot of the overflow, it seems, for only a little water appeared to have run through the back doors of those buildings.
On another note, I figured out something with respect to the packaging and publishing of this blog project in document form: I have reached Volume 4, the final section. I reached it on the final day of reporting on the ILPS International Peace Solidarity Mission, Day 140. I just had to do the math and realize it. If Volume One covered four months (120 days), and Volume Two two more months (60 days), Volume Two finished close to the halfway mark. Volume Three must be two or three months long. Since I arrived at the Peace Mission, just before Day 140, and exhausted the topic of collaboration and more on journal writing prior to that, then carrying on in a new volume with a focus on social change would seem fitting.
I am feeling too drowsy and feeble minded at present to think this through, so I will develop the concept of the final Volume, and finish creating the Preamble and Conclusion to Volume Three later. I need to rest then concentrate on these problems.