Thursday, July 9, 2009

On Borrowing Books

I enrolled at the company sponsored sports club. The offer is good and includes membership for the whole family for the cost of one. It’s a good deal and I plan to encourage my kids to go more to the sports club. They spend too much time in their room playing games or surfing the internet. I think they need more social activities and the sport club should be able to provide the right atmosphere. Initially, I did not like the added expense but I think it will be a good move for the family. Hopefully, my wife will be encouraged to exercise as well.

Last night I was on the phone to Singapore working on my kid’s academic grades. Their former schools need to send their transcript to a US organization prior to their enrollment. So I spent some time discussing with the customer service to speed up the process. I had sent the postage fee in US dollars and the staff insisted on Singapore dollars. So I called my old friend and asked a favor. He made up the check and sent it to the ministry. I will call again tonight to see if they received the payment. I need to follow-up more frequently now that school is approaching.

My younger son’s school has already sent the records for his post secondary classes. I now have to call my oldest son’s college to follow-up the records. It’s very tiring to call after work and try to convince people hundreds of miles away to work on your request. I hope it will be easier. The key is not to let things proceed by chance. Normally people may think that the work is done after sending the request by mail. A lot of things can happen along the way so one should be vigilant. I still have to call my credit card and real estate broker to settle these other issues. There is no one left who can work on these issues because my wife is not well and my kids are too young. I also feel that I should lead and manage this process because I have pushed them to move at the end of the day.

I had a good conversation with my friend and it’s good to talk to him after so long. His adopted son will soon join him in a couple of weeks and his life will soon change. A lot of changes will be happening soon to my old gang. One of them will be returning back to the Philippines, another will have his adopted son, while others may be moving to another country soon. So many changes for them as well and I may have started it all by moving here 2 and 1/2 months ago. Change is happening everywhere in people’s lives. I watched a 60 Minutes video on Barack Obama and I better understand his symbolism. It’s all about change in his mind and he is trying to lead it.

Barack is more a symbolic inspirational leader in contrast to Bill Clinton who is also an inspirational leader but is smarter and knows how to get things done. I guess Barack is the right person appearing at the right time in the history of the US. As a symbol, his victory validates the American dream. He is the mid-point between 2 warring sides and is the best candidate that is appreciated by the world. I am getting to be more interested in local history and I borrowed Doris Kearns ‘Team of Rivals.’ I also borrowed a book called ‘Lost Triumph’ about Gettysburg. I was in the library yesterday and I was amazed at the quality of the books. The audio visual section was quite good and comparable to the best in Singapore. It was just a local library branch and it’s resources where impressive for a local branch.

Strangely, while walking around, I was not as thrilled or excited as I should have been in a library. Instead I felt more tried and had the realization that I would not have the time to read and listen and borrow all the books and movies and audio books at this stage in my life. It’s like my days of reading are gone and that I should move forward and do something more concrete rather than making me smart. I felt that now is time of application of all the things that I have read and learned. Or, maybe it was because I was tired and I had so many things to do. I have to apply for my driving license soon as well as complete my son’s application to college, push both of them to learn driving and exercise in the gym so they would be physically healthy to handle any stress in school and/ or life. That’s my challenge: to plan for a soft landing for my family here in this big move.

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