Archive for the ‘blog’ Category

I’ve only been teaching properly (as in, being paid to do it) since the beginning of this year, but I have taught enough of a variety of classes and students to have seen some pretty, er, interesting stuff going on in the classroom.

Here is a list of some of the more memorable things I’ve observed:

1. The student who uses Google Translate to translate “blowjob” and “suck my dick” into all the languages of the students in the class, who then goes up to them randomly and says it. This is how I learnt to say it in Korean and Japanese (not to be repeated here).

2. The student(s) who constantly compare an English grammar point or word to that in their language, and try to argue as to why it should be in English exactly the way it is in their language. Erm, no. It is a completely different language. That is why it is different.

3. The student(s) who constantly protest to every single thing you ask them to do.Turn to page 58? Why?? No! Do a running dictation (an effort to make reading more interesting for them)? No. Teacher, I’m too tired. I don’t want to get up. Ask your partner these questions / find someone who… activity? Teacher, I don’t want to talk to them. Can I just read my book while everyone else is doing this activity in class? Ad infinitum.

4. The student(s) who never bring a pen or pencil to class. And basically borrow mine. Every. Single. Lesson. They’re not forgetful; they’re lazy.

5. The student(s) who try to tell you how you should be teaching the class. “Teacher, we should be doing this, we should do that, etc etc.” Oh, really? Well why don’t you just take centre stage and be the teacher then? I’d be happy to fall asleep in class, use my mobile phone, or ignore you and talk to my friends instead.

6. The student(s) who come late to class because they’ve been shopping, and disrupt the lesson by bringing out all the new clothes they’ve just bought and showing them off to their friends.

7. The student(s) who try to conduct their lingerie retail business in class while you’re trying to teach.

8. The student(s) who do not go to the bathroom during the (frequent) breaks, but then decide to do so right in the middle of an important grammar point.

9. The student(s) who just refuse to participate in an activity, usually a game, that you’ve spent hours planning, creating, copying and cutting up for them in order to make it more fun for them to practice the new knowledge they’ve learnt. Instead, they just sit there looking miserable, or having a conversation about something else completely, in their native language.Because they think I spend ages sitting at my desk cutting up and laminating stupid little pieces of paper for my own amusement.

10. The student(s) who complain about covering the same grammar point again, but who never ever seem to get it right, either.


Here are TWO MORE things that I forgot to mention:

11. The student(s) who wail, “I wanna go hoooome!” when there’s two hours of class left. Yeah, thanks heaps for helping out with the general morale of the class.

12. The student(s) who bring junk mail catalogues for Priceline and other shops, who then proceed to peruse these during class time and actually have the audacity to say, “Teacher, these perfumes are so cheap! Have a look!” Right in the middle of class. I have taken so many of these catalogues away in my class, it’s unbelievable. Where are their manners? These are ADULTS we’re talking about! I wouldn’t dream of behaving that was in a class!

* Note: It probably sounds like I’m disgruntled (lol) which I am NOT. I will follow this post with one about all the lovely things students have done for me – of which there are many!


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As an ESL or TESOL teacher (English as a Second or Other Language), you would want to have a class that looks like this:


Or this:


Or this:


Sadly, this is not always the case. Especially if you teach in the evening, this is what you end up with:




Meanwhile, this is me:




Man. It is a difficult job sometimes. It just takes it out of you.

* P/S: This post is meant to be humorous and is not meant to offend anyone.

* P/P/S: In case you’re one of my students reading this… “Hi!” and “This post is not about YOU, it is about the others. Honest.” LOL.

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Blonde Ambition

This post is about childhood ambitions, or ideas we had about our future selves.

I have to ask: did anyone else think they were going to grow up to become a blonde, white woman?

Yes. I did just ask that.

You see, when I was about 6 or 7 years old, I was certain that when I grew up, I would be a blonde, blue-eyed white woman named Robecca [sic]. It wasn’t because I yearned to be Caucasian and hated my dark hair and olive skin. Nor was it because I planned to have surgery or bleach my hair.

I just assumed that’s what I would grow up to be.

Don’t ask me exactly why I assumed that; suffice to say, daily exposure to my mum’s Cosmopolitan magazines and American TV shows made my putty-like young brain believe that white was normal. White was status quo. White was people. And that it just eventually happened to you.

It’s funny how, despite being far wiser about these things (and happy with my naturally tanned skin and deep brown hair), that white is still viewed by the world at large as being the status quo. I mean, if someone was half-white and half-Asian, they are identified as Asian. Same with black. Or Australian Aborigines. And so on.

Why? Because being white is seen as being of ‘pure’ “race” and even a single drop of another “race”‘s blood means contamination and expulsion from the White-Only club?


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This is just a wish to everyone who reads this blog to have an awesome 2012, with all the joy and fortune you dreamed of and deserve, and hopefully the world won’t end.

HAPPY 2012!!!’


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I spent 11 days in Malaysia, visiting family and friends, constantly surrounded by loved ones and engaging in conversation, that to come home to an empty house here in Perth leaves an empty feeling in my soul.

I miss my boyfriend so much. He is away on holidays at the moment and won’t be back for a while. It’s just not the same without him. The dinners in front of the TV, the drives, the walks in the park, feeding the ducks (and having our stale bread scoffed at by the black swan)… I miss all these things.

I know I used to complain about how he can sometimes be ‘overly spontaneous’, like suggesting we go for a quick walk and it ending up an excursion, when I’ve got a pile of Uni work to finish and can’t afford long, meandering walks… but now, I miss it. I need a welcome distraction from the stress of my uni work which is threatening to bury me.

It doesn’t help that I haven’t heard from him since yesterday afternoon. I hope he’s okay. I mean, I know he is, but it’s still not nice missing them and not being able to hear their voice. He’s having phone problems (battery is dead or something), and he usually sends me an email a day but… so far, nothing.

I just miss him so much! It’s been 2 weeks since our mini-airport scene where I saw him properly tear up for the first time ever, as I got ready to board the plane to KL.

Just thinking about it gives me a lump in my throat.


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As long as I can remember, I have always wanted to do two things: draw and write.

Back in Year 1 (Standard 1), I recall we were asked in class by our teachers to fill out some form, and one of the questions asked what we wanted to be when we grew up. I wanted to put down ‘artist/writer’. Instead, upon seeing all my friends writing ‘doctor’, I chickened out and wrote ‘doctor’, too. What a wuss!

I love(d) drawing. I started drawing from the moment I had enough hand-eye coordination to hold a pencil and make some squiggly lines into a picture.

I still remember how my father would come home from work with heaps of computer paper – the kind that went into an old-school, dot matrix printer. Yes, with perforations and everything. Reams and reams of paper, all connected, to be ripped apart at the perforated seams by myself and my sisters for our childish doodles.

Only I didn’t stop there. I drew on art blocks my mum bought us specifically to draw on, in exercise books from school, and notepads that were meant for grocery lists. I remember I filled up one such notepad, cover to cover, with an illustrated story (an early ‘graphic novel’, if you will), about a boy snake and a girl snake who met, fell in love, got married, got pregnant. The pregnant girl snake demanded that the boy snake go to the witch’s garden to steal nutritious vegetables for her to eat (“Or my baby will die,” I remember were the girl snake’s words). Yes, I did not yet appreciate the fact that instead of pumpkin and watercress, snakes prefer frogs and rats. But I digress.

In the early days I liked drawing “friendly ghosts” – not really Casper, but just ghosts who had skirts and lipsticks and handbags. Later on, I drew more talking animals like snakes, rabbits, dogs and cats. Later still, I got into drawing unicorns and girls and people. I was always told how well I drew.

These days… I don’t draw so much. I doodle when I’m on the phone. I can really draw some interesting, nice things that way. But generally, as a way to pass the time, I don’t do it anymore. And it makes me sad. I always tell myself I want to draw more – heck, I even bought myself an art block so I would just start drawing stuff – but it still sits collecting dust in the shelf, under the Foxtel decoder.

Now, I want to talk about writing – something I am obviously more healthily engaged in (what with my blog, and having to fill out paperwork, tax returns, badgering immigration people, etc).

Back in the days of my childhood, the budding writer in me managed to write (and finish!) a few works that, when I revisited them as an older, more mature writer, made me snort with laughter. How unsophisticated and inane! But what can you expect from an 8-year-old? Or a 10-year-old?

I remember my best friend Lin and I would create illustrated works of serious writing. Not bad for 10 and 11-year-olds. Series about teenage ghost fighters (culled from my favourite cartoon, The Real Ghostbusters – how ironic!). And about teenage space travellers, set in the future. With lengthy descriptions of their appearance and clothing. We even collaborated on some of these. I still think they’re pretty good.

Later on, in my teenage years, I would write romantic dramas about young people in hospices, dying of some incurable but noble diseases, the inmates falling in love with each other. My depiction of sex scenes were incredibly humorous. No other way to describe it, really. Just… totally out of those filthy romance novels Lin used to borrow from her aunt, bring to school and lend me (with the ‘good parts’ conveniently dog-eared for me to skip right to). Ahh, good times.

I have been trying for the last 5 – 10 years to finally write something coherent, and of substance. It is my dream to publish a best-selling novel before I get too old. Geez, but where and when to start? Here and now is the only answer.

But I am just too scared that my ideas are stupid and the story will stagnate. As it has done for much of my mid-to-late teens. Every time I hit upon something good, I’d advance full steam… then lose it all a few months later in tears of frustration. In my early twenties, I tried again and lost faith.

Now, I want to try again.

I have found these links pretty useful and humorous, not to mention inspiring:

Ten Rules for Writing Fiction (Part 1)

Ten Rules for Writing Fiction (Part 2)

I want it t be my project over the holidays to at least come up with a skeleton of a book for me to fill in with meat and fat over time. Fingers crossed.

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It has been my mission since I started this blog to ensure the archives have every month of the year displayed. It’s part of my whole OCD/perfectionist persona which sadly is linked also to my procrastinating persona.

I just want it to look pretty and complete, dammit! All calendars have 12 months (let’s not go into a discussion about some niche calendars here), and by god, so will  my blog!!!

In order for this to be achieved, I have to have at least ONE blog post per month or I’m f**ked. (Notice how I randomly censor and then don’t censor myself on this blog? Not sure why I do that – obviously it is something that’s NOT connected to my OCD-ness).

Okay, now that this is out of the way, the reason I have been such a baaad blog-person (I just hate the word ‘blogger’ – a throwback to my days as an actual writer and journalist: we turn our noses up at bloggers when we cover events)… is because I have been busy with Uni.

Yeah, well I figured it’s as good an excuse as any. I did 4 weeks of teaching prac at a high school here, teaching media. Boy, what a challenge teaching something you haven’t really thought much about since graduating (for me, that was 2006!). True, I worked in publishing for over 2 years in total. But the kind of media I was required to teach was 90% centred around film. Theory and practice. Re-learning on the job: do two things at once while trying to keep your sanity!

Then after that concluded, I was swamped with assignments and now, exams. Yeah, it is exam week. I had an exam on Friday (which was held NOT on the scheduled exam week, UNFAIR! I cry, but oh well it’s done and I think I did pretty well anyways), I had an exam this morning, and I have an exam tomorrow morning. ARGHH! Hence, the title: dying a slow death.

I should be studying. I really should.  That’s what I also told myself last night, and I did it. I ignored the call of my blog. But I can’t ignore it any longer (June is almost over). I thought a quick post to explain myself (as I seem to do a lot on my blogs – hey, it’s the alternative to therapy!) was in order. Besides, I only need 1 mark to pass this unit. A shabby, shabby excuse. I mean, of course I would like a distinction or a high distinction. But I’ve done pretty well on my assignment, so really, if I don’t do BRILLIANTLY on the exam, I will still make it.

So. Tomorrow an exam. Then, my last exam, which is on Thursday morning. That’s the one I really worry about. I need to do quite a bit better for that exam because the assignment was really tough. After that I plan to sleep, sleep, sleep. Go out with my Uni pals and drink our brains away (maybe). And just rejoice.

Oh, and a UPDATE: I got my Student Visa (finally!). So I’ve applied for jobs and am awaiting a callback for an interview.

Wish me luck (on all counts)!

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