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Posts Tagged ‘school’


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.

EDIT:

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:

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Or this:

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Or this:

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

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Meanwhile, this is me:

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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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First of all, let me address the main issue here: I haven’t posted anything on this blog since April.

It’s a horrible, horrible state of affairs. But I do have an arsenal of excuses at the ready and I’m not afraid to use ’em!

First off: I got a new job, after being told “see ya!” by my previous employers due to the fact that numbers were low and they had to shut down the class, and then basically close the whole campus.

What I am on about is that I am a TESOL teacher now (yes, a proper one), and I used to work at the Fremantle campus of Language Academy A. However, that campus no longer exists – in fact, I’m pretty sure the owners of the building sold it and that it now operates as a backpacker’s with its own attached bar.

So, I was pretty much left in the lurch. Luckily, at the suggestion of a friend, I sent my resume in to another school, Language Academy B, even though they were not advertising any teaching positions at the time. Voila! In less than 24 hours I received a call, went for an interview, and got the job. Woo hoo! The pay rate at Language Academy B (henceforth to be known as LAB) was much better, too. Score!

Next, I bought a car. I had to deal with all the mess of getting an Australian (WA) Driver’s Licence and insurance for the car, etc etc. Not to mention paying for the damn thing.

Finally, I decided I was still too poor and that I could work a little harder. Unfortunately, at LAB, they only run classes from Monday to Thursday, 5 hours a day. As a casual worker, I get paid for the hours of actual teaching time. Which is? 20 hours a week. I wanted more. Understandably.

So, I applied to another place, Language Academy C (LAC), and also got the job, teaching evenings from Monday to Wednesday. This meant I was pulling 14-hour workdays from Monday to Wednesday between LAB and LAC (including the time between the two different sessions, of course).

So, I have been tired.

However, there was something I heard on the radio that made my blood pressure rise a little.

Now, I have always been particular about grammar and spelling and using words correctly in English. From the time I was young, it always frustrated me when people confused the usage of “then” and “than” (and I don’t mean English language learners, I mean so-called “native” speakers), or when people say “should of” instead of “should have” (*cough* Aussies *cough*)… or when some people decide that “alot” is an actual word in the English language. I have struggled with these kinds of issues for a long time.

I suppose the fact that I am treated like a non-native speaker due to my passport (which is not from one of the six approved “native English speaking countries”: England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and occasionally South Africa) annoys the hell outta me. I have to “prove” my English is good enough by taking expensive tests (and scoring a perfect 9.0 out of 9.0).

Having had “native” speakers patronisingly tell me my English was “really good” (no shit, it’s probably ten times better than yours, homie) when I was at Uni also annoyed the crap out of me.

Anyway. Back to the thingy I heard on the radio. I think it was one of those teeny-bopper, Top 40 type of stations with a bunch of screaming, squealing morons presenting the show. They had a segment called “Famous Cousins” where people called in to tell them about a famous person they were related to. A pretty interesting topic, I have to say.

One girl called in to say that she was Usain Bolt’s cousin. Holy shit! That is the most awesome thing I have heard. That was not the issue. The issue was that when the caller mentioned something about Bolt’s mother, one of the presenters (the girl presenter) got all excited and said, “Really? Ooh I want to hear all about the woman who sired the fastest man in the world!” (Note, this is not verbatim, but the word in bold was definitely said by her).

Sired? By a woman? Of course, I picked this up immediately. I started bitching and having a fit of road rage over it.

I believe sired is reserved for men and their seed. Women, on the other hand, are the ones who bear children. It would be like saying you want to know about the man who bore Usain Bolt. It just doesn’t work. It’s biology, pure and simple.

And language, of course. Observe this entry from the thesaurus:

“sire”

1. A father.
2. The male parent of an animal, especially a domesticated mammal such as a horse.
3. Archaic A male ancestor; a forefather.
4. Archaic A gentleman of rank.
5. Archaic Used as a form of address for a superior, especially a king.
tr.v. siredsir·ingsires

To father; beget.

Idiots. HERE’s what I think of your English, you so-called native speakers! <insert appropriate gesture here>.

Til the next instalment. Toodle-doo!

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Lonely.


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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Random post, but yesterday as I parked my car outside my house, I saw school kids crossing the road to and from Garden City shopping centre.

I saw an little Asian boy (ok by little I mean maybe 13 or 14), walking out of Garden City, happily sipping his bubble tea. Then, a few steps away from my car as he was about to turn the corner, he hid his bubble tea in his jacket. I wondered why he did that, and then I saw.

From the opposite direction, a group of kids from his school (all wearing the same school blazer from Applecross Senior High, I think) were walking towards him. He didn’t want them to see him holding his bubble tea.

Why?

I imagine it was because he didn’t want to be stereotyped as a typical Asian kid who loves bubble tea. My first reaction to that thought was, who cares!

But when you’re a teenager in high school, you do care. You want your peers to accept you and think you’re cool (or whatever word or phrase kids use these days). You don’t want them to point and laugh, even if, in the grand scheme of things, their opinion really doesn’t matter. It matters here and now.

Perhaps a few years from now, he’ll think back on that incident and smirk to himself. Or he might not remember it at all.

I know I will.

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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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The flow of dough right now is currently one-way.

Going out:

– Rent

– Bills

– Groceries

– Fuel

– Parking

Coming in:

– ???

– #$@%#**!!

Those are my main expenses. I haven’t eaten out in ages. Well, I ate out on Monday night with Gaya – we had Japanese. Even then, dinner cost me $13.50 for fresh, raw salmon and tuna on rice. BIIIIG bowl, not too bad of a price. So it’s not like I’m going crazy and eating out at fancy-schmancy places every night, spending cash like there’s no tomorrow.

I eat most of my meals at home (well, Amir’s home anyway). We cook. Sometimes it’s something really awesome (his bolognese, my chicken/beef curry, his healthy baked trout with veggies, my baked chicken and potaotes…)

Sometimes, when money’s tight (or time – hey, we’re both busy people!), it’s… not so awesome (Indomie, scrambled eggs on toast for dinner, TOAST for dinner, a sanger for dinner… you get the picture).

Bottom line: I haven’t been spending money on frivolous, luxury items.

It’s the everyday things, bills, and so on, that have caused my bank balance to slowly head south for the winter. And guess what? There ain’t no money coming in, nuh-uh, oh no you di’in’t girlfriend.

Why?

I. Still. Can’t. Work.

No, not because of my achy breaky back (which still causes me to fantasize about firebombing that house in Bateman where that jerkoff lives).

Because of my bloody visa situation.

I’m still on a bridging visa which allows me to stay here and attend Uni, but

… no permission to work.

UGH!

Throw me a friggin’ bone here!

Sometimes, a girl just wants to have fun. Luckily I was able to go out shopping the other day with Gaya because Amir had given me, as a gift for Nawruz, a gift card at a leading department store here in Perth. So I bought myself a new handbag and some other odds and ends. It was fun to shop for pretty things again!

Plus, sometimes I just like eating well. I like spending a little extra money on premium fruit and vegetables. Or on that extra lean, extra delicious cut of meat. Or on that lovely fresh fillet of salmon or trout. And not have to worry that this one meal may be the death of my bank balance.

Meanwhile, I have rent, bills, petrol and weekly groceries to pay for. And trust me, I ain’t the fussy kind when it comes to food. I like good food, but I can basically make myself survive on poor-Uni-student fare like instant noodles, toast and nutella (or Nutino if you’re really on a budget), $1 canned tuna (which come in flavours so you can pretend you’re eating a lovely, hearty curry or even a full-blown Italian meal with sundried tomatoes and basil… oh, who am I kidding!).

But good nutrition has got to come from somewhere, sometime! Or my body’s f*cked! And I care about my health just as much as the next person (maybe more!). Every time I go grocery shopping, I am armed with a list of items that I saw were on special that week. I haven’t paid full price for an item in ages! Sometimes it is to my own detriment. Like buying the cheap meat (reduced by 30%!) and then opening the package only to be punched in the nose with a smell that I believe is reserved for an abandoned abattoir. Or something the cat dragged in.

I don’t know if it’s because I am disorganised and procrastinating (as usual) but I am also so overwhelmed with Uni work that I am not even sure how much I’d be able to work even IF I was able to (with the Permission to Work thingy that comes with a Student Visa). Still, people have been telling me about jobs that I could definitely get that pay like $20 an hour or more… geez! I’m dying for a job like that! So close, yet so far.

*Sigh*

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