Tuesday, August 31, 2004
I'm in town to do a wee bit of flat-hunting, so I thought I'd stop off at bagsnatcher central, otherwise known as the easyinternet caff. This place is a total shambles. There's no chair-fights today, but someone has broken the keyboard next to me and nicked half the spacebar. Who nicks half a spacebar?
I should be putting up ads to advertise my valuable services as a teacher of The Language of Shakespere (and also the language of McDonald's. And, increasingly, the McDonald's of languages. Meh). However I'm having an attack of the dithers; not sure where or how to start. Private lessons are a bit different to working in a classroom. I'll just have to bite the bullet and jump in there... Wish my Spanish was better. I can read it really well now but I still sound totally paella'n'chips when I open my mouth. Still and all, I must try. Sorry, I'm obsessing a bit.
Talking of obsessing....
Dear BTcentralplus-using person,
Have you really got nothing better to do? I mean, really, nothing? How many times a day do you need to visit my blog? In a hunter-gatherer sense, that is. What exactly are you hoping for? A divine revelation? The face of the Blessed Virgin? Fifty pee off your next purchase of Noodle Doodles?
Of course, I write to be read, so in that sense your interest is gratifying. But dude (or dudette), you really need to get out a bit more. Take a walk. Smell the flowers. Have a donut. Take up macrame. Do anything, only get a life.
Love'n'huggles, Carnie xx
Saturday, August 28, 2004
I didn't get the certificate. My work just wasn't quite up to scratch.
I don't feel too bad tho'. I worked bloody hard the whole time; there was no getting pissed and playing Heroes Of Might And Magic until three in the morning involved. I just had to cover too much ground in too short a time: nothing, nothing whatsoever, in my background prepared me for the kind of work I'd be doing.
I got a lot out of the course, and I feel confident enough in my actual teaching abilities to look for some private tutoring round the uni (something I'd have been completely unable to do befre the course started.)
No reputable school will hire you here if you are short on quals, but rumors persist of certain disreputable schools that will. We'll see.
Meanwhile, I'm going to take it out on Inlightenedment and make her flunk her GNVQ in IT.
Sunday, August 22, 2004
Lurid set the Grauniad as our homepage, right? (Bless his cotton socks.) So every time I crank up Mozilla to look at Homestarrunner.com or ball-kicking porn or whatever, I get their front page. Usually this just results in mild infuriation until I can get Strongbad's Emails loaded, but today they've got a picture of Julie Birchill on the front.
Ms. Birchill is one of those pompous, arrogant, knownothing tubesteaks whose pompousity, arrogance, knownothingness and overall tubesteakosity pisses me off so much that I can't even look at her shagbastarding photo without wanting to hulk out and break stuff. On the universally accepted scale of facehate, she rates like 805 milli-Bushells.
Well, I'm sorry, but someone had to say it.
Anyway I've finished all my assignments so I get to rant about how much I hate everyone now. Weeeeeeeeeeeeee! Next on the list....
Dear Person Who Keeps Googling Me From BTcentralplus,
I appreciate your interest. I'm touched that you visit me so often; it shows a tender concern and a childlike curiosity rare in this jaded world. However, I just have to ask: What the hell is wrong with you? If you have to read me fifty-three times a day, why don't you just bookmark the goddamn page? Or memorise the URL or something. Or, I don't know, read something else. Plenty more blogs in the sea. Of blogs. You know, not a sea made of blogs, just a sea with some blogs in it.
In conclusion, you are a big freak and probably smell of cheap biscuits. Love, Carnie xx
Nothing to see here...
Why the fuck can't that gibbering wanker, Annie Jacobsen, just admit that she's a stupid hysterical idiotic plane-endangering flight-mashal-pissing-off racist shower of dysentry and that her whiny little article was not a blast of the trumpet against the monstrous regiment of PC arab-lovers who want planes to get blown up, but rather the histrionic blithering of a self-obsessed and deluded fuckbubble? And that furthermore, the only people who are still impressed by said article are other self-obsessed and deluded fuckbubbles?
Anyone up for a wee Googlebomb? Let's make Crazy Annie's article number one for Hysterical Bigot.
Edit: I've just checked and the first 6 results for Hysterical Bigot all point to Dan's treatment of the article. Which is pretty hilarious, but not as much as if the actual article was Number One.
Did a ton of work yesterday but I've still got loads to do. Just finished re-writing an assignment that I completely failed. Hopefully this draft will be better.
Aside from that, I've got another assignment (only 300 words), two more Green Forms to completely re-write, and my lesson plan for tomorrow to finish. I can get it all done, but it's not going to be a lot of giggles.
My head hurts.
I just want this whole thing to be over. I'm terrified of failing the course.
Edit: And then I went in the kitchen and poured myself a mugful of freshly-brewed espresso, and suddenly the world was a brighter place.
Saturday, August 21, 2004
Louis de Bernières, the bloke who wrote Captain Corelli's Mandolin, has had his laptop nicked. Bit of a pisser, especially since he had about 50 pages of his next book on it.
I mention this not because it's particularly interesting, but because of the author's response when asked if he had it backed up:
"I never make disk copies of my work because I am not a computer boffin. I prefer just to do print-outs on paper after I have finished each chapter . But I had not been doing that because I had been writing in the summerhouse and the printer was indoors. "
That's right, everyone, you need to be a "computer boffin" to back up to disc. Well, the police shouldn't have any trouble finding the laptop, it'll be the one with fucking Tip-Ex on the screen. Wanker.
Friday, August 20, 2004
Monday, August 16, 2004
For the last two weeks I have et, slept and breathed this course. Apart from the slept part, because I haven't had a solid 8hrs since it started. I find myself waking up at three, knowing full well that I have to get up at 6:30 if I'm going to get my things together, and yet unable to go back to sleep until I've just given my lesson plan the once-over. Said once-over taking until four, at least, and involving a substantial re-write.
See, I'm digging the actual teaching. I'm finding it a blast. It's very fulfilling and stimulating and all that girly shit I'm supposed to be into, blah blah blah. But the paperwork is doing my head in. See, we have to submit these forms with a breakdown of what we're going to teach, how we're going to teach it, and why it should matter two hoots to the students. And I can't get mine right. I've had to redo the last two, I never know what's wrong with them until the tutors explain it to me, and it's driving me nuts. I feel like I'm in a text-based adventure game and trying to get Thorin to pick me up or summink.
THOU ART IN A TEFL COURSE. WHAT DOST THOU WISHETHEST TO DO?
THOU SEEEST: A GREEN FORM
>fill in ye form
THOU HAST COCKED UP YON FORM ROYALY.
>fill in ye form again.
THOU SEEEST: A TUTORE, WHO LOOKEST AT THEE WITH A PAINED EXPRESSION.
THOU ALSO SEEEST: A BIG FAT WASTE OF 1500 GP IF THOU DOST NOT GET THINE ACT TOGETHER.
>fill in ye green form again?
NOT GOOD ENOUGH. THOU ART CRAP. THY SCORE IS 1.7% PLAY AGAIN Y/N?
Sunday, August 15, 2004
Finally got that blessed assignment out of the way. Ended up writing six times what I needed and having to do a total hatchet job. ARRRGH. I've been working on that sucker since half-past eight and its twenty-five to four now. My world has shrunk to the size of a VDU and I can't feel my back.
Anyway, the sucker is put to bed. I have some other stuff but hopefully it'll only take another 5 hours or so.
Then I'm going down the pub.
Edit: No, I'm not. Apparently it's St. Allthebloodyshopsareshut's Day. No beer. No... Beer! ARRRRRRRGHHHHH!
Maybe the hotel bar is open.
Edit edit: Hotel bar open, but naff and depressing. Even more depressing than No Beer. So I came home.
I'm bored now.
Saturday, August 14, 2004
Feel a bit peculiar today. I've been trying to cut down on the coffee because my sleep patterns have gone totally paisley, and I've got caffine withdrawals. Went into Big Skool to nose about in the library, then went to lunch with one of the other students. We ended up sitting in Pans for about 2 hrs, talking about flight-related horror stories.
I think the thing that's making me feel peculiar is this: I'm not flunking my course. That's just plain weird. I mean, I've got stuff I need to work on, for sure, but it's mostly unfamiliar jargon and paperwork. the actual standing-up-and-teaching part is going great.
Had a crap lesson on Fri. I was supposed to be teaching my people words for film-related stuff like "director", "cast", "extras" and so on. I'd prepared this really detailed lesson plan to help everyone get to grips with the new vocab., but 10 mins into the lesson it was blindingly obvious that they already knew everything I was trying to teach them, making my entire lesson plan totally redundant and if I carried on like this I would have a mutiny on my hands. So I ended up turning my whole lesson into a big guessing game where one person had to sit with his back to the board, I wrote a film title on the board and everyone else had to tell him stuff about the film until he guessed the title. In my plan I'd allowed time for one or two people, but this way everyone got a turn. Which was a gas, strangely.
I've got an assignment due in on Monday. It's only 1500 words long and will take me maybe a morning to complete, since I've done half of it already. But there's this nagging voice in the back of my head that says I'm not going to be able to get it done in time. I can see what the little voice means: I pretty much fail everything, and since I'm not actually failing my course in the sense of being unable to do the work, then I'll have to do something utterly self-destructive and stupid in order to maintain my perfect record, like just not turn up and not turn in any work or something.
Not. Going. To. Happen. I'm finishing my assignment. I'm getting my lesson plan done for Tuesday. I'm getting my certificate.
I'm enjoying my coffee in this family restaraunt.
Friday, August 13, 2004
Thursday, August 12, 2004
Been reading this sucker for the full three-and-a-bit years? Still find yourselves a touch confused as to what I'm on about half the time?
meet my guru. he hav bin around longer than any of those discordian fules, and he speke Lat. beter than a lot of thelemites. he kno more about hogwarts than h. potter chiz moan drone.
arise sir nigel
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
'Sfunny: My personal life is in a state of extreme flux right now, but it's also more hopeful and promising than it has been for years. Unburying a skill I had vaguely suspected I might posess is good, of course, but mostly I just have this overall feeling of hopefulness and high-on-the-hogness. I feel... good. Like everything's going to be okay.
That's awake. Asleep I am at the mercy of my paranoia. I keep having these anxiety dreams, which always seem to follow the same pattern: Me and Lurid move to [insert Foriegn Abroad place here] and I end up working as a [insert unlikely job here] on/in a [insert even less likely location/organisation here].
Like as a for example, I drempt a few weeks back that Lurid got a job at an Indian university and the only job I could get was a gopher on a Bollywood film set. Then I drempt that L. got a job at a Chinese university, and I had to get a job as a data entry clerk only all the keyboards had Chinese characters on them so I couldn't use them* and my boss got angry. Then last night's dream put us in Finland (I mean to say, Finland?) and my job was looking after talking cats, and there was a guy who kept trying to chuck the cats off the landing of the block of flats where we were staying.**
Why can't I go back to dreaming about being shot at? It wasn't pleasant, but at least it was simple.
*Except for this one key that had a picture of some cherries on it, and when you hit it there was a sound effect and a big random cartoon picture came up on the screen.
** Don't worry. Turns out that talking cats can also fly, or at least glide gracefully across to the next landing, so I didn't get fired from my completely imaginary job.
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Well, they haven't booted me out yet. So far so good. I have a horrible gnawing dread that I may be learning more grammar off of this course than the actual students are. Somehow I manage to cover up for that during teaching practice.
Mostly you just figure out who's got the best grasp of English in the class and when someone asks a question you say something like "Ah, yes, good question. Mr Bestgrasp, can you help explain that?" Other than smartypants identification, it's mostly drawing sticklymen and finding ways to explain stuff. Like, on Friday one of my learners asked me what "shouting" was, so I yelled at him.
Well, it worked, didn't it?
(Note: if any of my lecturers are reading this, what I meant to say is I'm developing a student-centered teaching style and devising organic, holistic, real-world excercises to promote understanding. Honest.)
All joking apart, I think I'm doing okay. The students come out knowing pretty much what I was trying to teach them, which I guess is the main thing. I'd hate it if they were coming away either out of their depths or totally unchallenged, and so far I seem to be keeping a balance. The paperwork, however, is a killer.
PS: Fiction addiction? New Inlightenedment.
Sunday, August 08, 2004
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
You all have to give me apples, and also polish the apples so they're shiny.
Yeah, so the course is okay. They're really nice there, I like the other trainees, and my
The first day was the scariest. They threw me right in the deep end, turning round and telling me to get up and teach for 20 mins. ( ARRRGH.) But it turns out I'm actually pretty good at this. Looking forward to a longer sesh tomorrow afternoon. Hope they like my sticklymen.
Monday, August 02, 2004
Okay, so it's my first day of my course, and I got about 3 hours sleep last night and when I woke up I couldn't find my glasses and I looked everywhere and then they were on my nightstand all along, and because the whole transaction was done by email I don't have any kind of reciept or anything and what if they tell me it's all been a big mistake and ARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHH.