saffiter: (Herger no writing and pretty white swirl)
Hey all!

Remember that embroidery sampler I posted a while back with the Decepticon symbol on it? Well, this is what I've been working on since then. This is gonna end up as a cushion of some description. Probably a pin cushion judging by the size of it.

I've been working on calico this time and it's much easier to sew on. Less fraying than with whatever the hell that was I used before.

That silver bit on the...well, it will be a Fleur de Lis was a pain in the proverbial backside! I have stab marks on my fingers from doing that. Ignore what looks like the blue stains, it's a washable seamstresses pen. That'll come off when I was it. Those three circles in different shades of blue took about an hour and a half all up (I had to very carefully cut away four strands of the fabric). Don't even get me started on that green and burnt orange border. That took about 2 days all up to finish.

I'm enjoying myself, despite the constant stabbings *grins*

Piccy hidden behind here to save flist )

In other news; I went out for dinner with one of my old students tonight. Had a lot of fun. We had ramen at this to die for place down from the Casino. Mum and I stumbled on it when she was down here and they still remembered me when I walked in!

We're going to the Gold Coast tomorrow for the day.

Nothing much else to report. Mum and Dad decided at the last minute to drive down and visit me for Easter. It was great to see them again but, boy, did we do some running around or what!

Uni starts back up again on Monday. It's been good to have a bit of a break with no work or anything.

Speaking of work, it definitely looks like I'm unemployed again. I've been searching for other stuff to do instead of teaching 'cause it seriously fries your brain trying to do full time work and part time uni. I'd get to Tuesday and feel like it was Thursday. I was just mentally exhausted.

So, have been searching for something where I don't have to think too hard at work. That way I'll still have brain power left to try and understand what the heck my lecturers are trying to teach me.

*Edited due to uploading the wrong picture **headdesk***

Gah!

Jan. 14th, 2010 12:58 am
saffiter: (What? - Miles)
So, virus checker subscription thingy ran out tonight. All good, Dad had the newest copy of AVG (freeware one that's pretty good) on his computer. No worries, right?

Wrong.

Damn thing kept telling me I had version 7 on this laptop. Er, I'm pretty damn sure I don't, so I went looking and couldn't find it. Tried again. same problem.

Then I thought I'd try something a little different. Installed version 8, updated all the virus dooby-whacky's that I had to install, and then downloaded version 9. Hit install and.... it worked perfectly. Damn thing installed itself with no problems at all. I am now all virus checkered up again!

In other news I went to an ex-student's place for dinner tonight. She messaged me yesterday morning to see how I was going (as I don't teach there anymore and she's graduated). I was grilled on what sort of things I ate and didn't eat. She and her other flatmate, who turned out to be another of my ex-students (and I feel really bad 'cause I just can't remember his name and it's driving me nuts!!!), cooked a traditional Korean meal.

It was called (and I'm typing this phonetically here 'cause I neither read nor speak Korean beyond "Hello") Bimbibab or something like that. There were also Kimchi pancakes and something that reminded me of rissoles. To drink there was, of course, beer (half my Korean students would turn up hung-over 2/3rds of the time, usually the males...and when they didn't turn up their excuse the next day was "I was too drunken to come to class" It was annoying and yet amusing at the same time) which was needed as they plopped hot chilli paste on top of my bowl...

...

... Spicy food is spicy!

I managed to impress them with my chopsticks skills... 13 months in China will definitely teach you how to use them *laughs*. It's either that or carry a knife and fork around with you the whole time.

It was a good evening and I didn't get home until about 9pm... I then spent the next 3 hours fighting with my virus thingy. All fixed now ^___^

Still no news back from the university. It's still early days, I know, but I'm watching that mailbox.

*headdesk*

Nov. 11th, 2009 11:12 pm
saffiter: (Gun Porn)
So, hell week was this week. It's nearly over. Students have all done their tests and they did really, really well! Out of my 13 students, only two aren't going to be moving up to the next level. The majority of them got high 70's/low 80's for their results (tests are out of 100). I'm so proud of them! They've really worked their butts off this 5 week block!

Of course the DoS, when he saw those results, could only whimper and start muttering about how he had no idea how he was going to fit them into the current classes. I very nearly told him to step back for a second and just look at those results. He should be happy for them! Those students worked their butts off to get the marks that they did! Even the two that aren't going up got 53 and 64 respectively. That's still nothing to be sneezed at!

Actually, I was waiting for him to tell me that I had to 'tweak' those results so that a few more stayed down in lower-int for another 5 weeks. I'm glad he didn't. I hate doing it.

I was also quite proud of myself. We had to have all the tests (reading, writing, listening, grammar and vocabulary. Speaking gets marked during class) marked by 4pm Tuesday. We're not allowed to take them home, and we have to mark them between planning lessons, preparing for lessons, and teaching. I had mine (all 52 of 'em) marked by 4pm that same day.

Lord knows how I managed that, but I did.

Today was student counselling. That's where I take each student outside, one by one, for about 5-10 minutes and talk about their test results, how they're doing, things they can do to improve, that sort of thing. I gave them a worksheet to do while I was doing the counselling, but I guess they finished it. When I got into the classroom I found Franky and Pierre at the front of the class orchestrating a game of hanggman.

They were using words like infidelity and enigmatically...

...

...

...these guys are lower-int! I shudder to think what sort of words they're going to be using when they hit advanced! I'll need a dictionary just to understand anything they write!

One of my afternoon class students came bounding up to me this afternoon proudly telling me "I picked Skills Builder as my first choice because I want you as my teacher again!" He looked mildy horrified when I told him that I was pretty sure that Monday was my last day.

...

...Although I could be wrong. This makes it the 6th "(Insert Day) will be your last day, Sheena" notice that I've got. They keep extending my contract.

Rinor didn't seem to be worried. He basically told me, with the utmost certainty, that I would still have a job next week and that I'll be their teacher. O.o (I guess the little 16yr old brat likes me).

*shrugs* I guess I'm doing something right.

Oh, and I found something for those of you who've often wondered what the inside of an ESL classroom is like. You've heard my crazy stories...which reminds me. They were having a debate the other day and Pierre really disagreed with what the rest of the class was saying *snickers*

Pierre:
What are you thinking?! You are all stupid!!

He then proceeds to list, catagorically, why they are wrong.

Me?

I was curled up in a corner trying not to laugh, with tears running down my face. When I got these guys they didn't understand simple jokes. Now, they tease each other and will sit there and debate things until they're blue in the face.

Anyway, this thing that I found. Our Senior teacher found this old British series called Mind Your Language. It's about an ESL teacher and his class of emigrants in Britain. It's a bit stereotypical (but then, considering the year it was filmed, understandable), but whoever wrote it had to have been involved with the ESL industry, most likely a teacher. There's no way they weren't, there's just too many parallels with what goes on in the classroom for them not to be.

Click here for the insanity! )

Anyway, it's getting late here so I think it's time I crawled into bed. Night all!
saffiter: (Default)
So, we were doing some listening today in class. It was a song by Christina Aguelira (yes, I know I've spelt that wrong). It was a slow song and the singer they had to sing it on the cd...well, they weren't exactly in key.

So, queue me holding up my hand and pretending I had a lighter in it (You know, like what people do at concerts *grins*) to try and help lighten what was a rather painful experience.

Andy, card that his is, decided that we needed a real flame in the classroom, so he dug into his pocket. I expected him to whip out a cigarette lighter and start using that...

...boy was I wrong.

Out comes his iPhone. He plays with it for a second and then holds it up and starts swaying it from side to side. There was an animated, motion sensitive picture of a candle on his screen.

The class lost it.

In other news I still don't know if I'm working next week. I wasn't supposed to be working this week but I got asked on Friday if I could work Monday. Then, I got asked on Monday if I could work the rest of the week. My students are not happy. They've got tests on Monday and they want me there for at least that.

Pierre actually said that he wanted to keep me as his teacher his whole time here... of course, this was after I'd spent 25 minutes trying to explain something to him. He finally got it, but jeez! I whimpered dramatically and pretended to bang my head on the desk when he said that. He just grinned evilly at me.

(also, if he says "But in French we can't say this! one more time, I may just fling him off the balcony. English may borrow a lot of words from French but it is not French!)

Speaking of Pierre... I think there's a romance brewing in my classroom (or at least a casual fling). Motoko (called Moco) came to Australia for one reason and one reason only. To get a boyfriend... You'd be surprised just how many Japanese girls do that. Anyway, she sits next to Pierre. Yes, I know, that's not much to base that sort of assumption on but hear me out. I'll use today as a case point:

Moco wore the shortest bloody summer dress I've ever seen. Seriously, I think it was a singlet top in a previous life. When Pierre came in to class (late, I might add) he scaned the room and then makes a beeline for Moco. When they were doing pair work together she was practically laying across the table and giving him a wonderful view of her bra and down her chest. Pierre was taking every advantage with that.

Yes, that could just be Pierre being male but let me continue.

The general behaviour between the two of them can be narrowed down to "Extreme Flirting" (Honestly, if flirting was an Olympic sport, they'd take out the gold). I'm the first to admit that I wouldn't be able to recognise when someone's flirting with me if they smacked me upside the head with a clue-by-four, but even I can recognise this as flirting! They're always together (and arranging themselves just so when they're talking to each other) at school. Wherever Moco goes Pierre is sure to be....slight shades of Mary Had a Little Lamb there, sorry about that. Couldn't resist.

I find it all quite hilarious! I've been watching this all last and this week with great amusement and interest.

That's one thing I'm definately going to miss if I'm not working next week. I'll have to find something else to amuse myself with.

Oh, in other news Revenge of the Fallen came out on Dvd here in Australia today. I got myself a copy *grins*. Lennox dumping Galloway out of the plane has already been screencapped! Icons shall be forthcoming.

I also found the two easter eggs. One of them is a blooper (Josh Duhamel, the guy who plays Lennox, stacking it during his 'Hero' moment in the desert right before Sam dies...they were only supposed to do one take on that) and the other one is a montage of the many takes it took to get Mojo to hump Franky *eyeroll*. It's voiced over by whoever did Wheelie.

Well....

Oct. 30th, 2009 09:35 pm
saffiter: (Lennox Evil Genius)
.... I'm still employed. It was decided at the 11th hour today that I shall be going back to work for at least Monday, so I've got at least one more day of work.

Of course, I'd told all of my students that today was my last day today...well, I told them that there was an 80% chance that today was my last day, and they might see me on Monday. I did comment as a few of them made sure to get pictures taken with me that, knowing my luck, now that they've done the whole 'Take your picture with your teacher' thing that I'd be there on Monday *laughs*

I'm going to walk in on Monday and cry "They lied to me!!! I'm still here!" as dramatically as I can.

I did manage to catch a couple of the students as I was leaving for the day to tell them the good news. They all seemed pretty happy/relieved that I was going to be there next week (I do think I heard the Korean equivalent of "Oh, thank god!" from one of them).

None of them are very happy with the uncertainty that I've been going through with my job for the last few weeks. Some of them were actually quite vocal about it (I had to haul Pierre, the French guy, up for swearing quite colourfully).

I also have some other news. Remember my minor freak out about my wisdom teeth?

Yes?

Well, I went to the dentist on Tuesday. He gave me a check-up ("Beautiful teeth. Don't let any other dentist tell you what to do with your teeth. Whatever you're doing, you're doing it right!") and sent me to the private hospital on Lake St. for x-rays...and did that bring back memories of my orthodontist or what!

This being the same orthodontist that I actually bit (I did warn him!)

So, I went for x-rays, drove back (well, Mum drove me back. I can't drive) and gave him the x-rays to look at. He said he'd give them a thorough looking over and ring me back with what he wanted to do. There were going to be three possibilities.

1) Do nothing as the x-rays would show (if I was lucky) that, while my teeth were growing out wonky, there were no problems under the gums.
2) Have one pulled out at the dentists.
3) Discover that there were problems with three or more of the teeth. This would mean surgery.

I was hoping for option 1, but wasn't really holding out much hope for it. It must've showed on my face this week 'cause Katherine (noisy little French lady at work) kept asking me what was wrong and if I was all right.

The thought of loosing time to anasthetic and to willingly let someone at me with a knife while I'm unaware.... terrifies me. A lot more than I thought it would.

I got a phone call from Mum on Thursday, lunch time....

NO SURGERY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

While the teeth are coming up wonky, there's absolutely nothing wrong underneath the gums. He'd rather leave them alone if they're not causing me pain, than yank the buggers.

That is such a relief off my mind. It's also a relief on my bank account. That would've been $1500 - $2000 that I didn't have.

In other news, my hair's been cut and dyed red again. I really should take a picture of it and post it, so everyone can see it.

Also, if anyone uses PowerDVD on their computer to watch movies and has Windows Vista... be warned. One of the newest update thingies stops PowerDVD from working, as I just discovered this evening. I spent a good hour uninstalling and re-installing iTunes thinking that was the problem. It was the last thing I installed on my laptop. When that didn't work I played with a couple of other programs... none of that worked.

Bloody Windows!

I have now bought myself the upgrate to PowerDVD9 (which plays Blu-Ray!!!). It's currently downloading at a snail's pace (127mb, it's done 32mb and I've still got 3hrs 10mins left). Slow download is slow!

So, the reason I discovered this little...flaw... I got myself Star Trek today. I was gonna screencap the gag reel to make icons. This shall have to wait until the upgrade is downloaded and installed.

I'll do Revenge of the Fallen 'caps...as soon as it actually gets released in Australia. We don't get it here until Nov 5 *sighs

I'm off to go and stare at my download, downloading...it's worse than watching paint dry after painting yourself into a corner...

actually, just had a thought. I've got a lot of screencaps nicked from the net of the old tv series The Sentinel. Might do some icons of that while I'm waiting.

Whee?

Oct. 24th, 2009 01:06 pm
saffiter: (Owie!)
Mum just got home from invigilating (I got her a job at work invigilating IELTS exmas) and had this news for me "Don't get too excited, but it looks like you might have at least another week of work"

Aparently, three more students signed up on Friday and they're in the level that I teach... so... possibly some more work coming my way.

Half of me's going "Yay! More money!" (lord knows I need it). The other half of me's throwing a mild temper tantrum, pouting and going "But I wanna holida~ay!"

We'll just see what happens next week.

Oh, and Madeline, the IELTS co-ordinator who's the relief DOS this week, told Mum to tell me that if I want to stay in Cairns to see our normal DOS the minute he gets back, so that he's aware.

In other news, I have one student who's bloody lucky that my afternoon class is on the bottom floor. I probably would've thrown her off the balcony. As it was I had to step away from the whiteboard markers and eraser just so I wouldn't have anything to throw at her.

I've since had most of the rest of the class (minus her four cronies) come up and hug/console/talk to me/ask me when she's leaving.
saffiter: (Yee Haw - Lando)
The DoS called me into his office this afternoon just as I was leaving. I have a job next week.

YAY!!!

There were enough last minute sign ups for classes next week that he can't let me off just yet. According to him there was no way he could juggle the classes and move people around without getting a crap-load of complaints. As far as he's concerned, it's easier to just leave me where I am for the next couple of weeks and avoid the angry students.

I repeat: YAY! I have a job for at least the next two weeks.

*sighs in relief* That's a bit more money in my bank account.

The downside to this:

... I was kinda looking forward to having a rest. I've been running non-stop for 2 years now. Yes, I had holidays, but I was go, go, go the whole time. I'd hit the ground in another country and cram as much as I could into a short amount of time (that usually meant really late nights and very early mornings). My last summer holidays... I came home and promptly worked for the 2 1/2ish months I was here.

Those two weeks I had off in January when I got sick... they don't count. Actually, I barely remember them (as I spent most of them sick as a dog and feeling like I was about to die).

I need a break, I really do. I can feel myself starting to flag/droop/wilt/whatever. I'm just weary.

Roll on the next two weeks, roll on.

No real student antics to report today... no, wait. French guy (who is slowly edging his way off the 'To Toss off the Balcony' list).

Me: *trying to listen to the students during a speaking activity*
Pierre: *to his partner, Seoyoung* Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!! Quiet, quiet! Here comes the espionage! Quiet!
Me: *blinks* the what?! (I hadn't really understood what he'd said. He's got a really thick French accent. Seriously, I see his mouth move, I hear words... but it sounds like nothing I've ever heard before!)
Pierre: The espionage!
Me: *blank look* Um...
Pierre: Espionage! Espionage! *starts swearing in French* 007!
Me: *continued blank look*. (His accent is really hard to understand when he gets excited)
Pierre: 007! Shit! James Bond!!! *waves hands around like a maniac* You must know him. Espionage *flails* Oh, how say you in English?!
Me: Oh! Oh! Spy!
Pierre: Yes, yes! *looks quite smug and pleased with himself* Spy. *starts shushing Seoyoung* Quiet, she's a spy! No talk!
Me: I shall never be as cool as James Bond, I'm afraid.

He then proceeded to stop talking, grin, and mutter "Spy! whenever I walked near. And, yes, I know we use the word espionage in English, but the way he was saying it... must've been the French pronunciation 'cause it sounded nothing like any word I'd ever heard. As I said, he's got an insanely thick accent.
saffiter: (Don't make me slap you Indy)
...and the ways that they amuse us.

So, I have new students. Level tests were last week (I hate Hell week!) so I've got a couple of new students in my class. One of them, a Korean girl, was a last minute addition (literally. I'm walking out the door and the DoS grabs my role off me and scribbles her name at the bottom) with a "She's yours. Enjoy" and this strange look on his face. It was a bit odd but I thought nothing of it.

Anyway, I start class, nothing odd there. Hecky was absent, I just figured she was a little lost. It happens, though if I get one more student asking me "Where's Dugong?" I might just go postal and start flinging people off the balcony.

For those wondering, Dugong is one of those classrooms that you can see, but figuring out how the bloody hell to get into is is a bit of a problem. You've got to go into the student's travel club and another door to get in there. It's all very complicated. If you see a student wandering around after class starts looking lost on Monday or Tuesday that's the classroom they're most likely looking for.

30 minutes after the start of class I see these two Korean girls, one short, one really, really tall, wander past my door looking lost. I go out (sucker that I am) to see if they're okay. Short one was my student, Hecky. Her friend, who'd been moved up into the same level, wanted to stay with her and attend my class....

Er, no way. Not happening. If she's not on my role, she doesn't sit in my class. It's as simple as that. I told big friend (who's bigger than me, for cryin' out loud!) to go to reception and ask them. Big friend couldn't go on her own. Hecky had to go with her and hold her hand.

So, off the two went and I wandered back into class. Hecky got added to my 'to toss off the balcony' list and I went back to teaching the class. Fifteen minutes later Hecky comes back into class sans her friend. I figured reception had said no. (I since found out that the friend was 45 minutes late to her class and told her teacher some convoluted story about her bike breaking down with absolutely no mention of an attempt to muscle into a different classroom).

So, I warn the DoS about what's been happening during break time in case they should come to him and ask. He pretty much says "No" and that was it...after calling me scary (as I'd told him what'd happened by acting out what I'd done. His reaction... "Jeez, Sheena. You're scary when you're angry!". I wasn't so much angry as frustrated. It took them 10 minutes to understand. 'No, you can't come in here. Go to reception' *eyeroll*).

I come back after break to find big friend in my classroom again. Okay, don't panic, she's probably just visiting her friend. Nope. She honest to go looms over me (which is most disturbing, let me tell you...and it pisses me off. I hate people looming over me trying to intimidate) to tell me that reception had said yes to Hecky joining her friends class as long as I said yes. I had no problem with it as long as the other teacher was okay (if it got them both out of my hair then good riddance!).

Now, this took 15 minutes of my class time to try and get this across to them...how the bloody hell did they manage to advance to my class? How? I ask you? I speak at nearly full speed and joke with these guys (and they get the jokes 9 times out of 10). They may be lower-intermediate but I push them pretty hard (I actually had one girl writing things like "I whiled away my weekend lying on the beach" in her writing tasks by the time I was finished with her).

*gah!*

So, once they'd managed to understand this they both disappear to the other class to go and pick on the other teacher. Hecky comes back about 15 minutes after this and kinda sulks for the rest of the class. I'm guessing the teacher said no.

I thought this would be the end of it. I've said no, the other teacher's said no, end of story.

Nope. Not even close.

I come in to the office after classes are finished for the day and notice the two of them sitting and pouting in reception (you have to walk through the reception area to get to the teacher's refuge...er, office ^_^).

Before I go any further I should probably describe these two. One's tall and has some meat on her bones (for a Korean. She'd be considered thin by Australian standards, but if she's anything like my Japanese student she probably thinks she's fat. Seriously, Moco is tiny, skinny as and thinks she's too fat *eyeroll*. I just tell her if she's fat then I must be a whale), one's short. They've both got hair that's styled and coloured exactly alike. They dress similarly, and they do their make-up exactly the same. They co-ordinate their shoes!... it's terrifying!

So, since their two teachers aren't letting them swap into the same class they've come back to try reception again. It's not going to work. Head receptionist/marketing lady/sweetheart goes out the back to the DoS to let him know what's going on. Out he goes to sort them out. It takes him a good 20 minutes but he comes back in looking like he's ready to tear his hair out...but satisfied. He's also said no and his word is final.

He also did an imitation of them which was disturbingly accurate and quite hilarious...complete with falsetto, stamping feet, eye-rolling, crossed arms, and pouting.

In other news I've got some more corker student names for you *grins*

Already on the list: HongKi, DongKi, Jedi

Please note that these two students that I'm about to mention are male.... Su and Dolli... I shit you not.

Also, I may or may not have a job come Friday. It all really depends on whether or not they get a couple of more students to sign up next week. If they do, I have a job. If they don't, then I'm unemployed. *shrugs*. There's still relief teaching, etc...and I need a couple of weeks of rest. I haven't had a decent sit down and relax in two years. It would be nice to have a permanent job though.
saffiter: (Screamer Spitting Action)
...what I saw in Cairns Central today.

As you know we were suffering from dust storms recently. The good news is that that seems to have gone away (for now).

The bad news is that it is ridiculously dry right now. Everything's brown. I've never seen it this brown!

...

Anyway, this means that there's a lot of fires around here. I'm okay (mostly) with it. I grew up in Brisbane, I spent the first 12 or so years of my life believing the rest of the world had a Bushfire Season.... boy was I wrong. I do remember a couple of times where I actually had a bag packed and waiting next to my bed incase we had to evacuate in a hurry.

Right, so, it's really dry. There's lots of fires around right now. So, while the dust is gone I still can't see the fraggin' mountains! *le sigh*.

Also the louvers in my bedroom are made of wood and old. They've warped and there's huge gaps in them that's letting smoke into my room. This is frustrating as I just can't escape the smell of smoke. I haven't breathed clearly since...um... okay, this is scary, Poland! (Before that last asthma attack a few weeks ago I hadn't had one in years!). The good news is that they're covered under Body Coporate so they'll fix them as they're a health risk.

There is a point to all this. You'll see the Japanese/Korean/Chinese tourists wandering around Cairns wearing surgical masks (and I've even debated getting myself one, the smoke is that bad, and I hate the damn things!), but that's about all. You don't see the locals wearing anything to block the smoke...

.... until today!

Mum and I were in Central (I had 2 hours 45min between my morning classes and the conversation club I was running). We'd met up to have lunch (a nummy, nummy salad for me ^__^). I was heading back towards the exit with Mum behind me when I hear this "Holy shit! Tell me I'm not seeing this!" from Mum. I'm looking around trying to see what she's talking about when I see it... or should I say her...

Lady wearing a gas mask.

Yes, you read correctly. A lady wearing one of those black gas masks you see people wearing on TV and in the movies all the time...

*shakes head* The smoke's pretty bad, but a gas mask?!

---------------------------------------------------

In other news I have a new student. Male, young, and French. The jury's still out on whether he'll follow Mr. Bedroom-eyes and Ms. Madam over the balcony when they finally piss me off one too many times.

Also my right ankle is currently rather painful. I bashed it good and proper on my way to talk to the DoS today about student results and who should move up a level and who should stay down. Moving it just hurts!. Thankfully it doesn't hurt to walk, just to move it. Sheena's Desk: 1 , Sheena: 0
saffiter: (Don't make me slap you Indy)
When I write on the board (in large, capital letters):

DO NOT WRITE ON THE TEST PAPERS!!!!!!! WRITE ON THE ANSWER SHEETS!!!!!!

I am not doing it for my own amusement. I really do mean it. It makes twice as much work for me once the test is over as I have to fight the 15 or so other teachers (who have also had students write on the fraggin' test papers) for use of the only photocopier in the staff room. It's old. It jams, it breaks down, it does strange things, and makes odd noises if you look at it funny. It's frustrating and most of us aren't exactly in the greatest of moods during 'Hell Week' as it is.

Also, saying (and I quote) "We get it! You sound like my mother!" whenever I tell you "Don't write on these!" is just going to really piss me off.

I am not, and never shall be, your bloody mother, sweetheart! (Though I'm sure, if you smart off to her like you have done me the last few weeks, she's debated the merits of actually eating her young like some animals do)

After all of this do you actually remember to not write on the test paper?

Do you?

No, you don't!

10, papers. Count them with me now. 10! I think I'm justified with the reminders, don't you?

Also, if I say "Write on the answer sheets" I actually mean write directly onto the answer sheets. I don't mean 'write on a seperate peice of paper, check your answers at a snail's pace, and then transfer the answers onto the answer sheet'.

If I meant that I would say that.

Getting pissed at me because I take the answer sheet off you before you've even managed to transfer a third of the answers isn't going to help you. Storming off to complain to the office ladies isn't going to help either. They will side with me. In fact, if I'm remembering correctly, they did side with me.

Please consider this: Any exam you do, be it school, Cambridge, or IELTS is going to follow the same system. They're not going to wait for you to transfer answers from one peice of paper to another. They just won't, you're just a number to them. You will fail, no ifs, ands, buts, or maybes. Instant fail. I'll say it one more time, just to make sure it gets through to you. Fail.

You're just bloody lucky the DoS is a nice guy (who's probably more worried about student feedback than keeping up with proper testing procedures) and told me to accept the scrap peice of paper as an answer sheet. I would've failed your annoying arse.

Also, while we're on the subject of annoying. If you stay out clubbing until 4 fraggin' am and then come to class, don't just assume that I'll let you sleep in the corner.

I won't.

Getting pissy at me whenever I wake you up isn't going to endear you to me. I don't particularly care if you're thisclose to getting booted back to your home country, either. It's your own fault for deciding that partying is more important to you than staying in the country. You got yourself into this predicament. You deal with it like the adult you are. Pouting and throwing tantrums... well, you're not two, you're twenty odd years older than that, start acting like it. It's about time you started acting like a mature adult and stopped using your looks to get you what you want. You may have the other female teachers wrapped around your little finger, but this female teacher couldn't care less. I'm here to teach, not stare at the eye-candy.

Yours in irritation,

The Teacher.

Translation: I hate Hell Week, aka Test Week. I really do.

And the other female teachers really do react like that to this particular male. One of them actually said to me "How could you do that to him? He's so cute! He's got bedroom-eyes!" *headdesk*. Quite easily. It's called doing my job!.

The problem is that he thinks he can just smile at the teacher and he'll get what he wants. He's good looking (...okay, yes, he's hot. Even I'll admit it) and he knows it. Shirtless is his preferred mode of dress around town (when he's not in class. Even then he doesn't wear much).

In other news, I've got about a week and a half or so until work dries up (aparently). I'll have a couple of weeks rest and then see how much relief teaching I get. If I don't get much I'll drop my resume off at a couple of other schools.
saffiter: (Edmund Seriously WTF?!)
So, remember me telling you that my DoS was an absolute card.... here's more proof *grins*

So, every Friday they open the bar on the back deck of the school (Yes, we have a bar. They sell alcohol). Once a month (or more, if they can) they'll have some sort of activity for the students. This Friday it was a Nintendo Wii competition that they were calling Lord of the Wii.

So, que this morning after morning break, me starting up a speaking activity and the DoS knocks on my classroom door and asks if he can come in. I stop the activity and let him in. He's holding this Lord of the Wii sign and there's something that looks like a knife tucked into his belt.... o~okay then.

He doesn't wait for the students to pay attention to him or anything like that. He holds up the sign, pulls the knife from his belt with a dramatic flourish, and then bellows "LORD OF THE WII!!!!!" at the top of his lungs.

Students: O.O...WTF?!
DoS: *looks sheepish and waves the knife around* Sorry... I couldn't find a sword....
Me: *mental facepalm*

Once he's got the students attention he goes back to this mild mannered, quietly spoken Brit.

I'm beginning to think anyone who has a job in ESL/EFL for more than a year or so has to be close to certifiable....

I love my job!

In other news: We're still suffering from that frackin' dust!!! *scowls* I've been sneezing all day. Gah! I'm gonna have to take an antihistamine tonight before bed... I hate taking those. I feel groggy for the entirety of the next day when I do.
saffiter: (What? - Miles)
I woke up this morning to low visibility and the faint smell of smoke. I thought "Grea~at Yarrahbah's on bloody fire, again". (This happened a couple of weeks ago and you just couldn't see anything. Visibility was low and everything stunk of bush smoke for about a week).

Turns out I was kinda half right. It's not Yarrahbah that's on fire, it's the Tablelands, but that's only come down into Cairns a little bit. It's not bad enough to cause the haze that we've got now. Seriously, Cairns is surrounded by mountains. I know that the mountains are there... I bloody well live against one of them! but can I see them? No~o. I can't see much more than a really faint outline if I squint.

WTF?!

The answer to what's causing this: Dust storm.

I repeat: WTF?!?!?! This is FNQ. We don't get dust storms! (and I asked Mum, who grew up here as a little girl. She said she'd never seen this up here either).

I have pictures of the main drag I took with my camera-phone today when I went down to Central for lunch (boy was that a bad idea. I felt scungy for the rest of the day after that plus wheezy and sneezing like you wouldn't believe). I'll post them up later.

In other news I can now officially call myself a Jedi Master *grins* or at least that's what the DoS (Director of Studies), said to me.

Confused?

We were having a conversation about the strangest student names we've had (I won, btw. I've had Dong Ki and Hong Ki. It took me about 3 weeks to learn how to keep a straight face when calling the roll). The DoS was sitting behind his desk listening (and giggling... most disturbing to see a grown man giggle like that let me tell you) when he suddenly he bounds up from behind his desk and flings himself out the door. He's still hanging on to the door frame, grinning maniacally, and points to our group. "I can top that!!! I interviewed a Korean with the name Jedi today! And he's in your class!" *points his finger at me and gives me this manic grin*

Needless to say I won the "Strangest Names" competition.

So I am now known as the Jedi Master in the staff room ^____^.

The DoS's antics aren't over yet. This man is a card, an absolute card... he keeps the office interesting.

I look over at him about 20mins after this conversation to see him slouched down in his chair with some sort of pink bottle in his hand. I couldn't work out what it was until he unscrews the lid, takes it off, and then proceeds to blow bubbles out his office door.... o.O

I kid you not! He was blowing bubbles.

Me: Ah, our DoS. The epitome of maturity.
DoS: Shut up! It's been a hard day! *blows more bubbles out of his door*

I love my job!

Also, I went back and re-did that iTunes meme that was going around as I now have iTunes and can answer all the questions.

meme behind here to save your flist )
saffiter: (Yee Haw - Lando)
Students did surveys today in class. What they thought of their teacher in both the morning and afternoon classes (they have different teachers in the afternoons). We weren't supposed to read them but half the teachers did (I didn't). Tom was dropping his head into his hands with this resigned bemusement on his face and a "You're not supposed to read the bloody things you dolts!" (He's British) comment.

He was muttering something about sending out a memo when I left this afternoon for home.

Anyway, he read out to us some of the more amusing ones (some of them were hilarious). As I was walking past his office on the way to my afternoon class he stopped me for a minute. He'd just finished reading my student reviews. He had this massive grin on his face. According to him mine were "Absolutely excellent! Exceptional even!". He then proceeded to read out one to me:

"Sheena is strong and kind and has a good mind"

*massive grin*

I'm feeling pretty good right now ^______________________________^

Of course it turned into a bit of a downer when I got back from break. There was a message on my phone from the ATO (Australian Taxation Office) asking me to call them as soon as possible. I spent most of the rest of the afternoon worrying about what the heck they could possibly want.

Turns out they wanted to know a) why I never lodged a tax return in 2006 (I was overseas. That's been cleared up). b) Why I didn't lodge a form in 2002 when there was a record of a group certificate for $85 with $16 taken out in tax (WTF?! I say! It must've been a slow day in teh office) for the entire year. and c) why there was no record of tax lodgement from before 2005 (minus that one off in 2002).

I basically said that I couldn't remember why I didn't lodge a tax return back in '02. I thought I had. I was overseas in '06 and didn't work, and I didn't lodge a tax return before '05 because I was studying at University for crying out loud!!!

Anyway, the lady was really helpful and she's sending me out a 2002 tax pack and all the information I need to fill it in (for the $16 *shakes head*).

As I said, must've been a slow day at the office.
saffiter: (Don't make me slap you Indy)
Whatever new thing you've been feeding your child in the last few weeks I would like to say this:

PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT YOU HOLD DEAR, MY NOSE HAIRS AND CHOCOLATE, CEASE AND DESIST!

It is making him exceedingly gaseous. I've been forced to relocate the class outside twice in the last week due to unpleasant odours in the classroom. While your child is talented, I'm sure, being able to clear a large classroom in less than 2 minutes through the passing of wind at the tender age of 7 is not an ability I'd encourage in a child.

It's not just myself that is having problems, either. Poor Zuzanna tried to squeeze herself through the window bars this afternoon, despite the fact that she'd never fit, in an effort to escape the stench.

If you cannont change the diet of your child I am going to have to ask you to provide each and every student in your son's class, and myself, with a gas mask. We cannot continue to spend time outside waiting for the smell to clear as it is chewing up valuable class time.

Yours in desperation,

Sheena.

Story behind this: Bartosz #2 has obviously had a change in diet. He's been farting in class and, dear lord! Does it stink, or does it stink?! I've had to take the kids outside twice in the last week because the smell is too much. How can such a bad stench come out of someone so small?! He's seven for crying out loud! He comes up to my hip and I'm not that big to begin with! And it fills the entire classroom within seconds! It's a big classroom!
saffiter: (Makeup's Melting)
This was a conversation I had with J Group the other night (Yes, that group. I'm seriously going to miss them when I head back to Australia). We were discussing things that we eat (for some unknown reason).

Students: Have you ever tried black sausage?
Me: No, and I don't want to either *shudder*
Students: Why? It's good!
Me: It has blood in it.
Students: But it's good!
Me: It has blood in it. I draw the line at that. I'm not a Vampire
Patryk: *makes sucking noises and pretends to chew on Adam's neck*

I just about fell off the desk laughing at that point.

13 days 'til I finish up my contract in Poland and counting!
saffiter: (Owie!)
Jarek: "What's the difference between school and prison?"

It took the class five minutes to stop laughing. Turns out he wanted to know as we were doing a class on articles (a, an, the for those who are all "What the heck is an article?!"). He wanted to know about how we'd use those in relation to the building as they're public/government or something property and there is actually a rule for it (don't ask. Even the text book couldn't give a clear, straight cut answer on it).

Later on:

Me: Infected. Can anyone tell me what that means? *starts hacking up a lung*
Jarek: You are infected.

God I love that class! They never fail to put me in a good mood even if I'm as cranky as hell.

Also, I realised that I haven't told you how my holiday went, yet. Bad Sheena! No chocolate! *smacks herself*. I'll do that tomorrow in between marking that rather large pile of essays and exams sitting precariously on my desk. I swear they're going to slide of at any second. My students serioulsy wanted me to take them with me while I was on holiday ("You take them with you, yes? You have a week off!")... no way in hell! A) It's my holiday as in, no work. I'm not taking work with me. B) I would've had no time (I hit the ground running and didn't stop). C) I'm sure they would've loved me if I took their exams/essays with me and then lost them in Paris!. Yeah, I would've been really popular.

It's like weekends. Back home a weekend is time for you to relax. Here it's just more time to do your marking. I'd be very, very rich if I actually got paid for every hour I sat down and did marking, report cards (24 hour there at least), and syllabus (2-3 days of straight work on that one), and anything else my boss could find for me to do at home.

Also, I am sick.

Again.

I've been hacking up gunk all week and don't get me started on my nose (how can so much snot come out of one nose?!). One of my students once described a running nose as her brain melting.

I rather like that description.

Also, new Transformers footage out. I have screencapped. Expect icons some point soon...ish.

Relief!

Mar. 13th, 2009 06:06 am
saffiter: (Don't make me slap you Indy)
Right, so the boss has still managed to piss me off a bit and I had a go at her today about it (good natured, so she didn't realise just how furious I was, but I have drawn attention to the fact that what she sent was inappropriate considering the amount of work that I'd put in over the last week and a bit).

I'd spent 6+ hours planning for this class today where the lady from Kratorium came in to watch. I sent it off to her on Monday at about 11pm. I get up Tuesday morning, spend about two hours planning lessons and hand making materials for the Thursday lesson. I get online, check my email and find this:

"Sheena, I'd really like you to work harder" and there were attachments of Agnes' lesson plans. She wanted me to redo the lesson plan so that it looked more like Agnes'. Again there was no please or thank you. I was furious. Work harder?! How much harder could I bloody well work? Cue much swearing and opening of programs on my laptop to start re-writing the lesson plan. I finally got it in to her about 3am that next morning.

What my boss keeps forgetting is that I don't have a background in education like Agnes does. She's got a Bachelor of Education and spent two years or more teaching at schools in America. I've BA and a four week CELTA course...and lesson plans were never my strong point. I don't really get how to write them. I can teach no problems, and I know what I want to do, but all the really complex stuff just goes right over my head. Telling me "Write a lesson plan by X date" doesn't really help me. Give me an example and I can do it, but just telling me you want a lesson plan by Monday is not helpful at all!

Also the constant coming up to me and going "the lesson must be lively and full of movement" nearly every single time you see me is just going to drive me around the bend. Today, when she asked me if I was nervous, I just snapped at her with a "No, fed up and glad that it will be all over soon, but not nervous"... she just assumed I was nervous 'cause I don't usually snap at her.

... and she made two of my youngest students cry today in front of the whole class and I don't know why. She's on my shit-list for that. You don't make my students cry and not tell me why *scowls*. Especially not the two 7 year olds. I was thankfully able to get them laughing and smiling again once she left (thank goodness for silly lesson songs and random games + Sheena acting like an idiot).

Oh, and one of the kids announced today that his English has really improved. He used to get 4's at school (barely passing), he's now getting 6's (which are the highest mark you can get). I feel so proud right now ^________^.

So, the lady sat in on my lesson today. Group I, my least behaved class. I was worried because of this. 3 the students didn't turn up, but 9 did...

... it was actually a really, really good lesson. My boss shook my hand as she left and told me that it was a good lesson. The best she'd ever seen me give. The lady from Kratorium loved the lesson and hugged me when she left for the evening! And from the sounds of it she couldn't stop talking about the lesson the rest of the time she was there O.o.

Other good news:

I'm going to PARIS at Easter!!!!! It's all booked. I'm going to see one of my old workmates from China on the 10th, go to Eurodisney another day...and guess what? [livejournal.com profile] randybaggins will be in Paris at the exact same time as me!!!!!. We'd joked about this when I first got a job in Europe, but I thought it was just a joke.

Nope, she's coming to Paris! I can't wait!

Gah!

Mar. 8th, 2009 07:31 am
saffiter: (Don't piss off the Hatchet)
Just gah!

So, my boss likes dumping a shitload of stuff on us at the last minute and stressing us out competely.

We did the bloody syllabus for all of our classes back in November, but because there's this lady coming from Kratorium for three days from the 10th she wants us to redo them way more in-depth.

This would be fine if she'd given us more than a weeks warning! Seriously, we don't get time to do this stuff during the week so we have to try and cram it into the weekend at some point between exam and essay marking and, you know, trying to have a life. Normally I'd be fine 'cause I'm supposed to have Fridays off as well, but for the last three weeks she's come up with excuses (some viable, some not) so that I've had to take Group F (who she knows I despise). (Normally I only see them once a week. I'm seriously ready to strangle them) So, I haven't had my normal Friday off in nearly a month. Okay, great, I get more money out of it (I'm trying to save up for Paris here), but I'm so close to throwing something heavy (preferably a bi-lingual dictionary or two) at some of them.

Example: There's one girl in the class who thinks she's ever so clever. I'll spend 10-15 minutes trying to explain a word or a concept to the class. The class will get it and we'll move on. She'll wait about 5 minutes and then ask me "Sheena, what's (insert word or concept I've just finished explaining) mean?" so that I have to try and explain it again. Then she'll smirk and go "Joking!"

Also, I'm starting to hate my name. I'm not kidding. It's just how this group (mainly the girls) say it. Shi-na~a~ah with a whine added to the 'a' sound while they go up and down the scales *shudders*.

Right, back to what my boss has dumped onto us. We get observed occasionally. We were, aparently, supposed to fill out paperwork after we'd been observed. I'm fine 'cause I've only had her come in once and that was last week, but Agnes' was back in December. We just got given the paperwork on Wendesday and she wants it back by Monday. She couldn't have given us this stuff the day of our observation class why?

She also wants in depth lesson plans (as in step by bloody step) for whatever class this lady is coming to watch (She's watching Group I for me.*scowls* Not exactly my best behaved class) I despise having to do these 'cause they take me three or four hours to do. And guess what day she wants it back by... yep, Monday.

Add on the marking that I'm supposed to be doing and you get one stressed out Sheena.

Also, I can't even walk on flat ground here when it's been snowing. I damn near broke my wrist this week walking to work. It had been raining and then the temperature dropped suddenly and the rain froze on top of the snow, then it snowed, rained again, froze, snowed... I didn't realise what I was walking on was slippery and up went my legs over my head. I came down really hard on my right wrist. Seriously thought I'd broken it for a minute or two it hurt that much. It's okay, a bit sore and bruised, but nothing's broken.

Now for some fun stuff ^____^.

Group C (the little kids 7-9 year olds) called me a cannibal the other day because I eat Kangaroo.

Zuzanna: Sheena Cannibal!
Me: What? Me?
Zuzanna: Yes! Eat Kangaroo! Cannibal!
Me: No, I'm not! Cannibals eat people. Cannibals eat *starts pointing to different students* you, and him, and him, and her, and her, and me.
Mateusz: *slides down in his seat until all I can see is the very top of his head. Picks up his ruler and starts waving it about like some sort of demented swordsman* Cannibals no eat Mateusz! Yes, eat Bartosz 2!! *waves his ruler-cum-sword about some more*
Bartosz 2: *looking confused* What?

That class is always good for a laugh. They say the strangest things sometimes.
saffiter: (Default)
Well, I had two classes with tests yesterday so I went to my old fallback:

Drawing!

Here's the results *grins*

Behind the cut to save your flists )
saffiter: (Default)
*coughs hacks wheezes sniffles*

This is the second time he's coughed all over me and the second time I've come down with something.

I pretty much slept most of today. Woke up at 3am with the sorest back, joints and muscles. I made myself some toast, took some full strength Panadol and am currently drinking a hot chocolate while I wait for the Panadol to kick in. I feel like utter shite right now.

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