Job Update

Nov. 16th, 2009 08:15 pm
saffiter: (Stuffed if I Know)
Well, I live to work another week. Found out today that I'm needed for at least the rest of this week. No clue about next week, though *sighs*. The uncertainty is starting to get to me a bit. The DoS is just lucky I live at home so money worries aren't as much of a worry as they would be if I didn't.

As it is, my life is on hold until I know what's happening with this job *sighs*

I've been looking into futher education possibilites to make myself more employable. There are two options...

1) A DELTA (Diploma of English Language Teaching to Adults)
2) A Masters in TESOL

Pro's of a DELTA...
- it's over in two months.
- Internationally recognised (from all that I've researched)

Con's...
- Nearly $5000 up front.
- I'd have to move to Sydney for 2 months to do it.
- There's no possible way I'd be able to work at the same time as do my DELTA. That means that I'll be supporting myself with no money coming in...in one of the most expensive cities in Australia.
- I've most likely missed the intake for Feb, so I'll have to wait until September next year before I even start.

I just don't have that kind of money up front... and then to be able to support myself with no incoming... *shakes head*. It's almost enough to make me want to curl up into a corner and cry.

...actually, I've done that a bit the last few weeks as it is (crying in corners, that is).

Pro's of the MA TESOL...
- I can do it with HECS (Learn now, pay later)
- It's in Brisbane. I know people there that'd be willing to help me with a place to stay etc. if I have problems.
- Some of the subjects they're offering.... <3!!! Utter love! Subjects I've loved for years and just never been able to study due to time/lack of decent books to read (They history of the English language starting with early Anglo-Saxon to present day dialects and why they formed the way they did! ... yes, I'm a bit of a language nerd/geek/whatever.)
- Internationally recognised..and if I ever do get that job in America that I've been talking about for a while, then it's more recognised than doing a DELTA.
- I know the University that offers it (It's where I got my first degree).
- I have the option of getting a PhD if I so desire (and seriously... I'd love to get one of those one day!)
- My CELTA gives me some credit towards the degree.
- You've gotta have at least a year's experience to even think about applying.
- I'm sure there are more Pro's but my brain is fried from work today.
- I think they're still accepting applications for the start of next semester. And even if they're not, the semester after starts in June.
- A lot of the subjects are linguistic based, and I know that I can do those subjects. An old Uni 'friend' (who I've since found out used to pass off my work in drama class as hers) used to study linguistics... I'd help her with her homework. I found it easier to understand than she did (and she was sitting in the lectures!)

Con's of the MA TESOL
- I'd have to move to Brissy for at least a 1 1/2 years.
- It's much longer than the DELTA.
- $13,000 (But, hey, I can pay through HECS so, while it is cringe worthy, it's not upfront!)
- I'll have to get a part-time job down there (but Brisbane does have a few different language schools, so I'm not without work options. Heck, I'll work in a cafe if I have to!)

I've sent off an email to the Uni department that runs the course. See how long it takes them to get back to me with details etc. Who knows, I might be a Uni student again soon... scary thought.

I've got some decisions to make no matter what way you look at it.
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: (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: (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: (McGee Screwing with me)
Hey all!

Yeah, yeah, I know, long time no post.

Life has been going, neither good or bad (although work could be drying up for a bit soon :( as the busy season is slowing down). We're currently going through Hell Week again (ISR's and exams, though it's going easier this time around than it did last time, thank god!).

I got my laptop back from the shop a week or so ago. There wasn't a single sign of ants so the bait must've worked and they all cleared out w00t! I finally had a chance to turn it on today. Man it's weird to be looking at a big screen again! (I've been using my little mini one).

Oh, I joined a gym. It's all female and I've been going three times a week for the last couple of weeks. It seems to be working. I've got more energy than I did and students and teachers that haven't seen me for a while are commenting that I'm looking slimmer than I have been. ^____________^. I tried on a couple of things that were a bit (and some really) tight this afternoon and they fit!!!!

Spent the weekend hobbling around the house. Note: Glass candle holders, especially the big ones, are not meant to be stopped by your foot when you drop them on the floor. *winces*. I've got a lovely bruise on my foot and it hurt to walk for a while there. Mum and I weren't sure if I'd actually broken anything or not for a few hours. Iceing it immediately seems to have worked.

My iPod charging unit (el-cheapo that it was) died on me last night and I was not happy!. Had to go out today to buy a new, more expensive, recognisable brand one (Belkin). It's working quite well now ^__^ and I have a charged iPod again (nearly ran out of charge halfway to work. That wouldn't have been of the good!)

Oh, and while I was at JB picking up a new charging unit guess what I spotted in the Soundtrack section..... Star Trek:2009 score.

SCORE!!!!!! *massive grin* I've only been trying to track that down since it came out in early May!. I was about to order it on Amazon.

Oh!Oh!Oh!Oh! Guess what, guess what, guess what?!

Our DVD player finally died after 6-7 years of use. (I know, I know, I shouldn't be that happy about that but I am and there is a reason). Mum and I went out looking for a new one, or at least pricing a new one, the other day. We went into JB and I basically told the guy that there had to be one requirement and one requirement only....

Multi-regional (as region codes on DVD's suck great, big, hairy donkey's balls!).

$77au later (and one rather shocked 'JB Tech-guru' later... I out geeked the geek when it came to player specs and stuff like that) we walked away with a Toshiba DVD player that the guy swore up and down had a little orange card in there with instructions on how to turn the region 4 player into a multi-region.

He wasn't lying.

*SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!*

We has a multi-regional DVD player. I can finally buy those DVD series that I want (*cough*The Sentinel*cough*) that have been released for years in the US and still aren't released here!

In other news, I'm still not sure if Dave and I are actually an item or not. We're going to the movies on Wednesday evening (I think, *crosses fingers that scheduals finally line up*).

I think that's all my news... I think.....

Oh, bought myself another 12mths of paid lj-time. It was due to run out some time this week.

Ugh.

Aug. 7th, 2009 08:05 pm
saffiter: (Gibbs you'd better run)
What a way to end the week.

Staff meeting today. DOS had his serious face on and was using his quiet voice before the meeting... scary!. Turns out that our school has the worst student satisfaction rating in Australia (79% are happy, which I would've thought is pretty good. That's nearly 80% and you can't please everyone, but aparently that's the worst rating in the whole country for our chain of schools... I'd like to know how much the next school was).

They (the students) do surveys when they're leaving to let the school know what they think of it and he'd taken the worst of the comments (cutting out names etc) and given them to us to see. Some of them were really biting. i.e: Things like the teachers don't know how to teach, they should check that before they hire us that we can and that we're only in it for the money.

Ouch!

Yes, the pay is good, but I'd still do this bloody job even if it didn't pay well. I actually like my job! It's the first one I've ever found that I actually look forward to going into work.

Of course, we as the teachers never hear about any of this until it's time for staff meetings. Some of the older teachers got quite cranky about that (Older as in age wise, not length they've been at the school. Babara, the lady who sits across from me, was having a good old rant... I agreed with some of it. He really should've given us some of the nicer comments that students were saying as well as the really nasty ones). It was decided that, if we want to hear it, the DOS can give us a general outline of what's being said so that we can, hopefully, improve what we're doing.

Ugh... just ugh... What a way to end the last few weeks. Week before last was 'Hell Week' (with exams and ISR's), then the counselling last week and then this today.

Thankfully, my leaving students this week were happy. They enjoyed the classes and they'd recommend the school to anyone who wants to come to Australia *breathes a sigh of relief*. There were a couple of things they said that they wished I'd done more of (Grammar and Vocab) but generally they were happy. Some of the teachers when they went in to talk to teh DOS... yeah, they had to close the door. I always worry when he tells me to close the door.

Right, onto good news. The desk I've been using is now officially my desk! I came back into the staff room today for lunch and the big pile of folders that have been stopping me from getting my feet comfortable were gone. Then I checked the drawers, which had been full of folders and junk, to find them all empty. w00t! I have a desk! And my handbag can now go into the drawer instead of being dumped on the floor. My CD player can go under the desk drawers instead of sitting out in the middle of the walk way.

Other good news:

I has an iPod. It is shiny! 120g iPod Classic. I've spent the last week playing with it and iTunes trying to work out how it works. I think I've got it all figured out (could someone tell me why I avoided iPods in the first place? It's much simpler to use than my Zen). My old Creative Zen is starting to die a slow and painful death. I turned it off the other day and then a few hours later discovered that it had gone and turned itself back on when I wasn't looking. It's also been freezing on me for a while. It started when I was in Poland. I'm beginning to wonder if it was the extremely cold weather that half killed it. Dropping it a few times probably didn't help either.

It needs a name. My new laptop is called 'Precious' so I need to work out what to call the iPod. I bought a case to go with it. Impact resistantish plastic so if I do drop it the plastic will take the hit, not the iPod.

That's the theory, anyway.

I'm going out with one of Mum's friends (who I also get along with) tomorrow night. We're going for dinner and then we're going out clubbing. Should be interesting if nothing else. You know you spend too much time at home when your parents start telling you you don't go out enough and then organise for you to go out clubbing with someone *laughs*.

I'm also thinking about taking up dancing again. Not Irish, I still limp first thing in the morning, and when I've been sitting still for a period of time, so I don't think that would be the wisest course of action if I want to keep walking in my old age, but possible something Latin? There's a school here in Cairns that does Salsa, Flamenco (which could be fun) and Argentine Tango. I'm going to check that out and if it looks okay I might start that up.

It will get me out of the house if nothing else.

Dad: *attempting to imitate my voice* I'm not going to do competitions!
Me: Well, I'm not!
Dad: Yeah, I've heard that one before *laughs*

Oh, headslap moment of the week:

American Tourist in line at KFC: Do fillets have bones in them?
Server: O.o o.O O.O... um... no...
Me: *mental headslap* no.
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.

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 )

Andrzejki

Nov. 29th, 2008 03:44 am
saffiter: (Wo Ai Ni)
Today is apparently a big Polish celebration thingy (yes, another one. They have a lot of them). It's the feast of St. Andzrej, or St. Andrew in English. One of my private students, Marzena, was trying to explain it to me the other day, but I didn't quite twig onto what she was talking about (She was talking about wax and keys and wax keys and witches and dripping wax into a cup full of water and I got thoroughly confused *laughs*).

Background information here. The Poles don't actually celebrate their birthday after a certain age. They celebrate their Nameday. The day that the Polish saint they share their name with has their celebration. So, anyone called Andzrej will celebrate their nameday on the 29th of November. Some Namedays are bigger than others. Andzrejki is one of the really big ones. They have balls, parties and celebrations for it. For example getting wax keys and dripping the wax into water to get your fortune told. (On a side note, F group gave me the Polish name Mariszka which is some variation of Marie, my middle name. I think because 'Sheena' sounds very close to szynka, ham).

So, I got to class yesterday and my eight year olds were really, really excited about something. I had a deck of cards shoved under my nose and my wrist grabbed by another. They then mimed taking a card (using me as a puppet). I take one and get "NO, THREE!!!!" yelled rather loudly in my ear by Ola (Ola doesn't have an inside voice. She has loud, and she has shrieking). So, I take three cards and get completely baffled when Zuzanna snatches the cards off me, flips them face up, and then points going "No, No, Yes *shrug* No".

Me:....wha?
Students: Start this convoluted explanation, mainly in Polish but with a few random English words thrown in (I'm so proud. They didn't known any English back in September).
Me:.... still not getting it guys. *thinks and then starts motioning them to follow me* Come with me! *drags them into the office and get them to explain it to Agnes*

(Looks up at her ceiling...WTF are the people above me doing? They sound like a heard of elephants!)

Turns out they wanted to tell me my fortune. You pull three cards out at random. Red means yes, black means no. Get more reds than blacks and whatever you wish for will come true. So, they told me my fortune, told each other their fortunes (using as much English as they knew interspersed with lots of Polish, handwaving, and 'Green'Blackboard drawing) and then told me all about how "Big dog, and big dog is small dog!" and then proceeded to draw two dogs kissing on the board with an equals sign and a small dog. They now know that a baby dog is called a 'puppy'.

Mateusz then said something to them about a contract and I heard my name mentioned and the students looked horrified. It took a bit of work, lots of drawing on the board (Bartosz #1 is surprisingly good at snap drawings that make sense) but I found out that Mateusz had told them that I was going back to Australia when my contract was up. They really don't want me to go. I had to reassure them that I wasn't leaving until June (and there's no way I'm staying for another year, but I'm not telling them that. They'd never let me leave the classroom). The only way Mateusz could've known that was from his sister (I teach his Magdalena, his sister in my high beginner teenager class).

Oh, and Bartosz #2, the one who used to go from little sweetheart to psycho stabbing boy in the blink of an eye, has turned clingy. He'll come up to me while I'm working with one of the other kids and just lean up against me. Or, if I'm working with him, he leans up against my side while I'm going over stuff... o.O. At least he's not trying to stab me with a pen or yank my hair out anymore. And he's started trying to do the work (as opposed to before where he'd just sit there and not try..and then attempt to stab me with a pencil when I walked past him).

'I' group behaved themselves (for the most part) as well. We were doing the first conditional, always fun.

'J' Group had a unit test. I walked in with a cup of coffee (I usually drink tea, but this was instant cupaccino and didn't have much caffeine in it. Besides, I was going to spend the whole lesson doing filing/paperwork. I needed it to stay awake). I can't quite remember exactly what we were talking about, but the general conversation went something like this:

Jarek: Sheena, can you hand me that shit of paper, please.
Class: *cracks up laughing*
Me: Um, I think you mean the sheet of paper
Jarek: That's what I said!
Me: No, you said "Shit of paper"
Jarek: Oh, what's the difference?
Me: *proceedes to explain the pronunciations differences between sheet and shit*
Jarek: oooooh, so it's like 'beach' and 'bitch'.
Me: Yup. *walks into the office to grab something*
Boss: What were you talking about in there? We could hear you!
Me: Pronunciation of 'sheet' and 'beach' *thinking 'please don't yell at me for swearing in the classroom'*
Boss: Good! Those are important things to know. *goes on about how the slightest difference can mean the person is swearing when they don't actually mean to*
Me: Oookay... I have to get back to class now.

I get back the classroom, give them their tests an then proceed to watch them go from overconfident body language to this 'Oh, my god, what the hell is this?!?!' slouched position. They told me later that I killed them with that test. Personally, I think they thought this one would be a cake-walk after the first test and didn't study as much as what they could have.

But, that was my thursday. Interesting enough to post. I've been invited to Agnieszka's place for a party on Sunday. I have to bring a plate of food. I'm going to make a salad. Agnieszka is a Polish English teacher at the local high school (as opposed to Agnes, who is my co-worker at LEKTOR). She's fascinated with my Australian accent and can't believe how many glottal stops we use. She's apparently inviting a whole heap of English teachers. It'll be nice to meet some people outside of LEKTOR that I can actually talk to. My social circle is tiny right now. Agnes, Agneiszka, Lucja (the boss) and that's it. They're all I can really communicate with. I miss my Chinese social circle (good news is that I'm visiting one of them in Paris in April. It'll be good to see her).

My Dragons )
saffiter: (Default)
I just got this in my email from a fellow teacher. I found it hilarious! (I know I emailed this to some of you, but I thought I'd put it here too in case the pictures didn't work).

Click on the cats to see them move.

You are listening to Jazz )


Scary thing is that I can so relate to this!

I love...

Oct. 23rd, 2008 06:07 am
saffiter: (Frenzy Java)
... Polish Fire Drills.

Seriously, I do. Not only do I get out of class for 20 minutes to 30 minutes (and that's always a good thing when you've got a class you despise), but when they decide to have a fire drill, they decide to have a fire drill!

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I got into work today at about 3:15pm (I start at 3:30 and just couldn't be arsed leaving home 'cause it was cold, wet and windy). Lucja was already there and I didn't even have time to get my jacket off before she was going "Sheena, your students must have their jackets on the back of their chairs today. There will be a fire drill at around 4"

Me: Okay *thinking SWEET!! It's with F group. I hate F group.

So, I wander into the classroom and tell them to put their jackets on the back of their chairs 'cause there was going to be a fire drill.. they managed to work out what I wanted them to do and why between them.

I was thinking the fire drill was going to be like the ones I had back home in Australia when I was at school... nope, not even close!

Anyway, I'm teaching the class and the kids wanted me to take them outside before the alarm actually went off (which kinda defeats the purpose of the fire drill, really, but there you have it). I had to keep going "NO! We have to wait until we hear *taps her ear* the alarm".

I was so glad when that alarm went off. I was just about ready to strangle some of those kids.

So, alarm goes off and I manage to hear it before the kids do o.O (which is scary 'cause I was up the front of the classroom right next to the CD player and it was turned right up).

*ALARM*
Me: Okay, people. Let's go. Get your jackets and line up at the door.
*students chatter excitedly and take their sweet time doing their jackets up*
Me:*shoving students out the door with their jackets half on* Talk and zip people, we have to move!. Do you want to burn to death?

....surprisingly they got that I wanted them to do their jackets up while they were walking down the hall.

We get down to the entryway and there's what looks like smoke billowing down another hallway! Thankfully I've been in enough theatre/dance productions to know what a smoke machine smells like.

Outside is cold, windy and slightly wet but we were being shooed towards the basketball courts off to the side of the building. Cue people diving out the ground floor windows in front of us. They hadn't told the student residents that there was going to be a drill (Lektor hires two classrooms and an office off one of the local public boarding schools) so I'd say they'd opened their doors, saw the smoke and thought 'Nuh-uh... not going that way.... window!!!' and promptly dove out the nearest window.

It was quite fun to watch people leaping out of windows like that and it certainly kept the kids entertained.

THEN The fire engine comes haring down the road and skids into the carpark (cue more people diving out of windows). Firefighters get out and do their thing and then another fire engine comes screaming in. This one nearly took out students as it drives across the court and to the opposite side of the building.

Aparently there were students stuck on a second floor balcony. The other fire engine was to help get the kids/students/teenagers/whatever down from there (note: I was looking at the balcony and rolling my eyes at the kids. They could've jumped it easily... well, maybe they couldn't, but I would've jumped it). Out comes the ladder and I got to watch the fire fighters help the students down the ladder to the ground (I swear the fire fighter on the ladder was copping a feel of the girls butt as she came down. That's what it looked like, anyway).

Unfortunately Lucja decided it was time for us to go back into the classrooms *sigh I could've quite happily stayed out there for the rest of the lesson.

So, I love Polish Fire drills.

My final thoughts on the matter: Thank god it wasn't snowing!



My Dragons (in various stages of growth)
Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!

{{Adopt one today! Aishaya}} {{Adopt one today! Timid Wanderer}}
saffiter: (Mostly Dead - Megatron)

..... English language students and my eyes?!

 2005/6, China:

Student: I was at a seminar the other day and that teacher had blue eyes... but my teacher's got yellow eyes! Why?!
Me: *trying to keep a straight face and hold in the giggles* Sweetie, my eyes are brown.
Student: No, they're not.
Me: *walks outside quickly so I don't laugh in front of everyone*


Fast forward to today (well, wednesday). We were doing speaking practice where they had to go around asking eachother set questions and they had to answer them. Well, one of the set questions was "Has anyone ever told you what beautiful eyes you have?"

This is how the conversation went:

Student (to me): Has anyone ever told you what beautiful eyes you have?
Me: No...I've got brown eyes. You don't really get beautiful brown eyes.
Student: I'm serious. You has got nice eyes
Me: Have got nice eyes, not has got. You use 'has' when there's more than one person. Have is the singular, and they're brown.
Student: They're not brown! They're the colour of beer!
Me: *blink*blink*

So, apparently I have been mistaken all these years. My eyes aren't brown. They're either yellow, or the colour of beer so... amber?

I'm highly tempted to take a close up picture of my eyes, post it, and do a poll on what everyone else thinks my eye colour is as I have obviously been living under a cloud of mis-conception these last 25 years *laughs*.

*EDIT: Added pictures of my eyes*

 Right, so throw me a comment and tell me what you think my eye colour is. I always thought brown *grins*

Pictures of my Eyes )

I'm alive!

Sep. 19th, 2008 09:44 am
saffiter: (Default)

I've a sneaking suspicion that I need to put some more money on my phone. I'll do that tomorrow. I've got enough to call people in Poland, but I don't think I've got enough to message outside of the country.

Anyway, I'm in a much better mood now that I've had roughly a week to cool down (and start teaching classes). Lucja's developed this annoying habit of sitting in on my classes and calling out teaching advice while I'm trying to do stuff (which really throws me 'cause I'm concentrating on other stuff. I hate her being in the room and I don't think the kids are too happy about it either. I saw one of them throwing me a "Please, Sheena, NO!!! We don't want her in here!!!!" look today). She has discovered that I'm good with younger kids (after sitting in on my kids class today. Lots of me miming and having the kids run around and slap their hands on the items that they were learning the words for. I feel sorry for that blackboard....which is actually "Dark green!" according to one of my students. Me: "Okay, hitting the blackboard is 15points", Student: "But, Sheena, it's green!")  and is threatening to give me the nursery class should they be able to get one up and running, which will be good 'cause you know I like kids ^_____^.

I've got some of my old students back, that really quiet teenager group (the one that tried to bribe me with chocolate milk). I've got most of them back. I've got a couple of my teenagers back (the nice ones. Thankfully none of the ones that I wanted to strangle and throw out the window have come back) and the rest of my classes are pretty much adults. Which is great 'cause they're spending their own money, which means that they want to be there and are less likely to act up. They're also less interested in games and more interested in doing actual work.

I haven't really done much else except go to work and come home. Agnes invited me to a bonfire on Saturday night so I think I'll go to that. I'm taking some marshmallows along and she said she'd teach me to make S'mores (some sort of marshmallow chocolate thing. It requires a fire, apparently).

I was going to go to Olsztyn tomorrow and see Hellboy, but I might do that later this weekend. I want to sit down and write something. Tomorrow (later today, actually *looking at the clock*) is Talk Like a Pirate Day. I'm going to write a Transformers fic in honour of that *evil grin*. It's set in my Flipside universe.

Anyway, it's getting late here (thankfully I don't have to work tomorrow. Day off, so I get a long weekend every weekend *grins*)

saffiter: (Default)
Right, so Tuesday night I was teaching my CPE class (really high level english). I had my back turned to write something up on the board when I overhear this and crack up laughing.

"It's not sticking!"

".....have you tried licking it?"

"...yeah."

o.O <--------------- (me)

And today, completely out of the blue, one of the girls turns to me and asks "How do chickens reproduce?" which then prompted all of them to start a debate on how a rooster and a hen would get it on..


...did I mention I teach a bunch of screwballs?
saffiter: (Default)

...seriously.

So,  walk into class today and see half a tree sitting forlornly on one of the desks.  I barely get out "What's with the poor tree" when my  brain realises that the greenage is actually mistletoe.

O.o <-------- My reaction.

THEN two of the boys hold it up and call out "SHEEEEENAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!" and hold out their arms. 

I bolt back into the office laughing my head off. Lucja was giving me the wierdest look and couldn't quite believe that the boys had bought in mistletoe.

So, I finally get my giggles back under control and go back to the classroom.... well, I swear, it's the first time I've actually tried to sneak into my own classroom. I stayed on the opposite side of the room as much as possible for the lesson.

Now, I don't know what Maciej was thinking while I was writing something on the board, but I saw him grab a branch while trying to look innocent. I raise an eyebrow and go back to writing. The next time I turn around he's dissapeared, but there appears to be a mistletoe shrub growing out of the floor under the desks so I figure he's hiding under there. I shake my head and go back to writing.

Then he pounced.

Thankfully, I heard him coming and I managed to get my right foot up to face level fast enough that he backed off (these kids are TWELVE by the way).

That was the end of it until after class finished. They chased me around the classroom then LOL! 

I teach a bunch of screwballs.

saffiter: (Default)
Hey all!,

Yes, I know, it's been a while, but the last couple of weeks have been absolutely insane, INSANE I tell you! So, I've started teaching private classes as through the school as well as my classes in the afternoone. I've got thre of them and they keep me pretty busy. It took me a couple of weeks to settle into having classes during the day as well as at night, but I've settled into that now. Besides that my internet didn't work for a week for some strange reason. I didn't realise how much I relied on the 'net for stuff and for keeping in contact with people half a world away until it up and died on me.

Last week was the Day of the Dead public holiday/long weekend thingy. I had Thursday to Monday off (which was GREAT!!! 4 days of no classes ^____^). I decided that I wasn't going to sit on my butt in Mragowo for the whole time. I was going to go somewhere. So, Thursday dawned, wet and miserable (though the rain held off long enough for me to walk up to the bus station) and I headed off to an insanely long bus trip to Gdansk. It's on the baltic sea (for those of you who were like me and didn't have a clue where it was to start off). It's a much bigger city than Mragowo and it's got an absolutely gorgeous old town! (I have pictures, I just have to get them off my camera and onto the laptop to sort. It may take a while for me to post them, I'm still going through my first day in Italy!).

I nearly missed the bus. I didn't stand outside long enough to realise that the bus that pulled up, looking much newer than most of the other buses, was going to Gdansk. It said Elblag on it. I'd run inside before the sign flashed to Gdansk 'cause it was way too cold to be standing outside for any length of time. I got adopted by some sweet old lady who didn't speak a word of English (and I only speak about 8 words of Polish) but was quite happy to sit and jabber away to me for half an hour or so while I just sort of smiled and nodded at her.

Anyway, I managed to get onto the bus, once I realised that it was actually MY bus, just as the doors were about to close. It left Mragowo at 9:40. I didn't get to Gdansk until about 3:30ish. It was a loooooooong trip. I've decided that next time I'll get to the bus to Olsztyn and then get the train to wherever I'm going. Especially if it's quite a long way from here.

I had a ball in Olsztyn. I could've strangled the people staying in the B&B I was at, but the place itself was rather nice and close enough to the city, but not close enough to be noisy (save for the other people staying at the place). The bed was really comfortable, and I wanted to pack the bathroom up and take it back to Mragowo with me.

Even though Gdansk is by the sea, I didn't actually get to go and have a look at it. I wandered around the old town for the day. tHere was so much to see there. I froze, though. I now understand the concept of 'Windchill Factor'. I've decided that I hate it. The weather wasn't actually below zero or anything like that, but the wind made it feel like it was. I didn't realise and made the mistake of leaving the beanie at the hotel. I did have my jacket and a scarf with me, though, so I didn't freeze completely and I'd duck into a shop whenever I felt too cold.

Right, so I took the train back from Gdansk to Olsztyn. Decided to treat myself to a first class ticket (before you ask, I used to write and slap method to get what I wanted. I looked up in my phrasebook the words I would need to get the ticket, wrote them on a peice of paper, and then slapped it up against the ticket sellers window. It works) and ended up having a very comfortable compartment all to myself for nearly the entire trip (except for about the first half an hour). I've decided that the next town that I'm going to visit is a place called Malbork. They have the most AMAZING castle there. The train went past it and I'm telling you, that thing looks HUGE!! Oh, and I had some free entertainment on the way back too. The guy in the next compartment must've been alone as well, and I don't think he realised that there was someone in the compartment behind him, 'cause about halfway through the journey I jerk awake from my half doze to hear singing. Loud singing. In Polish. It was folk songs or something. He wasn't half bad, actually.

I got an express bus on the way back to Mragowo too. Got chewed out by the ticket seller 'cause I couldn't understand how much the ticket was when she rattles it off in Polish. Apologising in English and trying to crane my head around the glass to see the price on the computer screen didn't help much either. She didn't seem to get that I couldn't understand a word she was saying.

Enough about my trip to Gdansk. I also did a crapload of presentation classes this week. 5 schools in 2 days. I'm absolutely wiped right now. I was standing in class writing something on the blackboard yesterday (I hate chalk) when I suddenly realise that I'm actually falling asleep while I'm writing something! All I can say is thank god it's Friday!

I'm going to Olsztyn again on Sunday with Agnes, the other teacher. We're going to do some shopping (winter clothes and boots for me and maybe some books to read). She speaks Polish, so shopping shouldn't be too difficult and I may be able to eat somewhere that DOESN'T have an English menu! That'd be cool!

Anyway, that's the live of Sheena at the moment. Running around like a demented chicken on crack and having a ball doing it!
 

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