31 January 2007

I love sushi!

I had sushi for supper. It was great.

27 January 2007

I'm a Teacher!

Yesterday, I had an awesome teaching day. I stood at the front of the class for an hour and taught while the students listened (for the most part).

We had a deal, see. I'm doing a media literacy unit with them, and it could be a lot of fun. We'll watch TV shows and movies and commercials; we'll read magazines and look at pictures; we'll get to tear apart things we don't like. It's a lot different than reading Freak the Mighty. I told them up front that there's a lot of theory and stuff to learn up front, and that we'll have to do stuff like that occasionally. The big thing they needed to understand was that it has to be educational in some way, because I need to be able to justify its content to my boss, if I'm ever asked (which I probably will be).

So, I went through a bunch of theory with them yesterday, and it was amazing! There were plenty of interruptions, sure, but for the most part they let me talk. They seemed to get it: we can't watch TV until I say this, so listen or it'll take forever.

I also informed them that the unit requires maturity and responsibility because it's so different from what they normally do; and that they would be required to think sometimes.

I also told them that a lack of maturity would result in me shutting the unit down immediately and resorting to grammar sheets to get us through the next couple of months.

It's the same speech I gave the other class on Wednesday in a LOUD, ANGRY voice because they were acting like idiots and I had to send 5 of them to the office. If I'd had my druthers, I told them, I would take 5 or 6 people into another room to do the unit and the rest of them I'd leave with the grammar sheets.

It was so nice to not have to go through that with yesterday's class. For the first time in a while, I felt like a competent teacher.


20 January 2007

Spitting mad

I don't think I've ever been so wholly disgusted in a long, long time.

Spitting is something that I generally think should be a social faux pas. No one needs to walk by gobs of someone else's mucous. Even worse, watching someone in the act of expectorating. It's vile. It's illegal in some countries. Singapore is one of those countries.

The reasoning behind such a law is hygiene. Mucous is a major factor in the spread of germs. If you were to cough or sneeze into the air without covering your mouth, the germs would dissipate relatively quickly because they need a moist environment to survive. If you spit on the sidewalk, the germs would live longer because they would have a cozy pool of phlegm to play in for quite a while. I read something about how long germs can survive in spit, and I think it's up to 3 days.

Imagine if you dropped your keys on the sidewalk, right in someone's slowly evaporating gob of spit. Now the spitter's germ are all over your keys. And I bet you touched your eyes, nose, or mouth without even thinking about it!

During the SARS scare a few years ago, China instituted a spitting ban. Hong Kong increased their fines. If you put "SARS" and "spitting" into a Google search, you come up with almost 61,000 articles. They took it seriously.

I'm not suggesting that we become paranoid about it. But there's something wrong with spitting in public. Very, very wrong.

This afternoon Andrew and I were at the mall. He bought a watch and then we went to visit Jenni at the store where she works part-time. As we rounded the corner of the corridor, a man walking in the opposite direction turned his head and spat. Indoors. On the floor. Of the mall. Indoors. With people. Everywhere. Indoors. Not very far from the coffee shop kiosk. And he was indoors!

And he kept walking!

I stopped. My mouth dropped open. My lip curled. My nose wrinkled. I was just about ready to puke (which would have been worse). Andrew saw it too. We remarked on the grossness of it. I momentarily considered turning around and berating this man for his poor manners and lack of hygiene. Andrew was still walking forward, so I followed. The look of disgust stayed on my face for quite a while.

02 January 2007

Crippled with anxiety

I go back to work tomorrow after what seems like a really long and simultaneously way too short break.

Apart from having persistent minor cold symptoms that will not leave me alone, I'm just not ready. The next major break is the 3rd week in March.

For those of you who may think that teachers are "lucky" to get as many breaks as they do, I'd like to point out that your job isn't so bad. I've worked in the corporate world. You may get run down, but there's (technically) nothing stopping you from taking a week in February, or a vacation day now and then. Teachers are limited to certain days/times of the year. And while there are plenty of workoholics and thoguhtful/diligent workers in the corporate world, most can still say that they have their free time to themselves. When I started this job, I was at the school every day until 6 or 6:30 (arriving brfore 8:30 and working through lunch), and when I got home, I'd shove food in me and work some more. I don't know how teachers with families do it; I only have to worry about Andrew!

What I'm driving at in the above paragraph is that teachers do need their breaks. I invite anyone who disagrees to deal with my grade 7s for a day. Scratch that; a week. Anyone could do it for a day.

I like my job. I may even "love" my job. But today I am tired and feeling worn down and like there's far too much to do. And that stretch beween January 3rd and March 9th seems so interminably long that I am having slight panic thinking about it.