The Diary Of John
What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy? - Gandhi
Saturday, May 08, 2004

No mouse!!!

This is priving to be a challenge as the mouse isnt working on the computer here at the moment hahaha!! I think there must be some sort of problem as there isnt any cursor for the mouse either and the accessibility options wont allow me to use the mouse keys function too. Wierd but never mind :-)

This morning i watched american pie 3 with some of my students and they thought it was just hilarious lol. Some of the screens were really funny. I think when they dance in the gay bar was one of their fav moments :-) I'll have to watch it with Roberta as she will laugh her socks off at it hahaha!!! Tomorrow i get to spend the whole day with Roberta too so it can be movies all day long ;-)

I got permission to try out using video cameras here in my lessons at Taguatinga so if a few weeks we can try this as i already have some stuff prepared so the guys to use :-). I think it will be alot of fun as my other students really enjoyed getting crazy with the roleplay situations and they got to practice new vocabulary that i had given to them a couple of classes before :-) Its a shame i dont know have the nessassary hardware to be able to put some of their film onto the internet so other people can see it too. I am going to try experimenting with alot of different things in class if i can, I wanna create some segment stuff too so we can play around with it in the lessons as well.

I was hoping that my brother would email me today so that i can get to see what new stuff he is going to send me, cds and stuff. My students really wanna get a hold of the new Avril Lavinge cd and i am sure it will be released in the UK long before here. If he cant get it i'll just download from the internet instead hahaha!!! After all Kazaa and the other p2p programs were made for this exact thing right? :-)

Okay best try to send Roberta a text message before her class..

posted at 11:18 AM by john |  

Friday, May 07, 2004

Editing my weblog..



A screenshot of my blogger screen as i type here lol. I usually flip between the Blogger site if i am using the dsl at the schools or Wbloggar if i am on a dial-up connection to save some money. Yeah internet here in Brasil on dial-up is bloody expensive :-(. Now i have updated to the latest version of internet explorer here in the school lab though the blogger site and also the gmail site runs really well. The computer really needs a bit more oomph but its fast enough for what the students use it for and me requirements too :-).

I was checking the size of my site earlier at Tripod and its growing steadily as i post more photos. I have just 20meg here at Tripod so if i start getting close to this i will delete the photos from the oldest postings to make more room. After all this site is registered everywhere and i cant be bothered to move the site to a place where i can have more megs now hahaha!!! I think i have plenty of time yet though as i have had this site, hmmm well over a year or more and have posted shitloads of pics and have loads of room left for now :-) Its suprised me just how long i have been posting here on this weblog lol. At first it was just because i was curious after i stumbled onto the site but now i seem to post just as often as i can :-). Some of my students have bloggers too but dont let on their addys, i wonder why? ;-)

Well my conversation students didnt arrive, it gives me more time to prep the stuff i am going to use in Taguatinga tomorrow. I have prepared some new vocabulary that i think i will just write out on the board this time for the students to copy as i have some other stuff that i want the secretaries to print off for me in the afternoon. I find that my MEC groups love to get their hands on new vocab, swear and informal words are the top requests though. I dropped forty new expressions on my MEC3 the other day. Of course its pointless using these words here in Brasil as most people speak only portugues but i guess its fun to have the satisfaction of calling someone Fuckface and they not have a clue what your saying right? hahaha!!! I have around thirty new expressions for my students tomorrow, expressions of degrees of anger and also expressions and phrasal verbs using colors. They should satisfy all of the students and also i'll copy them for Roberta too as she loves all the new vocabulary i can help her to learn :-). I have some more stuff too, i downloaded it in pdf files but need to edit it out so i can put into a word doc. I have software to do this for me but the computers here havent the requirements that the program will need and after all i have plenty of time to do this now my VIP classes are all finished. I will have to look into getting a computer for myself sometime :-)

Okay time for me to end as the school will close soon. Nite Nite guys and gals!!!
posted at 5:54 PM by john |  

A war is coming.. And one way or another this war is going to end.

There is going to be a war coming soon, one between the secretaries and the teachers and its going to get alot worse before it'll get better :-(. I think that the newer secretary is playing both secretaries against each other by using the students in order to make her position in the school more secure. This involves things like letting the students basically do what they like at nite when she is here on her own. Some of my students in one of my groups just come up to 45 minutes late into the class even though they are in the school. The excuse given by the secretary was that she had something important to discuss with the students inside my class time. Funny the school rules say the students must be in the classroom for the whole 90 mins but of course this dosent happen. All of the teachers apart from one are now siding up here to lodge lists of complaints and some told me they will not be here as a teacher next semester if they can find another place to go, of course this is what our newest secretary wants to happen here. For her its a chance to make the more experienced secretary look really bad so that she doesnt have the full confidence of the bosses. U cannot imagine what the atmosphere here is like at the moment, there distrust all over the school and on top of that we have the new cleaner spying on just about everybody and trying to catch people doing anything even slightly different. There is a need for a coordinator here now, we have asked many times for one but it always gets sidelined but now i think that in the teachers meeting there must be something done or.. Well you guys can imagine right? For me really its not all that big a problem as at the end of the semester i can easily change schools with being a native speaker of english but for all of the students with which i am also friends i feel very sad that their groups will suffer :-( No good will come from this and the teacher already know this and no matter how many complaints are made nothing happens. Soooner or later its going to become US and THEM and once it gets this far, well i dont have so say what it'll be like here do i? :-(

Oh a good note though, yesterday my MEC group started their scripting and planning for their roleplay that they are going to perform and film in the class. They have roughly around three weeks in which to get prepared and stuff and tell me when they want me to get the video camera so i can film it. I think it will be good fun for them in alot of way and also help them alot to see and here how they use english in situations that they have to construct themselves. I am going to try to not have alot of involvement in the planning etc as i want it to come just from my students and help them only in the critique part after the filming and viewing etc :-). I will get my camera too i think so that i can take some photos of it and hopefully post on here :-)

Ive been looking for some programs to use to take screen shots and stuff online but finding a small one that doesnt take up alot of room is really what i want as if i fill up the hard disk of the computer here at work i will have no space for anything else and neither will anyone else hahaha!! I have added this site to a few other web directories and when i search for myself i come up first which is nice hahaha!!! I'm losing it right? its okay as im british and we tend to be just a little crazy hahaha!!

Roberta just arrived to start giving class, its a little hard to see the screen though and type when someone is trying to smother you in kisses hahaha!!! Maybe later on she will get time to join my class, i am going to cover types of greetings today and extra stuff linked to this in their lessons. Should be good for a laugh as these guys never take themselves seriously hahaha!!

Okay better move my arse here or i'll be late for my own class lol!!!

posted at 5:53 PM by john |  

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Paralanguage..

I come across all sorts of strange shit when im looking for new stuff to do with my students and this i came across earlier on. Nothing really good for my groups as they are master or advanced lol. Funny they dont teach this stuff in english schools, they dont teach any real grammar at all in fact. I like messing around though with different things with my MEC groups and this afternoon i'll spring Tongue Twisters on them just for us to have a laugh :-). For english people these things are crazy but for foreign speakers of english i think they will find it comical :-) My MEC groups are great and they dont take themselves too seriously which means that we can get to have alot of fun instead of worrying too much about other things. If the lesson isnt fun how can the students stay awake right? hahaha!!!

I am hoping that in a couple or three weeks we will be using a video camera in the lesson to film some roleplay that i am in the middle of planning for my MEC3 group. It'll be alot of fun i think and for them a great chance to do something fun and a little different too. They were talking of costumes and stuff too, man this should turn out to be a good laugh if i can get it all sorted out :-) I'll take my camera as well so i can snap a few photos :-)

I spent some time this morning preparing stuff for some other cards that i wanna use in class. I wanna practice more phrasal verbs with my groups a lot more, they dont really get to study alot of phrasal verbs until high intermediate so i'll create some cards with phrasal verbs on them just to get things moving a little more. Roberta gave me a hand the other day to create some roleplay cards for me to use in class too :-)

Im roaming through the online radio channels here, theres alot of 80's stuff around. It just goes to show that we had alot better music then and now just this techno shit crap that is god damned boring. Who the hell listens to Mobey anyway? Nice to see that prince has a new album though, i will get my brothers to send it to me from the UK as it'll be dirt cheap there or just download from Kazaa hahaha!!

I can here the little devils arriving, they are a group of 16 children and they are total nightmares, thankfully i will never teach this group lol. I couldnt stand them for more than just saying hello or goodbye hahaha!!! They need to be two smaller groups and not this large mixed level group, think of it as a hot potato ;-). Oh their own i like all the students but once they get together it becomes total chaos as the students who have no level become bored and amuse themselves by trying to drive the teacher crazy (and usually succeeding too). By the time they get to enough of a level to study with me i will probably not be teaching here so im not worried :-)

Guess i had best go do something here or at least look like im doing something right? ;-)

posted at 11:13 AM by john |  

Monday, May 03, 2004

A wierd road sign!!!



Interstate 15 near Baker, California. This photo was taken in 1999 by Alvin Brattli.

posted at 4:20 PM by john |  

A site meter..

Just out of curiosity i thought i would add a site meter just to see how many people click through the site. Its a little slow when you visit the main site though as i guess they have many people logged in at once but setting it up is simple and just a piece of code to copy into the template and the site will do this for you straight into most websites or blog sites too :-)

I'm waiting to go to the photostore and pick up some photos that Robertas family took over the weekend :-) I dont know how many are of the two of us though as they were sneaking around with the camera taking photos, apparently there is one of me cooking rice hahaha!! I must try to find someone with a scanner so that i can get them scanned and posted online :-)

I see that tripod have altered things here and now every time someone visits the site a search window opens with links to other sites that i am guessing it thinks i will be interested in lol. wierd but i guess fun if you have nothing else to do. But sometimes it gets a bit much especially when there are also popup windows opening all of the time too, but then a popupkiller can soon take care of those right? lol. Some of the sites are actually quite interesting though and when i get time i'll add them to my list of links so you guys can read through them too okay? :-)

I guess i had better go and get the photos for Roberta and see if i can get some stuff printed off here too that i translated the other day :-). Later guys!!!

posted at 12:57 PM by john |  

Green fingers..

I've been busy with plants in my little garden at the back of my house :-). I got some seeds the other day and also Robertas mum gave me some plants too so i have been getting them into the ground while i wait for Roberta to arrive here from her training at the hospital. I have no idea if the seeds will grow to look to look as beautiful as the ones shown on the packet though hahaha!!! Hopefully they will brighten up the veranda just a little and add a bit of color to the place until i have managed to get some planters and stuff for the veranda itself :-)

Yesterday we visited the city park and Tv Tower too, it was really warm there all afternoon. On the way home the bus stopped twice for the police. The first time was because they were looking for criminals riding on the buses (this is a normal way the criminals rob people here in Brasil as Brasilians seem to be resigned to being robbed and never put up a fight even if its just one criminal against 52 passengers so the criminals rob the bus knowing people will just hand over everything they have) and the second time was because we had picked up a drunken one legged young guy who was on the wrong bus for his city and they had to get the police to help him to get to the right bus to get home. As a result we were late arriving at home with robertas cousin :-(

Also we went to a birthday party in the evening, man i ate too much and once i sat down it was a struggle to get back up again hahaha!!! It was alot of fun though, i really must get around to learning the Brasilian way of singing 'Happy Birthday' so i can join in lol..

I've been playing with the template here again just to move things around a little and to add a search thing as well. The changes dont really make alot of difference but were just things that i had wanted to do but didnt get time to do when i added the template before. I have to get around to showing Roberta how to use the site too as i dont always use the blogger site and sometimes use Wbloggar instead, depending on which computer i am using at the time hahaha!!

Right have to go get some coffee and get something done here :-)


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