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
Friday, July 23, 2004

Porao De Rock..

This last weekend here they had a rock type festival here in Brasilia. On the TV they showed it to be all wonderful with lots of people having fun but one of the teachers from my school went and she told me that it was a nightmare with drunken drugged guys roaming all over the place trying to force young teenage girls to kiss them for long lengths of time so they could go bragging to others about it. What sort of sick person does this? well if you go to one of these festivals i guess you will see. She told me that one group of drunk idiot Brasilian teenagers trapped a young girl in their midst for around 30 minutes making her kiss all of them, my friend said she was terrified all the time she was there. My god, can you believe this? Apparently ive been told by a few people now this thing is perfectly normal here and they have all sorts of festivals where drunk men force themselves on young girls, alot of them young, very young in fact :-( So i wont recommend anybody to go to these places, especially if your female.

posted at 7:51 AM by john |  

Hantavirus outbreaks..

Some government official wasting his time here trying to convince people to  clean up their act before Hantavirus cleans out the cities

The last week or so the newspapers here have been full of stories of people dying from Hantavirus. To be honest i had never heard of this before so i looked on the internet and found this description..

It is a virus that causes Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), a form of adult respiratory disease syndrome. HPS was first reported in the United States in the spring of 1993. As of November 2003, 353 cases had been reported in the U.S. Thirty eight percent of the people died as a result of the infection. Symptoms usually begin one to three weeks after exposure to infected deer mice. HPS is characterized by fever, chills and muscle aches, followed by the abrupt onset of respiratory distress and shortness of breath. The muscle aches are severe, involving the thighs, hips, back and sometimes the shoulder. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

As you can see its a nasty little virus, but people here have a very lazy attitude towards these types of things. Although there are warnings all over the papers about not leaving garbage laying all over the place so as not to encourage rodents etc who carry the virus there are piles of garbage laying all over the roads and pavements. Its not that people here are uneducated, they just dont give a damn, thinking It'll never happen to me so its not my problem but of course they think the total opposite when they are in the hospital dying and blaming everyone they can but themselves. You can expect the death toll to get higher and higher as the weeks go on, it will be impossible for the health agencies and local government to change how people think about health issues here as they have had the same attitudes and ideas for so long. Even where i live in the relatively well off area i see people just open their gates and throw garbage into the street, not caring if the bags burst or if strays rip open the bags and leave decaying food everywhere, sometimes there are piles a couple or three feet high laying around next to streetlights. People are used to thinking that just because they closed their gates that its now someone elses problem to deal with. Its so sad that it takes peoples deaths here before anyone decides they should maybe think about doing something about it, and even then they tend to do nothing. I have been watching in the newspapers as the virus spreads across cities here with cases being reported but of course there will be many that arent being reported too, especially by poor people who dont have the money to go to clinics or dont have time to wait three or four hours to see a doctor at the hospital. Things will get a lot worse i think. Luckily though, i visited the American Health Dept website and got all the info i need about making sure that my little house is as safe as i can make it. More on this will appear here as the deaths start growing.
posted at 7:18 AM by john |  

Thursday, July 22, 2004


This computer is getting slower and slower. Its hooked up to the other ones in the network and they are all out of the ark so you can imagine how bad it is right? It doesnt matter how fast our net connection is as it cant be noticed with the old tech stuff we are using here lol. I cant wait to get back to the other schools at the start of the semester where they actually have updated IE programs ;-)

I am waiting for Roberta to arrive, she has decided to go to the supermarket to pick soime things up for her grandmother and then we will head over to her place to watch The Cell. I'm not really keen on the woman in the film (Jay Lo, i think) but it'll pass the time instead of watching boring Brasilian TV programs lol. They need to get cable here in good old Planaltina, well its not good really just a figure of speech hehe!

Sound like they are back..

posted at 4:53 PM by john |  

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Velvet Revolver Blast Usher Off #1 Perch

Rock Rules!!!

Usher has been rocked at retail.

Selling more than 256,000 copies of Contraband in its first week out, Velvet Revolver will take Mr. Entertainment down a peg on next week's Billboard albums chart. The hit single "Slither," a ready-made fanbase and a boatload of press combined to give the band which includes former members of Guns N' Roses and ex-Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland placement for its debut album.

Proof that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, Contraband beat the combined first-week sales of the latest releases by both GN'R and STP (both were greatest-hits collections) by more than 41,000 copies.
posted at 8:57 AM by john |  

Win2000 just terrible..

Man i cant understand why we would want to have this program installed on the computers in the lab here. They should relagate it to the secretaries area now so we dont have to suffer it any more. I get tired of seeing crap like you need admin privs etc just to do a simple thing, BORING!!!!!

Still here this morning it looks like we might have some rain, if we do it will help my flowers in the garden 1000%. I have some there though and no matter what i give to them they dont seem to be growing very well :-( I have some herbs that Roberta gave to me that are going just fine though, we use them all the time when we are cooking. I just hope that nobodies cat has peed on them hahaha!!

I spent an hour last night finishing off some new stuff for next semester, i have quite a pile of stuff ready to be used now. It should leave me alot of free time which is good as i am hoping to teach at some more schools so we will have money to go on vacation come January. Roberta is also hoping to be teaching this coming semester too, whether it will be at the schools here i dont know but i have some other places she can apply at if she heres nothing at this school :-) I know people all over the place from different CCAA's lol. I think she will like teaching too, its not going to be like a main career for her as she is training to work in hospitals but the main thing is of course the MONEY!!!

Its funny but the new internet connection we have here is supposed to be better than our previous one but to be honest i think its worse. Before we have a business connection which i could use to watch videos on The Dakness website with no problems but now we have this new one it is always stopping, stuttering and losing the connection. Telebrasilia have to take some of the blame as well, they arent the best phone company lol. But the directors here have apparently changed over to a home plan and of course this would get a lower priority with the phone company as they would wanna keep their business customers happy so they didnt lose their accounts so we now have terrible connections and services. Hey remember, The Brasilian Way ;-)

I was hoping that the guy would be here this week to burn my mp3's onto a cdrom for me but he didnt come yet. It would be quicker for me to just go to someones house and get a load of them downloaded there as it will be ages before the guy comes here. He has to upgrade the computers and then bring them here and knowing how our boss loves spending money this will take a while hahaha!! I wanna use them in my groups as a sort of listening practice complete with lyrics with words and phrases missing for the students to fill in, we generally make most of our own extra material as we have some control over how we try to motivate the students. They have some stuff here, video clips etc but they tend to be boring stuff that just kids would like.. ie. no rock music! They tend to have just basic conversation stuff too which is why i like to develop my own things. My MEC groups prefer it too as they get to have some input in the things i create for them :-)

Oh phone...

A friend and teacher wanting stuff on a group from the UK called The Black eyed Peas. I dont have anything by them though but he has a burner so i can get stuff from online and drop it on a cd. Maybe i can ask him to do some stuff for me too ;-)

Okay, coffee time!!

posted at 8:12 AM by john |  

Tuesday, July 20, 2004


Well its evening here now and im just sat here wasting time so that i get paid lol. There's not alot going on at the school right now and i have the lab free to myself but noone on messenger to talk to, typical hahaha!!!

I spent a couple of hours though adding pages to my website for my students next semester to use and finally figured out why the message and bulletin boards didnt work, all because of one '=' sign. I had missed it out when i had typed in the link and this afternoon i was visiting other sites and looked at their links and noticed the difference and.. lo and behold it all works :-) Hopefully next semester things should get moving on there as my students try out some of the stuff i put there. I think that although the CCAA methodology is quite good that we as teachers should be trying everything we can to motivate the students to learn and at the same time have fun too. I know that some of my students last semester were not all that enthusiastic as they said they were just there because their parents made them go so this semester it'll be time for me to try out some other stuff with them. I try explaining to them that once they have some basic language skills then the teachers can start to play games and do more activities with them but they just shrug and slump down into their chairs. To be honest though some of them are just plain lazy, call it Brasilian Way you like. These guys dont tend to last very long and their parents never visit the school, just call on the phone and tell us that their son or daughter is a good boy or girl. I'm sure that we believe them too, especially after hearing it a few dozen times per semester hahaha!!! This time though i have alot of stuff all prepared so plenty of things to try out. I tend to be lucky though as most of my groups are Master classes and are very motivated and enthusiastic about anything i suggest. This is especially true if its something where the whole class gets to talk while i basically dont say anything hahaha!! These classes i am just there to give feedback and stuff, it's good to do something different other than the CCAA stuff as it gives them a real chance to talk in english about something other than Grammar or something else completely boring. I even prepared some classes with the vocab and stuff already written on big pieces of card so i dont have to even write anything on the whiteboard before the lesson starts, just tape it up and when they enter off we go hahaha!! Yeah, thats right i am getting lazy ;-) To be honest its to give more time in the class for actual speaking and then students not have to wait for me to write stuff up on the board with info they need. This way it's already done and we get to spend 90 minutes of glorious conversation about whatever it is i chose :-) Should score a few points there with my students i hope as the MEC groups love to talk..

Needing coffee, wait and dont bloody go anywhere!!! lol

Okay, thats better although the coffee tastes like its been stewing for a few hours :-)

I'm noticing that the lights for the dsl modem here are flickering away like crazy although the only person using the net right now is me and i am not downloading anything. Probably something the students have downloaded on the other computer as this one has a good a/v program installed. I'll still be glad when we get the other computer back though, i dont really like this Win2000 because they didnt install the software that the teachers use and with the shit admin all screwed up we cant download and install it either. Still its better than Linux as that really is a pain in the arse. Geek program that looks quite smart but its too complicated to use and i notice now online that there are alot of Linux viruses and hacks appearing so all that bull about it being super secure doesnt look so good now. I think that it was just because not many people used Linux so the hackers simply went after Windows because there were more targets but as Linux becomes more widely used i am sure we will see increases in attacks on these computers etc. Plus you gotta have Windows if you wanna play some games lol.

Okay i had best go write a few emails as they will close the school pretty soon..

posted at 5:28 PM by john |  

Boring, boring hahaha..

Well its bloody boring here at the school today. Theres noone here and i am taking a break from messing around designing grammar stuff for my students exercises website. The secretaries from the other school arent answering their messenger so i cant make fun of them either lol. Maybe they are feeling shy because their english isnt too good?

I have to go and get some sheets of card to make some stuff for a conversation class that i am going to do next semester. I want to try to get alot of my stuff already prepared so that i can just go get it and not have to waste alot of time when i am busy trying to prepare all sorts of things. Now that i have alot of MEC students i like to do other things besides the methodology and this means that i have to create usually anything i wanna do from scratch. Luckily there are many websites devoted to teaching english to foreigners so i can find loads of interesting stuff. With my MEC4 group who are my most advanced group they love to talk about anything and have no fears about talking controversial stuff which leaves me with no limits for my conversation classes with them. Of course though i have to make sure that stuff i choose for them isnt anything obscene etc but this semester we will tackle things like, divorce, crying and also sex as they have maturity and level to be able to talk about these subjects without the stupid smirks that you tend to get from some of the students anytime these subjects are mentioned. I have a pile of things all ready to go now, maybe i can use some of them when i give classes at the other school too? We will have to wait and see :-)

I heard from my brother yesterday and he told me that my dad is in the hospital for some treatment. He should be out this week sometime which should please my dad as he hates hospitals. Thy tend to be very boring places so i bet he will be glad to get back to home and his sat tv and stuff :-)You should see the sort of boring tv programs they show in the English hospitals, sort of like watching Brasilian TV all day hahaha!!

I've been researching some courses that i wanna take here in Brasil this morning. Courses for teachers to have certification from Cambridge and other uni's too. For me these will be great as here in Brasil everything is paperwork here and i need these things even though i speak better english than most of the English teachers here in the public schools (They tend just to know the verb to Be). The courses take around a year to complete, most of them are in Sao Paulo though as they seem to think of this city as the business capital of Brasil. I guess they dont think that people in the rest of Brasil would like to take these courses too hahaha!! Luckily i found a place thats just a few km from me in Brasilia so i am waiting for emails from them in order to apply to take the course and hopefully get the certificate :-) I've been looking at both CELTA and also ACELT too, i cant see the problem with me taking the courses even though i am a native speaker as these courses are supposed to be for people who want training to teach English and the people i spoke to on the phone sounded very nice and confident that i would have no problems. I'm waiting to see how much its going to cost me now to take the courses and when they will start and finish.

I had to block the secretaries from the other CCAA, man they are so boring and theres noone there to talk to in English either. I dont wanna have to suffer them when i am in the middle of chatting with someone later on hahaha!! Sorry girls but thats the way the cookie crumbles :-)

Okay better get my arse moving here and go do something, exactly what i sdont know yet but i'll think of something ;-)

posted at 9:25 AM by john |  

Lies about stunted penis-sizes to stop Swedish kids from smoking

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - The Swedish organization A Non Smoking Generation covered Stockholm in posters claiming that smoking stunts penis growth and that cigarette filters are filled with mouse excrements, along with other lies aimed at getting kids to stop smoking.

'We wanted to raise awareness about how the tobacco industry always promotes its products -- through lies,' head of the organization Anne-Therese Enarsson told AFP.

'Our lies are so exaggerated that we hope they will make people stop and think, and then come to our website to find the truth,' she added.

Other lies plastered across the Swedish capital included that second-hand smoke is killing birds and that girls usually start smoking because they're stupid.

'This is an important campaign because it's summer vacation now and most kids start smoking in the summer. Seventy kids start smoking every day in Sweden. We hope this will make them think twice,' Enarsson said, adding that the posters will stay up for the next two weeks.

A Non Smoking Generation is not worried that tobacco companies will"


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