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, August 07, 2004

In need of coffee..

Man the bus was early this morning so i got to work before the school even opened. There was a place to get coffee from open nearby but i only had enough change for one cup lol. I dont like waving around R$10 notes especially being a foreigner as people here automatically assume that i am rich or something, i know its wierd but Brasilians see all foreigners as rich people.

I finally have my groups here sorted out so i have already prepared some games i can play with them for an ice breaker for their first lesson with me. I`ll do music, i love using this in the classroom with students. English songs have loads of interesting expressions and stuff that is great for getting them motivated to learn, informal words and expressions go down really well here too. Today am going to use G&R, The Calling and Ac/Dc. Ac/Dc i chose just mainly for the lyrics of the song U shook me all night long, my MEC groups last semester love this song hahaha!! It`ll be interesting to see if the others like it too ;-)

Okay have to go text Roberta and then get ready to start..

posted at 6:36 AM by john |  

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Criança Esperança..

I think this weekend here in Brasil they have a fundraiser called Criança Esperança. They hold this every year to raise money for children in Brasil. To be honest most fundraisers here dont really do alot apart from lining greedy corrupt organisers pockets, i dont care if people reading this think i am wrong saying this. If you live in a demcracy and see charities properly organised so that people cant take the hard earned money people give isnt stolen by organisers and politicians and then you come here you can only be saddened by the terrible treatment of charities here in Brasil :-( The man i see as the driving force behind Criança Esperança is Renato Aragão, He is the special representative of UNICEF for Brasilian children.

Yes, this is the same guy who does that terrible Turma do Didi program but from what i can see this guy tirelessly promotes childrens charities and you have to give this man credit, huge credit for the work he does especially for Brasilian children.

So Criança Esperança raises money for children here in Brasil and from what i can see it has seven main goals:

1. To try to get rid of Child labor in Brasil - This isnt easy as most families here need the extra money their children earn just to eat
2. To rid Brasil if the sexual abuse of children - I have been told that its sadly very common to see children here selling sexual favors just to get money for food :-(
3. To reduce the amount of infant deaths - Big problem in Brasil as so many people here live well below the poverty line
4. To integrate mentally and physically deficient people into society - In my city they closed a mental health facility and just threw the patients out into the street to fend for themselves. Most of them live now in the bus station
5. To provide facilities to help children who live on the streets - Another huge problem here in Brasil
6. To make sure all children recieve basic levels of education - This really is a huge problem here, i visited the public schools and i was really shocked not just with the schools but mainly the attitude of the teachers, they are just in for the money and generally dont give a shit about trying to give a half decent education
7. To combat the use of drugs in Brasil - but this is something the whole world should join together to combat. Drugs can only breed misery

Sadly though there is this sort of attitude here with alot of Brasilian people that its not their problem and that someone else will deal with things, just look at the Hantavirus outbreaks here in district Federal. They now have huge ads on the TV and in the papers and yet people in my street still throw garbage into the road and just leave it there encouraging vermin to breed and just close their gates :-( Think i'm being a little harsh?, Try going to Plano Piloto and watch the people walking past starving elderly people begging for money because they have been abandoned by their families and not giving them even the time of day. I saw one person tell one old woman to go get a job, see the sort of people i mean now? I was told that Criança Esperança raised around R$8,000,000 last year, to be honest though this really is terrible for a country with around 175,000,000 people. If half of these people gave just R$1 you can see how money would be raised for what is definately a worthy charity. I wonder how much effort it must take Renato to smile every day knowing that so many of his own countrymen just dont care?

When Roberta asked me to post about a person who is a good guy, i think this would be the sort of person she was talking about. This person here with a huge heart here sets the example that other Brasilians need to follow.. If you wanna find out a little more about Renato you can visit his website HERE, Its in portugues :-)
posted at 11:01 AM by john |  

White tee-shirts..

We have some new tee-shirts for CCAA this summer, some snazzy white ones. There is a problem though, they have just small sizes for women and children!!! We have black ones for guys but can you imagine what its like wearing black in a tropical climate? Man i must lose pounds in sweat lol. I had to get the secretaries to hunt through the old tee-shirts we had in storage to find me a white one. It doesnt look the same mind you but at least its cooler than having to wear the black one. Maybe i'll email CCAA in Rio and accuse them of sexual discrimination and see what they have to say about these women only cooler white tee-shirts ;-) Mind you they look quite cute on the girls as here in Brasil they like to wear tee-shirts for girls really short so you see their belly buttons etc but of course this isnt cute on a 6ft2" guy hahaha!!!

Roberta said that i should include some pics of people in Brasil that arent such losers on the blog. A little difficult this idea of hers because most people in the public eye here just give the impression that they wanna get their hands on money no matter whose it is and most TV actors (I use this term losely here) just appear for charities and stuff if they think it'll help them appear in the next terrible Brasilian soap opera. I will try to think of a few people though although to be honest i dont watch alot of Tv here (It's boring and full of Mexican soap operas lol).

I'm trying out Mozilla Firefox this morning just because i saw it in the Blogger help section when i was trying to activate those new edit links on my homepage. It looks nice, a simple design and i'm just checking to see if my website for my students will load in it. At the moment though it wont load their server, i wonder if they are having problems. In blogger though i can now see all of the new additions in the post screen, looks really cool :-) The new edit links look smart too in the blog, they cant be seen by anyone only me and are great for correcting spelling mistakes and stuff - these tend to happen alot because they use a different type of keyboard layout here and after nearly 3yrs i still havent really gotten used to it lol. Plus they always forget to install the English dictionaries in the spellchecker or Word here even though we are an english school lol. wierd!! Well it appears that the students site isnt up, maybe they are doing something to the servers there, i'll try later on. Firefox actually looks quite nice, small download at just under 5megs and i'm just playing while typing too lol. Its actually quite fast, has a popup killer built in too which is always handy. Brasilian websites always seem to have these things all over them, even the offical ones have things springing up so you cant click on links and stuff and if you close them they just reopen again. Dont u just hate it when that happens? lol Anyway, if you wanna try out Firefox you can go to the Mozilla website by clicking HERE

Okay.. It's tiime to go grab something to eat here..

posted at 7:49 AM by john |  

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Padre Marcelo..

This guy is Padre Marcelo, the Catholic Churches great promotor here in Brasil. He's responsible for some wonderful things as Padre Marcelo sings heavy metal gospel fusion(Dedicated to raise money to pay compensation for all the children Catholic Preists have abused over the years) and also Maria, Mae da filho de Deus (Maria, mum of the son of god) and yes it's as bad as it sounds im sure!! You have to give this guy his due though, he tries hard and i mean damn hard to promote the Catholic Church in a good light and help people too but with all the bad publicity surrounding it he sadly will never succeed. My advice to him.. Try Bhuddism instead!!
posted at 10:37 AM by john |  

KLB (Brasilian closet gay boy-band)

This is KLB, they are a sort of gay boy-band, they dont actually come out and say it though. Sort of like Cliff Richards in the UK lol. Oh they never seem to play live either, I have never seen a wire plugged into their guitars and hooked up to a mic and they have this amazing ability to sing even when their mouths arent moving too hahaha!!!

Oh, and not forgetting Luciano Huck..

This dopey-looking idiot is Luciano huck, People here seem to see this guy as one of three things, 1- Perverts sex symbol, 2- tele-gigolo (Dont ask me!), 3- gay. His TV program is something unreal, flitting between half dressed women and nearly naked men, its wierd!! Oh and he loves getting dirt-poor people and making them do stupid things on the TV live for money so that everyone can enjoy watching them burst into tears when they cant do it. What sort of person would do this to people that are desperate and in need of money, so in need that they would embarrass themselves and lose their dignity to try to get a few thousand reals to feed their children? This guy is that sort of person :-(
posted at 9:49 AM by john |  

Xuxa - Brasils idea of a good clean wholesome presenter for childrens programs here (Can you believe they call this Queen of the kiddies?)

I tried to find some pics of this Xuxa woman in the campy transvestive type clothes she usually wheres but i guess Brasil must be hiding them so you guys dont sit there laughing your socks off hahaha!!

posted at 9:36 AM by john |  

Coffee time..

Funny thing, in england i used to drink loads of tea to get going first thuing in the morning but now its gallons of coffee lol. I'll have to get some tea plants to put in the garden as you wouldnt belive how much they charge for a few tea-bags here. In the UK you can get 200 for around a pound but here 20 of them is more than 3 or 4 times that. I guess the Brasilian coffee makers encourage this so that people keep buying coffee all the time, right?? ;-) I know that Brasil seems to do this with many things here, music especially from other countries is very hard to buy here. I think its because they know all the teenagers here would stop buying that samba or MPB music and move onto something else instead with more meaning to it. I find alot of my students love to read and understand the lyrics in american rock songs. Even though some of them like Emenem or Limp Biskit use alot of swear words these singers appeal to youngsters because they are saying things that relate directly to them where Brasilian music seems to be the same all year round. Well in fact years round, some Brasilian singers are still singing the same song now as they were when i arrived here 2.5yrs ago hahaha!! And then everyone else also sings this same song too, oh apart from some gay boy band here called KLB who cant sing and mime everything without ever appearing live. Strange init?? I forgot about Sandy and Junior (My students said that he is gay) but lets not go there as these guys are worse than Brasils most popular loser... Xuxa!!! Xuxa is a sort of campy, dull and overweight blonde bimbo who wants to be both Queen of the kiddies and at the same time some sort of over the hill sex kitten, Neither of which she is good at. In some TV shows she wheres clothes that would be more suitable on a porn star and in others she looks as though she stole her clothes from a tramp on the street or routed through a garbage dumpster. I'll have to get a pic of these losers so you can share in the wonder of Brasilian entertainment hahaha!!

I had my first class with OM1 last night, they are the lowest group that i have taught so far since starting working for CCAA. They speak alot of english for a group that has just started intermediate and I think they were a little nervous at the start but once we got going i think they had alot of fun. It was really funny when i asked them to demonstrate jumping into a swimming pool :-) I think we will have alot of fun this semester, i have some games already made up for them and will get a few more from one or two of the others too. Im going to prepare some simple music games for them to play too, probably with verbs and stuff i guess. My other group that has never had class with me before is in Tag and they are OM2. I taught this level a few times so i know the lessons well and i have a box full of stuff i can do with these guys and gals.

I suppose i had better go do something, probably like getting more coffee ;-)

posted at 8:28 AM by john |  

Tuesday, August 03, 2004


My second day of the new semester and already i have substitution classes hahaha!! It's an easy class though so i can just tick over and take my time. I will have class now though from 2.20pm straight through until 6.50pm without a break, well i will make a break for coffee ;-)

I spent the morning testing out the dvd for some of my classes as they are different from the ones i use in my MEC groups, actually i think it will be better as some things are listed only once in the dvd whereas alot more in the book. Better for me and the students too :-)

Thank god though i dont have to work with that fat obnoxious thing from the other school, i dread to think what sort of semester her students will have if she is that sort of person in front of the guy from Rio. Still i get to show how its really supposed to be done, after all even though we have to use the methodology it has to be fun or the students will become dispirited and go to the other schools instead. I have spent alot of time this last break preparing stuff for the classes so now we will see what works and whats not so popular so i can fine tune things more. Having a coordinator who also thinks this way helps alot too as i can pick her brains about things she has tried in class etc.

Okay time to go get ready to teach.. First, wheres the coffee??

posted at 12:03 PM by john |  

Monday, August 02, 2004

Italians getting it in London..

Friday July 30, 02:48 PM

A poster campaign urging people not to eat smelly foods on London's overcrowded and overheated underground system has sparked a diplomatic incident with Italy. The poster (pictured) showing an overweight and Mediterranean-looking man lounging in an underground train carriage surrounded by hams, salamis and strings of garlic triggered a torrent of letters from angry Italians and even the Italian ambassador.

posted at 9:46 AM by john |  

First Day..

Well the first day of the new semester is here and they still havent decided what my groups are finally going to be. Oh, wait.. They now know hahaha!! Man its always crazy the first day of the new semester :-s So now i am all set and can finish off preparing my stuff for my groups lol.

I suffered Charlies Angels II in portugues yesterday, we watched it with Robertas cousin lol. Its not as good as the first film to be sure but watching in portugues brings a whole new experience, where did they get those people who make the dumbass laughing that the girls do all the way through the film? hahaha!! The best bit i think is the end of the film where the three cuties are all wet through washing that car, Ooh it was cold shower time after seeing that ;-)

CAESB have been here replacing the water mains in the street, my god i was shocked to see what a botch-job they made of this. Talk about Industria Brasileira!!! How can such a huge organization make such a total clusterfuck of so many things? The school has had no water supply for three days, The header tank in my house is bone dry, good thing that roberta's grandmother lives near me so i can go there to get a shower and stuff. Of course cooking and stuff is out of the question now, the school is going to ring them and get them to sort this mess out. First day and we dont even have water for the students to drink, Typical..

Im preparing some different types of lyrics and stuff for my students to use, i have just to get them typed and photocopied. Apparently this time the school is going to pay this time, i have heard this all before and still ended up doing them myself at the end of the day. I have some grammar stuff to prepare for my OM1 group too, not exactly sure what i am going to do with them yet though but will think of something. One of the other teachers is going to come here later and he also has this group so i can swap ideas with him plus one of the teachers at the other school i think taught this group too so we can swap a load of ideas i hope :-) I have never taught this level before, TN4 yes with a group that were a total nightmare so i have to make this group stick to ensure that i will get offered more of these low level groups. I have Roberta thinking on this too so with all this combined brainstorming We will get some good ideas happening here :-)

Time to go hog the coffeepot and then the printer, in this order ;-)


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