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, August 20, 2004

Training needed..

I hope that they are going to train the cleaning woman to be a secretary in the near future. I really hate when there is no secretary here as the cleaner hasnt had any training at all so if people want something she cant do anything. She just looks sad or upset if you decide to do something yourself but if there is no one around what do they expect us to do? I dread to think what'll happen if we have a real emergency here, just so long as it doesnt happen in one of my groups thats all. Friday for me is the day when i try to get as much prepared for my groups as i can as i work all the other days and sundays i never do anything as this day is for me and Roberta so it would be good if the person here was with some training even to just print somethings out. Oh well its not my problem i guess, well saying that it is but theres nothing i can do about it

I'm trying to find something i can do with my OM3 group, i have no idea what i can do with them though as they are a little quiet. Hmmm maybe the lyric games will work with them, but its a biggish group and not easy to plan things as its also a mix of adults and teenagers, the adults dont like to talk about themselves either. They think the teacher is just being nosey lol Maybe they would like some simple roleplay? I'll have to scan the LP and see what is coming up in the lessons so i can Integrate some game or activity into a coming lesson.

Man, the school hasnt got any coffee, well its actually sugar they dont have, just that liquid stuff that leaves a strange taste in your mouth. good job i made some in my place earlier on :-) It'll last until Roberta gets here and then i think we will go to her Grandmothers house to get lunch. Until the secretaries arrive here it will be a little boring at the school as the cleaner cant set up any of the stuff like kareoke etc :-(

Just found the Britney Spears lyrics for one of the video clips we have here, i guess it'll have to be this one as a game. at least its slow enough for people to get to grips with in the lower groups. Somehow i cant see them wanting to do games with Linkin Park, can you? Hahaha!!

Okay better get on with it..

posted at 8:13 AM by john |  

Goddamned crazy..

Did you read the story below? The Catholic church is becoming worse, they make so many screw-ups but they seem to have completely lost touch with the real world. I can understand why so many people in the world are changing to other alternative religions. How can they want someone to risk their lives? Oh i forgot that this isnt the first time is it? After all we just look at their record inthe third-world countries decimated by AIDS to see the real truth behind this church. Millions dead or dying because of a few old men locked away in their little city in Rome deciding that their will is more powerful than the holy book they profess to believe in. I think we should take these same people to the Court of Human Rights and demand that something is done to protect other people from what can only be called a dangerous cult religion. I wonder why the Catholic church wants so many people to die in Africa? Maybe they want to try to take over the country once everyones dead and make it a sort of Catholics only country. Why isnt the Pope taking charge here, well unfortunately the Pope isnt in good health and anyone is making up all sorts of rules and regulations to line their greedy pockets with money made from the death of others. I remember this from the bible, wasnt there someone else who tried to profit from someone elses death? Oh i remember his name now.. Judas

posted at 6:42 AM by john |  

Catholic church more out of touch with real life..

Girl with digestive disorder denied Communion
8-year-old cannot consume wheat wafers

An 8-year-old girl who suffers from a rare digestive disorder and cannot eat wheat has had her first Holy Communion declared invalid because the wafer contained no wheat, violating Roman Catholic doctrine.

Now, Haley Waldman’s mother is pushing the Diocese of Trenton and the Vatican to make an exception, saying the girl’s condition should not exclude her from the sacrament, which commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ before his crucifixion. The mother believes a rice Communion wafer would suffice.

“It’s just not a viable option. How does it corrupt the tradition of the Last Supper? It’s just rice versus wheat,” said Elizabeth Pelly-Waldman.

Church doctrine holds that Communion wafers, like the bread served at the Last Supper, must have at least some unleavened wheat. Church leaders are reluctant to change anything about the sacrament.

“This is not an issue to be determined at the diocesan or parish level, but has already been decided for the Roman Catholic Church throughout the world by Vatican authority,” Trenton Bishop John M. Smith said in a statement last week.

Haley was diagnosed with celiac sprue disease when she was 5. The disorder occurs in people with a genetic intolerance of gluten, a food protein contained in wheat and other grains.

When consumed by celiac sufferers, gluten (pronounced GLOO’-ten) damages the lining of the small intestine, blocking nutrient absorption and leading to vitamin deficiencies, bone-thinning and sometimes gastrointestinal cancer.

The diocese has told Haley’s mother that the girl can receive a low-gluten wafer, or just drink wine at Communion, but that anything without gluten does not qualify. Pelly-Waldman rejected the offer, saying her child could be harmed by even a small amount of the substance.

Haley’s Communion controversy isn’t the first. In 2001, the family of a 5-year-old Massachusetts girl with the disease left the Catholic church after being denied permission to use a rice wafer.

Some Catholic churches allow no-gluten hosts, while others do not, said Elaine Monarch, executive director of the Celiac Disease Foundation, a California-based support group for sufferers.

“It is an undue hardship on a person who wants to practice their religion and needs to compromise their health to do so,” Monarch said.

The church has similar rules for Communion wine. For alcoholics, the church allows a substitute for wine under some circumstances, however the drink must still be fermented from grapes and contain some alcohol. Grape juice is not a valid substitute.

Haley, a shy, brown-haired tomboy who loves surfing and hates wearing dresses, realizes the consequences of taking a wheat wafer.

“I’m on a gluten-free diet because I can’t have wheat. I could die,” she said last week.

Last year, as the third grader approached Holy Communion age in this Jersey Shore town, her mother told officials at St. Denis Catholic Church in Manasquan that the girl could not have the standard host.

Seeking help from the Pope
After the church’s pastor refused to allow a substitute, a priest at a nearby parish volunteered to offer one, and in May, Haley wore a white Communion dress, and received the sacrament alongside her mother, who had not taken Communion since she herself was diagnosed with the disease.

Last month, the diocese told the priest that the church would not validate Haley’s sacrament because of the substitute wafer.

“I struggled with telling her that the sacrament did not happen,” said Pelly-Waldman. “She lives in a world of rules. She says ‘Mommy, do we want to break a rule? Are we breaking a rule?”’

Pelly-Waldman is seeking help from the Pope and has written to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, challenging the church’s policy.

“This is a church rule, not God’s will, and it can easily be adjusted to meet the needs of the people, while staying true to the traditions of our faith,” Pelly-Waldman wrote in the letter.

Pelly-Waldman — who is still attending Mass every Sunday with her four children — said she is not out to bash the church, just to change the policy that affects her daughter.

“I’m hopeful. Do I think it will be a long road to change? Yes. But I’m raising an awareness and I’m taking it one step at a time,” she said.

posted at 6:34 AM by john |  

Thursday, August 19, 2004


Im waiting for my students to arrive. They tend to always be late at night time but for me its no big deal as if they are late i get paid for the extra classes that they need to have. I am already a little behind schedule but we will soon catch up i hope.

I tested out a couple of the new music games i got from the training the other day with my MEC2 - Baby spice girls group, they liked them alot so i will create some different types of these games for them. This group is always really enthusiastic about trying out new things :-) I'll create somwe with Avril Lavigne as i know they all love this singer from the States.

I wonder how i could modify this type of game for a bigger group as my conversation classes at Formosa tend to be quite biggish groups. I'll think on this a while and get Robertas input too, she sometimes has really great ideas on things to do in my groups. Probably because she is a student herself hehehe!!

Okay, i guess i'd better go fire everything up ready for the class to start..

posted at 5:56 PM by john |  

Quick joke..

Not now kid!!

posted at 11:12 AM by john |  

Looking for Tombraider..

The best thing about Kazaa is that you can find any game or program you want using it lol. Im browsing for Tombraider 2 at the moment. I like sometimes to play these old retro games, reminds me of all the hours i spent trying to figure out how to find the things and solve the puzzles that Lara found as she battled the bad guys. I must get around to getting another games console so i can play games again, i know Roberta loves games too so it'll be great to compete against each other ;-) The other week we got Grand Theft Auto and others from online, all the old fun games are always floating around somewhere.

I found out yesterday that i'll be giving classes in two other schools this semester, i think i'll clock up around nine groups. The money will come in handy as we are hoping to go on vacation the end of this year. Where we will go im not sure yet but we will think of somewhere to go and places to see :-) I'm going to be giving conversation classes again in Formosa, i really liked giving classes there and had many students attending each class. I have some stuff already prepared ready to go and i hope that i'll get to take Roberta with me to a few of these classes as well :-) At the other school im not sure what classes i'll be teaching yet, they are stull organising things but hopefully they should start next week. Good as even more money to feed my bank account with ;-)

I had to create the questions for an oral book test this morning, Sherlock Holmes Investigates. The books come from SBS and they are really quite good for the students to practice their reading skills. I read the book in around an hour so they will have no problems having all semester and the stories are easy to get into and follow. The books have a load of questions too that help the students to see if they are understanding and remembering the story. I knocked out around 40 questions, that should be enough for them to use.

Found a pack of old Doom games here in Kazaa, some of the names i've never heard of before. I wonder what Doom TNT is? In around 30 minutes we will soon find out haha!! While im waiting though im going to get something to eat as im feeling a little hungry..

posted at 9:15 AM by john |  

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

I need a vacation..

Man i need a vacation from all this terrible music that the play here in Planaltina lol. Finally though last night they didnt decide to play any more music so i was able to try to get some sleep. But as it happened it wasnt really possible because someones dog was barking and whining all night long. Well we think it was because the owners were beating the dog, you'll soon discover here that animal cruelty is a big thing here in Brasil. In fact Brasilian seem to be proud of this and love to have people see them beating their horses with sticks and whips and stuff. Its a real shame that here they dont have the same laws we have in the UK as these people would be locked in a cell now getting the crap kicked out of the by the fellow prisoners. The UK is a nation of animal lovers for those of you who dont know, as soon as i can find the house where this noise comes from im going to slap up a big poster outside it to embarrass these people into having respect for the creatures of the earth.

Anyway i'll try to get some sleep later on this afternoon before my classes start, at the moment im waiting for Roberta to arrive and also practicing my portugues by talking to the other secretaries in Taguatinga on the internet. I have to get around to spending more time with my portugues books, i usually have a couple of nights a week free for this but at the beginning of the semester i have less time as the groups all get up and running. I hope that my students will have some of their books this week, it will be alot easier for them once they can read them at home as well as in the lessons with me. I have some games that we are going to play today to make drill practice a bit more fun, well thats if we get around to making them this class. If not i have something else lined up to do with them, always got something up my sleeve ;-)

I wonder if they have any coffee in the kitchen, let me go check..

Theres none around here, i had to nip into the house and get something instead. Good job i went shopping the other day hehe. Theres always some kind of juice in the fridge or coffee at my place. I live on the stuff ;-)

They are ringing the church bells here, they ring them three times a day, 6am, 12pm and again at 6pm to remind people to go to the church and give all their money so the priest can buy a new car or have money for his retirement. If i tell you that the main church is a catholic church i think it'll explain alot right? After all everyone has seen how they stood quietly to one side letting all those people in Africa become infected with AIDS when they could have spoken up about condom use and other things to try to help people understand what they were dealing with. These people need to be flogged for allowing this to happen. I always manage now to get out of anything here that my students invite me to that involves the Catholic church as i will not be part of anything that involves this religion as that would be just condoning everything they do or dont do. At least other religions are trying to do something about it, i read in Newsweek mag that there are priests that are now handing out condoms and other forms of contraception advice in Africa especially inthe parts that have been decimated by HIV & AIDS. Its about time the Catholic church woke up, of course with the Pope not well and not being able to control the idiots in the Vatican it will be a long time before this happens :-( When you live in a predomanantly Catholic country you can easily see what a terrible job they do of everything they touch :-(

Im just looking at the lesson plan for this evenings class, we are a little behind on the schedule but i'll pull it back on by the end of the class as its mostly conversation questions and reviewing grammar. I hate grammar, some people love to spend hours on grammar and structure but its not really all that important. The most important things are read, write, speak and communicate. I think the reason some teachers like to concentrate so much on grammar and structure is when they have a sort of fear of speaking with their students or they are afraid of the students asking them many questions especially about slang. My students love slang and of course its very important they master slang as we use informal english all of the time and hardly ever use formal english except in only a very few occasions. I love to try to get the conversation going whenever possible, even if i get behind in my schedule hehe!!

I'd better go get some emails written here or i wont have time to get them all done today..

posted at 9:25 AM by john |  

Monday, August 16, 2004

Monday mornings..

I have coffee here on hand as i try to get going this morning. Some assholes here were playing music at a concert until god knows what time this morning and i kept waking up on and off all the time. People have been basically playing any sort of dul crappy music here at the exposition center until stupid times every morning for around the last three weeks, they have no consideration for other people what so ever. It wouldnt be so bad if they actually stopped at a decent hour but they dont give a damn about that here. I saw yesterday that hopefully yesterday should be the last day of it so we can all try to get some sleep now.

I saw may times on other peoples websites a list of sites that had referred to them and wondered how they did it thinking maybe it was because they hosted their site on their own servers etc. I found a site online that puts this list onto your webpage with just a single line of code which made doing this very simple. You can go to and copy the free code needed from the site. It works quite well, a shame we cant alter things a little but i think it looks okayish now :-) Im curious to see where people come from and what sites reffered people to mine, im just a little nosey you see ;-)

I hope Roberta gets here soon as im starving, i was going to make lunch but i think her gandmother already made it for us. anyway it only takes a minute to take the lid of the cookie tin hahaha!! I think Roberta is going to spend the afternoon preparing for some presentation she has to give. I would like to go see these presentations but they are just for the course at the hospital and also they tend to be in portugues too. Im going to get her to join some of my MEC4 classes though as we are very short of students this semester and i need to have enough to do some of the activities. It'll be good fun for her to join in with this group, she knows everyone and also it improve her english vocab alot. I have some conversation stuff set up already for them to try out. This group love to talk in english even when they arent in the classroom :-)

Wow just found an interesting story here, apparently they have found a cave that they think was used by John the Baptist. I'll just put the story and pic here for you guys to read..

Group Discovers John the Baptist Cave

KIBBUTZ TZUBA, Israel - Archaeologists said Monday they have found a cave where they believe John the Baptist anointed many of his disciples — a huge cistern with 28 steps leading to an underground pool of water.

During an exclusive tour of the cave by The Associated Press, archaeologists presented wall carvings they said tell the story of the fiery New Testament preacher, as well as a stone they believe was used for ceremonial foot washing.

They also pulled about 250,000 pottery shards from the cave, the apparent remnants of small water jugs used in baptismal ritual.

"John the Baptist, who was just a figure from the Gospels, now comes to life," said British archaeologist Shimon Gibson, who supervised the dig outside Jerusalem.

However, others said there was no proof that John the Baptist ever set foot in the cave, about 2 1/2 miles from Ein Kerem, the preacher's hometown and now part of Jerusalem.

"Unfortunately, we didn't find any inscriptions," said James Tabor, a religious studies professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Tabor and his students have participated in the excavations.

Both Tabor and Gibson said it was very likely that the wall carvings, including one showing a man with a staff and wearing animal skin, told the story of John the Baptist. The carvings stem from the Byzantine period and apparently were made by monks in the fourth or fifth century.

Gibson said he believed the monks commemorated John at a site linked to him by local tradition.

Gibson said the carvings, the foot washing stone and other finds, taken together with the proximity of John's hometown, constituted strong circumstantial evidence that the cave was used by John.

John, a contemporary of Jesus who also preached a message of redemption, is one of the most important figures in Christianity. The discovery, if confirmed, would be among the most significant breakthroughs for biblical scholars in memory.

The cave is on the property of Kibbutz Tzuba, an Israeli communal farm just outside Jerusalem. A member of the kibbutz, Reuven Kalifon, knew of the cave's existence — the community's nectarine orchards run right up to the mouth of the cave — but it was filled with soil almost to the ceiling.

In 1999, Kalifon asked Gibson to inspect the cave more closely.

The archaeologist, who has excavated in the Holy Land for three decades, crawled through the small opening and began removing boulders near the wall of the cave. When he pushed aside one of the stones, he saw a head carved into the wall — the top of the figure he believes depicts John.

Gibson, who heads the Jerusalem Archaeological Field Unit, a private research group, organized an excavation. During the five-year project, he wrote a book, entitled "The Cave of John the Baptist," to be published later this week.

Gibson said the cave — 24 yards long, around four yards wide and four yards deep — was carved in the Iron Age, somewhere between 800 and 500 B.C., by the Israelites who apparently used it as an immersion pool.

"It apparently was adopted by John the Baptist, who wanted a place where he could bring people to undergo their rituals, pertaining to his ideas of baptism," Gibson said.

Believers would have walked down 28 stone steps. To their right, they would have discarded their clothes in a niche carved into the wall.

At the bottom of the steps, they would have placed the right foot onto a stone with an imprint of a foot. A small depression to the right of the imprint would have contained oil, to be poured over the foot for cleansing, Gibson said.


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