Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Photos will be back...soonish

Agh, my blog is suffering from lack of visual..ness again! Why? Because I'm using my brand new computer and I haven't uploaded any photos as of yet. Plus, I want to take some new photos displaying the beauty of Spring 2010 and put them up.

Dine Out Vancouver is happening right now and I really want to go and eat some tasty food! All three (well-priced) courses of it :) Vancouver is full of some fantastic restaurants, some of them in obvious locations and others hidden away, just waiting to be discovered. I don't eat out very often so when I do, I like to go for something special - flavourful, properly cooked, and made of high quality ingredients. Mmmm, thinking of food is making me want to eat a second dinner :) Speaking of flavourful, high quality ingredients - today I ate pita pizza for dinner for the third day in a row, eek! On the plus side, I had some healthy zucchini soup along with it...but really, three days of pizza (even if it's homemade) is a bit much.

Are there any foods that you could eat every single day without ever getting sick of them? I never get tired of my delicious oatmeal. I also like nuts, bread, brie, and soup ever so much :)

Mmmm, yummy food... :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

An addition has been made...

...and it happens to be a gorgeous new computer! It was definitely time for the old one to gracefully retire (before exploding completely...or just crawling to a permanent stop). Now I have a lovely Mac with a ginormous screen (and it's the smaller of the two options!!) and way more desk space.

This weekend was chock full of chores. Mostly shopping-type chores. And hopping on over to the bakery :) I got more ESL books so now my resource collection is almost completely complete. Oh, and I indulged and got the first volume of the Glee soundtrack. Not the kind of music I normally listen to but, kind of surprisingly, I've really been enjoying the show and I like all the theatricality and modern choir sounds. Plus, it's just oodles of fun and I can use it in class. Yup, for educational purposes.

It was quite sunny and warm today, so I strolled around admiring all the flowers that are blooming so beautifully right now. My neighbourhood is bursting with gorgeous colours - it's such a treat!

Well, hopefully I can figure out a lot of the fantastic features on this lovely computer. I'm sure it's very useful in addition to being pretty :)


Friday, April 23, 2010

It's Friday?!

Wowza, time has flown by like a hummingbird this week!! It was a really fun week, filled with laughs and surprises and (hopefully) some learning and a field trip to Whole Foods :) The students seemed to like it and they completed their shopping list + write down some new foods you'd like to try assignments but they agreed that it's uber expensive (as everything tends to be in Vancouver). I also showed a couple of DVDs at the end of the week - one class watched a hilarious episode of Fawlty Towers (such a great show! John Cleese always makes me laugh with enthusiasm :) ) and another class watched a bit of Wallace and Gromit and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit, a lovely and also hilarious film.

So I've been teaching for a month now! Crazy! It feels good, I'm really loving it. And I haven't laughed quite this hard in a long time - it's beautiful how even when a bunch of people come from different places and don't really understand each other easily they can come together and bond and laugh...a lot :) Hooray :) Seriously, the students in my classes are so sweet and funny and wonderful it makes it seem like this isn't really work at all - it's too fun to be work :)

In other news, I might buy a new desktop computer this weekend. The one I have now is, oh, a decade old. It's pretty ancient and getting to be completely un-usable. So I want to buy a nice Mac :) I've done some research on the internet and will head on over to an Apple store tomorrow. Eek.

Do you enjoy buying technological gadgets and things or is it something that you avoid?

Happy weekend!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Weekend over...

...and it was oodles of fun :) I went to Vancouver and found a neat little Russian store (filled with sooo much chocolate!), also bought some good ESL resource books for 30% off. I love buying books on sale. Well, I just love buying books in general, but getting them on sale brings an extra layer of satisfaction :)

Today I got to soak up lots of sunshine and I finally played tennis, hooray! The tennis courts were packed with eager players, it was awesome. I tried to go to the beach later but there were no parking spaces and it was just way too busy - no room to walk!

Alrighty, it's time for some sleeep. Oh, I tried homemade pizza baked on panini bread today - it was delicious! Lots of mushrooms and red onion, yum yum.

Sweet dreams!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hooray for the Weekend!!

Ahhhhh. How splendid to sleep in, relax, and have a leisurely day. It's dark and gloomy at the moment...and I think it will probably rain...but that doesn't put a stop to a fun day :)

Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous and summery. I took my D block class on a bit of a field trip. We had a lovely walk by the water, surrounded by magnolia trees, flowers, and boats (and people walking their dogs!). The last stop was Granville Island but we didn't have enough time to explore it much, which was fine by me because I'm directionally challenged and would have gotten us lost :)

After school, I met up with a friend who just recently returned from Panama. She was there for many months and I missed her a lot, so it was wonderful to catch up over tea and share our adventures.

The best part of dinner last night was a creamy zucchini soup. There was no cream in it - just the magic of an immersion blender. I looove soups with a thick texture. Watery soups just don't do anything for me :)

Cheerio and have a magical weekend!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Gorgeous Spring Day

Wow, I need to whip out my camera and take some photos - it is sooo beautiful outside! After all the recent storms, wind, hail, coldness, power outages all this sunshine feels fantastic!

The week is flying by - a blur of textbooks, photocopies, classrooms, sandwiches, mountain views, buses, newspapers, and students' bright faces :) Seriously though, I can't believe how quickly time goes by these days! Perhaps I need to do some grounding exercises :)

Today at lunch time one of the teachers was telling us about a class he used to teach called the Book Club class. He would choose a simple novel (like a Roald Dahl book, or other children's books such as Charlotte's Web, Anne of Green Gables, etc.) and each student would be assigned a character. So everyday they would read the book aloud, with every single student playing one of the parts. That sounds like my dream class! Teaching + reading + acting + children's literature = oodles of fun! I hope one day I get to teach a class like that :) Well, at this point I'm just hoping I'll be given the chance to keep teaching for a long time :)

Today I also learned something interesting from my Korean students - April 14 is Black Day in South Korea. Traditionally, people who are single (as in they have not found their other half just yet :) ) eat noodles with black bean sauce on this day and it's kind of sad. On Wikipedia it says that single people get together and celebrate their singledom, but my students made it sound like a less-than-happy event. It sounds like everyone wants to get married :)

Do people in North America celebrate their singledom? I think for the most part people prefer not to be single, but we do have a lot of individual freedom and it's okay to be single as well. Although men are seen as attractive bachelors while women quickly become old maids. Anywho, time for me to eat a nice, juicy orange :)


Monday, April 12, 2010

A Little Bit of Procrastination...

Here I am, sitting on the edge of my seat...ready to type up some lesson plans but not really delving in just yet :) The past weekend was glorious - so warm, sunny, and wonderfully relaxing! I went to the beach and it was absolutely packed. I didn't mind, I love seeing people enjoying themselves outdoors and I'm glad to be part of the fresh air bunch :) It's much more fun than being a TV watching mole person :) Not that I don't watch my share of quality television sometimes...

Monday mornings can feel a bit rusty since it's all about getting back into the swing of things - the routine of your regular work. I feel so lucky to have lovely teachers around me. Hanging out in the teachers' lounge and chatting away while admiring a gorgeous ocean + mountain view = loads of good fun and laughs :) I also take my breaks there and it helps so much to take that breather between classes, connect with other teachers, and re-focus for the next class. I find that just about any experience is way better when you share it with somebody. Treading a new path on your own can be difficult, but going on an adventure with lots of friends beside you feels much better. Of course, there are some tasks that we have to tackle on our own. Like making a perfect sandwich :) But really, independence and self-sufficiency are super important too.

Ramble, ramble, ramble...see what procrastination can do?! I'm in need of some focus right now, methinks!

Do you find Mondays to be more difficult than other work days? Or is it all pretty much the same?

Happy Monday!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ready for the Weekend!

Whew, I got threw my first 5-day working week at IH (after last week's long weekend) and it looks like I've survived :) It was actually quite enjoyable and stress-free for the most part. Three of my four classes are a delight to teach, and my timing/pacing/planning of various activities seems to be working fine so far. The fourth class I teach is a bit of a struggle though - it's a bigger room, hot, many of the students are tired, it's the lowest level that I teach so basic communication is more challenging, there's no structure/guide for me to follow....so yes, just lots of things that add up to the messiest, least smooth class of my day. I have to figure out how to keep them engaged and focused and motivated and positive.

There was also some pretty crazy weather this week - howling winds and cold temperatures galore. On Wednesday night I woke up to the sound of hail against my window - it sounded like the window would break! When I left the house, the ground was covered in hail and actually looked quite magical. I didn't have time to admire it though, as I was too busy trying to run to catch the bus while wearing heels :)

Food food food. I've been eating lots of green soup, legumes (mostly chickpeas), onions, zucchini, apples, oranges...and brie :) Amongst other things :) Yesterday I went to an Indian restaurant on the beach (gorgeous view of the ocean!) and had chana masala with naan. Very tasty (especially eaten outside on the patio under the glow of sunshine!), but later on I ate an orange and after that my stomach rebelled. It still feels a bit funny but I'm hoping it will get better as the day goes on :)

Well, it's time to get some things done! It feels so good to have a day off - freedom! Time to recharge those batteries :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April showers...

...bring May flowers! And, oooh, I can't wait! April has been pretty stormy so far - we've had howling wind, heavy rain, intense gloomy darkness, (very) occasional bursts of sunshine - and it will be so lovely to see flowers, vibrant colours, glorious sunshine, butterflies...someday in the near future I hope :)

I had a three day weekend and on Monday it was back to work, work, work! I didn't mind, it was good to get back into the swing of things. I find that it's MUCH easier to learn new things when you're completely immersed in those new things, rather than dabbling in them occasionally. My week is going great so far. I feel incredibly lucky to have such wonderful, funny, sweet students :) Of course, classroom management and discipline and all that school-y jazz is still a must, but for the most part (mostly) everyone is quite well behaved :)

I've been eating some delectable halibut lately. Well, I've eaten it two or three times within a couple of weeks :) And of course I went for options that supported sustainable seafood, overfishing is a huge problem and it's super important for us to stay informed and make earth friendly choices :)

And now it's time for a very hot cup of tea.

My hair is VERY (boyishly) short so I need hot beverages to keep me warm, unprotected as I am by long flowing locks of luscious hair :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy April!

These flamingos at San Diego Zoo are probably frolicking in the sun right now :) Boy, do I wish I was frolicking in the sun too! It's so dark I have the lights turned on and I think everyone must still be sleeping due to this strange, dark weather (cue thunder and lightning...).

Hooray for the long weekend! Time for rest, relaxation, and reflection. And maybe even some exercise! My feet hurt from walking around in heels all week and I feel a bit stiff, so some stretching and moving would do a world of good.

Looking back on this week, I must say it was a blast! Now that I know what to expect and no longer feel like I'm stepping into a mysterious black hole, I can actually enjoy it and work on making my lessons a whole lot better. Especially the afternoon ones, which we have to plan ourselves using various books and audio tracks...right now it still seems quite challenging to put together a really good lesson at the appropriate level for all the students. I'm hoping this will get easier with time and experience.

In about an hour I'll be getting a haircut! So my hair will be super short again - just the way I like it. My hair is very thick and right now it's sticking out in all directions...it has a life of its own :)

Do you like to experiment with different hairstyles? Or keep it simple and stick with the same length most of the time?