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It snowed last night. Not very much, and not for very long, but it snowed. This caused a bit of a flurry and a large interuption in the practice of R&J Act4&5, but then it was back to business.

Yes, the play is coming along. There were minor problems at the beginning, when it looked like we were going to have to do Romeo & Juliet without either of the title characters, but all that is now solved. Romeo is now being played by Benvolio, Benvolio by Balthasar, and Balthasar by Peter (who I have now written out of the play). And Juliet got over her nerves, and is working on acting. Problems now faced are things like costuming and props, and how much money is to be spent on them. Turns out they want a really professional production, but with no money spent, 'cos there aren't going to be any tickets sold. Seems a bit strange to us capitalists, but we have been promised some money now.

When I say 'we', I am, of course, not including [livejournal.com profile] zcatcurious (who is officially *not* helping) but rather Sharon, the Philippina teacher, and myself. Joanna, the French teacher, is going to help with the art work, I think (note to self: tell J she's helping with art), and [livejournal.com profile] zcatcurious is proving very useful in advising me what to do next, while carefully not helping. I think the play, in it's new stir-fry version, will end up being about an hour long.

In other news, we (this one's [livejournal.com profile] zcatcurious and I) gave the students a test this last week. It was the most disheartening thing I've done. After writing on the board "No copying" (we had to write that!?!), there were still at least 2 pairs in every class caught cheating during the exam (and got 0 straight away), and more found in the marking. The worst example was of students who wrote the correct answer, checked their partner's, and then crossed out their answer and filled in what their partner had written, complete with spelling mistakes. The stupidity of it is appalling! And while marking tests is no fun, it's made even worse when you realise that the wrong answers you have now are identical to the ones you just marked, and the question of who copied off whom is impossible to answer.

So, we have had a rather grumpy week of it.

Still no new news on the job front - the guy with the job in Pusan has not officially been requested to find people for there, and while Korea looks better than here, it does not look much better. We would love to be coming home next year, but the job market in NZ is no better, and the NZ dollar is still ridiculously strong. Please inform Dr. Cullen to do something about this.

Well, guess I'd better go and give the next class their marks from the test. I already yelled at this class, so I don't have to today. Sick and tired of being angry, and depressed. Not sure if we've made any difference in the majority of the students. But there are the brighter sparks, and I think R&J is going to be great, if we can stop Capulet laughing when he's trying to be all weepy over Juliet's death.
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so I'll murder one of the Bard's other plays. More on that later.

Well, it's been a while since I last updated - because my computer time was severely eaten into. Following the hoopla, and other disturbing things;
(we were ordered by the Powers-that-be to sing, we protested,
they insisted, we sang (Amazing Grace - more as a protest than
anything else), the world did not collapse in on us, more's
the pity, 'cos now our students keep asking us to sing!)

we decided to buy a DVD player so as to watch all the BUFFY we had bought while on holiday. This proved to be a good way to wind down after more frustrations in and around the classroom. However, it also means that we watched 2 and 1/2 seasons in about 3 weeks. Which led to there not being much time on the computer.

And my next project shall also disturb my few hours of free time(and has already). I and one other foreign teacher here, have determined to stage a Shakespeare play, using members of the English department. This we will do together with [livejournal.com profile] zcatcurious (if I can get him to forgive me for wearing his coat, again, now), and in spite of, once again, the helpful (?!?) ministrations of our local, pet demon, and other things. Already there has been a great mix-up, and we haven't even begun auditions yet!! They start today, and we have at least 80 people who have written their names down. I will scare some off, by emphasising hard work and commitment. Also plan to rope many in to work on things like sets, props, and lighting.

In the mean time, I have been severely editing the great Bard's most famous tradgedy, in the hopes of making is short enough to be possible. Rather afraid that at some time a Power will show up and say it has to be 5 minutes long. I think we'll manage to make it about an hour. Yes, we are cutting some of the classic lines, but we're working on preserving the story, and ensuring the students understand it. Gave them about 18 lines from the Friar's speech to Romeo, once he's killed Tybalt, to learn. Now have to decide whether I go through and change thou, thee and thy, or if we just teach the whole English department the meanings. Not sure which will be quicker, but as far as learning English goes, it's better for them to know the meaning.

So still haven't re-written my Great China Trip. Will do so, but might back-date it, so if you're interested, look for it about a week ago.

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