One Week

Sep. 8th, 2004 08:35 am
zcat_abroad: (palm)
Right, we've been 'home' for one week, and this is the first time I get to update. Two things are to blame - my timing, and the internet connection, and they work off each other. I tend to want to write in the evening, which is when everyone else on campus is on the computer, thus making it incredibly slow, and sometimes impossible, to reach LJ - or Yahoo. In fact I'm left browsing through the Herald, which is the only way I can convince myself that NZ hasn't fallen off the edge of the world.

Communication
I've finally discovered IM, thanks to Yahoo. Yeah, I know it's been around for ages, but I'd never got into it, until one day in Jinan, I was emailing Dad, and he was replying, and it was working like text messaging and then *he* suggested I try Messenger. And it worked like a charm. The only problem was - it was all in Chinese, except for the bit I was typing. So I think I snubbed Debxena by accident, because something popped up with her name on, I pressed a button at random (no, actually I was trying to make a guess as to which button would add her to my friends list) and she disappeared. I've felt bad ever since, but now I've made a public confession, perhaps everything will be better.

New term, new classes
Teaching this term has two parts - the fun and the down-right boring. The fun is AV - listening while watching videos (or, as is more often the case, VCDs and DVDs). However, being responsible teachers, Greg and I are NOT going to just sit down and watch a movie every week. (Grrrr Arrrgghhh to responsibility!). No, nor are we going to teach Buffy - having decided that the vocab is too high, not always useful (how often, outside of discussing Buffy, does one talk about vampires, werwolves, demons, and dusting people? unless you're a member of thehorde?)and the grammar is just plain wrong - being not only American (now to see if anyone American is reading this), but also of the Buffy-verse. We are, however, going to show one of my other favourite movies, in little bits. 10 minute segments of 10 Things I Hate About You, with lots of work on vocab on both sides of it. Guess I should start preparing the lesson. When I have finally finished here.

The down-right boring part of teaching is writing. How do you teach writing to a class of 40? If you make them all write something, you have 40 things to mark, times 5 classes. That's (correct me if I'm wrong - there is a reason I teach English) 200 pieces of writing. I could underline all the mistakes, and get them to correct themselves, but then I'd have to check again, to make sure they got the point.
I like writing (more below), but I'm not that strong on grammar, and that's mainly what these students need. The "I don't know why that's wrong, but it is, it should be this" argument doesn't go down so well with university students, many of whom are planning to become teachers themselves one day.

On the subject of writing.
I have finally managed to get a start on the story that has been simmering in my brain for the past year or so. I had been putting it off, on the grounds that I needed to do more research, that I didn't know enough about the time and place. It's a historical novel, you see, and set a lot earlier than the books I normally read. I have read a few more set in a similar time, but am determined to get my facts straight, not rely on what I've read in stories. And at the moment it's rather hard to get my paws on books about medieval England and France. The internet is my only hope - there must be something I can find in here. So Wednesday mornings, being the time I don't have a class, while Greg does, will be devoted to research and writing.

Then there is also my work for my PhD. I won't officially start it until 2006, but I already have the document I'm going to be working on, and have started transcribing it. I just have to hope that between now and then, noone else starts to edit the same manuscript. It's MINE! As I'm planning to have kids while doing my PhD, the more I can get done first, the better.

So , having spent a long time here, I'd better go and do some work before the other half gets back.

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