Tuesday, August 5, 2014

It's my responsibility

I was prepared to teach the unit on "Medicine" with grammar points and listening exercises. I could instantly feel that the energy levels weren't to my satisfaction. Some students sat there, clearly preoccupied. It didn't take long before the energy affected others in the class.

After I set them off on their first speaking activity, I could see that it was going nowhere.

"Do you trust me?" I asked my class.
"Yes, of course," they replied.

"You know that nothing I do with you will be a waste of your time, right?" I asked.
They nodded.

"Please close your books and clear your desk. You only need a piece of paper," I instructed.
They followed my instructions.

And so...using the same picture as I did with my group yesterday, I gave them 10 minutes to write about whatever emotions were evoked when they saw this.

From Google Images
Some students wrote vigorously. Others sat tapping their pencil on the desk. Paper, blank. I refused to believe that their minds were blank, too. If anything, it was the opposite.

I paused next to one of my solemn-looking students. I could see he was battling. We looked at the picture again. Slowly, I could see him opening up and he started to see beyond the surface. It wasn't planned that my students would stand up and present their pieces with the rest of us, but it turned out to be a really good exercise. Some students spoke with a lump in their throat, while others showed a much softer side to themselves.

I sat there in awe. Beaming with pride. When the class was over, they admitted that their hearts felt lighter.

One of my students, Mohi, happened to be in my office just after my class. I shared what happened in my class with him. He noted that I was very sensitive about my students and their feelings.

"How can I not be?" I asked him.

I thought about this further during the day.

How am I possibly meant to teach (anything) when my students sit in front of me looking and feeling listless. With their minds preoccupied, far far away, of course it affects me, their teacher. I may as well not teach anything.

I sometimes need to break through to them before even attempting any kind of activity. Whether I do this by means of a joke or a short piece of music, it is by all means, my responsibility to ensure that they are fully with me during my lesson.
Anyway, just wanted to shared that today...
Hope YOU had a great day!



The Hope...by Mohamed Abogila

The Hope
by Mohamed Abogila (in Libya)

I can do something.

You can do something.
We can do something.

What's going on?

First of all, I would like to say I am from Libya!
Which means I am proud to be Libyan.

I am a person who likes his country very much and I always speak about the real history

What's going on?!
Why?!
We don't have..!
We have to..!

Libya is going down. It's going to hell.
Sorry to say that, but it's the truth.

Why? Simply, this country misses the hope and the hope and the hope.

They give up.
They are impatient.
They are selfish.
They are weak.

Hope to be challenging and
do to have, do to get.

Hope to be patient and take breath and relax without any stress.

Hope to be humble and friends and smile.

Let me tell the world something.

Libya is fire. To burn even you.
You can't touch or do something.

The people are the dark, which means...
You can't see if you want to think to steal or destroy something..

I am like the air.
Free and fresh...
Which means
If there is a problem, I can push it away.
Far away.

Are we ready?
Ready to do...

This word, "do" means a lot.
If you agree, we should do.

I am sure I know we have the ability,
but when are you going to start?
When are you going to feel?
And when are you going to win?

Life is a game and I will win.

Hope to be a strong, powerful hero.

We are here.
Today, but tomorrow...
We don't know.

Where will we be?

This country could be the best and the worst.
About the people, actually.

People can do, feel, make, hurt, decide and hope.

They can make this country.
He loves to show the fire on the ice. How is it?

Libya. Yeah, it's one word, but it means the power.

I've been to many places.
They asked me, "Where are you from?"

I just give a big smile. With myself, I am self-confident and I reply, I am from LIBYA.
I feel like the King in the castle or fire to burn or dry to die.

Libya is not the problem.
The real problem is us.

Any country has bad things, but also - there is a solution.
Always.

It's like a game.
You have to be the winner.
To survive.
To be free.

Like the lion in the jungle.
Strong, smart and organized. 

Am I crazy?
Simply, no...

I am too crazy of loving my country.
It's my morning to the evening...until the night.
It's my blood.

No one can live without blood.
Which means we have to love our country.
To defend from any bad things.

Libya is a country and it will fly, shine, high in the sky.
In the world.
On my paper.
And in our hearts.

Libya.
Libya.
Libya.

Monday, August 4, 2014

I will rise...by Sheetal

From Google Images

The world thinks I'm small.
I'm at the bottom of the food chain.


They all underestimate me. Think I am nothing.
Ha! They don't know that their ridiculing actually fills me up.
Each fall is a reason for me to rise.

There is possibility for me to die. Everyday.
But I know, now is not my time.
Each day is a challenge. A new beginning.
I know where I want to be.

I smell success.
I can taste it.
But how will I get there?
That is a question I ask myself everyday.
Everyday.

The world laughs at me.
Says I'm stupid. Ugly. Worthless.

I will show them. I will win. I will conquer.

Every night I go to bed. Exhausted.
But I wake up invigorated.
I know my purpose.
And I will rise.
To the top.

The Hopeful...by Abdulgader

From Google Images


by Abdulgader (Libya)

Our life.
Easy. Difficult.
Everything makes us either annoyed or comfortable.

What do I want?
What do I need?

If you are a hard worker, nothing is impossible.
Even small animals works to feed herself
or for her children to grow up being joyful one day.

Start in the morning until late in the evening.
Ants. People. Elephants. Bees
They like to try many difficult things in their lives.

The more you jump, the more you grow.

Don't give your heart to the hopeless.
Keep going to the top.
Nothing is impossible.

Larger than its size...by Marwan

From Google Images
Larger than its size
by Marwan (Libya)


This picture is very expressive (it carries good meaning). It talks about the ant. It's a small animal, but it has incredible activity. It works all the time and does not feel bored.

This picture teaches us how to work without boredom and to face challenging difficulties.

The ant works hard and co-operates with each other to build their castle and storage for food.

The meaning? The ant has a job that is larger than its size.

It still has the power...by Mustafa

From Google Images

It still has the power
by Mustafa (Libya)


The picture appears how the ant is working. How it lives in the desert. On the rocks. Besides the sea, on the beach...and it still has the power until sunset.

It tried to live in hard areas and with multiple difficult interventions, like who can get her food and living facility?

It is an amazing picture and I hope that the human must know how difficult it is to get a good life without hard work.

No pain. No gain.

I won't surrender...by Mohamed

From Google Images
I won't surrender
by Mohamed (Libya)

I can see the ant.
It will try to do something difficult.
With the end of the day, it keeps trying
...and it's tomorrow.

It's a new day.
And I will try again.
So whatever.
I will try again and again.

And I won't surrender.
Never.
Every day is a new start.

If the world doesn't support me,
I can support myself.

When I fail in something,
I try to go to the top.
I will try and I will do.
Finally, I do.

Nothing is impossible.
I am possible.

No pain.
No gain.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Let me go with you...by Mohi

Many know that I can gush about my students. But who can blame me? At the best of times, they produce little pieces of treasure, like the one I'd like to share in this post. I beam with pride and want to share it with as many as I can.

I have a group of students who meet me on a weekly basis. For a set period of time, we all (myself included) write on a given topic / prompt. My purpose is not to improve grammar or "teach" so to speak. I do this because I want my students to see words as I do. I want them to see that words are powerful. If used correctly, they can lift off a page and dance around - evoking all kinds of emotions.

For this particular piece, I gave students the first line, which they would have to continue writing on.
They all did so well, but I'd like to share one in particular today. Very well-written, Mohi!
Enjoy!

-----------------------------------------------------
by Mohidin Amar Esaadi (31/07)
"Darling, it's beautiful...thank you!"

Oh, my dear. You always surprise me. 
Do you believe me? I always wished for this gift, especially from you.

You are so late to arrive at my party. 
It was so boring without you, but now -  I forgive you.

My love, you are inside me...reading my thoughts, my feelings. 
You suspect my reaction to everything.

You have all the keys of the doors to my heart, running inside me like blood.
You are my world. My air. My spirit. 
I'm with you felling love, stability, peacefulness. 
Feeling like I have everything. 

Without you, I'm lost in this world feeling alone and sad. 
Isolated.

What are you doing to me?
Who are you?

Are you breathing like us (people)?
Eating when you're hungry, drinking when you're thirsty?
I don't think so. Maybe you are an angel from the sky. 

Let me go with you...far away from this sad world. 
Maybe to the moon.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

India (19) Jaipur

In a desperate attempt to escape the heat, we decided to chill off at a mall. Even managed to watch a new movie that had just been released (Humshakals) Errr...don't judge!

Spent the evening at Chowki Daan - the perfect ending to our Jaipur experience! We were able to have a taste of Rajasthani life as well as dress up in traditional clothing. Food was spectacular and was included in the entry ticket. A must-visit!

India (18) Jaipur

As usual, Sonu was right on time to pick us up. We met our tour guide for the day and started on our tour. 

Highlights of the day:

Amer Fort & Palace

Jantar Mantar Observatory
Hawa Mahal Palace




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