Sunday, September 7, 2014

BC0914: Describe the View

I have to say that the view from my apartment is nothing short of spectacular.

Each and every morning I'm greeted by the natural majestic beauty of Lion's Head. As it lazily peels the blanket of clouds around it, I marvel at its enormity and my proximity to it.

When I moved to Cape Town in 2011, I imagined walking to the top of Lion's Head. The walk uphill would be strenuous as I'd be carrying all my negative thoughts, stress, doubts and fears with me in my pockets.

Once at the top, I'd offload all these elements and feel a lot lighter...obviously making my descent much easier.

I needed something visual to rid myself of negativity. I chose to "leave" it all at the top of Lion's Head where vultures would be free to feast on that which I no longer had use for.

I consider myself totally blessed to wake up to such incredibly beautiful views.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

BC0914: What I'm reading

"Good Morning, Mr Mandela"
by Zelda Le Grange

This is a memoir written by the PA to the late former president of South Africa. It is a fascinating account of her career working in the presidential office, where she started off as a typist.

Getting to know Mandela through Zelda's eyes is a completely different experience as her background is white Afrikaner. Seeing her and her family's prejudice dissolve as she gets closer to the president is quite something.

There have been uncountable stories of personal accounts with "Madiba" as he was also known. However, I don't think any of them really catches the nuances that his PA picked up.

It is a fairly easy read and clearly written with depth and emotion. You'll find yourself grinning as you turn the page - trying to imagine what it would be like to accompany the President to a dinner and to sit next to a Queen!

Thanks to my dad for giving this book yo me.

Friday, September 5, 2014

BC0914: If I won the lottery

I always said that if I were to win the lottery, the first thing I'd do is buy my mum a new car. WIN the lottery, surely I should PLAY it?!

Never mind. Let's just imagine that I did win ;)

I would first give a substantial amount of money to my parents. Next, I will buy either an apartment or house with an ocean view.

Next, I will donate money to a charity for children. This must be used for two things. Food and books. Food to nourish their bodies. Books to nourish their mind and soul.

After that, my money will be spent on a great love of mine: Travel. Absolutely nothing feeds MY mind more than travel. I want to travel in style and stay at only the best hotels!

My imagination is beginning to run away with me so perhaps it's best I just stop here.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

BC0914: What irritates me the most?

Learner autonomy is something we continuously strive towards. I tell students that teacher's merely teach them how to use the "cutlery" (skills) but you need to go out there and actually practise it!

On a regular basis, students sit in my office complaining. Their writing isn't improving. They can't speak to others fluently in English.

"I can't..."
"I cant..."
"I can't..."
"It's impossible," they tell me.

That's when I put a spin on things and tell them "Oh yes you can!"

...and my favourite:
"Impossible" = I am possible

Your writing isn't up to scratch?
Solution...[Take my advice] and READ! Do extra writing for me! Let me help you.

Your speaking isn't fluent enough?
Solution...[Take my advice] and please, speak only English at school and don't rely on a translator to be your brain.

What irritates me is when a student does not take responsibility for his/her own learning. It's always someone else's fault. Never their own. Owning up to ones own fault is a sign of maturity and when I see a lack of this, I become frustrated.

I see such great potential before me, yet he/she wants to sit back and be spoon fed.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

BC0914: What made you smile today?

I consider myself truly blessed, because my job provides endless smiles. Today was no exception, but I will talk about just 2 incidents which happened today.

The first was when some students received good news that they will enter the much sought after Cambridge course! The pride on their face with a twinkle in their eye melted my heart. I'm proud of them...even those who didn't make it. There's always a next time.

Then I spent some time in the student lounge talking and laughing with "my guys". We were talking about someone who likes to talk a lot and one guy asked me, "Teacher, what's the adjective of that....talkery?" I loved it...and I replied, "talkative" ;)

These little moments bring such joy to my day!

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