Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See?

Well I managed to survive my first weekend of teaching in roughly one piece, I’m at the end of it and I’m tired beyond belief so though some of the blame in that category can be blamed on Tom Clancy the workload and the madness of it all is why I’m rather looking forward to a good lie in.

I left you Friday so we’ll begin our journey there, it was to be the first day’s work I had done since I worked for the Rolling Pin catering firm in Adelaide, Australia in June 2009, which seems like both yesterday and an age ago.

Thankfully I only had one cover class but I took advantage of that and headed in early to get on with my preparations for my lessons across Saturday and Sunday. For my regular schedule on Saturday and Sunday I have K2A’s, J1A’s and S5Z’s or 4-6 year olds, 6-10 year olds and 11-15 year olds if you prefer. Having not taught young kids before I leaned heavily on one of the academic managers to point me in the right direction.

This she did and the planning went well, I got to incorporate “Brown Bear Brown Bear” a childrens classic into my lessons with the kids, a wonderful book. With Saturday sorted out I headed into my cover lesson and although I found myself a touch rusty at first but I reined that in and found myself setting back into the flow of teaching, something I thought would come much harder given I hadn’t taught in over a year.

I finished my one class and found that Scottish Seo, “Deep Fried Salad” as she is known to me didn’t have another class either. We decided on heading to the Indian listed in the Lonely Planet for HCMC; Mumtaz. It was pretty good but given that it wasn’t as nice as the one across the road that is a good chunk cheaper I can’t see myself heading back there anytime soon.

Given that my first class would be at 7:45 the next morning and I would be up around 6:30 I thought I’d have a quiet night and headed back to the guesthouse. That plan was working perfectly until I opened the next chapter of Tom Clancy’s Clear and Present Danger and found myself still reading gone 1am. Oops.

I got up the next morning more than a little shellshocked that the alarm had arrived so shortly after I had gone to sleep but after breakfast and a shower I was ready to hit my first day of teaching. My first class was the 6-10 year olds who were just an absolute riot, it was so much fun running around with the little critters. I was covering such excellent topics as “the monkey is on the boat” and “the bird is on the bike”. Brown Bear Brown Bear went down an absolute storm.

After break I was presented with my teenagers which from reports I’ve had since is a class that many have passed off and don’t want and a good 5 minutes in I could understand why. The class opened with a game of bet on teacher, where the students ask questions of me, I write three options on the board and they are given photocopied dollars to bet on the correct answer.

Seems fairly harmless…. first two questions:

1) Are you fat?

2) Are you gay?

For the record my answers were “a little bit” and “no” though I really wanted to go with “only on Sundays and bank holidays”. From there on a few disruptive kids stuck their craw in at various points but I managed to get somewhere toward the end of the lesson. I was relieved when dinnertime arrived.

As I only currently have a 3/4 full schedule I found myself with a four gap inbetween classes. After polishing off lunch that had been ordered in I decided it would be a great idea to get Sunday’s planning out the way which I managed to get all sorted. I even managed to begin Tueday’s lesson plan before it was time to teach the 4-6 year olds.

First things first, they are loud but thats fine with me, the best thing is they are so enthusiastic and want to learn, a breath of fresh air compared to trying to motivate teenages. With both these kids and the 6-10 year olds the hokey kokey and head shoulders knees and toes are both a guaranteed winner. Team games are absolutely where it’s at, the celebration caused for receiving one point is completely off the scale. Brown Bear Brown Bear went down a storm again unsurprisingly.

I’d decided to wait for half an hour in school until everyone else finished, I found myself sat in a daze at a desk considering that I’d gotten through my first day with no major problems and really enjoyed it for the most part. I was snapped out of my reverie by everyone elses arriving back from their classes and it was time to head out and grab food.

A steak burger (with a genuine steak that was actually nice) and three sprites later and I was off back to mine on a Saturday night; I can see it being a while until I have one free again to do any serious partying on. I got back to the flat and stuck the football on, bloody Chelsea. I hope Arsenal can somehow win the league, I at least like the way they play. That said the tackle the Wolves defender got sent off for was a joke, it was a yellow card on a bad day. Crap refereeing.

The Arsenal game over I flipped open the Tom Clancy, thinking I might do a chapter or two before bed, which of course was folly. I opened it with around 150 pages remaining and went straight into the stream that carried me all the way through to the end without a place where it was appropriate to stop. I absolutely loved it, one of the best books I have ever read.

One slight problem was it was 2:30am. I would be up in four hours. Oops.

The alarm was the least welcome sound that could possibly have occured at that point but occur it did and I dragged myself into the shower without opening my eyes. As I went to leave I found a note attached to my door from the guy who I’m judging to be a jackass across the hall.

Last week I’d knocked on his door and asked him to turn his music down as my floor was vibrating and I could have sang along with him. He’d said sorry and thought noone had moved into the room yet and that I thought was that. The note said something akin to the following:

“STOP slamming the FUCKING door. Especially if you are going to ask me to turn my music down.” which would be fair but for two things; I have to slam the door for it to close and when the staff give me my breakfast on a morning they slam the door shut as I walk into my room with the tray in two hands. Not sure exactly what I’m meant to do exactly but I left him a reply note pointing out the above and will attempt to give it a knock. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail, I’m not in the mood for a noise war, the speakers on my laptop are pathetic.

Thoroughly pissed off I headed out to grab a xe om to work only to get more pissed off when the usual couple in the alley were absent. This led to me having to walk 5 minutes to find one was slower than Uranus’ orbit around the sun. The only slow scooter driver in Vietnam. Go figure.

As I pulled up at work my phone was going off. Unknown number at 7:35am. I was like what the fuck? I thought someone had miscalculated the time zones at first. It was work, ringing to see where I was despite me being ten minutes early. They can rest assured there’s no way I’m bailing on the job any month soon; I couldn’t afford a flight home right now if I wanted one anyway!

My schedule was the same as the previous day and things went better still today. I was starting to get a feel for teaching the younger kids; at one point I found myself stumbling around the classroom with twelve kids draped from my arms, legs and back. They completely ignored my cry of “Teacher is not a tree” thankfully my assistants dragged them off me. Brown Bear Brown Bear was replaced by Baby Bear Baby Bear. Classic.

From there it was back into the teenagers and things went a little better today, there were no discussions of my weight or sexuality and the class ran somewhat more smoothly though there’s still room for them to be quite a lot better behaved in some cases. Still I will always take progress as and when it comes.

My four hour break rolled around again but productivity was low on the agenda; I achieved getting a hundred pages into my next book; Wilbur Smith’s “When the Lion Feeds” and an hours nap in the cafe on the top floor, my lack of sleep was starting to hit me.

Even if I was fully asleep the noise from my Jumpstart’s would have woken me up in milliseconds, they are a crazy loud bunch and a lesson teaching “run, climb, kick, walk, drive, kiss” and suchlike had them knocking out some crazy decibels. They also loved Baby Bear Baby Bear.

From there I headed to the staff room and found myself in a post Hokey Cokey shutdown. So tired. I managed to get food with a few cats and meet Zara’s birthday celebrations for one at 185 before I headed back into crash.

I crashed with my face in the book and woke up a couple of hours later feeling mildly awake. On the way home I’d bought the film “The Blindside” for slightly less than 50p (and clearly not legitimate, given the front cover was in German and the back in English and it didn’t come with a case.) this is Vietnam though and I haven’t seen anywhere selling legitimate DVDs yet!!

I watched the film and absolutely loved it, that I read the book of the film a couple of years ago made it all the more special, I love the story and its gone straight into my top ten films all time without question, anyone saying Sandra Bullock didn’t deserve awards for it is judging her past and not the film, she’s wonderful. I loved the cameos from real college football coaches too, that was ace.

Since then I’ve read over 250 pages into the Wilbur Smith and now I’m going to bed before I get up to watch the replay of the F1 tomorrow. Night all.

Love and Blindsides

J. Xx

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4 Responses to “Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See?”

  1. I am with you Sandra Bullock deserved the award, I absolutely loved the movie and would watch it again and again!
    You need to get your head around stopping reading before the small hours if you have to be up for work or you will end up so tired 🙂
    Letter on its way to you think you will like the picture!
    Take care love Mam X

    • Yep, I will watch it again soon! I’m 12 Eps into S1 of Studio 60, probably finish that in the next three or four days, really enjoying it, very witty!

      Lol yeah, but I can live with being tired from reading, you can get through it much quicker than a hangover haha!

      No letter yet, will check at work tomorrow for it!

  2. TEACHER IS NOT A TREE! Oh my God, that’s classic! Sounds like you’re having fun though. Also sounds like you’ve got a shining example of an idiot living with you – who knows though, buy him a beer and he might become your new best friend. Went to see AFI at the Brixton O2 Academy last night, it was epic – though possibly not as noisy as your Jumpstarts, from the sound of it XD! xx

    • Lol yeah, it is! And yeah he seems to be, last few days I’ve heard nothing from him and am relying on my headphones more lol! Probly not quite that loud! Check my latest for Initial D related news that is going to make you a touch jealous 😛 Xx


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