The CELT: YL Week One: ANAL-ysis

The CELT: YL extension began on the Sunday of the 23rd of May, with a light introductory session which brought forth the prospect of me teaching on the very first official day of the course yay.

That night I planned my lesson for the first teaching practice and prepared myself for the amount of work and stress coming the next two weeks, which I massively underestimated. The one good piece of news was that I’d been granted a favourable Mon/Wed/Fri teaching schedule for both weeks so I’d be able to get an hour of basketball in on Tuesday and Thursday for sanity purposes.

Monday came and I headed down to find out my tutor, who’d said the previous day we could ask her some questions about the first lesson if we needed to. It had been awhile since I planned and analysed in such depth so I had a couple of queries, I went down and approached her only to get what I found to be extremely rude short shrift, I could see it being the beginning of a very long two weeks where I would have to bite my tongue on numerous occasions.

The first day went off with little in the way of problems, my lesson went down well and I was happy to have one teaching practice down. Tuesday morning brought the relief of an hour of basketball to release some stress and frustration and get my mind off the course for a short while. From there it was straight back into a day of listening and planning.

Wednesday brought my second teaching practice, which I’d worked extremely hard on, prepping a lot of materials and suchlike, and this also went really well, though as per usual certain bits of it got ripped, not unfairly, in the feedback the next morning. Becoming a better teacher mainly entails focusing on the things you do shitter than other things. It is useful though.

On the Wednesday myself and Linda declared date night and left everyone else from the course to their own thing while we headed out and had dinner on our own and spent a lovely evening together. it was a very welcome break from the rigours of the course.

The next morning I awoke to the power being off in my accommodation, which was becoming a regular occurrence at this point. By now I understand why though; Vietnam’s primary source of electricity is hydropower and as the rainy season has been extremely late in starting this year there’s no water with which to produce power so they have been buying enough to power the nights from Cambodia, Thailand, China et al but turning many grids off during the day. As of this typing the rainy season still isn’t in full swing but its starting to kick off, the consistent power will be nice, the flooding of the filthy streets on the extremely rainy days will be much less welcome.

It was basketball morning so I headed out and enjoyed once again getting way form the stress and the ANAL-ysis (the depth required is beyond anal, not a filthy reference for those of you with smutty minds.) Sadly by the time I returned the power was still off, and so rather than cool down as I normally would in the aircon of my room I got to sweat in the mid-morning heat post shower and turned up to the start of the course day looking as if I’d been for a swim in my clothes on the way there.

Thursday wasn’t too bad of a day as I wasn’t teaching which was a relief, I started to get on with my plan for my teaching on Friday and had a brainwave that resulted, as many of my brainwaves do, in me looking like a gigantic idiot. For once this was an intentional ending.

We got to Friday and the end of the week couldn’t come fast enough, it had been stressful, my tutor although excellent had rubbed me the wrong way a couple of times and you could tell we both annoyed each other. Thankfully throughout the week Linda had kept me sane and civil and it as going okay.

Then the bombshell dropped, Kim, a Canadian on the course, had gone AWOL mid afternoon and noone could get a hold of her. It ended up that she had had enough and gone down to Vung Tau to see her friend, at that point on Friday I think we all would have gladly joined her if at all possible. She did thankfully rejoin the course the next week but that’s for Part 2.

My lesson came along and I was ready, idiot time was planned, I was covering the experiment where coke floats and diet coke sinks, and so infront of the class I got dressed up appropriately for the forthcoming danger; in board shorts, a rain poncho, my helmet, a facemask and the piece de resistance – Linda’s elbow length gloves with cut-off thumbs. The kids loved it and the lesson worked a treat.

Or so I thought, feedback came that night as it was Friday and we wouldn’t be in the next day (except I would be lol), I thought the lesson had been a massive success (other than my calling one of the students a little git, which they thankfully didn’t hear or chose to ignore) and then it got a very lukewarm response. At this point I was ridiculously sick of my tutor and glad that it was the end of the day and I would move across to the other tutor the next week.

The group decided to head down to La Cantina for food and I got myself on the back of Linda’s scooter and started to vent and Linda decided to play Devil’s Advocate, which although fair I rather didn’t need. When we arrived at the restaurant, I was both tired and annoyed. The first twenty minutes I was still in my little seething phase and had a touch of a vent before the banter started to sparkle. The Northern part of the United Kingdom took over the convo as me (Hartlepool), Jen (Stockton) and Derek (Aberdeen) started an epic period of storytelling, wisecracks and sub-moral conversation that was the best cure for a ridiculous week on earth. (A couple of Saigon Green beers didn’t hurt proceedings either). For the Hartlepool contingent I’d like to point out there was a 5 minute section on our beloved parmos.

People with knowledge of the almighty parmo.

Derek and my lovely girlfriend!

Saturday began with lunch and once Linda headed off to watch her observations at a different centre to mine. I headed in and spent a lot of the observation time doing thing for the following day’s TP, including the fourth one where me and Stacey (who became a wonderful confidant for the releasing of frustration in relation to the course) coloured in a set of Charlie and Lola’s from the superb childrens book “I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato” (word order is correct).

I spent the afternoon in the computer room doing a good chunk of my assignments before giving up for the day and heading home to watch the F1 qualifying and then over to Linda’s.

She’d had the misfortune of absent power all day and as such hadn’t been able to do much so had spent a relaxing afternoon reading. By this point the power was back on and Linda cooked a delicious meal up for us of the Mexican variety, she claims she can’t get proper ingredients out here and as such I should wait for the real thing, which if the supposedly below standard version is anything to go by is going to be ridiculously amazing.

Sunday dawned and with it the prospect of breakfast burrito’s a dish of Linda’s that is once again superb, I like to cook but I’m mildly afraid to as my stuff may not hold a candle to hers!

After a productive cutting out session of Charlie and Lola’s (in preparation for their attachment to chopsticks for roleplay purposes) it was time for my very first scooter lesson. The beginning of it was firmly rooted to Linda’s alley as I got used to the gear shift and the accelerator grip and turning what is a surprisingly heavy vehicle for what it looks like and feels like as a passenger.

Charlie and Lola

From there Linda drove over to some quieter streets where I got to practice kicking it up into fourth and having an extended run, turning the bike around and going round some bends. It was all rather scary at first but it’s clearly something that will become easier with time. If you’d told me I would drive in that traffic upon seeing the madness upon arrival I would have had you certified and sent straight to the loony bin and here I am on the verge of buying my own scooter. Ridiculous.


From there Linda decided to stay at hers and do some work, I’m superbly unproductive in that environment when it comes to working (95% of my uni work was completed in the library or in class) so I headed into ILA to finish off my assignments and begin work on Monday’s TP.

When the beginning of the F1 was coming closer I packed it in for the day, had a quick bite of Pho and arrived home to my room with a little time to spare before the start. Upon entering my room I thought I’d accidentally walked into someone else’s; they had replaced the crappy TV and uncomfortable wooden chairs I’d been complaining about for weeks and replaced them with a comfy couch and a small flatscreen TV on the wall. I was delighted and called Linda as I had to tell someone.

After that I settled in for the Turkish grand prix, during one of the ad breaks I felt my toe touch some kind of paper at the end of the couch, so I investigated and to my delight found a 20,000 dong note (a little shy of a pound) but once I’d done some searching to check if the previous guesthouse resident had been extremely profligate with their cash I was up to 23,000, superb!

The grand prix was an absolute corker, I was rooting for a Button win but he couldn’t make his move stick and a British 1-2 was an excellent result in my opinion. I personally blame Vettel for the Red Bull crash and consider Max Mosley to be an idiot who should return post haste to his sex dungeon and shut the hell up for the rest of his life.

After that excitement I watched the end of the England – Japan friendly with annoying Vietnamese commentary and contented myself with a little reading accompanied with cookies and chocolate milk.

I went to sleep in dread of another week of stress, lack of sleep and ANAL-ysis and you can find out about that in the next installment!

Love and ANAL-ysis

J. Xx


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