Saturday, November 27, 2004

Grammatical Acrobat

I have had a trilingual morning (not including the English I spoke to my mum). The last language I have been working on is the scariest of them all - Korean. It is not just scary from the point of view that its grammar makes spaghetti junction look like a country road, but the fact that it would appear that I was once highly proficient in wielding that grammar in a logical manner. I have read several sentences which are obvious the work of my hand several years ago which verge on an inhumanly difficult level of grammatical construction - using four or five separate grammatical structures to formulate meaning. Sometimes I don't even know what was written. It is coming back to me though, even though it would be faster with a clear mind, and a machete to carve my way through the cobwebs.

Anyway, back to work~
The man with the two tonne head

I hate sickness.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Sick of sickness

Another sequence of sickness... Stricken down yet again by another marauding cold. But it has been an interesting time in the last three days. A whole spectrum of emotions, experiences, doubts and expectations.

Despite saying my diary writing in this blog may end I can't help but record this.

Tuesday finished feeling like a Friday, where everything seemed to be finishing.
Wednesday I awoke like Saturday and I threw myself heavily into Chinese study and applying for jobs. Unfortunately I got waylaid by temptation and then by an ink-cartridge on its last legs.
Wednesday was also a climax of sorts in so many ways. Because what could have been seemed like it would be and the dilemmas that created were rather profound. Then suddenly it was obvious that it couldn't be and then there was no problem at all. As my sickness arose my irritation and impatience came too. Thursday I flew into a frenzy when my A-Zone card disappeared when I was about to meet Fiona. 7 applications were ready to be sent so I needed to send them, but I had no bus card to go to Newmarket with. I was always mentally calculating how connecting buses would work if I gave up on my card-search and paid with cash, always thinking that I couldn't neglect to send those applications... Then my card appeared and I was off in an anxious flash.

Pain and Suffering

This morning with the sickness rising into my eyeballs, I watched The Passion of the Christ, an interesting study of pain. As gory as it is said to be, I think most of the people who complained about it have trouble with reality. It is interesting on a personal level, just because I have always had an interest in the human bodies pain threshold. Not that I have much pain, give much pain or experience anything more traumatic than a tractor front end trapping my foot, a 240V electric shock or a bee sting. If I was a person with secret knowledge that I couldn't disclose, could I stand up to torture?

On a theoretical level, I am interested in it too, and the significance on Christ's suffering in the Christian religion. Their symbol the cross is afterall a tool of a tortuous execution. I really want to explore with a Christian how they substantiate the necessity for his sacrifice. Logically I don't think it sticks together well, although admittedly I would struggle to put those doubts into a logical argument.

Three "me"s in the Symphony

I had another night at the orchestra tonight. My stuffed up sinuses prevented me from appreciating it in its full glory. There was a fine young pianist by the name of John Chen who showed his range. And then the night was capped off by Tchaikovsky's 1812 symphony which apparently he hated but has become on of the most iconic pieces of music. While I appreciated those things, my mind was usually locked in distractions and abstractions. I suddenly thought of another trichotomy. That is the three versions of oneself. There is the me I think I am, the me that I am and the me that others take me to be. They are rarely the same and usually all very different. In the past month I have started to observe the differences between what I am and what I think I am. It is quite disturbing frankly. Of course, these are always in flux. The perceptions other people have are different for each person. And their perceptions are based only on a superficial representation of yourself at a few moments in time, so are never likely to approach accuracy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Plans for my holiday

Find a job (ready and firing)
Revise all my languages (chinese, maori done)
Do language exchange in all my languages (first steps done)
Read a book in Chinese (underway)
Write a reply to a professor regarding free-will (draft done)
Read the Bible (started)
Get fit and lose a little weight
Prepare for a long tramp
Establish my plan for life in the new year (where I am living etc.)
Prepare Christmas gifts
Paint my personal koru picture (materials bought)
Write more short stories (started)
Play chess and visit the local club
Read at least one English novel (started)
Prepare to teach through next year (still recovering from the diploma)
Work out my financial situation
Apply for a tax return on charities (forms and receipts are buried)
Apply for the dole for the time being
Apply for a Listener subscription (re-ask for a form)
Revise my goals and make them specific
Watch thought-provoking movies
Revamp waking and sleeping times so that I can rise before sun occasionally

(possible) Get a job (if my financial situation should require me to and if time allows)

Monday, November 22, 2004


"Pain is a relatively objective, physical phenomenon; suffering is our psychological resistance to what happens. Events may create physical pain, but they do not in themselves create suffering. Resistance creates suffering. Stress happens when your mind resists what is...The only problem in your life is your mind's resistance to life as it unfolds." - Dan Millman

I forgot to have a proper shower.
Done diddly done

A mixture of exhaustion and lethargy has washed over me. I finished my practicum on a moderate high and then entered a busy weekend. Now I am back at school for two days, met with mediocre assignment grades, a 50% employment rate of my class, and some soporific lessons.

I was kept anxious last night by a surreal "teaching dream" and woke early and couldn't get back to sleep. I had to arrest some of my concerns so I went online, got a list of jobs available, deleted unsuitable ones, condensed them and printed them.

I still have a bit of pent up anxiety about teaching. I am worried about not getting a job, and worried about getting a job. Fortunately this is my only worry at present so it is easy to handle. One goal.

I started to read a Chinese book again today and was presented with little difficulty reading it. I spoke some chinese on Friday and on the weekend and was slightly more challenged. My Maori has not coped as well, being a new language to my repertoire but there is also less knowledge to recoup so that will just be a matter of time.

Anyway, that is my rant for now. This week should be progressively more blissful.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Wrapping up~ Shutting down~ Closing the doors~ Pulling out the toys~

Winding down to the blissful conclusion of this course, I can't help but breathe a sigh of relief. I have few worries now. Only getting a job, which does prey on my mind but I am a little less bothered by it now that all my other bustle has eased.

Maybe indicative of this, my blog will revert back to rages against reality rather than retrospection and analysis of my day in class.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Passing by

I have my assessment report from this school, it is glowing~ ;-)
And the day passed by so quickly that it was over before I really new it. Not even an observation from the principal (which went well) made it slow. Nice. Still felt rather worn out at the end though.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Te mutunga

The beginning of the end has begun. Today passed easily, with my University moderator praising me highly despite my lack of paperwork (trust me to forget a crucial thing like that). That means I have passed the course, no disaster can stop me, which could be a problem for general focus for the rest of the week, as some things still need to be finished.

And there is still some things to gain.

Tomorrow will be my busiest day of the week (including an observation by the Principal) but then I will be winding down and blissfully so, it is to be hoped.

My mind has already started to get enthused with being engaged in foreign languages, trying new recipes, reading books (which is not my thing usually anyway), painting, tramping and running, playing chess, writing stories, swimming at beaches, travelling and watching movies. The list goes on...

Saturday, November 13, 2004

A day of hedonism

I have been spending the day learning language, watching political programmes on TV, responding to philosophical discussions in bulk. Ahhhhhhhh... I am O.D-ing on the good things in life.
Ticket to drive

Yah! I can drive legally (although not that safely) for another 10 years!

Friday, November 12, 2004

Week's end

The last two days have flown by. Things are moving. It is rather nice.

Finally a deluge of feedback on my teaching is flowing from my Associate Teacher, which is great, although disconcerting due to the lack of time to make changes. She is right on the money with many of her comments. I am glad I have a weekend now to think about it all and put it together in my final week, where my actual teaching opportunities will be reduced day by day. My final effective day of teaching will be Wednesday but this will be minimal. Monday it will teaching all but one lesson, and one particular lesson observed by my associate teacher.
Tuesday will be my opportunity to re-view my associate in action. Wednesday will be my chance to try music (body percussion perhaps) and Thursday hopefully will be completely observing another teacher. Friday will be sport, observing and an assembly.

I am knackered yet again. Glad to have an early night on a Friday to recoup my lost energy and prepare for a more energetic period of preparation. There are a lot of non-Daniel caused tears this week. It seems a rocky life being in primary school. Some cruel tongues, some tightrope friendships, some fragile self-esteem.

Depressed by the lack of anything to vegetate in front of on the mainstream TV, I switched through the channels to discover that my beloved Koorero Mai had been moved. I hadn't seen it for many weeks, since I got crunched with the constant work. It moved to 7pm meaning I was an hour late. But flicking back through, I found that Triangle TV had a Taiwanese programme Weijie Zhi Mi (Unsolved mysteries). I focussed roughly trying to listen and to understand the mysteries of my lost language ability. They talked about how the KGB used microwaves to control the killers of the Kennedy brothers, mind reading and other arcane things. I miss learning language. So much more straight forward! My brain sighs.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

New Suns

Another day, this one much better than the previous.
Maybe better than the next.
A little livewire made some bad decisions today.
A bit of a nuisance.
Another case, personal dreams broke groups apart.
Or was the clique doomed from the start.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Swinging back. A horrid day. Even my beloved drama went astray.
Outbursts and violence punctuated the time.
I am starting to feel worn out again.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004


Smooth day, Associate back
She raised a concerned eye a moment or two.
But besides that, nothing to fear. Wednesday should be a good day too.

Monday, November 08, 2004


Monday was a pretty good day, getting caught in the crossfire of a student-clash notwithstanding. With the exception of one chaotic period in the early day which was actually essential to balance out a miscalculation, everything went to plan. I committed another mistake of judgement when giving instructions but still achieved the objectives.

During the observations for the science experiments, the hot-tempered child in my class was triggered by someone who obviously was not that familiar with his tendencies, tapped him with his metal ruler. Fire erupted and I strode in between them before one could jump on the other, however the metal ruler which was held by both, moved suddenly cutting me on both hands. I didn't feel it but once I calmed down the time-bomb boy I noticed the blood on his arm and was worried that there was more to the fight. Then I discovered that my hand was dripping blood! This was actually quite good timing as it, distracted them, gave good reason to separate them and take one outside.

9 more days. And I can't help but count them down. Tomorrow should be easy and blessed with the return of my associate. Hopefully this will put everyone in a sustainable good mood.

Sunday, November 07, 2004


I have crunched the weekend cryptic slowly with now only two half-clues remaining. At work, there is a teacher's aide who can do them. But we are completely different in solving style. He is intuitive whereas I am logical. He sees correspondences between meanings very well, and has a large vocabulary (he is good at straight crosswords) but cannot construct words out of clues.

He could solve whereas I couldn't the following clue:

Unlicensed recipient (6)

...which is "fences" (a person who receives stolen goods and on-sells them)

Whereas I could crunch this one (it took a while) which he couldn't even start:

Rams after five changes (6)

...which is "varies" (v + aries)

One of the strange things about cryptics is that you can clues without knowing the words, the weekend crossword I solved the clues for "laird" and "ciceroni" both of which I only learnt today.

I have been stewing myself steadily since a rather disastrous Friday at school. There was a highlight of a logistically perfect science experiment lesson. But everything else was rotten, hijacked, poorly done, messy and unproductive. A little blessing of the principal forgetting an observation time meant that a poor reading lesson was not seen. A lot of it had to do with it being a Friday, when children tend to be a bit more likely to be uppity, and a Friday where I was rather exhausted and rather aimless and underprepared.

From end of class to now, I have been pretty quiet and haven't applied myself to the task of planning.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

A Challenge to Show me to be wrong.

My ulcer is not healing. It was probably just as painful to eat and talk tonight as it has been any other night of the week, and in the morning the pain was still radiating into my right ear. The doctor said I should visit again if it doesn't clear up in a week.

Now, I hope the morning will prove me wrong.
Dental Hygiene

"Dentists recommend changing your brush every three months. Clinical research proves that a new toothbrush can remove 30% more plaque than one 3 months old*."

* J. Dent Res 1998; 77 (sp. lss) Abst 2314
Routine day

Routine but authorative (in a good way). I believe that today was probably the smoothest day for me in terms of maintaining consistent control. I also finally developed an idea of how one bit of feedback could be constructively realised. It has saved mat time (my most time-dragging situation) and made it far more efficient. So all is smooth. One more observation tomorrow and then the weekend.... I can't wait. I forgot my medicine today and my throat feels serrated.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The Comeback Kid

I'm back. Still sick, but back teaching on a moderately successful day. Surviving is one of the success criteria which I have fulfilled. Fortunately it was not a rigorous routine day, but a day where there were relaxing activities like Drama (which now is confirmed as an easy subject to teach) and the Great Wednesday Quiz (which I have made subtle alterations to make it co-operative, as well as prepared for rather than extemporaneously grasping questions, so very happy). My actual science lesson fell over somewhat which requires some introspection. I knew even yesterday it would fall over, but it was a necessary step. I lacked the energy yesterday to make it work even in my head. The one highlight was the use of concept cartoons, which caught the attention of the class (thanks Xin!) possibly succeeding in securing the learning objective for the day (making a hypothesis).

Now I need a breath, but tomorrow's planning will hinder any genuine rest. I might vegetate in front of US election coverage, read School Journals and have another tea.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Oh dear.

A day's worth of pennicillin. An early night. Seemingly improving yesterday. All meant nothing.
I awoke this morning and feel probably the worst I have felt in this bout of ill-health. The illusory pain in my ear (radiated pain as my doctor called it) seems to be boring into my skull. The cold/flu symptoms are more prominent and the pain in my mouth excruciating at times.

So, defying my expectations, I am having another day off.

I remember my first year at ASL when I might have only had one day off in a year. And my high school days when I got attendence awards (some of my only days off were actually caused by... throat ulcers). Anyway, I might watch the Passion of the Christ today just to make my pain seem less significant.

Monday, November 01, 2004

The Drugs will Work

Yeah, I have been to the doctor and now have a small arsenal of antibiotics with which to strafe the unsuspecting bacteria that are ruling the roost at the back of my mouth. Unfortunately the flu symptoms are likely to be caused by a virus meaning that my body would have to deal with those independently.

I received my third application rejection today. But using this time to put together another few of my best applicatory shots into the education world.