Sunday, 29 November 2009

You know what?

I'll just go to bed and that's that!

I panicked a little the other day because the very easy texts wich are short anyway and can be translated in no time turned out not to be so short or too easy so I started it right away and have almost finished by now. Almost
- because the biomass heating systems have some weird components
- because I googled and googled those tablets that make that fizzy sound when you put them in water and even wrote an e-mail for help from a nati
ve speaker and finally found out it's called (surprise surprise!!!) FIZZY TABLET! There!

Fizzy fizzy! Click for fizzy!

- because even when I sit here to do some work, I might not be doing it. I don't always feel like translating
- because I make bout a zillion typos per page and have to go back and make them right - sometimes they remind me of that poluceman in 'ALLO 'ALLO
- and, for sure, also because I overlooked one of the documents. How could I? Fortunately it's only four and a half pages about some measuring of different things about water - like the velocity, the water flux and temperature.

Otherwise, it's been quite a nice weekend. I must consider myself lucky: the girl who needed some tutoring actually understands a lot, she only needs some "tidying of the attic" to do as I call it. And a thousand exercises so that what she knows really sits in her brain and does not run away any more.

I went shooting last night and a surprising number of arrows ended in yellow! Yaay! Not that I was good, butI was definitely relatively good. But I'm still doing a few things wrong. My forearm does not get blue and purple any more, but my nose definitely needs a bandage for protection now that it has finally healed from what the bow string did to it - repeatedly. I must fix that and learn to do it the right way. You see, a bandage on the nose is not a regular part of archer's equipment and looks kind of silly.

My MS (Main Squeeze, remember?) completed another stage of his archery education and is now an apprentice referee and as such he went to his first competition today. Well done!

Now what? Should I continue translating this water stuff? Or just go to bed. When I look at it, it's not so bad. I might just sit here for another hour, finish it and still go to bed earlier than usually. So why not.

This post - it's messy, I know. And what's wrong with messy?

Have a good time!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Crazy week

Was it really? Aren't they all kind of crazy these days? The weeks, I mean. People, too, sometimes.

I gave many grades these days, most of them good (am I nice or what?) mainly because most of them "happened" in the sixth grade where things are still somewhat simple and the kids wonderfully motivated. Are these kids different or will they spoil in a year or two? Because I don't see the same in the ninth grade. We have grades from 1 to 5 - 1 meaning "fail" and 5 being the best (excellent). I was almost worried with all those fives in 6A and 6B, but went through the tests carefully again, making sure that I had put everything in them I was supposed to and the kids actually knew all those answers. Yaay!

Can you imagine what the most difficult task was to those eleven-year-olds? Spelling! Yep, English is weird that way. They had to write down a first name and a last name of a person - spelled out by a recorded voice - and it was sooo hard! But since it was only worth two points (out of 64) they could still be very successful without it. And we will revise and repeat and exercise spelling again.

My ninth graders, however, are kind of out of control. Not having anything to hold on except for rules with more or less no consequences when disobeyed (notes to the parents are not considered consequences by these kids, nor is having a serious talk to anyone at school), the class gets very loud and I feel ignored, so I spend plenty of time trying to establish order of some sort with little success. I'm honesty surprised sometimes when I find out that we have actually done something at the lesson.

But how do you speak to someone who cannot listen? Who does not understand he is not being fair to others who do not want to hear his high-pitched noises all the time about this and that, mostly motorcycles and football.

This time I did it. Yay for me!! Even if I say so myself. To be honest, I was hoping for a little bigger success, but still.

On Wednesday there was this football game. Football, because this one is actually played with feet, but you dear Americans out there will understand it better if I say soccer, I guess :) A very important match between Russia and our tiny country Slovenia (population 2 million). Size doesn't matter, LOL! Slovenia won and qualified for the world championship in South Africa next year. Russians are not going.

I don't particularly like football and I hate all the fuss about it and I knew these ninth-graders wouldn't talk about anything else. And yes, their first question was: Did you watch the match? So I gave them two options - either do an exercise on what we are learning at present (IF-clauses type 1), or use the vocabulary I gave them (projected on the white board) to describe the match in past tense. The loudest one was the only one that chose the second option, but he did it. His text was, well.. not excellent, but very good as for him. He even wrote down that our Prime Minister had to clean our football players' football boots. I didn't know that. But he actually promised that if they qualified and was happy to do it.

The Russians, however, didn't take it well. They are demanding a parliamentary investigation on how it could happen, claiming that the game must have been sold. Both presidents watched the match, you know, and cheered for their teams. Medvedyev from Russia and our Danilo Türk.

And our politicians also talked about it. After the parliament session on Tuesday, our Prime Minister said, jokingly, that they had decided that it would be 1:0 for Slovenia. After the game he said he was glad that the footballers respected the government’s decision.

If you want to see how euphoric some people feel, maybe you should watch this: I feel Slovenia (Youtube)

The partying, drinking and all that stuff - well, 'll leave that to your imagination. Not too difficult, I guess.

The week… well, I’m still not sure why I felt it was crazy. Maybe it wasn’t. maybe it’s just me.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Busy busy

You know how easy it is sometmes to say that you haven't had time to do this or that? That you were busy? Either it's true or not?

Well, that's not one of those cases. I have actually been very busy lately. Not too busy to drop a line or two on this blog, but when I have a lot on my mind (a lot of different things or a lot of one and the same thing, doesn't matter), it can easily happen that I have no idea what towrite and I don't want to push it and write nonsense (like this is something different... I know I know).

Our Danes have different plans for next year (but will hopefully still cooperate with us in the following years).Our eighth-graders, however, can't wait when it's their turn for the exchange. That would be in the ninth grade, but as I said... no Denmark next year. And they are such great kids! With so many ideas and great energy! So I made our school's profile on two different portals and wrote a ton of e-mails and did quite some clicking and again and again.... not to mention all the times I checked for new messages ("Stop it, mum, they can't be writing at all times, some people actually have work to do..." dear Poppy!) Got some good and serious replies, only to learn later that the teachers changed their minds, for one reason or another. Sigh. Then I wrote more e-mails just to take these kids somewhere next year (no, I'm not that selfless, I like going, too) and received a reply about half an hour after I had written one of them, saying "Actually, we are kind of looking for a partner school right now..! Yaaay! So at the moment it looks like we're going to the Netherlands next year. Keep your fingers crossed, will you?

I even translated a video. Did you know scientist are writing equations of the movement of the fish? Or jellyfish? Or making new materials from the atom up, planning their quality - like ability to feel, to remember or heal? Materials, yes, not machines or robots. Imagine tearing trousers or a blouse and seeing it whole some time later, or crashing with your car and not needing to have it repaired?

I'm writing some tests these days. Yep, we need grades. The law says so. I don't like tests. And I hate oral grading even more. Can't do anything about it, though. I'll live, I guess.

I'm working on a project dealing with learning difficulties for which I should write some reports and some other material. Haven't yet. Today, maybe.

My 11-year-old students started corresponding with sme kids from New York. They love it, but they've just started. I hope they won't get tired of it (What should I write...). I guess we'll just have to send different things to keep it interesting. Still, it takes some co-ordinating, meeting them, creating accounts, things like that. And it's just corresponding! What if we started a project with some serious work to do!

In our eighth grades we're having crosscurricular lessons this week: Librarianship-English, dealing with dictionaries and translating. So I have to prepare for that, too. And my head is kind of empty, only ready to do a little thinking, just enough to let me go to work tomorrow with some realistic chance to survive without embarassing myself too much. I'll do better than that. I'll make my brain try a little harder. Hopefully.

Among other things, we'll be reading verses by our poet Tone Pavček. There is this book, full of them, each of them in Slovene and English.

I have plenty more to do.I have some tests to grade and some articles to translate into English. And prepare for tomorrow.

So I'll stop whining and get back to work, leaving you with a short verse by Pavček:

You're in this world to watch the sun,
you're in this world to follow the sun,
you're in this world to be the sun
and chase the shadows away.