le (gros) mot du jour

What could be better, more interesting, and more useful than simply the word of the day? The bad word of the day, of course. We cannot deny that, though we need not necessarily use bad words ourselves, it is important and valuable to know the bad words, so that we are able to recognize and understand what is being said in the world around us. Foreign language courses seem to avoid such things, but at what cost? Firstly, the individual is likely to be quite lost when interacting with a native environment. Secondly, loads of potential interest is lost without them. Because most teens and adults are quite interested in the bad words, whether they’re willing to admit it or not. And thirdly, such words and expressions share loads about the culture tied to the language.

I am very much not a bad word person. And yet two of my favorite words in Japanese are manko and oshiri. It’s probably because they are such silly yet useful words that I enjoy them so much. They are fun to know, more than useful. Which makes them even more fun to know, I suppose.

So, yeah… the (bad) word of the day sounds like a kind of amazing idea to me… so long as the students can handle it, that is…

Post-a-day 2021

Following

Bro, I don’t quite understand where God is directing me right now, but I am certainly following the calls and encouragements full-heartedly. There is now a very high chance that I will be helping with this martial arts thing at school, now, in the mornings… because, you know, I wasn’t busy enough already. 😛 My words and thoughts, by the way, and I believe them as both true and ironic. Haha

Anyway, must sleep ASAP, as it’s already after 9pm!

Post-a-day 2021

Giving up

Today, I had to give up being better than others. Instead, I had to acknowledge what was truly best for me and for my students. I need not be the one to put forth the effort regarding certain things in class, especially when it is specifically someone’s job to handle such things. I am paid to teach and asked to teach. When something else is preventing me from doing my job, it becomes my job to let the person know whose job it is to handle the problem.

And so, I did that today. I cried a bunch in that meeting, but I feel good about the whole situation now. I trust the person into whose hands I set the situation, and his words and approach and plans eased me, despite my initial aversion to reaching out for the support. And his casual comment about having been nearly three decades in the military somehow both surprised me and did not – “No wonder you are so calm,” I replied. His calm, calming, yet ruling demeanor makes sense with such context.

I have a high level of confidence that things will be much, much better going forward, and that I, much more so than up to this point, will be able to do my job and teach this one particular class. At last, we can begin to breathe and to have some fun.

Post-a-day 2021

Big sigh

Have you ever done something when you’re having loads of free time, and totally loved it, but then, tried it again, but without the free time, and been none-too-excited about it?

We just started up karate classes again after a month break. I have since started school, right? Now, more than ever, I am exhausted in the late evenings, getting into bed as early as possible, sometimes even at 6:40pm. Yet karate class is assisting the juniors at 6pm, and attending my own class at 7pm. If I attend the other classes throughout the week, they go even later. But I need loads of hours to move forward in my official training and belt levels (which I want to do).

So, I guess I need to sit down in the next few days, and figure out how many hours of what I need, and how quickly (or slowly) I can and want to make them all happen. Otherwise, without the specifics and the goals set up, I might get a little too tired to do any of it, especially with school happening right now. I do love this all. But I need to be rested enough to be able to enjoy it fully. Otherwise, the teacher and German within me will tear apart the instructors and assistants and other adults mentally, and be annoyed throughout all the classes for a plethora of reasons. I really don’t want to be that way. Alas, I shall make my plan and get some sleep!

Because I want to beast at karate. Seriously.

Post-a-day 2021

Surprise

There were only boys in class today. Boy, was I surprised to discover how much more I liked it… There just really is something about these boys that has me absolutely love working with them. Girls are great on their own, of course. But they tend not to speak up for themselves and their needs when boys are in the class, and it causes problems in learning, unfortunately. And that is frustrating to me as a teacher. But just having boys in class… sometimes, it feels like I was made for that…

What do you think, God and Universe? Is this part of my next step forward in life?

Post-a-day 2021

Snore

I genuinely do not know what to say. I am exhausted, and for many reasons. But today was oddly satisfying in many ways. Troubles from yesterday have not been handled. But much good was accomplished today for other parts of my life, and I feel really good about those things. I look forward gladly to applying some of the work I created today in classes tomorrow.

I love teaching…

Post-a-day 2021

Surprised

I am cold, but not ashamed, sitting naked on the floor.

I have been putting together ideas for how to approach a particular class that I’m teaching. You see, I absolutely love teaching – I can’t stop getting excited about it, when I have the opportunity actually to do it. I just love teaching and helping people learn things. And teaching foreign language, despite its struggles, is one of the most exciting things I have ever been able to do in my life. I really wish that I could devote more of my life to doing just that: teaching foreign language.

I think I always got so frustrated with teaching, even though it was mostly foreign language, because of the books I had to follow. I would do my best to use the books, but despised how terrible they were, not just in terms of accuracy, but in terms of how ineffective they were in creating someone who genuinely could say, “I speak this language.” And so, I would make a belated effort to come up with something better, while keeping on track with the required timing of the course, and covering whatever silly info the book had thrown in as ‘important’ for the course. Actually, of the courses – I was never just teaching one, but usually three to five courses in French, all at once.

And I think that that is how I grew so exhausted. The frustration combined with the inefficiency and knowing that I could do so much better, if only I had the time. Yet, when summer came around, or any other longer break, I was already too exhausted to do anything about it all, and too overwhelmed by the frustrations and inefficiency in which I had been living for so many months already. It was easier just to give up. And, eventually, it was easier just to walk away. The state requirements were too stupidly set up for my efforts to be worth it on my own, it felt.

And yet, there was something else. Something I hadn’t realized until, perhaps, this week… maybe, even, until today.

I had not found a place where I truly wanted to put forth the effort. I had not found a school for which it felt my efforts would be worth it.

And yet, as I mentioned, though I never take work home with me, I am sitting here on the floor, most likely at home (because I’m definitely not sitting around in my office naked), working. But this isn’t work for me. It is something I am excited and impatient to do. So, I am doing it. Well, I was doing it. Once I hit the point of being done for now – no longer thrilled by it -, I closed up shop for the night. I likely will revisit it all tomorrow and Saturday, and possibly will go in to school on Sunday or Monday for the more “work” part of it all, the labor that isn’t so fun, but necessary for it all to be great.

And, you know, I excited about that. What kind of weekend is that? A wonderful one, filled with a sense of accomplishment and helping make the world a better place, and making a positive difference in the lives of those around me, on the lives of people I love.

So, I can hardly wait to get back to work. For now, though, Imma get up, get dressed, and get to sleep, because I’m exhausted.

Goodnight, all.

And may God and The Universe bless us all with love. 😉

P.S. If you got that song reference, it is extra fun, because I really have been torn about all of this teaching stuff lately. I thought I had left teaching for good…, but then I got an e-mail and phone call this summer, and here I am, teaching for the semester… and loving it in the most ironic of ways.

Post-a-day 2021

Loving boys

I told the boys in last period today, before class started, that I was exhausted and that I was rather borderline in tears, and requested that, therefore, they aim, please, to be a bit more gentle in class today, be kind, help me out. They seemed stunned, and some even openly asked what was up for me. I just told them that there were just a lot of things with which I am having to deal at present, both in- and outside of school, and I’m exhausted.

And, though they are very young and forgetful and ridiculous and lacking in self-control, they actually did a very decent job today. Several of the boys helped keep others in check, such that I didn’t have to tell them each to hush so often as usual. It was still tough, but much improved from usual, and their genuine sweetness shone through. It made me love them even more… which made me want to cry for a whole ‘nother reason! 😛

Post-a-day 2021

Organized

You know, I sometimes feel extremely disorganized, but then, when I pause to think about it, I realize that I am very much not disorganized, not in the least. Really, I’m just lazy, and I don’t want to out in the work to make things run more smoothly and to have them appear to all, myself included, as organized. So, instead, I roll through everything in my head, and I have it all organized there, but rarely so out in the world around me.

And so, now that I’m teaching again, I’m wondering if I wouldn’t mind teaching for real again, if I just took the darn time to sit down and organize everything out on paper for the whole four years of coursework. If I did that, I think I might love teaching and be fulfilled by it in a way that I never was before. There was too much strain and stress to meet goals and standards and to figure things out quickly along the way. But, if I weren’t so lazy, it might save me loads of stress and hassle and strain for years, and, therefore, be worth the effort…

But do I really want to teach for years?

Post-a-day 2021

You’re the best around

I had a hunch that my friend was extremely good at the acrobatic aerial work she has been doing these past few years, though I hadn’t seen her practice since she started really practicing kind of as a full-time hobby and part-time job a few years ago. She was already a natural in her early days, and not kept getting better and better. Even as a semi-newbie, she was still asked to perform with seasoned individuals in circus performances of varied types. Now, she is several years into it all, and a few years into major practice and work.

Tonight, as I watched her practice for real for the first time in years, I saw what I expected to see in her actions and skills and grace and success, of course. But I also saw in the faces and in the comments of the others present, those practicing and teaching others, what I had long suspected: she is spectacular. Even the owner of the gym had her students stop to watch, she knew it would be worth their time to observe. Of course, when everyone inevitably commented to and lauded her about it all, she was extremely humble and grateful for their kind comments, likely feeling they were over exaggerated. Though, they most certainly were not – she is just that good and that humble.

I am extremely grateful to be friends with her, and I am so proud of her for all that she has accomplished in this field. She has become one of the best around, all through her own hard work and dedication. Anyone who has the opportunity to be her student is supremely blessed to be a le to work with someone so loving and gentle and caring, yet also so supremely talented and effectively self-trained.

Post-a-day 2021