Saturday, December 11, 2010


Last Tuesday, December 7th, I invited my fellow staff members to a picnic at the beach. It was a one day holiday.  I have always enjoyed cooking for people and hosting them over for dinner. Where I currently live I cannot cook in the kitchen or have people over. I decided that I should do a picnic at the beach where I provided the food and invited those I worked with to come along. We had it at the beach close to where two of my co-workers (husband and wife) live. The beach close to their house doesn't have many people there so it would not be as crowded as Telok Cempadek beach where McDonald's and KFC are located. We had it at 10a.m. in the morning. Even though it is monsoon season the weather was perfect. There was no rain, not too sunny or hot, or humid. I made sandwiches, bought potato chips, and coke, and made indoor s'more. About half of the people that were invited came. It was the couple who lives by the beach and their daughter, me, the Principal and 3 of his 5 children, and another co-worker with all four of her children. It was still a good turn out. All of the sandwiches got eaten. I took the leftover indoor s'mores to school and gave them to the people that were not able to come. They all liked them. We were at the beach for several hours eating, playing in the water, in the sand, and more eating. Then we went back to the couple's house that live by there and showered and then hung out for a few more hours visiting while the children played. I think everyone had a really nice time. Even though they live in a country where beaches are readily available the other two people and their children hardly ever go to the beach. The couple that lives really close goes at least once every weekend. I have been at least a dozen times since I have moved here. But the other two people and their children couldn't remember the last time they had been to the beach. I am really glad that I did it. I think I would like to get together once a month with my co-workers and plan something fun for us to do. It is a good way for me to get to know them and I think for them to get to know each other. This first time the children pretty much stuck with their parent and didn't interact much with the other children. I am hoping in time that will change. I think in January I would like to try to do bowling.
In America at the schools I have substitute taught at, done field experience at, student taught at, and taught at the teachers have always had a lounge where we eat lunch together and visit with each other about school things and non school things and get to know each other. We become friends with some more than other and do things with those people outside of school, and I know it makes me enjoy my job more when I can visit with those people and do things with them. I am introverted so I need my time alone, but it has kind of been my habit that most days after school I would go to some teachers room and visit with them for like an hour and that would be my socializing for the day. Then I would go home to my quiet house to recharge for the next day. I mean I would try to do that with running errands, and working out, grading, and other activities that might come up. So by the time I got home it would be later in the evening and I would have had a very full day, but I liked that. Here it is harder since I don't have a car, and I either have to ride the school bus, get a ride, call a cab, or walk if I have no other way, so I can't stay after school like I could back home. Plus, it seems like almost every day after school I have some school activity I am helping out with and by the time I get done and the other teachers get done we are all ready to go home. Then there is the part where I can't have people over. So I am hoping the once a month thing will take off and be enjoyable.

Career Day

On Friday, December 3rd we had a career day. We had four speakers come in and talk to the students. The Principal picked out the speakers. The students were in two groups because we can't fit all of them into one room. I was in with the high school students. Our first speaker was a Pharmacist. Her presentation was ok. The next speaker was from a local college who came to talk about getting a degree as English as a Second Language major and the different careers that one can do with that. I think she must be used to students who don't speak much English. I felt like she was talking to the students like they were in Kindergarten. At one point she asked why the students were so quiet and she asked me if that was normal. I told her that in my class yes, the students were quiet. She was like "oh." Then she had this game she called Bingo. I call it the get to know you box activity. Anyway there are like 30 blocks and each has a statement, for example, likes chocolate, gets up at 8:00 a.m., has one sibling, etc. Each student is supposed to go around and find someone who can sign for that box. She had it where if a student got one column completely filled that person was the winner. She went though each box and asked the students how they would ask someone if that statement if them. She would say how to you change likes chocolate into a question, and our students would reply "do you like chocolate".  Sometimes she would change it into a grammatically incorrect question to see if they knew it was wrong. They did each time. She spent so long doing that that we had no time for them to play the game which she had promised them that they would do.
The third speaker was from Proctor and Gamble. She was really good and she brought in myriad products that they make and produce. I had no idea they did some many products. They do Swiffer floor and Swiffer duster, Pringles, Bounce dryer sheets, Oil of Olay, Downey fabric softener, batteries, Crest toothpaste, razors(Gillette, I think), laundry detergent (Tide, I think), etc.
The fourth speaker was from Taylor University. She talked to the students about attending college in America. They also have a program here called ADP where students can go to college for two years and it is like going to an American college or University and then they can transition over to America.  She basically only talked about Ivy league schools and how they are the old universities to go to and others probably won't give the students a quality education. She also gave the students prices which were high because they were mostly from Ivy League schools. I feel the University I went to gave me a quality education for my majors and for what I wanted to be. She got her information from some Ivy League website and her one friend who went to college in America.  I was disappointed in her presentation. Even though I have only gone to one University I have lots of friends and family that have gone to many more than the one that I went to and some even went to Ivy League schools. I could have done a better and more accurate presentation.
Each presentation was at least 45 minutes. That was a long time for the students to sit without really talking or getting up and moving around. By the last presentation they were talking quite a bit and not paying attention, but I can see why. I had to stay in the same spot the entire time because I was in charge of taking pictures for yearbook and it would have been obvious if I had left at all. By the time we were done I had a headache from sitting still for so long. We had one class period after they all finished up, but the students were really in the mood to do anything and neither were the teachers. Plus, by the time we would have gotten them all rounded back up, and they got all their stuff and gotten everything ready it would have been time to go. So, they pretty much just visited about the speakers.

Just a Few Sayings

I have noticed just a few sayings that are common here.
If the time is between one hour and another they say the first hour plus like 10 plus, which could be 10:15, 10:20, 10:30 etc.
If something happened in the past no matter how long ago it happened "last time". I have had friends tell me "last time" when I was little we had this happen... even if it was 15 years ago and they have been back to that place since then.
The dreaded "And then". When telling someone something almost every sentence starts with "and then".
Example: Last Friday was Career Day. And then, we had these speakers that came and talked to the students. And then, we had four speakers. And then, the students were separated into two groups- middle school and high school. And then, etc.
I have started to pick up that saying because that is just something I do. I am not aware of it until someone points it out.
Then they have this word/expression when something is wrong. It is hard to write it because it is not actually a word. I can feel that I am on the verge of saying that too.
For the most part Mother is Mommy or Mummy and Father is Papa.
Bangs here are called Fringe.
If they want to add some expression or emphasis to a word they will tack on la. Like No-la or house-la or ride-la.
(prescription) glasses are called specs
proctoring a test or exam is called invigilate
extra classes are called tuition
Back home if you are going to go with someone in their car you say that you are going with the person. If you are going in your own car and following behind their car, you say you are following them.
Here when a person is going along with in the same car they say that they are following. 
Also, if someone is going to take you to the store or your house back home they will say I will take you...
Here they say I will send you to the store with me.
If you are to wait for someone, you are to "stand by"