Monday, October 12, 2009

Adventures continue

Although they are not all mine. I will update though, as it does give some idea of the topsy turvy life I can lead I guess.

I've had two Skype conversations today - one with my friend who is now in Korea, finding out how complicated life can be there. I was of course supposed to be there last week, and my students met, as they do from time to time, and were hoping I would be there with them, but as the plans changed, that was not to be. My friend then was going to meet with them, but that didn't happen either. She has spent some time in Jeonju, and was headed to CheonAn today.

The accomodation which was supposed to be organised for her (or me) a week or so ago, is still not ready. There's a mattress to buy, and a desk, and so on. I don't know if she will stay there tonight - it does sound a bit "iffy" as we would say.

From China I was in touch with a student from the university in Shaoxing - we always talk about me going back there. She is a working girl now, but still wants to show me around her home town which is not far from Hangzhou. I am looking forward to seeing her and her family.

I was reading a website which is a network of teachers in China and recognised the name of someone who was in our writing group. She went to China some months ago, but went through an agent. It turns out this guy is a rogue and he had her booked into doing so much extra work. She had not got her Z visa before she went to China, so was rather restricted in what she could do too. However, she has been able to negotiate a better plan but still is not happy. She was initially required to mark 8000 assignments in one year! How would that be!!!

Anyway I have heard from her and she is OK, but not sure of her next move - back to Australia or something else in China.

Then I received a message from someone who had discussed with me a program in north China, and teaching nurses English so that they could come to Australia and train/work here. The project fell through though. She is back in Australia - but needs to update her quals - things have changed in the few years she has been out of the country. So she is betwixt and between.

Meanwhile I have been working on lesson plans to teach at a college in Brisbane tomorrow. I was due to go and sit in on a lesson, but the teacher has called in sick, so I got a call to delay my arrival tomorrow. I've found it somewhat challenging to do a lesson plan - with so many unknowns. I don't know the students, am not familiar with the English program they are doing, and will be "winging it" as they say.

Then came the snakes!!! MM has been working on the front garden - a long overdue project that is all but complete today. Planter boxes have been built and are in situ, and he was piling the dirt from a pile that has been sitting on the front lawn for several years. Growing with each mowing as the clippings were thrown onto it. Seems Mrs Snake chose this place for her nest and he came across a dozen or so baby snakes. They were around a foot long and scurried all over the place as he spaded the dirt into the new planter boxes.

Meanwhile, in preparation for the meeting of the Society of Women Writers tomorrow (yes, I was going to fit that in before going to the College), where we have to swap one of our favourite books after writing about 50 words about it. Only 50? OK.

The Book I have chosen is one that I have bought (and given away) on many occasions. It is a book called "Random Acts of Kindness" which set me on a course with the Kindness Foundation in Australia. I confess I have lost touch with the organisation, after being their quite active Queensland represtentative. A long time ago I think. Maybe 10 years ago.

In any case, I found their website and saw that the founder of the Australian Kindness Movement has been ill. I have sent a message giving him my best wishes for a speedy recovery. I've also learned that it is Kindness Week in November - in fact Australian Kindness day is November 5th.

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