Merry Christmas & Stuff

Hi everyone,

2019 is coming to an end and I have not been here for ages. I thought I’d pop on to wish everyone Happy Holidays. May all your dreams come true and may 2020 be better than 2019. It’s a new decade folks. What do you see coming your way? I, for one, have a new job where I work. I will be coordinating during the presessional course. My title now is Associate Lecturer. It is a part time post though. 3 days a week I will be coordinating and 2 days a week I will be a Language and Study Skills Tutor. How will it work?? We will see. At last a dream came true. That’s the thing. Ever since I started working at the uni, I always said I wanted to get a more senior role. I applied for jobs and didn’t get shortlisted. Then I had training on how to write cover letters (would you like to see mine or a post on how to write one?). I had a couple of interviews which lead to temporary posts. Posts I did not shy away from. Posts I gave up summer hols for. I wanted the experience. I got the experience and now the job. So aim high, don’t give up. You will get there. I think I will start writing here again. If any of my readers are still here, thank you. Take care and have fun. till next time ….

EAP practitioner & identity crisis

So, the Baleap conference ended today. This was my first Baleap conference. If you do not know what Baleap conference is, it is a conference about EAP (English for academic purposes), I guess. EAP practitioners talking about EAP stuff.

I attended a lot of talks. I also presented with my colleague. A Pecha Kucha (that will be a different blog post). I learnt some things, but mostly started thinking about a lot of stuff. This conference made me want to blog and share some thoughts with you guys.

Thought number 1

One of the main themes of this Baleap conference was the role of the EAP practitioner.

Who are we?

A whole identity crisis (kinda).

Are we teachers? Are we academics? Are we support staff?

Who are we?

A whole plenary was dedicated to that.

We say we are not subject specialists

We do research/scholarship, so we are academics

We are counselors

We are language specialists

We are teachers

We are not just teachers

And lots more along these lines

The most interesting comment though (for me) was made by someone in the audience.

We do similar things at every single uni around the UK, but we all have different titles

(and salaries may I add) .

When teaching EAP, you can be called a language tutor, an EAP tutor, a lecturer, an Associate lecturer and many more. You can be a grade 5, grade 6 or a grade 7. Get paid something from 24K to even 40K (rough guesses folks) for the same thing.

So much inconsistency in the titles and the salaries, I do not get that. I am a person who has had the title EAP lecturer and language tutor. Both jobs exactly the same. Responsibilities, the same. My qualifications, the same.

I do not understand that.

We change title from institution to institution. How? Why?

Even the basics are not defined…. Blurred….

In 2013 I was called a Lecturer

In 2017 a Tutor

(and temporary staff…. )

As for my identity?

I consider myself an EAP teacher. I also find myself acting as a counselor a lot of times. I do not consider myself an academic because I come from an educational background where an academic is someone who has a PhD and publishes in journals. I do not.

So, thought number 1 blog post. Done.

Thanks for reading. If you have any thoughts, let me know in the comments below. Oh! Don’t forget to follow my rambles or my social media stuff….

Till next time (which will be very soon)…..

What Would You Do?

Hi everyone,
I have’t written a blog post in forever, but I am back. I have a question for you. I will give you the context and invite you to share your advice.
What would you do?
Context
International Students (mostly Asian) doing an EAP course. The students’ level is pretty much the same, but some do better in speaking than others. This session is a seminar/ discussion class. The students have been asked to write down a few questions they would ask their classmates and hold a discussion on X topic.
What happened
I put students in groups of four. Each student got to ask their question.
One of the stronger students asked a well formed complex question.
Student: XYZ. Why do you think this is?
Silence.
Student A: XYZ. Why do you think this is?
Again silence.
Student A: XYZ. Why do you think this is?
Student B: I don’t understand the question…….
Student A: I have asked the question 3 times. What don’t you understand (voice high pitched and kinda angry).
Me: Ummmm, maybe you can try to use different words to ask the question. Why don’t you paraphrase?
Student A: I am they do not understand!!(getting more frustrated. Borderline pissed off).
Me: Ummmmm, maybe you should try again or why don’t you say what you think and give them some ideas. They might be able to answer your question that way…..
Student A: Grumbles…. repeats the question….
Me:………………………….
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So folks, discuss. What would you do?
I look forward to hearing your views and discussing with you in my comments section.
Till next time……

What I thought I knew was not what I thought

I have shared with you guys (maybe even over shared) so much. Now, more sharing.

There I was. Shocked. Feeling a bit robbed. Questioning myself. How could I not know? The mind plays tricks on us.

I thought I was red/ green colourblind. Turns out I don’t see any colours.

I have achromatopsia (or some sort of incomplete achromatopsia).

I am what is known as colourblind. Literally. So, I don’t just mix up my colours. I actually don’t even see them! Or do I?

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Colour is perception. Light, rays, rods and cones all join in to send a message to the brain. The brain then ‘sees’ the light/ colour. That is my simplistic explanation. A bunch of people see the same colour and give it a name…..

green

But now I know that what I thought was colour, was probably a tone or a texture, an illumination. My images are shades of grey, white, and black with an occasional dash of pink (or something….or nothing….).

How could I not know? What games was my mind playing on me?

I have all the symptoms of an achromat

Nystagmus (wobbly iris)

Myopia

Photophobic/ photosensitive (I squint a lot and wear my sunnies all day long, even when there are clouds)

How I found out

I was so excited on Saturday. I was going to try these glasses that claimed to restore colour vision. You would put on the glasses and see colours. Of course, these glasses do not work on everyone (I was warned). I wanted to try them. But first, they needed to determine what type of coulourblindness I had. I did the tests and got the diagnosis.

Achromatopsia

Very rare (2000 people in the UK).

So, what do I do with this information?

I am still the same person.

That is what everyone is telling me.

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You see colours your way.

That is what people tell me.

You still see the way you saw.

That is what everyone is telling me.

But I don’t. I don’t know what I see. I want to know what I can see. Still coming to terms with this. I have to adjust to a new normal. Was what I thought was pink or purple actually grey? Is everything grey? I am confused. Still confused.

Two days later.

The one where you meet someone who reads your blog…..

Blogging is an interesting thing. For me, it’s like writing a journal. I chat and ramble and engage in interesting conversations with you guys but because everything is online, while it is real, it doesn’t feel real. Do you get me? I mean I share my stories, I ask for advice but everything is in world wide web!! It isn’t tangible. I do not meet people!!Until……..

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Well, a couple of weeks ago I met two teachers who said,

Oh! When I heard your name and saw your face, I knew I was reading your blog!

How cool! How embarrassing!!

The things I say here!! The things you guys actually have to read and then to meet teachers who have actually read my blog and like the stuff I write? It’s so weird!!

But this isn’t the first time this has happened. Last year I went for lunch with some friends in Newcastle and one of the people there said,

Oh!

I read your blog as I was preparing for my pre-sessional interview!! Your tips were helpful.

Mind-boggling folks!!

So, you don’t really understand the “power”, “dynamic” of blogging until you have that face to face interaction I guess  or maybe I don’t!

How does that make me feel?

Well, I guess I feel strange and happy at the same time. Happy that I can help someone, strange cause, boy oh boy, do I ramble!! I guess bigger bloggers are used to it, but I am not. That’s why I am writing about it today. Does meeting someone who has read what I say, change the way I blog? Nope!! Still gonna ramble!!!

So what about you guys? Have you met any of the teachers who read your blogs? How does that make you feel?

Short and sweet today. I have to write 15 posts this month!

Don’t think that’s gonna happen, but I will try!!

Till next time….

Jo

 

 

Let’s walk around my town……..

Hi everyone!!

Nope, not gonna talk about teaching………

I am actually going to show you my town. I live in Chania,  Crete, Greece. The pictures are from the Venetian harbour and the little narrow streets in the harbour area. So, no more words…. just pics.I’d love to see your towns as well. You know, just to get to know you guys a bit better, so if any teacher friends, stray, and decide to share pics of their town, let me know…. let’s start a non Elt tag. 🙂

Last Sunday

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So, that’s all for now!! Oh! Most of these pics are  examples of what I share on Instagram @mypinkrambles

Talk soon.

J.

11 Facts about Me….

Hehehe

Happy Valentine’s day or Galentine’s Day or just Happy Today!!

Vedrana (who is a member of my PLN) said that I should make a video where I talk about me… you know get to know the person behind the blog!? So, here it is. Da video…..

As you may or may not know, I started making videos because blogging was not enough… Since my filming skill has really improved (NOT- hence the top of my head is missing) I thought to myself, I did the YouTube challenge, and this video was more about me, me, me….so I decided to share… and make your day!!And anyways, you do know by now that I share all my craziness with you guys ❤ ❤

So, here is the 11 facts about me (there may be more than 11. I wasn’t counting. I got carried away… what can I say?).

 

See ya in my next post.

j.