Day 60ish: CELTA WK1

CELTA. WK1. D1 – Beginnings

Slept through yoga. Toothpaste had ants in it. Brushed anyway – I’m not a vegetarian so why worry. Met trainers. Learnt some Arabic. Did CELTA stuff. Knackered by 5pm. Downed 3 cups of coffee and 6 custard pastry balls due to stress of discovering I’m scheduled to teach 45 minute grammar lesson TOMOZ. As if. Had caffeine headache. Back to classroom for practice observation. Wasn’t sure what I was supposed to observe. Made notes on things anyway. Made awkward cultural faux pa at earliest opportunity by writing name on whiteboard in RED PEN. Played board game with students. Felt happy. Ate dinner. Went to room to do homework and planning, dithered until early following morning.

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CELTA. WK1. D2 – First Teaching Practice (TP)

First TP is majestic in the scope and absoluteness of its failure.

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CELTA. WK1. D3 – Humiliation

Woke up with swollen eyes and no water for the taps, shower or toilet. Considered missing breakfast due to humiliation but Wednesday is Pancake day so forced myself. It reflected all the author’s disappointed hopes and dreams: THERE WERE NO PANCAKES.

First input session today was how to teach the type of lesson I failed at teaching yesterday. Not that it would’ve helped too much through the strange glaze of panic.

TP feedback introduced with the sentence “WE ALL NEED TO THINK OF WAYS TO HELP SARAH”. Lolz. Got good advice from CELTA-mates and a grade sheet that says I managed to scrape a pass for the TP. Hanging on by the skin of my teeth.

Coffee-time cakes were banana muffins. Stole an extra one for my fridge.

TP2 tomorrow.

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CELTA. WK1. D4 – Pancakes

Pancake Day finally happens but too stressed to enjoy it. These guys are NOT keeping to the food schedule and it’s fucking with my head.

Did TP2. Better than TP1 but still infinitely dull. Have lost ability to think creatively.

Dinner consisted of meat and inedible veg soup, which is a meal in itself, but also sweet and sour meat with rice. Two-dinner dinner. Win.

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CELTA. WK1. D5 – Cabin Fever

Shit-ton of work on horizon but accidentally had fairly relaxed day. Wrote non-self-flagellating self-evaluation before 10am listening to LCD Soundsystem on max to prevent any accidental thinking. Input session on CCQs and phonetic alphabet. Ate weird mystery cake at “patisserie” time. Had second two-dinner dinner. Have put on approximately 74 stone since arriving due to enforced eating schedule. Can’t miss a meal because we’ve already paid for them. Still don’t understand why we sometimes get two dinners for our dinner. NOTHING MAKES SENSE. The water’s back on.

After TP (not mine) we went for BEERS at a pub called “Dog & Bone”, English-style, racist and sexist posters in the toilet for your reading pleasure. Leaving the complex was immense. Realised we’ve been in the same place for an entire week. Cabin fever.

Tomoz AM we’re doing a trip to Fucking Amazing C, then doing assignments and planning until our eyes fall out. Sunday will be more working, hopefully finished in time to take Sunday PM off. TP3 on Monday.

Bleedin’ eck.

Bloody love it. Hate it. Love it.

You stay classy.

***

CELTA. WK1. D6 – PIZZA NIGHT

First day off. Woke up at 7am. Swam. Went for 20min jog. Hard. Hot. Worked on lesson planning for 2hrs; assessment for rest of day. THE REST OF THE WHOLE ENTIRE DAY. Hours and hours and hours. Lunch at computer in resources room.  Stepped away at 6pm to go to shop for coffee, fizzy drinks and beer. Came back. Kicked group work-sharing/pizza-eating session into action. Pizzas were the size of wagon wheels. Talked through our work listening to Bob Marley – it was like being back in last week with all the terrible dancing at the Reggae bar, except not.

Communal working’s the best way to do it – everyone together, nobody left behind. Work alone on this stuff for too long and you go crazy. Staring at the screen for two hours without doing any ACTUAL work.

Made surprising impassioned speech in support of the CELTA way of teaching: total immersion, no holds barred. Just like our students. Fuckin’ tough though. Learning Old Norse was a doddle in comparison.

Just past midnight. Washed pants in the sink. Tidied room. Damn tired. Brain active again and it’s a nice feeling. Or, at least, it is now. Wait until I fail my assignment – I’ll be spitting fire. Best do a bit more before I sleep. Tomorrow the fun continues. Aim: finish lesson planning in time for Sunday Walking Street market. Wild.

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CELTA. WK1. D7 – Only work exists

It’s past midnight. I can legitimately say that I survived CELTA, WK1.

Didn’t make it to Sunday Walking Street, obvs. It was a pipe dream. More hours than you’d ever believe could fit into a single weekend have been spent on assignment 1 and lesson planning and neither are finished. On the plus (or minus) side, the future perfect is now both my favourite and my least favourite of all the tenses.

Today was a hard day. Had anxiety dreams all last night: exciting dream adventures but also exhausting. Spent most of today distracted, unfocused, stressed. Did a small jog and had a float in the pool again this morning.

Back to delicious food but enforced mealtimes tomorrow. Input sessions start again. TP3 tomorrow afternoon. Assessment 1 for Tuesday. TP4 on Wednesday. Pre-work for Assessment 2 needs to be done by Thursday. Literally no idea where the extra hours will come from. Be fine. BRING IT.

EDIT: If I sound grumpy, it’s only because I’m tired. It’s hard but GOOD. The people are ace. And check out the pool:

Sunset over pool

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Go Go Gadget NanoTechnology

No, seriously, see what I did there? It’s hilarious. I used the expression ‘NANOTECHNOLOGY’ to mean ‘technology for NaNoWriMo’ rather than the more generally recognised ‘technology wot is, like, *well* small, innit’. I’m a blinkin’ (heavily sarcastic and rather drunk at this point) genius. Or not a genius: APPAZZA, according to Wikipedia, Nanotechnology “is the study of the controlling of matter on an atomic and molecular scale”. Yeah sure. Whatevs.

Anyway, look. There’s bloody loads of brilliant-sounding (although largely untested my me, so I can’t really comment on its actual brilliance) writery technology out there. Here are two music-based technologies that I’m all excited about at the moment. I’d explain them but, you know, I’ve got wine to drink an’ that:

Fave music stuff
SPOTIFY – Like borrowing someone elses music collection, but in an excellent way. Download it, type in what you want to listen to, and there you have it! You can – almost unbeliveably – create playlists etc using even the free version. Even the annoying adverts (which you don’t get if you cough up and pay for the Premium subscription) don’t spoil it…
Last FM – Music radio online. Type in a song or artist you like, and Last FM will use this to find tracks that are musically similar. Brilliant. Free. Win.

Tonight I’m listening to Gomez, Fleet Foxes, Temper Trap, and the brilliant song that my imaginary boyfriend Joseph Gordon-Levitt dances to in 500 Days of Summer, You Make My Dreams. Speaking of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, if you like aforementioned man, or love good film shorts with quirky visuals and scripts, then I DEMAND that you watch Morgan M. Morganson’s Date With Destiny immediately. When not swooning over my imaginary boyfriend I’ve been browsing the TV Tropes website on the advice of a fellow NaNo-er (be warned: it’s highly addictive and is going to be one hell of a procrastination tool when it all kicks off) and checking out a whole host of…

Story writing software

Storybox – I didn’t really like the way this looked so deleted it almost immediately. I’m shallow like that.
Storybook – Better looking than Storybox but still a bit fiddly for the stage I’m at now… maybe later.
Spaaze.com – A nifty on line corkboard that’s simple to look at and just as simple to use. First impressions are pretty good.
Bubbl.us – THIS IS A GLORIOUS INVENTION! Online mind-mapping, simple to work, beautiful to behold, free to use. You can test it out without signing up and I IMPLORE you to do so immediately. Thank you to NaNoWriMo’s EvilBenFranklin for bringing this into my life.

More technologies to come later, when I’m less likely to fall off my chair asleep.