Finding my way through Tibet

Ok so I’m not actually in Tibet, but as I mentioned in an earlier post I’m studying this subject called: The Cultural History of Tibet… without knowing anything about the topic…

To be completely honest I chose this subject for the VIT (Victorian Institute of Teaching) requirements as part of my humanities teaching – and also because I didn’t want to do European History… The idea of studying something about a country I knew pretty much nothing about – sometimes can be appealing too, because it means that you have to be really open-minded to what you are studying, etc.

Since starting this subject I’ve actually found it really fascinating and enjoyable – phew! Because if I didn’t then I would be putting in the bare minimal.

Having said that though I think we have a really clever lecturer in that he has made one of the assignments based solely on reading the entire textbook I mean every single page! In doing this we have to go home every night and read and then refer back to it when it comes to answering the questions.

Another assignment is based on the further readings – the one where lecturers “suggest” that you read but don’t make it a compulsory task

on top of this he isn’t putting the lectures online or recording them – so we can’t miss them…

Plus he has said that the first assignment can be hand-written so we don’t have to print them…

Maybe I should take note on this teaching method/style?

I couldn’t do that really, but still – he’s pretty smart – out-smarting the students whose excuses are usually:

I have completed the work but didn’t have time to print it so I’ll email it to you when I get home – what does that person do: rush home after the tute finish off the work and then email it at exactly 11:59pm so that it’s not late… yes you had the work done, sure….

Anyway… back to Tibet…

So tonight I’m reading through the prescribed text and find myself re-reading and re-reading, just to clarify and review what was said so that when I go to answer the questions I have the right answer and I’m telling you it’s not like it was  back in high-school when the teachers would practically write the answer in the question – we actually have to learn about the Tibetan language to understand where the writer is coming from, plus the geography, etc

And right now I still don’t know where the town of Dartsedo is and how it links in with the Tibetan and Chinese Worlds…

But I have learnt that most of the language has meanings in a phrase as opposed to simply a word… For example geographically Tibet is refered to as the “Roof of the World” because it extends from the Himalaya to the great deserts of Inner Asia. A legend describes it as the “Land of Snows” and the person described in this legend is called Avalokiteshvara where they try to save all the creatures of Tibet.

It sounds like I’m reading poetry as I get transported into their world and their culture… but something tells me that maybe its poetic because of the pain that they have endured… I don’t exactly know yet but I think it must have something to do with it.

I write poetry when I feel awful… unfortunately that is the reality… there have been moments when I write out of joy because it’s usually because that joy has come after tears have been shed… but sometimes my most beautiful poetry is written when it’s 2:00am and I can’t sleep for whatever reason that may be.

I’ve written the most over the last two years – there is a pretty good reason as to why and those who know me best will know instantly as to why.

But anyway I have another Drama Monday tomorrow and we get to receive our Shakespeare Monologues……….

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH…. I have to have memorised a Shakespeare Monologue and be able to perform this in front of my peers and lecturer!!! By week 7 (after Easter)…

I’m going to be as nervous as I was when I did my first book report in year 8… that’s big, because now presenting a book report would easy but back then it was horrible…in fact back then I thought that all oral presentation should die… this though is bigger than an oral presentation in English….

WHY?

Ok. I solemnly swear that I will never make any of my students perform Shakespeare on their own…

Ok, by the way I had my fingers crossed – it will be revenge to the lecturer who decided this fate upon me and my peers, oh wait maybe I should make my revenge directly affecting her… she’s going to get a really “great” student evaluation from me… hee hee…

No. I will not do that either.

I will do the Shakespeare monologue, suffer silently so I can pass the subject, then forget about it….

If I didn’t like my lecturer then it’d be a whole other ball game…

Liking your teacher I have discovered after nearly completing my education (unless I embark on my masters?) can really influence the way you learn, usually in a negative way and not always because it’s the teacher’s fault. Because it’s how the student responds to the teacher – the teacher doesn’t usually know if a student doesn’t like them or pay attention, hmmm that’s interesting…

Anyway as I have a sore throat and hope to have enough rest so I can go to Drama Monday…. I will be signing off with vics vapor drop in mouth and a good night and good rest to all…

Lesson of today:

It’s always great when you are open-minded when it comes to your studies because you never know where that might take you…

Rest when you have a sore throat because otherwise it could become an infection (mine was worse before now…)

Don’t be afraid of what is put in front of you – learning doesn’t merely have to be about “passing the subject” – maybe the task isn’t as daunting as it first seemed to be, you might actually enjoy it and besides if you make a mistake you’ve got something out of it anyway. (I hope so anyway)

Bye world if you are reading…

“I want to stay small forever”

At the school where I’m doing my Melbourne based teaching-rounds I had a conversation with a girl about her lunch that somehow lead to her talking about what she wanted to do when she grew up and her answer was “I want to stay small forever” which I thought was incredibly adorable and honest. Because lets face it, how many of us whether they’re 11 or 23 (hers and my age) or even older still… want to actually grow up… I mean here I am going back to school after all!

Ever since I decided that I was going to uni to study teaching/education, I have had a mixed set of reactions and it’s usually between either “Oh you’ll be sooooo good at that” and “How could you stand being with children all day” (or at least something similar)… I always think when I’ve been asked the second of the two: If I’m going into to teaching that means that I must have some likeness towards children – otherwise why do it at all? I guess for some people when they’ve known teachers, it isn’t about the children, it’s about having a job that pays the bills.

Which I think is terribly tragic… Teaching is a job which entails having some sort of interaction with children – even if you’re the type that sets them with worksheets (which is the it’s just a job type), you still have to talk to your students, take the role, tell them to be quiet, etc… So wouldn’t that mean that children is the reason that people would be drawn to the job? Instead of children are there and I just teach them?

I mean that’s why I’m doing it – because I get to have this unique interaction with children, being a part of their lives and seeing them grow and develop. I get to create this great relationship with kids and then teach them. It’s about the children in the room for me…

If I had approached this girl – with “continue with your work, I don’t want to hear about what you like or dislike because it’s an interruption to the other students” or something a long the lines… then we wouldn’t have had that connection… I just would’ve ended up being this scary person in her class on a Tuesday…

Instead I get to know these kids who I discovered were wonderful before teaching them and they get to know me a little bit – so by the time I teach them it’s like we’ve crossed a barrier or a bridge to get to the other side – they form this liking to me and visa versa and the teaching becomes easier and much nicer – for both them and I.

I love children for the simple fact that they say things like wanting to be small forever or get over-excited about doing a subject they love – especially when adults/teachers/parents/carers allow them to do so…

Like these two other girls…

This class was doing a project on the human body, they were broken up into different things which allows us to function e.g respitory or skeletal systems and then had to do research on that particular area before presenting their findings in however way they wanted… I asked these girls if they liked what they were researching and realised that it wasn’t their desire to do so (they were enthusiastic about it which was clearly shown by how they were engaged…) – which I got out of their facial expressions…not by their answers and then I asked

“If you could research anything about any topic, what would it be on” their answer was “sport or drama, but we really like drama” I said “what was it about drama that they liked?” their response “we like crazy stuff and plays!” with the biggest grins on their faces… I then told them that I also taught Drama and then for the rest of the afternoon they said to me:

“DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA” not being my class I said that they had to talk to their teacher but I’m sure we’d be able to do so…. they said “DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA!!” as they left for the day and I thought to myself… oh goodness…what have I done?

But at the same time was pretty excited that kids were getting excited about what I taught!!

I spoke to my mentor and made their dream of me teaching Drama possible – they don’t know this just yet but I’m sure their response when they find out they’re going to do some Drama with me will be “YAAYYYY!”

See – how could anyone NOT like children!!!

After all they make you come home with bright smiles and can make any stress large or small seem like the lightest thing of all…

Lesson of the day:

When you have a great day, be in the moment. This may sound corny, but it’s true. We don’t always have good days and these great ones, make life seem absolutely fantastic.

Love the job you do, make it one that isn’t just to pay the bills – because you’ll just feel great about life no matter your earnings!

Kids aren’t intimating if you smile and get to know them – plus you’re the adult so they’re probably going to be more shy around you then you feel around them!

Signing off to finish my wind-down before I begin another day!

Happy smiling everyone. 🙂