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…

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Just like scrambled eggs!!

If you’re eyes feel like they are so low they could be touching your chin and they are falling closed to the point that no matter how much you try to keep them open they won’t…then you have gone past tired directly to exhausted… I probably should right now be asleep in bed…but instead I have an insane determination is stay up and write a blog post. After my week though in particular today I feel as though there is a need to do something to not just unwind but to get away from the lecture room and the study desk. To unwind in a place where I feel immediately relaxed – even if this is related to uni, it’s not a prescribed assignment, it’s something that I have chosen to do myself!

The week started well with my Drama Monday – a fun lesson, followed by a fun movie…

Tuesday turned into a day of being completely frustrated at once again being placed at a school so far out of my way that there would almost be no point in the travel time to get there. I went absolutely completely mad and was so outraged that when I called mum to debrief that I couldn’t calm down, I was crying then yelling then crying again. I’m not normally one to lose it like that but after the stress of last year I was hoping for a smoother run so I didn’t have to wait till almost the end of the year to do my teaching rounds. It was too late in the day to do anything about it – so I did the classic thing – to sleep on it…

Wednesday came:

I had this great subject called The Cultural Studies of Tibet and our lecturer for that was this great guy – who was completely stuck in the stone ages as far as lecturing goes – no use of technology, but he was so enthusiastic and passionate about what he was talking about that it was a nice change to not have to watch slide after slide about the subject matter. During the tute he didn’t really have much to expand on, because it was week one… but instead talked about why he doesn’t use technology…

In normal circumstances this would really bug me – but he was talking about it in context to education and us as learners which relates to the course I’m in so I thought even though I didn’t agree with his theory it was good to hear another perspective. He felt as though technology was there as a distractor, that it wasn’t valuable, most people were always plugged into something and therefore he didn’t like to use it. His argument also covered how if you have slides of a Powerpoint or a recorded lecture then that means that student don’t show up to the lectures – which he thought was valuable. I could understand why he prefered not to use it…

As an educator though – the use of technology especially as we are in the 21st century is a vital part of the classroom… kids nowadays and even when I was still at school are so in tune with technology that teachers need to use to and even allow their students to use their iPhones/ipads/MacBooks or whatever it is they are plugged into – for the purpose of learning as this is how it should be… the old saying goes – pick your battles… sure if a student was txting in class, listening to music while people were talking – all the classic disruptive things that kids can do with our gadgets – then that would have to be stopped, etc…

Although I discovered last year on my teaching rounds at a school that was very focused on the use of technology that if students are using these gadgets for their appropriate uses in the classroom, then it’s ok;  if this includes listening to a song for a performance they have to do as part of their assessment then that should be encouraged – teachers know when their students are doing work and when kids are slacking off, they can usually tell the difference… but not only that if they’re not doing the work it could be because they are disengaged then maybe it’s something about how we are teaching and creating an engaged classroom… it’s tough though because what do you do when you’re in a maths class and the students have no interest at all because in the year after they’re not continuing with maths…???

The Tibet tute had come to a close and it was now time to meet some old friends – a couple who I hadn’t seen in two years. It was fantastic being greeted by old faces and catching up on two years of life… after they went to class… it was time for me to complete my day…travelling home via the uni bookshop and getting a new concession card…. I made a call to the people who sort out our schools… they gave me another number…

I waited until I got home-made the call and then within an hour all the frustrations of the day before had been relieved as a new school was found and it is close to where I live. I was so grateful to the person over the phone – that the same amount of energy I had used being angry and upset the day before had been used in thanking her for sorting it out and so efficiently!!

Now here’s to Thursday…and those scrambled eggs!

We were meant to be at uni this morning at the bright and cheerful time of 8:00am for our first lecture of the day and nothing was organised to the point where we were still in the lecture room 20 mins after the lecture was meant to end and only 10 mins of the lecture was about 4th year and what it would entail – the rest was pointless information that most of us didn’t even need to know…plus they had people in this lecture that were from another course – why?

There was no improvement by the time of the tute – people were even sitting on the floor, fellow students had cleverly worked out that our class size meant that seats would be limiting so had gone straight there even though this lecturer had told us to take our times…

We were told to go to the later tute… we were told to go to Monday’s class… we were told to stay on Thursday…

The afternoon came and our afternoon lecture was GREAT! A massive discussion on the 21st century, what events that have occurred to influence this century, changes in technology, globalisation – so many things that I could have easily talked about for the rest of the day…

Afternoon tute: yikes… organising groups at uni was actually more complicated and more disorganised than organising groups in a year 11 Drama class… with hlf an hr left of the class to go we were still working on it… even though the unit guide had clearly stated what to do – completely laughable really… at least my lecturer has the personality of her frizzy red hair and the enthusiasm which goes with most great teachers which made up for it… I had spoken to her earlier about joining her tute group and knew that her day had been a muddle too and she had just been as scrambled as the rest of us!

Who wants eggs?!?!

Lesson of the day:

Don’t let a little bit of disorganisation and frustration lead you to think that, that is how everyday will end up being…sometimes it takes time, sometimes a lot of time and sometimes a small amount of time… generally speaking it’s nobody’s fault when stuff like this happens because we are all part of the picture we have to be patient because usually good things come to those with patience. I could have easily caught a later train and had been relieved that they hadn’t covered anything important. Things get sorted and sometimes waiting only means that the experience is far more rewarding than you ever thought it would be… like last year – I didn’t get a school until the year was nearly over, but then I got a fantastic school and a  7 week block which meant that the experience was more than I would’ve dreamt off…

A challenge is put in place, not to be a challenge but to be something to over-come, get through and know that you can do it if you put your mind to it.

Sleep also is 100% important… it makes our minds clearer and ready to tackle the day!

Signing off… as I’m nodding off and allowing my eyes to finally close…

Have a great weekend!!