Thursday, September 22, 2005

Houses, Family, Travel...

Ok. I've got a few things on my mind today...

Firstly, my mum and dad are planning to jack the house up, shift it 50cm to the west (to comply with the regulations), and build rooms in underneath. It's an enormous job. We have probably the shittest house in the street, and it's filled with our stuff and our complicated lives. So it's going to be stressful. In a huge survey of stressful life events, renovation came third after the death of a loved-one, and divorce. What worries me is it's uncharted territory. Most of the fucked up stuff in this family is history, and while it's not exactly the Brady Bunch, we're all existing now. My mum had to have a talk to my dad this morning. If you know about my dad, you'll understand. She's worried he's going to pull a swifty and force the house to be sold, and then rip my mum off. The other worry is that he rubs people up the wrong way. My neighbour Simon (who, I will grant, is an arsehole), seems to have rubbed his builders up the wrong way while his house was being raised and moved away from ours. Thus, they left him with the job just over half done, and he's having to do the work on it himself now. It seems the builders have told other building companies not to do work for Simon, because he hasn't had anyone else around. Just as an aside, my dad saw Simon one morning, hammering asbestos pipes away from the side of the house, before he realised what it was... we didn't see him for a few months, so he was probably having a freakout about that, and going to doctors etc. So anyway, my dad want's to renovate the house in about April next year... that's just way too soon. Mum's saying probably around this time next year. Anyway, whenever it happens, I'm not looking forward to it. It will be sooo stressfull, and I just hope everything goes ok. I really hope this doesn't split the family up. That may sound strange for you who know my attitude to my father, but really, I don't know what would happen to my mum or my older brother without my dad. As usual, my family is going to come across to the whole neighbourhood as completely eccentric. My mum's bought a huge tent thing, which can go over or under the trellis in the back yard, and in there we can store a lot of our stuff. My mum's also worrying about the cats, which sounds strange, but it's a totally valid worry, cause it's going to be stressful on them, and they don't understand. They're very old, and we've had them for half my life, and I don't want them to run away and die because of this. Another worry is where everyone is going to stay for the weeks-months it takes for the house to be liveable again. I don't know where I'm even going to be at that time. My mum's thinking she'll camp in the backyard with the cats...

My other worry/complex of worries is concerning my future and where I'm going with it. Yesterday I had prac experience, and I met up with Seva and Colleen, who are two lovely ladies from my TESOL course. I never get jealous, but I'm so jealous of them, because they've actually started work at Langports this week. Seva's a teacher, or at least she was a teacher until she quit, so I can understand that she's right for a job there, but they accepted Colleen too, because they are so understaffed at the moment. Colleen's not a teacher. She got accepted because she's done some certificate in something as well. When I saw Colleen yesterday, she told me that she started teaching there on Monday. I asked her how it was and she said "You have NOOOOO idea," and she said it's pretty full-on, all the preparation and stuff. I want this experience. I want to be tested. At this stage I don't care if it's payed or not, but I want, I want, I WANT. The Language Partners program we do on Wednesday afternoons is making up 10 hours of my practical teaching experience, but I'm very conscious of the fact that it's not a classroom situation. It's just talking. And while I am learning from it, it's a minute amount and I feel like I'm stagnating again.

I was speaking to Seva about it yesterday. Seva and Colleen are both in their forties, married and with kids. Around them I feel so young and naïve, and I know I have so much to learn about the world, but around them I'm so conscious of it. I'm also jealous of Seva and Colleen because they're doing another TESOL course, and this one is the CELTA course, which is heaps more recognised. It's a thousand dollars more than the course I'm doing, and you're teaching through it the whole time, so you'd come out of there a lot more prepared. I'm absolutely kicking myself for choosing the other course... not that it was bad, but to teach in Australia you need CELTA (Seva and Colleen's jobs are probably not strictly legal, it's just that Langports was so desparate... around 70 new students enrolled in one day). The Teach International course is more than enough to get a job overseas, especially in countries like China where they're just snapping up any native speaker to teach English. But it comes down to the fact that I wanted to get a lot of experience here in Australia, on my home turf, before I did it out in the big wide world. My goal country is Germany, but I'm thinking of starting off in Poland first... I think I mentioned this in another posting, but they just look after you there so much better than in Germany, because they're desparate for teachers. Seva was saying I should just jump in the deep end. Sink or swim. (Isn't it slightly ironic, that I literally cannot swim?) It won't be to hard to find a job in Poland, even before I leave Australia. Many schools will find accomodation and even pay for it, or provide food, and if I start at a franchise school (or "chain school") like Berlitz, they'll provide a week long training course at the start to make sure I'm teaching to their method, and I'll have access to all their resources (which means I won't be staying up to midnight every night for the first few months writing lesson plans and getting callouses on my fingers from cutting things out with scissors). Definitely a plus! The trouble is though, that I don't have money at this stage... I'll need money for airfares and to keep me going until the first payday. I'll need emergency money, and lots of it. I don't speak the language aside from a few basic phrases (and the obligatory random weirdities I always learn first). I know nothing about travel insurance. I don't know how to handle money and budget for things... I have so much to consider, and I'm still a blue eyed babe. To tell the truth, although I'm worried about suddenly being expected to teach (which is why I want lots of experience here), I'm more worried about surviving in the world... I still live with my parents and I've never really had a proper job of any sort. I've been busy having issues. Now I'm 21 and I've got no clue. I think maybe sink or swim would be the best for me... because I will refuse to let myself sink... but the thought of it scares me so much. Even yesterday, talking to Seva, and considering simply heading off overseas (after getting a loan from Cash Converters to cover the initial expense), I felt like I was about to have a panic attack. I've come a fucking long way from where I was a few years ago, I'm not working against myself anymore, but I'm still really only halfway to coping as a normal adult in the world. Just recently I've been speaking to a friend who was in a very similar situation to mine, who's been living in overseas this year, coping for herself, and I've got two friends in China at the moment. If a human is capable of doing that, I know I am too, but really, I'm just in a bit of a fragile state at the moment... But I'm really considering just dumping myself in it so I have to cope on the spot. We'll see...

Just read in the newspaper that there's a guy in America, from Idaho falls I think, who has claimed that the Yakooza hired an elecrtro-magnetic generator from the Russian Mafia, and with it caused hurricane Katrina... I love a good nutcase.

I was also talking yesterday to a lovely girl, Fiona, who is a part of the Language Partners program at Langports, and she said she'd talk to her Polish flatmate, Marek, to see if he wouldn't mind giving me practise in Polish with a native speaker. At this stage though, my Polish is very limited, but it'd be fun, so I hope this guy agrees. Another friend of a friend, Annette, is Polish, but she refuses to speak Polish, which is a shame. I'm sure she's got her reasons though.

Anyway, that's it for me today. Byebye!!

My knoweledge of Polish:

Dobry dzień – Hello/good day!
Cześć! – Hi!
Jak się masz? – How are you? (informal)
Jak się Pan ma? – How are you? (formal – to a man)
Jak się Pani ma? – How are you? (formal – to a woman)
Dziękuję, dobrze. – Fine thanks.
Co słychać? – What's up?
Nic nowego. – Nothing new.
Mam na imię ... – My name is ... (informal – with first name)
Jak masz na imię – What's your name? (informal – with first name)
Nazywam się … - My name is … (formal – with last name)
Jak pan(i) nazywa się? – What's your name (formal – with last name)
Przepraszam. – Excuse me/Sorry
Przepraszam za mój słaby polski. – Please excuse my poor Polish.
Mowię tylko trochę po polsku. – I only speak a little Polish.
Znam tylko kilka słów po polsku. – I only know a few words of Polish.
Nie wiem. – I don't know.
Nie rozumiem. – I don't understand.
Czy rozumiesz? – Do you understand.
Proszę mówić głośniej. – Could you please speak louder?
Dziękuję. – Thank you.
Gdie jest ...? – Where is?
Kiedy jest ...? – When is?
Kto jest ...? Who is?
To jest... - This is…
Co to jest? – What's this/that?
Czy to jest …? Is this/that …?
Czy mogę zadać pytanie? – May I ask a question?
Czy tak jest poprawnie? – Is this correct?
mężczyzna – man
kobieta – woman
kot – cat
pies – dog (Widzę psa – I see a/the dog)
ptak – bird
motyl – butterfly
mucha – fly
karaluch – cockroach
pszczoła – bee
orzeł – eagle
krowa – cow
słoń – elephant
ryba – fish
sarna – deer
zwierzę – animal
niedźwiedź – bear
kurczak – chicken
kolor – colour
biały – white
czarny – black
szary – grey
czerwony – red
zielony – green
żółty – yellow
niebieski – blue
purpurowy – purple
brązowy – brown
pomarańczowy – orange
dom – house
w domu – at home
Idę do domu. – I'm going home.
auto - car
Jestem australijczykiem – I'm Australian (male)
Czy jesteś australijką – Are you Australian (female)
Do zobaczenia! – Bye!
Do zobaczenia jutro! – See you tomorrow!
Do zobaczenia wkrótce! – See you soon!
Kocham Ciebie! – I love you!
Czy kochasz mnię? – Do you love me?
Chcę Ciebie. – I want you.
dobry – good
zły – bad
duży – big
mały – small
miły – nice
wysoki – tall/high
niski – short/low
krótki – short (in length)
nowy – new
stary – old
słaby – weak
silny – strong
Mój kot jest miły. – My cat is nice.
Tvój pies jest duży. You're dog is big.
Jesteś słoniem. - You're an elephant.
Jestem pszczołą. - I'm a bee.
On jest motylem. - He's a butterfly.
Chcę jeść motyla. - I want to eat the/a butterfly.
Ona jest ryba. - She's a fish.

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