Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I know that sometimes disasters strike when in class. It's all happened to us. I try to minimise such disasters as far as I can. You can plan all you want but still, there is always a chance that something might go wrong. I think most of the time, it's all about how you react to them that is more important that anything else. Some people panic and lose it others more on and 'fix' it. I'd like to think I get on and fix whatever has happened. A disaster happened yesterday. It wasn't me however. It was my new start.

After a week of observation, she decided that she was ready to take a class. This particular class was 8 guys coming to do a pre-intermediate level English test. In the morning, I had a similar class and she sat in on it. In the afternoon, she was ready. She said. She had everything she needed. Test papers, prompt cards, CD and CD player. It was all set. Ten minutes before class, so tried to get the CD paused at the right part for the Listening section. It wasn't all that hard. It was track 1 and the CD had to be a 1minute 10seconds. I showed her how to do it. Hold your finger on the 'fast forward' button. Not exactly rocket science. She couldn't do. For some reason, she just couldn't do it. Instead, she kept moving the CD on to track 2. Finally, she got it. Then she was ready. I did give her the option of me taking the class, but no, she wanted to continue.

I took my seat right at the back and let her get on with. It started OK. A bit hesitant but she managed. She set the Listening section up. Played the example for the students and was ready to start with question 1. She pressed play for question 1 and we listened to about half it. For some unknown reason she then proceeded to switch the CD off. Half way through. I was in shock. What was going on? Why stop it? Just let it play and at the end of question 1, just press pause. Don't stop it. I wanted to jump up and whack her one. Only joking. But I did want to do something. It was embarrassing. She frantically tried to rectify the situation. A minute passed. Then 2. Things were getting serious. I so wanted to get up and ask her to sit down whilst I took over. But, I couldn't. I had to wait for her to fix everything. Finally, she sorted the CD out and we replayed the example again, then back on track to question 1 then the rest of it.

At the end of the session, I could have let rip. She knew though. I didn't need to say anything. I simply said that things like this happen. Be prepared however. I don't think she was ready for the class but ultimately you have to let them get on with it - you hope it goes well, of course. It didn't and we learn from it. She has another class tomorrow. It must be better. Surely.

Monday, May 30, 2011


I'm alive and so are you!

Haha, the world didn't end on Rapture Day. I knew it. I bet the bloke who decided the day feels a bit of a pillock. I wonder if he emptied his bank account and all that jazz. I bet he didn't. So what did he do? He decided that there is another end of the world day in October. Pardon me for not being too concerned.

Alas, I had to go back to work since the earth was still in tact. I wish I didn't have to go back to work but needs must. I've never been so busy actually. It's like suddenly people know I exist and everyone want's answers or help or wants to give 'advice'. Just keeping up with all the E-mails coming my way is hard enough. Then there is 4 or 5 hours of class per day and on top of that, a new start coming under my wing. Yeah, the one with no ESL experience. Hmm. Previously, I could plan my day and just get on with it. But now, I'm planning for 2. Longer term, it will probably work out ok but at the moment I don't particularly want to be 'babysitting'. It certainly leaves less time for me to get on with what needs to be down. In fact, I've rarely managed to get out of the office on time of late. I don't mind as such, but not everyday thank you very much. In some respects it'll be an 'education' for me and the new start. Let's see how it goes.

The football season is pretty much over. The Scottish league program has been interesting but perhaps not for the right reasons. I'd prefer the football to do the talking. Sadly, that has not been the case. Too much nonsense going on off the park. Death threats, bullets in the post, assaults pitch side. That's not football. It's a farce. People just want to dress it up and justify it by using football as the excuse. It's nothing to do with football. It's a nonsense. I don't like it and it must stop for the sake of football. Are sponsors going to plough money in to football? Are the supporters going to come through the gates if such hatred boils over. No. Next season might be better. It has to be. In England Man Utd. won the league. It could be argued that they were the best of a bad bunch. Something was up in the Premier League. How can 5 points separate 12 teams (slight exaggeration but the argument remains)? I guess it makes it entertaining and that's essentially what football is. Entertainment.

Right, that's your lot.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


It's the end of the World today, at 6pm local time. Apparently. Some bloke in California has said so, so it must be true. I've had word from a friend in New Zealand - it's currently after 6pm there - that everything is 'as you were'. No sign of people floating to heaven or mass outbreaks of fire and brimstone. Perhaps the good people of New Zealand are immune to it all.

But, I have little over 6 hours until it happens. What can I do in that time?

In fairness, not all that much. In fact, I'm just going to get on with what I had planned to do. No need to go out of my way. If it happens, it happens. I'd rather it just 'happened' in a flash and I didn't know anything about it. So, I might be sitting on the toilet when it happens or alternatively, I might be making my dinner or perhaps watching TV. No 'blaze of glory' for me. No last words. Actually, if it's the end of the World, what does it matter about last words. It's not as if anything will be left to document my words.

So, if this is it I'll coin a phrases from the late, great Douglas Adams: So long and thanks for all the fish.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Stupidly busy week. I mean, stupidly. Not just a little bit busier but to infinity and beyond busy. The thing is, I don't quite know how and why. It shouldn't be like this that's for certain.

Work seems to be taking up way too much time and that's the annoying thing. I'm usually organised at work but all that has gone out of the window. It's other people though. They just don't let me get on with stuff I need to get on with. Whether its other departments whinging about a given English test "it's too hard blah blah it's too technical", to department asking me to give presentations at their weekly meeting, to my boss asking for meeting minutes to, well you get the picture. Oh and a new member of staff who knows nothing about anything. More of that I'm sure in the not too distant future.

Alas, it's Thursday. I didn't get away from work on time which was a shame but it's the weekend and that is a good thing. Well, until Saturday which I believe has been designated 'end of the world day'. Wonderful.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


So much for grand plans. The 'plan' to write as much and as often and I can. Well, I'm still maintaining that but in terms of number of posts, I'm slacking. I haven't actually been slacking as such. It's just been a very busy last few weeks.

Where to start?

The job, I guess. Definitely extremely busy on that front. I've moved office to the other end of the airport which is good in theory but in practice it's difficult. Not only from the transportation issues but also from the fact that there is nothing in the new office. Literally the bear minimum equipment and furniture. The rest has been ordered. But when will it come, that's the question. I'm sure everything will work out in the mid to longer term but as of now, it's not easy.

Oh and Emirates posted a ludicrous yearly profit. I mean, massive. I'm not complaining as I get profit share but the numbers are mind boggling. Google them.

Elsewhere, summer is here. It's hot. Damn hot. Easily over 40C already. In fairness, it's been really dusty and I think that has helped to inflate the temperature. Not good. I guess it's our 'winter' in the sense that it's not a good idea to go out for long. Much like normal winters back home and alright the world where you don't go out much.

Football season is nearly over. Glad to see the end of it to be honest particularly in light of all the problems both on and off the field in Scotland. It's all a disgrace. No one is coming out of this season smelling of roses. Perhaps I'll write about in more depth later. Champions League in a week or so though. Barca or Man U. Tough call. I don't like the way Barca harrage the ref at each and every decision either for or against them whether it to get a card or whatever. That's cheating. End of story, even if you are the best team in Europe.

Hmm, what else?

New sofa coming. New garden furniture coming to. Looking forward to them. Going home to Scotland at the end of June. Less than 100 days to the big 'w' day. I'm sure it'll come around fast.

And that's about it for now.

Sunday, May 01, 2011


Better get this thing back up and running. Doesn't time fly when you're busy. Shocking.

In the time away, heaps have happened. The big 'story' must be the slaying of a certain Osama. Firstly, I should confess a deep level of suspicion. I don't doubt that 'someone' was shot and killed in the location that was mentioned. My doubts though are the who, what, where and how. Not many doubts then. That, coupled with the doubt I have that this 'Osama' is actually nothing more than a fabrication. The person that certain other people or organsations have decreed should be the figure of 'hate'. The one to point the finger at and say 'he's the bad guy'. Previously, it had been the USSR and Saddam. I digress.

When it was announced, there was a certain spin. 'This' is how it all happened. 'This' is what the president did. 'This' is the timeline. 'This' is what happened blah blah. But, a couple of days later there seems to be different 'versions' appearing. For example, Osama used his wife as a shield or he was armed. Now we are led to believe that he wasn't armed. What gives? Why the sudden change of story?

The facts. That's all we want. The facts. Tell us what happened without the b*llocks or the spin. If a helicopter crashed because it was hit, then report that. If some of the soldiers were injured, then report it. Armed or unarmed, then report it. I don't much care for photos so for me, that's an irrelevance. Simply report what happened. People can then judge. Do not change the story to suit. That way, you are open to all sorts of accusations. Make it black and white. 'This' is what happened whether it is good or bad.

Of course, it's too early to say what the ramifications of this are. Time will tell. What I didn't get a good feeling about was the frat boy style celebrations at the White House. In my eyes, not cool. It's not a time for celebration in that particular guise.

No doubt more 'revelations' will be forthcoming. More questions will be raised than we'll ever get answers to. But then that's the great thing about democracy, isn't it. You never get a straight answer from anyone.