Monday, 12 April 2010

On Paradise Lost and Trojans of the Digital Kind

I finished Paradise Lost.  I made notes.  It was quite epic.  It might take another read-through or more thinking about it before I can write much on it.  I think the 2 weeks of not reading it might have killed some of the momentum, cause the ending was significantly less epic than the beginning.  The last few books fixed the idea that the whole thing is actually pretty reverent in my mind.  I'd be interested to read what the author himself had to say about his work, rather than all the interpretations out there, of which I've read one and was incredibly annoyed by.  I don't know, it requires more thinking than my brain wants to do today.

So, my Japanese computer got massively infected with, according to Windows Defender, something like 31 trojans while I was away.  Hence, I'm on said computer now running malware and spyware scans and not doing other things I said I'd do today.  It's cold and rainy and I ate way too much pizza when I was planning on eating a half a cup of rice and veggies for dinner.... mostly cause it's cold and rainy.  I did empty the litter box though, and do a ton of dishes... pretty much everything I have that could be used for food was in my sink.  Saturday's spring cleaning.  I will find places to put things that don't drive me nuts.  My other "to do around the house" thing for today was fixing this hunk of technology, which I'm currently doing, so aside from the food thing, and the not studying thing (which I still have time to rectify if I can get the gumption), I've done everything I planned for myself to do.

Also, I have new neighbors.  There are two of them, a man and a woman, and I want to know how they manage to live in that tiny space.  I know the 1st floor lofts are smaller than mine, so they can't be utilizing that space for much.   If they're sleeping up there, I pity them in the summer.  It gets hot, though I suppose less so on the first floor.  Anyway, mostly, they're good  neighbors, but the guy has a really boomy voice, and he likes to talk apparently.  He gets up at 6-6:30 every day, including weekends, and goes to bed around midnight.  I know because despite the two fans I have going at night, I can hear him through the floor when I lay on my side, and since I can't breathe on my back, I can't sleep when he's awake. >_>  I found earplugs today though.  I used them before when I was having trouble with my suite-mates back at Eastern, but they hurt so much I couldn't sleep with them in anyway (quite possibly why I was so twitchy then and why I get so upset when my sleep is interrupted now).  Anyway, I'm hoping for good things.  I'd like to be able to sleep on my terms tonight...mostly considering the earplugs.  Beats trying to curl up on a two-seater non-plushy couch though.

First day of classes tomorrow at the school that last year was nightmare school and this year I really can't hope is too much better cause I really don't want to be disappointed.  I'd rather go into it braced for the same.  I wonder if I can use a dunce cap.... I'll have to talk to Satomi about that (sounds mean, in my opinion, but if I can't kick the obnoxious kids out, I have to do something to make them at least shut up and participate).  Really, I'd like to find a way where they want to participate, but the whole atmosphere of the school, and the utter pointlessness of my class really depresses anything that could be there for most of them.  I hope to make it less pointless this year by shifting the focus from conversation to reading for the first while, but Satomi really doesn't seem to be going for that.  Verbally saying they can't read the sheets we give them, she still wants them to learn scripted dialogues (short or long, I don't see the point when they don't know how to respond to "Hello").  I don't get it.  Half of me wants to be a good ALT and let her take charge of the class and curriculum.  The rest of me (which is decidedly louder than the other half) would actually like to teach these kids something and enjoy the school year with them.

My 2nd year girls (last years 1st years) were so excited to see me at the other school.  It made me feel really good about what I do there.  They were surprised it was still me, but their words and demeanor were both so happy.  I was really surprised.  One of the teachers for the 2nd year class... my first thing I'd normally say is "useless," but I think he might learn to do what I need him to do... which is the occasional accurate translation (I hate it when they say something I didn't say....>_> funny cause some of the kids notice too, jokes on them at least) and pulling the girls into what we're doing.  One of the teachers, Uchida, isn't very good at keeping the girls quiet, but I really like how she translates.  A few of them do this actually.  They'll translate the grammar, but use the key words in English, or say the sentence in English and translate bit by bit as they say it.  It's hard to explain that to someone who doesn't understand me too well, but I'd like all of my teachers to do that.  It's so much better than just straight translation, because it actually pulls the kids into what I'm saying and breaks it down so they can understand it rather than just feeding it to them in their own language so they don't engage at all.  My Friday teachers though, they're awesome.  I'm so glad I have good 1st year teachers now.  Last year was so hard.  The one teacher had the worst grasp of English ever.

David wants to hold off on teaching phonics till we have the book I asked him to order.  He wanted a book, so I told him a good one I use at the other school.  So... I have it at the other school and I'm capable of researching and making an outline for 5 minutes a week without a book.  *eyeroll*  Basically, I'm going ahead with it.  It'd be nice to have the CD, but for just the basic phonics alphabet, I can make them chant without multimedia.  If I have time, I want to laminate letter cards.  I found pictures for the first bit of the alphabet.  I probably should have been working on the next bit for two weeks from now today during my 30 minutes of free time (I love not having 3 hours of office time!! It's GREAT!! *dances*) instead of looking up lolcats.... but I was tired and cranky from not sleeping.  I needed the giggles.

Example of a lolcat:

funny pictures of cats with captions

I saved a bunch to my work computer so I can look at them and giggle when the office is stressing me out :P

And after an hour of scanning program the first has removed 10 bugs from my computer.  Now onto program the second, and while it runs, a nice hot shower. ^__^

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