Archive for the ‘Fixing My World’ Category

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C1 Resource Pack!!

January 10, 2017

I just published / I’ve just published my notes to help advanced students learn to learn to become independent and resourcesful lifelong learners!

Check it all out on talkingpeople.net!

Direct link

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The orphanage at the end of the universe…

August 6, 2013

The orphanage at the end of the universe….

via The orphanage at the end of the universe….

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Moving OUT!!!

July 15, 2013

Hiya, I’m back from the little town on the coast! I found a house! Half price the price it costs me here!!! And a much better life for me over there! So I’ll be moving out of this big city by Aug 1!!! I’ll be really busy but when I settle over there I’ll be back.

Bestest summer (or winter!) to you all!

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A most precious gift!

June 23, 2013

My colleague Asun has given me a most precious present which I’ll carry inside me from now on.
It’s not that usual that you get most precious presents, is it?

together

It’ll be included in the ebook we would like to prepare this summer for next year! Stories from My Teacher.

This means, yes, that at least she’ll be there as a Guest Teacher. She’s written another story, too, and I do hope she’ll write more!!

A FAIRY TALE

by Asun … (June 2013)

I love stories!! Far-away kingdoms, dragons and princesses, wizards and teachers… Teachers! Who is the most magical creature of all, who can turn emptiness into wisdom, or make Spanish students pronounce “vegetables” or say “people are”? Of course, teachers… So this is the story of one of those teachers.

Once upon a time there was a princess who lived in a castle. She went to balls, rode her beautiful white horse… One day, after a big party at the castle, she met a hadsome prince and immediately fell in love. They got married and lived happily ever after…

Oops, oh no, I got it all wrong… Let me start again…

Once upon a time there was a woman who decided to make her world better. She fought to improve women’s rights, people’s lives, and particularly, English students’ lives.

One day, after getting over an illness, she arrived at a school where people were impressed by her knowledge and her experience. Both students and teachers gaped at her storytelling and always asked for more. That was when she decided to write a book. And from that day on she lived happily in her town by the sea…

Aghrr… yes, this is the story but… Ok, my last chance.

Once upon a time there was a fairy-woman who inspired people and tried to defend what was right, putting her heart and soul into it. You might agree or disagree with her, but she always turned your world a little bit upside down. Her spells reached further that she probably knew, because a hardworker full of enthusiasm is the strongest potion to heal the world.

And that’s the end of the story, or… is it?

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Epilogue to Thinking of loved ones, life & death

June 4, 2013

Some days ago I wrote I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t know the people I love, in this post, and some people I love have reacted — disagreeing! My partner. He agrees we never know anyone, even ourselves, in some ways, but in relative terms he believes I know him! An old student of mine. She wrote to say she was surprised about me saying that because in her view I was one of the most receptive people she knew. She was often surprised in class at what things I knew about them!

So I’ve been mulling over this. Consequently, tonight I had a dream. My dream reminds me of a childhood chain of events: when I was a little girl, and because I was a girl and not a boy (I’m sure this would not have happened to me if I had been a boy, I mean), I used to inform my mother of who was a good person and who would hurt her. My mother was very generous and people used to use and abuse her in all kinds of ways (though she never saw it this way), so I was always trying to prevent this from happening. As it usually turned out, I was right with people — it’s really easy to detect love and kindness, or material interest in people’s approach to you, really, in my view. The irrational, illogical and unconsciously patriarchal conclusion (unconscious because my mum was a protofeminist) was that I was a witch, I could guess!, it was magic! — instead of “She can gather info and put it together and give it a useful interpretation!” The interpretation was not that I was especially intelligent or receptive in something. (Actually, the other trait of my intelligence, having a very developed imagination, was also distorted at school, of course: in boys it could be a sign of intelligence, in girls it was dangerous, always.)

Because I was a little girl “She’s a witch” was meant to be funny, but in the same way I knew that little girls have to be very careful when going on adventures on their own (I don’t mean careful about wolves, for instance, but about men and even boys), I knew that being “a witch” was a poisonous “gift”. I hated my mum saying that, especially because the focus would shift to ME and she would certainly ignore my advice. But now I can explain it: girls, little women, have been considered non-un-anti-intelligent for centuries in patriarchal societies, so if they were, it was something evil, really. Actually all patriarchal dogmas say women are inferior to men, lazy, evil, and that is why men have to control women. It’s very recent men have become real parents, fathers, and men and women have started to believe in human rights. And it’s very painful to realize how we, the species, have been able to believe that women were inferior for such a long time. This is just our beginning towards this kind of justice, of course. I mean, it’s still few of us women who can lead the kind of life I’m leading: chosing, deciding for myself, getting respect from people.

Anyway, going back to my topic. There’s something else I remembered. As a teenager I remember not wanting to look at portraits because I felt — in this adolescent radicality that later on makes us laugh in wonderment — I would learn intimate stuff about that person, when the fact was that that person was not wanting to tell me about it. 😀 Weird! But it seems somewhere in me, in that complex road to self-repression, I knew that if I contemplated the world I could find out stuff. As a teenager, I was still a girl, so this was no valuable trait I should work on. The result was that I spent my teenage in my own world, a non-stop daydreaming experience, isolated from people, not understanding anyone, not being understood by anyone, a total-exposure to the adolescent stage.

And after all that, I left my mum’s home, and started becoming my own person. It’s taken me over 30 years to realize that my problem was not that I was “a witch”, “had too much imagination”, “was in my own world”, and the things that teachers concluded when I was in primary, that I was a bit mentally retarded. My problem was that I was a girl in a patriarchal world, that is hostile and worse still, doesn’t allow people to see how hostile it is to the human beings who are born with a vagina. Hostile to their intelligences (the mind-heart), not only to their bodies. When I was thirty lots I realized far from being little intelligent, I was intelligent above the average. At least, I was someone who decided to use and develop her intelligence, which makes your intelligece richer, of course! But here — it’s now that I’m 50 I realize perhaps I had this complex, the complex of not knowing the people you love!

So — I have just realized that perhaps the feeling I didn’t know the people I loved came from a kind of trauma… ! 😀 Perhaps I’m just as able as anyone to know the people I love!! 😀

Wow! Can we really say we know ourselves?! 😉 Not as something definite, for sure. If your mind is open, you keep learning, if you keep learning, you keep evolving, changing…

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Thinking of the loved ones and life and death

May 30, 2013

Damyanti (hi!) has lost two people she loved very recently and I’m really sorry. She was asking for prayers and I wanted to keep her company but I couldn’t like that, so I posted a hug, which is another way of keeping people company when they’re hurt.

I’ve always thought spiritual people, or believers of religions, must feel really lucky in life (well, they actually call faith “a gift”) because I imagine it must be amazing to reunite with your loved ones after death, or to have some sort of awareness that all the suffering is over, all the injustice.

familianuclearI think my mum died on a May 30. It was 1990, in another life of mine. I’ve had so many lives, but all of them over here. And because of that, because the only place where I know she is is in my mind (my heart-mind, for being a feminist allows you to understand that the mind is where you can reason and where all feelings are produced), I try to think of her every now and then.  I’ve often thought I didn’t really get to know who she was, the person she was. I’ve often wondered why this happens to me. I never develop the feeling that I know the people I love. And when I hear someone saying, “I know you” or similar sentences I get sad, because I never say that.

I wish I knew the people I love.

Although it is also true that I tend to love everybody I relate to — in my own way, I mean, I’m an independent person, and loving for me is not about dependence, but just a feeling you share that connects you to people while they are around.

SONY DSCPerhaps the only person I know a bit more is the only person I’m in love with, because I think that when you fall in love with someone it’s because you KNOW (perceive) something about the beauty of that person. We share such a cheerful and loving love, so quiet and deep, so independent and collaborative, :D,  that if I weren’t so very busy every day, with tons of interesting and exciting things — fighting injustice and violence, creating curiosity and transmitting joy and passion!! A dream? — (that I suppose I can do because I enjoy this loving ground), I would hug this person and be unable to move away ever.

I know there must be thousands of persons each of us can love because I know the story of your half-orange is not true. On my part, I’ve found this person (never wanted to form a monogamous couple, really, but… :), and the love is so strong that I feel that if anything should happen, I would probably kill myself.

But then — I think, century after century human beings have survived loss, including the most painful kinds of losses, so perhaps if I should remain alive, I should simply put my life into some good use, like move to places that are too dangerous for most people, to help out…

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Moving out, flying away!

April 28, 2013

Interinas Sin FronterasThis weekend I’ve spent all the time my back allowed me to going through papers, to see if I could throw away some, and organize them nicely for moving out next July! I’ve spent some precious time leafing through all the paperwork adults have to do in life. As some of you know, it took me 10 years to get my post as a civil servant, and two different Teachers’ State Examinations: first I tried to become a secondary teacher, and took exams every two years, passed them (except one, once) and never got the reward! Finally, I tried my luck at adult language education, where I managed to get my position as a civil servant. 15 years in all, from 1996 to 2013, in Madrid (the Autonomous Community). In this time I worked in 24 or 27 secondary schools as a substitute teacher, and then at EOI — where the employment situation used to be better — in 4 different schools. How many papers you get to pile up when you’ve been a teacher in the public system for 15 years! And how they varied, depending on who was in office! Kind of sci-fi. I’ve also found my passports, including my US American passports! And the paperwork involved in burying my mum, too. How time flies! I’ve trashed no more than 3 kilos of paper, and stuff has fitted into fewer boxes! So far, just in this house (I have a room in a house I share in Madrid, too, where I have more stuff!! eek!!), I have 7 big boxes full of paper: activities I have designed for my lessons!!! Can you believe it?, meaning, I’m not counting books, DVDs/CDs, realia (a have two boxes of that!), or boxes with textbooks and resource books. One of those boxes is called “My own language school,” which is something that could happen if the public system in the south of Spain is undergoing the same hardship and injustice.

The sticker is one some of us (“interinas”) secondary teachers who were substitute teachers made! Interinas Sin Fronteras (ISF, subs teachers without frontiers). It’s based on a cartoon by Nicole Hollander, the cartoonist I have on the Talking People Like Page, “That woman must be on drugs” (1981). I have linked the pic to her site.

Andalucía, do welcome us! We’re two adorable teachers, committed to the building of a fairer, happier world! (Demented laughter)

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Málaga Province! :)

March 15, 2013

Here’s my installation for the day — Perseverance, never victimizing oneself, always finding the good things in every situation… Life is about learning to live! RESIST, PERSIST, EXIST!

costa-del-sol

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So who needs feminism?

March 10, 2013

So men can talk about women in horrible terms, as if they were rubber dolls, but women cannot analyze the rape problem, this war against women that is “biological and inevitable” in patriarchal societies…

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2290789/Men-talk-openly-rape-potential–vile-clever-women-like-Cambridge-undergraduate-tells-shocking-abuse-male-students-elite-university.html

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Daydreaming – My own language school

February 19, 2013

Because I’m feeling low due to what’s going on in public education and due to the fact that it took me 10 years to get where I am and I can’t simply go on in this situation we’re enduring, I’ve tried to open a window to breathe, and designed a flyer for my future teeny weeny language school in the south!! (love bubbles).

It’s in Spanish because it’s for Spanish-speakers wanting to learn English.

Would you come if you lived in the south, too? 😀carita_beatingheart

Michelle’s English Workshop (1 pdf page; edited on Feb 19)

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