teaching

Is Someone Getting The Best Of You?

Image (5)
I had the loveliest Saturday with my also lovely friend, Sam last weekend. We went to the Saturday Farmers’ Market for a Posh Porridge breakfast but when we saw that they weren’t there and on holiday, we had Bacon Brothers instead. Yep, I ate bacon. And not just any bacon but NZ bacon in say over 4 years of not having eaten it and oh my was it delicious. And, I’m not kidding you, I was full for 1.5 days. Rick, I can’t wait for you to try it. NZ bacon > American bacon.
Image-1 (1)Image (4)
Super easy Easter crafts. Top, chooks made with pom-poms and egg cartons. Bottom, a carrot made with an empty yarn cone donated by a student’s thoughtful mother. Image (2)Image (3)
Sorry mom, forgot to move the towels (again). #PUGLIFE
Image (2)
Making tissue paper flowers for the upcoming Ridvan celebration at Bahai Children’s Classes.
Image-2
“What we learn with pleasure we never forget.” ~Alfred MercierImage (1)
Below, what I sent S for his birthday (ie. a present also for myself): a Sydney weekend getaway! EEEE we are so blessed. And how about you my dear followers? Is someone getting the best of you?
Image (4)

There Are Hundreds Of Ways To Kneel And Kiss The Ground.

A photo diary:
Image-1 (2)Image (4)Image (5)
Image-1 (1)
Dark chocolate and roasted hazelnut ice-cream.Image (3)
White peach and vanilla sorbet. Image (2)
The mastermind herself.
Image-1
My attempt at having a non-cereal breakfast: free-range scrambled eggs (2), avocado, and organic gluten-free bread.
Image (6)
This is a non-traditional Persian New Year haft-sin (literally, seven “S”) table. It’s non traditional because I only had 5 of the real S’s. The other two, I made up myself: S for saat (clock/watch) and S for sparrow (yes sis, I realised sparrow wasn’t Persian. Whatever). Image (1)

If You Take A Flower In Your Hand And Really Look At It, It’s Your World For A Moment

The night before I was to be leaving Soroosh in Nashville, he read me a children’s book to calm my nerves. You may know it, apparently it’s quite popular but at the time, I didn’t. The Kissing Hand as the title suggests is a kiss in a hand gently pressed on its recipient’s face.
Image-1
I recently received this kiss in the mail. Image-1 (4)
The first time I experienced origami (the art of paper folding) was in Japan where a coworker asked an entire class to make a paper crane, write their name on it and later stand and declare: “this crane was made by (insert name here)” as a way of introducing themselves. I remember silently panicking for the students who wouldn’t know how to do it. Turns out I had no idea. Every student made a crane. And they made them fast!
image
Image (4)
You know how they say only in hindsight can you realise the true value of a moment? Well, I remember feeling extremely homesick and out of my comfort zone that very make-a-crane day. However, if it wasn’t for that unique experience, I wouldn’t have been able to pass on the art to my new students today.
Image-1 (6)Image (6)
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” ~C.S. Lewis (Coffee. He means a cup of coffee!)
Image (1)
You know round Saturn peaches? Well, turns out they have pretty inappropriate looking nectarine cousins and here’s one of them.
Image-1 (7)
More work antics….I love my job!
Image (5)

Be Easy. Take Your Time. You Are Coming home.

A poem by Nayyirah Waheed.
image-1
Every year, during the month of March, millions of healthy and able adult Bahai’s around the world observe the 19 day Bahai Fast. They/we/me fast by restraining from food and drink between the hours of sunrise and sunset as a way to focus all our thoughts and energies on “meditation, prayer, and spiritual rejuvenation”. Obviously, it takes serious will-power and it isn’t always pretty (or at least not for me). In the past, I have fasted at the Bahai World Centre, amongst hundreds of other Bahais (heaven!), during University (seemingly impossible), whilst working in hospitality (what a tease!) and alone in the remote mountains of Japan (yet with incredible support see HERE). Thankfully, this year I have the support of my family and I am no longer working in hospitality (thank God!). 1 day down, 18 to go! #hangryimage-4If you thought I’d given up on my book a week challenge, you get a brownie ball (see what I did there?) but only because strictly abiding by the weekly time limits was stressing me out. So, I’m still reading and maybe even still a book a week but I’ve lost track of the what and when. Here’s book NO.whocares by a very talented writer. Totally recommend it. So funny and relatable (yes, even to a non-mama).
image-2
“The soul is healed by being with children.” ~Fyodor Dostoyevsky
image-3
“Grown-ups love figures… When you tell them you’ve made a new friend they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you “What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies? ” Instead they demand “How old is he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make? ” Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.”
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Princeimage-1
Preschool day trip to the Canterbury Museum. Has anyone visited the discovery room here?! It is incredible and only $2 to enter! I cannot wait to take Soroosh, and to show him the room with the 100s of beautiful butterflies! 3 months today xx
image-6

The Best Book For ESL Teachers

I couldn’t yell it at my Japanese co-workers so I’m gonna write it here: people don’t learn a language through tests! I say this from experience. English is my second language. Until the age of 8.5 I could not speak a word of it. In fact, I loathed the damn gibberish I couldn’t decrypt. So much so, that I remember crying to my mother, to take me out of NZ and back to our home in Iran where were my close friends. And, look at me now! I run this silly blog where I write in English! I hold a University degree in English literature, and I spent a year and a half teaching the very language in Japan to hundreds of students. The secret? Learning through action. Through doing. Through activities and through games. Through entertainment! Through watching the TV show F.R.I.E.N.D.S. No one wants to practice grammar! Ain’t nobody got time for that (or the patience)! People want to converse, to do, and to connect. Which is why I LOVE this book right here. I’m writing a post because I want to personally recommend it to all of my friends. And no, I am not on commission.

So. Whether you’re a legit ESL teacher, a part-time tutor or a helpful friend wanting to teach your helpful friend some England, this light and thus easily carried book is full of fun games and activities to spice up your lessons. For more info click HERE or HERE.
img_1002

Last Day

My darling students,

I want you to know that anything is possible. Until I was 9 years old, I couldn’t speak a single world of the English language. Now, I am standing before you as your English teacher, delivering my goodbye speech in English. There is no better proof than this.

I also want you to know that the world is a big big place. There is so much to see and do out there. I promise you that if you persevere, you can experience things you’ve never even imagined. Believe me, I am speaking from experience.

ありがとうございました

PS the third picture, is my face carved out of an ERASER! Can you believe that? My goodness. I am officially a super sensei. Today was hard. Though I have been ready to move on for a while now, I am not heartless. I will remember these guys and the sweet memories we shared forever. My only wish is that I positively impacted their lives in some way, just as my own teachers, for me, did.

Actually, my favorite teacher was Mr. Payne. I remember wanting so bad to be his favorite student and getting super jealous when he paid other students attention! That’s how much I loved him! I remember the day we ate McDonalds together whilst running an errand, and I remember the day he told me he knew that at High School I would become Head Girl or if not, that I’d be successful in whatever I did. Some 15 years later, and his belief in me is still one of my sources of encouragement.  image[3]
imageimage[1]
image[1]image
image[2]
image[2]
image[3]
imageimage[2]image[3]image[1]
“Those of the Elven-race that lived still in Middle-earth waned and faded, and Men usurped the sunlight. Then the Quendi wandered in the lonely places of the great lands and the isles, and took to the moonlight and the starlight, and to the woods and caves, becoming as shadows and memories, save those who ever and anon set sail into the West and vanished from Middle-earth.”  ― J.R.R. Tolkien

Honesty Is Such A Lonely Word

Until right now, only my immediate family has known this. Because I live super rural with no cafes, restaurants or humans around, I usually have nothing to do in the week-day evenings. As in, really nothing. When it isn’t raining I can go for a bike ride but after the sun sets about 7pm it becomes too dangerous to stay outside (bears).

Also, using my computer isn’t  much fun. This is because I’ve been on the damn thing and on my ass all day long. Don’t get me wrong, I do teach (sometimes) but it’s usually 2-3 classes which are only about 45 minutes long. Leaving me a good 6 hours of Facebook time. Joking, I mean research. Educational stuff. As for Japanese TV, I don’t understand it much. Also, it’s really weird (to me).

So back to the thing you don’t know and my parents do, for the past 7 or so months, I have been going to bed at 8.30 and waking up at 5. This has been my mechanism to stop myself from getting even more homesick during the lonely and quiet nights. As for the mornings, I always go for an hour or two walk or bike ride which is where I take these naturey photographs.

So, there you have it. From one direction, it is definitely a somewhat lonely life (though sometimes I do get invited to stuff) but from the other, a direction I’ve chosen to peep from, I am living the life. I mean, when else can I have a Persian-style breakfast for dinner at 5pm and wake up at 5am, blending a green-smoothie on super loud? Totes not when future hubby or future babas come around. Am I right? Or am I insane?
image[6]image[1]image[2]imageimage[3]image

An Unwelcome Guest

2990607547_d12e35c6e6_z.jpg
How can one
small and grey
organisation
inflict colossal
pain?
I am an unwelcome guest
a true waste of space
I am a black fly
on fresh sashimi
a thick hair
in hot ramen
I am an outside shoe
treading inside carpet
I am bare shoulders
I am chili peppers
I am loud songs
playing in silent trains.

Only Human

Just because I photograph beautiful things and post inspirational quotes doesn’t mean I have it together. I’m struggling. Big time. I can’t wait to leave. Everything is so unnecessarily difficult here. None of these pictures show that though. Just like none of your Facebook friends’ photos show their reality. Life is not black and white. Sometimes it’s gloomy grey and sometimes it’s sparkling silver.
image[4]image[5]image-6image[3]image[6]image[2]image[1]image[10]image[1]
image[7]