b3ta.com user Picotee
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Yup, still usually bored with doing German. Only I live there now, so it's more of an issue than it used to be.

Been away from here for far too long but now in need of procrastination again.

Also everything I have ever done for here seems to have disappeared. That'll be to do with the old email address disappearing I guess. Yays, I am a technical wizard.

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» Body Mods

Brain Piercing (kind of)
Not really a body mod by choice, but more one of necessity. But still one that provokes funny reactions sometimes.

When I was 18, just as I was about to sit my A-Levels, I wound up in hospital as they finally discovered the reason I was having trouble doing such challenging things as standing up and talking without severe head pain and being violently ill, was not in fact migraines, but something more. Cue three and a half weeks of various things being done to my head in hospital to ease the pressure within. The first one basically involved doctors drilling a hole through my skull to drain out the fluid (I still wish there was a video I could watch of this). This didn't actually work, but has to this day (four years later) left me with a big dent on the right hand side of my head.

You can't see it, but you can sure as hell feel it, as one poor hairdresser found out as she cried out "Oh my God, have I just done that?" whilst washing my hair about a year afterwards. I also figured an interesting way to introduce myself in Fresher's Week would be to mention said dent in head, which didn't really result in people remembering my name, but did result in lots of people touching my head and going "oooh" or "ergh", and me getting weird looks.

The bit at the back of my head is kind of the piercing bit. It's a pipe which goes into my brain and runs down my neck and into my stomach (technically called a shunt), therefore keeping me alive, and as I have also discovered, preventing me getting hangover headaches (yay for bonus side effects). This also resulted in my insistance that people "feel the pipe that runs down my neck" in the bar. There's no wonder I get funny looks sometimes.

But, hey, I'm assured the staples in my head looked really cool before they were removed, apparently just like Frankenstein. And well, I'm still here, and with crazy scars to boot, so I can't complain.
(Wed 6th Dec 2006, 16:24, More)

» Amazing displays of ignorance

BBC computers and animals that can't turn round
OK, to be fair this was back in the day (circa 1989) when computers in schools were a relative novelty and myself being a wee sprog of five was not entirely used to the field referred to as "technology". This resulted in my uttering of the followng striking display of childish ignorance.

One happy day at school I was typing something with a friend (can't remember what, but that doesn't matter) and she hit the delete key. Cue my amazement when the letter on the screen was "rubbed out". We typed something again. And rubbed it out again. WOW, we thought, this is amazing. Cue further amazement when we printed our work and took it to the teachers and I proudly stated, "It's really REALLY clever how you can't see the rubbing out marks on the screen AND it doesn't rip the paper when you print out like it does in your book!". To be fair the teacher didn't laugh, just smiled knowingly.

In the same year at school I also uttered the following gem that my mother still laughs at me for until this day. We were doing work on animals and also some work on day and night. So the teacher asked if anybody knew what a nocturnal animal was.

"Wow," thought my tiny five year old self, "I KNOW this one. I can actually answer a question!" My hand shot up, and I proudly noticed I was the only one in the room who knew the answer. Glory awaited me (or so I thought). Until my mouth opened and I uttered the following gem loudly and clearly in my best "impress the teacher voice" (yes, even back then I was a little bit geeky).

"An animal that can't turn round."
(Sun 21st Mar 2010, 10:08, More)

» Absolute Power

Well, seeing as some people have described teaching as a position of absolute power, I guess I can give my own examples. (And just to clear up any misconceptions, I do not copy and paste reports, but actually spend possibly far too much time considering each individual pupil. And yes, I did do a PGCE, but this wasn’t as a last resort, but because I wanted to get my German degree first. Some people do do PGCEs and actually want to teach. OK, mini rant over.)

But as to the absolute power, it’s more an excuse to get small children to like the things you do and inflict your own tastes in music and literature on small impressionable minds. This has resulted in my class this year currently being obsessed with Artemis Fowl (breakfast time read aloud) and Damon Albarn’s Monkey: Journey to the West (possible tenuous cross-curricular link between music and work on Chinese New Year). Also, they were able to compare and contrast Girls and Boys by Blur with the above after a class party. Music has also involved The Beatles and MGMT amongst other things, although I have had to limit myself a little – too much of my music library has inappropriate lyrics for littlies. They’ve also started doing lots of black and white line drawings using fineliners and lots of patterns (not that I ever do this, oh no). Roald Dahl has featured pretty heavily too. As have many other of my favourite books - Where the Wild Things Are, The Tower to the Sun and so on.

I also pride myself that somewhere in the depths of Bavaria there exists an entire year group who can explain the term “nutmeg” when related to football.

So I guess absolute power in teaching can either mean making small people feel crappy, or actually trying to involve children and broaden their horizons a litte by teaching using things you love yourself.
(Tue 13th Jul 2010, 13:04, More)

» Grandparents

Blacklisted by the Jehovah's Witnesses
My Grandma has some very strong beliefs (namely that an inch of bare table space is food space wasted, and a second of silence is a conversation wasted, but that's beside the point.) The beliefs here are churchy ones, and she (like my Grandad before he went a bit hippy dippy and decided on an eco burial in unconsecrated ground, but that's another story and has a severe lack of funnies) considers herself to be a staunch Church of England type. She is also unafraid of informing others of these beliefs.

Well, (wavy lines) a few years back I was a fair bit younger and was staying with a friend in a scenic Lincolnshire coastal resort at the house of the grandparental types. My Grandad, myself and said friend were wandering to the local shop. Given that Grandad had a rather pimp zimmer, this was going to take some time. Probably around half an hour to the shops, 20 minutes talking to the pension man, 45 minutes for a cup of tea and an egg butty in the cafe, half an hour back.

As we left, the nice men from the Jehovah's Witnesses were approaching the front door of my grandparents' flat (stopping only to give my fourteen year old self a leaflet with "look, cute pandas" on it).
"Good luck to them," chortles my Grandad, and away we meander to the shops.

Around two hours later we are wandering up the drive way and notice two pairs of sensible shoes outside the front door. At the time I may have made some remark about alien abductions (it was well in the X Files heyday), but the actual explanation was perhaps better. Grandma had one poor soul trapped under a plate of scones and tea, whilst the other was almost visibly backing towards the door. I don't know how the conversation had panned out before we got there, but all we caught was the following:

(Grandma) "Oooh, John, my son's name is John too."
(Poor trapped man) "Yes, yes, it is a common name isn't it?" (with a brave attempt at a smile)
(Grandma, with that withering disdain that only very small old ladies approaching 80 can pull off) "Well, JOHN, rather than think of it as common, I always try and think of it as one of the disciples, don't you? Maybe we should talk about this some more..."

Cue the two men noticing us lurking and visibly jumping for their shoes and the door. They've not been back since.

This is the same lady that bought herself a new ring as a diamond wedding present when my Grandad was to ill to get into town, and who last year, at the age of 83, went and organised her first passport so she can come and visit me in Germanland. She might drive us bonkers on occasion, but she's still rather wonderful.
(Mon 6th Jun 2011, 19:12, More)

» "You're doing it wrong"

There's already been a few similar to this I think...
But oh how I wish I hadn't been such a numpty.

Whilst talking on the phone with someone I was trying to impress and sound vaguely intelligent and interesting to, he asked how big the new memory stick/radio/MP3 gizmo thingamy I'd just got and been raving about was.

To his credit he kept quiet for all of approximately ten seconds whilst I uttered the immortal line,

"erm, I think around 10cm. I'll just get a ruler..."

Shame he didn't stay quiet about it afterwards though.
(Fri 16th Jul 2010, 18:41, More)
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