Archive for December, 2007

Good Bye 2007

This @rticle was cre@ted by Djeault, on Saturday, December 29th, 2007 at 3:59 pm
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2007

I love writing in French; however, I’m an ESL teacher: that’s why I write mostly in English in this Blog, born this year 2007, in September. That way, I may send my students to any @rticle, for example, with the mandate to comment it: in fact, I might just do that the first week after the vacations, maybe.

Other than this blog, 2007 saw me hired as a High School level, substitute ESL Teacher, by De La Capitale School Board, on 2007sep21. Before that, all spring and summer, I drove Pâtisserie Anna Pierrot’s delivery van and packed in and out the goodies; in fact, during these ongoing school holidays, I deliver six mornings: sweet to see the team again and to eat lots of sweets.

This past summer 2007, I didn’t make one single hair wrap, although I did buy my yearly permit, which gives the right to get the 2008 permit: my 14th summer.

During the first half of 2007, I worked on my admission into the Master’s Degree in Translation and Terminology for fall session; I succeeded the admission exam, in May, with very good marks. Nevertheless, I finally offered my services to De La Capitale School Board, who convoked me to an interview, before the limit date to annulate one’s inscription without penalties, which I finally did!

Even though my first month was slow, since hired, I’ve now been working better than a day on two average; the last two weeks before the holidays and the first week after them, I have a full time replacement at this school, to which I may enjoy a ±4 km, or 40 minutes walk, in the morning, propulsed by the Salaberry Hill; it’s about the same time on the bus, anyway; moreover, I find it highly healthy to walk vigorously before teaching: it gets everything rolling; I see that same stimulating effect, when Group 47 students get into class after their athletic activities: they’re simply radiant and open to learning.

I’m quite happy that I likely will work with the same six Sec. IV ESL groups, the first three weeks of March, unless another replacement contract would make me unavailable. At the moment, I have a six-week gap to fill somehow, after my other week of teaching at Jean-de-Brébeuf, second cycle High school, after the present holidays.

Finally, in 2007, djo.ca moved to Web servers in Switzerland. For the same price, instead of just hosting a basic Web 1.0 static Website, this company offers 10 Data Bases, 1 GO of content, PHP, unlimited subdomains, etc. That enabled me to cre@te a Wiki Farm and even this blog.

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Merry Christmas 2007

This @rticle was cre@ted by Djeault, on Tuesday, December 25th, 2007 at 11:08 am
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joyeux noel santa

It takes an American to crucify Santa for Christmas: in Washington state, a man called Art Conrad did so, to protest against the excessive commercialisation of Christmas, which, once upon a time, was the supposed celebration of Jesus’ birth.

In fact, does nowadays Christmas’ materialism lead to Jesus’ suffering on a man made cross again? Doesn’t the purchase of presents, paid with one’s own hard earned cash translate into Christ’s teaching to Love one another? Don’t the family gatherings resemble Christ’s Last Supper? And what about the pretty decorations and the colorful lights, don’t they also bring a divine touch?

Medias lead us to think we’re above paegan celebrations like rejoycing because days are now getting longer or partying because this is the Moon of the Renewal of the Earth! We assume that all’s fine in the best of worlds, that the economy is rolling, that we share the Christmas spirit…

But what about all the lonely people, those who die with their names as their sole companion, as the Beatles sing? For example, one third of Montrealers live alone; how many of those will see their family today, exchange presents or share a meal? On the other hand, how many people will bust their credit cards, just to impress upon their family or friends that they live a successful, wealthy life and are of a generous nature? If only Spring could get here.

Day 56 : 23 /56 ; 21 / 37

This @rticle was cre@ted by Djeault, on Saturday, December 15th, 2007 at 10:01 am
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Dream Tasks

Well, I just had a great week; the kind of week that motivates me into teaching ESL. Indeed, the task I have, in fact Frédéric Kunderlik’s task, is a perfect one: first, it’s a full one; second, all students have the same level: sec. IV; third, there’s no more ministerial exam in sec. IV: that opens the door to fully creative pedagogy; fourth, ESL teachers at Jean deBrébeuf, a second-cycle, high school have a motivating helper: the series Lost; the students LOVE it.

Having six groups at the same level means one course preparation, which you give six times; by the time you give the sixth course, you’ve perfectly adjusted its proceeding and the blackboard menu… Having six groups allows the evaluation of ± 180 students, through the same evaluations.

Strange enough I just discovered http://jeandebrebeuf.ca, which isn’t that other Website, to which links the school board; in fact, the former is a grade school’s Website in Gatineau, whereas the latter is the Website of Qc, QC’s Jean-de-Brébeuf, second cycle, high school. Would the Wiki Erato, the Muse of Musik, be the Wiki for Jean-de-Brébeuf. I’d love to invite Frédéric’s 180 students to work into it, since Jean-de-Brébeuf offers la concentration musique.

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Day 51 :: Three Weeks Contract

This @rticle was cre@ted by Djeault, on Friday, December 7th, 2007 at 6:46 am
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Good News: My Christmas Present!

Yesterday afternoon, I got a call from the calleress of l’école secondaire Jean-de-Brébeuf; she had phoned me a couple of weeks ago to offer me the same task as she did yesterday; somebody else had accepted the task, but that someone else finally desisted him or herself: therefore I will likely be teaching at that school the two weeks before Christmas and the one four-day week after Christmas, and God knows what will happen thereafter…

It sure will be nice to have a planned schedule, instead of getting up very early, just in case someone calls or not. As for today, I teach block III and IV at the St-Louis Adult Center in Loretteville; that finishes ± at 12h25; then, I catch the bus to Limoilou, where I will meet the teacher I’ll be replacing: he’s taking a parental vacation; we’ll meet again on Monday, but this afternoon I’ll be teaching at the last period, from 14h30 until 15h45, thus darkness…

As for now, I don’t even know what level I’ll be teaching, though I do know that at that school, there’s only students of the second cycle of the secondary, which implies a little more maturity than the first cycle. I don’t know either the percentage of task of the teacher, but what I do know is that I’ll likely be working everyday, on the next 15 work days, including today…

Let’s first start by today and take a day at the time; it’s 7h and I must get ready for this day of Teaching. Yééé

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Work Day 50

This @rticle was cre@ted by Djeault, on Thursday, December 6th, 2007 at 5:57 am
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Routine of a Substitute Teacher

I went to bed at 19h30 and got up at 4h45: I thus slept 9 hours and a ¼, a sufficient amount of sleep for me. At this time of the year, the daylight doesn’t even last seven hours and so, I neither feel guilty of sleeping for a little over nine hours, nor do I feel silly that I went to bed at 19h30.

It’s already 5h50 and I must get ready, for that possible call around 6h15, which would force me to leave at 6h30, if ever I get the first period at the St-Louis Center. However, in fact, I do not know if I’ll be called at all today, as any other mornings… So, I went to bed at 19h30, just in case I’m called early, but maybe nobody will call today again and, this week, I’ll only do the two periods for which I’m already scheduled for tomorrow… :-(

Poutine of a Substitute Teacher

As 8 o’clock approaches, I wonder how much longer this somewhat ridiculous situation of mine will evolve into something more rewarding, at least regarding to the wages I should earn. I’m not impressed that the said situation actually is created by a school board, which is in charge of Education: I dare thinking that, because I also think a School board should teach, through example, that if we’re the boss, we should be compassionate and respectful with our employees, because without them, we’d be the boss of Nobody and would have no Empire to reign on! I think that they should pay me full time and find me things to do, like team teaching in difficult classes and so on…

However, on the one hand, teachers are not a likely bunch to admit that they might have problems keeping up with their students’ discipline: a teacher is rather supposed to be the invincible Mr. or Mrs. Perfect, who know more than all their students put together, have the answer(s) to any questions and always are in a good mood and full of energy and humor.

Nevertheless, teachers are imperfect human beings, just like anyone else; furthermore, students too are imperfect, especially so, at the secondary II level :o From what teacher X tells me and from what recentely went on at her or his school, in one of the three school boards of Qc, QC. There are a lot of indiscipline problems at the secondary II level, and with most, if not all, of the teachers, at least at that school! In my 50 hours of teaching this fall, I’ve seen two hours ½ of it at two different schools, indeed in my school board : those 2½ hours were with secondary II students, right after lunch.

At that school, posters were created to re-present Classroom Rules; as for teacher X, she or he contacted ALL parents, through the phone or directely, during the last parents’ meeting: that pressure resulted in positive results, however, it seems to be wearing off with some of the teachers: one of them who sees her or his group once by nine-day cycles, took ½ hour yesterday just to focus the class, so that they will listen to the basic opening instructions on what could have happened, but will finally not, by lack of time.

Writing about time, it’s 9h36; it’s 10h; it’s 11h: no call so far.

So, in order to address that problem, which I might have to encounter again, tomorrow being possible, in the afternoon, I created a Word file, from which I also cre@ted this Web p@ge: link to come…

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Day 49

This @rticle was cre@ted by Djeault, on Wednesday, December 5th, 2007 at 4:42 am
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EARLY BIRDS GET THE WORMS moyen moineault sometimes

I went to sleep at 20h and got up at 3h33: 7 ½ hr of sleep is minimal, thus if I can, I’ll take a nap during the day. It’s now 5h15; in 1 ¼ hr, I could be leaving.

Now that it’s 11h30, I assume I won’t work today; from 6h35 until 7h35, I meditated through Hatha-Yoga. I then slept another hour and then left a mess@ge on this Rochebelle Blog, regarding the ongoing exhaustion of teachers with actual teaching tasks.

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Blue White Tuesday :: Day 48

This @rticle was cre@ted by Djeault, on Tuesday, December 4th, 2007 at 10:45 am
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Day 48: 16 Days Worked = 1 / 3

As of today, I’ve worked 14 days on the last 29; I likely won’t work today: it’s past 10h30 and I got no call. However, I have Friday morning already scheduled at St-Louis Adult Center: thus, I could also teach in the afternoon at the Neufchatel High School, which is nearby.

By Friday, 2007dec07, DAY 51: at least 17 days worked / 51 = 1 / 3. I’ll also have worked at least 15 days on last 32, thus less than one on two: 1 / 2. However, on Friday, DAY 51, if I work Wednesday or Thursday, I do hit 1 / 2, the last 32 work days + 10, before Christmas holidays: only 13 days left, as of today.

What else? Yesterday’s heavy snow Storm hit Qc, Qc with over a foot of light snow and strong winds: Qc, QC’s three school boards closed all their schools: therefore, I didn’t count yesterday as a work day: today, 2007dec04, thus is, was WORK DAY 48; it’s now 11h.

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On Chimps, Humans and Teddy Bears

This @rticle was cre@ted by Djeault, on Monday, December 3rd, 2007 at 3:01 pm

chimpFive years old Chimps beat their mothers and human University students, within memory tests involving numbers from 1 to 9, is @nnounced today, 2007dec03, throughout the Web. I think that maybe it shows that chimps, as other animals, are more concentrated on the reality they are conscious of, and also that they can learn numbers and thus, be conscious of them, and also, memorise visual sequences of those numbers, as shown on a computer screen…

Animals, like chimps, are not busy thinking as we, humans, do, of matters, like paying the rent, writing on blogs, the upcoming Christmas Holidays, not using Holy names in vain, and so on; animals are more (concentrated on the) here and now than we are, even in memory tests, it seems.

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ADVICE: DON’T CALL YOUR TEDDY BEAR M. :-D

So, this past week or two, went on the saga of that British grade school teacher who was using a curriculum based on animals and their habitats: excellent idea. A classroom teddy bear appeared within that project and the pupils suggested names and finally voted to give it the name of M., the Holy prophet of Islam; many people actually bear that name, even though it’s The Prophet of Islam’s name; however, teddy bears don’t. Unfortunately, a disgruntled employee of the same school complained to local authorities that the precious name had be given to a Teddy Bear! Thus, the Teacheress was arrested, charged, condemned, incarcerated, threatened of death by mobs of thousands, and finally forgiven by the Highest Authority of Sudan and also deported, all that within two weeks or so!

I bet you that she won’t forget her assignment in Sudan for a while!

Chimps couldn’t teach to grade school students, and neither would they understand the religious intolerance shown by mankind in the teddy bear story…

My 50 years old panda teddy bear is watching me, from his one eye; even after 50 years, I never gave him a name: I don’t think I will: that way, I’m sure I won’t offend anyone…

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Beautiful Purple: No School!

This @rticle was cre@ted by Djeault, on Monday, December 3rd, 2007 at 2:46 pm
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LOVE ALL COLORS

This morning, all I had to do is to copy the xHTML code found in this Wiki p@ge I built yesterday. It had been well over three years since I wanted to mature this “project”: from now on, all I have to do, is go into that Wiki and copy the codes needed to create instantaneously a “m@trice”, which allows me to quickly create an @rticle contained in a table, as this one.

I built 9 different colored schemes, which all can be used within WordPress Blogs… The decorative bars, left and right, are the background of the columns containing them. I made all of those “gifs” from a design contained in Word’s page borders. The gifs are simply called all, white, purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red and black…

Some people will think that the design is visually too overwhelming, but I just find it aesthetic: beauty doesn’t bother me whatsoever: bring me tons… Last week, at St-Louis Adult Center, someone asked me the meaning of “whatsoever”: first, I came up with the translation « pas pantoutte », then, more precisely, I realised that « de quelque manière que ce sera » translated well that whatsoever

Due to the ongoing SNOW STORM, my mate just got a call announcing her that her school board is closed today; CBC Radio News then let me know that my school board too is closed: my girlfriend is happy, since today is the day, within the 9-day cycle, in which she has 4 classes to give: she’ll be paid anyway; I’m less happy, because no school = no substitute teaching work = no $$ = no candy.

Indeed, I have no choice, but to accept reality as it is; do I? PURPLE IS BEAUTIFUL!

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Green Test

This @rticle was cre@ted by Djeault, on Monday, December 3rd, 2007 at 8:58 am
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SETTING THIS BLOG ON QUEBEC TIME

§ 1. I finally put this blog’s time a QC’s time, rather than Switzerland’s time, where our servers @re: in the Options Tab, I set the time at “-5″.

§ 2. Voilà

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