Snow on the hills


No wonder the weekend was icy cold. This morning coming back from the shops I saw …

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Memoirs: Teaching Snippets


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Forty years of teaching experience gives me a lot to reminisce about school, children, parents, teaching and teachers.

I was never cut out to be a teacher. Never liked teaching much too. But I, as a dedicated person, learned to give my best while working with children.

The best of my teaching time was when I taught English second language, history and technology at High School Secunda. I had year eight, nine and ten. Teenagers are difficult years. I usually had the average and below average students classes. The lessons had to be as colourful and well planned as could be so that they could participate naturally.

Those eight years at high school were trying years in South Africa. Secunda with  Sasol II and III was a danger zone for bomb attacks. The year twelve boys had to protect the school and patrolled the verandas around the classrooms. Guns were ready in the vault for in case. We also had regularly emergency evacuations.

We, as teachers, also trained to use a firearm. We had shooting exercises to make sure that we were prepared. We had to use our firearm for protection. It’s a big responsibility to protect children and keep them safe.

I usually had the slower children in my register class. Most of the time I had to be a mother, father and friend to these troubled children.

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One year I had a girls class. One of the girls was sent to a reform school. Her home environment was terrible. She was a real rebel and using drugs. I filled reports and forms on her behaviour which was a huge task. I know that she was rehabilitated at the end and wrote her matric. I was glad that she did well. The worst was that, the first day she was free to face life outside the school, a car killed her while crossing the street.

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Another year I had a boys class. They were a handful a real rough bunch. However, we playfully tackled the day’s work. There were twins, both in the same class. They were ten brothers and sisters, all equally rough. They were, however, a close family and well-mannered. After a year out of school, I met one of the twins at the shops. He was so happy to see me. His first words: “I was released from prison yesterday.I’m never going to lose my temper again.I want to be a good father to my child and husband to my wife.” It is sad that children who are inner good, land in situations that get out of control. Another boy one day shouted from the back of the room: “I won’t take out my book.”  I took him to the principal who gave him a proper reprimand. In the end, he was a grateful child who passed his year. He realised he had to do his work to achieve something. He bought me a coke and thanked me for helping him to stay on the right path. These small tokens of appreciation of educating children made it worth the while. I mostly had to do a lot of incentives work to convince them that, with hard work and pressure, life is worth it.

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These are a few snippets from my teaching journey.

Mystery Quilt 2018 in the making.


Mystery Quilt

Last year I decided to do a mystery quilt again this year(2018) I picked my colours, a strange combination! I wonder how it will look at the end?

The colours!

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I did not do any sewing after receiving the first block in February. We are now in April. I have three blocks to make before no four arrives next week.

The holidays came and are nearly gone.  I took out my sewing machine. Put it on the table and thought maybe the machine would do the sewing without me. I wish! I put the machine away again.

Only one day and the weekend and the school starts on Monday for the winter term. Yesterday I decided – now or never.

First block x4

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Second block 4x

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Third block x8

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Evacuation!


The second and last week of the holidays. I had a lot to do this morning.

Had to arrange an appointment for tomorrow with my gardener. Walk Trompie. Pack orders and get them ready to be posted.

Off I went about 10:30 am. Went to the Doggy parlour to make an appointment for Trompie’s groom. The lady was fully booked up until May 22.  Lucky for me she made an exception to groom him on Saturday, May 5th.

Then to the post office.

At 11:30 am I entered Pack-and-Save to buy my week’s groceries. I was halfway through when the alarm went off inside the store.

I thought: “What now?”

I left my trolley while the alarm was still screaming. I had experienced a few alarms going off in South Africa.

Then came the command: “Evacuate the store!” Only once.

No rush nothing! Workers were all moving out to the door encouraging the public to do so too. I saw that some elderly people were helped to get outside.

We had to move out onto the parking lot in the front of the shop. After about 5 minutes the fire brigade arrived.

I waited behind some workers.

 

One of the workers came to me and asked if I was okay and explained that the fire brigade had to first declare the place save before we could move back inside.

It wasn’t a pleasant experience to hear the alarm and to move outside.

It was only a fire drill!

Early morning adventure.


Early morning adventure.

Friday, April 13, my favourite day!

I usually take Trompie for a quick walk before I leave home at about ten past seven.

With all the bad weather I did not take him for these early walks. I am in the lucky position now to have a fenced garden. I let him out at half past six, but he kept on telling me he wanted to go out.

I know why he wants to go out. He loves to sniff out cat poop to eat.

I put Trompie on his lead. I told him I am already late, he better hurry up.

The road in front of my house is a double drive with an isle in the middle grown with grass.

We crossed the road and walked past the farm where there are about fifty sheep and four cows. It smelled like the farm. Trompie kept on trying to push through the fence. He wasn’t in a hurry at all.

I forced him to keep on walking. We crossed the road just after passing the roundabout.

We were back on the side where my house is. When we came around the bend,

EXCITEMENT:

On the middle part were two huge, white, fat pigs looking at us.

Trompie looked at them, and they looked back.

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Trompie and I slowly moved nearer

You know what these two pigs did?

At first, they stared at us.

We stared back in amazement.

They turned around in a flash, squealing and off they went, back home.

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260 words

 

School Stories: Wacky Wheels Wednesday Washed ‘way.


Wednesday 28 March was supposed to be Wacky Wheels Wednesday. It had to be postponed, to the 5th April, due to bad weather.

5th April and Wacky Wheels day.

One of my before school care girls and her bike.

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Ice cream car.

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Two decorated scooters.

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I made some paper baskets for Easter eggs. We handed it out on Thursday afternoon just before children went home for the long weekend.

Out and about adventure.


My son and his wife are interested in purchasing a small holding(farm). Last Monday we went out and had a look at a huge piece of land with incomplete houses and buildings. Too expensive and too much to renovate and complete.

Yesterday, Saturday, I got a call: “Hi mum, would you be interested to have a look at the place we had visited two weeks before?”

I am always game for an outing. This time the realtor would unlock the place so that we could have a good look inside.

We were a bit early. The realtor turned up a bit after eleven. She climbed over the wooden fence. Looked around and could not find the key. Bertus and Stella also climbed the fence to have a look for the key. They decided to put Bea’s push pram and Bea also on the other side.

Then came the best part!

I had to climb the fence too! At first, I could not even pull myself up to try and get my leg over to the other side. Then we decided that I should try the corner of the gate which was more stable. It helped. I could get up and my one leg over but I could not turn my other foot to get my other leg over the fence. I had to use my foot that was on the other side to push the other one around to get my leg over. Wow, at last, I landed on the other side. Bertus helped me from the outside and Stella from the inside.

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We walked around the paddock. The next door cattle were looking at us in interest as if they could not believe their eyes!

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I did not walk all the way around the whole piece of land. The lady found the key and we went inside. We took chairs outside and sat in the shade for Bertus and Stella to return.

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Back again after a long hot walk. I enjoyed relaxing in the shade, very tranquil and peaceful.

English? Why? Interesting indeed


 

The English Plural

According to….

We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

Let’s face it – English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
Neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English
 muffins weren’t invented in England.

We take English  for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes,
We find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square,
And a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write, but fingers don’t fing,
Grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham?

Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend?
If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them,
What do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speakingEnglish

Should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.
In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?

We ship by truck but send cargo by ship…
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
While a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language
In which your house can burn up as it burns down,
In which you fill in a form by filling it out,
And in which an alarm goes off by going on.

And in closing……….


If Father is Pop, how come Mother’s not Mop.????