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Life Coaching, Observations, Reflections, Things that make you go hmmmmm

Category Archives: Coping Skills

Single and Sixty, Sage Advice

Single and Sixty, Sage Advice

This isn’t an “If I can do it you can do it” piece. There is nothing Machiavellian going on here. It goes on elsewhere and I’m working on that too!

Machi Fini MINSARC FINI signed.jpgSo, I’m now a couple months in to my 60’s and it just aint that big of a deal going from my 50’s in to my 60’s.

The greater emotional turmoil was going from my 30’s in to my 40’s. You soon realise on reaching that number, it’s the backside of life. There was an emotionality in that number that just is not present in the number I’ve now reached.

I’ve spoken with a few of my age group and the few I’ve spoken with concur that the 40;s was tougher than the 50’s or 60’s.

We’ve now touched the age factor and I’ve had a walk around so lets move on to the single aspect at my semi advanced age.

It comes down to choices folks. The choices you make for yourself. I said it before and I say it again, if you care to navigate the world from your armchair, so be it. If you want different you can have different with change. Maybe have a walk around and ponder on it. Who knows what you’ll see.

SZ0075Film is one of my things and for several years I stopped going. I love film and yet I lost all interest in seeing anything new. It became firmly entrenched when “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer” was released, that there is nothing new and the reaching that was getting done to be different

That thought, the emotion, everything has been done hung me up at one time in my own works. Then I had the realization that while everything may have been done, it hasn’t been done my way.

Now when I go to films, I watch them differently. I’m more interested in how others deliver their art and I watch more critically with my artists eye.

I’ve seen several films in recent weeks and went to them all with only me for company.  I enjoy my company and I hope you are someone who enjoys the self.

Having someone to talk with about the film, among other things after you’ve seen it over Strawberry Rhubarb pie, and coffee and/or what ever your little hearts desire.

Something to nibble after a film, is nice as we all know, and when it’s an ear, all the nicer. If films aren’t your thing, there’s always “Sippy Hole Racing” you can watch from that coveted armchair or hammock.

Doesn’t matter if film isn’t your thing. Maybe there is something else in your life you can rediscover from a different perspective? A new adventure with an old love.

Inspirational Moment HeaderOne of the films I went to see was, “Book Club”. The audience demographic was quite interesting. Mostly female and some there by themselves.

A good time was had by all who attended. Why? Because funny isn’t age or gender specific is why. We older people know more funny shit than younger people do. We’ve had much more time to refine our “Snarkasm”.

Going to a restaurant alone is an issue for any number of single people. It was a minor issue for me too, for a time.

I’ve always done things by myself. Going and doing alone, not an issue that carries much weight with me still and I believe never will.

I think the most difficult part of going to a restaurant alone is in seeing couples or families enjoying their meals and the company they’re sharing even more. I believe that’s when the loneliness hits. Those emotional pangs turn to bites.

The intimate moments most of us love and I’m not talking about sex. Intimacy and sex are different things my fellow animals.

Yeah I know, the back row at the movies makes for nice intimate moments. If you could have your moments coincide with oh say, the crash and bang on the screen…

We would all be appreciative!

The emotionality and physicality hasn’t changed for me one bit now that I’m well over the hill. I can assure you the feeling hasn’t changed for a number of people in my age demographic.

The emotionality doesn’t appear to have changed for any of those that were enjoying “Book Club” by themselves. Out and enjoying the things they like to do, period. I also suggest going and seeing that film. It will appeal to all generations.

The reality of what we are talking about in this piece is the private hell that is your emotional headspace. You gotta be able to stand that space!

SZ0078

Beauchamp Gallery King Street East, Toronto.

Coping with the “I’m going alone” headspace?

I am for the most part, a solitary creature. I enjoy my own company and usually, my own headspace.  That previous sentence, there are those that would tell you I’ve just described myself as a loner. A loner who would have no issues going almost anywhere alone. Not liking crowds is not the same as being a loner.

If you’re a creative, then you’ll already know that we require a good deal of solitary time. Even if pen or brush are not in hand, we could be working on something. If that is you then I suggest you ponder on whether you’re getting out enough; at least to blow the dust off.

I also enjoy my community and getting out in it.

I am personable. I’m an observational writer; got any idea how much time I spend looking around? When I meet someone’s eyes, I don’t look away like I’ve been caught looking at something I shouldn’t be, I give a little smile.

Sometimes I notice people looking my way and I smile when they look away quickly. Hey, no one did anything but look around, relax.

There are a couple people who know one of the things I do but unfortunately I don’t have the recognition of a Warhol or Vargas. You can look or trust that I’m a visual artist as well.

I like recognizing the people in my community and that they recognize me.

Even when I’m not seeing anything I’m looking around, non-vacantly. It’s a writer/creative thing.

Getting out and meeting people will require eye contact. If you aren’t comfortable with eye contact I suggest you start with your self, in the mirror, while you tell yourself it’s okay to be and go alone because alone doesn’t mean lonely.

I could ramble around this path until the cows come home. While I’ve been generationally centric in my examples, the feelings are the same for all of us.

Nobody wants to go alone. Many of all ages feel there is a stigma attached to going somewhere other people, couples, families and friends are and there you are alone, embarrassed.

These are feelings you’ll have to find a way to overcome if you want more of the world than what you see on your devices from where ever you’ve decided to park!

This is a good story and worth the read.
Go To The Movies Alone.

http://www.toulouseandtonic.com/go-movies-alone/

I’ve left the hardest part for last, human romantic relationship. Y’all had to know I’d get to it.

With the societal situation we live in today there is a great fear, especially for men that if you approach anyone because they interest you, the approach will be perceived as “harassment”. or possibly “Gold Digging”. We do have to cover all the bases folks and while harassment does happen so does opportunity seeking.

I reiterate, there are only two places and two places only where you meet people, at work and in your activities. Almost everything comes down to two things. Don’t forget your fractions, lowest common denominator.

I know. Trust me I know. With the anger and distrust between the sexes it is difficult to know how to approach anyone.

That brings me back to getting out and doing things you like. There will be other people there like you doing something they enjoy.

If you go to these places with the mindset you’re going there just to enjoy yourself with others who are of a like mind, you’ll (once past the initial jitters) have a good time. Go for yourself and if you meet new friends or someone interesting, lucky you.

If you’re of younger generation and you are thinking about having a family. Your chances of meeting someone at work are not real good. Maybe find symposiums you can go to that are field related.

I actually feel somewhat sorry for the people who live to work (we all know those types) because the chances of meeting someone like you at your place of employment where a hello could get you in in deep sit….. Sitting and listening to HR preach to you on how you must say hello…. Get out and play in traffic where it’s safer for your sanity.

So what is it I want you wonder? This is subject to change but what I want currently is a fulfilling monogamous relationship with autonomous roof.

Like other of my generation and it is a pretty good way to be with relationship so me, I am both looking and not, at many things.

G.R. Hambley ©
July 02, 2018

 

 

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A Shot or Twelve

A Shot or Twelve

I get nerve blocker shots every week. This journey in pain management takes place on June 19th.

I’m never in good humour on a shots day. My “snarkasm” level is high. Snarkasn is a couple steps above sarcasm. I’m agitated. I’ve related this adventure to people and a few wonder how I do this all the time, my response (with a look) is how can I not.

Z Story June 20 004I’m making my way over to the docs OFFICE and it occurred to me that I haven’t shown the other side (East side) of the Market. I’m usually on the west side when I’m there, afternoon sun thing. The west side has two levels, so you can be out of the sun if you care to,

Z Story June 20 007As I get to the office one of the good coffee elves was coming the other way. We chat a bit and I wasn’t pleased that the elf didn’t care to change places with me for an hour. The elf was forgiven later in the day.

On checking in, reception tells me they’re running half an hour late. This adds to the already giant pain in the ass that I already have. If I say I have a “PITA”, it is usually a literal “Pain In The Ass” and not figurative.

I don’t even count how many shots I get at each session anymore. It was 10 or 12 shots. It’ll be the same give or take a couple next week, and the next week…

I do the exit blood pressure check set my next couple appointments and leave.

It’s now past 1:00 pm and with the Market being so close, I know where I’m headed for lunch.

I’ve touted the Market and its Fare before. It was always the savoury. On this day I decided lunch was going to be a dessert. I went critical thinking on this when I saw the selections as I was cutting through to get to the upper west side picnic tables.

Eve’s Temptations and these are just a few!

Having availed my self of one of Eve;s baked goods and a fork I headed for the sunshine.

There are a few late lunchers scattered around and plenty f space to be somewhat solitary. A place to relax and enjoy the peace.

Yes this is the city core. Yes there are city noises that are usual and unobtrusive. The burbs and the boons got there sounds too, I’ve never been a fan of that high tension wire whine.

I pick my spot and make myself comfortable with my “Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble” and Ginger Beer.

After that little slice of delicious I pull out my book and start thinking about poetry.

I truly hope as an artist and teacher cursive writing is never lost. My penmanship isn’t anything to write anyone about and I love it.

Writing, especially by hand, involves a lot of not looking at the page. I do not like strike outs in my handwritten pieces. Each line and how it works with the direction of the piece is considered. When I put the line down that’s how it stays.

I had put my pen down and was looking around. Not really seeing and not really missing anything I’m seeing. The art of paying attention and not if you like.

I see one of my community friendlies coming my way and the individual stops when they get to my table. We wind up in a discussion about relationships and examining things from a different perspective. We talked about the emotionality of the matter. The triggers and drivers of behaviour and what may be trying to be accomplished.

It isn’t always easy to step outside yourself when you’ve been wounded. Sometimes we all need to bounce off another person.

I’m pleased to say that my friend went away in a much better frame of mind than when they arrived.

Me, I went back and added the 4th line to what I’m working on before toddling off.

The poetry started in the sunshine and it shall finish in the sunshine.

G.R. Hambley ©
June 25, 2018

Whiny Awards

Whiny Awards

Working Title – Whiny Awards

You’re not yourself when you’re whiny. Unless of course you’re a manipulative then you are yourself and thanks for being one of those exceptions that proves the rule.

I appreciate that Snickers has taken the Coke Concept and gave it legs, legs that you can kick people with.

We also have the ignorant whiner, those of any RITE, the “Radical Left” for example. Yes, that does mean Liberals because a flake by any other name is still whining, liberally. I’m old school, back in the day when “Flake” was more than enough.

I do appreciate that to a Liberal or Demoncrat (not a typo), that a Conservative “RANT” may appear to be a whine, it isn’t.

The thing is, with a conservative on a rant, you can get through to them with a “Constervation”. Yes, it was me that added that word to Urban Dictionary.

This chatter actually took place. Names and genders have been changed to satisfy the emotionally controlling snowflake safe space demands.

HE SAID
Ran in to a buddy. He took them for me.

SHE SAID:
Clearly, that was written by the Swedish Chef- not the French!

So… you’re whiny today?​

HE SAID:
I’m never whiny. It’s for the awards I’ll hand out.

Buddy and I were having that conversation. A film project he’s doing. We were talking about dispositions.

SHE SAID:
I admit, you didn’t look very whiny in the photo, thus I had to ask.

​When will you be handing out said awards? That would be quite the ceremony! ​

HE SAID:
You think it’ll be appreciated that I used both official languages?

Hey, have you folks got 1 yet?

SHE SAID:
I appreciate it.

Of course we don’t have one here- that would require the general population to actually learn something! You know, put in the effort…

HE SAID:
SNARKASM!

For those of you looking to use derivatives “En Francais”…

pleurnichard – crybaby
du pleurnichard – the whiner
avec pleurnichard – with whimper

In the moment I’m not sure whom or what to hand out the “1st Whiny” to. You know for certain I’ll be working on it. This is just a sample image. I think the final art work will be a bit creepy cuz whiny sure gives me the creeps!

G.R. Hambley ©
June 23, 2018

 

Yah Think!?

There are changes taking place so that PC speech will recognize all facets of speech and not just what the hyper-sensitive ilk insist on hearing.

Yes, sometimes the hardest part is coming up with a title!

Yah Think!?

Supposedly well trained liberal minds recognize pain’s exhortations
Accounting of no accountability sails majestically in to the sea of pique
Recounting the voyage of the “I did damned well”, without humility
Coarse course corrections have been evaluated and plotted
Another not quite so fine production performance of the Bard’s work
Sherlock’s awareness solicits a defecation notification
Modicum of decorum, no; tempered yes, with fire, as required

 

Min Sacasm Slice 01

G.R. Hambley May 25, 2018 ©

Chronological List

A Few Points to Leeward

A Few Points to Leeward

Present tense, with willful consideration, a different state of usual
Remembering as reinforcement instead of making denial
Elixirs of pharmacology, self preservation tames self reservation
Every assist carries it’s own special enlightening twist
More is less but less is also more and the desirous state of being

Pragmatists, by all accounts, should partake of that they teach
Take that step or two outside the self and look well around
Instances repetitive, if you can call almost daily repetitive
Voyaging this damned derelict, course adjustment laid in
Escape by degrees, found in the enacting of the enlightenment

G.R. Hambley ©
May 12, 2018

Dear World – Addendum

Yesterday at Ye Olde Coffee spot I encountered one of the young women from my piece, “Dear World, Some Of The Kids Are Alright”. Pleasantries, how are you, what’s going on, usual within the community friendly shit.

When I was packing up to leave we talked for a minute and I pointed her to the piece I wrote. She was enthused and from what my stats say, went and read me and thought enough of the piece to pass it along to others.

She’s in exam season and the way I put it is, “these are the playoffs, do the work and get your rest”.

The kid says she’s good and I believe her. She’s practiced, she’s as confidant as she can be. She knows her stuff and yes I did detect a little exam anxiety and it seems from the interlude, her anxiety is in the boundaries of what most people feel.

I also said to her that I think she is probably going to be like me, a life long learner. She thinks so too and that is so good!

The young lady assured me she’s doing just that and not doing all nighters (paraphrasing) because it knocks her off stride.

When I see her next, I’ll thank her and let her know that some of the kids are more than alright.

G.R. Hambley ©
April 09, 2018

My New Year Eve, 2017

My New Year Eve, 2017

Today is the winter solstice and tomorrow the days start getting longer again. The world turns over and while some parts of this big old world have their winter sleep, other parts welcome the days of summer.

The winter solstice to me as a spiritual person, my greatest time of reflection while looking forward to what will come next year.

GRH Enjoy Shades 002

For me this day is also the day of giving thanks.

Out with the old and in with the new, it just aint that simple.

I’ve so much world open to me now that all the work I did to achieve something I wanted so badly is complete. When 2017 began, I had no idea that when the year ended I’d be an English Teacher and technically qualified to teach anywhere in the world. I may have had a few of my friends shaking their heads over my commitment to achieving the goal. Thankfully, I got good friends who understand what it means to be driven, in a good way.

Good Friend” and “Pen Pal” heard much more than others of the education path I was on. My rants were over things that would piss anyone off and had nothing to do with my abilities or lack there of. If you follow those links, you’ll get a look at the regard I have for those two individuals I call friend.

Another community friend who has become friend in our discussions and meandering around, we help each other out. He’s gifted me with some terrific photographs.

GRH Relevant 01

Ara Sagherian Photograph ©

He is both happy and not that I’ll be leaving. He wishes me nothing but the best. This is what you call honouring friendship on a direct emotional level. You speak the words. He took this shot

Driven and committed are not bad things though I do think those two people a couple of times would have been okay with driving me somewhere to be committed. I’m thinking it’s a shame, “The Hotel California” aint what it used to be. That is a tale I will someday write, maybe.

I’m thankful and appreciative of all my community friendlies too. The relationship is different. I talk about relationship in some of my narratives. My belief is that it is important to recognize those in your community. Most of the people do but there are a couple who just won’t. We aren’t talking about a relationship where you’re kissing someone in the ear. Being aware and personable is all we are talking about here.

I’ve a note this morning from an artist I’m fond of asking about being ready for the season and putting up the tree. The person notes going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark. I know all about those feelings and have suspected this person, like me, has some level of S.A.D., “Seasonal Affective Disorder”. I had noticed the mindset before and offered up some help.

This other artist doesn’t know what today means to means to me. I don’t know if this other artist knows where and what the “Christmas Tree” actually represents.

Sammy Tree 01In this day and age, most people call it “Cultural Appropriation”. This tree thingy like any other thingy, I would hope you know the history and honour it. Simple stuff.

I’m pleased and thankful that more people from around the world visited me this year when I have published less new content than last year.

I’ve now opened my email this morning and I’m smiling big cuz someone special has gifted me a, “Happy New Year”. I love things like that. Another person special to me is thanking me for remembering their birthday. I’m blessed to know and have these people in my life. What goes around comes around folks so if ya want it ya gotta give it. I would suggest the adaptation of one of my favs, “Freely, Joyously, Willingly”.

I’m also doing grunt work as I write this at my year end. Backup, backup, backup. Losing the computer would be one thing but losing the content I’ve created would be a hell of a lot worse!

A stray thought gets triggered about days of birth as I meander along this morning. I share the same birth day as Jack Nicholson and I do tell people this should explain a lot. Those people ponder that statement, look at me and usually just nod. By that logic people born on the same day would have characteristics of others born on the same day. Not born in the same year and yes born on the same day. I have very good reason to think that.

All my life’s a circle, seasons spinning round again, the years keep rolling by. Then there is, “So off you go horizon bound”.

Chapin Shot 01Thanks again Harry and I still miss you and I’m still angry with you all these years later. I can’t believe how much time has passed in my own circle of life since you left us.

My time in this place is about done and for how long I will be away, I do not know. There is no timetable beyond thinking that at age 65 I’ll have to be in Canada and teaching will be in Toronto and/or online.

I went out and got me something that goes well with what I already love and has the potential to be sustaining for a long time. I do have that 150-year plan, as some of you who read me know.

I have a couple things to put in their place including the current melancholy and wistfulness.

Do not misconstrue dear friends, I am excited to greet the future and I shall adapt to my life’s changes.

My heroes have all been story tellers and I have more stories to discover in this big beautiful world. Stories and my love for the word, that’s why I’m going.

Another friend set off a trigger, Damn drummers are almost as bad as bears for getting in to shit. This is for you and thanks man but how about Toronto California?!

And that Drummer’s trigger set this off… “I said to my reflection lets get out of this place“.

To all of you the best of this season and all seasons.

I am out of here!

G.R. Hambley ©
December 21, 2017 – New Year Eve

What Happened to Harry Chapin

Chapin Photo Pinterest

 

It’s The Final Countdown

It’s The Final Countdown

Here I am staring at the final assessment. There is a bit more to go but this is the gold ticket to the Wonka Factory. Wilder or Depp, take your pick.

A long time ago in a lifetime far away, I had it all figured out. Ultimately, I wanted to teach. A split second on a highway and life going on, the plan changed. The wanting to teach was dormant for a time but it never went away.

I’m already a Teacher. Those who have talked to me already know it. Very soon, the world is going to know I’m a teacher.

I’ve done a lot of work in the last 3 months. There have been a couple serious impediments that required serious attention. That attention was given by both sides. I’ll write more when it’s all said and done with the elective courses.

I’ve even designed a new card for myself. The card has my phone number and email on it so I’m not posting it.

The exam has a 2 hour time limit. I’m tempted to pop it right now and get it done. And I remind myself that is not the way to take on a final.

Me and “The University of Toronto Faculty of Education”. Well aren’t we the pair. Who saw that happening?

No man is an island. This is for you “Good Friend”. Me and Mr. Donne are smilin’ atcha.

‘No man is an iland,
intire of it selfe;
every man is a peece of the Continent,
a part of the maine;
if a clod bee washed away by the Sea,
Europe is the lesse,
as well as if a Promontorie were,
as well as if a Mannor of thy friends
or of thine owne were;
any mans death diminishes me,
because I am involved in Mankinde;
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee

How many of y’all knew that bell is attached to that island?

Other friends have contributed their verse to this journey of mine and I thank them.

Part of my telling of this journey is in the hope of being inspirational. More so for the older than the younger.

I’m 60 on my next birthday and parts of the world can be seen with English.

My last statement was not an, “If I can do it you can do it” statement because I don’t do that shit.

Life doesn’t end until it ends. If you are happy armchair quarterbacking, then you keep on quarterbacking from your armchair.

One of the conclusions I came to is this and it has correlation with Life Coaching, you need life on you. You shouldn’t be allowed in a classroom to teach until you’re 45. In this province it is 16 to drive and 19 is the legal drinking age. No reason you can’t set an age restriction for teaching.

I have studying to do and I am living proof you can teach an old dog new tricks, if that old dog is willing to learn.

G.R. Hambley ©
November 18, 2017

Oh My Head, Again or Watch your English!

Oh My Head, Again or Watch your English!

Damn Elves!
Here on the 2nd day of November in the year of our lord 2017, the frickin’ coffee elves are playing Ho Ho tunes. We are not amused! Had this happened yesterday on all saint’s day, I might of risked a couple of my 6 wings and beatified a couple elves.

I told one of the elves, with this music, in 7 – 10 days there are going to be dead elves. The Elf thought I was kidding when I asked if there were any spare holes lying around.

Canada and this is how it is supposed to work, We have the Grey Cup game and parade the last weekend of November and the next weekend is Santa Claus parades all over the Great White North.

I was referring to the corporate elf and not the good service elves who take such good care of us for the spare holes.

Teaching English as a Foreign Language.
I haven’t said much about the TEFL course I’m taking of late. It’s moving along with a few glitches. I was in the course doing work when an unannounced site overhaul was implemented. Yes I let them know of my displeasure.

The powers that be there hit my, “You pissed me off” switch. I’ll tie this in to the “just because I don’t do this anymore it doesn’t mean I got stupid” category. In January of 2000 I interviewed to be the web director for the New Jersey Devils of the NHL. I’ve said this before and I’m saying it again. When I walked in to the man’s office he had the piece I did on his desk. He’d checked me out. He told me, “Artistically and creatively you’re the best”.

Anyone care to question as to whether or not I know my shit?

The typography is much better. The previous was soft pastels on a white page. In the course they talk about meeting the needs of the learners. I wonder if the PC people seeing to those needs ever considered when the site was being built, a little thing that afflicts some people called “colour blindness”.

I see extremely well. Might explain why among other things, I’m a damn good photographer and observational writer. So, if the design is bothering me…

Lemme ask y’all a question I already know the answer to because I know how to run a web site. Should your clients be notified prior to a major alteration to the site and when that change is going to take place?

It also brings me to you never know what someone has when you encounter them. This bunch hit the “PC enough to frost you flakes” mentality. They thought I should be more understanding because they did tell you in the site as it was taking place.

I showed them I know how to take electronic notes and the course is repetitive on making sure your students have that skill.

Here’s another question for y’all, do you think I’d have even been on the site if I’d known changes were going to take place? And who does a major change in the middle of the day?

Mostly it’s good. Don’t get me wrong, mostly it is good and I’m enjoying the learning path immensely.

Blade Runner 2049
I went and saw the film yesterday. My film maker buddy and I talked about the film a little bit and we both commented on the 2-hour 44-minute running time.

When the film ended I went, “What, over already?”. I liked the film and didn’t notice the running time at all. There was a scene setting that made me think Chernobyl. Somewhat fitting when I checked email and discovered fallout. I’m a big boy, I can handle it.

Learning Path
I’ve been looking at all kinds of teacher’s helpers and apps as part of my own diligence. Found some really neat stuff in my web travails.

I have been to teacher dedicated sites and joined a couple.

Some great resources that are free or of low cost.

GRH Path IMG_20171031_114347

“Good Friend” just checked in with a response to something I said. My “Restraint” is being admired. And oddly a song comes on the FM that “Good Friend” made it clear there would not even be the risk of an ear worm taken. Also, oddly or not, and that means you “Good Friend”, that response of yours had to do with school

The response was just a tad more vociferous than what I related.

TEFL Handbook by the “TEFL Handbook Team”. Strange I do indeed find it that they spell “Tire” with a “Y”. No not at the end. I’ve browsed through this thing and with what they say is coming you got a powerful tool at low cost.

This one is fun, “Preposition” by The Brazillions. It’s multipurpose too.

The “Hangman” game aint bad either.

Listening skills are big on this path. I don’t just listen with my ears. I listen with my eyes as well and have done such for a very long time.

Canadian Politics
I haven’t been following to closely the last few weeks. Everybody in the damn country knows the level of incompetency at the Federal Level and take comfort in the fact there are less than 2 years remaining for Trudeau 2.Doh.

Here in Ontario the blustering of the Wicked Witch Wynne goes on. You’d think a witch of this magnitude would understand a few plums can’t do the job you need the flying monkeys for! Less than a year until the electorate dumps the water over her pointless head.

I needed a small rant today. Sometimes you have to rant and it’s more than okay. Blow the shit out and shower it away.

Back to the studying right after I check and see if a light has gone on.

© Gary Hambley – all rights reserved
Certified Professional Coach
Teacher of English as a Foreign Language (pending, but not for long)

There goes perfection, for now

There goes perfection, for now

I finished the 3rd module of the TEFL course I’m taking. This module was large in quantity; 15 parts when you count the written submission that must be done prior to taking the 15th part, the whole module assessment.

My number on this assessment was 85%. I still passed the test with 15 points to spare. A passing grade is 70%.

stock-photo--percent-pie-chart-red-and-beige

This section entailed the “Fundamentals of English Grammar”. There are a few items I’m just not recognizing in accordance with the technically perfect that is required. Things like what is a fragment, and what is a mistake to name a couple.

Why the problem? Why because I do things in writing that fly against the rules but make sense when you read what I’ve written is why.

I cross lines and blur edges in my “Communicative Expressionism*”. I don’t apologize for my behaviour either. I am not writing you a technical document or trade agreement and am telling you a story.

Within the context of the course and proper English, the keepers of the course are correct. It is incumbent on me to make sure I have this technical aspect wired in to my brain so I recognize the objects far more readily and correctly.

I had opportunity prior to submission to go back and change answers. I gave that option serious thought. I didn’t do it because I was concerned I could make it worse. “Guesstimate” is not in my action plans at the best of times and when it comes to test taking, not at all.

That module exam had to be done before you could even look at the next module.

I had to set that small section aside for the moment and move the ship on. Should I so choose, I can revisit and redo that test. I can go back and make the perfect number but I don’t think that’ll happen.

Revisiting and posting that number isn’t going to change the fact that there was an issue that required remediation. I’ll know it aint a real perfect number. I know it’ll look pretty on the façade if I revisit. If all someone is looking at is my façade in assessing my qualifications to teach, I probably don’t wanna be there.

I like that you’re asked for your philosophies. The administrators want to see what the tools and strategies are that you first person personal are bringing to the teaching. Simply, you’re being asked to identify your/the resources and how you’re going to use those resources.

In a previous submission I gave my teaching philosophy in my piece, “Teaching Philosophy, Mine”.

This one asked for philosophy on teaching grammar to others and myself. Verbatim what I said.

Grammar Philosophy

I’m a believer in the “Completion Backwards Principle”. The principle isn’t just a “Tubes” album and it works. I’ve been using this technique for years and the continued success is why I know it works. Before being able to define the term, I was exposed to the “Completion Backwards” usage by my high school trade teacher.

One of the things I am is a Life Coach, a CPC (Certified Professional Coach). An imperative in the process is defining the whole. Figure out what the whole looks like and then you can go about creating it from the blank sheets of metal or paper. I’m also a tradesman, a Tinsmith. I take the “Smithy” moniker seriously and wear it with pride.

My philosophy says that the Teacher is entrusted with building the learners relationship with the word. The principles and theories of “building” are universal and applicable to learning language. You provide the materials or building blocks and set the learners up with tasks so they can achieve small accomplishments.

It’s ridiculous to expect anyone to create “a whole” from the collection of grammar parts without knowing what the whole is and how it is expected to function.

Give the learners a couple or three paragraphs from a book or newspaper and let them engineer the paragraphs backwards. For the purpose of the lesson, the selected text is deemed absolutely correct. Deeming the text absolutely correct allows you to introduce different types of narratives.

Let the learners build mistakes in to the provided content and then let the class tear the altered passages down. In later exercises, you can define the types of grammatical errors you want to see written in to replace the existing correct word or sequence of words.

I’m going to have my students plugging their stories in their native language in to a translation engine and let the learners go English Grammar all over the return!

There will come a time that I let the learners take my narratives apart. I’ll let the learners critique the Context, style and flow. I’ll have the students apply formal rules where I intentionally went with communicative expressionism or slang. I expect that exercise to provide some very interesting reading that we can all have fun with! If an understanding and appreciation of a little self deprecation.

These are three of my pieces that will get used for lesson purposes in my classroom.
Tools, Weapons and Toys
https://transitionu.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/quoth-me-10-t-w-t-tnt/
Ranked Ballot System
https://transitionu.wordpress.com/2016/08/03/ranking-points-relevantly/
PC Language
https://transitionu.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/pc-language-women-are-to-blame/

Music is going to have an important part in my class. I’m going to use all those terrific tools that others made possible for today’s teacher to use. While “School House Rock” isn’t a television staple, there is no reason it can’t be a classroom staple. Music triggers memory and that is a fact the teacher should not only know but put to good use!

Part of my own grammar learning philosophy is to not have structural knowledge interfere with my writing style. I’m not writing academic papers and am telling stories.

I don’t know if you can call wanting to be knowledgeable and possess the latest greatest information on your chosen path qualifies as philosophy. Paying attention to what is taking place in the field of English Language Study. I’ll be doing that.

Of course, I’ll continue to write as well.

G.R. Hambley © – all rights reserved
September 27, 2017