From China to the Chinese

Imagine my delight when I was told one of our assignments for uni is to write a minimum of 3 reflective blogs.

FINALLY!

I’ve been given an excuse to tap away at the keys again and upload more of my rambling thoughts and feelings onto my dusty old blog.

This blog has gone from a personal venting space (a ‘let me try and sort my life/mind out’sort of thing), to somewhere for me to pass the time while I was bored sat at my desk in work, and then it became a place for me to tell the tales (and brag about) my travels around South East Asia. Well, hold onto the handlebars kids, this rollercoaster of a blog is about to take another wild turn… It’s about to become my “Academic, reflective blog”… It won’t be as interesting or as exciting as me telling you about (prepare for some more casual bragging here) that one time I rented a scooter and rode the Hai Van Pass in Vietnam, or the time I went to a questionably named festival under the Hong Kong skyline (Clockenflap, I’m talking about you)…

But, it is nice to have something that will have adapted with me and travelled through my ups and downs and twirly-whirly path of life I’ve found myself on, at the ripe old age of 25.

Anyways, I’ll quit rambling now, that’s definitely something I’m going to have to try and get better at for these posts!

Here we go, my first academic, reflective blog… enjoy!

Let me start with a genuine conversation I had with my mum and my sister:

Me: “I’m freaking out a bit! I mean, I’m going to be an actual teacher, like, I’m going to have to teach people things!” 
Mum: “Why are you freaking out, you’ve done this…”
Me:What? No I haven’t, I’ve got no experience of being a teacher, how am I supposed to handle this year?!”

Sister: “Charlie, what do you think you’ve been doing for the past year and a half…? You’ve been working at a school, TEACHING English to Chinese kids… you’re already a teacher.”
Me: “Oh… right. I mean, that didn’t count. Wait, did that count? Damn… I never thought of that.”

 For my whole life, I’ve grown up saying “I’ll never be a teacher, can’t think of anything worse!”. This is basically just because I’ve seen the Continue reading

Coming up…

Now it’s time to stop looking back, and look forward… In just over a week I’m flying down to Langkawi, Malaysia. I’m spending 2 nights there, and then 3 nights on a crazy small Thai island, Koh Lipe, and after that… I have no set plan. I’m going at it alone, for the first time in my life; I’ll be travelling (for more than 5 days) on my own. Just me. No childhood best friend. No travel buddy I met in China. No one. It’s been something I’ve always wanted to do, and do slowly. When I was a teenager I dreamed of picking up, leaving, and having no life plan. I wanted to travel to different countries, working as I went along to earn enough money for my next destination. Sadly, as I got older, and some might say wiser (?), I realised, for me, that’s not a feasible way to do it. And you know what? It’s taken me a long time, but I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that that’s okay.

Being in the kind of environment I’ve found myself in, surrounded by travellers, people who only know how to live internationally, people who spend every weekend, every holiday, every day off going out to explore new places… it makes you view your own adventures and plans very differently. I sometimes feel inferior to the people around me, a lesser “ex-pat” or “traveller” because my list of ticked off countries isn’t as long as theirs… You live in this constant different mind-set that the only reason you’re here, the only reason you’re working 40 hours a week and living in a country that makes every task difficult, is to get that next stamp in your passport. And, please, don’t think I’m Continue reading

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

This is not a travel blog. This is not an adventure blog.

This is a Charlie pours her head and heart out into the internet blog… just like old times…

[Also, if you didn’t read that title in the beauitful unique voice of my beloved Bowie, please stop right here and listen. I was torn between him and the Scorpions for this one…]

At this moment in time, I’ve decided to start making changes to myself. Improvements in some way… Now, when someway say that, you tend to think they you’ll soon be bombarded with gym selfies, healthy meal updates and half naked before and after photos. Well, don’t worry I’m not talking about those kind of changes. That’s not me, I mean; anyone who knows me knows that that is the polar opposite of who I am.

I’ve actually decided to change myself mentally… now, this isn’t even changing myself mentally as in I’m going all zen, I’m starting yoga and meditation. No. I’ve decided it’s time to change and improve myself in a different way, a better way. A way that I haven’t done in quite a few years… I’ve decided to start doing some online courses. I’ve come to the point in my life at the moment, and especially during my time here, that I’ve started to feel like I’m not using my brain as much as I’d like to. Yes I’m a teacher so I’m using it in that sense every day to ensure the kids understand what we’re working on. But, it’s not as mentally challenging in the educational way as I’d thought and hoped it would be (which is ironic as I’m still in the educational system). Although I’m thoroughly enjoying what I do and am very happy doing it, it’s not challenging my brain as much as I’d like. So this is when I decided to take it upon myself (with the help of a suggestion from a friend) to start to improve myself on an academic level. I’ve started an online course titled Dyslexia and Foreign Language Teaching.

I’ve never had any experience in this before, apart from the numerous times in my life I’ve been told I should be tested for dyslexia. But, I signed on anyway, because my friend and colleague Emilija, who is actually very involved in this area of study, had a conversation with me about dyslexia while we were grading test papers a week or so ago. I mentioned something about that when I was a kid, and sometimes Continue reading