Catching the Flu

apartment bed carpet chair

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I don’t know the last time I got the flu, it was years ago anyway. I even forgot what the symptoms were! Until now that is!

Last week on Tuesday night I slept terribly; I was shivery, I had a headache and just couldn’t sleep well. Then on Wednesday during class I just didn’t feel right at all. Again I was shivery, had a bad headache, tired, and I just wasn’t well. I was thinking I was getting a cold but I’ve had enough of them to know that these weren’t the right symptoms.

So anyway I was delighted when Thursday came and I was better again! I even went to the Belfast Christmas Market with my husband, my sister and her fiancé. We got home at about 10pm and I had a great evening there. I had mulled wine and it was delicious! I’ll definitely have to learn how to make that!

So Friday I woke up and again I was fine. I didn’t have college that day so I was going to clean the mobile home and do a bit of a an essay that I had. But at about 9am I just started feeling iffy. I went over to Mum and said to her that I was going to lie down for a while because I just felt like I was getting worse. I got into bed at 10:30am and that was that!

The flu hit me so hard then! I was shivering constantly, my head was in bits, my body was all achy even my lungs were sore. I just felt absolutely terrible. I realised that what I have isn’t a cold but it must be a flu. I tried to sleep but I just couldn’t.

I was just so shocked at how fast I declined. When I got up on Friday I was fine, I got dressed and everything. But then once I got to bed I stayed there the whole day, I couldn’t even manage to take my jeans off me.

From Friday to about Monday I literally stayed in bed and didn’t do anything. I was just so weak it felt like I didn’t sleep for days. I was hobbling around with my achy body, feeling dizzy and just drained. One night I slept for 10 hours and I STILL felt drained and tired. I wasn’t able to go to college Monday or Tuesday but thankfully on Wednesday I felt a big difference. I was afraid in case I just wouldn’t be able to concentrate or do anything, but when I went in I didn’t have that drained out feeling so I was able to do a bit of work that day. But honestly I just felt terrible. And the thing is you can’t do anything about it but let it run it’s course.

By Tuesday I really was getting annoyed; I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do my exams that I have next week, that I won’t be able to go to college and I will miss loads, and I’ll be stuck feeling dreadful and tired for weeks. I knew all I could do is rest but I felt even resting wasn’t helping the flu to go. Usually with a cold you feel yourself getting better each day, but with the flu everyday was the exact same, I felt I was never getting any better.

I kind of thought that the flu was the same as a cold but worse. Oh how I know the truth now! It’s crazy though how Thursday I felt great, even going to Belfast! I did read though that there is like a delayed reaction with the flu. Now I’m more aware of the symptoms and that I definitely do not want to get it again!

‘Your health is your wealth’ is something I say, and it really is. I wish I had loads of money, but this past week taught me that even if I was a millionaire it still wouldn’t have helped me with that flu I had.

And it also made me think about getting the flu vaccine for next winter!

Aisling

 

 

I’ve Been Busy

Since I’ve started writing this blog years ago, I’ve been trying to hit a target of 4 blogs or more per month… and this month I’ve just hadn’t had the time to write anything!

I’ve been busy writing writing essays, going to class, and usually I wake up tired because my mind just doesn’t stop racing when I go to bed, so it’s been hard to write anything here. So I do need to try and start writing something on this blog of mine!

Anyway, my course is going fine. I’ve noticed how a few of my classmates have been asking me for advice for things for the assignments. They would come over with their assignment brief and I think “Oh they want to ask me something about the assignment”. I don’t mind though at all, I know for others it’s a struggle to come up with things and they might not understand something, so I’ll try and help them if I can. I suppose because I’m the oldest as well they think “oh well she’s the oldest she’ll know”. I think I was like that too. When I was doing my degree from the age of 18 I remember I kept asking the mature students to help me with my work. I remember thinking “Well they seem to know what they are doing so I’ll get them to help me!”

I think now I’ve realised that I don’t want to stress about the essays that are due and I’d rather just get them done, so I do them. When I was younger though I always left things to the last minute, but now I just couldn’t do that! Unfortunately I get stressed much more now than when I was in college, so I want to alleviate that as much as possible! But I still like the course and I don’t mind going in so that’s good!

With regards to the weather-it’s getting colder now. Especially in the morning I really dislike having to get up in the freezing cold to get dressed. As we live in a mobile home this means when we wake up we can see our breath. I even woke up once because my ears were ice cold! We’ve taken to getting dressed in front of our gas heater; huddling together to get as much warmth as possible. haha. So this will definitely be a test of our endurance with the cold! At one stage I actually tried to get dressed while I was in the bed but that was a disaster and I took about 15 minutes. So that didn’t work at all!

I’ve started to keep the electric blanket turned on at my feet during the nights because they were very cold some nights. Thankfully the blanket allows us to turn it on only at our feet so that’s great for us. So yeah… it’s quite cold here in the mobile home!

And Halloween is just around the corner! I only just realised that I’ve never had a Halloween with my youngest nephew! It just hit me when I was watching TV that this will be my first Halloween with him, and he’s 4 already! It’s actually my first Halloween in Ireland since I left for China, so about 6 years ago I think. It’s mad how time just flies.

I also realised another thing…… I have to buy Christmas presents!!! In China we didn’t buy Christmas presents. Maybe I would buy something small for my husband (boyfriend at the time). But because of the language barrier in China, we didn’t really go out and buy things for each other. Then in Mexico my husbands family don’t really celebrate Christmas ( I know, it’s shocking!) so again we didn’t really buy presents for each other.

But now…… I have to buy them for my whole family…. and my two nephews. . . So that’s something that I will have to think about once more.

And thankfully now my husband has been working since September so we finally have money coming in. I don’t have a job at the moment but I don’t mind because I’m actually busy with my college work and I know I would just be extra stressed if I took on a job. Plus many only want full timers which I can’t do at the moment. Maybe after Christmas I will find some work in something that is beneficial to me. I’d like to get a job dealing with customers so I can get more experience working with customers. Through my course I’ve realised that customer service skills is great to have on a CV.

So anyway there’s an update on my life so far. I’ve been watching ‘Bates Motel’ on Netflix with Vera Farmiga (she’s a great actress) for the past couple of weeks before I’ve gone to sleep. I’ve been watching it in Spanish and I understand pretty much all of it. (I’ll write another post on the disappearance of my Spanish). I’ve enjoyed it so far but the last season hasn’t been great unfortunately. I’ll have to take an hour out to look at another show I can watch in Spanish when I’m finished ‘Bates Motel’.

Aisling

Well, I wasn’t expecting that!

 

green and gray scissors

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My first week of being a student again is done and dusted…. and here are a few things I’ve noticed:

  1. Students eat rubbish! I can’t remember what I ate when I was 18, but for lunch this week, everywhere I looked I saw students with crisps, chocolate bars, curry chips, fizzy drinks. And me there eating my carrots with humous! My classmates would pull out a big packet of crisps for our 11 o’clock break, and I would be thinking ‘Oh no I really couldn’t handle eating crisps so early. They wouldn’t even fill me up anyway!’ I was surprised at how much rubbish they actually eat. In China I didn’t see my students eating rubbish because they had a huge canteen that supplied them with noodles and everything, so they were well catered for. The canteen in my college is tiny and only sells crisps, popcorn, sausage rolls and sandwich rolls. These 18 year olds can get away with eating whatever they like, whereas now I know that if I eat crisps and chocolate everyday I’ll put on weight! So they may enjoy it while they can!
  2. They aren’t as tired as students in China. In China, classes started at 8am at the college I worked for, with classes ending at 5:40pm or even 8:30pm for students having night classes. Then of course they go home and play computer games until 2am, so then they are half asleep coming to class. In my college class starts at 9am and the last class finishes at 3:30pm, so the students aren’t nearly as tired as the ones in China!
  3. They don’t use their phones as much. In China, it was a battle telling my students to put their phones away. They would listen to music in class, play games or watch basketball matches. However the students that are in my class here don’t use their phones at all! I looked around once and all of the students were just sitting there listening to the teacher. So it’s good to see that that really bad habit hasn’t caught on here!
  4. They are more into comfy clothes. Here the girls wear more baggy clothes and they don’t flaunt their bodies as much as in China. They wear tracksuits more and really just dress for the weather. If it’s cold they wear big jumpers to keep themselves warm. In China they wear more stylish outfits and they sometimes wear extremely short skirts! Even if it’s freezing they will still have a dress on!
  5. They are immature. I can’t really compare in China because I wasn’t able to have more than a basic conversation with my students, but here I realise it more because I just can’t talk to them about more mature topics like Brexit or the daily antics of Trump! Because they don’t have much life experience, they are limited in what to talk about. I really miss being able to have an adult conversation at break time, especially when one of my classmates asks me if one of the boys in our class likes her?! Haha it’s very hard to get excited when they tell me what they ate for dinner yesterday! So for me that is a problem that I didn’t anticipate. I think this has to be the most annoying thing; they don’t seem to want to know about their classmates or anything like that, whereas for me, I’m interested in hearing about peoples lives and their opinions on this and that.
  6. Teachers are late. In China we would literally have to run to class if we were going to be 10 seconds late! And letting them finish early was a definite no no! (We let them go early if we could get away with it though!) But in my college now, our teachers sometimes stroll into class 5 minutes late. Maybe it’s different in different schools both in China and Ireland, but it feels weird having to wait for the teacher to come, meanwhile in China I was pretty much always the first to class.
  7. They also like sitting at the back of the class. In China I hated when the students would sit at the back and leave the first two rows empty. One because they are just too far away, and two I really didn’t like having to shout all the way to the back! At least when they sit closer to me then I didn’t have to raise my voice. In Ireland it’s the exact same! They all run for the back seats, whereas I sit at the front now. When I was 18 I was the exact same (Keep as far away from the teacher as possible!!) but now I really don’t care. I don’t plan on using my phone and I don’t plan on causing trouble, so there’s no reason for me to sit at the back. When I was 18 I thought ‘Hehe I’ll sit at the back so the teacher won’t see me and ask me something….she won’t even know I’m here hehe’ Now I think ‘Mmm they are lazy ones, I’ll make sure to ask them plenty of questions.’

So these are a few things that I’ve noticed on my first week back. Maybe I will venture into Brexit during break to see what my classmates think about it.

I won’t be surprised if I get “I don’t really know anything about it”

Aisling

 

I got accepted, but….

man beside flat screen television with photos background

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My last blog talked about how I was going for an interview for a tourism course and thankfully I got accepted. I just paid the fee to secure my place, so I’m now a student once again! I’m happy in one sense but I’m also a bit nervous about it all.

You see this course is usually for younger students that are just out of school; they don’t know what they want to do yet so they do a course like this in order for them to see what they would be interested in, or maybe they didn’t get the points needed for their chosen course in University, so they do a course in the college I will attend in order to get the points necessary for the next year they apply. They usually wouldn’t even have done a University degree yet, unlike me!

And also unlike me, they wouldn’t be 29 doing a course. More like 18!

So I’m 100% sure that I will be the oldest in the whole class! I’m trying not to let this bother me; my sister also done beauty/massage course with this college and she was 30 doing it. She done two courses. The first one was makeup and beauty (because she was 100% certain she wanted to work in beauty). She told me she was the oldest in the class and that her classmates ‘were very immature’ and she put it!

She ended up not liking the beauty aspect of the course after all, so then she spent another year learning massage, reiki, reflexology, and she loved this! She had to do 2 weeks work experience which she found in a hotel, and I mean she literally just finished the course when the hotel rang her up and asked her to go in for an interview! They rang her!! She successfully got the job and now she is loving it and really enjoys working in a Spa. For my sister, doing the course in the college was definitely the right thing for her, so I’m hoping that something like that will happen to me.

I’m just afraid in case I put in the year doing the course and then I’m stuck once more not being able to get a job. I will be 30 when I finish, and yeah, if I was 23/24 even 25 and I decided to do a course that would be ok, but now I feel I kind of should have my life figured out by now!

Plus I’m going to be spending a year learning with 17/18 year olds. (I taught that age in China!)

But I know I also need to do the course even just for my mind. I’m going crazy here doing nothing. At least in Mexico I was busy studying Spanish, but in Ireland It’s more difficult to study it because I don’t actually need it, so doing the course is half about just keeping me busy and occupied!

So I suppose now this blog will now be about my course and what that entails for the next year!

So stay tuned if you want to see what happens with my no idea what I’m doing, sure I may as well do a course and see what happens life!

Aisling

 

Apparently I’m Not Clever Enough

So now that I’m back in Ireland I have been looking at jobs that I’d be interested in in and around Dublin. I’ve been thinking about whether I should do a tourism course near me or If I should just apply directly for jobs. I don’t have the experience or the qualifications so I was thinking if I at least get a qualification in something then that at least will help me.

Anyway, I happened to come across a website that were looking for travel agents, so I said well I may as well apply and just see what happens! Apparently they are a good company to work for with good benefits and all that, so I filled out their application form and then just waited for an email.

I got an emailed back and they wanted me to do a mental agility test. I’ve never heard of this before so I didn’t really know what to expect. They said that I had 50 questions and I had to answer as many of them as possible in 15 minutes. So I started and honestly I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing! Maths, reasoning and comprehension are included in it and there are 5 ( I think) choices to choose from. You have to add maths quickly (I am atrocious at maths), another one is that you have to choose what the second letter of the last word is and then write it down of a sentence that is jumbled up. Then there was an example of ‘ Mansion is to hovel, as house is to…..’ and you had to click out of 5 possible answers which one ‘house’ is to.

Mental agility test sample

Source; google.com

I finished all of them but I didn’t have enough time to recheck them again. On all the Maths one I just guessed them because I didn’t have a clue! So then again I waited for their reply, not expecting anything to come out of it!

And…. I was right! I got an email a day later saying that my score wasn’t high enough. So that was that. I wasn’t annoyed or anything that I didn’t get through, I think I was just a little annoyed that apparently to them, I wasn’t clever enough to even have an interview with them.

I know I’m not good at maths, I know that. I’m perfectly aware of it; I don’t want to be an accountant, I wouldn’t even dream of it because I know I’ll never have the maths skills to do it. I just don’t feel it’s fair to be made answer maths questions and be judged on your answers because of it. So half the scores were low because of my bad maths.

Maybe I’m totally wrong and these tests are very effective, but in my opinion I don’t think so. I was already at a disadvantage with having bad maths, and I don’t think that’s right.

And anyway, this position was to become a TRAVEL AGENT. Not an accountant, not a lawyer, not a surgeon. Like come on, I think it’s a bit much just to be a travel agent.  The company also makes potential employers have a 40 minutes telephone interview, then another interview in their company, THEN another geography and maths test! So even if I did pass their mental agility test, I would have had to do another maths test anyway!

So maybe it was good that I didn’t get any further in their rigorous job application for the extremely demanding, difficult, life saving job of being a………

travel agent.

Aisling

Exams….. some just don’t care.

So for the past 2 weeks my students have been preparing to do a 4-5 minute role-play for me as part of their exams. The first week was to think up their idea and start writing their script. They then came in groups and they practiced in front of me and I made adjustments with their scripts in the second week. For the third week they could practice for the first 45 minutes and then do their exam.

So they had PLENTY of time to rehearse and remember their lines.

I was pretty surprised that for my classes on Monday, 3-4 groups couldn’t remember what to say!

And one was a total disaster altogether! Because their english is very low, I told them that their role-play could be 3-4 minutes long. I also put a student whose English is higher than the others in with this group so he could help them make their script and what not. So they come in and none of them know their lines. They didn’t know what they were doing, and it definitely wasn’t practiced.

It frustrates me because I gave them plenty of time and I made it easier for them because I know they would struggle. Some of these students are failing because they don’t try in class. I told them this too. So I thought that they would put a bit more effort into it and try at least. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them.

I don’t want to fail them but if they continue not caring and not putting effort into anything then I’ll be forced to. What annoys me even more is that I actually made it easier for them and they still didn’t care!

On a better side, I had one all girl group and they were really good! They were doing like a dating show and the girls with the lights had to decide if he (the girl on the far right) matched up to their expectations. The girl on the far left was the host. They had a ppt ready, props, and it was different to all the rest of the others I’ve seen so far! This group is in the class that is my favourite, so I’m happy that they tried a lot! They’ll definitely be getting a good score.

IMG_9401

My favourite group so far!

 

On a weirder note, I received a text message from one of my students and she asked could I give her 90% on the exam. I wasn’t sure what she was on about and replied that the exam isn’t until next week. I said “I know, but will you give me 90%?”

Ok??????? She’s a good student and her English is good but she actually has the audacity to ask for a high mark. I would never have asked my teachers any such question! It would be more like how can I improve so I could get a better mark. So I replied back “It depends on how well you do in the exam”.

Her response…”Too cruel!!!”

So apparently I’m too cruel. Huh.

Maybe she’s the cruel one because she didn’t bribe me with anything!

Aisling

Preparing For Exams

For this semester of teaching, I decided I was going to give my students one main speaking exam at the end of the semester. However I then thought that I would give them one now and then another one at the end. For their first exam, they would have to present a 4-5 minute role-play with a beginning, middle and end to it. This would be worth 15%.

I’ve students and their English is very very bad so I’ve told them they can present theirs for about 3 minutes.

Throughout the few weeks that I’ve been teaching them, I’ve given them quite a few role-plays to do already, so this shouldn’t be new to them! Role-plays are really just to get them to be creative and try and use English in a real life situation. Some don’t particularly enjoy them (they would be quite happy sleeping/playing on their phones) but some really do try their best.

So during the previous week I was helping each group think of ideas and characters they could use. I had one group say “Our role-play will be a group of friends meeting up, we will introduce ourselves”.

Ok….. sounds a bit boring to be honest. Also not very creative. So I advised them to change their idea.

Another group had in mind about doing a role-play of one person getting food poisoning in a restaurant. So I said ” Make it more exciting, maybe Mandy will get sick and you will have to bring her to the doctor and then she dies suddenly!?”

“WWHHOOOAAAHHH” they all exclaim! To me, that just came naturally…. how do you make it more creative??? Have someone violently die obviously.

But for them, they really wouldn’t have thought of doing that. They lack a lot of creativity these kids, so doing something like a role-play is very daunting for them. That’s why I want to teach them to be more creative. Yeah some of them are very intelligent, but making up a story by themselves; that’s difficult.

So I’ll see what type of role-plays they present to me next week. Hopefully there won’t be one about introducing themselves……..yawn.

Aisling.