Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve Present

We don't usually offer/receive presents at New Year's Eve. Christmas is that time of the year when we anxiously wait for Santa and joy fills our hearts. I got lots of presents this year again and you all know how that goes: no matter how many, no matter how beautiful we still tend to choose one as being the most wonderful. Yet, this year, I didn't get the most wonderful for Christmas...sorry Santa, this time you cannot take full credit!

My most wonderful present this winter is a New Year's Eve present! It's not beautifully wrapped, nor is it expensive ...it's a speech! A speech I finished reading couple of minutes ago and I'm sure I won't stop thinking about for quite a while. 

Despite analyzing life from a totally fresh perspective this speech also came as a confirmation that, at times, even the most surprising test may result in the confidence that no matter how difficult, life proves to be the most wonderful gift: not beautifully wrapped, or expensive...yet so much worth it!

And since 2013 is almost over, I dare shout: 
LIFE, any tests in store for me in 2014?
 Bring them on!


Friday, June 7, 2013

A teacher's work & place ...

I am a teacher,
But I have not always been SO
strict, demanding, nightmarish ...
I was a student, too -
To have sometimes skipped classes,
To have once in a while come to school
without the 'holly thing' that now,
as a teacher, you already know I call
                    HOMEWORK ;)

I was even better than you at some point,
'cause I cheated without being caught!
And I also got trapped, the same as you,
in the all time cycle of loving/ hating/ loving/ hating

But at least now I am the TEACHER! :)
Do I like it , or do I hate it?
You might think you've all figured it out by now...
Yet let me surprise you all by saying that
I constantly do......both and it's all your....credit!

Cause you teach me to love it when you first step in,
To hate it when I happen to come across your cheating,
To love it when you stand out
and OMG...don't you know how to do that...
To hate it when you walk out
and yes....unfortunately you all do that!
But don't get me wrong! I love to hate it
as much as don't hate loving it,
I love to hate it cause even then it's all about trips:

And believe it or not, I'm not just a teacher,
I sometimes ....build.
Or should I say....destroy?

The WALL they build....I take down:
lesson by lesson, brick by brick.
And when you sit on a pile of bricks they call STAGE,
Delivering what they might think is a SPEECH...
I know it's not EDUCATION we make, but build waves.
And it's not water we need for our sea, but souls...
The kind that they call STUDENTS, but I say FRIENDS,
people to some day take some other heavy bricks
       off their walls!

P.S.: So my dear students, remember this:
                     TEACHERS may simply work in SCHOOLS,
                     but they also help you do this:
                     always stay true to your DREAMS!

Monday, May 13, 2013

A day to remember!

Yesterday  some of my students offered me an unbelievably surprising present: a ticket to the Depeche Mode concert in Bucharest, 15th May! How I felt about it cannot possibly be described in words. Now I've just found out that me and my student were accepted for a backstage experience, thanks to the message she entered the competition with! This is for sure a day I will never forget! A day when a  piece written in English got a perfect A+ , and for the first time ever ...  it was not me who marked it! What more could a teacher ask for?

P.S.:  Thank you Andreea, Mihai and Flori! <3

Monday, April 22, 2013

Fancy reunions?!? ;) - 4th August 2012, Sibiu, Romania

Some say it's all about the fancy venue...some say it's about the fancy gowns...some appreciate the gourmet menus...some always praise or find fault with the music...and some take advantage to display achievements...some, NOT ALL! I had the pleasure of taking part in my ten year college reunion and I am happy to say it was not fancy! The venue was nice, so were the gowns, menu, music and the achievements....wow...let's just say we made the best of these 10 years that passed in a blink of an eye. Yet...it was not fancy, it was so much more: it was natural. A bunch of girls that hardly knew what the fancy AML GRADUATE stood for 10 years ago proved to be smart enough to find their own way and make it into a world where loving your job has become the attribute of the few. It wasn't easy...we studied modern languages and turned out to be doing just about anything: engineering, architecture, business,cooking, management, traveling, bartending, teaching...you name it, we've been there! 

And although successful, we managed to keep away from the fancy...we stayed natural! That's what i loved about our reunion, my dear colleagues and that's why I'm already looking forward to the next one! To those of you who have already found their way: KEEP ON GOING! To those of you who are successful, but feel there is still something amazing waiting for you: MAKE THE BEST OF EVERY NEW OPPORTUNITY! To those of you who are still looking: NEVER GIVE UP!


The 5th season ;)

It's not even May yet and I cannot help thinking it's that time of the year again. Some call it an end, others say it's a new beginning, some look forward to it, others fear it, but no matter the term, when you're a teacher it's all about saying goodbye to yet another generation. 'Good bye'... simply another term, yet I bet 12th graders could easily define it by two different, yet so similar concepts: letting go & holding on. And I tend to agree with them up to a point.

That's because to me, this time of the year is each time different. Let's take the last generation I said good bye to as an example: smart kids, my first CAE generation, my first Public Speaking Club. Our good bye? Tearful event, lots of pictures and heartbreaking speeches...a short story in itself if I were to write about it, but I won't, not today. Today is all about the kids....youngsters graduating in a month! And it's not a story, it's several, it's a list of words...no structure, no particular style, no assessment grid and most importantly, no final mark! Just a list of words!

So here it goes:

1. You say good bye, I say Cluj 2010 - The National Olympics!

2. You say good bye, I say Slobozia 2010 - The County Theatre Festival: Shakespeare, we love!

3. You say good bye, I say The International Public Speaking Competition:  2011, 2012, 2013             ( Constanta, Pitesti, Bucuresti )

4You say good bye, I say Iasi 2011 - The National Olympics!

5.  You say good bye, I say Italy - Calabria April, 2011.

6. You say good bye, I say Eforie, 2011 - Together Against Drug Addiction Camp.

7. You say good bye, I say CAE exam - June 2012 - British Council Romania.

           You say good bye, I say it's about letting go as well as about holding on. And when I say good bye, I think it's not really letting go as you'll carry all these experiences with you for the rest of your lives, while I, as a teacher, shall hold on to doing the same for others. So do your best at keeping the 'fine mingling' between the two and think of it as yet another season of the year and let's all agree on calling it the 5th season, a season of beauty, growing up, making the first important choice in life and doing what you've trained for, all these years: fly! BEST OF LUCK TO YOU ALL: XII D - 2013! :) 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Simply Andreea :)

My first and only reason to actually believe there is a God and that I could talk to him,
A smile on my face when my soul is torn apart,
 A balm on my heart when doubts and fears break into,
The tune of a  lovely song haunting my head while working on my lessons for the next day,
A reason for us to disagree from time to time,
 A sunshine ray on a rainy day,
 A moment of peace at the end of each day, no matter how difficult,
 A page from a book I am certainly writing,
A part of what I will leave behind,
A love at first sight I have been blessed with,
 A universe.....

Oranges and apricots ...

Let me just get this straight! I was not born an apricot!

Yet when you question my ability to do something right, you turn me into one. Yeah you! Being told what you have to do, what you cannot do or what you should stop dreaming about, is like turning our whole world into a freaking apricot nursery ... Now, don't get me wrong, I have nothing whatsoever against apricots ( nice fruit...sweet flavour ) but I keep telling you I was not born one! Oranges....now...that's a totally different thing cause they're not that fragile, they last longer and they make Xmas...OMG!...what nicer flavour to your Xmas than the smell of a peeled orange? C'mon...even you have to admit that!

Yet you keep on whining about things: '' that's not how you deal with people!/  that's not a well written essay!/  why is my dinner overcooked?/  why can't we just stay at home tomorrow instead of coming to school?/  why do you have to be so damn romantic and not accept life for what it really is?/  why is my mark so small?/  why do I have to write homework?/  you're not a good mother!/  I hate this stupid movie!/   you drink too much!/  did you put on some weight?  how much?/ ...just tell us a sum and we can afford it...everyone can be bought! I'm telling you/ this is not right: pay too much attention to your students' needs and they'll forget to respect you!/  stop playing computer games and start studying!/  you have an exam coming up! why can't you be more serious?'' ... and the list could go on like forever....you complain...and complain and you're always trying to change me...and I keep telling you I was born an orange and your whining turns me into a damn apricot. NO! Wait!.....it's worse than that: I'm a damn apricot juice by the time you finish pointing the finger...

And ... I was born an orange! And ''an orange's happiness does not mean being an apricot''...So why not just be grateful for the people in your lives...just the way they are? You feel like some apricot juice? Go get it from the corner shop! And just leave me be.....what I was born to be!

P.S.:     1. 'you' = everybody
           2. I apologise to apricot  sellers for the possible market fall due to the publishing of this ...writing    piece.

... inspired by Catherine Prejlocaj's novel Le Bonheur pour une orange n’est pas d’ĂȘtre un abricot
Couverture Le bonheur pour une orange version poche

Saturday, March 30, 2013

It's so much more...

Teaching is not only about the subject you teach. I taught Vivaldi today and I am not a music teacher.....one of the many reasons why I love teaching English so much!

And the fun of it all is that Vivaldi taught me something in return...well it was actually more of a reminder: BE GRATEFUL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE and look forward to what life has in store!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What size school would you like? ;)

Are you familiar with the question: 'What size Coke would you like?' Of course you are since I take it there are few chances for you not to have tried the famous drink at least once. And the choice when being asked such a question is quite simple: small/ medium/ large. But is it just the same when you're in the position of choosing a school for your own kid? Some would say 'No!', but I beg to differ!

They say there are small schools and big schools and believe me when I'm telling you that the actual size of the building or the number or classrooms have nothing to do with it. It's all about reputation. Or at least so they think. Who's 'they'? Well, let's just say that a lot of parents nowadays make this choice according to how many great references they can get from friends and relatives. Yet, is it really the best way to go about it?

I may be a teacher, but I am also a mother about to make a choice when it comes to my daughter's education. The mother in me did the exact same thing that most parents do: I asked for references, I looked into it, I took notes and compared them to others' notes, I questioned, I made up my mind and reconsidered my choice for as many times as you can  imagine. The outcome of it all: a nightmare! Then I stopped for a second and thought about it! Is this what a parent should really  focus on? Shouldn't we make sure instead that our kid is prepared and ready to face the variety of responsibilities that come with school? Wouldn't it be better for everyone if we stopped questioning so much and just did our best in making the whole experience worth it?

I mean, is it really fair to have everyone  assess the activity in a school even if sometimes they might be people with no expertise? And isn't it also true that at times 'small' schools have demonstrated their worthiness by unbelievably outstanding achievements? You might think it's easy for me to say so, since I am a teacher and also because me and my daughter happen to have the biggest school in our neighbourhood. It might be the biggest around here, but it certainly isn't the most famous in the region or in the country, and yet that was not an obstacle for our students when they had the opportunity to represent our 'small' community  in regional, national and even international competitions.

A school is not about the size, the fame, the references, or at least it should not be! A school should be all about the people in it, their dedication and perseverance. And even though you might not be a teacher, you can always teach your kid that no matter how 'small', school still offers a universe in itself....all they have to do is explore it.

And believe me when I am telling you that no matter what others may think, a big school can at times prove to be too small when it comes to expanding your limits, in the same way a small school might surprise you by offering infinite challenges and opportunities. So....what would you choose?

P.S.: it is also true that when it comes to good news a small school is too big and never too small to make bad news travel fast. But this is another story! ;)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Public Speaking...an everlasting passion!

"So, what is this Public Speaking thing anyway?" - a simple question that got it all started. In the beginning I was just curious, then I got a little bit scared that I might not be able to do this... I even remember praying that my first student who considered it would just give up in the end, but he didn't! So we embarked on a journey of hard work and long sessions of speech delivery and dealing with difficult questions. This is how it all started. And then it gradually turned into something more, something we could easily call a lifestyle, a trend, the thing that keeps us going, students and teachers alike.

It's those 5 minutes when the world stops and everyone listens to you, your minutes of glory, your once in a year opportunity to speak out and let everyone know about your views on life. It's your moment....it's the one time you own the stage and hold the audience heart.

"A house divided against itself cannot stand" was this year's topic. Words of wisdom if you ask me...as I've been teaching for almost 10 years and not even once have I come across a more wonderful experience that bonds teachers and students into proving that contrary to what others may think, TEACHING  is nothing else than ANOTHER BRICK OFF THE WALL! "Are you willing to free your mind and accept that?"