Cracking Open the Brain Jar

– Me, with Mira and Dyau’s ‘special appearances’ in the mirrors on the wall –

I totally meant my brain in the title up there. The past few days and this whole week have been filled to the brim with assignments, test, coding and whatnot. It’s a little bit overwheming and I’m getting bored of just about everything. It doesn’t make sense, but who cares?

Photoshoot: This morning, our planned class photoshoot for the Salam Perantauan was foiled by the sudden morning rain. Instead of Albert Park, we had the brief session at the Old Government House. Well, the rooms there are awesome, so I don’t actually mind. Those super cushy I’m-A-Mafia-Boss armchairs are pretty awesome too. Haha~

Dinner Slideshow: Flash died on me two hours ago when I was trying a few tricks that I thought I’d put on the dinner video (retro effects, remember?). I guess I’d give up flash for the time being and go with After Effects instead. I have the concept all planned out, but I seriously need lots of videos instead of just photos to make the video more appealing. See, I’m already calling it a video instead of a slideshow. I blame it on the awesomenes of After Effects. Totally.  Since I’ll probably be withdrawing myself from most multimedia-related works next year, I’ll try to make this slideshow stands out.

Paint Tool SAI: I have no idea why I didn’t use this software before. It’s beyond awesome. I love how easy the drawing tools glide on the canvas. The fact that it doesn’t consume a lot of memory is a big plus. Photoshop always slows down my computer and Painter loves to die on me every once in a while. Heck, Gimp sometimes performs better than Photoshop itself; that or Vista is too much of an idiot to go properly with those softwares. In just a day, SAI moves up to be the number 1 on my list of favourite softwares of all time alongside Manga Studio and Comicworks.

I have a test tomorrow and I waste my time on random things? Great.

In Which Hate is an Understatement

depressedI’m wishing for a clearer vision. Maybe I’m talking about my eyesight, of maybe I’m talking about my goals in life. I don’t know. I can’t be too sure. It has come to my attention lately that my habit of getting bored so easily is not very favourable. It’s not about getting bored in lessons. It’s about getting bored at things and people. I may love someone to bits today, and gets tired of hearing his voice tomorrow. I may treasure an expensive fountain pen so much today and forget all about it, maybe even misplace it the next day. I’m currently distressed and distraught over a new dispute with Wellesley Student Apartments.

My friends know how I openly hate the AUT managed student accommodations. The staff are unfriendly, and they charge money like there’s no tomorrow. You can’t even have a small speckle of dust in your room, or you’re going to have to chuck out $50. If it’s your housemate who’s at fault, you’re going to walk in shit as well. You can’t even do anything about your housemate next door who snores like a pig every night, runs and stomps her feet along the corridors at night, opens the light because she’s scared of the dark (and wastes the goddamn electricity), brings friends into the house and tells said friends “It’s okay, you don’t have to take off your shoes” when it’s a rule that we don’t tolerate people walking the corridors with their shoes on, throws a party that interrupts the peaceful evening, keeps her door open with a guy lying on her bed at the door where her Muslim housemates walk by, and many other things. If there’s one thing I hated as much as WSA last year, it’s June (who found my blog post last year and bitched about it to someone else, who then told me she complained about it. Lol.)

But hey, I’m hating WSA more than anything now. The statement says I owe them $458.56 of rent money. I remembered paying cash at the counter, so technically, what was paid by cash doesn’t show up in my bank statement (once, when I withdrew money my mom deposited and spared some for rent. I was alone, not with Mira at that time. She paid one or two days before me, if I remember correctly.). So now I’m expected to pay for it, maybe before September. I want to just go to O’Rorke Hall right now and smash down a $500 bill on the counter, ask them to call the management next door and settle the damn thing and then leave with a disgusted “Keep the change, bitches” remark. I can still control myself, though.

Until today, I’m still angry at the people who managed our accommodation for last year. Angry at the ones who arranged for us to stay there too. We were University of Auckland students living in the Auckland University of Technology accommodation because the Malaysian government didn’t give us enough money to stay in our own University’s hall of residence, which is ironically just next to AUT’s. How stupid is that? We didn’t have a choice. We were almost strangers there. WSA people don’t have to try to clear shits up by saying that they don’t treat us any differently. I know better because I’ve experienced it (what, you think I couldn’t see how trashy the next door apartment was on the day of inspection? Bluff.)

Even if  I do owe them money, why didn’t they inform me earlier last year? Why not before I go back for a long summer holiday in Malaysia? They could have told me on the day I checked out: “Oh by the way, you still owe us money.” No, no, no. What they told me was “Okay, that’s all there is to it! Have a safe trip, bye!”

I’m so tired of all this. I just want to go back to Malaysia. I suddenly want to hug my parents so badly.

Introduction to the Reading Process

Expressly written in today’s lecture. Lecturer: Marineke Goodwin. I had loads of fun in this lecture. She came prepared with lots of materials!

History of Language Learning in New Zealand

  • purpose of literacy before the age of decoding
  • literacy brought from England

Four discernible ages of reading theories = identified, and we´re entering the fifth. They´re the ages of reading (Turbill, 2002):

  1. ~ as decoding
  2. ~ of meaning making
  3. ~ of reading-writing connections
  4. ~ of reading for social purposes
  5. ~ of multiliteracies

Decoding

  1. fom late 19th century – 1940´s
  2. syllabus, reading material, workbooks, etc – highly prescriptive and structured
  3. focus on skills n drills: ABCs, sound/letter, rel, decoding word recog.
  4. theories =>reading process emp. the graphophonic cueing system
  5. techers beieved – decoding preceded comprehension – once know alphabet n how to syllabify you could read a sentence n then para. and then text
  6. reading, writing, sp. n handwriting taught separately – as separate subjects
  7. debates exist – history always full of change. New method appear in NZ – ´Look & Say´ method.
  8. Decoding type text example: Kit the cat, sat, kit sat in a bag of rags…. // B -> Br -> Bri -> Brick, etc <= Phonic type.(note to self: look it up. look at the rhyme). Is it still relevant to the way we do things now?
  9. if you look at the word long enough and say it long enough, you will remember the whole word. Method: introduce high freq, text
  10. the problem is – the new method overthrow all previous methods – many disagree while others agree = debates

Meaning Making

  1. from the 1960´s in NZ
  2. NZers keen to develop a national identity – reflected in the first real series of books for n about NZ children, places n exp.
  3. increased immi. = classes often very diverse n many children arrived at school with langs. other than English
  4. language acq. models – used to inform reading n writing processes
  5. teachers believed reading n writing should be child centered, lit. based n meaningful
  6. reading seen not only as grapho. but also syntactic n semntic = MAKE SENSE . always in the process to make meaning
  7. learning to read viewed as lifelong proces n reading to learn = goal
  8. debates focused on phonics vs ´whole language´ approach this theory became known as
  9. teachers prob. instructed to forget abt some decoding aspects – decoding = hinder ´whole meaning´ process.
  10. whole lang. era – very lit. based era

Word of the day

Proliferate

–verb (used without object), verb (used with object), -at⋅ed, -at⋅ing.

1. to grow or produce by multiplication of parts, as in budding or cell division, or by procreation.
2. to increase in number or spread rapidly and often excessively.
History of Language Learning in New Zealand

multiliteracy – text on the computer

Integrating the sources of info. in reading n writing

Knowledge n exp, lang. structure, shapes n sound, meaning – related

A reader has to…

  • use knowledge of lang. n know how it works
  • translate letters into sounds (children use alphabet books, soundcards, spelling patterns (e.g:´or´ sounds like for, port, four, pour, aw, etc.
  • recog. patterns in words
  • have some knowledge of the topic – imp. for older readers esp. ESOL learners
  • link/relate the text to own bg knowledge (schema)
  • predict what the text will be about using word and world knowledge

So, um, yeah… Sorghum Stenches translates to circumstances. Sweet as. Grain murder= grandmother. Ladle Rat Rotten Hut – Little Red Riding Hood. ROFL.

Looking forward to next week. Yes, I’m actually looking forward to lectures 😛

If Choosing Electives Is This Hard…

It feels like time is moving faster than ever. February is approaching, and already my legs are like jellies. I don’t want to go back to Auckland… yet. I know it’s hard to let go of a life where you have everyone else do things like cook and laundry for you, even harder to leave thsi endless supply of unlimited internet. Gah, I really am lazy 😛 I shouldn’t be thinking this way.

I’m still trying to decide my electives for this year. I have absolutely no idea what I should be taking, so I e-mailed Sheryll. This is an excerpt of her reply:

I would suggest that you find courses that will help you in the school setting – e.g. maths – comp sci – esol papers – education papers that reflect your interests (like gifted children). The choice is what ever you decide helps you get a good grade or can sustain your interest.

Oh, easier said than done. The problem with ESOL is that they only have two stages. I am in no way interested in any of them right now. Gifted children (EDUC) sounds cool, though. Now if I can just look at the syllabus, maybe I’d consider. As long as I don’t have to do what I did in EDUC225 again. That was a total nightmare.

I guess I really am in need of suggestions right now. I’m thinking of doing Japanese 130 (or 230, if I pass the test) for one, but I have no clue what the other other one should be. Anyways, let’s just lay down all the mandatory subjects for 2009:

First Semester 2009
EDUC 384 – Information Technology in Education (I think I’ll be enjoying this)
LANGTCHG 303 – Instructed Language Learning (Erk…)

Second Semester 2009
LANGTCHG 301 – Intro to TEFL Curriculum (Huh, TEFL? Can we teach English in Timbuktu now?)
LINGUIST 307 – The English Language Worldwide (Pft, wth?)
EDUC 348 – The Reading Process (Err…) + 1 tutorial session
LANGTCHG 302 – Practical Language Teaching (Double err…)

How come we have so many subjects in the second semester? That doesn’t include our school experience yet. Why is this happening? *sigh*