had to *share* this...
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Tuesday, 28 June 2011
had to *share* this...
Wednesday, 15 June 2011
Hello, yes, it's me again. Posting has been temporarily suspended due to end of term chaos, scheduled nervous breakdown, and various other day-to-day worries like, for example, having stand-offs with the increasing number of dust bunnies blowing down the hall. But, I have been playing, in particular with instagram, a lovely little iphone photo app, and have set up a photo blog over at tumblr which you can see here. There will be more later, I promise.
Tuesday, 24 May 2011
At some point, in any given academic year the inevitable conversation about cock rears its ugly head (metaphorically speaking of course) in my english classroom. It's not that I have cock marked as one of the "must teach" topics of the semester, nor does it appear in the list of "1,000 english words you simply must know", but somehow or another it always manages to work its way into the conversation. The conversation can start in one of three ways:
1. The innocent quest for knowledge: "How do you say gallo in English?"
2. The possibly not so innocent question out of the blue: "What is cock"? Is it just me or is it the absence of an article in that sentence that instantly cues tacky music and images of impossibly busty women writhing suggestively with muscly, naked men endowed with gobsmackingly large... members?
3. And of course, the teenagers who never knew it had anything to do with the male of the poultry family, and who have no doubts whatsoever of its function in phrases like "Show me your cock" and who use it with startling regularity whenever the opportunity presents itself. "I would beat him to death with my cock" would have to be one of the more creative examples I've seen in a 3rd conditional Q&A exercise.
Some weeks back...
Student A: Mondraussie, what is "cock"?
Me: Well it can mean either a male chicken or it can also be a slang term for penis. For that reason I suggest you use "rooster" when talking about chickens, just to avoid any confusion.
Student B: What did she say?
Student A: She said "cock" means "polla"!
Student B: Ahhh... of course. Suck my cock!!
There was a momentary stunned silence as other members of the classroom digested this extraordinary statement and its meaning. I politely suggested that 8.15am in the classroom was probably neither the time nor the place for that type of activity. The rest of the class fell about the floor laughing.
Apparently internet porn is also a useful language acquisition tool.
Sunday, 22 May 2011
My new flat is on the outskirts of town, with a balcony that overlooks a small plaza and an old church. The church bells chime every quarter hour, so loudly that my father, on the phone to me one day on the strike of 12, wanted to know if i was living inside the church.
From where I sit, if I lift my glance slightly to shut out the unsightly jumble of factory buildings below, I look across to the green manicured landscape of the cooperativa headquarters on the hill opposite. To the left the view is unremarkable, the eye travels down the street lined with row upon row of 1960s housing developments, to the right, past the last straggle of houses the view opens up to rolling green hills and mountains in the distance. It's quiet here, away from the bustle and chaos of the town centre. There is plenty of light. This is a Good Thing.
From my vantage point I watch the comings and goings of people in the plaza. The dawn and dusk parade of the dog walkers and the pram pushers, teenage couples necking on the benches, kids playing football, men taking the rubbish out. With time I have come to identify the good citizens of the dog walking community, those who set out armed with little plastic bags to dispose of their pets' business, and then there are the others who leave the offering where it lies, waiting to catch the unwary passerby. I make a mental note to myself to never walk on the grass. Ever.
There is one dog who never fails to delight. I call her Crazy Poodle. A little grey bundle of pure energy, she shoots off like a bullet from a gun when released from her leash, and races around the square, up and down the street, a toda hostia*, as they like to say here. She'd give a whippet a run for its money.
On Sundays I watch the ever dwindling processions of the faithful leaving the church after midday mass. They are mostly elderly, and I'm yet to see anyone under the age of 60 leave the building. I wonder who will go to church when all the old people have gone.
And so, I familiarise myself with my new neighbourhood and my new neighbours. My move here, of course, did not go unnoticed, but with the passing of time the looks have changed from open stares of curiosity to more familiar nods of greeting. Changes...
* ir a toda hostia = to go like the clappers