Week 17

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Week 17 was busy with attending three seminars and extra reading. I need to finish writing another 2,000 word summary as soon as possible, but I have been doing it very slowly.

Sometimes, I start something funny. Last week, when I was reading a website about a minimalist lifestyle, which involved living in a small flat with less stuff, I wished I could be like that. However, I cannot throw away my books, stationery, miniature Dutch house collections and baking utensils, so I am not able to become a minimalist, but I threw away quite a few things this week. It was actually very refreshing, and I hope to be a beginner level minimalist in the way of possessions and workload.

One of my supervisors allowed me to sit in on her module at medical school, which discussed the topic of End-of-Life Care. I observed the medical students’ consultation work with older patients in particularly challenging situations, and it made me aware of not only the need for health professionals to prepare for such challenging issues but also how the professionals’ empathic responses help to improve the patients’ feelings.

My goals for week 18:

  • write a summary of reading on pragmatics
  • enjoy teaching
  • bake a birthday cake and celebrate Luca’s birthday on the 6th

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Summer Week 1

The new language classes for the summer semester have started. I am teaching two courses, Beginners with 14 students and Upper Beginners with 11 students. Week 1 class is always fun! We meet new people who might share the same interests and learn the greeting expressions. I also showed an introduction to verb conjugations for the upper beginners who will focus on grammar and literacy.

I also need to reflect on the outcomes of my previous students’ experiences for the teaching plans of the current courses. Last semester, I thought that conversation-based classes might be too easy for students and they might get bored with them, but I eventually found that without enough grammar information, it was tough for them to reconstruct the target phrases in different contexts during the conversational activities, although they could say natural expressions in a particular context. Grammar information is essential for adult learners.

Teaching language is now a great pleasure for me!

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Day off

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On Saturday, I read a book on mentality, how to restore confidence and how to make myself motivated again. It is a kind of positive thinking method. Following the instructions in the book, I made a list of my future goals and top 10 priorities: my research eventually came out as the number one priority, and I am now feeling much better after a few days of depression.

On Sunday, I baked muffins with raspberries, banana and chia seeds. This was the first I have baked since moving into this place last September. The homemade muffins taste great. I made the right decision to buy a new stand mixer! I did not touch any work and I only did cooking, baking, cleaning and ironing, which worked well. We need a bit of relaxation, and maximising fun time can be a very important thing sometimes.