• Everyday Life

    Mid-sem Road Trip Day I: Paihia, Bay of Islands

    Easter Hols 09 - Day 01

    The Beginning: We were supposed to start our journey at 9.30am, but due to me cooking and us trying to fit everything into the small Toyota Starlet we rented. From luggage for three people to picnic mat and picnic basket and cool bag and whatnot, just imagine it. It’s safe to say that Mira’s next seat neighbour was our food supply. I cooked fried rice vermicelli for lunch and dinner. We also had tuna sandwiches for dinner to make up for the lack of food.

    The Funny Toll Story: We decided not to go through Silverdale and take the highway with $2 toll. We looked everywhere for the tollbooths, but none came into sight. I don’t know if it was because we were too excited or something. There was a sign telling us that manual payment booths are available, but the same question lingered in our brains, “Yes, yes, but where the hell are the booths?” Every fixed distance interval, there were signs reminding us to pay the toll. And that we were given three days max to pay. I was like ‘huh?’, because the toll system we’re used too is totally different.

    Atie: How can you get past the gateway if you don’t pay?
    Me: I don’t know. Knock the bar down, maybe?
    Us: *LOLed*

    Before we went through the highway, we saw an officer in a police car, manually taking pictures of passing cars. No matter how I look at it, it seems ridiculous to manually snap pictures of all passing cars. I was wondering what he was doing. It turned out that the officer was the one responsible of keeping record of cars passing through the highway (plate numbers, date and time of entering the highway). When we went online that night to pay the toll, we were laughing and rolling on the bed with mirth. Pay the toll online within three days. I’ll have the old-fashioned toll gateways any day, thank you very much.

    The way north to Paihia was filled with beautiful sceneries that we wouldn’t be able to see in Auckland. There’s one thing that I don’t think I could ever forget:

    I SAW PINK SHEEPS!!!
    cannot unsee them

    Oh, those poor sheeps. Atie and I went “EEEEEPP!!!!” at the sight. It burned into my eyes. It ws brief, but it’s impossible for me to forget it. Too bad Mira missed the sheeps.

    harurufallsPaihia – the “Yay!” and the “Grr!”: We arrived at Paihia at about 3pm, if I’m not mistaken. We checked in at Mousetrap Backpackers before changing into leisure clothes. We were looking forward to swimming at the beach or at the waterfall. Well, the Haruru Falls was one big waterfall where only suicidal people would jump in. We were so disappointed. Atie kind of cursed the waterfall for giving false hope. Haha, so did Mira and I. We did the next best thing – we stopped the car along the beach and played in the shallow waters. The tide was a little bit high, so we couldn’t go far out. Not with the stones hitting us with every wave washed ashore.

    Mira slept the earliest, followed by Atie. I fell asleep after surfing the net for about an hour and a half. And so ended the first day of our vacation.

  • Everyday Life

    Easter + Mid-Sem Holiday Plan

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    It’s currently mid-semester + Easter holiday for two weeks. To make up for the lack of ‘holidaying out of Auckland’ last year, I’ll be going around the North Island with Mira and Atie. Basically, here’s the deal:

    Day One
    Going north to Paihia. Will be staying for a night there. Beautiful beaches~

    Day Two
    Going to the furthest north of New Zealand. No shit, Sherlock. It’s located at the topmost part of the map. I feel a little bit giddy just thinking about it.
    After the cape, we’ll go south to Omapere for a night. Still in Northland.

    Day Three
    Going down south to Piha. Yet another beautiful beach~
    After Piha, we’ll go down southeast to Hamilton where we’ll be staying for a night. We’ll be visiting all those beautiful gardens.

    Day Four
    Depart from Matamata i-Site to the LoTR site for the Hobbit Village (more like the holes XD).
    And then we’ll go eastwest to Rotorua, Taupo and Waitomo. Will probably be sleeping in the car that night before going back to Auckland. Hahaha.

    Day Five
    Back in Auckland. Probably be going somewhere around auckland. And then sleep like a big log.

    Day Six
    The Royal Easter Show @ Auckland (ASB Showground)

    Summary
    Auckland –> Paihia –> Cape Reinga –> Omapere –> Piha –> Hamilton –> Matamata –> Rotorua –> Taupo –> Waitomo –> Auckland

    I may be adding more to the list, but I’m not sure yet. For winter, I’m thinking of going round the South Island from Christchurch to Dunedin and Queenstown. Of course I’ll be going to Wellington and Australia (Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane) as well. Not sure if I’ll go in winter or during the mid-sem break of the second semester.

    Happy holidays to all~

    p.s/ I actually wanted to write about my 2-day experience with the Maori culture at Awataha Marae, but I haven’t gotten around to writing about it yet. Maybe later, after I return from my holiday.

  • Everyday Life

    Grammar and the Study of Literary Language

    Prof. Rod Ellis talks about language exploits writers do in order to achieve itery effects in their manuscripts.

    • Code Effects – normal lang. used and manipulated in order to achieve literary effects -> 1) Marked and Unmarked, 2) Structural Ambiguity, 3) Grammatical Elision
    • Grammatical Patterning -exploitation of the units of grammar (e.g, subject, verb, objects, direct objects, etc) – thepattterns are usually seamless and repetitve
    • Deviations in grammatical structure: 1) deviations from the standard code (morphological, syntactical, borrowing of grammatical rules from other dialects or languages

    Just finished giving out our own interpretation of Hemmingway’s ‘Cat in the Rain’ and Causley’s ‘What Has Happened to Lulu’. As usual, I still think that the Prof. should be a little bit more open to students’ interpretation of literary works. Forcing us to agree on one interpretation is uncool in various ways.

    p.s/ I totally need to look up the biography of Prof. Ellis now. He seems so fond of the Africans and African English. It´s totally cute, in a little uncute sort of way.

    p.p.s/ Will not be blogging about EDUC 316. Too lazy at the moment.

  • Education World,  Everyday Life

    Morning Tea Mingle at the Old Government House

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    At one of the hallways at the Old Governtment House, University of Auckland

    Today was supposed to be my day off, seeing as how I only have classes on Tuesdays and Fridays. On Wednesdays, I have a weekly housekeeping session as well as a 2-hour Professional Development (ProDev) course with Sheryll, but they don’t actually apply as ‘classes’. We, IPBArians, have been invited to a morning tea with representatives from the Malaysian Ministry of Education (Pn. Kartini and… Ok, I forgot the other official’s name. Bad me =O).Basically, we introduced ourselves to them, and listened to speeches by John et al.

    It was during this meeting that we were informed of the new B.ed TESOL cycle (the third and supposedly last cycle). The next cycle is going to be a big one (more than 500 will be sent overseas for cohort 1 and 2 of the new cycle every year), and 90% of them are going to be primary school students. Compared to us, 130 students, that’s going to be a lot to manage. I wish our coordinators luck on dealing with a relatively larger number of students.

    After the intros and speeches, it was time for the awaited morning tea. I admit that I’m one of those money-oriented ones attending the meeting for free morning tea + lunch. Not working this year, so money… Yeah.

    There were fruits, scones, French macaroons, orange juice, tea and coffee. Seriously, the macaroons were awesome when taken with creamy butter filling (I didn’t take the raspberry/strawberry ganache). I ate two and brought one home. Now that I think about it, I should have taken some more (LOL).

    Library: The book by Widdowson that I want is currently on loan until the first week of April. Grr. I’m tempted to just recall the book, but since I can still make do without it, I won’t be too hasty. I borrowed a few books on Linguistics, language in general and the teaching of English and literature in the classroom. They look so interesting that I couldn’t resist.

    Fun times: Atie visited mine and Mira’s apartment this evening. We had fun playing NDS and listening to oldies, which of course include our infamous Malaysian jiwang karat and rock kapak songs. Hahahaha. No, really, please don’t ask. Finally, someone who likes those awesome songs from the 90’s!

    Skype woes: On another matter altogether, I’ve been having bad experience with Skype lately. Skypeout and video calls have been extremely poor in quality. Bloody volcanoes. Bloody storm. Bloody backward-technology broadband. Why is Skype the only one affected? Hurrrr.

  • Everyday Life

    Cultural Fun at the Pasifika Festival 2009

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    Mira, Atie, Myself & Hijrah w/ the stone that reads ‘Circle of Friends’ @ Western Springs, Auckland

    I went to the Pasifika Festival 2009 at Western Springs with Mira, Atie, and Hijrah today. We took a group pass to save on return tickets from Britomart to Western Springs (near MOTAT), and so we stayed together for the whole day. Last year’s festival went for three days. For this year, it’s only from 10am to 5pm today. The place was jam packed with locals and tourists, with lots of colourful and interesting stalls selling things ranging from crafts to luxury antiques to food.

    We were lucky to have come early. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a nice experience, making your way through a crowd of merry people.

    I find it funny that the Labour Party was campaigning the whole day through. The first tribe we visited was Tonga. The politicians were campaigning on stage at that time, so we decided to not pay attention. It was just my luck (or the lack of it) that the campaign continued on even when Mira and I was waiting for Atie and Hijrah to get their free goodies after having participated briefly in Push Play volleyball game.

    At Push Play, we met Ikin and her friends. My juniors were also there, then. Good, good. I can see the enthusiasm in them that’s a bit similar to mine when I first arrived last year.

    The only bad thing about it was that halfway through the event, it started drizzling. I could feel the temperature dropping by a few degrees. At about 2pm, we were already tired from walking in the rain, so we decided it was time to call it a day and say goodbye to the festival.

    Having been to last year’s festival, I find this year’s a little bit better. It was hard to navigate around last year, because the event site (in Manukau) was a lot smaller. And because pictures speak louder than words, here’s a slideshow of some pictures of us taken at the festival. When you browse through, you might be amused at Atie and Hijrah’s attempt at pukana as they posed for Maori TV’s competition (I think it’s slideshow pic #20).

    [slideshow id=4]

    I initially wanted to post the random videocast I made, but the size was too big. I’m too lazy to edit and resize them, so yeah. Maybe later. It was funny, as the shoot was done when we were shivering in the drizzle on our way out.

    p.s/ I’m so going to miss the big watermelon and pineapple ice cream =D