Saturday, April 14, 2007

Getting into sleep

I started to have trouble going to sleep. The simple physiological function that gives me more energy, improves my mood, helps refreshing my mind, body, and soul become too hard to be achieved. Is it true that "The older you get, the more trouble you may have sleeping, despite being very tired"?? My body and brain are working day and night, my hormones, nerves and cells never rest, therefore it's no wonder I have difficulty settling into a restful sleep…..

THINKING A LOT: I can lie awake for hours every night, thinking about what I want to do tomorrow or what I should have done today or how irrationally untidy my desk is! Worrying about my work is likely to keep me awake and it is hard for me just to leave it outside the bedroom not only home! May be I should learn not to take my worries with me everywhere I go…..A friend of mine advised me to keep the stress to a minimum. A day full of disappointments, emotional ups and downs is likely to carry me over into a sleepless night….. Can someone teaches me the perfect ways to stay peaceful, relaxed and manage my emotions?!

"Not to fight sleeplessness and to start counting sheep"! The idea that one day "when sheep go to sleep they will count the number of kids trying to tip them" is an issue that might rises of such an advice and stop me from sleeping! An endless circle….. Trying to sitting up to read a book, listening to soothing music, treating myself with a warm glass of milk or creating a sleep-friendly bed and positioning myself for sleep: front sleeping, sleeping on the right side, the left side or on my back…. IT DID NOT WORK.

Nice cup of white tea used to have a soporific effect BUT not anymore! Someone advised me to EAT and enjoy a light snack before bedtime; this can work sometimes BUT intestine-friendly foods can not satisfy my greedy stomach!!!! I will end up with a heavy meal late at night and a starving stomach next morning!

To solve the issue, once for all, I got back to my old trick: Creating a long running story, in which I am the main player!!! When I go to sleep, I make up the stories in my head and take the people from the books, novels and movies….and create in my mind a story that involves all of us. Sometimes adventure stories, other times a romantic story and within 20 minutes or so I drop off..... It is taking control and guiding my thoughts away from reality and into a fantasy; A fantasy that has NO correlation to any events in my life.....Visualizations that take over my brain completely and stops my brain from wandering and gets me away from things I have to do.

The "STORY" method proved to be really effective. It is strange, but I seem to pass from having a story in my head to having a dream. I can’t describe it any better.
posted by Angel at 5:13 AM, | 2 comments
Thursday, March 15, 2007


It has been way too long since I last contributed anything to my blog! A combination of tardiness, laziness, work, other priorities and all sorts of other things going on as life progresses …. There are all kinds of excuses…... In short, wrapped up in a lot of things and feeling my life is too much busy but unfortunately with nonsense!

Thinking on what to write, there are just too many thoughts to put into words but am frankly too tired/busy to develop them……Uninspired as to what to post today, finally decided on this somewhat revised list of my favourite quotes:

When I quote others, I do so in order to express my own ideas more clearly.
Michel de Montaigne

“The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow….If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies…If you are kind, people may accuse you of being selfish and having ulterior motives…..What you spend years building, someone may destroy overnight….If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you……Give the world the best you have although it may never be enough….If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous…...
Anyway! Do good, succeed, be kind, build, be honest and frank, give the world the best you have and be happy….”

“It doesn't matter if the song of life that you sing is simple or complicated. All that matters is how much you put into that song. Your life is controlled only by what you give to it. You won't get anything from it if you don't put feeling into life. That's why people fall in love. If they give that feeling, they get it back. Put all you've got into this life, and when the day comes for you to pass on, you won't regret what you did”

“You change for two reasons: Either you learn enough that you want to or you've been hurt enough that you have to”

“Every secret of a writer's soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works.”

“It's not easy to let go of something you've put everything into. But it's harder to realize later on that you've been holding on to something that wasn't there anymore”

“In life, there are times that you have to face tough decisions, either you make it or break it. But do remember whichever way you go, there are no wrong decisions in life, it's for you to make it right”

“Always make your absence felt, in such a way that somebody misses you, but let not your absence be so long that somebody starts learning to live without you”

Dear reader, I understand your desire for posts that take on directly the issues of anyone's day. I am sorry if you are disappointed that I have chosen to write differently this time….
posted by Angel at 11:00 AM, | 6 comments
Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Mirror Mirror on the wall, who is the greatest teacher of them all!!

This is a question that has consumed our students and educational system for years. It is also the same one that many of our “better-known” teachers are asking the reflection in the mirror each morning as they shave, trim or wash…. A useless meeting on Thursday showed me that they all believe they are great and the best in their fields!! A degree from the States or any European country and long years overseas… These are simply their codes/keys to enter the educational world and been described, rightly or wrongly, (by themselves, other colleagues and some students) as GREAT teachers…

If we looked deep into their performance….Their lessons/lectures do not reflect standards and guidelines, even though they may be aware that these exist! They don't have the time or energy to develop all the curricula for all the subjects they teach. They grade students either randomly or according to how well they like them!! They don’t see the need to change things; they’ve got a pretty good gig and would love to keep it. They are great at finding excuses for why changes just “will not work “for their classes. They don’t see themselves as big part of the educational system problem. They don’t understand how, or don’t care about the fact that they can help in solving these problems. They don’t understand the importance of their teaching responsibilities, and the potential impact they have on their students’ lifelong future. They won’t completely understand or be able to specify their true role in the educational system; they really believed that their students couldn't learn very much and we were naive to think otherwise….

The single most important factor determining the quality of the education a student receives is simply the “quality” of his teacher! In a crazy selfish educational system like ours, we should think more than once before describing our selves as GREAT in teaching or even see ourselves as superiors (this is common believe me!!!)… We are not great...we are not even teachers, in the true sense of the word….. Who is to blame for our faulty educational system? ….Teachers are really the focus here….Wake up my dears…”Great teachers make great students and therefore great universities…year after year, generation after generation” and this is not happening in our universities at all!!

We have to admit that the role of the teacher is changing. It is and has to be an ever-changing one. As we move through different trends in education, we talk independent learners, cooperative learning...we wander through the role of textbooks, of visual learning and kinetic learning and oral/aural learning, of the internet, of computer programs, of drilling, of interaction...we talk about communicative approaches versus memorization versus translation versus suggestopedia...In fact, we often talk as though all these things could exist separately and independently of each other, as if learning itself can be delineated clearly, as if there is such a thing as a single definition of a teacher or a great teacher...

Not everyone was meant to be a teacher….. I can testify that having a degree or even attaining a PhD does not make someone a great teacher!! Lecturers/teachers are not highly qualified until they are proven..... Unfortunately, there is no great test that we can hold teachers against….A quick literature review shows that being a “teacher” demands broad knowledge of subject matter, curriculum and standards; enthusiasm, a caring attitude and a love of learning and a desire to make a difference in the lives of students.

Great teachers: Set high expectations for all students expecting that all of them CAN and WILL achieve, Write-out objectives for clear lesson, Prepared and Organized: early and ready to teach presenting lessons in a clear and structured way, are masters of their subject matter!! Engage students and get them to look at issues in a variety of ways using effectively facts as a starting point, not an end point; asking "why" questions, look at all sides and encouraging students to predict what will happen next, Seek to maximize students' ability to think of and understand the world in which they must participate; their participation in their own education is a vital ingredient in this preparation to participate in the wider world. Teachers should be Creative, Flexible and able to adapt to new ideas, Warm, Accessible, Enthusiastic, Caring and Form strong relationships (without undoing their sense of authority) with their students and show that they care about them as individuals and the benefits of caring reach far beyond the class, Has no fear of the prospect that sometimes the teacher is learning and sometimes the student is teaching; they both grow and change when in relationship; they share the experience of learning, and in which the responsibility of learning is also shared

“The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself” ......Edward Robert Bulwer-Lytton

With all these qualities required, it's no wonder that it's hard, if not impossible, to find a real great teacher… Before stating we are the best teachers in our fields, or even wishing for such a description! We should take the first step toward a solution....We should admit WE HAVE PROBLEMS, we have errors and we simply not doing our job (teaching) at all…Our education system should move towards building this “good teacher quality” with the design of the new curriculum; so the sooner teachers open themselves up to new ways the better…..

posted by Angel at 8:52 AM, | 4 comments
Friday, December 01, 2006

My qualities: For and against!

As a newcomer to the blogsphere world, Ascribo’s tag was a hard task for me! However, I felt his warm welcome and that strong wish for me to have a solid start into this world of expressing our selves!.. Thank you Ascribo, Hope you will like the "nonsense" I came up with!

To answer what sounded a "simple one-question tag", I give my self 35 minutes to answer......

"Which of your qualities you want your child to have, and which of them you do NOT want him to have?"

I have no children of my own and for some unexplained reason can not see any in my future! However, the little 4 months old "Yara", my niece, has become the centre of my life since she was born….Passing some of my qualities to her sounds to be lately the "current debate!"… "She will be tall like her aunt!" her mum says… "NO! she is going to have her aunt’s fashion-model figure!!" her grandmother says…."Actually, she certainly has her aunt’s transparent eyes, that window to her soul" her dad says…

Listing my good and bad traits was not an easy mission at all... though words cannot fully describe human personality….

Dependable, self confident and artistic are words that anyone who knows me well would use to describe me. My parents would mainly describe me as dependable. They can depend on me with any responsibility they give me. My work experience has also contributed to my dependability. I have a very good relationship with my colleagues and supervisors because I have shown them over the years that they can depend on me to get most anything done. Friends in UK describe me as being dependable because they knew that friends and family come first to me. A lot of my friends will come to me with problems because they know they can depend on me to help them out and listen. Praying Yara will grow into a reliable person, I hope that she will always be looked at as being dependable to all her friends and family. Try to be diligent about being responsible, I hope she will believe that being reliable is an important thing and that the only way she can gain trust, which is one of the most important thing in the world, is to be reliable.

I want Yara to have my self-confidence in order to form her opinions and make her own decisions. Others can rely on her; once she has given her word she will do her utmost to fulfil a responsibility. However, I want her to overcome my tendency to be a little too independent in my thinking as it is difficult for me to accept the help of others when I should! Due to my strong sense of responsibility, I experience worry and mental turmoil through assuming more responsibility than I should.

One of my personal traits, my friends describe me with, is being creative and artistic!! Ever since I was a little girl I have loved to draw and paint; and I have always been enrolled in art classes or art shows. When ever I am bored I will always find something artistic to do. I love being artistic and creative because it gives me a way to express myself… how I want and in the way I want….I desire Yara to find the right way to express her self… I can see her as an insightful Linguist, having the natural fluency of a writer and the visual and spatial strengths of an artist. Those skills will contribute to her creative and expressive mind.

As for my emotional skills, my strongest suit is perception, my ability to pick up on what others are feeling. Because of this, am good at reading people's verbal and non-verbal cues. I hope Yara will be aware of the subtleties of people's actions, and can feel out the vibe of a situation better than me. That will give her and edge many wish they had….

Colleagues and family would also describe me as being friendly; in all my past experiences I have learned that it pays off to be friendly. By being friendly with mainly everyone and getting to know them on a more personal level, I was awarded more responsibilities!! Love for caring others is the reason why I am a big sister in people's eyes. People would find it interesting and comfortable talking to me and this enabled me to gain trust from them. This usually gives a good impression to those who are sentimental and younger than me…. Am also shy and quiet, enjoy peaceful, comfortable environments and dislike noisy and crowded environments. When someone is in need, I would not say "NO" .....Ever!!....I know that i can do anything for this person. I tend to forget my self when i help others! I even sacrifice myself, my time and work for the sake of others. All of that are very accurate regarding my complicated personality…. I hope that Yara can overcome these possible inherent deficiencies . Here, to be honest, I believe all my qualities should be sent to Hell!!

I would not consider myself a quick-tempered person, but when I do get angry I get blindingly angry. I tend to keep my cool on the surface, but rage deep inside within myself!!! "Unhealthy"quality for sure! ..... I've got very high standards for people around me, and even higher standards for myself. Therefore I'm constantly let down (by both myself and others). I expect more from myself…..Sometimes, especially around those for whom I care a great deal, I push myself even harder. When I fail, with my standards, I get angry with myself. I desire Yara not to lower her standards. I pray she will build the right "healthy" ways to react when she fail to meet her standards, and to learn how to express, or act out, her anger.

I do ignore things that would normally hurt me. i even tend to forgive easily.. I even create excuses for people bad behavior with me and tend to believe in what I imagine is the reason behind! This is certainly a "quality" that I pray Yara will never suffer from!

Writing the list of my "bad" and "good" traits can continue for ever! I only Pray that Yara will be responsible, and conscientious. Committed and steady in meeting her obligations. Loyal, considerate, notice and remember specifics about people who are important to her, concerned with how others feel. Strive to create an orderly and harmonious environment at work and home….

posted by Angel at 1:24 AM, | 4 comments