SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18: This morning Amanda and I went on a two mile run to Kingsway Shopping Center to see if they had a wi-fi spot…and they do! The McDonald’s is open 24 hours and does have wi-fi! I think this may be the closest spot to where we live so biking there will be great! And OH MY GOODNESS…right as I started to feel like the spiders don’t like my room, since I had not seen one in there yet…GUESS WHAT HAPPENED!!! I was packing my bag for the beach and I saw a movement on my black bed spread out of the corner of my eye…I looked over and here was this FREAKY lookin’ spider with a HUGE black butt! I started screaming and jumping around and Amanda came in and we both grabbed our cameras and took some pictures before I killed it …although the pictures don’t do it justice…I had goosebumps for the next hour…trying to go to sleep tonight is going to be REAL fun, NOT! J (I know it is not nice to kill the spiders, but they should know not to be crawling around on my bed, towels, or in the kitchen sink J) We asked John today if we could use his extra bike so he brought it to the house when he picked us up from the boat harbor. Amanda and I spent a WONDERFUL, and SUNNY day on the beach today!! I am really going to miss just being a short distance (about a 1 hour bike ride) from the beach! We also ate at a restaurant called “Grill.” It was our first sit down restaurant meal since we have been here…it was a little pricey but the food was DELICOUS! I had some really good brushchetta (not sure how to spell that J) and she had some yummy linguini! Ben stayed up till the wee hours of the morning watching a show so he called me at like 5 this evening, which really surprised me! We got to talk for 40 minutes which was really nice! Denyer sat down with Amanda and I tonight and gave each of us a three page document explaining the house rules which kind of cleared the air a bit, apparently it bothered her that Amanda and I would hang out in the main part of the house at night so she has asked us that when she is home and it is not dinner time that we stay on our side of the house so she can unwind and such…the air here feels a little weird right now if you know what I mean…Amanda and I feel like we have to walk on egg shells…it will just take some getting used to because Amanda and I were kind of hoping that it would be more like we were all roommates instead of just boarders, but that is not the case so oh well…I am just REALLY glad that I have Amanda and she feels the same way because it would be REALLY lonely around here if it was just me.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 18: I taught the entire morning today! I feel much better about my placement now that I am starting to run things. I do have a nice cooperating teacher and today she said that she can tell that the students are really responding to me and that my classroom management and discipline is good (I am no softy during these first few weeks-then they realize that I mean business and there are usually no more problems after the first two weeks J). I am really trying to get ahead in my planning so that the rest of the semester I will be able to breathe a little easier. Mrs. Harvey had to stop at the grocery store to buy some milk before dropping me at the train station and she treated me to a Turkish Delight candy bar as well! It was like a gummy candy on the inside and chocolate covered on the outside-quite delicious and so sweet of her!! She dropped me off at the bus stop just as it was pulling away…so forty minutes later I caught the bus and then Amanda and I rode our bikes to the McDonalds with wi-fi…it took awhile to cross Hepburn which is a busy street that time of evening, but the internet came up just fine and I bought a little McD’s cone which was yummy…and I broke down and bought some fries…J They were also yummy! Riding there was the easy part, riding home-uphill-fighting nightfall-was the hard part but we survived J We had lamb tacos tonight which were REALLY good. This weekend when I was telling John about the huge spider that had been crawling on my bed he had also warned Amanda and I about the red-diamond back spider which is in western Australia, but he and Hazel assured us that you never see them inside…well guess what…J Denyer told us at dinner that she found one spinning webs in her closet this morning so she sprayed it and had saved it to show us tonight so we knew what to look out for…yup! Very venomous spider in the house…LOVELY J But she reassured us that they are usually only deadly to young children or people with heart problems…everyone else is just in a lot of pain, vomiting, and sick for days…. J
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 19: I killed 2 spiders and a cockroach before leaving for the bus at 6:20 this morning…all in a days work J There was a very light misting in the air as I walked and it was very refreshing! Also, one of the bus drivers I had this morning was very charming and kind and it was a great start to a very beautiful day! Teaching went even better today and I am slowly starting to really feel like a part of the classroom. One of my students raised his hand today and reminded me that I say things differently than they do and I explained that we both spoke English but that we have different ways of saying things-I have an American accent and he has an Australian accent-he then asked me if I could understand what he was saying…and I again told him yes because we both speak English J Also, one of my students was apparently very confused at how I got here so early every morning…she knew that I was from America…Ms. Seal told me that the student thought that I had to fly home to America every night and then fly back to school each morning…cute huh?! J While riding with Ms. Seal after school today I noticed that the speed limit along one of the roads we took was 100 (the speed limit signs here are white, no words, just the number with a big red circle around it) and I thought WOW!...that is REALLY fast. But then I remembered that 100 km/hour is not the same as 100 miles/hour J
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20: Today was fun…to start with my bus driver had been talking to me and then asked me if I was Irish or Swedish before I got off the bus-I told him neither and he seemed amazed because he could of sworn that I sounded Irish…never been told that one before J Also, today I had some more word mix-ups in the classroom. I told a student that it was their turn and they needed to go use the “restroom” and I got the most quizzical look in return and so I repeated myself thinking maybe she was just not listening the first time…she then gave me the same look and very sweetly said, “Pardon” which is what people say here if they are confused about what you said (it seems so politeJ)…and then it dawned on me and I smiled and started giggling and rephrased and then said “toilet” instead of “restroom” J It is so interesting working with the young age group because they have not heard enough to know the different words for things so if you do not say the exact words they are used to they are usually lost…another example today was that I asked a student to help me put out the book bins…which I guess to them was like me asking them to put out the book trashcans since they use the word bin in place of the word trashcan….anyway they were really confused and I had another giggle and corrected myself…the students think it’s funny too so it’s all in good humor J I was able to spend 5 hours working on lesson plans tonight and am almost done with all of my lesson plans for next week I just have to make some final touches on one of them tomorrow during my lunch period. Thankfully after I do my unit plan and turn it into Livetext for evaluation I will not have to do the really long lesson plans for each lesson, but can do a more modified and shortened version for the rest of term. After dinner we heard some knocking and a voice at the front door and Denyer told us not to answer because it was Matt (her ex-fiancé). Apparently he has been bothering her dad for the past 3 weeks since she changed her phone number-trying to get her new information and then he called her at work this Monday and she just hung up on him and now I guess he has resorted to coming by the house. She told us not to worry because he is not dangerous or anything but she did call the cops and put in a report in case she has to file for a restraining order later. I cannot but help feel a little nervous that he is coming by the house now…maybe he is capable of breaking and entering as well…let’s hope not….for her sake and Amanda and I. Oh yeah…and I killed another spider this morning…he looked like a deep red colored daddy long leg thing…he was up above the door so I had to get him with the end of the broom…my aim and fire is getting really accurate with all this practiceJ Oh and it rained today…people were REALLY happy since they have just come off of the second driest winter recorded here. The clouds were rolling in all morning and then around mid morning it just let loose-it was like a monsoon out there!!
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21: I happily received a surprising phone call from Benjamin this morning at 5:50! I had just woken up and was franticly running around the house trying to get ready before I left at 6:20 to catch the bus…so unfortunately I had to ask him to call back later…I felt bad because I know it costs money every time someone tries to call :( I will make sure to get up earlier from now on so I am not so rushed! On my walk to the bus stop I got dive bombed by another magpie…they must have just laid eggs in a tree there because I walk that way through the park everyday and this was the first time I got the terrifying warning that I was too close to their nest! Today on the second bus (bus 444 seems to always have talkative and personable bus drivers…) the older bus driver started talking to me and asked me where I was from because he said I have a tricky accent that is hard to pin down…when I told him he lit up and said that his son is going to be traveling around the U.S. for the next four months with some friends from the U.S. and Europe-they are going to buy an inexpensive car and drive around! Sounded like an adventure to me!
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22: We went to dinner again with John and Hazel and the family we met last week. Their children, James and Marnie were there again and Elliot (the one studying law) got to come tonight too! We exchanged phone numbers so we can all get together some more…they seem really fun and they are our age. James kind of seems like a brother so it will be fun to hang out. They taught us some more Australian stuff at dinner J They don’t allow high fructose corn syrup to be put in food here and they put a higher tax on foods that have over a certain amount of sugar (so candy is more expensive). A “tit” here is kind of like a rude-goof off. A “wowzer” is kind of like a party pooper. They don’t have root beer here-they have ginger beer. They also don’t really have Dr. Pepper, they don’t have egg nog or twinkies (Elliot says that he LOVES twinkies and asks his mom to bring back a big case when she goes to the States).
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23: Another fun fact I realized today…the moon is upside down here (from what it looks like back home)…and its REALLY bright! Today we woke up to the handyman bangin’ around with his hammer on the door putting in the remainder of the security screens…and Denyer did take off work yesterday and went to the courts to get a restraining order against Matt (her ex). Today Amanda and I went to Freemantle and ate at Ciscerellos for lunch-which is a famous fish and chips place and is apparently where the ACDC guy named Bon Scott loved to eat-they have a statue of him outside the restaurant. We then went to the Freemantle Prison and went on the underground tunnel tour…it was REALLY interesting and FUN-we got to wear a cool little outifit and climb a ladder down 20 meters to the underground!! We walked through the small tunnels and then got to get into row boats and row through the underground water channels. We learned that back in the day the people living in this area in Australia started to struggle with being able to get water and building their infrastructure so they asked Britian if they could send convicts to come and build…their first task was to build the prison in which they would be staying, they then helped build the city and dug wells beneath the prison (which was built on a fresh water source). We then ate a DELICIOUS dinner at a restaurant called Sandrino. On the train ride back to Perth a group of about 20 guys got on and were pretty entertaining…they were on their way to the Metallica concert in Perth and were singing and carrying on which was fun to watch J We then had to wait 40 minutes and catch the bus from Perth to the shopping center near our house…when we got off the bus we had a 10 minute walk home…in the dark…we probably should have taken the longer way and stayed on the main road instead of taking the short cut through the deserted roads and park…but oh well-we made it!