Saturday, March 24, 2007

MOE 18 March 07



















well, back from another 5 days of 6 or 7 Am starts and sweaty days. some good photos on this one. The lead trainer was Nora, who was pleasant to work with.

I pitched in more than usual, with games from my manual, plus ones I've learnt from the Malay trainers. Also briefs on Kayaking, a smoother navigation brief where I built a hilly area with sand on the beach to show spurs, knolls, saddles to the students. We did a 7KM paddle with the 14 yr old students - quite a bit for them. From a small island called Tiloi, to aother islands, then across a channel with waves and wind to Tuba island, the main island we use on these camps.

I got a bit exasperated trying to coach one or 2 double kayaks who had trouble keeping up with the group because they were doing the usual beginner zigzag path - often at right angles to the desired direction. My english wasn't getting thru to them because these few students had quite poor english. Decided that next time I need to set up a signal for stern rudder (left or right), on the beach, and make sure all students knew what to do when I yelled the signal at them. eg "rudder kiri" meaning "rudder left", (kiri = left in malay). mmm so I need to have a bit more basic Malay vocab at my fingertips, to avoid banging my head against a wall occasionally.
Bagus makaan = good food; Tariq = pull; Lagi = more

and so on -- I'm picking up this stuff as I go along. The kids like it when you speak a little Malay. Most of them understand what you say 70 % of the time. a few have very poor grasp of english. Thankfully, we are always paired with a Malay trainer.

On the first day, the kids were zombies and didn't respond much... they usually are pretty tired as they travel by bus and ferry for 6 hours or so to get to Tuba island. They perked up at the end of the 2nd day - after kayaking. Thankfully. My energy levels were the best so far... sleeping better at night and managing the group a bit better. Some stiff trapezius problems while kayaking. plus a bit of a vertebrae out in my upper back... my chiropractor flatmate adjusts me almost weekly... it's not severe pain, but uncomfortable. Well - It would be nice to have got into this profession 10 years earlier, (now 36) . I'm not going to whinge about it... but I have to recognize that it makes me a little more prone to back problems and so on.
Surprisingly, wearing the big pack jungle trekking often fixes any lower back niggles I may have - the large lumbar pad massages the lower back , and the big hip strap places most of the weight low on the back. I highly recommend the large "Deuter" pack.
I'll be doing a post on general conditions - food on course, and so on later, for those who are interested.

Readers: Don't hesitate to leave comments- click on the "comment" section at the bottom of the post- you don't have to register to leave a comment, just type right ahead. it would give a nice warm feeling if you left a comment - Tafe dudes and dudettes, as well as friends and family. Cheers.

9 comments:

John Doe said...

This is Jules trying out the comments section.

John Doe said...

This is Jules trying out the comments section.

Shona said...

Hi Julian, really love reading all about your adventures. My little adventure into studying is very absorbing but obviously few photo opportunities! Many thanks for your wonderful blog and excellent photos, Shona :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Julian, I am studying tourism at TAFE as part of my Diploma of Event Management. I enjoy reading your blog. Your cousin Georgina in Western Australia.

Viv said...

Hi Julian. It's great to just "pop in" and visit your blog whenever I want. Great to see your photos too, and know that you are out there in the world doing real man stuff! Your cousin Vivien in England.

Don said...

Hi Julian. I know what you mean about the passsivity of the Malay kids — or is it the Malaysian kids generally? In classrooom situations, anyway. It's not that the're mentally inaccessible, as I think you discovered after a while. But there is, and there was fifty years ago, a cultural gap between their ways of learning and the ways of learning which are usual in Western schools that encourage critical inquiry in their pupils and don't expect them to absorb passively and then regorge verbatim whatever their teacher tells them.

I discovered this difference between Australian and Asian pupils fairly early during my teaching stint in Sarawak back in 1957. It wasn't just the Malay boys and girls who had this approach, but the Chinese as well. One of the Malay words for teacher (I'm not sure if it's still the commonest word) is "guru". That's what a teacher is — or was. He's an authority figure.

However, as you are discovering, that's not necessarily a barrier to communication. You just have to learn a different set of cultural conventions and and do whatever you have to do in accordance with them. It's an interesting learning experience,isn't it?

Don

Don said...

Hi Julian. I know what you mean about the passsivity of the Malay kids — or is it the Malaysian kids generally? In classrooom situations, anyway. It's not that the're mentally inaccessible, as I think you discovered after a while. But there is, and there was fifty years ago, a cultural gap between their ways of learning and the ways of learning which are usual in Western schools that encourage critical inquiry in their pupils and don't expect them to absorb passively and then regorge verbatim whatever their teacher tells them.

I discovered this difference between Australian and Asian pupils fairly early during my teaching stint in Sarawak back in 1957. It wasn't just the Malay boys and girls who had this approach, but the Chinese as well. One of the Malay words for teacher (I'm not sure if it's still the commonest word) is "guru". That's what a teacher is — or was. He's an authority figure.

However, as you are discovering, that's not necessarily a barrier to communication. You just have to learn a different set of cultural conventions and and do whatever you have to do in accordance with them. It's an interesting learning experience,isn't it?

Don

Don said...

Hi Julian. I know what you mean about the passsivity of the Malay kids — or is it the Malaysian kids generally? In classrooom situations, anyway. It's not that the're mentally inaccessible, as I think you discovered after a while. But there is, and there was fifty years ago, a cultural gap between their ways of learning and the ways of learning which are usual in Western schools that encourage critical inquiry in their pupils and don't expect them to absorb passively and then regorge verbatim whatever their teacher tells them.

I discovered this difference between Australian and Asian pupils fairly early during my teaching stint in Sarawak back in 1957. It wasn't just the Malay boys and girls who had this approach, but the Chinese as well. One of the Malay words for teacher (I'm not sure if it's still the commonest word) is "guru". That's what a teacher is — or was. He's an authority figure.

However, as you are discovering, that's not necessarily a barrier to communication. You just have to learn a different set of cultural conventions and and do whatever you have to do in accordance with them. It's an interesting learning experience,isn't it?

Don

Cecilia said...

Hi Jules,
Your blog is fascinating. It's our window into your world of amazing landscapes and experiences, as well as being a great record for you to look back on. You're a true adventurer, just like Bill. Thanks for sharing!
x Cecilia