Being a “rock”

White_Rock_-_BW

Hi everybody,

Today I want to talk to you about what it is like being a “rock”. Not in the literal sense of the word.

I am often told I am like a rock because of my strong character and discipline, the way I can hold my ground  when everything is crumbling down, the way I can be strong when everyone else is weak, and so on…I guess that it is true in some way, I just wish I didn’t have to be the rock all the time.

Trust me, I’ve tried.

Sometimes I truly think that what other people think of us is what really makes us. I never chose to be the rock. This was in some way decided for me and it is expected of me no matter what. When I had my melt downs I realized that other people couldn’t handle me in any way, they didn’t even know what to say to make me feel better while I was perfectly aware of what I was going through and was amazed at the inability of the people around me to lift my spirit! I was extremely disappointed that I could never have a shoulder to cry on because crying was not expected of me. Despair wasn’t a word that could be included in my vocabulary. It saddens me and makes me proud at the same time. I can’t have my “mad times” or simply feel worthless… not when I’m in a company of friends or family, automatically this transfers a bad mood amongst my loved ones which then becomes a huge issue they absolutely can’t deal with. So I’m forced to hide my true feelings and keep being the motivator.

It’s obvious I’m not happy all the time, but I tend to make myself happy, work on my happiness so that the vision people have of me reflects the reality. I just want to make sure that I’m true to myself most of the time and keep being strong or let things out when I need to in a more private way, away from it all. It really works for me and my moody behavior.

Are you anyone’s rock? Do you like being a rock?

I’m just beginning to accept it…

Being a motivational coach!

Something really exciting is happening … It’s been a year since I started my new life-style, eating healthy, working out but most importantly running.

I’m proud to say many people have started following my footsteps around me. My sister lost 22kg since I lost 11kg (setting the example), it took some time but eventually she understood that she too could really make it once and for all and never go back to dieting again as this time round it had to be FOR GOOD!

What amazes me is how some young women from my singing school have started looking up to me. They want to train with me and they’re very enthusiastic about all the running going on.

I have to say I’m really honored because so far at least 6 people have started running, eating healthier and one has even stopped smoking since she started jogging!

I’m trying to fit in all these runs in my busy work schedule, I think it’s worth all the time invested in healthy  relationships with people. Most importantly it will help me achieve my goal of running 21km in April!

YEAY

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WM

English books for Italian students

Hello readers,

Sorry I’ve been absent for some weeks but I wasn’t feeling inspired enough to write anything interesting for you so I took some time off.

I’ve also been quite moody because no matter how hard and often I train lately my cheat meals get the best of me and I have guilty feelings even when I shouldn’t have. Does that ever happen to you? Friday and Saturday I ate too many carbs, but overall I had 3 sessions at the gym this week and ran 5 km on Wednesday and 10 km today. That makes 5 days out of 7 of sports! Don’t know whether to feel proud or worried that I messed up my meal plans so much.

Anyway, let’s forget about the random feelings I have about my training sessions and eating habits. On a more serious note I would like to talk to you about my teaching:

Last week I went to Feltrinelli book store to get some new material for my students. I think this is a very interesting and useful way to teach English to students. What worries me is that sometimes they don’t find this activity efficient enough, whereas personally I think it’s the best instrument to perfect vocabulary, comprehension and learn some expressions they too might use during conversation.

I’ve been using two books mainly: The Fisherman and his soul and Sherlock Holmes and the Red Circle, the later is more interesting for my students as they find it more entertaining to try and solve the mysteries. The activities in the book are quite fun too, I must say. This is a “Step 1” book but since it contains the audio CD I find it is better for my intermediate students to do listening activities rather than just read. So you  can choose how to face the matter with each student depending on their level. Later during the comprehension tasks if they haven’t understood a particular word or phrase it tends to pop up anyway after some time and I send them back to read the text and find it and then listen again to the audio tape in order to remember it better the next time it is used.

What’s great about these books is that vocabulary tends to be repeated throughout and students start to understand the meaning of words from context. While doing the listening again I sometimes mime the words or point them out when they are difficult to catch.

Amazingly enough younger students are actually better at these activities; for example it is  more than enough for me to translate a sentence into Italian for my 10 year old student for her to understand the meaning the second time round. It’s just incredible how the little ones don’t need any explanations or grammar, they just take what you say for granted and learn faster.  I wish my older students had the same trust and enthusiasm!

What books do you use to teach or learn English?

Let me know if you have any suggestions for me and I’ll get back to you.

Thank you all for reading!

WM