English Teachers Are Happy To Share

English Teachers Are Happy To Share

Random Thoughts by Pauline

June 21 2014, Saturday                
Trading places

It was around eight in the morning. The lift stopped on the fifth floor. In came a woman and a little girl of about five. They had to be mother and daughter as they looked so alike, the same round face and sparkling eyes. As they walked in, the girl was clinging to the mother’s legs nagging her at the same time.

“Mom, I want to be you! You don’t have to go to school.”

“Mary, I want to be YOU!”
This dialogue brought back to my mind a movie which I used for students’ school-based assessment 11 years ago - Freaky Friday, a 2003 film based on the novel of the same name by Mary Rodgers. It stars Lindsay Lohan as Anna Coleman and Jamie Lee Curtis as her mother. In the film, their souls are switched due to an enchanted Chinese fortune cookie. The whole story is about how each copes with the new role and the problems that come along ending with mother-daughter relationship improved and their identities switched back.
Trading places or swapping identities has been the theme of many stories such as the popular children’s story of The Prince and the Pauper. It is a novel by famous American author Mark Twain first published in 1881. Set in 1547, it tells the story of two young boys who are identical in appearance: Tom Canty, a pauper who leads a miserable life, and Prince Edward, son of King Henry VIII. The two boys get to know one another by chance. Fascinated by each other's life and their strange resemblance, they decide to switch clothes "temporarily". Edward leaves the court for Tom to be the prince. After a series of adventures and the death of the King, Edward and Tom switch back to their original places. Edward with first-hand knowledge about the life of the poor is crowned as King Edward VI. He vows to be a good king and in gratitude he bestows honour on Tom.

How many times has such thought of swapping identities come to your mind? And if you were given such a chance, which person would you want to trade with? The person you love most, hate most or envy most? And how would you persuade that person to accept your offer?

I know which person’s identity I want to assume but I am sure he would not want to be me!

Random Thoughts by Pauline

June 13 2014, Friday 
The Circle game

We all have such an experience – a state of captivity and numbness. These are days when we simply surrender to life’s challenges which might be something overwhelming or the last straw on the camel’s back or sheer boredom. We feel like trapped in a maze too exhausted to attempt the escape. "The Circle Game” featured in Joni Mitchell's third album, Ladies of the Canyon, released in 1970 comes in handy.

We're captive on the carousel of time

We can't return we can only look behind

From where we came

And go round and round and round

In the circle game


This is the burnout syndrome. Faced with mounting challenges whether from work or family, we are so exhausted that we stop fighting back or we find ourselves simply stifled by boredom. Whatever the cause may be, we have to re-activate ourselves by first examining our situation. 


Is it a situation we want to be in? How long can we stay there stuck? Why are we there? Is it the best for ourselves? These are solid questions we have to answer!

Want to stay in the situation – same job, same relationship? Then get re-energized to improve it. Get help if the challenges are overwhelming. Voice your objection if the workload keeps increasing or if the relationship is upsetting you. If life is too monotonous, create new dimensions. Break your routine. Make new friends. Start a new hobby.

Want to uproot yourself from the situation, make preparations for the change to come. Take it as a project and plan it but not to the greatest details. That would be too nerve-wracking.

Life does not have to be a circle game. Make the present enjoyable and look ahead to a known future coloured by surprises that you can handle!



Random Thoughts by Pauline

June 5 2014, Thursday          
 When a man loves a woman

How do men show their love to their ladies? A poem or a bouquet? A diamond ring or a watch? A sports car or a yacht? A hug or a tender word? Some quiet moments together? A walk on the beach? All these are too good to be true! Such scenario only exists in fairy tales, movies and dreams! Any girls who harbour such fantasies will definitely go crazy! Yet even a mature lady like me, I do sometimes entertain myself with such an imagery – a surprise kiss!


As a romantic relationship develops, the man and the woman become husband and wife and then father and mother, gone are the sweet talks and even the physical appeal. Their conversations are never about how they feel for each other but always about the third party – the children, the pets, their careers etc. Soon the wives find that the time spent with the husbands are always in crowds of friends or relatives or colleagues. They are not spending time alone anymore! Wives dare not make the moves as all ladies won’t! They are waiting for their husbands to re-discover their femininity. That sometimes is hard when the wives have long decided to reveal their true selves in front of their men. While women can tolerate men’s receding hairline, big tummy and untidy habits, men secretly pray that their mates can retain their youthfulness. When their wives can’t satisfy their fantasy, they look elsewhere! These days, they don’t have to look too far.


Once the first unfaithful step is taken, the husband sees everything wrong in the wife! Yet the wife who might have smelt disloyalty endures hoping the derailing is only a fling and the man will soon be back body and soul! He might and he might not depending on the pull factor. He keeps the wife and the family as they provide a safe haven he might have to go back to!


Here is part of the lyrics of The Carpenters’ "Love Me For What I Am" which sums up how a woman feels the change in her man.

We fell in love

On the first night that we met


We've been happy

I have very few regrets

The ordinary problems

Have not been hard to face

But lately little changes

Have been slowly taking place

You're always finding something

Is wrong in what I do

But you can't rearrange my life

Because it please you

You've got to love me

For what I am

For simply being me

Don't love me

For what you intend

Or hope that I will be

And if you're only using me

To feed your fantasy

You're really not in love

So let me go

I must be free