Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lows and highs in 2010

The year 2010 is about to end. A new year is coming. Time to look back low and high moments. Yes, so many things have happened to me over the year of tiger.

I don't know where I should start. Maybe I should talk about my son first. He has moved to secondary school, Grade 6. His school is considered the best in the district. Luckily it is quite near my living place. It takes only 5 minutes by motorbike and short enough for him to walk home if mother has to work whole day. In the first month of the school year, he did not get used to the learning style at secondary school and I gave him a hand and supervised him study closely. Gradually, no need for too much supervision from mum any more. :-) And, at the end of the semester, mum supported him again with the preparation for tests. Good scores.

My work is good. In November, I got promoted, which means more responsibilities and a bit higher income. What I want to share here is heavy workload with new ESP teaching. Sometimes I felt exhausted, really exhausted, beyond my capacity. Anyhow, my team and I made it. Not too good but acceptable for the first round.
Travelling is another high in 2010. I travelled well on both business and holiday: to highland, to the central and to the north. Really interesting.

Besides, I still sustain the rental flat and make it my simple and cozy and nice home. In my distant dream, I wish to live in such a place. Tomorrow my colleagues-friends will come here for the second visit. They like my place and like my independence. :-) It promises a really good time together.

So what are my lows? Well, my personal life. It took me quite a long time to overcome what happened to my personal life. But it is said that what will come will come. We can not hide for ever. My friends and family wanted to help me to have a more comfortable life. Some said: forgive and come back. Some said: forget and move on. And I needed time to think. Tears and sleepless nights. Maybe it is one of my weaknesses. I don't want to come back and I can't move forward. As a result, I stand still and experience or face with my pain. Deep in my heart, I don't want to hurt my son. I want him to be proud of his parents. And I did it: keep bad things as far away from him as possible.

Time will help us to grow up and to be stronger in a stormy life. And a man who has always been standing beside me in the last few years is anh. But good things never last for good. He is going to be my long distance friend. So sad to say this.

One more low I want to talk here is when I heard the news about my niece, my brother's daughter. She is an autistic child although she is a very cute little girl. She can't talk clearly even now more than 2 years old.

A year is passing with all happiness and sadness I have experienced. In the coming year, I wish so much for peace in my mind and for love in my heart. I don't like to be considered as a strong woman. For me, a strong woman is often lonely. I don't want to be lonely. :-) I want to be cared for and to be loved. I wish for good health and good income to support myself and my son.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Heavy Workload gone and will be back

Finally, preparation for semester 2 was over this morning, which gives me little free time to relax. A week to go we will be busy again. Again, I have a problem with how much I will teach: 30, 35 or 40 periods per week. Balance between work and life is not easy for me at all. For some people they work to earn as much money as possible. For some people they work to have fun. For me, both purposes :-). Moreover, I think I have to spend time with my son. He is growing and needs my attention. I claim myself greedy and a bit too ambitious. I want to do many things and I want to do them well. Clearly, it is impossible. I have to set priorities, have to choose. (I realize that I seem not to be good at choosing. Smart choices should be made on rational not emotional reasons.) Anyhow, I made up my mind, 35 periods: full Mon, full Thu, Tue-Wed and Fri morning.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Single mum

This morning I concentrated on work at home. But now, in the afternoon, I lost concentration. I relaxed on the sofa in the tiny living room watching Harry Potter. At the beginning, I didn't want to watch it. I considered it not my type but the more I watched it the more I liked and as a result, I still sat on the sofa when the film ended. :-) Anyhow, I had to get out of the sofa. Making myself a cup of hot coffee is a good way to give me a good mood in such dull weather today: cloudy, no sun, cold. sometimes drizzling. And a nice accompany: music.

I turned on my computer and surfed the net. And read (again) my blog and some other people's ones. My friend said in his blog that he has been to 52 countries in the world (excluding stopovers in some countries), about 26 % of all the countries in the world. Suddenly I felt so jealous. :-) Wow, 52 countries. I once told him that the world was in your hands, so small. But for me the world is toooo biiiiig! And I compare his travelling to mine. If the world in his eyes is the global, the world in my eyes is just a tiny part of it - Vietnam. He has travelled to 52 countries in the world, I have travelled to only about 26 cities and provinces in Vietnam, a small country in the world. But I am still luckier than a lot of other people who have never had chances to go out of their own city or province. So no reason to feel sad. :-)

Then I read a blog of a single mum in a complicated world. She is 2 or 3 years older than me and lives in the US and a mum of three children. In her blog she expresses her feelings when becoming a single mum: low and high moments. It takes time to go over difficult times in a single mum's life. Luckily, she has got friends and her three children. She says, 'I am very content in my life and on the journey to become a better mom and a better woman. Stronger, healthier and more independent.' I am also on the journey to become a good mum and a good woman ;-). Life is not easy for me but I hope so much it will be better. But when? Now I just remember a scene in Harry Potter film. The principal of the school tells Harry Potter when he looks into the magic mirror that it reflects what you desperately want in your mind or the vision in the future and if you just think about your future you will forget your present life. Therefore the mirror will be put away. So let's live for PRESENT. :-D. It sounds similar. Some people tell me that as well. However, it is easier to say than to act. I am trying my best not to think too much about future, focus on present: single mum in a rental flat. And I am trying to enjoy happy moments life brings to me.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ha Giang trip

As I mentioned in my previous entry: earn money during holiday ;-) (How practical I am!), I had a trip to Ha Giang, a mountainous province in the north of Vietnam, bordering with China. This time ofthe year it is really cold there. And during my stay there it was about 15 degrees. Luckily, I prepared for myself for this trip much better than my trip to Sa Pa: woolen dresses and long coat and scarf.

It was a long and tiring trip, about 6 hour drive from Hanoi. But it was the first time I travelled there so it was no problem at all. Taking a Nautamine (carsick tablet) kept me fine for the trip and we sometimes stopped for a break. The landscape along the road was beautiful: green trees and green fields and bushes, blue sky, white clouds on the hills and mountains, fresh air. But the living standards are so low. I want to live in a peaceful place but not too far from a civilised world. On the way back to Hanoi, I got some fruits on the roadside.

Honestly, I learned a lot from the trips to the North. If I didn't work as a freelance interpreter, I would not have a chance to visit those places. And the extremely tall man next to me helps me a lot. He looks serious in this photo but in reality he is so nice to me. :-)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Semester 1 of the school year finished . 3 weeks without teaching from last Sunday until the 2nd January (Semester 2 starts on 3rd). .No teaching does not mean no working. We have to supervise students' exams, each teacher has at least 3 sessions. As a group leader, I am responsible for one session with the role of Head of the exam committee for that session.

How am I spending 3 weeks? Well,
1. Finish 5 sets of test questions DONE
2. Check and help Bob with his preparation for his tests DONE
3. Earn money, work as an interpreter again for 3 days - TOMORROW
4. Prepare for semester 2: supplementary materials, teaching schedules for the group of students I am responsible for
5. Do some administrative work
6. Prepare the English outcome of students of Architecture (the Dean assigned that task long time ago and deadline is end of December - HAVEN"T STARTED YET)

So, it seems that I do not not have time to refresh during this holiday. :-)

The first task is what I find most time consuming. Luckily it was done with the dedication of not only me but also my colleagues-friends. I often teased them that these days I have been busy with "EAT, MULTIPLE CHOICE and LOVE". I imitate the name of the novel "Eat, Pray and Love", on which a film has been based. They all smiled and a colleague said that anyhow I still had the word LOVE, luckily. What a life of a teacher like me!

I am a bit nervous about my son's exams although we got prepared for them quite carefully. Wonder if he does well or not. This is his first exam at secondary school. Citizen Education and Biology (Mon), Technology and History (today morning), Geography (tomorrow), Physics and English (Thur), Literature (Fri) and Maths (Sat). Hope he will do his best.

That is about my HOLIDAY.