Thailand University Teacher Extraordinaire

The trials and tribulations of a young English teacher

The Pants Retro Blog: White Noise – Turn on a Light Idiot

White noise – turn a light on idiot!

1/21/2005 12:40:35 AM

Well hello there, hope you’re all having as much fun as me. I’m searching for information for my workshop tomorrow. The fun at university just doesn’t stop!

Well yesterday was a fairly fun night, Exeter finally bowed out of the cup, there were gale force winds in Nottingham…….and i saw white noise at the cinema with Jen.

What a bizzare film, I’ve read quite a few reviews of the film after I got back and feel most of them are pretty unfair. The acting in my humble opinion was top knotch and there were genuinly scary bits at times, which I dont say very often about films! The ending was a bit of a disapointment although Jen wouldn’t agree! But for me the most annoying feature of the film was just general lack of common sense from the lead character. Walking round at house scared to death without lights on, i mean come on! And driving out to an isolated country road in the middle of the night without a torch?? I was literally struggling to keep my mouth shut to stop myself shouting at the screen! Worryingly a girl several rows further back to me and Jen couldn’t stop laughing through a character being killed. Maybe thats just a plymouth thing? All in all I’d give the film 3/5, worth watching!

I’ve finally decided to bother with one of my new years resolutions people will be amazed to learn. Im bowing to great external pressure and sending a valentines day card  But to who??? My lips are sealed

Random fact of the day: The squirrel sleeps an average of 14.9 hours a day



Meanwhile in 2011…

This post was written during the January doldrums at university and made for dull reading almost 7 years on.

White Noise – I have no recollection of the film. A glimpse at Rotten Tomatoes says that 44% of the audience liked it. It was widely panned by the critics though as a rule I ignore their reviews.

Far too many exclamation marks! Again! I’m glad I’ve grown out of that!

Valentine’s Day 2005. I wonder if that was the year I sent a dozen mystery Valentine’s Day cards to all the single people I knew – male and female – to cheer them up with the thought that they were being admired from afar. I’m sure the” great external pressure” must have been my Mum.

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The Pants Retro Blog: Thank God for the Weekend

Thank god for the weekend

1/14/2005 11:17:34 PM

Hi there friends and neighbours, what a week its been here in Plymouth.

They said it couldn’t be done, I disagreed and was successful. That’s right I managed to complete a hefty 3 pieces of coursework in 1 night. As proud of this fantastic record I was Jen soon kicked me into touch by becoming the queen of laziness herself. She did a formidable 4 pieces in 1 night. Redefing the true meaning of the words last minute.

This years been a strange one, spectacularly boring lectures, ridiculous work loads this second year has had it all. Footballing injuries, being arrested (all be it for 5 minutes) obsessive san andreas playing the list goes on. And people say the students life is a dull one!

After the spectacularly gruelling week I’ve had i’ve decided it’s time for no more mr nice guy. Yep you guessed it, this weekend I’ll be spending most of my time…………in bed. With the aid of the local takeaway and a whopping stack of dvds I plan on not showing my face to the outside world for the entire 48 hours.

And on that note I’m off, to where I do not know. When will I return? I do not know, does talking like this make me sound a fool? Yes it does. Adios amigos.


Meanwhile in 2011…

Another all nighter pulled; three pieces of coursework this time. Stupid, very stupid. I wish I had waited a year before I went to university so that I could have been a bit more grown up and a lot more responsible.

I have no recollection of being arrested, so I wonder what that was all about.

It’s interesting to see that my style of writing back then wasn’t as impressive as I first though. I remembered reading back my blog posts a few weeks after they were written and being pleased with the light and breezy tone. I can’t say I’m impressed now. Perhaps that’s the English teacher inside talking.

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The Pants Retro Blog: I’m Winning the Battle

Im winning the battle

1/9/2005 1:16:02 AM

Thats right I’m gaining the upper hand with this flu and fighting back. I still haven’t done any of this coursework though, if im not careful im going to be up a certain creek without a paddle for the 3rd time this year.

The rest of the girls get back here tomorrow (Emma’s back already, i’m not accusing myself of being a girl) so I get to tidy the whole house too. The fun just doesn’t stop. It’ll be nice to see them all again though. Its strange to wake up to silence and not the sound of Jen’s singing in the morning, it really isn’t the same!

Forest made it through to the 4th round of the fa cup after winning 3-0 away from home yesterday. Nottingham! But Plymouth are out dashing my hopes of seeing Forest – Plymouth down here. Ah well, im still making my mind up whether or not to go to footy training at noon. Im ill and its been xmas which gives me an excuse if I play badly, and I really fancy a game after watching 2 matches earlier. But can I be bothered to walk to the union and freeze my bum off for 3 hours or so? I’ll see when I wake up.

I cant wait to go see Rammstein in Feb, they’re playing back in Notts so I get to go home for a weekend. Must finish this coursework before letting myself get excited though.

I made an important life decision earlier and have applied for a brochure to work abroad for 6 months or longer after I finish uni. Im still trying to decide between Canada or Australia but i’ve still got another year and a half to decide so no rush. Anyhow i’m out of things to say tonight so good night folks.
Meanwhile in 2011…

It’s interesting to read about an important life decision that didn’t actually materialize. The 6 months abroad in either Canada or Australia became 6 weeks backpacking in Thailand. Looking back, I made the right decision.

Nottingham Forest – probably the biggest source of pain in my life.

Sharing a house with 4 women for 2 years – I don’t miss it. 


The Pants Retro Blog: Another Week Goes By

Another week goes by

12/12/2004 6:54:02 PM

What a bizzare week this has turned out to have been. I’ve finally sorted out my train ticket home, which I’m excited about. I haven’t been home in more than 3 months now so I’m more than ready to go back. I can’t wait to see my friends and family again, and I can’t wait for it to be Christmas which is one of my favourite times of year. Before I can go home I’ve still got 2 essays to do and an exam to sit, so i’m not breaking open the champagne (or fosters in my case) just yet.

On tuesday I went for a meal with Vicki (a friend from my course) after our workshop, though I must point out it wasn’t a date. We ate at Weatherspoons where the food was absolutly amazing. We also had an amazing alcoholic chocolatey cocktail with cream on top, which I reccomend to absolutly everyone!

After the meal I went to the union with Jen (where she works) to keep her company for the comedy night. I had a great time, I got to see 3 very different comedians. The 1st guy was Mark Olver who was impressive and managed to get a great reaction from the audience. The next guy Gary Delaney was okay, he told wayyy too many one liners though. They saved the best for last though, when I heard the guy’s name was Earl Okin I was expecting a middle aged accountant lookalike and thats exactly who we got! When he brought a guitar out with him on stage I feared the worst. But he was absolutly fantastic. He sang a great rendition of teenage dirtbag along with some of his own blues material. If you ever get the chance to see him play GO! You wont be disapointed!!!

Much to the obvious disapointment of the University football teams reserves I’m still injured and unable to make it to practice. I managed to hurt my neck quite near the begining of term in a way I’m not too proud of. It was the end of a cracking night out and everyone else stumbled off home. I was adament I wanted chips however, and realising there was only ten minutes till everywhere closed I dashed off on my own to one of the few trustworthy takeaways in Plymouth. I was running full speed (which is quite impressive considering I was thoroughly drunk) when It happened. Out of nowhere a tree branch appeared and I unwittingly went straight into it. I was travelling at quite a speed and hitting the branch took me completly off my feet and put me on my back. Thankfully because of the alcohol I had consumed I didn’t feel a thing and made my way to the takeaway to find it was shut. The next morning I was in quite a lot of pain as you can imagine!

I’m slowly fighting back against insommnia and managing sleep at reasonable hours these days. I just wish I wasn’t having so many vivid and strange dreams. Well you cant have everything!

Meanwhile, in 2011…

This is an interesting post to analyse several years on. Was it or wasn’t it a date with Vicki? I was adamant in this post that it wasn’t, but I think I was hoping it was at the time. A few months went by, and she ended up seeing someone else, who she is still with to this day. A missed opportunity for my younger self.

It’s strange to read that food at Weatherspoons was “absolutely amazing”. I doubt anyone would say that now.

There are far too many exclamation marks in this entry. I’m glad I learned to phase them out of my writing.

This post gives a good example of my legendary clumsiness. My housemates forced me to see a doctor, who diagnosed whiplash. It took more than six months for my neck to recover, and I still very occasionally get neck pain. Ah, to be young and stupid again…

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The Pants Retro Blog: My Week

My week

12/3/2004 9:23:57 PM

Hello there anyone foolish enough to be reading this, well here we go, without any further ado this has been my week.

In case you dont know me, which is quite likely let me introduce myself. I’m Eric, I’m 20 and i’m a uni student. I’m originally from Nottingham but am living in Plymouth while i’m here at uni (just in case you didn’t realise). I’m the only bloke in my house, and i live with 4 weird and wonderful girlys. They’re Jen, Ellie, Emma and Lianne and like me they’re all completely mad.

Okay well this week hasn’t been one of my best weeks down here for reasons I’m about to explain. I study Psychology at uni and wednesday was yet another deadline day. Meaning my entire Monday and Tuesday were taken up doing ridiculously dull coursework. Thankfully I managed to finish at a not unreasonable 3:30am wednesday morning. Because I have issues waking up in the morning (im lazy) I decided to stay up all night and go to bed after I handed everything in, do i regret doing this? You bet I do!

Im stuck in a bizzare sleeping pattern now, while everyone else sleeps I’m up and about. This is far from ideal let me tell you! Im ashamed to admit I woke up at 3:30pm today, though in my defence I did go to bed at 5:30am!

Moving swiftly on to something not quite so dull, I’m currently being treated to the singing talents of Jen my housemate. She’s had mumps for a week and is now back to her best. Everyone’s celebrating this by getting standing up lying down drunk tonight. Well everyone except me, I’m staying in as part of my alcohol free week. I’m a bit tempted myself to go out I must admit as I’m enjoying all the benefits of the single life at the moment. But for my liver’s sake I’m resisting the urge.

I’m looking forward to next week, It wont be long before I can go home for the christmas hols. I seriously cant wait, I’ve been in Plymouth since the 9th of September, It seems a very very long time to be away from home! So yes will be nice to see all my reliable trustworthy Notts friends. Most of the people I know down here can be good friends, but many I trust them as far as I can throw them!

I’ve written quite a lot so signing off till next friday, be well


Meanwhile in 2011…

That’s madness! Staying up all night in order to reach a deadline the next day. If I did it all over again, I’d start the assignment much sooner and avoid having to hand it in at the very last minute. Ah the wisdom experience brings…

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Goodbye MSN Spaces, Hello WordPress

Two years ago, I received an email from hotmail informing me that MSN Spaces would effectively be discontinued. I had the choice of transferring all of my posts to a new blog at WordPress or downloading a file containing all of my posts to my computer. I hadn’t written on that blog for aeons, but it was a labour of love when I was a university student. I was dedicated and invested many afternoons and evenings sharing my short musings with anyone who would care to read.  After several frustrating hours spent trying to figure out how to move everything over though, I gave up and reluctantly took option two, vowing that one day I would figure it all out and that I would once again have a blog filled with hundreds of thoughts, feelings, theories and other general nonsense.  Two years have passed, and still no meaningful progress had been made. Then I rediscovered Zinsser.

Zinsser, or rather William Zinsser to be polite and proper, wrote a book that many consider to be a writer’s masterpiece. The book is titled ‘On Writing’, and it lays out the dos and don’ts of writing non-fiction. It’s a book I discovered in my first year as a university teacher, and it helped me enormously when writing materials for my various courses as well as when writing general tomfoolery in my free time.

One key point that he makes, is that many writers need structure. If they decide to only write on a whim and have no clear goals, it’s very difficult to write anything of any real quality if anything at all. If a writer has structure though – if they sit down to write for a set amount of time on a set number of days a week – they are much more likely to write something meaningful, which they can be proud of.

Shortly after I downloaded my blog, I read through a few random posts and was delighted with what I had written. Many of my posts had a light and playful tone, which it seems I have since lost. It was interesting to see what my attitudes were towards various people and issues and how they have since changed. What had started out as a lazy Saturday afternoon -mostly spent aimlessly trudging from website to website – became an exciting rediscovery of who I was in my early 20s.

Thanks – although I’m sure some would say curses – to Zinsser, I’ve decided that I will not only start writing regularly again but that I will slowly start uploading my old posts from my student days to this blog. Writing is a craft. I’m excited to have rediscovered it.

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