Monday, May 30, 2011

An Ode To English Plurals.

I was sent this poem from a colleague today and I had to share. What a crazy language we speak, no wonder the kids we teach get confused!
Thanks Wendy!


We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

Let's face it - English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
Neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren't invented in England.
We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes,
We find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square,
And a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing,
Grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?
Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend.
If you have a bunch of odds and ends and
Get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English
Should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?
We ship by truck but send cargo by ship.
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
While a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language
In which your house can burn up as it burns down,
In which you fill in a form by filling it out, and
In which an alarm goes off by going on.

And in closing, if Father is Pop, how come Mother's not Mop?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A sense of accomplishment--TCNJ Class of 2011

    This has been a very long, very stressful week. For the past 18 months I have been enrolled in The College of New Jersey's global programme for teacher training. Last month I earned my teacher certification (qualification) and then this week I began the Masters program with the same college. The first step was the comprehensive exam to bring together all the content we have covered so far.

   To say that revision was tiring would be an understatement, bringing together the notes, presentations, papers and articles in a week was a mammoth task. We took each of these courses over a week in condensed form and all of us were teaching full time alongside that, not to mention that most of us went back home to families (often with young children).

   Although I have learned plenty from my professors and the course content taught over this time, I have to say that my true inspiration has been my fellow student-teachers. They are all wonderful women (and the occasional man!) who are passionate about their profession, their subjects and most importantly, their students.

  With the changes happening in Egypt now, we have a bigger chance than ever before to really make a true difference to the future of our country. The future's bright!!

TCNJ Class of 2011

Wordle: Teacher Training Courses

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Beauty of Egypt

   My friend Tarek created this absolutely stunning video that shows off the beauty in Egypt ( a couple of the shots are mine too!).

Have a  look and let it inspire you to visit, it's a brand new and ancient land all in one!


Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama Bin Laden

   I, like millions around the world, woke up this morning to the news that Osama Bin Laden had been killed in a U.S air raid on his house in Pakistan. Now, I consider myself to be a fairly laid-back and tolerant person, but part of me is glad he's dead. The other part is worried about what his followers might do in his memory and how many more innocent people around the world will suffer because of this man's intolerance and hatred. 

  He was directly and indirectly responsible for the death of millions. Apart from those who died in attacks he and his associates planned and carried out , there are the thousands who died in retaliation attacks. Muslims around the world were reviled and hated like no other time in history and despite more than 90% of us condemning  his tactics we all suffered for them. Muslim women who wore head-scarves were attacked and the amount of security checks that young 'middle-eastern looking' men had to go through, especially at airports were almost insulting. It wasn't just Muslims who suffered of course, Seik men who wear turbans were attacked after being mistakenly identified as 'terrorists'.

   While I am not naive enough to believe this to be anywhere near the end of Al-Queada, I can and will hope that Bin Laden's death coupled with the recent pro-democratic awakenings in the Middle East will at least help to repair the damage one man has wrought on an entire people and that we Muslims feel that we can reclaim our religion from the fanatics who shout the loudest.