Sorry, I'd like to thank you
“Did you get what the five main points were for that last session?”
“No, her body gestures were really annoying and distracting.”
“Well, if she didn’t waste five minutes going on about the slide show, it would’ve been a great presentation otherwise,” I said.
“It wasn’t such a great slide show anyway. She could easily have done the presentation without it.”
“I couldn’t read the text on the screen, either,” I complained.
We spent the trip home evaluating that speaker’s presentation techniques, rather than the content, which just goes to show: it’s not only what you say, but how you say it and what you do with your body gestures.
Are you feeling a bit off colour?
Do you see the world through rose-coloured glasses, or maybe you see it strictly as black and white?
When was the last time you showed your true colours, or perhaps you’ve been feeling a little off colour lately?
Were you a golden child who passed your exams with flying colours, or like me, a black sheep of the family?
Our language is mixed with a kaleidoscope of colourful words, so let me dab into my palette and splash a bit of colour into your world…
It always ends in tears
Whack. “Speak English!”
Whack. “Shush…please listen when someone else is talking.”
Whack. “Hurry up.”
Whack. It was the most effective way to get the students’ attention.
If only I’d discovered the leather fly swatter a week earlier.
The Omniglot App
Some mornings I wake up in a Japanese mood.
I inexplicably find myself thinking and texting in Japanese, which has been known to confuse a recipient or two.
On these days I crave soba noodles, sushi, okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes) and drink green tea.
Then, on other mornings I may wake up in a Greek mood.
Show me how to do that!
“But how,” I asked, waving the user manual, “do I create a customer account on the new system?”
I threw the page into the bin and decided to write my own instructions. What’s the point of reading a page full of text if it doesn’t tell you how to actually use the software?
I hate reading complicated instructions. I learn better if you show me how to set up the DVD player or use a new computer program.
Shush... there's a full moon
I’ve been using the word shush a lot, lately.
It’s regularly interspersed with please don’t talk all at once and an exasperated plea to stop talking!
I’ve even resorted to bell ringing in a futile effort to silence the group of teenagers babbling simultaneously at high volume.
They still ignore me, though.
The fear of grammar
“I get scared writing to you…”
I have that effect on people; some get an involuntary muscle spasm in their eye, while others apologise in their opening email sentence: “I know there are probably spelling mistakes in the attached document.”
And then, there are those who are incorrigible: “I know, I know! Blatant use of Capital Letters.”
Who's going to die?
“Going? To die?”
“No - today.”
“How. Are. You. Today?”
“Aah…” recognition rippled across my students’ faces, “you mean today?”
New Zealand 2008
New Zealand 2006
United Kingdom 2004
Athens Olympics 2004
Beijing to Athens 1994
© 2023 HARI KOTROTSIOS
I acknowledge the traditional Custodians of the land on which I work and live, the Gubbi Gubbi / Kabi Kabi and Joondoburri people, and recognise their continuing connection to land, the waters and sky. I pay my respect to them and their cultures; and to Elders past, present and emerging.