Where I’ve been, and Some Jokes I did

Well hello Blog!
It’s been a long time. 4 and a half months.

When I last typed stuff here, it was still hot. Also, I still had a lot of free time, I was trying to get started on performing comedy, and my flat was cleaner.

What changed? Well, quite a lot. First, and most importantly, I started studying again. I’m doing a Masters in Applied Linguistics and Bilingual Acquisition in Multilingual Contexts, which is a big way of saying “ooh, look at me and my cleverness.” While I’m doing that, I’m also continuing to teach part time, and between all of that, I’ve been performing stand up comedy and pulling together a group of funny souls to perform improvised comedy too.

As a result, the writing kind of got…. pushed to the back. And it annoyed me. “I should write again”, I told myself every other day. But I wasn’t even finding time to read anything that wasn’t an empirical study, so I can see why that didn’t happen.

But now, a month’s reprieve. I only have 2 Masters classes for the next month, and instead of the stress-inducing 12 hours of classes (which obviously meant at least that again outside of class to study), I now have a measly 4.

I plan on using the time to stretch my writing muscles (at first) and then get some full on writing done (after that).

I also need to try and get our first Improvised Comedy performance arranged, and write some new material for a new stand up comedy set.

While I get that started, I thought I’d show you something I did over my long hiatus – one of my two stand up comedy sets! (with any luck, I’ll get a copy of the video of the other set soon)

Some forewarnings

– it comes with a long and glowing introduction from the MC – I just skip that bit.

– one of  comedians really is called Adolf. That’s not a joke.

– and it ends when the camera runs out of battery. The last minute BEFORE the battery died… I kind of lost my stride. It was very unpracticed, that bit. As in, written that afternoon, not really learnt. So feel free to stop before the end.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcwLTYaG8H0&feature=plcp&context=C3773470UDOEgsToPDskIAfXP7aaH2noCRebKOMRht

Stand Up Comedy!

After a LONG wait, here is my stand up comedy show in all it’s glory. I messed up a bit, got things a little out of order, and didn’t hit the delivery on a few, BUT I had a lot of fun.

Two last notes:

It IS rude.  Be forewarned of rudeness.

The first couple of lines that are missing are something like “HELLO!” (hello from audience) I’m Matt and I’m single.

Breath


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Merry Christmas y’all!

As I predicted, I’ve been jolly busy doing busy things at home. When I’ve not been busy, I seem to have been ill, twice. Still, I promised a more substantial post in December, so here it is.

A New Year is about to hit us, and for me, it’s a strange mix of old and new. I’m going back to Barcelona, a step that has surprised a few friends and family. They’ve seen me as Matt; International Traveller (I especially like the semi-colon),

Japan

so they find it odd that I’m planning on spending a year or more somewhere I’ve already been. Well, when I was about to go to Japan, a friend asked me, “Where next after Japan?” and I came to the realisation that I only really wanted to visit Japan. I also only really wanted to learn Spanish and Japanese. “Well, there’s other Spanish speaking countries…” Yes, there are, and one day I’ll probably go, but for now, I want a life in Barcelona.

Continue reading “Breath”

The Spanish and The Japanese

Hey Blog.

Last time I was here, I promised a bit of a scoop on how Spanish students (and people) are different from the Japanese. Well, it’s been over a month since I promised that, so I’d best get down to it.

I’m a very busy chappy these days. I’m working from 9-6, which is a darn-sight harder than I’ve been used to in Spain. It’s also work where I constantly have to think, to focus and concentrate and do it right. So it’s different from the potato harvesting I used to do, where I could just switch off my brain and keep going ’til my arms get tired. And although it’s not as hard work as some of the summer camps I’ve done have been, it’s more continuous. At least at those camps, I got a lot of time off, could properly relax, and then at the end of the month, it was over. Here, it’s three months. When I reached that one month point and realised how much I had to go, I sort of slumped down in to it.

Now, however, the end is in sight again – it’s about a month to go to the end. I talk negatively, but I love my job. I love teaching, and doing a job when I can see a noticeable change and improvement in my students. And I love teaching students at a university age. 18-22s are easier to teach than kids, and more fun to teach than adults. My students – they’re serious and fun-loving, they’re intelligent, perceptive, thoughtful, and friendly. It’s because of them that I’m seriously considering taking another contract out here.

So, I talked a bit about how the place is different out here. But the people? Well, if anything, they’re more different…

Continue reading “The Spanish and The Japanese”

Groanworthy Jokes and 3 Minute Haikus.

Hello, Blog.

I looked back over the past couple of weeks and thought – Oh, I’ve not been very productive. But that’s not entirely true.

First off, I’ve been writing reports. In Spanish. And some reports in English. It’s been moderately time consuming. I’ve also been creating (and marking) my own exam papers. This term, more than previous ones, I made an effort to create a fair few of the questions myself, rather than just cutting and pasting them from teacher book exam papers, and I’m quite happy with the results.

Secondly, I’ve made the discovery that writing poetry on a whiteboard is actually a really good place to do it. I spend so much of my working day using the medium of whiteboards to express meaning, and shuffling things around and making it look understandable that when I taught haikus to my Advanced Class yesterday, I actually found it quite easy to cut and move words around and get what I wanted to say. I think I need to buy a little one for myself.

Here they are.

Continue reading “Groanworthy Jokes and 3 Minute Haikus.”

Forward Planning

The writer in the new decade

I can’t believe I’ve only been back in Barcelona for a week. I’ve already done so much! I think the milder weather has got me energized; in no particular order, I’ve celebrated Old New Year (it’s a Macedonian Orthodox thing), I’ve been to see my gorgeous godson Eloy (now 1 month 20 days old – my new camera has a Baby Mode), I’ve taught my classes really well, I’ve GOT A JOB IN JAPAN, I’ve been out drinking at a Stammtisch, I’ve played cards with my flatmates, caught up with Lily, and had meetings and a Spanish class.

Me and my godson

You may have noticed one stands out on that list. Finally, the company I want to work for has contacted me and I’m going to Japan at the end of April. Expect this blog to change with it. I am SOOO excited. Japan is an adventure to me, and one that I’ve considered going on for years – if I’d taken a Gap Year, I would’ve gone there. And now I’ll be living there! Albeit for only three months, but maybe I’ll get the bug and stay.

It’s a huge relief, too, because it’s the first time since… last April… that I’ve known what I’ll be doing in 3 months time. Going from impulse to impulse is fun, but it’s nice to have some kind of forward planning for a change. It’s almost like my life has direction or something mad like that.

Despite all this craziness, you’ll be pleased to hear that my creative brain has finally kicked back in – just after New Year, too, and without any resolutions in that direction. My little notebook is starting to gather nuggets of ideas and poems that’ll hopefully be up on here in no time.

Today’s offering, though, is taken from 100 Love Sonnets, by Pablo Neruda, and translated from the Spanish by Stephen Tapscott…. my Spanish wouldn’t do half as good a job. It’s unnamed, but numbered LXXXIX:

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When I die, I want your hands on my eyes:
I want the light and wheat of your beloved hands
to pass their freshness over me once more:
I want to feel the softness that changed my destiny.

I want you to live while I wait for you, asleep.
I want your ears still to hear the wind, I want you
to sniff the sea’s aroma that we loved together,
to continue to walk on the sand we walk on.

I want what I love to continue to live,
and you whom I love and sang above everything else
to continue to nourish, full-flowered:

so that you can reach everything my love directs you to.
so that my shadow can travel along in your hair,
so that everything can learn the reason for my song.