How to NOT do Halloween Make-Up!

So I tried to follow one of those ‘How To Do Halloween Make-Up!’ things…and well, it didn’t work out great…it wasn’t as easy as they tried to make it seem – BELIEVE ME! Check this out for proof, I’m sorry in advance…

Oh, and if you have a video request you can leave a comment, or send me an email – if it’s a cool/interesting idea then I will get to it as soon as I can!

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Unwanted Room Mate

It’s a well recorded, and commonly recited sentiment – but you truly never know what sort of day a stranger on the street is having…of course our imagination fills in the huge gaping blanks, but that doesn’t mean we should trust these assessments – more often than not they are way off…

Like you may look at a berserk man storming down the street, and immediately come to the conclusion that he is a thug looking for old lady’s purses to steal, or children’s sandcastles to kick over. But who knows? He could very well be that, but it is also within the realms of possibility that he is just a regular Joe…and that he is simply having the worst day of his life. Perhaps his dog may have to be put down, perhaps there is a close relative who is terminally ill, or perhaps his girlfriend made him binge watch every single episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians the night before. We can never know for sure…

Crazy People GIF

Or you may be pushed out of the way by a severe looking lady – who resembles Miss Trunchbull in every way (except sadly there’s no chocolate cake)…and yes, your automatic thought will be that she is rude and you ought to say something passive aggressive to her. But what if she too is having an awful day, or a series of awful days? She could be about to be evicted, or she may be on the verge of losing her job…or maybe she is being bullied by some weird snooty kid with magical powers. Again, you just never know..

So it’s nice, to be nice – as my Momma used to say. Just in case any of these things are true…or just in case this one-dimensional cartoonesque image we have of odd looking strangers is not exactly on the money! To throw myself in as an example – if you were to see me out in public last week you’d instinctively have thought something along the lines of “who is that attractive, young whipper-snapper?!” no…sorry, getting ahead of myself. You’d actually have wondered: “who is that strange man, and why is he so red and sweaty?!” Well friends, what you couldn’t have known is that I was enduring a horrendous trial that week…which will go down in history as “The Battle of the Grasshopper Room-Mate.”

Scared Draco GIF

You see on one unsuspecting Monday I was met with a grasshopper in my bathroom – he was perched on the windowsill and had gotten in through the small crack I allow for ventilation. I wrongly assumed it would just be a brief visit – that perhaps he would just be someone to chat with while I have my pee, and then he’d be on his way. However the next time I was in there he was all laid out on the floor, making himself comfortable….time, and time again he was just sat there, changing positions every now and again. Not saying a great deal, but making his presence felt…making toilet time a little bit more uncomfortable than usual – with those buggy staring accusing eyes of his.“I’M JUST TRYING TO WIPE SIR, LEAVE ME ALONE!”

So now you’re probably thinking, “well just get rid of the fella, evict him! Call the police even!” which is all well and good, except I am not a proper man who can do the whole cup and piece of paper trick – also I teach kindergarten and I’m trying to make a concerted effort not to nurture future serial killers so I impose a ‘let’s not kill living things’ policy…I try to practice what I preach, rather than being a hypocrite so here I am…

Bright Angel GIF

AND YES I EAT BURGERS, I KNOW, I KNOW – I JUST DON”T WANT TO DO THE EXECUTIONS MYSELF, OKAY!

Anyway, he was there. For days. So eventually I left my bathroom door wide open hoping he would just hop on out at some point so I could poop in peace… that perhaps he’d go under the bed – or any place else where he couldn’t be seen, or heard. We could cohabit. We could make this situation work, somehow…perhaps we’d have a day where we’d watch movies together and eat junk food – but otherwise we’d keep ourselves to ourselves for the sake of our own respective sanities. 

I’ll keep you posted on that. But this ongoing drama has undoubtedly taken a toll on me; so who knows what blustered and worrisome appearance I had on my stupid stressed out face on those days I was battling with my unwanted room mate…I was probably a bit more short with people, a little less good humoured. But I was going through something…and so are other people, probably.

Stressed Parks GIF

So let’s remember that, or at least try to – yeah?

Oh, and another thing before I go – does anyone have a spare room going? I’m asking for a friend…he’s clean and quiet – I’ll pay his first month’s rent. Shoot me an email if you do, would be greatly appreciated…

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Please buy my collection of stories! Get it in paperback here – or on Kindle here! ALL proceeds go towards Macmillan Cancer Support!

Bustin’ a Nut

Forgive me for venting, but don’t you think nuts get unfairly branded negatively just about everywhere you turn? I’m not sure who decided on the marketing decision to use nuts as a frame of reference for just about everything that isn’t wonderful in the world…but whoever it was has totally ruined the good nut name for generations since, and I for one think it’s not right.

Baby Born GIF

This is how much it upsets me (approximately).

Everywhere a nut dares to venture in the world it has to face horrendous stereotypes…typecast automatically before anyone can even get to know it. That’s largely because the n word has been stretched and contorted out of all reality, and transformed into something that it doesn’t resemble at all…here are just a few unfortunate but all too real examples:

That guy licking his dog’s leash looks like a nutter – let’s cross the road.”

– when detailing a possibly mentally ill man, and his infatuation with an inanimate object.

He thought he had came back from the dead to spread Noah’s message. He was completely off his nut.”

– when gossiping about a friend’s recent revelatory adventure whilst in the throes of an opiate high.

Urgh, this disgusting salad has a nutty taste…let’s go get a burger instead.”

– when blaming nuts for the overall dissatisfaction you have with your grossly unfulfilling healthy choice.

Omg Aragon GIF

Aragon is absolutely sick of it.

But you see it shouldn’t be this way, and we can be the change. After all nuts can be your friend, if you would only look past all of the false tall tales and into your heart. They can be great sources of protein, and from my personal experience are great listeners. They’re also rich in antioxidants, and have a number of other uses; such as something to throw off people who get too close to your picnic, a last alternative to have with beer if the world runs out of salty/cheesy snacks, and a whole host of chat up lines – such as “you remind me of a walnut, because you have a brain and I want to eat it.”

With all these plus points it’s an absolute insult that they remain slandered at every opportunity…so what are you waiting for? Get out there and reclaim nuts for all of their positive traits! Don’t let a few bad apples ruin it for the rest of them…

Snow White GIF

For the record she loves nuts.

…and if you really have to hate on a certain group, make it apples. They don’t keep the doctor away at all – just ask Snow White. 

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Please buy my collection of stories! Get it in paperback here – or on Kindle here! ALL proceeds go towards Macmillan Cancer Support!

Winter Sickness (AKA: KIDS!)

First, and foremost thank you to everyone for the show of support, and concern – the love is appreciated, that’s for sure! I’m feeling a little under the weather, but with better spirits…so I made this video to warn you of the dangers of children – wrap up, wear a mask, and keep your distance!

I’ve caught the winter sickness…that doesn’t mean you need to get infected to – SAVE YOURSELF!

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I’m Finnish

I’ve been asked to provide five possible short stories, which display language errors – for a Korean made English language book – I suppose the aim is to point out possible mistakes that could be made, so that English learners don’t have to make them personally! Anyway, I have to get them done by Sunday! Phew, that’s a lot of work! So yeah, rough and ready; here is the 3rd of 5*: 

It’s great teaching younger children English if their language level is advanced – as they possess the same playful imagination you can always expect from kindergarten kids – but they can also express themselves properly through their spoken words too!

I remember with my class last year, we used to have a running joke which I’d orchestrated in order to try and correct some bad grammar they’d picked up from another teacher. You see, any time they had completed their work, they would often announce “I’m finish, I’m finish!” 

To which I would reply: “Oh…you’re Finnish? I thought you were Korean?” 

Naturally the first time I said this there were blank stares…just totally confused little faces, all staring – wondering what on earth I was talking about. But I was able to explain, and thankfully they actually understood! That if you say, “I’m finish” – rather than the correct, “I’m finished” – it could possibly be mistook as you saying you hail from the wintry tundra which is Finland!

Cold GIF

I’d say things like…“Finnish? But I didn’t see you in Finland when I was there! Where did you live?” And usually they would pretend they were indeed Finnish, and make up illustrious stories of how they were busy with the huskis, or building an igloo, or hiding in the snow – or whatever else! And that’s why I probably didn’t see them!

There’d be giggles from the whole class any time anyone slipped up by accident, and in doing so they started to rapidly fix their own errors. In fact they often joked with each other – and consequently put each other right! Not always of course…but most of the time…

I recall once someone screaming  “TEACHER! I’M FINNISH!” with an inordinately loud scream! I was busy going through something with another child – so without looking, I mumbled “no, no – you’re not Finnish! Finished maybe, but not Finnish…” 

“TEACHER! I’M FINNISH! I”M FINNISH, I’M FINNISH! I’M FINNISH!”

The screams were deafening, and starting to grate on me – so I spun around, and bellowed: “YOU’RE NOT FINNI-“

I was cut short by the sight in front of me – the student was stood on the table, coat hood up – and tied tight, like Kenny from South Park…he had a pencil held out as if he was ice fishing…and had layered on thick board marker all over his face (in an attempt to simulate a thick, bushy beard!) 

Genius Beard GIF

I haven’t laughed so hard in all my life. He really was Finnish, I suppose. 

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(you can check out the 1st of 5, here. And the 2nd, here)*

Table Manners (DON’T MATTER?)

I need your help here my friends! You see naturally there are different table manners, and rules – when it comes to different countries…so what should I teach my Korean kids? The Western ways…or…do I try and get on board with the Korean etiquette? Help me out, please! 

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GHOSTBUSTERS! (Coming Soon)

Less than a month till the big show – the graduation ceremony…where so much pressure is put on each, and every kindergarten student to perform – I’m talking; singing, dancing, poetry, speeches, music…and not to mention an insane amount of costume changes!

After last year’s Kung Fu Fighting display, I am in a tough situation – as obviously I want to top that! But have very little time to do so, and a class who do not speak any English! Urghhhh! But best not to be defeatist! So after a ridiculous amount of time spent trawling YouTube, I’ve decided that this time around it will be Ghostbusters! And guess who is playing the ghost? Well yeah, no prizes for that one, far too easy! 

Things are slowly coming together – we’ve got the outfits ready for the little ones, but they aren’t very authentic looking – so I drew, coloured, and laminated these badges for them to stick on their chest (to cover the lightning bolt that is there at the moment!) 

Ghostbusters

So far the kids know the lyrics of “Ghostbusters!” …not the whole song you understand- literally just that word. But it’s a start right?  

I’ll have to go looking for my costume in the coming weeks! And hope that repetition, repetition, repetition, helps them get the dance down! Wish me luck my friends!

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Boring, and Bored!

I’ve been asked to provide five possible short stories, which display language errors – for a Korean made English language book – I suppose the aim is to point out possible mistakes that could be made, so that English learners don’t have to make them personally! Anyway, I have to get them done by Sunday! Phew, that’s a lot of work! So yeah, rough and ready; here is the 2nd of 5*: 

When you’re teaching it’s unrealistic to assume that your classes will always be fun – after all a mixture of terrible unrelatable subject matter, and poorly written books, can equal a nightmare for even the most enthusiastic teacher!

I recall once with a middle school class, the lesson was based around the Canadian governmental system…yeah, exactly…why? The books were made in Korea, which made it even more unusual – I just wasn’t sure how this was something that would benefit English language learners – actually I thought it was likely to confuse them if anything! But I was told this was what I had to do – in short, I basically had no choice. So I did what I could, and planned some fun activities surrounding the text…but we had to get through the heavy reading first.

Rudd GIF

This wasn’t fun for me, and it certainly wasn’t fun for them! But we stuck with it, I mean the lesson would finish eventually – right? The clock seemed to be ticking backwards, but surely that was just my imagination…it had to be…

Anyway – so on, and on, and on, the reading droned – something about elections, and votes, and private, and public…finance, and…well I don’t know…it all sounded like “BLAH, BLAH, BLAH” to me…I could see the students scratching their heads, wondering what evils they had committed to deserve this punishment…

That was when, out of nowhere – the girl who was reading erupted – I suppose her limit had been reached, and she could take no more! “TEACHER I’M SO BORING!” She collapsed into her forearms, and started to whinny like a dying horse. I tried to be as sympathetic as I could muster, and explained that she wasn’t boring – the book was just boring, and that she shouldn’t take it personally.

She didn’t look convinced, but I told her to continue, and commented that she had been doing well so far…but nope, she flatly refused; “NO, NO, NO! I’M TOO BORING! I CAN’T READ…NOT MORE!”

No No NO GIF

I’d lost the class – they were all probably running low on sugar, and discussions about politics, and systems they didn’t even understand hadn’t helped! So I took over the reading – and my goodness was it a drab pain-fest. I was both bored – which is surely a given – but also felt more boring for having read it.

So yeah, despite my student seemingly misunderstanding the difference between the two words, (boring, and bored) in a way – it had made complete, and total sense!

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(you can check out the 1st of 5, here.)*

Cock Please

I’ve been asked to provide five possible short stories, which display language errors – for a Korean made English language book – I suppose the aim is to point out possible mistakes that could be made, so that English learners don’t have to make them personally! Anyway, I have to get them done by Sunday! Phew, that’s a lot of work! So yeah, rough and ready; here is the 1st of 5: 

Every once in a while, as Korean work culture dictates – the boss will take all of his employees out for a staff dinner. The set menu of this occasion is usually something like; meal, drinks, more drinking, karaoke, more drinking, then slump back to bed wishing you hadn’t had those last few soju shots. It’s a well established formula, and always makes for gossip fueled dramas, as well as silly memories among your work colleagues. Some people dread it, some people love it.

Dunno GIF

What I wasn’t expecting to be offered was…errr…something other than food, alcohol, and the microphone…I mean I certainly wasn’t expecting to be offered “a cock”. 

You see there I was…happily chowing down on some grilled meat, and vegetables – when my boss leaned in to my ear – and whispered…“would you like – a cock?” Erm. Errr…well, I was frozen to the spot. I didn’t know what to say – no one wants to be rude to their boss, especially in Korea that is a big no-no! So I asked him to repeat his question…maybe I had misheard?

“Would you like a cock?” 

Ralphie Shock GIF

No. I hadn’t misheard – that is most definitely what he had said – I looked around for someone, anyone to save me…thankfully I noticed the waiter next to me, and worked out that he actually meant to say Coke, as in Coca Cola! 

“Oh, yes!” I replied – “One cock, please!”

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