Monday, November 30, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Driving for Dummies
1. When you are stopped at a traffic light and see a glowing green arrow pointing in the direction that you plan on turning, it means that you (yes you!) are being given the signal to go. You are allowed to turn, but you must do it quickly because this light will only last for about 10 seconds.
2. If you are at an intersection waiting to make a left turn, don't be afraid to creep up so that you are midway through the intersection. This allows for a better gauge of how clear the roadway is. Also, if you have a window of opportunity, you are in a better position to take advantage of it. And if the light turns red, even better. Go ahead and turn. (Note: This also makes the cars behind you very happy because it allows them the opportunity to turn as well.)
3. A blinker is not an option. If you are wondering why the car behind you is so close, it may be because you suddenly made a turn and slowed down to 5 mph in order to do so. Without signaling, the driver behind you does not know that you are planning to turn. Also, if you would like to get into another lane, using your blinker will let the other drivers know what you are attempting to do and they will accomodate you (rather than honk and scream at you.)
4. You cannot make a U or K-turn on a major road in the middle of traffic. It doesn't matter how young, or invincible you are. It doesn't matter what your car looks like or whether your music is blasting very loud. Being cool will not protect you from dying. Take a side road or dip into a parking lot.
1. On the highway, the left lane is for fast people. If you are driving say . . . 45, 50 mph (that means "miles per hour") this lane is probably not for you. You are not driving fast enough to be in the left lane and should stay to the right unless you are passing someone who is driving slower than you.
2. Passing is not personal. The person who is passing you is not passing you because they don't like you. They are passing you because they are going at a different speed. Do not try to speed up, block them, or race them. This is dangerous and unecessary. Just remain at the speed you are comfortable with because if you succeed in stopping them from getting in front of you, you will end up at your natural speed again anyway and they will try to pass you again. It is a vicious cycle. And it stops with you.
3. If you have to drive unecessarily fast to turn onto a road and get in front of the other cars, maybe you should wait. You don't want to jump in front of a band of faster moving cars and risk being rear ended because you couldn't wait 5 seconds for the road to be clear. Especially if your normal speed is 5 miles per hour, so you decide to jump in front of everyone at a speed of 75mph and then slam on your brakes because you got scared. Save yourself and everyone else the drama. Just wait.
4. If you are on a major highway and slamming on the brakes every 2 seconds, you are #1 - driving too close to the car in front of you or #2 - driving too fast for your own comfort. For scenario number 1 back off of the car in front of you. If you give him some space, you won't have to worry about braking every time he slows down or changes speeds. Odds are you're stuck in traffic (otherwise maybe you'd pass him, rather than riding his tail). If that is the case, chill out. A 10 car pileup is not going to get you there any faster, I promise you. Now if scenario number 2 is the case and you are driving too fast for your own comfort and feel the urge to brake all the time . . . don't. Just take your foot off of the brake and coast a little. The only time you should brake on a major highway is if the cars in front of you are stopped or are significantly slowing down. Braking for no reason on a highway is dangerous and confusing to other drivers. Use it to stop or stay with the flow of traffic, not to regulate your own speed because you think that you are going too fast (you speed demon you).
1. SUV's do not always have the right of way.
2. Those lines on the ground separate the road into lanes. Those lanes are for you to drive within. Do not drive on the line. That is a bad thing to do. :-(
3. Do not switch lanes in the middle of a turn. This is also a bad thing to do. Switch lanes before or after you turn, but not during.
Walking for Dummies (oh yes, pedestrians could use a refresher course too!)
1. Look both ways before you cross the street. Yes, it may seem, I don't know . . . old-fashioned, but it's still effective.
2. Do not walk down the street. You ever heard someone say they were "walking down the street"? Well, this is just a figure of speech. They were probably just walking down the sidewalk, and you should too.
3. Do not try to race a car to make it across the street or challenge the driver by walking at a snail's pace while saying "I wish they would hit me." My cousin got hit doing this and I don't think she wishes that anymore.
4. Do not cross against the light unless traffic is really clear or so packed it's not moving for a while. If you cross against the light while cars are coming, you might catch a vehicle off guard and they will not be able to slow down in order to accomodate your retarded . . . I mean, your thoughtless actions.
Ummm . . . that's all I got for now. Drive (and walk) safely this holiday season!
Arnetta Green is a driving expert and has been chauffering friends and family members around for over 10 years. She just recently got her BM (Bitching and Moaning) Degree for road rage at the school of "The Light's Not Getting Any Greener Folks!" University.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Outside of shows like Mr. Ed, The Patty Duke Show and the Outer Limits, THIS-TV plays B movies from the 70's and 80's like Hercules starring Lou Ferrigno, Teen Wolf Too or Octoman. This might not sound appealing to most people, but I find these shows hilarious to watch and laugh at. The 2 dimensional characters, bad costumes and terrible lighting keep me entertained while working. Also, it's crazy some of the stuff it was okay to say and do on TV back in those days.
Monday, November 9, 2009
My job interview for the teaching position in Japan is this Saturday and I have done nothing to prepare. Good job Arnetta! (Slow clap) Seriously, it's crunch time and I have to buckle down and tell everyone no. No, I cannot videotape this. No, I cannot edit that. No, I cannot help you move your furniture. No, I cannot shoot the breeze. No, no, NO!
I rented a "Learn to speak Japanese" DVD from the library and intend to watch it tonight. I've also got all of the names and contact info for all of my references, including a really nice reference letter from one of them. Now all that's left is putting together a lesson plan and creating a really nice presentation that I have to present for a group interview. This won't be the first time I've had to present something for an interview. I did it a couple years back and unfortunately didn't get the job, but was proud of the presentation that I managed to throw together. Here's hoping I can be proud again.
(That DVD ended up being crap and I couldn't get through the first 5 minutes, so I just picked up some books and CD's. Also, I managed to scrounge up another recommendation from an old coworker.)
*Okay, now we're up to date (Sunday 11/15)
I went on my interview yesterday and was very proud of my little presentation. First things first, lemme break down to you how this thing goes. There are 3 steps (kinda). First step, is the application process and if they choose your application, you attend the group interview and if you pass that, you move onto the (whispers) private interview. :-) So obviously they accepted my app and I moved onto step number 2 which was the group interview, including the 5 minute presentation (that I had a whole month to prepare for, but instead decided to wait till the last minute and do all in one day). Either way, I tested out my little presentation with my extra-bright, (extra tall) 3 year old niece. Most adorable part of our little practice session . . .
Me: Hello class!
Class (which consisted of my mother and my niece sitting on the couch): Hello teacher!
Me: Today we are going to learn about colors!
My Niece: Wait, wait, wait! You can't be teacher without name. You have to tell us your name!
The kid made a good point! LOL Either way, she responded very well to my little presentation (and now knows how to say 3 colors in Japanese) and I decided to use the same kind of presentation for my group interview yesterday. I had to work the night/morning right before my interview (because my hours suck) so I was a little worried about my brain cells failing on me. Either way, I made sure to exhibit as much energy as I possibly could because from my experiences with children, that's what gets their attention, and from what I read on the websites energy is VERY IMPORTANT in these kinds of interviews. Unfortunately, the other folks didn't get that memo and gave very lackluster performances. I think it was the fact that we were performing for a bunch of adults that kind of took the giggly, cheerful, happy-go-lucky spirit out of teaching a bunch of grown folks the ABC's. But I've watched enough Wiggles and Yo Gabba Gabba to know that you have to look like a fool to keep the kids happy and the company is hiring us on our ability to keep the kids happy enough to have their parents continue dishing out money.
So on our way out they told us they'd call us or email us by 8 o'clock to let us know if we were accepted to move onto the next round. I prettymuch deducted that an email = not being accepted and a phone call = moving onto the next round. So I decided to just eat dinner and watch Grey's Anatomy and not even think about checking my email until the next day. I forgot about my phone, however, and when it rang at 7:34pm it hit me that I may have very well gotten the invitation to attend Round 3 of the process. Ding! Ding! Ding!
So today, I go on my last interview. I don't know how it will end up but I have so much to think about if I do get this job. Whatever happens, I know it will be God's will. So nervous!
Some Side Notes about yesterday:
- The process lasted about 5 hours. From 12 when it started to 4 when my group was dismissed.
- I need to brush up on my grammar. I used to be very thorough, but ever since Spellcheck . . . smh. For example, I think I may have gotten the "Who" and "Whom" question wrong. Who actually uses the word "whom" anyway?
- There were a lot of worldy people up in there. At one point, some guy was explaining to one of the interviewers (if that's a word) that he might not be able to come back if they call him for the private interview because he has an important meeting in Paris. LOL Me and some other girl looked at each other, giggled and mentioned that we wished we had it like that . . . and later, the same girl I was giggling with was telling me about how she's planning on living in Brazil until it's time to go to Japan (if they call her back). Uh, yeah . . . I wouldn't mind getting it like that either.
- Maybe asking questions in order to "just ask" something is not always the best idea on a job interview. Some of the questions people were asking sounded really pretentious. Or maybe I'm just being a hater because I didn't have a million and one questions prepared. Either way, I thought some of those questions were silly and obvious.
- I was one of the "older" folks of the group. Everybody else was like fresh out of college. And the only other people my age were the well-traveled, already teaching, I have an important meeting in Paris types.
- Not to toot my own horn, but I am excellent at giving presentations. Yeah, there's always that initial nervousness, but when it comes down to it, the shakes fade and something else takes over. Gosh, I hate to compare myself to her - and don't laught at me - but it's like Beyonce's alter ego Sasha Fierce. I'm a whole nother person when I have an audience. (nother = other, kids. See, I'm already teaching English! LOL)
Okay, you can laugh at me now!
Today's interview is at 2:30. Here goes nothing . . .