Being Head of Department is a power trip: no-one can stop you from forcing encouraging students to partake in whole school/external English events. And the best part is the kiddos have zero choice. Recently, our students took part in an international writing competition. It prompted lots of eye-rolling followed by, "Miss, we don't have to… Continue reading On Writing: How my writing journey began (Part 1)
I've often toyed with the idea of setting up a second blog dedicated to resources on teaching English. Whenever a lesson just clicks or a strategy works wonders, I think about sharing it so others can benefit too. Heaven knows how much I've relied and continue to rely on TES and teacher blogs during major… Continue reading “Miss, where’s the model answer?’ syndrome’: a reflection on TEFL
2017 was such a surprisingly successful year of blogging that I'm not surprised 2018 didn't match up. Right from the get-go, I had zero motivation. Reviewing 2018: Stating the obvious here but I didn't write much (8 posts to be exact) and one of the main reasons behind this is I had my mind on more important… Continue reading Three Year Blogiversary!
But you said It's not that I don't love you, it's just that you resemble her far too much You said It's not that I don't believe you, I've just known her longer And It's not like I distrust you, but when you speak I hear her words You said It's not like I don't… Continue reading But you said… (Poem)
dead leaves, the first signs of change are romanticized far too much their fiery colours and musical crunch welcome by all but I hate dead leaves dead leaves are like dead hearts dead beats and dead dreams dead hopes of growing into something better and brighter a vision unfulfilled a vessel unused dead leaves are… Continue reading Day 17: Dead leaves
The only house with a light on at 2am is Amna's home. Rigid in bed, she's listening to the sound of her mother's sobs in tahajjud. Laying in bed is a progression from sitting on the stairs listening to her parents fighting, knowing the sudden silence means to run for help. Her father sent divorce… Continue reading Day 14: One ‘law’ for all
He's been standing outside for the past 15 minutes. He doesn't knock on the door. He doesn't know that I know.
Before anyone could follow, she hurried over to a particularly crowded corner of her bedroom. It wasn't that she felt worried about what she was hiding, more that she didn’t want her secret hiding places discovered by others. Anyone could walk in and catch her; she had to move swiftly. Had she known the aroma… Continue reading Day 2: ‘Hunger’ a cautionary tale
They said they couldn't reach a point of compromise with you. That it was because you didn't seem to have that same affection for them, the kind that came so naturally to you for me. But I think they're liars. I think they saw too much of me in you to really love you; too… Continue reading Day 1: in praise of an ‘Angel’
To our not so dearest, It's been so long since we last saw you, even longer since we last exchanged words. When was that, around 10 years ago? Maybe less, maybe more. We're almost ashamed to admit we've forgotten the sound of your voice, your movements and your mannerisms, and the presence of your being… Continue reading From the grapevine
When school ended two weeks ago and I found myself with ample time to write, I envisioned myself as this super productive being who would tick everything off her To Do list while simultaneously updating her blog every third day. Instead, I found that actually, all this free time was counterproductive. Apparently, I write best… Continue reading On Writing: Finding the will to carry on
Let me just get this out there: it's a really bad idea to complete a dissertation about your hometown whilst preparing to leave. It's even worse if you already harbour a love/hate relationship with the place! I spent the summer reading about the 2001 Oldham riots which, until now, were fuzzy recollections of newspaper stills… Continue reading The Oldham Riots: 15 years on
I've been working on my dissertation (by 'working' I mean thinking a lot and writing very little), and my brain is aching! I need to write something - anything - before my mind explodes. Ramadan coincided with the start of the summer holidays. It's super hard to switch your brain on during these long summer… Continue reading On Writing: dissertation struggles
The beginning of 2016 had me swinging between productivity and inactivity. Productive in completing errands that are (extremely) dull but necessary in order to live, and putting off tasks that are enjoyable (reading for pleasure, writing with purpose) but only possible in a dream world where all the aforementioned don't exist. In short, I have… Continue reading On Writing: productivity and inactivity
Short story first published in issue 10 of Route 57, 2014: http://www.route57.group.shef.ac.uk/issue10/10fZoyaKubra.html