hema’s sphere

Archive for June, 2007

blackpool trip!

Posted by hema on June 30, 2007

it was the last week with the students in this week. even the most cynical teachers were feeling a bit sad. the last two weeks of term are just full of boring staff development days (courses and meetings and more boring boring meetings). i mean a college without students in it is just wrong. it would be like a hospital without patients or something- what’s the point? the corridors are just going to be empty with noone to say hello to:(

we spent yesterday on the treasure hunt which we do every year. it’s basically for year six students that come in next week in an initiative that’s actually called “get them while they are young”. i am so not looking forward to doing the treasure hunt with them:( you have to basically follow around college and they are so hyper. because of the animal care students, we’ve got a huge farm around the back, and it’s so muddy but the 10 year olds just don’t care! seriously, give me 17 year olds over 10 year olds a-nyday!

anyway, we trial the hunt with the AS students every year, and they usually act so cool and think it’s too immature, even though the really get into it towards the end. but this years intake were excited about it from the start, and came in dressed like pirates! it was so lovely to see. they looked super cute, i wish i could post up pictures!

thursday was the dreaded trip to blackpool. but it actually went really well. i even managed a few rides, you guys would have been so proud of me! my students definitely were, even though they had to practically hold my hand in the que!

and my absolute highlight of the day (no wait the whole year) was when this random guy was trying to give me hassle and one of my naughtiest students turned around and said

“oi don’t talk to my teacher like that, i’ll bash your head in”

yeh. what he said

(he was told off for the violent language)

oh, and i didn’t quite manage the pepsi max though. but i mean, come on look at it. why would you put yourself through that!


Posted in teaching | 8 Comments »

please sign

Posted by hema on June 29, 2007

ladies and gentleman, boys and girls and mishy.

there simply aren’t enough signatures on this thing.

free babar ahmad petition
(British citizens only)

there are currently 3,369 signatures. if i was any good at maths, i’d work out how much of the British Muslim population that is. or maybe i don’t want to work it out. maybe i would be too depressed.

it only takes a few minutes, the amount of time it will take you to read this post.let’s do our bit to support the brothers and sisters who are working tirelessly to end the injustice we will all be held accountable for. may Allah reward you for your efforts.

and (continue to) make dua.

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ask a stupid question….

Posted by hema on June 27, 2007

me: do you want to put that phone away so i can get on with the lesson?
the student: no

me: are you listening to me?
the student: what?

me: five minutes before the end of the lesson so, that’s clear to everyone, right?
them: erm.. not really

me: are you sleeping in my lesson?
the student: silence

me: does anybody want to do some extra reading to help me decide which text to pick next year?
the students: silence

me: in the plenary can everyone write down five new things they’ve learnt today?
the student: what if we’ve not learnt anything?

me: do you want to try and teach this yourself?
the student: shrugs shoulders ok (and did a better job)

me: do you want to stay behind with me at the end of the lesson?
the student: i wouldn’t mind that much (for the benefit of his freinds)

me: don’t you think the cleaners have better things to do than clean up after you?
the student: not really,that is what they’re paid for

me: what do you mean, you’re dropping English and picking up Sociology?
the student: i mean, i’m dropping English and picking up Sociology

Posted in teaching | 13 Comments »


Posted by hema on June 25, 2007

…..with the opposite gender:

is it ever possible?

Posted in random stuff | 29 Comments »

lasagna recipe

Posted by hema on June 24, 2007

it’s been a busy day. my sister in law’s family came round, which is always fun. everyone except her sister in law that is, please make a special dua for her mother who isn’t feeling well:(

i made lasange, so thought i’d put up the recipe. i’ll leave it up to my friends to tell you if it tastes any good (hint hint!) or if it isn’t worth making, i’m sure they’ll let you know too.


1 pound of mince meat
10 tomatoes
3 peppers
1 packet button mushrooms
1 handful of frozen sweetcorn
1 spring onion
3 large onions
2 whole garlics
lasagna sheets
i medium block of mild cheddar cheese (grated)


place the minced in a pan with 1 diced onion, and 1 whole garlic (crushed). place the 10 tomatoes in a bowl, and pour boiling water on top of them. when the water has cooled down, drain and peel the skin off the tomatoes (it should come off really easily) then squash all the tomatoes using your hands (or you can just used tinned tomatoes). when the mince meat is cooked, add about 2 tablespoons of cooking oil, then add 3/4 of the squahsed tomatoes, along with 1 oxo cube, and salt and pepper to taste. also add two button mushrooms, finely chopped. leave to simmer for about 15 mins then take off the heat.

next, fry 1 chopped onion and some crushed garlic in a pan with a little oil. Then add the rest of the tomotos, along with an oxo cube and salt and pepper. dice the spring onions and peppers and add to the pan. when they have softened, add the mushrooms (sliced) and the sweetcorn.when all the vegetables are soft, take off the heat.

spread the vegetables in an even layer at the bottom of a flat, ovenproof casserole dish. then overlap the lasagne sheets on top of the vegetables. then spread the mince meat mixture on top of the lasagne sheets, and cover the mince meat with another layer of lasagna sheets. next make the cheese sauce.

to make the cheese sauce:

melt 60g of butter in a frying pan, then add two heaped tablespoons of plain flour. blend the butter and flour together for about 2 mins until smooth. then add 250 ml of milk. stir the mixture until the milk thickens, then take off the heat. add 60 grams (about 3 handfuls) of grated cheese to the mixture, some chopped coriander and some pepper. spread the cheese sauce on top of the lasagne sheets, then sprinkle the rest of the grated cheese on top, with some corrainder if you like.

bake in the over for 30 – 45 minutes on gas mark 5.

i made biriyani too. i added the picture on the recipe i posted previously.

my sister made these!!

and fruit crumble

so there was lots of yummy food but it aa-ll went into my tummy:)
i’ll put the chocolate cheesecake recipe up when we make it next so i can take a picture.
don’t hold your breath though, everyone is on a diet lately.
plus, i’m a bit worried no one will come to visit me for my food, if all the recipes are up on here:(

Posted in recipes | 11 Comments »

random picture of my shoes!

Posted by hema on June 23, 2007

to prove my feet are just as big as organic’s!

Posted in random stuff | 7 Comments »

stop spending, start saving

Posted by hema on June 22, 2007


i’m drowning!

i really think i should be learning how to swim. does anyone want to join me?
the problem is i don’t want to join a womens only group, with pretend segregation, i want a Muslim only group with some real segregation.
actually what i really want is a bug huge swimming pool just for me and noone else. it can’t be that expensive, surely.

whilst i’m wishing, i also want a big huge tropical fish tank like this one.

aren’t fish just the most amazing thing ever? but those things are so–o expensive.
and there’s me thinking i”m not high manitenance! guess i was wrong

i think i better start saving.

Posted in personal | 13 Comments »

annotating poems

Posted by hema on June 21, 2007

i tried this activity this week and it worked really well. it’s quite simple really, you just get the students to annotate a poem using different colours and fonts. they can work on it independently, and it gets them to react to the poem if they think they don’t have an opinion on it. you can then get them to write about their choices and this will naturally lead to a discussion and analysis of the poem.
you can then laminate the best poems and use them as wall displays. hhm that’s what i could be doing at the moment, working on my wall displays. i wish i was more artsy and creative:(

anyway, here (1, 2, 3 )are some of the poems that the students produced, in my order of preference. feel free to help me judge them though, i’m always so biased and let my opinion of the student get in the way!

Posted in teaching ideas | 5 Comments »


Posted by hema on June 20, 2007

i was planning to spend some time today posting some teaching ideas (i know that section is being neglected at the moment) but memes are much more fun, so i’m doing snowdrop’s tag instead! so, here are my odd points.

1- i have a phobia of numbers and do not like maths. this is odd because everyone in my family is so good at maths, especially mental maths. i even use my calculator to add 1, just to make sure. i’m not kidding either.

2- my mum thinks i’m the loudest person ever, and is always complaining that i don’t need to shout. that’s not going to sound odd to a lot of people actually, just those who think i’m super quiet!

3- i strongly suspect i need to visit the opticians, as well as the dentist and i should probably throw in a visit to my GP as well (do i actually have one?) but i absolutely refuse to go. i just don’t trust them, and i’m sure some GPs just hand out drugs to keep their patients quiet. this is odd because a lot of people seem to trust doctors etc unquestionably, but not me.

4- i really want a deep, husky voice. most women who have deep voices don’t seem to like it but i would swap with my high pitched whiny voice any day.

5- i really like dark skin on asians as it looks rather suave. this may seem odd to some people who automatically associate pale skin with beauty, a concept which has always seemed quite bizarre to me.

that’s all the “new” stuff i can think of at the moment. i think i’ve done something similar to this before. anyway, i tag sheila (rosache) and just a temporary measure.

Posted in personal | 8 Comments »

is it important?

Posted by hema on June 18, 2007

English, or “world Englishes” as it it sometimes known because there are so many different varieties spoken throughout the world, is now the second most widely used language in the world (mandarin is the first). so as the world aspires to speak English, does that mean other languages are not as important?

i think Britain must be one of the only places in the world where the majority of children can’t speak more than one language, and as it is no longer compulsory to take a language to GCSE level, the situation can only get worse.

but what if you’ve grown up bilingual and have always spoken another language alongside English, whether that is urdu, punjabi, bangla, arabic or any other language? is it important to you? would you want to pass it down to your children or do you think it’s insignificant, as English is your language now, or you would prefer to teach them arabic, the language of the Qur’an, and think another language on top of that would just get in the way?

because that’s what i’m seeing with the third generation of children now. whether it’s unintentional or done on purpose, they are finding it impossible to communicate with their grandparents.

and i think it’s rather sad.

i think it’s important to try and preserve a language, not necessarily for religious reasons, or because it’s an important language, but because it’s part of your heritage and part of who you are. there are many theories around that language is part of your culture and identity (here’s one)and i think that makes sense because the language you use shapes how you “think” and how you see the world.

ok, some people might be thinking “um but you don’t speak a word of urdu” which is true (i’ve got a few phrases i use though but only ever write them down and never say them!), and my mirpuri.. well let’s just say my parents understand me, but have to “translate” to make it comprehensible to anyone else!
but i’m trying though, and i will make the effort when speaking to elders, even if it makes me feel uncomfortable.

so, what do you think? should we let these home languages die with us and focus solely on english and arabic, or is it important to pass them on?

Posted in Uncategorized | 21 Comments »