Reasons and excuses

on the road (1)In this post, I’d like to reveal some of my vices. I’d like to explain and justify these weaknesses in the hope of being forgiven or understood by all those who don’t share the same imperfections. Here they are, in a completely random order:

1) Like every modern housewife, I have a mixer. I know I could easily do without this commonplace kitchen utensil because, as my grandma would argue, I might well do the stirring, whisking, beating and kneading manually using a fork, a beater, or a wooden spoon. However, there’s no need to make the process of preparation unnecessarily arduous, right? Most consumers of my dishes are interested in the outcome anyway – the yummy soup or the delicious sauce I prepare – and they don’t really care how I actually achieved the result. So, the mixer just makes my life easier and it saves a lot of my energy and time while I strive for excellence and perfection.

2) I also have a car. I confess I use it every day to get to work, even though my workplace is within a walking distance from my house. I feel it’s not quite right because it actually turns me into a lazy person, plus it’s not exactly environment-friendly. Also, I would probably be much fitter if I walked or cycled, but where on earth would I put all the heavy shopping bags? It’s simply comfortable and practical for me to drive, especially because I have a big family to look after.

3) I plead guilty to using a GPS when driving. I know that driving unplugged, i.e. reading a classic map and then watching the road signs and landmarks, would be more interesting and beneficial for the development of everybody’s navigation skills, but having an additional aid as a backup helps me feel safe on the road.

4) To my shame I admit that I sometimes visit a fast food restaurant and shamelessly enjoy all the unhealthy food and drinks they offer there. I’m well aware of the fact that consuming too many burgers, chips, and McNuggets can make people fat and malnourished because the quality and the nutritional value of these products are not exactly high, but I simply can’t resist. Sometimes I’m even forced to eat there (my sons are to blame cause they’re loving it). The thing is that the food is prepared and served quickly – by a standardized method – it includes tons of addictive content, and all the packaging’s so colorful and bright. 

5) I feel a little ashamed that unlike many of my friends, I rarely make birthday cakes for my children. Instead, I have them made by someone who is more experienced in making them. I know it would be nice and more personal to make one myself, regardless of the seemingly imperfect outcome and lots of mess in the kitchen. I also know that when making my own cake I could choose all the ingredients and content according to the birthday people’s needs and wishes, but maybe I’m not confident in making cakes yet, and I just want to shift some of the responsibility in order to make everyone happy. 

6) Oh, and I use coursebooks – for all the reasons and despite all the flaws highlighted above.

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About Hana Tichá

I'm an EFL teacher based in the Czech Republic. I've been teaching English to learners of all ages for more than 20 years. I love metaphors and inspiring discussions concerning teaching, learning and linguistics.
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20 Responses to Reasons and excuses

  1. joannamalefaki says:

    Hey Hana!!!
    I really loved this post!!
    Guess what I do? I watch YouTubers talk about what they shop and makeup tutorials!! :p
    I eat loads of chocolate and always say I will start a diet. I don’t cook and I, too, eat at fast food restaurants 😀
    Oh!
    I use course books too. I also supplement stuff!!
    Joanna

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hana Tichá says:

      Thanks for your support, Joanna. We all have vices we’d like to get rid of, but there are so many excuses why not to 🙂 Or sometimes there are no excuses whatsoever and we just love the things we do, even though we know they’re not beneficial.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Hana,
    I share many of your “vices”: I eat too much junk food and not enough fruit and vegetables – in spite of being 99% vegetarian – weird, eh? I have a number of really unnecessary gadgets, I don’t take enough exercise and I even had a vice you don’t have: for many years I drank far too much.

    I have a friend who doesn’t snack between meals, doesn’t eat junk food and almost never eats sweet stuff. But it’s not virtue on her part: she just doesn’t enjoy those things. I didn’t use coursebooks for general English courses for the same reason. I’m not virtuous, I just don’t like them.

    Cheers,
    Glenys

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hana Tichá says:

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Glenys. Yeah, I know what you are talking about; there are people who never do all the bad things, like overeating, drinking alcohol and using coursebooks, just because they don’t like them. I’m envious. It’s much easier for them, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing some of your vices 🙂

      Like

      • What do you mean, Hana, *some” of my vices? Do you think I have more? I’m afraid you’re right – but I’m not going to share the others. Just one: when I comment on people’s blogs, I sometimes forget to say how great the post was. So belatedly, I really enjoyed the humour of this one.

        Those apparently virtuous people – I suspect them of being secret heroin addicts!

        Cheers,
        Glenys

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hana Tichá says:

        I think I should choose my words more carefully when replying to comments. I somehow (subconsciously) suppose that people never share *all* of their secrets 🙂 Thanks for your words of appreciation.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Really love what you’ve done here!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. careymicaela says:

    Love this post- ingenious! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Chewie says:

    “Driving unplugged”–I like that phrase.
    Mixers? Nothing wrong with them. I suppose some people enjoy the process of stirring and mixing, but you’re right: the mixer saves time and effort.
    Coursebooks? Ah, the eternal debate! You’re not alone in using them 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hana Tichá says:

      Thanks for commenting, Chewie. Is it my imagination or have you also migrated to WordPress? 🙂 Well, yes, I needed to squeeze in the word *unplugged* at all costs to make my point, so I thought it was best in this context. I’m glad you liked it.

      Like

  6. ven_vve says:

    Hi Hana,

    I’m going to go so far as to actually say in a public forum that I like English File. And I’m not apologizing for it either. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hana Tichá says:

      No apologies needed, Vedrana 🙂 As far as I know, English File has a good reputation. My colleagues and I often say that the coursebook we use at our school is a blessing. It was designed for the local market and it systematically prepares students for the final state exam in English. But I could easily imagne using it with people not aiming at this type of exam because it’s student and teacher-friendly. The only flaw is that it’s quite expensive. Now that I think about it, the anti-coursebook wave could finally make publishers to reduce the price. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • ven_vve says:

        That’s great – about the coursebook you use at school, I mean. The reason I mentioned EF was because I seem to remember it was singled out somewhere as the ultimate example of mcnuggetization and parsnip-pandering. I briefly felt stupid for liking it. But…some of the teachers at my school liked it too (those who didn’t were free to use another book) and so did the students – insofar as students can actually be said to actively like any book. Maybe YLs are different, but I’ve yet to come across an adult who openly enthuses about a foreign language coursebook. Ah well, maybe we were all misguided. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hana Tichá says:

        This is exactly what I was thinking about this morning when I read another post about coursebooks. YL don’t seem to care about coursebooks and stuff but the older the learner gets, the more they start to appreciate one. Isn’t it funny how cautious we sometimes have to be about what to like (publicly)? Honestly, I think the whole anti-coursebook debate is becoming a little arrogant to my taste. It’s turning into the Aunt Agony Page – people giving lots of useful advice to those poor creatures who use/like coursebooks. I said it before and I’ll say it again: it all depends on the teaching context: if you teach one group of learners 4 times a week, for 4 years or even more, you need to have something tangible and systematic at your disposal. It would be a complete mess if I didn’t use a coursebook in such a situation. Sometimes my colleagues take over my classes and I take over theirs, so we need to know what exactly has been covered. So coursebooks come in handy. Language learning may not be a predictable process, but it definitely has to be systematic if it is to be beneficial to the learner.

        Liked by 2 people

      • ven_vve says:

        Haha, love this – “people giving lots of useful advice to those poor creatures who use/like coursebooks”! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Tyson Seburn says:

    This is a clever post I enjoyed reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Coursebooks, textbooks or resource books? | How I see it now

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