AE 520: A 2018 Recap & 2019 Plans for Aussie English
Let me just get it rolling. Kelly, can you put the slang book down. She’s reading a little book on Australian Slang.
I didn’t know you were recording already.
I just started it, YOLO, you know? You only live once. So, I thought I would get it going, in fact, I’m going to turn my voice down because I tend to speak a lot louder than you. So yeah. To balance it out, bring it close to the mouth, bring it closer to the mouth. That’s it, that’s it…you can move it around. So, we’re still getting used to the set up here and I know that there’s a bit of an echo in the background I’ve ordered some…sound dampening foam.
Right? So, I mean, it sounds a lot more complicated than it really is. It is like… special foam, like you know if you were to buy a microphone or a guitar or some kind of equipment, when you get it usually comes in foam that’s been had a part of it cut out so, that it fits perfectly in that, right? That kind of foam. You can put that on the wall on surfaces that are flat and it disperses the sound. So, it absorbs the sound, but it also doesn’t let the sound reflect back towards the microphone.
How are you going to stick it to the wall?
It comes with double sided tape.
So, you put that on there and so what you guys won’t hear is that, when I get away from the mic, when I speak like this, you can hear that there’s a bit of an echo, right? And that’s really annoying me and probably Kel more than me because every time she edits the audio and so, I’m sort of like… I can keep hearing this in the background and when I edit it, I can see on your channel the reflection of my voice off the wall behind you and into your microphone. So, when I don’t talk, if I mute my channel, I can hear myself still through your microphone because it’s bouncing off the wall behind you and going into your microphone.
I know. That was pretty boring, but there you go, what an intro! video. So I thought that we could chat all about 2018. How we went, what we accomplished and then plans for 2019 and obviously plans for us personally, plans for Aussie English as well. So, 2018. So how was it for you? Did you have fun? Was it a rollercoaster?
It was a rollercoaster.
I think memory is a tricky thing because I’m sure there were other like years in my life where I was struggling with something and I would say, back then, all that was the hardest year of my life, but because now I don’t remember so much of those years that went by, I would say 2018 was the hardest…
Well, it’s always the most recent stuff, right? Why was it so hard for you?
I think there was a lot of change, personally, for me, so…
I think the difficult side of that was not necessarily the fact that there was change, but the fact that there was no certainty.
That there was a lot of uncertainty, you didn’t know what you were going to be doing, where you were going to be within sort of large amount of time, it was kind of like week to week, month to month.
You had to wing it and improvise.
And everything happened at once. So, I would say like, I left Townsville, it was hard for me and then we would just, you know, we were together but then all of a sudden we were living together, which is a big thing and most people tend to, you know, take a while, they date, they stay together for a certain period of time and then they move together, but because we all live in different cities when we decided to be together was like we’re living together.
So, there was no easy way to transition, right? It’s not as if you were living in the city I was living in already, where you could have kept renting wherever it was you were living down the street and I can see you from time to time, it was that you were coming from Townsville to Victoria and so, it made little sense to try to set you up in your own house or in your own rent rent room, rental room, that you’re going to have to pay a heap for when the ultimate goal was to live together. Did you expect to be married to an Australian a year and a half ago and pregnant, four months pregnant?
No, that’s all I’m saying is was just… there was a lot of change and while I was trying to, you know, get my head around something, there was already something new coming, like we were living together, I had a new job that was everything I ever wanted, but it was hard, like it was, you know, a lot of responsibility, in a different city, living with you, sharing houses, we had a lot of problems with shared houses in Canberra and it amazes like we spent six months there and we moved probably five times. So, I know it was hard for you because we were trying to, you know, set up a routine and work and you were just like… that was hard.
Well, I think, now having my own studio and having space, and we have this house now with like four bedrooms and if you’re in my face too much, I can leave, you can leave, if I’m in your face too much, you know, you can leave, I can leave. Whereas before when we were renting a room it was like either we were in the room together or we had to leave the room and we would be with the rest of the house mates. So, there was no real, at least, until the very last house that we where in, there was no real way of kind of getting out of each other’s hair or at least out of everyone else’s hair in the house, right? Unless everyone happened to be out of the house. So, now it’s kind of like you really appreciate how important space is and having multiple rooms, although that’s obviously a luxury that we just didn’t have in Canberra and how bloody expensive it was.
Yeah, the whole Canberra experience…I’m digesting it, to be honest, because I do miss my job and I’m trying to get over it because it was basically a choice and I decided to go a different path and I left this job and there was a visa issue I had to sort out, there was… I had issues with friends a lot this year. So, it was a lot, but on the other hand…
It was an emotional rollercoaster.
I know know…On the other hand, it was great because we only, we only got stronger together. We decided to commit like really hard from the very beginning.
Was that before or after getting married?
Before… from the very beginning and I got pregnant and yeah it’s been, I think relationship wise it’s been great because we are definitely more mature and but…
Why do you think our relationship worked so well? I mean, we have our ups and downs. So, what do you think it is, compared to a lot of other people that we know where we see that they have their… they have much bigger issues than we do, what do you think it is?
I think we are much more willing to listen to each other and be vulnerable.
The communication side of things. I think that’s a really important thing. Kel and I have been on a real, I don’t know, what would you call it? Like a spree with regards to listening to philosophers like Jordan Peterson. I don’t know if we’ve talked about him before in here, but.
But now he’s on YouTube and he talks a lot about these sorts of issues you know what. What what is masculinity what is and what traits that are male, what’s femininity, what are women like, how do you make these relationships work, what’s important and one of the biggest things is that you just have to always communicate and it’s not easy and bloody hard.
A hard thing, right? Especially any time I’ve had problems with my family because, you know by now that my relationships with some of the members in my family, my sister my father in particular, we… like I love my my sister and my father but we have relatively tumultuous relationships, it’s up and down and we not necessarily have fights, but we argue, we have differing opinions quite often that lead to heated discussions that lead to sort of, you know, the ability if either of us wanted to sort of like get really angry at the other one or resent the other one because they don’t understand me blah blah blah and quite often it’s really difficult when you have to have sort of open, vulnerable conversations with people you love, right? Like it’s almost harder than with strangers.
True, I agree.
Yeah that’s been one of the biggest things that I’ve been trying to change actively this year at least is just and this was I think from Jordan Peterson specifically, but just telling the truth.
Which freaking sucks. Because quite often you avoid saying things to certain people because you’re worried that it’s going to set them off and it’s going to make them angry, it’s going to lead to an awkward conversation. It’s uncomfortable, but you know it’s the best thing to do and I think almost every single time, particularly with you and I, every time we’ve talked about something that’s been an issue or that’s stressing one of our ways leads to a better outcome.
Yeah and I think the truth thing it feels like it works against you. When you tell the truth is like… I am going to be vulnerable. I don’t know what this person is going to think about me and.
Maybe they’ll trow it back in my face.
And maybe I’m completely wrong. I’m just trying to argue about, over something that I think it’s right, maybe I’m wrong and I’ll be exposed. So, it’s really hard to get a point where you are absolutely comfortable and we are still working on it, I think because I… I think pregnancy is holding me back a little bit on this because I do get emotional and I take things personally when I shouldn’t because I know everything you tell me doesn’t come from a place of judgment or like it comes from a place of love and my hormones are just all over the place and sometimes I do get, you know, a bit more sensitive than I should but…
I try to understand as well, like I can’t say I understand what it’s like to have, I mean, I went through puberty obviously so, hormones would have been up and down during that time and I would have been stressed and moody and everything, but I can’t say that I understand what it’s like to be pregnant and to have your hormones going crazy and it seems like it’s a common thing though for women to be, you know, to become overly emotional about certain things. And so I have to appreciate that and understand that and try to be there, though it does frustrate me like, If I’m honest, and you know that, you can see it because my… the annoying thing is that I say, you know, what have I done? What can I do to fix it? and you’ll be like nothing and I’ll be like… I would rather that I really screwed up or done something wrong so, that I can fix it and everything’s okay, but if it’s hormones there’s nothing any of us can do.
Well, it’s easy for me to get resentful, I guess. Like, I can say ”oh it’s because you told me this and it hurts me”, but I’m I’ll be lying because it’s not… whatever it is you told me it’s not why it’s causing, what is causing me to be upset, what is causing me to be upset is I’m not feeling comfortable with myself or I don’t even know how to explain sometimes.
That is very hard to be honest about and to be vulnerable about. But yeah so, this year’s been good with working on that.
Yeah definitely, definitely good. I think I’ve taken, I’ve taken much more responsibility, personally, for me, with relationship, our relationship and work, when I was working and now, even now with Aussie English like I try to do as much as I can because I see it as our thing like, so it’s really…
Man, you’re as much a part of English as I am now. This is your… this is a boat for two.
It was a one-person canoe or one-man canoe before this and now it’s turned into a little dinghy, a little boat for two and a half, currently. But Kel’s being crushing it. You’ve been smashing out transcripts left, right and center, right?
I’m trying to.
Transcribing heaps and heaps, I keep putting up as much as I can the website that we use where it’ll transcribe it roughly and then Kel has to go in there and correct all of it and it’s a laborious task, it takes a while.
If can do anything to save your time too, you know, so you can focus on different things I feel happy to do whatever it is. So, I think yeah responsibility, definitely has been a big part of my year.
So, what’s coming for… in fact no, we should probably talk about Aussie English. Aussie English for 2018 has done relatively well. Relatively well, it’s done very well. Obviously, you guys know that I left my left, well, left, I finished my PhD in November last year, last year? We’re still in 2018, aren’t we? 2017 and then I just quit my job at the restaurant at the same time and I just did Aussie English full on and it’s growing slowly, slowly, slowly to the point now where obviously I can afford to support Kel and myself and hopefully our son, who we are going to call Noah, little Noah, and get this house and everything I mean we don’t have much left over, there is no Maserati sitting in the driveway, but hopefully we can keep growing it and the last few days I’ve been chatting to everyone in the Aussie English Classroom and trying to really get feedback and work out where we can go in 2019 because obviously it’s very easy to get set in your routine and just keep doing what you’re doing, which I have been doing for the last six months or so, when we’ve been moving around and doing all sorts of stuff, but now it’s time to sort of get back to it, try to reassess things objectively and be like ”what are people using? What aren’t they using? What do they like? What do they not like and how can I keep adding to it and building it more and more and more and more”‘ so, hopefully, guys, that’s the aim for 2019 and hopefully I can really improve things and just keep pumping up the content, especially with Kel doing the transcripts now.
And other things.
Exactly. She’s doing a lot more. She’s obviously on the podcast too, but hopefully we can just get a heap of more content out in the Aussie English Classroom after I assess all the feedback that you, guys, are currently giving me from the survey that I’ve created. So, I sent out a survey to all the members asking them for their feedback on 10 different questions and they’re in the midst of currently filling that out for me, I got about 21 responses so, thank you, guys! Yeah. Thank you, guys for everyone who has filled it out!
What about you, Kel, what’s on for 2019? What should we be aiming for? What’s the New Year’s resolution for you?
I think…obviously we are having a baby.
Yes, in June.
I hope so.
That’s kind of…it’s hard to think of anything apart from it because it takes all of you, right? Like I can’t imagine starting…well a small sort of project and helping you out with Aussie English and stuff and finish my course than I’m doing in Melbourne, but it is the major thing, the main thing in my life right now is to get ready for birth, to give birth and to take care of this baby and give, just do my best.
You won’t have a choice.
Neither will I.
So, yeah I think that’s the main thing. I want… as I said I want to finish my course in Melbourne, I want to apply for my partner visa so, I’ll be working on it as well.
That’s going to be intense. We have to fork out something like seven and a half grand, right? Seven and a half thousand dollars just to apply just to apply.
Just to apply, no guarantees.
Nothing changes after you get married. I was thinking I maybe get a little marriage discount or a pregnancy discount.
I wish there was, I wish there was a pregnancy discount, but no.
Just 90 percent please.
So, yeah I think I’ll be working on this family and yeah, I think my plan is to make things work for the baby and I can’t really say that I’ll be working like, I mean, I.
It’s work, that’s work.
I mean, trying to find a job away from home or things like that because I don’t really know how things will go with regards to giving birth and having a newborn at home.
The idea was to kind of not have you do that, right? At least because from the research that we’ve been doing, we find and we agree now that it’s very, very important for, particularly the mother, to be at home for the first year or two with the baby, right? As often as possible particularly for breastfeeding. You need to be doing that every day for as long as possible for the sake of the baby’s health. And obviously it’s a good thing that I’m at home, although I don’t know how that’s going to go with Aussie English, We’re going to have to like…
Work out some kind of schedule, obviously be a lot more stringent on those sort of rules. I won’t be able to sit on YouTube for an hour at lunchtime, fluff around. So, we’ll see how that goes.
So, that’s why I was a bit upset with…I mean, I wouldn’t say upset, but I had to have a serious conversation at school, that’s cool because I really want to be able to breastfeed for as long as I can, I mean, six months…
Tell that story, tell that story because there may be other people listening, obviously, who are going to go through the same thing in the future where they might be in Australia, they may have met an Australian and they might be planning to stay here, they might be pregnant, they may be at a school where they have to suddenly take time off. What did you have to do? Were you, you were pregnant before you started, but you didn’t tell them when you started, did you? I can’t remember.
No, because I started in November and I didn’t want to bring it up before the ultrasound we had so, I just wanted to make sure everything was fine. So, then when I was… you know, everything is fine, I went to talk to them and the thing is there is nothing, at least I couldn’t find and other the people, just there is nothing written online, not in the Government website or anything, determining how long you can be away from school. There it’s nothing really clear about it.
And your lawyer had sort of told you before beforehand, right? Giving you an idea. Oh you’ll get this amount of time off, but there was no set in stone this is the exactly amount
What I wanted was, I wanted to have something formal, right? Like that’s a document you can take to school and they’ll be like okay, you’re allowed to take time off because when you are on a student visa you are required to, you know, have a certain amount of hours at school.
You have to attend to a certain (?).
Yes, yes. So, I’m a VET student, vocational education course, training. I know it’s much harder if you are an English student because apparently you have to be there like 80 percent…
There are much more strict with attendance, right? Whereas currently you only go two days a week and you can do a lot of it online because the assessments are online, right?
So, what I heard was like ”oh yeah you easily get six months away” and.
”Should be okay!”.
That’s what upsets me so much! They’re all like…
That’s been the quote for this year ‘should be okay! Should be ok!” and it’s like I need to know if it is okay or if it is not okay, I don’t want you to tell me it should be ok. You’re just covering your own arse. So, then later whatever happens you will like ”Oh well I thought it was going to be ok”.
Literally. So, with that I went to school and I was like okay so, I need six months away and initially they were like ‘oh okay, it’s fine for you to stop in May, that’s when I graduate, by your Diploma starts in August, I think. So, I’m like… but I’m having a baby in June. So, how do you expect me to do that. They didn’t seem to know exactly what to do.
That fills you with confidence.
And I was like well… what should I do? I was just panicking and already planning okay, so I have to bottle feed him, bottle feed the baby and how am I going to do this and going all anxious about it.
And fortunately, I was saying, worst case scenario we’ll only have to bottle feed him two days a week at least it’s not every day and, you know, although pumping isn’t exactly the most fun, it’s an option.
Yeah. But in the end, I was able to talk to my agency and again Time to Travel, you guys are awesome!! Because they always help me, so just saying.
Yeah that’s what they’re called?
Yes, Time to Travel.
Ok, good plug, good plug.
So, the girl who spoke to me she was absolutely great. She was like ”you get six months. Don’t worry about your visa because as you’re applying for a partner visa next year, you don’t have to worry about finishing of course or not, because you’ll have a visa anyway”. I had the option of extending my student visa, which would be expensive anyway so, I’m already paying seven grand for a partner visa, I don’t want to spend anything else.
Seven and a half grand.
And I went to school again spoke with them and apparently everything’s fine, I’ll be able to…
Should be ok.
I’ll be able to stop in May, give birth and go back in November. That was the best deal I could get, but I’m really happy with it because I know some people only get two months sometimes. So, if you are pregnant and if you are on a student visa just make sure… I would suggest calling Immigration, even, just to… but the thing is, it depends on the school, the schools decides.
So, they set the rules?
Yeah, pretty much. But you may be able to get a… medical…
Certificate and if a doctor says you are allowed to get six months, if you value breastfeeding as much as I do, just you know, just say I’m taking this time off and they can’t refuse. You know, that’s your baby and just…. Just make sure you know…
Don’t be afraid to push back. Find out what your options are and do what’s best for you and the baby before you worry about being forced into attendance or whatever, but just find out what your options are.
And if you need to you know have a serious conversation with them and yet do it. It’s worth it, I guess. I mean I would be like okay I guess I’m only taking a few weeks, but then I was like you know, what? I’ll try something else. I’ll see what I can get.
That’s it, don’t just necessarily except that, ”oh we think you should only take a few. Oh okay.” No, no, no push back and get longer off if that’s important to you. So how have you found your English over the last year and a half? Since we’ve…I don’t know, we haven’t really had you on here talking about your improvement since, right? We’ve talked about when you first came to Australia with nothing and how you got to where you were when I first interviewed you. How do you think it’s gone the year following that? Have you ever noticed it improve at the same rate? Has it dropped off with regards to how quickly it was improving? Did you have a lot of time for studying? What did you do to study? So, you know, have at it, go for it.
It’s not as quick as it was because I’m not studying as much, like I used to have the whole day, I wasn’t working when I came to Australia so, I had pretty much the whole day to study and my focus was on learning English, then you know during this time, the three years that I’ve been here, I found jobs. I’ve been busy with other things so, yeah it’s definitely not going as quick as it should be going , but…
I think too, once you get to the advanced level that you’re at, you’re not going to get the same amount of returns. It’s not a linear improvement. It’s… what is it? Reverse exponential where it diminishes over time so, you know, you acquire that, what is it that? The 80 percent of the skill in 20 percent of the time required to get 200 percent or whatever.
And then in Canberra I was working with Brazilians, I was living with Brazilians, you wanted to improve your Portuguese so we were speaking…we’ve been speaking Portuguese since then.
I was pretty selfish with that. How have you found that, though?
I love helping you and I know… you might not recognize that, but I see your Portuguese, it’s just amazing how much you’ve improved, but it does….
I made her say that, guys, I forced her to.
It does affect my English to a certain extent because I don’t have many friends around here, I would say now.
You got family, my family and that’s about it, right? That’s when you obviously have to speak English because they don’t speak Portuguese so, you did notice it sort of drop off even in Canberra, right? When you’re working with Portuguese speakers, you were living with them. So, the majority of the time you were speaking Portuguese even having such an advanced level, you did notice it drop off and stop using it.
So, that’s something to take note of, guys, and just goes to show that even after you get to an advanced level you kind of need to put in amount a certain amount of maintenance, right? And use… does it get easier, though?
What do you mean?
With improving your English now? Now that you’re at the level you’re at or does it get harder because you have to put much more of a concerted effort in improvement?
I guess It is harder… for example, when I… make a lot of… like contractions, are still a big issue for me and…
I pointed this out to her the other day. She was saying… what were you saying? I If I can be….
You going or something.
Yeah you go somewhere or we go somewhere and I was like, no, we going, we going, and I was like ”do you mean we’re going or are you saying are we going, but you’re asking a question without saying ARE?” and you didn’t believe me and then you listened to the recording and you were like…. but it is funny because it is such a small mistake or small error in pronunciation that it’s just… most people aren’t going to correct you on that, they are going to feel like arseholes if they say ”well, actually, is we’re instead of we”… Fortunately I don’t mind telling her.
And I’m glad you do, but the thing is because it’s such a small thing, most people don’t say anything, I don’t notice that, I didn’t and until you said something, but and most people think because I have a good level of English that I don’t make mistakes and when I do they misunderstand what I say, like with would and should. I remember we had a we had a chat once about, cause I told you ”’oh you would do this” and you were like wow…
Because you’re telling me, you’re giving me an order, it felt like it, I was like…
It’s a subtle difference and I was like ok, so, I’m still learning and…
That’s what gets hard and I think that’s what happens with native speakers in any language, right? You don’t learn actively after a certain number of years or once you get to a certain level. It’s just repetition. You’re just absorbing material all the time and then eventually you start soaking up these things and you avoid doing these errors, right? Because …you’ve just been battered over the head with your language so much and I think that’s happening with me in Portuguese, but the funny thing I’ve noticed with Portuguese is that I feel like I have a very, very good level in very simple things that we constantly are talking about.
So, I don’t…I feel like I have to now make a really concerted effort to venture out into unknown territory with regards to my Portuguese. I need to start reading more. I need to start watching videos and movies on different topics because, although I can say ”what do you want to have for lunch? Do you want to clean the clothes? Can I do this for you? Are we going to go to mum and dad’s?” and I don’t have to think about it, as soon as we venture into different topics I have to start being like ”what is this word? What is this word?”.
But then you see like, I’ve been here for three years and I didn’t speak English when I came and I… still, I can’t really have a deep conversation about politics. So, it’s just one of those things like you don’t…we don’t talk about those things all the time or not often enough for you to build your vocabulary on this, so…
Well, I mean the point is I guess that just shows how much effort you still have to put in, right . Yeah right yeah. You can get really good at the simple stuff that you keep doing all the time, but if you don’t keep giving yourself new things, new problems to solve, new things to learn, you’re going to stagnate and you’re going to get good at the very things you were good at already or stay good at them, right? And it’s kind of like that perpetual comfortable zone.
Yeah, don’t get comfortable.
Yeah you need to get out of that and it’s difficult, it’s kind of like what we’re talking about with not lying and telling the truth. It’s this constant search for the edge of where comfortable is and to keep pushing outwards into the uncomfortable.
Yeah true. So, what’s the plan for 2019?
I think I’ve said it. Just keep growing Aussie English. Obviously, my biggest goal is just to get financially secure, right? So we increase the amount that we’re making through the website and through the products online, to the point where bills are paid for and I can put excess money that we’re making back into Aussie English and keep improving things.
But yeah, it’s just… you just have to keep going. The hardest thing about it is that there’s no sort of set path. I’m always telling you this and friends and family that it’s not like having a job where you go to work and your boss tells you what to do. One, I have to rely on myself for motivation and determination and discipline, but two, there’s no real… ”just do this and you’ll succeed”, you know, there is no… you don’t wake up in the morning and here are your orders and you’ll make a thousand dollars that week or whatever.
There’s no recipe.
Yeah. So that’s been the biggest thing I think with Aussie English and probably the reason that I was drawn to it and then I like it so much, this online business stuff, because there are no rules. I’m very creative. I’m kind of also sort of lazy with my time, I don’t really like sticking to people’s you need to work from 9:00 to 5:00. I’m much more like I’ll do a little bit now, go for a run or go for a walk, not go for a run. I’ll take some photos of some birds, come back a little bit more. Oh, it’s 1am, might do a bit more than bed so, that suits me a lot more, but it is a bit more… I guess isolating? A little bit. You don’t really have a whole bunch of people that you can kind of a whinge to about your boss and, you know…
Well, yeah I think the hardest part of your job, from my perspective is the creativity thing? I’m much more the kind of person who likes having… working from 9 to 5 having a boss and be like ”I’m done”, going home. I don’t have to think about it, but obviously it would kill you because you’re so active and you’re so creative.
I guess it would depend on the work, but yeah.
But I think it’s growing, it’s getting there.
I think, to finish up, big thank you to all you, guys, and you know for supporting the podcast for…I don’t know what it’s been now, three years? I think I started in 2015 so, three years going on four years. Without you guys it’s nothing, I wouldn’t be here, I wouldn’t be having a baby, I wouldn’t have met Kel, I wouldn’t be living… I’d probably be in Iceland living in an igloo by myself, but I think too, guys, let me know what you think with regards to the podcast.
What do you like and what don’t you like? So, if you see this, if you’re listening to this episode rather, send me an e-mail, ok? firstname.lastname@example.org you’ll probably get an email when this episode comes out and we’ll try to do it soon so it can come out around New Year’s Eve, but when you listen to this, take a moment to think about Aussie English, what you enjoy and maybe give me some feedback.
I’m always open to hearing. I’m always open to hearing from you, guys, about what I can do to improve and I need to constantly remind myself to ask you, guys, to sort of keep my finger on the pulse and know what you want and where to move Aussie English, you know, which way to face it. So, send me an e-mail if you have time, even if it’s just to say thanks or maybe say go away.
That’s it, but thanks Kel for joining me today.
It’s been a pleasure. I’m looking forward to 2019.
Yeah me too. Let’s do it.
Happy New Year, guys. See ya!