Gosh! The internet started almost 29 years ago, but it’s only this morning that I learnt the word ‘blog’ is a shortened version of the word ‘weblog’. I swear, I didn’t know this until earlier today, despite making a concerted effort over the past two or three years to keep my own blog, ‘teaching English in Vietnam blog’, (located on the AVSE-TESOL website) up to date.

‘Blog’ certainly has more of a ‘ring to it’ than ‘weblog’ in my humble opinion. It rolls off the tongue with less formality, which suits me fine.

This morning’s discovery of the word ‘weblog’ got me thinking about why I bother producing the occasional article – and posting on the AVSE-TESOL blog. Here I am, sharing ‘words of wisdom’ with people about teaching English in Vietnam and suchlike, but I didn’t even know that ‘blog’ is a contracted form of another word. Has the time finally arrived to pack up the keyboard? After beating up on myself for a bit and engaging in some meditation – something else I discovered late in life – I reached the conclusion that it doesn’t really matter. Who cares? Life is a journey and we pick up things along the way and it just so happens that I learnt something this morning that ultimately will become a blog post in its own right, this short article. My wife tells me that I should be joyous. The fact that I’ve learnt something new today is a pretty good indication that I am: 1. open to learning new things despite being a crotchety old man – according to some people; and 2. alive. It’s also an indication that my brain still works ok, which is very good news indeed.

So, why do I write articles every now again for the ‘teaching English in Vietnam blog’ on the AVSE website? To be brutally honest, I’m almost certain it’s not for egalitarian reasons, although I do want the world to be a happier and fairer place. I suspect it has everything to do with relevance and looking out for a profession and the accompanying expat lifestyle – teaching English in Vietnam and Cambodia – that has been incredibly good both for me and to me. I try to write stuff that might capture someone’s imagination and who knows, it might just be the impetus they need to get off the couch and put one foot in front of the other when life doesn’t look so good. No matter how bleak things might appear, there are great options out there, waiting to be found and teaching English abroad is only one of them.

That great man, Winston Churchill, spoke about the ‘darkest hour’ and the ‘finest hour’ on different occasions in the 1940s. I can point to experiences at both ends of the ‘pleasure’ spectrum during my lifetime. It was a particularly bad period on a personal level in Australia around 2005 that encouraged me to look for something very different to do – a complete change of lifestyle. I found a new career path and a bunch of positive people in Vietnam. Like Churchill, it all worked out ok in the end and I’m very grateful.

You will see for yourself in the ‘teaching English in Vietnam blog’ – surprise, surprise – that there are quite a few articles on teaching English in Vietnam. There are also articles related to teaching English in Cambodia because my business, AVSE-TESOL, also has a teacher training school in Phnom Penh. What AVSE does in Phnom Penh, mirrors what we do in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. We deliver an Australian Government accredited TESOL programme for aspiring English language educators. You will also find articles in the ‘teaching English in Vietnam blog’ where I share my personal views on topics such as ‘living in Vietnam’ (from an expat perspective), Accreditation, Taxi services in Vietnam, Student debt in the USA, Gap Year ideas, Global Warming, Travel Insurance and more. The blog on the AVSE website is all about sharing the love.

This article has provided the opportunity for me to publicly fess up and acknowledge that until today, I didn’t know that ‘blog’ is a contracted version of the word ‘weblog’. I feel I’m a better person, certainly a more knowledgeable person, by stumbling across the word ‘weblog’ this morning.  Having said this, I will continue to use the contracted form of the word if for no other reason than it sounds less formal to me. We’ve looked at why I produce the occasional article for the blog on the AVSE-TESOL website and reflected if only for the brief moment, on the life of that great man, Winston Churchill. We concluded this piece by touching on some of the more prominent articles that have found their way to the AVSE blog in recent years.

When it’s all said and done, what’s my advice? Check out the ‘teaching English in Vietnam blog’ on the AVSE website and then, share the love.

About the writer: Peter Goudge is the Managing Director (and owner) of AVSE-TESOL in Vietnam and Cambodia. AVSE-TESOL delivers an Australian Government accredited TESOL programme for aspiring English teachers in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Penh. Feel free to contact Peter via email: peter@avse.edu.vn