Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Why haven't you been posting?

Usually I am pretty good at posting regularly plus writing this blog is like a way for me to communicate with the outside world, but lately I've been feeling a bit in the mood for self-isolation.  I've got a lot of things on my mind:  teaching, student interviews, what to do next in my future after PC, daily interactions with students, hardly any time to be by myself, a leaky faucet, writing a RELO grant, relationship issues and so on....

But today I felt like giving a brief update....

Last week I was wearing a short sleeve shirt to play soccer.  It has suddenly turned cold.  Even had a dusting of snow yesterday.  Today I wore a hat, gloves, 3 top layers plus a down vest, and two pairs of pants.  Even running around playing soccer, I did not shed any layers.  

P.E. Class
I am taking PE three times a week.  Tuesday is soccer.  Thursday is Tai Chi.  Friday is Wu shu (kung fu).  

I personally do not like playing soccer with the girls.  They run away from the ball.  They giggle, walk, and hide from the teacher.  The boys are more fun to play with.  

Two years ago I tried Tai Chi and thought it was boring.  This year though it is more interesting and challenging.  I never imagined moving so slow could make me exhausted so that I would fall asleep at 8 pm.  

Wu shu is still my favorite, but I already know the moves.  I am just helping the other students learn the moves since the teacher shows them to the class three times and then says, "Go practice."

Tree House
The Tree House as always is super busy.  Every evening I have an hour's worth of interviews with my listening class students.  Cooking club and knitting club have been successful.  One girl already finished one scarf and is on the way to knitting one for her mother.  Writing club is less fun this semester because we are preparing for the TEM4 writing portion of the national exam.  Science club has two experiments lined up but we're waiting for the Halloween party to be over.  Almost all of the 200 new books have been labeled and we're writing a new grant to get a computer and digital cameras to start a yearbook, a zine, and a blog to exchange posts with students in America.

I am tired of teaching the same students for listening.  I had them last year and I have them again this year.  My bag of tricks is empty, but for some reason they still enjoy the class.  Maybe because they are worried about the TEM4 and I am giving them a lot of practice exams instead of using the book.

Songs class is fun.  I like singing.  Any suggestions of an easy song to teach?  We have gone through almost all of the children's nursery rhymes.

Short Story's Class is fun.  We are moving slow have taught only one story so far but at least I have a classroom full of students compared to last year.  

Today in preparation for reading Kate Chopin's "Desiree's Baby," we discussed racial stereotypes.  

Americans have a stereotype that Chinese people are good at math and science.  
Why do you think Americans believe this?
Because during the ancient days of China, Chinese people invented 4 of the great inventions: papermaking, gunpowder, compass, printing.  (both classes answered the same way)
What are some examples of this stereotype not being true?  
I am not good at math and science.

Americans have a stereotype that Chinese people are competitive.
Is this a positive or negative stereotype?
It is a negative stereotype.  It is bad to be competitive.  We should live harmoniously.

Lifetime Volunteer
I think I have decided to return to the USA.  Why?  Because I have gotten stagnant living my easy life.  Ever since undergraduate, graduate school, and then PC I have not had to worry about anything.  All of my basic necessities were taken care of.  I have never had a real job.  I think it is time to try a new adventure, to step outside of my easy life box where I am provided for, and try working for a living.  Plus it is good to stir things up and attack those things you fear.

For all those out there, hating your job afraid to quit, why not try being a Peace Corps Volunteer?  And for me out here enjoying my life in China as a volunteer, afraid of living in the USA and working, why not try getting a job in the states?

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