Sunday, May 06, 2012

the ins and outs of the monotony of daily life

When the new English Resource Room opened for the first time last week, 30 students showed up and obvious leaders stepped up to the plate discussing the purpose of the room, making a list of rules, and creating a list of names to vote for, names like ABC English Room, Jay's Room.  I put my foot down when they wanted to name the library after me.

On the countryside campus, since I wake up at 6 am and don't start teaching till 8:50 am, I went to the new English Resource Room and two students followed me to study.  Studying to me means a quiet atmosphere.  As I tried to read my new book, one student recited an English story and then vocabulary words.  The other student recited speeches in Chinese.  I was amazed at the noise level of two students studying, astonished by their ability to focus on their own material even though their voices mixed loudly.  I cannot imagine 6 roommates studying in their dorm room.

Because I am going to Gansu for a weekend workshop, I had a ton of lesson planning to do on Saturday.  For my writing class, we will have a resume competition then for the second class will write metaphor poems and 6 word memoir poems (idea from Runnin' The Great Wall blog).  For my listening class I worked on a lesson to prepare for the CET4  and a lesson on consumption and trash using 3 clips from a BBC report on how countries deal with their trash and the educational short, "The Story of Stuff."

I am also preparing a 20 minute presentation about American high schools for an audience of Chinese high school students who have lost their motivation to study They have been arguing that America is such a good country and the students there don't have to work as hard as Chinese students do.  Their teacher wants me to refute that argument and help motivate the students to keep studying diligently.  The only problem is umm... I graduated high school in 1995.  America's education system has undergone huge changes.  Good thing, I know how to research a topic that I am unfamiliar with.

I edited a friend's 20 page math paper on inpainting using partial differential equations.  I think it is so hard for students in China who are trying to get their PhD.  Technical English is hard!

During a 5 hour bike ride in the rain and fog with incredibly loud trucks along a barely used newly made wide lane highway into the small plots of farmland carved into hills, the quiet, sporadically disrupted by low flying planes above, made my Sunday perfect.  I love riding my bike.

A lovely surprise lay staring at me in my take-out bowl of duck.

Lastly, I stepped in poo for the first time since being in Peace Corps.

1 comment:

M said...

a lovely surprise lay staring at me in my take-out bowl of duck.;
a live duck?
man, i ve stepped in poop at least 3 times since being in Ecuador...
good luck?