March 7, 2010

This has been a crazy week.  But then, come to think of it, most weeks are crazy.  As we’ve all said and heard umpteen times before, there are not enough hours in a day.  I sometimes wish we had one extra hour each day, or one extra day each week, but then of course, we’d find ways to fill those days as well.

Yesterday, as usual, was no exception.

My morning began as usual, with a private class.  Ray is in 2nd year of senior high school.  In a couple of years, he’ll be following in his brother’s footsteps and entering university, where he wants to study accounting.  I wish him all the best.

After that, were two classes at a bushiban.  The first class is filled with students who have extremely loud voices when speaking in Chinese, but when they speak in English, I can barely hear them.  They read to their books, or maybe to the characters on the page – I’m not quite sure.  The second class are younger students, but tend to be a little louder.  They’re not afraid of talking, and get frustrated when they don’t the word in English.  I encourage them to try to find ‘smaller’ words.  They’re actually getting much better.

Home for  a quick (well-deserved) break, then off to Giraffe-Nanmen.  A class of, I believe, junior high students.  One of the boys was given, yes, GIVEN an iPhone by his father.  These things are not cheap, and well, a student of 13 or 14… hmm, does he really need it?  We ended up using the class time discussing cellphones, what he can do with it, benefits of iPhone over regular phones.  Interesting conversation.

I read an article my sister posted on her Facebook.  It was about a class of senior students using iPods during class time.  I wrote my opinion back, basically saying, if you want to get students interested and actually partake in your class, you have to use the tools they are familiar with.  You have to make it interesting.  Times, since the beginning of time – really, have been changing.  Old ways don’t work with the younger generations.  They have cellphones, iPods, translators, etc.  The teacher must find ways to adapt these new tools to the class.  Good article…

So, even though we didn’t really cover the material I wanted to do, I had a more engaging class, because, we were talking about something they know about.  Not just dry old words on a piece of paper.  Technology.

After that, about an hour or so preparing material for the Story Telling contest.  I had to record the final two or three stories, so the students can listen and hopefully, stay within the time allotments.  Also, pronunciation.  Right after this, a private class with a wonderfully gifted little girl in grade 4.  Her English is, as she would put it, “W-O-W!”

I was talking to her about Facebook and my blog.  She asked her mom if it was okay to go on the computer to look over my blog.  Mom agreed, and her reaction was, “W-O-W!”  I think I’ll start using that instead of, “O-M-G!”  Thanks, Jolin.  So, we ended up reading a couple of my blogs, in particular, about the cats.  She understood my writings, and even asked questions.  This girl is not afraid to speak English.  She’s also in one of the classes at Giraffe, and is always the one giving answers.  I sometimes have to, politely, to not answer, just to get the other students to talk.  When she’s not in class, it’s a rather quiet time.

Finally, home for another quick break, and off to Chai-yi (I hope I spelled it right) for the 2010 Year of the Tiger Lantern Festival.  Just about every major and semi-major city in Taiwan has an area (usually a park) set up for the Lantern Festival each year.  However, this is one city chosen to host the “OFFICIAL” Lantern Festival celebrations.  A few years ago, the Year of the Chicken, Tainan was the host city.  A couple of years ago, Shin-shr.  Nonetheless, about a 1-hour train ride to Chai-yi, and we were there.

Later on, when I get a chance, I’ll be uploading some videos and pictures of the various sights.  I took over 200 pics and vids, but don’t expect to see all of them.  Some are a little silly, what with 5 friends having a great time.  There are however, some really cool pictures.  P.S., in case you don’t know by now, I LOVE MY iPHONE!  It takes some incredible pictures.

We got back to Tainan around 12:30, drove home, cleaned up all my gold on FarmVille, and crashed.  Now, it’s Sunday morning, a class in about 40 minutes, another one at 14:00 (my 11:00 class cancelled), and then off to a wedding feast in Kao-hsiung around 18:00.  If I get back at a decent hour, I have to call Cliff, because he and our friends are all going to Friday’s for dinner [insert sobbing and crying here].  It is Rebecca’s birthday on Tuesday (I believe) and my birthday next week, so they want celebrate tonight, because everyone is busy next week.

Oh, why can’t the week be:  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Nothingday!


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