Tuesday, May 27, 2008


This is becoming some sort of "teaching blog," and I do apologize for that. Allow me to expel some thoughts on that, and then I will attempt to squeeze out something less boring.

How can some classes be so amazing and wonderful and smart and full of mutual admiration, and other classes make me feel like a horrible person because they're so fucking stupid? I don't get it. I teach two sections of the same level, and in one I could barely hold their sweaty, fidgety hands as we crossed Learning About Newspaper Sections St. It took almost 45 minutes to make them understand Editorials and Obituaries and other simple-ish concepts. Then, in another class, we finished reviewing these things so quickly that I was able to have them discuss exciting questions like, "Should the government always tell its citizens the truth?" and "Is news necessary?" and "Should we have access to the news in other countries?" It's so frustrating.

What else.

The weather here is so queer. It's been in the 90s for the last week or so, and today it was breezy and cool (70s-80s). the wind caused some sandstorms in Beijing, I hear, but otherwise it was pleasant here.

I've been running again, to compensate for the oil-and-rice-based diet I enjoy here.

I've been having odd "what do I do if I am in [insert building name, bus number, my apartment, my school] and an earthquake happens?" mental moments. But then I realize, people live in the Bay Area and experience earthquakes all the time.

Learning Chinese is not coming along well. Erin always says, semi-mockingly, "you always just do whatever it is you tell yourself to do!" And it's true--quitting smoking, running, moving to China, writing--all of these things are obstacles that daunt many and yet silly 'ol me can dangle a carrot in front of his own nose and get it done. Then, there's learning Chinese. I can think of at least 87 things more exciting to do with my time than learn Chinese. This will change, and honestly, I am recognizing more characters and learning more phrases, but not in any sort of rigid, "this is study time" sort of way. I'll eventually grow bored enough to pursue these language skills I so desperately need (after all, for how long can I eat the 15 different dishes I know how to ask for here?).

I need to figure out how to acquire a new water tank for my water cooler.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't worry about not liking some of your classes. That happened to me all the time at FasTrack. I taught the same lesson multiple times over the course of a week, and after some classes I'd feel happy and accomplished, and after others, even though it was the exact same thing, I'd feel like a failure.

I say blame it on your students. It's their fault for sucking.