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my boring life

I am finished with week 1 of my night teaching job. I only signed on for one term, which is 11 weeks, so it won't be so bad. The facilities are really nice compared to the old school I worked at. I have a desk in an office with all of the other English teachers and we get free coffee and tea and snacks. On Wednesday night it was oreos. Yesterday it was kind of like club crackers but a different brand called HaiTai.
Most of the other teachers are European men. There is one named Shannon (the man)...(I think if I were him I would introduce myself as Shannon The Man, to avoid confusion about gender). He is obviously from the American South (judging from his accent)but he is so loud I haven't felt like engaging him in conversation. I can hear everything he says to everyone else without having to talk to him myself.
There is an older man named Wouter, I think he must be German. He is so nice and attractive for his age. Kind of like Sean Connery meets Santa Claus (personality). I'm pretty sure he is married to a Lao woman.
There are other people too but the one I talk to the most is an Englishman named Treavor. He claims that people from England are the only true Native Speakers of English. I think that "Native Speaker" just means that was the language you grew up speaking as your first language. But he can hold on to those colonial dreams if he wants to.
I have 2 classes to teach. One of them is mostly 13-16 year olds, so they are kind of obnoxious. I made a rule that if you are caught speaking another language than English in class, you have to sing a song in English. They were horrified at that prospect so that cut down on the extra talking. I just feel like some of them are trying to "get to me". We played a game the first day where we all wrote 3 true things about our selves and 1 false thing, then we read them aloud and the class had to guess which one was false. One boy wrote "I have a beautiful teacher". And I felt like he wrote it just to embarass me. I played it off and just said, "Oh, that is true!" as if I really believed it as a matter of course.
My second class is a higher level of English. Many of them are older businessmen. One is from Japan. One is a government employee who has a Master's Degree from Russia. But, also in that class is a 13 year old Korean girl. So keeping everyone engaged will be a challenge I think. The Korean girl might have the best English in the class. Her mom probably makes her come.
This weekend is the very special Boat Racing Festival in Laos. I went 3 years ago and fainted from the heat, much to the horror of Lao food vendors everywhere. I haven't been brave enough to go back.
Yesterday afternoon I took Jonas over to play with a friend. She started looking at a sticker album and he wanted to see it to (he loves stickers). She didn't want to share so she was telling him "no no nono." She had it first and it was her house so I didn't intervene except to talk to Jonas that Lydia was looking at the book right now. He got SOOO mad, madder than I have ever seen him before. He let out an awful scream and then picked up a box of flashcard like he was about to throw them at her face, then I hugged him and he started sobbing uncontrollably. It was very intense. After he calmed down I think he was embarassed about the whole episode because he didn't interact with her for about 10 minutes afterward.

Saturday, Oct. 07, 2006 at 9:19 AM

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