Friday, July 22, 2005

Still alive

Another bout of diarrhea, but minor this time. Let's list what everyone's been going through. bidetofevil had severe stomach troubles. Art Girl sprained both of her ankles on the stairs (fortunately, minor sprains, she's walking again now). A permanent fell on a stair and fractured her foot/ankle. She needs to go back to her home for surgery. She's also advanced in age. Ask daddy to receive and take care of her.

Classes end next week?? :( It's crazy. Last art class, one of my kids made me a long string of paper cranes. :D It's really nice. Today, we talked about character. We'll discuss more about it tomorrow. My class shrank from 17 to 13 kids! :( Three of the kids had to go back to their real school, while one of the kids went back to his hometown. We're making a presentation for the parents, it'll be a play. I'm having the kids write it all. I taught them the basic structure of plotlines and they're creating all of the story and dialogue. They've decided to do a treasure hunt that occurs after their high school graduation. The grandfather of one of the kids has told them about a treasure that he buried in Brazil. So they decide to build a boat, cross the ocean, and look for the treasure, which includes gold, silver, and Luofei fish. Luofei fish is a special kind of fish that only grows in Zhaojue hotsprings. It's a pretty wacky plot, but trust me, I didn't have any part in it!

Growing relationships with the kids has been very interesting. We're trying to focus on character development and how these kids can have hope for the future, but we have to be careful in how we talk with them. I felt kind of bad today. We had a spelling test and for every word they got wrong, I made them write it 10 times for homework. This one girl was eager and did it before class finished. Except, she mispelled one of her 10 (she spelled ecstatic to be "ecstatis"). So I made her write it another 10. And she did it again. So another 10. Again. Another 10. Finally ok. It felt kind of mean, but you want them to learn how to spell, don't you?

So during PE, the PE teachers decided to do the Human Knot. It was a good friendship and team-building exercise. This one kid was telling us about how he hadn't made any friends during the whole English camp. I'm trying to figure out how we can get these kids to bond even more.

Oh, we had a grammar test. I wrote 20 sentences incorrectly, and they had to correct the mistakes. Only one kid passed. :) (Did I mention how the highest score for the spelling test was 4/20?). I used the grammar test to gauge their progress, and we accordingly rearranged the teams. Our teams are now Blue Sky, Peace Team, Love Team, and Coke Team. Very interesting. We've done away with the point system because they all decided that being friends with each other was more important than competition. It makes me glad that their motivation in class is coming from something internal, rather than rewards now. We'll see if we can take it to the next level.

There's one girl who's totally out of everyone else's league. She's incredible. I want to give her an English book to help her advance, but they don't exactly sell English books here. I wonder how much it costs to mail her one from Canada.

You know, clothing is really cheap here. Unless you're my size. My teammates can find shirts for 15 kuai. Me? I have to go to a high-end store to even have a chance of finding something in my size. 120 kuai? Uh, no thank you. Found something for 40 kuai. Chee.

Asking for daddy for advice on how to help the kids advance. Difficult. Also, help on team health. That's always a priority. I think I may have finally learned what it means to trust and depend on him to provide for me. Hehe, but not quite. Still learning. But being here, and ironically for me, especially being in the "presidential suite," has been very eye-opening. I don't think I would have learned nearly enough if I were in the suite that the girls are using for reasons of pride. Isn't it ironic? I'll explain when I get back.

Ask daddy to send help for the girls. Their suite has a hole in the roof of the central room location, so when it rains, the rain floods the central area. Fortunately, it doesn't flood their individual bedrooms. However, their rooms are always moist because of the humidity. So their beds always feel wet, that kind of thing. Their shower area is tiny, it's pretty much the footspace around their toilet. They're keeping strong though. Depending on daddy to provide for their needs. Ask for help for them.

Boy, it's hard to get time to use Internet here. Till next time.

3 comments:

  1. So, you'll still be there till August 4, right? About that english book, give me a mailing address and what level you're looking for and I'll see what I can do (assuming that you don't read this too late).

    >But being here, and ironically for me, especially being in the "presidential suite," has been very eye-opening. I don't think I would have learned nearly enough if I were in the suite that the girls are using for reasons of pride. Isn't it ironic? I'll explain when I get back.

    Lucy, you've got some explaining to do.

    >It's a pretty wacky plot, but trust me, I didn't have any part in it!

    Suure.. I bet you inspired them :) years from now, it'll be a hit broadway musical.. just you wait and see.

    Oh yeah, dad says hi and hope that things are going well. =) He seems to know that you're doing your best and he's pretty proud of it. You probably know that.. but just thought you'd like to hear it from someone ;)

    -Amcal

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  2. awww..i wanna go shopping in china!!
    i love kids tho.. they always seem so responsive.

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  3. Hey Bobby, can I use your credit cards? Also, your bed stinks. Also, make sure you take a shower before you come back. Also, mow the lawn when you get here. Also, lend me $500 please. Thanks.

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