Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day in the Life

I don't want to over saturate your impressionable minds with my ramblings but I find myself thinking to myself "Oh! I should've blogged that!" and I wait to do it and forget what it was. Kind of like right now. I had so much to write about and now my mind is drawing a blank. I will start carrying a notebook with me

I received a very interesting note from my devastatingly handsome and perfect friend, Chris Gathman, yesterday. He's spent a great deal of time in Asia, having lived in Shanghai and reminded me to let go of my American outlook on things and really do my best to experience the culture and opportunities in front of me. So today i really tried. I went to the coffee place alone. ordered alone. paid alone. said hello to people that I saw. Went to the market and tried to buy a map. That wasn't so great, but i tried. And instead of walking straight to school, I stopped and looked around and really took in the adorable market that goes on each day, and the way people barter and do business. The way of life here is fascinating to me.

Speaking of school, it's great. Today a teacher told me what a great job I was doing and how well I was able to handle the loudest class. She said I was very "suitable" for teaching which was music to my ears. It turns out that I'm kind of a tough cookie in the classroom. I've shed my need to make everyone like me and instead replaced it with "you listen to me, I am boss" and am surprised yet ecstatic to find that the students actually do. I no longer feel like a sham. I am slowly starting to build confidence in what I am doing.

It helps that the children are adorable. Truly sweet, excited and so eager to learn. Each day that i walk into the classroom, I am struck by how seriously they take learning a foreign language and feel sad for the United States that there is basically no emphasis on foreign language. I'm not saying the US should take up teaching Vietnamese in school, but foreign languages should be taken more seriously. The ability to be able to communicate in a tongue other than your own is essential to life. For people to be arrogant to assume that English is enough is tragic. We are so far behind and will find that, over time, we will be based over for those who are multilingual and we will be on the bottom on the totem pole. I truly believe that to succeed in life you need as many talents and assets as possible and you should never assume that what you've done is enough. there is always more.

I digress. The point is: these students speak great English. At the age of seven years old I can have a basic conversation with them, The nine year olds blow me away with what they can say. And when I think back to my PITIFUL French and Spanish classes in my extremely expensive "best in the area" private school I can't help but laugh at the low standards.

Anyway i don't think this post had ANYTHING to do with anything I wanted to actually write about.

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