Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Prayer to the Typhoon Gods

We haven't had any typhoons cancel school yet this semester. This same time last year, we already had two days canceled. We've had a few typhoons pass over the island, just none that were big enough to cancel school. My kids tell me it's terrible to wish for a typhoon to hit Taiwan. Typhoons do cause a fair amount of damage due to flooding. But, it's hard to get over the initial excitement of the possibility of having a day of school canceled, just like having a snow day.

Right now, it's pouring. The typhoon, even though it won't hit hard until Friday, will be a small one (or so tells our students).

This morning, though, was beautiful. Clear blue skies.

Wendy (a new teacher) and I went biking before classes. I took her to the temple in the mountains, past the water wheel, down the bike path. I had forgotten how much I love that area of town.

Instead of the concrete-city-like atmosphere, it's much more rural. Biking in that area always reminded me of the tiny roads in Alaska. Unlike in the States, most kids here never get to experience having front lawns or backyards to play in. They do sometimes have a roof top where they put swings, or a sidewalk area to play in (which is usually blocked by scooters and cars). One of my old students, Jennica (about 4/5 years old) lives right next to Berhan, and I often see her just sitting on a chair on the concrete sidewalk, right next to the road, watching scooters and cars pass (with her incomparable happy smile on her face, just tickled to be watching people). It's definitely interesting.
Rice Fields, right off the bike path.
Incense burner at the top of the temple.

But, out in the more rural areas, where the farmers make their living off wide-open spaces utilized for farming, it's a lot more peaceful. More open. More air to breathe.

When Molly and I were training for the marathon, we tried for find as many places to run as we could around the city. This meant we basically just ran around roads for hours, just to fill up our time and be less bored than running on the bike path. Molly was much more adventurous than I was, and she would always tell me about other things she discovered. She's the one that told me about this temple.

Next week, I want to find the 5 God Tree. Or the 5 Tree God. That one sounds fun. ^_^

1st Grade

I only get to teach my first grades until August 28th. Quite honestly, when I first learned I was going to be teaching this class instead of my normal (for the past year) Afternoon Kindergarten, I threw a tantrum. It was quite embarrassing, actually. I acted like a spoiled little 2 year old just because, as Kindergarten Head Teacher, I had assumed I would get to teach my kindergartners... That's what I get for assuming. ^_^

But now, after teaching this class 15 hours a week, I love them. And I'll be sad to see them go. I have Jack, Keith, Tim, Dawson, Amy, Fiona, and Natasha in this class. This is the strangest class ever...they actually want to learn! Whenever I give the option, they always opt for the "more homework" option. They are absolutely brilliant. I used to teach Keith's little sister (Sharlene) and Jack's little sister (Eve) in Afternoon Kindergarten, so it's pretty funny to see the same faces (except for the gender), and similarities in personalities. Or complete opposites. lol. Keith and Sharlene are so funny. ^_^
(*Amy, Dawson in the front. Keith and Tim in the back. Jack in the FAR back ^_^)

Many of them never had a banana split sundae before, so today, I treated them to make our own. I sugared them up quite a bit...which leads to another thing about this class. After attending my class for 3 hours a day, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, they have to attend another class, Miss Shannon's class, for another 2 hours. So I'm very sorry Shannon. The extra sugar probably didn't help.
This is Jack, Eve's older brother, scarfing down his food.
Dawson and Tim. Dawson was sick today, so he couldn't eat anything cold. So he just ate a lot bananas and chocolate. Tim is the biggest sweetheart ever.Ah, Natasha. She's my Hermione. She is absolutely brilliant and always has her hand up in the air before everyone else. Her little sister, Fiona is in the class too (but didn't want her picture taken)...and I must say, it's tough having siblings in the same class.Keith is incredibly smart. He rivals Natasha to be the best in the class. They constantly fight to be the fastest, and best student in the class. So funny. So different than his sister, who is more funny-strange. lol. But she's growing out of that phase.

I only have three more weeks with this class. I still don't know what my schedule will be like for Fall Semester, but I hope it'll be just more of the same: adorable little kids.


Brad and Hailey said...

You sound like one awesome teacher :) I love how you get to explore the cities! How fun :)

jaimie said...

I feel so sad that I have never been to that temple. It looks amazing!

Shan said...

No worries about the sugar! I really do love them, they just drive me a little cuckoo! :)