Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Why couldn't I have been observed today?

My name is Jimmie and I am addicted to reading.

I woke up this morning and read the news for an hour not coming out of my room until I heard my roommates say something about how they didn't think I was home. At that point I decided it was probably time to show my face (not to mention eat "breakfast").

After I ate (an apple) I stuffed my nose back in the book I've been reading. I'm in the 400-pages now. It's so good.

I told myself I would only read until 3 p.m. Then I would do yoga, take a shower and do my lesson plans before going to class. Three o'clock rolled around and I wasn't ready to put the book aside so I told myself 30 more minutes. Then I opted for 30 more. It was like a snooze button for reading instead of sleeping.

Finally 4 p.m. struck and I realized if I didn't get ready and do my lesson plans quickly I was going to lose my attendance bonus for the month.

Going to work was totally work it though.

Alice came to school with her hair wet so Angela blow-dried and combed it before the bell.

My kids were being so goofy and fun today. We joked and played and we were super loud, so of course I got out the camera.

Glenn was probably the goofiest of them all today. His English is awesome for a 6-year-old.

I like when it's like that with my classes but especially with this class because we're in the very front classroom in Dar-Nan and it has big windows. We're basically always being watched through the big windows whether its by the front desk, other kids or parents. That's also the class that I got observed in and didn't have to best comments in the world.

This is Jim. He can be a brat but he can also be a lot of fun. Today was a fun day.

Today I felt like it went off without a hitch. Why couldn't I have been observed today?

I taught them all the material in the suggested lesson plan plus had time to review other stuff. They're so smart that they even knew how to answer today's new QA (What's your favorite number?) before I told them how.

Me: Everyone, new question! What's... your... favorite... number?
(All the while miming my words.)
Kids: What's...your...favorite... number? My favorite number is one.

I was shocked and thoroughly impressed. It made me feel really good that they actually recognized the sentence pattern (from the previous questions: What's your favorite color and What's your favorite animal). Since they already knew what a number is it was easy for them.

I tried to get Tim to say his favorite number is 13 (superstitiously seen as a very unlucky number, especially in Asian culture) but he didn't fall for it.

Alvine was not excited about getting his picture taken at first. Then he gave me the cutest dog ears. :)

I'm getting to where I truly enjoy my Tuesday classes. The kids are so much fun and they're really smart.

I love that I can spend a lot of the class joking around and not using robot-speak. They're smart kids and they deserve to have a real conversation instead of being little drones.

Hopefully I will learn to like my Wednesday night class half as much. We will see.

After classes I headed over to the Night Market. I saw four other foreigners (one being one of my roommates) while I was at the Night Market. It occurred to me that we are pretty easy to spot in a crowd.

I wonder if Taiwanese people recognize as many people they know at the Night Market when they go or if it's just because we go all the time (I estimate that each night there are at least three foreigners there after work). There are always such large crowds that I'm amazed whenever I do see someone I know.


  1. howdy i came across your blog today and i think its awesome; I am planning on getting my TESOL certificate and heading over to taiwan hopefully soon, do you speak chinese?

    I would like to get in touch with you to chat about your experiences so far.

  2. Hi Owen,

    Sorry I'm just now getting back to your comment.

    I speak a little bit of Chinese not much. But I didn't start learning until I got here and so far (three months later) I know enough to get by.

    I would have contacted you on myspace but I can't get it to work here.

    Feel free to email me: jimmie512@gmail.com