Monday, June 04, 2007

First Day of School - June 4th

Today was the day I became the man I was born to be. Eh, a tad bit of an exaggeration. It was my first day of teaching and I had one class. For some inexplicable reason, I teach one class on Monday and Thursday, and three classes on Tuesday and Friday, plus the 5 hours straight of 7th graders on Wednesday. This morning it was English 203 for second year university students. I’d been warned they would be a tough crowd, and so sure enough, I felt like a stand-up comedian that was flopping for the first half of class. Everyone just sat stone-faced as I tried to elicit class participation in going over the syllabus. I’m pretty sure nobody understood 98% of what I was saying, but then we played a spur-of-the-moment ice breaker that involved each of the 25 students selecting an English nickname and writing down one thing that they really enjoy. Turns out I have Mickey and Minnie in my class, and they respectively enjoy playing on the computer and traveling. Turns out the class also contains a “Winnie” and some guy that prefers to be called “arm chair”. This one flamboyant boy – who dramatically gushed when he saw that I was his teacher upon first walking in – selected “Elizabeth” as his nickname, much to the chagrin of everybody else.
The weirdest part about today is that while I know I came over here to teach, it never really sunk in that I was “actually” going to be teaching. Somehow I had gotten the impression that people who go over to Asia to teach just walk around saying they’re a teacher without having to do anything. Whoever thought that I’d actually be placed in a classroom standing before 30 some-odd bloodthirsty Thai university students? (They’re actually the most silent and polite people I’ve ever encountered, at least so far) Whoever thought that I’d be an actual lecturer? Whoever thought, whoever thought, whoever thought…


Diana said...

oh shoot, i try to leave a post and a portuguese webpage comes i think i understand that this is wear i leave my message tho (eventho the page just deleted what i wrote 2 times now) anyways....emily gave me your website today (during our daily gmail chat date at work) i finally read it and was laughing out loud, feeling bad for you, feeling super excited for you and sympathizing with you. Tho Brazil is quite far away from you and a totally different culture, i think moving to a new cutlture and being the 'clueless gringa (westerner, whatev)'is something many a person can sympathize with (i still have yet to meet or even see an american since ive been here, so tho i have picked up a good amount of portuguese, picked up on some cultural norms, dress a little more, um 'brazilian' etc i still get the gringa label)!haha So, glad youre surviving over there, your pics are great and keep up the amusing blog posts!

tchau from one random continent to another!,

Diana said...

um i just realized im the only one who has posted so that weird of me? especially because, tho we have shared many lovely random times together you're still like 'emilys boyfriend' instead of just my friend jared? For some reason Ive ironically become more web savy since living in brazil (before i left i assumed i'd never have internet and communication would be shady)and now i make comments and webblogs, post pics and talk on gmail to emily every day...funny how things work sometimes haha

jon said...

I don't know why, but there is something totally natural about a room full of Thai 7th snickering at a Robbins. Seems like something that would be in a zine/movie made by the Robbins brothers. I dig it. Enjoy.

Jon Medow