I’m listening to Blues tonight, as I write this. Once in a while, once in a great while, I’m in the mood for some good Blues music. Obviously, it is a reflection upon the mood that I’m in. I should be happy today, for we began a new class and that goes toward my goal of making a successful venture here in Taiwan.
However, I cannot help but feel a bit down, because of the increased amount of hours I have to work. In addition to the new class, I picked up two more tutors. They are sisters, college-age girls. I will be teaching them on Monday and Wednesday nights. They begin next Wednesday, the day after tomorrow.
These new tutors will very challenging for me, as they speak English well. It isn’t like teaching the children, where I can use simple activities to teach them simple phrases. With adults, I have to come up with more complex activities to teach them more complex phrases. Luckily, these girls want to hone in on their conversational abilities, using me as a native speaker, and not on their grammar and punctuation skills.
Having stated that, I know that there is a lot I can teach them. I spoke briefly to one of them today. Her English name, “Ally”, breaks out of the norm of common names that most English teachers give their students. Most names are like Lisa, Alan, Ruby, and Bill. Ally seems very intelligent and I am hoping that she can become fluent in English in a short time. Although she has a ways to go, that would be a feather in my cap.
Speaking of names, the new class we began today had three girls in it that I had to give English names to. In honor of a friend of mine, I gave one of the girls the uncommon name of “Zoe”. I tried this before, and the girl came back the next day with a different name – Lisa. So, we’ll see if it sticks this time. The other two I named in honor of my sisters, “Kaye” and “Julie”. There was a fourth girl who Shu Mei named “Vicky”.
I didn’t know it when I gave the children their names, but Kaye and Julie are sisters. What a coincidence! Regretfully, I found out from Shu Mei, after the class, that Kaye may not be able to attend as her mother cannot afford for both of her daughters to attend. I asked Shu Mei if there is anything we can do, like only charge them monthly and not quarterly, to ease the mother’s burden. She said that she will talk to her. I hate to lose children. Adults can come and go, as they will anyway, but children need stability.
I neglected to speak about Colin. He managed to learn the sounds of the vowels today. Using ideas provided by a phonics video and Shu Mei, and one of my own, I presented the vowel sounds to him today. I think that he will retain them, although I’ll be able to tell for certain tomorrow (i.e., test).
I have been writing a friend from my old work. She is interested in coming here to be a teacher at the end of June. I hope that she does, although I wouldn’t hold it against her if she didn’t. Having her here would free up my busy schedule. That would enable me to spend more time developing audio-visual helpmates for the school and coming up with an extended curriculum. That is my goal, to step away from the hands on teaching and help the school progress to be a successful venture.
My hours after the classes were spent trying to educate myself about making my web site better. Even though I put videos on the site, from the dinosaur exhibit, I don’t think they are showing correctly. I have to study a great deal about this, as I have never done it before. Also, I’m still trying to locate an applet that will show my current time on the starting page of my web site. That is basically for my mother, who often wonders, “What time is it now in Taiwan?”