Sunday, September 27, 2009

Big Picture Update

I have to start this off by saying one of the little charms of Taiwan is that instead of spiders on the wall everywhere, we have tiny spider-sized lizards (whch presumably eat said spiders). Don't get me wrong, there are spiders here too, but not nearly as many. You're just as likely to pee and see a cute little lizard on the wall as you are a nasty spider.
On to the birthday photos.

OK first I'll start with a couple pics from Kelly's birthday at TGIF and then I'll throw in a bunch of pics of my little monsters.
Here's me with the legendary birthday bunny ears.
Kelly (right) the birthday girl and Erica!
Kelly with the birthday bunny ears that time forgot.
Here's Josh (an old friend from Hawaii who also made the return to Taiwan this year, thankfully) and his lovely lady Becky, who is wearing the birthday bunny ears of unspeakable lore.

These are two girls from my Step Ahead 3 class. The little one is Irene. She is the smartest girl in the class and her voice is so cute that it makes me smile every time.

The following pictures are students from my Treehouse 5 class mostly. Last weekend we had a big show for the parents where I awarded lots of medals and trophies and certificates. After that, all the Treehouse kids put on plays for their parents. There were lots of plays with lots of amazing costumes. My class actually had two plays because it's so big, but unfortunately I was only free long enough to get pictures of the Ali Baba group...
There is some hope though. I believe I'll be able to get a copy of the DVD performance of the whole show, which was immense fun. I was later informed, however, that I "put the medals of the kids wrong" in the first group of kids I awarded. Luckily this wasn't a serious transgression. Also, most of us NST's made at least one or two minor blunders throughout the show. Patrick didn't come on-stage when his name was called, so Louise went for him. Louise and I didn't know we were supposed to pause for pictures once too, so we apparently botched a photo op. Anyway, some pics of half of my kids in TH5 are featured below.
These kids belong to another teacher but I thought I'd take advantage of the photo op. They did a great job in their performance.
This is Doris and Sam. Doris is a smart girl who went from Treehouse 4 to Step Ahead 1 for reasons unknown to me. She is far too smart for that class, but whatever. Sam is in my Step Ahead 5 class. He's a good kid.
Doris again. She's a real cutie!
Great group photo of some of my TH5 boys. Bee is in the front, Irwin to hi right,Sam behind them, and Morris and Barry to their left. This was in the changing room. They were all so nervous, but they didn't want to admit it.
Bee, Sam, and Morris. Morris (in the green) may seem cute here, but he's by far the most naughty individual I've yet had in any of my classes. This doesn't mean he's not smart! He does very well in class.
Irwin again. He can get in trouble sometimes, but he just likes attention. He always sits on my lap or hugs my leg.
Catherine and Barry. I'd say they were smart, but actually this whole class is pretty bright. Barry may be one of my best students though because he is totally unafraid of making mistakes.
There they are again! Jasmine is peeking in the background.
And this is Jasmine, a bit of a hellcat and one of the naughtiest girls in this universe, but exceptionally smart and lots of fun. Before class starts, she routinely chooses new adventures for herself, like wrestling with Morris, who is probably almost twice her weight and noticeably taller than her, or trying (and succeeding) to climb me like a tree. Right onto my shoulders. She is able to speak very quickly and comfortably despite her limited TH5 vocabulary and can usually find words to say what she wants to say. Definitely one of the top kids in that class.

I really should apologize for how little I've been updating as of late. Some new things in my life: I got the Sony Reader PRS-300 a couple weeks ago. It's awesome and I've already read A Princess of Mars, Tarzan of the Apes, Call of Cthulhu, The Terrible Old Man, and much of Ender's Shadow. That battery has only needed to be refilled once. Yes, that's right, it has a two week battery life!

I'm looking forward to my friend KJ finishing his military service soon. I want to start a game night with him and some other friends. That should be lots of fun.

April and I are both busy little bees. I either tutor or work 7 days a week, meaning, yes, I have no days off. This overworking isn't actually that bad but somewhere along the way (most likely when I was teaching April's sick sister) I picked up a nasty cold. At least we're hoping it's a cold and not the nasty Swine Flu which is all the rage here. Sure hope that vaccine comes! Anyway I have no fever to speak of, but I have a minor sinus headache and some major congestion. Going outside clears it up a bit which makes me think at least part of it is compounded by allergies to something in my room. I'm investigating that possibility now but no new substances have been introduced to my room recently and this sure feels like a cold. Could just be that the dust density has finally reached the danger point.

In any case, I have bought a mop from Carrefour and am already not looking forward to the related task ahead of me.

Additionally I have found the key to happiness: a burger place has opened up right next to my workplace. If only they served Macaroni and Cheese and Totino's pizzas.

In other news: To all people I recommend the show Supernatural starting with season 1. It is currently in its 5th and final season. Movies I've watched recently: Race to Witch Mountain and "Boss" (The original title is more colorful)... and that's about it. Although @Tim I swear I'm going to watch The Machine Girl very soon. It'll probably be a breakfast flick tomorrow.

Anyway that's all for now! I'll try to post again before too long. Tim, Mom, and Dad, April misses you a lot, just as I'm sure you miss her (and Mos Burger).

Monday, September 21, 2009

2 weeks later

Two weeks have passed since my last post. For those of you who care, I'm sorry about that.

Lots has happened. My students for Treehouse 5 just performed their plays and lots of students received awards at a special event last weekend. I had to dress up all nice and pretty.

I will post some pictures of my students later. Work has been good. It's getting better as I improve.

Let's see... What else...

Uhhh not much, really. I just wanted to give an update. Tomorrow April and I are going out on a date. Tuesday is our free day, you see.

Oh! Wait, there is one thing. I bought the Sony PRS-300. It's an eReader. It's amazing. I've been reading a lot recently. Now that college is over I actually enjoy reading again (because I can read whatever I want). I'll post pics of that as well.

Monday, September 7, 2009

April's Song


April also treated me to a song...
She sings it at the school where she teaches (she's also an English teacher). It's the first part of the tale of the Billy Goats Gruff.
video

I Like the Fat Rabbits















In this post I will be linking some pictures of my American School and Treehouse students, as well as a few videos.

As for my exploits:
-Opened a bank account... at the wrong bank. Apparently I can only be wired money to a certain bank if Hess is the wirer.
-Got paid. Then forfeited most of that money to paying off my debts. Freeeeedom!
-Had some stressful weeks but I'm now working my full schedule and I'm safe from the 1 month rule (if you still suck after the training is through they can fire you within a month of you starting to work).
-I've been lazy, playing EVE Online (cousins, consider joining Tim and me there), reading books, and trying to make new friends while failing to meet up with old ones.
-I'm going to try to introduce my friends to American board games in the future, like Arkham Horror and Munchkin... If they like them I figure I could do a game night thing sometimes which would give me an excuse to see several people at once. I also want to learn Chinese Chess and Mahjhang (again).

Well that's about it. Hope you love my kids as much as I do.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

For the love of the children

Today some cute things happened.

The first was when Irene in my Saturday class ( 8 years old) charged me upon seeing me and did a jumping hug in which she wrapped her arms and legs around me. "Teacher Peter!" she shouted excitedly as she saw me. It was very sweet, and the Taiwanese teachers had a good laugh at it and were quite surprised.

A boy in my American School, Max, drew a picture for me. It's a picture of me, so far as I can tell, and it says "I love you Peter" and some gibberish on there.

The third cute thing that happened today was our naughtiest little girl, Irene (different Irene) in American School had her mom show up at work today concerned about Irene's progress since she knew Irene had a habit of running around and standing on desks in the middle of class... frequently. I understood her concerns but assured her that her daughter was quite bright, and I had a full five minute conversation with Irene, too small and young to be shy, in front of her mom. It was adorable. She is a sweet little girl, and always smiling, but sometimes it seems as though as she's a little imp come to create mischief with every single action. Nothing she does isn't both simultaneously cute and ridiculously naughty. I can't even tell you how many times a day we have to say "OK Irene please get off the desk and sit in your chair." or "Irene, where are you going?"

I'll post some photos of some pictures my kids drew soon. I think I can take some pictures of my students as well too.