Tag Archives: teaching

Five Years?!

July 11, 2011.

I can’t remember what I was doing that day – but according to WordPress, I posted an ‘about me’ on this page. AKA I started “ceaseless serendipity” (first known as ‘Girl Meets World’), five whole years ago!

Wow… what was I doing five years ago? So much has happened. Five years ago, I was in high school. I was having a… rough patch. High school wasn’t easy, and to be honest, I was mostly doing things on my own. I still consider myself to be fairly independent, but now I have the most amazing friends, and I’m graduating from college in a few months. 2016 must have seemed so far away. Who would’ve thought I would be here now, right?

As an education major, I feel like I am obligated to do a then vs. now Venn Diagram. So here it is: What my life was like five years ago (the then) and today (the now).

venn-diagram

#comicsans

Two and a half years ago (a half-way marker), I was enjoying college and life in general: I was just beginning a summer internship at an orphanage in China, enjoying life, and about to begin my sophomore year in college – my personal favorite year, in my opinion. Now, I am thankful to be able to still enjoy the same college with many of the same friends I made freshman year. A lot has changed, but some things remain the same!

In my Venn Diagram, I forgot to include epilepsy (my seizures) – but I’ll leave that for another time. However, I’ll try to get a post in before the end of the month – November is epilepsy awareness month! woot woot! Another honorable mention: I’m teaching, for real! No, I don’t have my own classroom, but I am in schools, teaching kindergarteners. Now THAT is awesome! Also I’m still incredibly awkward.

Not everything that happens in life is awesome and worth having a party or blog post about. I get that – things like that have happened to me. For me, I process things by journaling: seeing them on paper (or a computer screen) makes craziness in life not that crazy, because they’re sitting on paper and not circling in my head. There are many of ways to process things that work much better for others, but that’s what’s good for me. I wonder about the readers of this blog – YOU! I know I don’t have a lot of readers, but I know a lot happens in your life. It’s not just me that is awkward and indecisive …right? In the grand scheme of things, five years isn’t that long. But it’s not all about me here – I’m sure a good amount of things happened in five years for you, too! I would love to hear about them in the comment section 🙂 Anyways: if the going is tough for you right now, know that sometimes you just have to wait it out… for a long time. Like, a REALLY long time – it might be more than five years. Read: good times are a’comin. 🙂

 

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China 7: Friday!

IT’S FRIDAY! (finally!) yay 🙂

Sam left on Tuesday. We were all very sad. We took a few group selfies, though, which ended up being great – and my new background on my phone. It’s great, but our group isn’t the same without him – like when KK and Emily left, our group will carry on but it just isn’t the same! I’ll put the good selfie up, so that I won’t get scolded later.

NDGroup1

 

Today is May’s birthday. We had a little celebration – May had brought cake mix, along with a lot of other American food, with her to China, so she gave us a box with other supplies (candles, icing, etc.) to make for her. We went out to eat at the nice restaurant without a kitchen (around here, we name restaurants and local places by some description, because who can read their Chinese name?) After the cake, I washed the dishes. Everyone else is watching a movie now, but I’m going to shower, watch an episode of Friends, and get to sleep early!

This week was really tiring. The backyard school has worn me out – the kids are generally wonderful, but it takes a tough kind of love to work with them: harsh enough to scold, but soft enough to praise, love and play. However, the assistant teachers have just been on the tough side, so it’s hard being the only one praising the kids. I still love it there, though! They always bring a smile to my face, ever day. Since I haven’t been getting enough sleep these past few days, I’ve just been wiped, and I’m incredibly glad it’s Friday. Also, we just wrapped up the second week of English Camp – a camp where selected middle schoolers come to improve their English. Us four teachers (Chloe, Abbie, Thomas, and me) divided into two classes of seven each. Thomas and I took the lower-level class, and they have a long way to go. Unfortunately, only about four of the seven kids show up every day. We joke that they have a plan going where people take turns coming to class so there are always four students there. It’s frustrating, but the small class size is good to work with. There are a few kids who come every day, and their English has improved tremendously. Those who pop in twice a week, we can now see the difference. As for myself, I can safely say that my English has really improved since I started English camp. (wait for sarcasm to set in…) I’m encouraged, however, that they said they would miss us on Monday when we will be gone. (Gone on a secret surprise-adventure, overnight excursion!)

Anyways, I’m glad it’s Friday. It’s funny, I haven’t gone to bed after 11PM. I usually go to sleep around or after that time at home/school! I would never dream of such a thing here; I need eight hours, at least. Speaking of which, I should get on that now. 🙂

On Bad Teachers

I have a teacher that I will call Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith is a geosystems teacher. Mr. Smith is a bad teacher – and unfortunately mine. Those are the main details, you can go to anywhere else on the Internet now, since you know the main details. But you may want to stick around for my vent. Okay. Mr. Smith is not just a bad teacher, he is a teacher of wretched proportions. He’s everything you want your teacher not to be, and yet, here he is – my geosystems teacher. Let me go into the details.

  1. These problems listed below are huge. But I don’t think this one annoys me more than any other: the fact that he doesn’t create or really know anything that he gives us. For example – the other day, I went up to him for a question. We are treated like an experiment – he gives a lecture, sees our test results (we SUCKED so he took out questions he thought ‘weren’t that good’), and decides to not lecture next unit. So in this unit, on plate tectonics, we were given a PowerPoint print-out for us to read and a lab (labs in my geosystems class consists of a set of information and questions that follow pertaining to the information). As I said before, I’ve always had the gut feeling – along with several others – that he didn’t make any of the PowerPoints or the labs or the handouts – he just had it easy. I had a question on the lab, so I went up to him and asked him if he could help me. He had to read the question first. It was clear that he had never, ever read it. He wasn’t sure what the answer was, and after thinking a while, he gave me a half-answer. Basically, he didn’t know what the answer was to his own question.
  2. His favorite words/phrases are “zap”, “…and all that stuff”. He described Earth as “big-ass”. When asked about how we knew what the Earth’s interior was made of and how deep the layers were, he said that “We’re constantly zapping stuff down in there and it bounces back up so that we know. But we also don’t really know because it’s all a theory.” Really, Mr. Smith. Really. Scientific evidence is not a theory. Plate tectonics and Pangea can be, but this is clearly not. On the subject of plate tectonics, Mr. Smith was asked about how we know where the lines are. He answered with, “They’ve zapped wavelengths across the Atlantic Ocean.” Really. In case you didn’t already know, it is physically impossible to “zap a wavelength.”
  3. His language. As I mentioned before, Mr. Smith described Earth as “big-ass”. Teachers should not be using that kind of language, although it can be argued that it’s one of the ‘less-bad’ curse words. However, it gets worse. When a vice-principal was coming to observe him teaching, he said to us, “Mrs. Miller will be coming here to observe, so you better not have your phones out, or she will snatch that s**t out of your hands.” Not even kidding, he said that. It doesn’t stop there. Somehow the Twilight movies came up one time when he was talking to the class, and he told us when he was watching the first Twilight movie with his wife, when he saw Edward pull of his shirt and sparkle, he was said, “he’s f***ing glittering!” out loud in the movie theater to heads turning. Except he repeated it without any hesitation, regret, or asterisks.
  4. He plays favorites. This gets on my nerves all. The. Time. He’s a coach. I don’t have a problem with coaches. However, you run across some coaches and gym teachers every now and then that missed out on their chance and now coach – Mr. Smith reminds me of this kind of teacher, since you have to teach at a school to be a school coach. (My question is, why can’t you just coach an outside-of-school sport team? Seriously, if you’re this bad a teacher, just do something else.) So, he’s buddy-buddy with his sports friends. He laughs with the girl on the track team and her friends. He calls the football players (along with some of his other favs) by their last names. And it drives me crazy. He doesn’t change grades in favor (I sure hope not, at least…) of them, but he acts like he’s the one of them – and not ‘one’ with the rest of everyone else.

So, my question is this: Should I tell a principal about this? Is it that big of a deal? Or should I keep it to myself, be annoyed, and be satisfied with my grade (it’s a B – okay, but I should be able to do better – then again, I’m high above the class average)?

“Most of us end up with no more than five or six people who remember us. Teachers have thousands of people who remember them for the rest of their lives.” -Andy Rooney