Pyramid Family

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Update

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I fail at posting updates!

I’ve been very busy. I’m here for a month, of course. The summer camp is split into two two-week groups of kids. The last two weeks went great–camp ended for those kids last Saturday. Today was my first day teaching the new class. There’s much less this time: only about 30 kids whereas there was nearly a hundred before. These new students also speak English very well. This means that I’m able to cover much more material in my classes.

Thoughts on Chinese education:

Kids don’t ask questions. Many teachers here are pretty unsavory government bitches, it seems, and are very authoritarian and discourage asking questions, preferring to label kids as slow or stupid if they don’t understand something. I hope that I’ve shown some of these kids that school doesn’t just have to be about numbers and job-training, and that there are other opportunities for them out there beyond accounting, business management, and engineering.

These students really don’t know much about American history, so they’re very glad I’m teaching US History! I’ve had great success in incorporating Powerpoints with my history classes–there are many open-source teaching resources as well to use on various topics, and I edit them on my own/sometimes make my own Powerpoints.

Psychology went OK the last 2 weeks. I’m not teaching it again–only 12 out of the 40 kids who started the class actually kept attending. It’s just too hard to teach psychology to 13-year-olds or those who only speak a few words of English. Even with a translator it’s just about impossible, because the terms don’t translate well (Chinese psychology has taken different approaches to things), and even if they do, it’s psychology. There’s a reason that most kids in the U.S. don’t take it until college.

It’s interesting to be watched at all times. People stare at me all the time. It can be frustrating some days, but it’s definitely forced me to work on my self-confidence/get over my fear of being watched by others. I’ve danced here, and I’ve sung karaoke, too. Never thought I’d really do that.

I have great friends here. Just about everyone has been tremendously kind. My host family is very fun, and I invited their kid, Yung Li (*sp?) to visit New York sometime.

My cellphone broke. Pretty annoying, but my host family gave me a Chinese phone for local calls.

I went to a museum here that had a 2000+ year old mummy and a number of really old artifacts. I took some pictures–I’ll try to upload them soon, or possibly when I get back. I’ll  returning to the U.S. on the 14th, staying with my SO for the 15th, and going back to the five one “hate” late that night. I’m going back to Syracuse on the 19th to attend a meeting for my Writing Fellow job that I’ll be starting this fall, and I’ll be staying there at my school until classes start (the end of August, I think).

I miss everyone quite a lot despite the fun times I’ve had here, and I look forward to seeing my family and friends!

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Written by KarlH

August 2, 2011 at 4:54 am

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Reading list

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My bags are packed, and I’m on my way to Long Island to see my SO before leaving.

Reading list for the month:

  1. Finish “Meditations on the Tarot” by Valentin Tomberg.
  2. “All Hallows Eve” by Charles Williams
  3. “Descent into Hell” by Charles Williams
  4. “The Iliad”–by Lonely Goth’s suggestion and due to the fact that I will be taking a class on Homer in the fall and need the refresher.

Written by KarlH

July 12, 2011 at 11:48 am

China

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I will be leaving to work in China on Wednesday for the Hunan Provincial Education Association for International Exchange. The international roaming rates for my provider are ludicrous, so if anyone is inclined to get in touch with me during this time, I can be reached by email (karlhonehundred [with “one hundred” being written with numbers and not letters] at gmail.com). Also, I can be reached on Skype: henchmantwentyfive (same application of numbering required as before).

The following is a short intro video for my students:

Written by KarlH

July 10, 2011 at 6:01 pm

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Tom Sleeth

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I’ve had 4 classes with this guy since I transferred to LeMoyne. Had no idea about his living situation/life experiences. Definitely one of the friendliest, kindest, and honorable men I’ve ever met.

Link to Syracuse.com article

Written by KarlH

June 16, 2011 at 1:02 am

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“Red Wine” by UB40

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Because what makes for a better breakup song?

Written by KarlH

February 21, 2011 at 3:22 am

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