Something is up with the internet in Vietnam this week. Could someone please call Al Gore?
I haven't been able to connect to hotmail at all from home; Blogger takes about five minutes to load and I just tried it five times (and that adds up to fifteen minutes). Pictures are almost impossible to load. It's getting to be so frustrating... So it's not that I don't want to answer your emails (or blog)- Anyway... here is a comment left by AmyT from the last post:
"If Nam wasn't HM (high maintenance), you would have it a bit too good, no? Let me read back your life: a penthouse with rooftop for entertaining; a driver; "people" to wash you, clothe you and feed you; and a job where you can play music and movies. You're a celeb without the annoying paparazzi."
Then my brother commented that I would probably be HM by the time I return.
It's almost as if you assume that on Tuesday I picked up dress #3 from the tailor downtown with Alice, and that on Wednesday I got an hour-long hot stone massage with Katherine and her sister and that tonight I got my hair washed plus a cucumber facial because there was nothing to do when I got home. And, even if, let's just say, I did do all of this, you are not considering (at all) the fierce and snarling alley rats I wrote about on Sunday, and I don't even mention the ants anymore! We haven't even hired a housecleaner yet, and sometimes...sometimes my sandwich lady has such a long line at her cart (she has been discovered since I started my loyal visit to her stand) I have to wait a whole FIVE minutes to get my sandwiches in the morning.
I mean, I appreciate your perspective and all, but...
Parents last night. Translators. How is my son/daughter doing? How can she/he improve his her English? Should we get a tutor? We are there for hours.
One parent is particularly pushy, and today after school when Alice, two others and I are across the street from the school at a bar planning for The Wizard of Oz, we are comparing notes about her. Alice has the funniest story (actually, quite sad, but she tells it so well.) This boy, V (to protect his identity) is quite effeminate. He speaks in a very high voice and does this fluttery thing with his arms. Alice does a spot on impression of him (as she does with everyone). His mother wants to know this from Alice: she wants her son to be a boy. If he's in drama, will he still be a boy? Alice doesn't know what to say...what can she say? She says, oh, he's a BOY! (if she said anything other than this strong answer, he would probably be beaten...very common here for bad grades and what parents might consider "inappropriate," etc.) Today V must turn in a play for drama. He approaches Ms. Alice and says (in his high voice with his fluttering wings), "Ms. Alice, I wrote my play! It's about girls! I'm going to be a girl! My name is Mindy!" And he flutters around the room.
The parents are serious about their kids getting a good education. They want them to study in America; from what I have seen so far, these kids are way past American kids in their study habits and thinking processes; however, they are so immature socially. My sixth graders would probably be more like 4th graders...think I will put that on my resume.
They are so cute. Today I give the table that has the most points prizes in one class, 6C: stickers, candy, pencils...they get to choose out of a box. Then we switch seats and I give them a speech about how now they know what is expected of them, and how they need to support each other, etc. And I give them their first competition: name your table something that reflects the stories and/or vocabulary we have learned in the last month, and come up with a gesture to reflect it. (I come up with this at the last minute.) They are on fire-- they want the first point so badly. One group is "The Sun Explodes" with a gesture of sun rays to the sky; another is "Team Conflict" with a thumbs down gesture; another is "The Disasters" with a gesture of making their heads fall onto the desks; the last one is "The Extrasensory People" holding up six fingers for six senses. (Just thinking how dark I am with my story and vocabulary choices). They are so earnest and so cute, I can't decide, so I tell them that I will email a panel of teachers to get a winner. Then each teacher votes for a different one. Anyway, tomorrow the Ancient History classes and the other English classes will name themselves...those should be really fun--but I think I have gotten myself into a mess with the point thing. How can I make any of them lose? I feel so badly giving prizes to only one table.
I just noticed another bar for internet reception and was finally able to upload a picture. Here is Nam. I'm so mad...my camera has been getting all foggy in the mornings, so you can't see him very well. I will get another picture of him soon, but wanted you to get some kind of visual.
OK, has anyone called The Inventor of the Internet yet, on behalf of Vietnam?