Wednesday, October 01, 2008

At the End of this Post is a Picture of Nam

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 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?


Brian Bowker said...

This is my response.

Brian Bowker said...

Also, Nam's shirt is yellow. What gives?

I LOVE the group names w/ gestures! Those are so creative! YOU are so creative for coming up with it and encouraging your students to use humor to make the work FUN! Now I want a chance to earn a point!

amyt said...

Yes! Marjii, just to complicate your pampered life (you had me at rats, lost me at lack of housekeeper), you need to assign points to us! One per blog comment, one more if wry, two extra if it contains a link to barbie dolls, and ten if we pass one of your pop quizzes. I failed the New York City one. Don't 'spect to do much better with HCMC. Although... a parody song IS coming to mind just now...

The Norris Clan said...

What's wrong with being HM? I love it! Oh, and can I be Glinda? I've always wanted to be in the WOZ!

kumma said...

Yeah... Wizard of Oz. Don't know if you remember this, smarj, but I was "Tibia" the witches' (witch's? witche's? wicheese? which-is-it?) skeleton butler sidekick dude in our production of WOZ at LHS. My final show, senior year of HS, and I was relegated to a sideshow freak. I don't even think I had any lines. Thanks for bringing up THAT pain.

marjie said...

Brian, I was expecting you to post that picture...thank you for not disappointing me.

And Nam has not worn the blue shirt since I learned his name. Convenient.

Amy, you are in the running for #1 Fan with all of your points.

#1 Fan, you are still #1 Fan. And yes you can be Glinda. You would make a great one.

Sideshow Freak: not only that, but "Tibia" is actually a witch in "The Crucible." You were in the wrong play altogether!!