Building a Chinese house.

IMG_0442A simple foundation is laid. Like a zig-zag of concrete, or a honeycomb layout for the building to sit on(not the deep footers or foundations that we have in America). Once that’s done it’s a pole by pole affair to support the forms for the concrete. And it’s all concrete. No wood is used in the simple countryside dwelling.

Back from the Dead

Well, not quite. Living in out-of-the-way places(small cities within China) doesn’t lend itself to internet connectivity. I’ve had the Great Firewall to thank for not having access to my WordPress blog, or other social media. But thanks to a really good VPN, PandaPow, I am now back in the land of the living. Speaking of The Dead. I am a fan of The Walking Dead. Great show, great acting.



A Strange Visitor With a Silver Bowl

A small monkey wearing a very small red hat appeared at our doorway. It proceeded to come into the house. Even more strangely it was carrying a small silver bowl, the monkey bowed three times and held out the bowl. Well I wasn’t going to give the monkey any money. But I did have plenty of rice handy. So I filled the small bowl with dry rice and the monkey bowed again and turned around and scampered out. I have got to get a picture of that monkey. Oh, the monkey’s master is a very old Chinese gentleman. I am told that’s exactly his job, to collect small amounts of rice, in return the village children get to see a monkey, a very cute monkey. And also a very polite little monkey.

Back to School 2012

It’s that time of year! Bright shining faces again light my classroom. The English is slightly rusty(no one speaks English in their hometowns), unless a handsome or attractive laowai happens by…haha. But it is very good to see them again. The old year is gone with all of it’s problems and woes. All mistakes are forgotten. The world is new, hope is reborn in the soul. I am blessed to live among these good people.

Not business as usual yet

Well, the Chinese new year(Jan 23), has come and gone. But I’m still waiting for most of the businesses to open again. This usually takes a week to a fortnight. And sometimes then they’re not in any hurry. However, living here lo these few years I’ve come to expect it. The Chinese have a lot to teach Westerners about relaxing, de-stressing. And getting together with friends and family. While the world turns frantically for the next Wii, iPod or other gimmick and gadget, folks here are catching up on eating and visiting neighbors. Not bad, not bad at all. Oh, yeah, the express post, that’ll take about two weeks at least ๐Ÿ™‚

I thought I had everything in lifeโ€ฆ

Favorite School

Many people ask me which school is my favorite. Well, it’s hard to pick just one. There are very good points about each one. Some are private, some are public, some are strictly training schools. But I guess what I like best are the people, people interested in providing the best education possible. It is nice to see everyone working together to provide the best environment to work and teach in. And of course my students make for most of my satisfaction, especially the younger ones. They have boundless energy and active minds that never grow tired of learning. When you exhaust yourself from jumping and spelling at the same time and you see bright shining faces beaming back at you, it is all worthwhile. So my favorite school: all of them. All of them had something refreshing, interesting and challenging to offer me: teaching students ๐Ÿ™‚.
My students are at the heart of my joy.

Being shy is not about shyness

When a student in Asia tells you they are shy or perhaps you determine they are shy, please think again. Take the time and make the effort to understand the culture you have chosen to teach in as an EFL teacher. There are the usual student teacher problems of getting adjusted to each other. However, I feel that the real meaning behind the word shy escapes even the best of us. This is why it is our responsibility as teachers to increase our knowledge and understanding of Asian students. I could say more but I’d like the article(researched and prepared by experts), that I will refer to do the talking. Suffice to say that each of us as professionals need to keep improving our skill-set, our EFL methodology and our professional credentials. The article lays a good foundation between the differences ofย  Western students and students from mainland China. There’s a lot of good articles and training available out there, please avail yourself of it.

Understanding shyness in Chinese children

Knockleberry Road

The year was 1913. Down a long dusty dirt road two unpainted clapboard houses stood side by side. Higogollup-a-flips the man excitedly shouted. His ten year old son had passed the English test that day. So then all was well. The exam meant so much to the man who had failed English time after time, but his son proved that he could hold his own. Studying by the light of a dim kerosene lamp he had prepared for a full week before the exam. The only thing that kept him awake during those long cold nights was a big grey moth that flew around his head. Somewhere in all this he read of a monkey with a silver bowl that would bow three times. And now in his hands he held a plain piece of yellow paper marked with a big red letter C. That’s all that mattered. Higogollup-a-flips his father said again beaming with a smile.

The best or most demanding students?…both

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. These students can see right through you. You must be on your toes, ready for anything, have the patience of Job, and the energy of 10 people. You must also have the ability to jump non-stop, sing, dance, laugh, smile and the imagination of a child. These are the best, most challenging most rewarding of all my teaching experience. They range

My best English students.

in age from 4 years to 7 years old. I wouldn’t have it any other way. ๐Ÿ™‚

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