Eye of the Chicken
A journal of Harbin, China

the home stretch
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Well, I only have three more days of the TESOL class. I finished my practice teaching last night - managed to choke down the expletives that arose, unbidden, when I saw that the day's curriculum (set by Them, not Me) involved teaching words like "science" and "history" to 4-to-6 year-olds, and I just got on with it. (You can get the kids to respond appropriately to stimuli, but I don't count that as learning.)

Aside from attending class, the only remaining assignments for the TESOL class for me are two 80-minute college-level lesson plans . . . they're due tomorrow night at 8 pm, so my Internal Clock says I need to start them tomorrow night at 7 pm, but I'm trying to fight that impulse.

Anyway, I've had a lot of fun imagining what kind of curriculum I would design, if it were up to me to do so. Maybe I'll give it a whirl, who knows? Or maybe I'll design a TESOL class to give back home.

That's the best part of having taken this TESOL course, and one of the best parts of being in China, in general. The place seems fraught with possibility. Dunno if that's because the economy is on an upward trajectory, or if it's the peculiarities of my own life and circumstances back home, or what. But here, it seems that all kinds of things are possible. Once I get home, they won't seem so possible. (I'm hoping to overcome that inertia, or whatever it is, because one of my longish-term goals is to figure out how to come back here on a regular basis.)

So although I've been bitching high and low about having had to get up at 6 all month, and about the amount of homework and lesson planning, etc, that we've had to do, and the fact that I'm now tired to the point that I can't try to read a book without falling asleep, I'm really glad I did it. I've gotten a real sense of satisfaction out of this course. I knew 90% of the material coming in, but the other 10% is a welcome addition, and it was nice to be able to systematize what I know. And to get the Piece of Paper that says I know it. That, my PhD, and seven RMB will get me a cup of coffee at McDonald's and whatever else I can make from it, and I am preparing to ride that pony as far as it will go, believe me.

Now on to the next phase. After a few days of sleep, that is . . .

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