Today was a very busy day! On Monday I had prepared for 3 of my own lessons and I had a total of 4 classes on Tuesday. My first class was 7B2. The classes at Olympia are organized by grade level and skill level. 7B are the kids in 7th grade who have a decent understanding of the English language. For my two 7th grades classes today, I prepared a game of “X’s vs O’s”, a word review, and a game of “Jeopardy” that I created using a website. It’s exam week, so Gina took the kids one-by-one into the hallway and did speaking exams while I played the review games. 7B2 students focused this past quarter on words relating to. The kids have just one more week left, so they got pretty rowdy by the end of class, but they weren’t too hard to manage. The next class was 6A. We did a quick review of directions and places on a map and then we did a word search and played “Slap Board” while Gina continued with the speaking tests.
Gina didn’t have me prep for the next class because she didn’t want to give me too much work to do, so, while Gina finished up the speaking tests, I watched “Boyhood” with 6C. This was a great class. All of the kids are respectful and like me. It is really amazing to see how much respect these kids give new people in the classroom. I guess some of the kids asked Gina if I could teach them next year; I must be doing something right.
For lunch, Chris and Carrie took Ally, Tobey, and myself out to a little sandwich shop on the street behind of the school. We had traditional Vietnamese sandwiches. It was egg, sausage, hot sauce, and vegetables all in a baguette and then heated up on a press. It was so good! The place was also really cool. It was a little area in front of this woman’s house. She was very kind to us and cooked some amazing food.
After lunch I had a short break before my next block, 7C2. 7C2 is my favorite class. They are all super smart and are extra well behaved. Some of my favorite students are in this class. Again, Gina went to go do speaking tests while I played review games. We played “X’s vs O’s”, a word review, and “Jeopardy”. Jeopardy ended a little earlier than I expected, so I did some American geography and culture with them. I put on the top 40 and projected a blank map of the US on the board and had students identify places they knew. This was a lot of fun. I would love to teach an American culture class to the upperclassmen here someday.
In the afternoon we went to a cafe with a person from Hanoi named Tung who I know. Tung is 28 and lived in Gardner when he was younger. He grew up in Hanoi and one day he was climbing a pole and grabbed onto a electrical chord and lost both of his arms. He came to Gardner to live with a family while he got surgery and therapy done at Boston’s Children Hospital. I don’t really remember Tung, but he was close with my brother and my parents. The only memories I had were of Tung eating, writing, and playing with “Legos” with his feet. He is a very creative guy.
We met him and his nephew at cafe and had some juice. Then, we took a cab through Hanoi to a restaurant near the “Old Quarter” There we met with his wife and 4 year-old son. We told him that we wanted to try some unique foods, so he got us goat, frog, and goat’s blood. I wasn’t brave enough so I didn’t try the blood, but Ally and Tobey did.
After we finished eating, we took a cab to a cafe near Tung’s house. It was a very cool shop. It is a chain in Hanoi with over 10 locations around the city. I had a coconut coffee smoothie; it was great.
After the coffee we went across the street to a the only Catholic church in Hanoi. It was great to see it. The architecture was beautiful. I was interested in religion in Vietnam, so I looked it up. This church is the only Catholic church in Hanoi and Catholicism and Christianity are not popular in Vietnam. Most people do not practice organized religions, but practice Vietnamese folk religion. After that, people are mostly Buddhist and some are Catholic, due to imperialism.
It was great to see Tung! After we saw the church, we went to Tung’s house and then took a cab home.
1. Resiliency is the key to success. Tung has had a hard life and has faced some extremely difficult, but he has adapted and has a great life. After his accident he had to learn how to live life entirely differently. Currently, he uses his feet to eat and write and is able to use his phone with what he has. Tung has never given up and this is a huge inspiration for me. Also, his life shows that my little problems aren’t that bad. Tung is living a great life, although having major setbacks due to his resilience.