(PICTURE: The Best Text Ever...)
...but you have to read to the end of this entry to read it.
Ryan and I started practice teaching this week and it has been -- what's the word I'm looking for -- hilarious.
On Monday I was told that I would be teaching a class of advanced students and thus planned my lesson accordingly. Well, 5:30 rolled around and in marched my seven students (8 less than I was told would be there). I greeted the students and they replied back with, " ". Nope, I didn't forget to write what they said. They said nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero. Just empty blank stares. Well, using some August charm, I got them talking a little bit and quickly realized they were silent because they barely understood English. Advanced students my ass! And there went the lesson plan. Luckily I'm still extremely quick on my feet--despite the dozen pounds I've gained traveling--and was able to call an audible. I quickly simplified my lesson plan, got the class running and in the end we had a lot of fun. Plus, I think the kids learned a little which I guess is important.
Last night for class #2 I was much better prepared and before I knew it our hour and a half was up. Usually the classes take a break but we were coasting along and nobody wanted to stop. It was a pretty good class if I do say so myself. I even got three new students including one Chinese kid named Long. Long just moved to Vietnam and his English is far and away better than anyone else in the class. As everyone was leaving at 7pm he stuck around for a few minutes and asked to take a picture with me. I charged him $20,000 Dong (roughly $1.10) and gave a big smile.
After my class was over Ryan walked into the classroom to prepare for his beginner beginner class. As part of our training obligation we need to observe each other three times. I decided I'd stick around and watch him last night. Well, when his class rolled in, in walked Long.
After class was over Long stuck around again and asked Ryan and I to take a picture with him. I charged him $20,000 Dong again and Ryan, being jealous of my double earnings, charged $40,000 Dong (which in my opinion was very unprofessional of him). Long stuck around for a few more minutes to talk and then asked Ryan for his phone number. Twenty minutes later the best text message ever arrived. This is what it said:
"Nice to have known you,and ben.you and ben are the first American people I know.I like listening your class.I hope you can injure yourself in vietnam.if there is any chance,I wish you can go to china, I can play with you.give my best wish to your friend: happy birthday!"
In Long's defense, two hours later Ryan got this text message: "Sorry!just enjoy yourself in vietnam!not injure!:-("
I've got time for one other quick anecdote: Yesterday, Ryan began the class by asking the students, "Do you know what today is?" Blank stares all around. "Today is April 1st. It's called April Fool's Day in America." Blank stares all around. "It's the day we can do tricks on each other and it's okay." Blank stares...until one student peeped up, "Teacher, do a trick." Ryan had nothing. I laughed to myself and gave Ryan a look as he turned to the class and said, "Okay, moving on."