Day 130 - Schnitzel and Questions

Thursday, June 16th, 2016
Smog Level: 1/3 Mountains


I’ve noticed that my philosophy of classroom management has evolved as time progresses. Of course, that’s inevitable, though part of what’s helping me is becoming better friends with my CoTeachers and feeling less silly joking around with the kids. I purposely call them by the wrong names or close approximations just to play with them. Candy becomes Candle, Sherry becomes Cherry, Mark becomes Grandpa Marker. Clearly the kids have some influence on this, though usually it’s nonsensical. If they clearly hate it, then I stop.

...And Sticks

As for punishment, I forget that I have the ability to flex some power when the time calls for it. Being a teacher is like being a tiny king that lets you figure out how best to keep people in line. Two tools I haven’t used much have been assigning lines to write or taking away break. Best to use them sparingly, but it seems like that’s the line of defense that works best on the kid that hasn’t responded to any other punishment. It’s a 3 session class today, which means there are 2 breaks, and the kid has misbehaved for both of them. Boom, no break. 

Normally, the kids are supposed to play out in the hallway, but today, just to drive the point home a little further, no one is allowed to talk to him, and I let them get away with a little more playing in the classroom than usual. That’s what you’re missing kid.

To be clear, I’d rather not have to do any of this, but if the kid isn’t learning, is distracting others around him, and is outright being a pain in my neck, it’s gotta be taken care of - especially if I follow this class to the next grade.


I’m also really coming down hard on their whining. I’ve told them that they will lose stars if they all whine; they’ll have to write lines if they’re the only one whining, and whining will only make me give them even harder lessons and tests. I tend to choose the easier dictation sentences for them to listen to and attempt to write down. But that’s not doing them any favors. Unlucky for them, my stoic philosophy of enduring difficulty and suffering to make you stronger might have to com out to play and convince them to stop complaining about how easy they’ve already got it.

My China Dream - Be a Moral Person
The Weakness of Strength

The weakness of strength is that every strength has a related weakness, and probably vice versa. The related weakness to the strength of being tall is that your back and neck will probably have issues. Case in point: today, while at the reading table, my vision started getting blotchy. I had no other symptoms, but when that happens, you start feeling concerned. Words like "stroke" or "anneurism" tend to pop into your mind. 

Then I realized that today, I had been looking down more than usual, and that it was likely the cause. Subtly, I went through the checklist of stroke symptoms (FAST: Facial drooping, arm weakness, speech, time). I could still speak and think clearly, and could raise both hands above my head easily. Heart rate was elevated, but that’s to do with me trying to quell a freakout. After class,  made sure I was properly hydrated (passed the pee test) and was fairly certain it was just a pinched nerve in my neck. First time this happened was back in 2nd year university. Fun, right? Troubleshooting is a great for calming yourself down.

A Classic Post-Schnitzel, Pre-Quizzing Stroll
Conversational Chinese

The headaches pervades lunch, and I meet Ms. Handler for a ride back to my apartment at 1pm for them to fix the washing machine, our toilet seat, and the still-detached-from-the-wall-and-floor sink. Surprised it didn’t get knocked over and smashed. While waiting for the workers to come and go, I make conversation with Aurora’s supervisor. She had come to help coordinate the workers. Through the headache, and language barrier, we had a slow conversation about xiàng qí (chinese chess) and the old men who play them around. She’s a nice woman, I think Aurora's lucky to have her as a supervisor. Aurora told me that she thinks I’m handsome, and that we had a nice conversation. Generous.

Schnitzel and Questions

After a 2 hour nap, I feel refreshed and headache free. Quiz night tonight; Dexter and I grab a cab to meet Luigi, Mary, Ashton at the falafel/schnitzel place before going to quiz night. This is probably the better order of things. Eating before drinking, and several hours before going to bed. Tad arrives when Luigi is leaving ahead of us to set up for the quiz (he runs it). Luigi also informed me that he might be my roommate next year if he doesn’t find a place to live. I didn’t realize that we had the option of choosing our roommate and was going to take a gamble with a new person. Now maybe I’ll see what my options are…

Paper Lanterns in da Hutong
The quiz is the usual sorts of things, asking about music, action movies, Eurocup trivia, space, pot, and my favorite “Jay Z or Great Gatsby.” In that last one, there’s a quote and you have to say whether it was from a Jay Z song, or the classic novel. We got 3rd place out of 5 or 6 teams. 

On the way home, Ashton and Mary needed to stop for some things at the store. I didn’t realize there was a small shop that sold Western products. Scratched that itch for me. It’s odd the cravings you’ll get, particularly when it’s stuff that you never actually eat when at home. For instance, I bought a can of chef boyardee. I can’t remember the last time I ate one. Another thing was Dijon mustard. 

God, I miss mustard.

Words of the Day
English - Mandarin [pronunciation]

Editing Music
Half Moon Serenade
Yueji Chen

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