Friday, August 29, 2008

eh....

So it has been a while yet again since I've posted. It's tough keeping track of who knows what I'm doing from back home at any given time...so many mediums to talk to people (facebook, AIM, gchat, email, skype blah blah blah) But anyway I have been really busy lately. First off I do want to say that I got my ARC card and my health insurance!!!!
It's great. I'm legal and the best part is even as a FOREIGN teacher, I get full health insurance from the Taiwanese government! It's unbelievable considering my own country does not even give me any health insurance. And here I am just three months in Taiwan and I get full coverage. Basically if I am sick, all I have to do is bring my health insurance card to the Hospital, pay a fee of about 100 NT or like 3 dollars and I am fully covered. It really is pathetic how primitive our health system is in the US. It's pathetic. really pathetic. If I were in the states, I'd have no insurance at all...in fact as a anecdote....
Right after I graduated from Bing, I got my job at the law firm in January...but before my insurance from that job kicked in, there was a month when I didn't have insurance. My insurance when I was a student expired when I graduated (December of 2006) and my new insurance wasn't to kick in until a month into my job at the law firm (February 2007)....so low and behold due to all the running I do, my knee starts hurting a lot! I'm not one to complain about pain so I put it off as long as I could, but it becomes unbearable....
I go to the ER because I don't have insurance, and the doctor literally moves my knee around, no xrays, nothing else .......... and tells me I have to wear a brace to fix my tendons that I hurt due to over use fine, that seems simple enough...

the fee.....a mere $1,400. Thanks assholes. So I have to pay that off .......because the US government doesn't believe in universal health care. ........fast forward to the summer of 2008....and I am fully covered, fully insured, have to only pay 3 dollars for a doctor's consultation (which by the way, will get reimbursed by the school where I work ) for whatever is wrong with me, in a country where I'm not a citizen, and have only lived for 3 months......whereas my native country won't pay for ANY health problems I may have......the US health care system is disgraceful....I mean any country in the world has a better health care system then America does (I've stopped using 'we' to discuss the US for obvious reasons)...........anyway I hope Obama can help change it, but I remain skeptical. Despite my hope for universal health care I don't think we'll see it in our lifetime...maybe my grand kids will be lucky enough to get it......

ANYWAY in other news....
So I've been subbing for this class at my kids' school with 4 8 year olds in it...the problem with the class is that there are only 4 kids in it, and the amount of work our director assigns is not enough to fill up the entire 2.5 hours. To be honest 2.5 hours with 4 eight year olds is a tough thing to do. I basically have to follow the curriculum but after that...it's all up to me and I have freedom to do what I want. The problem is that the assigned work is literally like 2 or 3 pages per 3 hour session so with 4 kids I finish that in a heartbeat. I needed to do something else to keep them busy yesterday and we were doing this reading and they had a part where the kids had to put the right endings on each word............so the question would be TEN __________ with NT or TA as a choice(the answer is NT)....
One question had the word Chimney .......so the questions was CHIMN____ with EY or AR as choices

So one kid said "I know, the answer is Chimnar." The rest of the class said "NOOOOOOO it's CHIMNEY" ................And I thought "I know how to kil some time"

so without any planning I asked them to imagine what a chimnar was. I said I think a Chimnar is some kind of monster...tehy caught right on..."Yea it sounds like one" I think It's hairy" "No it's a fish"
I asked them to each come up to the board and try and draw what they thought a chimnar looked like on the board. They all drew some kind of crazy monster. One kid drew it with three heads, and octopus legs. Another (which I thought was what a real chimnar would look like) drew a hairy Bigfoot like animal with one eye and wings and fangs....then I asked them to write a story about their chimnar,
where he lived,
what he ate,
who his friends were,
what made him angry
.....and before I knew it these kids were all quiet, calm and actually thinking (shocking ) about what to write. And the stories were great !!! I made sure they used proper grammar and what have you....but some had their Chimnars fighting demons and living in the ocean. It was fantastic...they were learning, having fun, and best of all it was completely unplanned! I really felt like an actual teacher...

But today, I had more time to kill, so I decided to play a game with them. This game was a favorite of other classes....I write the vocab words,with the letters all mixed up and there are two teams. One person from each team has to run to the board and try and unscramble the letters to make the vocab word.
Innocent fun right?
Well it turned into a bloody mess. There were two teams, I put the two smartest kids on separate teams to make it fair. But this poor kid Klee (Pronounced Clay and the one who drew the scary looking, one eyed chimnar) isn't a very strong student.

So he could never unscramble the word fast enough. After two times he sat down in the corner and sulked....then he started to cry! I felt terrible. He then packed up his bag and tried to leave and go home....saying between sobs, "I wa wa wa want to go home"
I felt awful...
SO I walked with him outside and tried to convince him to come back...but he wanted to go home (he had his book bag on and everything!) So I told him if "you go home I'll cry because you're my best student" He then laughed and said "But teacher's don't cry" I said "I know it would be the first time I did" He laughed, came back in the classroom and was happy to go on with the lesson....

I have no idea how to handle a situation like that....It may have been all wrong but I felt so bad for the kid, and didn't know what else I should have done...anyway I guess the main point is that this is sooooo hard sometimes, living here, teaching 8 year olds without ANY training. I just hope I can make it through a year. But that's what I came here for right?

OHHHH also signed up for my absentee ballot it should arrive in Taipei in September!! We can't afford not to vote,
Brian

2 comments:

Pamila said...

fun teaching experience! definitely u will be a good teacher and i also need a good English teacher.

Peter said...

Those kids been watching some pokemon. Man your like one of thoes feel good teacher movies main character like dangerous minds or lean on me... but in taiwan. thats awesome. Yeah the health care sucks. i actually have HMO right now cause NYU insurance sucks. Its HORRIBLE. Docs brush you off and you have to wait like 4 hours for anything. this country is soo messed up. its retarded.