Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I'm only on the second week of school and I am beat. I'm teaching a very full class load that keeps me at school a lot more than I was last semester. Last school year I had no Friday classes, now I have 6 hours of class on fridays. LAME. Besides that all of my classes are a straight three hours long.

Besides the marathon of knowledge that is my schedule I've also stepped up my involvement during class. In our new set-up the first hour of class is mine. I've developed a 100 word program for my students where they learn 10 new words every week. If they learn all the words and pass their quizzes they get a snazzy prize (like dinner at my house). They're not doing as great as I want...but how is that surprising? At least they're trying is my motto, and that gets me through the days.

My other fun task is working with speech training. I'm using all my summer research and work to give my students the gift of understandable spoken English. They're excited to learn this too, but there are some big hurdles. Like in music, my students have bad speaking habits that i have to break them of. One of the worst is getting them to make -TH- sounds correctly. The TH sounds only exists in English and Greek so I've been told a lot of people have issues with it. I feel good about this challenge though, and its re-energized my care for teaching English.

I'm also really excited because this coming weekend we're having a 4th of July party in Bacolod. other volunteers are coming to the area to celebrate with us! Although I'm not the biggest patriot, this 4th of July I'll proudly celebrate things like hamburgers, hotdogs, and potato salad. Can't wait!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

False Start

I'm halfway through my first week of school. We were supposed to start a week earlier, but everything was postponed a week because of swine flu. My take is that the president says that since college students travel more they might have the virus and carry it to a campus. As such we complied, and everyone got an extra week of summer. My students barely have money to leave their houses, so it was silly for us, but we didn't really have a choice.

I'm happy though to be back at school. I have a very full course load (7 classes) but I'm excited to teach the sections. 4 of my classes are on speaking properly, which is what I spent my summer researching and getting ready for. My other 3 classes are "Study and Thinking Skills" classes. This is the freshman class on how to use the library and do basic scholarship. I'm less happy to be teaching these sections, but its good for them to get exposure to me, and there are no other courses for me to teach.

Well that's life for now. I'll update more soon. A lot has happened in the past weeks that will make for good posts, but no point using all my material at once.