Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007

post again

Posted by Hippo Bean at 6:17 PM
"What the hell ?!?! ...". So he came back and saw the couch was gone! Today we finally hid the couch. There's been a lot of pranks at work lately (is it because it's spring?). Kat's army of Martians was missin and the ransom note said to bake cookies or else she would never see her army again. she replied saying if her army was not back, she would never bake again. Her army returned the next day, not one missing. Peter though had less luck. His Warrior Tshirt never returned. No notes either. And now the couch is gone. The kidnappers only wanted cookies and milk. The note was even printed in the Ransom font. Signed CLA, "The Couch Liberation Army". It reminded me of Harry Potter's House Elf Liberation Front. "What the heck, just cookies and milk, that's easy. Besides, it makes it easier to vaccuum my office". Great!

Goose's Great Saunter inspired me to post to the Hippo blog again. She's been neglecting it. Sad. So I mentioned the Inca Trail and he said foot-dragging, knee-aching, stumbling down the East River at the end of the day. Once more around the island but this time it cost him just a bit more. And it reminded me of the Hippo episode with the Bay-to-Breakers. We all signed up but I never made it. The alarm clock never went off and by the time I awoke, the 2000 Bay-to-Breakers was history. I've tried explaining the situation to my friends. They thought it was Hippo's usual defensive excuse again. Sigh.

And finally this class with this teacher. First she put me on the spot and forced me to take the challenge. I said one could tell the cultural background of the students _if_ we carefully formulate an icebreaker that could reveal a person's background. She said oh yeah? let's give it a try. So she has a mini bio and a picture on Bb and asked us to guess if she came from a wealthy or middle class family or grew up in poverty, was she daughter of recent immigrants or was she herself an immigrant, did her parents go to college, was she religious, could she speak more than 1 language and from what ethnicity. From the way she interacted with us, my guess was she came from a poor family, was religious, could probably speak more than 1 language, a daughter of immigrants, and by the picture, either Irish or Italian or Latin America n background. But I didnt want to risk offending her, and so I opted for the better options. Her response was basically 'aha, see, you cant tell'. But I could and I was right but only I knew. It was like your boss asking you to evaluate his performance right in front of his face. Sure, no problem, if you say something bad about me, I wont hold it against you. Yeah right. How many of us would be totally honest if we were asked to do this? Sure, one can be open and honest and objective and righteous. But if you hear something negative about you, it hurts and you wont forget it that easily. What kind of a teacher would challenge a student like that? I wonder ...

And now she throws in this guessing game. The students discussion was definitely going down the wrong direction. But instead of using Socratic questioning, she just said, 'there's a right answer'. So she left us no choice but to guess. It's like teaching kinder garden. The almighty teacher asks a question and all the kids scrambled to find the correct answer for a piece of candy. it's not a productive way to teach. it's not a productive way to learn. it's not the constructivism they've been preaching. We had to reason this thing out and come up with the satisfactory answer ourselves. So I researched high and low, and produced an answer, which by chance, contained the word she was looking for. At the end, again, I was right. Only this time, everybody knew.

There are good and there are bad teachers. She has many years of teaching adults. But experience alone doesnt signify you're a good teacher. Good teachers'techniques come from the heart and not the years of practice.

4 weeks to the southern california missions. 3 months to Hawaii again. Lord, this waiting game is just too long.

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