I am in the process of observing Cambodian teachers and trying to work out a schedule for the school year. I have also been observing current student fashion trends (see above).
Brief anecdote: I was cast into an impromptu lesson yesterday. The teacher finished his lesson, walked over to me and asked, "Can you teach now? I want to see how you would teach vocabulary." Me: "What vocabulary should I teach?" Him: "Just pick a word it doesn't matter." Me: "Ok, give me a second." I ended up teaching the students about the word "graffiti" as I figured it would be one they had never heard before. Then, I proceeded to play a word association game with them i.e. "where does graffiti come from?" "a pen" "where does a pen come from?" etc. Then I had them each come up with one word in English to share with the class. I basically just really wanted to get them talking and try to break up the general presence of silence that they've gotten used to in the English classroom. One class I observed today went on for about an hour without the students saying a single word! Once I'd compiled their words on the board, I wrote a few sentences using the words and had them come up and act out the sentences. I had fun, and I imagine that the students did as well. Some highlights: the students that acted out a mouse finding and sniffing the cheese (another student) and the dog being fed under the table. Humiliating for the students? Maybe. Entertaining? You bet. I need to take care not to abuse this power. Haha, oh the joys of teaching.
While I am not teaching, I've been keeping up my Khmer studies, running, and searching for bread. I love bread so much, but it is a rarity in my community. I had a bread lady in my training village who I visited daily. My toughest days were the ones where she ran out of bread. It's amazing how much of an impact food has on my mood. I've even been ordered by close friends to eat at times when I've gotten cranky. From a series of inquisitions and what could be termed prolonged jests, but not conversations, with my crazy host-aunt, yes I have a crazy host-aunt, (I use the term endearingly. She is, shall we say, eccentric. She generally dons a wide brimmed circular hat with circling, alternating, black and yellow stripes like a bumblebee. She speaks to me as if I understand every word that she says, and everything I say she finds hilarious. e.g. I am going to school. (burst of laughter -quick repetition of what I said, "going to school!") I love curry (same reaction) I miss my family (another burst of laughter)) and through her, I've determined that one way to get bread is to wait by the side of the road and flag down a person driving by who has bread. This seems to be a somewhat inefficient method, but somehow my host-mom managed to get a few loaves of bread for the curry we had last night. Therefore, I am hopeful about the prospect of eating bread in the future.
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