Thursday, November 01, 2007

Finally an interesting story or two

so now I'm semi recovered from being sick. For serious, only just now am I recovering from being sick. I think it's been like three weeks or something. I took the stupidest route possible when confronted with a fever which is to pile on the covers and go to bed. Fever nightmares are the worst. However, when I woke up, my fever had broken. Although I was left with a positively Dickensian cough, which I felt I needed some cold attic to really do it properly.

Anyway, teaching old people has been an educational experience. I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that teaching of any kind is an educational experience. When I taught kids, I realized that kids are actually people, more or less fully formed, just with less inhibitions and experience. Now that I teach old people, I realize that old people are sometimes just like 16 year olds, only with less hormones. I.e., old people are actually human beings, with faults, lots of faults. With petty feuds, and teachers pets and the whole deal.

Sometimes it can be cool though. I was listening to one of my students talk to me about her experiences during the Cultural Revolution, which is pretty interesting. I mean I've read about it in books. But listening to someone tell me about it was quite different. I'm not sure how many of my students really believe in America and love it, but it's hard to doubt the truth of what she says. I think she really loves America. Although she also knows that American people are not completely equal, but more equal than they are in China. She also seems to really dislike Communism, in part because of the Cultural Revolution (I'm going to be a Chinese studies jerk, and not explain what it is because I'm lazy this morning) and in part because of June 4th (again with the Chinese Studies jerk).

Which makes it doubly interesting for me, since I don't particularly love America. I've learned to take very little of what any of these people say at face value, as my predecessor told me, "We are givers of good things." which is why most of them are nice to us. Some of them are nice because they are grateful for our help. Very few are actually nice because they like us. I think my student who loves America falls into the second category, she's nice because she's grateful for the help. However, she's among the most emotionally mature of our students, so I'll take what I can get.

I have some thoughts about the N400, or immigration form. But they'll have to wait until later.

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