Nothing in Particular

TOEIC class went really well, it is now my favorite job out of the three. The discussions are always exciting. Then again, I spent a lot of time planning them out. On the topic of "Is love a religion?" I started with 1 believer and 10 non-believers. Mainly, I was the only who believe in the validity of that statement since I had a couple more hours to think over the issue. By the end of the class I had 5 believers, 3 undecided, and 3 non-believers. Near 1 in 2 ratio but oddly all the converts are girls. The conversion rate seems high considering Buddhism only has 1 in 6 followers on earth and Christians only have 1 in 3 according to statistics.

Word is out though; there is this teacher who discuss philosophy for business communication class. Last two classes I got about 15 people. Usually, the occupancy is 5-6 people for this kind of class. I just figure if they have to train up on English listening skill, they might as well learn something interesting in the process. Largely I don't expect them to accept everything I say, I enjoy it more when they think for themselves and disagree with my points. Even better if they can back it up with reasons. Problem with Taiwanese students is that they aren't used to think on their own. The learning method is mostly force and fed. Teacher say one thing then students will just note it down for remembrance. It troubles me. More often than not I have to play both sides and lead them to see my weaker arguments. Other times I have to map then point out the stereotyping most people take for granted. More people are speaking now, which is encouraging.

In the end, if students don't think for themselves, even if they learn everything I have to teach, the most they will be is me. Which is not much. Then of course, I am assuming they are only learning from me, the one source. Yet even if they are learning from multiple sources, blind sponge learning won't get them very far. I wish they would ultimately understand the big lesson I am trying to show - learning how to learn.

The boss has officially asked me to use the TOEIC book to teach though, so I can skip preparing my own material for the first hour. The book they provide is full of mistakes, I usually prepare my own lessons to teach English on the first hour, print out the papers with my own money. Second hour I hold discussion to help listening and speaking. I suppose this way I don't have to spend an hour preparing for the first half of the class - the book would be easier for me. I guess it is only to be expected, 15 students walking downstairs asking to return the textbook for refund will attract some attention. Personally I think they should pay me to make a new textbook, or at least let me proofread the darn thing before printing it. Oddly, they weren't really upset, more amused. They even offered me 2 more TOEIC classes and 1 intermediate communication class to teach. Sounds like fun but I already have another tutoring job for SAT and another 8am-6pm job doing technical translation, I had to pass on the extra 6 hours per week. 68 hours a week is enough for me. If you include the commute time, 74 hours a week.

Keeping busy is all well and good. I just wish I have a little more time to sleep, write, and jog.


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