Friday, March 6, 2009

on the opposide side of the sea

today was pretty interesting in the blogosphere as comments came in regarding the critique of my blog by some random dude this morning. emil, who shoots travel videos all around the world, came down to my room to tell me about his similar experiences with people who comment on his videos. we decided that not everyone is going to like your stuff and that's part of putting yourself on the internet.

thank you all for your encouragement and backing. i felt a lot like a chick with several mother hens. i think he learned his lesson and i was reminded that i have lots of really lovely people around me.
danielle, josh and i are rain suit twins now. josh was picking up pizza, but here's danille and i. it's been continually raining for the last 2 days. today it got really cold and miserable. i also discovered that my rain pants are a little vulnerable in the crotch area and it looked like i had wet my pants when i got home.. that might be a problem.
last week in my mostly boys class, i failed 2 kids who had zero comprehension of any of the material, so i had to retest them today and let them pass. one did considerably better and i gave one kid the minimum score.
i guess that's one of the perils of teaching at an english school though. eventually they figure out that they can't fail, so some of them just give up. i have one kid who just says 'blahblablhablah' when we're all reading aloud.
lesley had an extra pineapple or something so she had the brilliant idea to make pinapple upside down cake with fresh pineapple. i was jumping up and down the whole time we were making it. every part of it smells so good.
it was super, ridiculously, out of this world delicious. i've had a really weird craving for sweet stuff today and pineapple upside down cake was perfect. i hope there's some left for breakfast. we made 2 because we had a ton of pineapple.
so the chapter i just finished in Outliers discusses why asian kids are so good at math. gladwell says it's because of how the chinese number system is so much easier than english.
for example.. english has one two three... eleven, twelve, thirteen (all irregular), fourteen, fifteen (with the number coming first).. then it switches the pattern to twenty-one, twenty-two (with the number coming 2nd).

but chinese numbers are all one simple syllable.. and then learning the numbers after 10 is easy because they all follow the same pattern without exceptions.
11 is shi yi (ten one), 12 shi er (ten two), ..85 is ba shi wu (eight tens five) 134 is yi bai san shi si (one hundreds three tens four).
so he says that that gives asian kids a head start on simple math since they learn to count much faster than western kids do because it takes us so long just to learn how to count in the first place. he says 4 yr old asian kids can usually count to 40, while american kids don't usually reach 40 until they're 5.
there are a lot of other examples but that gives you an idea.
i figured out my own sociological pattern today. the reason why people drive so crazily in cars is because they're trying to drive their cars like they're scooters. on a scooter, you're supposed to pull over to the right if you want to do a U-turn or turn left because you're liable to get smushed if you just hang out in the center of the road. but in a car, you can't just hide on the side of the road and dart across when it's convenient.
i don't know why that didn't occur to me before. i had always thought of cars as just big obstacles but nothing really to worry about since they move so slowly compared to everyone on scooters darting all around. but when they do crazy things, it's the same things i'm expecting scooters to do.. but that i never thought a car would try.

time for bed! early class.


Its_Lily said...

There is seam sealer that I use to waterproof my kayak gear. I have no clue how you would ask for that in Chinese, but it works like a charm. Heck, I even sealed up pockets in my rain pants because I thought it was crazy to have mesh lined pockets in waterproof pants. Isn't the point to stop water?

Oh, and the cake looks delicious. Bet there isn't a morsel left for breakfast.

megan said...

yeah i'll have to remember to ask a coteacher tomorrow or see what i can find at carrefour.

thanks for your comment on the previous post. i was initially kind of annoyed with that guy, but it ended up being a really good day with lots of positivity from people i actually care about. :) incidentally alex gchatted me to say that he thought the whole thing was hilarious and 'would give anything' for that to have happened to him.

Becca said...

i like the scooter revelation...and i want one.

Becca said...

p.s. i posted on your blog attacker's posting. lame.