Monday, July 28, 2014

Mid-summer Musings

Is it mid summer now? I love the summer because you can slip out of your house with shorts, a tank top and sandals on and not be bothered by feeling cold. Of course the PNW has it's summer weeks of cold and rainy weather but overall you get those hot days.

This summer I have been riding the wave of academia getting through my classes and preparing for the Comps exam. I have so far compiled two binders full of notes and have yet to print my self-made notes, which will fill up another binder as well. The comps exam isn't till next January so I guess I should give myself a break. (ha)

I also have begun my internship at CISC (the Chinese Information and Service Center) here in the international district. I could have done a lot of hard work and research to find the "perfect" location for my internship, but in the end I took it upon myself to pick which was the most convenient. The CISC is a 20 minute walk from house and my schedule will be light. If I were to go with a gig at a community college I would have had to commute and be there about 5 days a week. Since I still have to take classes during my internship I decided to go with what would be less stressful.

The CISC is mainly meant for helping Chinese citizens obtain their citizenship or improve their basic English skills. This summer I will be helping tutor students in their citizenship interview test. One might think that this is very boring work and also strict in the sense that students have memorised the questions and answers. However, it calls for careful attention from the teacher to hear for their difficulties in pronunciation and distinguishing any interference going on from their first language.

This Fall I will be switching to teach a regular class at this site for about 2 days a week. I will commence the internship in the winter, so I am dragging this out but I believe it's the best way (for me) to do it.

As you can see rainy days do come along sometimes here in Seattle, but they're a time to cool down and reflect on the summer fun you have been enjoying.

Thomas has also been sort of enjoying the outdoors. I've been trying to introduce him to the surrounding lawn area near my building. But yesterday this proved to be a bad idea. I tried taking him on his leash but some folks came out of the building and spooked the poor thing. He panicked and leaped and jumped all over the place. I finally got him back inside but soon discovered he hurt one of his toenails again. So I don't think we'll be going outside again until it's healed.

Classes this quarter have been interesting and it's been helpful studying for the Comps at the same time. I feel now I'm making more connections with all the previous stuff I learned and how to apply it to teaching.

I am putting together an Computer Assisted Language Learning mock class via the tool Canvas, and it's coming along. Just that we don't really have access to all the tools Canvas offers which is kind of annoying. I hope to post up here my final product, since in the end it's going to get lost in the data-mine of the internet.

I think it's going to be all 80's F this week! Bring on the frozen coconut bars!

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