Thursday, August 27, 2009

Writing Chinese Articles

Tomorrow will be the first day that I work at QCC. I am a little bit nervous about that. Is it normal that everybody feels nervous facing a new environment? The new semester is starting tomorrow though my first class is on next Wednesday. I still have some time to cultivate a right mood to study since I have not study around three months. The graduate classes should not be easy at all. I wish I can do well as well.

Those days I was busy to compose some Chinese articles for North American Chinese Calligrapher Association. I like writing since I was very young, and also write some articles by my own interesting sometimes. However, when I did the recently writing task, I found there is a big different between writing formally and for personal interests. The former is much harder. I spent a lot of time to carefully choose words, to check mistakes. Some members in the association provided my warmly and valuable help which I really appreciate. I saw this writing as a good opportunity not only to improve myself on writing but also to get involve into the society.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

First time tutoring Barry

First thanks Kyoko for always leaving nice comment for me. I really enjoy the friendship.

I believe I have already been accepted by CUNY CAP, and am going to start the job in QCC from next Thursday. I’ll working in the admission office. Although I don’t know how the job is and what kind of people I am going to meet, I have the confidence that I can manage the new job.

I had the first tutoring for Barry Chinese yesterday. I arrived to the Chinese bakery five minutes before the arranged time, but Barry has already been here. He stood up to greet me and said that is American culture to stand up to greet one’s teacher. In additional, he insisted in buying the coffee for me. Not only that, he showed his concern that I would pay extra transportation fare to come to meet him. I explained to him that since I am about to work in QCC, I am using an unlimited Metro card now.

Before the tutoring, Barry knew I have my accent, but he still wanted to try. He was born in New York and he said he has accent too. He told me when he tutors students in English, he pays special attention to speak neutrally. He believed that even though the students couldn’t sense his accent, his peers, the other tutors in the library would watch his speaking.

In the first class, I asked Barry to read the first chapter of his Chinese textbook. By the way, Barry had his textbook when he took class in NYU. Both of us agree that it is an excellent book for the beginner to learn Chinese. Barry had already studied the whole book, but he certainly needs review in order to better understand the materials in the book; this is the part he wishes I can do for him. After I heard he spoke some Chinese words, I found his pronounce is not bad at all. When he speaks, rather than randomly copy any Chinese available to him, he strictly follows the accurate pinyin and tone of each word from the book, which makes his Chinese sounds good. At the same time, he was testing my Chinese too. Thanks for my teaching in this summer. The intensive teaching in pinyin polished my Chinese pronounce too. Barry was glad that my accent is not as heavy as he thought before.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Cha is a smart girl

Yesterday morning, as soon as I got up, I called CUNY CAP office. Nobody answered the phone. I continued calling after I went back home from school in the afternoon. Finally, a woman answered the call. After I explained my problem, she said she had no idea about my document going. I begged her to think about any other way to help me because it was really important for me. She then suggested me to call the admission office or financial aid office of Queens Borough Community College because the most of CAP candidates go to those departments. I called both of them, but neither one even had understood what CUNY CAP was.

I was almost despaired. I called back to CUNY CAP office, asking the same woman if in the case that I really could not get contact with this department, my document would pass to another department and I might still get chance to be called. She said she understood my concern and believed it would.

Nevertheless, I still didn’t totally lose hope. I wandered around QCC website. I found there was a department called academic advisement and with its number. I remembered when I filled my application, I chose academic advisement. Maybe I should call this department to try my lucky. When I called this number and explained my situation, I felt the person answered the phone seem as familiar about CUNY CAP. When she asked my last name then, I knew I got the right place. Oh, I just could not believe really found the person who called me that day. Can you image to find out a single person from a college with only a general college number. I apologized to her for my hanging up the phone that day, she forgave me. We made an appointment on next Monday morning.

I was overjoyed the whole afternoon and evening. I told Brian, Woo, Cha is a smart girl!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Missed an inportant call for job interview

I am applying a program call CUNY CAP. If I am accepted, I can get six credit tuition waive as well as 15-20 hour job per week during every academic period. I am eager to be accepted by this program very much. Six credit tuition means $2000 every half year; it is not a small amount for me. Also having a part time job in a college is a perfect working condition for me during my graduate years.

I submitted the application last month and am waiting for the call or email for interview. Yesterday noon, when I was teaching in the Chinese class, there was an unknown call coming. Without thinking, I hung up my cell phone. A moment later, my cell phone rang again, I turned off it. Quickly, I realized the phone maybe a phone from one of CUNY College for an interview. After the class, I called back and found it was from Queens Borough Community College. Unfortunately, I have no way to figure out the extension number in order to call back. I am so dispirit by my stupid action of hanging up the cell and even turning it off.

This morning, I called the CUNY CAP office and wished they might know the department and number of QCC office who takes care of my case. Nobody answered the phone. I will try it again next morning. Also, I assume the staff in Queens Borough Community College may email me since he or she couldn’t contact with me by phone. I am waiting of the email, but I also doubt that the staff may get mad by my cell phone trouble and won’t any further action anymore.

This is a serious trouble and it was caused by my stupid thinking and behavior. I regretted about that, and I wish I learn a lesson from it in the future. Of course, the strongest wish of me right now is to make the situation up. My husband comforted me, saying, “You cannot lose all only because a missed call.” I’ll see what will happen following.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Losing an America student in my Sunday Chinese class.

There is an America teenage girl in my Sunday class. Maybe I should use was instead of is because she has already absent twice in the passed weeks. Seem as she would never appear anymore. The head teacher likes her very much. He came to my class, saying, “Your teaching is good, but some students do not like change teachers. When a teacher is changed, they stop coming.” He asked me to call her to find out the reason of her absent. When class over, the principle approached and told me, “If there are students who is absent more than twice, you should call them.” I believe her words implied the same issue.

However, I feel I don’t like to call her. If she doesn’t like the teacher and then stop coming, her action made her opinion clearly. So, what is the point of my call? To present our fondness of her? To beg she come back because our Chinese school really eager some American students? If she doesn’t like me, would she come back for the reason of my call? Perhaps! I believe this is just the concern of the head teacher and the principle. In contrast, I certainly dislike this idea. Keeping self-respect is important for me but not the concern of the head teacher and the principle.

I never believe my teaching is perfect. The only thing I believe is that I always try my best when I do any job. I have my limitation. My style definitely could not fit to everybody. I value an American student in my class because it is so rare and special. However, if I have to lose, I accept the fate.

Maybe I should not think too much. It is just a call. I lose nothing, making life easier, making everybody happier. Unfortunately, I am not such an easy person in nature. I am over thinking, torturing myself, and making everyone around me unhappy.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

History and Philosophy

I am fully occupied by my teaching job lately. I am somehow exhausted by it though as well as enjoying it at the same time. My students are all very very lovely and cute. I have to yelling to them sometimes in order to keep a decent class circumstance. Also, I have to force them to study that becomes a new mission in my life. Before this teaching job, I believed that everybody took their responsibility of their actions, and the other person has no any duty to force anybody to do anything. Anyone could do whatever they wanted, and then they took the full consequence. However, being a teacher now, there is not this case at all.

There is a troublemaker boy in my class. He rarely studies but talking, running, and playing in the class. I have never given his smiling face, but always scold him. The purpose of doing this is to force him studying rather than staying idly. One day after the class, I again warned him if he didn’t study in the class, I would not welcome to my class any more. At that moment, his tutor was coming. She said she could represent this boy’s parent, and asked me to explain what happened on this boy. Observing this tutor’s expression, I believed she was not happy about the scene she was seeing. She said nobody dare scold this boy in the home. If one criticizes him in anything, his resistance would become stronger. I sensed her disapproval of my method of education on this boy.

I rejected her point immediately. I said I have spent a lot of time on him in the class. In my opinion, when a child is at home, his parents take the responsibility of his education; when he is in school, the teacher take this responsibility. If he was in my class and I ignored him and allowed him to do anything he wants, I failed my duty. I would never do such a thing. In addition, I told her, if the parents wished I do nothing on this boy, I could do that, but obviously, this boy would learn nothing in the class. Of course, the tutor dare not take this severe result, and she said nothing. However, when I thought again about my words later, I felt they were probably too strict and strong to be accepted even though the point was unquestionable. The next day, this boy absented. My worry was increasing. If he no longer came this school anymore, how can I explain this to the school principle? Fortunately, the boy came back the third day; everything is ok now.

I finally got Zachary’s Chinese name. It is Shi Zhe, following by Chinese order that the family name goes first and then the given name. In Chinese, shi means history, and zhe means philosophy. I immediately like this name for its awesome meaning. So, next time when I meet Zachary, I can avoid the embarrassing of mispronouncing his English name, but simply call his Zhe. It makes my life easier.