Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wanted: Motivation

I've been a little stumped with the blog posts lately (as you may well have noticed). Having been in Kazakhstan a year already, things are sometimes seeming less exciting and less unfamiliar. But, our new volunteers will soon be shipped off to their permanent sites and it reminds me that this was all once very new and different. There was a time when it seemed like there were too many details to record and every little moment was an adventure. Basically, I'm having a bit of writer's block and am finding it hard to remember what people back home might (or might not) be interested in hearing about. I need fresh eyes. :)

So, I decided to write to you, dear readers, for some motivation. Ask me questions. Anything you'd like, from mundane to the complex. Whatever you find yourself hoping to read about when you visit this blog, ask me. I'd love to have some new topics to write about. And with a year's experience under my belt, I feel almost qualified to talk about them.

*I suppose this will also serve as a little test to see if anyone is still reading this blog? :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

In My Future Life...

Warning: This post is going to be about my students again. :)

My students are not known for their writing skills, and last year instead of tackling this problem head on, I just followed my counterpart's lead and steered clear of nearly any and all writing assignments. This year, I have a lot more flexibility in the classroom (as you saw with the Pirates lesson plan) and so I've decided to slowly approach the task of improving their writing.

I started my 7th grade students out with a poem. I gave them the line prompts and they just had to finish the thoughts. The poem was titled "In My Future Life". Some of the things they came up with were absolutely priceless. I decided to include a few to give a better idea of what working with Kazakhstanian students in the English classroom can be like. (I haven't omitted spelling errors, these are original works of art).

In my future life,
I'd like to be a ghost,
I'd like to fryghten people
And go cemetery

In my future life,
I'd like to be a pirat
I'd like to whistle a song
Then stolen a treasure
And run at the yaght
Please ban all fish from ocean.

In my future life,
I'd like to be a skeleton
I'd like to eat people
And steal treasures
Then jump around my island
Please ban all lions from Saturn.

In my future life,
I'd like to be hungry worm
I'd like to dance in the box
And I'd like to drink wine
Then kiss a turtle
Please ban all seagull from Jakarta

In my future life,
I'd like to be a martian
I'd like to dance
And jump, jump, jump
Then drink a sea of milk
Please ban all people from earth.

And my personal favorite...

In my future life
I'd like to be a zombie
I'd like to crazy
And eat people
Then sleep.
Please give me to play with baby's.

Despite the obvious errors, I can't help but be terribly proud of these kids.