Sunday, May 18, 2008

The People's Republic of China

Sometimes I'm struck with how fate works. This week I am scheduled to begin a block on the Geography of China with my class. The students and I have already had several conversations about the 7.9 earthquake that hit last week, and now we're going to spend a good chunk of time in main lesson learning about it. Sometimes it can be challenging to find a way to bring information about the science of the earth in a lively, interesting way. In the past I have ended up focusing on cultural or economic issues when it comes to geography. This week I have a fabulous opportunity to discuss the geography of China, the science behind earthquakes, and cultural issues in China in a way that will feel relevant to the students.

We'll also be reading The Good Earth by Pearl Buck. A couple of months ago I read this book that takes place in China around the time of the cultural revolution and loved it. It does such a lovely job of portraying the slow, steady, and incredibly rich landscape of China. I hope the students love it as much as I did.

We're definitely in the home stretch. This is our last block of the year and then it's on to eighth grade!

Friday, May 9, 2008


It's been positively ages since I posted and I find it interesting that my last post was about what comes after grade 8. I've been thinking about that a lot lately and have pretty much come to the conclusion that I need to take a bit of a break from class teaching after my class graduates. Though there is much about teaching that I love, it is wearing on me, my family and my homelife.

So lately I've been writing articles for websites and seeing how I might be able to scrape together a living after graduation. The ideal situation as I see it would be to do a little bit of work at the school, do some freelance writing, and, ooh, maybe a job at a yarn shop on the weekends.

The latest with the class is that on Monday we leave for our class trip on the historic schooner Adventuress. We've been selling burritos and burgers all year long to raise money for the trip and though it means I'll be spending three days on board a ship with 17 teenagers, I'm actually looking forward to it. Here's a pictures of the ship we'll be on.

The kids are getting along pretty well right now. The school year is really winding down and they're starting to act like 8th graders. Once we get back from the trip we just have one more block until the end of the year -- 5 weeks! Yippee!