Thursday, July 07, 2005

stuff and more stuff

it's been a few days, so I've got lots of random thoughts, but hopefully this will not be completely incoherent.

First, I finally had a good session with my new class! I don't know if it's because they're SO fresh out of high school or what, but until today I haven't been able to get a good conversation or debate going in class. I'm sure part of that's me, because I haven't been liking doing the everyday teaching thing (I'm getting used to it now; it's not so bad--but video clips have become my better friend). But I've tried several things that have always gone over well in the past, but to no avail. I don't know what was different today. Talking about ideas like "Fat v. Healthy" and "Racism" was a good start. (One of my students really hated the idea of "institutional racism" which I brought up and said it was all about personal responsibility and that people in the ghetto could get out if they really wanted to. The class mostly disagreed with him, but he pulled out "My dad was one of the only Jews in a mostly Muslim country. He escaped, came to America with nothing, and became a successful businessman." What do you say to that? I spun it into a little talk on personal experience and understanding one's own perspective and what that adds to building an argument. Hopefully they didn't see though the BS. Of course, a lot of teaching really is just BSing kids and acting like you know what you're talking about. Don't tell anyone. Anway, it went really well and I felt like I had at least a little connection with a class. That's always a good thing. Woo!

We're housesitting right now, as I think I've mentioned before. It's fun, I guess, though you never quite feel comfortable in someone else's house. Today I went out to their awesome back yard and hung out a little bit. One of the big flowering plants by the deck was covered in bees of all shapes and sizes: Quarter-sized bumblebees, average-sized honeybees, little sweat bees. It was pretty cool. I watched them for probably half an hour. I wish I'd had my camera. Maybe I'll try and take it tomorrow and take some pictures.

Saw the Japanese version of The Ring (called, hilariously, Ringu in Japanese). I don't know if it's because I knew the story already or because of cultural differences, but it didn't seem nearly as frightening as the American version. Has anyone seen The Ring 2 or The Grudge (either Japanese or American versions)? Are they worth checking out. My wife probably won't watch them with me, but I enjoy a good scary movie every now and then.

That makes me think: What's the scariest movie you've ever seen? I remember being terrified by Poltergeist when I was younger, and there was an episode of "The Twilight Zone" that gave me nightmares for several years. Also, I never watched the whole thing, but my older siblings watched Children of the Corn at one point and the bits and pieces I saw scared me to death. I can't think of any movies I've seen in about ten years that genuinely scared me. I have to admit, however, that The Ring was pretty disturbing. How about you? I admit, this is partly a ploy to get people commenting. Just like in class, a good conversation is much more fun than a lecture, in my opinion.

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