|Smoke haze begins to clear|
We've got opposing teaching schedules. W's on this week and our fourth. I'm teaching the two weeks between. As usual, he comes back from class excited about the discussion and material he taught. I'm reviewing material and getting ready for next week: I have to teach two intensive weeks of research methodology, or "How do you write a research paper?"
|Some kids in Malaysia and Singapore wear |
masks to prevent lung damage from smoke
blowing from Indonesia to the west
I've been inspired by those who've taught this in the past. They've loved the students and their material, and shared their joy in the progress students make. This wouldn't be my first choice of teaching material, to be honest. More artist than mathematician, I like the interchange of "what can be" rather than "these are the rules you will use." However, I have more enthusiasm than I started with from hearing others' passion for teaching English. Plus God just took me through 4 weeks of TESOL, which surely will help!
After noon, Cheryl takes me and their 9-yr-old daughter N across the island to the Junk Pile, a pottery stash on the west side. The Brits colonized Singapore so cars drive on the left, not the right like in the USA. It's a happy reminder of our stay in England a decade ago.
Young N is soon hot and bored. No wonder - her mom and I are fascinated by the variety in each aisle of the shaded warehouse. Temps are in the low 90s, but humidity is high and the breeze is minimal between the shelves. We're dripping within a half hour.
Dragon Kilns is at this pottery. We walk through a brick tunnel and look at the pottery supplies and tools for students who come here to learn and plan with clay. When we're done, we wash the dust off our hands and cool off with a popsicle. It takes 40 minutes to cross the island back to our flat to pick up the other child, 14-year-old J.
W's class is done by 3:15. We drop by the school for him on our way to the most amazing supper at Tim Ho Wan, a Michelin-rated dim sum restaurant. The line is long but quick; we shuffle from one low stool to the next toward the entry.
W and I pause at the Sufi Corner for Turkish coffee (he) and mint tea (me). Beside us, tables of young people smoke hookahs and visit, passing the hoses of rose and milk shisha around and puffing out fragrant clouds.
We're all weary and happy to be home by 7:30. We toddle off to bed and sleep soundly. By the time I get up at 8 in the morning, everyone else is gone. In the air-conditioned quiet, I sit at my desk overlooking other flats, traffic, and lots of greenery, brushing up on what I'll teach next week.