To Alex -

To Alex...who is far away in person, but never far from my heart. I miss you. Enjoy these snippets of everyday family life here in the states.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Mystery of Rotational Symmetry and the Missing Tire Pump

The following is an email I received from my son in Taiwan. He's currently a teacher and some of the stories he relates are just hilarious! Let me say that I found his latest story especially funny considering a couple conversations I had with said son a few years back. On one occassion he had walked into the living room to find me lounging on the couch with a book. He asked what I was reading and I replied, "a long fatal love chase" to which he responded, "No, mom. What's the name of the book?" I turned the book to look at the cover, held it up to him and said with a grin, "A Long Fatal Love Chase." lol That was the name of the book. On another occasion I walked into the living room to find him watching TV. I asked what he was watching and his reply was, "all that" as he flipped his hand nonchalantly toward the TV. I asked again, "what are you watching?" to which he said with a smile, "All That". Aha! It was the name of the show. So, yes, I found the following simply hilarious.

I am almost certain that you, the reader, will not find nearly as much humor in this event since you are not familiar with the phonics books that I use everyday. I will do my best.

For each class I teach there is a phonics book that we work on. It is split up into lessons and we do one or two of the lessons each class. At the top of the page is the focus of the lesson and then there is an activity below.

In today's class, we did lessons that distinguished the short and long sounds of the five vowels. After going through each of the sounds "short 'A' - a a a. long 'A' - ay ay ay..." we moved on to the activity portion. There were 10 boxes each containing a word with some missing letters and a picture that matched up in some way with the word.

They were as follows:
1) _a_e with a picture of a gate.
2) _o_ with a picture of a box.
3) _i_e with a picture of a boy hiding.
4) _u_e with a picture of a tube.
5) _e_t with a picture of a compass rose.
6) _ee_ with a picture showing depths.
7) _o_e with a picture of a rope.
8) _a__ with a picture of sand.
9) _u__ with a picture of a boy blowing up a tire.
10) _i_ with a picture of a big six.

So I begin to go through these words with them using an exaggerated voice so they can easily guess the right letters. [Skip ahead]

Me: "Number eight. s-aNNNND."

[Everyone finishes]

Me: "Good, number ten. SSS-i-X. Six."
Class in unison: "NINE! NINE!"
Me: "It's a six you guys."
(I think, "Has my whole class gone insane?")
Me: "Have you all gone insane? It's a six. Look!"

I draw a two-foot tall six on the board and contrast it with a two-foot tall nine on the board. They are screaming "NINENINENINENINE!" and I am saying siiiiiiiiiiiiiiixxx and niiiiiiiiinnnnnneeee as I trace my gargantuan letters as slowly as I can.

"Teacher you no number nine!"

[I look down to see that, sure enough, I forgot pump.]

Hilarious. I think it's the funniest thing to happen to me at _______.

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