Just the way you are

This morning we finished writing our raps - there were some students in class today who weren't
in class yesterday and vice versa, so there were a few new raps and rewrites. When we do writing assignments like this a lot of the kids (the girls especially) write in Vietnamese and then use a translator on their phone to translate to English - the results make almost no sense and it's very difficult to figure out what they are trying to say and a better way of saying it that isn't too complicated. "Being rain" = raining, "no to be embarrassed" = no need to be embarrassed, "leave me at here the place" = leave me at this place, etc. I tried explaining they need to write in English (period) because the translation doesn't make sense. I got vigorous head nods and then they went right back to their phone translators…sigh. Communication fail (or maybe just not listening as my TA Duc explained to them in Vietnamese why using a translator is no good). Two of the groups translated a Vietnamese song - how did I know? They managed to pick the same song! I was like "you copied! You're supposed to write your own!" Oh well. There were some cute ones like Thao and Tien who rapped about being best friends and taking my class ("Laura is a teacher enthusiastic, helpful, humorous").

The raps went pretty well once we got the kids up (it took a lot of work!). One of the groups rapped about me and I was cracking up! Take a look at the videos below. After the rap performances we learned and sang "Just the Way You Are" which was awesome. We talked about the meaning of the song: "you're perfect! Don't change! I love you the way you are!" I was belting and walking around the room dancing and jumping on tables. I got all of the kids up and sort of dancing. I was using my fist as a microphone, singing to it and then putting it in front of their faces encouraging them to sing louder. At one point I said "OK! ALL OF YOU TOGETHER SHOULD BE LOUDER THAN JUST ME! OK? GO!" When I teach the introvert in me takes a back seat and somehow I pour out all kinds of energy and do silly things. I put out so much energy over the course of the day that by the time evening rolls around, all I want to do is sit in my mosquito net tent, read my book, write my blog and be quiet. At 10 I took the kids over for swimming lessons and almost all of them went in - I think they were more comfortable after working with the guys yesterday. I walked around the perimeter of the pool snapping photos, cheering them on and helping the Australians explain things.

In the afternoon we learned "places" vocabulary - "library" "post office" "grocery store" - and I taught them some idioms like "middle of nowhere" "heart in the right place" and "go the extra mile." We sang "Just the Way You Are" a few more times (I got Nam to come to the front and dance with me and Duc) then the kids went outside to play and hang out. My normal little kid crew came by and swept the floor for yoga and ballet class. I brought my yoga mat which was a bit of a failure because all the kids wanted to touch it, fold it and step on it (Bao was doing all kinds of poses on the front end of my mat the entire time I was doing yoga…it lasted maybe 10 minutes). I kind of thought that would happen but figured I would try it out and see. We did a little bit of ballet barre (using the desks as barres) and the girls retained some words - now when I say "point" they know what to do with their foot. Pretty cool! For some reason I've always had an aversion to teaching dance, but I actually think I could have a lot of fun doing it. I enjoy it here and I can't even speak the same language as my students…imagine if I could use words to explain in addition to silly movements and gestures. Little Bao was literally hanging on me (I took my hands away and he stayed perfectly on my hip with his legs wrapped around my waist and his arms choking me). After a bit the girls left to go practice a kung fu/dance number they are going to be performing on Monday when we have a big camping trip (there's a short video on Instagram). 

We are officially in the second half of classes! I am dying for a gluten free burger and beer - soon!

 The girls rapping…or more like discussing and throwing out a line here and there
 This little guy was hanging out at the pool and kept saying "Low-rah!" and posing for photos
 Swimming lessons!

 I love this picture of Chi! She was running around trying to make it difficult for me to take pictures of her and cracking up

 Sweeping up my classroom!
 Cleaning up the classroom & Downward Facing Dog Bao
So giggly!

 Rehearsing for their performance on Monday - it was a blend of kung fu and traditional dance

Take one - look at Tai's (aqua shirt) dance moves!
Take two
And here is the best rap of the class ;)