You're on FIRE!

Today in class we learned about "Daily Life." We started with vocabulary: I wrote a word or phrase on the board like "to take a shower," I said it and the kids repeated several times, then I asked them what it means. My TA interjected in Vietnamese when necessary to clear up confusion. We spent about an hour doing this. At one point they were doing so well that I exclaimed "you're on fire!!!" then explained to them what the phrase meant, they repeated it, and I used it several more times throughout class (they giggled, smiled, and said "thank you" in response). We spent some time writing about our daily lives, which was interesting because I got to hear about their lives! Most of them wake early, eat noodles for breakfast, come to class, go home, take a rest, help their parents with housework, come back to class, play, go home for dinner, take a shower, and go to sleep. A lot of them like to watch TV, play sports, listen to music and read books. We talked about praying and meditating, going to church, "hanging out" with friends and family (I used "I hang out with my boyfriend" as an example, accompanied by an eyebrow raise, and got some chuckles). I helped them correct their writing, they read aloud, and then I spoke about my daily life in slow sentences and they wrote down what I said, to practice listening comprehsnion and writing in English. After that we worked on a conversation, learning lots of new words like "superb" "mediocre" "awesome" "Portuguese" "pitch" and "faith." It was awesome! The kids were a little more comfortable and confident today, and so was I. I'm getting the hang of it - patience is the most important thing, with myself and with my students (probably moreso with myself!). If I use simple language and speak very slowly and clearly, usually they can understand. I had a great time, and they are so cute, saying "Lowrah" when they need help and pointing to the word, then repeating after me. The motto of every school in Vietnam is "learn well, teach well, and compete." These kids are diligent students, education is very important to them.

Now, all the classes are open air, and it's an open door policy. So students can walk in and out as they please. By midmorning I had about 20 little kids standing in my doorway and hanging on the window frame, just staring at us (me). I would go out there with my camera and pull it up to take pictures of them and they would giggle and scatter. I saw some of my cute little girl friends from yesterday who gave me hugs, and talked with some of the more outspoken little boys - one of whom would say "my name is LOWWWWRAH" and I would chase after him trying to smack his butt while everyone giggled and ran around. My students did great and didn't get distracted by all the crazy little kids making noise and coming in and out of our room. I taught them the word "crazy" to refer to the kids - especially this one chubby little boy whose teacher calls him "map" (pronounced "muhp"- it means fat in Vietnamese!), who came into my classroom several times and sat on a bench pretending to meditate (I think he saw me this morning, he likes to make fun of me).

In the afternoon I taught the kids the song "Bad Day" - we learned all the words, then sang it several times. We played a little bit of hangman to review the vocabulary we learned this morning and then it was playtime! Again my kids left, but I was immediately swept up by an entourage of little kids. Some of them (my buddy Map) hung out in my class the entire time I was working with my students. They were ATTACHED to me. Holding my hand, my arms, my hair - I could barely move and I was SO SWEATY! They kept saying "Lowrah!!!" and then speaking to me in Vietnamese. Map (Muhp) asked one of the Vietnamese teachers if I have a boyfriend. I danced around with the kids and we had fun learning how to turn and jump. One of the little girls whipped out a perfect split! Check out the video below of us dancing, it's pretty funny! It was an exhausting hour and a half - now I know what it feels like to be famous!! I had to tell one of the other girls to explain to the kids that I had to go to the bathroom so they wouldn't follow me in! We are resting now (my voice is SHOT), then dinner time, then it's MOVIE NIGHT with my new favorite Disney movie (that's right, "The Little Mermaid" no longer reigns supreme in by book) FROZEN. There will be Vietnamese subtitles for the kids - I have heard some of them sing "Let It Go" already so it should be entertaining! Lots of pictures from today, and a video at the bottom (thanks to Quynh!):

The line of classrooms - all the kids ride their bikes to class!
 That's my classroom!
 Some of my little girl friends
 My diligent class - small but mighty!
 Sassypants ("Map") back for more making fun of me

 Remember her from yesterday? She was excited to see me this morning! I gave her a big hug.
 Kids pouring into my classroom while my students were trying to write! This wasn't even the worst of it!
 Can you handle this?
 Or this?
 Or this!?

Around the grounds

 Yeah! The Vietnamese teachers! And Dan from California!
 View down the street (I think you will be seeing many photos of this view!)
The church! This is where all the magic happens!

Here he is again - my Vietnamese boyfriend

They are starting to like posing for the camera!

Here come the grand jetes: 

And pirouettes!




  1. I just love your post today Laura! It looks like it was a great day! The photos of the kids are precious and the video..too cute. Love you!

  2. Amazing!! I love that video!!