Sep 25, 2010

Of Tea, Tolstoy, and Trashy Magazines

I'm not sure what I would do if tea didn't exist. I'm fairly certain I would be dehydrated 75% of the time. I just love tea. Currently, I've been adding cinnamon to just about all my tea (in an effort to grasp the elusive (at least in Africa) "fall" feeling). It's so wonderful to have a cuppa while attempting to get through one of the longest novels of all time.

That's right. I'm finally reading War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. One would think that after all of the "Warren Peace" jokes I've gotten over the years, that I would have read it sooner. I did try. . . once. . .
but now I'm reading it for real. And I have to in order to meet my goal of "2 Tolstoy novels" by the end of the year (also, 4 Dickens, 3 Steinbeck, and 1 Shakespeare. I have 2 Steinbecks and 2 Dickens left after the Tolstoy). But just to give you an idea of how amazingly long it is, I am not marking my progress by thirds or fourths or halves like I do with "normal" books, but by tenths. And even the tenths seem few and far between. On the plus side, it finally started getting interesting (on page 195).

On a completely random note, I went to Ethel's house today with Kyle. Ethel is the 4th grade teacher here, and she lives right next to school, so she invited us over for lunch. It was wonderful! I love Nigerian food. Turkey in pepper stew poured over rice and beans. Mmm!

While we were there, we found the Nigerian answer to America's Cosmo magazine. I can't tell you the name because the front cover has ripped off, but here's a quote from a "Question and Answer" page:

"Q: If you catch your husband in bed with your younger brother's wife, or your wife in bed with your younger sister's husband, what would you do?
Paul Eze's Answer: There is no course for alarm; since that is the man she loves. I won't fight her, but I will tell her to go with him, if not, I will kill her."


Just wow.

Sep 14, 2010

On Being Too Nice

Sometimes, I am too nice.

Usually, I am too nice.

And as we can learn from the wisdom of Little Red Riding Hood, "Nice is different than good."

One of my failings as a teacher comes from my desire to have my kids be in a good mood and cheerful rather than disciplined for their wrong behaviors. It's not a good practice. It's pretty serious. And to be honest, I'm not sure I know how to fix it.

Currently, in an endeavor to quit being the teacher-that's-so-nice-that-his-students-walk-over-him, I've started focusing on my classroom procedures. I'm praying that this works (a little help in that wouldn't hurt). I've changed (almost completely) the way that my classroom is set up, and hopefully it won't be long before I'm praising God for giving me the strength to show the tough love that these students need. I'll keep you posted.