I have been offered a job at the school for another year. It seems that they are not too fussy about the fact that I am not a teacher. I worked for Telstra for fifteen years as an engineer without actually being one - so I suppose I can work as a teacher for the Chinese Catholic Girls school with only a few experiences as an army instructor, a scout leader and volunteer work at church. It seems that my personal approach to education is welcome in China which is fairly simple - don't stuff it up and try to not make a fool of myself. I have planned out every lesson in advance for the rest of the year - other teachers interpret this behaviour as being "organised". I have to explain this with another story: One afternoon in Brisbane I was running to catch a train - Brisbane trains run to a set timetable and leave regularly every half-hour or so - as I ran up the steps at Roma Street station, the platform guard blew his whistle and waved the train off. I ran onto the platform to see the doors close and the train start its journey without me. I had missed the train. The guard said that he was sorry for letting the train go. I told the guard that I have carried a copy of the train timetable since 1998 so technically and legally, I knew in six years ago that the train was going to leave on that day at exactly 4:32pm. I should have planned ahead for it. This is how I feel about lesson planning - I know that on 11:05 on Wednesday 17th of April 2008 about 30 Chinese Catholic girls will expect a lesson on how to use personal pronouns. As they say in the Boy Scouts - Be Prepared.
I have to amuse myself during the lessons so I have made a few comprehension exercises - here is an example of some comprehension questions for a book called "One of the Oldest Women in Hong Kong". The kids really like getting a stamp that says "Good Work".
Hong Kong was not a safe place to live in when Cheung Yee Mui was young. There was a lot of crime and only a few policemen, There were a lot of diseases too and doctors and hospitals were too expensive for the people in her village. She remembers being very ill when she was seven years old. “I had a fever for six days. I couldn’t get out of bed. My parents thought I might die but I was lucky and got well again” she said. Today Hong Kong is one of the safest cities in the world. “I am lucky now. When I don’t feel well, I can see a doctor, The hospitals are clean and modern. Nobody is afraid of living in Hong Kong,” she said.
Health and safety are so important. Hong Kong has grown strong through all the years and Hong Kong people too.”
How does Cheung Yee Mui describe Hong Kong in the old days?
Tick the correct answers
1. She was not lucky to be in a safe.
2. Nobody is afraid of living in Hong Kong.
3. Nobody is afraid of an expensive policeman.
4. A policeman had a fever for six days and stayed in bed for seven years.
5. She said “When I don’t feel well, I can see a doctor with a disease.”
6. She was lucky and got well again.
7. She was lucky, an expensive doctor got her out of bed in six days.
8. She was lucky, an expensive policeman got her to the village.
9. She was lucky, an expensive doctor took her to a clean hospital.
10. The people in the village had a disease and couldn’t get out of bed.
11. There was a lot of crime and only two policemen.
12. She was ill for seven years and six days.
13. Two doctors thought that they too might die in the safest city in the world.
14. Hong Kong was not a safe place to live when Cheung Yee Mui was young.
15. It was not safe to live in a safe for six days.
16. It was not safe to live in a hospital for seven years.
17. Hong Kong people live for seven years.
18. A strong policeman lived in Hong Kong for six days, he was lucky.
19. Cheung Yee Mui went to modern hospital for six days.
20. Cheung Yee Mui went to a safe policeman and was too ill to be safe.
21. Cheung Yee Mui said “When I don’t feel well, I can see a doctor.”
I am no longer surprised by some of the answers.