26 December, 2014

Christmas in Taiwan

It's the Winter Solstice. Time to step outside and enjoy the fresh air


 Ah. Did you enjoy that? Good. Now it's time to get back inside and do some work. After all, this is Asia and in Asia there is no Christmas holiday. Why would there be? Maybe 3% of the population is Christian and their major public holiday this time of year is wrapped around Chinese New Year which follows the Lunar Calendar. I'll have to wait until February to get my holiday.

So it was back to the classroom for me on Christmas day and, after a busy day of teaching, this was what awaited me:


That's right - my students' work. A pile of forty-two books with four or six (depending on if they remembered to hand in last time or not) pages to mark. I was halfway through at the point the picture was taken, hence the two pictures.

But wait - there's more!

There's also their grammar books...

and maths worksheets.

However, not all was lost. I had company to help me through the boring hours of marking.

Complaining aside, I have been making good progress with my side project. I have taken a liking to the card game Timeline (link to the video)
It's a game that you don't play to win. You play it to learn. There are various versions, but sadly my favourite (inventions) is not currently stocked by anyone in Taiwan. I do have a copy of the Discoveries version, but I feel it is a little too hard for my students and, to be honest, not completely relevant to their current studies.

So, I have embarked on creating my own version for my class. I've put at least thirty hours into the template creation, researching, information gathering, drafting, printing, cutting, gluing and laminating ... but finally I have a few versions ready.

From computer templates

to physical realisation

to a laminated prototype.

Three copies are now complete. I'm happy with my version. It's looking at discoveries.
I also have other versions looking at inventions, world events and Taiwan. I'm planning on colour-coding them so that the different versions can be combined, but easily separated as needs be.

As far as Christmas and Boxing Day go - I haven't been entirely without the festive spirit. Indeed, I arrived home to find a present for me beneath the Xmas tree... albeit a city version of a tree.

It seems my girlfriend is experimenting with Swedish.