Random fact about them: They had a hot pot wedding. Yes, they asked some close friends to prepare foods for the wedding.
I met them when we hosted them 2 nights in their 9 months honeymoon which they travel to 14-15 countries.
Dec 31, 2014: They arrived to our unit around 3pm. Initially, they planned to spend New Year Evening somewhere else. But finally, they decided to join the pot-luck party with us.
I made some fresh lumpia, Sharon made rellenong bangus, fried chicken, spaghetti. Hoa and Jocel came from Alabang and brought cassava cake. Peter Nguyen brought some foods from Burgos. Evan & Lisa bought some cakes. Fi came, automatically went to the kitchen table to make the fried spring rolls. With the presence of Keo. And that’s good for a party.
I opened Skype for them to talk with Jersey. And later, show my family the party. My father doesn’t speak English, but tried to entertain people by his own way: showing the rice cooker around, etc (the best way which he known).
Later, Robert & his two grown up nephews from another unit also joined us. They brought lots of food: lumpia, spaghetti & buko pandan and ate very little. Keo welcomed them by his own way: blow a kiss and said “Thank you! I love you” pretended like he is a celebrity.
At the end, only Peter, Keo, me, Evan & Lisa stayed. We went to top floor to watch fireworks. Evan said it’s his first time to see fireworks anywhere surroundings since the fireworks came out from many houses. Keo counted: “800, 2000, 3000, 1000, 5000 …” implied the money people spent to burn that firework.
Upon we got back the unit, we mad e a small “contest”. Well, not really a contest since no award, just each person make a question for others.
I don’t remember questions of Peter, Evan & Lisa, something related to knowledge about Science, Chemical. I even didn’t understand it since I haven’t familiarized myself with those terms. The question of Keo was what’s the software/program which everyone need to use. Of course, I remember my question. It was: what was your most memorable memory/moment last year?
Evan: Well, for me and Lisa, I think it was our wedding last July.
Keo: I remember his answer but I don’t want to tell here.
Peter: My best moment is now, right now, with you guys. You guys are awesome.
Evan (toward me): so who’s the winner? And how about you?
Me: My best moment was when I quit my job last end of March.
Evan & everyone: Woo woo. You are the best. You are the winner.
The party was ended by 2am.
The next day they flew to Palawan.
Jan 17: They arrived around 9pm and we talked about their time in Palawan & Cebu. Swimming with the whales. were hosted in an apartment with full of other CSers. Spent 3 days in Siquijor island, just rented a motorbike to go around. Evan told me about hiking at the Mt. Rainier in their hometown Seattle.
Next morning, they made pancakes before they leave to go to Malaysia. Lisa told me at least 2 times that Evan is a good cook. He is usually the one who prepare breakfast for them.
We had a great conversation when we were having breakfast.
Their story is:
Evan met Lisa in Cameroon 6 years ago when Lisa was a teacher there and he was traveling. Falling in love, he applied to become a teacher to be with her. Even before planning for a wedding, they already plan to have a long vacation together. That was the reason of 9 months honeymoon.
The school which they worked for in Cameroon uses English, while French is the main language of the country. That’s why the school is small and doesn’t have lots of students. They have a widely age range from 6 to 18, class size can be 7 students to 20 students. It’s a private school for students come from rich family and are affected by American culture. There is student who father is Nigerian, mother is Cameroonian, living in Cameroon but know nothing or very limited about the country, has Swiss passport and really being affected by American culture. Study in American school, listen American music, watch American movies, being with American lifestyle. So when go to identity, sometimes it’s hard for them to tell who they are.
Evan and me exchanged some insights. Evan said the education system can’t be good if its purpose is just help students to pass the TESTs. But it still happens. And it’s hard to access/compare students since they have different background. For example, a question can be: “Describe your experience on airplane, the changing of pressure and explain it”. It’s easy with a student from rich family, but how about a student from a poor family (normally African). Yes, people are still trying to find a solution, but still couldn’t really have a good one. My thinking was: yes, it’s still happen if education still focus on compare students with each other by grading. Every students are different: background, ability, talent, interest …
We also talked about teaching experience and method. Evan is a Science teacher and he usually ask the student to observe and give opinion first. For example: “Tell me about the weather in January in your hometown”. Or he will bring some kind of liquids (water with red color, cooking oil, …) to challenge the students guessing what is that. Or he will ask the students: “Christmas in my experience is mostly winter type, but when I went to Australia, everyone goes to the beach, make barbecue. Why is it different?” And the students need to bring things or draw something to explain.
I told him that I’m a tutor and I felt the differences between students who pay for their own study and students who don’t (i.e. company pay). The one who pay for themselves study very hard and try their best, make many things creative, always asking questions. While the others being late, don’t focus and have excuses of not doing something. But I can not say all of them are like that. There is student who is intelligent but not study hard and vice versa. And in my own preference, I always like and want to help, work with, favor the one who is study hard.
The group class which I have taught had 6 students, they came from different departments and had different demand of studying the language, they also had different attendance and focus, and that’s the hard part. Sometimes I can’t work with them all together, also can’t work with them individually and let the others do nothing. So if I see one student has done good with his homework, I’ll ask him to check for another student and explain for that student what is correct, what is incorrect, while I myself work with the others. And sometime if I see a student understand something clearly while the others not yet, I’ll ask that student to explain for the rest instead of me. So for me, teaching sometime also involve manage and organize.
Evan said: Yes, sometimes I do the same, since the student know the language to explain for his or her friends better than me. And although sometime what the student explained is not exactly what is in my mind. But if they just understand like that, it’s fine. I don’t want to break their own thinking right away. And when the student explain for others, it benefit himself, he understands more, deeper and building confidence.
Yes, I definitely had a great time with them.