Reflections on a busy day here

19 Sep

Thanks to all those who were at the Catholic ESL teacher gathering at Leichhardt today. You have led to a new record in visits here. Sitemeter shows clearly when you had your workshop session on the blog. This is by hours today, ochre=visits, red=page views:


I thought I would share something that I just found again on my personal blog archive for 2005. The ex-student referred to was in the original Year 10 class for whom the site was first developed in a very rudimentary way.

I had an email the other day that cheered me up.

This is James Zhang from the class of 2003 and I’m glad to see that your [English and ESL] site has gone from useful to delightful.

I still remember studying your charming compilation of Chinese stories and cultural insights* back in Year 10, and I hope that they are still as welcome in the classroom.

I held dreams of writing my own novels back in Year 12 (and diverted a significant part of my study time to keep an ideas journal), but that fell through …

Now, I’ve resolved to get started on this path because I’ve identified this as a dream too important to leave unrealised.

I gave him a few leads, and he replied:

Thanks for the leads and I’ll pursue them before signing up.

I’d very much like to meet you in person again, so if you have no objections, please let me know when you’ll be on school grounds. One of my biggest regrets in High School was that I never discussed deeper issues with the teachers – my standard schoolboy questions hardly did justice to their years of colourful experience. I did a bit of this in Year 12, and a lot of it now in Uni, but I would’ve loved to have talked more with you when in your classes. I hope it’s not too late?

So we have arranged to have a chat later this week, though I warned him I was these days just a grumpy old man. To which he replied:

Your ‘grumpiness’ never struck me as anything less than a passionate world view that seeks to be as accommodating as possible given the prejudices and errors of the world. I believe we’ll get along fine!

Aw shucks!

He is from China originally, but as you can see his English is in very good shape nowadays.

We did have that coffee, and a yum cha six months later with another ex-student, Hilbert Chiu (2000), who has gone on to become a lawyer AND a medieval historian.

* James is referring to From Yellow Earth to Eucalypt (Longman 1995).

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Posted by on September 19, 2007 in esl for teachers, for teachers, multiculturalism, site news


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