age | e

in front of you in line alphabetically since 2006

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

to have or to have not (a seat)

So I found myself in front of a class of 27 energetic sophomores today (instead of the 15 that I'm used to). Blessed with so many eager-to-learn, um, learners, I decided to try out an English simulation activity I stumbled across on the internet called the Global Inequality Game. I found it here.

The Global Inequality Game

The idea is that this class of 27 students simulates the population of the whole world---or in other words, during the simulation, each student represents about 240 million people (and I thought I had issues). Around the room there are six signs for a particular region in the world, like "Europe," "Latin America," "USA and Canada," or "Africa." The class has distribute itself in the right proportion so that each sign/region has the appropriate, approximate number of students.

Basically, once they've decided where everyone should stand, you move everybody to Asia.

Next, you take 27 chairs. Each chair represents 1/27th of the world's total wealth. Those are some valuable chairs. Now the students work together to decide where the chairs (i.e. the wealth of the world) goes.

You're left with some thought-provoking images. Take a look:

Here's Asia. Lots of standing people here.

Compare this to Latin America.

And now to Africa.

And now look at Europe...

...and the rest of North America.

Oh yeah. And then there's Australia and the Pacific Islands. It seems that nobody lives there anyway :-)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

january 24th, first day of winter

So, by traditional Czech reckoning, it came more than two months late, this morning we woke up with a blanket of snow all around outside.

And skiing enthusiasts everywhere rejoiced. One student said that he was going skiing right after school was over today. There was a giddy student snowball fight during lunchtime. All of this after what was recently declared officially the warmest Czech winter since records started to be kept in 1775.

As they say in their three-fold way, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

dressy caz ples

"Are you guys having a killer time?"

This weekend was the ISSTE maturitni ples, which, if you haven't been following the blog over the past few years, is like Senior Prom, only taken to the next level and hosted in the Czech Republic. I'd been looking forward to seeing former students and colleagues for months--and I couldn't feel prouder of the students I left last year who are now on their way to graduation. They've still got a lot of work to do, but this (for the most part) was a well-deserved celebration.

But this was a really different ples in another way, too. Friday afternoon Chrissy and I made it all the way from our apartment to the bus station in Prague before we realized that we had forgotten to grab our ples duds---my suit, her gown---from the closet, where they hung all ready to go. By then it was too late. So I went to ples by myself, dressed to kill in my maroon sweater and teacher-corduroy pants.

I almost didn't make it past the bouncer (plesi have bouncers? well, I know now), but a student rescued me ("He is a teacher. It is okay.") After that I was a bit self-conscious over all, but as one former student reassured me, "It is how I remember you."