[10-28-99 -- 4:00]
Nothing much to say. My students have pretty much all returned to school now. Our next holiday, Tihar, begins at the end of next week. It is 10 days long - counting weekends (Saturdays). After that, there are no really big holidays left before school ends sometime in June (wow - that seems far off) - maybe 3 or 4 days off a month. Of course, I'll be taking about 10 days for Christmas/New Years. I still would like to go somewhere fun for New Years Eve, but nobody in my group seems very motivated. We're not "supposed" to travel out of the country between 12-15-99 and 1-15-00 because of the Y2K scare, but I know some people from earlier groups who are going to Thailand. I'm going to keep trying to talk some friends into going there as well - when I see them for Tihar. Maybe I'll just go anyway, with one of the veteran groups. Getting together with my friends in K-du would be fun, but not exceptional. We'd end up sitting around in a hotel room or at the "Tunnel Club" all night. I'd like to have a more interesting millennium story than that.
My 7th grade classroom has been infested with creepy looking caterpillar things all week. My students (me too) are too nervous to have class inside, so I've been teaching on the "porch" of the school's office building. Just using a notebook to explain things (currently, multiplying and dividing combinations of monomials and binomials) - which means I can only teach small groups at a time. And when Nepalis break into groups it is ALWAYS boys and girls. Today I got to teach the girls - so I had a good time. Tomorrow I'm giving a test to my 6th graders on fractions. I need to get on the ball and write it tonight and photocopy it tomorrow morning before school. I know most of the students will fail it. I could easily go into a tirade now about all my teaching difficulties and frustrations, but I'll restrain myself.
On my bike ride home today, I got my most intense impression to date of just how big the Himalayas are. I've seen a couple of them from fairly close range while I was in K-du and Pokhara, but today it was actually clear enough to seem them all the way from Janakpur. When I realized what I was seeing covering about 90 degrees of the northern sky weren't low hanging clouds, I had to get off my bike and stare. These things are really really big. Really big.
What else... Oh, I meant to tell you that during vacation I got to see some movies -- Starship Troopers, Indiana Jones II (again), Evil Dead II, Wild Wild West, The Sixth Sense, and Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. All of them were low quality Asian bootlegs, so I might want to watch the good ones again when I get home (although 6th Sense is probably the only one that qualifies as any good). Tonight I may go to see a Hindi movie. I saw one such film in Dharan (Kartoos) and thought that that would be enough Hindi cinema for a lifetime (it was tortuous). But there is a horror movie playing at the local "picture palace" now - the ads for which look unbelievably gory and absurd. And hard to pass up.
Yesterday I got a package full of underwear, some rubber teddy bear stamps (??), M&Ms, a mirror, glow-in-the-dark erasers (????), and a Luke Skywalker Pez dispenser. The underwear and M&Ms have already been put to good use. I also received the second video tape - the one with the World Cup and the Miami game ("etc") on it. Maybe I'll be watching that on New Year's Eve.
Finished reading 3 books in the past 4 days -- Night Train, The First Eagle, and King Rat. Still haven't finished Third Reich, but it is imminent. I haven't read this much since Junior High! Next time I'm in K-du, I'm going to search for some more classic literature. If I'm going to be reading so much, I might as well make the best use of my effort.
All for now...
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