Archive for December 6, 2007

Rain Pours; Mirror Shatters

The above title of my blog today seems like a proverbial Chinese saying but it happened in real life.  At least, the second part of the saying did last night.  I was showing to about 15 Kazakh students the short movie clip (7 min. 20 sec) titled “Rain” produced by Damah Film festival.  Since we had so many people, we had decided to use the main office.  The coat rack was moved out to the hallway, the chairs from the classroom brought in.  I was having technical difficulties again with our projector, so instead I had the students LISTEN to the monolog of the girl trapped weeping in a phone booth talking to her mother in the rain.  Thus, the title of the clip, “Rain.” 

Finally, my husband came to rescue me from my technical disaster but not before a HUGE mirror (4 by 3 feet) in the office came crashing down on both electric cords, the one for the projector and the other for my computer.  Fortunately, it didn’t knock out the cord for the projector and it didn’t cream any of the students but 1,000s of pieces shattered everywhere. 

The saying “the show must go on” applied in this case.  I had to keep the class going and they seemed bewildered and nonplussed by what happened.  As they watched the “Rain” clip on the wall of the classroom, I started picking up the pieces and wondered how this event had “shattered” me, as the British like to use that word.  From my vantage point, I could see the mirror falling off the wall yet I was helpless to do anything about it.  I realize that there are evil minions in the heavenlies that would NOT want these film clips to be viewed since they typically deal with eternal issues.  I also realize that I need prayer back up and will call on reinforcements for future showings. 

Rain Pours; Mirror Shatters; Lesson learned

Leave a comment »

“You can DO it!!!” I encouraged

How we all need those encouraging words from time to time but my Kazakh student I was coaching this morning, needed it more than ever.  He goes back to the American consulate early tomorrow morning to hopefully pass his interview so he can get a visa to go to the U.S. on Dec. 24. He has to pay $100 for each shot and hopefully he will not blow this opportunity after his dismal failure last week. (read earlier post)

After telling him about another older, Iranian student I had tutored who wants to pass her interview to go to Canada, we settled in to our one hour lesson.  I had him listen to what it means to pack up to go overseas.  He was stumped by words such as “luggage” or “departure” or “arrival.”  Oy vey!  Anyway, I told him what to expect on his flight over to L.A. where he hopes to study for four years in an art school.  Apparently his parents have enough money to pay for his education and he wants to do well.  In the mean time for purposes in English, he may be too much of a perfectionist type and doesn’t want to make mistakes in his grammar so he keeps to monosyllabic responses. 

I asked how his girlfriend had done on the interview for her visa and he told me it took her only 5-7 minutes.  Simple yes/no questions at first and then some more difficult ones later. 

I told him what his strategy should be for tomorrow’s interview.  Instead of answering quickly with the easy questions like, “How many are in your family?” he should take his time and relax during those questions with LONG answers.  Throw in his grandparents, pets in the family, how old each person is, etc.  All they want to do is make sure that he has a grasp of English.  I said that if he looks relaxed with the first questions, they won’t ask the more difficult ones because time will be up. 

However, if they DO ask the tougher questions, he has several responses that might help buy him time to gather his thoughts, such as:  “That’s a good question, let me think a second.” OR “I’m sorry, would you please repeat that question for me?”  He got to practice those stall techniques when I asked him “What will you miss the most once you are in L.A.?”  He didn’t know what “most” meant.

Oh, I will be praying he can get through this interview tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m.  He doesn’t strike me as the type who gets up that early, living the life of an artist (actually he is a website graphic designer and very good, I saw his examples).  He has a tatoo on his arm that is in Chinese, I didn’t ask him about it.  He also wears torn up jeans and sweatshirt.  I suggested he might wear a suit for the interview but the artist in him wants to be free and comfortable.  Can’t blame him.  I told him to call me at 10:00 a.m. once he has his visa in hand.  He was all smiles and paid me another 3,600 tenge which I quickly turned into a Christmas present for my dear husband at the Green Market.  (Hint, it is green!)

Leave a comment »