Sunday, August 23, 2009

Thomas, Dr Jane Goodall and a Newspaper Pencil

Every Tuesday night I head down to Seolleung to tutor Thomas. I have five separate students in total that I teach individually, all of whom are pleasant people. I'm busy enough as it is, but the extra money makes the difference between meagre and comfortable living. Unfortunately, with Ph.D coursework classes looming next week, I'll have to cut down on some things or risk insanity.

Thomas is an incredibly intelligent 5th grader who has a broad interest in the natural sciences and a surprising amount of general knowledge. For instance, he knows about the anatomy of hermit crabs and that zebras are stripey in order to confuse chasing predators. My job is to stimulate his scientific thinking and English skills, which is quite a responsibility.
This photo sits on Thomas's desk during our tutoring sessions. Sitting with him is none other than Dr Jane Goodall, of chimpanzee fame. He has met her on two occasions while she's toured Korea.

One of Dr Goodall's foci in her colourful life is to promote environmental conservation awareness in young students. Recently, Dory from Toastmasters gave me this pencil as a gift. It's a pencil with a graphite core, but made from hard-pressed recycled newspaper instead of wood. The writing on it says 'Stop Global Warming!'

Something you might like to think about doing right now is changing your computer settings so that sleep mode comes on in 5 or 10 minutes. Small things like this all add up over years of computer usage.

And eat less meat, more fruits and vegetables.

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