Class itself was rather fun today—at least for me. I tried my mom’s suggestion of splitting the class and had one half work on a reading assignment while the others played the Whose Line version of “The Dating Game” aka “Let’s make a date.” I didn’t add the quirks, since I figured that might be too much to cope with, and I don’t think everyone quite grasped the interactive nature of the game since it tended to be a series of questions to one person and then on to the next. We’ll keep working at it.

In small group discussion, I asked them to think about their perfect relationship and was rather touched when one of the girls said that she had a perfect relationship with her mom. “Fast” (he chose this name because it describes him well) asked about my family, and I said that I’d talked to my sister yesterday. He wanted to know if she was “as beautiful as (me) or more beautiful.” He’s such a flatterer!  Of course, I told him that my sister is “more beautiful.”

Since a former teacher here, Danielle, mentioned having gotten lots of comments about her appearance, I’ve been bracing for the onslaught, but thus far there haven’t been very many remarks about this.  My third-year students, when I asked about Vietnamese customs that I should know, did say that I would be “more beautiful” in the aodai(it’s a long, fitted tunic with slits up to the hip bone over trousers). One also told me that I would be more attractive if I were “whiter.” One of the guys then informed her that “Americans like to be tan.”

I was a bit bemused by this comment since I’ve always considered myself fairly fair-skinned. Perhaps they’re noticed the mild sunburn on my arms since I only seem to sweat off the sunscreen.

My other bit of good today should help with that. As we were collecting our bikes to leave the teacher with whom I shared office hours this morning noticed that I didn’t have gloves. She said that she’d get me a pair, and put them in my box in the department office.

She then caught up to me as I was turning into Campus One (where I live) and tossed a pair of gloves at me. They’re a nude polyester and go up past my elbows. I imagine that they’ll be a sweaty mess soon enough, but I’m wearing them in the hopes that they will help make my arms whiter and thus more beautiful to my students.

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