Dragon Claw Beats Tiger Roar!

We were learning animal body parts (loosely defined) in class recently. In elementary school here the kids learn the basic body parts that most animals, and people have, nose, eyes, ears, mouth, head, fingers, etc. They don’t really do much in the way of animal specific body parts though.

We learned:
Dragon Claw
Panda Paw
Tiger Roar
Elephant Trunk

We went over other animals with the same body parts, and yes I know a roar is not a body part, but I didn’t want to do an animal sound class, so I snuck it in there.

When it came time for the review, we played a game much like Rock-Paper-Scissors, but with our new terms.

  • Thumb, pointer, & middle fingers held like a claw = Dragon Claw
  • Hands open wide with all fingers, & thumbs fully extended = Panda Paw
  • Hands cupped around mouth like a pretend megaphone = Tiger Roar
  • What you think it would look like = Elephant Trunk

You play with three at any given time. Panda is always a good idea to have in there because pandas.

Dragon Claw beats Tiger Roar
Tiger Roar beats Panda Paw
Panda Paw beats Dragon Claw

At this point the kids will question how a panda can beat a dragon. The answer, “Pandas are so cute, the dragon can’t bear to attack them, but tigers can, cause tigers are jerks.” If you don’t have a TA/translator in class, just point at the panda, and say, “Mo mo da [moe-moe-da],” it means, “Cute,” and the kids will understand why this idea works.

I have the class split into 4 teams, and I have them come to the front of the room to battle. The winner stays (max 3 fights), and the loser sits to let the next team go. If someone wins 3 fights, then they get to fight me for extra points for their team.

Works with pretty much any group of animal features/body parts, just come up with reasons the weakest can beat the strongest. Cute is an easy out.


Unwanted Touching in the Parking Lot

Living in another country brings about its share of challenges, miscommunications, gaffes, questions, blunders, and strange (for the foreigner) situations. Sometimes you just laugh, sometimes you want to cry, get gruff, yell, throw things, or just enjoy the ride. Here is one of my strange moments in China.

Not too long ago I was driving home from school, and some guy followed me; he followed me for the last 1/2 km of the drive. I noticed him taking the same turns as I was, but I assumed coincidence. I parked my bike outside the apartment, and just as I was about to go inside I heard someone yell to me. It was the guy.

He came over, and I assumed it was going to be for a photo, or try to ask me where I was from, or one of the regular reasons people talk to me here. It was not any of the regular reasons. He came over, said something loudly, then grabbed my arm started “massaging” it. Massaging like he was trying to cast the devil out of my bones. I pulled away, but this guy who looked like a local Danny DeVito just latched on to continue massaging.

I was finally able to crowbar my arm free from the guy. He started talking to me. I am really unsure what he said beyond this point, but his gestures showed he wanted to continue the massage assault. I can assume he was saying, “Look how good your arm feels now (it didn’t), a full massage session, and all your bones can feel like they are broken.”

I said no, and went back into my apartment. I even used the second lock on the door for the first time since getting here. Thankfully I have not seen Captain Almost Assault again.

A Disney Kind of Day

  We had a great trip to Hong Kong, and as part of the trip, we enjoyed a full day at Disneyland. Bella had never been to an amusement park before, but she certainly wants to go again. Oh, the … Continue reading

Give the Gift of Receiving

Most, if not all, of us have had something offered to us which would fall under the category of an everyday kindness. Maybe it was someone offering us their seat on the train, or being allowed to go first through … Continue reading

First Day of School

The first day of school for any kid is a big day. It is one of the major life changes you find yourself going through. I have recently found the old family VHS tapes and transferred them to digital. I cannot remember my first day of school, so it is interesting to see how excited I am to be going to school. In this video I try to drive the car, but this wasn’t my first time trying to drive. When I was 3 or 4 my grandmother left me in the car for 2 minutes while she ran into our family’s gas station. This was enough time for me to get to the gear shift and put the car in drive. The car then drove itself into the Ice Cooler outside the store. The dent was in the ice cooler until they got rid of it in 2005 or so.

Shawn First Day of School

How Maple Syrup is Made

My grandfather made maple syrup for the better part of 60 years. It is amazing how long it takes to make syrup, and how much work is involved in it (especially when you don’t use a pipeline). He tapped about 2500 trees, with spiles and cans, you then place covers over the cans. Every couple of days (depending on weather), you have to gather the sap from the cans with five gallon buckets, and put it into a tank on the sled. It is then taken back to evaporator house, where it is boiled down to syrup. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. This video is footage from over the years my grandparents took. I am the little kid riding on the sled and holding the hose.

I have good memories from the sugar woods, as well as, “I don’t want to be here,” memories as well. Funny thing is, for as much as I felt like complaining about things, I know how to make Maple Syrup and if I ever wanted to start making, I could. My childhood was blessed with tonnes of opportunities to learn and experience. I have had a good life. 🙂

Sap Can