Routines and Roller Coasters: Part 3

What’s coming next?


I’m going to use this post to make a controversial political statement:

Climate change is real and it’s our fault.

Perhaps Mr. Trump is right and all the scientists around the world are playing a great prank on us.  If they are, they got me good.  They have also tricked my school and all my students.

Nevertheless, in honor of Earth Day, I want to share what some of my proactive students are doing to save the planet.

  • Lam and Nhat ride bikes. Why is this a big deal?  Because people in Vietnam don’t ride bikes.  Instead, at about 14 or 15 years old, they are given scooters and motorbikes, an important emblem of adulthood and striking statement of social status.  Bicycles are exemplary of a generational paradigm shift:  protecting the environment is cool.  Students even skip class to pick up trash on the street.
  • Tan and Long like to talk about deforestation and dynamite fishing.  They also know words like climate change, Carbon Dioxide, global warming, and greenhouse gas.  As a reminder, this is their second language.  And they are 15 years old.  When I was 15, my only priority was not wetting my pants in front of the girl I liked.
  • This summer, we are going to do our best to end climate change. Some of my older students spent a class period dreaming up legislation to mitigate carbon emissions.  We decided that by the end of the summer, we want Vietnam to be completely dependent on solar energy.  Then we will have 1 billion people from around the world throw a party to celebrate while wearing the same green t-shirts.  We are now accepting considerations for the t-shirt design if anyone feels inspired.
  • Finally, they want to teach. Thao and My each have two dreams.  First, they want to be English teachers.  Second, they want to save the planet.  To them, these activities are interdependent.  I think they are right.  This summer, Thao and My will help me to teach introductory English to hill-tribe students that live outside of Khe Sanh.  Their primary motivation?  The opportunity to share the importance of living sustainably with those still ignorant to Mother Earth’s groaning.

My point, I guess, is this:  kids in developing countries around the world are making sacrifices to save our planet. 

“The concept of Global Warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive” – Donald Jonathan Trump, Jr.

Why, then, is it too much to ask, that some wealthy adults in the U.S. do the same?

“Donald Trump is not very smart” – A Vietnamese 10-year old

Happy Earth Day.  Now go plant a tree.


2 thoughts on “Routines and Roller Coasters: Part 3

  1. HI Scott – your t-shirt idea made me think of what vermont did after being hit with 100 year floods i 2011. They started with t-shirts and eventually license plates. A couple in southern vermont made up the slogan Vermont Strong. If you google it you will see all kinds of sites about it. Vietnam strong? Keep us Green? Of course we are the green mountain state that is why all the Vermont strong stuff is on green background. They may not have license plates but even posters can send a message. Your posts are so educational and inspirational. Keep them up. Love RE


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