Jolly Jacket: What’s your story?

Saigon, 23 December 2020

As usual, I would come up with a ‘warm-up’ activity on the way riding to campus.

Saigon does not get chilly easily. It normally goes either rainy or sunny all year round. That’s why all of a sudden when we are given the just-right-chill, things look much nicer this Christmas, hopefully waiting for the new year. Temporarily getting out of the tropical hot climate, we slow down a bit to breathe in the rare chill of urban skies with extra clothes on us.

There it is: What about a jacket story?

On entering my morning class with first-year English majors, I removed and put my jacket on a chair, writing ‘A Jacket Story’ in red on the board, and inviting students to share their narratives.

The prompts were:

  • What’s your name? What’s your kind? Where are you originally from?
  • What are the places you have been to?
  • What are the foods you have eaten?
  • What are the activities you have experienced?

Although I didn’t encourage students to produce a professional, complete story (This is only at 7 am!), the sharing and discussion were quite interesting, as shown in a snippet of students’ responses on the board.

  • So you can see one student realized that a jacket is mostly for breakfast on the way to school (academic purposes).
  • Another student recalled eating grilled rice cake in Da Lat.
  • The other one is proud to share his 5-year-jacket he got from a local market and has no plan to replace it.
  • Another shared her trip wearing a jacket to Phu Quoc island seeing pearls and viewing the sunset.

In the next class, we may talk about ‘A Shoes Story’ 🙂

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