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A "Green Tea" Teacher: Cheryl
by Linda; May 29, 2011


PALC teachers’ styles vary. One teacher has a vivid and energetic attitude like a cup of coffee which can freshen your mind; another has a critical and humorous mind like a glass of scotch, bitterly strong but inspiring; not to mention one who is a vigorously speedy helper with a sunny smile like 7 Up, which splashes enthusiasm into you, and so many other teachers. But, Cheryl, my Civics and Law teacher, is none of those. I would rather say her style is like green tea: mild, a bit bittersweet, and unforgettable.

Perhaps because of the subjects she teaches, she is not as popular as other teachers. Seriously, as an adult student, who is willing to consider politics or Law as his or her career plan? It is tough, complicated, and no fun! That is why fewer students really buckle down to take those courses, which require higher level of awareness and logical thinking. However, once you do approach the higher level, you won’t want to miss the chance to take her classes. No matter if you are a resident or a citizen, it is not wrong to know something about politics, citizenship, and your legal rights. You will get benefits from what you learn.

Cheryl is the kind of teacher who doesn't want to rush her students. Because the course is kind of hard, she never pushes us to do our homework in hurry, but we know if we don’t catch up, we would not be able to follow the coming chapter for sure. Therefore, we don't like to have our homework overdue. Instead of asking many questions in law cases, which often scares us, Cheryl would rather answer our questions based on everyone’s interest. One young student is curious about drugs; another adult student has a concern about impaired driving; and others may have a question about citizen’s arrest. No matter what they ask, Cheryl seems always to be aware of what they are confused about and give every one a clear explanation. Like a counsellor, she is ready to give you advice, on condition you must ask. That is why we always strive to raise our hands in class.

I guess the contents of these courses have somehow shaped Cheryl’s teaching style--no decoration, no exaggeration— everything has to be as accurate and as logical as it should be. Not like literature, passionate words and rhetoric don't apply in Constitution and Law, do they? During her class time, Cheryl usually projects a PowerPoint note that briefly explains the legal concepts or civic deliberation. Her demonstration seems to absorb every essential part of the course so that you dare not miss unless you mean to fail. I always wonder if she could give us the copy of her notes, but I know she won’t, because she wants us to squeeze our minds to figure out the answer by ourselves. She prefers to let us taste the bitter at first and the sweet afterwards.

When you are impetuous and fickle to do something, you probably need to calm down and have a cup of green tea. You may feel its mild taste slowly going through from your tongue to your stomach and eventually bring you a rational thought. Even though you are doing something else later, that taste still lingers in your mouth, and you will miss it sometimes. That is what I feel about Cheryl’s teaching. I hope I can take her courses again, if I am allowed.

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