Friday July 16, 2010

Since I’m 80 and time is short for me, my Thought For The Day is: “Enjoy your self (baby). It’s later than you think.”

8:30-11:30 a.m. Small Class Teaching at Kunming Teachers College

I thought since my arrival 5 days ago, today was the most successful and productive class meeting. The students seemed more relaxed, more confident, less shy and even smiled when they spoke.

Although Bob and I teach alternate hours (1.5 hrs. each), we both decided today to focus on encouraging students to ask us questions rather than vice-versa. In that way the students could practice their English by speaking, and when we answered their questions, the students could practice their English by listening to our answers.

The strategy I used today was to explain the importance of being a “team player,” emphasizing the fact that 2 heads are better than one.

So I chose 3 of our bravest and best students as “Team Leaders.” Then each leader would have 4 students under them, and together as a team, they would decide what questions to ask me. In that way, as a team, they would feel less embarrassed to ask me questions. For example: How did you meet your wife? Was it love at first sight? (As an individual, they would never ask me these questions, but as a group together — Anything Goes.) I wrote their questions on the board from the 3 team leaders, and they were very interesting; but my time was up so I had to turn the class over to Bob.

When Bob took over the class, he also asked students many questions to encourage them to be more confident and to speak more. In addition, Bob also taught them a few American idioms. Later he played a game called “Telephone” which was interesting, and the students responded well.

12:00 — 1:30 p.m. Lunch at Golden Flower Hot Pot Restaurant

Bao Li made an excellent choice by bringing us to this unique restaurant. Although my wife and I have hot pot occasionally in L.A. (usually in the winter), this experience was interesting because we use different kinds of food and ingredients. Which tastes better? Our American-Chinese style or Kunming style? No comment.

5:00-5:45 p.m. Chinese Language Lesson

Dick and Carol as pure blooded, white, Caucasian Americans attended. Kathy, Marty, and I as Chinese-Americans, “played hookie” and did not attend.

6:00-7:00 p.m. Dinner at Yunan Food Restaurant
The food there was also good, but we had to rush our meal to attend the Yunnan Dynamic Show.

8:00-10:00 p.m. Yunnan Dynamic Show

This show was spectacular with a huge cast composed of China’s minority groups. The costumes were unique. I really enjoyed the show because where else in the world can you see authentic native minority dancers and singers, except in Kunming?

My main objection, however, was during the show I was caught “illegally” taking pictures. Yet many people from the audience (including Bob) were also taking pictures during the show, but they got away with it. My question is: Why me?


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