Friday, May 14, 2010

Thought of the day: We touch the future, we teach.

Friday is our last day of teaching for the first week of teaching and I am feeling good about how it has gone – so many of the students are earnest and appear anxious to learn English.

The day was gray and smoggy as we drove to school. I’m really getting a good sense of our route – going through the East Gate, passed the Bell Tower, Drum Tower, through the West Gate and the industrial west- we encountered a military roadblock just before the college so had to detour around the back of the college. It gave us a chance to see the dormitories and sports area.

My students, nursing students, were so conscientious and willing to participate. I told them how much I enjoyed being with them and how I admired their desire to be nurses.

We joined Bob’s class briefly to talk about families and learned “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean” They were amazingly quick learners and sang beautifully an with gusto ! It was so much fun!

Finally we and the Chinese English teachers met – Bob described his experience with the Uighur girl and Julia talked with the teachers about how to avoid such problems. She also told us that some of the teachers provided counseling services and that they had a Nationalities Club fir those non-Han students.

On our drive home Vivienne caught a ride to her home and we learned a bit more about their school year – 2 terms (semesters) and, because they are a private vocational college, in the summer teachers are required to recruit for the school. Because teaching is so demanding I find it unfortunate that they don’t have more time off.

After lunch we rested, I talked with my friend Rui and set a date for tomorrow, then Bob and I walked down to Maky Bakery for pastry and cold tea – it’s sunnier & warmer. When we got home, we rested 15 minutes and then turned around and walked back to a restaurant near the East Wall for a soup and bread meal. We had more fascinating cold dishes – the flavors and blends of flavors are fascinating. The walk home in the dark was surreal – the crowds, the lights, the sounds, the sights- What an experience!


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