Friday, May 21, 2010

Thought of the day:
Our brief but intensive experience working with Chinese young people has provided us with opportunity to share this experience at home.
We came with common purpose to learn more about China, and to share our knowledge of English and to offer helpful service to the people of China.
Yibo, you’ve shown much kind concern particularly for Allison’s well being.
Allison, your desire to provide a rewarding experience to your students, your earnestness in trying to improve, are commendable.
Bob, you have a delightful way of making English as much fun for students. You are such a wonderful partner in our teaching.
Baoli, I admire your ability to use English in an amazing way, to always be available to go beyond the call of duty in kindness and concern. You are truly amazing and I wish you good luck and health – you deserve it!

A crisis occurred at breakfast! There was no yoghurt in the yoghurt dish. “Well,” I said to myself, “I’ll eat something else.” But Karen, she and a woman in a baseball cap took an aggressive position by the bowl. Several minutes later Karen appeared, triumphant with her 2 regular cups of the stuff.

In the bobby we met a sleepy Lisa who said she’d stayed at the concert till almost 12. We had wisely left early arriving back at the hotel before 9 so I had time to write my thought for the day.

At the school Karen and I combined our classes. Our instruction today would be only periods because we would be meeting the English teachers from 11 to 12.

The combined classes were only about 20 in number. We thought we might encounter some sleepy students because of the music concert, but a cheerier group of students I’ve never met. From the start it went nicely. They responded to the period of rapid drill, especially enjoying the birthday line graph. Then we showed them pictures of San Francisco and Hawaii. We passed out the fresh copies of “My Bonnie…” and they sang very well. Finally Vivian told us we’d past 11. So we concluded quickly telling the students how much we appreciated them especially their good-naturedness and their ability to concentrate on what we knew was a hard subject. For the last moments we asked Vivian to translate for our good-byes in Chinese.
Our meeting with the teachers was mostly a long good-bye. Karen and I talked a little about the advantage of teaching in the second year at the college.

Back at the hotel after lunch we rested and packed. We decided not to walk to the Holliland Bakery because we would be pushing hard to return to the hotel for the Chinese lesson at 5:00. But at 4:30 Baoli called to tell us that she was detained. We were disappointed but put the time to good use. Dinner was a delicious selection of dishes thoughtfully selected by Baoli to include several of our favorite courses. As we ate we talked of many things- little of it about our schools perhaps because now our teaching was over.

I apologize for the length of this with almost nothing of the previous evening’s program. I will conclude with a few brief remarks.

1. At the last minute we were still discussing whether to use the recorded music to accompany us in the hula dance or whether to sing with no accompaniment. We will never know whether singing ourselves would have been better. But it went well. The young teachers were in post-performance heebie-jeebies which took manifested itself in unending picture taking that generated laughter.
2. We returned to the hotel in time for me to write my Thought for the Day by 9:30.
3. I will conclude with a comment about the entertainment program. Never have I felt so transported, so far away from home. In that experience I have met my match. I could not begin to do it justice. So each of us will have to reply on our own memories to recall the events of that evening.

– Bob

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