Friday September 10, 2010

Thought for the day: When in Rome, do as the Romans do. The teachers seemed to like “Love me, love my dog.” Perhaps we should let a sleeping dog lie!

The Friday 6:30 wake-up call seemed to be earlier than usual! The breakfast meeting, missing Baoli (doctor’s appointment) was kicked off by an excellent and brief Thursday report by Maggie.

We arrived at the school to find new schedules which required minor adjustments. It seems we have each developed a teaching method and style that works best with the various student groups that we meet each day. Friday was a long day with both AM and PM classes. Lunch was a highlight – hosted by six Chinese English teachers. The restaurant was a noodle house and we were served three different noodle dishes – all excellent. Noodle broth was served first, highly reminiscent of dishwater – but good for the digestion. We used three bowls for the variety of dishes presented – a great meal enjoyed by all.

After the PM classes the Chinese teachers took us to see the dental lab. It was amazing to watch the dental technicians make individual teeth, bridges and dentures. The instructor told us that several of the advanced technicians are going to Suzhou for an international competition. Then we went to the street market and had fresh winter melon and baodz hot out of the steamers. Another marvelous experience. With Marcella along to translate we actually know what we are seeing and eating! Claudia, unfortunately missed these events due to her dedication to duty – she promised a teacher that she would locate and print pictures of various medical devices. We spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening in the visiting teachers office speaking with the Chinese teachers and helping develop their vocabulary.

At seven PM we went to the auditorium and witnessed an absolutely fantastic student presentation – which they labeled a Hip Hop. Each act seemed to top the previous one: A formal dance with formal attired students was performed, followed by a speaking quartet, then a Xinjiang solo dancer in costume, a group dance, an excellent solo singer, a kung fu presentation performed to music which was top quality, and break dancing. We got roped into some community dancing, and wore Chinese opera masks (which none of us understood and the Chinese teachers claimed no knowledge thereof).

We returned to the hotel after 9PM, tired, but appreciating a near perfect day!

– Wally

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