Monday, May 10, 2010

Thought of the day: We were all young students once, and if we are lucky we will be students for the rest of our lives.

Monday seemed to come quickly, but fortunately I felt rested and ready to meet the students, and the English teachers whom I remember fondly from last year.
Julia met us with the small van that took us to the Xi’an Biomedical College. That ride was much as I remembered…a fascinating trip through the Inner City where we saw the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower, followed by the ride through the highly industrial Western part of the city to the college.

We were greeted by the English Club students and the English teachers whom we had seen last year, with one exception. CiCi is a new teacher, having been here ONLY one month. We walked up the three flights of stairs to the office for the foreign English teachers, and then over to our classes in the library. This is a new location for us, but they had set things up nicely with each of the three classes set far enough apart so we weren’t too distracted by each other.

My first period was spent introducing each other…I had the students mimic my words, introducing each other, giving names, age, family size, and of them took the initiative, following my example by telling what they liked to do. I was pleased with their intiative.

During the second and third periods Bob and I brought our students together and shared stories about our background, visiting San Francisco, and talking about our families. Then we sang songs…”My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean,” and the Hawaiian hula song, “Hukilau”. The students seemed to have fun learning both. Finally we asked them if they had questions of us, and they asked what kinds of foods the Hawaiians had, and also about Hawaiian history. They learned about fish, pork, poi, and fish and also about the Hawaiian monarchy and about World War II, and we talked a bit about war and people’s desire for peace.

Then it was time to go back to the hotel, to another delicious meal. Baoli helped me reach Rui, who will phone with suggestions about a good time to visit. Then I checked email and wrote to friends before going upstairs to rest. Sadly, jet-lag is still somewhat with us. Just before dinner (more food!) Bob and I had a very good Mandarin lesson with Baoli, who is so patient with us! Allison was tired, and YiBo obviously didn’t need a lesson, so it was just the two of us!

YiBo worked with autistic children all day, and came home with a ringing ear. We’ll hope that a good sleep will help him.

A very satisfying first day came to a close!


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