Team Journal, October 15

Friday, October 15, 2010 – Greg

Thought for the day (paraphrased from the traditional Wedding bible passage):
If I speak in understandable Mandarin, and master the Xi’an local dialect, but have not love, I have become just a noisy gong or clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of perfect communication, and travel all over the city uncovering every hidden mystery of this ancient city; and if I keep up hope, and life the spirits of my travel-weary wife and children, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give every last yuan to beggars in the streets, and weather my intestinal distress without complaining, but have not love, what is the point?

Today my class only had six students, plus teacher Lisa who sat in and participated with the class. The first half of my calls was spent working with English names. I start by handing out pieces of paper with names of people in my life on them; the students take turns asking, “Who is Jill? Who is Doug?” and I respond, “Jill is my sister. Doug is my brother.” Then, they choose their own English names from the pile of names I’ve given them.

I’ve been enjoying teaching, but even more I’ve enjoyed talking to the English teachers. This is partly because their English level is higher, and partly because I know that as much as I am helping their students, I’m also helping them in their jobs. Seeing their teachers talking in English to foreigners must build respect in the students for their teacher’s ability.

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