Thursday July 22, 2010

Thought for the Day: “Life’s most urgent question is, what are you doing for others?? Martin Luther King

We began the day as usual — chatting, enjoying a delicious breakfast, and today practicing our two songs — “Getting to Know you” and “It’s a Small World” — which we will perform at the Final Ceremony. We plan to practice several more times in order to be presentable! We all hopped on the van at 8AM and traveled to our English Classes at Kunming University — we can hardly believe that we are on Day 9 of our of teaching project. We are tired but feel so satisfied with the progress that all of our students have made and how friendly everyone has become toward one another. We remind ourselves that our goals include improving Conversational English skills but also building relationships and I do believe that we have accomplished both. And yes, we are having fun!!!

Dick and I began our class with several games — Telephone, Hangman, Let’s Tell a Story, and 20 Questions. We always emphasize how good these games are for their students to learn and the teachers seem to love them. Then we spent the time up to the break and some of the time after, allowing our 6 student representatives to practice their speeches again. This time many more students had comments and suggestions for them. Everyone seemed very excited and enthusiastic about this Speech Festival. After the break we talked a little about America’s early history, some important Presidents such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt. We had pictures to show them of Washington, D.C. and the various Monuments and Memorials connected to these Presidents. We finally ended our class by practicing the two songs that the students will sing tomorrow at the Closing Ceremony — “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “You are My Sunshine.” One of our students will play the guitar for this performance — I think it will be very nice.

We traveled back to our hotel for lunch and a slight rest — and then back in the van to attend the Speech Festival. Chris introduced the Festival and one of Martin and Kathy’s students acted as moderator. We sat and listened to 18 speeches — 6 students from each class. The topics were varied, the body language was wonderful, the eye contact was very good, and everyone seemed to have a fine time. After the student speakers, the Volunteers each said a few words of encouragement to all of the students who participated, including those who did not speak at the final round. We all agreed that we felt the students had made significant progress in this short time and that they were all very enthusiastic.

Baoli decided that since it looked like it might rain, that we should forgot our trip to the pagoda and the restaurant and just go back to the hotel. We all agreed that a rest and another fine meal in our hotel would be fine.

We all will certainly look forward to our final day tomorrow with our wonderful students and will store memories forever of our “adventurous” experiences here in Kunming.

– Carol

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