“IF YOU COME TO THE FORK IN THE ROAD, TAKE IT” – Yogi Berra – American Baseball Player
We departed Le Garden Hotel for XBTX (Xi’an Biomedical Technical College) this morning in the school’s luxurious VW Passat sedan. We had Hunter sit in the front passenger seat to keep company with the driver.
Our day’s program is to spend the first part of the morning with the three English teachers Lucy, Victoria, and Howard along with Julia (the wife of the school’s president) who is responsible for the English program. This session was a “Free Talk” one to exchange ideas about teaching English and American culture. Much of the session was spent by Julia describing the school’s philosophy and the value of the English language text books presently in use. These texts have extensive explanations in Chinese to accompany the actual English exercises. Our team expressed some concern that the written English parts were difficult to understand and were awkwardly constructed to us being speakers of “American English”.
The rest of the morning was spent touring the campus. First we were shown the various laboratories of the school: the anatomy, medical electronic equipment, optometry, etc. It was at the optometry lab that Hunter had his eyes examined and learned his sight is fine but that one eye has better acuity than the other.
Next was visit to the dormitory rooms of two of the girl students. It was gracious for the girls to show us their rooms. They were reasonably spacious with four to a room, with bunk beds over study desks. Each of the roommates had a large basin size plastic tub which they would use in the common washroom and toilet area. To shower they had to use the main bath house located adjacent to the athletic field. This must be a challenge in cold or inclement weather.
We then stopped to visit the student cafeteria. It was lunch time so it was neat to see the hustle and bustle of the students having their lunch. It was set up like a food court with a noodle station, a rice station, a drink station, etc. The food looked delicious and Julia even had us sample some fried sweet glutinous rice sesame balls known as “Jin Dui” which originated in Zi’an. Hunter skipped the dorm and cafeteria visit to play basketball with some of the students.
Then Julia along with the three English teachers and driver James took us to a hot springs conference park for an extensive and delicious lunch in one of the restaurants. The one special dish was a tomato based soup into which a cornmeal pudding was dolloped.