Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thought of the Day: We can all learn to, and benefit from, replying on the strength of others.

The day started with some sun peaking through the smog…and we started with our second week of classes. The ride to the college continues to become familiar – we were accompanied by Lisa from the English Chinese teachers. She is such a sweet lady, as are all of the teachers. I’m becoming very fond of each one of them! And all too shortly we will have to say goodbye to them. I do hate goodbyes!

My first class today was a delight. I had the students review some of the information we had discussed last week, and I asked for more detail about their home towns, and how long it took them to go home. One girl who is a Hui, takes over two days and nights by train to visit her parents, so she returns home only during the Spring Festival.

Fortunately she has a grandmother who lives just two hours by train from Xi’an. I learned so much from the girls about their home towns, information they volunteered.

We then joined Bob’s class for more questions and answers, and showed pictures and talked about Monterey, where Bob first lived in California. Then we showed pictures and talked about San Francisco, near our home, and finished the “geography lesson” with pictures and discussion about my childhood home in Honolulu. The students seemed fascinated by it all. I think they will remember our photographs. We concluded the morning by singing “My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean.”

For lunch we were joined in the student canteen by most of the teachers. It was fun to see all of the other students, many of whom were dressed in camouflage. Bob and Allison had a big bowl of noodle/beef soup, while I went upstairs with Fisher and Sunshine to get vegetables and rice. It was really a delicious meal for all of us, and so much fun to see what the students do for meals. Many took their meals out, carried in plastic bags. Sunshine told us that in the mornings students like to sleep as late as possible, and so they rotate having someone go to get their breakfast food. Not a bad idea!

The teachers had arranged for Allison, Bob, and me to rest…we had about 45 minutes to put our feet up. I, unfortunately, was so cold that I had trouble trying to sleep, so didn’t.

The afternoon was complicated by the fact that I’d forgotten that we would spend the entire time with Bob’s class. It wasn’t until Bob came down to remind me, that this was remedied. We had a class of nurses, and they are so very conscientious and anxious to learn…a delight to teach…and learn from. Their singing of “my Bonnie” was terrific.

I wrote one of my emails to friends, and we had dinner of foods we’d enjoyed before- Baoli has obviously been watching. Then we reviewed our goals and had a good discussion, and finally I got Baoli and Yibo to help get my password and email out of the computer downstairs, before I came up here to type this. It’s now off to bed. I’m EXHAUSTED!

Ciao, Karen

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