Sunday, August 10, 2008

Life in China Tidbits

Model school ended on Friday. It was a three week model school but I only taught for 7 days. My teaching partner taught for the other 7 days. On the last day of school, our students did presentations and since our theme was Summer, we had a summer picnic and played Frisbee. We had started out with 32 but on the last day only had about 10. I think summer is a busy time for students and they want to go home to visit their parents.

What were the highlights of model school?

The biggest highlight for me was all of the laughter and noise. Noise meant that the students were speaking English which was one of our teaching objectives. My students did interviews for a summer job, did speed dating, and played taboo like games. It was a good learning experience.

My computer crashed which made it slightly inconvenient to prepare lesson plans. The nice thing though is that one of my students is going to help me fix it.

I had to take two buses to where my student lives. The first bus was easy. The second bus was a bit more difficult.

Where do I get off? Which direction do I go?

My limited Chinese was understood by the bus driver and he told me where to get off. My limited Chinese was mispronounced and confused the 5 people I asked at the new bus stop. I didn't know which direction to take the new bus. I had to cross the busy 8 lane street 5 times as each person told me something different. Finally one man corrected my Chinese, not shi da, but shi fan. Since he finally got what I was saying, I trusted his directions and ended safely at my destination.

Now I have 3 hours to spare, waiting to meet my student. Cyber cafes are everywhere. Plus I can go window shopping; although, I don't have a lot of money. We get $5 a day. Food is cheap only $1 a meal, but clothes are more expensive maybe $10 for a really nice skirt. I like the skirt. Shall I splurge?

The other day I got a haircut, boy short (very few young women here have boy short hair). It only cost $2 and it took like an hour. The hair washing and head massage lasted like 20 minutes.

Life is China is wonderful.

In a couple of days I will learn where I am going to be living for the next two years and then will all by myself go visit either taking a train or a long distance bus. Hopefully my Chinese will be correctly pronounced and understood.

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