Connecting Mandarin and English,
Gail's First Day in Class
(September 2, 2008) (return
it was Gail who had the 8:00 class this morning, I heated the water and
poured it over the oatmeal and craisins. We've also acquired salt and sugar
in bulk several days ago and so breakfast was quite classy.
The walk to class was a rerun of the day before,
except perhaps the students were different students and their clothes may
have be different also. Monday morning must have been laundry morning as
all the lines outside were covered with clothing and bedding attempting
to dry. The knee-bushes in front of the administration building by the university
entrance also were covered in drying bedding. We thought of our grounds
people at Western and how terrified they might be with this form of campus
As we approached the university entrance,
two school buses entered the campus and stopped in front of the administration
building. These were buses that came from downtown delivering faculty and
staff to their work. Students do not ride on school buses and they are not
yellow or orange and appear to have replaced the standing room with large
comfortable seats. We paused to note the clothing standard of the faculty.
For women dresses are most common but a pair of designer jeans cutoff below
the knees and dress slacks also appeared from the bus. Casual or dress slacks
were typically worn by the men with a white or light-colored polo shirt.
I guess I'll pass the dress code.
The room had 61 seats and the roster had 59
names. We never counted 58 students but the sign-in sheets registered that
many. Gail moved among teh students greeting them and encouraging them to
speak English and engage in conversation. She is so good at that.
One young lady seemed to be struggling with
her writing and so zeroed in on her after class to try to discover how we
could bring into the flow of the class. With on office we will probably
meet them by the lake or in our apartment for tea to help them.
The afternoon was spent reading papers, gathering
thoughts and supplies for the next day and chatting with the Irish neighbor
about her day teaching Bristish culture.