For Payton
and Deona


Connecting Mandarin and English,
          Chinese and American,
                    people with people

Gail's First Day in Class
(September 2, 2008) (return to Homepage)
     Since 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 decor.
     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.

We would love to hear from you; your comments, your questions and your suggestions. For security purposes we ask that you send us an email at and we will post the messages