For Payton
and Deona


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

Teacher Day
(September 11, 2008) (return to Homepage)
     It's Teacher Day in China. On the way to class at 7:45 this morning, there were students on the walkway giving out flowers to instructors and saying "Happy Teachers Day." Moments later as Gail entered her classroom they shouted "Happy Teachers Day," and the same was written on the blackboard. When we arrived at our afternoon class, Gail was invited into my classroom from her class across the hall and we were presented with a potted plant. During my second afternoon class, a gift bag appeared on my desk during the between-classes confusion. Later I acknowledged the package; they told me it was actually for Moon Day which is this coming Sunday. That brought the count of moon cakes given to us up to about 23 so far. We will share!
     In the evening we opened ourselves to another adventure; we invited students to join us by the lake in front of our apartment to engage in informal English discussions. Six showed up and more seem to recongnize us and acknowledge us as they walked up. Oh, yes, there are plenty of students walking by any point on campus at almost any time of the day. Many discussions led to how to register at a college in America. Some appear very determined, others seem to think that a trip to an American university would be a great novelty. We will try to meet by the lake several evenings a week, which may supplement what we've heard is the English Corner that does about the same thing on Thursday evenings. Maybe we will try that this Thursday.
     One of our relevations is that Victor lives in a dorm room with nine other students. Candy lives in the same building as we do and lives in a unit with the same floor plan as our apartment but with no kitchen, and 15 girls live there. Most apartments have only one international instructor because they come as singles. Try to picture the crowded conditions.
     Hongying, a young lady who works here on campus, has visited with us about attending school in America to earn a Masters, so she can teach English or Chinese at a university either in China or in America. If you know of an appropriate university, you may let us know. Haha! She will serve as our interpreter during our trip to Guilin to practice her English in preparation to pass her English exams, such as TOEFL. I hope it works; she would be a great student.

A note about Chinese Moon Day or Mid-Autumn Festival:
Moon Day is an important family holiday in China as families gather during the full moon around the first of autumn. It is also called Mid-Autumn Festival. Besides sharing a big meal with the extended family, they eat moon cakes and look at the moon knowing that the family members not present are also looking at the same moon. It may seem ridiculous to think that Oregonians and Chinese can see the same moon at the same time. However, if there are clear skies, about 9:00PM in China on Sunday evening, it will be about 6:00AM in Oregon, and if the Oregonians look to the setting moon in the west and the Chinese look to the rising moon in the east, they will be seeing the same moon at the same time. As the moon rises that evening, we will be thinking about you in Oregon and other parts of the world. - - No classes on Monday.

     With the long weekend coming up we're prepping for a trip to Hangzhou near Shanghai. We've heard it's the most beautiful city in China. Last evening a student named Summer said that her city was the second most beautiful: Suzhou, not far from Hangzhou.

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