Connecting Mandarin and English,
(September 29, 2008) (return
Monday and the beginning of a weeklong national holiday here in China. To
make this seven-day rest period possible we, and the rest of the nation,
worked Saturday and Sunday, just as if it were in the middle of the week.
The days of teaching that we replaced were the Friday and Monday schedule,
and since I have full loads on those days and they are Gail's "no class"
days I have been very busy and Gail has fixed some great Chinese suppers.
Later today we will be riding the "232"
down to the railroad station where we will ride the overnight to Guilin
for about three days of touring. Certainly you will hear more on this later.
As Monday was Gail's first day with her three
freshmen classes, so Friday was my first day with my three freshmen College
English classes. Like Gail, I had an average of more than 50 students in
each class with no roster and many students with no English names. So they
signed in with the Chinese names and hand-written Chinese characters.
Try taking role with that.
Some of my emails this morning talked about
how the lives of teachers, and in particular our lives in China, are 100%
focused on the students. First of all, beyond spending time with the students,
the activities around here seem to be drinking and shopping and either of
those activities are on our list of things to do. On weekends and free days,
we're off touring and we plan to continue that routine. Back home there
would be weeds to pull.
A note about the
There's been a noticeable
change in Nanchang. In our apartment the air-conditioner has not
been on for about three days. Outside the trees are waving frantically.
Gone are the days when the boys across the way only wear their briefs
in their rooms. Gone are the days of cute frilly dresses. In fact
now that the temperatures have stayed below 80F and dipped to 70F
with a wind, the coats and long pants are making their appearances.
On the other hand, we have been able to take more unnecessary walks
and enjoy them. We actually have to put our clothes in the wash
machine before we have to dry them. Life is good for us notherners.
As you can see life has become much more routine
and our comments much less interesting. Hopefully we will have more insights
in a week from now.