Every class has been a learning lesson for me in teaching. Sometimes I make the lessons too easy and the kids are bored, sometimes I make it too hard and they’re frustrated by it. I asked them to use their new vocab words in a sentence and they almost rioted, apparently they’re only used to memorizing the words, not using them. Games are difficult to explain and I sort of just make them play until a light switches on and they go full force. Its a struggle to get them to not always repeat me, especially the first graders. Its also quite a challenge to get them to do anything individually. Even when they’re journaling they are all over each others notebooks and asking for words and spelling. This weeks journal topic was a picture of a turtle looking out a rainy window. The journals read:
“turle is sad, turle lost race to rabbit, he see window and wish suicide. Turle jump and die. People happy turle die because turle is slow”
“Turtle see window. Turtle jump from window but not die. His shell broke and turtles buy umbrella but umbrella no good. I eat the turtle. I eat him breakfast”
“Turtle jump from window. I step on him. I happy. Turtle is lazy. Turtle die.
“Turtle see rain. Turtle sad because he has a love. Turtle jumps from window. Very sad, Very passion.”
So, in other news, my students may have some anti-social personality traits. Why they know the word suicide but can’t use pronouns is beyond me.
Apparently the best way to amuse your co-workers is to say bless you when someone sneezes. I don’t always do it but if I’m distracted I’ll say it and then they die laughing. It is a rather odd custom that I’m surprised has lasted so long in America. They will rather piously repeat it to each other like a strange order of Chinese nuns in skinny jeans, blessing each other until one of them collapses laughing. I have no explanation to Americans do this or to why the Chinese find it so funny.
I found a café on Sunday that sells amazing coffee. It was 20rmb ($3) for 12 ounces and I could have bought two plates of noodles and a tea for that and I sort of felt guilty at first. If you want to sip coffee in a café you go to Europe, in china I should be in a tea house or noodle shop… but sometimes you need what you need and I decided it was a well spent 20 as I had delicious coffee on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Leaving home makes you realize what things you don’t care about at all, like driving. Not being able to buy a giant cup of coffee almost anywhere is something I miss the second I leave. Also not being routed to Google Hong Kong which won’t let me go to like 50% of the search results.
March is over and I’m quite looking forward to April. Since November my life has been all about the move to China, the decisions to make, the goodbyes to say and the places to leave. It was by no means a bad season of my life, but winter is over for me and I’m excited for April.