China Team Journal

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thought of the day: Let’s remember, as we see the faces of our students, the goals of our Global Volunteers to promote peace and understanding between/among peoples. –Karen

(Prelude: Thursday evening I was too exhausted to write and fell asleep at 8pm. I awoke at 9pm, while I was trying to decide whether to get up and write, I fell asleep. I awoke in the night, I wanted to rise by 5am to write this. Finally after an hour of restlessness I got up to se what time it was, 2:45. I lay there for some time and finally rose at 3:45. I am now in the small room sitting on the white ceramic chair and writing with this notebook on the marble sink.)

I was glad to see the rain this morning. It would mean the dust and other pollutions would be dampened for a while. But the rain I guessed would make for more hazardous driving. I was right. It was a 2 fender-bender day on the way to school.

At the school, we learned the electric power was out. The library has large windows so it didn’t affect us.

My class has 12 students, with only one young man. They were a bit more reserved and my attempts to warm them up were hot so successful. Perhaps they’re slightly dampened by the annoyance of the power outage. During the first period, I have them recite sentences, so I can assess their pronunciation. It goes well. During period 2, Karen and her class join us. This expands our possibilities for dialogue because Karen and I can talk to each other and we can each speak to the class in 3rd person. The recitation is quick but relaxed. In the 3rd period we sang our two songs and as usual they seemed to enjoy them. We had stipulated they could take pictures at the end of the class at 11:55. So, at the end they crowded around taking pictures on their cellphone cameras.

One unpleasant incident happened. A shy and somewhat sober Uighur girl stood by me to have her picture taken by a friend. A taller and exuberant girl pushed her from behind to get alongside me. The first girl was shoved two feet and she turned, obviously surprised and hurt. She ducked her head and went around on the other side but then withdrew because her face was contorting. She was about to cry. I motioned for her to stand by me bit she wouldn’t come and walked away and stood by a pillar obviously holding back tears. She walked to a friend by a window but the friend ignored her, waving her away, because she was on her phone.

Our lunch was at a nearby hotpot restaurant picked by Julia because the other restaurants needed electricity. It was an interesting meal but I prefer hotpot at home with only 4 or 5 people because it is less chaotic.

My afternoon class was more advanced. They took to everything so smoothly. They were so attentive and responsive. The understood a great more than I expected and it was great fun. They were all 20 or 21 with one exception – one girl was 19. They wore the navy blue pant suit with pink shirt blouse which I thin is the nurse’s student uniform.

Vivian suggested Karen teach the hula. We formed a rough circle and a good time was had by all. There is much more I could write but it is 4:42 and there is still time for an hour’s rest.