03.15.2013 - 03.22.2013 50 °F
Goodness gracious! 5 blog comments when I logged on today! Thanks guys (: it makes me happy knowing people are actually reading what I'm writing! :b I gotta say, when you are Facebook deprived seeing you have a blog comment is like seeing you have a friend request or like 10 facebook notifications.
I will be honest when I say this week completely flew by!! I was worried about writing the blog post for our first time teaching at the migrant school and well...now it's a week later and I haven't written it. My upmost or is it utmost(?) apologies. I'm tempted to just save it and write a twofer one as we are heading to teach there again tomorrow. Butttttttt I would probably not get that post out for another week, Lordy the life of a student.
So lets start at last Friday.
We first went to the urban planning museum. How do I put this....it has a lame name, so I imagined it to be really lame, and then once we got there i thought it was really awesome.....and then it turned out to actually be really lame. Sorry confusing thought process. It pretty much is museum about the aspects of Nanjing being a city. Boring huh? BUT! They had theeee coolest model city built, and it lit up!! And there was a light show and they had each district lit up and a cool movie playing. Sorry for the blurry photos I was not expecting my lighting situation.
I guess in the future they are going to outlaw crocs..?
After the super cool floor show we got to watch a "3-D" movie....aka they tried to turn us all blind. Like one of my classmates out it, if they just took out the one hot air balloon in the beginning of the film, it wouldn't have needed to be 3D. Seriously half of us couldn't see after the movie because it had such strange graphics.
This film was about where Nanjing would be in 2020. They kept referring to this as a Great Leap Forward. Which confused most of us as the Great Leap Forward was a famine that killed thousands of people in china during the 1950's , so why would did they want that name attached to their urbanization planning? I have no idea, what I do know is that while watching the movie it took a good 15 minutes for me to realize that they were discussing a future Nanjing, not the current city and I got really excited when they showed a huge Ferris wheel and amusement park, only to later be let down. Also I should've known because they showed a ridiculous amount of green grass and they said "even the sky will be clear, with no pollution." At least they know there is a problem!
After the museum we went to a nearby shopping district to eat lunch. I chose to eat a very famous Nanjing dish, duck blood soup.
They should rename to to every part of the duck but the meat. Not only was there duck blood, but duck intestines, liver and hearts, all accompanied by spongey tofu and strange noodles. It was awesome to say the least, but I am so tired if eating intestines, they are really not my favorite.
After lunch I got fruit on a stick. Fruit in China is more popular then I expected it to be and I am shocked that I haven't gotten sick from eating it yet. Although you have to be careful which pieces of fruit you buy, as in avoid the big pieces. For example if there are two apples, both look good but one is noticeably bigger then the others, don't eat it. Chances are it has been injected with "fruit steroids" to grow bigger. I don't know the technical term, I just know its bad for you, but you can tell as soon as you bite into it that its a little strange.
So far though I have yet to have a problem with the fruit on a stick. Any type of fruit you can imagine is shishkabobbed and then coated in hard sugar, much like the huge apple spear my grandma bought me before.
However, I usually get the fresh strawberry ones, although the grapes are very good as well, but I have yet to find grape ones without tomatoes mixed in. I get the feeling they just like to put the round fruit together.
What is the best thing to do after eating fruit on a stick? Buy bubble tea of course! I am going to turn into a huge bubble by the time I leave China. I get one every day. They are absolutely amazing. Imagine raspberry hot chocolate, but cooled, then mixed in with chewy raspberry jelly and chocolate pudding all in a convenient cup and huge straw. Omnomnomnom I will return to america obese, you can count on it.
After all of this THEN we went to the migrant school to teach. We ended up having to kill sometime at the metro station so we were all entertained by Lev trying to wear my jacket. Enjoy these next few photos. *note the women laughing in the background* by the time we actually started walking to the school we all had tears in our eyes and then we had to make a pit stop at the "public" restroom because we drank too much bubble tea. And when I say public...I mean your business is completely public...like there is a trough on the floor....and a row of women just doing their thing. There was one "private" area in the corner. Which we all took turns waiting for.
Finally after that little adventure we made it to the school, and only a minute early. Lev and I are group teachers so we get our own classroom all to ourselves for a whole hour. We were all pretty excited because we got the same class that we taught the first time and we were greeted with yells and cheers, and yes...they remembered our names. Today's lesson was about hobbies. We are supposed to somewhat follow their textbook but we are given quite a bit of wiggle room. Long story short we started talking about spongebob square pants, and Patrick. We taught them to say things like: "spongebob enjoys cooking hamburgers, his hobby is cooking." Once they got that down, we moved onto things like reading, games, tv, and finally music. When we asked what instruments they could play they all whipped out recorders and immediately three girls were singled out by their classmates to perform for us. Lets just say Chinese records compared to American recorders....not as painful to listen to. There is definitely a different mentality between students. If you ask who likes drawing? They will all immediately turn to one person and say she is the best. Whoever is the best at something is definitely known by all of their peers. We have two kids in our class who's English is a bit more advanced then the others. They sit right in the front row and if we ask for someone to repeat a sentence all the classmates pressure these two to speak first. It's competitive of course, but also very supportive of it...like hey I know your the best....but I'm going to encourage you to show off your talents whenever possible. Then again it could just be because we are foreign teachers and they want the whole class to look good.
Thankfully by the time we were running out of hobbies to talk about, the bell rang and class was over. As we packed up our things I was bombarded by the little girls. They gave me bracelets and drawings and we took photos together and they wanted our QQ#s (QQ is an online chat thing kind of like Facebook). Their drawings are impressive too! We surprised them and told them we were giving them English names next week, so today Lev and I recruited a few of our classmates to help us make 20 girl's name cards and 20 boy's name cards. These are some of the other teachers as well.
They are going to flip. Also...we didn't want to give them super boring names so here are all of my students names ( I may or may not have gotten some inspiration from family and friends): Sophia, Emma,Lily,Nora, Kelly, Piper,Emily, Ella, Abby,Addi, Layla, Suzy, Daisy, Alina, Hazel, Nicole, Leah, Pearl, Beth,Chelsea, Bob, Riley, Noah, George
Mikey, Bill, Tyler, Ian, Brian, Roman, Milo, Logan, Ryan, Max, Eli, Brad, Nemo, Ash, Adam, Cole, and Parker.
....and since I didn't actually get this posted last night because my classmates and I went to the night market near my house (yea I bought that hat, and the things the women is cooking is called stinky tofu, it makes you want to vomit as soon as you smell it but is delicious ounces cooked)
and threw a party in our dorm lounge I will skip this week a little bit andtalk about today Friday March 22nd. My fellow teacher, classmate and seattleite is an avid vlogger so he was pretty much recording us the whole time teaching and interacting with the kids so as soon as he is done putting his vlog altogether I will post that as well so you can witness first hand the amount of excitement giving out English names created. And oh was it exciting. Half of them can't pronounce their names and we are waiting for them to forget to bring their name cards to class next week but for the time being it is nice to be able to call out their names or ask certain kids to spell words. It makes us feel like real teachers (:
We were told we had to give them a spelling bee so we showed up to class with a list of words, and of course I spelled one wrong on the chalk board. *facepalm* they were none to thrilled and talked us down to only using half the words that we came up with, but we threw in a few tough ones like Mississippi and computer. I'm not sure how its going to workout but we told them if they could spell all the words right they would get a prize, so we are going to have to drop ¥50 on erasers, pencils and some chocolate. It will literally only be a few dollars. As we were leaving today I was bombarded with gifts. Candy, pencils, little toys, bracelets, keychains and someone gave me their brand new pencil case. Lev only got a tiny paper star. The other teachers aren't given anything at all, I'm not sure why this happens every time but it makes me feel guilty they give me all their trinkets, I wish I had something to give them in return. On that note, if anyone feels like sending cute American toys or candy to a group of 40 Chinese school children here is my address:
1026 Zeng Xianzi Building, Nanjing University
18 Jin Yin Street, Shanghai Road
Nanjing, Jiangsu 210093, P. R. China
Also if anyone has any good ideas for things we should teach them or fun activities please share!
The rest of last week went well. I had a grammar test that I feel like I did very well on and a few 听写 that I got good marks on as well. The most eventful thing that happened all week was catching my host families microwave on fire while making 墨西哥菜. But that's a long story and a blog post all on its own so check back for that and lots of pictures!
All in all the highlights of my week are as follows.
Wednesday: I finally got a picture with the most interesting man in the world's car. He is this husky looking man who wears bright pink plaid suits and drives a Mini Cooper covered in flowers and a Minnie Mouse painted on the side, turns out he is an English teacher who teaches in our building. I got to ride in the elevator with him one day....it's like being in the presence of a celebrity.
Thursday I bought a coconut and it took me about an hour to drink the whole thing. For only $1 I will probably end up buying one of these a day.
after going to the night market on Thursday we rode the bus home, and we all sat in the back, we did what we liked to call a "social experiment" which involved us yelling Chinese proverbs at people walking on the street or in the cars next to us. The only proverb I know how to say is "a loss may turn out to be a gain" so every bus stop that we came too we said it to those still waiting for their bus. We definitely scared a few people and were a little over zealous but we had a blast. At one point I gave up on the proverbs and just yelled out 泰坦尼克号, titanic. That really threw people off. By the time we got off the bus the driver was none too thrilled with us.
Friday: I got on the bus to head to school, same bus from the night before, and same driver. BUT I got the whole bus to myself!! this is the construction they are doing for the Nanjing youth Olympics. They are adding in a bunch of new subway lines. Today we also went shopping after teaching and me and my classmate wore matching long skirts, oh and I got to see more old men with birds.