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Friday, October 28, 2011

Pictures

For only teaching 20 hours a week, I am super busy. Sorry!! I did upload some pictures to our picture website.

http://nanjingren.shutterfly.com/

Today DK made me delicious soup for dinner! It was the first experiment with our new crock-pot and it turned out great! We did chicken & mushroom & noodles. It wasn't anything too "home-y" but it was nice to have food not from a restaurant. There are a few pictures on the photo site. They don't do justice to it, though!

My week has been pretty routine. I think kindergarten went well on Monday. We did shapes, so it was finally something new. They seemed to do very well with them. But I will see how they do when we review next week. On Tuesday, we went to a dinner for foreign teachers at Nanjing University. It was just a casual get together. Wednesday was English Corner. I enjoy hanging out with the students there. They are all very excited to speak English and talk to an American. So, it was quite fun. Thursday was my long day, as usual. All of my classes went well, it was just exhausting not being back in the room for almost 12 hours. On the plus side, we went to lunch with Sherry and her friend. I tried new foods, not sure what the names were for everything. I had some sort of pork knuckle(?) that was kind of greasy and chewy. It was alright though. We also had egg custard, pureed peas, turmeric chicken (delicious!), beef & noodle hot & sour soup (very good), purple sweet potatoes, rice covered pork rib, fish soup, lotus root with sticky rice, and rice (of course). I loved the turmeric chicken the most, but I also really enjoyed the rib & the purple potatoes. The lotus root was really interesting, it was sweet, but crisp, with sticky rice in the holes. I liked it, but it wasn't something I could eat a lot of, too sweet.

My Friday night has been quite low-key, just doing laundry and prepping for class tomorrow. In the spirit of St. Louis & the Cardinals, we are going to talk about baseball tomorrow. I have a clip of the winning homerun that I want to show them. We are going to go over the rules of baseball and I want to try and explain it to them. I figure it is a good way to feel more connected to home & hopefully get the guys more involved.

Time for bed, tomorrow morning will come too early! I hope the game tonight goes well!! GO CARDS!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Coats



I promise to write a longer post in a little bit. But, I just bought 2 coats and I am really excited about them. So, I wanted to show off some pictures! I got them for 700 RMB (about $110)!! One is a bit nicer, for if I need to be dressy or professional. That one is also thicker, so it will be nice when it gets super cold! The other one is SOO cute & pink. The color on the photos is a bit off. It is actually a perfect Barbie pink! I think the coats will do a great job of keeping me warm this winter. Plus, I will be so stylish! ;)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Weekly Recap

It's Sunday night, so I figured I should update my blog! I had a pretty good week. It seemed like it lasted forever! I guess that's what happens after having a week off.

On Monday in kindergarten, we talked about clothes. I brought in some of my clothing to show them. We learned "coat" & "pants" & "shirt" & "shoes" & "slippers" & "scarf." They colored and some of them got to play dress up with my clothes. It was fun, they are always adorable!

We finished watching Groundhog Day in my A/V English class. Then we talked about the news. This week they will present 5-7 minute segments of the news. I think it will be really neat to see what they do. I assigned segments but they get to choose the topic. The focus has to be on the US. Otherwise, I told them to be creative. I'm excited to see how they turn out.

In Marketing we are working on branding. The class is 2 hours, so for the first hour I lecture on info from the book. I try and have something more fun and practical to do for the second hour of class. On Saturday last week (when we made up for National Day) we played brand bingo during the second half of class. They really enjoyed the game. This week we talked about the branding process. They came up with a brand and a logo. Some of the students were very creative and had great ideas. Others, the boys, were typical boys about it. But it was still entertaining. For the second hour, we talked about idioms. The idioms lesson was good, it should help them with sounding more fluent.

On Thursday I also had my writing classes. Last week we did descriptive writing. This week we worked on persuasive writing. In class we brainstormed on a topic that I had them write about for homework. The prompt was "Students in the USA should learn Chinese in elementary school." (In China they start learning English in 3rd grade.) I was surprised by the different reasons they came up with, both for and against learning Chinese. A lot of them thought that it was good so people can learn more about China's history and culture. Also, they said it would help for doing business internationally. The students that thought it was a bad idea said that either Chinese was too hard or that students wouldn't ever use Chinese in their real lives. I'm excited to read their papers and see what else they came up with.

My conversation class, Kouyu, focused on maps and directions this week. We watchedI showed them Google Earth which they really enjoyed. Then we talked about how maps are different in China vs. the US. One big difference is the way we say directions. In Chinese, you would say "east south" instead of "southeast." Also, we talked about how to give good directions using landmarks, time, distance, turns, etc. DK & I had bought maps a few weeks ago and we used those this week. We handed them out to the students and had them give us directions from one place to another. Then they did dialogues of helping a lost tourist. It went pretty well.

I was really pleased with my reading class this week. We are still working on Joyluck Club and it has been taking a while. We were finally able to have a discussion this week. Usually it takes most of class just summarizing what they have read. Our discussion was about fate and superstitions. It was a slow start, but I think this could be a good beginning. For the rest of class I had them work with their project groups. Their project for the book is to act out a scene from the book. They can either do it live as a skit for class or tape it. I also told them that they need to write a script. I'm excited to see what they come up with. I think it will be a good chance for them to be creative.

My adult class went well this weekend. They will all be taking a test later on their oral English. So we were preparing for possible questions. We talked about how to describe pictures, a frequent question on tests. I showed them pictures from my trips to London and Paris. Then I showed a picture of Grandpa Lyon and Margaret at a lake. They loved the picture! They said it was like a picture from Roman Holiday.  After the pictures, we talked about idioms. I told them about English idioms and then had them tell me about some Chinese idioms. I love learning about their expressions and language!

After classes on Saturday, Danielle and I went out with some friends from our school. They are members of English Corner, the English club. We went to a pub near Nanjing University in Gulou. It was really fun, they are great people. Their English is phenomenal so it is easy to talk and have normal conversations with them.

Today has been really low key. We came back from downtown and have been working on class stuff for this week. 

Hopefully I will update again soon, I will try not to wait so long between posts!

One of my students asked me to write a little article for the Foreign Language Newspaper at the school. She asked me to write about a place in China that was interesting for me. I wrote about Summer Palace in Beijing. I hope they like it. I'm not sure when the paper comes out, but I will be sure to get a copy!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

National Day Break

Yikes, it has been a while since I wrote anything. Sorry!

So, it is National Day right now. This is basically like Fourth of July, but the Chinese don't really have any traditions for it. Everyone just gets a week off of work and spends time with family. A lot of students went home for the week. So life in Pukou is pretty low key.

Bad news first, my cell phone was stolen on Sunday. Danielle and I were walking near Nanjing University and someone took it from the front pocket of my book bag. They also took my baby orange! There is a span of about 20 minutes when it happened, but these thieves work fast. Luckily, my students are awesome and I am all set again. I went to the store with one student and he helped me buy a new phone. I got a LG Android. It's pretty nice and it was about the same cost as my deductible on my old phone. Then, today, I went to the cell phone store and got a new SIM card. I was able to get my same number back. So that is great. I still lost all of the numbers on my old phone. But, luckily, DK has a lot of them. The others are mostly students so I can get them back easily. I'm pretty upset they stole my phone. I really liked that phone. And it had some great pictures on it that I hadn't uploaded to my computer yet. Oh well, I guess I have learned my lesson.

Considering that getting my phone stolen is the biggest tragedy of the trip so far, we are doing pretty well.

Yesterday, Tuesday, DK and I went to Purple Mountain. It was REALLY busy because of National Day, so we didn't stay for too long. But we climbed all 392 steps to the top where Sun Yat Sen's mausoleum is. The line was really long, so we decided to come back a different day. Now that we know how to get there, it is not a big deal to go. And, it was free to see on Tuesday, so we didn't waste any money.

Most of our break has been spent just relaxing. We are working on lesson plans so that we can be ahead of the game for the week. We have our Thursday classes on Saturday this week & our Friday classes on Sunday. So, we will be busy. Plus, Danielle has her Friday & Saturday classes on Thursday & Friday.

I am excited that I have started having my freshmen writing classes. I didn't have them the first two weeks of school because of military training. I really like the students in the two freshmen classes. I am the first foreign teacher some of them have ever had. They were all really excited to do introductions and get to know me and the other students. Because they are just out of high school, their English is very good. I have been quite pleased with how well they can speak.

This week in writing we are going to talk about the writing process and plagiarism. Plagiarism is not a big deal in China, so it is something totally new to them. But, as an American, it is something I don't put up with. It will be interesting to see how the lesson goes.

In my Marketing class we are going to play Brand Bingo this weekend. I have them make a Bingo sheet and then write down different brand names. Then I will show a logo on the projector and they get to cross off that brand. I thought it would be a fun game to help them get back into the school routine. And, it will be neat to see which brands they can recognize. I mixed between Chinese brands & international ones.

My reading class is still working on The Joy Luck Club. We watched a movie on Friday, it was the day before break and no one wanted to focus. So, I hope they are prepared to discuss on Sunday.

The weather in Nanjing is finally getting cooler. My A/C has been off for the last few weeks and I have had my windows open. It is nice outside, even a tad chilly at night. My back has not handled the changing weather very well. But I made a heating bag out of rice and that is helping.

I will probably write more tonight after dinner. I want to tell you all about my students. I have had some very interesting experiences with them. But now, I need to do some real work!