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!

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