Classes have been going okay. We have been discovering just how poor the English-speaking skills of this semester really are as the week has progressed. When we are talking to them, or giving instructions, I see them watching my mouth closely with a blank look on their faces, and I'm pretty sure that not a lot of what I just said, in pretty simple English, was understood. As we put them in small groups, the understanding is even less, because in most cases, the ones who did understand are not there to help them understand.
The case in one of my classes left me shaking my head. I was trying to explain what the play was about to one group that I had just assigned a Reader's Theater script. One of the guys gave himself an English name of "Funny." He is quite funny! I would say a few words, and he is looking at me intently, he nods his head, and then bursts out laughing, because he really didn't get what I was saying. I think he understands a little more than what he was putting on, but he is quite the joker and is always laughing.
David went to the housing office to pay the rent on Monday. After he paid the rent, Mr. Liu told David that his new computer chair was here and gave it to him. He didn't offer to help him get it to the apartment, so David started off trying to pack the chair home. As he was going, a Pakistani student came out of the building and offered to carry it for him. David tried to refuse, but the young man insisted. He said that he had been raised to respect teachers and older people, and that it was his pleasure to help him out. So, the young man went out of his way to help bring the chair to our apartment with David! So thankful to him for doing this!
After we had lunch with Eva in the canteen, I went to my Chinese water color painting class on Wednesday. Charly was there during the first fifteen minutes to help interpret for me, but then he got a call, and said he had to leave to help take care of some administrative things and would be gone for about 40 minutes. I was able to watch the teacher demonstrate what he was doing, but didn't understand any of it. I was able to mimic his motions with the brush, but had to guess at the colors he was using. We are learning to paint wisteria blossoms.
|Charly got the teacher to come over and demonstrate for me while he explained what was happening in English. The light purple at the top is the teacher's wisteria. The more reddish one is my second attempt.|
On Wednesday at 6 p.m., David and I were informed that there were some documents that needed to be signed and handed in the next morning by noon. The problem was, we both had to teach the next morning! Was it possible to print the documents off, fill them out and then send them in electronically? Nope! They had to be filled in, printed off, and handed in personally to the human resources office.
David was informed while he was in class on Thursday, that it needed to be done online, printed off, and brought to Kang Ming's office by 1:20 p.m. He was able to dismiss his class a little early, hurry home, type in the forms we needed, and print them off. I made a quick lunch for him, so he could go. I couldn't go, because we were expecting the new maid to come at 2 p.m., and we couldn't be sure that if we both went, we could be back by then.
David got to the bus stop he needed just as the bus got there, and he was able to get to Kang Ming's office by 12:45. When he handed the papers to Kang Ming, she told him that she wanted these documents that day, so that she could get the approval of the government for us to teach here again next year. If they were in by today, she would have word by Monday. As it turns out, Eva was able to learn on Friday while we were with her, that the government has approved and now it is for the HR department to finish that approval. Unless somethings else happens, we will be teaching here again next year!
David had his first monitor meeting in the canteen for this semester on Thursday. He likes to meet with the students, get to know them a little, and teach them a game to play. He also had a meeting on Friday for those that weren't at the Thursday meeting. I wasn't able to meet him at the canteen on Thursday for dinner, but I did on Friday.
Friday afternoon we wanted to go to the Old Market by the Hongjialou campus. We were trying to find a new shower head. The old one was leaking really bad and didn't spray out very well. We had tried to fix it, but it didn't help. We looked around and found a vendor that sold them. When David took a shower the next morning, he found that it was okay, except it was too big of a handle, and the spray would point any direction except in the middle of the shower. We only paid about $3 for it, but decided we wanted to go to the Hero Mountain Cultural market, that we went to last Saturday, to see the guy who sold the kind that we had before and maybe get a new one like that. I also bought a "Gucci" bag for 80 RMB (less than $30.00). I'm sure it's not real Gucci, but it will serve the purpose for which I need it, taking my assignments for the classes back and forth. I will use my old bag to carry my paint supplies to class in.
Kayce wanted to go to the Hero Mountain Market on Saturday, so we went along with her. We met at her campus and rode the bus. We walked through the market and those that remembered us from last week waved and greeted us. It is so fascinating to see all the things for sale! I wanted to get a holder for my paint brushes and a stand. We watched one guy do a demonstration on a slicer/dicer tool. Kayce and I were so fascinated by it! We didn't understand anything he said except when he was counting the numbers of the tools available with it. It was just like on the infomercials!! Of course we each bought one! For two we paid 20 RMB each. I used it to make supper last night. Better than a food processor for making hash browns!
We ate some of the local foods and bought a new shower head that was like the old one we had that we liked. Kayce decided to buy one for herself also. The head is designed to reduce the amount of water needed to take a shower and still get the same water pressure. Our showers this morning we really nice!
To finish up the Hero Mountain market, we went through the area that they were selling crickets, birds, and other animals that we had seen last Saturday. They were also selling small scorpions, too! Then we walked to the bus station after buying some nuts and went home.
|We didn't make it here until they were starting to pack-up for the day. Last week this whole area was full of bird cages and birds for sale.|
|Boxes and boxes of live meal worms, crawling and creeping over and over each other.|
|This is the canary I want! I don't think Eva would like to take it for us while we are gone to feed and care for it if we did get it.|
|One cage of these parrots was sitting on the ground.|
|More parakeets and canaries.|
|If you haven't read "The Cricket in Times Square," you should. These crickets were being sold with cute little cages and other containers to keep them in. I'm sure that whoever buys them, carefully chooses the cricket that is best for them.|
|I call it a "Cricket Hotel."|
Sunday was a fun time to have Church and a nice meal afterward. David and I stayed after everyone else had left and played games with Kayce.