Day 112 – Final Exams and Music
Today was the first day of final exams for David and me. We are to do a five minute interview with each student to test their English speaking skills. I got behind after the first few students and decided I had to cut down the time that I was spending to leave a little time to record scores and get ready for the next one. Trying to fit 46, 47, 48, 49 and 54 students into 4 two hour time slots is a real challenge. Some of the students are coming two at a time so I can get it all done in the time allotted for it. I can tell there has been improvement in the majority of the students, so I must have done something right.
After lunch, we did a chat with Seth and Carolyn. I quickly tried to bake a batch of cookies to take to my afternoon class, but I didn’t get started in time and just barely made it in time for the sophomore class. I showed them the stuff for Christmas. The sound wasn’t playing at first, so I just showed them the video of the house with the Christmas lights that seem to dance to music. It wasn’t quite as fun, but then I was starting to move on to the Power Point that I had on Christmas when a technician for the computers came in (at the request of one of my students) and fixed the problem. I might have been able to do it myself except all the controls are in Chinese and I haven’t learned to read it yet… Then I showed them the video and they all thought it was so cool that they begged me to play it again, so I did! Last class with them and it was fun! After the break, I started in on the final exams for this class.
Part of the interview time, I allow them to ask me a question and I always hope it is one that can be answered in one minute, because that is all the time that is left. One boy asked me a rather long question about freedom and equality. He explained that with freedom, the rich seem to get richer and the poor seem to get poorer. I think he was trying to make a case for communism, and that wasn’t going to fly with me, so I explained that the way to make it work was to have a moral people. If people are moral and think of others, then freedom works and brings everyone up because the rich person will be thinking of the poor and how to give them dignity and also give those help. If you force the rich person to just give something to the poor person, you are only causing resentment for taking what you have and not receiving anything in return. I stressed that it is based on people being moral to have it work and gave examples of ancient civilizations that lost their superiority because of their loss of morals. And… I did it all in less than two minutes! He seemed to understand.
Another girl asked me about one of the possible questions that I had on the list of questions. They were to look over the list and try to think of something they could say ahead of time so that when they were in the interview, they would have a command of some words that would hopefully come easier to them. One of the questions was, “What would you talk about on a date?” These students are new to the dating scene because they are forbidden to date in high school, so dating is a big thing to them. This girl had not been on a date yet and because she is shy, wanted to know what I would talk about on a date. Well, it has been a FEW years since I was in the dating scene, so I had to scramble on this to come up with an answer quickly, but I felt like she went away with something that would give her more confidence when the time comes for her to have her first date. She was so cute!
After the finals, I hurried home and grabbed some of the cookies and David and I left to go to Kathy Gao’s home. We had a dumpling dinner and then got to play the piano and sang some Christmas songs and also played the guitar and sang. They all seemed to enjoy it. We had a cold time standing around waiting for the bus to get home. Ji’nan is getting colder. We had a skiff of snow last night.