Well, I think our internet connection is too slow to upload pictures 😦 which is a real shame because we’re taken a lot of great ones so far. Yesterday was our first day of teaching. Spenser said his class went well but that he’s going to make it less boring for them today. Mine also went pretty well, however, they definitely aren’t “college students.” They’re more like bright high schoolers whose parents forced them to go to a Summer English Camp at Peking University. So, when my teaching partner and I went in there at 2:00, they were done. They were totally sick of speaking English all day and needed something fun. We had them make movie scripts and act them out and they seemed to really like them, but now the pressure’s on to have the fun, but still educational class, in the middle of the afternoon. Sigh.
Also, my class is in a brand new building that sits right at the eastern edge of Peiking University and the road to get there on campus is currently closed, so we have to leave campus, walk in Beijing for five minutes, then go back on campus and OH MY GOD. I finally saw China. There’s a huge, crowded road right off campus with traffic, street vendors, old Chinese men gambling with their shirts off and cigaretts dangling from their mouths, kids yelling, etc. It’s dirty. It’s grimey. It somehow reminds me of New Orleans ha ha! It was exciting! It was nice to get away from the Epcot dreamworld that is PKU and see what Beijing really looks like! On our way our of class, one of our CTLC coordinators bought us all “melon on a stick” from one of the street vendors. This slice of mystery oblong melon was the size of my head (if not a bit larger), cantaloupe in color but not in taste. It was like the most refreshing piece of melon I’ve ever had in my entire life. I normally despise melon but this was amazing.
Spenser and I went out to a sushi restaurant by our hotel last night to relax and hang out with each other. We’ve been so busy with our teaching groups that we don’t get to hang out too much so the sushi was nice. And the best part? The whole meal cost us about $23. A full-blown, fresh, delicious sushi meal for $23. China’s pretty awesome like that.
Oh, and in other good news, Spenser seems to be feeling better! He definitely has a head cold but we’ve been able to combat it with my endless supply of DayQuil, Mucinex, and LOTS of water. Since we’re walking all over this gigantic campus (blisters currently cover our feet), we’ve been sweating like crazy. We each carry two large water bottles with us at all times. Very hot, very uncomfortable, very sweaty, but fun. This is definitely an intense training course. We’re busy from 8:00am to about 7:00 pm and it’s exhausting but it should get easier once our groups can develop lesson plans a little bit faster. Making a new lesson plan that somehow coordinates with your other six teachers snf that’s still interesting for your class is super tiring. I can’t wait to get to Shenzhen.
We go see the Great Wall on Friday (woot!) and that’ll be our first and only day off from teaching. Needless to say, we’re really looking forward to it 🙂
Well, it’s about 6:30 am here so I’m going to go ahead and start the day. We found a French pastry shop yesterday morning that had the best things! I don’t know what they were but they were flaky and delicious so I’m going to go back and get me some breakfast and make some tea.
Much, much love,