Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Happy National Teacher's Day!

Today is National Teacher's Day in China. Some students from one of my classes came into the office and gave all the teachers roses, so now I have a pink rose and a white rose on my desk. In my first class today, one of my students when I was in the middle of saying something said, "Happy Teacher's Day Stephanie!!". It threw me off track for a minute before I smiled and said thank you. Tomorrow the school is treating us to dinner and on Friday we are going to KTV for karaoke (oh dear).

I find it ironic that shortly after making that post yesterday saying that the foreign teachers couldn't seem to care less about me, I got a text message from Stephanie saying they were all at Blue Frog ad I should get there ASAP. It was a pretty nice evening (other than the fact that my bacon potato soup was completely devoid of flavor). Tentative plans were made for a possible party at the apartment where three of the teachers live.

After dinner I went to Carrefour. I wanted to get some speakers for my computer for when I get around to playing music in class, and some new headphones since the ones I have used for three years were literally falling apart. They were having some items on super discount sale so I bought some tupperware, a water bottle (I get so thirsty since they don't give us anything to drink other than soup at lunch), a cutting board (5 RMB!), and a basket thing for my dirty laundry. The headphones were actually the most expensive thing I bought. Yikes. On the way home I picked up three new DVDs from the woman that Stephanie swears by. I was surprised that she only charged 5 RMB a movie. It was 8-10 most other places I've gone and I didn't even haggle with her. I watched Prince Caspian before going to bed.

So, the foreign teachers suggest I get an Ayi. Ayi is Chinese for aunt, and in this case it means a cleaning woman. Stephanie's Ayi charges 25 RMB an hour to wash her floors and windows and bathroom and clean the dishes. It's a good deal, and my floors do get dusty disturbingly fast, but I don't really like the idea of someone being in my apartment when I'm not there. And I wouldn't want to be there looking at her while she cleans for me. The whole idea doesn't really sit right with me. I've always taken care of my own stuff, or been part of a household that shared responsibilities. But then again...when in Rome....right?

Kellie and I have been sharing thoughts about being a new teacher. It's nice to talk to someone that feels the same way I do. Since most of the teachers here have been at it for a while and the only other new teachers here teacher children, it's not the same experience. I am trying to convince Kellie to come visit for the holiday we both have coming up in the end of September. (DOOOOOOOOO IT Kellie!!!)

Teaching is going well for the most part. Some students did their "How To" presentations yesterday and some were really good. I still sometimes feel like a fraud when I teach though. The beginning of each week is frightening since I am teaching everything for the first time, but when I get to the end of the week and I am repeating the same class I feel more comfortable. I like having one on one time with the students. Finishing class early and letting the start their homework usually turns into a good thing. They feel more comfortable asking questions one on one and I can give them individual advice, encouragement or praise. Of course some students just take the oppertunity to talk or sleep or goof off, so I can't do it too often.

I'm rambling and I need to prepare for tomorrows classes, so I will talk to you all later.

I need to find something interesting picture wise to put up. Hmmm...

Love,
Stephanie

1 comment:

Pete said...

Aiyis usually charge 10rmb/hr. If you hire one, make sure you copy her Chinese I.D. card and hire her through an agency. I have never hired one but I've heard good things about them.