…what a wonderful word. 🙂
Today was my first payday at the school, and it sure felt good to go to accounting and pick up my RMB, each bill graced with Mao’s face. Today was the last day of teaching until October 11th, when we resume classes after the National Holiday and the two day Sports Event at the school. Stacey and I are planning on dressing up Audrey Hepburn-style (think My Fair Lady) and going to our students’ races to cheer them on, so we’ll see how that goes. On Monday, a group of us are planning to go to Beijing for a few days to walk around and see the sights, and I’m really excited about that. We’re going to hit the major touristy spots, and then save a day to relax or just explore the shops nearby our hostel. It should be great! (Leslie and Shi…I would love to see you if that’s possible! )
This week has been the most difficult in terms of teaching, because the novelty of us teachers as foreigners is wearing off, and the students are testing our limits. At almost every lunch period this week, four or five of us teachers have all slumped down at our table in the cafeteria and just shaken our heads at each other. The students are loud, speaking Chinese instead of English, throwing things, hitting each other, cursing a bit, and so on. Nothing horribly out of control, but disruptive and frustrating. So it’s been a long week for all of us, I think. Today though, my first three classes were simply excellent–they did what they were told, even the writing assignment, and volunteered to answer questions in class. It might be that they were just happy because they have the long break starting after school today, but whatever the reason, I appreciated the change.
One of the best moments of the day was walking through the Primary School after picking up my paycheck and getting swarmed by the red-clad little primary students, who are really adorable. They hugged my legs and jumped up and down next to me, and went I knelt down to give hugs, they put their little arms around my neck and kissed my cheek. Oh, I melted.
After having ill-behaved classes yesterday, and having to make one disruptive child sit out in the hall today, that moment was the breath of fresh air I needed.