Friday, October 23, 2009

Being A Teacher (among other things)


So, I'm a teacher! I'm two weeks in and it's going really well so far. I teach four speaking classes (1:30 - 5 pm Mondays/Tuesdays) and four reading classes (8 - 11:30 am Thursdays/Fridays). I see my students twice a week for the whole year, so I hope I'll get to know them pretty well. I like them a lot - they're enthusiastic about improving their English, and I'm working hard to make the class interesting and useful. I'm still a little unclear about how much of the textbook I have to use, and what their final exam will consist of - unlike Tae, Chris, and Jess, I don't make up my own final, which is a little annoying.

A LOT more has been going on, so here's a little lightning round for ya:

Jess and I have started a women's group. Or rather, we both came up with the idea and while I was ready to do my usual "let's-mull-it-over-for-six-months," she whipped into action. On Tuesday night, after setting up a plate of cookies and some soft drinks, we made our way downstairs to the bus stop, where we told people to meet. "I hope people come!" we said to each other. "Maybe we'll get ten!" And...surprise: FORTY girls were waiting for us. Our apartment is spacious, but not that spacious. Somehow, we crammed forty young women into our place and gave them beer and introduced ourselves and talked. I think they were mostly interested in Jessica's life and wanted an opportunity to speak English, but we discussed what it's like to be a girl in science, since most of them are science/engineering majors, and we touched on boys and marriage and kids. It was nice to see that they all had very different viewpoints and opinions about these issues, and it'll be cool to see where this goes.

VISITORS: Kim and Nick, two other PiA-ers from Shenyang are currenty visiting, as well as Jess's boyfriend Rob. It's been fun to have all of them in Dalian, and we celebrated in style last night with a Mexican night, complete with tortilla chips and rice and salsa and too much tequila. Today, Nick and Kim and I tracked down Russian Street in downtown Dalian, which I've been wanting to see for a while. Dalian has been occupied by Russia, Japan, and China numerous times over the course of the last century or so, and it's reflected in the architecture in a small part of the city. Most of Russian Street is really touristy and gross, but at the end of the street is a huge, gorgeous, decrepit building that was more impressive than the rows of stands selling cheap fur hats and nesting dolls and Russian cigarettes. I still haven't bought a new camera, so this picture is courtesy of flickr:

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