Let me tell you teaching and having a social life is hard work. I barely survived this week. So it’s good fortune that there are only 5 more weeks until the end of term. Bring on the winter holidays!
Sunday 13th November
Mine, Aimee and Stephen’s interview with the University’s News Centre was published. You can see lots of lovely photos and text but you will need to use a translator to read it unless you understand Chinese.
Monday 14th November
Today our teaching building experienced its third power cut in two weeks. The power supply is not as unreliable as it was in Nigeria but it’s not far off. Power cuts mean I have to teach without my PowerPoint presentations – not impossible but not ideal either.
In addition to helping others learn I also have to learn myself. This week I fit in one Chinese lesson. I studied with several students in the News Centre. It was a good location to study in as one of my students who works there made me a delicious Jasmine tea.
In the late afternoon Alice, one of the students I visited FAST with, gave me a printed photo from our day out. It was a lovely surprise.
Tuesday 15th November
I danced Cha Cha, Modern Chinese and Waltz for 2 hours. I also accepted an invitation from one of my students to visit the after school club where she works on Friday.
Wednesday 16th November
My article about going from hating running to loving it was published on the British Council’s LearnEnglish Teens online blog. I’m pleased to say I have been chosen to be one of their bloggers for the academic year 2016/2017.
After 10 weeks I finally introduced Hangman to English Corner. It’s one of my favourite games because it’s universal. I’ve played it with colleagues in England, under-10s in Nigeria and now university students in China. It proves to be a hit wherever I take it (or maybe I’m the hit and Hangman is neither here nor there).
A student from my Oral English for non-English majors class gifted me the most delicious Ferrero Roche I have ever eaten. Subsequently I am now on the hunt for decent chocolate which seems to be near impossible outside of the UK. Wish me luck or FedEx me some Cadbury’s.
Thursday 17th November
An American English teacher, named Amanda, who has lived in Duyun for 2 years observed one of my Reading classes. I’ll be honest I was a little nervous but it was good to receive feedback on my performance and ask her lots of questions.
In the afternoon, out of nowhere, I received a text message saying “don’t forget dinner at 5pm”. Hmm I made dinner plans? When? And who with? It turned out to be a dinner invitation from a student, named Bella, who visited my office hours on Tuesday. We had a lovely vegetable hot pot. There was so much food it was incredible.
After dinner I rolled myself to dance class. The class was an hour and a half and I tried Rumba for the first time.
Friday 18th November
Since yesterday the weather in Duyun has been warm. There’s been no need for two jumpers and a coat – just one jumper has been sufficient.
At lunch time I watched some of the girls from my Reading classes play a football match. They are currently number one in the league. They have to play every department. Today’s match was against the Physical Education department. Sadly, I couldn’t stay for the second half to see the final score but I hope they did well.
At 7pm I visited the after school club where my student Cola works. It was held in a converted apartment which had desks and whiteboards installed. Only 8 children attended but they had the liveliness of 50 children who’d consumed 20 blue Smarties and a litre of Coca Cola each. It was wild! Think free ice cream giveaway at Disney World. Luckily I had planned lots of games, songs and show-and-tell.
Saturday 19th November
Today had to be my rest day. I didn’t leave the apartment until 3.30pm. I stayed at home doing laundry, cleaning the apartment, cooking on our fabulous hot pot table and catching up on celebrity gossip.
Eventually, I left the apartment, donned a pair of sun glasses and some flip-flops (it really is that hot) and headed to the shops.
Then at 7pm I attended dance class and afterwards I went for a walk around campus. That’s when I bumped into two of my students who were running a market stall selling jewellery. There are lots of market stalls and shops on campus selling everything from books, to puzzles, to fruit, to even a hairdressers!