My last two weeks have consisted of the same schedule as my “Latest Xiananigans”entry, with the exception of TOEFL tutoring. I am starting IELTS tutoring again this week or next week at a IELTS center downtown. I will also be employed there this summer. BIG NEWS: I will not be coming home this summer. It is something I gave a lot of consideration to. Instead, I will be home in late December for one month. Of course, as the university is contractually obligated, they will give me the money I would have used towards my flight.
OTHER BIG NEWS: I am moving departments next year and teaching REAL courses! What does that mean? It means I no longer have to be subjected to horrible textbooks and/or digging up lesson plans entirely on my own. I will be teaching journalism courses in the Translation School/Department (the university is so fragmented that each department is essentially its own entity). I am meeting with the Dean next week to finalize the specific nature of the courses. We had already discussed Editing, News Editing, & a New Media course. I’ll keep you all posted…
Some other interesting events that happened these last two weeks include babysitting and make-up classes. You are probably wondering how these two events could be interesting, so let me explain. First, because I attended my first Chinese wedding, I had to postpone my Friday classes. I made them up last week, and due to my student’s limited free time the schedule was as follows: 8-10am, 2-6pm. It wasn’t worthwhile for me to come back from the new campus, so Jason journeyed there. We ate lunch together, dining outside the campus for a particularly special treat called Huluji (essentially roast chicken which is served with spices) and spent some time in library, reading. I just finished a paperback version of Peter Hessler’s River Town. I would recommend this book for anyone who is interested in understanding the trials and tribulations of teaching English in China (Hessler was in a small town called Fuling in Sichuan province, along the Yangtze River and although he was a PeaceCorps volunteer in the early 90s, there are many things about our experiences that are exactly the same).
Second, Jason went home last weekend and returned on Monday. I called him and much to my surprise heard someone else with him, who was yelling “Hello, hello ayi (aunt).” It happened to be his nephew Changchang. His mother and father both had to work, so they left him with Jason. Jason ended up cooking dinner (a nice assortment which can be viewed below), while Changchang enjoyed the film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and later the the two of us took Changchang home. It took us two buses and a stop at KFC so that Changchang could get his “Western” food fix. We sat and talked with his brother and cousin for awhile, until eventually I succumbed to exhaustion and went home.
|Changchang and I enjoying Jason’s home cooked meal consisting of 涮牛肉 (sliced beef)，黄瓜和西红柿 (cucumber and tomato salad)，韭菜鸡蛋 (green vegetable and egg), my 粥 (porridge), and 馒头 (steamed bread).|