27 December 2008

Christmas Time

I will start by saying my Christmas here has not that great one I've been sick all week nearly and I didn't get to finish taking pictures with all my students so I'm a little annoyed. One other thing, today I tried to use my debit card from England to buy some games on the Internet. I wanted to do this so that I would have something to play as soon as I get home. But oh no my stupid debit card isn't working just like before nearly 4 months ago. I don't know what the hell is going on. I'm going to close my damn Abbey account and get a new one with someone else because this is a joke now. I told them the problem months ago and they told me they had sorted it out by sending me a new card but no, I still can't use it online. Anyways looks like I'll just have to save my money so I guess its not all bad haha.

Apart from being sick and not being able to buy anything online everything here has pretty much been the same. However I did get some apples from my students on Christmas Eve and some presents also which was nice. Oh something interesting did happen on Monday though, some criminals were brought to the school and made an example of so that the students wouldn't get any ideas about committing crimes haha. One of the criminals was an actual student from the school, supposedly he stole money or roughed some people with the others up or something. There were about 4 or 5 of them in total. Either way it was them now who were being roughed up, it was quite strange though to see this because they were all tied up and treated like animals.

Not sure if I will go to Xi'An next week with the school if I still feel sick but I'll have to see how that goes.

22 December 2008

The Beginning of the End

Today is the first day of my last teaching week at The 2nd Middle School of Zhen'an. The day started off as any other normal day however it wasn't until my 2nd Junior class of the day that one student began to cry mid-lesson.

The girl started to explain what was wrong to Mrs. Di, I just thought she was having problems or something until Mrs. Di told me that it was because I was leaving. When I saw the tears in her eyes I started to feel a bit emotional, I'm not sure why but then I just started to cry. I honestly felt sad that I would not see the students anymore after a couple of weeks and it didn't help that one student was crying for me either. I tried to comfort her and tell her not to worry as I wont be leaving just yet. One boy in the class told me not to cry, which I thought was quite nice.

Other students began to tell me in their own special way that they will miss me when I leave. One student gave me a key-ring with a picture of her in it. I thought that was quite nice since it made a change from all the plastic stars the children normally make and give to me.

After I had finished my lesson I wanted to take pictures with all the students. The students all seemed so eager to take pictures with me. They all fought and pushed each other to get close to me but I had to tell them to stop and calm down. I continued this for the 4 other classes I had for the day. It was funny that the Senior class I have on Monday's were quite happy to take pictures with me or maybe they were just happy that they won't have Oral English Lessons anymore lol.

Overall the day today was quite emotional but I can't let that get to me. Its just my time to leave. Hopefully if a new teacher comes to replace me they will be much better than me rather than worse in teaching, I say this because I would like the students to better their Spoken English.

PS: I forgot to say that in my last class after we had finished taking pictures two boys started to fight, I think it was because of all the pushing. I think something got broken or one of the boys got hurt. I was quick to jump in and break them up, I told them to relax and calm down as I held on to one of the students while some of the students held the other boy. Apart from this the day was fine.

18 December 2008

The Oral English Contest - The Aftermath

The contest has finally come and gone but I have to say that I am proud of all my students that took part in the contest.

All my students from Senior and Junior 1 (that's about 1000) gathered out in the school courtyard in preparation for the performance. The students were there to help encourage their fellow classmates and friends.

The other foreign teachers and I sat down right in front of the students who were spectating. While I was sitting there it kind of felt as if I was one of the judges on X-Factor/American Idol haha. However I did not let that phase me since I was there to mark my students on their performance and they would be more nervous than I was.

The students came up one by one first the Juniors then the Seniors. Many of the students felt nervous when they spoke and often made silly mistakes and took very long pauses when they were speaking. I tried to encourage them as best as I could but it seemed that the pressure may have been a little to much for some. After about 1 hour we had a slight break, for entertainment two students came up and sung a song for the audience. I thought that the two students did a good job considering how many people they were standing in front of.

I was slightly disappointed in some of my students who were spectating because they were making a lot of noise and they made it difficult for the judges and I to hear what the competitors were saying. It wasn't until one of the school leaders told the kids to shut up that they stopped making noise.

All the students who took part in the contest received something for their effort. I think they all received a Walkman or something but the winners won a dictionary that was quite thick. The two students that won did really well and I think they deserved to win the competition.

I was able to take many pictures and even film some of my students singing while the students had a small break during the contest. But I can say I enjoyed seeing and listening to the students perform. I felt a little sad while I was watching because I knew that I will only have a couple more weeks with the students before I go back to England.

Once the contest was over the VSO teachers, their translators and I were invited to dinner with some leaders from the county. The dinner was quite nice and made a change from having noodles or rice everyday. The restaurant was a Hot Pot restaurant so we needed to cook our own food in the pot. But I enjoyed myself while I was there.

So to summarise the contest was a success apart from the small few that were misbehaving but I can safely say I enjoyed the day overall .

5 December 2008

OMG WE........

Yes that's right we lost the basketball game. Luckily though this time our team did much better than the first game we played together. This time we only lost by 3-points instead of the originally embarrassing 25-points.

However I did notice that we played a lot better as a team. We did more passing and took less 3-pointers. This allowed us to keep up with the other team in scoring. Although often as a team we made silly mistakes such as bad passing and other mis-communication.

The headmaster was watching my game this time and told me (or so I think) "...too bad that you lost, Dorian." I thought its just a game no need to feel too disappointed but we could have won the game so I was a little disappointed with myself and the other members in my team. I guess better luck next time.

1 December 2008

Im not Kobe Bryant you know!!!

Today was the day I was told that I had to play in the teachers basketball game. I kept trying to tell the teachers that I'm not that good and I haven't played in a long time. However this did not seem to bother the teachers (or maybe they did not understand).

After I had finished my classes at 4:05pm I put on my jersey to represent Junior 1 Grade 7. It seemed like many teachers had high hopes on me but I did not like the pressure. One teacher did say, don't worry if we win or loose we just have to try our best. After he said that I thought ok cool, some of the pressure has been lifted.

The game began at 4:30pm but before you knew it my team was down 15 points or so. I was thinking what the hell is going on. Then I realised that many of the teachers on my team were fouling the other team and that was one of the reasons how they were getting their points. The other reason was that my team was getting too greedy with the ball and always going for 3's (I'm not going to lie I was that person at times lol). I felt the difficulty in communication between my team and I was also a factor in our unfortunate demise. In the end the score was a slightly embarrassing 21 to 55.

We still have two other games to play...I think. Hopefully the team has learned from this game and will work much better together next time, that includes me also.