Ni Hao, Jia Kai!
Hopefully this will be an adequate recollection and re-creation of ...
occupational hazard #593,823,494: teaching on weekends
i fully realize how seriously the chinese take their education system, i really do. furthermore, i fully understand how missing classes due to holidays can be detrimental to the learning process. HOWEVER, school on a sunday?!? no.
let me explain: the mid-autumn festival is next week, wednesday i believe, and schools are off for three days from september 22-24. awesome, right? in theory, yes. yet this means that school this week began yesterday (sunday), goes until tuesday (i won't complain), resumes on saturday, and will run up until the national holiday on october 1, if i am not mistaken. surely my fear of teaching something like 9 days in a row will not be realized? anything is possible here, my friends, so stay tuned for that fast-approaching tempest. as for having school on a weekend, clearly children are not going to be themselves on what is normally the last day of their weekend (whether or not they enjoy it; some students have told my friends they hate weekends, the crazies), and the three classes i had were some of the noisiest, most seemingly disinterested yet, regardless of their cheering when i walked in the door. they might be cute and pepper you with questions before class related to the ever-popular triumvirate of justin bieber, taylor swift, and lady gaga, but dammit, they sure are deadly once the bell rings (or crazy flute music plays, in the chinese case).
on a more positive note that does involve me pulling my hair out, my friends and i have decided our travel plans for the national holiday: we are going to guilin and yangshuo northwest of here in guangxi province. i was absolutely enraptured by the photos of the li river in those areas, and particularly the karst formations that have made the location such a popular tourist destination (admittedly, a downside). clearly, this is for good reason. i think i read something about the area being used as chewbacca's homeland in one of the early star wars movies? just google the names of those places and you'll see what all the fuss is about. whether or not it is ridiculously crowded there, i am really excited and incredibly grateful to be able to visit it. hoooooooray china. the ability to visit historically important places of visual brilliance, eat delicious food almost every day, and experience quotidian chinese culture makes the often-stressful process of teaching very worth it.
this is me putting things in perspective-how did i do?