Ni Hao, Jia Kai!
Hopefully this will be an adequate recollection and re-creation of ...
yes, this is a rather immediate update about my morning teaching, but i figure there's already a bit to be said.
i made the mistake of going to sleep at about 3:30 a.m. this morning, preparing my powerpoint for class and getting myself mentally stable. bad idea, particularly when coupled with the fact that i did not know at exactly what time i needed to be ready for classes/presentation during the school's morning exercises. there was loud drumming and music being played beginning at around 7:50 a.m., and though my contact teacher had said he would call me, i was getting slightly nervous that he would not, and i would be stranded. turns out he decided to call, and i swiftly saw all 1,400ish students assembling down on the track, in front of whom i was expected to say some 2-3 sentence "speech"? from my balcony (looking back on it, it felt oddly pope-like . . . joking), i said good morning, they repeated it, and i mentioned how happy i am to be here and how excited i am for this year. thought that'd be good. i went to hand off the microphone and it became clear that mr. wang wanted me to keep talking--he waved his hands in front of himself when i moved to hand it to him as he insisted no translation was necessary--and i continued awkwardly mentioning being from california, which no one has heard of by the way, so that was quite successful, that i went to beijing . . . i don't even know. in the end, if any of my babbling was even understood, these primary kids are, thankfully, far too excited and nonjudgmental to even care. as i was leaving my last class this kid looked at me, made this lovesick sigh and breathily said, " ahh, jessica." priceless, i tell you. i promise not to return home with an overly inflated ego.
the classes were fine, if rowdy, but that's to be expected i suppose. i need to work on being strict and managing them better. dealing with 50 kids crammed in a room is tough business, and this was just fourth and fifth graders. who knows how the first, second, and third graders will be, so help me. as for the names that stand out, i must say none rival any of my friends', but a few good ones are: lion (god, i think there were two of those between two classes!), yoyo, jank, and stitch (yes, as in lilo and). lest i forget, i shall add that there were also various, creatively-spelled iterations of more run-of-the-mill english names, like a male named jacky. i don't know why that one struck me as particularly amusing.
until tomorrow, friends.