songs about the impossibility of singing

31 May

So here’s another update post. Let’s see.

We’ve been working on adjectives at school. Here’s the blackboard in my Friday class.

I have a clearer photo, but the kids thought they were being so cute with the peace signs, and I have to admit I found it charming. Little goofballs.

Anyway, that’s 171 adjectives, which they listed without the use of dictionaries (or I policed them to the best of my ability, at least). This activity is from a book called “Five-Minute Activities”, but I have used it in 2/3rds of my classes and every time I’ve had to corral the students and end the activity after 20 minutes. They’d be happy to list adjectives for the whole hour…sadly, I’m mean, and I make them move on to actually producing entire sentences.

Friday was also another adventure in Chinese fast food. This time, Rosabel took me for porridge. I had no idea what to expect…the word porridge always makes me think of oatmeal, but I knew this was going to be closer to soup. It turned out to be a starchy soup with boiled rice and green beans (although it comes in many flavors, I’m given to understand). It was served very cold and we drank it through very wide straws. Not my favorite thing I’ve had here, but it wasn’t bad. And maybe I’d like a different flavor better, who knows.

Anyway, here I am drinking my porridge in the porridge shop.

Along with the porridge, we ate a kind of spicy flatbread. While we were eating it, Rosabel said, “This is minority cake,” and it only took me about 7 seconds to decipher what she meant (the bread is a characteristic food of one of the ethnic groups in China other than Han Chinese). I’ve heard people use the word “minority” as an adjective several times here, and I was a little bit proud of myself because I didn’t need to ask for clarification. I’m getting used to the way Chinese people use English.

Anyway, here’s a picture of the minority cake stand.

Across the street from the main University gate, there’s an alley that must have 20 of these stands. We were there on Friday at dinner time, and it was packed, but I did manage to get a photo of the ròu jīa mó stand. I think that meat sandwich is still my favorite. You can see the pork and the lettuce on the grill, and the woman is spreading sauce on the bread, although it’s blurry.

It’s hard to believe that I only have 4 weeks left of teaching. Living here hasn’t been like a vacation (and I didn’t expect it to be), but I couldn’t have anticipated what it would feel like, months and months in to living this as my real life. I mean, I go to work and feel like I write a dozen lesson plans a week–there’s never a day when I’m not tweaking my lesson plans for the next class or thinking about what I’m going to do with my tutoring groups. I try to manage professional obligations and scheduling and personal time and social time, and business lunches and business dinners and meals with friends. It’s this whole real life–a life I actually really like. And it’s about to be over. Soon my job won’t be my job anymore, and my students won’t be my students anymore. It’s crazy.


One Response to “songs about the impossibility of singing”

  1. Kathy June 1, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    You will miss the students, teachers always do!
    Love you!

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