My Students

I’ve decided to post some pictures of my students online. I wish this represented everyone, but many students were absent on the first class after midterms. Thank-you Shengda for showing so much love in the classroom. I hope you will visit often to read my blog and improve your English! And don’t forget to contact me if you are interested in participating in our English debates. My husband and I want to organize a debating competition on campus. My email is glenis@interconnex.org

Dragon Gate

We have a Chinese teacher. She took us to her home this week-end. Her mom is amazing and cooked us our first dumplings in China, (with no eggs) along with three other delicious meals. I made French toast for them both.

I do not know our Chinese teacher’s Chinese name. We call her Daisy. Nor do I know her mother’s name. How terrible is it that I don’t know their name? Most people have an English name in our school. When I tried to do a roll call in my first class all my students laughed at me. Speaking Chinese is a bit like speaking Vulcan. It is not the sort of thing you can rush into. Daisy is one of Lester’s students.

Daisy took us to her hometown, Luoyang. First we visited the Horse and Chariot Pits from an Emperor of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty. Then we saw the Longmem Grottoes. Longmen means Dragon Gate and is one of the possible locations of this mythical gate. The legend refers to a carp that saw the top of a mountain and decided he was going to reach it. He swam upstream, climbing rapids and waterfalls, letting nothing get in the way of his determination. When the carp finally reached the top he found the mythical “Dragon Gate” and, when he jumped over it, he turned into a dragon. Several waterfalls and cataracts in China are believed to be the location of the “Dragon Gate” and the Dragon Gate legend is often used as an allegory for the drive and effort needed to overcome obstacles and achieve success in life.

Learning to speak Chinese is my newest challenge. China has a lot still to teach us.

OBAMA

Yes. We are following the elections here in China. CNN has kept us up to date. Obama’s story is so amazing. I didn’t become a believer until after Iowa. But when I saw him beat Hillary there I said wait a minute. Maybe he can do it.

Barack Obama won resoundingly. He will be the next president of the United States of America. It feels like my homeboy won. Like one of us actually has a chance make a change. And I don’t mean because he’s black. I mean someone who I truly believe from my heart actually cares. For me, that is the though that makes it so surreal. What is it like to have someone in the white house fighting everyday for me?

Happy Halloween

"Darkness!"
Charlie Murphy and Mini-me

What do a couple of warm blooded West Indians do on the first of November in China? Run around the Shengda campus spooking their students.

You see, Lester and I are from the Caribbean. We don’t really do Halloween. I like to play dress-up, but only for a long, all day gyrating session, namely carnival. We usually save dressing up for a hot sweaty day in summer where scanty clothing is appropriate, and the costume comes in a far third after the music and the dancing.

We definitely had our doubts when the other foreign teachers from the states invited us to the annual Halloween party and insisted that we dress-up. I had managed to live for 12 years in the US and never once wear a real costume for Halloween. But, peer pressure got the better of us. Plus we made a monetary contribution to the event at the request of the organizer. Funny how things get serious as soon as there is money involved.

Watch out for the Butcher...
Watch out for the Butcher...

On the eve of the party, one of the teachers came out to the bar dressed as a pig. Rumor has it that he paid 500 RNB for the costume. Yup. The heat was definitely on.

... tried to warn you.
... tried to warn you.

In the end Lester and I were very proud of our costumes. Alemayehu and Lester where collectively “Darkness”, and I was a… well I’m still not sure who or what I was, but my makeup was pretty effective.

Voodoo Chinese Queen?!?
Voodoo Chinese Queen?!?

The best part of the night was the walk outside the campus with the whole crew. A goblin, a gansta (with a real gun 🙂 a butcher, (with a real knife) a pig, a vampire, a sexy-ass pirate, oh and a Hawaiian boy-girl thingee. Creepy.

The Whole Crew
The Whole Crew

The whole scary crew left the sanctity of the Foreign Teachers Apartment and approached the unassuming students, under the cover of night. Havoc ensued. Kids were, shall we say, startled? It was a riot. When was the last time you were really scared in a haunted house? Even in the Caribbean we would have a haunted house here and there. I don’t think they have that in China.

Yeah. We thoroughly enjoyed our Halloween night. And just think, there were no tricks involved. Lord bless the Chinese for sponsoring a night of good clean fun… Well almost. I left the party when the goblin attacked the Hawaiian boy-chick.

Watch where you point that gun son.
Watch where you point that gun son.
Johnny Depp step aside for the sexiest pirate EVER! With his Vampire lover :)
Johnny Depp step aside for the sexiest pirate EVER! With his Vampire lover 🙂