As I said we were in two classes today both classrooms that Jessie teaches in and we were surprised by the size of the classrooms, there were 60 students in a class and the school has over 2000 students and over 200 teachers. The teacher’s day starts at 7AM and they teach until 7PM we were there with students from 3pm until 5pm with 10 minute breaks between classes. The boys all were excited and took Nate outside to play basketball at each of the breaks. Little Dragon was one of the boys in the classroom 2 and Nate enjoyed trying his hand at basketball, he also arm wrestled with some of the students in classroom 1. We took lots of pictures of the students both of them and with them. What really struck us was that they had pilled up on top of their desks the books that they use. In both classrooms it looked like the students had miniature libraries on their desks.
We answered questions and Chuck and Nate did a karate demo and I sang and danced for the classes. When we finished we left for dinner. We had several dishes, many new that we tried for the first time. As is the custom we were served hot water with our meal, Chuck got a beer and Nate and I each got some herbal tea cold. It is the same drink that I tried when we first got to Beijing, and although I really didn’t like it then the taste is one that I have gotten very accustomed too and like a lot. I tried a noodle dish with mutton, kind of a soup, perhaps like Chicken Noodle soup in America; I’ll call it Mutton noodle soup. That was a yummy dish as was the pork with egg on it. Also as tradition would indicate, we were served family style with a large lazy Susan in the center of the table. All dishes were placed on it and then you could move the food around to your plate.
Some of Jessie’s students came to join us after they got out of school. All girls, I don’t know if the boys were interested in coming or not but as Chuck and I have found and my tutor Zhufang 朱芳, has told me girls pick up the language faster and seem more interested in things like language and arts. I’m sad that no boys came as it would have been nice for Nate to have had some boys to talk with. One girl really seemed to like Nate and several wanted to be friends with him for the purpose of improving their English. One girl Zhang Kexin 张可昕,朱芳 looked like my tutor Zhu Fang朱芳. She even said teacher and it sounded similar. She joined us for dinner as well. Jessie's husband also joined us after he got off work. His English name is Jeff. We played play two games after we finished eating. The first one was a counting game and any number having seven or being multiples of seven you had to say either pass or back depending on the game rules. If you didn't then you had to take a punishment, sing drink some beer or eat some food. The second game was telephone and we started out with a single word and then got into simple sentences. It was very odd to have drinking games with 9th grade students. These would be games that you would play in a party without teachers or other adults.
After Jeff arrived and had dinner and we had played the two games we said our goodbyes and headed home. When we got back to our apartment it was 10pm and we were all tired and ready to go to sleep. It was a nice day and a great outing, Nate is more certain than him with a Chinese high school diploma, that I didn’t know but I did know that we aren’t allowed to use the public schools and would have to send him either to a private school or do as we are doing by home schooling. This field trip nicely rounds out our school year too.