I’ll make this a quick update. This month amazing things have happened.
Sept. 29 – Oct. 6: I got to live with a Chinese family for a week during National Day.
Oct. 8: My classes started for the majority of my classes, the freshmen have finished their mandatory military training.
Oct. 12: I was asked to speak at an English Association meeting, talking about the importance of English and learning it well.
Oct. 13: Lunch with Echo. A Chinese custom to thank those who gave her give her gifts when her daughter was born.
Oct. 16: Nate’s drum lesson but Dodo’s dog Cookie was the star.
Oct. 16: First lesson with new piano teacher. Wang YiChen/Athena
Oct. 23: Drummer Nate, and impromptu English lesson and lunch
Oct. 24 and 31 Shopping at the Textile Market
Oct. 25 Guardians of the Galaxy
Oct. 26 Farewell dinner for Sean
Oct 31 Halloween Party/English Corner
I went to Fuyang 阜阳 with Emily and stayed with her family over the National Day holiday week. We travelled to the hometown of Emily’s brother in law or jiefu 姐夫(elder sisters husband) Qianshan 潜山, China. We saw a temple on Xiao Manzhu Mountain in Anqing City in Anhui 安徽province. We also went up Tian Zhu Shan 天柱山 which I found much more fun as I was alone and other people could approach me. When with Chinese to interpret people ignore me or the foreigner and talk to the Chinese person. When alone there is no choice but to talk to me and I can practice my Chinese.
School started after National Day. My second year class has been going since September but now my first year students have finished with their military training.
I was asked to play and sing and speak at the English Association meeting tonight. It was very nice. Like last year, there was a lot of traditional Chinese music, clothing, and life that was discussed. Tonight they wanted me and Jennifer to talk on the importance of English. Recently I had to go get my bike repaired. I was nervous as I didn’t think I could do it in Chinese, much to my surprise the clerk spoke to me in English. While people think about English for larger companies, a small local store where an occasional foreigner is going to stop in is a wonderful place to have English skills. That is what I talked about.
Echo had a little baby in December and I went with some Chinese teachers and gave her a baby blanket. Chinese custom says that she must have a lunch to thank the people who did this. So for the second time I was able to sit in on a Chinese tradition. My oral Chinese lessons are paying off as I was more able to understand some of the Chinese being spoken at the table.
Nate’s drum teacher Dodo has a cute dog named Cookie. This is her picture.
Today was also my first piano lesson with my new teacher Wang Yi Chen 王怡辰or Athena. She lives on the 6th floor and has a baby grand piano in her living room. I am a little envious as Chinese teachers have a much larger home than the dorm room I am in. They have room for a proper piano.
Singing and splashing in the rain! I got rainboots and when it rained recently I wore them and looked for all the puddles I could find. I took pictures of puddles and my boots.
Drummer Nate…enough said.
Impromptu English lesson for friends of Dodo then we went to lunch after his lesson.
Shopping at the same Textile market QiYan and I went to the first year here in Zhengzhou. Because of construction it will soon be all gone but for now it is there still.
We have a movie theater near us called Oscar and we went to see Guardians of the Galaxy in English when it opened. Foreign teachers Tom, Myrna, Darren, and I were there. Nate and Boni also came. We went for the 3:40 showing but it was sold out so we waited for the 5:30 and it was worth the wait. Zoe Salada who plays Lt. Uhura was in the movie and it had lots of music from the 60’s to the 80’s. This was an awesome movie and we caught it in English.
Farewell Dinner to Sean. We have had a lot of teachers leaving this year.
Tonight was the Halloween Party. I asked Jennifer if the students could sing happy birthday to my mom and they did in English and Chinese. Movies were watched, a costume contest was held and everyone had a great time.