Thursday, February 25, 2010


Today was the second day of training.  I was quite excited that I was able to walk to school without getting lost.  It's about a 30-40 minute walk for me.  The weather has turned cool again, for which I'm exceedingly grateful.  Apparently I'm much more warm blooded than the Chinese; I was wearing just a short sleeve turtleneck shirt and a fleece sport jacket, and was quite hot while walking.  By contrast, they were wearing heavy winter coats, hats, and mufflers.

In training we went over the curriculum most of the day, and at the end of the day we finally got to play with the SmartBoard (Interactive White Board).  It is a fantastic tool, and quite fun.  It will definitely have a bit of a learning curve to get accustomed to it.  The program includes the materials for the textbooks.  The one thing I don't like about it is that if something should go wrong with it, the teacher has to get really creative because there is no other board to write or draw on in the classrooms.  Apparently the SmartBoard in every classroom is one of the school's marketing points.

Tomorrow we will go to one of the branch schools for training from 1:30-8:30pm and will also have the chance to observe some more lessons. On Saturday we are expected to give demo lessons for the head of the school, so we need to prepare lesson plan drafts before we go to training tomorrow. 

I wish I had had some time to rest before this training started!  Still getting about 4 hours of sleep a night, which is half what I'm accustomed to.  Mentally I'm adjusting to life here, but physically I really don't feel good.  Lesson learned: when starting a new teaching assignment, try to arrive several days before work begins so there is time to adjust to jet lag.

Our foreign director took us to a nearby restaurant for lunch.  The food there was similar to Chinese food in the US, only better.  There was one dish of some kind of mushrooms that resembled seaweed in texture, a sweet and sour pork that was not as greasy as that in the US, something with broccoli, spicy eggplant which was somehow crispy rather than mushy and had garlic and peppers in it, and still more steamed buns.  The steamed buns are everywhere and could easily become an addiction; I'll have to resist that, or I'll end up gaining weight here rather than losing it.

Went to the supermarket and got some more things to fix up the apartment, spent some more time cleaning the bathroom.  Little by little it's improving, I'll be able to do more when I have a day off.  

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