Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More Pics

Here are some more pics. I will come back and edit this entry with explanations later, now I have to get ready for work.

This first picture is taken near the school where I have given promo lessons the last three weeks. The bear hanging on the clothesline tickled my sense of whimsy. It's also the only picture I felt free to take of this very interesting neighborhood, because the locals who live there were out and about and it felt too personal to act like a tourist in such a poor area. The houses, as you can see, are extremely old. The long, low brick buildings containing several tiny apartments each are so short that I would have to duck to enter the doorways.

The school's "toilet" is an open trough shaped latrine around the back side of the building. The trough has a curb around it and one puts one foot on each side and squats, the kids all go at once at break time and so they were all squatting in a row like little ducks. I was glad that I didn't need to go. The children at the school are thrilled to have a foreign teacher visit for one class period. Since it is a regular kindergarten rather than an extracurricular school, I found the kids to be well behaved, especially considering that the classes have about 30 kids each. I had quite a good time with them.
Here is the university campus a week after the previous set of photos, the trees are really greening up nicely. By summer it should be nice and shady. Sadly, last week they also tore up several of the lawns to plant new trees a

This is the inside of one of the classrooms at the university. As you can see, the seats are not made for children. Many of the seats and desks are in a bad state of disrepair; I wish they could be replaced. I was surprised and amused to discover that kids love to be allowed to come to the chalkboard almost as much as they like to be allowed to touch the SmartBoard at the main school... why pay more?
The following pics are of my level three (most are 4th graders) class at break time. As you can see, they are quite a handful. Chinese kids don't seem to develop a sense of personal space or personal belongings until at least age 10, so in the breaks I have to keep an eye on my things, they will actually rifle through our bags looking for toys or anything that interests them and run around with them.

Cute, aren't they?


  1. I wonder when they first started doing that little peace sign? It sure was prevalent in Taiwan! At any rate- glad to hear you are well- its fun reading your blog to see what was similar or different from my own experiences teaching in Asia.

  2. Hi Sharon! If I find out the story of the peace sign, I will let you know. It seems to be all over Asia, but I never have asked anyone how it started.

    I'm glad to hear that you enjoy the blog. There is such a wide range of teaching opportunities in Asia that every experience will be different, yet some common threads certainly tie them together.

    Although I'm finding adjusting to life in China much more difficult than Japan, teaching young children is fun and new to me, and this time around I have the added benefit of my official TESOL training to help me.

    I would like my next assignment to be in another part of the world, just for the experience of contrasting cultures.