Where is the time going! This past week is a blur but luckily I remember enough to tell you this:

Sunday 9th October

The novelty of marking has worn off. Its gleam lasted no longer than the sparkle of receiving a pair of socks at Christmas. The students will find themselves marking each other’s homework very soon.

In more important news I started watching Season 3 of Community. The laughs continue.

Aimee, Stephen and I ate dinner at a restaurant opposite our apartment where lots of middle school children frequent. Never again. The only food on the menu at dinner time – nuclear orange soup that tastes weird. The only good things about it was the rice noodles, the price and miraculously consuming it didn’t make us terminally ill.

Tuesday 11th October

This day marked the final day on our visas so we spent three hours sitting in offices where other people worked on renewing them. A very kind policeman stayed behind an extra 30 minutes to help finish the process.

Much to my dismay I began to notice the weather changing to “cold”. My only option was to invest in a blanket and a hot water bottle. Now, I have to wear closed-toe shoes and a jumper. #Devastated #DevastatedMoreThanMarking

Wednesday 12th October

No English Club. Instead students were busy rehearsing for their freshmen showcases. Each department organises one and I was invited to watch the Art freshmen rehearse for there’s. There was a mix of dancing, singing and drama. I loved watching it and I can’t wait to see the real thing! Hopefully I can go to several freshmen showcases as the students are very talented.

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Art freshmen rehearsing a dance
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Art freshmen rehearsing a song

Thursday 13th October

I taught two Extensive Reading classes back to back and then enjoyed lunch with my fellow foreign teachers.

After lunch the Languages department had a meeting. It was nice to meet more staff. We were also invited to teach English lessons to non-English majors which will be very interesting. Watch this space.

Friday 14th October

Today everything became a little more real as I got a bank account and a phone number (forget the visa making it feel real). Much like the visa getting the bank account and phone card required sitting in a variety of rooms for 3 or so hours whilst everyone else did all the hard work.

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Lunch mid- getting bank accounts and phone cards

I found the best bread in China within 5 minutes of my flat. Photos to come.

In the evening the foreign language teachers gathered together to play games. It was a nice evening involving a makeshift table made by taking a door off its hinges! #CreativeProblemSolving

Saturday 15th October

The foreign language teachers were invited to judge a speech competition. I was honoured to be invited for the name badge alone!

There were two categories: non-English majors and English majors. The speeches covered a range of topics including depression, friendship, popularity, environmental awareness, family and drink driving. It was amazing to see how skilled the students were in a second/third language, and you could tell they had worked really hard.

Overall it was a nice morning followed by a lovely lunch with the organisers – who were students. I hope to judge more competitions in the future.

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The judges and organisers outside our lunch spot
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Playing Mahjong at lunch
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Look at those name badges!
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