It’s the second week of the second semester and I’m already pooped. On top of having to devise a curriculum for two courses I’ve been food poisoned. My initial plan for the new semester involved going to the gym 5 times a week – in addition to teaching and stuff. I even managed to arrange personal gym opening times using only hand gestures. Well that, and my motivation to be healthy, flew out the window when I got struck down by a bug. But somehow I keep moving and here, amidst my sluggish recovery, I’m blogging about my 16th week in China, and soon I will catch up and make this blog up-to-date again.
Sunday 25th December
Wednesday 28th December
Danny and Lindy, two fourth year students, showed Aimee and I around the University’s museum. It was nice to learn about the history of the University, see its artefacts, and scope out where they could add a display about us.
In the evening, Aimee and I were treated to dinner by a teacher named Jane. Jane wanted to celebrate Christmas with us as she knew it was a special holiday outside of China. To please both the spicy and plain palette Jane ordered a two flavoured hot pot.
Thursday 29th December
Very kindly another teacher named Li invited Aimee and I to lunch. We ate at a fancy restaurant that served both Chinese and Western food. I ate the most delicious soup, pizza and cheesy pasta known to man.
A 3pm the Foreign Affairs Team, who look after foreign teachers and international students, invited us to dinner at 6pm. Myself and the other foreign teachers already had plans but they were boring plans – marking – so we did an hour of marking and then went to dinner.
After dinner Aimee, Sam (Peace Corps volunteer) and I went to watch a concert by the Music Department. It was a very snazzy affair with floral decorations, gowns and tuxedos. The performers were the Music Department teachers so it was a delight to listen to.
Friday 30th December
Students know how to organise a party. Last week it was Christmas this week it was a Freshmen New Year’s party for English majors. The students decorated the sports hall, borrowed some sound equipment and gave out glow rings – I swear China knows how to make being in the audience fun. There was singing, dancing, a fashion show and games – what more could I ask for?
Saturday 31st December
I couldn’t have asked for a more magical NYE. First there was KTV with Ping, Natasha (international student from South Africa) and Aimee. Then there was dinner at a fancy restaurant with Li and three of her cousins. Then Aimee and I raced across town to make it to campus for the University’s NYE celebrations and boy were they good. There were stalls selling food and running carnival games; an outdoor stage with a band, other musical acts and dancers; two large bonfires which people danced around; I received a Chinese Fancy Knot from James and Alice, who I went to FAST with; and to cap it all off at 11pm an indoor show began, inside the main theatre, to sing-dance-and-act the New Year in!