This week there’s a two-day national holiday in China so what better time to catch up with my blog than now! I’m condensing February and March into one post as most of February was my winter vacation which I talk about in these posts: Guide to Kunming – China’s city of eternal spring; Sanya – China’s Hawaii; YuanYang rice terraces; and Hiking tips for Tiger Leaping Gorge.
Friday 24th February
I thought they’d be some lead time before dance class resumed but I was wrong! Term didn’t official start for another three days but that didn’t stop dance class. With a dance competition in May looming we had practice, practice, practice.
Doris, Jesse (Doris’ husband), Aimee and I went to a tea house and drank traditional Chinese tea. Jesse acted as the Tea Art expert and poured us three types of tea. Read about me learning Tea Art here: Tea Art in Duyun, China.
Saturday 25th February
Today I went to college to collect my teaching schedule and books. This semester I’m teaching Oral English, Tourism English, and Oral English for Non-English Majors.
Monday 27th February
Today was the official start of semester two. I had one class at 10am which was Oral English for freshmen students. I’d never taught Oral English or freshmen students before but the class went well.
Wednesday 1st March
I started to use the teachers’ gym at work. It’s on the eighth floor of the administration building and it’s really fancy looking. I want to work on building up my arm muscles for no real reason other than it will look cool.
Friday 3rd March
I went to see Logan with the foreign teachers. The film was great. You can read a more detailed review of it in this post I wrote for the British Council.
Monday 6th March
Today the Foreign Languages Department celebrated Women’s Day with a banquet. It was a lovely occasion to remember how awesome I, and other women, are. Also, it was nice to catch up with colleagues and eat free food. And, a few days later, very kindly, a student gave me a handmade paper rose.
Saturday 11th March
Today I went from never going to the cinema to going to the cinema for the second time in two weeks! This time I watch A Dog’s Purpose with Aimee and Ida. Ida runs the Sugar Cube café opposite our apartment. You can read my review of the film here.
Monday 13th to Wednesday 15th March
I went through a three day spurt of learning Chinese. After meeting lots of foreigners during my winter holiday who’d mastered Chinese rather well I felt motivated. I met with three students: Heidi; Lilly; and Ping. The deal was 30 minutes English then 30 minutes Chinese. Whilst the students were great Chinese teachers my motivation didn’t last long. By week three I was cancelling Chinese lessons left, right and centre.
Friday 17th March
There must be something in the water because I went to the cinema again! This time I saw Beauty and the Beast with several freshmen students and Aimee. Unexpectedly I loved the film. You can read my review here.
After the film we ate pizza. The restaurant asked the students to translate the menu into English in case other foreigners visit one day.
Saturday 18th March
Myself and several other staff from the college attended a special tourism day in Guiding County. The day was organised to highlight the tourist attractions in the area. The day began with touring a tea farm, then peaceful walks/runs alongside rapeseed fields, then we watched a music and dance show, then we walked amongst corn statues. It was a lovely day as I got to meet new people, chat with colleagues I don’t see often, see the great tourist attractions in Guiding County, and eat delicious food.
The next day a student told me a photo of Aimee and I at the tea farm was published in the local paper! #Awesome
Wednesday 22nd March
At 7pm English Club restarted for the semester. It was nice to see new and old faces. I was especially impressed with a group of Chemistry students who practice English reading everyday at 6am! Their reading skills are fantastic and their dedication to learning English is admirable.
Thursday 23rd March
A junior student, named Alice, invited me to her workplace. Alice works at a homework club in the evenings. She helps high school students with their English and Maths homework. I was invited to meet the students and play some games with them. I enjoyed it a lot and these students were older than the students I met last semester so I didn’t feel so tired afterwards.
Friday 24th March
Nothing says “I’m cool” like going to a 5-year-old’s birthday party on a Friday night. It was a fun evening with lots of Chinese, American and British friends. My main duty was pizza maker and I left Aimee to play with all the children. Ha!
Monday 27th March
Today was Aimee’s birthday and she had a dry-pot lunch to celebrate. Dry-pot is basically a pot filled with meat, vegetables and oil that is cooked on the table. It’s delicious!
Wednesday 29th March
Never one to shy away from making myself even more beautiful I went to a Chinese sauna with three junior students and Aimee. A Chinese sauna is bigger and better than a British sauna. First, the room is huge. Second, it is filled with magazines and games, such as Mah-jong and Chinese drafts. Third, they give you shiny pink or yellow clothes to wear. #Luxury