Sunday, September 19, 2010

Monday, 20 September

Hello all!
We are watching an interesting weather pattern emerge here: one week of rainy, cloudy weather followed by one week of sunshine. So far, we've had about 3 weeks of this pattern and the forecast for the week calls for rainy, cloudy weather again! The rains cool off the warmer temps (high humidity intensives both extremes) and we even saw some heavy sweatshirts make their appearance.
We have a weird time of the semester arriving. Sunday (yes, Sunday) we taught classes. Wed-Thurs-Fri of this week we are off for Autumn Holiday but we teach the 25th and 26th (Sat-Sun) to make them up. Then from 1-7 October we are off for National Holiday but have to make up one more missed day on Sat, 9 Oct. After that it is business as usual--Monday to Friday. Figuring which class schedule on which weekend day has been interesting.
This past Saturday Angela (from my class) collected us in her red BMW and transported us downtown to go shopping a HUGE market. One room was about 300' by 150'--it was filled with bolts of fabric! Table had been set up and different vendors had their own products. Around 2 sides on outer walls were small booths (about 8 feet wide and 10 feet deep) which were where the 'manufacturers' awaited you. Many were one person operations and others had a person taking measurements and taking them to their shops. Incredible operation. From that floor you can go up to 4 other floors where you could purchase ready-made clothing. All in all is was a wild experience and the prices are incredibly reasonable.
Yesterday we had classes with -- surprise, surprise-- low attendance. I only had 3 missing but one class only had 3 students for the first 2 hours (more had shown up by lunch time). We are supposed to have 'fun day' today (weather permitting). The Chinese enjoy what many Americans would consider 'childish'--we will be playing water balloon toss, 3 legged races, etc. (Remember we have students 16-40!) One of their favorite classroom activities is musical chairs (we adapt it to teach verb tense, etc). I taught my class Bingo and they kept wanting to play more! Several of us are hoping we get rained out and have to reschedule later. If that's the case, it would cancel our Thursday afternoon schedules (3 of us have our heaviest schedules on Thursday--guess who are hoping for a rain out today!).
Had a nice visit from Ping last night. She brought us date bread--yummmmm. Finally saw Nan. He got an ear infection at the beginning of school and went home for a while. He is even thinner than ever but looks great! Last Friday Chang called us about a concert on campus. We walked over and WOW--the football stadium was filled with students. A stage complete with fireworks, entertainers, lights, and all kinds of special effects was going strong. Singers, dancers--the whole works!
Time for school! More later.

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