Saturday, December 28, 2013

Teaching in China--never a dull moment!

After an unusually hard christmas away from home (I spent most of the day sick, not to mention a little lonely!) I received a Christmas package from home full of xmas cookies (what girl doesn't love baking?)

Andddd gossip magazines! (motivation to go to the gym tomorrow!) 

Decorations in the mall changed magically overnight from Christmas to Chinese New Years

And i found this ginormous balloon display (is this not the coolest thing ever?)

I literally was at the mall the day before and it was entirely decorated for Christmas…insane!

One thing about China that I'm a little not used to is that students will contact us on QQ, a form of social media that is a mix of Facebook and twitter. 

They also just like to chat with me from time to time. I have to laugh at some of the words they use--it always makes me wonder if they are speaking freely or translating everything before they say it. 

(This is about the bball game we had today…further down in my post) 

Here is another one from yesterday--a little miscommunication

When this student asked are you here at 7:30pm I immediately thought that I was supposed to be at some extracurricular event--not that he was just asking if i was on my QQ


So today we organized a little basketball game between the Senior 3 students and the Senior 2 and 1 students. I tried to make it a little organized by announcing it to the classes on Monday and then announcing who would be playing but it really didn't work out so well. 

First of all, it was during lunch which was a little problematic because we only had a certain amount of time to play (I had a class right after lunch). We had trouble keeping time during the first half so half time was only 3 minutes long.

The Senior 3 students only had 5 players while the S1 and S2 team had about 20. They didn't really mesh together between the classes. I decided ahead of time who would start, told the kids, and then when it came down to it a group of S2's just started (3 of which who were not that great). 

Anyway, I got to throw the ball up for a jump ball tip off which was fun. For the S1 and S2 students subbing in and out was a little disastrous--they would walk on and not tap who they were going in for so it took about 2 minutes to make sure there were only 5 people on the court at once. 

The Senior 3 students won by almost 30 points--they were better skill wise but also because the S1 and S2 students had never played together, they didn't know what positions each other played, they were constantly subbing in and out without paying attention to who they were going in for and who they were guarding on defense plus they didn't shoot the ball!…they have a lot of room for improvement. And lots of potential--if they practiced a rematch game would be fun in the spring :)

Dun dun dun…

We didn't really have a ref so a coworker Emmanuel just called fouls from half court. The kids don't really know how to play defense so they were a little sloppy--a lot of fouls under the basket, traveling…double dribbling. Near the end of the game one of the Senior 1 students got brought down and went a little crazy. All the students started chanting that the ref sucked (in chinese) haha. 

These kids don't have sporting events and rarely come together as an entire school (even though there are only 160 students in total bt the 3 levels in our international school)--so it was fun to get students out to watch the game and get a feeling of "community" 

(can you imagine High School without the Friday night football games or basketball games?)

After lunch i taught my block class--we had a "Christmas Party"--we watched Elf and drank hot chocolate (a few of them did not like the hot chocolate but still drank it to be polite--ha) 

I didn't really watch the movie before I showed it so I was laughing out loud in the back of the classroom. Even though there were Chinese subtitles, the kids did not really laugh at some of the really funny scenes--which makes me wonder if their sense of humor is just different or if they didn't understand fully what was going on. 

I told my class today that they should laugh because its funny--there was a lot more laughing in my 2nd class. 

Next week we get one day off for New Years, and then the following week i am giving my final exam. Its crazy how quickly this semester has passed! And how close seeing my mom, my friends in Shenzhen, Thailand and Camboida are! Counting down the days :D 

Wishing everyone a safe and happy Holiday!


Christmas Party & Around Jinan

The days leading up to Christmas there was a huge crowd in the middle of the mall (look at the crowd of people on the 2nd and 3rd floor!)

There was a DJ on stage and were having a "dance off" 
It was actually really entertaining

On Monday this week we had our Christmas party for all of the students

Since there were so many kids (about 50 from S1, S2, and S3), we divided it up into stations--they had musical chairs, xmas pictionary, and xmas trivia

I collected their baby pictures and put together a "guess who" game for them to do while they were getting food--this took FOREVER. But it was fun :) 

I asked all the students to send me a picture by FRIDAY so I could have the weekend to print them and do the posters. 

Naturally I received about 1/3 of the pictures Saturday and Sunday. Monday during the day some students emailed me and asked if I could put their picture in the game (if only we had a color printer!) 

Some hula hooping going on…

At the end we got everyone back into the library and sang a few christmas carols

The A Cappella kids put on a performance of rudolph the red nosed reindeer 

Super cute!

For some reason people in china give out apples on Christmas. I received a handful of apples in cute little boxes that said merry christmas. (a lot healthier than western traditions!)

I thought this teddy bear christmas tree was adorable

And finally…the foreign teachers got Christmas off (which was a little weird because we live on campus and other chiense teachers had to "cover" our classes)  I saw a number of my students after school at the mall. When I see them outside of school its like their switch to speak english turns off and they really struggle to communicate. 

Anyways, I was going to return some shoes and get my hair cut. They asked me how I would do this and I motioned scissors with my hands. They thought it was hilarious--and followed me to the shoe store and the hair salon to tell the people what I wanted in Chinese. If it wasn't for their help I don't think the shoe store would have returned my shoes. 

The guy cutting my hair was super cute, and was really patient with me trying to speak chinese with me. But I'm pretty sure he told me he came to Jinan because of his nan peng you 男朋友, (boyfriend) but then proceeded to ask me a few times if I was single. 

My hair cut was only 50 RMB ($7.50) so I asked him if I could give him a tip (by saying can I give you extra money) for some people, this causes them to lose face but he accepted my tip :) 

It didn't snow here but the pollution and smog went off the charts--it was almost a white christmas! 

Yuck. I hate thinking this probably has serious affects on my health (and my skin!) eek

Saturday, December 21, 2013

the most wonderful time of the year :)

The most wonderful time of the year...has flown by!

We don't have a winter/christmas break, but we get the 25th, 26th and Jan 1st off which is nice. (Even though we have to work Saturday to make up for the 26th...)

Here are some pictures of the holiday season in Jinan and the last few weeks teaching.

$120 for a fake fireplace--a little touch of home. Almost considered buying this

Cute gingerbread houses! They don't have kits anywhere--you have to buy pre made ones (no fun in that)

Last week the music/art teacher taught the kids Rock music--then they had to perform a song
Some of the kids got really into it! This group sang Maybelline--with broom guitars

Last week I gave a quiz and put this question on just for fun. Got some interesting answers...haha

Some more funny answers to Washington's two term precedent. (Maybe this is just a teacher thing--but some of the responses i get just make me laugh) 

On Thursday and Fridays I see one class for 90 minutes, so we did a "fun" activity. Speed "Friending"--i provided the kids with some pretty funny/unusual questions and they had two minutes to talk and interact with each other then had to switch. 

In this class the kids are pretty clicky--I think this helped them get to know and talk to a variety of students--also to help the quieter students gain some confidence!

Santa's house in the mall--

A real Santa has to just sit in there and get pictures taken of them (what a miserable job!)

For one of the activities for the kids' Christmas party tomorrow I had them send me baby pictures for a "guess who" game. Some were so cuteeeee! 

Spent my weekend crafting for the party 

Pretty decorations around Jinan!

Yesterday morning I was a part of my students' English play. 8:30 AM. Ouch

Now...time to plan my vacation! One month :D 

And go shopping to prepare my Christmas dinner...eek

Sunday, December 8, 2013

My Apartment & Weekend Shopping :)

As promised here are some pictures of my apartment, a little more decorated and homey


Family room

Extra room/closet/storage

My bedroom

My next house is going to have a huge bathroom. with a mirror. my least favorite part of the house (at least its easy to clean?)

My weekend was a little more eventful than usual. I had dinner with a guy Friday pretty sure my chances of finding a boyfriend in Jinan are hopeless. 

Then I went out with some coworkers to a bar--I forgot how much I love dressing up and practicing my chinese on sloppy intoxicated chinese guys ;) 

Saturday I decided to find this huge market that one of my coworkers took me to to get Halloween stuff. I didn't know what buses went there, and didn't know what it was called to tell a taxi so I walked in the general direction it was in. 

I'm too scared to look at the harmful effects of staying outside in the pollution all day, but i got a little lost getting there and was walking through the haze for a few not sure if it was just mental or really effecting me but i had the worst headache and just felt really gross. (I may have to invest in a mask !)

But I got to see some new parts of Jinan

Gorgeous christmas decorated window

and finally i made it to the market! 

I found lots of Christmas decorations and got some nail polish. (Today I went on a mission to find nail polish remover--turns our nail polish remover is more expensive ($15) than just getting my nails done)

Still doesn't compare to Dongmen :( but I love looking through all the random junk 

Some more pictures around Jinan... 

Meh Sunday night could be my least favorite time of the week. Especially when the Buckeyes lose
Have a good week! :)