Thursday, January 20, 2011

Run While you still can!

In the final days leading to Spring Festival, equivalent to  America's winter break, students are starting to disappear out of my classes as they travel in one of the worlds largest migrations.  The Chinese spend this time traveling all over and going to their hometowns to visit family and friends. Shanghai is filled with almost 24 million people, this means that a large portion of these people will be traveling outside of shanghai. Riding the metro has been a nightmare as they are completely filled to the brim. In the past few days during the morning. I have literally had to run full steam like in football to get out of the metro since their are so many people in the way.

Rather than teaching the kids new vocabulary, I have spent this week doing bookwork, where  the kids are able to color and  do "Challenging" activities over vocabulary that they just learned. While I find it boring, the kids love it and it makes it so I don't have to teach so it is a win-win situation.

On Wednesday the students had their huge  Chinese New Years performance in front of their parents where the classes choreographed dances and had special outfits to go along with it. To top it off EVERYONE, including BOYS and girls were covered with make up,little jewels and eye liner. I felt like a proud parent watching all my students dance from the front row but that glory was taken away when the actual parents rudely got out of there seats and crowded around the stage to take pictures and record with their phones,cameras, and camcorders. Like a mad crowd they pushed their way trying to  capture their kids dancing.

Once again Shanghai has been hit with another snowstorm. I woke up today surprised to see that the snow had completely covered the ground inches deep.  Shanghai supposedly never gets snow,but it has snowed here multiple times since  I have been here. Wanting to play in the snow myself, I decided that rather than doing bookwork and teaching them English, I would take them outside  and have a snowball fight instead.   I somehow managed to convince the teachers to let me take the kids outside and let them play in the snow. I thought it would be fun but I did not actually think I would be able to do it. the kids LOVED the snow and were running around like chickens with their heads cut off. The kids  were throwing snowballs left and right and of course they thought it would be fun to chase after me and bombard me with snowballs. Although they are little, I must admit that multiple times I was hit in the face or head with snowballs that tempted me to shout profanities. In pure entertainment, there is not many things better than watching the  dainty Chinese teachers try to throw snowballs or better yet try to avoid the snowballs.  the teachers tried to get the students to throw snowballs at me but that quickly changed as the students ran around getting snow for me to throw at the teachers. Overall I was the winner for the day, I avoided having to teach, got to play in the snow and got the throw snowballs at little kids and the teachers. Talk about a successful day.

1 comment:

  1. John, I'm finally catching up on your blog and I love all the stories! The description of kids playing in the snow made me smile -- and a bit jealous: I think Oregon is the one place in the northern hemisphere that seems to have missed the "everyone gets snow" memo.

    Thanks for sharing all the stories! Keep up the good work -- I can hardly wait to hear about everything in person when you return home.