Adventures of an Aussie English Teacher - Week Two
International Women's Day
See the photos here of the events at the Shaoxing International Womens Day event.
See some of the photos here.
Still things to do............
We've had our "health check" so that is behind us. Three "parties" to go over the next couple of days and a weekend with little to do - well, except continue the planning for school work.
New teachers came in today too - some young folk from the US for the kindergarten.
Still I have not done much with my camera - the weather is just too bad, and I've heard it will snow on Monday.
I've been offered an extra class on Tuesday nights - should start in a couple of weeks, and the school would like me to continue my regular Monday night chat sessions with students. I do that for free - but I like helping enthusiastic students with their English, so that will suit me. After both nights I can sleep in too, which is good.
This is supposed to be spring and some of the trees are already trying to bloom, and I hope they manage to, despite the weather.
The Green Cafe seems to be "history" though. The guy who developed it no longer works here, but he does still "own" it and there are negotiations from time to time about it.
Well first of all I have to survive the medical in Hangzhou in the morning. We leave at 7.30 am (after fasting from midnight) for the bus trip to Hangzhou, the medical and the return journey which should have us back in Shaoxing around midday. That would be a miracle!!! Usually it is much later!!!
Tomorrow night is a dinner to welcome the new teachers. That sounds fine.
Then on Monday I have to attend (it was almost an order - from a government official I met some time ago - the one who calls be blonde disco dancer - for International Women's Day and we have to perform. Ugh!!! I hate that.
And again at night, another event for International Women's Day.
The issue of the books has been resolved somewhat. It appears that I was given "old" books, and that the students hopefully will get "new" books, that might just be the same as mine.
Meanwhile I have to manage without books, without any printing etc. I can do it, but it is difficult to keep to the curriculum with out the proper material. Oh, well. I can't perform miracles!
And I had a phone call asking me to arrange a performance for International Women's Day. Help!!!!
It has been so wet and miserable the best place is either in one's apartment or in a supermarket in one of the malls. Today I chose to stay at home. Apart from having work to do it really was very miserable.
A few students from last time "found" me today - so there's been a few surprised faces and hugs too. And some of the new students - guys phoned me to say "hello".
I have supplied a photo and some cash to get a tourist pass so that I can get into some of the local places for free. Free? Still, if I use it and I am sure I will there will be savings. I've noticed that the university is giving us more notice of things, and being considerably more helpful.
One of the disappointments is that our favourite haunts of over a year ago are no longer in operation. The Green Cafe on Campus which looked very much like a Starbucks and had prices to match, did not do well and is closed. It was our favourite haunt for a good cup of coffee and some snacks. I must contact the guy who invested all his Yuan on this venture. He is still a teacher here, but was a millionaire from other business investments.
There weather has not been good so I've not taken the camera out yet - am looking forward to doing that.
It's a BIG PROBLEM.
Yesterday I was given a new CD player - spunky thing, can us USB, memory card etc. I need it for one of the classes called "Listening." They have a book - or should do, and there is a CD that the teacher has to play.
Eventually I fathomed out how to work the CD player - all instructions are in Chinese, but the player itself has English on it.
Then when I put the CD in and played it, I discovered that the CD is different to the book I was given with the CD, and differs from the books the students are supposed to have. Supposed to have??? That's right. So far I have two classes without the book. We cannot work without the book as there is too much text to put on the board and photocopying is limited.
I've sent a message to my "co teacher" to help me solve the issue, but so far I have had not response.
This is a BIG PROBLEM.
Week two begins
We arrived in Shaoxing late last Wednesday afternoon, so I'm almost into my second week here.
Teaching has started and the school routine is starting to get into gear. I had a phone call last night about taking my medical in Hangzhou on Friday morning. We must fast, and the bus will pick us up at 7.30 am for the journey to the capital city of this province, where we will experience a funny medical. I have already had one done in Australia prior to getting my contract, but it appears I have to have another one.
I've done this twice before - and it can be hilarious. I wonder if the bus driver will get lost again? I hope someone has bought him a GPS and taught him how to use it. I wonder what food they will give us when we are able to eat after our fast?
Also we've been invited to an event to celebrate International Women's Day on Monday night. Sounds like it will be nothing like the extravaganza I experienced two years ago!!! I was asked if I was going to perform. Me? Apparently the English department has been requested, but I gleefully explained I'm not in the English department this semester. Phew!!!