Too Much Birthday?
This past week was week of celebrations! In my last snapshot I wrote how we had a small surprise party for one of the foreign teachers. Well, that was partially just to make her not suspect what we were really up to …
Last Wednesday we gathered ALL her students together in a coffee shop on campus and threw a BIG surprise party for her. Since she has about 150 students, we had to have the party in 3 shifts, each group of 50 had 1 hour. Students gave performances and small gifts, sang songs, and played games. We all took lots of pictures and ate lots of birthday cake. Some of the students are also my new students this semester, so it was a good opportunity to get to know them better. (Snapshot below: The third party – English 2nd majors – who I also teach)
As if 3 birthday parties wasn’t enough for one week, this past Sunday, at the local fellowship I’ve just started to attend this spring, the College Group had a birthday party to celebrate anyone who has a birthday between January and March. I’d been feeling a bit strange attending a “college” group seeing that I teach at a college and I’m not a student, but this Sunday, I found out that the ages of people in the college group range from 16-25…and I am not the oldest, so I realized the term “college” applies loosely. I am starting to feel more connected to the people there – the first few weeks not many people talked to me because they were afraid to speak English (they told me this), but now, they realize that I can usually follow most of the what they’re saying in Chinese.
Military training for the freshmen has finished. They begin their first classes tomorrow. This means that we will not have the monotonous soundtrack of “yi – er – san – si” and military march songs echoing throughout campus! Though, many of the freshmen will continue to wear their military fatigues for a few weeks. (Your guess is as good as mine.)
Welcome Class of 2009!!! (They count the year in college by the year you start, not the year you graduate). Traffic around our front gate was extremely bad last week with all the freshmen arriving on campus. Some were driven by their parent’s in nice black Audi’s or other imported cars and were carrying their cell phones, cameras, MP3s, and computers in tow. Others came carrying their belongings in small rucksacks full of clothes and books, sweaty and tired after a long, lonely, and crowded train ride. The found their major’s department, met their 7 other roommates, and got their military fatigues which they’ll be wearing for the next 15 days as they complete their mandatory military training. (You can guess what next week’s snapshot will most likely be!)
10 things that students in China and students in the States have in common:
1. Most students have a profile on “xiaonei” (campus-network) which is the Chinese equivalent of facebook. It even looks like facebook, check it out! http://www.xiaonei.com
2. It’s hard to find a seat in the library, especially when finals roll around.
3. Many are on a budget since college is expensive for their families.
4. They don’t like the cafeteria food.
5. Many girls deal with image issues and it’s not uncommon for girls to skip meals to loose weight.
6. Boys love playing basketball … maybe even more than boys in the States … but maybe it’s just the sheer number of them that makes it seem that way.
7. They fall asleep in class. (Yes, sadly, some have fallen asleep in mine.)
8. Humanities subjects are dominated by women while science and engineering dominated by men.
9. They aren’t so optimistic about the current job market, yet they are still optimistic about their future and hope to make lots of money when they graduate.
10. They are searching for meaning and trying define themselves during this time of their life.
I’m sure there’s a ton more things in common … but that’s all I have time for now.