Half way through the semester!
Well we just had week 9 of classes, the official half way point in the fall semester.
Classes are still going pretty well. Its becoming a challenge to find new ways to get the students to speak every class, but I am figuring out which of my students will talk any chance they get, which want to talk but are just too nervous or shy, and which ones just really don’t want to be there. I sort them into groups and try to combine all 3 because the ones who care make the ones who don’t attempt to talk anyways. It works out well.
My Chinese is coming along slowly but surely as well. I can say I eat, or I ate, and several foods. My building supervisor, Auntie Ko, also taught me how to say I knit, because she saw me knitting one day. I found some yarn as soon as it started to get cold, so I’ve been knitting a lot! Its nice because it gives me something to do that makes me happy. Ko is a 60-something year old woman who lives in the building and makes sure everything is running smoothly. She is so nice, and speaks absolutely no English. That makes talking to her fun, because its a combination of body language and her saying the word over and over until I smile like yes I know what you are talking about, and then go look it up! She takes it upon herself to help me learn more Chinese, and is always making me repeat phrases, which is extremely helpful.
My students like to ask me if I’m homesick, and I always tell them yes and no. I miss my family, and friends, and especially burritos!! But living here is teaching me so much. I am learning the language more now, and I’m finding my routine. I got a rice cooker, and I can cook whole meals in it, which is fun! Its also nice to make my own food instead of eating school food all the time. The school food is good, but its a lot of the same, so its nice to be able to cook something different, and something thats a little more “western.”
I met an American English teacher from another school, and she has lived in Dalian for 4 years, so she has been a huge help. She tells me the best places to shop, and she was the one who told me you can make anything in a rice cooker. A couple weeks ago I made applesauce, and it was delicious!!!
Its kinda hard to believe I have already been here 9 weeks. Time is flying by!
Lots of love from China, Ashley