First Day of Teaching

16 Sep

Yesterday was my first day teaching.  It’s an all-morning class, wherein I attempt to teach adult students (mainly professors and researchers it seems) how to speak English clearly enough to pass a test and be understood wherever it is they’re going to do research.  The class had been pushed up a day, so I wasn’t nearly as prepared as I had hoped to be.  I had access to my predecessor’s lessons, which made it easier for me to derive one of my own, but when I arrived at the classroom I found that my slides and files would not open on the computer.  So yeah.  I ended up having to use someone else’s lesson after all.  My students came into the class.  There were about fifteen.  I asked if more were coming, and was met with an affirmative answer.  More did, in fact, arrive.  And more.  And more.  And I had more students in the class than seats, nearly fifty, actually.  It was not a particularly difficult class to teach once they started coming out of their shells, and I managed to go all the way until 12:25 without running out of lesson, hooray!

I returned to the apartment.  Rachelle had completely taken the place apart and was cleaning and organizing.  She enlisted my assistance in finishing up the work and showed me where everything was supposed to be.  We’ll see how long this system works, eh?

It was still early in the afternoon once we finished everything up and had some food, so we met up with Jenny and headed to the famous…YUEXIU PARK.

*skip generally pleasant metro ride across town*

Yuexiu Park is big, and like most of Guangzhou, it doesn’t always follow Euclidean geometric rules.  Furthermore, even though it’s mostly a great big green wooded green space, you can tell pretty easily that the entire place is professionally landscaped.  It’s definitely a natural area, and the fact that some of the more remote wooded trails have loud dance music emanating from …somewhere? ensures you don’t forget that you are, in fact, still in the middle of a megalopolis.  Pictures will have to suffice, because typing is tedious.

Rachelle saw a new bird, and there were people playing some kind of Chinese hacky-sack.  Also you could rent paddle boats with water cannons.  The water did not look very nice.

After this adventure, we wanted some drinks.  There was a Marriott across the road, but no obvious way to cross without dying.  Fortunately, the Metro station was still right there, and so we entered on one side and emerged on the other.  Hooray!  The hotel was fancy and shiny and we found the bar and it was expensive.  Well, it was about what you’d expect for a hotel bar in the States.  Martinis, mojitos, beers, and bowls of peanuts.  We found out that Guangzhou has an Oktoberfest.  We might have to go.  The service was terribly slow at the bar at first, but we’re all pretty sure that our drinks required the bartenders to find and open stuff that they don’t usually use.

Anyway.  Rachelle was starting to feel hungry, and we were all a little buzzed by this point, and we saw a McDonald’s around the corner.  We had originally planned to go to a Middle Eastern restaurant that had a “Vagetarian” menu, but honestly we weren’t in a mood to wait until after dark for food.  So Rachelle ended up eating a Big Mac.  In China.  It was funnier with the alcohol.  Did you know they deliver?

We decided to head home and Jenny wanted to use up some groceries in her fridge, so one metro trip later we were back on campus.  The Dig’n'Shop had large Zhujiang Draft cans for 6RMB apiece, so Rachelle and I went to get six of those and some playing cards and our German friend while Jenny prepared some food.  Honestly I don’t clearly remember much after that but I think I enjoyed myself.



  1. Les Says:

    Thanks for sharing these experiences. Glad you’re taking full advantage of this awesome opportunity!

Add comments: