Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,
Living the life of me! I don't talk much nor do I want to, I find no reasoning in spoken words.
Seasons are changing and Winter Witch has finally packed her bags and scampered. As most of you know, I hate winter and snow and all of her cold hearted evil bringing. The evil White Witch has finally left China and warmth is upon us as the Good Witch brings fourth her colourful beauty to the lands of Beers N Noodles.
I see t-shirts and skirts, I see blossoms on the trees, I see people out and about, I see what life as it is mean to be.
But what I also see is taste, sitting at a little kiddies table eating summer cold noodles watching life go by as it should be. But I also see that the advertising has changed from horrible winter jackets to more happy things. Winter and her beautish snowy picturesque offerings are but a fast and make great Christmas Cards and perfect Post Cards.
I feel no warmth, no offerings of warmth just tiles and concrete. Seasons have changed,
I took this picture (rubbish man with bras) from what was a trash pit during winter, it still is but I had two photos to choose from, A: one that showed my noodles and the rubbish or B: one that showed life as it is, the man and his wife had searched through the trash at my feet and took the cardboard, paper and plastics. Behind them though, you can see the change in advertising. Soon the beauties will be dressed in next to nothing, just a top, short shorts and high heels, yet the trash will still be searched for paper, card, bottles and plastics yet I will still be found sitting at the same kiddies table eating cheap summer noodles.
Life, it is weird yet so wonderful and now as it is meant to be! So what has been happening since my return from Laos?
Well for one I continually forget to continue to finish my blogs on my visit to Laos and two, as you have read above the seasons have turned. I arrived back in Jiangsu Province in shorts and a t-shirt and found the Wicked Witch of winter awaiting me, yes snow. The next several weeks were the beginnings of the new term which were cold and still freezing but the last week or so of March things turned.
I began sneezing and sneezing and sneezing! I also had my first mosquito in my room.
Normally I hate mosquitoes but when that first one arrives, for a person like me who hates the deathly cold of winter, one gets on ones knees and bows to that that horrid little biter that will soon make summer a real bitch. But one must bow to that who is meant to be bowed to, that which welcomes the changing of the seasons. When you hear that first buzz you know that in several weeks, at the click of a thumb and forefinger you will dress and arrive to either the office or class and think to yourself,
Damn, do I have some kind of fever or is it really kind of warm in here?
Yes, every year here it feels this way at this time of year simply because of the tiles and concrete. Now there is a warm wind blowing yet as soon as I step foot into my apartment building and enter the hallways I need to put on my winter coat but as soon as I enter my apartment it is snug and warm and at night I can sit in shorts and a t-shirt just like I now can outside.
As for all the school stuff; It’s been really good so far.
Lucy and Rick (the Brits) did their totally pre-booked tour to many places in China, staying a night or two in each place which to me kind of takes away the reason for putting a pack on your back in the first place, might as well have a suite case. But, each to their own and we now welcome John-Ray and Clair. I think both were born in South Africa, or maybe both born in England and moved to South Africa or one did one and the other the other.
But I don’t get to see or speak to them much.
John-Ray has replaces Rick at my school but the school has put him in the office on the 2nd Floor, fark knows why so we never get to meet up and talk. Claire (his girlfriend) teaches in a kindergarten up the ways near the city where they both live. So unlike Rick, Lucy and I, we don’t share dinners or rides or any conversation at all. Sometimes I see John-Ray in the hallway but we both have a timetable, so it’s like, ey…ey;
Guess I’ll see you around sometime this week. What else has been happening?
Oh yeah, the headmaster of the school is trying to flex his muscles, or should I say, stretch his Chinese scrotum again. He’s back and doing the 'All teachers MUST be in the office at 7:40am each morning’ and the Chinese English Teachers have been obviously told to more than hint at the ‘demand’ and I’m like (sorry for the Americanism), yeah right, I gave up a highly paid job in Law in Australia working many hours to come to your school and sit in an office for more hours than in Australia for a low paying job in China.
I do not think so. He is but a shepherd. He likes to herd his flock Set the dogs on me and I’ll simply transfer. Yesterday I started my ‘other school’ classes which went really well.
Not sure if I’ve written about it before but I do two mornings a week (Tuesday and Thursday) I teach in different schools in the city which is about a fiftty minute drive each way. My classes are very small here at my school so it is good to be amongst it all and teach four classes of fifty to sixty students for four lessons a week all of which are Grade 6.
This is good because why?
Over the past decade or so all of my schools had no computers in the classrooms, so it was ‘flashcard’ and ‘MP3’ based teachings. But overnight it seemed as though rural China caught up with the world and became Multi-Media based teaching. So last term I began teaching the same as always had but noticed that there computers in each classroom so I basically trashed, yes I gave away a decade’s worth of teaching, all the flashcards and lesson plans and one night when we were in the office I asked Rick;
Dude can you teach me anything about Power Point?
He didn’t know a lot but he knew enough to teach me the basics and since then I’ve been going absolutely Power Point crazy and attaching selections of fifteen years worth of travelling photos, MP4s and now Power Point games like basketball, jeopardy, game of knowledge and Frogger….crazy.
As to the effect of MP4’s on a classroom of little rich kids? Compared to MP3 actual teaching by body theatrics? Actually it really really sucks!
In my old rural based classrooms the students were really happy, they didn’t have computers in their classrooms, they were happy with MP3. Meaning they had to listen and also watch me, using pictures and body language to learn English. That is now gone by the wayside and it seems to have disappeared over a single summer. Now all they want and also that the school wants is to allow is MP4. So now what is expected of me is to provide visual teachings and ‘take that away’ for several minutes and then the complaints become loud and clear.
Mr Bean, we want to watch Mr Bean. Do NOT get me wrong, I really love Mr Bean so much. Yes but this is an English class, we can lean a little from Mr Bean; But we must also try really hard to learn from our own Daily Activities’. I also teach four hand craft lessons a week, the school doesn’t pay, who pays? Shouldn’t the parents or the school pay? Yes they should, but neither do. Who does, Me! I lost all of my money with my ATM Card in Laos, I don’t have the funds, Transfer Time!
Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________
The soundtrack to this entry was by Suicidal Tendencies The album was ‘Still Cyco After All These Years’ ____________________________________________________________