Sunday, July 30, 2006

A good day

Had my second and third classes, each 45 minutes. They were 'demo' classes, meaning they were summer camp kids in from rural areas - 19 in the first class and 24 in the second. They both went really well. I thought things might go to hell since part of my lesson plan was to give them handouts, but they had no writing station or pens/pencils. So 5 seconds before the lesson I had to scrap that. It ended up working out really well, and they responded great, both in chorus and individually. Up until this morning, I was also anticipating 2 kids per class, so the large class sizes (large for ESL environments) was a surprise.

It was really nice to have a very positive teaching experience. My first class (last Thursday) was wretched, as I'd written. So things are looking up!

It's Alistair's bday tomorrow, and we're trying to find him a guitar. Duncan and I went on a sojourn to a department store at lunch, but it was fruitless. Everyone we asked (*cough* Duncan asked) said it was somewhere else. Finally we got out of someone back on the first floor (out of 4 floors scrounged in 42 degree weather with humidex) that they didn't have them. So we went for dumplings. When in doubt, eat.

When I get home, I should have an air-conditioner in my room. So I can finally close my windows to block out the 24-hour construction and not die of suffication. Yay!

I think that's it for now. Oh, wait... Friday. Friday was a day off, thankfully. That evening, we all went for steak (and it wasn't bad!) and then bought beer, popped 'em open and wandered down the street to the memorial. It was busy, but not packed. It was awesome. Tonnes of people, lots of lights, folks sitting in front of flower plots playing cards in groups of 5-8... and I played hacky-sack for 2 hours with a group of Chinese teens. I think about 8-10 pictures were taken of the weird foreigner playing what they all must have assumed was a Chinese game. To be fair, it was: the 'sack' was actually a padded spring with colourful feathers coming out of it. It looked like a badminton fly (or whatever that widget is called). Lots of fun, but I paid for it... I was soaked after 2 hours of playing, I got a sore throat, and woke up with a nasty cold.

Meanwhile... I missed Nick mesmerizing 120+ Chinese by pretending to do stunts with glowsticks. He was even pulling people out of the audience to help him. He'd do some strange moves, and everyone would clap. Ever seen that Fat Boy Slim music video where they're all doing dance/interpretive dance in a mall and people start gathering, half-amazed, half-confused? Duncan and Alistair described it exactly like that: Nick wasn't actually doing anything. Just moving his hands around fast or putting glowsticks in his mouth and pretending to balance them, etc. Too funny.

Okay, I'm outta here. Busy week ahead of me, starting Weds: 6 hours of class a day (2 classes per day) and only 2 days to prep for them all. Next Saturday, I start my first new class (ie, not just taking someone else's over).

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