Class & Life: Here At Business College of Shanxi University

Class & Life: Here At Business College of Shanxi University

I taught my first class yesterday. It wasn’t just my first class in China, it was the first time teaching a class ever. I think it well pretty well. Each of the two classes yesterday had 26 students. I started with introductions, myself and then the students, with a little open Q&A so they can learn whatever they want about me. That took a lot more time than I was expecting… I have 15 weeks to cover 15 chapters and I see each group of students once a week, which means I have to cover one chapter each two hour class which is just not going to happen. Also, the book they gave me is 6 years old, so some of the information in there has a good visible layer of dust… So I get to pick and choose whatever I think is relevant. Thankfully, I use the exact same lesson plan for 4 of my classes. I have one class this Thursday that I have to start from scratch with and another starting next week that meets twice a week, but that one is pretty much watching movies and singing songs just to have the students listening to English… so I’m told…

It seems I’ve neglected this here space all last week. Here are a few things:

…I’ve started getting used to how to acquire food. The eating of the food is just like anywhere else though… Everyone keeps offering me forks and spoons and then realize I know how to use the two sticks, usually better than they do. Thank you family for taking me out for Chinese food for so many years, my chopstick skills are quite beneficial in this current life choice.

I tried getting a phone but because I gave my passport to the residential permit office in the city, which will hold it for the next month while they process my residential permit, I will not be getting a phone for the next month, which means living off the wifi in my room, which is now, finally, working.

I’ve made a fair few friends from juggling at the International Teachers booth at the freshman welcoming day and from rollerblading, because I was like “oh hey, teach me” and they were like “yeah, get some rollerblades” and a friend of mine happened to have a spare pair in exactly my size… and there’s a really friendly community built around this activity, so now I’m learning trick rollerblading.

A couple more things… oddities for me. I am the only young Caucasian American male at the Business College of Shanxi University. There are a couple Chinese-American men, a French-German man and a couple young men from Ghana, but no one else looking like me. So in a school where the majority of students are young Chinese females, I get a lot of curious eyes, smiles and hellos. I also have people telling me how attractive and distractingly attractive I am, all the time. I’ve been accustomed to people looking at me and making remarks about my height for years, but to have people openly telling me that they find me attractive on a daily basis is very strange… So I get asked my age and whether or not I have a girlfriend quite often. I begin with my age and they are surprised how young I am, then I say I don’t have a girlfriend and everyone starts blushing. This is a most peculiar place I find myself in…

One comment

  1. Laura

    Sounds wonderful! I’m sure you are such a positive presence in your students’/colleagues’ lives. I know you aren’t prideful but I hope you feel how important and powerful that is. Love the roller-blading/juggling anecdote… What a great way to relate to people right?! I hope you are loving every minute. 🙂

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