17 May 2007

head, shoulders, knees & toes

Been in Beijing for 6 days now (has it only been that long? It feels like I've lived here for a month now). There is always such a huge thrill from being thrown into a foreign place and learning to find your way around to all of the necessary places. Granted, it is a lot easier knowing enough of the language to manage. :)

The place my friends and I live in is in the middle of a small, very old and run-down apartment complex near the electronics market sector of Beijing. Despite any initial thoughts of "ohhh man this is where we're living? We're really roughing it...", we've really grown to like the place. Every evening the complex begins to bustle with the sounds and scenes of nightlife, as people get off work and come to the small side-street restaurants for their yang rou chuanr fix, and in the mornings there is always someone playing chess in the street. It's a dusty little road that we live on, but I'm really growing fond of it.

Teaching has been improving exponentially. When we first started out with a fifth grade class, we were nearly clueless, but now we're starting to adapt. So far we've taught four classes (working with mostly body part vocab, and the song in the title is a hit so far), and next week we're going to be teaching about 20... so there is a lot of work to be done over the weekend! I suddenly have a newfound respect for all teachers in general, and especially those of older kids - middle school and above. They get so difficult after they've outgrown the wide-eyed enchanted phase of childhood.

More later. In short, I'm having a great time. :)


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