Students and their Majors

From what I’ve been told, my teaching with this school ends on the 5th of January. I’m not sure whether that means I am finished my actual internship or just if I’m finished teaching. So at the moment I am preparing exams for my students. I have to prepare 1 written exam for my flight attendants, while for the electives, I have chosen to give them an oral English test instead.

I can’t believe how those few months have flown by. A week seems like a day. In my last class on a Friday, It seems as if it was only YESTERDAY that It was Friday again. The weeks literally become a blur.

I’d have hoped I would have visited more places in Chengdu though. Every weekend seems to be taken up by something or other! I still have another few weeks left of teaching, so I might fit in more things by then.

Also, the number of students in my elective classes are dwindling down one by one. On Tuesday’s class with Liang, there was no one in! They had to do exams so they couldn’t go in. So we ended up just chatting in the classroom ourselves. In my other classes, a lot of them are on ‘training week’ meaning they have no classes. This gets rather annoying because that means it’s harder to do things with the students because there aren’t many in. At least with my required group they are all there, because they have to be in.

Last week and this week we were discussing weddings and dating people. I learned a lot of things from the students about Chinese weddings: they get their photos taken BEFORE the wedding, they don’t dance during the wedding reception; they concentrate more on the food. Family and friends give a red envelope with money in it to represent good luck. The bride will also change her dress a number of times during the day. During the reception, they like to play jokes, where the bride would hide somewhere and the groom would have to look for her. Family and friends would be pointing him in the wrong directions. It’s very interesting to see the differences between the weddings in China and back home.

Then we talked about dating, and where would they go on a date, what would they say and the like. The required love talking about this and the girls get so excited. I asked them to rate what an ideal wife/husband should be, and many of the first years said loyal is number 1 on their list. Some actually said wealth is important. Being romantic apparently wasn’t their priority, as many put that number 8/9!

Then in the next class, I had them acting. They had to pretend they were on a date/breaking up/about to propose, been cheated on. Aw it is so hard to get Chinese students to be creative. They were constantly asking me ‘what will I say next?’ so I had to prompt them on what to say. In all of my classes, the boys were the most creative. They really did go for it, one boy Jacob done really well, I was very impressed! After class he told me that he wanted to do acting but his parents wouldn’t let him. I thought that was really sad. He really enjoyed himself, yet he was denied to do something that he loves. That is common, where the parents would pick their sons or daughters major, because ‘they know best’. I completely understand and respect that, I just think that the students themselves should pick something that they would like and enjoy.

A few weeks ago we had a discussion about this and the students agreed. They think that they should choose for themselves. I said that everyone in Ireland chooses what they want to study. The students said that’s what should happen in China and they don’t have as much freedom in comparison to Ireland. Many of them plan to study something completely different to what they are studying now.

Anywho, the past weekend I had my first Chinese birthday that I went to!  We went to have Hot Pot, then went back to the apartment, had a few drinks and played card games. There was plenty of ‘gān bēi’, or toasting each other going around the table.

The next day, myself and Charlotte went to subway stop ‘Sichuan Gymnasium’ where we went to a lovely restaurant for Western food. It is called ‘Travellers Café’ and it is beside Raffles City shopping centre. I got a lovely mushroom soup for starters, and then Belgium Beef stew for main. It was SO good to have proper chunks of fatless meat. I also got a Mango Iced Tea which was lovely. China does many different varieties of Teas, many of them are really nice.

I think next weekend we are going to visit the PANDAS! Or as the Chinese say… ‘visit the PANDERS’. I cannot live in Chengdu and not go and see them! It’s like going to Paris and not going up the Eiffel Tower, which I incidentally did not do while I was there! So I’m looking forward to seeing them.


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