Tuesday, Day 5
Trip Start Mar 14, 2008
20Trip End Mar 31, 2008
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Their English was very good, with just minor blunders like 'we has six floors' and 'my classroom is on the school', just small grammatical errors really. I was quite impressed. The class average was 90%, although some kids scored poorly. PE class was next, but as the weather was bad, our classmates told jokes in front of the class and had free time. I pulled out my laptop and showed the kids pictures of my house, garden and cars. They were so impressed. Most Chinese people live in apartment buildings, so our house looked like a mansion to them, even though it's not really that big. I showed them pictures of Mihiri and Om's wedding (which Mum and I attended in Sri Lanka in December), and they commented on how beautiful we all looked. They all spoke about how lovely the wedding must have been, and they loved the look of the wedding cake. Lunchtime came, and we were awarded the privilege of eating in the staff room. The students asked us if we would be back after lunch. They said that they would miss us during lunch...awwwwww!
The other teachers, though, were somewhere else eating, as they get free breakfast and lunch. Mum was told that she is going to teach an English class in front of the other English teachers and Shirley. She's pretty nervous. We ate soup from a thermos for lunch, so we didn't have to go out again. After lunch, we came back to class. We were supposed to have music, but the music teacher is on leave, so we had homework time. Here, students showed us their English exercise books which made many country's names into acronyms; I.T.A.L.Y, I Trust And Love You, "F.R.A.N.C.E, Friendship Remains And Can Never End." It was cute, although sometimes did not make sense, or was random, like "C.H.I.N.A; Come Here! I Need Affection."
We had homework time for most of the afternoon. At one point, swimming class was going to be conducted with the navy (the navy school is next door to the school), but as the weather was unforgiving, we were forced to run laps of the quadrangle. There was no teacher supervising, so many children played games, but my new friends and I ran the laps. Once we had run for over 20 minutes, we were allowed to come back inside. The rest of the day was homework time.
The red scarf that I am wearing in the pictures is the only compulsory part of heir school uniform. It is meant to signify that the wearer can accomplish anything. I pulled out my laptop again and was soon surrounded. The end of the day came quickly, but for most students, their day wasn't over yet. They do many extra maths, English and Chinese classes during the whole weekend and after school. They must score highly on their middle school exams to get into a good high school and from there, a good university. This is very important to them. It sounded shallow when I said that in Australia, our weekends are full of sporting events and free time, and that to get into the best high school, you just pay lots of money. The differences continue to blow me away. Today was good, and tomorrow will be even better, I'm sure.
Where I stayed