Trip Start Jun 01, 2009
Trip End Sep 03, 2009

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Flag of China  , Liaoning,
Monday, July 13, 2009

One of the things I wanted to do before I began teaching English was to take some type of TEFL course – Teaching English as a Foreign Language, because, those of you who know me recognize that I want to have all my ducks in a row and feel prepared before starting something new. (I know many of you know that I can be a bit extreme with that characteristic) (Yes, Randy Hill – I am not an Orange)

Oh well, back to the story – I decided to go ahead and get to Dalian before my contract began and enroll in their TEFL course. So, I arrived on July 2 and my classes began on July 3. I am living in Kai fa qu, therefore, to get to Dalian for the training I take the bus to the light rail station and then take the light rail to Dalian and then the bus to the school location which takes about 1 hours from my apartment. I do that each morning and on the way home I have to get to the light rail station before 8 pm because that is when the last train heads back home. Once I get to Kai fa qu, the busses have quit running so I walk home. It takes about 45 minutes. I have found that I enjoy walking around. The streets are very safe here. There are large sidewalks and except for the occasional motorcycle or car coming down the sidewalk I have no problems. (You think I am kidding don't you) And some of the major intersections have underpasses (tunnels) to miss the traffic altogether. I still look in all directions before stepping onto the street.

Ok – really – back to the story. I arrived in Dalian on the 3rd and met 4 other new recruits to Aston Schools. Wes, Tim, Jamyl, and Fraser. Fraser is from New Zealand but the rest of us are from the US. Lisa and Chris are our instructors and the classes began. After a couple days of class we all worked on our lesson plan and taught some small children. None of us died, so that was a good sign. We then taught another children class and an adult class. We were able to get some constructive feedback along the way so it was very helpful. And we all felt like we were getting better with each lesson. Finally, the course came to an end and we all received our certificates. Then those guys all headed to the airport to fly to their new locations and I caught the light rail back to Kai fa qu. Two more days of Aston specific training  and then a couple of promotional activities and then I will be in a classroom. I am looking forward to it. I will keep you posted.
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