Today is Teacher’s Day in China. As a precursor, yesterday at Flag Ceremony, all the students turned as one and bowed to their teachers. Don’t expect this at home, my teacher friends! In the afternoon, I was interviewed and filmed by a reporter from a Jiaxing TV station who asked me numerous questions, in Chinese of course, which were translated by Mr. Zhao. Many of them pertained to whether or not in Canada, teachers accept expensive gifts from parents. No matter how many times I told him it doesn’t happen in Canada, he persisted and asked if a gift would influence how a teacher viewed a student. Just a guess but I think perhaps he was trying to make a point about bribery in China? I can only imagine how this interview will be translated. I hope I don’t get arrested.
Today, the actual Teachers’ Day, we were met in the morning by a delegation of students from the grade 11 class bringing gifts (I got a Spongebob Squarepants pillow for the couch in my office) and then the grade 10 class (a bar of soap and a very fancy soap dish made of clear plastic and filled with pink sea shells and kelp–“Keep out of Direct Sunlight!”). Very nice, indeed. Geoff got a hat (Ed. note: A hat? A HAT???) and a plant and the three teachers each got lovely Starbuck’s coffee or mugs (Ed. note: And I got a HAT??? They all fail!) and a plant. As nice as these gifts were, none of them induced us to boost their grades.
Hot and humid today–temperatures well into the 30s. Thankfully, we have A/C and it works not half bad in the classrooms but it’s like a sauna to walk across campus, which we do to eat lunch. All of us except one teacher bring our own food as the caf food is pretty awful. I contend that it is loaded with MSG which puts the kids to sleep for the second hour of their lunch period. On the positive side, it is plentiful and cheap.
We are getting to know our new teachers who are, to a person, dedicated, creative and committed to doing a great job. The kids are responsive and we feel that we will make great progress this year and, importantly, have a lot of fun with them. I hope all my teacher friends in Canada are having a year that is shaping up the same way. To my retired friends, may the weather hold to extend the golf season and all the other summer activities you enjoy.
(Ed. note #1: I am shocked and appalled that Terry did not tell you about dinner tonight. My turn to cook:
- 1 Baby Suichoy
- 1 Baby Bok Choy
- 1 bunch hot green onions
- 1 bunch green onions
- 1 carrot
- 1 bunch mushrooms
- 1 hot green chili pepper
- 1 tomato
- 1 cup water chestnuts
- 2 chicken breasts
- Cook everything together in large wok.
- Add some soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and seasoning salt
Very very good!)
(Ed note #2: We got all the above (except the breasts) on Sunday. See below. And, as usual, forgive the minor shakiness – it is either the phone or I have some kind of disease.)
(Ed. note #3: I am starting a new feature on our blog. I call it “Shoes We Love” . These will be photos of shoes which I have actually asked the women if I could take. I plan on having one photo on each blog. We are also thinking of starting a pool to see how long before
- I get slapped
- I get arrested for something or other.
Anyway here is number #1 – also from Sunday.)