Tuesday, November 11, 2008

October 27 - 31

This was my first week of teaching and it was very hot! It was great exercise for me to walk from our apartment in the Faculty Expert Building. We are living on the fourth floor and my walk is about a mile and then, my class is in Building 1 on the fourth floor. There are no elevators, so it is a great workout each day. I do love the marble step though, those are beautiful!

I met several translators as well as students and enjoyed meeting everyone. The people are very friendly and want to help. Most people here do not speak English, but when they see us trying to do something they will come over and begin to attempt to communicate. We have noticed that in general they do not use one finger to point as most of us do, but rather point with the entire hand and all fingers together trying to show the way.

My children noticed that spitting in public in not uncommon. That if someone needs to, they will spit on the sidewalk and we have seen a few on the bus. I have seen a couple of the male students in my class spit on the floor in the halls and in the back of the class. This is part of the culture and is not unusual.

I learned many names this week, all English names. As I have been told, their Chinese given names are too difficult for us foreigners to pronounce. I was welcomed by the staff as well as the students this week. We also met several other instructors here in this building that have all been very helpful.

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