Sunday, January 13, 2013

Mr. President

A few months ago, before the election, I had a funny/strange/somewhat disturbing conversation with Julie, one of our co-teachers who sits across from me in the office. It went something like this...

Julie- "Rachel, (lots of words I don't understand) you like (more words I don't understand) Obama."
Thinking she was asking if I liked Obama, I replied, "Um, not really, he's not my favorite person."
Julie-"No, no! (this time with hand motions) Your face... it is like Obama."
Me- "WHAT? I LOOK like Obama?"
Julie-"Yes, yes! Your face is like Obama."
Me- "Ok... I'm not sure... I don't really see that... oh dear..."

Meshea and her co-teacher Mr. Wang were listening in on our little chat and I looked over and saw them laughing hysterically.  Ever since then Mr. Wang has referred to me as Mr. President and even wrote me a little note on the day of the election that says "Congratulations! You win again." The other day I came into the office to find a student doing some work at my desk. Mr. Wang walked up to him and said, "How dare you sit in the President's chair!"

I'm not sure Julie thinks its funny.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Chinese Fieldtrip

Confession... I wrote this about a month ago and had internet issues and never got around to posting it. So it wasn't actually yesterday...

Yesterday we experienced a Chinese field trip with our kiddos. We’ve been hearing about this for a while, and even had one planned but it got cancelled for kind of known but also unknown reasons.
Monday we heard the news that on Thursday we would have a field trip. This means… no class!! And one less lesson plan to write for next week. So although it was short notice, as usual, we were all pretty excited. Plus we would all get to spend the day with our students.

I set out yesterday morning with one of my co-teachers, Shirley, and class 8. All four of my classes went on the trip but I was assigned to class 8 for the day. We left at 8:45 for the nature/science museum.  It’s really cold here, like highs in the 30s, so all the little ones were bundled up and cute as could be!

Within the first 15 minutes at the museum there were at least 50 pictures taken by the other teachers. Every 2 or 3 minutes we had to stop for a picture. I was worried the whole day would be like that but they eventually calmed down. At one point the head teacher made us stop to get a teacher’s-only picture and all the kids just kept going and left us behind! We had to run to catch up and make sure they didn’t get lost. 

The most entertaining part of the day was definitely lunch. I had heard stories about how all the kids bring TONS of snacks from home for field trips, and how they try to stuff it all in your face! On Monday when we went to class we saw huge black trash bags full of food. Actually, that’s how we found out about the field trip. Yesterday all the kids had backpacks full of food. 

As I was walking around with the kids we ran into another one of my classes who had set up camp on the floor of the museum. There was food everywhere! As soon as I walked over to say hello they started handing me food and putting food in my mouth. At first I tried to be brave and taste the things they handed me, then I gave up because it was just coming at me too fast. In just a few seconds I had my arms full of food and it was falling all over the floor. They were handing me hand fulls of chips! Those ended up smashed all over my shirt. I got away as quickly as possible.

Around 10:30 my class decided it was time for lunch so we found an empty floor space and sat down. They started handing me food immediately but this time I had a bag and I was ready. I got more chips, some sausage, a lot of things I can’t identify, and tons of suckers. At one point the kids were just throwing food at me! When they were done eating they started handing me all the things they didn’t want. I said to Shirley, “I think the kids are just giving me all the food they don’t want,” and she said, “Oh, you can understand them?” Apparently they were saying to each other, “Just give it to Miss Rachel!” Somewhere along the way we ran into another one of my classes and I was showered with even more food. I ended up throwing about half of it away while the kids weren’t looking and still had a book bag full. 

It turns out lunch was kind of the main event of the field trip. After it was over we killed some time and then loaded the childrens back on the bus and back to school we went. We have another field trip to look forward to in the spring which means… more Chinese snacks!! Can’t wait.