We're Singing in the Rain...

Trip Start Apr 17, 2010
Trip End Jul 02, 2010

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Flag of China  , Sichuan,
Friday, May 21, 2010

Ms. Long and Mr. O ended our second full week at the High School today and almost the half-way point of our journey in Nanxi and China!

Ms. Long taught three groups of Senior 1 (Sophomore) students. She did the second part of her lesson on foods and healthy choices.

Mr. O worked with four sections of Senior 2 (Junior) students. He began his lesson, "The Yangtze River: Who is Responsible for It?" with a question about what responsibility meant, using the example of grades in school. Many said it was the teacher's responsibility. Eventually, they agreed that the teacher taught and guided, but students were personally responsible for any grades they received.

They then viewed a video, downloaded from Discovery Streaming, about the Yangtze River, which flows along Nanxi. It talked about the many people who depend on the river. A discussion followed about the groups. Mr. O put the class into five groups representing those who use the Yangtze: Fishermen, Farmers, Industry, Developers, and Ordinary Citizens. Their task was to answer two questions: How do you take care of the river? and Do you create any problems for the river? Lively discussion occurred in each group. Next week, they will return to discuss further, then meet as a class in a simulation town hall meeting to discuss how they can work together to save the Yangtze and still use it for their needs. It should be interesting!

After lunch, Sally met Mr. O at a local store (along with Sally's husband). Mr. O needed a long-sleeved white shirt for the singing contest that evening, and Vice-Principal Jiang was kind enough to offer to buy Mr. O a shirt. Sizes might be a challenge because of Mr. O's height, but they were able to find a shirt that would work for that evening. The clerk even ironed it right there in the store. That's service!

That evening, Ms. Long finally found a student with an "I'm with her!" t-shirt and got her picture taken to prove it! Our students did very well in the contest.

The singing contest was an interesting experience. We each had to get our "faces painted" (basic stage make-up - lips and blush, men and women), no problem for Mr. O with his theatre background, but a new experience for Ms. Long. We gathered in the main courtyard of the high school at 7 p.m.. A stage was built, risers in place, lighting hung, and sound system in place. Students sat on the steps or stood while teachers were able to sit on student stools. As we enjoyed each group's music and waited our turn, a light rain occurred off and on. The show must go on, and it did. We were lucky enough to have no rain when our group performed. Ms. Long wore a traditional red dress that is worn for performances. We were a hit! Many cheers by the crowd and wonderful applause at the end of each song. We managed to get through both Chinese songs, looking like we knew all of the words and understood them! I hope you'll enjoy the video, along a video of one of class' performance. When we left, they were in first place!

Ms. Long needed to get back to the hotel for her team's awards assembly via Skype. The contest was still going on at 11 p.m., with 7 more classes after us. She was more successful than Mr. O in connecting to the school. He hopes to visit with his classes Monday morning, the start of their last day.

What will the weekend hold? Stay tuned...
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