School Assembly

Trip Start Aug 13, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of China  , Hunan,
Monday, September 6, 2010

It's only 2 p.m. but I'm exhausted! I had to get up early this morning (6:45 a.m.) to get ready for the school assembly at 7:30 a.m. All the foreign teachers had to write a mini-speech to say in front of the whole school (6000 students + faculty). Rodger translated for all of us. So, when we arrived, we all sat with the important administrators of the school in front of all the students. All 6000 + students had to stand in rows on the soccer field the whole time! The assembly lasted about an hour and a half. It was really hard to keep still, which was important because everyone was watching us. I was so tired--and everything was in Chinese so I didn't understand anything (and was too tired to try). It was difficult to stay awake in front of everyone, however, I think the Chinese students had an even harder time standing for an hour and a half. About halfway through, the students began to get pretty antsy and a lot of them began talking and I saw some leaving -- maybe going to the bathroom? When it came time for the American teachers to speak, Andrew went first and we just passed the mike down the line and I was last. Basically we just said our names, where we're from and something to the effect of "glad to be here," "thanks for the welcome," "I'm honored..," etc. I think I was more nervous giving this little "speech" than teaching the students. My voice has never been amplified for that many people! It was okay though. Eventually it finished and the mass of students went to their first class.

Derek and I walked to our first classes, which were next to each other and found no students there. We called Rodger who told us that the students would probably be coming soon, which they did. I was a bit worried that we were in the wrong place but we were okay... and then-- class! (See previous entry)

So it seems today, that after the assembly, more people have been greeting me. Maybe coincidence-- maybe they're greeting Derek,who was walking with me a bit. Maybe now they know I'm an English teacher so they say hi. I'm sure before they just thought I was another Chinese teacher.

A side note: Lan told me that in her Junior 1 class, there was a kid who said his English name was "Shit"! and there was a kid trying to get another kid to name himself "Fuck"! Crazy kids! I'm glad I didn't have that problem... I'm glad I just have "Lord Voldemort." He-who-must-not-be-named.
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