So, that’s “Intensive”

The morning after… Spring Festival is finished.

Well, aside from an adult class in an hour and one on Monday evening… I’m officially done the first portion of my contract – the Winter Intensive. What does this mean you ask? For starters, and most significantly to me, it means five days a week of sleeping in; as opposed to the two I get now.

It also means all new students, of varying English levels, that I have to establish rapport with. It’s tiring to even think of it, as it is definitely the hardest part of my job. Of the four classes I taught this semester I just never hit it off with one of them, and it made for the longest 1.5 hours/3-times a week I’ve ever experienced.

I’m diggin’ this end-of-semester feeling though. Yesterday, admittedly in no mood to search for things to teach (I’m done the book), I took my C5 class to the market, the grocery store and then to KFC for some drinks. It was great. I was nervous as hell that I was going to lose one of them and be put on the first plane to Inner Mongolia, but I left with five and returned with five – better that, the same five.

Then today I went with my C4 class to the local Jinzhou “Zoo”. It’s the most animals I’ve ever seen for $0.14. Though set in a beautiful (or would be if it was summer), huge park, the zoo itself was a bit sad. It had some monkeys, birds, two camels, a bunch of goat-like things and a big black bear from Northern China, which a few years ago got out of its cage and hurt its keeper. You gotta love a country that values the price of a bear more than the life of the staff… in Canada it would have been put down for sure. Good on the bear, but to be honest, living in a 20′ x 20′ cage … maybe he wanted to be put down.

[1] My C6 Class: Sam, Tim, Wates, Me, Daniel and my CT, Serena. [2] My C5 Class: Lucy, Amy, Amanda, Mickey, Balin and my CT, Cherry.

[1] My C4 Class: Me, Alice, Barb, Rubin and my CT, Zach. [2] My C5 class at KFC after our trip to the supermarket.

Change is definitely in the air around here. Tom has spent all week in town packing his room up, and leaves for Inner Mongolia (no, he didn’t lose a kid) on Monday. One of the school’s staff, Annie, is at our place right now cleaning up because we are getting a new, albeit temporary, roommate tonight. A Chinese guy is coming from one of the Dalian schools to oversea the renovations of our school for the next couple weeks and my apartment is putting him up. Chez Lei Rui An.

Monday also sees the welcoming of Emma, my new Irish roommate. I know absolutely nothing about her – but I’m crossing my fingers we get along, or it’s going to be a long few months.

Lantern Festival, the 15th day of Spring Festival, marks the end … would someone please tell the guys that keep lighting off fireworks!

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