This week we were asked to be judges in an English speaking competition. The event took place at Global Kids (another school in Dongying). Shortly after arriving, I was whisked away by a lady, and we were placed in separate rooms, and each assigned two other Chinese judges. I sat down, and waited for further instructions. There were a stack of papers on the desk in front of me, but none of the pages were in English. A group of about 10 students came into the room. They sat on either sides of the room. The floor was open, and everyone looked at me. I suddenly realized that this was all down to me!! The Chinese man next to me said, “Okay, you ask….” Huh?! I had no idea what to do!! I found a couple of pages with English questions on them, however they were all set according to a numbering system (which was in Chinese), so I didn’t know where to begin! I began asking the man what I should do, how the number system worked, and how I should score the students. He seemed to know a bit of what was going on, so I managed to figure it out.
I had to ask each student questions, and then rate their responses. The man said that I should given them a rating out of 10, however it could not be less than 7. Interesting!? I couldn’t read their names (as you can see below), so I had to get the students to find their name on the sheet. It was funny how I was expected to know what was going on, and figure out this Chinese table. In the end it was pretty easy, and a quick 5 minute introduction would have solved the initial confusion. This just confirms most of what we have experienced while teaching in China, nothing is properly organized.
The number of students entering my room gradually decreased as the day passed. The opposite was true for Justin though!! He had older students, and there were a lot more of them. Fortunately for him, they were intelligent. My group could barely string a full sentence together, so when I was busy there were long periods of silence. One boy did, however, point out that I made him nervous because he thought I was beautiful!! (He scored an extra point… haha, kidding)
I started looking for other things to do when my room was empty.
Poor Justin was working his butt off!
The foyer kept filling with parents and students.
Every 40 minutes a new group would enter the building!
I had a really great time getting to know the two Chinese people I was judging with. They asked me hundreds of questions, but the language barrier meant that it took a long time to explain simple things. Above is a piece of paper I kept drawing on to explain certain concepts to them. They were so interested in Justin and I, how we were from completely different countries, and the fact that we met in South Korea. The woman was searching for information on her phone, and the man kept trying to translate things I said. They asked how many children I want to have, and then nearly fell over when I said I would love to have four or five! In China, more than one is too many, they said. They told me about how they have never left China, and that they probably never will because they can’t afford to!! In the past 3 months I have seen 6 Chinese cities, but the woman hasn’t traveled anywhere in years!! It was quite an eye opening experience, both for them, and for me. They were amazed at how much I have traveled, experienced, and seen.
I was reminded of how blessed Justin and I are!!!