The summer is over. That means that school will start next week, and we will both begin working full-time. I really enjoyed my summer job, and as you might remember from the blog posts about it, I certainly did have a lot of fun with the students, who ranged from age 6 to 11. If you want to have a look at some of the fun we had during August, you can read more about that here: Summer School. I got to witness some interesting dishes being served for lunch, like Pig’s Feet and Pizza and then Pig Face Salad. It sounds crazy, I know, but most of the food was delicious and I enjoyed my time around the table sharing with my students and new Chinese friends. It would be an understatement to say that summer was hot. “Hot” doesn’t quite explain it because on most days in August it was Too Hot to Think in that classroom, or anywhere for that matter!
While I was sick in bed with the flu for a few days, Justin went to teach these summer classes for me. In that time he got to know my students, and they asked where he was everyday after that. On my last day of summer classes, Justin and I went to class together, and we had a party for the kids. It was quite a celebration, and a few of the mother’s decided to come by too!
Helen, the mom who stayed at school everyday – helping and cooking – was very excited that Justin was coming with me for the final day of summer school. As a surprise she bought a delicious vanilla and cream fruit cake, and told all the other mother’s to send their kids with snacks, balloons, and other party supplies. It was a pleasant welcoming to walk into the ‘school’ and see kids blowing up balloons and getting ready for a party!
After teaching them the game of UNO, Justin couldn’t get the students to stop asking for him to play it with them. So while I helped Helen prepare our lunch fit for a ‘party-day’, Justin entertained the kids with card games and tricks. As you can see above, they were all completely focused on this round of UNO. They are such great kids!
During the days when we were actually doing some studying, it became difficult to keep the students from losing concentration. They were hot and bothered, so I really did understand because I felt pretty much the same. To get them excited, I turned one of the closets in the classroom into “my office”. I stored my belongings in there, and when I wanted to take 5 minutes to be alone, I would go into the closet and close the door. For some reason they loooved this idea! When we played games, we would send someone “to my office” while we chose a secret topic/ picture/ word. They seemed to love that minute inside the cupboard where they got to pretend to be somewhere else. On the final day of summer school, they kids asked if they could “play in my office”. When I said yes, they were overjoyed. So we hid inside and “quietly” waited for people to walk by. When the did we would jump out and give them a fright! Just look at the excitement on their faces (and mine too)…
Justin took half of the students outside to play, and the rest stayed indoors with me. Ironically the girls wanted to hang with Justin, and the boys with me. As you can see above, I was jammed into the cupboard with four little ecstatic kiddos. I ended up sweating more than Justin, and he was outside in the blazing heat.
The day was spent playing, laughing, eating and having fun. Although summer ended, and we were meant to say our goodbyes, Justin and I decided to keep helping out so we now see these most of these kids on a weekly basis.