Saturday, February 18, 2006

OK, it's been a pretty full week. Have been busy every evening so I haven't had a lot of time to write, and quite a few 7:40 starts so I've been pretty tired.
The teaching is fun but it gets pretty repetitve. I'm teaching first and second grade which is 7-9 year old kids. Most of my classes are of about 40 students but some are only twenty. I always have a teaching assistant in the class with me to help keep order and translate anything the children don't understand. Much of it, in classes that big, is about getting them to repeat stuff after me but it is fun trying to find ways to get them to actually think about the language and what they are trying to say. And I can use a little bit of Chinese which they think is amazing. Over the next couple of week's I'll probably try and bring more into the classroom as teaching aids but for now it's more about getting them used to me. I also need to find some good songs to teach them.
Have been out in town a couple of times but it's pretty expensive - like 30 RMB for a drink (about 2 pounds) which is crazy when it only costs 2 RMB to buy a bottle of beer in the shop. Met one of the teachers who is leaving and he sold me some speakers and a DVD player (both for less than twenty pounds!) so I'm feeling quite set up now. Last night I invited all the foreign teachers over to my apartment so we drank some beer and wine and chatted for a while. They seem pretty nice, generally quite thoughtful and they are enjoying it here.
Today I went with Nick, who is from South Africa, and his girlfriend into Ningbo for some food and so he could take me to a good DVD shop. So I now have a small pile of DVDs to watch along with the ones I brought out. At least I won't be stuck for something to do...
Also interesting - I read an interview with a Chinese science fiction writer and it had his email address so I've been in touch with him. He has given me some titles of books to look out for so I'll probably head down to the Xinhua bookstore soon and see if they have them.
It's been really cold this last couple of days. We even had a little bit of snow yesterday so I am probably just going to wrap up warm now and watch some tv.

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