stormy1x2: Ruthie babushka dog (Default)
[personal profile] stormy1x2
I still haven't quite wrapped my brain around the fact that my classes are finished. Partly because I still have my Qingpu class tomorrow, the KE classes on Sunday, and a business meeting/trip to Hangzhou on Monday (office called and told me about it today). But my actual classes, my 'bread-and-butter' so to speak, are finished. Kaput. DONE.

I've had those kids for 5 years. They're MINE and now they're gone. Some of them I'll see again on Saturday mornings next year, but not all of them. I've watched them grow from teeny tiny grade 1's and now they're almost teenagers and dude, see, I don't need to have kids 'cause I've already gone through the parenting experience vicariously through my job. ^_^

They're different too. They're not shy, or timid, like other Chinese students. They don't nod blindly when told something - they question and push for more answers. They're sarcastic in a country that doesn't know what sarcasm IS, and I know that all of this is due to having me around every week day for the last 5 years. Of the 20 I had, at least 14 of them are going to go on to do great things. They're too sharp not to.

But at the same time I see how much like me they are in attitude, it's little things like what happened today that reminds me that they are still different, still Chinese at heart. Things like eating the cupcakes I baked and gave out today. All of them loved them, and all of them looked wide-eyed at me and asked 'how could you make these things?'

I said I baked them, and the light still didn't go off in their heads. Happy explained that to them, someone who makes cupcakes, or cookies, is someone who has gone to school for it (a baker or chef) or is working at a restaurant. As I am their teacher, I am obviously not a restaurant worker, and so they were completely astounded that I could do these things.

It's different from cooking. Cooking, they get. but baking - actual baked goods that we grow up around, is something foreign in concept and in practice. No one here grows up sneaking cookie dough from under mom's watchful eye; no one squabbles with siblings over who gets to lick the stir spoons, or who gets to scrape the last bits out of the bowl. They've never mixed food coloring into icing, trying to see if it really will turn black if you mix all the colors together, and they've never put sprinkles on sugar cookies. I gave them all the recipe because they asked, but only 3 of them have small counter-top ovens in their homes, so they won't really be able to try it out. I can't even imagine my childhood without these things.

Still, they were happy to know the process, and of course, even happier to eat the end result, so it all works out. :D

I had a few cryers, a few snifflers, but it was all in all a very quiet finish. I received lots of small gifts from my students that I hauled home with half my classroom stuff (need to go back tomorrow after Qingpu for the rest) and on June 28th I fly to Canada for a month of vacation. Then it's back here to get ready for my job I start on the 17th, as the Supervisor of all the foreign teachers. It's official - H even called me today to verify my information for the business cards the office is having made for me. J has mentioned working on an office for me. I am officially in charge.

Freaking scary thoughts, no? :D

My fiend Dawn - <lj user="silentmyriad"> was here from Hawaii for a few days (she rejoined her group Wednesday afternoon and is now off to Yellow Mountain and then to Beijing) and I have pics to post from her time here, but I'll do that later. I need to finish lesson planning for tomrorow's classes and then go to bed. ^__^

February 2013

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