End of 2016-17 School Year

It is the end of the school year. The month of June was very busy with a wide range of activities.

In the video above, our school was hosting a dance competition. As most were older ladies, I assumed it was what we call “dancing grannies”. Every evening on the streets and in the parks of every city and town of China, people will dance. Usually it is older ladies that make up the groups, thus being called dancing grannies. They do this for exercise, socializing, and to just have something special to do. Many groups have rehearsed dances they do every night. It is fun to watch.

I was walking to class when I heard the music. I popped into the gym and saw this going on. If I didn’t have classes to teach, I would have stayed longer. I liked the costumes, the music and the dancing.

Earlier in June, many of my students were dismissed from class to attend a business seminar off school property. For those left behind, I knew it would be impossible to teach a lesson. 75% of my class was gone. I decided to have some team building activities outside. It was a huge success. I am always worried about taking a class outside where they have no walls to keep them corralled. Surprisingly, every one of them was into the activities. We played right through our break time. And, when we were finished with one activity, they asked to try it again. Pictured are three games we did. Teams of ten students had to figure out how to flip over a sheet on the ground, without stepping off the sheet onto the “hot lava”. Another game was that they had to figure a way to get all ten members onto the sheet. The sheet was folded very small. The last activity was a relay race to put together six children’s jigsaw puzzles in the quickest time. All the pieces were scrambled together at the end of the sidewalk. They surprised me again when the winning team went over to help the other team finish their puzzles. Great teamwork and great kids.

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Most of the classes had end of year parties. Of course foreigner teachers are often invited. At this sophomore party, they booked a room at a restaurant and we had a great dinner. After the dinner, they sang songs at the KTV (karaoke). Keep in mind that all of these kids come from well-to-do families.

We finished off the year with final exams and the graduation ceremony for the juniors. I was honored to have been asked to speak on behalf of the foreign teachers at the graduation. In September, they will all be in the USA finishing their senior year of high school and then onto university. I will miss these kids very much, having taught them and seen them grow over the past year and half.

Summer vacation is here. Unlike previous summers, I am unsure what traveling I will do. I am working the summer camp in Zhuhai for the third year in the row. Because of the change in schedules this year, it kind of messes up my travel time. I had hoped to go to Mongolia for two weeks, but there is just not enough time. Over the next few weeks, I will decide where I want to go and what I want to do. Stay tuned for more adventures.

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