Friday, September 26, 2008

Prestigious music to fireworks

Wow, so I had a fun experience this week. I went to the Candlelight Opening Ceremonies for the Freshman the other night and it was so neat to see how they do events here. So I am convinced that the Chinese have had parties done right for ages... they know how to throw a good one! The ceremony began with speeches from foreign partners and the leaders of the school and as each person was announced there was this "presidential - type" music played which made them look very important, which of course they are. There was everything from the red carpet to the blaring voice of the translator! After the ceremony was over there were several performances, including the opera department, the art school and low and behold, the infamous, foreign teachers. They did a song by Daft Punk called Harder, Faster, Stronger... (I think that's what it's called) It was really cool! All the students loved it! No wonder we are so popular here, because they always do performances. I on the other hand always try to avoid dancing or performing at all costs so I so graciously took the video! Some of the students, staff and teachers sang the song (in Chinese) that was written for the Olympics, "we welcome you" (something about Beijing) I really need to pay more attention to what goes on around here!
After it was all said and done (so we thought) there was a fireworks show! They were some of the coolest fireworks I had ever seen! I'm tellin' ya, the Chinese have it right! :)

So as I was debriefing my thoughts about this ceremony I said that this was cooler than any of our graduations, and this was just an opening ceremony! To welcome the freshman! They really make a huge deal out of things which is cool! I enjoyed it and if I were still having doubts if I were truly in China, then this would have certainly cleared them away. There were several authentic dances performed. One, which I had always dreamed of seeing was a dragon dance, (you know, the one where they are all making the dragon move around the stage?) Very cool! The music was beautiful! Some of the boys from the opera dept. did a Mongolian dance. There was a part where five of them became a horse, (four crouched down and one rider) which looked hard as it was but then they began to bounce as if they truly were a horse! There were several of them in the front doing toe touches (about 4 feet off the ground it seemed) about 5 or 6 in a row! Wow!

So needless to say I enjoyed this ceremony. My next adventure will take place in Xi'an, the home of the Terracotta Soldiers... so be waiting for a post sometime in the next two weeks!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lots to do, lots to see...

Hi everyone! Wow, I haven't written anything in a while. Well to update you all on my life...

We began teaching this week and I have a wide range of students. I have found that there are many different levels of English speakers. I have to plan a couple different lessons to cater to each classes needs. So it's a little more work than I expected with classes that meet once a week. But it will be fun. So I really like my schedule! I don't think I'll ever have another schedule like it... its very part time and I have one class three days a week and three classes two days a week.

We had a long weekend... it was the mid-autumn festivals. Basically you eat lots of moon cakes. I had one that was like a large, round fig newton. That is the best way I can describe them. However, I heard that there are strawberry, peach and fish... yes I said fish. I have never experienced them and I don't plan to! It was a nice weekend to relax and get some lesson planning done.

I went to get a full body massage at this place that others said was brutal. Its was really nice for me and another foreign teacher. They massaged all my tense muscles and then worked on my neck and adjusted my back just minor, nothing like a chiropractor). Very pleasant experience. Later I found this new store on campus where students can rent a display box and sell different items they have collected or made. A lot of it is jewelry. I found a cute ring and a pair of earrings.

It's been fun to get to know some of the other teachers here. I have had a lot of good conversations with others who have returned from previous years and we are all getting along great. Ahh, so I remember now why I began writing this blog.. to tell you all about KTV or karaoke. Some of you know that I did karaoke in the states in the past. Well this beats them all! We rented a room for 2 hours and sat on couches and sang the craziest songs. It was the highlight of the week. So hats off to Chinese Karaoke! It's roots are in fact from Asia. One of our local friends did a really good job singing some Michael Jackson songs... Oh and some of you remember the song "Thriller"... this was my first time seeing that video...very funny.

So all in all, there has been lots to do as far as lessons and other school events and there is so much more to see!

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Chinese Carnival

So yesterday was a really fun day. A couple of us went to the nearby park where one side is filled with beautiful pathways and trees and the other side is a carnival with go carts, kiddie roller coasters and more. So I was feeling adventurous and I tried out the zip line. I "zip lined" across a swampy pond - ish area of lotus which was really pretty! It was a lot of fun, especially trying to guess what they were trying to tell me to help me land and take off properly. Its a guessing game every time I leave the school gates. We have our own little America within the hall and I love it but its also really fun and amusing to attempt to get around on what little knowledge I have! So I drove a go cart, a bumper car that shot foam balls. The men working the ride were so funny, as we were driving around they were running around picking up our ammo and handing them to us as we refilled our guns! It was histerical! The roller coaster was interesting, I didn't try it but others did and I got some pretty good footage of them enjoying it. Some one said it was a pedal coaster? I don't know for sure but I may try it again sometime. I did not get a chance to go insided the hamster ball, that is still on my to do list of fun things. We've had a couple of fun days with not a lot to do. Other teachers are getting training that we have already had so I've had two days off. So today I am off to the pool with another teacher, hopefully I can keep this up for some kind of good excersize!
Thanks for reading!