Tuesday, June 18, 2013

School's Out

Well school is not exactly finished here yet I have a few more classes but it's mostly done. I've enjoyed being a teacher for the past five years but I'm ready to be a student again for a while. I pretty much just need to finish up writing the grades for this semester. I had four oral English classes, which went pretty much like they always do. I also had two writing classes. I'm not sure how well I did with those. I think I aimed too high for their level. I tried to being in various types of writing to keep it interesting, but they never seemed all that engaged. Also judging from the final essays their mastery of the basic five paragraph essay never got as strong as I would have hoped either. If I had a chance to do it again I think I'd be better at it. I'd focus much more on the elements of an essay, a whole class or even two just on writing a thesis or topic sentence may have been necessary. Oh well. At least I got them to turn in homework printed out and more or less formatted correctly. And as far as I could tell it wasn't copied from the internet. Or at least if it was copied form the internet they've gotten much better at hiding the fact.

But that's all pretty much done now. I have a bunch of fun stuff to look forward to this summer. First pretty much as soon as I'm done with classes I'm flying up to Beijing. Harry, one of my oldest friends, is coming to China to visit and tour around a little. He's only here about a week so we are just going to do Beijing and Xi'an. I've never actually been to Xi'an, a fact that is getting embarrassing after being in China for five years. It'll be great to get to play tour guide and show someone around. Besides Xi'an there is a ton of stuff to do in Beijing: Mao's tomb, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven, plus we're hoping to see some music and maybe a sporting event. After Harry leaves I still have about two weeks with my parents in Beijing. David who I used to teach with back in Changzhou, also said he'd come down for a few days.

David left Changzhou after one year to go to graduate school for physics. But after a term he decided he didn't like it. Later he joined the Peace Corps and was in Kazakhstan for two years. Now he just got into the Foreign Service and just got sent back to China. David learned a huge amount of Chinese in his one year here. Way more than I've learned in my five, but that is a pretty low standard.

I'm going back to the US on July 14th. I'm going to go to school out in Denver, but I wanted to have some time back in DC before I went there. Some family friends have very nicely offered me a place to stay. I'm going to be in DC for two weeks and I'm looking forward to seeing all my friends. It's been two years since I was in DC the last time. After that I'm going out to Denver around the 1st. I don't have a place yet but I'm hoping to have one by the time I get out there. I'm actually coming back to the East Coast once more after that. In mid August there is going to be a family reunion in Maine so I'll be going to that as well. All in all a lot of stuff to look forward to this summer.

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