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Friday, April 23, 2004

I really love teaching, but there are some days and
some instances when I simply do not like to be the
teacher. This evening was one of those occasions. My
classes actually went fine, and I enjoyed them
greatly. It was the after class discussions which
irked me a little. I do not mind talking to my
students for a little while, but when they trap you in
the corner and talk to you for an hour and a half,
after you have just taught for four hours then you
begin to mind a little. I know that some students are
needy and clingy, and I really enjoy talking with them
and answering their questions, but after teaching for
four hours, the first thing that I want to do is get a
drink of water not talk even longer. Unfortunately, I
met a very needy student who not only wanted to talk.
He wanted to show me his dorm room which I did not
mind, but really there were seven people in a room the
size of my kitchen plus three bunk beds. On top of
this, it smelled really horrible, and I was on the
verge of vomiting. I could not live there if I was a
student, but I will talk about that later. I stayed
for a few minuites then I simply insisted that I must
go home. At this point, the boy follows me. Now, I do
not mind telling some students where I live, but this
boy is not even my student, he just wants to practice
his oral English. On top of this, I do not want to
show any clingy person my home as I do not want them
showing up all the time. I really tried to get rid of
him, but he followed me. I really did not like this as
I really would prefer no student know where I live.
This paranoia grew from teaching at the University of
Kentucky during the height of the Sniper attacks. My
shower had a very large glass payne window that you
could see through. I put a shower curtain in the
window plus I showered with the lights off for two
years as I was always paranoid about being a sniper
victum of one of my students. So, you can imagine how
I felt about Mr. Cling learning where I live. He
followed me inside and then I simply told him that I
was tired and needed sleep. This finally got rid of
him, but now I am worried that he will be one of the
ones who randomly shows up at my front door. I must
say this. I simply could not be a student in China.
They work so hard, and it reminds me a lot of high
school with worse living conditions. They go to
classes from eight a.m. in the morning until about
6:00 at night. The have a two hour break for lunch and
a nap. They then spend their evenings studying. I am
not sure that I could do it. Granted some of their
time is spent in P.E. classes which they choose, so
they have Tie Chee or Basket Ball, but still, I would
not want to be locked in a damn room all day with
these same people. Their classmates never change, so
they stay with the same group of girls all the time.
They then sleep in horrible barracks. This normally
consists of three to four bunk beds in a very tiny
room. This means eight people in one very tight and
smelly room. I am not sure if the girls dorm smells as
bad as they boys, but if it does then I would die.
Plus, they are not air conditioned, so I can not
imagine what it will smell like in the summer. Plus,
eight funky hot bodies probably do not smell to
wonderful especially when Chinese people wear long
Johns to bed. All of them. I know this from my train
rides and my Hostel experiences. I guess that it the
customary thing to wear all of the time, but I am also
sure that it is hot and sweaty. I am not sure if I
could do it or not. It is like Big Brother Military
Style. Except for worse because at least most military
barracks are air conditioned and do not smell like
someone crawled into the sewer pipes and died. I must
say these are some strong students, and I admire them
greatly. In other news, I will now be getting a nine
day vacation for the Mayday holiday, so I think. I am
very excited about this prospect and hope that it is
true. This will allow me to go to Emi Shan and Lashan
over this vacation as well. I was very excited to hear
this news. I also told Laura today that I will be
leaving in August. She was fine, but she asked if I
would help her fill the position and I said yes. If
any of you are interested in teaching in Chengde, send
me a line. I would highly recommend it. Oh well, it is
late and tomorrow is another busy day. Hope that all
is well around the world.

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