Xi’an Week 3: Plagiarism and Emojis

Tomorrow I will teach Public Speaking for the second time. While preparing for the course, I learned that the fear of public speaking is second only to the fear of snakes. This was in the same chapter of Stephen Lucas’ book that teaches not to plagiarize, so now you know where to check up on me. 🙂

In other news, I am learning to use emojis.  Because I write in a very concise way, I leave some of the pleasantries out, and this can be detrimental in cross-cultural communication. However, a smiling frog or a Winnie the Pooh can soften the tone. This helps when my students WeChat with me to ask me for information. In the U.S., students usually email me, but here they use the Chinese equivalent of Facebook Messenger.

Monday, I had students bring a rough draft of their selfie introduction papers (thanks Mom, for letting me plagiarize you). Then I had them Speed Date Peer Review. I was very pleased with the level of engagement in that activity. I enjoyed reading the drafts and the peers’ feedback. Now I am emailing each student with content level feedback. (If you know me and my responding habits, you can visualize me hitting myself in the head and vowing to hold individual student conferences on the next paper.)

Of course, I have done more than just teach in the last week. Today we wandered around the Old Campus near our home. We found what seems to have been a Zen Garden at one time. We climbed to the top of it and heard an old man playing a musical instrument called an Erhu. He played it with a bow, and the stringed instrument did not have frets.

Tonight we cooked dinner at home, and then took a walk around the mall across the street. It is decorated with fresh flowers for the Fall Festival Holiday that is coming up next week. We climbed to the top of some stairs, and we found a tribute to the Silk Road that we had missed before.

Tuesday we lunched with our friend Sun Jing, and then she took me to the furniture market to buy a couch for our home. Wednesday, we met some former students of my mother’s and had an amazing dinner at their home. We spent time with our coworkers from BYU, Jim and Wendy. They were very generous and gave us some bedding for Asher’s room. Jeremy found a Chinese tutor, and I became a tutor for a high school girl.

We are settling in and finding a routine. The only weird thing to report is that on Sunday night we had sushi that was covered in chocolate. It will help when we are able to read the menus better. 🙂




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