The Best Week in Xi’an

With less than two months to spend in Xi’an, I decided to make the most of it. I rode the school bus to the New Campus on Monday afternoon. There I observed a physics class and sat in on the last hour of Jeremy’s teaching methods class. Later, Asher and I took a walk in the park.

My sophomore writing classes are in the middle of their research papers. Judging from their annotated bibliographies, they should be exciting to read. I took their picture to share with two JCCC classes we have been collaborating with. The JCCC classes are now taking finals, but we have four more weeks of class here.

After I teach on Wednesday morning, I go to Chinese class with other foreign teachers. This week we learned a list of twenty new words, many of them I had never heard before. On my way home from class I met a lady from my neighborhood. She shared tiny read cherries with me.

Thursday, the freshmen finished delivering their “TED” talks, and then we watched Andreas Ekstroms’ TED Talk about the ethics of search engines. My students then had small group discussions about the ways the search engines they use in China might be bias.

On Friday, I had the privilege of giving a workshop on Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATS) to the faculty of several different universities in Xi’an. This was the beginning of the best weekend I’ve had in a long time. I felt validated and respected. The workshop was supposed to go for one hour, but we went over by thirty minutes. Then people asked questions, and then we took photos, and then people stayed after to just talk with me.

Saturday, I went with my friends Jado and Dieudonne to the Color Run. It was held in a giant park I had never visited before. The park itself is perfect for running, and it has trees and a river. As you might imagine, tons of people turned up for the run (or really for the color part). We lined up at the front of the start line. They sprayed us with water as the whistle went off. At various points along the course, they shot confetti into the air as the runners passed by. Once I had colored water dumped on me, and near the end people lined up to hit me with water balloons.

Because the race was not timed, the finish line was not so exciting. However, I am pretty sure that I was the first female finisher. (Remember, I lined up at the front. No girls passed me. I’m pretty sure if there was I female winner it would be me.) I thought my friend Dieudonne would be at the finish line, but he was nowhere to be found. Jado and I tried to call him, and we had no luck. So we waited by the spot we were supposed to meet him. When he turned up, he said he came in first, took a short rest, and then ran it again. 😊

Jeremy and Asher asked me what I wanted to do for Mother’s Day, and I said I wanted to eat brunch. So they took me to Peter’s Tex Mex and we ordered an American style breakfast. Then they bought me a Dr. Pepper for later. Later, after church, we had an international fellowship. Asher and I performed in two different skits. I won the bingo game, and we got to see our priest play musical chairs. I think this was the best week I’ve had since I left Thailand.

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Christmas Week (in pictures)

It has been a busy week, so I thought I would just share some of the things I saw this week. This is our “apartment” on the New Campus. It is really more like a dorm room. It is a nice place to rest between classes.

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This is my family with some of our church friends. We are posing in front of one of the only nativity scenes in Xi’an.

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A friend took me to the public library on Wednesday. After I left, I went next door to the art museum. I was so happy to look at contemporary art in person again. Here is one thing I saw there.

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On Wednesday evening, I had the pleasure of attending an English speech competition. While they were calculation the scores to find out who won, a JCCC student, Mitchell, played Christmas songs on his violin. It was lovely.

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On Thursday morning, I visited Jeremy class on the New Campus. He teaches in a fabulous classroom. This is the student who makes sure his classroom is in working order.

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We have Christmas plans to look forward to, and our son, Israel will visit us for New Years. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas. We miss you.