Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Picture update

I wanted to share some pictures that haven't really had any other place thus far. Before I do that, I have to explain about some hilarious things that happened today at school.

1. A kid in my class came down with chicken pox 2 weeks ago, so the nurse came in, examined each kid, decided there was potential for rashes to spread, and  called all of the parents. By the end of naptime, there were only 2 kids left. Now the class is "closed down" until further notice. The 3 Chinese teachers will have to spend tomorrow cleaning the entire classroom (even though they clean it every day), redecorating, and then cleaning the school building; I would almost rather have the kids!

2. I was told this morning that I would be teaching the Chinese teachers English phrases today. So I went into the meeting room to take my seat....and was ogled by at least 25 Chinese women clad in orange shirts. It was silent except for one "ahhhh, so beautiful" and another "oh, English!"  I have been in all of their classrooms twice a week, I eat lunch with them daily, and yet they were carefully watching my every move. It felt very strange and made me kind of uncomfortable, like I was on display. I was then handed 3 sheets of paper with classroom-style phrases (single-spaced--there were TONS!) and my job was to say them aloud and have the Chinese teachers repeat after me. It took about 35 minutes of my enunciating such things as "Line up!" and "Wait your turn, please." The principal, one of the nurses, and the head teacher even came in to participate. Turns out that the teachers will "take exam" on their pronunciation next week. Who knows--maybe I'll be the one assessing them? 

3. There were 2 throw-ups in my presence and I held my ground. A proud moment in my life for sure!

4. I sang the Scholastic ABC song with a class today, which is different from the regular ABC song that we all know and love. After the 1st time, the teacher asked if I would do it again; she then took out a small video camera thing and video-ed the entire song!! Too bad there's no YouTube in China...

Here are the pictures:

I know you've been wondering, so here is your answer: the inside of a squat toilet bathroom!! (these are the closed stalls)
...and this is what the toilet looks like! (Notice the ridges on either side for your feet, so you don't slide. That would be extremely unfortunate. Also, the trash can is for all toilet paper--which can be obtained outside of the bathroom--because you cannot flush it down).
Below, you see a tent and a few carts. This tent is one of three on the side of the road, home to the construction workers who are adding a sidewalk to said road. The carts are their tools, used for transporting bricks. They have been sleeping here for a little over a week now, just as the temperature has begun to drop. Only in China.
Adam standing next to a crab store. The window consists floor to ceiling aquariums chock full of crabs.
2 of my oldest kids, Clive and Bowen, with the boat they constructed. They are adorable and so smart!!
Johnny (left) is the youngest in the class, and Joe (right) is new this year. They are definitely 2 favorites. Johnny looooves music and knows lots of English songs. He also says some words funny, and calls me "Ayyyy-lison".
 Leon (right) is showing you how the kids (and many adults) eat here. They put the bowl or plate right up to their mouths, open up, scoop the food in with chopsticks, and suck it all in. It's kind of like a vacuum and hilarious to watch.
Art class means that everyone has a canvas and a palate with oil paints. You paint the picture as seen at the front of the room with the colors specified by the teacher (unless you're finishing last week's painting, as Joe is doing on the bottom left). That way, everyone is a beautiful artist...with no originality?


  1. hi alison, i dont know you (or adam, really, for that matter) but ive been stalking your posts (im also a fogarty, but in new delhi). have you heard of sips-n-strokes ( or the similar? its where groups of 20-something girls (or sometimes older) go to a studio and each person paints the exact same painting (guided by an instructor) while sipping on wine. your kids' art class reminds me of that, but without the wine (i hope). i really enjoy really your guys' posts!!

  2. another question, do your kids get assigned english names or are those their real names?

  3. Alison the trash can is for the toilet paper? I would hope you don't have to take "used" toilet paper with you. Do you have a spray deodorant as well? could be kinda rough, if no one empties the trash can. The kids are adorable. I can see why they would be your favorites.