September 24, 2006

adjusting well

I've been pretty busy lately, but wanted to post some pictures. This week's lesson is on American culture and adjusting to new cultures. I've believe our team is past the 'honeymoon' stage and in the 'acceptance' stage. It's a good place to be.

September 13, 2006

Thought requests

Being here in China has affected me in so many ways. I have been forced to grow in areas that I didn't know I needed growth in. My Thought life being the most changed. No one on my team can know me as well as my Father knows me. He knows what I have experience, He knows my desires, and He knows my future. Adjusting to a new culture, getting to know 6 complete strangers, taking on a new profession as an English professor... are all ways to bring someone to the Father.

I am learning to love teaching and find that I actually gain energy from my students and their enthusiam. The days here seem especially long, but I've been in college for the past 4 years, so a 6:15 alarm Monday-Friday can be a little rough. I teach 16 hours a week and have office hours 10 hours a week. Any teacher knows that the job doesn't stop when you get home. I find myself grading papers and looking up exciting items for lesson plans, even when I get home. I have 348 students (with more adding today), so getting to know each one is a daunting task. I have the same classes all year and relationships will surely deepen over time.

Speaking of relationships, some Thought requests. My best friend Cynthia has a brother, Donny. Donny is a great guy, engaged to a great girl Aimee and soon to be married. A week ago he was feeling pretty weak (he's a personal trainer and manager of a Starbucks, so he's buff and highly caffinated- he doesn't know weakness) so he went to the doctor, went to the hospital and was diagnosed Leukemia a couple days ago. I just found out that he's responding well to chemo, but Thoughts for Donny and his family would be much appreciated.

Also... James is in the Congo for 5 weeks with what we like to call "CCC- Chocolate Chip Cookies". He is helping with translations of a popular Film. He is on a team that will translate 5 languages in 5 weeks. Please joing me in Thinking for his safety, effectiveness, and love for the people. He's been waiting for this adventure and I am so glad he's there, doing exactly what he loves to do.

There are more requests on the way soon.

September 5, 2006

Open Session Questions

As a new foreign teacher, I am asked some common questions. I asked the students to write questions and put them in a hat, I answered them at the end of the lesson, time permitting. Below are the top notes I've received.

13. How much money you go abroad? Because I want to go abroad, so I want to know this question. That's my dream forever. Why is it hard for us to go abroad? -Cathy

12. First your eyes are charming. Second your skin looks very good. How can you do that? -Katherine

11. Nice to meet you! Do you like the super star Jay Z? Which person are you like the most about basketball? How about Yao Ming? I wish we can have a good time in this time. -Rose

10. Miss Allison Ricks, could I make friend with you? Can you tell me your family? Tell you a secret: I very like you! Maybe I hope you are my good friend. -Fiona

9. Do you want to go shopping with me? We can go to Wal-Mart.

8. Do you think you can take me to your hometown? I want to travel very much. It is my dream.

7. If you see a beggar, what do you do?

6. My name is Lydia. Nice to meet you. Welcome to China. I'm really really like English. Please believe me! I think you can speak a beautiful English. Thank you! -Lydia

5. Miss Allison. In this class I hope you can speak slowly. Thank you. (then the redeeming...) Welcome to China. You look very beautiful. (nice touch!) -Mary

4. I speak English not very well. Maybe I don't know how to say sometime. How do you think of my weakness?

3. Your favorite color is red. Why do you dress in black and yellow? Are you hair nature or not?

2. Are you married? Do you have a baby? How old are you? Please tell me.

1. How old are you? Do you like the world-cup in 2006? Do you want to find [a boy (crossed out) live and (crossed out)] marry in China? Do you have a boyfriend?

September 4, 2006


Today I taught. And it went well! Miss Allison is my name, English is my game.

Really, it was such a successful day. My first class was 50 students, the second was 41, and the third was 38 students.

I am one of only 2 foreign teachers on this campus, the other 5 of us are at the new campus. I assigned homework- I never liked when professors assigned homework on the first day, but I did it. Bummer... I know.

The memorable part of the class was the initial "ooooohhhhh" when I walk in the door as their only foreign teacher. It was completely shocking for some, as they've never had a conversation with a Native speaker.

I taught for 6 hours today in a classroom without A/C! I'm exhausted! And this city is so humid, but I'm not complaining. Very fulfilling/challenging/amazing time. I promise to update this blog much more often. Sorry to disappoint you, I just had to do a ton of editing of it. Catch my drift? Many posts have been deleted, my apologies. Goodnight.