So teaching was rough, on Thursday, the school held its annual long walk. I was told to come to the school at 7:30AM. When I arrived, I was asked which class I was with. I had no idea and said "I was just told to be here at 7:30" and they told me to go find grade 7, class 13. In the end, a very kind English teacher walked me over to a class where the head teacher was their English teacher so I got to walk with class 8 for 33km (though the little passport we had to carry and get stamped at various checkpoints said 38). We talked, we ran, we snacked, we listened to music, I talked to the teacher some, and after a long sweaty, at times frustrating, walk in which we were accompanied by parent volunteers, staff, a mobile toilet truck, and water stations all along the way,we finally arrived at Fantawild, the amusement park here in Northern Zhuzhou.
It was pretty satisfying to see how happy my students were when I remembered names and when I asked why class 8 always answers my questions with "Zombie-pig-man":
"Teacher, do you like zombie pig man?"
"I don't know him. I just hear about him every time I come to your class."
But they giggled and talked about him anyway. It's good. This class has gotten so much better over the course of the year and it was great to catch up with them. I can't wait to see them on Monday.
I know I'd said I'd write about Hengshan and I will soon. But between the mountain and Fantawild I'm a little worn out. Thankfully, I walk everywhere anyway partly just to see what's out on the streets. I'm used to walking for hours, but the difference is I don't normally do more than say, 2 or 3 hours at a go. And usually within the same radius around my apartment: the exit/entry bureau, the Xiang River, the park,the school, roast duck stalls, the big shopping street near the train station...So I just told myself not to think about time or distance and to just keep moving and that seemed to work pretty well for me. The hard part was when one student kept telling me I looked terrible and asked if I was tired. I had to keep moving or go crazy while remembering she was just trying to be nice.