I gave my first F to a class and am now preparing my speech/a time to discuss with my students why my job is hard to do without them. I really need to sit down with them and get the ball rolling on what changes need to take place. I also need to get on top of some things that have piled up, like filming myself teaching, getting everything corrected and given back to students and other things that are part of the job.
We have a class trip coming up around the 26th/27th. I’m going to up close to Dong ting Lake (which Hunan gets its name from, since the province is “South of the Lake” although Dongting is inside Hunan). The teacher last year said it was a very moving experience. Among the things students do is a visit to a prison where they listen to young inmates tell their stories. It will be a unique experience for sure.
Otherwise, it’s been quiet. I had a second break-in attempt since coming back to Zhuzhou this year, pushed harder to get my camera repaired after last year’s incident, discovered that it will cost me a sizable amount of money (but thankfully not the 2000RMB I was originally told), put aside 300 yuan for the all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving buffet at the Sheraton in Changsha, and ate the rest of my extra money because China unleashes the snacker in me like nowhere else I’ve been. Recently, I’ve been eating a lot of táng yóu baba (糖油粑粑, a small cake made of glutinous rice and fried with sugar in the oil). The smell of chestnuts is everywhere, which reminds me of Ticino and watching the trees change there.