Metro, a German store much like Costco, just opened up in Zhuzhou so we took a trip there this past weekend. I really never spent much time out on the West side of the river so I snapped a few pictures of Shennong Square (Yandi Square) and the big statue of Emperor Yan on a rainy Sunday. I actually saw the square on TripAdvisor before I left for China because I had such a hard time finding info on Zhuzhou. It was on my list of must-sees but I'm sorry to say that I don't really come out this way often even though the west side is very beautiful. All the screens lit up at night make for a strange contrast of Emperor Yan, the forefather and an ancient figure, against all the bright very modern electric screens. There's a mall very close by too complete with Wal-Mart and dinosaurs. I do enjoy walking around out here when I have the time.
I've been fighting my classes. I told them they could have a Christmas movie if they were good for two classes. So far, it's been ok. Still noisy. Still fighting. But oh god. My last class of the day today was actually screaming "We're sorry" when I counted up their points and what they lost from me asking them to be quiet. I feel horrible. Especially since they're not the only noisy class, but it feels so chaotic in there. Maybe they can't understand me, but all the time I spend chasing people down to pay attention. All the work I put into telling them to put their homework away. All the energy I expend on asking them to stay with me so I can work with them and not against them. I'm so so sorry kids. But I do want you to have one movie day so I'll ask you again next week if you can behave better for another class and another shot at that Christmas movie. Please, I want to share with you, and while I get quiet classes when I play movies, I am much happier listening to all of you speak because you say such interesting things. Movies are relaxing, but it feels like cheating if that's what I do to get a quiet class. Then I'm not actually doing my job. Oh god, I have to keep pushing for a more manageable class and I hate seeing how horrified they are to have a B for the day. But seriously? How many times do I have to circulate to get you to listen? All the homework that comes out, all the talking, all the hitting, the Rubik's cubes...guys! I love you, but if I have to teach 13 classes like that, there won't be anything left of me for anything except screaming. I nearly cried in my office. But I ate dinner at the school with some very shy boys and we worked out what they wanted to say with my cell phone's dictionary. They told me I speak very fast so I'll have to pace myself better. I'll time myself this weekend, drink a load of tea, and rehearse. I want to be understood. I don't want to be some impossible teacher who punishes for not understanding. I want to be better, and I have to fight to be that better person.
I'm a 3rd year WorldTeach volunteer.