Anyway, to get to the more positive side of this past week (since my experience thus far has been nearly all positive) I got the opportunity to visit Kaifu Temple (開福寺). I'm not wholly sure what kind of temple it was, there were 3 Buddhas you could ask blessings from and towards the back it seemed like a row of 7 or 8 gods of luck. At least, the elderly man holding a peach was very familiar. All the detail is incredible, and it has to be the first temple I've walked into with colorful electric lights inside. Unfortunately, I don't have many good pictures of the inside of the temple as people were there praying, chanting, and going through a number of rituals around me. I didn't feel wholly comfortable with the idea of walking into a group of people and taking photos of their religious spaces when they were using them.
After our visit we had to come in for lesson plan debriefs, but it was nice to have a day that was more free than any since we've arrived. We're starting practicum on Tuesday and I'm nervous to actually be in front of the classroom and to see how well my lesson plans will work, but as I said before I'm glad that the field director and assistant field director have done such a good job of pushing us on towards working in an actual classroom before releasing us. Now that I'm more used to the process and we've spent so much time going over discipline and enforcing a good learning environment I'm much more confident and aware of the things I can do as an authority figure. I did take a little time to ask for a good academic year so I suppose even my free time is going into my job.
Some of the advice we received during our first week was to write down a China moment of the day. I haven't wholly figured out what makes a moment a China moment, but I can say that today was the first time I witnessed a man drive past on his motorbike with all these live chickens and geese clucking and honking from the back where they were hanging upside down. I can also say that today when I gestured toward a family and told them they had beautiful children, one of the mothers ran her thumb over my arm and felt out all the hairs since my arm wasn't completely covered. I'm nearly two weeks into this and I feel like I've taken in so little even though I've done well at finding my way thus far.