Time for the weekly update! Well, this past week has been storms and blue skies. We’re still enjoying nice days in Zhuzhou but I spent half the week anxious, frustrated and angry with myself. By Thursday, I finally accepted that my lessons weren’t total garbage, that normally when I kill off the part of myself that chases some vague notion of “good enough” I’m happier, and I allowed myself to sleep well and get a burger at McDonalds at 10PM (where they now offer Jasmine green tea soft serves). We only had Sunday off this week as part of making up classes after the weeklong break. I taught my Wednesday classes on Saturday and had to find something for them to do when I came back again on Wednesday. Then I heard that my one of my Wednesday classes was moved to Monday morning and I had to come up with a whole new lesson plan on Sunday. I panicked and stayed up until 4 AM feeling unprepared. Then I got to the classroom, and found out that the head teacher had changed plans without telling either the liaison or me. So I didn’t actually have to be there, and the students didn’t know why I was there. Sometimes I wonder if people just really like making me look like a fool, even when I know it was an innocent mistake…I was exhausted and a bit annoyed but I had time to relax in the office before going to one of my more difficult classes. I've been beating myself up and feeling pretty low. So I emailed the field director listing off the things that made me feel miserable. Once I sent the email, the clouds parted and I was in a better position to judge what I was doing well. It also helps that my site mate came back on Thursday after being away with his classes on a school trip. I think it’s incredible that he’s so hardworking and strikes me as a pretty balanced person. He knows when to relax as well as work, and he looks after his health better than I do too. I could learn from that.
We finally started English Drama club too. I’m not sure that the teachers are planning to have students do a play anymore. I asked and got “whatever you and the kids want” as an answer. Hopefully, they won’t ask me to put on a performance at the last minute. The students also looked startled that this was a drama club. A lot of them just wanted to watch movies and play games in English. I would love to show them “The Princess Bride” or some other classic films. They already know “Titanic” and “Forrest Gump”. Anytime I call on a kid named “Jack” someone inevitably shouts “Rose! You jump! I jump!” Everyone seems interested in dubbing but not so much in making a movie or doing a play. I’m sure it’ll take shape in time.
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