This week I watched the Princess Bride eight times.
Lots of English teachers will show a movie once or twice a semester – it’s a great way for the students to practice their English listening and comprehension skills (and who doesn’t love a movie day). I wasn’t sure which movie to show and how to incorporate a lesson around it, until Brittany shared The Princess Bride with me.
I love The Princess Bride. It’s one of my favorite movies ever – the action, the romance, the 80s cheesiness, the witty dialogue. What’s not to love? So I decided to show it in class and they LOVED it. They thought Westley was so handsome, and they just ate up all the silly moments in the movie. They especially loved the parts with the grandfather and grandson, which surprised me because those aren’t my favorites. At the end of it they were all quoting the characters – “As you wish” “You killed my father! Prepare to die” “INCONCEIVABLE!” It warms my heart to know that 240 Chinese students have been converted to the ‘I love Princess Bride’ fan club.
This week there were several English speech contests going on so I helped several students with their speeches! I went to the new campus on Thursday to meet with Linda, a girl who isn’t actually my student but attends my class on Wednesdays because she loves English. Linda is so fun and silly!!
This weekend I explored Hengyang a little more with two of my students, Skyler and Jenny. Skyler is the most darling little thing. Every time I have her class on Monday afternoon she stands by me and talks to me before class and during the break. She brings me apples and oranges and always hugs me.
She’s a local from Hengyang and wanted to hike and show me a small mountain called Hui Yan. It’s the site of several temples and a beautiful park. We took bus 142 by the bookstore a little ways out and then walked the rest of the way there. The Chinese definition of “hiking” and “mountain” is much different than ours – it wasn’t really a mountain, just some sets of stairs to walk up haha. I was prepared for a longer hike than that and was really surprised when we got there.
When we went there were lots of people dancing or doing Tai Ji at the top. I love going places with Chinese girls because they love taking pictures as much as I do. Skyler and Jenny kept asking “do you want a picture here? Let me take your picture!” Skyler also brought along dumplings her grandmother made for us to eat as a snack.
We went to a Chinese war memorial park afterwards – it honors the Chinese men that fought the Japanese 70 years ago. Some Chinese are still very sensitive to the topic of Japan. Although they know their war was a long time ago, many have not forgotten what they did to the Chinese people and still harbor ill feelings.
One of my students named Rachel invited me to be a judge in an English contest on Saturday night, and I asked Drew and Brittany and Lauren if they would like to come too. It was so exciting! (And long haha.)
The contest went from 7-9:45pm, and consisted of students singing, giving speeches, or performing a group drama act. One girl sang “My Heart Will Go On” (of course), a group sang and danced to “We’re All in this Together” and I saw many of my students give speeches!
I was given a sheet to judge the performances and was quickly told to judge their performance, pronunciation, skill and performance selection. It was so hard! I’m glad I’m not a judge on American idol or something because I hate being mean when I see how hard they work.
A few thoughts:
I forgot to mention before that China doesn’t do Daylight Savings Time, which means home is now 14 hours behind, and it gets dark at 6pm.
Thanksgiving is coming soon! Thanks to the magic of Taobao.com, we ordered a turkey and other Thanksgiving necessities to have our very own Chinese Thanksgiving next week.
My Chinese friend Sharon is a student at Harding, and she’s coming home to China soon! She lives in Guangzhuo (said like gwong-joe), and I am going to visit her there in two week! I’ve been wanting to see the city (it’s huge!) and I can’t wait to see her 🙂
Also, someone asked, so I thought I would mention I haven’t been on anymore Chinese dates lately 😉