PE Class in Beijing

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2-12-2014

Today was a good day. I taught my class in the gymnasium. It was their PE class. We started in the lobby of the university gym. The doors were not open yet to the complex, so we were waiting in the lobby area. To pass the time, I began with a game called “Knots”. If you ever go to a teambuilding type of conference, you might play this game. You form a circle and join hands in a certain way that makes a human know. Without letting go of hands, you must untangle yourselves so that you finish in a large circle. The kids did a great job. I think they were very impressed with achieving the goal.

After the activity, we went to the gym. I gave them about 30 minutes to play badminton, play basketball, or just visit with their friends. I them had them divide into two teams. I showed them how to play kickball. Please keep in mind, these students have never played baseball or kickball before. Imagine my efforts in trying to explain the game in the most simplistic and basic format I can think of. It was somewhat of a success. We did have an infield and an outfield. They did “kind of” run the bases. They did kick the ball well. They did not catch the ball well. But, in the end, they all seemed to have fun playing. It was good fun. After kickball, we went back to playing badminton, basketball and volleyball. Everyone seemed to get some exercise and had smiles on their faces.

And, that brings me to the point of me sitting in my hotel room typing this blog. I am not sure what the rest of the day and evening have in store for me. But, I will keep you informed. Dzie gen (Goodbye).

I have to add a note here. I am conducting meetings with my students. I pull them from class. I choose one student and they can bring a friend. I have had some interesting conversations. One boy did not want to bring a friend tonight to the meeting. He just wanted to talk with me personally. The reason was that he is homesick. When I first walked into the class, I expressed to them that I was available for them to talk to me anytime they wanted. He is the first to choose to talk to me about being homesick. I feel honored that he did. I will check with him daily to see how he is doing and make sure that he is feeling well.

I also had two boys that have asked if they can meet with me every night. They want to improve their English and thought that the meeting was useful to develop their speaking skills. I will try to fit them into my schedule. I had allowed an hour to do the meetings. I think I will have to expand it to at least an hour and a half.

Finally, I had one boy tell me that he wants to be a TV anchorman for the news. There is another university next to ours. It is a popular university of communications. Many of China’s TV personalities comes from the university. I am trying to see if I can schedule a tour of the university and of their studios there for the boy.

These meetings have become very popular. I find it interesting because students try hard not to talk in class. The ones that are speaking to me in the meetings are the shy ones. So, maybe this is a new way for me to teach them. We will see what happens over the next few evenings.

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