[sigh of weariness]

September 11th, 2007

Three lessons. First classroom has the world’s most useless aircon- the vent opens, the air that comes out is the same temperature as the rest of the room. The other classrooms have no aircon. I hate aircon, but sometimes it is useful. All three classrooms have fans, but only over the students. Nothing over the teacher’s area at the front. Second classroom I have to close the windows because it overlooks Xidawang Lu and I can’t hear the students over the traffic. Third classroom is nothing special, but it’s getting late, everybody’s tired, and we can’t hear the bell there. Weather is hot and soupy and sticky. So there I am, all bloody day, running and bouncing and jumping around in the front of the class, no fan, no aircon, just sticky heat, trying to wake the students up and kick them into gear and get them working.

First class falls flat. I completely overestimated their reading ability and underestimated the difficulty of the text. The text should be at their level- they worked through books one and two last year, and this is chapter one of book three. But no. Nothing’s working. Not their fault, they just can’t cope, so I have to suddenly stop and do a radical rethink of the lesson.

Second class is first years in their first foreign teacher “English corner” class. They’re sitting there staring at me like stunned guppies. Takes forever to get any kind of response or reaction out of them, and even longer to get them actually talking to me. Having to close the windows so I can have a chance of hearing them over the roar of buses outside certainly does not help.

Third class we’re all just shattered from a long, tiring day. All I want to do is walk out onto the lawn outside, sit under a tree, crack open an ice-cold beer, and relax. Just looking around, I can tell the students feel the exact same way.

Not all bad, though. Scored me a card for the cafeteria, so I’ll be able to get cheap eats on those days I can stand the noise and crowds. Or I can take lzh over to the cafeterias on those evenings neither of us wants to cook.

Bumped into a colleague and old friend- he was in the classroom next to me. Haven’t seen him for three years, so it was cool to catch up.

But really:

Bring on the cold weather!

Seriously, cooling things down a bit would make life and work so much more bearable.  At the very least, a little less humidity would help.

2 Responses to “[sigh of weariness]”

  1. John Says:

    Here in Chengdu, it’s grey and wet, and a little autumnal. It’s that at that stage when it’s cooled down, but still sticky. Too humid to get too dressed up, but at a point when you feel you need to put something else on.

    Oddly enough, I find it’s a little too cool for my liking. Chengdu is not the furnace that everyone claims it is; not that I was expecting it to be.

    Yeah, I had all the fun of traffic noise when I was doing the teaching practice for the course in Zhuhai. Too hot, even with the fans going, to close the windows. The school was cited – what planning brilliance – right beside a main road.

  2. wangbo Says:

    We’re right beside a main road as well, but through reasonable planning, they’ve managed to site most of the classrooms so that we don’t get traffic noise. It’s just the classrooms on one side of the Management building that are a problem. The good thing is, though, that it’s not so hot that I have to shout over the traffic noise, and I only have three classes per week in that building.