September 14, 2009

Volume 3, Issue 9

What a ride it has been the last month! We finished our visit to America, return to training in Beijing, and have two weeks under our belt teaching in Harbin, China. We are definitely excited to be back in our Chinese home surrounded by familiar foods, people, customs (although these are sometimes a bit unfamiliar), and university life.

Let’s Go加油

Upon arrival in Beijing, we had a quick turnaround to get over the jet lag and attend a welcoming conference for all the teachers in China. We saw many of our friends again and even reunited with our teammates from last year and the new ones for this year. Our team has changed some this year. While we are the same number, we have 6 new faces (that’s exactly half the team being different from last year)!

It was great to finally be home in Harbin to settle back into our apartment, order our favorite food, and begin the teaching semester. As is routine in China, we didn’t learn the teaching schedule until the days before classes, and still had one change the first week of classes. This year I am again teaching Selected Readings of American Literature to senior level students. It is amazing how much more confident I am in front of the classroom being able to use the same material as last year.

We have been the local “experts” showing the new teammates around the city offering suggestions on bus routes, taxi directions, and import shopping secrets. We felt quite comfortable returning to Harbin for the second year already knowing the ins and outs of the town. I’m sure we’ll find out even more about the city this year too.

Being so comfortable in China, Harbin, and the university has allowed us to begin this semester more focused on the students. We were able to host students to our home the first weekend of school as a welcome back to school party and plan to continue hosting students throughout the semester for fun and finger food. Please remember these gatherings for relationship to be built on solid footings.

Let’s go! 加油 (Chinese phrase “add oil”) The semester is new and we are excited to share the new and old tasks with you this coming year.

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