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Teaching in China, and crisis in Europe

overcast 22 °C

You might wonder what is happening on the other side(or same side) of the globe, right? So here it comes, once again a summary from China.
Lately we've been busy with a number of activities, such as parent/children/teacher's day, Aladdin (our play) and of course teaching, and I had less time to write.
I found myself poundering over what I should write about in the next entry, and a thought just hit me: "there is nothing new happening here, so what can I write ??"
The "nothing new" part, is a sign of a routine life, but despite routine, new things are happening every single day, we just have hard time in noticing them. And that is the secret of living in the moment; to notice all the new miracles of every day life.

So I decided to tell you about the joys and miracles of my daily life.
Last Saturday we had an activity day with the kids and parents, and after two hours of making play dough and performing different songs, we went to the most amazing five star hotel for lunch. The food was outrages! The salat was fresh, the seafood couldn't be better, and the coffee was amazing. I learned how to eat crab and oysters, which suprisingly were both really tasty. I was chatting with a Chinese woman over a cup of coffee, and she told me about her studies in Changsha, about western time at a coffeeshop on Tuesdays, and about different customs and traditions in China. And I contributed with telling her about Norway, and Holland, where I grew up, and different aspects of western culture. After coming home that afternoon, we went off to sleep/read/watch series for a couple of hours, got ready and went out to celebrate one of our roomates' birthday. That week he turned 22, and of course we had to throw a party (or let the party be thrown). It was a fun night out, and ended with a tight sleep and a room turning around in several hours, until the next morning. Also that night we met people from Saudi Arabia, South Africa, England and other foreign countries. And we thought that we were the only westernes in Changhsa? And all this talk with and about westernes made me realize that I look forward to head off to Norway again.
The saying "East, West, home best", exist for a reason.

But enough about the western chat. At the moment my home is located in China, surrounded by Chinese and Chinese culture, so let's talk Chinese:
A week ago my 6graders performed "The Show" by Lenka for me, which made me totally sentimental. I had shown them that song a week earlier, in my previous lesson, and apperently they liked the song so much that they spend one entire lesson to learn it by heart. They are going to perform it on childrens day on the 1st of June. It is amazing how you sometimes get feedback from your students, and that they enjoy your lessons, and actually gain some information from them.

And more and more I get respect for all my previous teachers. If you think teaching a an easy job, you are mistaken. Teaching is challenging, especially for the noisy and difficult classes. You have to develop methods on how to deal with the students, and the different classes. You have to adapt your same lessons according the classes. Even though each single person is different, they make one atmosphere in the class. And this atmosphere varies much from each other.


Even though I'm in China at the moment, the world news doesn't pass unoticed by, and lately I read in the news paper about the new developments in especially Europe (but also elsewhere in the world). A new nazi - party as got a remarkable amount of votes in Greece, which is the first time since the second world war. Also in Hungary the city hall of Budapest is occupied by the new nazi party, and Hungary is one of the countries where patriotism stands the strongest at the moment. Similar developments can be seen in most countries of Europe. Especially in Holland a negative view on Jews and imigrants has increased over the last couple of years. And today I read an article about Dutch people wanting to immigrate to Norway, because of their disbelieve in the EU and the Dutch economy. Their ministry has gone off, and at the moment the common citizens talk about Holland becoming a third world country in the future. Well, this a a prediction, which can't be said is true, but it tells clearly something about the peoples dissatisfaction and broken trust in the government. Also Spain is broke. In the city of La Línea de la Concepción in Southern Spain few people have enough money for living expences, and at least 40% of the younger population is unemployed. EU is in trouble at the moment, and many people claim the EU is more of a burden than a solution.

The point with the short summary of the news is to show that we are in a time of crisis. Maybe even a deeper crisis than in the 1930, at the time of the crack of Wall street. And people seem to tend to the same solutions and beliefs at times of crisis. The huge support of nationalistic parties, and rasist parties all over Europe, is frightening. People always have to blame others than themselves for their discomfort and problems (even though this is totally unrealistic to do). It is an easy, but very dangerous way to go. We went that way during the first and second world war, and even though people say "such horrible things will never happen again, because of rouse of awareness among us", we can't deny that the development around the globe is scary similar to the development roughly 70 years ago. Do we never learn from our mistakes? Are we really that stupid to blindly hit the same wall again? People, this is a call; WAKE UP !!

Posted by EmmaMM 22:20 Archived in China

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