Tuesday, May 27th we visited an elementary school in QingDao rural area. The school officials were warmly greeted us as respected guests. In addition to learn how to write characters using a brush and paint a cactus, there are many important little things that I notice. First of all is how Chinese students respect their “teachers”, even if I was not their real teacher, they still behave like I am their teacher; they will listen to me and patiently waiting for me to think words to say. Secondly is how advanced and clean their classes are. Even if they are still using blackboard and chalks, every facilities’ and medias in classrooms are well maintain. Students are trying to keep their classroom clean; they work together under class monitor’s command. Everybody in that school is excited to meet foreigners. Children did not afraid to communicate with the foreigners at all. Another interesting thing is that their English is pretty good considering their ages. When I first go inside the class, I saw most of them are shocked because they were expecting American white people to be presented instead of Chinese looking boy like me. But eventually they are all very excited after I tell them some of American stories and teach them English words. This is an amazing opportunity that I will never have if I don’t join this program.
Thursday, May 29th there are two activities: visiting Zhan Shan Temple and watching a Spring Night Festival held by Qingdao University students. The temple is not as big as Temple of Heaven that we visited in Beijing, but that place has a unique atmosphere, which make everybody find peace. Many people quietly praying in that place while some other just wandering around to enjoy the quietness. In the evening, four of us were going to Spring Night Festival, which many of our roommates expected that all of the American students will come, but most of us were tired and not willing to come. I am glad that I came because it was a whole different performance compared to the first one we attended. I can understand most of the performances because they were using gestures and expressions. My roommate said that he is happy to see me came to watch him act in that play, which they have prepared for 4 months.
Overall my second week in Qingdao has been wonderful. What I experience here is much better than what I expected before. I have a good relation with my roommate and I have started to feel a sense of community with the new Chinese friends. Talking about the classes, we really have to manage and set aside our own time to review the materials that has been given in the class. There are so many things to be learnt and also many interesting things to be done at the same time. On the top of that, being healthy is the most important thing because you cannot do anything when you’re sick.