Friday, February 13, 2009

The Next Two Days

by Ruth

On Monday we finally found out when the semester will start – next Monday. I’m glad we got that cleared up. We also found out a general idea of what we will be teaching this semester – freshmen and sophomore oral, and sophomore culture class. Before we can actually start planning, however, we need to know a few things like (1) will we be teaching just the freshmen here or also the ones on the other campus, (2) will all the sophomores have the culture class or just the ones who don’t get it junior year, (3) when will all these classes be so we can divide them up, (4) will there be a textbook for the culture class and/or what exactly do they want us to teach (in the past, it sounds like it was more of a Western countries geography class). So far we have found out none of those things.

On Tuesday Christina went over to the office to try to get the actual schedule. After wandering through the empty halls, she found out the office won’t be open until Saturday. The teachers will all have a meeting on Saturday to talk about classes, the students will register on Sunday, and then classes will begin on Monday. I am truly amazed. How do they manage to work everything out in the two days before the semester begins? Our waiban (the school official who helps us out) said, “This is Chinese culture.” Somewhat, but we know a lot of other Chinese universities that aren’t this last minute.

So tomorrow we will go over to get the schedule, come back and figure out when all the classes are and divide them among the four of us. Then we can go back and tell them who is teaching what and start planning for Monday. Anyway, we have a really good excuse for not planning ahead.

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