Scooter's Journal Log
Earth Date 3 September 2012
The First Real Day of School
I woke up in kind of a daze, for I knew that this was the first day of school. The first real day of work. The day that for some teachers in some schools with some students, either makes or breaks you. The First Real Day of School. I ate cereal with milk, showered, fixed my hair – with a blend of two kinds of hair product, and got dressed. I loaded up my back-pack and rolled over to school wanting to be there very early. I unpacked all of my remaining stuff for my cubicle. Then I copied all of my first-day of class documents. My first class was at 8:00 am Beijing time – which means when most of my friends back in the USA were getting ready for dinner or bed on Sunday night, I was starting the first real day of my new adventure. It seemed like I was totally unprepared, but after being in the classroom for all of thirty seconds or less, I was ready to go.
The students could not have been nicer or more well-mannered if they had come from, pardon the Harry Potter reference, Beauxbatons Academy of Magic. I asked them to fill out a seating chart and then provided them with an introductory form to help them learn more about myself and my history. The students were charming and delightful. I asked them to include their English name and Chinese name in both Pinyin and Characters so I could get a better idea of who they were. After each class, several students approached me to ask if I would sign their certificate books, which I did. It was a little like being a celebrity. Also, almost every single student thanked me on his or her way out of class for a wonderful experience and for coming from the USA to be their teacher of biology. It was very cool and certainly unlike anything I had ever experienced. I had four classes in a row before entering what is known as my personal time.
Personal Time During the Day
So, arranged into the schedule of each teacher's week are four periods of so-called personal time. You see, when we are at school, our work day technically begins at 7:45 am and ends at 5:10 pm. When we have periods in our schedule that are unassigned, we are to be available in our office (as in office hours). Therefore, we are given 4 periods a week during the day to accomplish errands and and other tasks off campus if we so choose to go off campus. They are all assigned by the principal. Mine are not at the most ideal times. There are several people who have the last four periods of the day on Friday, for example, or the first four on Wednesday allows them to go home early or come in late. I have three periods next to lunch on Monday, and one next to lunch on Tuesday. I can use mine to go to the dry cleaners – which is close by.
Lunch in the Teachers' Canteen
Well, all I can say is that I was very confused about what food was what. Room temperature was around 37°C. The rice was abundant, so I mostly ate rice and drank water. The Teachers' Canteen, initially, does not seem like a viable option for me in the long term, when it comes to eating lunch daily.
returned to school and taught one more class • after school, walked to the Chao Shi Fa for food for the week • found microwave popcorn and maybe it is not Kettle Corn (darn, it was despite being called "Natural Butter Taste" • withdrew money from the bank and am nearing the end of my RMB supply • Skyped with my family until early in the morning my time • went to sleep