Week 16: Wednesday/Friday, 4/6 June 2014

(1) Wednesday, 4 June:

Class 1: Visit to Shoushan

As Class 2 wouldn't have class on Monday, we won't have an official class on Wednesday (except if you insist), but we'll pay a visit to Shoushan again. It would be required from each student to chat with the teacher for at least one minute about her/his plans for the summer holiday. We can do this early morning at 8pm (start of first class), or even earlier if you want to watch the sunrise. Or we can go late afternoon after the heat of the day (and maybe watch the sunset). Li Xiupeng can tell me what the class has decided.

Some students (females, of course!) suggested rather going to the beach ... I will consider that only on one condition: That the boys of Class 1 give me an undertaking to accompany me to Shoushan on a weekend before the summer holiday as I need some help there for a little task ... You can tell me also on which weekend so that we can secure that date.

Class 2:

Pse take note that you won't have an oral English class on Wednesday as you would have this class on Friday together with Class1. All students from class 2 are being invited to join our little expedition if you are not too lazy that day (we know you don't have class that day!).

(2) Friday, 6 June

a. Goodbyes ...

So, we have reached the time of the year that one foreign teacher in China never looks forward to. And this time 'round it looks like it would indeed be our very last class together ... I therefore just want to thank each and everyone of you for a great time we had together. Yes, there were times that I might have failed you and that I got upset or angry and felt obliged to 'haul you over the coals'/reprimand some of you, but despite that, I know in my heart that I enjoyed every time I'd been with you two classes. Please accept my apologies for failing you at times (especially when I got upset or angry). But I still think this was our best semester together as we have grown closer. Thank you to each of you who had made a contribution to make our classes as pleasant as it was, however small it had been. I have taken note of many such efforts. I really appreciate all of you. And I will never forget you, never.

b. Awards of Appreciation

The categories for this semester would be as follows:

Best role plays: Class 1 and 2

Best actresses and actors: Class 1 and 2 (sorry, no prizes here, only recognition!)

Best result in vocab paper: one student (or shared, if scores are tied)

Best EC comments: Class 1 and 2

Best progress: Class 1 and 2

A few 'special thank you' awards to some students - they would know why ..

c. Movie: Erya 121:

We'll end our classes by watching a truly great movie (trust me for this pse!) with an inspirational message for your life journey. There would be something in for everyone's taste (I hope!) - some action for the boys, a love story for those who like to inspire their dreams, and even a western wedding for the girls! Hope you like it.

P.S.

Xiao Hao/Li Xiupeng, can I ask you guys to please ask Maintenance (does Liao Gongda have some unit like this ..?!) to fix the first entrance door to that classroom (room 121) so that we can properly close that door and watch our movie in peace? I will really appreciate that.

Oh, and while you talk with those guys, please ask them too (I'm being opportunistic now ..!) to replace the defective globe at the light in the passage above the ATM on the first floor of Erya. I often withdraw money there after my evening classes and one can't really see what you're doing without light there (it's been like that for more than ONE year now and no one is doing something about it!); and many students would appreciate that too! Thank you.

Then I end off with my high school motto in Latin:

SOL JUSTITAE ILLUSTRA NOS!

MAY THE SON OF RIGHTEOUSNESS SHINE UPON YOU!

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Replies

  • This reply was deleted.
    • It was nice to have you on the outing with us, Shao Shuang (though you said you struggled a bit, it was good exercise for your body too!). Yes, the semester came to an end, and so has our English classes; but overall it was a good time together for the three semesters. I hope you have also benefited through our classes. Don't give up on English now; remember, if you don't use it, you will lose it! May you make good decisions on this road ahead of you! ;-)

  • This reply was deleted.
    • Thank you for your last comment, Kobie! Of course you can ask me if you need some assistance; I would not do a student's work for him, but I would always try to point him in the right direction. As you know by now, there are no shortcuts for learning a language. It's hard work from the beginning, and hard work till the end; but the reward is always sweet!

      I am happy to read that you are of the opinion that you benefited through our classes. I hope it may assist you in one way or the other on your road of life. And I agree about your progress; I have witnessed that too! Thank you for (mostly!) a good attitude in class. I have always enjoyed to have the boys of class 2 in the class! ;-)

  • This reply was deleted.
    • Yes, it is all over now (the English, that is)! I am also sorry for that as another semester with your class would have given me the opportunity to help your class just a little more and get them a little more prepared for the future of International Trade awaiting them! But I agree that you also made good progress. Thank you for your own hard work and good attitude. Participating in a website like this one, really helps a student to start thinking in English (like some foreigners!), and I am fairly sure that this helped you to get closer to your goal! So, my advice is that you MAKE time in future to continue participating on English websites as this. Trust me that it will surely help you! Hope to see you here again ...! ;-)

  • This reply was deleted.
    • Nicole didn't only play an important role in your last little drama, I think she has also played a meaningful role in your group work during the semester; so, you were lucky to have her as your partner! I am glad that you improved from that first semester and that you too feel that you made progress. I agree with you! And I will also never forget you, always in the front row!

      But Xie Xue, don't make the same mistake as most other English students and stop the learning process now. Why losing everything you worked so hard for? Please continue and equip yourself better for the future. Yes, like most girls you may think you would get married one day and as your husband would look after you, you wouldn't need English after all ... Be a little more realistic! We live in a broken world and nothing is perfect ... in particular not (Chinese) marriages ... So, if everything doesn't work out according to plan, would you be ready for new challenges ...? You may need English in future more than you think now. So, keep on learning ..! ;-)

  • I can not believe it is our last class tomorrow, it is too fast. Unconsciously, you have taught us for three terms, it is one and a half years. You taught us too much in these days, we also learned too much. I think everyone will be better than before, thank you, teacher. I will cherish every class we have spent together, they are precious.

    In these three terms, I learned much, about English, about life. I think my oral English and listening are better than before. And I still know more about life. In my mind, you are a serious teacher, but I still like you, like your class.

    It is not the end, we will meet in our university in the future, I look forward to it. Thank you,teacher.

    • Thank you for your comment, Wu Qiong. I am happy to read that you benefited through our classes (and even liked it at times!). I agree that many students have made good progress, including you! But don't stop learning English now, please. You will need English in future, trust me for that. Remember my words, "English unlocks the world to the student"! Yes, our classes were precious to me too and I will also cherish this time we had the privilege of spending together. And it would be great to meet some of you on the campus in future! Till we meet again then .. ;-)

  • This reply was deleted.
    • Thank you for your last comment, Wang Fei. It is with regret that I read it as I know it may not happen again that I can read something from you! But, I guess it would again be as the saying goes, "all good things must come to an end" ... I will however sincerely miss you and your (always) friendly and respectful attitude towards me. Thank you for that. Yes, you were quite fortunate to have teamed up with a student of the caliber of Lusia. Together you became a formidable team and you showed that towards the end with that outstanding drama you had prepared for the class. The students voted by a great majority in your favour as best play. The hard work and dedication paid off. I can only say that I am also proud of you!

      About your comments from your second paragraph ... I am not blind towards the goodness in many Chinese hearts. I am very much aware of that (and often mention that to some of my foreign friends in South Africa). But I have also seen much darkness in many Chinese hearts ... Though that belongs to the minority, it unfortunately has a greater effect on the country and the world than the inherent goodness of the Chinese heart you are referring to. Basic respect for people and human dignity are lacking seriously (you probably don't realize that as most students are still very naive). However, as you said too, there is hope. But you are mistaken if you also believe that economic development would be sufficient for change (that's what people are told to believe). China also needs change in a few other areas without which she would never become a truly great nation and country (even if China is to become the world's next super power, that would not change it). I know this may be difficult for you to hear (let alone to believe, coming from a foreigner!), but maybe you should go and think deeply about those words (from a foreigner who love Chinese students so deeply that they can move him to tears..). However, there are positive signs, and I am excited when I think of the students and also have the privilege of being able to share part of my life with them. They are the real gems of China; the new China with so much promise of new life as a pregnant mother is carrying! Yes, I also share your good wishes for China and us all for a happy and prosperous life! ;-)

  • This reply was deleted.
    • Thank you, Zhang Fang, for refreshing my memory about that day; I remember that hug came from the heart.  And since then you always remained one of my special students! Thank you for a good attitude and some good class contributions. It was a pleasure to have you in my classes. You and Shi Ning made a good team too who added value to our classes. Yes, maybe a little crazy, but not more than the teacher! Then I am excited to read that you would continue the English-learning process in future. I believe you that you would try your best. If I can help in any way, you can tell me (though the hard work would always have to come from the students themselves!).

      Thank you for the billiards offer! I have made a note about it (really - I'm getting older now and tend to forget!) and would love to play with you! I have played a few times with Di Xin before and it was always enjoyable. I think I should invite both of you one day to play with me and Tony! I will not forget (as I would not forget you)! ;-)

  • This reply was deleted.
    • I am surprised that you found climbing (walking, rather!) Shoushan so difficult! Maybe you have never been exposed to some strenuous exercises when you were younger to make your body stronger? But I guess that is the problem of most Chinese children as the parents tend to be over-protective (which is not necessarily to the good of the child ..!). However, it was nice to have you with us that day.

      I am happy to read that you had a good learning experience overall. I am also very glad to read from most students that the fact that the teacher lost it a few times when his temper got the better of him, didn't ruin their overall experience of the class. I am very fortunate however, as it could have easily gone the wrong way - that was only because the students were always so forgiving in their hearts (even when the teacher didn't deserve it). Thank you also for your outstanding contributions in the class, and above all, your very positive attitude. It's surprising that you said you were so shy, as you always made good contributions and others looked up to you. Don't underestimate yourself! I am in particular very appreciative for the selfless efforts from yourself and the three other students in assisting those weaker students and extending a helping hand to them from the beginning. That meant so much to me as I know that not many students wanted to do what the four of you did (I hinted to some, but they were not interested). I won't forget this. 

      Then just a thought about caring what others think of you ... Be careful about that as it can easily become too important and it has the potential to ruin one's positive influence on other lives. It's good to care somewhat, but it shouldn't be because one wants to be the most popular (even at times at the expense of others). I am not the perfect example (you know, and I know that), but as you should know by now, I don't care about popularity. It has no meaning to me. As long as I know I have done my best, other people can say about me what they like, I do not care, because I know it was my best. And if my best wasn't good enough for others, they would never appreciate me anyway! So, be careful how you consider this question of image and 'face', for your own sake. And finally, I decided not to give another award this time for best student, but had I done that, you would have been a very strong contestant again for the honor. Thank you for what you deposited into the success of our classes. Yes, let's be positive about starting to walk a more beautiful future from here. :)

  • This reply was deleted.
    • Haha, this teacher just tried his best and was far removed from being 'good' (he knows the truth about himself better than anyone else)! However, you are entitled to your own opinion. I just tried what I believed to be my best (but I also knew that my best wasn't always good enough). If the students benefited by that, then I'm glad to hear that. It was my pleasure to be your first and last foreign teacher. I hope you have benefited yourself and that after our times together that you would be a little better equipped for the challenges of life awaiting you. Good wishes to you too on this road of life ahead of you. :)

This reply was deleted.