In China everyone gets a long lunch break to eat and take a nap. Siesta culture in the East.
On Tuesdays I’m especially grateful for them as I teach 5 hours till lunch and then two more hours after. It’s a grind.
First I start with 2 hours facilitating an online Art Appreciation course and today we had our first Skype class. Of course, there was some confusion. The room had been set up with a new computer, but the computer wasn’t completely connected. Doing things half way is the only way I’ve seen things done here. So fixing that took some doing as the professor back in the US waited patiently.
We’ve got 48 students in this class and I’d say 7 are ready for the rigors of even a gut course, not that Art is. Art Appreciation requires a lot of vocabulary that these students just don’t have. Economics and biology do too and some students are in those classes. How they’ll really manage 3 different courses, with no overlap is beyond me. The teacher gave a good lecture, one that I enjoyed, but the students’ eyes were so glassy. T
I’m on duty just once a week for this. I am not the teacher so I won’t be grading 48 papers written by intermediate and pre-intermediate students. I just make sure the technology works. They’re using paper forms and since the scanner was busy, they took photos of each one and mailed a massive email off to California. Some of the forms were written all in Chinese or lacked essential information like names. The poor guy at the registrar’s office. Since this is an online course it does matter that this step gets completed. The students can’t sign out to buy the book, look at the syllabus and other course information. They can’t contribute to the discussion board.
Then there’s a kerfluffle over the apartments. We’re due to move on Thursday. I was allowed to choose which apartment I wanted as I have seniority. Well, my colleague doesn’t think that’s right and now I’m told that Mr. Chen, the head honcho, wants Chris in building 53 and me in building 2. Building 53 is nearer the school, has an oven and a good view. I’m getting worn down. The better way to go is to have standard campus housing. That way there’s no issue at all.
I’m so doubtful that Mr. Chen, whom I’ve seen once, really cares. If he did, he’d be a bit strange. There should be more important things on his mind, like the incredible challenge of finding A4 paper for the school.
- Exhausted (smkelly8.wordpress.com)
- Another Side of China (smkelly8.wordpress.com)