Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Teacher Tales

This post doesn't have anything to do with being in China (except that a couple stories are from kids here in my current class). Here are some quick stories of things that happen in first grade. Enjoy!
I had just put brand new, neat pencils in our pencil jar in my classroom. Alexis, a first grader who had a history of taking things which did not belong to him, was caught by my aide with several pencils stuffed into his pocket. When I asked him if he was taking my pencils, he replied, "No, Miss Smith, I quit stealing YEARS ago!"
For my birthday, one student brought me her own dirty, beat-up teddy bear. This student came from a very poor family and her father was recently incarcerated. She had been having a tough time and I thought that she might need this teddy bear more than me. I thanked her but tried to get her to keep it. I asked, "Would you keep it at your house so that the other kids won't mess it up at school?" She answered, "Just take it home." I said, "Yes, but I have a dog and he might chew it up!" She said, "Just put it in your room and shut the door so he can't get it." After those two tries, I decided I would have to keep it.

Sophia: My mum’s in the United States.
Me: Really? Which one?
Sophia: The UNITED States.
Me: There are a lot of them. Find out which one she is visiting.
Next day:
Sophia: I found out!
Me: Yeah? Which state is she in?
Sophia: The United States of AMERICA!

Sophia is from Australia.


A sad one about the air quality of Beijing:

On a sunny, slightly windy day in September, Justin looked out the window and asked me, "Miss Smith, what's those blue things?" I looked out the window to see what he could be asking about and told him, "Justin, those are mountains." "Ooooooh!" responded Justin.

Today we got to see the mountains again. It is kind of like in Redlands where you hate to have people visit in the summer when the San Bernardino Mountains are cloaked in smog.


And finally one for the holidays coming up:

At Christmastime, I had just read the book, Polar Express, to my kindergarteners. On the last day before Winter Break, we had our class party. Some kids were talking about whether or not Santa was real. Some were sure that he is not. After the party, all the kids went out for recess. At this time, I got the bells I had stored in the freezer and put them on the little Christmas tree in my classroom. They were tied on pretty red ribbon and were ice cold. When the kids came back into the classroom, they quickly noticed the tree and the bells. They were so excited! Finally, one child, Kirsten, came up to me and said, "Miss Smith, you know how I know that these are really from Santa Claus? I can smell the reindeer!" Immediately all the other kids began smelling their bells and declaring that they could also smell the reindeer (even the ones who said they didn't believe in Santa).


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Forbidden City, Neat Buildings, and a Visitor!

My cousin Hallie came through China during her Semester at Sea program and we were able to meet up last weekend. She is my uncle Joe's brother's daughter, so a cousin of a cousin. I took her and her friend to see some sites around Beijing. We saw the Forbidden City:

Tian'anmen Square:

Wangfujing (the Night Market) where you can see lots of things on sticks to eat. Although, these poor guys don't look quite ready to eat yet:

I also took them to see the Egg (National Center for the Arts) and to visit the Olympic Green where the Bird's Nest and Water Cube are still lit up every night:

I didn't take the girls to see the new CCTV tower, but I drove by it in a taxi a couple weeks ago. Apparently the nickname the Chinese have given to it is Big Underpants:

It is a pretty amazing looking building. It also connects at the bottom, opposite from the top.

Coming up: I am traveling to Xi'an in two weeks. This is where I will see the Terracotta Warriors.