Published: December 11th 2008December 9th 2008
They don't look so evil...
Sixth graders chill before the parade.
Forgive me. I am way behind on my blog entries. A couple of weeks ago our school had it's sports day. It's kind of like field day in the states, only totally different. My school has three separate campuses: Li Yuan Primary School North Campus, Li Yuan Primary School South Campus, and (mine) Li Yuan Foreign Language School. All the students and all the teachers gathered at the South Campus on a Thursday, the day before the official sports day, for an opening ceremony (like the Olympics). Our students had been practicing songs, marches, and dances for days for the ceremony. It was our fourth graders who were chosen to do a big number, a perfect cheer if you will, to our school song. They practiced, literally, for hours each day of that week. Some of my classes were even canceled so that they could march out to the track and practice.
Once again, Rosemary and I were made to feel somewhat like excess baggage. We managed to hitch a ride over to South Campus with our contact teacher, but we were promptly left to our own devices. We were given no part in the ceremony or activities. Heck, we
A bird? A plane?
Nope, just Superman hangin with his pigs.
weren't even given a place to sit. We had to filch some stools from a classroom. Some of the teachers at other schools were given a seat at the judges table, or a place in the activities (like running a race or something). But not Rosemary and I. I thought if I made an effort to appear interested in the school (showing up for flag raising every Monday, putting in way more time in the office than needed, etc) they'd want me to be a part of things. I'm like that extra nut left over after putting a bicycle together. You keep it, because you just might need it someday, but you never do anything with it. But I digress.....back to the opening ceremony.
The ceremony began with a parade. Every class from every campus paraded in front of a judges table and did their own little thing. Some had tinsel wreaths or batons, others wore costumes or roller blades. They all had a chant. With approximately 90 classes between the three campuses, the parade took over two hours. That's a lot of marching and chanting. After our classes marched by, Rosemary and I went and hid in an
auditorium for a moment of peace and quiet. When I saw the parade was almost over, we climbed up to a balcony to have a good view of our fourth graders show.
After the big tadoo, Rosemary and I both had had enough of the noise and wind. On our way to the school we noticed that it was near a metro stop (Ke Xue Guan, the one we use to get to Chinese class every week) so we decided to bid adieu to our contact teacher and leave on foot. Finding her was a task. We went down to the track where the students were milling about and saw that some of them were preparing for a race. I asked one of my sixth grade students where Tina was (fortunately I remembered her Chinese name AND how to say it properly) and they pointed her out for us. She was with a group helping out with some sort of relay that was about to begin, so Rosemary and I waited. The first relay was for students. The second relay was for teachers. It looked like a lot of fun. It would have been nice to participate (I say
I love this woman!
I first saw her from behind and instantly fell in love with her. I never thought so many patterns could exist in one ensemble.
as my alter ego, Ms. Bitter) We managed to sneak in a "See ya!" in between and were off before anyone noticed. Ha! Like anyone knew we were there to begin with. It seems that when I want to be noticed, I never am, and when I want to be anonymous all eyes are on me. If anyone knows how to reverse that, please let me know. I'm dyin' ova here!
The following day was the actual sports day at our own campus. All classes were canceled so I slept in and watched some of the sports from my window. I was going to take some pictures but it didn't look like much was going on. Instead of having several activities going at once they were doing them one at a time. So 800 kids were sitting on the track watching four kids run a race. Lame.
And if anyone hasn't noticed yet from this entry, China is wearing a little thin on me this week. I'm hoping Chelsea's visit will help re-energize me.
There are more photos below