Another year, another English Arts Festival!
For the past couple of weeks, Maple Leaf has been treated to the talents of our growing student population as they competed in various categories of the school's English Arts Festival. Whether it be singing, short skits, poetry reading, or poster contests, everybody was given the opportunity to show the rest of us how well they are learning the English language by participating in this festival. The grand finale was the production of this year's musical theatre production, Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum. It never ceases to amaze me how these kids can progress from barely speaking English two or three years ago to a point where they can memorize this many lines in a second language, as well as act and sing their hearts out. Most of those who participated in the play are in Grade 10. And I was personally involved in a couple of aspects of the festival.
A couple of weeks ago, a student came knocking at the staff room door and then proceeded to beeline for my desk. I recognized her but had no idea who she was or what she wanted. She began by asking me if I
could help her out with her poem that she was going to read. Upon asking how I could help, she immediately said, "I need an old man." At this point my colleagues around the room burst into laughter but she couldn't figure out why. Logic is everyone's middle name around here. Anyway, I guess I was just what she needed. She was going to read the poem, "When you are old" and wanted to use me as a prop. She had organized music to be playing as I walked onto the stage, sat down and fell asleep reading a book as she started reciting the poem. I agreed and the rest is history! We made it to the finals and got to perform in the big show on Saturday so she was very happy.
I was in charge of the sound and lighting for the play. We have a great theatre at the school and were able to mike sixteen of the actors. From the sound and lighting booth, Sirius (a student) and I opened and closed the curtains, controlled the lighting, ran the soundtrack as needed and controlled the microphones. Everything went pretty well except for the last
performance when my computer decided it didn't want to play a couple of the tunes when most needed. After a couple of short timing delays, it agreed to cooperate.
It was pretty crazy on Saturday as the Arts Festival winning performers did their thing for an hour and then fifteen minutes after they were finished, we had to be ready to start the play. I spent an hour attaching microphones to kids and praying that they would work. Another person did the sound for the show before us and adjusted it all. We didn't have time to test it again before we started so just crossed our fingers when the first singer in the play started. But everything turned out well. Let's just say the booth was a little busy for the afternoon.
All in all, the kids did a great job. Karen and Larry worked tirelessly for another year getting everybody to a point where they could pull it off with style. I have only been involved for the last couple of weeks; the others have been rehearsing for months. Nancy worked backstage throughout the play.
The weather here has been pretty rainy for the last
week but it is still quite warm. Hopefully, the sun will poke through the clouds in the next few days. We are looking forward to the hot weather again. Apparently, it is supposed to be in the 30s for the next week, starting tomorrow
This summer, we will be going back to Canada on July 19 and returning to China on August 9. For the first time in five years, we are not going to spend the summer motorcycling around North America. We will spend time seeing a little more of the country here and hanging out around Wuhan. I am looking into getting a larger bike for some short-distance touring here. This weekend we are joining a group of new Chinese biker friends to go on a weekend camping tour and BBQ into the countryside. We are being given the use of a CJ750 for the event and may end up eventually buying it if all goes well. We have sleeping bags but are gonna have to invest in a little tent for the event. Should definitely be a great photo op!!
School is winding down, only a couple of weeks of classes left. Everybody is ready
for summer to begin!
NEWS FLASH!! I just got a Chinese motorcycle driving license today...
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