Finally Back Again

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Asia » China » Hunan » ChangSha
November 13th 2016
Published: November 13th 2016
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I typically start my blogs by saying a lot has happened and the post will probably be long. This time a lot really has happened. I turned 22. I’ve conducted my first test for my students. I’ve traveled. I’ve had both good and bad experiences. I finally have a Chinese tutor (for free), and America has elected Donald Trump as president. It’s been almost a month and a half since I last updated my blog. Sorry for such the long wait. Sit tight cause there is so much I have to say.


In China, the first week of October is a major holiday. The holiday is called National Week which celebrates the founding of the People’s Republic of China back in 1949. Usually most people get off. If not a few days, the whole week. My friends and I had a whole week to ourselves. Along with two of my closest friends, Jody and Nick, we decided to go to a North Eastern city (about 2 hrs from Shanghai) called Hangzhou. For those who don’t know, Hangzhou is a beautiful, modern, green city. In fact the G20 Summit was hosted there this year. To save money we went there by slow train, which means we took a sleeper train for about 12 hours. The experience was okay. I slept well enough, although the little girl in the bunk across from me would not let me sleep. She was cute but she asked me a million questions. Reminded of my junior students, lol. After being squished into a narrow bunk for half a day we arrived in the beautiful city of Hangzhou.

I immediately fell in love with the city. It was absolutely gorgeous. While I live in a nice modern city, compared to Hangzhou, Changsha has a ways to go to catch up. Also, pollution is much worse where I live, but Hangzhou is a city that the Chinese government is purposefully pushing to be a model green city not just for China, but for the whole world. It was nice to see the fresh blue sky every day of the week for once. National Week is one of the most traveled holidays in China, and don’t forget China has 1.3 billion people. As a result, no matter how long we looked (and we looked endlessly for 3 days straight) we could only afford to book a decent hotel out in the suburbs. We were about 40 mins by metro from the city center. Luckily, Jody’s old college friend, Jack lives in Hangzhou. From the very beginning of our stay, Jack and his fiancé Yolanda took us around and treated us with the utmost friendliness and hospitality. When we arrived, we were immediately given transportation cards and taken to our hotel to check in. While our hotel was far from the city center, the suburbs of Hangzhou are absolutely gorgeous. There was still so much around to do, because we were located around a lot of universities.

After getting settled into the hotel, Jack and Yolanda took us to rent some bikes and drive around the suburbs. At first we were nervous. For anyone who has been to China or knows a little about driving culture in China, you’d understand why we were reluctant. Driving in China can be quite unsafe, for both pedestrians and drivers. It is not uncommon for people to regularly not obey traffic laws. Even if I one day settled down in China, I’m not sure I would ever consider trying to buy a car. Given that our hotel was located in the suburbs, there weren’t too many cars around and biking lanes are literally everywhere so we decided to give it a shot. I am quite impressed with Hangzhou’s public transit. You can take the metro, public bikes, taxis, uber, and there are both gas and newly electric run buses. The city tries very hard to be environmentally friendly and I have never seen in my life so many people using the public biking system. You can find public bike stalls almost every two blocks and it’s extremely affordable and accessible for everyone. We drove for about 20 mins before hitting a gorgeous spot in the city where you can see the city’s main river. The view was absolutely breath taking. After being exhausted from our long train and bike riding, we went to a nearby mall and had a feast. The next couple of days we spent sight-seeing and relaxing when we had time.

Hangzhou’s food

I can’t quite say that I know the taste of Hangzhou. Every day we looked forward to dinner because as locals of Hangzhou, Jack and Yolanda knew all the great spots to eat. We had different types of cuisine every day. I honestly felt a little rich and spoiled. We always ate at amazing restaurants and when we tried to split the cost our host would refuse. At one point we were jokingly fighting telling the waiter we would pay for dinner. “We’ll pay, you’re our guest.” “No. You guys have already done so much, let us pay.” And it would go back and forth. Jack and Yolanda were so sweet. The first night after the biking, I believe we had regular Hangzhou style food. The second night was my birthday and we went to a nice Japanese restaurant. During dinner Jack suddenly got a phone call and said he had to go meet a friend but he came back with a cake. Seriously, one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. It was delicious. The third night after biking around Hangzhou’s famous West Lake, we had seafood at a restaurant near the lake and I was in heaven, as seafood is my favorite. The waiters steamed fresh fish right in front of us. Another night we ate at a Taiwanese restaurant. It was nice to have a taste of something different every night. We also often treated ourselves to some expensive Western coffee or deserts. I normally never spend this much but we were on vacation. I had gourmet ice cream for the first time ever. I literally felt like I was living the high life. I imagine our experience would have been much different had we toured Hangzhou by ourselves.

Activities in Hangzhou

Jack kept us busy during our whole stay. We often went biking. We used the public bike transportation so much that eventually we were comfortable enough to attempt driving in the heart of the city, downtown. It looked dangerous, but it actually gave us a rush, weaving in and out of cars, squeezing past pedestrians on overly crowded streets, pedaling as fast as you possibly can to beat the next light. It was fun, a true adrenaline rush. Here are a couple of the places we traveled to. The first full day we had we went downtown to the city square and walked around for a bit, but then got a boat ticket and cruised the city’s main river. The views were gorgeous and the trip was very relaxing. The boat dropped us off at a tourist destination where many people go to see old architecture and traditional Chinese crafts. The next day after lunch we went to get full body massages and man was that what I needed. Right after, we went to West Lake, also in the downtown area. The lake is beautiful and people from all around the world, especially photographers travel to see this sight. Since it was crowded and it would take a full 2 hours to walk the lake we decided to bike around the lake which was so much fun. There were a lot of hills curved around the lake so it sort of felt like a roller coaster ride at times however certain parts of the lake were extremely crowded to the point that we couldn’t even move our bikes at times. The next day we went to tour one of Hangzhou’s most beautiful treasures, Zhejiang University. It is one of the top schools in China, and it is also a historically preserved sight. While it was beautiful, whoever decided to build a school on the top of a hill was not thinking straight. The steps to get to each academic building were so steep, I’d be afraid to go to class every day. I felt as if, if I even slightly lost my balance or tripped, I might fall back and go tumbling down the steps. The students who attend this university must have the world’s strongest legs. Their center of gravity must be one point. The next day I wasn’t feeling so well so I decided to rest at the hotel. Our last day we decided to relax and do nothing. We went out, walked around the mall, and Jody and I got pedicures/manicures. We figured it’d be nice to relax the last day. After checking out of the hotel and thanking Jack and Yolanda for an amazing time, we took the metro to the high speed train station and off we were back home to Changsha. There were no slow train tickets available so we had to pay more and take the high speed train. China’s technology is amazing. It took us 12 hrs by slow train on the way to Hangzhou, and 3 hrs 30 mins on the way back by fast train. America needs to get with the fast train system.

Coming Back and Teaching the Seniors (Content)

After coming back from what was a much needed vacation, many of us World Teach volunteers were in a slight phase of depression. We had just recently gotten off for two major Chinese holidays. Our next break will not be until winter break which will not be until January. The realization really hit some of us hard. Nonetheless, life must go on. In Chinese schools it is not uncommon not to plan in advance for holidays or possible storm delays therefore, anytime we come back from a long vacation, teachers typically have to work extra says to make up for the days lost during vacation. I had a 7 day week of teaching ahead of me as soon as I came back from vacation. Unfortunately I began to get sick in Hangzhou. It first it wasn’t so bad. But after teaching four classes on Saturday I lost my voice and could not speak. My school was very nice and understanding. On Sunday I took the chance to go visit my friend Ali at his university and I met some more new friends. They were extremely nice and sweet. They are from Xinjiang province, a province in northern with a lot of different Chinese ethnic groups. I initially though they were foreigners like Ali but they are both Uighur, a Muslim minority group in China (they are often discriminated against). Ali’s friends were so nice to me that when they heard my voice, I was given some authentic Xinjiang honey which is special in China as its honey comes from bee farms that people have at their homes.

After coming back from vacation I finished up the Unit my students had about Growing Pains. In this Unit my students learned how to give advice when they face common situations they would have as teenagers such as things that include these vocab words: puberty, peer pressure, depression, arguments, chores, being grounded. The second lesson was directly from the book and I taught my students these colloquialisms: a piece of cake, a wet blanket, off the hook, you’re pulling my leg/don’t pull my leg, and all ears. I combined the lessons and conducted my first test.

It was so exciting. Since I teach Oral English of course my exam was an oral exam. I put students into groups of 5. Depending on the class size, most classes had 9-11 groups. The students had a week to put together a skit and perform it in front of the class. I even recorded everyone’s performances on my IPad. Each group had a different topic. I used the vocab words as topics. For example groups 1 and 6 have puberty, groups 2 and 7 have arguments and so on and so forth. During their performance the students must also use colloquialisms. Here is how I graded them. I gave each class a rubric. There are 5 categories: Language, Length, Participation, Originality, and Quality. Each category is 2 points each so 10 points would be a perfect score. I told them to make sure they work together because everyone in the group will get the same grade. If one person speaks Chinese during their skit, that’s one point down for language, marking them down to 9 out of 10.

On test day I was extremely nervous. I spent the last 20 minutes of their colloquialism lesson explaining what I wanted them to do for the test. I even did an example skit with some of my students. And I gave each a class a test guide. I even went to every single class the day before their test to remind them that they should be practicing. I told all of their head teachers to remind them as well. I also told their head teachers that they could see their students’ performances if they would like since I would be recording it and some decided they would like to come see it in person. Our boss at World Teach just happened to be doing his rounds during this time. He has to go to each school and record all the volunteers teaching to show to the head office back in the States. It’s also to give us advice. My boss happened to come on test day, and all of the head teachers decided to come watch during the exact same class period as my boss was watching, and without any notice, the principal was notified about my test and he was also present. No pressure right? Luckily the test went way better than I ever could have imagined. Most of the students prepared very well. Some were downright hilarious and creative. Considering I have 50-60 students in most classes on regular class days it is nearly impossible to hear everyone speak, but absolutely everyone has to be graded for this test so I finally got to hear everyone speak and was quite surprised and impressed with some students who are amazing at English. I really felt I got to know my students more through this test and they seemed to have fun with their skits. The lowest group score was an 8. Most groups got a 9 or a 10. One class got all 10’s. Shout out to class K1606. I’m so proud of all of my students. My boss told me he never heard a faculty member give one of his volunteer teachers so much praise. Apparently one of my co-workers was whispering to my boss while they were observing my class and he highly praised me saying I’m a hard worker. After doing his rounds our boss sent out a mass email to all of the volunteers commenting on some people’s different teaching styles. He said that my class was so smooth and well organized and that my test was clearly organized and well put together. He also commented on the praises one of my co-workers gave me. This really uplifted my spirits. I think whenever I am feeling down about my teaching, I need to go back and read this email.

Teaching Seniors: Behavior

I think with both of my senior and junior students I have become to chillax on tracking behavior and it shows. There was one senior class that got a little out of hand recently and I had to go speak with their head teacher. They felt really guilty as some of them overheard me talking to their head teacher in half English, half Chinese. Some of them even came to me after class an apologized. I was so surprised, they had never behaved that way before. I’m not even sure it was me. But I think a lot of students have fun in my class. I’m only 7 years older than my students as well so I think some of them are too comfortable with me and I have to remind them. I remember one student said this to me after I dismissed the class. I said, “Goodbye class, I will see you next week.” One student who is actually very bright and good at English suddenly said, “No Teacher Dee. I will see you tomorrow night at the club. I’ll take you out and show you a good time.” I said, “No you absolutely will not,” in a more serious tone but she was still smirking. I remember another time when my senior students were having basketball tournaments against each other after school. I went out there to support them. I went to different courts as multiple games were going on at once and talked to the students. It was fun. Some students were doing English homework which I helped them with. I gave some of my female students a 101 lesson about black hair and joked with some of the male students about why they weren’t out on the court playing basketball. Another one of my very advanced students came up to me and she asked me if I liked Tyler the Creator. (For those who don’t know he’s a rapper, and not necessarily mainstream). I said I liked some of his songs. She says, I” like him and Odd Future. They’re so cool. They just do whatever they want. Like fuck life and shit,” then she caught herself and said, “Oh. Excuse my language.” Some of my students………

At the very least this does at least confirm that my students seem very comfortable with me. In fact they say things to me that my close co-workers who I can confide in tell me they have never talked with them about. I really do want to have tough conversations with my students but I want to do it in an appropriate, educational manner. My senior students are not children, they are 15 and 16. I am trying harder to let them be kids, but also let them know that they are young adults and I know they can handle more vulgar topics. After our test we moved on to Unit 3 which is titled: Looking Good and Feeling Good. I taught two lessons on this Unit. Lesson 1 was about exercise and we learned 12 different sports. They would act out the sport movements with me and they loved this, then they had to form their own club and present. We had basketball clubs, badminton clubs, music clubs (some students actually sang for us) and even a vampire cosplay club. I love my students’ creativity. The second lesson was more serious. The lesson was about beauty standards. My students learned how to state their own opinion and use phrases like: In my opinion, I believe that, I agree, you have a point, I disagree, I doubt that and so on. Towards the end of class everyone had to come to the board and state what is beautiful to them. They would draw a word on the board and use one of the argument clauses or words. There were many interesting answers. In every class there was a male student who confessed his love to me by writing, “Teacher Dee” on the board. There were some students who outright confessed their love or called out their significant others in the classroom (which is a big deal because in most Chinese high schools dating is forbidden so students date in secret). What was very interesting was the amount of girls who told me they had girlfriends and I would always ask them to clarify, and they really meant their girlfriend, not a girl who is a friend. I really liked this lesson because I finally attempted to talk about a more serious issue. All of the students were very blunt and honest about their opinions and I definitely found out more about some of my students’ personal lives and their interest.

Teaching Juniors Content:

With my senior students I have to follow a textbook they use, however with my junior students it’s completely up to me. I teach them what I want. I try to teach them practical language that I know they can use every day. In Unit 2, there were three lessons. Lesson 1 was on Halloween since we were in the month of October (they weren’t as excited about this as I thought they would be) Lesson 2 was about the weather, and Lesson 3 was on family members. My best lesson by far out of the three, and maybe even thus far was the weather lesson. Changsha’s weather is weird. It was hot 2 weeks ago and now it’s suddenly really cold so the lesson topic was perfect. They already know the four seasons so we went over the days of the week and then I taught them types of weather patterns such as sunny, rainy, windy, and snowy. I had one object go along with each weather pattern. So sunglasses for sunny weather, gloves for snowy weather, a scarf for windy weather, and an umbrella for rainy weather. I taught them weather patterns, then the weather objects and they had to combine the two to make these types of sentences. Monday is sunny so I will wear sunglasses. Tuesday is rainy. I will bring an umbrella. (It’s hard to get juniors to distinguish a/an and also when to use articles. Some students say, “I will wear a gloves.” After we did a few exercises most of them seemed to understand. I always ask for volunteers in my junior classes and usually the same 8 to 10 students who are already star students raise their hands, but for this particular activity almost the class was raising their hand. Some students were almost falling out of their seats trying to raise their hand higher. I had an activity where I brought in real gloves, sunglasses, an umbrella, and a scarf. I had a picture of a weather forecast on the power point. I would chose four students since there were only four objects. I would assign each student a day. “You’re Monday. You’re Tuesday. You’re Wednesday. You’re Thursday. Wear or bring the correct object for your weather forecast.” They have to line up against the wall and when I say go they look at a picture of the weather forecast and they have to rush to the desk to get the correct object and they have to wear it. The fastest person to wear the correct object gets a sticker (at the end of each Unit the students with the most stickers get a prize). This game was a hit in all of my classes. And students who normally say nothing were finally able to shine and get a sticker. I need to do more hands on activities like this. It works so well.

Lesson 3, the lesson on family members also went very well. I showed the students a picture of my family and they really liked this. The students really do want to know more about you. I realized very quickly for the first four junior classes that the lesson was much too easy. They already knew all the family members, which also might be one of the reasons why there was one class that behaved so badly. They were probably bored. The next four junior classes I had to figure out something. It would not be fair to teach them new words while the other four classes did not learn them. I decided to change the focus of the lesson. I taught the exact same lesson but I focused the lesson on spelling. This way the students were relaxed because they already knew family members so they felt at ease but they were still attentive because spelling is challenging for them. My last four classes went much better when I changed the focus. I even told them, “I know you all know how to say family members but (leave room for dramatic affect) can you spell them DUNDUNDUN.” They would usually laugh at this. It is often hard to get juniors to take notes. But because I told them the focus was spelling they all had their notebooks out and ready to go. After we reviewed all the vocabulary and did some short speaking exercises using the words, we did an activity that went very well. I put the class into four teams and would give one person from each team a piece of chalk. I would say the word in Chinese and they have to write it on the board in English. I only gave them 10 seconds to write. Whoever spelled the word correctly would get a point for their team. The team with the most points at the end of 5 rounds, everyone on that team can get a sticker. The words would get harder and harder. 1. mother 2.husband 3. Daughter 4. Older brother 5. Family member. They were so into it and competitive. It was actually quite funny.

Teaching Juniors Behavior:

I feel like I have fairly good control over most of my junior classes at this point, however I know that I am still not consistent with the tracking system. It’s a weakness of mine. There was one junior class that was so out of hand this past week, I could barely teach them the content and I had to speak with their head teacher. I don’t know why, maybe because I was so overwhelmed but I should have just stopped and have them sit in silence but I was so stressed it didn’t occur to me. Class C1605 who was the worst behaved class in the beginning, I mean they were monsters in the beginning and now they are one of my best classes. I am so proud of them. It really seems to boost their confidence to know that they are doing better than some of the higher ranked classes. One of the junior teachers showed me the test scores of each junior class and their behavior generally seems to match up with their rank. The lowest ranked classes have the most behavior problems. After I had a talk early on in the year with class C1605’s head teacher they have been behaving much better and they really do try. I think maybe they feel they are not smart sometimes. They will outright say to me sometimes, “I’m not smart.” Or “I can’t speak English.” I do not think this class suddenly got that much smarter but they are truly one of my best classes and not just in terms of behavior. They are one of my quickest classes in terms of comprehension. I think once they gave me a chance and saw that my class was not going to be long and boring they really started to be engaged. And I always try to praise them and tell them how smart they are because they need it more than some of the other classes. Encouragement and boosting the confidence of your students can go a long way. The juniors are still a tough group but I am used to them and I am really starting to see what works well for children their age.

Free Time:

As always my routine is generally the same as it was before. I teach every day Monday through Friday. I am usually done by 4:30 pm. I don’t out as much. I am trying to cook more and feel more at home. I finally feel I have my apartment the way I want it to be. It’s old but its mine and homey. When people who live in the suburbs or other cities come to downtown Changsha they usually come to my place. One of my friends jokingly calls it Hotel Dee. I can host up to my about 7 people since I have a three bedroom apartment. I finally threw away all of the old useless stuff that was in the third bedroom. I ordered online two very comfortable cots off of taobao (China’s Amazon) and now I officially have a usable third bedroom. Since the beginning of October, every weekend people stay at my house. Every Tuesday I still go to Chinese corner and every Friday I still got to English corner. I typically hang out with friends on the weekends. I have however added something to my routine. My very sweet next door neighbors and I have been getting closer and we decided that the grandmother who used to teach Chinese at my current school (she’s retired now) will teach my Chinese for free in exchange for me teaching their cute 9 year old grandson English. Every Wednesday I get tutoring and every Thursday I tutor. Sometimes during the week when there’s not much to do I go to fellow volunteer Vawn’s house. She usually likes to cook a big meal once a week for anyone who wants to come. She’s an amazing cook! I also often visit Anahita, another fellow volunteer who lives the closest to me. Sometimes I like to just walk around and explore the streets around me. I live in such a lively neighborhood with so many family owned shops right next to high-rises, banks, and malls. I really can’t complain about my location placement.


Other than my usual routine here are some other major activities since I last posted a blog. I went out a couple of weeks ago with Ali and some of his Xinjiang University friends. We to a Chinese outlet mall in the suburbs and just drove around on some motor taxis. It was so great meeting them. While out once in the city center with one of my friends Michelle, we ran into a taste of Changsha. Tons of street food vendors were set up. Everything looked mouthwatering, with the exception of the insect skewers. Through Ali, I was invited to attend a barbecue with one of his friends. Turns out this barbecue was in one of the richest neighborhoods in Changsha. I wined and dined all day with some very influential folks. That was interesting and a bit nerve wrecking. They were meat and vegetable table skewers going while we waited for the main dish, a lamb that was slow cooked all morning. It took so long at one point the party host took us around his neighborhood in some private golf carts. Fancy. I swear I think my friend Ali knows everyone in the world. He has a million friends. For Halloween one of the World Teach volunteers hosted a get together at her house. Almost everyone in the program was there. It was fun. And lastly the last big outing I had was hanging out with Ali and some more friends he introduced to me. We went to Orange Island which is a popular tourist spot here in Changsha and walked around the island. It was fun. At one point we bought some bubbles and started playing around like little children. Many people were there with their families as it was a nice sunny day. A lot of people laughed at the sight of four grown adults playing with bubbles.


I thought I would take a moment to introduce some of my World Teach friends with me here in China.

The Changsha Crew: World Teach Volunteers in Changsha


The best friend. For anyone who has been reading my blog from the beginning you probably already know who Jody is but I’ll just give a little reminder. Jody and I went to Goucher College and graduated together. She is one oy my best friends. She is in World Teach with me. We’re very honest with each other and I think we keep each other grounded. She is very wise and always reflecting about the world and herself. I lear a lot from watching her. We’re actually very alike. She’s always there for me and such an amazing friend. My experience wouldn’t be the same without her.

Nick :

The Sassy one. Nick is also in World Teach. He teaches in the suburbs of Changsha but he’s not too far away so we see each other often. He’s the candid friend you need in your life. He will always tell you the truth and put you in check when you need to be. He’s also extremely sarcastic and hilarious. I am probably laughing half of the time when we’re all together.


The Sweet one. Michelle can almost always be seen with a smile on her face. She is so sweet and she lives not too far from me either. She usually spends the night at my place when we do bible study in the city. I often call her to just chill. We get along really well and like to have many karaoke sessions and dance parties. And we both really like scary movies. Scary movie partner yeah!


The Mom: Sometimes I jokingly call Vawn, mama Vawn. She is extremely caring and nurturing and is always looking after everyone. The first thing she says when she sees me is, “Dee did you take your vitamins?” She is calm but funny and actually quite silly sometimes. She’s an amazing cook and World Teach often fellowships at her place. We think very alike and its nice to have another sista in Christ with me in China.


The Every person: Honestly I think Anahita fits so many of the characters I listed above. She is very hospitable and always invites me to eat at her house. We also joke a lot. We also like to talk about politics and learn about each other’s countries. (She is from India). She is also very honest and speaks her mind. She lives the closest to me so we see each other often. It’s nice to have a good friend nearby.


The Mover: Ray seems to have a lot friends. He lives and teaches at a school in the suburbs but he often comes to the city. He is constantly on the move and finding something new to do. He really seems to put himself out there and has no trouble making friends. I admire his will to just get up and go. He’s also an anime nerd like me and he’s a gamer like Jody. He and Jody teach at the same school and live right across the hall from each other so when I visit Jody we get along well since we have similar hobbies. I remember one day Ray was at my house and we were watching the Netflix Original, Marvel’s Luke Cage while simultaneously playing PC games. We sat like that for hours, sometimes in silence but it’s how we bond.


The Planner: Jawharah always tells me she’s anti-social but I still don’t see it. She’s very good at planning events and getting everyone together. She always suggest we go out and relax. I should accept more of these invitations. I also think we think a lot alike and have similar beliefs. She is a very caring person and really cares about her students. She works so hard. She even planned a Halloween party for her students in October.


The Explorer: Bill is always trying to find something new. He always wants to learn and have new conversations. He likes to just walk and find new streets. He is extremely attentive. He can always tell you about a new place to try. We also talk a lot about politics and social justice. He’s a really nice guy and we have great conversations. He’s a very easy going person. I think his presence brings peace to the atmosphere.


The Kpop Buddy: For all those who know me you know that I have been in love with South Korea since I was 12. Alyse is really cool. She’s very candid and honest as well. I appreciate that she always says how she is feeling. We also talk a lot about Korean dramas and kpop. In fact we often recommend new tv shows to each other. And when we start talking about Korean pop culture we’re like two little kids.

Being Black:

Nothing has changed in terms of the constant staring and picture taking but most people around where I live pay me no mind. They’re all used to me. I’m used to being here and block out the staring. Sometimes my friends will ask me, “Dee, did you see the way that woman was staring at you?” and in complete honesty I will answer, “No.” I block it out to survive. The only thing that is really irritating to the point I’m afraid I might explode at someone is the constant hair touching. I haven’t yelled but I have snapped at a few people. I am really starting to get angry at people constantly invading my space. It would take all of one second to simply ask, “Can I touch your hair?” I’m sure how I can solve this solution other than to cut my hair. Not completely but short enough. People always say, “just tell people no.” I do and people touch me anyway. Half the time I don’t even see it coming because someone is grabbing me from behind and they didn’t ask.

Right Now and my Reaction to Trump:

I won’t say that I am surprised that Trump became president. I know too much about America’s history to be surprised that a rich white man could get the poor and working class white vote. However I am still disappointed in our country. Most of the World Teach volunteers are very upset about this. Last night we had a gathering at Jawharah’s place, had snacks and just talked our worries away. Considering China’s government I was surprised at how many Chinese people openly asked me what I thought about our new president. I answered honestly that I didn’t like him and why. They all agreed with me. Some of them even said more on the subject matter such they feel that he is bad for China. Right now I’m a bit indifferent to the news. At times I really miss home but times like this remind why I’m okay being away for a while.

Well, until next. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to message me.

Additional photos below
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Seniors (Test Day)Seniors (Test Day)
Seniors (Test Day)

This group just finished performing their skit.
Test Day (Me, my boss, and co-workers)Test Day (Me, my boss, and co-workers)
Test Day (Me, my boss, and co-workers)

My boss is the young man sitting next to me in the black shirt.

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