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Published: October 26th 2012
Borrowing the inspiring statement that is the essence of the national Early Years Learning Framework in Australia I would have to say that today I feel I am finally making connections, feel I belong and am becoming the teacher and person I am usually in Australia.
Being an impatient person I suppose 3 weeks is not that long to make connections in a whole new place, new language, new culture, but I really need to belong somewhere in order to feel me, and today it happened.
Today I had my last lesson with Cohort 2 for the week; I finally felt that some connections were being made. We were doing really tough work with legislation and they were trying so hard to follow me and take part in the lesson.
The bus ride to and from uni is interesting; I have what I call Westerner disease.
So I am the last person that anyone will want to sit beside, it’s too hard for most of them at the end of the day to have to try and converse with me in a foreign language so I am avoided at all costs.
Flowering away madly, i added some washed pistachhio shells on the top to stop it drying out
But today a lovely lady sat beside me, asked me in Mandarin if she could sit there (I recognise this now) and then haltingly began a conversation.
She has a doctorate and teaches English Literature as part of a degree focusing in the literary arts. Her doctorate was done on an Australian/South African author J. M. Coetzee with his book Disgrace. He won the Nobel prize in 2003. I had never heard of him and had to google this information. (shame)
Her spoken English was halting but she made a huge effort to talk about her life and asked me about mine and then invited me to her place. So nice!!!!!!
I found a McDonald’s McCafe only 2 blocks from the apartment and can now shoot out for a nice coffee, and the lovely barista gave me a frequent sipper card!
Corner of Shanda Lu and Shanda Nan Lu, just 2 blocks south and one block east of the uni.
Walking to Carrefour after the great coffee a lovely lady gave me a nice friendly pat on the arm when I stopped to grab something out
of my backpack and a lovely old man stopped me with a “hello” and then managed to convey that his son lived in Australia Sydney.
Lots of people want to say hello but after that the conversation gets stuck, that’s all their English total, and my mandarin then extends to saying Aodaliya (Australia) Laoshi (teacher) Wo jiao Rosemary (my name is Rosemary) and then unless I am ordering beer or buying bananas off a stall or counting I don’t have a lot to say.
At the intersection near Carrefour, 4 young women were chatting and did the hello thing, but kept talking English to me. They worked at a language school for young children, this is in addition to their normal schooling, so private classes.
So we swapped numbers and I think I will go along one weekend and sing some songs and play English games. Native speakers are valued even if they have a Kiwi/Aussie accent.
And then the perfect end to a great day happened when I was chatting with Julia who is the Chinese partner of one of the USA teachers. She has near perfect English and she came and knocked on my door and invited me out to tea tonight with her friend and partner.
Hot pot and beer and conversation and great company. J
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