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"YingHua in Beijing" Summer Program Announcement

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2012-07-02


by Liao,Bonnie on 2012-07-02

Hi Parents,

Today was another day inside, but still quite busy. We had a small "incident" in the morning when two parts of the group separated and jogged to the park (Chao2Yang2 park) via different paths. It all worked out in the end with everyone arriving safely at the park. We didn’t have time to jog a circle, so we did the radio gymnastics once, and the students wanted to practice their kung fu. They looked really good, putting all their energy and concentration into their movements, and a couple commented that they looked much better than students from another summer program who were also practicing.

After breakfast, the students went for an abridged/shortened class period, because we planned for them to make dumplings for themselves to eat for lunch. I was impressed by their dumplings, and very few of them fell apart. Having the experience of cooking for themselves (and ordering their own food, see tonight’s reflections) seemed to give them a taste of the independence that most teenagers seem to crave. After making and eating their dumplings, the students had the other half of their classes.

Then, Wang LaoShi patiently began to teach them about how to use the abacus. Though there was some confusion about its complexities, I was glad that Wang LaoShi asked me not to translation—some of the kou3 jue2 (mnemonic devises) like “yi1 shang4 yi1, yi1 xia4 wu3 qu4 si4” were extremely hard to translate without being overly wordy.

Afterwards, the students searched the Internet for the answers to a few questions about the Bell Tower and Drum Tower, at least one of which we’ll be visiting tomorrow.

In the evening, we walked about ten minutes to the Porridge Place, in which the students were each given 30 yuan, sat 4 to a table, and were able to use their 30 yuan to order whatever they saw fit (except for soft drinks). They appreciated this chance to take what they eat into their own hands as well as get a taste of independence. (See reflections).

Bonnie and I were also very thankful that several students were able to talk maturely to us about some concerns they had over what they perceived as rules in boy-girl friendships. Thanks to Evita, Frances, Tatum, Leo, Dennis, and Narendra for their input.

Student Reflections:

[Because today was a pretty uneventful day, many of the reflections are a little repetitious—all liked making dumplings and enjoyed the added freedom of ordering their own food—so I’ll only write down a few here.]

Sarah: She made her own lunch, and there were a few deformed dumplings. It reminded her of home and of her mother. Dinner tonight taught her to keep within a given budget and also to work together as a team for the best interest of the group, in this case, what food the four people sitting at a table should order. We’re been having some issues with noise level, so maybe assign one person to keep a group in check.

Evita: Making dumplings made her miss her dad because they make dumplings together. The abacus was hard at first but she started to remember how to do it. This was her first time ordering food in China without her parents, and she realized that it is hard to live here without someone who’s fluent in Chinese.

Karen: The dumplings were quite good, and she’s glad that we can have fresh fruit [thanks to Karen for suggesting this and also having students order in our normal dining restaurant/cafeteria]. The food was a nice change to the evening.

Eileen: Making dumplings was fun. Decided to ask a question when they were learning about the abacus, because it’s better to be stupid for a second than to be stupid forever. Learned to ask more questions and become more curious/inquisitive.

Pringgo: The dumplings were fun and not too hard to make, unlike a lot of other things that we’ve been doing. He’s appreciative of the teachers who made a bunch of extra dumplings and bought and took care of meat.

Narendra: He liked learning about the abacus, and Wang LaoShi was nice and kind. Learned a lot of Chinese.

Leo: The abacus was fun but challenging, but he got it in the end.

Seehanah: She enjoyed going to the porridge place. When they brought her the wrong porridge, she switched with her sister!

Rachel & Bonnie


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