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"YingHua in Beijing" Summer Program Announcement

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by Luo,Lifeng on 2008-07-03

Dear Parents,

Today the morning exercise Guo Laoshi wrote some feedback in the kids'
feedback books. Not all kids got it. I've found it harder for Chinese
teachers to give feedback because they are still used to give
over-generalized praises such as "a lovely boy," etc. To make this
system work, they'd need to be trained to write concise and specific
comments in rather short time. However, this is very hard for them.
They tend to worry about the handwriting, the elegance of the
sentence, etc. So we're still trying to make it work.

We learned one more part of the guang bo ti cao and reviewed the first
5 parts.  We did three different kinds of running exercises to
strengthen different muscles. Then we were separated into 4 4-person
group to kick the feather.

The language classes are from 8:45 to 11:55 a.m. now.

The Intermediate Class impressed Wang Laoshi with their improved
writing techniques - just after one day! They learned to write in
three paragraphs and always put an adverb before a verb (not in these
grammatically terms).

Li Laoshi used a slew of cards and board books to make her class'
learning more interesting and memorable. Andre and Arnold are quite
advanced in this class so Ms. Li is going to ask them to be the class'
teachers next time forcing them to memorize the complete text. We
think that we may move them to the intermediate class.

At 1:30 p.m., Wang Laoshi taught the kids Calligraphy. Every kid wrote
two pages of characters using the special brush.

At 3:00 p.m., we all squeezed into the office to use three PCs to get
ready for tomorrow's field trip. I asked them to write down these
questions in their "Field Trip" book and find the answers from the
Internet today. 1) How many ethnic groups are there in China? 2) The
names (in Chinese) for the top 10 minority groups; 3) Where do they
live? 4) Name one unique feature or holiday for these 10 minority
groups; 5) The % of population belonging to Han.

The kids who are 11 and older were REALLY into this hands-on activity.
The three groups took completely different approaches. Some found
English sources and translate them into Chinese. Some found Chinese
sources directly. Then I call out each question for everybody to share
their findings. It's interesting that kids found out that the largest
minority is Zhuang(4). It's special holiday is "March the Third" - the
"Singing Festival" for young men and women to find their love. Some
found out that Zhuang has its own language and uses the roman

As to the Man (3) people, the kids found out that their official dress
for women is "qipao" and that it founded the Qing dynasty.

They also learned the meaning of the term "Autonomous Region" (zi4
zhi4 qu1) and that Tibet IS part of China. The Uyghur people have 62
musical instruments!

At 4:30 p.m., the kids went for exercises. Gong Laoshi bought a
volleyball so some kids played it and some played basketball. Kevin
has been very helpful and is doing great with the kids. He often led
the outdoor recreation activities.

Max and Jack played Chinese Chess with Gong Laoshi. The four girls
just played cards and chatted.

Today's dinner was welcomed by all the kids. Gong Laoshi ordered the
right combination of the noodels, the rice noodles, the "winter melon,
bean thread, and meatball" soup, three vegie dishes, the gu-lao pork,
etc. Jack claimed that this was the BEST meal he'd had since he came
here. I think Gong Laoshi also realized how much these kids love the
noodles with tomatos/eggs and a few of their favorites.

At 7 p.m., we went shopping at the mini "super"market on campus. I
asked that no one should go to the basement where the food and drinks
were. They would only shop on the ground floor to get their
necessities for daily life. They were ALL VERY understanding about the
rule. Some kids bought pens and some bought water bottles or fans.

Upon returning to our room, we all gathered in my room to watch the
movie "Tunnel Warfare" (di4 dao4 zhan4). The room was definitely full.
Samuel was clever enough to sat against the wall on which the movie
was projected but facing everybody so that he could watch the movie
from the huge mirror on the wall!!

Max was so excited that he kept giving ideas how the villegers could
have done to better protect themselves. Jay kept asking good questions
indicating he actually understood the movie with his limited Chinese.
I kept giving them some interpretation along the way. It was fun.
Tomorrow we're going to see the REAL tunnel!!

The weather was rather damp and cool the first two days. Today, it was
quite hot, but we were mostly indoor.

Our conselor, Kevin, has been great with the kids. He has just turned
18 and is quite mature. He plays with the kids and keeps them in
line.Today he let me know that some boys might not be very sensitive
about others' feelings when they spoke (surprise!) so some others
might be feeling hurt. We will address this kind of issues as part of
the leadership training. He offered to talk to the kids privately
first and let me know if he's not been effective enough. What a great
role he's playing!! Thank you, Kevin!!

So long for now. Please let me know if you've heard anything from your
child. The best time to call them is between 7 and 9:30 p.m. You may
call any other rooms to see if anybody could help find your child if
there's no answer. I'm at 6803. Gong Laoshi's at 6811. All the rooms
from 6801 to 6811, EXCEPT for 6809, are ours.

The Internet access was OK while we did the nationality research
today. Just as the students were wrapping up their work so that they'd
be able to use the PCs to send email, the Internet access was down.
:-( This is not unusual here. So the kids were not able to send email
to you nor tomorrow.

If they need to send email to you, they could talk to me to use my PC privately.

Take care,

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